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Governor Supports A Constitutional
Convention But Not To Ban Gay Marriage

by | Oct 14, 2008 5:54pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: State Capitol

Christine Stuart photo

Following a press conference at the West Hartford Senior Center, Gov. M. Jodi Rell clarified her position on whether the state should hold a Constitutional Convention.

Rell said Tuesday she supports a Constitutional Convention, in addition to initiative and referendum, which is one of the primary goals for many groups in favor of the convention.

“I believe that people should have the right to petition their government,” she said.

However, she said there has to be some type of oversight over how questions would get on the ballot and what type of questions are asked. That’s if, of course, a convention is approved and the convention delegates decide to amend the constitution to include initiative and referendum.

Just back from visiting her daughter in Colorado where there are several ballot questions in November, Rell said there has to be some kind of mechanism in place that doesn’t allow for “frivolous questions or questions that are simply emotional in nature to always be on the ballot.”

So would she support a question about banning same-sex marriage?

“I would not stop that as a question on there. I simply don’t support it,” Rell said Tuesday. “I don’t think we want to change our constitution to ban same-sex marriage.”

Even though she believes marriage is the union of a man and a woman, Rell said she doesn’t think there would be enough support to overturn the court’s ruling if the question ever received a statewide vote.

Friday following the Supreme Court’s ruling which made Connecticut the third state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, Rell said, “I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision - either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution - will not meet with success. I will therefore abide by the ruling.”

The question about whether the state should hold a Constitutional Convention appears on the ballot every 20 years. If voters decide in favor of a convention the legislature will appoint delegates to a convention. At the convention the delegates will debate amending the constitution. Many groups on both the left and the right of the political spectrum have said they would like to see initiative and referendum added to the constitution so voters could petition and vote on public policy issues, like taxation, eminent domain, or banning same-sex marriage.

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(17) Archived Comments

posted by: Tessa Marquis | October 14, 2008  9:45pm

‘nuff said.

If Jodi “Staycation” Rell is for it, I am most certainly against it. Hope she enjoyed The Rocky Mountain State. She certainly can’t seem to stick around in Connecticut much.

posted by: matt w | October 15, 2008  10:56am

Many groups on both the left and the right of the political spectrum have said they would like to see initiative and referendum added to the constitution so voters could petition and vote on public policy issues, like taxation, eminent domain, or banning same-sex marriage.

What groups on the left?

posted by: Gary Doyens | October 15, 2008  2:08pm

I support the convention and the right to directly petition government for redress. For entirely too long, state government has deferred to the well connected and well heeled leaving the middle class in the dust with state-wide tax hikes, new sales taxes on our homes, double sales tax on a gallon of gas, never ending property taxes on our cars and more. You can call, sit down and beg, plead and petition your state reps and senators, and all too often with few exceptions, the result is nada, zip and zilch.

It would be amazing to see voters turn out and actually decide whether to keep all the taxes we now pay. We deserve that right and voting once every couple of years and having pointless conversations inbetween is not good enough anymore.

posted by: christine | October 15, 2008  3:16pm

Matt W,

Matthew Daly, a former Republican State Representative and John Woodock III, a former Democratic State Representative started the Constitution Convention Campaign long before the Family Institute jumped on the bandwagon.

here’s their web site: http://ctconcon.com/

and a story from the NYTimes talking about why they support a constitutional convention

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/nyregion/connecticut/05polct.html

posted by: matt w | October 15, 2008  11:11pm

Any liberal groups, or just a couple individuals?

posted by: matt w | October 15, 2008  11:28pm

Wait a second, that article doesn’t have anything ... one ex state rep, one dude that isn’t elected to anything, and a mountain of homobigots? Certainly nobody talking about why, *as Democrats* they’re supporting it.

I don’t know for a fact that every liberal organization (or, failing that, Democratic officeholder) in the state is opposed to the convention, but if there aren’t any, I hope you’ll modify the quote above that suggests that the convention has bipartisan credibility.

posted by: Christine | October 16, 2008  12:10pm

Matt W

Off the top of my head Rep. Chris Caruso, a Democrat from Bridgeport, supports a constitutional convention. I’m sure there are others.

posted by: matt w | October 17, 2008  11:54am

I’m sure there are others.

I know that you’re sure of it. The problem is that you have reported it without having any evidence in hand.

posted by: christine | October 17, 2008  5:54pm

I can’t report things unless I’m sure of them so without interviewing every Democrat in the state I can’t give you a list. So if you want to believe that only three Democrats in the state support a constitutional convention then that’s fine by me.

posted by: matt w | October 17, 2008  7:00pm

I can’t report things unless I’m sure of them so without interviewing every Democrat in the state I can’t give you a list.

Actually, you just did report things that you were not sure of. Specifically:

Many groups on both the left and the right of the political spectrum have said they would like to see initiative and referendum added to the constitution so voters could petition and vote on public policy issues, like taxation, eminent domain, or banning same-sex marriage.

There are many things I would “like to believe”—but I do not report those things as fact. I don’t believe that a single liberal or progressive interest group is supporting the convention, while you seem to believe there are “many.” This, as it turns out, is false.

posted by: ctkeith | October 18, 2008  11:30am

But Matt,

That sentence you’re highlighting seems so “moderate” and “fair and Balanced”

Does it really matter if there is a shred of truth in it or not?

posted by: ctkeith | October 19, 2008  10:09pm

No lefty groups in this peice either on the “Yes” side.

http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2008/10/constitutional-convention-ques.html

I’ll keep looking though.

posted by: lothar | October 20, 2008  6:24pm

actually i’m in favor of the convention and i’m a democrat.

I’m tired of runaway property taxes and a democratic majority that couldn’t even deal with eminent domain.

I’d like to see a property tax cap similar to the one in massachusetts. Failing that I’d like to see towns set a fixed tax rate for property owners with fixed incomes, at the minimum.

look you can make all the partisan noise you want about the convention, but i don’t really think it’s the convention people need to worry about. gay marriage is going to be legal here, unless a majority is willing to eliminate equal protection. that’s not going to happen.

however, when the democrats have the super majority but can’t push through a more progressive income tax or even protect us from eminent domain, something has to change. there’s a good chance i’ll be voting republican in our state races as well. it’s time for change.

posted by: ctkeith | October 20, 2008  7:39pm

lothar,

If you’re in favor of a Progressive income tax how about working for a Dem Governor to go along with a Dem legislature.
That’s the only combination that will get you aProgressive income tax and Property tax reform.

posted by: lothar | October 20, 2008  9:16pm

well, you can say that. you can also say that they had their chance and blew it.

posted by: matt w | October 22, 2008  10:39am

I just spoke with Chris Caruso, who, as a matter of fact, does not support a constitutional convention. (My town committee was going to take a position on the Convention, and I asked him to furnish us with a “yes” statement for the group to evaluate on the basis of your reporting.)

He does support direct initiative, but would like to see it passed through the normal means of amending the Constitution.

posted by: christine | October 23, 2008  7:55am

Thanks for the clarification Matt. You’re the best. Like I said I thought “off-the-top-of-my-head” that Chris Caruso supported a convention, but I stand corrected. Maybe I’ll do a story later this week about exactly what Chris thinks about a constitutional convention and direct initiative. Thanks for the feedback and story idea.