Looney Endorses Lamont, Cautions On Tweed Expansion

Thomas Breen photoNew Haven State Sen. Martin Looney endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont and his city-centered approach to economic development — but warned against a plan Lamont had supported just a few weeks ago to expand New Haven’s airport.

That endorsement with a caveat came during a Tuesday afternoon press conference at Lamont’s East Rock headquarters on the second floor of the Marlinworks building at 85 Willow St.

Looney, who represents the east side of New Haven and serves as the president pro tempore of the State Senate, stood alongside New Haven State Rep. and Deputy House Speaker Juan Candelaria and West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi to offer their collective support for Lamont’s bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor.

Coming one day after Lamont convinced his primary rival-turned-teammate Susan Bysiewicz to drop her gubernatorial bid and run instead as lieutenant governor alongside Lamont, Tuesday’s round of endorsements represented the next step in Lamont’s successful consolidation of state Democratic support in the run-up to this weekend’s state party nominating convention in Hartford.

Lamont’s remaining challengers for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination are Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, former state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, and retired liquor distribution executive Guy Smith. Ganim and Smith have both said that they are seeking to petition onto the August primary ballot if they do not win the party’s endorsement at the convention.

Looney said he is supporting Lamont for governor because of his city-centered approach to economic development, his support for labor rights, and his positive campaign style.

“His strategy involves building up economic development through effective education,” he said, “job creation programs, attracting businesses to the state, and convincing prospective employers outside of Connecticut that Connecticut is as good a place to do business as it has ever been.”

He praised Lamont as running a high-minded, purposeful, and inspiring campaign, and for promising to work with public and private-sector unions, as opposed to “scapegoating one segment of the population against another,” which he said was the Republican Party’s strategy.

Looney was asked if his endorsement of Lamont signaled an endorsement of a plan to extend Tweed-New Haven airport’s runway by 1,000 feet, which Lamont supported during a campaign event with Mayor Toni Harp at the airport several weeks ago but which failed to get a vote in the state legislature during the session that ended last week.

Looney said that his concerns about the local push to expand the airport remain unchanged.

“Unfortunately, it was a very late start in terms of the legislative timetable,” he said. He noted that Mayor Harp and other local supporters had not started pushing the proposed legislation until March. An April 25 community aldermanic meeting and the April 30 community meeting organized to build support, he said, simply ran up too close against the end of the legislative session on May 9.

“Everybody knew that nothing was going to happen on it this session,” he said, “even the proponents of the bill.”

Looney said that in order for the airport to thrive, the terminal has to be moved to the East Haven side so that traffic can be directed through Hemingway Avenue rather than the narrow residential streets on the New Haven side in Morris Cove.

“I’m pleased the city is looking to engage now and to do so with a more realistic timetable,” he said.

Lamont said he remains committed to the expansion of the local airport so long as neighbors are involved in the decision-making process.

“You do it in collaboration with the neighbors,” he said. “That’s what you do with a democracy. You work it out constructively and collaboratively.”

State Rep. Candelaria praised Lamont’s support of a higher minimum wage, paid family leave, and a diverse administration.

“Ned understands our urban communities,” he said.

Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to making his administration the most diverse in Connecticut history.

“Right up and down the ticket,” he said, “from the constitutional officers to the commissioners and the deputy commissioners … we’re going to make darn sure that this is a diverse administration that represents all of our people.”

Click on the Facebook Live video below to watch the full endorsement.

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posted by: Esbey on May 16, 2018  4:18pm

I am going to be optimistic and conclude that Looney is promising to support airport expansion if the terminal is moved to East Haven.  That will cost many more dollars than simply expanding the runway, but it is always expensive when you give a self-interesting minority veto power over the region’s prosperity.

posted by: Xavier on May 16, 2018  4:38pm

Kind of expected the Lamont endorsement. Though I hope Looney support Sen Gary Winfield for LT governor. Tong should have a shot at the AG. We have got to get some new faces and diversity. Lamont’s deal with our former Secretary of State is backroom placating backroom political whining.

Can’t wait for Three-fifths take on all of this.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 16, 2018  9:43pm

Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to making his administration the most diverse in Connecticut history.

As I said before. It’s the year when all of the white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community jiving you and me for some votes. The year when all of the white political crooks will be right back in.Don’t be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.(1964) Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the BulletThe Democrats in Connecticut asses are in trouble thanks to Dan Malloy.Ned Lamont Is nothing but a clone of Ex Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Both are Businessman.Ned Lamont peeps made there Money from J P Morgan.So his allegiance is to the oligarchy who are the enemy of the poor and working poor.

State Rep. Candelaria praised Lamont’s support of a higher minimum wage, paid family leave, and a diverse administration.

“Ned understands our urban communities,” he said.

To My latino And Black Brothers and Sisters.The DEMOCRATIC Party THINKS LATINOS ARE SANGANOS. And Blacks as Lost Sheep.The Black and Latino community owes nothing to the Democratic Party especially loyalty You put them first and they put us last.To My latino And Black Brothers and Sisters beware. Very soon Sell Out Treasonous Judas Goat Black and latino Leaders will soon be coming to the Hoods and El Barrios to sell you the Democratic Party. Do not drink there kool-Aid.

posted by: steve on May 17, 2018  12:00am

Quote,“Lamont said he remains committed to the expansion of the local airport so long as neighbors are involved in the decision-making process.” All the anti airport crowd can say is no. Its been that way for years, they yelled out at one meeting, ” we don’t want it”, referring to the runway plan. If the few who complain had their way, Tweed would be closed, but that’s never going to happen. I marvel how for decades people have bought homes near the airport, knowing that Tweed is a commercial airport and then scream bloody murder that the airport is ruining their lives. No one in the area can say they were there before the airport. I also feel that many more nearby residents don’t mind the airport and find having an airport nearby is a good thing regarding air travel, but those people are not the type to cry,“the sky is falling” mantra over and over. No public project is ever done without some splinter group feeling that they speak for all residents in the area when in fact they don’t. Homes are being insulated, windows replaced, traffic patterns will be changed and yet they are not satisfied. Some talk about compensation, sort of like the lawyer ads on TV that say,“get the money you deserve”. Move near an existing airport and then blackmail it, how smart and ethical is that? That’s the world we live in today, things don’t go your way, protest, march, complain to local politicians and get your face in the media to garner sympathy. For decades Tweed’s hands have been tied regarding the runway and in the past, even safety projects were opposed such as the instrument landing system and on site fire station. Tweeds to grow to meet the needs of area travelers and end the dependence on Bradley field and the New York airports, also Tweed will never be a large operation but a handy regional airport with service to 4-6 hub airports.

posted by: Sean O'Brien on May 17, 2018  1:05am

Regarding a terminal in East Haven, Maturo was quoted yesterday:

“They are thinking about moving the terminal to the East Haven side of the airport to alleviate some of the traffic problems that would be created in New Haven,” he said. “That will not happen. I am greatly opposed to alleviating any traffic in New Haven and putting it the burden on East Haven. If New Haven wants that airport, then let [passengers] travel through New Haven.”


The entire Tweed project is dead in the water, and for good reason.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on May 17, 2018  11:08am

Hey steve,
Your argument is getting pretty old. There is nothing to “marvel” at the actions of property owners trying to preserve equity in their homes, keep the quality of life they bought into and tax dollars in their pockets.
Most home owners bought their properties next to a smaller airport flying smaller planes than the jets they want to fly out of there now. Tweed already changed zoning, knocked down private residences moved a road and a river and added those properties to the existing airport footprint. All in exchange for an agreement that, in part, guarantees that the runway stays the length it is. The airport claimed then, that that was all they needed to get more air service; none came and now they want more. No “marvel” as to why people are upset.

posted by: steve on May 17, 2018  7:00pm

@New Haven Taxpayer, the few anti airport folks have yet to reply to my question. What about the other points in the MOA? How hard is it to realize that one part of that agreement was deficient, unworkable, not practical, yet for al of the parts to come together, adjustments have to be made. Have mistakes been made in the past regarding public projects, absolutely, cost overruns, redesign work, more site preparation, etc. Going back to the beginning, why move near an airport and then complain? Airports including Tweed generate noise, although airliners have been getting quieter as years have gone by, it still is a source of noise mostly during daylight hours. What about the thousands who depend on Tweed for travel, jobs and business connections, don’t their voices count which number into the thousands? Everybody needs to be reasonable and learn that changes are inevitable, nothing stays the same.

posted by: Brian V on May 17, 2018  10:10pm

Oh “steve”
We should trust that the airport will live up to some parts of the MOA just not the runway length part, -really?
These aren’t mistakes, These are LIES. - and that is the most frustrating part of this whole scam.
Tweed ultimately wants a 7000+ foot runway but they wont say that out loud. The language to limit to the length of the runway was eliminated in that bill and the master plan calls for 7000+feet. -Just admit it.
And as for the:“the thousands who depend on Tweed for travel, jobs and business connections”. Let them fly on as always, no one is trying to reduce or limit what they are doing now. We agreed to the grass over-runs, which were supposed to be all that was needed to get more airlines servicing Tweed, remember? That didn’t work and now you want a longer runway in the hope of attracting bigger, wide(er) body, jumbo(ish) jets to service Tweed; all at a cost to me and my neighbors and the tax payers of New Haven and only of New Haven. -NOPE!

posted by: steve on May 18, 2018  10:09am

@Brian V You keep saying wide body jets, “attracting bigger, wide(er) body, jumbo(ish) jets to service Tweed”. What do you consider a wide body jet” Bradley has many of the types of regional jets that would serve Tweed, 50-90 seat category. These are NOT wide body planes, all wide bodies have 2 aisles, regional and narrow body planes have 1 aisle. As far the 7000 foot figure, at present Tweed has a runway 5600 feet long, at each end of the runway is a 1000 foot grass overrun. Overruns whether grass or paved cannot be used as a touchdown point for landing aircraft, they must overfly the overruns before landing on marked touchdown points. The current plan is to pave one overrun 1000 feet and the other overrun 400 feet. 5600 feet plus 1000 feet and plus 400 feet equal 7000 feet. Out of that figure, 1400 feet would remain a non-landing surface.
I’m glad you agree that the first plan did not result in more airlines and more flights as airlines have indicated they need more takeoff distance to reach airports farther than Philadelphia. Can you honestly say that more flights to other hub airports would be a bad thing? Were not talking about non-stop landings and taking offs all day long, but with more flights spread over the course of a day it would allow area residents to use an airport close by, not in another state and I include Bradley since it is only a few miles from Massachusetts.
The planned overrun paving project would meet the needs of the airlines that could start new service, there would be no need for more runway. I for one would not be in favor of going beyond what is planned because it would not be needed. Starting in June, the American Airlines flights to Philly will be limited to 48 seats and in July, the figure drops to 47 seats. This is due to the limited runway and this is why other airlines will not come to Tweed.

posted by: steve on May 18, 2018  11:16am

Quote,“Lamont said he remains committed to the expansion of the local airport so long as neighbors are involved in the decision-making process.” A few of the neighbors have already made a decision, the same one they have been making for years, no to any project involving the airport. If the few anti Tweed people are really willing to be reasonable and the airport lays all their cards on the table, such as no further runway expansion will be needed, a push for more homes to be insulated and a traffic flow plan that will minimize the impact on area residents, then a common ground can be reached and all parties can co-exist.
There is no doubt that Tweed can support more flights as shown by the overwhelming success of the current flights to Philadelphia which many times are full, adding 2-4 more airlines will make the airport more self-sufficient, add more jobs, etc, while adding a reasonable number of flights. Small airports do not have late night departures as most of the airline activity will from early am to about 6-7 pm.
Are all parties willing to be reasonable, understanding that change is inevitable, and that in the end, that all will be satisfied? I truly hope so for all involved.

posted by: Brian V on May 19, 2018  11:29am

How about addressing the LIES?
You repeat yourself on the virtues of what you think the airport can achieve, but do not touch on the lies they use trying to get there.
Why lie? No community should be forced to negotiate with liars.

posted by: steve on May 20, 2018  7:15am

@Brian V, it was thought that removing trees in the flight path and the re-positioning of the utility poles would yield enough benefit to allow more service. It didn’t, since at times airliners could not depart with full or near full passenger loads,airlines would not commit to new service. It should be obvious that even with the flights to Philly which is a close hub airport,some flights are weight restricted and as such, flights to hub airports such as Detroit,Charlotte,Atlanta,Chicago are not possible. Also too passenger load factors have been steadily climbing meaning planes are very full and since 2002 loads factors climbed 14% and since 2009 4%. As I have stated, the overruns being paved will still remain overruns and runway marking will show where the touchdown points begin. The overrun paving project will remove the possibility of weight restricted flights and other airlines will begin new service. No more runway would be needed, no wide body planes, no international flights, but just more service to domestic hub airports.
Just to show another error in the 2009 MOA, it allows for a limit of 30 daily flights, doing some simple math that works out to less than 17 passengers per flight, even with 15 daily flights, that’s 33 passengers per flight. No airline would agree to new service with those numbers. Tweed has no other choices but to correct the errors in the 2009 MOA. The present runway will not cut it, whats your solution? To reach anywhere near the 30 daily flight limit, the runway has to be upgraded.
You call it lying, I call it a mistake and everybody makes them.