Final Pitches Stress Insider vs. Outsider Politics

Melissa Bailey/ Allan Appel PhotosToni Harp rolled out Connecticut’s top Democratic politicians to pump up her base. Justin Elicker dispatched his supporters to recruit voters who are “sick of” the old politics.

Harp and Elicker, who are running for mayor in Tuesday’s election, sent those messages in simultaneous final get-out-the-vote pitches Friday evening.

Harp, a Democrat, employed a VIP lineup of top politicians in her party to pump up a room of over 120 supporters at St. Luke’s Parish Hall at 111 Whalley Ave. Among those who appeared on her behalf: U.S. Sens. Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, state Sens. Martin Looney and Don Williams, and state Reps. Pat Dillon, Gary Holder-Winfield, and Roland Lemar.

Blumenthal credited Harp’s “lifetime of experience,” including over 20 years as a state senator. Murphy called her a champion of the disenfranchised at the state Capitol, and implored the crowd to “work your butts off” for Harp on Election Day. DeLauro called her “the conscience of the Senate.”

Melissa Bailey PhotoRep. Lemar, a former East Rock alderman who has been quietly supporting Harp, added his endorsement to the mix. “I’ve known Justin a long time, I’ve supported Justin a long time,” he said. “But this isn’t about relationships. This is about electing the strongest leader” for New Haven.

Malloy said the star-studded lineup Friday “tells you how important in our minds New Haven is.” The city has the largest bloc of Democratic voters in the state.

Melissa Bailey PhotoHarp (pictured) spoke after two performances by the Nation drum and drill squad.

She vowed to work with her coalition of supporters to unite the city.

“We are a town that is divided,” she said. People from many neighborhoods don’t feel like they “belong” here or are being heard in government. “We’ve got to weave the town together again,” she said.

She said she is “ashamed” that kids in schools need trauma therapists because of the level of violence in the city. She said gun violence can be solved if New Haveners “find a way to knit together our forces.”

Elicker held a parallel event further up the same street, at his campaign headquarters at 390 Whalley Ave. He spoke to 50 people as they passed around bowls of grapes, strawberries and Halloween candy. The audience included Fair Haven activist Lee Cruz; Yale for Elicker leader Drew Morrison; criminal justice activist Barbara Fair; Ecuadorian community leader Elio Cruz; and former Dixwell Alderman Greg Morehead.

Allan Appel PhotoHillhouse High Principal Kermit Carolina (pictured), a former mayoral candidate who endorsed Elicker after losing a four-way Democratic primary, appeared at the event on crutches due to a recent basketball injury. He stood up to warm up the crowd.

Carolina presented Elicker as the alternative to the same old politics.

“The city needs real, clean leadership. The alternative is corruption,” Carolina said. “Justin is about ending this pay-to-play.”

Elicker sought to gain a bounce from an emerging absentee ballot fraud scandal involving Harp’s running mate, City/Town Clerk Mike Smart.

“The other campaign is starting to trip,” he said, “particularly what’s happened in the last two days.” He accused the opposing campaign of “fooling around with the most important value, the right to vote.”

“Everything about our campaign is the opposite,” Elicker said.

Allan Appel PhotoElicker, the underdog, is running as a petitioning candidate after losing the Democratic primary to Harp. He laid out a possible path to victory for his supporters.

First, he said that in the primary, there were 400 people who “said they’d vote and didn’t. We need to make sure that they vote. That means people like you dragging them [to the polls] in every legal way possible.”

Second, he urged his supporters to round up people who did not vote in the primary.

“The one-third of people who didn’t vote are sick of politics as usual,” Elicker said. “If we get these people to the polls, we win.”

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posted by: getyourfactstraight on November 1, 2013  10:11pm

What a wonderful rally at Elicker’s headquarter! I just feel so comfortable with all his team and supporters. Just down to earth nice people who want this city to once again move forward with the right mayor! It is so refreshing to support a candidate like Justin Elicker…..I am from the same generation as his opponent…..and I refuse to take a step backward or standstill….the old politics just doesn’t do it for me. It is time for transparency, honesty, integrity and innovative new fresh ideas. It is time for a leader of a fresh generation that actually gets it and what is needed. Just because someone has been a lifetime politician doesn’t mean they have the best chance of leading this city properly. I am with Justin Elicker for all the right reasons and I am hoping the residents of New Haven see through all the drums and marching bands and enormous amounts of money coming in from primarily out of towners, developers, special interest groups and look at the one who has run a clean campaign with the largest contributions coming from New Haveners! There has been no scandals centering around my candidate because he has never given cause for any.  Yes, my choice is Justin Elicker. I could never support an old school politician…..that is claiming to be progressive. This woman has shown me nothing progressive at all. Say what you will, but this city cannot afford her!

posted by: getyourfactstraight on November 1, 2013  10:43pm

PS> And after further thought I just have to think out loud… these politicians feel they are so entrenched in New Haven that they have the right or think they can choose who should be our next mayor?

posted by: eastshore on November 1, 2013  10:53pm

Shame on you Mr. Lemar.  I guess Toni would only allow you to be quiet for so long.  But a decent job of fence sitting anyway.  You’re more of a politician everyday.

posted by: Scot on November 2, 2013  1:02am

Elicker is as good as they come.  Kind, smart, honest, hard-working, compassionate, articulate, humble, funny even. I am a Democrat and have supported most or all of the “big-name” politicians mentioned backing Harp.

I have to say I’m losing some of my respect for them. I’m a little saddened and turned off by what I’ve seen from the Democratic machine politics at least here in the state. I don’t think any of them took the time to get to know Justin prior to throwing their support to Harp.  I get the impression they’re all just supporting Harp because they are part of the same machine and they know if she’s mayor she will reciprocate and endorse them the next time they run (New Haven being a key voting block for any Democrat running in CT). If Justin wins they will be his biggest fans by Wednesday.

I’m really turned off by all the PAC money and feel it’s tainting our government at all levels.  Elicker is a great opportunity to take a step back from that. Not to mention he would make a great mayor in so many other ways as well.

I don’t blame Harp for being funded by dirty money (by dirty I mean money tied to a quid pro quo). She is a product of the unfortunate system of big money politics that has become the norm. But she seems to embrace it.

posted by: Indigo on November 2, 2013  2:37am

Roland, we will never work for you again. Can’t wait to support whomever runs against you.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on November 2, 2013  10:19am

Anyone who was surprised by Mr Lemar’s last minute jump onto Harp’s bandwagon, didn’t know him in the first place. He is probably mad knowing that Justin will do what Roland never could, become Mayor. Sour grapes Me Lemar?
All of these lifer pols supporting Ms Harp reaffirm my belief that we need an independent mayor.

posted by: Pantagruel on November 2, 2013  10:32am

“The conscience of the Senate,” said DeLauro.

Good one.

posted by: Brutus2011 on November 2, 2013  10:44am

KC summed it up aptly:

“The city needs real, clean leadership. The alternative is corruption,” Carolina said. “Justin is about ending this pay-to-play.”

I believe that the DeStefano pay-to-play Machiavellian-style of what he was fond of describing as “the real world” has caused untold damage to this city by employing the mediocre over those who could have made significant contributions to the community.

I am hoping that enough people will come out and vote for a new day in New Haven.

posted by: westvilleresident on November 2, 2013  11:50am

So disappointed in Lamar. Politics as usual, isn’t it? I can’t wait for this election to be over if only because I am so very tired of being disappointed by people I used to support.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on November 2, 2013  12:09pm

To get things done you have to be able to build relationships and work well with people. Where Obama has failed it’s because he hasn’t realized the importance of doing that. Harp has a record of building relationships that get good things done for her constituents. Those who don’t have that going for them will call it “connections” or “insider”.

posted by: HewNaven on November 2, 2013  12:20pm

This isn’t about relationships. Its about kissing butt and keeping my job.

posted by: HenryCT on November 2, 2013  12:37pm

Still not a single instance provided in this publication or the Register of Harp politically paying back a financial supporter. In absence of evidence we get name calling and innuendo. Talk about “old” politics. The reality displays itself in the empty attacks on Toni Harp, on Michael Smart, and on unions - all trumpeted with a media megaphone.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 2, 2013  2:26pm

Rep. Lemar, a former East Rock alderman who has been quietly supporting Harp, added his endorsement to the mix. “I’ve known Justin a long time, I’ve supported Justin a long time,” he said. “But this isn’t about relationships. This is about electing the strongest leader.Wow talk about a judas.Elicker was his main man.Wow Remeber When brutus put the dagger into Caesar.Ceasar said “Et tu, Brutus Brutus you too.

posted by: Noteworthy on November 2, 2013  3:29pm

All Stars Notes:

1. They don’t matter. They are career pols who support other career pols. They always have and secretly, they’re afraid of the unions.

2. Roland Lemar said the same thing about DeStefano.

3. All the state pols voted for numerous fake “emergency” legislation, written in secret, void of public hearings or input that among other things increased gambling (KENO) and suppressed government information and opened the flood gates to special interest money and an even greater potential of corruption.

4. They all voted to increase the cost of our healthcare by taxing the hospitals more and who of course, could forget the history making tax increase or the dramatic spending increases and debt that came with it? 

5. Let them influence my vote? You have to be kidding.

posted by: The Realist on November 2, 2013  3:45pm

Roland, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in you.  You know better than anyone that Justin is the best candidate… the *ONLY* candidate in this race that has a chance at saving New Haven.  You didn’t have the courage to vote your conscious (as I always thought you did), instead you just toed the party line and doomed New Haven to more years of breath taking incompetence and crony politics under the Harp/DeStefano part II administration.  Shame on you Roland.

Like Indigo, I cannot wait for someone to challenge you in the next primary.  I’ll be sure to support them with all the force I can muster.

posted by: ElmCityMama on November 2, 2013  3:51pm

So very disappointed in Roland.  New Haven politics just got that much more reprehensible.  I’ll vote Republican before I vote Lamar again.

posted by: swatty on November 2, 2013  5:08pm

Roland! Can’t believe you’re drinking the coolaide too!

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on November 2, 2013  9:10pm

Benedict Arnold!
Boy, you Elicker supporters are so easily offended! Everybody in East Rock does not support Justin Elicker. It appears that anyone who does publicly will be be forced to move out of your neighborhood.
I do not know Roland Lamar, but as a citizen of the United States and a citizen of New Haven and a resident of East Rock, he has the right to support whoever he wants, whenever he wants and should be able to do so without being called ugly names and threatened with excommunication from the East Rock congregation of Elickerites.
This hostile reaction all appears childish and immature and silly and frantic.
The majority of New Haven voters will probably support Toni Harp. What will you people do then if Toni Harp wins? Call all those people boobs, idiots, and Koolaid drinkers? Threaten to secede from the city of New Haven?
Brace yourselves! Any further hissy fits like these will prove to be quite unbecoming of grown ups.
This is still a democracy and we will all have to live and work with whoever becomes the next mayor. If the person does well, re-elect the individual. If they fail in leadership, elect someone else.

posted by: Tom Burns on November 2, 2013  11:45pm

Ms. Harp will win in a landslide—and she should—she has paid her dues—is beholden to no one—has state connections—understands the landscape—-and deserves to be mayor—a woman who has proven her ilk—-I do not know her personally but she is the right person at this time—Justin is a very capable opponent and if by chance he wins—the citizens of New Haven are in good hands here also—after this loss I hope he sticks around for he is the real deal and makes New Haven better because of his presence—New Haven is such a special place—no one person can make a difference alone—but together we can and we will—Tom

posted by: citoyen on November 3, 2013  12:01am

Elaine Braffman and Scot have both expressed my own sentiments beautifully, about the virtues of Justin Elicker as a forward-looking candidate of integrity and the odiousness of old-style Democratic Party politics in New Haven, and about disappointment with the party’s statewide politicians.  No need to repeat.  (Except to say I’m really going to give Tom Foley another look in next year’s governor’s race.  And Chris Murphy is now my *former* hero.)

What I will say is that this local election has made me, a lifelong registered Democrat, become a fierce Independent so far as internal New Haven politics is concerned.  The Democratic Town Council is riddled with cronyism, the entrenched power brokers are determined to protect their influence and privileges at any cost, and the lockstep voting patterns established over generations are impervious to thoughtful change.  I will never give loyalty to the local Democratic Party ever again.

There will never be a viable Republican Party in New Haven in any of our lifetimes, so in order for the Democratic Party power structure to be put on notice that it really could encounter viable opposition, a vigorous Independent movement is going to have to be fostered.

Electing Justin Elicker as mayor next week—dedicated to governing through evidence-based solutions rather than cronyism and paybacks for favors, would be a wonderful start.

I urge, plead with, any as-yet open-minded undecided voters who might be reading this to think about this seriously and carefully.

posted by: HhE on November 3, 2013  12:22am

Tom Burns, “paid her dues?”  Is this really about rewarding time in service?  Is the Mayor’s office not only a source of patronage, but a patronage job itself? 

Beyonddiscussion, I put it to you, if President Obama failed, is was not for want of relationships, but for showing weakness.

posted by: HhE on November 3, 2013  12:36am

I opine that the Democratic Party, state and local, has made a strategic error.  In their all hands on Deck for Toni Harp approach, they have alienated a lot of their base.  I know so committed to Democratic/liberal principles, that they will travel out of state to canvass in Presidential races, who now have a list of Democratic that they will never canvass for, never contribute to, and may well vote against in the future.  If one will pay any price to win, one will pay every price, but not nessicarirly win.

posted by: Fairhavener on November 3, 2013  12:56am

Roland Lemar = a disappointment. More of an entrenched “pay-to-play” politician each day.

posted by: mstratton on November 3, 2013  1:12am

Roland, this was a mistake. I like you very much and have great respect for your intellect and compassion. Nonetheless, you are casting your lot with traditional notions of patronage politics. Justin is a dramatic shift and represents anti-patronage and nepotism. He is all about evidence based government for the people of New Haven. There are so many kids and families who suffer because our current leadership refuses to challenge the status quo. Gathering power at the expense of bold moves to grow our city is cowardice-meaning fear for self at the expense of the greater good. Justin is a very brave man with the determination and smarts to make this city great. Lets not lose this moment because we are fearful. It must be hard to risk losing the power base the dying machine represents. But it is dying. It no longer serves new haven or its residents. Real leadership makes leaps of faith to move us into a new era. It puts aside self gain. It is hard and it hurts, but thats what true leadership is. Toni, Lemar, Marty, walker, dillon, malloy, blumenthal, and megna need to put the residents first. That means sacrificing potentially their own political careers for whats right. Under Elicker, the driving force will be: what is best for new haven residents as a whole and what does the evidence show works. There will be no political self gain calculation. Dare to be great New Haven. Thats where our best future lies. If fear drives us, we are sacrificing a winnable fight. so fight with justin or flight with lemar and toni—your choice? I choose fight.

posted by: nopeee on November 3, 2013  1:18am

As a friend of Lemar’s and a rabid supporter of Elicker’s, I have to say, the commentariat has mis-called this one.

Lemar appearing for Harp was no surprise.
Not for any of the nasty reasons posted above, but because Lemar is a good, hard-working man who sees his job as “public service” and avoids confrontations, nastiness, and inter-personal issues.

Lemar is not appearing with Harp out of “sour grapes” because he wishes he could be Mayor. Lemar is appearing with Harp because no matter who wins the Mayorship, the State DTC which told Harp to run after she endorsed Holder-Winfield is still in charge, and Lemar has never demonstrated a desire to be at odds and fighting with others.

Lemar is a good person. He works hard, and puts a lot into the job. I’m disappointed that he isn’t supporting Justin, but I’m not going to smear him or play couch psychologist to him in a negative way.

The commentary is pure, unfocused, and undirected speculation from armchair psychologists. The NHI waivers on how it views the implementation of it’s comment policy over time, and in this case, it is wrong.

What backs up any of the assertions that these are power plays by Lemar in exchange for wondrous things? We are talking about a man who has toiled at the two lowest jobs in governance in the state for how many years now?

Lemar may actually believe that Harp would be the best Mayor. We can disagree with him (I certainly do), but we don’t need to smear him and accuse him of malfeasance purely on the basis of a disagreement.

I support Justin in every way I can, and will continue to do so, but I don’t expect Lemar to support him in a quid pro quo. That isn’t Elicker’s style, and it is disappointing to me to see people who favor Elicker acting like that is appropriate.

That is exactly what Elicker doesn’t stand for. Justin is not in favor of quid-pro-quo political arrangements, and I don’t expect that he’ll have any hard feelings to Lemar post election, no matter the outcome.

posted by: swatty on November 3, 2013  1:53am


very well said:

“The Democratic Town Council is riddled with cronyism, the entrenched power brokers are determined to protect their influence and privileges at any cost, and the lockstep voting patterns established over generations are impervious to thoughtful change.  I will never give loyalty to the local Democratic party ever again.”

Hobbomock awakes!

posted by: Paul Wessel on November 3, 2013  6:31am

Roland Lemar is a state representative, representing New Haven and East Haven. His priority should be insuring his ability to pass laws benefiting his constituents and the rest of the residents of the state.  He is flanked in the photos above by state and federal elected officials who enable him to do just that.  I’d be troubled if I didn’t see him there.

(There’ are a lot of agendas playing out here that have little to do with the mayor’s race.  For instance, Gov. Malloy and Senate President Williams, both pictured above, are likely very excited by the prospect of a Senate Appropriations who is not from New Haven chair replacing Sen. Harp.  New Haven has had extraordinary influence on that committee - Harp’s co-chair is New Haven’s Rep. Toni Walker - a situation unlikely to be repeated.)

New Haven residents have had ample opportunity to learn about our mayoral candidates.  Pity on anyone who is swayed by these kinds of endorsements. 

We all pay our taxes and want good government services and leadership.  Vote for the candidate who you trust to deliver.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on November 3, 2013  7:28am

Justin’s event was great. What I really loved is seeing all the folks that supported Kerekes in the room. Reality is Harp is the new Johnny. And in my eyes will be even worse. To close your eyes and pretend this is not the truth is scary. The same things we disliked about Johnny will be amplified with Harp. Even the less informed voter is starting to piece this together

Personally I am really hurt and disappointed. As a New Haven resident I find it even now more important that we get Elicker elected.

posted by: woosterbill on November 3, 2013  10:31am

Two things: 1. The line is “Et tu, Brute,” not “Es tu, Brute” or “Et tu, Brutus.” Brute is the vocative case version of Brutus, used to indicate direct address.

While I agree that comparing a political endorsement to a literal stab in the back is a little much, the Julius Caesar analogy is rather apt - Caesar wasn’t surprised by all the usual suspects (Cassius and Malloy, Casca and Blumenthal) betraying him for political gain, but when his own trusted friend and confidant turned on him it was the ultimate sign of the end.

The crucial difference, of course, is that Brutus joined the plot against Caesar because of his genuine conscientious concern for the greater good, while Lemar is pretty clearly just falling into lockstep with the Democratic establishment to protect his own political future. I’m sure he believes that Elicker is the better choice for New Haven, but has decided that supporting Harp is the only choice for his own selfish interests. This is disappointing, yes, but it hardly represents the monumental turning point that Brutus’s abandonment of his friend did.

2. My vote for worst political back-stabbing of this campaign season is not Lemar, but Harp’s unconscionable flip-flop from endorsing Holder-Winfield and swearing she wouldn’t run to announcing her candidacy and knocking him out of the race just days later. The very essence of her campaign has been betrayal from day one, all in service of the establishment machine. Lemar’s actions are disappointing, Harp’s have simply been depressing.

posted by: Citizen X on November 3, 2013  11:11am

Just look at the entitlement that drips from these comments. Do you people not see yourselves? This is why you are criticized as latte-sipping solipsistic whiners.

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on November 3, 2013  11:47am

Justin has been walking around talking about challenging Roland for his seat after he loses the mayor’s race for a while. You can’t stab someone in the back when they have been in the middle of stabbing you in the face.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on November 3, 2013  11:48am

What bothers me here is the condemnation and intimidation of Lemar. That reflects the worst of what the Tea Party extremists are doing to bring DC to a halt. An elected official is not vile if he does not happen to agree with you! It is his job to lead and make the best judgments for all his constituents. Democracy gives you a voice but it does not necessarily mean that your particular opinion will be embraced. Again these threats and vindictiveness shows a pettiness, arrogance and elitism that is a big turn off!

posted by: TheMadcap on November 3, 2013  12:32pm

Oh come off it with the accusations of pettiness or arrogance. Do I need to bring up comments from Harp’s side from the few times Elicker received endorsements? Especially when Carolina endorsed him.

posted by: John R. on November 3, 2013  1:07pm

Living in East Rock and knowing both Lemar and Elicker fairly well, I find it amusing that Justin thought he could get away with talking smack about Roland for as long as he has and telling some of his team that the planned to run against Roland if he didn’t support him. I’m leaning voting for Elicker because he is marginally better than the abysmal Harp, but the idea that Elocker supporters are upset by this is ridiculous, and these threats are exactly the sorta thing they pretend to hate about politics.

Elicker has been talking about running against Roland for awhile if Roland didn’t support him… Roland caught wind a few weeks about it and decided to come out of the closet in the exact opposite way of what Justin expected. Touché Roland. I’ll have your back.

posted by: Noteworthy on November 3, 2013  4:09pm

Follow the Leader Notes:

1. I’m not disappointed in Roland because I expected Roland to do exactly what he did, what he has always done and that’s to support the establishment, the existing power structure. That makes him a follower, not a leader.

2. Look at these folks - and you don’t see any leaders. None. Blumenthal waited in line and tortured us for 20 years with endless press conferences to build his name recognition. Murphy waited in line and is now following Blumenthal’s example of endless and mostly meaningless press events. Williams waited for Kevin Sullivan to get promoted. Brendan Sharkey waited for Donovan to step aside. Toni Harp waited in line for DeStefano to retire. This is what they do. Nobody jumps the line because nobody wants to disturb their comfort level and in reality, one has to wonder if they have any real vision since they all seem to wearing beer goggles.

3. In playing follow the leader, they protect each other and themselves. They never disagree. They always support. They don’t free think, they group think. What one says, they all support and when it’s time for a promotion, they collectively decide who it is and feed it to the public through endorsements.

4. This is what Toni Harp calls consensus building. It’s really a commune of back scratchers who don’t support reform and never will. They like the same old, same old because no matter what office any one of them hold, they are guaranteed that nobody will get out of line and propose something new.

posted by: Brutus2011 on November 3, 2013  4:16pm

I just want to make a quick observation,

Many posters talk about the “Brutus” of Roman times—not me.

My adoption of Robert Yate’s pen name of “Brutus” refers to the founding era of our country—my specialty, if you will, in historical training. Hence, Brutus2011.

The Brutus of 225 or so years ago was an “anti-federalist” who participated in the rigorous debate concerning the ratification of the US Constitution proposal of 1787.

Brutus particularly found standing armies to be distasteful and let Publius, or Alexander Hamilton, know it.

Anyway, I have always admired the view that individual liberties are paramount in our system of government and individual liberties are what I believe to be under siege today.

Not only nation-wide but especially here in New Haven. It is always the local political scene that grows the greatest and most dangerous corruption—witness the last 20 years in city government and our school system.

posted by: citoyen on November 3, 2013  7:31pm

It really does pay to read these comments all the way through, and to check back often.

Noteworthy—one of your best posts ever.


posted by: alex on November 3, 2013  9:18pm

I don’t understand how anyone can see this rally as anything but a positive for Toni Harp. To those who say she never disagrees with those other politicians: you’re dead wrong.

Toni disagreed with Malloy, for example, when she (and Toni Walker) restored eligibility for HUSKY A (Medicaid) parents with income between 133% and 185% of the federal poverty level in last year’s budget (source: Governor Malloy wanted to eliminate that coverage to save money. It would have made a huge difference for a lot of people in New Haven, and Toni acted.

And when she put it back in the budget, it stayed in the budget that was eventually negotiated between the Governor and state legislative leaders (source: This is in an environment when it is indeed true that caucus leaders like Looney and Williams have tended to have more power than committee chairs. Despite that environment, Toni has made a monumental impact for poor children and their families in this state. That’s why she has such broad support in this election.

The propaganda that has emerged against Toni Harp baffles me.

posted by: HenryCT on November 3, 2013  10:50pm

Many members of the Board of Alders today were outsiders 2 years ago. Most of the Democratic Town Committee, which endorsed Harp for mayor and all the Democratic candidates for Alder, were outsiders 2 years ago.

If you agree with the priorities set by the current Board, which came about from extensive canvassing - making sure there are jobs for New Haven residents and creating New Haven Works, pushing for creation of youth programs and community centers, reinstating community policing and focusing on neighborhood security - then the question of insiders versus outsiders is a side issue.

Toni Harp’s support consists of a combination of both insiders and outsiders. Whoever wins on Tuesday will be an insider mayor in two years. Do we want the mayor to work on behalf of the 99% or largely for those who run Yale and Yale New Haven Hospital and the big developers?

If you agree that the work Toni has done in her role as state legislator has tremendously benefited New Haven and in particular the most needy and disenfranchised, then the question of insiders vs. outsiders is a distraction. If after 20 years she is considered an insider in state politics, she has resisted the pressures to be obedient to the 1%.

Let us certainly agree that as citizens we must be constantly vigilant to ensure that all our elected officials perform on behalf of the majority and in particular those historically left out no matter whether in the immediate election they are insiders or outsiders.

posted by: EastRockIndependent on November 4, 2013  8:40am

It’s been clear to many observers for a while now that the main reason Justin stuck in after the primary was to expand his support for a run against Roland, given that a win against Toni was (and still is) a near-mathematical impossibility.

Now, with him being more public (i.e. in the newspaper) Justin’s most ardent backers have found the cudgel they need to go after Roland, now that the time to spew venom at Toni is drawing to a close (at least in electoral terms).

It’s a shame because Roland’s endorsement should be taken seriously. He’s an extremely effective and progressive legislator and he really understands the way City Hall & Hartford work, better than many people who claim to.

Though I haven’t always agreed with him, I’m proud to see him stand up for what is right here, and I’ll be knocking on doors for him come Justin’s challenge next year.

posted by: Statesman on November 4, 2013  9:29am

Mr. Stratton Megna represents the residents, moreso the residents of the East shore. just to clarify your statement

posted by: Noteworthy on November 4, 2013  10:07am

Reality Check Notes:

1. @Alex - Malloy never seriously intended to cut the welfare because he like Toni believe in repetitive and multiple safety nets. This was choreographed and doesn’t pass the smell test in terms of significant policy differences.

2. @HenryCT - There has been zero pressure to be “obedient to the 1%.” It might be somewhat more accurate to say the middle class which has born the lion’s share of the Malloy/Harp history making tax increase.

Ignoring the pleas of small business and working families, Harp has not only increased welfare payments, she’s increased welfare programs even in the middle of the $1.6 billion tax hike. So much for shared pain.

Just to put a fine point on the union “outsider” now insider status - this was a long term strategy, hatched by party insiders. The individuals may have been outsiders, but those pulling the strings were all insiders. It was a power play to control the destiny of this city. The issues were developed after “extensive canvassing?” Yeah right. Generic issues and frankly, they were the central issue in the year long mayoral campaign two years ago - issues that were not developed by the union through canvassing.

posted by: alex on November 4, 2013  11:42am

I think it’s “Noteworthy” that you derisively refer to health care for working parents as “welfare” and a “repetitive safety net.” When these programs get cut, it’s New Haven residents who get left out in the cold, who delay necessary medical procedures, who commit bankruptcy and lose their homes.

Your best defense is that Malloy cut Medicaid in his budget in a conspiracy to make Toni Harp look good? If Toni Harp is that powerful with the Governor, “Noteworthy,” we better damn well elect her in this election because she runs this state. I think your conspiracy theory, though, is a little bit wanting.

And this wasn’t the only time when Toni has disagreed with the party establishment. She had youth funding for New Haven after-school programs restored after Malloy wanted to take that funding away to pay for his education reforms. She stood up to the police on Raise the Age and brokered a compromise to help fix our juvenile justice system.

What Toni doesn’t do is launch aggressive personal attacks that have nothing to do with policy. She doesn’t villify her opponents like I’ve seen Elicker supporters villify her over the past few weeks and months. She listens to her opponents, like she stands up to her supporters, and she’ll be a great Mayor of this city.

posted by: Razzie on November 4, 2013  4:19pm


The philosophical theory that one is the only person that actually exists, and everything else is constructed as a result of their imagination, including everybody they know and everything that’s ever happened. In other words, it’s an excuse to be a complete arsehole.

Thank you Citizen X. Now I can truly say I learned something from this election, and from the NHI commentariat. As I said in an earlier post: NEWSFLASH—The world does not revolve around East Rock! Get over it folks.

Good night, Justin.

posted by: Razzie on November 4, 2013  5:35pm

@ Noteworthy

In following your Leader Notes, it is interesting that no public official can be a leader in your eyes unless they share your solipsistic views of public policy. Like many of Justin’s other followers, your views of Roland Lemar have suffered a complete 180 degree reversal simply because he voices his very considered view that Sen Harp is a stronger candidate and Mayor than Justin. Whereas Lemar was only yesterday considered the Golden Boy of East Rock politics, now Justin’s supporters even go so far as to threaten to launch political jihad against him for his audacity to speak his mind—instead of parrot their negativism against Toni and every other political elected official representing New Haven who supports her. And the list of elected officials who support Toni grows ever larger.

Of course Justin is free to run for any future political office he chooses. However, I would caution him again that, with these kinds of “friends”, supporters and advisers, he needs no enemies. His nasty, personal, ad hominem campaign against Toni (and her supporters) has permanently stained his political legacy in New Haven (if it’s in fact possible to have a “legacy” after only 3+ years in office). So sad, indeed.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 4, 2013  10:21pm

posted by: Razzie on November 4, 2013 4:35pm

Of course Justin is free to run for any future political office he chooses. However, I would caution him again that, with these kinds of “friends”, supporters and advisers, he needs no enemies. His nasty, personal, ad hominem campaign against Toni (and her supporters) has permanently stained his political legacy in New Haven (if it’s in fact possible to have a “legacy” after only 3+ years in office). So sad, indeed.

And I would caution those who vote anyone back buy the money machine that is run by plutocrats become co-conspirators in the grand political criminal conspiracy. Also He or she who wins will owe paybacks to all the fat-cat campaign donors.

Outside Money at Issue in Boston Mayor’s Race as Labor Unions Weigh In

posted by: Stephen Harris on November 5, 2013  7:59pm

Roland, (heavy sigh). Toni Harp??