Kevin Rennie of South Windsor is a lawyer and a former Republican state senator and representative.

Kevin Rennie

Kevin Rennie


Indians Lose Again — No Second Chances For CT Tribes

Indians Lose Again — No Second Chances For CT Tribes

July 2, 2015

That didn't last long. On Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling that all states of the nation shall permit same-sex marriage. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared in a written statement Friday morning, the decision "reaffirms everything that this nation stands for — equality, liberty and justice for all."

  • Mistrust At Capitol Imperils Budget Fixes

    June 26, 2015

    The legislature can usually exhale when it passes a budget. It's primary job is done, though some cleanup tasks remain. In most years, the governor signs the budget and all that's left is to pay for what's spent.

  • Taxes, Cuts In Limbo As Malloy Balks On CT Budget

    June 18, 2015

    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democratic legislative leaders showered themselves with praise upon passage of a two-year, $40 billion budget on the frantic final day of the General Assembly session. They hailed their work as historic and helpful to the state's middle class. Needs of the disadvantaged would be met, but without a dollar more from the public than necessary.

  • What Are The Lessons Of $400M UTC Tax Break?

    June 11, 2015

    "When you have a good thing, you do not assume that good thing will always be there," declared state Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, last year when making the case for handing United Technologies Corp. $400 million in tax benefits. The tax bonanza is to entice UTC's various aerospace arms to remain in Connecticut.

  • CT Leaders Bungle Chance To Turn Fiscal Tide

    June 4, 2015

    Connecticut's fitful dawn to its day of reckoning resumed last Saturday with a merciless editorial in The Wall Street Journal. The piece delivered to a sophisticated international audience a concise series of blows to the state by rehearsing its dire financial condition and predicting the decline that would follow another round of punishing tax increases before the legislature.

  • As Clock Ticks, Legislators Wheel And Deal

    May 29, 2015

    Monday begins the most unusual three days of the year in Connecticut government. The state's Constitution requires the General Assembly to adjourn the regular session that began in January no later than midnight on Wednesday. The ticking of the clock imposes a more egalitarian society on one that the rest of the year maintains a rigid hierarchy.

  • Corporate Connecticut Uneasy Over Budget

    May 15, 2015

    It's time to worry.

  • Malloy's Fantasy Savings Account Empty

    May 8, 2015

    Prepare for millions in state employee make believe cost-saving suggestions. That was the $180 million fantasy that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy stuck in his 2011 budget to get it to balance. No one ever has enumerated the money saved from those valuable suggestions. Nevertheless, they helped avoid what Malloy likes to call hard decisions.

  • Risky Casino Push Is Just A Hustle For The Money

    May 1, 2015

    An April 15 letter from Attorney General George Jepsen to legislative leaders injected a dose of reality into the fevered schemes of expanded casino gambling advocates. Jepsen's extended and detailed analysis of the risks that come with increasing the number of casinos in Connecticut will sober all but the most deluded supporters of more casinos.

  • Foes Of Election Spending Are Foes Of Free Speech

    April 24, 2015

    Prepare for the Constitution to take beating in this presidential campaign. The First Amendment many never be the same. Your right to free speech makes politicians nervous as technology allows more outlets for opinion.

  • Queen Of Cabaret An Enchantress For The Ages

    April 17, 2015

    The great metropolitan newspapers of the English-speaking world have recently featured tributes to Julie Wilson, the singer and actress who died on Easter at the age of 90. She was acknowledged as the queen of cabaret, that exquisite art that occurs in a small room with a tiny stage, a piano and a singer. No artifice, just a performer and a song. It is the purest form of popular music.

  • As Finances Deteriorate, Legislators And Tribes Scramble

    April 10, 2015

    We are in the high season of bad ideas at the state legislature. It's worse than usual this year because state leaders are struggling to find enough money to pay for the programs they want to fund. The enormous 2011 tax increase that was supposed to prevent deficits was not big enough to satiate Connecticut government's taste for spending taxpayers' money.

  • Split Decision Bloodies State Supreme Court

    April 3, 2015

    Leapin' lizards! Connecticut's Supreme Court justices are at each other's throats. They made no secret of their angry, disputatious mood in a decision released Tuesday whose contents confirmed that conflict is now the natural state of life in the halls of the state's highest court.

  • Malloy Cut Nicks Veterans' Funeral Honors

    March 27, 2015

    The mask on the Malloy administration has slipped again. What an ugly face it revealed. How could it be otherwise when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy whacked $469,533 out of the state budget for Connecticut Honor Guard members to attend military funerals.

  • Connecticut Keeps Corruption Cops Busy

    March 19, 2015

    It was a busy week for traffic cops at Connecticut's dimly lit intersection of politics, business and money. The Courant's Ed Mahony reported on a gathering storm over a titanic battle among corporate moguls. Pershing Square Capital Management has been funding an extensive effort to damage the reputation and share price of Herbalife, the vitamin and nutrition company that sells its products through independent distributors.

  • Email Secrecy Shows Contempt For Public's Right To Know

    March 13, 2015

    On Sunday we welcome the beginning of Sunshine Week, when access to public information is celebrated. Unfortunately, though we live in an information age, the Freedom of Information Act and the public's access to documents is under siege.

  • State Aid To Towns Not Always Well Spent

    March 6, 2015

    The state budget and its many mysteries will hold the attention of people in government as they try to obtain and analyze critical pieces of information to get it to balance. One of the incorrect assumptions of the document that raises and spends $40 billion over the next two years is that the state's towns and cities always spend the billions they receive in wise and prudent ways.

  • Parole Board Must Reverse Cop Killer's Release

    February 26, 2015

    Plainville police officer and Vietnam veteran Robert Holcomb was executed by Gary Castonguay while investigating a burglary on the evening of Nov. 21, 1977. Four bullets entered 28-year-old Officer Holcomb's body as he chased 33-year-old Castonguay, a serial criminal.

  • Plenty Of Breaks Already In State Justice System

    February 19, 2015

    Dannel P. Malloy is one of those governors who adopts the notion that a state's history began with him. Malloy's budget speech on Wednesday — heavy again on the self-congratulation — distorted Connecticut's criminal justice system in an attempt to portray himself as an unlikely good shepherd.

  • New Bill Would Put Activism Under State's Thumb

    February 13, 2015

    Not everyone in government is a vigorous advocate of free speech. The Office of State Ethics has proposed a bill that would require many people engaged in the broadly defined act of "grass-roots lobbying" to be deemed lobbyists under state law. It would adjust a statute that the attorney general advised in 2009 was too broad. The proposed revision reminds us that this law is an impediment to people petitioning their government.

  • Follow The Favors, From Money To Corruption

    February 5, 2015

    The Sheldon Silver effect burst into the news in Connecticut on Wednesday. Silver is the New York assemblyman who served as speaker of the house for two decades until Monday at noon. The Manhattan Democrat resigned from his powerful position after a federal indictment for corruption last month made it impossible for him to carry on.

  • Why Expand Highways In High-Tech Age?

    January 30, 2015

    Predicting the future even in the short term, meteorologists reminded us last week, is an undertaking fraught with variables and the unexpected. Our political leaders should keep that in mind as they adopt policies that they expect to meet needs far into the future.

  • Enjoy While You Can — Good News Doesn't Last

    January 23, 2015

    This is a painful time of year for public officials who oversee government budgets. They are expected to see into the future and know the course of complicated economies. No obvious straining or wobbling allowed.

  • Remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s Courage

    January 15, 2015

    Our lives are better because of the way Martin Luther King Jr. lived his. On this weekend each year, we pay particular attention to the principles of freedom and justice that he championed in the face of ferocious opposition. As the passage of time takes us further from events as King lived them, some of the details of his courage may fade. They should not.

  • Unfolding Financial Crisis Grips State's Smaller Hospitals

    January 8, 2015

    Our political system of frequent elections provides regular opportunities for officials to engage in a fresh start, though most of the players are not new to the office they hold. The issues that face the state, however, do not ebb and flow on the same reliable schedule.

  • What Fiscal Crisis? Malloy Insiders, Herbst Reap Raises

    January 2, 2015

    "No matter how cynical you get, it's never enough to keep up." Leave it to clever Lily Tomlin to provide a description of post-election Connecticut. We know that in the weeks after an election that re-elected incumbents will make some unpleasant announcements that they kept in a secure, undisclosed location before voters went to the polls. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration has taken the practice to new levels that exacerbate the pernicious and growing gulf between the governing class and the governed.

  • Some Rights And Wrongs When Pulled Over

    December 18, 2014

    Merry Christmas, Hartford Courant opinion readers. Thank you for your continuing interest in the content of the nation's oldest continuously published newspaper. Your patronage and engagement is a gift that I enjoy throughout the year.

  • Rowland Never Got It — Now He Will

    December 11, 2014

    It's time for another John Rowland sentencing in federal court. This one, scheduled for Jan. 7, is unlikely to go as well as the last one, though the 2005 sentencing looms in court documents filed over a week ago.

  • Hillary Clinton Vs. Jeb Bush? Or Marco Rubio?

    December 4, 2014

    Politicians and others in the chattering class refuse to allow the public a respite from campaigns and the speculation that accompanies them. Many ambitious Republicans and Democrats have been huddling with advisers and others to decide if and how to combine the bricks, mortar and gigabytes of a presidential campaign.

  • Undeleted Emails Rock Education Lawsuit

    November 27, 2014

    What a highfalutin name the connivers at the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding bestowed on themselves in their long quest to upend democracy and choices across the state. The mask slipped in a court filing this month and what it revealed is ugly.

  • Malloy Overlooked 'Permanent Fiscal Crisis'

    November 20, 2014

    That didn't take long. Only two weeks after winning a second term, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his chief budgetmeister acknowledged that Connecticut's finances are not what months of 30-second campaign ads claimed they are. This suggests some hard going will be imposed on working families by the state's Democrats.

  • Questions Loom Over Injured Sen. Maynard

    November 13, 2014

    The General Assembly is faced with a delicate problem that its members would like to handle with discretion, which means without too much attention from the public. It is a sad story playing out at the intersection of tug of affection and the power of government to bestow benefits on those who would not otherwise be entitled to receive them.

  • If Only Tom Foley Had Paid Some Taxes

    November 7, 2014

    This will sound harsh, but it is a considerable defect for a candidate to appear at his most authentic when delivering a concession speech. Republican Tom Foley has given two in his bids for governor of Connecticut. He promises to show mercy upon the people of the state by taking his leave from seeking public office again.

  • Volunteers Make A Difference — Join Them

    October 30, 2014

    It is the tradition at the 250-year-old Hartford Courant that we draw a veil over our political opinions on the Sunday before an election. Today, no talk of government and whatever may influence you as your decide whether and for whom to mark your ballot this week. Instead, something more important. What you can do on your own to lift the fortunes of our world.

  • I Voted For Malloy Once, But Not This Time

    October 23, 2014

    I am glad that Election Day is almost here. It will allow me, I confess, and thousands of others to correct a damaging mistake we made four years ago when we voted for Dannel Malloy for governor. He is not the sensible, moderate Democrat that he told us he was. He's a sour buffet of disdain for working people and of love for the friendly rich.

  • CT Vaults To No. 1 Ranking — For Mudslinging

    October 16, 2014

    The race for governor has brought Connecticut a notable distinction. Wesleyan University's Media Project reported last week that the state's contest for governor features a higher percentage of negative ads than any other contest for governor in the nation. The ads are more discouraging than the news broadcasts they punctuate.

  • No Accounting For State Treasurer Nappier

    October 9, 2014

    It is the high and low season of politics. Candidates are saying ugly things about each other to get your attention. Every candidate but one. State Treasurer Denise Nappier, a Democrat, has gone missing.

  • Judge Rightly Rips DCF Over Exculpatory Evidence

    October 2, 2014

    The rule of law feels like it is imperiled in Connecticut, so let us thank two judges, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Julia D. Dewey and New York administrative law Judge Tynia Richard, for illuminating the chilling power of government to subvert individual rights.

  • More Revelations Dog Commissioner Schriro

    September 25, 2014

    More astounding revelations engulfed Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro last week. The New York Times reported that Schriro participated in a scheme to cover up violence engulfing juvenile inmates at New York's Rikers Island prison while she served as New York City's commissioner of correction.

  • No Letup Likely In Malloy-Foley Ad War

    September 18, 2014

    It's no use: You cannot escape the political ads that have taken over the airwaves and cable wires. They are frequent and repetitive. Sometimes they are annoying and infuriating. Now and then they may imbue optimism about the future or pride in the recent past. However you view them, advertisements in their many forms have become a vital element in the free expression of opinions and ideas at the center of our democracy.

  • Malloy's Numbers Don't Add Up To Win

    September 11, 2014

    The tyranny of numbers has taken over the race for governor. Wednesday's Quinnipiac University poll of the contest found Republican challenger and former ambassador to Ireland Thomas Foley leading incumbent Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by six points. The race is a rematch of their close 2010 contest.

  • Rowland Trial Delves Into The Dark Side

    September 5, 2014

    Former Gov. John G. Rowland's trial on violating campaign finance laws began Wednesday in New Haven with a shocking revelation. In 2010, Rowland allegedly tried to shake down Republican congressional hopeful Mark Greenberg for $790,000 in secret campaign consulting fees. Greenberg, who rejected the plan, testified that Rowland wanted the payments made through the nonprofit animal shelter Greenberg created in memory of a beloved dog.

  • Rikers Violence Taints New State Police Boss

    August 29, 2014

    Leave it to that Irish-Anglo wag Oscar Wilde to anticipate Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's devotion to Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro. "I like persons better than principles," Wilde wrote in 1891 in "The Picture of Dorian Gray," "and I like a person with no principles better than anything else in the world."

  • Privilege, Secrecy Mark CT's Education Insiders

    August 22, 2014

    The start of a school year wafts in on a cloud of optimism and high hopes. You know something important is happening when the state relaxes its sales tax so new clothes are a trifle less expensive. Backpacks fly off the shelves. Reading lists and game schedules appear. So much promise awaits. It makes me miss being a student, even if I did stretch that as long as I could with three years of law school after college.

  • A Race Between Two Darth Vaders

    August 14, 2014

    Take cover. The shelling in the race for governor began in the immediate aftermath of Republican Tom Foley's Tuesday primary win. Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Foley are in a contest to see which can make his opponent the most unpalatable to Connecticut voters.

  • Lt. Governor Pick Could Make Or Break Republican Ticket

    August 1, 2014

    Either Thomas Foley or John McKinney, Republican candidates for governor competing in the Aug. 12 party primary, would enter the fall campaign against incumbent Democrat Dannel P. Malloy with a strong chance of victory. Republican primary voters could endanger their candidate's prospects in November if they saddle him with state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Stafford, as his running mate for lieutenant governor.

  • Kidnapping, Rockets Bring Selective Outrage

    July 24, 2014

    The tweets of the famous have failed to free more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian school girls from the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. It's going to take more than pictures of forlorn sympathizers posted on the Internet to rescue those mostly Christian girls.

  • Airwaves Fill With Candidates' Toxic Claims

    July 17, 2014

    It has begun. Swords are unsheathed and unflattering comments fill the air. Expect 15 weeks of recriminations between now and November, with the Republicans practicing on each other for next three weeks.

  • Children Crossing Border Are Here To Stay

    July 10, 2014

    Children crossing the United States border with Mexico are teaching us a lesson in the power of the human spirit. A nation must be able to control its borders, but ours with Mexico is 2,000 miles long. It will always be porous. The Berlin Wall was about 100 miles long and required an army to keep East Germans from escaping communism to freedom in West Berlin.

  • Founders Left Lesson For Evasive Politicians

    July 3, 2014

    If you have not already this holiday weekend, take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence that those brave delegates to the Second Continental Congress adopted on pain of death 238 years ago. Its stirring opening, "When in the course of human events," rings through the ages.

  • City Officials Get Stadium Perk — A Skybox

    June 18, 2014

    It's the luxury box.

  • Primary Gives Hartford Residents A Vote On Stadium

    June 12, 2014

    Thanks to state Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield, many Hartford voters get to participate in an August referendum on city leaders' secretly hatched plan to spend $60 million on a minor league baseball stadium. Coleman, seeking re-election as a primary challenger, opposes the misbegotten proposal. His opponent, party-endorsed Hartford city council leader Shawn Wooden, supports it.

  • Children's Deaths Demand Greater Scrutiny

    June 6, 2014

    The fatalities of children with a connection to the Department of Children and Families are occurring at a frightening rate. The facts surrounding these tragedies remain shrouded in secrecy. The Office of the Child Advocate announced last week that, between Jan. 1 and May 31, nine children died whose families were involved with DCF and whose deaths merit further review by the child advocate.

  • Public Financing Race Consumes Candidates

    May 30, 2014

    Connecticut's expensive public financing of election campaigns was intended to take the emphasis off money in politics. A candidate would raise a modest amount of money in small contributions of no more than $100 each and then dive into the honey pot of taxpayer funds. Instead, the system has kept money at the center of campaign calculations.

  • Bacchiochi's False Accusation Will Haunt Her — And Foley

    May 22, 2014

    The one thing it was not was a "misunderstanding."

  • Children's Deaths Reveal DCF Shortcomings

    May 16, 2014

    The April deaths of 2-month-old Adore Daniels and 5-month-old Bradly Davis White are fading from the news, and they should not. The Department of Children and Families failed those two children, and their deaths must prompt action by state officials and others.

  • Malloy Finds Revenue In Land Of Pretend

    May 8, 2014

    The age of the Connecticut state employee suggestion box has ended. That was the notorious device Gov. Dannel P. Malloy used to balance a nearly $200 million gap budget gap in 2011. No one ever explained what the valuable suggestions were.

  • Malloy Forced To Shift From Rebate To Reality

    May 2, 2014

    The end of the legislative session has featured an unusual amount of gear-shifting by the state's leading policy-makers. The most notable came last week when reality forced Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to abandon his $55-a-person income tax refund under pressure from falling tax receipts that accompany a stagnant state economy.

  • College Conservative Voices Nearly Extinct

    April 25, 2014

    Eastern Connecticut State University adjunct professor Brent Terry got caught saying what he thinks Monday, when an anonymous student recorded the creative writing teacher's rantings. Terry is a paranoid left-winger who used his classroom to spew his fury at the prospect of Republican victories in this year's congressional elections.

  • Williams Flunks Test For College Presidency

    April 17, 2014

    There's been some confusion at Quinebaug Valley Community College, in the Danielson section of rural Killingly. Like every community college, the school's curriculum includes many job training programs. The problem here is that state Senate leader Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, mistook the presidency of the college for a job training program.

  • Shabazz Scores One For The Players

    April 11, 2014

    Look elsewhere in this newspaper for expert analysis of University of Connecticut basketball star Shabazz Napier's remarkable skill on the court. I hail him for his candor and willingness to speak truth to power last week as he declaimed on the conditions imposed on student athletes.

  • Tangled Deceit Will Cost Rowland — Again

    April 4, 2014

    Nursing home magnates Brian Foley and Lisa Wilson-Foley caught a nasty case of affluenza in politics. The wealthy couple spread some of their fortune around in places it shouldn't have gone. That brought them to a federal courtroom last week to plead guilty to conspiring with disgraced former Gov. John G. Rowland to violate federal campaign finance laws during Wilson-Foley's failed 2012 congressional bid for the open 5th District Congressional seat.

  • A Kennedy Stirs Connecticut's Politics

    March 28, 2014

    State Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford, will not seek a sixth term in November. He has been a brave soldier in the endless battle to protect the public's right to know what its government is doing. This is harder duty than most people think. Those invested with public authority in Connecticut are always looking for ways to douse the spotlight on what they do your name.

  • Connecticut's Numbers Tell Gloomy Tales

    March 21, 2014

    College basketball brings weeks of numbers to popular culture. Tournament seeds, scores and predictions are everywhere. (Mine? Florida defeats Louisville, 69-65.) While you're in the spirit, let's look at some Connecticut numbers.

  • Republicans Must Rebuke Martha Dean

    March 14, 2014

    There is madness abroad in the land. Martha Dean is running for the Republican nomination for governor. Dean is the doyenne of guns who, in January 2013, signaled her agreement with an insane theory that the Sandy Hook slaughter of 20 children and six adults was a fictitious production aimed at boosting the advocates of stricter gun laws.

  • A Teacher's Impact Beyond Measure

    February 28, 2014

    Miss Harding. Two words that could undermine the confidence of a couple of generations of students.

  • FBI Agents Turning Screws On CT Legislators

    February 20, 2014

    Federal criminal investigators returned Wednesday to their stomping grounds, the Legislative Office Building in the state Capitol complex. Agents were in search of information about ties among some Republican legislators, a staffer and a Florida printing company that produces gazillions of copies of post cards and assorted brochures for candidates, many of whom use public funds to finance their political campaigns.

  • Feds Circling — Rowland Feels Heat Rise

    February 14, 2014

    John Rowland again.

  • Malloy Shifts Into Full-On Makeup Mode

    February 7, 2014

    State leaders said weather delayed the opening of the year's legislative session from Wednesday to Thursday. I'm not so sure. Democrat and Working Families Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was still serving the detention imposed on him by the state's public school teachers.

  • Connections Smooth O'Garro's Cash Collection

    January 30, 2014

    Some lethal emails revealed by The Courant last week interrupted the genial flow expected in the week ahead. Trouble grows in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's promiscuous grant-and-loan business.

  • Republican Governor Candidates Building Their Bases

    January 24, 2014

    The race for the Republican nomination for governor is an odd and complex affair. The candidates are campaigning around the state seeking support from the 1,200 people they expect to be delegates at the May nominating convention at the Mohegan Sun casino.

  • DCF Problems Merit Governor's Attention

    January 17, 2014

    Brace yourself. The state's Child Fatality Review Panel will issue a report next month that reveals deadly failures at the Department of Children and Families in protecting a Danbury child who was killed at the end of September. The child's father has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

  • Christie's Presidential Hopes Finished

    January 9, 2014

    The George Washington Bridge claimed a casualty Wednesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political ambitions were killed by a lethal stew of texts, emails and orange cones. You don't see that very often.

  • No Holiday Peace For Politicians

    January 3, 2014

    The state's two major political parties engaged in spitball by press release through the holiday season. It will grow barbarous as the year advances. Partisans will become sensitive about the tone and substance of the exchanges as they grow more fierce. Reasonable people will recoil at the ones that offend our sense of fair play.

  • Bits Of Stuff, In Homage To Larry King

    December 26, 2013

    When the great Larry King would poll his late-night radio audience on Why Are You Up night, I was among his largest demographic, law school students. He remains a distinctive host and interviewer. King's also a fine guest, as he reminded fans of the irrepressible Norm Macdonald's podcast last summer.

  • Unrest, Violence Mar Peaceful Season

    December 20, 2013

    You'll be hearing and maybe warbling about sleeping in heavenly peace in the next few days. There is little peace in the corner of the world where Christendom looks to every December to mark the birth of Christ two thousand years ago. It's a bleak time for Christians in the Middle East.

  • Recalling A Hot Tub On A Trail Of Corruption

    December 13, 2013

    We can't remind ourselves too often of what the powerful will do to sustain themselves in office when caught abusing their public trust. We mark the 10th anniversary of a remarkable saga in Connecticut politics. A decade ago last week, former Gov. John G. Rowland issued a groveling, convoluted apology for his many greedy transgressions, extracting valuable services from cronies and contractors.

  • NU Fundraising Email Reveals Ugly Politics

    December 6, 2013

    Northeast Utilities Chairman, President and CEO Thomas May, a Massachusetts resident, is a successful executive with appalling instincts who made an ugly assault on decency in September. The wealthy executive used the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as a fundraising tool for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut's Democratic Party organization.

  • An Embarrassing Sandy Hook Report

    December 1, 2013

    Some high-ranking state officials continue to plunder their credibility in their quest to shut the public out of the people's business. The assault on the public's sensibilities reached a Captain Queeg-like level of madness with the release of Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III's investigation of the slaughter of 20 first-graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last Dec. 14.

  • Kennedy Guided U.S. Through Tough Times

    November 15, 2013

    We might not be here with the mists of myths and hectoring of conspiracy theorists — all marking the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination — if he had not insisted on caution during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962.

  • Private Emails Hide Work Of Malloy's Administration

    November 8, 2013

    The Malloy administration has created a far-flung network of private email accounts to conduct the public's business.

  • Feds Interested In 'Business As Usual'

    November 1, 2013

    While most people were donning frightful masks last week to mark Halloween, state Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo slipped — revealing her ugly philosophy of politics.

  • Malloy Fund-Raising Machine In High Gear

    October 25, 2013

    If you are a lobbyist or the client of one, watch for a consumer alert warning of a political fundraising shakedown. You may get squeezed for as much as $100,000. The squeezer is one-time campaign finance reformer Democratic and Working Families Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

  • Police Report Fatally Taints Foley Ambition

    October 18, 2013

    Republican Tom Foley has been conniving to keep a damaging secret for years. The release at any time in the past decade of a 1981 police report account of a chilling summer night on Long Island that tells a tale of an alleged assault with a motor vehicle driven by Foley would have snuffed out the Greenwich businessman's political ambitions.

  • Who's Got Hartford's Missing $669,997?

    October 10, 2013

    Nine students from High School Inc., Hartford's Insurance and Finance Academy, traveled to New York on Sept. 18 to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange — a reward for having the highest scores on Connecticut Academic Performance Test. Congratulations to them and their teachers and parents.

  • Politicians Well-Served Going Door-To-Door

    October 4, 2013

    The autumn of an odd-numbered year in Connecticut provides a vast classroom for politicians at every level. Municipal election campaigns are in season in most communities and local candidates are seeking the attention of the state's most engaged voters.

  • Governor's Pal Weds At Mansion

    September 27, 2013

    Governor uses official residence for wedding of state contractor and political crony.

  • Foley Steers Campaign Onto The Rocks

    September 19, 2013

    They raised the Costa Concordia on Tuesday. The 114,000-ton, 900-foot-long cruise ship had been on its side off the coast of Italy since January 2012, wrecked by a blundering captain who let the ship go off course and into submerged rocks. His name was not Tom Foley, but the similarities are striking.

  • Nora Dannehy Brought Down The Crooks

    September 13, 2013

    Fifteen years ago, corrupt officials at the highest levels of state government were perverting their public trust for personal gain. That dark time, however, coincided with a golden age of federal corruption in Connecticut. Felons and the just did battle; rectitude prevailed. Thank Nora Dannehy.

  • Republican Hopefuls Will Jostle For Contributions, Legitimacy

    September 6, 2013

    Four Republicans who have their eye on the 2014 race for governor are making their way to the starting gate. The next four months may narrow the field for the contenders who rely on taxpayer funds to finance of their campaigns.

  • Tighten Rules, End Sweetheart State Hiring

    August 23, 2013

    Courant readers have been paying close attention to my colleague Jon Lender's stories on state government officials hiring relatives for summer jobs in their departments. It's a dispiriting enough tale to have caught the attention of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

  • Harp's Missteps Hobble Bid For Mayoral Coronation

    August 15, 2013

    Some city mayoral candidates are tripping at the starting gate, embarrassed or defeated by simple tasks. The bumbles have brought one contest to an end and made two others more intriguing.

  • Political Intrigue While State Vacations

    August 9, 2013

    It's the beginning of August and while you enjoy the height of summer pleasure, government and politics roll along, providing an opportunity to review some old items and touch on some new ones.

  • Connecticut Spends $22 Million Luring Gun Seller

    August 2, 2013

    Newtown did not change everything in Connecticut public life. The slaughter of 26 innocents at the Sandy Hook School has not caused Democratic and Working Families Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to shed his expensive addiction to corporate welfare. Last week, Malloy's administration announced that it will provide at least $22 million to Bass Pro Shops for a 150,000-square-foot store in Bridgeport.

  • Prince George Is The Envy Of U.S. Royal Wannabes

    July 26, 2013

    The birth of a future British monarch to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge captured the attention of the world. That island nation continues to hold the copyright on all things royal. There were, as Slate pointed out, 367,000 other babies born on the same day as Prince George, but only he was the subject of news alerts around the world.

  • Who Knew What And When Certain To Emerge In UConn Scandal

    July 19, 2013

    University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst doesn't wear a miter, a chasuble and a pair of red shoes, but she may be starting to know what the last few popes have felt like. The first public stirrings of an appalling sex scandal at the state's largest public university are raising uncomfortable comparisons with the Roman Catholic Church and its troubles with dirty doings between the powerful and their prey.

  • State Struggles To Feed Hungry In Summer

    July 12, 2013

    Let's think about food. Not the food you eat, but the food others struggle to obtain. Congress continues to shape and debate a bill on food policy as it determines how it will allocate hundreds of billions of dollars to farmers and low-income consumers.

  • Murphy's Push To Strip Rights From Non-People Scary

    June 28, 2013

    Thursday brings our annual celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in that storied year, 1776. The defiant document was preceded by Americans commanded by George Washington chasing their British masters out of Boston and followed by a string of disasters that nearly ended the war in its first months.

  • Connecticut Leaves Businesses Vulnerable

    June 21, 2013

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a splash by arriving in Connecticut on the wings of an advertising blitz declaring the Lone Star State "Open for Business." Perry wants Connecticut businesses to move to Texas. There's nothing new in governors alighting in other states to try to take home some businesses with them. All governors do it: It's their records of success that vary.

  • Spying On Us, But Missing The Bombers?

    June 14, 2013

    Most Americans understand that in a hostile world, governments need to engage in some snooping to monitor and thwart our enemies. We know they need to crack codes and keep secrets. In exchange for handing the government that extraordinary power, we expect it to be exercised with prudence within a rubric of restraints on abuse.

  • Legislators Pass Budget Unfettered By Reality

    June 7, 2013

    Scientists have long agreed that the human brain has tripled in size over the fullness of time. Connecticut's General Assembly this year put that settled conclusion in doubt. The legislative session, which ended at midnight on Wednesday, suggests that in Hartford the march of progress on some fronts is in retreat.

  • State's Reputation For Openness Must Be Sore Spot

    May 31, 2013

    Some Connecticut leaders must be ashamed. That can be the only reason they continue to conspire to diminish the state's worldwide reputation as a leader in freedom of information laws. Year after year, friends of liberty look to Connecticut for instruction on how to build a system of access to government where none exists. At the same time, the law in Connecticut is under sustained attack from people who ought to be proud of the state's trailblazing heritage.

  • Influence Peddlers In Season At Legislature

    May 24, 2013

    Former Speaker of the House Christopher Donovan made a bizarre appearance at the federal courthouse in New Haven on Tuesday as a jury deliberated the fate Robert Braddock, the finance director of Donovan's disastrous 2012 congressional campaign. Donovan used the inappropriate opportunity to announce to the press that he never sold his vote in the campaign finance scandal that saw Braddock convicted later in the day.

  • House Leader Larry Cafero Fatally Tainted By Bribery Trial

    May 21, 2013

    The just completed federal criminal trial of Robert Braddock, a fundraiser for former Speaker of the House Christopher Donovan's unsuccessful 2012 congressional campaign, revealed corruption at the highest levels of the General Assembly. Law enforcement officials did their job, now politicians must act.

  • Obama's Really Bad Week Likely To Last Much Longer

    May 17, 2013

    A president, any president, is entering a trough when friends or detractors drag out creepy John Dean to offer an opinion on the scale of a scandal. The obstructor of justice from the Watergate scandal has been on display lately as a trifecta of controversies diminish the Obama administration.

  • No Wrongdoing Here, Just Some Distractions

    May 9, 2013

    You pay attention to the wrong things. That's what three politicians claimed when caught in betrayals of the public interest in the past two weeks. With no credible explanation for their bad acts, each branded their controversy a "distraction" as they wrote checks to try to make their foolish avarice fade from public view.

  • Privilege Penchant Still Dogging Katz

    May 3, 2013

    Please allow me to take a moment to begin this column with a few words of appreciation for sharp-eyed readers who add to my knowledge of a subject after I've written a column about it. Thank you also for helping to shine a light on some of the murkier corners of the people's business. Lately, I've seen an uptick in public-spirited readers who share a common dismay and nose for detecting the haughty sense of entitlement that infects some public officials. You are doing important work in your own way.

  • Health Center Bonus Veiled In Secrecy

    April 26, 2013

    "We collected the document at the end of our discussion so there were no copies floating around," reads a May 26, 2010, email from Mark Bonney, head of the board of directors of Community Health Center, to executive director Mark Masselli.

  • Consumer Advocate Took Handicapped Space

    April 19, 2013

    If you believe some dings and scratches on your car are indignities to avoid by flouting the law, you have something in common with the state's public utility consumer advocate, Elin Katz. If, however, you join the rest of us in honoring the reservation of certain parking spaces for people with disabilities, you will want to read this story that tells a tale of callous, grasping entitlement.

  • Mrs. Thatcher A Forceful Agent For Change

    April 12, 2013

    Margaret Thatcher's remarkable career teaches essential enduring lessons in freedom and the ordeal of change. They did not end with her death Monday at London's Ritz Hotel, a luxury departure lounge where since late last year she awaited for her trip to glory at age 87.

  • Katz Stored Sports Car In State Parking Spot

    April 5, 2013

    Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families Joette Katz's sense of entitlement reminds us that the taste for privilege appears in unexpected places.

  • Helping Poor Brings Health CEO Big Payday

    March 22, 2013

    There's money in poverty. Learning to work the system of government payments can mean lavish salaries under the guise of helping the poorest among us. Just ask Middletown-based Community Health Center Inc. CEO Mark Masselli, though he probably won't speak to you.

  • Short-Term Judges Win Pension Lottery

    March 8, 2013

    You are right to wonder why a hefty tax increase and claims to have gotten spending under control have not brought stable finances to state government. Sometimes a jarring example will help explain something as complex as Connecticut's troubled, growing budget.

  • Cafero, Ritter Dealings Benefit CRRA Officials

    March 1, 2013

    House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero and Democratic former Speaker of the House Thomas Ritter have blurred the lines between Cafero's public office and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, a client of the law firm where they are partners.

  • Malloy Spends On As State Budget Burns

    February 8, 2013

    In the end, he decided to pretend. Politicians will do that, trumpet that something is different than we know it to be. It's not what we expect in so many large doses from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who revels in his reputation for rude candor. The state's finances continue to challenge and defeat his hopes.

  • Malloy Misses Chance To Lead, Set Tone

    January 11, 2013

    Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's state of the state address Wednesday began with notes of promise. It started with a meditation on the slaughter of innocents in Newtown last month. It would have been appropriate for the governor to devote his speech only to the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

  • Shooting Raises Vexing Mental Health Issues

    December 21, 2012

    Despair at the massacre of innocents at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown will spur action from political leaders. It will also remind us of our limitations.

  • Stunning Newton Comeback Yields Strange Bedfellows

    May 25, 2012

    Bridgeport continues to challenge Waterbury as the home of the most embarrassing and bewildering politics in Connecticut. Former state Sen. Ernie Newton did last week what few in Connecticut politics have achieved: He subdued bumptious Working Families and Democratic Gov.Dannel P. Malloy.

  • Speaker Donovan Juggles Unions, Fundraising

    February 19, 2012

    The General Assembly will strain to look productive during the three months of its regular session this year. By their own design, the Democrats who run the House and Senate will not be required to make difficult spending decisions. Last year they gave Democrat and Working Families Gov. Dannel P. Malloy the authority to make sweeping budget cuts if revenue, spending and employee benefit savings do not reach their targets.

  • Butler, Malloy Create Ongoing Storm

    November 6, 2011

    Connecticut Light & Power Company President Jeffrey Butler mumbled and mispronounced his way through one consistent message last week: This storm was worse than Irene in August. No matter the topic, day after day, the utility executive found ways to mention the late summer tropical storm.

  • Dodd's 'Cottage': A Cozy Purchase

    February 22, 2009

    Ireland does not easily give up its secrets. That may have been one attraction it held for Sen. Christopher Dodd in 1994 when he became an owner of a refuge on nearly 10 acres on the Irish west coast. The murky tale includes a felonious inside trader, a Kansas City businessman, a presidential pardon and what appears to be a financial bonanza to Dodd during the Irish property boom.