Kale Politics Revealed At Farmers Market

Paul Bass PhotosAmid Westvilleans hunting for farm-fresh veggies, Justin Elicker fielded an urban pioneer’s pained questions about pre-K admissions while Toni Harp picked up local tomatoes—and, with some effort, uttered the word “I.”

Those moments occurred Sunday afternoon at the busy weekly CitySeed farmers market in Edgewood Park.

The moments reflected some of the reasons Democrats Harp and Elicker have so far mounted strong campaigns to succeed retiring 20-year incumbent Mayor John DeStefano. The moments also pointed to the thresholds they need to cross to seize the prize.

The heart of Westville—which along with East Rock and Morris Cove tends to produce the highest voter turnouts in town—has proved fertile campaigning ground for Elicker. He has found far more campaign contributors there than have the other three Democratic mayoral candidates. He popped up as a surprise second place to Harp in a Democratic 25th Ward Committee endorsement vote. He has performed well in initial private polls. The front-running Harp campaign has concluded, at least for now, that Elicker presents the main opposition in the race, a development many political observers did not predict at the outset.

What explains Elicker’s rise, beyond a savvy campaign approach?

Kale, perhaps, in part.

Elicker came to New Haven just six years ago; he has served as an alderman for four.

Over that time, many newcomers have moved to New Haven, particularly in places like East Rock, Westville, Wooster Square, and downtown. CitySeed farmers markets have exploded in town, especially popular in neighborhoods like Westville and Wooster Square. The cycling community has become a potent political force. Those constituencies tend to have less attachment to older political organizations in town like the Democratic Town Committee or labor unions or the public schools bureaucracy or generation-old crusades like the 1989 John Daniels mayoral campaign—constituencies largely supporting Toni Harp this year and for the most part over her 26-year career in elected office. Many newcomers have registered as unaffiliated voters rather than align with a party; New Haven now has 18,377 unaffiliated voters as of the most recent count, compared to 2,540 registered GOP voters and 48,140 registered Democrats. An independent with no name recognition or elected political experience and practically no money captured 45 percent of the vote in the last mayoral election. (Elicker is running this year in both the Democratic primary and the general election.)

Elicker has tapped into those newer constituencies and championed their pet issues such as clean government (unlike Harp, he participates in the public-financing Democracy Fund), “safe streets” traffic-calming, healthful food, and overhauling the byzantine, nail-biting public school admissions process.

That dynamic was on display when Elicker ran into Joann Ali (pictured above) and Derek Daigle and their 1 1/2-year-old daughter Zalayhar (pictured at left) at Sunday’s Edgewood Park farmers market.

Daigle and Ali, who carried the couple’s newly purchased bioregional Pleasant Cow cheddar cheese in a reusable “it’s all about saving green” bag, are classic new New Haveners. They moved to Westville from Guilford—by choice. Daigle was in grad school at Yale; Ali was working as a public-school teacher elsewhere in Connecticut. They wanted the feel of an urban neighborhood; they look forward to buying apple turnovers from the Sono Bakery stand when they walk to the farmers market every Sunday. They also moved to Westville because they wanted their child to attend Edgewood School.

They have since learned that they may or may not be able to land Zalayhar a slot at Edgewood. They’ll have an especially hard time getting her into a pre-K program in the public schools, or at least one near their home.

“It doesn’t sit well with us that our friends outside the city” can get into New Haven magnet pre-K programs over city families, Ali said. She noted that many of those families drop out of the schools and enroll in their own towns’ elementary schools once their kids reach kindergarten.

Elicker was familiar with the topic—because he has taken a visible, leading role in pushing the Board of Ed to make both pre-K and kindergarten admissions at popular schools more transparent, at the least. He explained to Ali how the city has to maintain those suburban slots as a condition of the original state money it received to build those schools. But he also suggested increasing the neighborhood preference in the admissions process.

Daigle spoke of growing up in Maine, where kids attended their neighborhood schools. Putting his kids on a bus to go to a less desired school across town makes no sense, he said. Elicker commiserated: “It’s wastefully financially. It’s wastefully environmentally.”

“We bought in Westville” partly because of Edgewood School, Ali said. “But to be forced to send her to some place we’re not comfortable with after living here 10 years is atrocious.”

Elicker and she agreed that the long-term solution lies in improving all the public schools so people in every neighborhood feel they have a viable option nearby for their children.

Ali said she hasn’t yet made up her mind whom to vote for. Safe to say, Elicker will need the support of voters like her to ascend to the mayor’s office, to match the long-established constituencies in town working hard for Harp.

Elicker was asked about the new voters in his general age bracket who have gravitated to New Haven over the past decade.

“You see the trend around the country,” he said. “People are moving back to cities because they’re looking for a better lifestyle. They recognize that cities like New Haven can offer ... walkability, bikability, community. ... Farmer’s markets are community-friendly. You can walk down the street and meet your neighbors and buy healthier foods” while helping the environment.

A half-hour into Elicker’s petitioning at the farmers market, candidate Toni Harp arrived with campaign supporters in tow. She came for an official press event. She announced a set of “nutrition and food policy initiatives.” They include expanded CSAs (community-supported agriculture coops) and linking them to school programs; and helping more healthful local produce get sold at “community foods stores,” a new “permanent indoor/outdoor marketplace,” and “mobile food vending.”

As usual, her planned presentation—unlike the typical presentation of other office-seekers—did not include much focus on her accomplishments as an elected official in supporting nutritional food policies. She has spent a lot of time on those issues as a city alderwoman and then as a state senator for 20 years. She hasn’t spent a lot of time talking about that on the trail, hasn’t spent a lot of time speaking of specific legislation or other actions she has promoted in the state from her powerful perch as co-chair of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee. When she does list issues she has worked on, such as in her Democratic convention endorsement acceptance speech Tuesday night, she speaks in general terms. And she speaks of “we”—she and her Democratic colleagues or other community institutions—rather than “I.” The groups in town she has helped are aware of what she’s done for them. Among newer New Haveners, or among others who don’t follow state politics much, you often hear the question this campaign year: What has Toni Harp done for the past 20 years in Hartford? Her opponents have suggested: not much.

Harp usually runs unopposed for her Senate seat. Now she has three serious opponents in the mayoral race. Her challenge, in order to broaden her base, is to explain her record to undecided voters rather than allow her opponents to define it. In Westville, for instance, Elicker has drawn support from neighbors active in a “village renaissance” that has taken off over the past decade, fueled in part by new, young families. Harp has helped that movement gain money in Hartford for improvements to the neighborhood’s main commercial district.

Harp was asked upon her arrival in Edgewood Park Sunday if she had anything to do with the rise of CitySeed markets in New Haven and the larger focus on good nutrition.

She paused. She thought for a moment. That wasn’t in the script.

In fact, Harp said, she had.

“We helped CitySeed get EBT,” or the ability to process electronic benefit transfers so people on food stamps could buy fruits and veggies at the markets, she said.


“Me. The legislature.”

Anything else?

“When the farmers markets started, I help them get started. Every year I championed the elderly WIC vouchers” seniors can use at the markets, she said.

“Every year the Department of Agriculture thinks they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Almost every year I have to fight to get it back in the budget,” she said.

“This year ... I ... you know, everything requires support” to get done in politics, she said.

As a city alderwoman, she led the effort to require universal free breakfast in city schools—and others helped make it happen too, she said. At the state legislature, she pushed successfully to require that any school system that wants to follow suit can get money to do so, she added.

New Haven state Rep. Pat Dillon was standing nearby. She started rattling off other Harp achievements. She mentioned a state ban on the sale of sugary soft drinks in public schools that passed into law in 2006, a year after then-Gov. Jodi Rell vetoed an earlier version. “[Senate President] Don Williams and Toni Harp did that,” Dillon said. And Harp regularly “plays defense” behind the scenes to block efforts to cut back, say, money for farmers markets or anti-obesity or other nutritional programs.

Then Dillon made a point about “I” versus “we” in politics and government.

“If you’re too full of yourself” and get used to taking personal credit all the time, Dillon said, “people can ambush what you want to get done. You need to know how to build a team. That’s how Toni gets things done.”

Harp followed by speaking about overweight kids eating “too much processed food. They don’t have access to fresh foods and vegetables. It’s going to shorten their life span.” Then, the press event complete, she moved on to checking out the local tomatoes.

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posted by: Anderson Scooper on July 29, 2013  9:11am

Can someone confirm that Henry F.‘s kids attend Edgewood School?

If that is in fact true, how the heck did he get them in there, when seemingly that’s mission impossible? Fwiw.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 29, 2013  9:19am

Then Dillon made a point about “I” versus “we” in politics and government.

How about Boot career politicians and Give the People Term Limits.

posted by: Curious on July 29, 2013  10:16am

Elicker being there to meet and talk with people while Harp is there for a press event, that pretty much says it all.

If Harp needs someone else next to her to explain her accomplishments, that says whatever is left.

I would rather have someone who is personally involved and connected, like Justin or Kermit (or once, Gary), than someone who needs to be informed by others all the time.  This isn’t the presidency of the USA for god’s sake, you don’t need a cabinet and two dozen special councils.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on July 29, 2013  10:21am

Here here, 3/5.

Maybe if we didn’t have the majority of our politicians “in office” spanning decades, there would be less “game playing” and more working to get things accomplished.  And the people we elect to office would be the ones who have the best ideas to put forward and demonstrated work ethic to see things through, not the most entrenched megalith who can steamroll their way into “achievement”.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson on July 29, 2013  10:47am

At the moment, Justin Elicker is clearly the best candidate. He’s new with fresh ideas and a very honest way about him. He’s not an old retread, nor is he pandering to any groups or minorities. Let’s hope the voters do what is best for the city. It’s time for youth, a fresh beginning, hope, and inclusivity.


posted by: robn on July 29, 2013  10:49am

The use of the pronoun “we” is Sen Harp’s convenient way of distancing herself from the fact that, thanks to her and the Leg, CT citizens have the highest per capita debt of any state (by a factor of 2).

posted by: anonymous on July 29, 2013  10:54am

“Elicker has taken a leading role in pushing the Board of Ed.”  He has also taken a leading role behind the scenes on a lot of other critical issues, although some voters are unaware because he rarely tries to take any credit for it.

These are not “pet issues.” Everyone has their quality of life ruined by dirt bikes. Everyone who is a parent, has children heading into the public schools. Almost everyone is a pedestrian at some point, and the vast majority of residents don’t drive to work every day. Everyone worries about economic security, and the safety of their neighborhoods including whether their local store will be turned into a neighborhood gambling den once Harp’s KENO plan takes effect. 

Just about everyone is effected by these issues except Senator Harp, that is, who lives in a vast 9,700 square foot mansion for free (paid for by family slumlords) at the end of a cul-de-sac overlooking the Yale Golf Course.

What has Harp actually done, other than take credit for things that she didn’t actually do herself?  Unlike Dillon or Lemar, I have never seen Harp at a meetings where things actually get accomplished in our city. In fact a lot of projects in her district, like the widening of Whalley Avenue, have gone very poorly because Harp did not intervene.

posted by: citoyen on July 29, 2013  11:16am

Re: Toni Harp, responsibility, and quality of life issues:

Could Ms. Harp, or someone from her campaign, please explain why an abandoned car has been sitting in front of her Westville mansion, in the street, for many, many months, untouched and unmoved?

During the approximately 20-year period during which that house sat as a hideous unfinished mess, there was at least one block watch complaint filed about “blight on Conrad Drive.”  Now that car has become more of the same.

Hardly the kind of good-citizen, civic-minded image someone who wants to be mayor presumably would want to convey.

posted by: HewNaven on July 29, 2013  11:29am

I’m wondering if Jackie James and the DTC are going to turn those tomatoes into tomato juice. Just to stick with the plan.

Why does Harp need to stage a press conference everywhere she goes. Can’t she just walk around town and talk to people like Elicker? I really get the sense that she is just totally uncomfortable talking to voters face-to-face.

posted by: anon123newhaven on July 29, 2013  11:47am

this is straight up opinion journalism.  It’s not appropriate for the reporter to be telling the candidates what hurdles they must jump through in order to win. That is your personal opinion. 

Also, the DTC, organized labor, the public schools bureaucracy and “generation-old crusades” include a lot of diverse people that you’re lumping into the category of those “older political organizations” you describe.  Beyond the DTC and Local 34 and 35 endorsements, what is your evidence that there’s this dichotomous organization of old/new political forces that are aligning themselves with Harp/Elicker?  Can you please find some sources for this?

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 29, 2013  11:50am

Will there be any coverage from the NHI of the Stop the Violence, Start the Love Basketball Tournament that took place at the Goffe Street Park on Saturday? Kermit Carolina was there, I don’t know about the other candidates. Not that the farmer’s markets shouldn’t get covered, but those happen every week.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 29, 2013  12:02pm

Free food is everywhere. (OK, not bioregional cheddar.) So why not spend tax dollars TEACHING people how to find it and prepare it. “Give a man a fish, you feed him only for a day….” http://frugalliving.about.com/od/eatforfree/tp/Monthly_Foraging_Guide.htm

posted by: dorothy25 on July 29, 2013  12:26pm


Do you realize that “minorities” make up 2/3 of this city?  We’re not some pocket of insignificant folks you can write off.  Please give all voters and residents some respect as people with interests and political preferences.  I’m sure you expect the same.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 29, 2013  1:08pm

While I’m no fan of Toni Harp, I have to agree with “anon123newhaven” that this article’s author has difficulty distinguishing between news-reporting and an editorial opinion piece. Perhaps we could get more straight-up journalism if the NH Independent adopted the format of virtually all “traditional” newspapers—including their digital versions—whereby readers can turn to a separate section for editorials and opinion pieces. Some of us are not quite ready to see unbiased news reporting relegated to the status of a curious antiquity. Let’s keep the “biased opinion”—like mine—here in the readers’ comments section.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 29, 2013  1:20pm


I was thinking the same thing. I was talking to her about the kids in my area and the hard and tough road they have and the lack of help we in the community have to help these kids who’s parents will not help them and she looked as if she could give to hoots. And all I got were the same tired BS vague one liners I use to get from DeStefano. I am sorry people I get the whole she is a women thing and I am a women and would love to see one as our mayor BUT as a mother and an active community member in a low income community she is clueless and I only see more of the same. I want a mayor that can help our children ALL our children and it takes a love that is deep down inside to make that happen. She is putting the mask on but all I got was a going though the politic motions and acting like she cared vibe. My motherly instincts say she is not sincere.

I challenge every mother out there in a low income community like mine to spend an hour going door to door with Elicker and then an hour with Harp. (them personally not there people) And then tell me who you think is the better candidate for this city. I know you will be supporting Elicker because he is genuine!

posted by: Noteworthy on July 29, 2013  1:20pm

Harp Notes:

1. Toni Harp does best when she has a minder.

2. Pat Dillon’s “we” including herself. Aside from nannying the cola ban in schools, “we” also raised a history making tax increase; “we” failed to lower the history making gas tax increase this year and “we” agreed to raid the transportation fund of all the resulting money;

3. “We” also gutted campaign finance laws, crafted other legislation in secret and “we” went into hiding to undermine FOIA laws in order to pander to Newtown families.

4. “We” also attacked the spending cap and discounted a million votes by the Connecticut public who agreed to a first ever income tax in exchange for spending limits;

5. “We” raised spending by a billion dollars in this budget cycle after “we” supported a two billion dollar increase I believe, in the previous one.

6. “We” have gotten us on the “death spiral list,” overseen drop out factories we call schools along with the demolition of our neighborhood schools while “we” have remained silent and compliant. “We” also have lowered our state credit rating and saddled taxpayers with the highest per capita debt in the nation while grossly underfunding pensions and promises made to the state’s bloated workforce.

7. Pat Dillon and Toni Harp should hold a presser about “Team We.” It’s an astounding record.

posted by: citoyen on July 29, 2013  1:50pm

Anon123NewHaven: It is not “personal opinion” to say that this city, for many decades now, has been run by coalitions of powerful interest groups - political, economic, labor, education, non-profit - in various combinations. It is reality.

Because since the 1950s there has been no viable opposition party in New Haven, voter registration is overwhelmingly Democratic. This has meant that many, even most voters in the city, over generations now, have tended to just automatically vote for Democratic-party-endorsed candidates. And THIS has meant that the real power bases in the city have been within Democratic Party interest groups, which perpetuate their control over how the city is run. The individual people involved in these groups are, as you say, highly diverse, but that does not alter the reality that they participate in a structure of power that is unyielding.

What Paul Bass is saying in this article is that there are growing numbers of voters who are considering themselves independent, rather than tied to the entrenched Democratic party’s attitudes and ways of doing things. This is partly because new residents have moved into the city, not tied to its traditional politics; and it is also partly because longer-term residents are becoming more and more fed up with the perpetual power bases that rule. Witness the 2011 election for mayor, in which Jeffrey Kerekes, a brand-newcomer, was able to attract 45% of the vote against the entrenched DeStefano.

There are two candidates in this race who represent the old way of deriving power from established interest groups: Harp and Fernandez, and two who represent a newer way of deriving power from citizens: Elicker and Carolina.

This is simply a cogent analysis of what is going on at the moment.

posted by: accountability on July 29, 2013  2:00pm

Wow. What an embarrassingly myopic view of “new” New Haveners.

The progressive movement that won a majority of the Board of Aldermen in 2011 has brought more young people and more previously alienated voters into the political process than there will ever be suburban yuppies moving into our town.

I’ve got nothing against suburban yuppies. In fact, some of my best friends are transplanted suburban yuppies. But let’s get real. The yale unions and allied political leaders are transforming the political face of the city by bringing thousands of people previously shut out of the political process into voting and activism for the first time.

That’s the “new” New Haven voter.

Maybe Justin might want to try talking to a few of them. Most of them aren’t at farmers markets on the weekend because they’re working their second or third low wage job.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson on July 29, 2013  2:18pm


My apologies for not being clear, I’m not suggesting anyone is insignificant. All I am saying is that Jason Elicker appears to be more inclusive than any other candidate and that he does not pander to any one group, however you would like to define them. The other candidates seemingly identify with one group or another at the expense of everyone else.

Elicker is the only candidate right now that approaches this race with every single New Havener in mind - he appears to be for everyone. The other candidates do not.


posted by: anonymous on July 29, 2013  3:16pm

Accountability, Justin and Kermit are probably the only candidates talking to them. 

Justin and Kermit are the only candidates who take 80-100% of their money from New Haven residents.  Over 70% of Harp and Fernandez donations come from out of town.

Justin is busy getting his hands dirty fixing blighted properties in Cedar Hill, interacting with homeless people and residents who work several jobs.  Harp is never seen around town, except to take credit for things she didn’t work on, and is living for free in one of the city’s largest mansions, off the rent from blighted slum properties that her family is busy running into the ground while throwing lavish parties for her campaign in the suburbs.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 29, 2013  3:35pm


Justin does talk to them and even is getting their votes. You would be surprised how many are disillusioned with this whole new group. Many actually feeling very used and then thrown away by the unite crew. Which I have seen happen to many. Once they get what they need from people, they will forget every promise they made to those community. And let me tell you…that some are actually afraid of this new group of bullies. I for one hate that they use the most vulnerable by promising them jobs ect. and never coming though with them. all of excuse and blame on why they never happen. If you do not DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD they they move on to the next puppet. Trust me many have learned their lessons. Many even sitting back and agreeing with you in fear of disagreeing they will be targeted. To me that IS NOT WHAT DEMOCRACY is! It is disgusting and shameful and dishonest!

posted by: Curious on July 29, 2013  3:44pm

Accountability, you can make all the inflated claims you want about the political “renaissance” that the unions are supposedly bringing about, but do you have any real numbers on how many new voters they’ve registered?

Can you present any real third-party stats (not union press releases) that not only show this surge in new voters, but legitimately attributes them to direct efforts from your beloved unions?

Can you be accountable for the claims you’re making?

posted by: accountability on July 29, 2013  4:25pm


Ok. If you insist. We’ll see who actually votes for whom, where on election day.

But let me say this now, for accountability’s sake later.

On Election Day, when Toni wins by huge margins in every neighborhood except Westville and East Rock, and when she wins those neighborhoods too, albeit by lesser margins, don’t come here whining and moaning about money and the evil union hypnotists who trick voters into supporting them. At least on that day, promise us all in advance that you’ll keep your condescending, anti-democratic crap to yourself.

Because it won’t be the money and it won’t be deceit that will have carried the day. It will have been the hard work of hundreds of volunteers like me who bust their butts day after sweltering day on behalf of a movement that is bigger than any one politician, and whose vision of shared prosperity is inspiring people across the city.

My alder’s petitions crossed the ballot threshold Friday at 7:30 pm, exactly 24 hours after we all left Harp headquarters.

We’re not out here because we’re stupid or have been tricked. Not everyone who disagrees with you is corrupt, a moron or both.

In fact, let me ask you a question. Why do you think so many people are volunteering for Toni and the alders who support her?

posted by: accountability on July 29, 2013  4:29pm


*sigh.* Just go back and read Paul’s articles on the last three elections, starting with the Malloy race. The data and quotes are all in those stories.

It’s not even news.

posted by: Mark Firla on July 29, 2013  4:33pm

Anderson Scooper, Henry has stated that he entered the lottery like everyone else does and was lucky to get into Edgewood School.

posted by: robn on July 29, 2013  4:48pm


I’ll take that one. People may vote for Harp because of the exploitation of race, sex, and labor issues and done in such a vague way as to only burnish the ego of the canvassed, and done so for the personal enrichment of special interests such as the suburban union members and CV building poli-sci students.

posted by: Curious on July 29, 2013  4:49pm

Burden of proof is on the claimant.  No proof, no argument.  Thanks for the entertainment :)

posted by: TheMadcap on July 29, 2013  6:22pm

Harp has tons of supporters because she’ll pander to any group that will donate money. That should’ve been obvious the moment she refused to participate in the Democracy Fund, and became even more obvious at the police debate where she gave the most wishy-washy answer. At least Elicker was willing to say “We have to change the contribution and benefit ratio. It sucks but that’s where we’re at after years of underfunding”

A better question to ask is why is Toni Harp, a 20 year state senator with vast political connections and support infrastructure suddenly finding herself having to compete hard against a 4 year alderman and an economic development administrator. Perhaps people in this city want a candidate who is neither part of the party machine or the Yale union machine.

posted by: Eddie on July 29, 2013  9:15pm


Did you just really characterize Justin’s interactions with homeless people and residents who work several jobs, as “getting his hands dirty?” Wow, I wonder how these folks would feel about your characterization.

posted by: Tom Burns on July 30, 2013  1:03am

I don’t live in this city but I work here—and let me get one thing straight with all you people who post who must not know that the only reason New Haven exists is because of suburban taxpayers—my state income taxes go to New Haven and other urban districts who have needs that their citizens can’t afford—so we around the state chip in a huge amount so that the city may continue to exist—and I’m OK with this—what I am not OK with are the people who post here who keep harping on suburbanites not chipping in—well let me clue you in—we are giving more $$ to this city than the citizens of New Haven are—I have tried to hold my tongue—but I am fed up with the lack of knowledgeable people that post here, spouting their misinformation—New Haven only exists because taxpayers outside the city make it so—read a book please—Tom

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  8:38am

Tom Burn has it!

The suburbs have much higher taxes than New Haven. We pay a much higher mill rate too! Guilford has the highest mill rate in the state! If you live in New Haven, you better stop blaming us. We’ll go to hospital somewhere else, and send our kids to private school, instead of your magnets. Which, btw, our kids do better at getting into them. I can’t even go to dinner in New Haven anymore because of all the homeless and crime. Waiting for the day that Toni can clean up OUR town.

posted by: HewNaven on July 30, 2013  9:13am

At least now the Harpies are coming clean about their suburban residency. What’s next Harp herself will answer about the suburban party house she inherited from her husband’s slumlord properties?!

posted by: robn on July 30, 2013  9:16am


You’re incorrect and you need to read the budget (link below).

58% of New Haven’s revenue is internally generated. The rest comes from the state tax pool, a portion of which is paid by New Haven residents. In addition, the internal New Haven tax revenue would be much higher if it weren’t for our inability to tax large non-profit entities like Universities and hospitals (entities which benefit the entire greater New Haven area.)


posted by: robn on July 30, 2013  9:29am


Are you flat out admitting that you’re an outsider campaigning for Toni Harp?

posted by: Anderson Scooper on July 30, 2013  9:44am

@ Tom Burns—

So you’re saying that as a suburbanite you deserve to pay property taxes that are lower by half, on account of the fact you pay the same State income taxes that I do?

Living in a Connecticut city, amidst concentrated poverty, what am I getting that somehow you aren’t? Lower crime, better schools… cheaper insurance rates?

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 30, 2013  10:01am

Tom Burns and Righteous Cyclist,

Tony Harp will make that situation worse. The types of sweetheart deals that John Destefano made with unions during his run for the Governor’s Office in 2006 in exchange for their support will become standard operating procedure under a Harp Mayoralty. Who do you think will bail us out after we become insolvent due to making promises that we cannot possibly keep?

New Haven does not exist because of the suburbs - the opposite is true, that’s why its sub-urban ie derived from an urban place. In the late 19th Century, shortly after the horse-drawn streetcar lines were extended to Westville and Fair Haven, those two separate towns became absorbed by the City of New Haven. Same thing with the East Shore of the Quinnipac River. Similarly, when the highways were built, it induced growth because it enabled easier commuting. Suburbs should have been annexed to the City of New Haven at that time.

But hey, if your town wants to take on a disproportionate share of the regions poor, undereducated, unskilled, drug addicted, mentally ill, and homeless populations, New Haven would gladly stop accepting your share of state aid, and would be more than happy to through a few pennies at your town to go towards bus service, health facilities, halfway homes, drug clinics, subsidized housing, and school buildings, but don’t expect any aid for the problems that occur as a result of having high concentrations of at-risk people in close proximity to one another without adequate access to jobs like crime, poverty, poor health, etc.

So, let’s be serious about who has the sweet end of the current deal.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 30, 2013  10:23am

A bit of historic perspective re. WHY the cities are dependent on the suburbs: “After World War II the federal government gave returning veterans low interest mortgages with very low down payments to purchase housing. However, the mortgages only could be used to purchase a new, not preexisting, home. Simultaneously the government began a massive highway construction program, while spending virtually nothing on rail roads and other mass-transit systems. New Haven’s own deteriorated trolley system shut down in 1948. The decline of the rail road soon followed, and by the 1970s New Haven’s train station was in total disrepair. Ill conceived urban renewal programs during the 1950s and ‘60s razed entire neighborhoods, with no provisions having been made for the displaced residents and businesses. At this same time unscrupulous real estate agents engaged in the now-illegal practice of “block busting”: white home-owners were contacted and told that “coloreds” were moving into the neighborhood, so they had better sell lest their property become worthless. All of these factors contributed to an explosion of suburban sprawl, with devastating ecological impact. Vast swaths of highway were cut through historic neighborhoods, sucking the economic life-blood out of cities, exacerbating racial and economic divisions in our society, and making our nation—particularly its automobile-oriented suburbs—utterly dependent on foreign oil. With the decimation of New Haven’s neighborhoods, the city was left with Real Property consisting of  over  45% tax-exempt properties (mostly institutions such as universities and hospitals that serve predominantly non-residents) and a housing stock that is only c. 30% owner-occupied, thus providing most residents with little incentive to care for neighborhoods which they do not “own”.  From http://www.citypointnewhavenconnecticut.net/ So basically it was Federal dollars that were used to destroy our cities—for the benefit of growing suburbia.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 30, 2013  10:29am

wow Tom,
I have not always agreed with your posts but found them to be interesting and worth reading. But hmmm a bit disappointed this time. In all honesty I would be happy to give your city that money and have them provide all the services for your troubled residents. I would love to see some of these suburban town set up some of the non profits and state agencys in there towns. Maybe that is something we can get rolling on. In the mean time I do not feel because you work here you have the right to push a mayor that will triple our taxes and rents for the suburban to benifit even more than they already do.

posted by: Hieronymous on July 30, 2013  10:33am

It should be noted somewhere that Righteous Cyclist is almost assuredly *not* a Harp supporter. S/he’s doing a poor imitation of Xavier’s schtick. I have much love for Xavier, not as much for RC.

posted by: anonymous on July 30, 2013  11:01am

Burns: “New Haven only exists because taxpayers outside the city make it so.”

Interesting that Harp supporters have this perspective.

The facts, of course, show that suburbs would simply not exist without the city.  The city provides virtually all of the high-paying jobs, and the transportation infrastructure to get to them. Suburbs overwhelmingly have low wage jobs, and are where most of the low income residents in New Haven and West Haven work.

Suburban towns are filled with older adults who profit off of being slumlords (e.g., Harp family) or make good money working in New Haven as contractors or administrators (paid for by our high taxes on low income working renters with multiple jobs). They then using their profits to

1) throw lavish fundraisers and parties in Hamden and Bethany,

2) contribute to various campaigns like Harp’s and Fernandez’s, which each receive 80% of their money from out of town, and

3) retire on vast $100,000+/year pensions even though children living within the city are literally unable to afford anything to eat except Blue Juice, and are dying 20 years early as a result, because their money is being diverted to fund infrastructure for the suburbs.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on July 30, 2013  11:03am

Is the Tom Burns posting here the VP of the local teachers 933? Whose salary you can look up on http://ctsunlight.org/?

If it is, and he is pulling a very nice salary from the City of New Haven, while suggesting that his suburban hometown is propping up the city that’s pretty offensive.

Sorry have to make this sub-G-rated to get past the screener…

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  11:30am

Robn, I don’t live in New Haven anymore, but I keep my house there. I am still registered to vote in New Haven. Just because we leave New Haven, doesn’t mean we LEAVE New Haven.

Heironymous, I know Toni. I also know Kermit. I trust Toni to do right for New Haven just like she’s been doing. Just look at her record and her actions. Just look at how many endorsements she has locked. The only candidate with poise and knowledge to get through the trials of being a mayor in a broken town like New Haven. Who put us there? Alders, Mayors, and Educators. Meaning Elicker, Fernandez, and Carolina. She didn’t put us here, but she’s the one to pull us up out of an economic and cultural hole.

posted by: robn on July 30, 2013  12:02pm


If you don’t live in your house New Haven for a majority of your time, you don’t have residency here and are NOT legally entitled to vote here. Volunteering is perfectly legal however it just reinforces the argument that Harps supporters are primarily outsiders.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 30, 2013  12:06pm

Righteous Cyclist: “Robn, I don’t live in New Haven anymore, but ...I am
still registered to vote in New Haven”. And thus he hath condemned himself.

posted by: TheMadcap on July 30, 2013  12:12pm

So, doesn’t live in New Haven, yet still wants to vote in New Haven’s elections *facepalm*. It’s actually a good metaphor for Harp for those who assume she actually didn’t spend most of her time at her New Haven house.

posted by: Curious on July 30, 2013  12:26pm


Looks like the New Haven voter lists need a nice thorough scrubbing before election day…

posted by: Hieronymous on July 30, 2013  12:36pm

I’m skeptical, RC. Your tune changed sometime between 7/10, when you made this comment:

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 10, 2013 6:13pm

Nothing from Mathew Harp? Oh, I guess it would look bad if he contributed to his mother’s campaign while carrying a million dollar tax debt.

. . . and 7/16, when you made this comment, in the same thread:

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 16, 2013 3:11pm

Harp, an affluent and educated WOMAN doesn’t fit the East Rock iphone vegan eco-nut faux-liberal ideas of what progressive democracy looks and sounds like. She’s popular and effective, so she must be corrupt. She’d a carrier politician, so she isn’t qualified to do anything else. She has friends that adore her and support her with money, so she’ll need to repay them with favors. None of that is true.

Jesus tells us to judge not, lest we be judged too.

This election will be decided by the real democrats of New Haven, not those who change heart and revoke support so quickly, like this new independent party funded by the East Rock.


I don’t think your views changed, I think your means of undermining Harp did. I don’t mind that you make Harp look bad, but I don’t think it has all that much effect on the Independent’s comment board, where most people don’t support her to begin with.

(I give you credit for a bit more subtlety in your last post, though: the I-don’t-live-in-New-Have-but-I-vote-there bit was pretty good.)

posted by: accountability on July 30, 2013  12:46pm

Tom Burns: Look, people who work in the city do have a vested interest in the outcome of the elections, and that’s fine.

But really, New Haven exists because of the suburbs? Are you kidding me? Christopher Schaefer only scratched the surface of the racist policies of the real estate industry and the federal government that drove the creation of dilapidated urban centers and spread wealth to the suburbs.

Yes, state taxpayers do subsidize the cities.  But that money also pays for our police to keep you safe, our firefighters to protect you if your office catches fire, our health inspectors to make sure that the food you buy from a cart doesn’t poison you, and for the fact that if you get burned in a fire in your home town, you’ll come to our tax exempt hospital for care.

when Yale moves to Guilford, give us a call and let us know how your property taxes are doing.

But the rest of you, don’t get your panties in a bunch. Toni’s got far more supporters in New Haven than either St. Justin or Henry D2my, dopey comments from Guilfordites notwithstanding.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on July 30, 2013  12:48pm

If Righteous Cyclist doesn’t reside in New Haven but votes here that is voter fraud and it is a felony.

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on July 30, 2013  12:53pm

Is this an opinion piece? It sure comes across like one, which might explain why it seems like almost no one outside of East Rock and Westville bothers to read the NHI, let alone venture into its comments section.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  1:22pm

Robn, Mr. Schaefer, and Madcap, your all wrong. I will continue to legally vote in New Haven until I die. You don’t need to stay a resident if you don’t register in a different town. I’ve voted this way for 12 years. My two adult children will be voting for Toni this year, even though they aren’t in CT anymore.

Voting is a RIGHT, and you can’t take that away just so you can steal this election. The mayor’s race MATTERS to people that don’t sleep in New Haven as much as it matters to you. You think there should be some special requirement to vote? They have a word for that. PollTax.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  1:37pm

Hieronymous, I was upset about Matthew Harp’s tax situation, and didn’t see how it was different from his mother’s campaign. I supported Gary until he dropped out, and Toni won my support. I hope you had fun on the fishing trip., but there’s nothing there.

People keep calling it tax evasion. That’s not tax evasion. It’s a tax debt. Tax evasion has serious legal consequences like prison. This is a situation that Matthew will resolve when he can. People need to mind their own business, like I should have when I made that nasty comment about Matthew not donating money to his mother’s campaign. I’m sure he’s as supportive as he can be..

posted by: frog on July 30, 2013  1:39pm

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013 8:38am

The suburbs have much higher taxes than New Haven. We pay a much higher mill rate too! Guilford has the highest mill rate in the state!

RC - what on earth are you talking about?  This is utterly false.  The New Haven mill rate is 38.88.  The Guilford mill rate is 23.06.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 30, 2013  1:41pm

“Robn, Mr. Schaefer, and Madcap, your all wrong.”

But Hieronymous is right.

I think it is naïve to believe that if Elicker were elected that he would be transformative. He would have an extremely difficult time accomplishing anything at all. Alderman would oppose him, there would be a campaign to discredit him during his entire term and it will take an enormous effort to overcome this - more than 1 term. If he can figure out a way to effectively communicate his ideas to residents and make solid arguments in public for supporting policies, then he may have a chance at being a successful Mayor. I worry that he may get discouraged by the brick wall that he’d walk into on his first day and end up selling out to the machines or Yale, but that’s still better than Harp or Fernandez who have already sold out. And perhaps an ineffective Mayor is still better than an effective one that sells the city out.

posted by: TheMadcap on July 30, 2013  2:14pm

Robn, Mr. Schaefer, and Madcap, your all wrong. I will continue to legally vote in New Haven until I die. You don’t need to stay a resident if you don’t register in a different town. I’ve voted this way for 12 years. My two adult children will be voting for Toni this year, even though they aren’t in CT anymore.

Good lord, this person is literally bragging about voter fraud to get someone elected. YOU HAVE TO VOTE WHERE YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE IS. If you do not spend a majority of your time living in the city of New Haven, you are not a citizen of New Haven, and voting in New Haven is technically a felony.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 30, 2013  2:21pm

You have to be a resident! If you are not you can not vote. I think some laws are being broken. But I have come across a few folks that have said the same thing…my response it…but I bet your CAR is not registered here…there is your match up folks..DMV records…if there car is registered else where that is the proof to prosecute for voter fraud.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 30, 2013  2:33pm

“IF YOU MOVE: You must fill out a new voter registration card if you have moved to a new town.” http://www.sots.ct.gov/sots/lib/sots/electionservices/electforms/electforms/ed671.pdf
Sec. 9-12. Who may be admitted. (a) Each citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years, and who is a bona fide resident of the town to which the citizen applies for admission as an elector shall, on approval by the registrars of voters or town clerk of the town of residence of such citizen, as prescribed by law, be an elector, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section. For purposes of this section a person shall be deemed to have attained the age of eighteen years on the day of the person’s eighteenth birthday and a person shall be deemed to be a bona fide resident of the town to which the citizen applies for admission as an elector if such person’s dwelling unit is located within the geographic boundaries of such town. http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_143.htm

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 30, 2013  3:14pm

To all of the haters who complain about people working in New Haven and Not living In New Haven and who do not pay taxes.Check this out.Taken from the Office of the New Haven Tax collector.

Q: What do I own that is subject to taxes?

A:  Three types of property are assessed and subject to taxes: Real Estate, Motor Vehicles, and Personal Property.  Any land or buildings you won are considered real estate.  Registered motorized or unmotorized vehicles, (including cars, trucks, trailers and motorcycles) are considered motor vehicles for tax purposes.  Personal property is general category fixtures either owned or leased by business.  Unregistered motor vehicles are also taxed as personal property.

Q:  I have moved.  What is my tax jurisdiction for motor vehicles?

A:  Your tax town is your town of residency as of October 1.  If you move from New Haven after October 1, but still reside in Connecticut, you will still pay vehicle taxes to New Haven. Municipalities within Connecticut do not apportion motor vehicle tax bills for portions of a tax year.  If you register the vehicle in another state, contact he Assessor’s office.

If you move, you must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your new address within 48 hours.  Be sure that you request a change of address on your driver’s license and on your vehicle registration (s).  Post cards for this are available at the Tax Collector’s Office and the Police Department.

From people I talked to who work in New Haven and do not live in New Haven,They Have to pay vehicle taxes to New Haven.If this is true then those who work and do not live here are paying taxes to NEw Haven.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  3:37pm

Unless your a lawyer, you really shouldn’t make accusations about felonies. I’m a registered voter and I have been for many years. I’m not registering, so I don’t need to meet those requirements. I’ll check with a campaign lawyer though, just to on the safe side. I don’t understand what your point about car registration is. You open that door, and someone might start questioning how many people in East Rock actually have Connecticut plates. Who’s base is that?

While your all fussing about my RIGHT to vote, the Harp campaign was the FIRST to get the petitions in. I was blessed to have been a part of collecting signatures. Everyone I talked to loves Toni. That’s New Haven, not the 20 people who comment on here.

posted by: robn on July 30, 2013  3:39pm


You’ve been breaking the law dude.

CT Gen Statutes
Sec. 9-170.
Eligibility to vote at town elections.

At any regular or special town election any person may vote who is registered as an elector on the revised registry list of the town last completed and he shall vote only in the district in which he is so registered , provided any person may vote whose name is restored to the list under the provisions of section 9-42 or whose name is added on the last week day before a regular election under the provisions of section 9-17. Each person so registered shall be permitted to vote unless he is not a bona fide resident of the town and political subdivision holding the election or has been convicted of a disfranchising crime.

posted by: HewNaven on July 30, 2013  4:14pm

Well, looks like we have a nice investigative piece awaiting us post-election. Just how many Harp supporters who live in other towns plan to vote in NEW HAVEN’S primary??

Beside the legal issue, these folks might be good proponents of regionalization. Let’s open up all municipal/town elections across the Greater New Haven Region. I want a say in what happens in Bethany (if only because my party house is there).

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 30, 2013  4:52pm

Don’t worry RC
Their will be state Lawyers on polling day available. I am sure that their is a list of name being made right now…and when they go to vote we will let the state lawyers decide if it is voter fraud.

And drive through ER every car is in state..and students do not have to transfer under certain conditions.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 30, 2013  4:58pm

Alright now I can’t tell if RC is a fraud or a genuine person, but to the point about car registration - if a car in East Rock isn’t registered in Connecticut, chances are it owned by a transient person who also isn’t registered to vote in New Haven.

posted by: frog on July 30, 2013  5:21pm

3/5 - If someone moves out of New Haven, they only pay motor vehicle tax to New Haven for the remaining portion of that year, not ongoing.  As of October 1st of the next year, they begin to pay tax in their new town.

posted by: TheMadcap on July 30, 2013  5:37pm

I don’t get why someone who works in New Haven would have to pay car taxes to New Haven unless they have moved recently. You pay the taxes in whatever town your car is registered in. Usually this is the city you live in, but cities around the country can vouch for the fact people often use family address in towns with lower mill rates to register their cars to get the lower rate.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on July 30, 2013  7:11pm

Do a google search of “Democrat voter fraud” and “Republican voter fraud” and you’ll soon discover that maintaining the integrity of our election process should not be considered a partisan issue or an attempt at “racial suppression”. Removing ineligible voters from the rolls (e.g. non-residents) and requiring a photo ID not only preserves actual resident-citizens’ right to vote. It also prevents the effective disenfranchisement of these legitimate voters—by the counting of improperly cast ballots.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 30, 2013  9:04pm

Mr. Schaefer I don’t understand why it concerns you. I’m only registered to vote in New Haven. It’s not like I’m also voting in Guilford. And I own the house I use as my registered voting address. I’m letting a family member use it.

But you’re wrong about the registration issue. About 1/3 of my church has the same registration situation as me. Some are even out of state. We all grew up in New Haven. How many of Elicker’s supporters can say the same thing? We’ve never had an issue with voting in the 12 years since I bought another house. You only care because I’m voting for Toni. Do you know how disrespectful it is to accuse me of a felony? But anyone can pretend to be a lawyer on comments.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on July 30, 2013  9:52pm

posted by: frog on July 30, 2013 5:21pm

3/5 - If someone moves out of New Haven, they only pay motor vehicle tax to New Haven for the remaining portion of that year, not ongoing.  As of October 1st of the next year, they begin to pay tax in their new town.

Notice what this says.

Your tax town is your town of residency as of October 1.  If you move from New Haven after October 1, but still reside in Connecticut, you will still pay vehicle taxes to New Haven. Municipalities within Connecticut do not apportion motor vehicle tax bills for portions of a tax year.  If you register the vehicle in another state, contact he Assessor’s office.

It says If you move from New Haven after October 1, but still reside in Connecticut, you will still pay vehicle taxes to New Haven. People have told me they have come out and found a boot on there cars.

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 30, 2013  10:17pm

Are you all nuts?

Lambasting somebody who owns property here but lives somewhere else?

Wow, there are real problems to solve—not this.

posted by: Mister Jones on July 31, 2013  12:41am

Christopher Schaefer, your post about post-war history ignores the fact that a big chunk of Westville consists of GI Bill houses—all those little capes between Whalley and Fountain.

posted by: Tom Burns on July 31, 2013  1:59am

Scooper,Robin,Hopkins,Cedar Hill,Schaefer,Accountability—you are all right—I agree with you on all your points—it was just that many of the posts or articles here make it seem that suburbanites don’t contribute money to the cities through taxes and in many other ways—New Haven does RELY on aid from the state in a big way—and could not function without it—that said I agree with your comments and am in your corner more than you know—Tom

posted by: HhE on July 31, 2013  5:43am

Righteous Cyclist, I am trying to understand your method and means of civic critique.  I am correct to understand that, when you suported Gary, Sen. Harp had a tax problem, but now that you support Sen. Harp, she does not?  Is this not intelectual inconsistancy?

I take issue with Sen. Harp because I belive she would be bad for New Haven, and not because she is running against Justin.  Listening to her, reading about her platform and ideas, and looking at who is endorsing her, I belive she would dramaticly increase the cost of New Haven’s government (mini city halls for example).

posted by: robn on July 31, 2013  8:40am


That’s interesting. What church do you attend?

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on July 31, 2013  11:52am

RC you aren’t being accused of committing a felony, you are admitting to committing a felony.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 31, 2013  12:23pm

HhE I didn’t see the difference between Toni and her son’s business. Im believed the propoganda and media storm about the taxes. Thankfully my friend, a good supporter of Toni, helped me to see through the illusion. There is no connection between Toni and Taxes. Can anyone directly link that debt to her? The answer is absolutely no. And remember the story of the Prodigal Son.

How many failed scandals will the other campaigns create? First it was an attack about were Toni lives. Then it was a supposed million dollar tax evasion. Then she was a slumlord. Then she’s a puppet of the special interests. But nothing sticks because OUR Toni is completely clean.

And robn, my church doesn’t need a brick through the stained glass so NO, I will keep our name out of the limelight.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on July 31, 2013  12:40pm

Righteous Cyclist

grew up on Wooster street moved to staven for a time and came back…cuz I am to liberal for staven and my need to stand up kept getting me in trouble. And many of elicker supporters are folks I GREW UP WITH! City point, Morris Cove, Wooster Area and the Hill and yes even East Rock. All Lifers! And actually LIVE HERE.

I respect my right to vote ALOT! And as I stated there are lists of city employees and I am thinking someone is comparing the to the voters list as we speak….should get interesting.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 31, 2013  2:49pm


As a hypothetical let’s say that Matthew Harp’s Property Management Company goes under and he is forced to become a drug kingpin. Let’s also assume that Toni Harp has no clue about his illegal activity - doesn’t talk to him about it, doesn’t actively participate in it, etc. Would you still have the same opinion of Toni Harp’s integrity, trustworthiness and competency under these circumstances?

In my opinion, a person with integrity would denounce immoral, unethical and possibly illegal business practices and cut ties to that behavior. For instance, I wouldn’t live in a house that is paid for with profits derived from drug money or taking advantage of low-income renters or not paying taxes.

Toni Harp should live in house that is paid for with her legitimate income, not the illegitimate income of her son. Unless of course you don’t care about the Mayor’s character, then this sort of thing shouldn’t matter. I mean at a bear minimum, Toni should explain or encourage Matthew to explain to the voting public why his company hasn’t paid their taxes, then maybe we could understand Toni’s decision to remain in a house that is apparently (maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until someone speaks up) being paid for from an illegitimate source. The silence on this subject, is leading me to assume the worst though.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on July 31, 2013  3:10pm

Johnathan Hopkins, why is it that you chose to compare Matthew Harp, a successful black man, as a drug kingpin. That’s outrageous! And you haven’t raised kids. Neither has Justin Elicker. There’s disqualification for mayor. Because you think parents are responsible for every thing a child does. And they don’t need to listen to you, you hope they honor you, but you cannot control them. They make mistakes. You don’t turn your back on your child. And the kids should be left out of politics. Tell that to Kermit who has completely forgotten that rule.

posted by: Curious on July 31, 2013  5:02pm

Don’t feed the trolls.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on July 31, 2013  5:17pm

“Johnathan Hopkins, why is it that you chose to compare Matthew Harp, a successful black man, as a drug kingpin.”

1) I didn’t compare Matthew Harp to anything. I created a hypothetical situation.

2) But you’re right, I’m obviously racist because there’s no way that I just picked some arbitrary illegal activity to make a point about the limits of using the “I don’t know anything about that” excuse - it must be that I’m prejudice.

3) That’s not how my name is spelled.

4) How is having an already established company, which derives profits from taking advantage of low-income renters, handed to you by your father considered being successful?

5) You missed the point completely.

It is not Toni Harp’s responsibility to run her son’s business. It is, however, Toni Harp’s responsibility - since she is running for Mayor - to make responsible choices in her life in the instances where it intersects with her son’s business, which happens to be frequently. Toni chooses to live in a house that is paid for by her son’s business. She chooses not to do anything about her son’s tax debt, which would be more understandable in the average family, but not when the mother is the House Chair of the Appropriations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.

If Renaissance Management’s tax debt were to another state and Matthew wasn’t paying for Toni’s lavish lifestyle, then I would completely agree with you that what her son does is irrelevant to her run for Mayor because she would not be benefiting from possibly illegal business practices nor would she be skirting her responsibility as House Chair of the Appropriates Committee to reign in on tax evaders. But that’s not the case. Instead, she chooses to live in a house paid for with profits from a company that has a $1M tax debt to the State of Connecticut and some pretty appalling properties in low-income neighborhoods in New Haven.

posted by: HhE on July 31, 2013  8:56pm

Righteous Cyclist, Jonathan Hopkins’s allogy is perfictly sensable, and not about skin color.  It is about ill gotten gains. 

Good idea, Curious, but they look so cute and hungry.

posted by: Righteous Cyclist on August 1, 2013  9:29am

1. I don’t think we should ever pay taxes. Call it reparations for 400 years of slavery.

2. Your point is lost because your analogy is offensive. You could have compared him to a weapons manufacturer, or an environmental polluter(I low you greens love to vilify an honest industry). Instead you compare him to Neno Brown. Why does the white community ALWAYS make that leap?

3. Why is it that everyone who lives in New Haven is trying to tear down a strong Black luminary? Why isn’t anyone trying to smear Justin Elicker?

posted by: HhE on August 2, 2013  9:21pm

1.  Taxes are a civic responsibility, that are used in part for programs to help the disadvantaged.

posted by: HhE on August 2, 2013  9:24pm

2.  There are drug dealers of every skin color – the Golden Triangle and Golden Crescents are in Asia.  That you took offense suggests bigotry towards yourself.  Environmental pollution is not a legitimate industry.  Lawful weapons manufacturing and arms dealing is—nothing to vilify.  (There are few if any universals:  your “Why does the white community ALWAYS make that leap?” is problematic.)

posted by: HhE on August 2, 2013  9:26pm

3.  Again, there are few if any universals.  It is rather obvious that not everyone takes issue with Sen. Harp.  However, if one holds up the Harp family as “luminary,” then we have a long way to go.

posted by: HhE on August 2, 2013  9:27pm

What can one smear Justin Elicker with?  Members of the NHI Comentariat have played the “white liberal elite” and “he’s from New Canaan” cards, but that is not a strong hand.