Fighting for students, fighting with students

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has forced a national reckoning. The images of that fateful day continue to haunt me, and sweeping regulations on gun purchases and use are long overdue. But the shooting and its aftermath are about something more than guns. The past few weeks have reinforced one of my deepest beliefs, which inspired me to commit my life to public service in the first place: young people are the vanguard of progress.

In Esty’s decision not to run, morality and politics coalesce

Now that Elizabeth Esty has said she won’t run for reelection in November, Connecticut Republicans are hoping they can pick up the state’s 5th District Congressional seat. They believe they have the advantage for two reasons. One, the Democratic governor is monumentally unpopular. Dannel Malloy, who is also not seeking reelection in November, is the least liked governor in the entire country. Two, Esty is leaving under a cloud of controversy. Last week, she conceded to being complicit in a former chief of staff’s sexual and physical assault of a female aide.

Further privatize the VA? Not on my watch

Last week’s dismissal of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin undoubtedly will renew the long-standing debate over privatization of Veteran healthcare. It’s no secret the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had its problems, as the inspector general’s report on Shulkin’s personal use of travel funds has revealed. Other high-profile debacles, like the wait-times scandal at the Phoenix VA in 2014 and, more recently, the staggering cost overrun of the Denver VA, have caused an erosion of the VA’s brand in the public eye. Yet for all these administrative difficulties — real or perceived — further privatization of VA care is not the solution we need.

There definitely is a problem and NPV will solve it

In his March 29 letter to the CTViewpoints, Nicholas Malino gets it wrong. He rejects two arguments in favor Connecticut joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that he hears most often. Unfortunately, he argues with faulty logic in one case and, more importantly, fails to address the best argument in favor of the NPV compact at all.

All Americans would call the shots in a national popular vote for president

Nicholas Malino’s March 29 op-ed in CTViewpoints said:
“Hillary Clinton received 2.8 million more votes than Trump (out of 129 million). She also won California’s 55 electoral votes by 4.2 million votes. To look at it another way, with the NPV, California calls the shots.”
It is a fact that California (with 37 million people) gave Hillary Clinton 62 percent of its vote and a margin of 4,269,978 votes.  However, Malino’s “call the shots” assertion neglects to mention that both political parties have bases of support in different parts of the country.  As political analyst Nate Cohn observed, an equally populous Republican base area with 37 million people gave Donald Trump 61 percent of its votes and a margin of 4,475,297 votes.  Cohn gave the name “Appalachafornia” to this group of Republican states running from West Virginia to Wyoming.

The NPV will not solve the problem because there is no problem

The is a follow up to John Stoehr’s excellent article a few days ago. Although I agree with very few of the arguments nor his conclusions, it is one of the very few that I have read that presents a cogent and rational argument against the National Popular Vote (NPV). Bravo. I certainly do concur that we should just stick a fork in the National Popular Vote argument and let it go away.

Republican drive to turn Connecticut red will hurt them

Today the Connecticut Senate Republicans intend to vote down the nomination of Justice Andrew J. McDonald as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Why? Senator Len Fasano’s assertion that McDonald being gay is not why they are rejecting him is credible. Yet, being aware that his sexual orientation makes McDonald more vulnerable to attack, they have taken advantage of that.

The national popular vote won’t solve the problem

The debate over a proposed compact in which Connecticut would cast its seven electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote is missing the forest through the trees. The problem isn’t that presidents win despite the popular vote. The problem is that presidents win despite not winning a majorities in the states. That may seem like a distinction without a difference, but it’s not.

Can Connecticut regain its former glory?

As the gubernatorial campaign heats up with dozens of candidates, we’re hearing plans and promises to restore Connecticut to its former glory. Yet none of the candidates so far give any evidence of careful study of our distress — nor any evidence of being familiar with the well developed field of municipal and state economics and fiscal policies. So a new governor is likely to be more of the same. Regaining our past glories will be a matter of decades.

Republicans and Democrats must be Americans together

I was 18 years old when I registered to vote at the town hall in my hometown of Fairfield in 1997. I didn’t have my own car at the time, so I had my mother drive me to the Registrar of Voters office after school on my 18th birthday so I could officially be on the voter rolls. I walked into the historic, white-washed Old Town Hall building situated in the center of town, surrounded by old homes and mansions, and filled out the form, with my mom at my side, who I had take a picture of me. It was a key milestone to me – probably even more important for me than getting my driver’s license.

Pregnant women deserve accurate information, trustworthy medical care

In recent years, the anti-abortion movement has passed more than 400 state laws that shame, pressure, and punish women who have decided to have an abortion – despite the fact that three-quarters of voters support access to abortion. But the anti-abortion movement has also pursued a lower-profile, more insidious strategy of setting up shop in our neighborhoods, opening nearly 2,500 “fake clinics” that pose as women’s medical facilities, but instead of providing legitimate medical services, use lies, pressure, and deceit to prevent women from getting an abortion.

HB 5416: Protecting pregnant women or infringing on free speech?

Connecticut House Bill No. 5416 proposes to prohibit deceptive advertising practices of “limited services pregnancy centers” which it defines as pregnancy services centers that “do not provide referrals to clients for abortions or emergency contraception.” The bill has generated both strong support and opposition from the medical and religious communities. Below are excerpts from a sampling of public testimony from people and organizations that oppose or support the legislation.