Political Roundup: Shawn Wooden in Concert / Dennis House, WFSB & White Privilege

Community Update: Gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Pelto and his running mate Ebony Murphy both ducked Community Party member Mary Sanders’ question about racial justice issues during a candidate forum on Monday. Watch for yourself at the 1:26:21 mark of the Connecticut Network video… http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=10441 Office of Policy and Management Under Secretary Mike Lawlor, Central Connecticut State University researcher Ken Barone and token Black William Dyson of the so-called Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project attempted to spin the latest data on racial profiling in this state. Stay tuned for updates… https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/gov-dan-malloys-stooges-spin-racial-profiling-stats/ Carlos Camacho of the CT Justice Party remixed a classic Hip-Hop joint for Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra… https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/its-all-about-the-baseball-benjamins-by-pedro-segarra/ Check out our Resources section at the end of this column for a look at the July Fourth holiday from a racial justice perspective.

“Mayor Pedro Segarra announced the plan on June 4, with City Council President Shawn Wooden standing next to him. On June 8, Segarra said it was ‘a done deal.’ In other words, the time for your public input was never. Last week, my WNPR colleague Jeff Cohen reported that the city has already put the stadium architect job out to bid, even though the stadium itself hasn’t been approved.

“Meanwhile,… the deal is falling apart. The voters don’t like the largesse bestowed on the wealthy Rock Cats owners. Wooden is getting clubbed by state Sen. Eric Coleman, his opponent in a primary for Coleman’s seat, for being a directionless tool. Wooden, who stood with Segarra and never objected to the ‘done deal,’ is now moving backward like a crawfish on crack and insisting on bigger private investment.” ~ Courant columnist Colin McEnroe on the Hartford stadium controversy

Big shout out to WFSB TV Face the State host Dennis House, who apparently has signed on to be Wooden’s new campaign manager. House totally distorted the facts about stadiums during the program last Sunday. House named Baltimore, Maryland as an example of a city where a new stadium was a “success.” Read on for the actual statistics on Baltimore and Jacksonville, Florida. House also said that former major league baseball player and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville named “many minor league cities” where stadiums have boosted economic development and employment, when Glanville and Wooden appeared on Face the State two weeks ago. Glanville did not provide one statistic to support his claim.

It’s the Concert Event of the Summer!

You saw, read and heard Hartford City Council President / state Senate candidate Shawn Wooden all last week, as he desperately tried to explain away his flip-flop on the New Britain Rock Cats Hartford stadium deal. Now Shawn will be taking his performance to the next level as he spins live in concert! The Corporate Media Spin Tour will feature Shawn performing his greatest hits…

I Always Wanted Private Funding (I Just Never Said It), Stadiums = Jobs, Forget About My Flip-Flop, Don’t Take Your Vote Away, I Want Your Primary Love, Solid as a Rock Cat, Bonding with You, and Stop Dogging My Stadium Plan (featuring DMX).

If you don’t have money for a ticket, just borrow it like the City of Hartford does!

This is a Politics as Usual production.

“Advocates justify the construction of the stadiums with public subsidies and tax
dollars in two very distinct ways. The first way points directly to economic benefits.
Advocates say that a newly constructed sports stadium will revive the local economy and
expedite its growth within the immediate region. Secondly, proponents say that a new
stadium can act as a job creator and have multiplier effects on the local economy.

“However, more often than not these claims turn out to be untrue. In order to understand
the economics of sports stadiums one must separate fact from fiction. Cities believe that
investing millions of public tax dollars into a stadium will improve the cities image and
thus attract new investment and business dollars. However, Mark Rosentraub, an expert
on sports economics says that using sports franchises as a way to stimulate economic development is a myth. (as cited in Delaney & Eckstein, 2003).

“In Jacksonville, team owners for a new NFL stadium projected that $130 million a
year and 3,000 new jobs would be added to Jacksonville’s local economy. In Baltimore,
1,394 new jobs were projected to be created with the construction of their new stadium.
However, none of these projections were actually realized. The projections were only realized by one-tenth of what they were estimated. (Baade & Sanderson, 1997).

“Why are projections so far off? Consulting firms perform much of the promotional studies for team owners that contained flawed methodologies and unrealistic assumptions. A consultant who provided a report not consistent with favorable results was immediately fired or not given
new contracts with team owners in the future. Therefore, these studies, more often than
not, concluded adding a sports franchise will have a meaningful impact on the local
economy. ” ~ Haverford College report, The Economic Effects of Sports Stadiums and Franchises

It would be nice if Wooden put the same energy into talking about racial wage / wealth disparity in this city as he has doing his pathetic spin tour. http://www.faireconomy.org/news/state_of_the_dream_2010_drained Segarra and Wooden got played like racquetball by the Rock Cats owners because they were only thinking of advancing their own political careers. This myopia made them easy marks and their self-serving scheme blew up in their faces. If Segarra and Wooden were truly thinking about the best interests of Hartford residents, they would have never considered trying to foist this fraud on the people in the first place. This issue is emblematic of the mentality of corporatist Democrats who are so eager to impress their ruling class puppet masters, they become victims of the same element who put them in power.

If these two bunglers were sincere about putting a dent in Black / Latino unemployment, which hovers at Depression-era levels, they would implement egalitarian measures such as the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s Jackson Plan. http://mxgm.org/the-jackson-plan-a-struggle-for-self-determination-participatory-democracy-and-economic-justice/ The Jackson Plan is based on participatory democracy in the form of the Jackson People’s Assembly and worker owned cooperatives. The late Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, a self-described Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat, successfully launched worker cooperatives in that city. Worker cooperatives also thrive in Boston, western Massachusetts, southern Vermont, the San Francisco Bay Area, Madison, Wisconsin, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worker_cooperative#Comparison_with_other_work_organizations

House mentioned on Face the State that the city is now putting together a stadium proposal that would include other elements, including the planned North Hartford supermarket which initially was scrapped after the stadium deal was announced. The concern with this plan would be a lack of access for North End residents on days that the Rock Cats are playing or the stadium is in use for other events, due to traffic and parking issues. Councilman Larry Deutsch, who was a guest on Face the State, talked about the need for year-round jobs that pay a living wage. The city’s revamped proposal should include a stipulation that jobs connected to the stadium, supermarket and any other related businesses must meet this criteria. Deutsch said that he has asked the city’s attorneys if $50 million will be placed in an escrow account, so that the city will have cash on hand if the Rock Cats move in four or five years and the city is stuck with an empty stadium (the scenario that New Britain currently faces). No one has given Deutsch an answer.

House had a problem with Deutsch’s plan to have a referendum on the stadium, using the city’s low voter turnout as justification. The number is low because residents in the poverty stricken areas of Hartford see that their economic plight remains the same, no matter who gets elected. House would obviously prefer that Segarra and Wooden make the call with no input from community residents, which is what started this damn mess in the first place. House’s stance on the stadium plan is yet another example of what Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman refers to as the Access of Evil. http://www.thenation.com/article/access-evil House is acting as a mouthpiece for the city’s power brokers, who wanted this stadium to be built on the people’s dime.

While House and his colleagues at WFSB sit and smile in front of TV cameras every day, all hunky-dory with their white privilege, people of color in this city are dying slowly. These community residents bravely endure poverty on a daily basis; if the on-air personalities at WFSB experienced these conditions for 15 minutes, they would jump out of a window. I’m talking about folks who stay outside all day during the summer. They’re not out there because they’re enjoying the fine weather. They can’t stay inside too long, because it’s so damn hot and they don’t have air conditioning. I submit that If House and his co-workers had to walk a mile in the shoes of the poor, their approach to journalism would change dramatically.

The only time that you will see a WFSB satellite truck in North Hartford is when a Black or Latino male is being chalked out in the street; they would have absolutely no interest in covering a community meeting on the socioeconomic causes of urban street violence. WFSB regularly perpetuates the racist image of North Hartford as the area to be avoided at all costs. The truth is that the North End is filled with insightful people who see through the bs of city politics better than anyone else. House, instead of blaming the people for the voter turnout numbers, why don’t you actually talk to them and ask how they feel about the hustlers who work at 550 Main Street? I’m talking about the people who live on streets like Cabot, Enfield and Westland, the areas that WFSB uses to air their images of violence pornography. You could even have North Hartford residents as guests on your show. Talk to the people for a change, instead of the crooks and liars whose public policies have created the conditions that WFSB exploits every day.

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/ Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com.

Resources:

50 Examples of White Privilege in Daily Life:

http://jimbuie.blogs.com/journal/2007/11/50-examples-of-.html

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on the extrajudicial killing of Black people:

http://www.operationghettostorm.org/

Frederick Douglass’ speech, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”:

http://www.freemaninstitute.com/douglass.htm

“Counter-Revolution of 1776”: Was U.S. Independence War a Conservative Revolt in Favor of Slavery?

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/6/27/counter_revolution_of_1776_was_us

David Samuels

Founder

Community Party

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