Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Connecticut GOP tries to harness toll opposition for fundraising

Lamont, a Democrat, has since said that the only way to raise enough money for overdue transportation improvements is to toll all vehicles on 91, 84, 95 and Route 15. Romano’s letter says Connecticut Republicans need to raise $40,000 over the next 21 days and asks supporters to chip-in $500, $250 or $100. “Acting like arrogant kings and queens in a monarchy, the regal Connecticut Democrats love to tell you what to do and take your money and make it their money,” the letter reads. Lamont senior adviser Colleen Flanagan Johnson said the only transportation funding alternative offered by Republicans, a plan known as Prioritize Progress, would take on long-term debt for the state and runs counter to the “debt diet” plan of the governor. “Instead of exploiting the state’s crumbling infrastructure for campaign contributions, we suggest donations to offset the $65 billion loan the Republicans want to saddle the tax payers with to pay for it." Romano said Democrats are creating a false narrative that they have sworn-off bonding. He pointed out the state, under Lamont’s Democratic predecessor, Dannel P. Malloy, and Democratic majorities in the legislature, has bonded for discretionary projects such as playground splash pads. “Bridges and roads is actually what bonding is supposed to be for.” Drivers with Connecticut-issued E-ZPass transponders would pay an average of 4.4 cents per mile during off-peak travel periods, which DOT officials have said is a 30 percent discount off the 6.3-cent-per-mile price for out-of-state vehicles. "Ned Lamont was elected governor last November and he’s doing his job; maybe the Republicans should focus on creative solutions and not schoolyard taunts.” A number of cities and towns have adopted anti-tolling resolutions that are mostly symbolic in nature, but are intended to put pressure on lawmakers to reject Lamont’s plan. There is another one scheduled for May 18 at the Capitol that’s being organized by NoTollsCT.org, which has said it has collected more than 95,000 signatures as part of a petition drive against tolls.

Politics of pot becomes more potent as sales begin in Mass.

Statewide - The chances of Connecticut giving the green light to recreational marijuana increased dramatically when Democrat Ned Lamont won the race for Governor earlier this month. The Senate President Pro tem told News 8, "It's pointless to continue to have it be illegal in Connecticut since people can now travel just across the border to Massachusetts. It's a significant revenue item for us. Looney, who pushed it last year, said it could raise up to $100 million a year in revenue for the state and will help take marijuana sales off the illegal street market and insure quality. But the Deputy Minority Leader in the House, Rep. Vin Candelora (R-North Branford) noted, "It's an issue that really transcends party. There are Democrats that oppose it and there are Republicans that support it." He added, "Until we get some sort of a test in place, I think it's inappropriate for us to even move forward on this issue." Related Content: Lamont ready to support recreational marijuana legislation Governor-elect Lamont sees it differently. There's a lot of other states that have a history here and, in fact, it's brought down opioid abuse and other things in other states." Massachusetts legalized marijuana by referendum.

Ned Lamont’s eight-year break from politics

Political insiders thought Ned Lamont was done with politics. “And I was town chairman of the Democratic Party in Greenwich, Ned’s hometown, from 2008 to 2015. It’s the most politically active I've ever been in my life, and I don't recall him doing anything more than an ordinary citizen would do.” Back in the real world The day after his 16-point loss to now-Gov. For the first five years after the election, Lamont said, his day-to-day was spent working on the company’s transition in the morning, and in the afternoons, he sometimes taught classes at Central Connecticut State, or did work for one of the many boards he served on. Running for governor, he said, wasn’t even on his radar. I just figured I’d be able to help ... from there, we put together a study group and worked with all of the major employers in the state. “I thought probably I could better serve from the outside than from the inside,” Lamont said. Dannel P. Malloy — each declined to run, the name left at the top of the list was none other than Lamont. David Pudlin, a former state House majority leader and political consultant who worked on Lamont’s 2006 campaign, called Lamont a “unifying factor” at the convention after the party expressed some now-unfounded fears about the Republican Party. In hindsight, the fears turned out to not be true, but I think those are accurate things we could take from the past.” That assessment makes sense to Farricker, the Democratic insider and former Lottery Board chairman.