Archive for August, 2014

No CP Hartford News Column this Week

August 28, 2014

There will be no Community Party Hartford News column this week, due to a Hartford Arts & Heritage special edition of the paper. This week we’ll share the video from an October 2013 racial profiling forum in Hartford. Mary Sanders, who wrote CP’s Trayvon Martin Act, talks about the REAL history of this issue in Connecticut, specifically CP’s role in reforming the Alvin W. Penn Act, the state racial profiling law. Last week I talked about how Courant reporter Daniela Altimari and Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie engaged in revisionist history with members of the so-called Racial Profiling Prohibition Project.

Mary appears at about the 1 hour, 44 minute mark of the Connecticut Network video, followed by Adam Osmond. The shooting of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown by patrol officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri has resulted in a nationwide push to pass a federal law requiring state, county and local police to wear cameras. CP will add a camera provision to the 2015 Trayvon Act. Stay tuned!

David Samuels


Community Party


CT Mirror Report: Pelto Won’t Make Gubernatorial Ballot

August 25, 2014

Pelto concedes his petition effort will fall short

By: Mark Pazniokas | August 25, 2014
CT Mirror

Jonathan Pelto.

In conceding he almost certainly would fall short of the 7,500 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot for governor, Jonathan Pelto said Monday his campaign had submitted only about 4,000 signatures.

“I think it was in the range of 4,000 that we put in centrally,” Pelto said, adding that he was relying on an ad hoc network of loosely organized volunteers to independently submit the rest. “There was a rump group out there.”

Pelto, a former Democratic legislator, said he heard from a couple hundred people who told him they had taken out petitions, giving him hope the would double the number collected by his campaign.

“Now, I am thinking that was over optimistic,” he said.

Pelto said he believes that local officials – the petitions are checked by town clerks and tallied by the secretary of the state’s office – had invalidated hundreds of signatures, some improperly and some for cause.

For example, Pelto was aware of petition sheets with voters from West Hartford and Wethersfield being mistakenly submitted to the clerk in West Hartford. All the West Hartford signatures were accepted, but the Wethersfield ones were not.

“It was clearly a mistake” by his campaign, he said.

Pelto said other signatures were invalidated by local officials misreading state law, but even if they were allowed, he believes he still would fall short.

The secretary of the state’s office is expected to announce Pelto’s tally later this week. Local officials had to finish checking signatures on Aug. 20, then they mailed the petition sheets to the secretary of the state.

Democrats Pimp Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown for Votes

August 25, 2014

Reports have surfaced about the Democrats setting up voter registration booths at rallies for Michael Brown, the unarmed Black teen who was shot and killed by patrol officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. In 2012 and 2013 I wrote columns about the Democrats exploiting the lynching of Trayvon Martin. The Community Party will add a provision to our 2015 Trayvon Martin Act requiring all state, county and local police in Connecticut to wear cameras. See our current bill language here.

David Samuels
Community Party

Trayvon Martin, Political Football

April 1, 2012

This column appeared in the April 5 – 12, 2012 edition of the Hartford News…

The World Socialist Website recently published a commentary entitled “Democrats Seek to Channel Mass Anger Over Killing of Trayvon Martin”. The piece included the following assessment of the political reaction to Trayvon’s murder. “Various politicians, both Democrat and Republican – including President Obama – have sought to express sympathy for Martin. Their aim is to forestall any discussion of the more basic social questions behind the killing, and to divert popular anger into safe political channels.” The piece went on to give the example of a Trayvon Martin rally in Detroit where several speakers used Trayvon’s killing as a reason for why Obama should be re-elected. This type of opportunism is not limited to the major political parties. Occupy Hartford, a group who I criticized in a recent column for ignoring the racial profiling bill which is currently being debated at the State Capitol, quickly climbed aboard the Trayvon bandwagon by posting articles about the shooting and promoting a rally in North Hartford which featured Mayor Pedro Segarra, City Councilman Kyle Anderson and Democratic Party operative LaResse Harvey as speakers.

“Activists” who have never cared about the killing of Black youth are suddenly showing tremendous interest in the Trayvon Martin case, a display of hypocrisy which can only be described as pathetic. While there are many people who are involved with the Trayvon Martin movement who are sincerely outraged and seeking justice, there are just as many who are simply using Trayvon as a vehicle to advance their own agendas. The social issues that the World Socialist Website alluded to certainly include racial profiling, police violence in communities of color, racist criminal justice policies, including the so called War on Drugs which is actually a war on low income urban neighborhoods, Black unemployment, racial economic disparity, racialized politics and racism in the mainstream media. This confluence of factors has resulted in a nationwide perception of young Black males as a threat who must be dealt with accordingly. The right-wing has capitalized on this stereotype by launching a smear campaign which portrays Trayvon as a foul mouthed, weed smoking jewel thief. Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report pointed out in a recent commentary that the racist policies of national and local governments gave George Zimmerman the impression that American society would approve of his actions. Ford noted that during his 911 call to police Zimmerman proclaimed that “assholes” like Trayvon “always get away”, a ludicrous statement given the facts about Black mass incarceration in this country. It should be noted that none of Zimmerman’s 46 911 calls since 2004 resulted in any arrests or the need for further action by police. Since the start of 2011 Zimmerman’s calls primarily focused on what he considered to be “suspicious” people in his neighborhood. Almost all of these “suspicious” individuals were Black males, including one whom Zimmerman descibed in a 911 call as being “7-9” years old. Democrat President Bill Clinton was instrumental in fueling Black mass incarceration through his support of racist criminal justice policies and the “welfare reform” law which has continued the cycle of poverty in Black communities. President Obama refused a 2009 demand by members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he initiate targeted job creation in communities of color, where Black unemployment has reached Depression-era levels. The unemployment rate among young Black males in some areas of Hartford is as high as 50%. Hartford has one of the highest poverty rates in the United States at 31.9%. These are the types of connections that the Democrats and their gatekeeper sycophants in North Hartford do not want you to make to the lynching of Trayvon Martin.

The lead homicide investigator in the Trayvon Martin shooting wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter on the night of the killing, but was overruled by the Florida state’s attorney. The Sanford police reportedly tagged Trayvon’s body as a John Doe, despite the fact that a police report filed February 27th at 3:07 a.m. lists his name, city of birth, address and phone number. The cops did not contact Trayvon’s parents until his father filed a missing person report later on the 27th. Why did the police hide Trayvon’s body from his parents? Zimmerman’s father, a retired judge, told a Florida TV station that he talked to the police and the state’s attorney’s office after his son shot Trayvon. What did they discuss? Mary Cutcher, a witness to the shooting which took place in her backyard, told Florida TV station WFTV that Zimmerman was the aggressor, and that it was Trayvon who was screaming for help before he was fatally shot. Cutcher said that the police only took a brief statement from her and that they have repeatedly blown off her attempts to talk further with them about what she saw and heard. The police did not take a statement from Trayvon’s girlfriend, who was on the phone with Trayvon when the confrontation with Zimmerman took place. His girlfriend had offered to come in for a sit down interview. The Orlando Sentinel reports that voice experts have refuted Zimmerman’s claim that he is the one who is heard calling for help on the 911 tape. A legal analyst for WFTV says that Zimmerman disobeying the order from the 911 dispatcher to not follow Trayvon negates his self-defense claim. As I write this column, Zimmerman has not yet been arrested.

Trayvon Martin, Political Football Part 2

August 1, 2013 at 6:51pm

This column appeared in the August 1 – 8, 2013 edition of the Hartford News… Workplace Bullying Update: Activist Cornell Lewis will talk to the Community Party about his firing from the Department of Children and Families. Lewis has been an outspoken critic of racism at that agency. The interview will appear in this column in two weeks. Check out Lewis’ blog on DCF racism. CP will partner with Rep. Matt Ritter on a town hall about workplace bullying. Stay tuned for details.

The Democratic Party is using operatives such as Al Sharpton to contain the national Trayvon Martin justice movement, while simultaneously promoting the criminalization of Black youth which directly led to Trayvon’s death. As we have reported in this column, a Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report found that Blacks are killed every 28 hours by the police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes such as George Zimmerman. The Trayvon protests which have involved Democratic politicians totally avoid the topic of police containment in Black/Brown communities, which includes harassment, brutality and murder as tactics. Zimmerman was studying law enforcement at the time he lynched Trayvon. The Sanford, Florida police did not arrest Zimmerman until global protests forced the hand of the State’s Attorney.

During a protest against the Zimmerman acquittal in Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra spoke vaguely about how “our government has failed us.” He added that a conversation must begin to “bring justice and peace.” Ok Mayor, let’s talk about President Obama endorsing New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly for the vacant Secretary of Homeland Security job. Kelly’s racist stop-and-frisk policy currently has Blacks and Latinos in New York under seige. The Atlantic Wire laid out the statistical proof of this racism in a May article on David Floyd’s stop-and frisk lawsuit against the City of New York. Floyd was subjected to a stop-and-frisk in 2008. “That stop was one of the 540,000 times that year that the police performed a stop-and-frisk procedure. It was one of the 444,000 times that year that the person being frisked was black or Latino. It was one of the 474,000 times that year that the person being frisked was not arrested for having committed a crime. For the next three years, those figures would grow.”

Obama said, “Ray Kelly’s obviously done an extraordinary job in New York.” The First Black President clearly supports Kelly’s law enforcement policies, which include stop-and-frisk. MXGM pointed out on their Twitter page that naming Kelly to the Homeland Security post would lead to nationalizing the stop-and-frisk practice. Obama is talking out of both sides of his mouth. While he talks about how Trayvon would have looked like his son and how he could have been Trayvon 35 years ago, Obama is giving his stamp of approval to the racist police tactics which created the climate that led to Trayvon’s murder. Black Youth Project blogger Mo Green discussed Obama’s hypocrisy in a recent column. “See, while Obama is busy telling black people that he feels their pain while simultaneously explaining that pain to white people, his administration is doing the work of ensuring that the white supremacy that led to Trayvon Martin’s death and his killer’s acquittal remains functioning. Now, Kelly may never be nominated, but the very fact that he has been linked to the administration in this way is once again a reminder, to me at least, that having a black head of state is insufficient for dismantling the very system that violently impacts black people’s lives on a daily basis. Kelly shouldn’t even be an option.” Black Agenda Report commentator Glen Ford weighed in. “The president has high praise, and possibly a powerful appointment in store, for Ray Kelly, the New York City Police Commissioner who has overseen and defended over five million stop-and-frisks since 2002, overwhelmingly targeting Black and brown men. Obama is looking for a new head of Homeland Security. ‘I think Ray Kelly is one of the best there is,’ Obama said. Kelly proudly justifies his management of the Mother-of-All-Stop-and-Frisk operations, as intended ‘to instill fear’ in young Blacks and Latinos that they may be patted down by a cop whenever they leave their homes. Kelly also created a massive program to spy on Muslims, not only in New York City but in other localities, and arranged for CIA agents to be embedded in the NYPD to conduct domestic surveillance – which is illegal.”

Will Segarra and Council President Shawn Wooden talk about the fact that the Democrats are using Trayvon’s death as a tool to recruit Black voters? The World Socialist Web Site reported on how the national protests that were organized by Sharpton turned out be a pep rally for the Dems. “Demonstrations were held in cities throughout the United States over the weekend in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, last year. There is popular anger over the acquittal, seen as a travesty of justice that also sets a dangerous precedent. Sections of the Democratic Party, however, have sought to exploit the tragic case for their own ends. The demonstrations were relatively small, with the largest in New York attracting more than a thousand people. Several hundred gathered in other cities, including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.

“The protests were organized by National Action Network (NAN), founded by Al Sharpton. Sharpton and the NAN are an integral component of the Democratic Party establishment, seeking to use racial politics to divert opposition over disastrous social and economic conditions back into the Democratic Party.

A primary demand promoted by the organizers, who cast the issues entirely in racial terms, was for Obama’s Justice Department to bring charges against Zimmerman on civil rights grounds. Sharpton, who spoke at the New York event, praised Obama for his remarks at a press conference Friday, when the president equated himself with Trayvon Martin.

“The lineup of Democratic politicians was so deep at the New York rally that the person introducing speakers felt compelled to state that it was not an election rally. In Detroit, mayoral candidate Krystal Crittendon took to the megaphone, saying, ‘One thing we can all do for Trayvon is show up at the ballot box and vote. We need to let them know that we will not stand for this. We can take control by voting.’ ”

CP is calling on Segarra and Wooden to publicly denounce the Democrats for pimping Trayvon Martin in an effort to increase the party’s voter base, and to call out Obama for his public support of Kelly for the Secretary of Homeland Security position. Kelly’s appointment would certainly lead to the federal implementation of stop-and-frisk. This policy and the feds’ “Secure Communities” anti-immigrant program are Black and Brown community containment tactics. CP’s Trayvon Martin Act is aimed at abolishing this law enforcement policy. A report on “Secure Communities” racism and details on the Trayvon Act are available in our Resources section. Ending police containment and racial economic disparity is the way to “bring justice and peace” that Segarra called for at the Hartford rally. Let’s see if Segarra and Wooden have the guts to spark this conversation.

Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Act. Check out the CP Stop Racial Profiling – Obey the Law! Facebook page. Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or


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

World Socialist Web Site report on the Democratic Party using Trayvon Martin to recruit Black voters:

Atlantic Wire report on stop-and-frisk racism statistics:

Racism Review report on “Secure Communities” racism statistics:

Dave Chappelle and Connecticut Racism: No Laughing Matter

August 24, 2014

This  column appeared in the September 12 – 19, 2013 edition of the Hartford News… 

Community Update: Tuesday night I spoke with Noel McGregor, who runs a food pantry at the Grace Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Prospect Avenue in Hartford. McGregor reports that the West End Civic Association has been harassing the facility, expressing baseless “concerns” which resulted in a Thursday meeting with the Licenses and Inspections Division. The food pantry has a health permit and is only open on Wednesdays for two hours (11am – 1pm). McGregor will attend the meeting. “There are good people in the West End and people who talk a good game,” McGregor said. “WECA doesn’t want to help people. I think this is more about classism than racism, but racism is a part of it. No other food pantry has been harassed like ours to get a health permit.” For the record, I’m a former WECA Vice President. I quit because of structural racism there. In my opinion, WECA is an elitist country club posing as a community organization. WECA members gave me nothing but lame excuses when I confronted them about not supporting racial justice legislation at the State Capitol. I refused to be used as a token house negro, so I left. It’s obvious that little has changed with WECA. Stay tuned for an update on this developing story.


Rest In Power, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair and Tupac Shakur. Peace to the victims and families of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Sunday, September 15 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Addie Mae, Cynthia, Carole and Denise perished in the blast. Pac died on September 13, 1996 seven days after being shot in Las Vegas…Comedian Dave Chappelle walked off the stage in response to obnoxious hecklers during an August 29 show in Hartford. Mayor Pedro Segarra, who said NOTHING on his Twitter page about the recent rash of shootings in this city, chose to join in on the local and national backlash against a Black comic whose comedy includes a harsh, insightful critique on racism. Segarra wrote, “Dave Chappelle should quit whining, do his job and try some yoga. #HartfordHasIt” Yeah, we have poverty, Black/Brown unemployment, racial economic disparity & gun violence. The poverty rate is one of the highest in the country, consistently hovering around the 30% mark or higher.


The jobless rate for young Black males is as high as 50% in some parts of Hartford. Latino unemployment has reached Depression-era levels. Blacks and Latinos earn 60 cents for every dollar white people make and possess 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. There have been 16 homicides in Hartford this year and an average of 25 murders every year for the past decade. Poverty is clearly a root cause of violence in this city, yet Segarra and Council Pesident Shawn “I Don’t Talk About Race” Wooden ignored a letter from the Community Party requesting that they participate in an Action Poverty Conference aimed at drafting anti-poverty legislation.  Segarra, it’s time for you to take your own advice. Stop your tone deaf whining about Chappelle. Start doing your job which is supposed to be about serving the people, not acting as a stooge for the white power structure. During his weekly appearance on the Fox 61 Capitol Report program Wooden got out his tap shoes, flashed his winning smile and said that Chappelle should “get over it.”


Lesli-Ann Lewis and Ann Marie Adams don’t think that Chappelle should “quit whining” and “get over it.” Both wrote concise Ebony Magazine opinion pieces on the racist undertones of the Chappelle incident. Lewis, who attended the show, quickly grasped what the white mainstream media could or would not.


I doubt many will say the audience deserved it. I doubt they will quote Dave or say that he warned the audience. That he began to discuss a  larger, historical issue: the Black entertainer and White consumption. I’m writing this to be fair: it needs to be written, it needs to be read. It  needs to be understood. Dave Chappelle walked off stage tonight and Black people  understand why.


“Being in that crowd, a sea of drunk White male faces and seeing Chappelle sit there and be jeered at made me uncomfortable. Heckling isn’t uncommon for comedians but often when a comedian as famous as Chappelle puts their foot down, it is usually respected. 


“While the racial makeup of the crowd was incidental, the way they treated Chappelle is not. It speaks to a long complicated history: the relationship between the White audience and the Black entertainer. This is a relationship you can easily trace to early minstrel shows, to archetypes of  Blacks that still define the roles we’re offered today. We have seen more Black comedians bow to racist tropes, demean themselves—albeit  unintentionally—for White audiences. 


“Chappelle wasn’t having a meltdown. This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has done so and it isn’t the first time his behavior has been characterized as a meltdown. 


“There is a long history of asking African-Americans to endure racism silently; it’s characterized as grace, as strength. Chappelle’s Connecticut audience, made up of largely young White males, demanded a shuck and jive. Men who seemed to have missed the fine satire of the Chappelle show demanded he do characters who, out of the context of the show look more like racist  tropes, than mockery of America’s belief in them. When he expressed shock at the fact that he’d sat there and been yelled at for so long, people yelled that they’d paid him. They felt paying for a show meant they could verbally harass him, direct him in any tone of voice, as though they’d bought him.


“After his first ‘meltdown,’ Chappelle said he left his show because he wasn’t sure if he was being laughed with or at. Seeing him walk off that stage last night, I think he’d decided on the answer. They had been missing his message, they weren’t laughing with him. And I’m glad to see that in Connecticut, he had the courage to laugh back.” 


Adams’ assessment was also on the money. “Several attendees claimed that racial animus was at the root of the  disruption—something Chappelle himself obviously felt, choosing to walk off  the stage to Kanye West’s ‘New Slaves’: ‘F*ck you and your corporation/Y’all  n*ggas can’t control me/I know that we the new slaves…’


“Those who cling to post-racial fantasies might see him as ‘unprofessional,’  wishing he had eschewed a rowdy crowd littered with White drunkards. He should have suffered in silence with a minstrel-like grin. Apparently, their failed imagination didn’t grasp an alternative reality of a man who, like Richard Pryor before him, once traveled to the continent of Africa, had a profound experience  and realized he was not a ‘n*gga’ there, reaffirming the notion that race shapes the cultural eye and stains social interactions. And place matters. In short, Chappelle just didn’t feel like tap dancing for master Charlie in Connecticut, even if he paid $50 for a ticket.


“Location is a crucial unit of analysis for Chappelle’s supposed ‘meltdown.’ It’s especially apt because many people perceive Connecticut as a liberal state, the cradle of the abolitionist movement and a  respite from Jim Crow segregation. And it touts the story of a 17-year-old  Martin Luther King, Jr., who mingled freely with Whites there before his ascendancy in the civil rights movement. But many Black locals once dubbed Connecticut as ‘the Mississippi of the  North.’


“When Blacks migrated from the South to ‘the land of steady habits,’ they were surprised to find racial animus and segregation not by law, but by custom.  In the 1940s, Southern Blacks and West Indians poured into what was then the richest city of its size to fill jobs on tobacco farms, in households and factories. They lived primarily in Hartford, cordoned off in the North End with the oldest housing stock. Today, most Blacks still live in the North End. But many weren’t in the Comcast Theater.


“Shows at that theater usually attract suburban Whites, who may compare Chappelle’s response to that of Andy Kaufman—who famously read The Great Gatsby on stage when booed.  

“Chappelle was once booed at the Apollo Theater’s famed ‘Amateur Night,’ an incident that he credits with giving him the courage to make it in the business.  However, the subtext of the White, drunk hecklers faced by the former Comedy Central star last week was markedly different. That courage, which fueled his meteoric success, morphed into defiance. Dave Chappelle knows he doesn’t have to debase himself before a White audience and so, he won’t. 


“To better understand why Chappelle walked off stage on that now-infamous night in Hartford, consider this: Connecticut has a long history of  demotivating Black and brown people, especially students. Consequently, Connecticut has the highest academic achievement gap and one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. Additionally, it has one of the highest  suspension rates for kindergarteners. The ‘Nutmeg State’ also wrestled with slavery and servitude well into the early 20th century, a history erased from the public’s consciousness until 2002.  Moreover, the state required the only school desegregation case in New England and maintains both one of the highest unemployment rates for Blacks and a high premature birth rate for Black women. In addition, claims of job discrimination and racial bullying abound.


“The most prominent was of a Hartford Distributor employee Omar Thornton, who claimed racial harassment for years before he shot and killed several White co-workers in 2010 in a town that has been dubbed ‘Klanchester.’ Since the 1980s, the Ku Klux Klan has taken a firm root in Connecticut’s soil. And like Mississippi in the 20th century, the state just may be ground zero for the century’s civil rights efforts. Incidentally, Connecticut perfected the idea of ‘post racialism’ long before it enveloped the country. New Englanders don’t talk about race openly. In fact, silence is a political strategy. But this imposed silence is also a form of  oppression. The Chappelle incident in Hartford masterfully shattered that silence. More  importantly, it revealed the oppressive burden of race and racism in the land of steady habits.”


The responses of Segarra and Wooden to Chappelle underscores the Democratic Party’s total disregard for racial justice issues. Don’t take my word for it; take a look at Segarra’s and Wooden’s Twitter feeds. You won’t see any references to poverty, Black/Latino unemployment, racial income/wealth disparity or police containment of low income urban neighborhoods, because their job is to contain Blacks and Latinos and maintain the status quo. President Barack Obama and the Democrats are leading this country into war against Syria (Senator Chris Murphy did vote no). Politico reported that defense giant Raytheon, a manufacturer of the Tomahawk cruise missles which most likely would be used in an attack on Syria, saw their stock prices soar to a 52-week high after the Obama adminstration’s war plan became public. This means more money is being poured into the military industrial complex as part of an ongoing U.S. campaign of global hegemony, while vital social services are cut here at home. Segarra and Wooden remained silent as Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly slashed funding for social services during the 2013 legislative session. Martin Luther King said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” That’s no joke. 


Visit the CP Plan C: The People’s Budget of Connecticut page.  Check out CP on Twitter for state, national, global headlines and updates on our Jashon Bryant/Trayvon Martin Act, coming in 2014. Stay tuned for info on Rep. Matt Ritter’s workplace bullying town hall, coming later this year. CP will also introduce our Safe Work Environment Act in 2014. Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or    





Tupac Shakur 1992 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement banquet speech:


President Dwight D. Eisenhower 1961 farewell address on the military industrial complex:


Politico report on defense giant Raytheon’s stock prices rising after the Obama administration’s Syria war plan became public:


Global Research report on the neocon Project for the New American Century (global hegemony):



David Samuels


Community Party

Police Brutality Caught on Tape in Hartford

August 21, 2014

Details at  

Political Roundup: Michael Brown, CRP3 Propaganda, Pelto / Murphy Collusion with Republicans

August 21, 2014
This column appears in the August 21 – 28 edition of the Hartford News… Activists responding to the police shooting of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown are circulating a petition calling on President Obama to introduce federal legislation which would require all state, county and local police to wear cameras.  This law would end the he said she said crap and cable news bickering that surround cases like this with no video evidence. The Community Party will add the camera provision to our Trayvon Martin Act. The corporate media predictably has fixated on a video which purportedly shows Michael stealing cigars from a local store. The legal fact is it doesn’t matter if Michael stole cigars or assaulted officer Darren Wilson. If Wilson shot Michael after he surrendered as community residents claim, Wilson is supposed to go to jail. This is what we must focus on. Every 28 hours Black people are killed by police, security guards and vigilantes.  These street executions are not isolated incidents.
Last week Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie and Daniela Altimari of the Hartford Courant both wrote articles on how the so-called Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project have used the East Haven police scandal, which resulted in the conviction of EHPD officers Dennis Spaulding and David Cari on federal charges of racially profiling Latinos, as the foundation of their work (see Resources). CRP3 gave me a different story last October: Bill Dyson and Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs told me that they had not studied the East Haven case at all. Fuchs claimed that they didn’t have to. He said, “That’s not our charge”.  CRP3 members Sandra Staub (executive director of CT ACLU) and Ken Barone, the public face of CRP3, never responded to my requests to question them about the advisory board ignoring the EHPD case.
Ebony Murphy, independent gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Pelto’s running mate, bailed out of our blog conversation about race on July 4th, after I posted a series of private Facebook exchanges I had with Pelto.  Murphy suddenly had a lot to say about me in an August 7 interview with Northend Agent’s.   Jonathan Pelto’s press release announcing his candidacy did not mention poverty, Black / Latino unemployment (as high as 50% for young Black males in some parts of Hartford) racial economic disparity, mass incarceration of Blacks and Latinos or police containment of low income communities of color, an issue currently dominating the headlines due to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. The unrest in Ferguson has resulted in militarization of the police becoming a hot topic. Brian Dowling of the Courant reported that state and local police in Connecticut have acquired $12.9 million in military weapons from the Pentagon through their 1033 program. Dowling noted that the Hartford Police have received $850,000 in weapons over the past few years, including a grenade launcher and a mine resistant tank. The HPD lied to Dowling about having this arsenal. Pelto did not mention an urban agenda in his interviews leading up to him announcing his candidacy, nor did he talk about the aforementioned economic justice issues during a Connecticut Mirror interview on his budget plan. 
Pelto, who is waiting to find out if he has the approved 7500 petition signatures necessary for him to get on the gubernatorial ballot (we should know by the end of August), gave a petition to former Republican state chairman Chris Healy, then said with a straight face that he did not expect Healy to circulate the petition among his fellow GOP members.   Healy, who said he told Pelto he would distribute the petition to state Republicans, is a staunch supporter of the racist stop and frisk police policy.  If GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley is elected, he will be able to choose his own people for the Office of Policy and Management. Sen. John McKinney was mentioned as a possibility during the Connecticut Network’s coverage of the state primaries last week. Foley talked about getting tough on crime in his CNN editorial on urban policy. Healy is an influential member of the party. I’m certain that if Foley is elected, his administration will float stop and frisk as a strategy to address gun violence in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. Murphy of course did not talk about the possible repercussions of the Pelto / Murphy campaign’s collusion with the Republicans during her Northend Agent’s interview. I challenge Murphy to drop her duplicitous rhetoric and do so, as her job is obviously to deflect attention away from this issue. Pelto, who said he was in the race to win, doesn’t have the guts to talk about it.  If Pelto truly wanted to win, he wouldn’t have colluded with Healy and alienated many liberals and progressives, who rightfully attacked him. Murphy has clearly demonstrated that she is also afraid to touch the subject. Check out a Twitter exchange I had with Murphy on Saturday. Murphy, who is running for public office, desperately tried to avoid talking about the GOP collusion issue; her frustration resulted in a straight up meltdown as she challenged me to a physical confrontation.  Murphy is delusional if she thinks that resorting to bullying and defamation will get her votes.
Pelto is the leader of a mostly white coalition. He has not mentioned core urban issues during his campaign, and he has a Black running mate. That is the definition of tokenism. Following the social media exchange between Murphy and I, the Pelto / Murphy camp went into spin overdrive. Their excuse now is that they were going to eventually get around to talking about core urban issues, which is a lame and condescending response.  As soon as Pelto (who claims to be a social justice advocate) started talking about running for governor, the plight of urban neighborhoods should have been one of his primary talking points. Foley doesn’t give a damn about communities of color, but he was shrewd enough to create an urban think tank before he announced that he was going to run again. Pelto is using Murphy the same way that the West End Civic Association, the Connecticut Green Party, Socialist Action CT and Hartford Food Not Bombs tried to use me. This is what many whites on the left try to do with Black activists, and Murphy is well aware of that fact. Recently I shared commentaries by Joanna Iovino and Cornell Lewis about this practice. Murphy can defend Pelto and accuse me of being a misogynist, but the fact is that unlike Murphy, I’m not running for anything. Unlike Murphy, I have evidence to support my criticism of the Pelto / Murphy ticket. My message to Murphy is simple. You can rant and rave all you want about me being sexist, or hating puppies or loving polka music, but you cannot hide from the ramifications of your collusion with the Republicans. The reports that Pelto may not have enough signatures to get on the ballot explains the alliance with the GOP. The Connecticut Mirror reported that volunteers for Tea Party member Joe Visconti, who is also trying to get on the ballot and has collected over 10,000 signatures, obtained signatures for the Pelto / Murphy campaign in the days leading up to the August 6 deadline.
Murphy and Pelto both welshed on a promise to support the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act. I told them that I wanted to expand the bill to cover municipal employees, so public school teachers like Murphy who were bullied by Capital Preparatory Magnet School principal Steve Perry would have some protection. Pelto, the supposed champion of teachers, did not join our campaign. Murphy sent me a tweet promising to write an editorial for this column. She never wrote the piece and did nothing to support our legislation. Pelto heavily promoted commentaries that Murphy wrote for national blogs and media outlets. I’m especially disgusted about Murphy’s refusal to support a bill which would benefit her fellow teachers while she collaborates with Pelto, who  in effect currently has her and their supporters working for Foley. One activist compared the Pelto / Murphy organization to a cult. In my opinion, the lure of Murphy seeing her editorials in newspapers like the Washington Post and the thought of her name appearing on campaign posters won out over taking action to empower her oppressed colleagues. Murphy’s narcissistic “Haters Hate Me Because I’ve Got It Goin’ On” interview was politics as usual from a candidate who claims to represent an alternative to the status quo. The purpose of Pelto’s candidacy is obviously to stick it to incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy, who rejected Pelto’s application for a job with his administration. Pelto and Murphy are conducting a clinic on how not to run a campaign. 
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts.  Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns.  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or   
Police brutality caught on tape in Hartford:


Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton talks about police containment of low income communities of color:

CT News Junkie, Hartford Courant fluff articles on the so-called Racial Profiling Prohibition Project:
Hartford Courant report on the militarization of police in Connecticut
Know Your Rights – How to deal with police in the street and at home:
Lawrence Welk Pennsylvania Polka:


Ebony Murphy’s Twitter Meltdown (update)

August 17, 2014
Read below for the Twitter exchange I had yesterday with independent gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Pelto’s running mate, Ebony Murphy. The next Community Party Hartford News column will include an analysis of the Pelto / Murphy campaign’s collusion with former Republican state chairman Chis Healy. Pelto gave Healy a petition, which Healy distributed to his fellow party members in an effort to get the Pelto / Murphy ticket on the ballot and bleed votes from incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy, who will face GOP challenger Tom Foley in November. I’ll talk about how the relationship between the Pelto / Murphy campaign and the Republicans could eventually impact police containment of low income communities of color in Connecticut. Police repression of Black and Latino neighborhoods is dominating the news since the shooting of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown by patrol officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. No charges have been filed yet against Wilson.
David Samuels
Community Party
Courant article on the militarization of Connecticut police:,0,6213133.htmlpage#.U_Dh42OmfIU

My Twitter Exchange with Ebony Murphy, Candidate for Lt. Governor

August 16, 2014

Check it out…

David Samuels


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  2. Ebony Murphy’s interview is an attempt to distract from excluding an urban agenda & colluding with GOP.
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Jonathan Pelto’s Campaign Sinks to a New Low

August 16, 2014
As rumors swirl about independent gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Pelto being in danger of failing to make the ballot, his running mate Ebony Murphy added to Pelto’s credibility issues with her comments about me in the Northend Agent’s.  Ebony is attempting to deflect attention away from my criticism of Jonathan, specifically his blatant disrespect of communities of color and his sleazy attempt to gain ballot access. Jonathan excluded an urban agenda from his campaign platform and colluded with former Republican state chairman Chris Healy to get on the ballot.  On July 4th Ebony huffed and puffed on my Twitter and blog pages about wanting to step to me about my criticism. She then quickly backed down when I posted private Facebook conversations that I have had with Jonathan. Stay tuned for my full response in my next Hartford News column.
David Samuels
Community Party

Political Roundup: Bridgeport Cop Indicted for Civil Rights Violation / Corporatism & Tom Foley’s Fusion Paperboard Debacle

August 14, 2014
This column appears in the August  14 – 21 edition of the Hartford News… Check out our No Sellout blog for an important message from Connecticut Justice Party State Coordinator Carlos Camacho. 
                                                    Trayvon Martin Act Update 

                     Bridgeport Police Officer Clive Higgins Indicted for Civil Rights Violation

Report from News 12 Connecticut
A third Bridgeport police officer has been indicted for his role in a case where the officers beat a man in custody.
Prosecutors charged Clive Higgins with violating the civil rights of Orlando Lopez-Soto.
The two other officers involved have already pleaded guilty in the case.
Elson Morales and Joe Lawlor will be sentenced in September. They face up to a year in prison and could be forced to resign.
Watch video of the beating here:
The 2013 conviction of East Haven police officers Dennis Spaulding and David Cari on federal charges of racially profiling Latinos is irrefutable evidence that biased policing is happening in Connecticut. Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration has gone to great lengths to protect the police, who wield considerable political influence at the State Capitol. Office of Policy and Management Under Secretary Mike Lawlor and the so-called Racial Profiling Prohibition Project have focused on an esoteric data collection process, while ignoring the conviction of the EHPD officers. Let’s see if they also try to sweep the Bridgeport case under the rug.  Contrary to Lawlor’s assertion that biased policing is a “perceived problem”, police containment of Black and Latino neighborhoods by racial profiling, intimidation and violence is a real issue. Right next door in New York, a medical examiner ruled that the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD was a homicide.  Check out our Resources section for the Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act bill language, testimony by Mary Sanders (who wrote CP’s Trayvon Act) and Adam Osmond at a forum on racial profiling and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on the extrajudicial killing of Black people by the police, security guards and vigilantes. 
It seemed like a good idea at the time…  Last month Tom Foley, who easily defeated Sen. John McKinney in the Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, traveled to the town of Sprague to hold a press conference in front of Fusion Paperboard, a paper mill that is being closed in September by OpenGate Capital, a private investment firm. Foley’s plan was to use Fusion as a prop while he bashed Malloy’s economic policies. Foley ended up being embarrassed by Fusion employees and Democratic Party Sen. Cathy Osten, who is also the town’s first selectwoman. Foley was berated by Osten and the Fusion employees for exploiting the paper mill’s closure and being clueless about the factors which actually led to the company’s demise. Foley wanted to use Fusion to spread his gospel of business deregulation. His attempt flopped miserably. As Fusion workers read him the Riot Act, Foley looked like an out of touch rich guy, which is exactly what he is. Foley admitted to Osten that he never set foot in Sprague prior to July 29th, the date that Foley arrived in town to dance on Fusion Paperboard’s grave. This was a calculated ploy by a politician to use the plight of the working class for his own personal gain. To the delight of Malloy and McKinney, Foley’s slimy move blew up in his face. It would have been nice if Sen. Osten displayed the same passion on behalf of public employees. While Osten was the co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, she refused to meet with CP to discuss our Safe Work Environment Act. Based on our experience with Osten, it appears that her confrontation with Foley was at least partially motivated by the gubernatorial election. Current committee co-chair Sen. Gary Holder Winfield will introduce our workplace bullying bill in 2015.
Proof that the election is a false choice was on display during the August 3 Fox CT Capitol Report program. Working Families Party executive director Lindsay Farrell, who a couple of days earlier announced that WFP was again cross-endorsing Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, placing them on two ballot lines in the November election, and Jodi Latina, a campaign staffer for McKinney, both gloated over Foley’s debacle in Sprague. Farrell did not challenge Latina on McKinney’s plan if he had been elected, which was to threaten state workers with layoffs if they didn’t agree to concessions; employees have already done so twice since 2009 (I’m a state worker). WFP’s endorsement of Malloy reinforces their image as a satellite of the Democratic Party. When state workers rejected the concessions deal between union “leaders” and Malloy, he responded by issuing thousands of layoff notices. Malloy smacked teachers in the face with an anti-teacher bill that was mostly dismantled by the legislature. Malloy knew that he could count on WFP to avoid holding him accountable, no matter what he did. Malloy, Foley and McKinney are all union busters, the only difference is a matter of degree.
The inconvenient fact for liberals and conservatives is that Malloy, Foley and McKinney are all corporatists. Malloy has thrown millions at big business through his First Five initiative. He attempted to give over $100 million to Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world.  Malloy, Foley and McKinney are privatizers: Malloy is a rabid proponent of the privatization of education. Foley and McKinney both support privatizing state services. Because Malloy is a Democrat, he will throw workers a bone in the form of a watered down paid sick days bill or an inadequate minimum wage boost to $10.10, so he can cite these policy positions as an example of his support of labor. Malloy would not get behind a minimum wage increase until it became an election year issue. He refused to support a minimum wage boost in 2012, even after the bill had been gutted to a measly 25 cent increase with no index for inflation. Malloy’s outright bullying of state workers and public school teachers is a true indication of his attitude toward the working class. The Democrats and Republicans both give lip service to supporting the workers, while their actual policy decisions reflect their subservience to Wall Street. 
“Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.” ~ The 14 Defining Principles of Fascism by Dr. Lawrence Britt

David G. Mills’  Information Clearing House article, It’s the Corporate State, Stupid, is a must read.  Mills discusses the definition of corporatism by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, who said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power”. One of the objectives of the corporate state in this country is to roll back workers’ gains in wages and benefits. Unlike Malloy and Foley, McKinney does not attempt to downplay the fact that he’s a corporatist. Connecticut Mirror health reporter Arielle Levin Becker interviewed the gubernatorial candidates about their health care policy positions. McKinney laid out his plan of attack against state workers. McKinney described their health care package as a “platinum plan”; he wanted the state employee unions to return to the negotiating table yet again to surrender more of their wages and benefits. 
While McKinney demonized state workers he said nothing about closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations, who are stacking more cash than state workers could ever dream of. Matthew Santacroce made recommendations as to how the state could rake in huge sums of much needed revenue in his Connecticut Voices for Children report, Reality Check: Who Pays Taxes in Connecticut. The report found that the state’s working class and poor residents pay more in taxes than the rich. “Raise marginal income tax rates on our state’s wealthiest residents to align with those in New York State. Raising Connecticut’s rates just on income over $1 million could generate over $400 million annually. Close corporate tax loopholes that reward companies that ship profits and jobs out of state. Instituting mandatory combined reporting and the throwback rule would increase state revenues by over $100 million next year, while leveling the playing field for the small businesses that are vital to Connecticut’s economy. Report regularly on how much people at different income levels and businesses of different sizes pay in state and local taxes (tax incidence analysis), which will provide policymakers with a clear picture of taxes in Connecticut, and will help to inform complicated tax policy debates in an objective, data-driven fashion.” Like Malloy and Foley, McKinney’s economic policies are dictated by his Wall Street masters. McKinney’s populist rhetoric about standing up for the working class is directly contradicted by his ideological opposition to the recommendations in the Connecticut Voices for Children report. The Fusion Paperboard press conference was great theater but the truth is that neither Malloy, Foley or McKinney support the interests of the workers. 
Malloy vs. Foley II is now an official sequel. McKinney, who spent the past several weeks explaining in vivid detail why Foley sucks, immediately vowed to do anything that Foley asks of him to make Malloy a one-term governor. Foley said, “Change is on the way!” Yeah, right… Within the next couple of weeks, we will find out if third-party candidates Jonathan Pelto and Joe Visconti will get an opportunity to steal the show.
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and global headlines and updates on the status of our Trayvon Martin and Safe Work Environment Acts.  Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for the archive of our Hartford News columns.  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or   
  Community Party Trayvon Martin Act bill language:
   Mary Sanders and Adam Osmond speak at a forum on racial profiling:
   Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Report on the extrajudicial killing of Black people by police, security guards and vigilantes:
David Samuels
Community Party