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OP-ED: Let Connecticut Citizens Be Heard

by | Feb 25, 2010 8:29pm
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election Policy, Opinion

(Updated) In November, 2008, close to 580,000 Connecticut voters said “YES” to a Constitutional Convention, but it was soundly defeated by more than 267,000 votes. It was a David vs. Goliath campaign as reflected by the “YES” vote.

The engine driving that vote, in favor of this historic convention, was Initiative and Referendum, as reflected by a Courant-UConn poll, showing Connecticut citizens favoring ballot initiative by 65 percent to 30 percent opposed, and five percent undecided. The Hartford Courant, October 30, 2008 article, announcing the poll results stated “The poll found a correlation between a poor opinion of the General Assembly and support for the ability of citizens to legislate by petition and referendum.”

The Connecticut General Assembly has ignored this strong expression of public support for Initiative and Referendum. In the 2009 legislative session, four Initiative and Referendum Bills were submitted by legislators. Not one of them received a public hearing, and all died in the Government, Administration, and Elections Committee. Yet, that same committee gave a public hearing to bills such as “An Act Concerning the State Dance”.

Is there a more dramatic example of the Connecticut General Assembly being more unresponsive to the wishes of the Connecticut public?

Connecticut is one of only 19 states without any form of direct democracy. Direct Democracy; namely, Initiative, Referendum and Recall come from the Progressive Era, which began 120 years ago. At that time, Initiative, Referendum and Recall were a direct response to entrenched Legislatures being beholden to special interests, such as the railroads, the mining industry, and the banking industry. Some would argue that history is repeating itself here in Hartford, and in Washington. Initiative and referendum is responsible for passing Women’s Suffrage, direct election of United States Senators, child safety labor laws, term limits, public financing of elections, medical marijuana, and increasing the minimum wage, to name a few.

Most of our Connecticut elected officials maintain that the present system is working fine, and that legislators are accessible and responsive. If that is so, how do you explain their complete indifference to the 2008 Courant-UCONN poll results showing 65 percent of Connecticut citizens favoring Initiative and Referendum?

What is documented is that special interest lobbying at our State Capitol, has increased by 500 percent since 1990. What is also clear is that over one-third of our legislative offices races were uncontested in the 2008 election, and more than 95 percent of the incumbents were re-elected to office. In addition to the obvious entrenchment of our legislators, we see the anemic performances of the public watch dog agencies, the Office of State Ethics, and the State Elections and Enforcement Commission. Both agencies have been substantially enhanced, both in staff and budget, yet enforcement, particularly with the Office of State Ethics, has all but disappeared, especially when compared to its predecessor, the State Ethics Commission. All the while, the public is made aware on a continual basis of frequent missteps by it’s elected officials.

In October, 2008, I debated Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on the Constitutional Convention question, as well as the issue of citizens having Initiative and Referendum rights. His suggestion at that debate was that the Initiative and Referendum issue should be addressed in the context of a legislative election and not through a Constitutional Convention. We have heeded the Attorney General’s advice. A non-partisan, issue neutral political action committee called Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative, www.letourvoicesbeheard.org, has been formed. The purpose of the Committee is to advocate for ballot initiative and to educate the public as to where candidates stand on this critical issue for the 2010 state election, this November. Every candidate for state and federal office from all parties, will be asked their position on Initiative and Referendum, and we will then publish their position on our website, Facebook, and other media.

Perhaps in 2011, with a new and more responsive legislature, the voices of Connecticut citizens will be heard through a long awaited public hearing on new legislation, which, if made into law, will empower Connecticut citizens and give them a voice in their state government and their State’s future.

John J. Woodcock, III is Chairman of the Connecticut Citizens for Ballot Initiative, a former Legislator, and former State Ethics Commissioner.

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(35) Archived Comments

posted by: Christine Stuart | February 26, 2010  11:55am

Christine Stuart

It should be noted that there is no legislation calling for Initiative and Referendum this year.

posted by: concerncit | February 26, 2010  12:31pm

I was very disappointed by the failure of the 2008 referendum. The failure of the 2008 vote was driven by the very powerful special interests groups John talks about. It was these special interest groups that encouraged the people to reject the ballot question. It was an ironic campaign. The special interests were encouraging people to vote “No” to stop the special interests. In reality they were afraid that if people had a right to initiative and referendum their powerful hold on politics in the state would be shaken.
The proof is in the money spent on the campaign. Those interests telling people to vote “No’ spent almost $900,000 and a lot of manpower. The teachers unions contributed $750,000 of this total ($325,000 coming from the National Education Association). Labor unions gave $57,000. The remainder came from several liberal groups, such as the ACLU, Love Makes A Family (remember the same-sex marriage issue),and Planned Parenthood. 
The money on the “Yes” side of the vote(approximately $344,000) came mostly from the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Church. Their were some small contributions by individuals. Overturning the same-sex marriage court ruling was obviously on their mind. Where were the taxpayers associations?
  The taxpayers of Connecticut and social conservatives lost big with the defeat of this referendum. The powerful special interest groups, such as the teacher unions, clearly won the day and the future.

posted by: Polite | February 26, 2010  2:24pm

This just shows how unresponsive our State Legislator really are.  We need to let them see how responsive we can be this election.  Vote the Bums out.

posted by: CT Jim | February 26, 2010  5:02pm

We should pass a constitutional amendment requiring all citizens to have health insurance, now theres a great referendum.
As for this other garbage we don’t need to rule by reforendum. in states like California and Colorado Referendum style legislation has virtually bankrupted both states.
But I am for changing the constitution from time to time but not nilly willy like these people are talking about.
In Colorado in 2008 there were 18 ballot iniatives!! Can you imagine that??
But I think the one on Health Care would pass easily in this state.
Lets try that.

posted by: paugussett | February 26, 2010  8:02pm

Our fellow citizens have been led hoodwinked from their principles by a most extraordinary combination of circumstances. But the band is removed, and they now see for themselves. My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in our state people to correct abuses. Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.”

The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. I like to see the people awake and alert. The good sense of the people will soon lead them back if they have erred in a moment of surprise. The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere. Let common sense and common honesty have fair play, and they will soon set things to rights. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [i.e., securing inherent and inalienable rights, with powers derived from the consent of the governed], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

posted by: lothar | February 27, 2010  2:10am

representative democracy has value, far more than people realize. the ballot initiative model sounds nice on its face, but all it does is create more problems.

the real problem with the ballot initiative form of government is the idea that it always comes down to a popularity contest on every issue. minority rights, the right to marry, etc - all that stuff can be thrown out the window and California proved it. don’t like guns? how about we require you to carry one?

while i do have a number of pet issues that I’d like to see put to a vote myself, i just don’t think ballot initiative is worth it. opening up the state constitution to every special interest group that raises a lot of money is a bad idea. it’s reckless and certainly only will result in the further marginalization of various minority groups. It’s mob rule, plain and simple.

And no I don’t think a ballot initiative for health care reform is a good idea either. Too complicated an issue. Work through your legislators and folks with actual expertise, rather than listening to nonsense rhetoric from hate radio types. I heard a woman on the radio tonight, a caller, talking about death panels. Only an idiot would believe that nonsense and it’s sad that there are sooo many of them out there. But there’s an enormous amount of extremist rhetoric being pumped onto the airwaves - much of it completely inaccurate. Unfortunately people believe it. Don’t give these clowns the tool they need to destroy what so many of people have worked so hard to build. These people are paid to argue and spread fear.

Your representatives and senators are there for a reason. If you contact them and they vote against your wishes without a good reason, contact them again and tell them he/she has lost your vote and support. If enough people do that, they’ll get the message.

posted by: lothar | February 27, 2010  2:25am

And when push came to shove in 2008, an overwhelming majority of people voted against ballot initiatives. It wasn’t some ridiculous poll. It was serious people making a serious decision in the voting booth. It wasn’t about protecting the men behind the curtain. It was about the simple realization that we’ve got a really strong constitution, and it should be protected along with the rights of all of us. Not just the majority race or most vocal minority - all of us.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 27, 2010  8:50am

Paul Bartomioli

CT Jim wants government healthcare.  Yet, as on the Federal level, they cannot adequately perform their constitutional responsibilities; speaking of which, there is no authority in either constitution for government health care.

Regarding California and Colorado, he is flat out wrong.  What is bankrupting the states, all of them, is the lack of respect for the law by the legislature.  Profligate spending, union contracts that pay much more than the private sector, gold health and retirement benefits that are mandated expenses are the culprits.  BTW, not all of the ballot initiatives passed in either state.

In CT the typical legislature introduces hundreds of bills, annually.  18??  please, get real.

For the record, I oppose Obamcare, Rellcare, whatever you want to call it.

posted by: CT Jim | February 27, 2010  9:47am

Funny for eight long years we were subjected to the largest abuse of power in American history and when we pushed back at the government we were told to shut up or face being exposed like Valerie Plume.
Now we have a President who wants to give to the American public the same health care he enjoys and all of sudden pushing back is patriotic??!!
We have some messed up people for sure!!

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | February 27, 2010  1:42pm

GoatBoyPHD

The State Legislature and State Workers and Teachers and Municipal Employees should have the same benefits as the rest of us.

MediCaid, Social Security, and 401K matching for pensions. Forget early retirement before 62. It’s gotta go.

A 40-hour work week means being on-site 5 days a week. None of that 3-day weekend stuff or alternate work schedule crap.

There’s no incentive to improve benefits for the rest of us or for the unions to vote to do so. The elected officials and state bureaucracy have theirs.

Put the entire state under SustiNet including the State and Municpal employees. That’s a start.

posted by: CT Jim | February 27, 2010  3:20pm

Pauls entire post was one flaout lie followed by another.
Fact is their is provisions in Both the state and federal constitutions for a government sponsored health care plan.
That is just another faslsehood given by the opposition in fact if what Paul said is true then medicare would be illegal as would Social Security and the veterans administration health care plan.
And if the other side was sooo sure it was unconstitutional why not let it pass, file suit and have the conservative US supreme court deem it unconstitutional???!!!
I would love to see the answer to that one.
Also for each referendem in California it is estimated to cost the taxpayers about $90 million the cost in Colorado is lower but still costly to taxpayers.
I really love that unconstitutional garbage bandied about by the Tea party fellas almost as much as those death panels. LMAO!

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 27, 2010  6:49pm

Paul Bartomioli

OK, CT Jim.  Show me the Constitutional authority for:  Social Security, Medicare, and a “government sponsored healthcare plan.

Yes, they are illegal under the US Constitution.  The problem is that since FDR passed a Ponzi Scheme that makes all others combined seem like chump change, EVERY congress has continued down the path.

Kinda like CJ Dodd knowing that the Mohegans lied on their application, yet allowed it to occur.  So, how do you dismantle it?  You cannot.

However, you can admit the mistakes of the past and not allow future mistakes. 

However, it has taken many years to get this many lemmings to be of voting age and in power.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 27, 2010  6:53pm

Paul Bartomioli

BTW, McCain-Feingold was passed even though the president at the time thought it was a bad idea, George HW Bush, for the record.  He kicked the can down the road, and the SCOTUS at that time could not read plain english, “Congress shall make no law…”

Recently, a portion was overturned by the current SCOTUS.  The CT law, supposedly modeled on the Mc-Cain Feingold joke is also in trouble.  Based on its history, it is an improved Incumbent Protection Law over McCain-Feingold.

posted by: CT Jim | February 27, 2010  7:22pm

Goatee,
How come when one group gets more than another the group on the bottom tries to pull the other one down in the river of hopelessness???
It wasn’t long ago when people in the private sector did WAY better than state and municipal employees, They made WAY more money had better Bennies and great pensions.
But after the destruction that union jobs took in the race to the bottom called globalization those jobs are now in China were people work for $53 a month. So now these people who gave up money to get bennies and a pension are supposed to give them up because YOU lack a backbone?? Really??
And Your 401K assumption. Have youv’e seen what has happened to them????
They are now 201K’s and require workers to work till death.
Is that your idea of a robust economy where the rich enjoy 50% wage increases while the masses see stagnet wages???
and early Retirements??
The average life expectancy for a corrections officer is 57 years old!!!
According to your plan they work till they die!
I did notice that you mentioned a 40 hour work week and the 5 day work week which by way the unions created and for that you are welcome.
But don’t look for workers to give up on re-creating the middle class in the near future and will lift you up with them.
In the words of Walter Ruether (who you probably never heard of)
” A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 28, 2010  7:01am

Paul Bartomioli

Interesting point, CT Jim.  Just like the current DC administration demonizing Wall Street and the banks for all our ills.

Some questions to be answered:
What president signed the Community Reinvestment Act?  What Year?
What President further exttended the Community Reinvestment Act, to include more groups with little or no ability to repay home mortgages? 
What president authorized Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac, private companies created to help low income homebuyers, to bundle and sell their “mortgage backed securities” in the public market, with the implicit backing of the US Treasury?

Yes, there was time when government employees made less than the rest of us.  However the current ratio is government employees 175% of private sector.  A politician can retire much earlier with a highter % of his/her salary as the base for retirement.  COLA, tied to inflation is typical.  Should the retirement benefits be negotiated higher after retirement, ALL gov’t retirees get the new rates.  In Congress, that has led to some getting more in retirement benefits than they collected in salary.

BTW, the O does not want to give anything to the American people. The proposal to do away with the SENATE version only came after recent election losses.  No mention of the House following suit.  Gee, another point to be “negotiated” in conference committee over differences in House and Senate versions.  LOL

BTW, Walter REUTHER, correct spelling was an avowed Socialist in the 20th Century.  His major claim to fame was rising to lead the UAW, one of the many reasons for the current status of the American Auto industry.

“Under Reuther’s leadership the UAW grew to 1.5 million members. A successful negotiator, in 1955 he managed to obtain an agreement that gave auto workers almost as much take-home pay when laid off as when at work. ” 

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=9429 to find the quote.

Yes, a rising tide lifts all boats, but where does the water come from?  Oh, yeah,  The big bad companies with their corporate greed that provide jobs. 

Quick question:  Name the only sector of the American economy that saw a jobs increase in the last 10 years.

Everyone knows the answer.

posted by: CT Jim | February 28, 2010  8:48am

Paul LMAO!
You relly think all those programs are illegal??
Well then by all means file a brief and go to court to have them disbanded. Go ahead you are such a Constitutional scholar. Right?
The Constitution authority lies in the commerce clause of the constitution and I know the tea party hands out those little back pocket ones but you need to read a little more to understand it and what the authors meant when they wrote it. Or you can get it your time machine and check it out yourself.
You must have also discovered the death panels in the Health Care bill.
As for the supreme courts recent debacle, they have with that decision reversed over 100 years of settled case law which is unheard of and very rarely done, but I am sure you wouldn’t mind if Obama appoints the next few justices who would like to do the same from the left.
That wouldn’t be a problem right?
But we will be letting the voting public know that the tea party supports abolishing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and The Veterans Administrations Health care for our veterans.
Let me know how that works out.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 28, 2010  10:30am

Paul Bartomioli

Our Constitution’s principle author, James Madison, wrote, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined [and] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.”

Concerning the legislature’s authority, Thomas Jefferson asserted: “[G]iving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. [The Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.”

Madison added, “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

But too many among us have become so fixated on the superficial parameters of today’s political debates rather than demand an answer to that most essential question: What is the constitutional authority for Obama’s proposals now being debated in Congress?

For example, amid all the acrimony over Obama’s transformation of health care, the debate should not be centered on which plan is better, but whether constitutional authority exists for any of the plans under consideration.

Unfortunately, such inquiry is scarce, and hardly noted.

Notice the words “Foreign Commerce.”  As I stated, we cannot reverse the errors of the past, but, we can go forward by following the Constitution as written.

Are my quotes, from the Founding Fathers, sufficient proof for you?  No, because you only read what you want.

Even Obama made oblique references to the “cost controls” of government run healthcare in the instance of his grandmother getting an artificial hip in her 80s.  Something about that being a decision that would have to be carefully considered.

So, Jim, cite the Constitutional Authority, as I requested.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | February 28, 2010  11:04am

Paul Bartomioli

BTW, Jim.  Who or what is this “we” you keep referring to?  Since you hide your name, are you hiding something else?

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | February 28, 2010  1:55pm

GoatBoyPHD

The only issue that would face a serious Constituional challenge would be a National Health Care mandate. It’s essentially a National Birth Tax and quite unlike other Insurance mandates like auto insurance that requires some action on the part of an individual.

There seems to be a decent enough split among academics over a National Mandate that it would likely go to the Supremes.

The Federal Mandate won’t survive reconciliation and the rest of what will survive will easily pass Constitutional muster.

posted by: CT Jim | March 1, 2010  7:36am

Saw your post Paul and you are once again cherry picking words of oue founding fathers and not all of the words of that one either.
under your interpretation of what Madison said every prison would have to open their doors today and let every single prisoner out. Killers, Rapists EVERYONE!
Your assertion that we would only obey what you wanted in the constitution today forward holds no water at all!
When the Supreme Court upholds your challenge( which the wont and you know it)
Every Social program will cease to excist, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Housing subsidies for the elderly,Veterans Benifits, Pell grants, aid to cities and towns, aid to states, EVERYTHING.Even the right to impose an income tax Paul,our country would be defenseless.
The WE Paul is people that believe the tea Party is a faction of the EXTREME right of the Republican party and WE are taking our case to the people and will expose you for what you are and in November let the voters decide if we want to progress in the future as a country that cares for their citizens or a be the pawns of gun toting thugs who think that a small minority can overturn a democratically elected president.
Theres your proof Paul now go out and make your case to the american public how you and YOUR kind want to give us CHANGE WE CAN’T BELIEVE IN.

posted by: CT Jim | March 1, 2010  8:08am

BTW Paul your reference to FORIEGN commerce only would mean that our country could collect money from us to give to a foreign country???Really??!!
The “Real” Tea Party people are rolling in their graves today. LMAO!

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | March 1, 2010  7:10pm

Paul Bartomioli

Jim:  It is obvious you have no working knowledge of the Constitution.  BTW, explain your “logic” about prisoners walking free from my posts.  You have no substantive background for your views, so you seek to change the debate. 

In responding to you while you are laughing off your A##, you are not reading what I am saying.

Let me try to simplify it for your.  There is no legal basis in the Constitution for the Ponzi Scheme known as “Social Security.”  It is too late to fix the problem.  The scheme is collapsing.  There is no need to continue to ignore the law in the future.  Admit the mistake and move forward.

I do not understand your screed about “foreign commerce.”  Apparently, neither do you.

Enjoy your laughter.  I will not waste my time with you.

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | March 1, 2010  7:29pm

Paul Bartomioli

GoatBoyPHD wrote:

“The only issue that would face a serious Constituional challenge would be a National Health Care mandate. It’s essentially a National Birth Tax and quite unlike other Insurance mandates like auto insurance that requires some action on the part of an individual.” 

There is no mandate, yet, for national auto insurance.  In truth, the only time auto insurance is required is if a vehicle is to be driven on public roads.  It is a privilege, not a right. 

The tenth amendment stops any such idea in its tracks, unless as in the case of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the politicians choose to ignore their oath of office, as well as the Constitution.

“They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.  To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.  It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.  Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them.  It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect.”  Thomas Jefferson

Clearly, congress and the presidents, in the 20th Century and forward have chosen to ignore their collective oath of office.  That we have allowed this to occur is the major crime.

posted by: CT Jim | March 1, 2010  10:48pm

All right Paulie,
Your babble about the tenth amendment is about as worthless as your other posts.
The constitution was created to be almost a living document that can be amended as the union saw fit. You mention S.S. as if it will die on the vine, another falsehood.
What you have stated in your posts is other than the military the constitution affords no right to provide for its citizens on a national level.Hence the closing of federal prisons. I can’t wait for your lawyers to argue in front of the supreme court to take away all S.S., Medicare and senior housing. You will be fleeing the country after that right?? LOL
I just want to get this straight. The tea party considers S.S. as a Ponzi Scheme, Medicare to be unconstitutional, and basically any benifit giving to the electorate some illegal socialist experiment that YOU and your party faithful are now ready to destroy.
That would also include Senior housing, Title 19, and the GI Bill.
You and the rest of the John Birch Society have been exposed ... and shouldn’t be suprised when your 15 minutes of influence expires in November. LMAO

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | March 4, 2010  7:05pm

Paul Bartomioli

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”—James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, 1792

posted by: Polite | March 5, 2010  12:48pm

Here’s what happened to the people of D.C. who have a right, granted by Congress in their charter, to vote to overturn legislation passed by elected officials, just as people in many states (like Maine) have that right. The City Council not only passed gay marriage, it went the next extraordinary step and claimed the right to block citizens from voting on gay marriage. Their legal arguments are quite weak, but as we all know, in a world with too many activist judges that doesn’t really matter. Politically, it is remarkable to see politicians claim that the right to gay marriage trumps the people’s right to vote.

The lower courts are sitting on the decision, running out the clock. So NOM tried to jump over their heads and get the Supreme Court to weigh in immediately with an injunction. It was always a long shot so we were not surprised when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts declined to do so. We were encouraged, though, by his opinion, in which he took the trouble to say that the legal argument we are laying out “has some force.” We need ballot initiative in CT because we don’t want to continue living in a world where we beg elected officials to do us favors. We all come together to build an effective movement that can make your voice heard. Speak truth to power and be not afraid!

posted by: CT Jim | March 5, 2010  4:00pm

Polite,You had a ballot intiative in 2008 when you called for a constituional convention because you wanted ballot initiatives. Millions were spent by your side especially and the voters spoke. They said NO. How many bites of the apple do you believe YOU should get??
Based on what YOU want to do with ballot initiatives one can assume that YOU would get as many bites that YOU want but any citizen YOU declare beneath you will get one on one only. Your argument about deciding who gets what rights and when and why are the reason we don’t and will never have ballot initiatives.
It is un-american to think that one sector of the electorate would have one right and that same right would be denied based on ones percieved religous beliefs.
According to todays news the people at the Vatican seem to rather enjoy being gay. Why not let them marry?

posted by: Polite | March 6, 2010  6:04pm

CT Jim runs loose with facts.  The Special Interests actually spent over $1 Million to prevent the citizens from having a voice and the Constitution Convention Campaign was out spent 80 to 1 because they spent less than $20 Thousand. I have included a link so you can be better informed. 
http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Connecticut_Constitutional_Convention_(2008)#Supporters

posted by: CT Jim | March 6, 2010  11:31pm

Polite isn’t loose with the facts.No Polite is down right LYING. Also when I clicked on the link there was ZERO information there.
I Remeber in 2008 your side claiming you were out spent 80 to 1 and when we checked it out we found that the Catholic Church alone spent $750,000 not to mention the Knights of Columbus spent several hundred thousand. Maybe we should ask the Television and radio stations if they could confirm how much your side spent. The numbers would astound you.
Were these dollars taking strait from collection plates to the airwaves??
If the church wants to get involved in these endeavors shouldn’t they pay taxes on their profits?
The difference between the gay and lesbian community and the church is they don’t prey on children.
You should be ashamed of yourselves. What gives you the right to judge people?

posted by: Polite | March 7, 2010  5:27am

CT Jim seems to be unable to copy the link into a browser when a hyperlink doesn’t work.  I’m sure those that were interested in the facts would purse the truth.  The right for the voters to call for a State Constitution Convention is guaranteed in our Constitution to be on the ballot every 20 years.  CT Jim, not only makes judgmental statements but wants to take our rights away that are given in our constitution.  Like freedom of religion, freedom from religion, freedom of speech, etc.

http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Connecticut_Constitutional_Convention_(2008)#Supporters

posted by: Paul Bartomioli | March 7, 2010  7:40am

Paul Bartomioli

Polite:

First rights cannot be granted by any legislative body.  If it is granted, it can be taken away.  See the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Regarding who spent how much and the ratio, it is at best an educated guess.  I remember the numbers you mention bandied about, but there is no reporting requirement currently in effect.  Unions are notorious for spending money from members on political causes.  The only way a union member can opt out of this is to notify the union in writing.  This presents the dilemma that while I oppose a particular issue, I may in fact support union activity on another, but I have only the choice of opting out of all.  BTW, your link now requires searching once you reach the site.  The year, 2008, is listed as (2008) in the title.

I believe that this link:
http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Connecticut_Constitutional_Convention_(2008)
is the one you used.  Just required a bit of searching to find the goal.


Your example of DC is spot on.  It parallels California.  When Obama was elected, there was a ballot initiative against gay marriage.  It passed, by about the same margin that Obama was elected. However, the losers are going to court to overturn the will of the people.  That route, based upon rulings in California courts, will overturn the law the people voted in.

Expect the same in DC

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | March 7, 2010  12:46pm

GoatBoyPHD

CT Jim,

If the Catholic Church pays taxes they would form a political party.

As things stand they are free to comment on issues and the politics around issues but not support a specific party or candidate.

The freedom to express their viewpoint is as well protected as yours.

I somewhat doubt you’ve read their legislative agenda which includes support for SustiNet, a rejection of the death penalty,  domestic violence laws,  and support for many children’s and anti-poverty issues.

http://www.ctcatholic.org/

They opposed Lawlor’s and McDonald’s efforts to micromanage Church finances. Another example of our Legislature over stepping its bounds in a time of rampant deficits.

posted by: mosley | March 7, 2010  2:19pm

Hey guys, the gay marriage controversy is over, here in Ct. Finished,nata!! What’s not over is dealing with an entrenched, arrogant beyond belief, unresponsive State Legislature. This excellant oped deals with that very impt. issue in a constructive, well-reasoned way. It offers Ct. citizens some hope and a way to make our legislators accountible.

Term limits, anyone?

posted by: CT Jim | March 7, 2010  2:48pm

Point taken thank you Goat boy.

posted by: Polite | March 7, 2010  4:35pm

Can we get agreement on Recall too