Elicker May Run Twice; Holder-Winfield Won’t

Thomas MacMillan Photo

(Updated 6:28 p.m.) If Justin Elicker loses the Democratic primary, he plans to keep running for mayor—as an independent.

Elicker (pictured Wednesday evening at a campaign fundraiser at BAR) disclosed that plan to the Independent Thursday in response to a series of campaign “pledges” issued by one of his opponents, Gary Holder-Winfield, who promised to abide by the results of the primary.

Elicker and Holder-Winfield are among four announced candidates and at least one other expected candidate for the Democratic mayoral nomination. They are seeking to replace incumbent Mayor John DeStefano, who plans to retire at the end of the year after two decades in office.

Since 1951, winning the Democratic primary has meant winning the general election for mayor in New Haven. That’s because registered Democrats outnumber Republicans so dramatically: 48,887 to 2,627 as of Wednesday.

But in recent years the number of unaffiliated voters has grown dramatically in New Haven. That number was 18,700 as of Wednesday (with another 494 belonging to minor parties)—a number far higher than the number of votes a winning Democrat usually obtains in a primary.

That math explains Elicker’s decision to keep a general election campaign open, he said.

“I want to be mayor of this city. I think I will be the most effective mayor of this city,” said Elicker, a two-term East Rock alderman. “Therefore, because we have so many people that are potentially running in the primary, we may have a result that doesn’t represent what the majority of New Haveners want. The independent, unaffiliated, and Republican voters never get to decide who the next mayor will be. I plan on running as a Democrat in the primary. I plan on winning.

“On the off chance I don’t, I plan on running in the general as an independent. A third of the voters can’t vote in the primary.”

Independent or Republican general-election candidates must submit petitions to the city clerk’s office by Aug. 7. The Democratic primary takes place Sept. 10. Elicker said he hasn’t submitted those petitions yet but does plan to do so.

The two-shot campaign has recent precedence in New Haven and in Connecticut. In 2006, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman lost a Democratic primary but won reelection as a third-party candidate in November. Two years ago Jeffrey Kerekes lost in a four-way New Haven Democratic mayoral primary, then ran again as an independent in the November election. (He captured a surprisingly strong 45 percent of the vote.)

Elicker, who will open his campaign headquarters Saturday on Whalley Avenue near Norton, was asked if he’s “pulling a Lieberman.”

“I’m not going to call it a Lieberman,” he responded. “In New Haven, everyone’s always a Democrat that runs, it sets a different tone” from statewide elections that involve truly competitive parties.

I Pledge To ...

Paul Bass PhotoElicker made his remarks in response to three “pledges” Holder-Winfield issued Thursday and challenged his opponents to take, too. Holder-Winfield, a state representative in Newhallville and East Rock, spoke about the pledges at a 5:30 p.m. City Hall press conference. (Click on the play arrow at the top of the story for a sample.)

“I pledge,” Holder-Winfield’s first of three pledges reads, “to compete for the primary and abide by its result, because the voters of this city deserve
an honest race of ideas and a candidate with the integrity to abide by their decision.”

Asked about Elicker’s decision to run twice if need be, Holder-Winfield called that approach a violation of the spirit behind clean-government reforms like public-financing. He called a primary campaign “an unspoken promise to people that the results of the primary matter.”

Holder-Winfield’s second promise Thursday:

“I pledge to participate in the Democracy Fund because fair elections value people’s voices rather than their money and don’t limit our discussion with competitions for dollars rather than votes.”

Click here and here for previous stories about Elicker’s and Holder-Winfield’s participation in the Democracy Fund.

Another announced candidate, Henry Fernandez, has stated that he will not participate in the Democracy Fund, the city’s clean-elections voluntary public-financing system. That means he can collect larger financial donations that his opponents who participate in the Fund, as Holder-Winfield and Elicker have already signed up to do. “I certainly think that we need open, transparent systems to ensure that voters know where candidates are getting their funds from. Fortunately the city of New Haven and the state of Connecticut have exactly that. So voters can make their decisions based on that,” Fernandez said Thursday. “I also think that the issues that our city is facing around crime, education reform, jobs, are serious issues. I plan to focus on those and not on any candidate’s efforts to pull us into a discussion about their own campaign strategy.”

Holder-Winfield’s third pledge involves “outside groups” that can pour money or other help in an election. “I pledge to disavow outside money and third party special interest spending that bends the spirit of clean elections, and instead focus our race here on the people who are affected by the decisions we make—not on third parties pushing their own agenda,” declares Holder-Winfield’s third vow.

At the press conference he was asked how he would react to an outside committee that paid for attack ads on his opponents.  “I would denounce that,” he said. “I don’t want anyone attacking my opponents.”

Elicker said Thursday he will take two of the pledges—about participating in the Democracy Fund and disavowing outside financial help.

Henry Fernandez declined to sign on to any of Holder-Winfield’s three pledges.

“I’m not going to take other people’s pledges. I think they’re silly. They’re what you do when you don’t actually have a platform. You run around talking about process,” Fernandez said.

Asked if he has any plans to run in a general election, Fernandez replied that he has “no plans to file as a Republican or an independent. I intend to run as a Democrat. I’m a Democrat. I look forward to being a Democrat after this election is over.”

A fifth expected candidate, Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina, said Thursday he will “refrain from comments” on campaign matters until he announces a formal decision about running.

Sundiata Keitazulu, a Newhallville plumber, has also filed papers to run for mayor. Probate Judge Jack Keyes has been traveling around town as well, gauging support for a mayoral run.

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posted by: WC10 on March 28, 2013  2:11pm

Justin is not a real Democrat if he’s willing to ditch the party’s decision. Why run as a Democrat at all?

posted by: TBricks on March 28, 2013  2:26pm

Why not just run as an Independent to begin with instead of making a mockery of the system by running twice.

posted by: mstratton on March 28, 2013  2:35pm

I have lived in this city for 47 years, and it is high time we had a mayor not beholden to vendors, contractors, unions, city employees or any outside special interest. The democracy fund limits the power of individual donors who want to set their own agenda for this city. Anyone who doesn’t agree to such limits is looking to sap this city of its vitality—not Add to it. The pay for play politics of the past must give way to clean government if we are to do the things that matter: Safe streets, smaller class sizes, awesome youth programs, and a larger tax base. I am very glad people like Elicker are interested in our city more than their political futures. We as voters should reward this conduct and punish those who continue to engage in old style politics.

posted by: Wooster Squared on March 28, 2013  2:37pm

Elicker’s right. One third of New Haven’s voters should not be automatically be barred from choosing a mayor just because we live in a one-party town.

While I support Justin, I’m very impressed with Gary and his commitment to clean elections and transparency, and am proud to have him representing New Haven in the state general assembly. Gary’s position in the general assembly makes it understandable that he couldn’t go and run as an independent.

I’m a bit surprised with Henry Fernandez’s attitude toward the election, however. Apparently “One City” means, “One City, so long as you’re a Democrat”.

And by the way Mr. Fernandez, what you do when you don’t have a platform is rely on big contributions in the hope that you can beat back your opponents with money. Just ask Mitt Romney.

posted by: mstratton on March 28, 2013  2:44pm

New Haven’s one party system is dangerous. It gives power to the old school political bosses—the same people who engage in pay to play politics. America was built on a 2 party system and on giving everyone a chance to vote. I don’t think there is any risk we end up with Newt Gingrich as mayor so why does it matter if someone is a “democrat” or not. Here in New Haven everyone is essentially a liberal when it comes to National politics but locally some are old school liberals who sap the city of its vitality and others are new school and believe in clean smart governance that delivers the services people really need not the services the insiders profit from. Look how close Kerekes came last time when we actually had a general election. the reformers almost won—the old school party bosses hate when that happens—so you see the previous comments posted by the old school profiteers.

posted by: PH on March 28, 2013  2:45pm

I couldn’t care less if Elicker decides he wants to run for Mayor with a coalition of Democrats and independents (or whatever other voters want to classify themselves as.  Move beyond the party, look at the person.  If he wants to be on the ballot, so be it.  A primary is only a race for an endorsement, not an election into office.

posted by: RR on March 28, 2013  3:00pm

I have considered myself an independent for my entire voting career, but registered as a Democrat after moving to New Haven because I discovered that was the only way to meaningfully participate in most local elections. I wonder how many other registered “Democrats” feel the same? While I understand the desire to respect the outcome of the primary, given the large number of prospective candidates, there is a strong possibility that the winner of the Democratic primary will have only a small plurality of votes. I, for one, would not mind seeing the general election as a runoff between the top two candidates (assuming that Republicans and other parties don’t put forward any other new candidates).

posted by: cedarhillresident! on March 28, 2013  3:15pm

In a one party town this is exactly how it has to be done. This allows us to maintain democracy here.  And Elicker is a democrat and needs to make sure people are aware he is just that and his ideals are of that party. Our primaries shuts out that large number of voters affiliated with a different party, or with no party at all. Remembering that many dem’s have switched to independent because they over the past 20 years got so tiered of the BS in this city.  And not to mention the sorted vote pulling that happens here with all the yale new comers. They vote blindly coming in.  At least till November allows them to form some kind of non rush opinion.  Remember this is not a race for alderman this is a race for MAYOR!  This is a race that will effect 140,000 residents!  THIS IS A BIG DEAL.  I agree with Justin he is going to win. But better to announce it at the get go than to do after the fact.  It is the transparent way to be.

posted by: Curious on March 28, 2013  3:32pm

Not sure how I feel about this.

I didn’t like it when Lieberman did it, but Lieberman did it A) after the fact, and B) in a different voting population than New Haven.  I’ll have to mull this over.

posted by: Noteworthy on March 28, 2013  3:55pm

My notes:

1. WC10 - Being a real Dem has nothing to do with abiding by a decision of the party. It has to do with ideals, vision and beliefs. Using your logic, a third of this city should be disenfranchised. It’s just not right nor is it in keeping with the ideals that are supposedly embodied locally and nationally by the party.

2. Henry Fernandez - He is playing too cute by half already exhibiting a DeStefano-esque patina. Since Mr. Fernandez once supported clean elections before he didn’t support clean elections, he also knows the Democracy Fund was never about disclosure. The Democracy Fund is about financially leveling the playing field so that the strength of a candidate’s ideas had a chance to be heard and so there would be a competition rather than a coronation by a cash tsunami. The next time he talks about transparency in the same sentence as the Democracy Fund, just know it’s a dishonest, misleading and patently false presentation. It appears Mr. Fernandez is running on that platform in addition to whatever the rather bland, predictable, one city pabulum he’s peddling.

3. Commendations are due any candidate who pledges to run a clean campaign using Democracy Fund standards as it relates to fundraising and of course, disclosing all the donors of that fundraising.

4. Choice is important all the way to the end. When you are running as a change candidate - not DeStefano with a different head - it requires the candidate lay it all on the line, all the way through even when it means swimming against the tide of special interest money pretending to love democracy with the same passion as a well heeled hooker looks at a john.

5. Process matters. It doesn’t replace substance any more than substance can ignore process. They are equal. To dismiss how you win and how well only diminishes the authenticity of the platform upon which a candidate stands.

posted by: Fair and Honest on March 28, 2013  4:03pm

>the voters of this city deserve
an honest race of ideas and a candidate with the integrity to abide by their decision<

Gary says he pledges to respect the wishes of the voters—but this should be ALL the voters, not just registered Democrats. 

I’m glad to hear that Gary can make a pledge, and have the integrity behind it—pledging to abide by the rules of Democracy Fund genuinely does require a sacrifice and a commitment to open and fair elections.

But as this second pledge correlates with Gary’s political needs as a State Rep (D), it’s less a pledge than a statement of fact: if he loses the city primary, he compromises his career at the state level to run as a Democrat.  I don’t mind if keeps this “pledge,” since I think he’s an effective legislator in Hartford, and I appreciate his work there.

But for the city, let ALL the voters have a voice.

posted by: Fair and Honest on March 28, 2013  4:13pm

WC10 (whoever you are)—Since when were you empowered to declare who is a “real Democrat”?  Since when are you the Party Police?  When Stalin died, did he make you ideology czar? Do you get to stamp the gold star of approval on party membership cards?

Frankly, I’ll vote for somebody who puts the city and us voters first.

posted by: anonymous on March 28, 2013  4:36pm

“And by the way Mr. Fernandez, what you do when you don’t have a platform is rely on big contributions in the hope that you can beat back your opponents with money. Just ask Mitt Romney.”

Exactly. I’m not even going to listen to any candidates, door-knockers, or “platforms” that do not fully participate in the letter and intent of the Democracy Fund.  And in the era of Facebook, filtering out the “Big Money” candidates is much easier than people think. There’s an app for that.

Perhaps Henry will reconsider his tragic decision.

posted by: Webblog1 on March 28, 2013  4:37pm

It seems to me one of the most important steps in this contest that all announced candidates have ignored, is capturing the endorsement of the Democratic town committee, which insures party support and additional monies spent on the candidate of their choice, which should not adversely impact democracy fund policy.

The endorsed candidate also receives the top line on the ballot. That in itself is worth numerous votes.

With Elicker’s announcement that he will ignore the will of the party and proceed against the party as an independent, does not bode well for a primary or general election victory. Mistake # 3 Justin.

On the other hand, Fernandez thinks the whole idea of a pledge to the voters is silly.

“I’m not going to take other people’s pledges. I think they’re silly. They’re what you do when you don’t actually have a platform. You run around talking about process,” Fernandez said.


posted by: Razzie on March 28, 2013  4:38pm

I can appreciate Elicker’s determination to have his candidacy judged by all the voters on New Haven, and not just the one’s who consider themselves Democrats. But I don’t appreciate his “2 bites of the apple” Lieberman approach. His approach does a grave injustice to all the Democratic Party voters who take their commitment to the Party seriously. Running in the primary as a Democrat, then turning around, shedding that label and running as an Independent makes a mockery of the commitments shown by all those who committed to uphold the rules and values of the Democratic Party. I am proud to be a Democrat, and I fully commit to playing by the Democratic Party rules. It is not just a label of convenience. Apparently Mr. Elicker feels otherwise. He should elect either to run as a Democrat (and play by the rules) or run as an independent (unaffiliated candidate. Whichever way he elects, he will get his day in court.

posted by: Brutus2011 on March 28, 2013  4:42pm

I have always embraced Democratic Party values more than Republican values—mainly because I abhor socially conservative views.

I get a little twisted somethimes because my fiscal views tend to be more conservative.

However, after having seen how power party politics has ruined our schools, I am ready to vote for anyone who campaigns on stopping this cow-pucky.

posted by: nellie bly on March 28, 2013  4:43pm

I was stopped at the light on Front and Grand, Wednesday and a custom made lawn sign on the corner caught my eye. In Big Bold Red Letters it said:
O Henry
Where have you been hiding all these years, Can New Haven Afford you?  Quite impressive right in Henry’s neighborhood!

I am still smiling and will continue to do so, knowing the intelligence of the New Haven voters shall prevail, by not electing him as mayor.

posted by: FrontStreet on March 28, 2013  4:48pm

““I’m not going to take other people’s pledges. I think they’re silly. They’re what you do when you don’t actually have a platform. You run around talking about process,” Fernandez said.”

Wow, I guess rumors about Fernandez’s arrogance are true.  Very Destefano-esque.

posted by: streever on March 28, 2013  4:58pm

Bravo to Justin Elicker for refusing to let a small circle of people (the town committee) shut 1/3rds of the city out of the election.

Folks, this isn’t city dog catcher, this is YOUR MAYOR. Everyone has a right to vote for the Mayor—including Independents, Greens, Reps, and un-affiliated voters.

There is no way that a small majority should dictate who runs the city. It isn’t right, and I’m glad that Justin is willing to stay in this fight until the general election.

New Haven has an incredibly crooked, corrupt, and manipulative Democratic party, that routinely uses leverage and power to suppress and exclude citizens.

They don’t do this to combat the 2,000 Republicans. They do this because they decided that they need to dominate the political arena.

I wouldn’t sit back from an anonymous perch and dictate who is or isn’t a “real” democrat.

Henry Fernandez sez:
“I’m not going to take other people’s pledges I think they’re silly. They’re what you do when you don’t actually have a platform. You run around talking about process,”

Wow. What is his platform? I used to have a job working for John and I did my job until things got hot and I left town?

While his opponents describe what they’d do as mayor, and how they’ll get the job, Fernandez refuses to at least turn down donations which are ILLEGAL at the State level from contractors and throws out open insults to his competitors and his entire platform is a feel-good platitude and a resume list of the old Mayor’s vision which he worked on as part of his day job.

I thought JOHN retired! with that nasty comment, I don’t think that Fernandez is the man I naively hoped and assumed he was. I didn’t realize that he would stoop to that.

I’ve been a fan of Elicker since day one, but after today, I still have respect for Holder-Winfield & Elicker. That isn’t something I can say for the Fernandez I’m reading.

posted by: TheWizard on March 28, 2013  5:07pm

the more that I hear Henry speak, the more that I fear for New Haven if he were to be elected….

Please - Justin, Gary, Sundiata,...anyone but DeStefano 2.0

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on March 28, 2013  6:54pm

This is just a bizarre statement from Justin. If he feels that strongly about running as an independent in the general, why is he bothering to run in the Primary? He should choose one or another, obviously he doesn’t think he can win the primary or he would have never said this in the first place, but he can’t use the democracy fund again when he runs as an independent since he is using it now as a democratic candidate. Personally as a voter I didn’t like it when Lieberman did it, so I can not support it now even if Justin is a lot nicer guy then Lieberman.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 28, 2013  7:10pm

posted by: cedarhillresident! on March 28, 2013 3:15pm
In a one party town this is exactly how it has to be done. This allows us to maintain democracy here. 

US? who are the US.There are those of us who donot want a Two Party System.The Problem is thgose us who keep voting for parties.Again we need Proportional Representation.

posted by: streever on March 28, 2013 4:58pm
Bravo to Justin Elicker for refusing to let a small circle of people (the town committee) shut 1/3rds of the city out of the election.

last I remeber when I debate you about the crooked town commitees you try to sshoot me down.Change of Mind?

posted by: HewNaven on March 28, 2013  10:03pm

Elicker should absolutely run twice. I don’t trust anyone who is loyal to a party because it necessarily means that they don’t want to think pragmatically about issues. To paraphrase 3/5, the two-party system will fool you every time, and something about a goat.

posted by: kenneth_krayeske on March 28, 2013  11:23pm

Noteworthy -

Please be aware that a legislative body cannot claim its public campaign financing scheme is expressly to “level the playing field” and still remain within the bounds of what is considered constitutional.  The Supreme Court has struck “a level playing field” as a legitimate basis for enacting public campaign finance laws.

The heart of public campaign financing is transparency and access to data.  Right now, non-participating candidates in New Haven are not subject to the same additional paperwork requirements as participating candidates. In New York City, non-participating candidates have to file the same paperwork, so there is very little incentive not to participate in public campaign financing.

Here, in New Haven, additional paperwork demanded of participating candidates provides more information than the SEEC regulations alone, providing more disclosure and transparency. That a participating candidate voluntarily chooses to accept this added burden should be respected. Non-participating candidates have no penalty for not participating, except that political price which the voters choose to make these candidates pay.

Plus, the Fund limits the amount of money a candidate can receive, in an attempt to amplify the value of small dollar donors and to allow candidates to focus on ideas, as opposed to fund raising.  Non-participating candidates can accept money from any PAC. Participating candidates swear off PAC money and only accept from individual human beings.

Kenneth J. Krayeske, Esq.
New Haven Democracy Fund

posted by: robn on March 29, 2013  9:02am

I despised Joe Lieberman for double dipping but that was different. He was an incumbant career politician who for many many years took advantage of his party’s support and then went against its wishes. He also ran for a statewide elected office that has historically been occupied by both Republicans and Democrats and doesn’t have the incredible asymmetry of New Haven’s one party system (which disenfranchises Republicans and Greens…and Guilties?). A double run is the new reality in New Haven and since trying to shame candidates isn’t going to work I suggest the sensible way to remedy this (by remedy I mean make the election brief and decisive) is to have open primaries (possibly triggered by the registration asymmetry we see in New Haven, and triggered back by some more balanced ratio)

posted by: Razzie on March 29, 2013  12:25pm

I have an idea that everyone should be able to endorse. Let’s have every candidate run twice. And let’s go the next step and have the Democracy Fund pay for the primary and general election campaigns of each candidate. Otherwise, Elicker gets an unfair advantage of using public money in the primary, and private financing in the General. It’s called having your cake, and eating it too.

posted by: Drosophila on the Wall on March 29, 2013  1:00pm

If Justin Elicker thinks that the primary system is unfair, and that he has a better shot running as an independent than as a Democrat, then he should withdraw from the Democratic primary and run as an independent.  Running in both is cowardly, disingenuous and disrespectful to Democratic primary voters, who should punish him in both September and November.

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on March 29, 2013  2:47pm

Razzie: You make a great point. It is totally unfair to the New Haven taxpayers to subsidize his dry run.

Drosophila: I could not agree more. If the primary system is unfair why participate? It just strikes me as craven opportunism.

Justin should drop out of the primary and free up his supporters so that we don’t end up with King John II. Which is exactly what will happen if enough reform minded Democrats throw their support behind a candidate who has already decided he is not viable in the primary. I would much rather see Gary as the D nominee running against Justin as an independent next fall then see Fernandez win in a walk.

posted by: Elm City Resident on March 29, 2013  3:09pm

NEWSFLASH: All the people commenting that they didn’t like that Lieberman ran as an Independent in the general after losing the primary as a Democrat but are fine with Justin doing it—that’s called a double standard.

posted by: robn on March 29, 2013  3:47pm


Newsflash; the Connecticut Senate race and the the New Haven mayoral race are two completely different animals.

posted by: HhE on March 29, 2013  6:33pm

I opine that Gary and Justin have made good decisions.  I imagine that Gary’s goal is Congress, or dare I hope it, Governor.  In the meantime, in order to do his job, he needs to be a “team player.”  While I cannot speak for Justin, my take is that after serving as Mayor (oh please, oh please), he will move onto something outside of elected offices.

posted by: getyourfactstraight on March 29, 2013  10:32pm

I think he should just run as an independent from the get go. Actually that gives you a longer time to campaign and it is being as every loves the word more transparent. Why start out as a dem, not make it, and turn to being a independent. Just run as an independent and stop playing a game of if I win great, if I don’t make it, great, I will just switch my affiliation.

posted by: why! on March 29, 2013  11:05pm

Streever, why don’t run for something ! since your so knowledgeable about how you think a municipality should run and local politics and all and your so righteous. My hats of to all the candidate for having the courage to run in the most political town
in New england ! oh ONECITY

posted by: why! on March 29, 2013  11:41pm

This is why Henry is my choice, one candidate is contemplating on losing the primary then doing the Lieberman twist. The other is really saying Im happy where I am at and losing is ok i wanted the job until Henry and Judge Keyes got in the race. Finally the old old guard is trying to remain relevant with good old judge Keyes!

Henry is saying:

“I also think that the issues that our city is facing around crime, education reform, jobs, are serious issues. I plan to focus on those and not on any candidate’s efforts to pull us into a discussion about their own campaign strategy.” 
Henry is ready to move ONECITY forward for everybody. Henry doesn’t need the job he wants the job!

posted by: robn on March 30, 2013  11:39am

Fealty to the Democratic party by respecting a primary result really means nothing in New Haven since the party (and the DTC and the BOA and the entire message machine) is now controlled by mostly out-of-town unions. As much as opposition shills would love to slander Elicker for this move I don’t blame him.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on March 30, 2013  10:20pm

@Moving Forward
I have just stopped reading your comments. They are the same ones over and over.  All the new commentors show that team destefano is alive and well. But most that read the NHI fully realize this.  This is not a crowd that is influenced by anything we say. This is more of a place to see to feel out the other guy. Most posting in the comment sections are from one team or another. By most of Destefano 2.0’s teams comments I am starting to think you guys are realizing how many people fernadez offended when he was working for JD. and that most were paying attention…not glossing or bloating the truth.
Reality this is New Haven and sadly we have not had democracy here in some time.

I am glad to see Elicker and gary signing on to the theocracy fund. And kind of hope Keyes does. Not that I am cheering for keyes (But he is a great candidate along with Justin and gary).

@ my little fraction…I so luv you. I have never said you were wrong. I said it is a hard thing to make happen.

posted by: HhE on March 30, 2013  11:56pm

Moving forward One City, in another series of posts, a number of us regulars of the NHI Commentariat, expressed suspicion of new posters who were stumping for Mr. Fernandez anonymously.  You pointed out that one could read with interest without necessarily commenting, a point I readily conceded. 

However, I believe that anyone who reads the NHI comment section would know that streever is not only salt of the earth, extraordinary humane, and very civic minded, but also that he is moving out of state soon. 

How is Judge Keyes “old guard” and not Mr. FeFernandez After all, the latter was in the current administration for some time. 

Gary has thrown in the towel?  Really, I had no idea.  He certainly did not sound like when I listened to him the other day.  Far from. 

Onto Justin.  As a non affiliated voter, I do not care to be disenfranchised by this one party system, so I think he is absolutely right to be doing this.  There is a difference between being a member of a party, and being its pawn.

posted by: streever on March 31, 2013  12:57pm

Moving forward One City
A. How do you know that Justin is “contemplating” losing the primary? Do you have telepathy? I think Justin expects to win the primary, but has a back-up plan. That isn’t actually what Lieberman did, as an aside. While it is snarky and probably wins you points to call it a “liberman”, it isn’t accurate.

B. As Hhe points out, I don’t run for several reasons, one of which that I’m leaving, another that I try to be a decent human being and I don’t want to compete against men who take money in ways that are ILLEGAL on the State & Federal level.

I don’t think I’m particularly smart, and you probably shouldn’t either: I didn’t go to college and barely made it out of grade school.

I do know, however, that a LAW on the State level which prevents PEOPLE WHO DO MILLIONS IN BUSINESS with the governor contributing to the campaign of the SAME GOVERNOR who would award TEN TO 100 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACTS is probably a GREAT law, and it is weird that we don’t have it for our mayor.

I don’t think people who stand to earn TEN MILLION dollars should be allowed to contribute to the campaign of the man who would HIRE THEM.

I’m sorry that you think I’m a jerk for thinking this, and being open in thinking it, but it is a reasonable point of view.

I think instead of attacking me, when you clearly don’t know me from a hole in the ground, you should ask your candidate:
“Henry, why won’t you pledge not to take money which would be a FEDERAL CRIME if another politician took it? Don’t you think that it makes sense to not take money from people who stand to earn 10 million, because it appears corrupt?”

I try not to let me irritation show all the way through, but I honestly have my mind blown that Henry’s supporters don’t want him to refuse contractor money. I know I come across as incredibly frustrated and irritated, but I promise you, you are experiencing 10% of my frustration on this topic.

posted by: HewNaven on March 31, 2013  9:24pm

I’m curious which marketing hack came up with the “One City” slogan. And, how much did that cost Fernandez? I know its still early, but I’m curious how much the Fernandez campaign intends to spend on manipulating voter psychology.

posted by: why! on March 31, 2013  9:48pm

Streever,  A You are assuming that Henry is going to take money from contractors. B that Henry is going to commit a crime. Don’t forget he has a law degree.  C Your not taking into account the Board of Alders who review all contracts. D All contributions are documented and must be reported its the law.  Also has Judge Keyes committed to the democracy fund.
Whats your real problem !
Hhe ,  I think in time we will know who is supporting who i would be very careful on assuming who is supporting who and who represents what yet its too early to call it.  Oh i never said Streever was a bad person he but he had plenty of oopportunities to run for something and he didn’t.
Like most of you I want to see our city improve for everybody and i am not moving no time soon! come on get on one trolly to OneCity!

posted by: streever on April 1, 2013  9:28am

@Moving Forward
A. When asked if he would reject corrupt cash, Fernandez bashed the other candidates, said no pledges, and said he is the only person with a vision and a platform. Wow! Arrogant much?

B. I’m not saying he will commit a crime. I’m pointing out that, were he to run for a State office, it WOULD be illegal to take that money. Also, please, lawyers don’t commit crimes? I know Fernandez is a smart man who is more successful, but that doesn’t preclude him from making poor moral choices.

C. The Board of Alders—who review all contracts—have had no impact on the graft, cronyism, and corruption we’ve all seen in New Haven over the past decade.

D. Right, which is how we know that JD JR has taken tons of money from people who do work for the city, and how we’ll know that Fernandez does it, too.

Look, if he doesn’t, I’ll apologize. When he does—per his statements—I hope you can do the same.

As for me running for office:
You are ignoring the biggest reason why I don’t.


My desire to have non-corrupt, non-bully, respectful people govern me does not mean I need to run for Mayor or Alderman or City Dog Catcher.

posted by: TheWizard on April 1, 2013  9:37am


Are you suggesting that someone who has a law degree cannot commmit a crime?  Observation would lead most to believe that those with law degree commit as many or more than those without.  Of course, if the point is that those with law degrees are more skillful at committing crimes without getting caught, you may have a point.

And Junge Keyes has not officially declared so there is no need to ask about his thoughts on the democracy fund.

Can you articulate why your candidate would be unwilling to participate in a process (built by his boss at the time) that is designed to take elections away from big money outsiders and hand it back to the residents of the city?

posted by: Curious on April 1, 2013  10:38am

Why is Henry so great for living in Fair Haven and shopping there?  People have criticized Justin for being from East Rock.  If Justin can’t govern New Haven well because he’s from East Haven, how is some guy from “the Latin Quarter” going to represent all of us, hmm?

Same logic cuts both ways, folks.

posted by: why! on April 1, 2013  4:24pm

Wizard & Streever

I can see how you both would think by what i said that I assume lawyers don’t commit crimes. I stand corrected. What i meant, and should have said is that Henry is a law abiding citizen and because he has a law degree is more likely to check and make sure he is within the law.

  Streever you express your frustration in your last post and its good to get it out, but you are also twisting the facts when you say that

“When asked if he would reject corrupt cash, Fernandez bashed the other candidates” thats not true !

Wizard,  I express the fact that Henry Fernandez lives in a struggling neighborhood to make the point ,that he is vested in the community as a whole. He could have moved out a long time ago.  Hey like you both I care about this city too and want to see us all move forward as OneCity

posted by: streever on April 2, 2013  8:21am

@Moving Forward
Actually, it is true.

He was told about Elicker and Gary’s pledges to not take contractor money and abide by the State rules.

He said you do that when you have no platform, no vision, no ideas.

It was reported in this paper.

If that isn’t a bash—to say that your opponent has NOTHING—I’m not sure what is.

posted by: HhE on April 2, 2013  10:02am

I opine it is bad form to say “Whats your real problem !” and “your so righteous.”  This is especially true when streever has been very articulate and reasonable about what he takes issue with.

posted by: streever on April 2, 2013  11:04am

Thank you!
I feel like I’m often quite clear in my opinion, and the majority of negative responses on this site are similar.

I don’t blame the responder—obviously they believe strongly in Fernandez and it is hard to get over that when a core belief is challenged by someone—but it is striking to me just how often the responses to me are strawman, ad hominem, or just plain nasty.

I often wish we had a more filtered structure for these conversations, and that more of the people commenting had to use their real names, because the majority of the responses to me so far seem to be completely without substance, and oftentimes insulting and offensive.

When they don’t seem to make me seem like a biased shill, they insinuate that I must be incredibly stupid, or incredibly limited in my ability to read and comprehend.

Rarely do they address any of the points I’ve made or any the concerns I’ve voiced.

Oh well, what can you do? This is the internet, after all.

posted by: Brutus2011 on April 2, 2013  11:43am

Cheer up “streever.”

The use of a pseudonym is actually a tradition in American public discourse.

Anyone who reads these posts knows that your posts are worthy of consideration.

And, you give a barometer for what many who post should be measured by—in my most un-humble opinion.

posted by: why! on April 2, 2013  4:48pm

Democracy fund is well intended however, at the end of the day for me its about; ( note i speak for myself) who can reduce crime, control tax hikes, reform education ,maintain and improve the quality of life for everybody in our city.  OneCity!

posted by: streever on April 2, 2013  7:07pm

Thank you, Brutus2011, I enjoy your posts, and think you don’t abuse the anonymity: you state a case and list your reasoning, which is what is crucial!

How will Fernandez do those things? What is the plan to do them? Why can’t he also promise to not accept money from contractors, lobbyists, and others who would be barred from donating at the State level and still accomplish his goals?

posted by: SaveOurCity on April 2, 2013  9:30pm


Why are we allowing the normally constructive dialogue on this site to be dragged into the mud by mfoc.  Best to ignore the empty statements and work together to make sure that the city is not subjected to DeStefano 2.0