Open Forum

Yes, it’s Monday again.

The Secretary of the State’s office is reporting that 3,477 businesses shut their doors during the first quarter of 2009, the most in a single quarter since the SOTS started keeping track in 2000.

The Connecticut Post reports that the national popular vote initiative could come up for a vote in the next couple of weeks. Rep. Drew says there are enough votes to pass it. Will the governor sign it?

There’s a special election in Norwich next week for a spot on the city council. The seat was vacated by Christopher Coutu after he became a state representative.

The large price tag could doom SustiNet this session.

There was a major story in the Courant yesterday about Dan Malloy’s family troubles.

Some students at state universities want to be able to carry guns around.

Politico has a story about Chris Dodd’s road to political recovery.

Bottle distributors are suing the state to get that nickel.

Lastly, even political candidates are being hit by the recession, as Naugatuck mayoral hopefuls find themselves raising (and spending) less money.

What else is going on?

Advertisements

32 responses to “Open Forum

  1. Some students at state universities want to be able to carry guns around.

    Columbine is a Jefferson County Colorado high school.

    I attended Wheatridge High, also a Jeffco system school in the mid 1960’s and recall several faculty members that carried.

    In fact it appeared that most responsible adults put a pistol in their pocket or purse every morning, much like their wallet, car keys etc.

    We never locked the house, or took the keys out of the cars in the driveway and no one else did either.

    The events at Columbine couldn’t have occured in such an environment and clearly didn’t.

    Those events occured after well intentioned, but short-sighted un- American extremists made carrying a pistol difficult if not impossible for law abiding citizens, thus empowering crazy people with guns.

    One or two nuts with guns isn’t anywhere near the same problem when 30 or 40 sane people have them too.
    The knowledge that the 30 or 40 exist or even MIGHT clearly has a strong deterent impact.

    Connecticut doesn’t need to repeat the errors of others; regardless of those that would rather wring their hands and ignore facts because they “just don’t like guns”.

  2. One or two nuts with guns isn’t anywhere near the same problem when 30 or 40 sane people have them too.The knowledge that the 30 or 40 exist or even MIGHT clearly has a strong deterent impact.

    How do you figure? These are people that are looking to die anyway. If they’re looking to optomize the body count before they off themselves, they’ll carry a little more body armor. The much more likily scenario is that even more people would be killed in the cross fire, most people have trouble hitting a stationary target with a hand gun, nevermind a moving target between a dozen students running for their lives. The only thing you can guarentee with a heavily armed student population is someone getting drunk and getting shot.

  3. Never let facts get in the way of our hand wringing do we?

    States with right-to-carry laws have lower overall violent crime rates, compared to states without right-to-carry laws. In states whose laws respect the citizen’s right-to-carry guns for self defense the total violent crime is 13% lower, homicide is 3% lower, robbery is 26% lower and aggravated assault is 7% lower.
    (Data: Crime in the United States 1996, FBI Uniform Crime Reports)

  4. First, that data is 13 years old (probably older, if the report came out in 1996) and correlation is not causation.

    It could be that states with higher crime rates to begin with are ones that instituted gun control laws, for example.

  5. It could be that states with higher crime rates to begin with are ones that instituted gun control laws, for example.

    Don’t make me spend all day googling; I have to help pay for children’s health care – it’s important work!

    The two states with the lowest firearm crime rates both have no carry laws to speak of at all.

    The stricter the gun control, the higher crime – every time.

    Let’s just give everyone a gun and let natural selection cull out the idiots.

  6. Don’t make me bring up Britain! 🙂

    I have to tell you, I don’t have a dog in this particular fight. I’m just not convinced there’s a direct connection between more guns and less crime–or between fewer guns and less crime, for that matter.

  7. First, that data is 13 years old (probably older, if the report came out in 1996) and correlation is not causation.

    Actually – that’s total BS and you know it.

    A Cuban friend once told me;
    “Gun control’s not a problem…it’s what happens the next week when the police come and beat up your grandmother. I know – I was there, I saw it myself!”

    Restricting firearms has helped make England more crime-ridden than the U.S.

    Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.

    The historical results of gun control

    1911, Turkey establishes gun control.

    Between 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    1929, the Soviet Union establishes gun control.

    20 million plus dissidents (a governments term for someone who does not think along party lines) unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    1935 China establishes gun control.

    Between 1935 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves,
    were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————-

    1938 Germany establishes gun control.

    13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    1956 Cambodia established gun control.

    One million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    1964 Guatemala established gun control.

    100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    1970 Uganda established gun control.

    300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————————–

    The number of defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control……………..56 million. And that’s only the one we have records for!

    Yup – there’s 56 million reasons that gun control works!

    If those that seek gun control aren’t planning something horrific for the rest of us – why are they so interested in who has a gun in the 1st place?

  8. AndersonScooper

    Hey ACR is not only the most patriotic American to have never actually worn the uniform, but now he’s a certified gun nut.

    Can’t disagree with his logic though. Certainly New Haven would be a much safer place if only everyone had a handgun strapped to his or her belt. And of course every teacher should pack a 9mm with at least one extra ammo clip!

    Love that CT GOP. Still trying to apply Texas idears to the Northeast…

  9. Genghis,

    Good job on Face the State yesterday. Perhaps this is intentional because it was such a joke but how bad was Pearson yesterday? He fumbled around questions, did not know what state Byron Dorgan is from, and then said that Dorgan was no longer in the Senate when in fact he is one of the most powerful senators in the caucus.

    Your analysis was spot on, though: Dems were made at Lieberman, not indys. The indys and Republicans are mad at Dodd. Pearson would have no chance in a primary.

  10. Can’t disagree with his logic though. Certainly New Haven would be a much safer place if only everyone had a handgun strapped to his or her belt. And of course every teacher should pack a 9mm with at least one extra ammo clip!

    I remember a couple of years ago there was legislation introduced in the House – I think it was the “2nd Amendment Restoration Act” that was aimed at protecting DC residents’ right to bear arms. This was prior to the recently SCOTUS decision that overturned their handgun ban. Problem was the way the law was written it would have eliminated all DC gun regulations but not replaced them with anything. Would have been the wild west!

    Was looking forward to “Wild Wild West” outfits coming into vogue, short suit jackets to make room for holsters etc… Ultimately, the legislation didn’t go anywhere. But the problem remained; only the bad guys had guns in DC. Law abiding citizens could not legally protect themselves from those who flouted the law and preyed upon them.

    Doesn’t really matter what you think about guns – the 2nd amendment is rather explicit – if you don’t like it then try to amend the constitution. Otherwise you can only limit / regulate firearms to a certain extent because the right to own them is protected.

  11. ….would have eliminated all DC gun regulations but not replaced them with anything. Would have been the wild west!

    Not really.

    Vermont has no gun laws of it’s own and only complies with federal.

    They also have less firearm problems than any other state.

  12. Vermont has no gun laws of it’s own and only complies with federal.

    Interesting – I was unaware of this. So if you live in Vermont you don’t need to get a license or permit to purchase a firearm?

    Will have to ask my fiancée about this as she’s from Vermont.

  13. 73% OF CONNECTICUT VOTERS SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT IN APRIL 2008 POLL

    A survey of 797 Connecticut voters conducted April 19-20, 2008 showed 73%-27% support for a national popular vote for President.

    By party, support for a national popular vote for President is 80%-20% among Democratic voters; 59%-41% among Republicans, and 76%-24% for Others.

    By age, support is 76%-24% among 18-29 year olds; 67%-33% among 30-45 year olds; 72%-28% among 46-65 year olds; and 78%-22% among 65-and-older.

    By gender, support is 81%-19% among women and 64%-36% among men.

    By race, support is 73%-27% among whites, 71%-29% among African-Americans, 79%-21% among Hispanics, and 66%-34% among Others.

    see http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  14. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The Constitution gives every state the power to allocate its electoral votes for president, as well as to change state law on how those votes are awarded.

    The bill is currently endorsed by 1,512 state legislators in 48 states.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Delaware –75%, Maine — 71%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 73% , Massachusetts — 73%, New York — 79%, and Washington — 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 26 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  15. Interesting – I was unaware of this. So if you live in Vermont you don’t need to get a license or permit to purchase a firearm?

    Walk in, prove you’re a VT resident (drivers lic will do fine); wait the required 5 days; pick up the piece and put it in your pocket.

  16. Interesting – I was unaware of this. So if you live in Vermont you don’t need to get a license or permit to purchase a firearm?

    You don’t in Connecticut, either.

    To carry it in public, that’s a different matter.

    Unlike Connecticut, Vermont does not require carry permits for it’s citizens, provided they have no felony convictions and a few other basics…like ACR said, buy gun, wait the federally required waiting period, put in pocket.

    It’s pretty simple where the demarcation line should be:

    Anyone who is lawfully allowed to carry a firearm should be allowed to carry that firearm, without need to reveal whether or not they’re carrying it, in any unsecured area.

    Only if you are entering a secure area — one to which all access points are tightly and continually controlled by trained security staff and all members of the general public (if not everyone) are screened and required to check their firearms — should you be required to surrender it. That’s facilities like courthouses, correctional centers, airports beyond the metal detectors, etc. With the exception of extremely secure facilities like correctional centers, armed law enforcement officers should be located within the secured perimeter or in the immediate vicinity as well.

    It’s not widely open and inherentley insecure locations like state colleges, parks, schools, bars, clubs, etc.

    Yes, we could use some tweaking of the law. Clarify persons may not carry under the influence of drugs or alcohol (and I wouldn’t even necessarily object to establishing the per se as .04%, the same as commercial vehicle oeprators), allow the police to continue to administratively suspend the permit, but also reform the firearms review board so they can review suspensions in a timely manner*.

    Let’s also remember when talking about schools or colleges, you need to be 21 to carry a pistol anyway. So it won’t apply to the vast majority of the students. There seems to be some confusion on that in some of the newspaper comments I’ve read recently.

    * — There are some infamous cases where a fairly minor offense — say allowing a small peak at the weapon due to a shirt not tucked in well — has resulted in a suspension that will take years to be reviewed and almost certainly be rescinded at that point.

    Connecticut statutes require a permit to carry. It’s not a concealed carry permit in the statutes…the concealed part comes in from the regulations side that implement it ands state it will be carried prudently and in a manner not to cause alarm. The way that’s interpreted is unless you’re a armored car guard or someone similiar, it should be carried concealed.

  17. mvymvy …

    It’s this simple:

    If you have that much support for a national popular vote…

    AMEND THE CONSTITUTION.

    If you don’t, don’t make a mockery of it by making unconstitutional end runs.

    The Congress already mocks it enough.

  18. If you don’t, don’t make a mockery of it by making unconstitutional end runs.

    Again, you might argue that it is bad public policy or bad pr, but you can’t argue that it is unconstitutional, because it simply isn’t. It is explicitly written in the Constitution that state legislatures can determine the method of apportioning electoral votes.

  19. What the Founding Fathers said in the U.S. Constitution is “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all rule) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote.

    In 1789 only three states used the winner-take-all rule.

    There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all rule.

    As a result of changes in state laws, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the winner-take-all rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.

    The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes.

  20. Again, you might argue that it is bad public policy or bad pr, but you can’t argue that it is unconstitutional, because it simply isn’t. It is explicitly written in the Constitution that state legislatures can determine the method of apportioning electoral votes.

    I know – it’s ingeniously devious! Essentially it would amount to a conspiracy of states adding up to only 50% of electoral votes effectively nullifying the electoral college without going through the amendment process.

  21. I know – it’s ingeniously devious! Essentially it would amount to a conspiracy of states adding up to only 50% of electoral votes effectively nullifying the electoral college without going through the amendment process.

    Like I said, you can make the argument that it is bad public policy (although conspiracy is a little strong, no? The states are passing this through their legislatures and then Governors are signing it into law), but not that it is unconstitutional.

    And a quibble, the EC would still need to meet, and vote, in order to elect a president. They would just have to vote according to their state law, as authorized by the Constitution.

  22. Again, you might argue that it is bad public policy or bad pr, but you can’t argue that it is unconstitutional, because it simply isn’t. It is explicitly written in the Constitution that state legislatures can determine the method of apportioning electoral votes.

    Where does it say that a State must report its electoral vote totals? A big, populous state like California, Texas or Florida could play hide-the-ball and put a stop to this, no?

  23. Where does it say that a State must report its electoral vote totals? A big, populous state like California, Texas or Florida could play hide-the-ball and put a stop to this, no?

    I meant, vote totals. Can’t a State declare, “Obama won this State by at least a plurality vote,” and award all of its electoral votes in that fashion, without reporting the vote totals?

  24. Like I said, you can make the argument that it is bad public policy (although conspiracy is a little strong, no? The states are passing this through their legislatures and then Governors are signing it into law), but not that it is unconstitutional.

    And a quibble, the EC would still need to meet, and vote, in order to elect a president. They would just have to vote according to their state law, as authorized by the Constitution.

    Wasn’t using ‘conspiracy’ in any legal sense. But you’d have a situation where effectively a group of states representing less than would be necessary to pass a constitutional amendment would be effectively nullifying the electoral college such that a popular vote elects the President instead of the various representatives of the states.

    I agree, sounds as if it is constitutional. Just saying I disagree with the process, but respect the ingenuity of whomever came up with the idea.

  25. Wasn’t using ‘conspiracy’ in any legal sense. But you’d have a situation where effectively a group of states representing less than would be necessary to pass a constitutional amendment would be effectively nullifying the electoral college such that a popular vote elects the President instead of the various representatives of the states.

    Of course, if you added up the population in the smallest 38 states (enough to ratify a Constitutional amendment), you’d only be at 40.1% of the U.S. population.

    There are lots of parts of the Constitution that don’t get used very often. Interstate compacts aren’t especially novel or ingenious just because most of us have a poor understanding of our most basic governing document.

  26. I meant, vote totals. Can’t a State declare, “Obama won this State by at least a plurality vote,” and award all of its electoral votes in that fashion, without reporting the vote totals?

    No — following the election, the Governor of each State must provide copies of the “Certificate of Ascertainment” to the Federal Register and the meeting of the electors in December. That certificate is required by federal law to include the popular vote total. You can see Connecticut’s most recent Certificate here.

  27. Just as a fun aside, there was a “HEARTQUAKE ’08” party slate of electors in Maine last year — and even though there were 4 electors, the party only received 3 votes.

    The post-election Heartquake State Central Committee meeting must have been pretty damn uncomfortable.

  28. No — following the election, the Governor of each State must provide copies of the “Certificate of Ascertainment” to the Federal Register and the meeting of the electors in December. That certificate is required by federal law to include the popular vote total. You can see Connecticut’s most recent Certificate here.

    I would imagine a state determined enough to withhold its vote totals would be determined enough to mount a constitutional challenge to the federal law that mandates disclosure. It would certainly be an interesting question whether the federal government can force a state to disclose its totals.

    As for Article 2, all it says is, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct…” That sounds to me as if the federal government doesn’t have much to say about how the legislature of each state certifies their vote.

  29. I would imagine a state determined enough to withhold its vote totals would be determined enough to mount a constitutional challenge to the federal law that mandates disclosure. It would certainly be an interesting question whether the federal government can force a state to disclose its totals.

    Absent the certificate, their electoral votes wouldn’t be counted.

    Plus, what idiots would throw all the votes for President from their state out? You’re guaranteed to anger a majority of voters in your state, more so if it was close enough to have mattered. Whoever made that boneheaded move would be guaranteed to be serving their last term in office.

  30. Absent the certificate, their electoral votes wouldn’t be counted.

    There is nothing in the Constitution that suggests that the states need to comply with federal statutes in order to have their electors’ votes counted. The state only need to “certify” the vote and it is open as to how they do that.

  31. I agree, sounds as if it is constitutional. Just saying I disagree with the process, but respect the ingenuity of whomever came up with the idea.

    People who would undermine our Constitution deserve no respect.

    It is for each state to decide how their electors are chosen — independent of and without the immediate influence of other states.

    To make the electors of some states subject to the will of voters of other states, but to have electors of other states without any such conditions creates a situation that is intolerable under the equal protection of the laws.

    Can you imagine the uproar if a law was passed that said the Selectmen of each town shall be those of the party that won the most votes statewide? Not even the Jim Crow South had the balls to try and pull off something like that, yet now we’re talking about this with the Presidency.

    The nakedness of how the Democratic party is actively undermining the integrity of voting by making excuses of convienence over process is shocking in itself. We forget that “Vote early and often” was spoken not that long ago openly. Like their efforts in private elections to replace secret ballots with card check for union organizing, it is simply astounding that they can say with a straight face these are improvements.

    They are not — they are nothing more then naked attempts to subvert democracy. That is “ingenuity” that needs to be condemned loudly, consistently, and without quarter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s