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

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.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/message-from-carlos-camacho/ 
 
                                                    Trayvon Martin Act Update 

                     Bridgeport Police Officer Clive Higgins Indicted for Civil Rights Violation

Report from News 12 Connecticut   http://connecticut.news12.com/
 
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AO_7YGma-I
 
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. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/trayvon-martin-act-report-connecticut-racial-profiling-prohibition-project/  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. http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/5/new_york_police_killing_of_eric  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.  http://senatedems.ct.gov/Holder-Winfield.php
 
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. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7260.htm  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. http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/reality-check-who-pays-taxes-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. 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
 
  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
Founder
Community Party
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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