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The Chris Powell Column

‘Tax reform?’ Or, is the real purpose just more for public employees?

Rivaling Governor Malloy as a big thinker, state House Speaker Brendan Sharkey wants to fix Connecticut’s tax structure for good once the Democrats are safely back in power for another four years. Sharkey proposes to repeal the property tax exemption for colleges and hospitals and to shift more school expenses to state government to ease the property tax burden on municipalities.

Could Malloy sit still long enough to think?

Registering to vote in Connecticut will be more convenient now that state government has put a registration mechanism on its Internet sites. But state officials shouldn’t pretend that this will do any more to improve voter participation than has been accomplished by allowing registration even on Election Day itself. For voter registration never has been onerous, never has required more than a trip to town hall, and participation in elections was far greater years ago when both registration and transportation were not as easy as they are today.

Disaster from non-treatment of mental illness

When Governor Malloy can spare a minute from throwing money at everything from state colleges to burrito restaurants, and when the General Assembly can spare a minute from legislating to curtail freedom of information and the variety of puppies sold at pet stores, they might look at Connecticut’s latest catastrophe of mental illness.

The story, drawn from police and news reports recently, goes like this.

Connecticut vs. Florida may be an even contest

With snowstorms seeming to arrive every few days, little room left for stacking the snow, road salt supplies nearly exhausted, state and municipal snow-removal budgets in deficit and the General Assembly reconvening, many people in Connecticut feel that they have had enough of the state.

Malloy simulates action, GOP simulates opposition

Governor Malloy’s strategy for re-election seems to be to pretend that Connecticut’s economy is improving so much that he can plaster the state with spending proposals and tax rebates — the supposedly popular things that were done by his predecessors in previous election years and brought state government to the desperate financial condition they bequeathed him.
But Connecticut’s mood is so sour because economic recovery here is only pretense, and there may be some political risk in telling people who are struggling that they are really doing well.

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Malloy simulates action, GOP simulates opposition

Governor Malloy’s strategy for re-election seems to be to pretend that Connecticut’s economy is improving so much that he can plaster the state with spending proposals and tax rebates — the supposedly popular things that were done by his predecessors in previous election years and brought state government to the desperate financial condition they bequeathed him.

But Connecticut’s mood is so sour because economic recovery here is only pretense, and there may be some political risk in telling people who are struggling that they are really doing well.

Is God indifferent to sports or a fan of cosmic justice?

Many cringes and laughs have resulted from the silly if guileless remark recently by one of the new assistant football coaches at the University of Connecticut. “Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle,” the assistant coach was quoted as saying. “If you want to be successful and you want to win — get championships — you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior.”

So is Christ really taking sides in every game now?

On guns, both sides guilty of pandering

Yes, Republican gubernatorial aspirant Tom Foley went too far the other night when, seeking the support of a gun rights group, he said he would veto any new state gun control legislation. While Connecticut’s gun laws are far more restrictive than those of most states, freezing public policy here makes no sense. No one can anticipate every eventuality with guns, violence, mental illness, and the social disintegration that is dragging Connecticut down.

King’s dream recalled, what do we do now?

Now that we’re past the 50th anniversary of the great civil rights March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech there, and are ready to commemorate his 2014 birthday, how exactly, if at all, is public policy to respond to the continuing disadvantaged position of racial minorities?

Crime victims belong not only to a few, but to all

After months of contention, legislation and litigation, recordings of the telephone calls made to police during the massacre at the school in Newtown a year ago were released the other day at the order of the state Freedom of Information Commission and a Superior Court judge, and the sky did not fall.