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Carly Fiorina Urges GOP Unity, Yet Won’t Speak Trump’s Name


STAMFORD – Carly Fiorina seemed to endorse Donald J. Trump, if only by inference Tuesday night. She never allowed herself to say his name, yet vowed to do everything “to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

Presumably, “everything” includes entering a polling place to cast a vote for Trump, even if he is, at least for the moment, the Nominee Who Cannot Be Named, right?

Fiorina, 61, who lingered to chat with well-wishers after her speech at the Connecticut Republicans’ annual fundraiser, the Prescott S. Bush Awards Dinner, just smiled when a reporter interrupted with that question.

“I’m sorry, I’m meeting with voters right now,” Fiorina said, keeping her gaze directed at the Republicans who wanted to shake her hand and pose for pictures. “Sorry, you heard the speech. That’s all there is.”

Fiorina stopped only when the question was repeated.

“We’re not doing interviews,” she said. “You heard the speech. That’s what you got.”

It was good enough for her audience. Her vow to do anything to deny Clinton the White House was rewarded with hearty cheers and a standing ovation, as was a call for unity. Republicans shrugged off the refusal by Fiorina, who has said she is “horrified” by Trump, to explicitly endorse him.

“She gave an endorsement to Trump without mentioning him by name,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven.

“That’s what I thought,” said Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.

Carly Fiorina.

ctmirror.org

Carly Fiorina

Linda McMahon, the two-time U.S. Senate nominee and major GOP donor who will be a Trump delegate in Cleveland, said Fiorina told her before the speech she intends to campaign for down-ballot Republicans. A willingness to campaign for Trump didn’t come up.

“She and I didn’t really talk politics in that way,” McMahon said.

It’s been a tough month for the 61-year-old Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who lost a U.S. Senate race in California to Barbara Boxer. On May 2, she fell off a stage while introducing Ted Cruz in Indiana. A day later, she fell off political radar screens, her brief time as Cruz’s running mate ended by Trump’s smashing win in Indiana.

Before Cruz dropped out, the Connecticut GOP faced the unnerving prospect of a keynote speech by a woman intent on telling them they erred by voting for Trump by a landslide in the April 26 primary.

Fiorina offered wan praise for Trump at the outset of her 30-minute speech.

“Our nominee has raised Twitter to an art form. Let’s face it,” she said.

Fiorina said she never mastered how to pack a punch into its 140-character form, but she read that potential Hilliary slogans were trending. She offered a few.

“ ‘It’s my turn, dammit.’ ‘Four out of 10 people find me tolerable.’ And my personal favorite: ‘Experience you cannot trust,’ ” she said.

Fiorina quickly dropped the jokes and delivered a scathing appraisal of the candidate who would be the first female president, a fact that does not seem to be exciting the Democratic base, male or female.

“So, now they are beginning to continuously remind people abot the historic nature of her candidacy, that she is a woman and therefore women must vote for her,” Fiorina said. “So, Mrs. Clinton, I have news for you. I am a woman, and I am not voting for you.”

The crowd whooped and applauded.

Fiorina said Clinton’s gender was no basis for other women to support her for president.

“Feminism is what each and every woman has an opportunity for to live the life she chooses and to use all of her God-given gifts,” she said. “That is feminism, and as a feminist I will do everything in my power between now and November to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

The crowd stood and cheered louder. Their speaker would not say the name of their nominee. She would not promise to vote for him. She would not urge others to vote for him. Maybe she would one day before November.

For now, it was enough that they knew what she meant.

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Mayor Leclerc to Present Check to Old State House


EAST-HARTFORD-LECLERC

EAST HARTFORD — The Office and Civics Action Lab has been encouraging Old State House visitors of all ages to consider how they can contribute to their own communities. Through this contribution, East Hartford’s spirit for building a strong community that will inspire countless others who visit the space.

From Left to Right: Patrick Sheehan, Chairman of the CT Public Affairs Network; Kid Governor Elena Tipton, Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc, Executive Director Sally Whipple, CT’s Old State House; Asst. Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie, East Hartford Public Schools; Asst. Principal Beatrice Corrado, O’Connell Elementary School; Principal Greg Fox, O’Connell Elementary School.

 



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Bronin’s Fast and Furious Approach to Hartford Welcomed


There will be more layoffs of city employees, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

It’s welcomed news. Here’s why.

The city is bloated with employees who forgot that they are employed to serve the public. They have duplicated services, established departments for family and cronies, and they have caused anger from people who work, play and live in the city. The money saved by firing these deadbeats in city hall and its quasi-public agencies can be used to support necessary social services to Hartford residents.

editorialbannerthumbThe money could also be used to improve quality of life and better services for its residents and workers.

Bronin sat down with The Hartford Guardian to briefly discuss those and other plans to tackle the $48 million deficit, aggreived citizens and other stakeholders, who are expectant of the Rhodes Scholar and lawyer–a possible antidote for the anti-intellectualism in Hartford.

Hartford, founded in 1637, is the state’s capitol and the seat of government. Yet Bronin is already facing mild resentment from long-time gadflies for his “to heavy and too fast” approach to the 2016-2017 budget. He has been having at least one town hall meeting per month to hear his constituents. His aim is to present himself as a “true and honest” leader ready to implement necessary changes to help the city rise.

Yet, at a recent public hearing some residents were already calling for him to go. This is quite odd.

Whatever the grievance, Bronin has to be given at least a year and six months to show what he can do to get rid of the malaise left by previous administrations.

Until all the facts are in from the peanut gallery, we will reserve judgment.

 

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New Haven Students Hold Feminine Products Drive


NEW HAVEN — A group of Kiyama Movement students at James Hillhouse High School have come up with a new approach for respecting womanhood.

They’re raising funds and awareness about feminine products.

“The Kiyama students read an article which stated that 86 percent of women report that they’ve started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they need,” said criminal defense lawyer Michael Jefferson, the founder of the movement. “This campaign is designed to promote the need for freely accessible tampons and pads in restrooms outside the home, including schools.”

The fundraising effort will run until June 2.

Kiyama means “resurrection” and “Judgment Day” in Swahili and is dedicated to promoting self-improvement among African-American males of all ages.

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Photo Courtesy of New Haven Register: Peter Hvizdak 

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CT Lawmakers, Advocates Open to New Puerto Rico bill


WASHINGTON —  A rare compromise between the White House and House Republicans on how to help Puerto Rico has received cautious acceptance from Connecticut lawmakers and advocates who had rejected previous congressional efforts to help an island mired in a severe financial crisis.

“This is not a perfect bill, and I have reservations about the inclusion of extraneous provisions like delaying overtime protections for Puerto Rico’s workers,” said Rep. John Larson, D-1st District. “At the same time, we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. This is a tough but necessary compromise at a time when Puerto Rico truly needs our help.”

The Puerto Rico bill, however, caused a new clash between the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she has “serious concerns” about parts of the plan, but she believes Congress should pass it quickly.

“Otherwise, without any means of addressing this crisis, too many Puerto Ricans will continue to suffer,” she said,

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, came out Friday in strong opposition to the proposal, saying it would give the U.S. government too much authority over Puerto Rico’s affairs.

“We must stop treating Puerto Rico like a colony and start treating the American citizens of Puerto Rico with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” Sanders said.

The compromise bill would allow the island to write down its debt in a process similar to a bankruptcy, while forcing Puerto Rico’s government to submit financial statements and budget blueprints to a federal oversight board.

That oversight board had been a flashpoint in earlier House GOP attempts to draft Puerto Rico legislation.

Under the new bill, the board would have seven members, appointed by the president from recommendations by members of the U.S. House and Senate. The panel would have the authority to enforce balanced budgets and reforms if Puerto Rico’s government fails to do so. At least one of the seven members would be a resident of Puerto Rico.

In previous drafts of the bill, the majority of those on the oversight board would have been Republican nominees, but changing that and other tweaks to the bill opened the door to Democratic backing – and support on the island.

Some Democrats, including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn,, are hoping to make further changes to the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability (PROMESA) Act as the legislation makes its way through Congress.

“I am encouraged that this legislation puts us one step closer to providing Puerto Rico with a fair and workable path out of its current situation — an ongoing catastrophe that Congress cannot tolerate in any part of the United States,” Blumenthal said. “I am especially heartened that it walks back some of the poison-pill proposals that have been discussed in the past.”

The bill would not cost the U.S. govenrment any money, but it may face opposition in the House from conservatives Republicans, and its fate in the Senate is unknown.

The PROMESA Act aims to reduce a debt burden that currently eats up about a third of Puerto Rico’s revenues and to avoid courtroom battles among creditors and the island’s government that could hurt future investment in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has defaulted on a $422 million debt payment this month. It faces payments totaling $2 billion on July 1 that island officials say can’t be paid.

Blumenthal sponsored a bill that would allow Puerto Rico to declare federal bankruptcy, a protection current law doesn’t allow.

Puerto Rico is also disadvantaged in that it can’t seek aid from international lenders because it it not an independent country.

Blumenthal said he has made clear “from the beginning of this process that a solution must provide Puerto Rico with a mechanism for debt restructuring.”

“I have also been clear that any solution must respect the Puerto Rican government’s accountability to its people. In the coming days I will be speaking with experts on and off Puerto Rico to ensure that this legislation fits those criteria,” he said.

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino advocacy group, said it is “cautiously encouraged by developments in the House of Representatives to provide relief to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis.”

“Having been in San Juan…and seeing what is needed, and possible, it would have been unconscionable for our elected leaders to continue to stand by while 3.5 million American families and children suffer the consequences of a debt crisis that was not of their own making,” said NCLR President Janet Murguía.

Puerto Rico’s financial crisis has resulted in an outmigration of island residents to the U.S. mainland. Florida has been the most popular destination, but many have also relocated to Connecticut, where more than 7 percent of the population is of Puerto Rican descent, the highest concentration of islanders per capita in the nation.

The Hispanic Federation, an advocacy groups with offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, called the bill “far from perfect.” But the federation said some of the “most egregious” provisions in earlier drafts of the bill had been changed, including the one concerning the oversight board.

The federation said the legislation allows Puerto Rico to restructure its debt and includes a moratorium on litigation by bond holders against the island, which it called “an important reform that will empower the commonwealth during negotiations.”

Still, the federation said it is concerned the bill would have the power to block laws, regulation and contracts approved by Puerto Rico’s legislature. It also said it is “troubled” by provisions that would allow the lowering of the minimum wage for some Puerto Rican workers and overtime pay reductions.

The PROMESA Act gives Puerto Rico’s governor the authority to designate a time period in which employers could pay newly employed workers below the federal minimum wage – currently $7.25 an hour – if those workers are under 25 years old.

“But the fact remains that this version of PROMESA is the best chance we have now to get federal relief for the people of Puerto Rico,” the federation said.

Courtesy of CTMirror

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In Hartford, Mayor and Unions Step Back From the Brink


HARTFORD — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and the city’s labor unions, its council and its legislative delegation took steps Thursday toward defusing a fight that threatened to politically isolate the new mayor as he tries to keep Connecticut’s capital city out of bankruptcy.

In a press conference at the State Capitol, union leaders stood with legislators and council leaders to say they could deliver between $8 million and $12 million in concessions, an olive branch to a mayor they decisively stopped from obtaining sweeping new authority to impose taxes and remake labor contracts.

“I want to thank the unions for that firm commitment. Today is a good day, but a tough day,” said Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford. “I want to thank the mayor for bringing forth into light some of the difficult decisions he has to make.”

Bronin responded with his own upbeat news conference at City Hall, ignoring the awkward optics of state legislators and council leaders standing with union leaders, publicly urging the mayor to take a more conciliatory approach.

“I take that as a good-faith first step,” Bronin said. “We’re going to have some very tough decisions and some very tough negotiations still ahead, but I take our labor leaders at their word that they are willing and ready to make real, substantial concessions as a part of an overall effort to get the city of Hartford on the path to recovery.”

With deficits that are projected to hit $48.5 million in 2017, $69 million in 2018 and $88 million in 2019, Bronin says he will need to obtain more than $12 million in concessions and will still have to shrink the workforce through layoffs.

The city has a budget of $533 million, including $284 million for schools. Its authorized non-education workforce for 2016 is 1,429 full-time positions, including 452 police officers and 356 firefighters.

“Even the deepest cuts, and even very substantial concessions, don’t get us over the deficits we face in the years ahead,” Bronin said.

None of the union leaders at the press conference said concessions were reliant on a no-layoff pledge. The presidents of the police and fire unions, Rich Holton and Vince Fusco, said no one was challenging the existence of a fiscal crisis.

“We did not create the problems afflicting our great city, but we fully intend to be part of the solution,” said Shellye Davis, a school paraprofessional and president of the Greater Hartford Labor Council.

Bronin, 36, a Rhodes Scholar and former legal adviser to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, took over as mayor of Hartford, an impoverished city that serves as capital of the richest state in the U.S., on New Year’s Day. He defeated Pedro Segarra, the incumbent, in a Democratic primary.

In his first weeks in office, Bronin said that previous administrations has obscured a structural financial crisis by refinancing the city’s debt and using one-time revenues, such as the sale of a city garage, to balance the budget.

Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, speaks at a press conference with union leaders, council members and legislators.

Mark Pazniokas / CtMirror.org

Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, speaks at a press conference with union leaders, council members and legislators.

His solution was to ask the General Assembly for unprecedented powers: Under the auspices of a new Hartford Financial Sustainability Commission, he could renegotiate labor deals and impose taxes on tax-exempt institutions.

Hartford Hospital, Trinity College, the University of Hartford and major non-profits objected to the new taxing authority, while labor leaders complained that Bronin was acting precipitously in seeking to free the city of its labor commitments.

“In less than the 90 days in office, Mayor Bronin has decided to use his time pushing this legislation instead of bringing everyone to the table where they could figure this out together,” Lori Pelletier, the head of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said in testimony submitted to the legislature. “Mr. Bronin’s strategy provides an interesting insight to his views on workers and their representatives, and that is it’s his way or the highway.”

The only applause came from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, which saw the proposal as a wedge that could help other struggling cities narrow the long list of property exempt from the only tax municipalities can impose: the property tax.

But Bronin soon found himself alone, potentially eroding his influence at the outset of what is likely to be a difficult four-year term. The city’s delegation to the General Assembly refused to push the mayor’s bill, and the City Council voted 8-1 on Monday to reject a resolution supporting it.

On Thursday, the measure died from inaction in the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee when the panel declined to take it up at the last meeting before its deadline for reporting out legislation.

Bronin declined to say the legislation was a mistake.

“Look, I think the legislation helped shine a light on the crisis that we face, and I think it created some conversations that might not otherwise have been had,” Bronin said.

He left little doubt he would be back at the General Assembly next year looking to define the state’s financial relationship with its cities, particularly its capital city, where half the property is tax exempt. With a high tax rate, a stagnant tax base, the nation’s second smallest percentage of home ownership and the state’s highest poverty rate, Hartford cannot afford to raise taxes, he said.

“Our mill rate right now is 74. In New Haven and in Bridgeport, it’s down in the low 40s. I don’t believe we can do an across-the-board mill rate increase without killing the city,” Bronin said. “It might happen quickly. It might happen slowly. But if we continue to raise the burden on our small businesses and our mid-sized employers, we’re going to see more and more of them shut down, shutter their doors and leave town. And we cannot afford to do that to the city of Hartford.”

Photo courtesy of ctmirror.org.

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Study: Blacks and Latinos Are Most Affected by Gun Violence


Four in 10 African Americans have been personally impacted by gun-related violence and believe “there is a perception that the rest of the country doesn’t care about it.”

That’s what was written in a new study on gun violence being released Thursday.

A comprehensive study, “Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities,” will be released by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the Urban Institute and the Joyce Foundation.

The comprehensive joint effort is an attempt to bring together communities, policymakers, scholars and other stakeholders to focus on strategies and solutions to confront gun violence. The debate around the issue is at times misdirected toward more sensational gun crimes rather than on efforts to listen to the people in communities disproportionately affected by the problem.

The Benenson Strategy Group conducted a total of 1,200 interviews by phone, dividing them between 600 African Americans and 600 Hispanics across the U.S., from Feb. 22-28, 2016. It’s particularly noteworthy that all respondents were registered voters likely to cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election Nov. 8.

The focus of the effort around the study was to give those who are affected by gun violence an opportunity to connect with policymakers and to give continued attention to day-in-and-day-out gun violence that has a far-reaching impact. Media attention often focuses on mass shootings when statistics show that day-to-day violence has much more impact.

The report focuses on African Americans, who account for over 50 percent of the victims of gun homicide. It also points out that gun violence is the second-leading cause of death for Latino males between ages 15 and 34.

Not surprisingly, given what has been uncovered regarding stop-and-frisk data in large metropolitan cities, the polling data revealed that “more than half of African Americans and 1 in 3 Hispanics have had a negative interaction with law enforcement.”

The poll also revealed concerns related to interactions with police.

From the study: “There is a particularly strong concern around interactions between the police and young men of color; 82 percent of African Americans and 65 percent of Hispanics agree that they ‘frequently worry about interactions between the police and young men of color.’ ”

The report also found “that 8 in 10 African Americans and 2 in 3 Hispanics frequently worry about interactions between police and young men of color, even though most believe police make their communities safer.”

The Joint Center, led by George Washington University Law Professor Spencer Overton, convened more than 100 members in communities on the issue of gun violence that involved clergy, police, the formally incarcerated and elected officials. Those sessions included stops in Richmond, Va., Milwaukee and Stockton, Calif.

Overton, Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group, pollster Ron Lester of Lester and Associates, Sarah Rosen Wartell of the Urban Institute and Ellen Alberding of the Joyce Foundation will announce the study at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Lauren Victoria Burke is a Washington, D.C.-based political reporter who writes the Crew of 42 blog. She appears regularly on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin on TV One. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Leads Grow as Trump wins Big, Clinton Narrowly in Connecticut


Connecticut propelled Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton closer to their parties’ presidential nominations Tuesday, with Trump winning a landslide and Clinton holding off a tenacious Bernie Sanders.

Trump won all five primaries Tuesday along I-95: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Clinton lost only Rhode Island. Connecticut was the last state placed in her column, a win declared around 10:30 p.m. by the Associated Press and most networks.

“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said in televised remarks from New York City.

Rep. Tony D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, one of the few elected officials here to endorse Trump, said it was time for other Republican officials to shake off their reservations about the brash billionaire, who has belittled foes, demonized Muslims and undocumented immigrants, and accused GOP leaders of trying to rig what may yet be a contested convention in Cleveland.

“I think it’s time for the Republican Party to come together,” D’Amelio said. “He just swept the entire Northeast, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the rest of it. There is a strong movement in this country for Donald Trump. I think his message is resonating throughout the nation.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a top Clinton supporter who now will begin work as co-chair of the Democratic platform committee, said the state’s voters made the right choice.

“Secretary Clinton is the right candidate to move our country forward and grow our economy from the middle out,” Malloy said. “As she has proved throughout her career, Hillary Clinton gets results, and I am proud to have endorsed her candidacy.”

Clinton tweeted a thank you to the state.

Sanders says he will continue to campaign.

“If you heard the boss on TV tonight, Senator Sanders made it clear – we’re going forward,” Paul Feeney, the director of his Connecticut campaign, told about three dozen supporters at a hotel in Meriden. “We knew in Connecticut that it was going to be a tough crowd for us. Closed primaries have been tough for this campaign.”

A spokesman for the Connecticut Democratic Party had no estimate Tuesday night of how the state’s 71 delegates would be apportioned. Clinton already had commitments from 15 of 16 superdelegates. The remaining 55 would be awarded based on the results statewide and in each of the five congressional districts.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony D'Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage with him at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony  D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage with him at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

The only question for Trump seemed to be whether he had shut out Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the second-place finisher, in the 4th Congressional District of Fairfield County. Connecticut is sending 28 delegates to the Republican convention in Cleveland, including three superdelegates.

“We’re going to go over the numbers in the morning, but it looks as though Trump won everything,” said J.R. Romano, the Republican state chairman.

Kasich’s state chairman congratulated Trump, but said the campaign would not concede the nomination.

“If Trump gets to 1,237, he has earned the nomination, but until that happens, I know that everyone is going to work their darndest to create an environment in which there is an open convention,” said state Sen. Tony Hwang of Fairfield, the state chairman of the Kasich campaign.

For a first-ballot victory, Trump needs 1,237 votes in Cleveland.

Clinton appears to need about 250 more delegates to reach the 2,383 necessary to win the nomination in Philadelphia.

Trump closed his campaign with boisterous rallies Saturday in Waterbury and Bridgeport, part of a four-day blitz that drew every candidate to Connecticut except Ted Cruz, the Texas senator.

Trump won 58 percent of the vote. Kasich, the choice of many Republican officials, finished second with about 28 percent, and Cruz of Texas was a distant third.

Clinton won about 52 percent of the Democratic vote.

Clinton had a 9 percentage point lead over Sanders in a Quinnipiac University poll a week ago and was backed by nearly every prominent Democrat, led by Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and the entire congressional delegation. A survey by Public Policy Polling showed Sanders, who drew an audience of 14,000 to the New Haven Green on Sunday, within two percentage points over the weekend.

Sanders looked to Connecticut and Rhode Island for wins that would bolster what began as a Quixotic campaign by a 74-year-old self-described Democratic socialist and became a surprisingly strong challenge to a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with a supporter after her rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

kyle constable / ctmirror.org

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with a supporter after her rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

He was declared the winner in Rhode Island after 9 p.m., his first and last bit of good news.

The cities, where Sanders generally has lagged in previous primaries, were slow to report, but New Haven’s Democratic chair, Vinnie Mauro, said he believed Clinton would comfortably  win his city, despite a huge college population at Yale, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven. Clinton won the African American neighborhoods and ran slightly ahead in some Yale precincts, he said.

“Secretary Clinton really had a good turnout,” he said.

Clinton won 57 percent of the vote in New Haven, 70 percent in Hartford, 65 percent in Bridgeport and 64 percent in Stamford. Her margins were close in Waterbury, New Britain and Meriden. Sanders carried eastern Connecticut, including the college towns of Mansfield, Middletown and New London

CNN exit polling showed Clinton winning 69 percent of the black vote and 57 percent of the woman’s vote.

With an unlikely path to the nomination for Sanders, Clinton supporters here have been waiting for his surge to play out, letting the party begin to work to corral the new voters drawn by the Vermont senator’s call for Democrats to attack social, racial and economic injustice.

Bernie Sanders had the biggest rally in Connecticut, but still lost.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Bernie Sanders had the biggest rally in Connecticut, but still lost.

“It’s never easy, but I think it will be a lot easier in the Democratic Party than it will be in the Republican Party this year,” Malloy said after voting earlier Tuesday. “I think that’s very clear. You can almost see the Sanders folks and the Clinton folks take a bit of a turn to get ready.”

EMILY’s List, the influential group that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights, immediately sent an email directed at Connecticut voters, calling Clinton’s victory in the state “a victory for women across the nation.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy reached out to Sanders.

“Bernie is a good friend and he ran a strong race, and I know he’ll do what it takes to ensure Democrats keep the White House,” he said.

Speaking in Philadelphia, Clinton took care to compliment Sanders and his supporters.

“I applaud Sen. Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality,” she said. “And I know together we will get that done. Whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there is much more that unites us than divides us.”

The Working Families Party, the labor offshoot that endorsed Sanders, was not ready to let go of Sanders’ issues, even if his candidacy dimmed considerably.

“This isn’t over. Every vote and every delegate for Bernie Sanders is a declaration of support for big progressive ideas, and a peaceful political revolution that will change this country in the coming years,” said Dan Kantor, the national director. “We need a fair economy and a real democracy, and the fact that so many people across the country, especially young people, share this view is cause for great optimism.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks at Glastonbury High School Friday with his traveling national debt clock running behind him.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks at Glastonbury High School Friday with his traveling national debt clock running behind him.

Clinton was declared the early winner Tuesday in Maryland and Delaware, the first of what Malloy hoped would be a number of wins placing her on the verge of becoming the first woman to win a presidential nomination in the U.S.

“After today, she will be well over 2,000 delegates and really within a hair’s breath of the actual nomination, which will come in the not-too distant future,” Malloy said.

The Republican primary was no contest. Trump led in every public poll in Connecticut, and exit polling indicated he would end the evening with about 60 percent of the vote.

After the polls closed, his campaign was unsure only of results in the 4th Congressional District of Fairfield County, where Kasich won three of the district’s 17 communities, Darien, New Canaan and Westport and .

“We clearly won the other four districts. The likelihood is if he maintains his percentage statewide, it would be hard to lose the 4th District,” said Ben Proto, who is working for Trump in Connecticut.

Proto echoed D’Amelio and suggested it was time for the GOP’s elected officials to join the campaign – or risk being out of sync with their constituents.

“They are going to have to take a real hard look at this and take a look at their towns,” Proto said.

Aside from Trump’s strong showing, Proto said the campaign fielded reports all day of other voters who turned up at the polls to vote for him, only to be told they were ineligible in Connecticut’s closed primary as unaffiliated or Democratic voters.

Over the weekend in Connecticut, Trump mocked the idea of toning down his rhetoric and trying to act more presidential. On Tuesday night, he was respectful to Cruz, but his final message before exiting was to denigrate Clinton as a candidate whose only asset was gender.

“I think the only card she has is the women’s card. She’s got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote,” Trump said. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her, OK?”

Some Connecticut Republican legislators still were cool to their front runner after his victory and clung to the shrinking hope of an open convention.

“Neutral and silent” is how Rep. Livvy Floren of Greenwich, where Trump beat Kasich, 48 percent to 41 percent, described most of her fellow Republicans in the General Assembly. “Neutral and silent is how we’ll remain until the end.”

Kyle Constable contributed to this report.

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Bernie Sanders Pushes for High Voter Turnout to Win


By Ann-Marie Adams | @annmarieadams

HARTFORD – Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday called for “citizens united” in Connecticut to show up at the polls and vote for him.

“If voter turn out is low, we will not win,” Sanders said. “If voter turnout is high, we win.”

The Vermont Senator also noted that a Democratic Presidential Candidate is not going to win on brand loyalty. Each of the two candidates have to “reach out to independent voters.”

“I think I’m qualified to do just that,” Sanders said.

Sanders made his second stop in Connecticut after visiting New Haven on Sunday. On Monday he made a campaign stop at Riverfront Plaza in Hartford. At 11:00 a.m.

In his speech, Sanders pledged to repeal the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United, which is a conservative non-profit organization in the United States. It is best known for the U.S. Supreme Court case on campaign finance known as Citizens United v. FEC.

Citizens United’s stated mission is to restore the United States government to “citizens’ control,” seeking to “reassert the traditional American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty.

Sanders for President Rally themed “A Future to Believe In” at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza drew about 1,000 people.

“It looks to me that Hartford is ready for a political revolution,” said Sanders, pledging to transform America: working class people, and others who are disenchanted with America. “When I talk about a political revolution, it’s not a complicated process.”

In other words, he said, a political revolution means everyone has a vote.

Sanders is among the five presidential candidates to visit Hartford and other parts of Connecticut.

Ohio Governor and GOP candidate John Kasich visited  Sacred Heart University two weeks ago and Glastonbury High School on Friday.

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump was in Hartford two weeks ago and returned to Connecticut on Saturday  at Crosby High School in Waterbury then in Bridgeport at the Klein Memorial Auditorium.

Also on Saturday, Hilary Clinton, who was in Hartford on Friday, campaigned in New Haven with Rep. Rosa DeLauro. She spoke about her plans to raise the minimum wage and fight for equal equality.

While in Hartford, Clinton held a discussion on gun violence with local residents and Sandy Hook victims at the Wilson-Gray YMCA. And her daughter Chelsea Clinton campaigned for her at Dunns River, a Jamaican restaurant in Hartford’s North End.

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Hilary Clinton Visits Hartford, Talks About Gun Violence


By Ann-Marie Adams | @annmarieadams

HARTFORD — Coming off her primary victory in New York, Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton on Thursday met with families of Connecticut victims touched by gun violence.

 
The gathering of about 250 invited guests and supporters inside the Y conveyed the level of intimacy Clinton wanted to have on her campaign trail in Hartford, supporters said. The issue of gun violence, which affect about 30,000 Americans each year was discussed to aid Clinton’s push for stricter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

 

 

Clinton spent about 90 minutes at the Wilson-Gray YMCA taking questions after discussing mass shooting in Newtown and gun violence prevention.

 

 

“I’m not here to make promises I can’t keep. I wa m here to tell you I will use every single minute of every day looking for ways we can save lives that we can change the gun culture,” she said. “It is too easy for people to reach for a gun to settle their problems. It makes no sense.”

 
The panelists included Erica Smegielski, the daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

 
“Hilary Rodham Clinton has been a champion for gun violence prevention for her entire career,” Smegielski said. “I know she is the only person in this race that can deliver real results.”

 
Clinton’s visit to Hartford’s North End followed Chelsea Clinton’s visit to the North End at Dunn’s River. Her visit follows that of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Other presidential candidates to visit include John Kasich, who will be in Glastonbury on Friday. Trump will be in Waterbury on Saturday. And Democratic Challenger Bernie Sanders will be at the Convention Center in Downtown Hartford.

 
Other panelists at the event on Thursday included Nelba Marquez-Greene, the mother of 6-year-old daughter Ana Grace also killed in the school shootings. The New Haven Chapter President of Mothers Demand Action Kim Washington and MDA member Deborah Davis were also in attendance.

 
Hartford resident Iran Nazario, founder of Compass Peace Builders, was also a panelist. He said that at the age of 12, he lost his brother to gun violence. He said there are young men who are still struggling because of grief from the loss of friends and family.

 
“There are kids out there whose souls are trapped,” he said. “And they need us.”
Clinton, in her brief remarks during the 90-minute session, reminded her supporters that the National Rifle Association has blocked many efforts to change gun laws. She praised the mothers in attendance for sharing their stories who have withstood harassment because of their campaign against gun violence.

 
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Clinton’s visit has helped to shine a spotlight on gun violence in the city. So far, there have been five homicides in 2016. For of those five victims, he said, are because of gun violence.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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