Corporate Stooge/Wannabe Scrooge Christopher Keating Stalks State Employees

This column appears in the January 7 – 14 edition of the Hartford News…


Community Party Media

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Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 9:00 PM Eastern Time 8:00 PM Central 6:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time.  Next show January 19.  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.
Meagan Hockaday Act
Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. Garcia has not been charged. Coming in 2016: The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation would implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. Stay tuned for updates. Meagan Matters! Check out CP’s 2016 legislative package at our No Sellout blog.
Police in U.S. kill more people than all other developed nations COMBINED:
UK Police use police back up, de-escalation, and public order shields to subdue a mentally ill man wielding a machete.
Investigative report on the police murder of Caroline Small, an unarmed woman who was experiencing a mental health crisis:
Mentally Ill and Murdered by Police:
New Mexico Police Shoot at Minivan Full of Kids:
 I Hate to Say I Told You So, But…
Next week’s column will include commentary on the Hartford baseball stadium debacle.
A Lump of Coal
Hartford Courant Capitol Bureau Chief Christopher Keating’s December 22 column, State Employees Told to Work Full Day on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, was a despicable display of classism by a corporate puppet.  Keating came off in his column like a bootleg Ebenezer Scrooge, gleefully placing state workers in the role of Bob Cratchit. How dare these ingrate workers ask if they can leave early and spend a little extra time with their families!  This elitist blowhard would have kicked the crutches out from under Tiny Tim. Corporatist Keating claimed that it’s “common practice” for state employees to take off from work early during the holiday season. I have worked for the state at three different facilities since 1995. If I ever decided to abandon my shift without permission on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, or Nipsey Russell’s birthday, I would be considered AWOL, an offense that is punishable by termination. The truth: most rank and file employees can’t leave early unless permission is granted. Like at any job, there are cliques of employees who are shown favoritism by the bosses and can do what they want. Keating uses anecdotal stories about a privileged group of state workers to smear all of us. Readers should ask why Keating is fixated on state workers, and ignores corporate welfare. Connecticut loses $ 6 billion in corporate tax breaks yearly, but Keating is obsessed with early holiday dismissals. Check out this excerpt from a CT Voices for Children state budget proposal.

“Connecticut can avoid deep budget cuts to programs supporting children and families by fixing tax inequities and waste. The report outlines a series of revenue options that could prevent harmful cuts to essential programs and services, including: Establishing ‘sunset,’ or expiration dates, for tax breaks. Tax expenditures — in the form of exemptions, deductions and credits – result in a loss of over $6 billion in state revenues, nearly one-third of the state’s annual budget. Yet, unlike other forms of public spending, these tax breaks are not reviewed each year in the budget process. The report suggests establishing automatic sunset dates for all existing and new tax expenditure that would require regular review of these tax breaks. Eliminating ineffective or outdated tax expenditures. The report specifically identifies $476 million in tax expenditures for elimination, including tax exemptions for amusement and recreation services, winter boat storage, and lawn bowling clubs. The reason given by the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis for the creation of these expenditures is either expediency — defined as violating best tax practices without offsetting public benefit — or economic incentive for goods or services that no longer require special treatment.
Broadening the base of the sales tax to include more services. While the sales tax applies to the sale of most goods, services are not taxed unless done so explicitly through legislative action. Services make up a growing share of the state’s economy, but the state’s sales tax has not kept pace. Increasing progressivity at the top end of the state’s personal income tax. Connecticut’s top ‘marginal rate’ of 6.7% is substantially lower than those in other states like New York (8.82%) and New Jersey (8.97%). Increasing progressivity by raising top rates would offset $300 million in cuts to children and families while leveraging significant ($114 million) federal funding. Further revenue options include closing corporate tax loopholes through “combined reporting” reforms, raising the cigarette tax, and introducing a sugar-sweetened beverage and candies tax.”  Keating is a corporate shill. His agenda is corporatism. Keating’s corporate masters in Chicago want a totally privatized workforce. Lower wages/benefits. Keating is a willing stooge. The irony is that Keating will be downsized when the Chicago Tribune decides he’s hurting their bottom line: they’ll put a younger, lower paid ‘journalist’ in Keating’s place. What a dupe.
State employees have agreed to labor concessions twice since 2009, while Gov. Dan Malloy and legislators burn money with unregulated corporate tax breaks in addition to protecting the rich (including state commissioners), who pay less in taxes than the working class and the poor. The column by Keating and the memo he obtained from Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Melody A. Currey painted state employees as spoiled brats asking for a pony. Morons piled on in the comment section of Keating’s column saying, “Welcome to the real world”, obviously referring to the private sector.  Um, in the private sector Christmas and New Year’s Eve early closings are common practice, as everyone knows. Some businesses close for the entire day. I couldn’t find a specific list for Connecticut, but here’s a list of Christmas Eve closures from Massachusetts TV station WWLP (including Westfarms, Buckland Hills and Enfield malls).
Banks: Most open, but many closing early
Malls:   Open, but will close early
Restaurants: Open, but many closing early
Retail stores: Open, but most closing early
Stock Market: Open, with early close at 1:00 PM
Supermarkets: Open, but closing early
Westfarms Mall: Closing at 6:00 PM
Enfield Square Mall: Closing at 6:00 PM
The Shoppes at Buckland Hills: Closing at 6:00 PM
Big Y: Closing at 6:00 PM
Stop & Shop: Closing at 6:00 PM
Shop Rite: Closing at 5:00 PM
Price Chopper: Closing at 6:00 PM
Last month in this space I shared a 2012 email exchange discovered by my Connecticut Valley Hospital co-worker John Hollis via a Freedom of Information Act request. Officials at DAS and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services bragged about killing a workplace violence prevention bill, despite the history of a horrific crime at a state agency. in 1998, Connecticut Lottery employee Matthew Beck murdered four of his bosses during a mass shooting.  How does DAS and DMHAS conspiring to kill a bill aimed at protecting state employees compare to those workers hoping to leave work early 2 days out of 365?  Bah, humbug!
2009 CNN interview with former Hartford Courant investigative reporter George Gombossy, who was fired after he investigated a mattress company that was one of the Courant’s top advertisers. Gombossy and the Courant reached an out-of-court settlement in 2012:
Connecticut Reporter Resigns After Boss “Pimps Out Paper” to Billionaire GOP Donor Sheldon Adelson :
Connecticut Voices for Children state budget proposals:
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary.   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 PM for commentary on urban issues  Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or  
David  Samuels
Community Party





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