A Vote for Hillary Clinton is a Vote for Dan Malloy

by David Samuels

This column appears in the April 21 – 28 edition of the Hartford News…

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: May 3. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Guests: Dan Durso, a retired Teamster now volunteering as the Outreach Coordinator with the grassroots Bernie Sanders Connecticut Team, will join us. Lisa Ganser of Poor Magazine will talk about the deaths of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans in police custody. California congressional candidate Marcus Musante will update us on his campaign. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
Meagan Hockaday Act Update: We Don’t Support Weak Bills 
Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. https://www.facebook.com/meaganmatters/timeline Garcia has not been charged.  The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act includes 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 is based on a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/meagan-matters-police-murder-of-black-women-ignored-by-corporate-media-activists/
Legislators have amended our bill to the point that it no longer resembles our original concept, so we will not support it going forward. The bill now moving through the Connecticut General Assembly is not the Meagan Hockaday Act: like the so-called police reform bill that lawmakers passed last year, it is weak legislation that actually protects the police. Police departments are not complying with the body camera provision in the legislation that was passed last year. We’re not interested in just passing bills, our goal is real reform. Check out CP’s legislative package at our No Sellout blog. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/community-party-2016-legislative-package/
Policy Watch: Bernie Sanders Campaign Challenges Neoliberal Agenda
Last week I listened to the tape of Bernie Sanders’ speech in front of 50,000 supporters in New York. Sanders talked about urban issues including the lack of resources, gentrification, and the lack of supermarkets and banks in low income communities of color. No presidential candidate, including the First Black President, Barack Obama, has mentioned these issues. Sanders has come a long way since he launched his campaign, in terms of his urban policy platform. I was very impressed by what Sanders said. His police reform policy still needs teeth and he should talk about the racial wage/wealth gap, but overall his platform is much improved. Sanders, who was once as hawkish as his primary opponent Hillary Clinton in his support of Israel, has hired a member of Jewish Voices for Peace, a group that supports Palestinian rights. Meanwhile more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s racism surfaced: video of a 2001 ABC News interview with Sam Donaldson, where Clinton said she supported racial profiling of Muslims following the 9/11 terror attacks. The corporate media has ignored this story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9SHcF7RXtA&sns=fb Sanders has made an effort to reach out to the Latino, Muslim and Native American communities during his campaign. Former New London mayor Daryl Justin Finizio shared his experience at the Sanders New York rally in a post on my Facebook page. I was at Washington Square and it was an incredible turnout. A LOT of progressives who only vote Green, or never vote, telling me they registered just for Bernie. The message is really resonating.”
Sanders’ message resonated with me especially, because I listened to it one day after Gov. Dan Malloy, who is raising money for Clinton all over the country as he attempts to secure a spot for himself in Clinton’s Cabinet if she is elected in November, launched another phase of his neoliberal attack against the poor, human services providers and public sector workers. Almost 400 state employees received layoff notices last week (I’m a state worker) as Malloy, with bipartisan support from the General Assembly, intensified his privatization/union busting campaign. Workers were escorted out immediately after being notified. One of my favorite co-workers, a kind and compassionate woman, was marched out of Connecticut Valley Hospital as if she was a common criminal. Entire job classes were eliminated, which is clearly a ploy by the Malloy administration to terrorize workers, and put pressure on the unions to agree to Malloy’s demand that union contracts be reopened, for the purpose of obtaining concessions. State employees have agreed to concessions twice since 2009.
The rich and corporations remain protected by Malloy and legislators: corporate tax breaks cost this state $7.2 billion in revenue, according to a Connecticut Voices for Children report. The Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee introduced a bill to repeal the estate and gift tax. This tax cut for the rich would cost the state $115.2 million in revenue, according to Derek Thomas, Fiscal Policy Fellow for CT Voices for Children. Remember that Malloy and lawmakers are using falling revenue as the excuse for their neoliberal attack. Corporations in this state stash $180 billion in offshore accounts. The Tax Foundation and Citizens for Tax Justice report that a taxpayer earning $50,000 a year pays $870 annually for corporate subsidies, $1600 to offset corporate tax loopholes, and $1231 to offset losses from offshore corporate tax havens. $36 goes to food stamps and $6 to safety net programs. CT Voices for Children has called for a revision of the state’s regressive tax code. Currently the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. Last Sunday on the Fox 61 The Real Story program Comptroller Kevin Lembo said that for every state employee who is laid off, an additional 1.5 private sector jobs will be lost. Lembo said that the layoffs would result in a “debt spiral” and called for corporate tax breaks to be eliminated, in order to generate revenue and balance the state budget.
Connecticut Mirror budget reporter Keith Phaneuf was told by the unions that Malloy and his team of neoliberal gangsters were violating our contractual rights. “Council 4, which is one of the largest state employee worker unions, has accused the administration of violating members’ contractual rights in two ways. Affected unions are supposed to be given an opportunity to meet the administration before layoff notices are released and be granted an opportunity to offer alternatives. The union insists this requirement has not been not met. Secondly, the umbrella contract that spells out benefits for all unionized state employees stipulates that if other positions are open, these must be offered to laid-off workers before they can be offered to potential new employees. Council 4 says unions have not been given an opportunity to review the administration’s records and to confirm that it is adhering to this requirement.”
Meanwhile Malloy’s lieutenant, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, submitted a budget on Monday that will lay off 40 city workers and demands $15.5 million in concessions from unions.

George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian, provided a comprehensive assessment of neoliberalism. “Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?” While the left worries about Trump, who is not yet in a position to create policies, Clinton, Malloy and Bronin have already done catastrophic damage: Clinton with her support of neoliberal policies such as ObamaCare, a health care system conceived by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and written by health insurance industry lobbyists, which clearly benefits insurance companies according to former Cigna executive turned whistleblower Wendell Potter. ObamaCare has left 30 MILLION PEOPLE uninsured. As Secretary of State Clinton waged war across the globe, Libya being just one example. Malloy and Bronin are beating up on human services providers, working families, the poor and other vulnerable populations.
During the debate between Sanders and Clinton in New York, Clinton apologized for her husband Bill’s racist 1994 crime bill. Then she defended it. Clinton supporters bring up the fact that Sanders voted for the bill (as I did in this space). Sanders explained at a previous debate that he voted for the bill because it also contained domestic violence and assault weapons ban legislation, issues he had worked on for years. Here is the video of Sanders vehemently denouncing the racist impact of the crime bill on the House floor, prior to its passage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTn3jUoMdVI
It was amusing to see the verbal gymnastics by Clinton over the debate question of whether or not her policy positions are influenced by her donors. If I had the opportunity my question to Clinton would be, “If your donors don’t think that they can influence your policies, why are they giving you money?”
The latest Quinnipiac poll revealed that Malloy’s approval rating is a pathetic 30%. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/malloy-bronin-racism-sexism-neoliberalism/  The April 26 primary is a referendum on the racist, sexist, neoliberal attack by Malloy, Clinton’s bagman. Malloy’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes more draconian human services cuts, and would give him unilateral power to slash funding in the future. If Clinton wins the Democratic Party nomination, Sanders supporters absolutely should NOT vote for Clinton in the general election, and should denounce a Sanders endorsement of Clinton. If Sanders loses the primary, he has to return to Congress and caucus with the Democrats. Sanders supporters have no type of obligation to the party. The clear choice going forward for a post-Sanders movement would be Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein’s domestic platform is similar to Sanders, and her foreign policy positions are stronger. Hopefully this influx of support would force the Green Party to undergo the same evolution as Sanders: the party overall has failed to connect with people of color.
Based on a Facebook conversation I had last weekend with Jennifer Sullivan, a member of the Green Party’s Gulf Coast chapter, the organization is still blaming Blacks for not running into their arms, instead of making an effort to form relationships with racial justice movements. I mean working together every day, breaking a sweat relationships. Sullivan’s attitude was, “Oh those poor Blacks, they just keep trusting the Democrats. Not our fault.” The CT chapter is plagued by racism and incompetence, despite an egalitarian platform. A few years ago I agreed to organize an urban Green Party chapter in North Hartford. I changed my mind when I received no support from the party, who clearly just wanted to use me and other Blacks. I contacted Black Agenda Report commentator Bruce Dixon on Facebook a few months ago to talk about my experience, after seeing a column he wrote about Stein’s campaign. Dixon is active with the Greens’ Georgia chapter. Dixon gave me his cell number and told me to call him to discuss; I called and he never responded. The Green Party is NOT an oasis for Black people, as Dixon and other BAR commentators claim. The Greens are throwing stones from a big glass house when they talk about racism by the Democrats. They need to clean up their own act. That would be a positive development in third-party politics.
OpenSecrets.org Center for Responsive Politics:
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com  

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