Why I am running a primary against Rosa DeLauro

I am a Democrat. I believe in progressive values. So, the big question is, why challenge Rosa DeLauro in this year’s Democratic Primary?
The answer is an easy one.
Millennials reading this should take note of this fact: Rosa DeLauro has served longer than you have probably been alive.
We are in a time of transition. I regard this race not so much as an election to challenge an incumbent, but rather as one to offer voters a progressive alternative — one with a proven track record, vision, energy, and fresh ideas.

The Medicare Savings Program rescue plan is fiscally irresponsible

The bill [to rescue the Medicare Savings Program] before the General Assembly on Monday is a far cry from fiscal responsibility. Despite a growing deficit, and a projected deficit for fiscal year 2019, based on the plan expected to be put before the legislature, the General Assembly appears content to avoid making tough decisions about how to deal with the $224 million deficit gorilla in the Capitol and instead has decided to just keep feeding it.

Connecticut policy discourages potential bilingual teachers

Dozens of bilingual teaching positions go unfilled every year in Connecticut, and the number of bilingual adults choosing the teaching profession has decreased dramatically despite the rise in the number of students who are English Learners. Therefore, even if our new Connecticut outlook is shifting towards embracing globalization and multilingualism, bilingual education will not exist until we understand why we have a bilingual teacher shortage.

The House should act on this federal animal cruelty bill

Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) to crack down on extreme animal cruelty, taking a critical step towards enactment of the first general federal animal cruelty law.  The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, if approved by the House of Representatives, would prohibit malicious animal cruelty that occurs in interstate commerce or on federal property, providing federal enforcement authority to supplement state anti-cruelty frameworks. 

If education justice is the goal, don’t follow Massachusetts

Massachusetts, like Connecticut, has long boasted top-performing public schools (“Massachusetts Is Like Connecticut, But Does a Better Job Educating the Poor,” Dec. 11, 2017). Students in both states scored at or near the top on national tests before the start of high-stakes testing. But then, as now, there have been huge differences in academic outcomes linked to race, income, language and disability. These gaps mirror the two states’ large (and growing) gaps in wealth and opportunity, as well as glaring inequities in school funding between rich and poor districts. … Rather than follow Massachusetts’ lead and impose more tests, Connecticut should implement an assessment system using projects and portfolios that promote and measure deeper, broader learning.

Some analysis, please, on tolls versus higher gasoline tax

We need a serious comparison of the costs and benefits of tolls vs. higher gas taxes.  Some obvious issues are…
Costs: It should cost next to nothing to raise gas taxes, while tolls might involve significant capital and operating costs.
Equity: It would seem fair that all drivers pay a share of maintaining and improving roads, not just ones using particular highways.
Contribution from drivers from out-of-state: How would the two options compare?

Congestion pricing: Would a toll system really be put at locations that enable effective congestion pricing?  Border tolls would not do so.  Could congestion pricing really be fair and effective in a state with limited alternative transportation options and limited number of lanes on highways?

You have a national park in the ocean, and it’s in jeopardy

When you think of national parks, you probably think about vast stretches of green spaces where the daily routines of nature play out unaltered by human activities. But America also has “blue parks” to protect very special areas of our ocean, and the newest is off the coast of New England. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument —the first monument of its kind off the east coast of the U.S.— has canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon and mountains higher than anything east of the Rockies that rise from the deep ocean floor

‘Students First’ or Obfuscation Inc.?

In 2011, a Board of Regents for Public Higher Education (BOR) was created to supposedly save money through centralization of functions and to assure smooth student transition from community colleges to universities. But students were deceived about the transfer process as smooth transfers can be achieved without this centralized boondoggle. Since 2011, after five presidents, all there is to show is nearly quarter billion taxpayer dollars wasted on a bloated central bureaucracy with 150 employees at an annual cost of $35 million, and several failed proposals to merge the community colleges and the state universities with reassuring names such as Transform 2020, Go Back to Get Ahead, and the current plan, Students First.

Let’s not treat opioid addiction with another drug

Many are heralding the FDA approval of the first injectable treatment option for opioid addiction as the solution to the opioid crisis. But using one drug to treat another, and at a cost of $1,500 per shot, buprenorphine is not the answer. A better solution is a natural and relatively inexpensive treatment – acupuncture.

It’s ‘anchors away’ at national and Connecticut news outlets

The past few weeks have seen the biggest upheaval in years in morning television. On Nov. 21, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose was fired after the Washington Post reported on his sexually-oriented behavior towards at least eight female co-workers. Then, eight days later, NBC fired long-time Today Show anchor Matt Lauer after a newsroom staffer told similar stories about his behavior behind closed and locked office doors. NBC political analyst Mark Halperin, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and former Today Show personality Billy Bush also lost their jobs in the last year or so, because of similar circumstances. But the firings of these “anchors behaving badly” isn’t limited to the networks. Here in Connecticut, local stations have also had to deal with anchors doing things they shouldn’t do.

Profits for business makes for lousy public policy

We are now officially a Kleptocracy (from Greek κλέπτης kléptēs, “thief”, κλέπτω kléptō, “I steal”, and -κρατία -kratía from κράτος krátos, “power, rule”): A government with corrupt rulers (kleptocrats) that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources in order to extend their personal wealth and political power on behalf of the elite. It is systematic, state-sanctioned corruption just like Putin and Russia’s oligarchs; a criminal racket instead of a legitimate provider of public services.

A new window into Connecticut’s finances

Between shrinking revenues from taxes, the continued growth of fixed costs (including long-term pension and debt obligations), and declining bond ratings, Connecticut faces a multitude of fiscal challenges that could pose problems to the state’s financial and economic health for decades if not addressed. However, to properly address these challenges we must first understand them and know what problems our state must solve. This starts with understanding the data. …[This is] what led us to develop, and officially launch this week, a new, interactive website (www.ctstatefinance.org) devoted to providing an in-depth, yet easy-to-understand, look into many of the fiscal challenges that Connecticut faces.