Tag Archive: Politics

  1. Occupy departs the New Haven Green

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    Six months after setting up camp on the New Haven Green, Occupy New Haven protesters were evicted from their encampment on Wednesday.

    Police removed protesters early Wednesday morning, allowing officials from the city’s parks department to clear the Upper Green of tents and debris. The eviction a day after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city could legally remove Occupiers from the Green, the final step in the city’s months-long attempt to remove Occupy from the Green.

    Beginning at around 8 a.m., police began to arrest protesters who sat and linked arms around a tent and refused to leave. After the immediate campground was free of protesters, and a hazmat team examined tents and debris for any dangerous material, bulldozers began to clear the encampment.

    At a press conference after the eviction, DeStefano affirmed his support of Occupy’s ideals. But the movement had become more focused on maintaining its place on the Green than driving conversations about income inequality. The cost of the occupation — including city services and restoration of the Green — will total around $145,000, he said. The Green should be restored before summer, a representative from the parks department said.

    Occupiers are free to return to the Green following the eviction, provided they follow park guidelines, DeStefano said. By the Green’s regulations, protesters can remain in the public space until 10 p.m.

    Occupy New Haven, which arrived in the city on Oct. 15, was the longest lasting encampment of the Occupy protest movement in New England.

  2. Jimmy McMillan stops by Davenport, eats lunch

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    Jimmy McMillan, who came to fame for declaring the rent “too damn high,” stopped by Davenport today for lunch.

    McMillan was on campus to shoot a segment of a new web series with Michal Knowles ’12. The series, a weekly political show titled “Too Damn Live with Michael Knowles and Jimmy McMillan,” will debut on Chattrspace.com next Thursday at 8 p.m., Knowles said. Knowles brought McMillan to Davenport for an “impromptu, hour-long open lunch” with a handful of lucky Elis.

    McMillan enjoyed the fare in Davenport, Knowles said, calling it “some damn good food.”

  3. Dartmouth president nominated for World Bank

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    President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to become the new head of the World Bank.

    “The leader of the World Bank should have a deep understanding of both the role that development plays in the world and the importance of creating conditions where assistance is no longer needed,” Obama said in the announcement. “It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency.”

    A first-generation Korean American, Kim graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and earned a M.D. and Ph.D in anthropology from Harvard. While at Harvard, he held professorships in medicine and human rights. He co-founded Partners in Health, a non-profit health care organization based in Boston, he won a MacArthur “Genius” Award and he made the TIME 100.

    The Bank will likely select its new president by mid-April.

  4. Mr. DeStefano goes to Washington

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    Mayor John DeStefano Jr. was one of 14 city officials from across the nation to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House for a National League of Cities conference Monday afternoon.

    In the meeting, DeStefano spoke to Obama about issues he thought were important on a local level, including the “changing nature of work” in New Haven, the city’s nationally recognized education reform efforts and his approach to immigration issues. Obama, DeStefano said, spoke to the group for around 40 minutes, primarily about “growing the economy, supporting families and energy policy.”

    “I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to sit down with the President,” DeStefano said in a statement following the meeting. “We are all fortunate to have a President who understands and supports the needs and concerns of cities like New Haven.”

    Read DeStefano’s full account of the meeting below:

    “I had the opportunity today to meet with President Obama in the

    Roosevelt Room of the White House, along with 13 other elected officials

    in Washington D.C. this week for a National League of Cities conference.

    We met first with Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic

    Council, a senior domestic policy advisor to the President. At around

    2:50 p.m., we were joined by Valerie Jarrett and the President. The

    President spoke with us for around 40 minutes, and focused largely on

    growing the economy, supporting families, and energy policy.

    The President also engaged each Mayor on issues of importance in their

    cities. When it was my turn, I spoke about the changing nature of work

    here in New Haven. Years ago, our largest employer was the Winchester

    factory. Today, it’s Yale University and Yale-New Haven

    Hospital—jobs that require higher skill levels. I asked the

    President to support training programs and interventions that help

    individuals grow skills that match the jobs available today. I told him

    I supported his focus on community colleges as an important workforce

    development tool. I also shared New Haven’s experience with our

    immigrant communities—that robust immigration is important for growing

    the economy. Here in New Haven, our immigrant communities are

    disproportionately entrepreneurial, growing numerous healthy businesses

    and jobs despite a challenging economy.

    I also spoke to the President about our School Change initiative, and

    asked that competitive federal grants like the Race to the Top and

    Investing in Innovation funds go directly to school districts carrying

    out reforms, rather than to states or non-profits that are more removed

    from classrooms.

    I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to sit down with the

    President. We are all fortunate to have a President who understands and

    supports the needs and concerns of cities like New Haven.”

  5. Malloy looks to cut scholarship funding

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    Local students attending some of Connecticut’s top colleges, including Yale, may lose access to state scholarship funding as part a proposal from Gov. Dannel Malloy.

    Malloy, who testified before the General Assembly’s Education Committee on Tuesday, is seeking to cut $6.7 million in funding from the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant program (CICS), which provides need-based scholarships to Connecticut students attending in-state private colleges. Under Malloy’s proposal, Connecticut schools with endowments of more than $200 million would lose CICS eligibility — the six colleges who fit that criteria are Yale, Wesleyan University, Connecticut College, Trinity College, Quinnipiac University, and Fairfield University.

    The same scholarship program was cut last year under Malloy’s budget from $23 million to the current level of $18 million. And the governor’s proposed cuts would bring program funding down further to $11.3 million. Last year CICS awarded scholarships to more than 5,400 students at 16 different schools.

  6. East Haven mayor might get tacos, after all

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    East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo may just be getting what he asked for: tacos.

    The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America, a national organization that seeks to influence U.S. immigration policy, launched a Facebook and Twitter campaign against the mayor. The organization said it would send tacos to the mayor’s office this week if angry citizens texted “TACO” to 69866.

    Maturo drew criticism earlier today when he said he “might have tacos” when he goes home after a reporter asked him how he planned to help the Latino community. The controversy follows the recent arrest of four local police officers accused of mistreating East Haven’s Latino residents.

    After the incident, Maturo issued a public apology and established a new advisory panel to recommend policy changes to the Board of Police Commissioners. Still, hundreds are calling for his resignation.

  7. New Haven Dems pick their U.S. Senate candidate

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    City politicos began to coalesce behind a replacement for U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67 on Sunday afternoon.

    A number of high-ranking New Haven Democrats attended a gathering of around 80 people at the East Rock home of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro to support U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy in his run for the U.S. Senate. Sen. Marty Looney, the senate majority leader, and State Reps Toni Walker, Roland Lemar and Gary Holden-Winfield were in attendance, as were 16 members of the Board of Aldermen, the New Haven Independent reported.

    Ward 9 Alderman Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, Ward 3 Alderwoman Jacqueline James-Evans and Ward 20 Alderwoman Delphine Clyburn all turned out in support of Murphy, while others, including Ward 2’s Frank Douglass, just came to hear what Murphy had to say.

    After the gathering, former Secretary of the State and senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz ’83 released a list of 36 New Haven Democrats, who she counts among her supporters. But on the list were Douglass and Ward 26 Alderman Sergio Rodriguez, who had said they were still undecided, and Ward 7 Alderman Doug Hausladen ’04, who said he was firmly behind Murphy.

    Murphy currently has the backing of all four U.S. representatives from Connecticut. The primary will take place in August.

  8. How to Train Your Internet

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    We’ve all heard the cautionary tales: colleges doling out rejections to bright-eyed seniors sporting age-inappropriate Facebook pictures, businesses nixing qualified applicants due to some scandalous online paper trails. Your parents warned you. You counselors warned you. And maybe you caved, dutifully purging, editing or otherwise altering any and all records of what you did last Friday night. Or maybe you dismissed the warnings as little more than paranoia of a digital age.

    Whatever the case, take heed: much like diamonds and cockroaches, the Internet is forever. Just ask Marc Cendella ’88.

    Cendella, the founder of a popular job search website, wants to run for office in New York. Specifically, he’s a Republican with his eyes on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s seat. Yet he may need to avert his eyes; a series of online foibles might forever hamper his hopes. A webpage billed as Cendella’s featured “random observations about sex, women and drugs,” with references to jockstraps, marijuana, various sex acts and Donald Trump’s “Apprentice,” according to the New York Times. Particularly intriguing posts include “High Quality Dope” and “Dating Advice for Girly Girls.”

    Such scandals have rarely felled a political campaign. But Cendella’s particular problem is one unique to the digital age, as is his alibi: that the offending posts were a product of Internet spam. And now, thanks to the grade-A sleuthing at the Times, Cendella’s accomplishments will forever be tied to “Sexy vs. Skanky” and “He Stole My Weed.”

    Kids, check yourself before you wreck yourself. After all, one ill-advised foray with social media could change your life forever.

  9. Soundbites: Joe Miller LAW ’95 edition

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    Joe Miller LAW ’95 came achingly close to claiming a seat in the U.S. Senate back in the 2010 elections, but fell to incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s historic write-in campaign. Last night, he swung by the Yale Political Union to explain why he doesn’t want the federal government involved in public education. Below are a few notable quotables from Miller’s showing at last night’s debate:

    “Government intervention in education is unconstitutional…the words ‘education’ and ‘school’ do not appear in the constitution.”

    “No Child Left Behind is a one size fits all [regime]…it really doesn’t let states try this thing.”

    “We are increasingly poor as a country.”

    “The government is not the caretaker of our children.”

    “The history of public education under the federal government has been failure…I’m in favor of immediately removing the federal government from education.”

    “They want more control, they want more influence over our children.”

    “Education trains us to think logically and rationally, but you have to be able to think morally, and that is something lacking in the current education system.”

  10. Wikipedia to Shut Down! For Good Reasons!

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    If you were planning to get a head start on that research paper tomorrow, think again. I’m afraid I have some startling news: Wikipedia is going to shut down on Wednesday. …I know.

    After you have recovered from the initial shock of that statement, you may ask why Wikipedia would do such a thing. The answer is that they are boycotting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). SOPA is a bill that has been criticized by civil rights groups, Nancy Pelosi, Justin Bieber, Ron Paul, and numerous others. On January 14, President Obama announced that the White House would not support SOPA; subsequently, the vote regarding it was canceled. And tomorrow, in what could truly be the most noticed move of all, Wikipedia will be down, replaced instead by a page advising people to call Congress and complain about SOPA.

    At this point, you are no doubt asking, “So? Who cares about an anti-piracy bill? What is all the commotion about? And don’t we want to prevent online piracy, while at the same time protecting intellectual property?” Absolutely. But SOPA isn’t the way to do it.

    SOPA is a nightmare for supporters of free speech. It states that a website is guilty of facilitating theft (and therefore liable to face serious penalties) if it “enables or facilitates” potential infringement. This overbroad definition would seem to cover pretty much any website on the Internet. Certainly, Google could be included. SOPA would also allow copyright holders to direct financial institutions (such as Visa or Mastercard) to cut off access to a particular website simply through an allegation of infringement — or aiding infringement, under the vague definition. And the government would have the power to black-list websites.

    Many websites (including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter) have pointed out that SOPA could also lead to censorship online, because it mandates that Internet intermediaries (such as Facebook) censor countless websites. SOPA could also result in the closure of numerous anonymous platforms for whistle-blowing, such as ones that expose human rights violations. Finally, SOPA’s regulations and vague definitions will certainly stifle creativity for online startups.

    SOPA is a disgrace (as is PIPA), because it is based on the fallacy that piracy can be stopped if we call everything piracy. It assumes that, by limiting free speech, we can stop the theft of free speech. And it tries to curb piracy by creating harsher punishments for vaguer crimes. No inadvertent pirate should ever be made to walk the plank.

    Internet piracy is real and dangerous. However, SOPA is even more dangerous. So tomorrow, go to Wikipedia, shed a tear that it is temporarily unavailable, and then follow its instructions — call Congress to tell them that SOPA is bad news.

  11. Malloy, Merrill roll out election reforms

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    Whether you want to vote for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich or even President Barack Obama come November, it could all be a lot easier, thanks to legislation introduced this week by Gov. Dannel Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

    Malloy and Merrill held a press conference Monday to announce their support for various proposals to increase voter registration, CT Mirror reported. At the conference, Merrill announced she will prepare a package of legislation that will allow voters to register online and on Election Day. The legislation, she said, will expand use of absentee ballots and increase penalties for voter harassment or intimidation.

    “However complex the reasons may be — and they are — we must do something to reverse those numbers and increase voter participation,” Merrill said. “If I am able to do one thing in my time as secretary of the state, that would be it.”

    Over 30 percent of eligible Connecticut voters are unregistered, and only 30 percent of registered voters turned out in last fall’s statewide municipal elections, CT Mirror reported. But as state officials attempt to improve access to voting, many states nationwide have considered laws that make ballot access much more difficult.

    At least one part of the legislation package — same-day voter registration — has already proven controversia. GOP state chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said his party will oppose it.

    “While I commend an effort to increase voter participation, instituting same day voter registration is simply not the answer,” Labriola said. “This is clearly an effort by the administration to keep themselves in power by making the voter rolls vulnerable and reducing ballot security.”

    But Merrill disagreed, and said the proposed legislation is only a way to increase participation in elections.

    “We must, of course, maintain the security and integrity of our elections, but never at the expense of disenfranchising a voter,” she said.

  12. Knowles ’12 follows Huntsman’s lead to Romney

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    Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announced Monday that he was dropping out of the race and endorsing rival Mitt Romney for the nomination.

    Yale College Republicans President Michael Knowles ’12, a leading Yale conservative who served as Huntsman’s National Youth Co-Chair, followed his candidate’s lead. Knowles said that after spending a year and a half searching for possible alternative candidates to the former Massachusetts governor — including lobbying for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to join the race — he will finally accept Romney as the GOP nominee. Knowles said he will will endorse the candidate tomorrow in a piece for the Daily Caller, calling him “unstoppable.”

    Huntsman called former Bain Capital CEO Romney the Republican’s best shot at defeating President Obama in November’s election. While he has in the past called Romney a “panderer-in-chief,” Huntsman said the two men shared the same drive to restore “bold and principled leadership” to Washington D.C.