September 21, 2018
The latest from the folks across the street from the Capitol

From Paddi's Desk
by Paddi LeShane

What's up? What's new?

With fewer than 40 days left until the 2018 statewide elections, it sounds like CT voters are still unclear about who they think can lead the state forward for the next four years.

Despite several debates, we've yet to see a significant differentiation between Republican nominee Bob Stefanowski and Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. In fact, the media seems to think that while Stefanowski packs a stronger punch, Lamont has a slightly better chance to capture the voters' support. As far as the Lt. Governor nominees and helping Gov. candidates win, it's been quiet out on the campaign trail. Not a lot of joint events or "get out the vote" days.

Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz is making the rounds; visiting local and community events, hosting her own media event to discuss her opponent's conservative social issues, and tackling the critical issue of CT workforce development. Republican nominee Joe Markley has been sticking to the tried and true "get out the vote" events at town committees and with friendly interest groups.

The underticket has been somewhat unseen - candidates for Secretary of the State, Comptroller and Treasurer haven't hit the radar screen. However, Democratic candidate for Attorney General William Tong definitely has had a fair amount of media coverage for his events, speeches and media releases. He's had help from some well-recognized officials - US Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal and current AG George Jepsen.

Campaign ads have started to pick up, but mostly for the top of the ticket. Here and there, you're starting to see candidate's signs popping up at intersections and open spaces. Many are expecting that the price tag for the 2018 election cycle public financing program will hit close to $40 million.

It's interesting that the Democratic State Central Coordinated Campaign (Fight Back CT) is investing in a Data & Analytics Director position. They looked for an experienced and passionate data & analytics expert to join their statewide campaign, to be responsible for managing access to the statewide voter file, monitoring its use and supporting senior campaign leadership with strategic voter-contact analysis.

Interesting, since the trends in data analytics all seem to favor the insertion of retail and marketing information, in order to best guess the most likely voters who will support the preferred party. This kind of sounds like it's the same old positon, a person who just mines the registered voters to capture those mostly like to vote based on historical data. (Can you tell that the two classes I took - one last fall and the other this past summer - have given me a little bit of dangerous knowledge?) Predicting who your voters are, getting them registered and motivating them to vote appears to be the best way to win on November 6th.

We also have noted that Senator Chris Murphy, who faces an easy stroll to re-election, has offered to invest a lot of his campaign resources into winning at the top of the ticket as well as in the 5th Congressional District seat. That should help boost the Democratic nominees. We haven't seen much about the statewide Republican plans, but as with the primary, we all have learned that Stefanowski likes to play his cards close to his vest.

We'll keep our eyes and ears open next week to see if we can report further action on the election strategies.

CT Agency Corner   
Department of Transportation - Aging Bridges Cited in Report
by Mike Johnson

A report released this week by TRIP outlines the state's very large structural deficiency of bridges, totaling over 300 bridges.
According to the report, most of the state's bridges were built in the 1950's and 1960's, and the average age of a structurally deficient bridge in Connecticut is 69 years old.
The report also comes at a very pivotal time in determining where the sites are most in need and how the state can deliver revenue to those projects.
Connecticut remains one of the only states without tolls on the eastern seaboard, but there is still more debate to be had on the topic next session. The counter balance to this viewpoint comes from Sen. Boucher who said to the New Haven Register, "a recent study showed that the state DOT pays among the highest administrative costs in the country, ... which means money that could be used for repair and replacement is being wasted."
Ultimately it will be up to next year's budget making process if it becomes included. 

The Campaign Trail

It's campaign season folks! Mark your calendars for upcoming debates to learn more about candidates running for office this fall.

WFSB will host a series of political debates in partnership with UConn moderated by Dennis House:
  • Gubernatorial Debate on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the UConn Storrs Campus.
  • U.S. Senate Debate on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to noon at the WFSB Rocky Hill Studio.
In partnership with the Hartford Courant and WTNH News 7, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities will host the final gubernatorial debate of the 2018  election cycle at its annual conference in October.
  • Gubernatorial Debate on Tuesday, October 30th from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Did You Know?
Explore Connecticut!
Fair season is soon coming to a close, so go check out some of the fairs around CT!

Guilford Fair
September 21-23, 2018
The Guilford Fair offers midway rides, games and food, Cattle, Poultry, Sheep & Goats, Vegetables, Baking, Canning, Flowers, Arts & Craft, Needlework  and Photography exhibits. Antique tractor Pull and Show.

Durham Fair
September 27-30, 2018
Begun in 1916, the Durham Fair continues its tradition today as Connecticut's largest agricultural fair. With rides and games, tractor pulls, three livestock barns, crafts, exhibits featuring baking, canning, photography and horticulture, and a wide selection of fair food, there's a huge harvest to take in.

Harwinton Fair
October 5-7, 2018
The Harwinton Fair offers good old-fashioned fun for all! See the Pig Races, Antique Tractor Show, Rabbit Costume Contest, Oxen Draw and Civil War Displays. Enjoy a magic show and bluegrass music after visiting the barnyard animals. Stop by the Country Store for a memento of your special day!

Portland Fair
October 5-7, 2018
Signifying the close of fair season, the Portland Fair gives enthusiasts one last chance to experience all the classic fair entertainment, food, exhibits, animals and activities for the year.
In This Issue:

by Ryan Bingham

Red Sox or Yankees?

Connecticut has always been at the center of this debate. We don't have our own major league baseball team to root for, so we look to our neighbors to the east and west (and we won't talk about the Mets today).

This week, Sports Illustrated decided to try to answer the age old question of where the line is drawn, the "Mason-Dixon" line between Yankees and Red Sox fans here in CT. They suggested that due to data that was collected in 2012 from Facebook users, the town of Guilford was the location that was split almost 50/50.

Although some would disagree with SI's assessment of this data and despite the Facebook data in Guilford, a lot of the superficial indicators trend New York's way. SI's reporter suggested that, "... the sporting goods store in town has always stocked with more Yankees items than Red Sox items, though I learned later that was only because the owner was a New York fan." As well as, "Five years ago, on an off day during his final season, Yankees star reliever Mariano Rivera and his family came to [Guilford's] top attraction, Bishop's Orchards, to go apple-picking," the Shoreline Times wrote up.

So, maybe the question doesn't get answered simply by Facebook's big data and the question lives on, but one thing we know for certain is that there is not much room for Mets fans, sorry!

2018 Election HQ
by Chelsea Neelon

Tempers flared at the second gubernatorial debate in New Haven this week, as supporters of both parties jeered "No show Bob! "Retread Ned," outside of the Shubert Theatre.

This debate was filled with more jabs than the first, both inside the Shubert Theatre and outside, as the two gubernatorial candidates attempted to outline their positions and ideals to take to CT's top office. The next debate should prove to be just as compelling, with petitioning candidate Oz Griebel on stage with Lamont and Stefanowski on September 26th.

While most of the focus is on CT's race for governor, the state's local races could change the shape of the Connecticut legislature come 2019. Almost 350 candidates are out on doors and phones trying to reach voters.

70 candidates are running for CT's State Senate, while 278 candidates are running for CT's House of Representatives. Currently, the House is made up of 80 Democrats and 71 Republicans while the State Senate is tied at 18-18, with the Lt. Gov. acting at the tie-breaking vote. In the Senate, a flipped seat for either caucus could mean taking over the majority, which would have a pivotal impact on legislation that is proposed/passed for the upcoming legislative session.

Will the top ticket have a trickledown effect this year, or in such a high stake's election, will voters time and research on candidates result in split tickets? Stay tuned.


Stafstrom PAC & CT's Future Now Fundraiser
Tuesday, September 25th
Red Rock, Hartford

Senate Republican's Fundraiser
Monday, October 1st
Salute Restaurant, Hartford

CT Conservatives PAC
Tuesday, October 2nd
Gallucci's Restaurant, Danbury

"Women for Larson" John Larson Fundraiser
Thursday, October 11th
1090 Prospect Ave, Hartford
Contact Paddi for more information!