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Archive for the ‘2008 Election’ Category

Heard on WTIC This Morning

Posted by whforums on November 6, 2008

“I’m very disappointed in the election results. And what I want to know now is … who’s going to stand up for white people?”

Realization: It’s not that the radical right is always trying to scare people, it’s that they’re always afraid.


Posted in 2008 Election, Media | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

West Hartford Election Results Live Blog

Posted by whforums on November 4, 2008

We’ll post the numbers in local races as they roll in.

If you’ve got a reaction or a good election day story, please chime in!

All numbers courtesy CTN. CTN projected winners in italics.

Results as of 7 a.m. …

State Senate
Harris 32,128

Merrit 13,736

96% reporting …

State Assembly 18
Fleischman 6,187

Knox 2,350

86% reporting …

State Assembly 19
Bye 7,688

McGrath 4,617

100% reporting …

State Assembly 20
McCluskey 6745

Mertens 161

Thompson 2204

100% reporting …


US House
Larson 192,779

Visconti 77,520

Fournier 6,580

94% in …

Posted in 2008 Election, Live Blog, Local Democracy, West Hartford | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Your Experience at Your Polling Place?

Posted by whforums on November 4, 2008

I’m off to vote now, but would be curious to hear what the general experience has been at polling places across West Hartford today.

One blogger had a 36 minute wait at 6 — I’ll let you know what the 9 am wait is like.

Other experiences?

Live blogging local results tonight — swing by if you’d like to chime in on results, your experience voting, or whatever else.

Posted in 2008 Election, Local Democracy, West Hartford | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

The 2008 Election in West Hartford

Posted by whforums on November 3, 2008

Where Do I Vote?

To figure out where you vote, click here and then click on the first letter of your street name. This will reveal a list of all streets in West Hartford that begin with that letter. Locate your street, and, in column 4, your voting district. Click “Back” and use your district number to find your actual polling place. Got it?

What’s my “Assembly District?” What are these local races?

So, this is how you cast your vote for state rep. There are three different assembly districts in West Hartford — 18, 19 and 20. To find your Assembly District, click here again and enter the first letter of the street on which you live. Your assembly district is located all the way to the right. The local races are as follows:

Assembly 18: Andy Fleischman (D) v. Tom Knox (R)
Assembly 19: Beth Bye (D) v. Theresa McGrath (R)
Assembly 20: David McCluskey (D) v. Chad Thompson (R) v. John Mertens (CT for Lieberman Party)

CT Senate 5: Jonathan Harris (D) v. Joe Merrit (R)

US Senate: Stephen Fournier (G) v. John Larson (D) v. Joe Visconti (R)

Educate Yourself

Once you know where to vote, and who’s on the ballot, you can watch local debates here. If you’re too busy to watch local debates, you can check out the uber-helpful “Voter’s Guides” from the League of Women Voters here.

Review a Sample West Hartford Ballot, So You Cut Down on Lines


(It’s a .pdf I bogarted from the League of Women Voters).

Know the Ballot Questions

So, there are two questions on the ballot this year. Question one asks if you want to call a constitutional convention. Which sounds fine, until you realize that many of the people who want this constitutional convention want to call it in order to codifiy discrimination (they want to undo equal rights, such as gay marriage, granted by “activist judges”). If you believe in equal rights, you’ve gotta vote “No” on question one.

Question Two would allow 17 year olds to vote in primaries for elections in which they’ll actually be 18. This seems like a no-brainer “Yes” vote.

Any Other Bright Ideas for Me, WH Forums?

Yup. Vote for Stephen Fournier in the race for house of rep — the only one of the Fournier/Larson/Visconti group to give this website (and its readers) the time of day.

Another bright idea? Check in tomorrow (Tuesday) night, as we live blog the local election results. We’re not going to do much to keep you up to date on Obama/McCain, but we will track Harris/Merrit!

Posted in 2008 Election, Federal Government, Local Democracy, West Hartford, WHCTV | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Watch West Hartford Debates on Your Computer

Posted by whforums on October 29, 2008

Wanted to throw a quick morning link over to WHCTV’s blog/vlog, where local debates are currently available for streaming.  Check out US House 1 (better know as Larson/Visconti/Fournier), CT senate 5 (Harris/Merritt), and CT Assembly 18 (Fleischman/Knox), 19 (Bye/McGrath) and 20 (McCluskey/Thompson/Mertens).  @WHCTV — I still would love to see Town Council and Board of Ed Meetings posted every week, but baby steps to get there, I know.  You folks rock.

Not sure if you’re in CT Assembly 18/19/20?  Use this map to find your street and district.  The map has some craptastic qualities (it’s too small to read as is, and when you zoom in, it’s too large to easily maneuver), but with some practice, you can find out which of these races will appear on your ballot.

Posted in 2008 Election, Local Democracy, Media, West Hartford, WHCTV | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

For Your Monday Morning Consideration

Posted by whforums on October 26, 2008

Walking through the Center this weekend, I was heartbroken to see Lane and Lenge was gone (I was on the other side of the street and saw an empty store front. I pondered — and then said to my wife “Isn’t that where Lane and Lenge was?”). We had our wedding flowers done by them (and, by the way, they rocked and I highly recommend them to any local couple in the “market”), so I walked over to the storefront to read the signs posted to the door. Turns out they’ve left the Center and moved to Park Road. While this sucks, it’s still much better than having lost them! So go to Park Road and buy your significant other (maybe your husband, because we like getting gifts, too) some flowers from Lane and Lenge and help offset their moving costs …

Connecticut Magazine has ranked the top 35 high schools in the state. Hall came in 13th (that’s 90th percentile) and Conard came in 22nd. Not too shabby out of 135 high schools, huh? While you’re over at Lane and Lenge, buy flowers for our teachers, too …

To the person who keeps landing on this site via the search term “Is 1690 a good SAT score?” The answer is, sure. It’s good. I mean, it’s not super-great, but it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a bad score. It will get you into a good college. But, really, most colleges are good. So, stop worrying about your score, and start worrying about how you’ll make the most of your time in college. Start by declaring a philosophy major.

To NeefBremo and SpooryDroopy, my two most prodigious spammers, who send me 20-30 posts a day about viagra, tramadol and direct-print coupons — enough. I love you both, but I’m going to have to put you in spam time-out if you don’t chill out a little bit …

Speaking of “being put in time-out” — no word from Visconti, Larson or Fournier per West Hartford Forums’ invitation to write guest posts before election day. Maybe I’ll write in old Noah …

Posted in 2008 Election, Local Democracy, Quick Hits, SAT Scores, Uncategorized, West Hartford, West Hartford Center, WHPS | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Casting Your Votes, Down the Ballot

Posted by whforums on October 17, 2008

A couple of quick links this morning as we shift our attention to our next trip to the “privacy screens” — the November 4th election.

First, check out whctv’s programming schedule. Last night, they started showing pre-filmed debates for the 18th, 19th and 20th House districts as well as the 5th Senate district. These debates will keep running through the 4th of November.

If you’re into meeting the candidates more than you’re into watching them on local access, there’s a Candidate Forum at Blue Back Square’s Outdoor Gathering Space on Sunday from 2-4. This is a great opportunity to engage your local democracy by expressing your concerns to those who represent you and your family. It’ll also give you a chance to educate yourself about those names on the ballot that might otherwise make you feel under-informed. Check out a flier for the event in .pdf form (yeah, it’s going to start a download in some browsers) here.

And if you’re not registered to vote, register already. If you’re eligible and unregistered, what’s wrong with you?

More Guest Posts? “If You Build It …”

I’ve sent an email to Larson, Visconti and Fournier asking them to submit guest posts to WH Forums in the last week of October. No promises that we’ll hear from the candidates, but maybe if you folks make enough noise …

Posted in 2008 Election, Blue Back Square, Federal Government, Local Democracy, Media, West Hartford | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Renewable Energy, Renewable Larson/Visconti, Renewable Town Council Meeting

Posted by whforums on September 23, 2008

3 quick hits for your Tuesday morning.

1. West Hartford rocks at using renewable energy. According to this article in Saturday’s Courant, West Hartford the leading consumer of renewable energy — no small task in a ‘burg the size of ours. Now, I’m not much of a person to celebrate consumption (it really irks me when I’m told I’m a consumer, not a citizen), but if we’re consuming energy that has long range “less negative” effects, so much the better. In the program, communities with the highest rates of participation (and West Hartford has nearly 1000 households enrolled — which is great, and also pretty crappy) are given solar panels, and our solar panels are going on top of Town Hall, Hall High and Conard. The panels at Hall and Conard will also be used in Environmental Science classes — which I’m sure will be the source of ire for some in the town who believe all the students need in the science classroom are a notebook, a dead frog and some pins …

2. I’m tempted to say the race for US Rep between John Larson and Joe Visconti is heating up, except the Bristol Press remains the only place where the race actually seems to be covered (though props to Rick Green for doing what he can). They have an article on the race for the 1st district here, and it of course features the two candidates using words like “reformer” “Main Street” and “finger-pointing.” Meanwhile, last we checked, Stephen Fournier is still running for the same seat, albeit without the cloak of buzzwords (or any media buzz, apparently — though last I heard anything about this fracking election, he had raised as much as Visconti).

3. Town Council meeting tonight. I’d link you to the agenda, but the town website is down as I type this. I’m working Tuesday nights at the moment (yes, that’s consumption getting in the way of citizenship) and can only get to Council/BOE meetings via my TIVo. I’m interested in farming out a Wednesday “Meeting Recap Post” to anyone who’s interested and who thinks they can provide the community with an objective recap/highlights of what occurred. Email to whforums@gmail.com

Posted in 2008 Election, Federal Government, Local Democracy, Quick Hits, West Hartford, West Hartford Town Council | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Town Council Proposes Moving Second Budget Referendum to November Fourth

Posted by whforums on August 13, 2008

The Bare Fact

In a remarkable turn of political gamesmanship, the Town Council last night proposed delaying the September 30th budget referendum by 36 days to November 4th, the date of the general (and presidential) election.

Defending September 30th

I should really start from the beginning, because the rhetoric surrounding the proposal is as careful as it is dismaying. Early in the meeting, Judy Aron argued that the date of the September 30th referendum should not be changed even though it falls on Rosh Hashanah. Aron argued that absentee ballots could be distributed and that amending the town charter would set dangerous precedent.

The October 7th Proposal (or, The Red Herring)

Soon thereafter, cloaking himself in the claim that everyone should have equal access to the polls, Mayor Slifka argued that there was legal precedent (from a case in Rhode Island, no less) to postpone the referendum because of Rosh Hashanah. Slifka proposed that the referendum be delayed until October 7th (one week after the original date) – a reasonable compromise and one that may still come to fruition.

The 30 Thousand Dollar Excuse

It’s the series of events that happened next that’s simply remarkable. Slifka argued that because special elections cost the town 30 thousand dollars per election, the town could save money by petitioning the legislature (while they’re in special session) for permission to consolidate our voting by moving our referendum from September 30th to November 4th, the date of the general election. In a surprise (though seemingly orchestrated) move, councilman Joe Visconti, who most would identify as a WHTA supporter and “No” voter, agreed that the November 4th referendum date – a date clearly advantageous to the “Yes” vote – was a good idea, despite the fact that it represents a 36 day delay from the date our charter appoints.

The Analysis

It seems pretty clear what Slifka and Visconti get out of this deal. If the special session of the legislature approves a November 4th referendum, Slifka gets a referendum vote on a day when “Yes” voters are far more likely to be at the polls. I think there’s little dispute that a referendum on November 4th and a referendum on October 7th would lead to significantly different vote totals. Meanwhile, Visconti, who is running for the US House against John Larson, gets a bump from the “No” vote that turns out to vote on the referendum. West Hartford is a significant get in the first district, and while the odds are slim that Visconti will win West Hartford, a surge of “No” turnout will likely help him to establish a more credible number of total votes in a campaign that’s largely a lost cause.

This referendum, which is designed to be a tool of the people, will become a tool of our politicians.

The part that gets me the most? The council unanimously approved the delay of the referendum to the seventh of October with the possible 36 day delay to the date of the general election.

The politics of this is really smart. Unfortunately, its intelligence is at the expense and manipulation of our local democracy.

Posted in 2008 Election, Referendum, West Hartford, West Hartford Town Council | Tagged: , | 20 Comments »

Is Visconti’s Campaign Strapped for Cash?

Posted by whforums on July 21, 2008

As many of you already know, Republican councilperson Joe Visconti is running for US Representative in Connecticut’s first district (that’s us) this fall against incumbent Democrat John Larson. And as you likely also know, since winning the seat vacated by Barbara Kennelly in 1998, Larson has absolutely thrashed his competition (beating Scott MacLean in 2006 74% to 26%). In a district that’s almost impossible to win for Republicans, and in an election season that seems to be difficult sledding for Republicans, Visconti’s candidacy seems to either suggest a cynically calculated grab for name recognition or a bold ambition and idealism.

Regardless of Visconti’s motivations, the Bristol Press is reporting that Visconti’s “campaign treasurer wrote on July 9 to the Federal Election Commission that Visconti, a West Hartford businessman aiming to unseat U.S. Rep. John Larson, had neither raised nor spent $5,000 yet.” Larson, meanwhile, had raised $700,000 by April, with more than $200,000 cash on hand. The Bristol Press compares Visconti’s current fundraising to Green Party candidate Stephen Fournier, who has also raised less than $5,000. In other words, Larson has outraised both Visconti and Fournier at least 140:1.

Granted — it’s July, and a lot can happen between now and November. But if Visconti is really serious about unseating John Larson and heading to Washington this winter, he’s got a lot of work — and apparently a lot of fundraising — ahead of him.

The consequences of lagging in fundraising are self evident. But Ghengis Conn (the blogger behind ctlocalpolitics.net) spells out (with many cool graphs, I might add) what he believes will be an ugly November for Visconti:

“In the last election (2007) Visconti squeaked into a town council seat by polling 4,563 votes. Mayor Scott Slifka led the voting with 9,591. Will he do better than MacLean? Probably. But he obviously isn’t going to touch Larson, not even in West Hartford. His story is the story of every Republican candidate in the 1st. He won’t raise much money, he probably won’t get on TV, national Republicans will ignore him and the media will forget he even exists. Larson will end up winning by a huge margin–and in a year when Republicans are having a tough time anyway, Visconti is in for a drubbing.”

Might be time to spur that horse, Joe …


Visconti for Congress

Larson for Congress

Fournier for Congress

image source

Posted in 2008 Election, Local Democracy, National News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »