Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Rep. Sampson: 2018 Session Shenanigans


A common theme of my recent columns has been my dissatisfaction with the ever-increasing amount of partisan politics, games, and distractions that have become pervasive in actual policy making. I have always accepted that during campaign season (it is an election year) that there would be an increase in rhetoric and finger pointing. However, now it seems that it’s no longer just election year competition and, sadly, actual public policy is being created for political reasons.

Last month, I touched upon a few bills that were proposed for the sole purpose of creating election year negative campaign mailers. Many are nothing more than creative titles that have little to do with the content of the bills themselves. There was the so called “women’s health bill” that writes federal Obamacare statutes into our Connecticut state law on the possibility that the Affordable Care Act (another oxymoronic title) would be repealed in Congress. This November, there is no doubt that Republicans will be a target of Democrats making the false and ridiculous claim that we don’t support women’s health based on this vote.

There was also the “pay equity” bill - that has nothing at all to do with pay equity. The bill simply added another burdensome restriction on employers, effectively prohibiting them from asking for a potential employee’s previous pay rate. Again, there is no doubt that those of us who voted against adding even more regulations on business will be falsely accused of being part of the made up “war on women.”

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Back by popular demand! Roots in Ripon: Push Back Against the Viciousness That Permeates Today’s Discourse

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Roots in Ripon - Author Chuck Roots


          Many of you have contacted me over the past three months to inquire about my weekly column, Roots in Ripon. In mid-April I decided to take a break from writing the articles since my brother, John, was coming out from Virginia for a visit and a lot of golf. This included a jaunt to Nampa, Idaho to connect with our cousin Jimmy. I wanted to enjoy the time with them without the ever-encroaching demand of another article.

          However, the primary reason for not writing my articles had to do with the newspaper that was carrying my column. For a not-yet-explained reason, despite my numerous inquiries, the paper made it plain to me that they wanted me gone. For 15 years I have written this column, first for the Ripon Record, which folded in 2015, and then with the Manteca Bulletin for two years. During those fifteen years I never once failed to submit an article. This included my two years being recalled for the Iraq War, flying over the Pacific, Atlantic and most major continents. I served at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (California); Camp Commando, Kuwait; I MEF Headquarters, Babylon, Iraq; and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa. 

          In the current environment of our nation, I’m led to believe that my conservative views politically, and my religious views as an Evangelical Christian, are no longer welcomed within the print media, or few other places for that matter. I am dismayed by this as it is clearly a sign of the times. Not so many years back, we could have healthy debates and dialogue, engaging in the give-and-take of differing points of view, yet coming away as friends despite our differences. Not so today! The attitude seems to be, “If you don’t agree with me, then you’re the enemy!” 

          Think about it! Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, was having a quiet dinner a few weeks ago with her husband and extended family in a local restaurant. Because she works directly with and for President Trump, Sarah was told she was not welcome in the restaurant, The Red Hen. She and her husband left, driving home. The rest of the family adjourned to another restaurant across the street. They were followed by staff of the Red Hen and harassed there as well!

Friday, July 20, 2018

OPINION: Eminent domain threatens Hartford’s future

Joe Markley, speaks after being nominated by the Republican party as their chosen candidate for lieutenant governor at the State Republican Convention, Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Mashantucket, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Joe Markley speaks after being nominated by the Republican
Party as their chosen candidate for lieutenant governor at the State
Republican Convention, Saturday, May 12, 2018, in Mashantucket,
Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, and My Record Journal, where this first
Appeared on April 28.)
Too many political leaders in Connecticut have yet to accept this reality: More government is not the answer. Needless laws, regulations, and other intrusions into our lives and relationships can be just as damaging as higher taxes and more public debt.

Clearly, Hartford’s leadership still doesn’t get it. A recent proposal by the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to use eminent domain to take private property next to the XL Center provides ample evidence of continuing dysfunction.

Northland Investment Corp. constructed and operates the Hartford 21 tower, a 36-story residential facility on the southeast corner of the civic center block.  As part of the public-private partnership that made that construction possible, Northland received title to the XL Center’s atrium and adjacent retail space (known as the Trumbull Block).

CRDA now wants possession of that property.  Rather than negotiate an acceptable price, the agency is threatening seizure. No more alarming signal could be sent to potential investors in our capital city than this willingness to treat a private partner as the enemy, using an extraordinary government power casually and recklessly.

Eminent domain gives government the right to take private property when there’s a “compelling public interest.” Abuse of that power created a national scandal, when city officials in New London decided to seize and destroy a close-knit, waterfront neighborhood for the benefit of a multinational corporation. The subsequent battle, known as the Kelo case, reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In a decision that stunned many Constitutional scholars, the Court ruled against defenseless homeowners and the city prevailed—but the corporation left town anyway. The former neighborhood site is now a 90-acre dump for municipal debris.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

XL Center area development needs discussion — not eminent domain threat

Photo from CT Viewpoints, where this first appeared on April 12.

It seems that Sen. Len Fasano and his Republican caucus prevented the Capitol Region Development Authority from pulling a fast one last month. Word surfaced on Tuesday the 22nd (May) that the CRDA planned to initiate action at its meeting later that week to seize by eminent domain the section of the XL Center owned by Northland Investment Corp.  A letter from Fasano and other Senate Republicans led the CRDA to remove the proposal from its agenda.

The CRDA had already indicated that it would use state bonding money intended for arena renovations to acquire the facility’s atrium and office space, known as the Trumbull Block. The decision to invoke eminent domain while discussions on the purchase were still underway suggests that application of this extraordinary state power was intended not as a last resort but as a negotiating position.

Such casual use of eminent domain shows how little some leaders have learned in the state that was home to the outrage of Kelo v. New London. That case, which destroyed a close-knit neighborhood for the supposed benefit of a large corporation, made the misuse of eminent domain a national scandal –yet here in Connecticut, the abuse of this dangerous power continues.

It’s worth remembering that Northland Investment became involved with the Hartford civic center as part of a public-private partnership. Northland held up its side of the bargain, constructing and operating the 36- story Hartford 21 tower —the tallest residential facility between New York and Boston— on the southeast corner of the civic center block.

Such housing is exactly what Hartford needs. Until a critical mass of residents is achieved, the services people require for proper downtown living —not just restaurants and clubs, but markets and stores— cannot be sustained.  Instead of attracting visitors for an evening, the city must appeal to a permanent population.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

LARRY SEECAMP - GOOD MAN AND FRIEND PASSES

Image may contain: 1 person, beard and eyeglassesBy David Santory

Larry Seecamp from CT - a humble highly intellectual man with a big heart passed on 7/15/18 - hours after several humorous and political conservative FB postings. 

Larry and his deceased father were the gun inventors and makers of the famous Seecamp pistols in .25, .32, and .380 calibers - known as the Rolex of small handguns and used by law enforcement for duty gun backup, and the general public for easily hidden self defense. The Seecamp Company was small with only 7 employed highly skilled gunsmiths. Because of all the precision handwork involved, and high demand, Seecamp pistols were hard to get and in great demand. For years an order took about 2 years to fill. In fact one could resell the pistol after delivery for four times the purchase price. Now days a fast delivery.
No automatic alt text available. 
Because he was so concerned about his customers having to wait for their pistol orders Larry himself only used a Seecamp reject for his personal gun. Some of us bought him one of his own guns with his dad's name as a SS# but he kept it unused in his safe because it meant a lot to him and he did not want to scratch it up. Many famous people who bought Seecamp pistols knew Larry and their photos cover the walls of the shop. His pistols are used for easily hidden self defense and have saved the lives of "many" over the years. 

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Several years ago Larry sold the company and now Seecamp handguns are made in Massachusetts. Larry's lifestyle was also humble - with a love for music and song. He worked mostly 7 twelve hour days, drove an old car, and got many of his clothes at used resellers. A HUGE thanks to those who have personally helped Larry these past months.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Has Connecticut’s Governor Lost His Mind?

Governor Dannel P. Malloy Sitting at a Desk with an American Flag in the Background
Gov. Malloy - Photo from CT.gov
Opinion by Sen. Joe Markley, candidate for Lt. Governor.  From January, 2018.

Raising taxes and increasing state spending didn’t work the first time Dannel Malloy was confronted with a budget crisis. So naturally, he tried the same thing twice more.
 
If insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, the governor of my home state of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, should get his head checked.

Within a month of taking office in 2011, Malloy called for the largest tax increase in state history to close a multi-billion-dollar state deficit. His Democratic legislative allies delivered the hike, along with the spending increase he also requested.

Four years later, faced with a comparable deficit, Malloy offered the same prescription: a multi-billion dollar tax increase and more state spending. Democratic legislators once again obliged.

Two years after that, when 2017 brought yet another deficit, the General Assembly delivered a tax increase and a spending boost without any prompting from Malloy. Republican cooperation meant the tax hike was smaller (hundreds of millions instead of billions), but state spending levels remained liberal (up nearly 9 percent from 2015), and the governor signed the General Assembly’s bill into law.

That was eight weeks ago. Now the current year’s budget is over $200 million in the red, and the shortfall in the next biennial budget promises to be the largest yet: over $4 billion. Our state’s economy is collapsing before our eyes — and what does Malloy propose? More hikes, this time to the sales tax, the cigarette tax, and the real-estate-conveyance tax, as well as entirely new taxes on hotel rooms and e-cigarettes.

If that’s insanity, it is not confined to Malloy. The left wing of his party demands ever-higher taxes on top earners, ignoring the exodus of wealth, such increases have caused. The fact is that Connecticut’s wealthiest residents are moving away, and taking billions of dollars of income with them. Our most promising youths, our most innovative entrepreneurs, our most iconic businesses, our parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, children, and families are moving away, too. Who can blame them?                        
Doctors for centuries bled their patients as a form of treatment. Of course it didn’t work, but what doctor committed to the practice could acknowledge even to himself the harm he had caused? Likewise, the politicians who bleed us through taxation refuse to recognize the injury they have inflicted on our economy. Instead they wish to bleed us more, even as the pulse of industry in our state fades away.

Senator Markley talks to constituent.
Committed liberals simply cannot change their minds. If we want a different direction for our state, we must elect new leaders. Given our history over the last couple of decades, citizens who vote Democrat can count on more spending and higher taxes; expecting any other result would be insane.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

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