Oct. 24, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 7:45 AM UCT
On the walk this morning (10-23-07) from Gzira to Valletta, in the village of Ta'Xbiex, the clouds reflected off the water just perfectly.
Hooray! I got a stack of mail from the U.S.A. today. An American contractor coming to work on the boat acted as a courier. Alitalia lost his luggage, but phew, he put the treasures from my mailbox in his carry-on.
Among the items he carried from the post was a sad one: the obituary for Joseph Charles Barber, a great citizen from Winsted who passed away August 23. The line in the obit that got me: “Joe’s commitment to civic engagement and service was a lifetime affair.”
And, it should have added, that Joe’s commitment lives on in his son, Hartford champion Joe Barber,and to him and his family I send my deepest sympathies.
I’m sorry I wasn’t there. It’s things like this that make me hate traveling.
Next, my mail featured the ever-interesting must-read, Ballot Access News, mailed monthly from San Francisco.
In September, BAN reported that although the populations of all 435 Congressional districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are roughly equal, the amount of petition signatures an independent candidate needs to gain ballot access to run for the House of Representatives ranges from zero to 20,131.
A different article in BAN noted that Connecticut last elected a minor party candidate to its state legislature in 1938. That candidate was a Socialist. BAN didn’t give a name.
But if I listened to Democratic historian Paul Basch over on Woodland Street, I think he would probably say it was Jasper McLevy, the long-time mayor of Bridgeport and perpetual third-party gubernatorial candidate.
Hopefully, with the Connecticut Clean Election Fund coming on line in 2008, we will see some independent candidates make it into the state legislature.
I can tell you Seventh District State Representative Douglas McCrory would never be on that independent or Socialist list. McCrory’s latest tri-fold, four-color franking piece screams “I’m a rank-and-file Democrat.”
Just what were the Hon. Rep. McCrory’s big accomplishments last session? Going by the photos, he spoke at a press conference, surrounded by the likes of Majority Leader Chris Donovan and Assistant Majority Leader Marie Kirkley-Bey.
Then, he sat next to Rep. Kirkley-Bey. Later, he sat in front of Rep. Donovan. Finally, Oh Captain, my Captain McCrory stood alone, striking a proud face, posing with a microphone while wearing a pastel argyle sweater.
Luckily, the mailbag contained the latest additions to the 2007 Mayoral Race collection for the archive, like my absentee ballot for the September primary, and pre-primary GOTV (Get Out The Vote) ephemera from Ken Kennedy, Frank Barrows and I. Charles Mathews.
Ken Kennedy’s black and white postcard urged me to vote for him for City Council in the primary. Mr. Kennedy, who I figured would be in the heat of a mayoral race, instead highlighted his six achievements as councilman.
Councilor Kennedy claims he deserves re-election because he fought against no-bid contracts and for transparency in city government. But “Rank-and-File” Kennedy daren’t bite the hand that feeds him and accuse the mayor of shady dealings with Abe Giles and bathroom remodelers.
Kennedy can’t because Council has failed in its legislative function to hold the executive Perez accountable.
Kennedy’s 10-point Times New Roman boasts include support of an all-choice school system, advocating for charter reform, and, get ready, he “Promoted stricter regulation of convenience store hours.”
John Motley is listed as Kennedy’s deputy treasurer. That endorsement more than anything Kennedy could say would make me vote for him. But sorry, Ken, you cannot convince me that it benefits the city for Democrats to maintain their monopoly on Council.
Come November, I’ll be pulling two-thirds of the Working Families Party lever – Luis Cotto and Urania Petit (that is, if I get my absentee ballot in time). I’m not sure if WFPer Dr. Larry Deutsch has convinced me of his efficacy.
I didn’t open Frank Barrows’ black and blue pre-primary piece. I couldn’t get past the irony of the “you can’t fool all the people all the time” Abe Lincoln quote.
Nor could I stomach any of Barrows’ ideas, not after I read that since his defeat on Sept. 11, he has backed Eddie Perez for Mayor. What, then, to make of the box on Barrows’ flyer declaring, “It’s time for a change, it’s time for new leadership”?
Frankly, Frank, you’re betting on the wrong horse. I can’t imagine you think Eddie is the best man for Hartford, not after you spent months working to defeat him. So then you changed your mind because a) you think he is going to win and you want to move back to his good side or b) you hate I. Charles?
My favorite piece from the mailbag was the columnist fan mail camouflaged as a friends and family postcard from I. Charles supporter John Gale. John crossed out the “Dear Friend” and wrote “Ken – Love your stuff!” Flattery will get you a mention in the column you so adore!
John’s postcard asked me to vote for I. Charles because he has what Hartford needs “integrity, experience and a willingness to hear others.” Plus, the postie asked me to call 722-0080 if I needed a ride to the polls.
So, John, I think you might be right about I. Charles, and mail is a bit slow catching up to ships in transit, and I doubt I’ll get my absentee ballot in time, so, um, could you please pick me up in Malta? Or Egypt?