Archive for March, 2016

March 28th, 2016

Taxpayers Have Three Extra Days to File

by Christopher O'Brien

By Cara Rosner | CT News Junkie
Taxpayers have a few extra days to file their federal and state tax returns this year, thanks to some quirks of the calendar and a holiday that is celebrated only in Washington, D.C.

“Tax Day” typically is April 15, which this year falls on a Friday. But the deadline is being pushed to Monday, April 18 this year.

The reason: the federal tax deadline has been moved to April 18 because Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. …

Continue Reading…

March 28th, 2016

Donald Trump’s Convention Con

by Christopher O'Brien

By Mickey Edwards | Politico
Donald Trump is likely on the verge of losing the Republican primary, falling short of the number of delegates required to win the presidential nomination. But, as bullies are wont to do, Trump is now trying desperately to change the rules—to argue that the nomination should go not to the candidate who wins 1,237 delegates but to whoever comes closest.

What’s wrong with that argument? Electing a U.S. president is not a schoolyard game, where goalposts change when bullies whine. There’s a reason a candidate has to make it to 1,237 votes to win the nomination. Each party’s goal is to put forth a nominee whom the party’s members, represented by their elected delegates, believe will best reflect the party’s collective judgment—a determination possible only when the level of support is clear and convincing. That’s why both parties set a benchmark, the political equivalent of the tape at the finishing line of a race, sufficient to establish the party’s preference. In a hundred-yard dash, a runner who beats the others but who can only manage 95 yards doesn’t go home with a medal.

Continue Reading HERE….

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/donald-trump-republican-convention-213770#ixzz44BCeiUUP

March 25th, 2016

Easter Religious Services

by Christopher O'Brien
Souce: Sharefaith Clipart

Souce: Sharefaith Clipart

Several local churches will be holding services from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday this week:

 

Catholic Community

Holy Thursday – 7:00 pm  – St. Maria Goretti Church

Good Friday – 3:00 pm  – St. Maria Goretti Church

Holy Saturday – 8:00 pm – St. Maria Goretti Church

Easter Sunday – 9:30 pm – St. Pius X Church

 

Congregational 

Easter Sunrise – 7:00 am Mill Plain Union Church, Southmayd Rd. Waterbury

Easter Worship –   9:00 and 11:00 am Wolcott Congregational Church

 

Non Denominational

Christ Church,

10:00 am – 16 Town Line Rd.

Wolcott Community Bible Church – 5 Charles St.

9:30 – Prayer Service

11:00 – Worship

March 24th, 2016

Opioid & Heroin Forum Hope to Save Lives

by Christopher O'Brien

Opiod ForumWHSWolcott’s Citizens Against Substance Abuse (CASA) Coalition will host several experts for a Opioid forum at Wolcott High School on March 31st at 6 pm. Panel experts include an ER nurse, pharmacist, treatment center professionals, Wolcott Police Department, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty.

For more information or questions, contact Kathryn Glendon 203-879-8164 x 28 or kglendon@wolcottps.org

 

March 24th, 2016

Republicans Nominate Delegates, Leaders Tonight

by Christopher O'Brien
RepublicanElephantNotice is hereby given that there will be a caucus of all enrolled Republican electors of the town of Wolcott on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7 PM at the Wolcott Town Hall, 10 Kenea Ave, Wolcott, CT to endorse candidates to serve as delegates for the 80th State House, 16th State Senate and CTGOP State Conventions.
Immediately following conclusion of the Republican Caucus there will be an organizational meeting of the Wolcott Republican Town Committee for the purpose of elections of RTC Officers to serve in their respective offices for the 2016 – 2018 town committee term.
March 17th, 2016

Beloved WHS Teacher Passes

by Christopher O'Brien

David Pape, an engaging and beloved Social Studies teacher for the past 19 years, died this past weekend at the young age of 43. He passed away in his sleep of natural causes.

Prior to becoming a teacher, he was a sports writer at the Waterbury Republican-American for two years. At the High School he was an advisor to many student organizations, including the school newspaper.

Calling hours will be Friday from 4- 7 pm at Woodtick Memorial Funeral Home.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Michael’s Church (62 St. Michael Dr.) in Bucks Hill at 10 am on Saturday.

A community vigil is scheduled on the Wolcott Green Saturday evening, March 19th from 6:30-8:00. Please bring a candle.

A fundraiser for David’s children will be held at Lakewood Lanes on April 15th from 1-3 pm. contact 203-574-5131 for more information.

 

March 11th, 2016

The March Republican Primaries

by Christopher O'Brien

vote boxIn the long marathon known as the Presidential race, there is often confusion in how we select our next President. Here, we’ll break down the rules and various issues that come up during the process.

One of the many myths disseminated during this primary season is that delegates selected after March 15th are awarded on a winner-take all basis. Not true! So let’s discuss.

First though, on Thursday the US Virgin Islands selected 9 delegates to the Republican Convention. Usually, this isn’t news, but it was determined that the US Virgin Islands will leave their 9 delegates as uncommitted towards any candidate thus far. The prospect of a potential brokered convention leaves the territories delegates to be potential power brokers. Residents of the Caribbean island territory cannot vote in the general election, yet in this way their voices will make impact on the future of our nation.

Before we continue talking about the next delegate races, let’s talk about the value of race thus far. John Kasich has the fewest delegates in the race, but a win at home in Ohio will be pivotal. He will more than double his delegate count, but a win will give him credibility in the industrial MidWest and potentially across the north and into New England states that have yet to vote. He is presenting himself as the most moderate candidate and could also have appeal on the West coast if he gains traction. Thus far, he has had strong 2nd place finishes in New Hampshire and Michigan.

Marco Rubio is appealing to a similar crowd as Kasich. He also has to win his home state of Florida, and not just for the delegate count. In the general election, Florida has the fourth most electoral votes of any state and has been one of the most important states to win in past Presidential contests. Florida also comprises a diverse population similar to the states that will vote in the upcoming months.  Many residents hail from the north and northeast as transplants and still have younger relatives back home. Winning his homestate could propel the former House Speaker to win other contests in the north with broad appeal. His generational theme may also have stronger resonance.

In contrast, Ted Cruz’s natural base in the Southern and Plains states have already mostly voted. He took advantage of that base and positioned himself well as the leader with political experience. If Kasich and/or Rubio go on, there will be a fight as to whether Cruz should consolidate the support he has already enjoyed or if his appeal can broaden to those less religious northern states. Unlike Rubio and Kasich, he already won his home state. This is not a typical election year framed by passed conventions. Demographics of the Republican race show that policies and style have been more important than traditional routes of the past. Cruz may pull it off, especially because of his lead and a strong anti-Trump sense within the party. What remains to be seen is if his more traditional style will change the electoral college map in November’s general election.

Donald Trump’s mission is to simply continue what he’s already been doing. With the delegate math, reaching the magic delegate number is still not easy for him because he’s only won about 33% of the delegates allocated thus far. If he is strategic about focusing on winner-take-all races where he can wrack up large numbers of delegates with on only a plurality of the vote, he may be able to garner 50% of the delegates faster. With a fragmented race, he will need to appeal to a certain percentage of Rubio or Kasich supporters if they drop out. If he wins outright though, it still won’t be until very late in the process – perhaps in the last few electoral contests. The races in Ohio and Florida will be very telling.

Let’s move to the week ahead.

The District of Columbia’s 27,472 registered Republicans will vote on Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. This should be an interesting race because all of these Republicans are urban dwellers. They only comprise about 6% of all voters in D.C. and will vote at a single polling location (the Loews Madison Hotel on 15th Street). Many likely have transplanted from somewhere else yet are so close to the very seat of power that the candidates are running against. What would it say if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz won this race? Or would Rubio or Kasich be proud to promote the win of their 19 delegates as they take their race to voters who are mad at capital city itself?

Whatever the outcome, it is a reminder that everyone is a citizen of our nation, even those who may be employed by it or have the greatest influence on it. Each citizen only has one vote at the ballotbox, no matter their position.

The Republican or Democratic Party are both privately affiliated organizations, so they choose how their nomination rules are chosen. The US Constitution doesn’t govern this phase of the race at all. Both major parties have general rules that govern their July nominating conventions, but allow each of the respective states to decide how to assign their state delegates to a candidate.

In the District of Columbia, if a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, then that candidate will receive all 19 delegates. That has only occurred in one race thus far, when Marco Rubio won 75% of the vote in Puerto Rico last week. If no one receives 50%, then the delegates will be assigned proportionately to candidates receiving at a 15% threshold.  The Green Papers website has compiled the rules for each race.

So let’s move to the pivotal races on Tuesday, March 15th. Five large states will be voting. Two of them will assign delegates in a winner-take-all format: Florida and Ohio which just happen to be the home states of Senator Rubio and Governor Kasich. They are expected to do well there, but Trump is making a strong play in both to block them from proceeding further. The other three states will award delegates more proportionally. North Carolina will grant one delegate for every 1.39% of the vote each candidate receives. This totals 79 delegates and will be a great opportunity for even lesser candidates to try running up their numbers. There is no threshold requirement.

Missouri has a winner-take most format with two formats. First, candidates will gain 5 delegates for each of the state’s 8 Congressional districts won. So, a candidate who does strongly around St. Louis could win delegates without winning the state. Geography could be used to one’s advantage here. The statewide winner will receive an additional 15 delegates.

Illinois has a confusing “Loophole” format. I’m not really sure how it works, but it seems to be a semi-proportional system where delegates themselves may also have an option to disregard the selection of the people. The reason they could do this is that in many states delegates are chosen separately from the Presidential Preference Poll, as some contests are called. A voter may indicate their “preference” for a candidate, but that vote is not always binding, depending the state’s rules. This isn’t a concern in most states, because delegates are usually bound by the preference of voters – even if a delegate might favor someone else. In North Carolina, delegates are chosen through a series of caucuses and conventions that begin at the county level, then the congressional level, and ultimately at the State level. These conventions also serve to nominate other candidates for Congress and the state.

I this is somewhat helpful in understanding this process further. The best way to ensure that you have a voice in the process is to register with a party due to the influence that parties have in the selection of Presidential candidates. If you wait until November, there is usually only two major party candidates. Voting in the primary will allow you even more selections on who those candidates will be.

As a party member, you may also opt to attend local party meetings at the Town level. It is a good way to receive news about policy decisions that affect local education, taxes, and other issues. Those town committees also fill vacancies in town government and send delegates to state conventions. Even if you are not a delegate, simply knowing about these events will allow you to be a participant or observer at these functions and ensure they are run fairly.