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The Chris Powell Column

Suffragette’s notebook shows struggle

The Chris Powell Column

Having elected two women governors, including the first elected without following her husband in office, and being largely indifferent politically to gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, Connecticut seems to have lost appreciation for the country’s first great civil rights movement — the movement for women’s suffrage.
But maybe that will change a little with the discovery by Connecticut’s League of Women Voters of a notebook compiled in the summer of 1918 by a suffragette, Gladys Bragdon, recording her interviews with state legislators about granting women the right to vote.

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A war withut asking; and a rationale for bloat

The Chris Powell Column

Another day, another imperial war. This time it’s intervention in the civil war in Libya, whose mode of governance suddenly is considered a crucial interest of the United States, though nobody suggested as much only a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, the United States and its allies were happy to help pump and purchase Libya’s oil and thus finance the regime of the dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

A scandal much bigger than higher education

The Chris Powell Column

Gov. Malloy says consolidating the state university system and community college administrations will save “tens of millions of dollars over time.” How much time? It might take tens of millions of years.
Certainly the higher education bureaucracy could use pruning. The chancellor of the state university system, whose retirement Malloy seems to have hastened, is being paid nearly $400,000 per year, and university presidents are earning nearly $300,000.

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Accountability and openness the way to go

The Chris Powell Column

Among the agency consolidations proposed in Gov. Malloy’s budget is the merger of the state Freedom of Information Commission, the Elections Enforcement Commission, the Office of State Ethics, the Judicial Review Council and the Contracting Standards Board into something to be called the Office of Government Accountability. The projected savings would be small and might not materialize for a few years, since consolidation would impose its own costs, like installing new computer systems.

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Malloy feeds machine: Who has a better idea?

The Chris Powell Column

Grouse at Gov. Malloy all you want, but during the election campaign, as the Democratic nominee, he said he would raise taxes even as his Republican opponent pledged not to. At budget briefings last week, the governor and his staff outlined how he proposes to give Connecticut what it voted for: big income, sales and gasoline tax increases.

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Been there, done that, the result: 20 years of decline

The Chris Powell Column

Here we go again. Connecticut state government is far beyond broke as social conditions worsen. The governor wants huge tax increases and concessions from the state employee unions to restore solvency. The taxpaying class and the government class are at each other’s throats as the governor tries to split the difference.

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