Newton is the Bridgeport Democrat who served in the state Senate and was arrested and convicted for soliciting and accepting a $5,000 bribe from a nonprofit entity seeking a state grant. Other charges included misusing campaign funds for personal expenses and evading taxes. The heart of the case, however, was the bribe, a betrayal of Newton's public trust.
The vivid Newton went off to federal prison to serve his four-year sentence in 2006. He took a mighty step toward reclaiming his Senate seat Monday night when he won the Democratic endorsement for the party's nomination. He defeated the incumbent, Newton's successor,
Connecticut legislators rarely lose a party endorsement for re-election, so Gomes must have alienated local party activists by ignoring or insulting them over the fullness of time. Startled
Politics and a dollop of philosophy combined to provide us with the fascinating spectacle of hard-bitten politicians paying careful homage to redemption and second chances. They declined to acknowledge the essential consideration. Malloy's sliver of victory over Republican
Malloy needs Bridgeport more than ever. He's less popular today than when elected. A considerable portion of the Bridgeport Democratic organization may fall into the hands of the felonious Newton. Even if Newton loses in August, he's showing that he's a force in city politics, someone not to be offended.
So Malloy delivered an uncomfortable ode to second chances on Tuesday as he refused to say what everyone was thinking: This is crazy. The Democrats are giving their endorsement to the man who only a few years ago was sent to prison for defiling the public office he once again seeks. Of the scores of thousands of people who live in that district, this is the best choice? Even with two legitimate alternatives in the nomination contest?
Newton redux caused huffing and puffing among
Mayor Mark Boughton of
Wilson-Foley, however, is an unabashed Rowland booster, whose web of nursing homes engaged in a complicated consulting contract with Rowland while he served as a "volunteer" on her campaign. Rowland did his best to cajole and browbeat delegates into supporting Wilson-Foley while using his radio show to bash state Sen.
Boughton had no objection to Rowland's role in the Wilson-Foley campaign. Malloy sneered at Rowland's radio program as he dodged taking a stand on Newton's comeback last week. He does not listen to it but he engaged in a sick-making, obsequious appearance on it with Rowland as Election Day drew near in 2010. Malloy did not mind adding his prestige to the corrupt former governor's return then. Under that disappointing standard, Malloy may have no trouble supporting Newton if he decides the cost of condemning him is too inconvenient.