DTC Chair Files Complaint On Mayor’s Use Of Car Tax Bills To Promote Candidacy

State Law Bars Incumbents From Using Public Funds Within 3 Months of Election

The State Elections Enforcement Commission received a complaint on Wednesday (September 13) alleging use of public funds by Mayor Erin Stewart to promote her candidacy for re-election.

Democratic Town Chairman Bill Shortell, citing a state law barring incumbents from using city funds to promote candidacies close to  an election, filed the complaint in response to a brochure included in motor vehicle tax bills mailed at the beginning of September by City Tax Collector Cheryl Blogoslawski.

The brochure, giving tax and revenue information on the 2017-2018 municipal budget, also included statements promoting Stewart’s candidacy under her campaign slogan “Leading the Way” with information from Stewart’s campaign literature. Blogoslawski is also cited in the complaint for sending the brochure with the tax bills.

Shortell bases the complaint on state law (9-610) that bars an incumbent from using city resources “to mail or print flyers or other promotional materials” intended to advance a candidacy within “three months of an election”  and “prohibits any individual from authorizing the use of public funds during the 12 months preceding an election for any promotional campaign or advertisement that features the name, face or voice of a candidate.

Mayor Stewart’s “Leading The Way” campaign brochure was mailed with motor vehicle tax notices.

“No one questions the mayor’s responsibility to communicate with residents on matters of importance to the community throughout the term,” said Shortell. “But including an obvious campaign promotion in car tax bills within the 90-day prohibition pushes the incumbent advantage too far and is a violation. It crosses the line and creates an unfair advantage. The law expressly prohibits incumbents from doing what the Mayor and Tax Collector did.”

“We have also filed or are in the process of filing complaints about the mayor’s illegal use of City Hall and its resources, including video equipment for her sagging re-election campaign. In addition, we are filing a complaint about a large campaign billboard that has remained on Main Street for three years, with no campaign expenditure cited, an illegal campaign contribution amount to thousands of dollars,” Shortell added.

 

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Introducing The Democratic Slate: Lanette Spranzo Macaruso Seeks Two-Year Term For Tax Collector

Lanette Spranzo Macaruso, the Democratic nominee for Tax Collector, said her priority will be efficiency, accuracy and bringing more transparency to the city’s tax collection system in her first run for elective office on the slate led by Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay.

A lifelong New Britain Democrat, Spranzo Macaruso is a tax preparer and has extensive experience in the marketing and communication field and as a college writing instructor. She holds a master’s degree in educational media from Central CT State University.

As Tax Collector Spranzo Macaruso said her goal in city government will be “wise management of the city’s resources. We need to promote innovation and sustainability that inspire residents to work together for a safe, financially secure, educationally progressive and culturally enjoyable community.”

Spranzo Macaruso is an active volunteer in the city at the New Britain Industrial Museum.  She participates in Protect Our Watersheds CT, a new environmental group, that advocates for preservation of the city’s watershed and natural resources.

(One of a series of posts introducing the members of the Democratic slate running with Mayoral Nominee Merrill Gay)

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Charlottesville: Merrill Gay, New Britain Democrats Repudiate Racist Violence, Anti-Semitism

Democratic Mayoral Nominee Merrill Gay issued a statement on August 17th  in response to the violence perpetrated by fascists and white nationalists  in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The statement, released by Gay on behalf of the Democratic municipal slate and the Democratic Town Committee, calls upon New Britain Republicans to “repudiate” the stand taken by President Trump who blames “both sides” without a clear condemnation of  the anti-semitic, racist mobs who descended on Charlottesville.
“Last weekend’s horrific events in Charlottesville, VA were a wake-up call for our country.  We can longer ignore the fact that racism has a longstanding, deep-rooted history in our nation.  In his campaign, President Trump appealed to that racism and empowered white supremacists. What happened in Charlottesville, VA was the predictable result of that encouragement from the top of the Republican party.  The violence and racial hatred we saw in Charlottesville can happen anywhere in America.
As the Democratic slate, we will not stand idly by. We will stand up for what is right and just. Our Republican opponents, some of whom have been quite vocal in their support of the president, must do so as well. When the leader of their party refers to “Fine people” among the white supremacists marching with torches, it is time for local Republicans to repudiate their president.
We must not delude ourselves that this only a problem in the South.  Racism exists here in New Britain, from the institutional racism that leaves our children in underfunded, segregated schools, to the unconscious bias in appointing members of boards and commissions to overt incidents at the Water and Fire Departments.  The people of New Britain deserve leaders who represent them and will stand up for justice.  The New Britain Democrats wholeheartedly condemn the violent display of hate, bigotry and racism that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Together, we will stand up against racism in our country but most importantly right here in New Britain.”

Think globally. Act locally. Support New Britain Democrats

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NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.

newbritaindemocrat.org editor, John McNamara.

THANK YOU

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

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You’re Invited: Democratic Picnic at Quartette Club, Sunday August 6th

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New Britain Democratic Town Committee

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Vote Democratic – Row A – Tuesday November 7th

Dear Democrat:

New Britain Democrats invite you to our picnic for the Democratic municipal slate on Sunday, August 6th, from 2 to 6 p.m., rain or shine, at  The Quartette Club.

Join Mayoral Nominee Merrill Gay and a diverse, talented slate of candidates who are stepping up to serve New Britain over the next two years.

DONATE ONLINE

Festivities include BBQ, desserts, beverages, music, horse shoes, games and awards recognizing Democrats for service to party and community.

Your support is needed to get out the vote and help Merrill and the Democratic slate build a better New Britain for all the city’s residents.

Picnic tickets are available at $25. Children 10 and under are free. Contact newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com or call headquarters at 860-505-8901 for tickets, reservations and more information.   All donations are welcome in accordance with state campaign finance laws.

GET A CONTRIBUTION FORM

And if you can volunteer a day or an hour of your time to encourage your family, friends and neighbors to vote Row A please sign up today.

Sincerely,

Bill Shortell, Town Chair

 

NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.

newbritaindemocrat.org editor, John McNamara.

THANK YOU

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

 

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Diverse Democratic Slate Endorsed With Merrill Gay As Candidate For Mayor

The Democratic Town Committee met at New Britain City Hall July 20th and endorsed a municipal slate led by the Board of Education’s Merrill Gay.

Gay, endorsed this week by the United Auto Workers and the Working Families Party, accepted Democrats’ unanimous support for Mayor after an evening of balloting for Common Council, the Board of Education and other city offices.

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Members of the Democratic slates at Democratic Town Committee endorsement meeting.At center is Mayoral Candidate Merrill Gay (Photo by F. Gerratana)

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Democratic nomination for mayor of New Britain,” said Gay. “The people of New Britain deserve to know what both mine and my opponent’s vision for New Britain are and whether or not we are here for the long haul. That is why I am challenging my opponent to four debates. This campaign promises to be an exciting one and I am confident that the team we have assembled will work as a unit to build a better New Britain.” Gay, saying the city needs a full-time mayor not pursuing political interests outside the city, said that he and other Democrats running in the municipal election are seeking local office in response to President Trump’s divisive and destructive leadership and the Republican Party’s complicity in the Trump agenda.

Democrats endorsed a common council slate of two incumbents and 13 new candidates.

The five aldermen at large candidates include Emmanuel Sanchez, the current Ward 3 representative; former Alderwoman Eva Magnuszewski, Katie Breslin, Yvonne Muniz and Richard Reyes.

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Democrats’ Alderman At Large slate: from left Yvonne Muniz, Richard Reyes, Katie Breslin and Eva Magnuszewski (F Gerratana photo)

Ward 1 candidates are Veronica DeLandro and Molly McGuire; Ward 2 Lamar Bowsky and Brian Keith Albert; Ward 3 Iris Sanchez and Aram Ayalon; Ward 4 Robert Berriault and Michael Gendron and Ward 5 incumbent Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. and Francisco Santiago.

Getting the nod for Board of Education are incumbent Daisy Sanchez, Annie Parker and Violette Sims.

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Board of Education Democrats from left Daisy Sanchez, Annie Parker and Violette Sims. (F Gerratana photo)

The Town and City Clerk endorsement went to incumbent Mark Bernacki. Lanette Spranzo Macaruso is the Democratic candidate for Tax Collector and Ron Jakubowski, longtime New Britain educator, received support for Treasurer.

For Board of Assessment Appeal Wyatt Bosworth and Georgette Cicero were endorsed. Constable candidates are Willie Justiniano, Tom Shields, Peter Spano and Patrice Smith.

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Merrill Gay confers with DTC members Suzanne Bielinski, Rep. Rick Lopes and Peter Kochol before the endorsement. (F. Gerratana photo)

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Veronica DeLandro (left) and Molly McGuire (foreground) are endorsed for Ward One Council. (F Gerratana photo)

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Lamar Bowsky Ward 2

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Keith Albert Ward 2

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Newcomer Inis Sanchez for Ward 3

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Bobby Berriault is candidate for Ward 4 Council (F Gerratana photo)

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The Ward 5 Council slate: Incumbent Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. and Francisco Santiago (F. Gerratana photo)

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DTC Officers at Democratic Endorsement Meeting  (F. Gerrratana photo)

Think globally. Act locally. Support New Britain Democrats

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION online or by mail

NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.

newbritaindemocrat.org editor, John McNamara.

THANK YOU

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

 

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Gerratana Reception Is Sunday July 16th for Possible 2018 Statewide Run; City Democratic Slate Welcomed At Pre-Endorsement Reception

New Britain Reception For Senator Gerratana’s Statewide Exploratory Committee Sunday, July 16th

Terry Bielinski Gerratana, the four-term state senator representing New Britain, Berlin and part of Farmington, is exploring a statewide run for Comptroller in the run up to the 2018 election.

State Senator Terry Gerratana (F. Gerratana photo)

Her Terry for CT committee will hold a  fundraising reception at the home of Adrienne Benjamin and Steve Horowitz, 288 Steele Street, on Sunday July 16th from 1 to 4 p.m. 

In the legislature Gerratana is co-chair of the Public Health Committee and serves on the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.  A leader in the passage children’s health care laws, managed care and mental health reform, Senator Gerratana’s worked on critical public health issues in 2016 including the enactment of a multi-faceted law designed to curb opioid addiction.

The New Britain native’s extensive public service career includes 10 years in the state House of Representatives from the former 23rd assembly district where she was House Chair of Human Services. She was the 2004 Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress. Gerratana also served as a commissioner of the State Elections Enforcement Commission before being elected to the Senate in a 2011 special election and was a member of New Britain’s ethics commission during the administration of former Mayor Don DeFronzo who she succeeded in the state Senate.

To RSVP email aadriennebb@gmail.com or to contribute  visit www.terryforct.com/benjamin

Democrats Host Reception For Municipal Candidates

The Democratic Town Committee hosted a reception for candidates seeking endorsement for municipal offices on Tuesday July 11th at the Paradise Restaurant on East Street.

The DTC will meet on Thursday July 20th at New Britain City Hall to endorse a slate of candidates for city offices including Mayor, Town and City Clerk, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Common Council, Board of Education Board of Assessment Appeal and Constable. John McNamara, Democratic State Central Committeeman and DTC member, introduced candidates saying that Democrats will nominate a strong slate led by Merrill Gay for Mayor who will reflect the city’s diversity and strengths.

Frank Gerratana captured the reception in pictures

 

Looking Ahead:  Democratic Party Summer Picnic Saturday August 6th

Join the Democratic Town Committee for its summer picnic in support of the municipal slate at the Quartette Club, Quartette Club Avenue.  Rain or shine. Meet our candidates for city offices.

Festivities include music, horse shoes, outdoor games and awards program recognizing Democrats for service to party and the community. Suggested donation is $25. Children 10 and under free. Advertising opportunities available. Contact newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com for more information and to volunteer.

END QUOTE

“There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that isn’t reborn every day in the peripheries, that doesn’t transform the rejected stones of the economy into corner stones.There is no justice together if it isn’t together with today’s excluded ones.”  Pope Francis, speaking to a group of Italian union leaders on June 28th

Think globally. Act locally. Support New Britain Democrats

MAKE A CONTRIBUTION online or by mail

NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.

newbritaindemocrat.org editor, John McNamara.

THANK YOU

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

 

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Democratic Momentum: Merrill for Mayor Committee Raises $26,000 In Second Quarter

 

Mayoral Candidate Merrill Gay, who seeks the Democratic Party’s endorsement later this month, announced that his campaign raised over $26,000 during the second quarter to bring his campaign total to $32,000 in his bid for the City’s top seat.

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Board of Education Member Merrill Gay is seeking the Democratic endorsement for Mayor. (F. Gerratana photo)

In a statement released July 10th the Merrill for Mayor Committee said the Democrat’s campaign has increasingly picked up momentum since an  April 23rd announcement.

“Merrill’s campaign has gained momentum every day — from knocking on over 1,500 doors to date, to talking with voters across the City, this grassroots effort is taking shape and gaining ground.”

“Our City has been through so many ups and downs, our focus on economic growth and better management of our resources is being well received. Voters are concerned about higher taxes, jobs and New Britain schools,” said Gay. “I’m humbled by the outpouring of support that’s come from across our New Britain. Residents want to see our storefronts open, they want to have good paying jobs, and they want to know that their futures, and our children’s, are secure. That’s what I’m fighting for. I’m fighting to build a better New Britain.”

“The energy around this campaign and the slate that Merrill and the team are putting together have everyone kicked into high gear” said former mayor and state senator Don DeFronzo. Community leader and activist Ron Davis said, “I am proud to be supporting Merrill for Mayor and we have a candidate that would truly be a mayor of the people”.

Gay, part of a community-wide team that brought New Britain its “All America City” status over the last two years,  has been a member of New Britain’s Board of Education since 2014, and is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance. In his advocacy work he has championed New Britain’s entry to join the National Campaign for Grade Level Reading.

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