Archive for June, 2012

Jobs Coming to Connecticut from Italy?
June 15, 2012

It is no secret Connecticut is the most Italian state in the country, having a greater percentage of Italian Americans in its population than any other state.     Those were the findings of the most recent census.   What you may not know, is that an official from the Italian government lives here in our state, and is elected to the government in Rome by some of your friends and neighbors.

Quintino Cianfaglione is the cavalieri elected to represent the interests of some 650,000 people in Connecticut and parts of New York state.   There are only eleven such elected officials spread across the United States.      Cavalieri Cianfaglione is my guest this weekend on Face the State, and talks about his duties, the Italian people in Connecticut, and possible jobs coming to our state from Italy.

I’m proud of my Italian heritage, and coincidentally, Cavalieri Cianfaglione is from the same region of Italy (Abruzzo) as my great-grandfather Paolo Chiulli.    We plan on visiting the ancestral homeland this summer.

Paolo Chiulli

Tune in this Sunday morning at 11AM for Face the State, only on Channel 3.

Also read about my quest to learn more about my Italian roots:

Sharkey, Klarides Talk Donovan Investigation
June 15, 2012

This Sunday on Face the State we are joined by the man set to become the next Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey, and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.  The two talked about the special session, and about the investigation into current Speaker Chris Donovan.

During the taping, Sharkey talked about what federal investigators asked him and both Sharkey and Klemides gave their feelings on whether the Speaker did anything wrong.

Sharkey will become the next Speaker if Democrats retain control of the House.   Klemides predicted Republicans would gain the majority, something that hasn’t happened in years.

We are also joined by two young journalists making their Face the State debut.   Jesse Buchanan has been covering the Donovan case for the Meriden Record-Journal, and Matt Stevens is an editorial writer the Waterbury Republican American.

Tune in this Sunday at 11AM for Face the State, only on Channel 3.

Pride of Connecticut Spews Expletives on TV
June 15, 2012

On Tuesday at the Big Summer Night celebration with Arianna Huffington a the Connecticut Convention Center, many folks in the crowd were buzzing about Jonathan Quick, the native of Hamden and Milford who had just been named the NHL Stanley Cup MVP.     Governor Malloy, a big hockey fan, was quite proud and the town of Milford proclaimed June 14th Jonathan Quick day.     Congressman Chris Murphy tweeted kudos for the hometown hockey player.  Quick’s alma mater, Avon Old Farms,  had visions of the Stanley Cup coming to campus.     No doubt school officials and lawmakers were thrilled at the prospect of this star coming to Connecticut and speaking publicly.    

This morning they may be reconsidering.

Yesterday, in front of a crowd of 18,000 fans at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with tens of thousand of people watching on television at home, Quick and his teammates basked in the glow of their tremendous accomplishment, and then Quick took the microphone.      The astonished crowd and the likely apoplectic management at Fox Sports watched as Quick uttered  variations of the “F” word three times. 

The story and the video are right here:

Reminds me of a story I wrote last year.

What do you think? 


Face the State Flashback: Rowland Kicks Off Campaign for Historic 3rd Term
June 14, 2012

Just about ten years ago, John Rowland launched his campaign for an historic third term as governor.  It was no secret he was going to try to make history, but the official kickoff of the campaign didn’t happen until July 1, 2002, only four months before election day. 

Rowland was very popular then, with a Quinnipiac Poll approval rating of 63% in May of ’02,  and polls showing him easily defeating any Democrat who might challenge him.     No wonder there was no rush to get the campaign going.

In this week’s Face the State flashback, we will take you back a decade with a report from our archives on Rowland’s campaign kickoff at the then-unfinished Adriaen’s Landing in Hartford.     You’ll hear the Republican take a swipe at the Democratic nominee Bill Curry, and Curry attack the man who defeated him 1994, and did again in ’02.    Protestors were also on hand for Rowland’s campaign announcement.

Rowland remains the only governor in Connecticut history to be elected to three four year terms.      Of course, he never finished that last term, and will be remembered in the history books for that early departure and  subsequent time in prison. 

You can watch the entire flashback,  right here

The House Girls Visit Fenway
June 13, 2012

I recently took my wife and daughter for their very first visit to Fenway Park.   Kara doesn’t have that much interest in baseball, and actually hadn’t been to a game since we went to Comerica Park in her hometown of Detroit nearly a decade ago.    I figure Kara made me sit through the coma inducing “Eat, Pray, Love,” at the movies, so I felt no guilt whatsoever in dragging her off to something that was actually fun.

My daughter hasn’t shown much interest in America’s pastime either, but she was excited by the prospect of visiting an old historic park, seeing the game for the first time, and eating food in the stands.   Riding the T was also a highlight of the day.   

It was brutally hot in my brother’s seats in the right field grandstands, which are really some of the best seats at Fenway.   One sitting there could literally reach over and touch a player.  Hmmm, wonder if anyone has ever done that?

We wrapped up our trip to Boston with a trip to the famous Swan Boats in the Public Garden.    My mother, who lives in suburban Boston, also trekked in for this momentous occasion in the life of my 5 year old.    You can see the three House girls in this picture.     

 It’s amazing how a water attraction can bring out people.   Hartford should really speed up plans to bring back the river that once ran through Bushnell Park. 

Join Arianna, Kara and Me for One of the Hottest Parties of Summer ’12
June 8, 2012

Kara and I are very excited about a big event tonight and there are still some tickets left.     It is called “One Big Summer Night,” and the headline says it all.  It is one of the best parties of the summer and benefits a place that is near and dear to me, the Hartford Public Library.

We are really looking forward to meeting this year’s big guest:  Arianna Huffington,  Founder and CEO of the Huffington Post.    Huffington is an author, commentator, and one of my favorite politicos to watch, even though I may not agree with everything she has to say, but she engages a good discussion.   What a year to have her in Hartford, with a presidential election that is shaping up to be very close, and a senate race that will no doubt make national headlines.

Last year’s event was a sell-out crowd and everyone who went there had rave reviews. 

Kara and I hope to see you there.  For tickets call  860-695-6360 or e-mail:

You can read more about the event and Arianna Huffington from the Library’s CEO, Matt Poland.

Face the State Flashback: The News Bel Air
June 8, 2012

With the season finale of Mad Men set for  Sunday, I thought I’d look for a clip from the 1960s for this week’s Face the State flashback.     Deep in the Channel 3 archives I found a report that shows some vintage campaigning from 1964.

The old film covers a day of campaigning by then 1st district Congressman Emilio Daddario.     In the report you’ll see a neatly dressed Daddario at various stops.  Look for a vintage Dunkin’ Donuts, a landmark bowling alley that is still here today, and the outfits people wore back in the day.

The report was filed by Larrye  deBear, who later became the first moderator of our Sunday political show when our call letters were WTIC.   Larrye  left Channel 3  a decade later when he was named press secretary to the newly elected Governor Ella Grasso.  In the clip, you’ll  see Larrye talking about politics in front of one of our mobile newsrooms, a 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air.    At least that’s what I think the car is.      It could be a Chevy Biscayne, which was a stripped down version of the Bel Air.    I welcome any automotive experts watching Sunday for an official ruling.

You can watch the entire flashback right here:

Donovan: I’m not an Incompetent Manager
June 8, 2012

House Speaker Chris Donovan has granted his first extended interview since the scandal broke that surrounds his campaign for congress in CT-5.   Donovan came to WFSB for a taping of “Face the State,” which yesterday on Channel 3.

The interview came together quickly early  Thursday  evening, and was booked just a few minutes before I entered the studio for Eyewitness News at 5.    Two reporters were at the station for the taping, Rick Green of the Hartford Courant, and Matt DeRienzo of the Torrington Register Citizen.   Both had been booked in advance for a segment about the 5th district race and the Donovan controversy, and in response to the change in the the guest list, they then  analyzed what Donovan said to say during his Face the State interview.

We knew going into the interview not to expect any new details about the federal investigation.    Donovan has made it clear that he can’t talk about the investigation, a point he repeated during our conversation.

During our 15 minute interview I asked Donovan about his campaign operation,  and how he is dealing with the pressure of a federal investigation.    We talked about his involvement in the day to day operations of the campaign, and what has changed since his finance director was arrested by the feds.    He responded to charges he is an incompetent manager, and how he could not have known something was up considering the campaign staff is so small.    

DH:  How involved are you in the day to day management of the campaign?

CD:     I have a campaign manager. My job is to go out and meet the people.

Donovan told me he first learned about the federal investigation on television.  I asked him who was the first person he called after hearing the news, but he declined to answer.

Donovan was also asked about Governor Dan Malloy and Congressman Chris Murphy.      The two did not endorse him, even though he has been one of the most powerful people in government for years.  He suggested it is because one of his opponents, Elizabeth Esty, is married to the commissioner of the DEEP.    Donovan said since the scandal broke, he has heard from the governor, but not Murphy.      The Speaker then quoted Harry Truman, by saying “if you want a friend, get a dog.”    Two WFSB producers who watched the taping, felt that was a swipe at the man Donovan hopes to succeed.

Donovan talked at length about the support he has received from voters, even pulling out a letter from a constituent.      He said he will win the primary and bristled when I asked what would happen if he should get arrested.

You can watch the entire interview right here:

Analysis from DeRienzo and Green here:

Read Matt DeRienzo’s report here:

Rick Green’s here:

Christine Stuart’s here:

Donovan Tapes Face the State
June 7, 2012


Breaking news from WFSB:  embattled House Speaker Chris Donovan taped an interview for Sunday’s Face the State tonight.    We are working on a preview right now that will air tonight on Channel 3 Eyewitness News at 11.   More details later. 


Diane Smith is Positively on Face the State this Sunday
June 1, 2012

This Sunday we are joined a woman who has chronicled Connecticut more than anyone I know, Diane Smith.     Smith is the face of CT-N, the state television network that broadcasts all things government and politics.     She is also an accomplished author and Emmy winning broadcaster, who is known to people across the state for her “Positively Connecticut,” books and reports on CPTV.     When I first moved here, Diane was one of the evening anchors at WTNH, and later became a mainstay on morning radio at WTIC AM 1080.     

Diane is with us this week to talk politics, CT-N and about Lowell Weicker.   Diane is hosting an event with the former governor and senator, who is something of a pariah in our state,  unfairly so,  in my opinion.   Diane’s too.   

We also talk about Diane’s new venture with WFSB alumna Mika Brzezinski.

You can watch the entire interview with Diane this Sunday morning on Face the State at 11, only on Channel 3. 

More on the Smith Weicker event here:

Check out Weicker on Face the State from April:


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