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The Chris Powell Column

McMahon mocks GOP even as they cheer her on

The Chris Powell Column

Linda McMahon has bought Connecticut’s Republican Party for two years now, but last Tuesday the party bought her as well. In the primary for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 2010 McMahon got less than 50 percent of the vote. Tuesday, Aug. 14, she got three-quarters of it, thumping former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays.

What Donovan teaches; and put Ganim on radio

The Chris Powell Column

However it ends, the federal criminal charges surrounding state House Speaker Chris Donovan’s congressional campaign will have provided a good primer about the political economy of Connecticut.

First state government raised cigarette taxes so high as to confer great profitability on not only cigarette smuggling but also the rental by smokers of cigarette manufacturing machines in “roll your own” tobacco shops. When the state tried to enforce the cigarette tax on the shops, a court found that the tax didn’t cover cigarettes made by people rolling their own on rented machines.

What Donovan teaches us in CT; and please, put Ganim on the radio

The Chris Powell Column

However it ends, the federal criminal charges surrounding state House Speaker Chris Donovan’s congressional campaign will have provided a good primer about the political economy of Connecticut.

First state government raised cigarette taxes so high as to confer great profitability on not only cigarette smuggling but also the rental by smokers of cigarette manufacturing machines in “roll your own” tobacco shops. When the state tried to enforce the cigarette tax on the shops, a court found that the tax didn’t cover cigarettes made by people rolling their own on rented machines.

‘Obamacare’ decision invites everyone to grow up

All’s well that ends well, and it’s well enough that the Supreme Court has decided that it’s constitutional for the government to attempt a medical insurance system that covers not just the elderly and the poor but, at last, everyone in between too. With a little luck this principle will be accepted as the contention focuses more on details of implementation.

Nice place to visit, but would we still want to live here?

The Chris Powell Column

His predecessor cut state government’s tourism promotion account down to nothing, but despite a huge state budget deficit Gov. Malloy is raising the account to $27 million and launching an advertising campaign touting Connecticut as “still revolutionary.”

Will it make any difference?

Tourism is said to be responsible for 110,000 jobs and $11.5 billion in annual spending in Connecticut, with about a tenth of that siphoned off for state and local taxes.

Medical marijuana is a legislative smokescreen

The Chris Powell Column

No issue may have consumed more of the General Assembly’s time more trivially in recent years than “medical marijuana.” Such legislation at last has cleared the state House of Representatives and Senate, and Gov. Malloy says he’ll sign it. But it’s not likely to make any difference, except maybe to let some legislators pose as more compassionate than some of their colleagues.

Smoke screen, and education reform

The Chris Powell Column

No issue may have consumed more of the General Assembly’s time more trivially in recent years than “medical marijuana.” Such legislation at last has cleared the state House of Representatives and Senate, and Gov. Malloy says he’ll sign it. But it’s not likely to make any difference, except maybe to let some legislators pose as more compassionate than some of their colleagues.

A lesson from UConn, and death penalty hype

The Chris Powell Column

For years University of Connecticut officials insisted that they could not do much about the worsening disorder of “Spring Weekend” at the university’s main campus at Storrs.

For a while the university tried staging fairly wholesome events on campus that might draw students and their friends to places where they might be under closer watch and away from alcohol. But it didn’t work, because drunken binges had become the whole idea of “Spring Weekend.”

A lesson from UConn; and death penalty hype

The Chris Powell Column

For years University of Connecticut officials insisted that they could not do much about the worsening disorder of “Spring Weekend” at the university’s main campus at Storrs.

Teachers admit it’s not all about them

The Chris Powell Column

With Gov. Malloy declining to be the public employee union stooge some of his supporters wanted him to be and instead challenging tenure and proposing a more serious evaluation system, Connecticut’s teachers are fighting back. They’re stacking the governor’s hearings on his education reform legislation and publishing rebuttals, and their main union, the Connecticut Education Association, is broadcasting a TV commercial criticizing him.