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Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene, Good Luck Back, and the new CTGOP Theme Song

Hurricane Irene is a Cat 2 Storm.
Be safe and be prepared!
With everyone focused on Hurricane Irene, I don't want to get into a serious political discussion this week.  The King urges everyone in the Realm to take precautions, and protect your loved ones from this dangerous storm. Assume nothing!  Make sure you have ample non-perishable food, water, ice, batteries, flashlights, and candles.  Make sure to tie up lawn furniture and anything else that can be turned into a projectile by 115 mph winds.  And don't forget about your pets - make sure they have enough food, and water.  The King has a soft heart for pets; there was nothing worse that reading the many stories about abandoned pets during Hurricane Katrina.  If you're creating an evacuation plan, make sure you take into account our furry friends.

At this point I want to put in a little plug for the upcoming Good Luck Back fundraiser scheduled for Friday, September 23 from 7pm - 11pm at the Blue Fox Run Golf Club, 65 Nod Road, Avon, Connecticut.  For contact information and to make reservations by clicking here.  The event is expected to be a great time with plenty of music, food and drinks.  It's a good opportunity for Connecticut Republicans to put aside their petty differences and come together and heal old wounds.  All proceeds will go to keeping the CTGOP a viable resource for Republicans, including advancing our positive agenda for Connecticut through election support, and issue management.  By supporting this event, you'll be playing a critical role in building Party unity and strengthening our ability to fight the Democrats ongoing assault on Connecticut families and businesses.

Meantime, to lighten the load with a little humor, I've gone back in the vault and found the perfect theme song (and video) for the CTGOP in it's current state. I'm hoping that Chairman Labriola might incorporate this song into his band's repertoire for the upcoming fundraiser.  See if you are sharp enough to pick out all the visual and verbal references to our current situation (and yes that's our own Chairman Jerry running in the small box in the lower right-hand part of the screen). 

The opening lyrics go like this:

Well we know where we're goin'
But we don't know where we've been
And we know what we're knowin'
But we can't say what we've seen

And we're not little children
And we know what we want
And the future is certain
Give us time to work it out

Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads

Hopefully a few of you saw the humor in this.  If not, then some of you aught to get out of politics before you have a heart attack, and die. "Give us time to work it out".

Have a safe weekend and a great week ahead!



This original blog post can be found at

Sunday, August 21, 2011

McMahon again; Send Brian to the Hill

In a few weeks the Linda McMahon show will be in full swing.  But I'm trying not to let that dampen the rest of my summer.

Most Republican insiders don't
 find an ounce of humor in Linda
 McMahon's expected second run
CTGOP Party insiders will privately tell you that they don't exactly look forward to watching Linda's circus take center stage because it will certainly siphon much of the energy out of CTGOP's resurgence, and of course - some cash from Republican donors.  Already, rumors abound about Linda hiring former Republican candidate turned Independent turned Radio Show Host, Tom Scott, to help run her campaign.  If true, the strategy of pomp meets populist will supply these pages and others with plenty of fodder over the next year.

The problem with Linda McMahon isn't necessarily her packaging, it's that she's - Linda McMahon. The recent Luntz poll dated July 11-14 (see ctcapitol report link here) clearly sheds light on the core problem with McMahon for Republicans: Her negatives are overwhelmingly high even amongst the GOP faithful.  Based on a sample of 500 voters, the poll revealed the following:

Linda McMahon
Net Favorable 38%
Strongly Favorable 15%
Somewhat Favorable 23%
Somewhat Unfavorable 14%
Strongly Unfavorable 33%
Net Unfavorable 47%
No Opinion 12%
Never Heard of 4%

And here's the real bad news for Republicans:

The poll further reveals exactly how Linda McMahon would match up against the two Democrat front runners:

Chris Murphy: 52%
Linda McMahon: 36%

Susan Bysiewicz: 49%
Linda McMahon 41%

It should be noted that the same poll shows former Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays coming in slightly ahead of Bysiewicz, and also one point below Murphy - but Shay's favorable (46%) versus unfavorable (19%) numbers are at least something a competent campaign director can work with (Shays also has a 23% No opinion Rating).  In contrast, it's a tall order to work with someone who would possibly lose to Susan Bysiewicz - a person who is far less qualified for the U.S. Senate than McMahon, who herself is, at best, marginally qualified.  It's going to take more than Tom Scott and bunch of fanatical wrestling fans to push McMahon over the finish line.

So in a few weeks, Linda McMahon will launch her campaign.  And just like last time, there will be a swarm of media attention around this unfortunate political spectacle. Her WWE fans will cheer, and shout, and go bananas - all hoping for a photo op with their favorite wrestlers, while state-wide Republicans will do the face-palm, and pray it just all goes away.  The McMahon camp will have just the opposite effect of what Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. is trying to achieve - a new found sense of Party unity.  And having Tom Scott bopping around certainly won't help.  

So friends, when the payoffs begin, and delegates and RTCs are bought and paid for (again),  - people can remember that The King warned them that the whole charade was doomed from the start.  Here's praying that the long, dark, shadow cast by McMahon doesn't kill the Republican momentum that's building for 2012.  Surely, last time - the something different Linda gave us produced the same old, sad result that we've always been used to - defeat.  And moreover, most people trace the CTGOPs regional wars, fractionalization, and internal strife to her entrance into Connecticut politics. 

I would think the evidence is clear when candidates and voters keep asking our new Chairman if he could please make sure that the next State Convention isn't rigged, and that everyone gets a fair shot.  That alone speaks volumes.

Of course, the die isn't cast.  We still have a primary ahead of us.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to vote for someone who is more than just a WWE action figure?

The title of this entry might suggest that I'm pushing Republican Brian K. Hill for U.S. Senate.  Alas, no!  That's not my angle here.  Read on....

If you haven't listened to or met Brian Hill, then I suggest you head over to his website and check out what he has to say.  Hill is a successful, 40 year old attorney from Hartford, and a military veteran who served his country with honor and distinction.  And yes, so we an get it out of the way - he so happens to be black

Hill reminds me a lot of former-Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, and it appears that he's getting the same unacceptable treatment from the NAACP, and so-called leading black civil rights activists who are trying to undermine his every move. God forbid if a black guy is immune to the dependency spell, and escapes the chains, long forged by Democrat Party operatives.  Don't believe there is a double standard for Republicans of color?  Then go ask Corey Brinson about the negative treatment he gets from some in the Hartford region.  He'll give you an earful.

I've enjoyed meeting Brian Hill (albeit briefly) at various functions, and I find him to be articulate, and knowledgeable on the issues of the day.  There are points where we disagree, and he may disagree with the Party-at-Large, but that's to be expected as we seek to build a larger tent which includes Republicans from all walks of life and backgrounds. Unless you live in Chicago, it's still one man, one vote - and we need every vote we can muster.  It's The King's View that here in Connecticut we can broaden our appeal without sacrificing our principles.

Brian K. Hill could be a winning
ticket for Republicans in CT-1

Despite the fact that I'm impressed with Mr. Hill, I don't believe his run for Senate is the best idea.  Hill might be a unique candidate for the high office of U.S. Senate, but I don't think his limited background warrants a jump from never holding political office to serving in the U.S. Senate.  Grassroots organizers might try to twist my statements by claiming that I'm a fan of career politicians - I am not - but I do believe that before you can hold such a high political office that you aught to have at least some background in politics before running for any elected federal post - whether it's serving as a State Rep, Congressman, Mayor, Councilman, or any State or political position.

Generally speaking, there is something to be said for this given Connecticut Republicans previous failed attempts to send first-time office holders to represent them in the U.S. Senate - I can think of at least two examples right off the bat, Brook Johnson in 1992, and of course - Linda McMahon in 2010.  I'm sure Senate historians can come up with other examples. Historically, the majority of successful Connecticut Democrat candidates for Senate have held previous positions in Congress, and elsewhere which helped bolster their appeal.

I know certain corers like to invoke the Scott Brown phenomena as the argument for a Patriot-Citizen rising out of the ashes of the American landscape to become U.S. Senator, but that argument is hugely flawed because many people aren't even aware that Scott Brown served in the Mass State Legislature, and also served as a town Selectman.  The likelihood that someone would rise from out of nowhere in this day and age to a revered U.S. Senate post is nothing more than a fairytale.

The second point is that Brian Hill doesn't have the name recognition to begin to raise the funds necessary to finance a U.S. Senate run.  And what he'd need to amass to go to war, and survive a Primary against Linda McMahon, Chris Shays, and others would be quite a sum.  The Connecticut Republican Party doesn't have the war chest that Connecticut Democrats have, and I'm afraid that splitting 50 bucks ten ways won't put much of a dent in the bills.  It's this simple fact of life which explains why Connecticut Republican Senatorial candidates are often Millionaires - who have enough dough to self-fund their campaigns.  It seems you have to be loaded if you're to have a snowballs chance in hell of matching our rival's deep union pockets.

Instead of running for Senate, I strongly urge that Brian Hill look at a prize more befitting his background and experience - Connecticut's First Congressional District seat.   CT-1 is considered one of the safest Democrat seats in the Union. Despite a well-financed and well run campaign by Republican Ann Brickley against liberal Democrat John Larson, she only managed to pull 37% of the vote.  It would take someone very special to make inroads in traditional Democrat towns such as East Hartford, Manchester, Windsor, Middletown, Bloomfield, and of course - Hartford. 

Demographics not only show that these towns are Democrat strongholds but they also have large minority populations who have never had the chance to see or hear from a Black Republican who espouses clear Republican principles and values. Brian Hill would have the unique advantage of telling his story and would get a fairer hearing in neighborhoods where the typical white-Republican are a non-starter

Brian Hill for Congress would be good for Republicans, good for residents of CT-1, good for Congress, and good for Brian Hill.  And moreover - it would be a chance for Connecticut Republicans to advance our agenda of expanding our base beyond the same old losing demographic we are stuck with year after year. Brian Hill would bring leadership and strength to our overall Republican ticket.

Brian K. Hill is the perfect candidate for a Perfect Storm that is brewing over Connecticut.  If there is any chance for Republicans to win Connecticut Congressional District No. 1, its NOW.  And its with Brian K. Hill leading the way to victory.

Chairman Labriola, residents of CT-1:  Please, get this moving! Start a petition to draft Brian K. Hill for Congress! Let's not lose this unique opportunity of sending the first ever African-American Republican on behalf of Connecticut's First District to Congress. Let's set a new standard for new age.



This original blog post can be found at

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Labriola Must Change Direction

"Dear Labriola. You've got
to be *@&$# kidding me!"
It's been only five weeks since Jerry Labriola, Jr. has taken the reigns of Connecticut's floundering and broke Republican Party, and already - it seems, he's made at least one major gaff which is causing quite a stir amongst the Party faithful, and it's giving pause to many to raise serious questions about how we can expect the CTGOP to operate under his leadership going forward.

Now, before anyone accuses me of being a Debbie Downer, I recognize that Jerry's predecessor left him one hell of a mess to clean up:  disgruntled factions, an empty bank account, angry donors, regional paranoia, and he's even operating out of an embarrassing, bombed-out, technology-less headquarters that looks more suited for entertaining the homeless, rather than our client base.  (And here's a teaser - look for a full expose from The King what most people call a world class hell-hole). So, the bottom line is that I understand that Jerry isn't to be blamed for everything.

And before I go into this, I also want to extend appreciation to at least two youngsters who are working their arses off to make the CTGOP a better operation - a pretty blond chick who fields more calls than the Time-Life girl, and a short, red-haired hellion who's doing his best to figure out which end of the sheep-dog is which (names will be omitted until they do something stellar or infuriate The King). But seriously, I hope people bring them a cup of coffee (or a protein shake), and lunch from time to time.  These kids deserve it; and you know the Party is probably paying them peanuts.

So, let's get to it....

Mr. Big is back.  You can guess
which one is Mr. Big.
On Thursday, the CTGOP sent out a press release informing us that Justin Clark was selected to become the Connecticut Republican Party's new General Counsel.  Personally, I find this selection very disappointing on a number of levels.  First of all, we all know that as a campaign manager, Clark is known as Mr. 0 for 3, having a record of back-to-back-to back loses, most notably the one that gave us four years of Governor Malloy.  His decision to ignore the cities, particularly Bridgeport, doomed us from the start.  He will forever be known as the poster-boy for how not to run a campaign given such a critical campaign error which is now leading to unbelievable public suffering.  Rewarding such a large scale failure by handing him an important Party post is incomprehensible to most Connecticut Republicans - if not downright frightening!

His record in West Hartford is equally as dismal, leading the local Party to defeat after defeat to the point where Democrats expect a walk at election time.  Things were in such a disarray, that West Hartford's GOP saw not one, but two defections of Republicans to the Democrat Party. So much for a vetting process.  Sure, he wasn't alone - he had old pal and uber-Rino Steve Adler to help him set an underwhelming level of mediocrity, which led year after year of compromises with Democrats to raise West Hartford taxes to its current astronomical level.  Of course, as long as Adler kept his seat on the Councill to feign opposition to Democrats, and hobnob with the liberals down at Grant's - all was just peachy.  It's ironic after all that an Adler is a kind of snake - isn't it? 

Do we need to go into how Clark and Adler worked to undermine Republican Party members to get them thrown off Republican Town Committee?  Or how he recruited new Republicans (including Clark's wife) to push Republican Joe Visconti off Town Council via primary, or how he helped derail his old pal's Congressional run in 2007?  All, I can say everyone is watch your backs! There's nothing worse than a two-faced, crony!

We all know that Clark is Tom Foley's boy.  But none of us can understand why their relationship is so tight.  Our guess is that Foley must be paying Clark a handsome sum to be his eyes and ears within the Party, which leaves Labriola with a new problem - having one of the key architects of the failed Aniscovich insurrection monitoring his every move, and likely running it all back to Foley for his private approval.  Now Labriola has to deal with three members of Team Cafero-AninskovichVice Chair Themis Klarides, Secretary Art Scialabbia, and now - Justin Foley-Clark. It's like being surrounded by the Queen, the Rook, and the Crook.   

I can't speak to Clark's ability as an attorney, and it would be going a bit overboard for me to do so - other than to say that he "gets around".  From my research, I've not been able to find any record of notable legal accomplishment that makes me believe he's the best choice for the job.  As an attorney himself, you have to wonder what Labriola thinks about Clark's ability.  Does Labriola think that Clark is Connecticut's best and brightest legal star?  And what vetting process was used to select him?  How many resumes where received for this post?  Heck, in the name of transparency was there even a public advertisement or legitimate hiring process which called for resumes, interviews, and a selection criteria?  Or was this some pay-off made behind closed doors, and another typical political decision to be swept under the carpet?

When will we see the cost of hiring Clark, and what's his retainer fee?  What's the price of patronage, this time?

We had high hopes for Jerry Labriola, Jr.   But honestly, with the wheeling and dealing behind the secret curtain in this questionable selection - he's quickly following in the footsteps of old Chris Healy  - who, given the news on Sunday, won't be riding Tim Pawlenty's coattails to the White House, but from what we hear, will instead be haunting Lisa Wilson-Foley's campaign on a part-time basis.

Well Jerr-Bear, I guess the Honeymoon is over. 

And this past week's announcement forces us to raise serious questions about how we can expect the Connecticut Republican Party to fill it's remaining positions?

By the way - has anyone seen a public notice which contains a list of positions that CTGOP is seeking to fill?   Has anyone even seen a timetable or "plan to get to a plan" to move from a transition team to a full time staff?  Or are we going to just float along in the dark for a year, receiving press releases from time to time about old, merit-less, retreads being named to posts to appease all the various party factions.  Hell, if you can't beat 'em - join 'em. Or in this case, let 'em join you - and take over!

If you think giving your biggest, baddest critics a seat at the table will help build Party unity, then you've really not thought this through. It's more likely to embolden dissenters and give them a platform to undermine your Party rebuilding efforts right before your very eyes.  It seems pretty clear with what's going on with the Cafero-Aniskovich mob - which is already trying to call the shots and minimize our new Chairman's authority.  Jerry will be lucky to be able to pick out a color for his dilapidated outhouse.

Look this might be rather harsh, but believe me - the same comments are coming from every direction.  We need a permanent team that is going to advance the cause of the Republican Party in Connecticut - and not just serve to pave the way for certain individuals desires for personal glory and power.  I thought when Labriola was elected that we might see a new era in Connecticut Republican politics.  Perhaps that was only a fool's dream.  So far, nothing has changed.

Please someone - prove me wrong!

Let's go! Produce a clear plan, get the public notices out for employment, provide clarity on direction, and start providing transparency on ALL activities.  Turn this ship around!  We are depending on YOU!



This original blog post can be read at

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Please someone - remind me one day that I wrote this piece when I'm 92 and start to whine about the younger generation...

Try as you may, you can't teach an
old dog, new tricks
For as long as I can remember, the Connecticut Republican Party has been funded by old Greenwich money. And since donor power is political power, that meant that Fairfield County socialites believed they had the God-given right to anoint CTGOP officers, select staff to run campaigns, and hand out cushy office jobs at the Capitol, and elsewhere.  I remember as a young person just out of college who didn't have the benefit of being related to Richie Rich - and was merely trying to get involved to make a difference, and find his way in the political world, it was near impossible to overcome the repetitive question: "Now, who's son are you?" For most of us unconnected souls, it was beyond frustrating, and dead-ended in the land where nepotism ruled, and political jobs were part of someone's payoff equation.

Fact is that many of the people who landed Connecticut Republican Party jobs didn't even want them.  And most didn't have an ounce of the passion that many of us former-CR activists did.  It was painful to watch a paid staffer representing The Party cringe and hide every time an enthusiastic voter walked through the door, and bellow a meek - "Want a bumper sticker?" 

Fossils of Antiquity:
History has its lessons, but it will
take a new generation of leaders
to help CTGOP move forward
I distinctly remember working on George Bush's 1992 campaign which was headquartered on the Berlin Turnpike  - hardly Connecticut's version of Sunset Strip - and an old fuddy-duddy ran the office.  Putting it bluntly, he was a fossilized jerk - sneering and barking at volunteers, that is, when he could be bothered to open the door and come out of his office. 

When I think of it today, some of us who worked on that campaign still wonder why we didn't tell him to "go stuff his own envelopes" and walk out.  I think it was in part because our generation (much unlike today's) still had a degree of respect for our elders, but mainly due to the fact that we actually believed in the cause.  Most would be inclined to agree that if that same ingrate ran an office today, it would be likely empty because today's kids seem to have very little respect, and very little patience.

Fast forward to today...

While it's The King's view that nepotism still rules the day, there are a few young, bright, up and coming stars to be found on the CTGOP's transition team to take note of since the election of Jerry Labriola, Jr. but ... and there is a hesitant but ... many of the final decisions on the permanent staff, and district coordinator roles are yet to be made.  My hope is that the new State Chairman takes a long, hard look at all those entrenched leaders who have been lingering in their posts for what seems like an eternity, and producing mediocre results at best.  Many of these dinosaurs have set up their own miniature kingdoms which have proven counter-productive to Republican interests - the end goal of winning elections.

Don't get me wrong. And before I get tons of hate-mail -  I don't believe the notion that degrees and doctorates are a simple replacement for hands-on expertise, and experience. And I'm also not trying to run seasoned folks out of our ranks. But I also believe that new ideas, rebranding, and a fresh perspective from newer faces are more critical to our strategy at this point in time given the serious nature of our situation.  We are not simply playing the game of Survivor - because second place affords us nothing but empty failure. In these stakes, it's all or nothing.  And at this rate, Connecticut residents aren't gravitating to the GOP because our strategy has been one of capitulation and collaboration with those doing us harm.  Our elections need to be about more than having a good showing, they need to be about winning.  It's time to pass the baton.

It's natural that most people don't know when it's their time to move on; veteran politocs sees themselves as the quintessential, irreplaceable, all-knowing, heroic figures at the top of the mountain. Occasionally, a few smart folks understand its their time to give up the keys, move to the backseat, and remain involved to help guide and mentor young leaders when they need a nudge to keep them from derailing the train from the track.  But for the most part, our CTGOP could use an overhaul from top to bottom, particularly in the area that we might refer to as middle-management.

Truth be told, our new State Chairman can do without the whining from some about what's owed for them for a half century's worth of work which has resulted in a few Governorships and steady loses in the Statehouse, or for what may be presumed or pretended role they may have played in his election.  I was happy to hear that Chairman Jerry asked everyone to send in their resumes, and that he was going to skip patronage and hire those according to merit, and ability.  As mentioned, experience is important, but only if the experience is one of steady success, and quite frankly - there are really only a handful of people who can make heroic claims in that category here in Connecticut. 

The best thing folks can do is to stop trying at attach demands to their donations, or contribution.  Our goal is to win back the Governorship and the Legislature to return Connecticut to its Yankee-conservative roots.  If you have goals to boost your business and improve your own personal station in the world then I suggest you go elsewhere.  Go join the Rotary, and leave the business of the people to those who care about more than lining their pockets with gold.

As Republicans, we are now in a unique position to bring about tremendous positive change for Connecticut.  This won't be accomplished by following the same old plan dictated by old-time favor-traders operating out of their pretended positions of power;  these people have left us empty-handed, and bankrupt.  It's high time to respectfully bid adieu to the old guard and reinvigorate our Party with new blood, and fresh ideas.

Hey, want a CTGOP job?  How about finding a way to self-fund it?   We need fundraisers not staffers and consultants standing around with their hands in their pockets, so if you can show results and pay for yourself - maybe there can be a spot found for you on the team.  But if you're looking to make a killing or make yourself wealthy - you might want to find a new stomping ground.  I'll remind you that when it came to donations in previous years - pennies on the dollar wound up going to CTGOP candidates.  And the results show it.

Lastly, any Republican who threatens or attempts to extort our new Chairman for a paid position aught to be expelled.  Remember, those who work hard to deliver success will be rewarded 50-fold by seeing Republicans back in control of Connecticut.  And the opportunities for all in the Nutmeg State will be limitless. 



This original article can be read at