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October 9, 2012

October 8, 2012

From:  The Federation of Connecticut Taxpayer Organizations
Contact:  Susan Kniep, President
Telephone: 860-841-8032

Senator addresses meningitis outbreak | Connecticut



Obstacles for Obama's health panel - The Hill's Healthwatch  By Sam Baker - 10/06/12 President Obama’s plan to control Medicare spending — an expert board of cost-cutters — might have trouble even coming into existence.  Continued at ……




Merrill's Billboards Mix Public Service, Self-Promotion  October 8, 2012, Hartford Courant,  Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is not the first elected official in Connecticut to mount a taxpayer-supported public service campaign that at the same time amounts to free political advertising. But she should be the last.  Incumbents already have a big enough advantage over challengers at the polls. It's just wrong for taxpayers to help foot the bill for campaigns that blast officeholders' names and images all over the state.  At issue is the get-out-the-vote effort mounted by the secretary of the state's office. It features billboards with Ms. Merrill's photograph and a message reminding people "to vote Tuesday Nov. 6." The Outdoor Advertising Association of Connecticut also helped pay for the campaign, The Courant's Jon Lender reports.  Ms. Merrill is not up for re-election for two years, but the increased visibility given her by the "voter outreach" campaign is a political plus nonetheless.  Continued at,0,2846636.story




Big stakes loom behind quiet races for the General Assembly By Keith M. Phaneuf on October 8, 2012 While U.S. Senate candidates Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy grab most of the headlines, there is more at stake in this year's state legislative races than Connecticut has seen in a decade. Though Democrats hold comfortable margins in both chambers, an unusually large number of open seats, a sluggish economy and the specter of right-wing super PAC funds have left the majority wary.  Continued at …..




GOP Sens. McCain and Graham tell contractors to issue layoff notices By Jeremy Herb - 10/05/12 Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have a message for defense contractors: ignore the Obama administration and send out mass layoff notices. Graham and McCain sent letters to 15 defense firms Friday warning that they would block any payments from the federal government to contractors covering the costs associated with not following the law requiring 60 days' notice for mass layoffs. Continued at …..



Capitol Assets: Congress's wealthiest mostly ... - shielded from effects of deep recession  Washington Post Washington Post  October 6 The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers were largely immune from the Great Recession, taking the fewest financial hits and watching their investments quickly recover and rise to new heights. But more than 20 percent of the members of the current Congress — 121 lawmakers — appeared to be worse off in 2010 than they had been six years earlier, and 24 saw their reported wealth slide into negative territory. Those findings emerge from an ongoing examination of congressional finances by The Washington Post, which analyzed thousands of financial disclosure forms and public records for all members of Congress. Most members weathered the financial crisis better than the average American, who saw median household net worth drop 39 percent from 2007 to 2010. The median estimated wealth of members of the current Congress rose 5 percent during the same period, according to their reported assets and liabilities. The wealthiest one-third of Congress gained 14 percent.  Continued at ….


Jobless rate falls below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years


By Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press / October 5, 2012


The US unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest unemployment rate in 44 months. The economy also created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated. Continued at …..





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Chicago teachers vote to approve 3-year contract  CBS News‎ - 1 day ago With an average salary of $76,000, Chicago teachers are already among the highest-paid in the nation. The district's final proposal included an average 7 percent raise over three years, with additional raises for experience and education. But the evaluations and job security measures stirred the most intense debate.  Continued at ……


'Dysfunctional' Public Pension Plans Need Radical Fix Now (Frank Keegan / State Budget Solutions)






Connecticut Republicans run from Romney on Medicare


Himes: Democrat on a tightrope  By Ana Radelat October 5, 2012 Stamford -- Rep. Jim Himes is one of Washington's tightrope walkers, trying to balance the fiscal concerns of his wealthy district with the core principles he holds as a Democrat. Read complete article at




Jennifer Frank, the Editor of, a well-respected on-line news publication, expresses her frustration as Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy dodge reporters as she writes:   From the beginning of her Senate campaign, Republican Linda McMahon has been spectacularly resistant to situations she can't control. We're relegated to passivity: Our mailboxes overflow with her campaign literature, and we're overwhelmed by her TV commercials. Oh, she will take part in a handful of debates with her Democratic rival Chris Murphy (the first is Sunday) -- and I hope we hear solid, thoughtful answers and discussion. But talk to a reporter for more than 10 minutes to glean more than a superficial explanation of her position on any of the complicated issues that confront the state and country?  No.Appear on the popular public radio show, WNPR's "Where We Live"? Forget it. The show is heard by tens of thousands of state residents, 99 percent of whom (I would bet) are voters. Now her Democratic rival Chris Murphy -- who has had a long history of openness and transparency -- has clearly thought better of the public aspect of his role of public servant. Mirror reporter Mark Pazniokas says he's been reduced to trying to yell questions to Murphy as the candidate flees public appearances. And Thursday night, Murphy pulled out of a long-promised appearance Monday on "Where We Live." These are candidates for the United States Senate, not a do-nothing board in East Pinwheel, CT. That they're running from those who would carefully examine their positions is nothing short of outrageous.





Four Takeaways From Jobs Report By Ben Casselman  Wall St. Journal  October 5, 2012, 9:08 AM  U.S. employers added 114,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, its lowest level since January, 2009. Economists are still digesting today’s jobs figures, but here are a few quick takeaways. Big revisions to July, August: The Labor Department revised up its estimate of July jobs growth to 181,000 from 141,000 and its August estimate to 142,000 from 96,000 — a combined addition of 86,000 jobs. That means job growth was significantly stronger over the summer than previously believed, and suggests the slowdown last spring was shorter-lived than initially feared. With the revisions, the economy has now added an average of 146,000 per month over the past three months, compared to just 67,000 jobs over the prior three months.  Continue reading at



Compare the Mill Rate in Your Town With Other Towns


Florida opens criminal probe into voter registration firm  By Michael Peltier | Reuters – 14 hrs ago  TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - Authorities in Florida said they had opened a criminal probe into the activities of Strategic Allied Consulting, the firm hired by the Republican Party to register new voters in the crucial swing state ahead of next month's presidential election.  A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said the agency had found enough evidence to warrant a full-blown investigation of Strategic Allied, a Virginia-based voter registration company doing work for the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Florida.  Continued at ……


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