Municipal Government or Stratford Inc.?

Connectile Dysfunction

Connectile Dysfunction


There seems to be a minor flare-up concerning Mayor Harkins participation in an organization called “ALEC”. While some people may dispute the principles of ALEC (and we do) the important thing to remember is that we paid for Harkins to attend their meeting in Texas and his membership in it. (Yes, we know. He ditched the Sister Cities event while he was in Texas.) So far as we can tell, there is no significant groundswell of voter sentiment in Stratford to eliminate municipal government which seems to be what ALEC desires to achieve. For a price. So why are we paying for this?

A quick perusal of background information concerning ALEC leads to the conclusions that it’s core beliefs are chiefly that any government (Federal, State or Municipal) is bad and that every corporation is good. To be sure, no one we know has ever had the conversation with Harkins concerning his core beliefs. In fact, to the best of our recollection he has never stated them publicly either. We only have his actions to judge. By these actions we can determine a few key ideas: Unions are bad. Non-union employees should be substantially rewarded. Municipalities should not own anything of value. And perhaps most dishearteningly, taxpayers should be ignored.

Oh there is the usual conservative policies contained in ALEC’s propaganda. Corporations are more efficient, knowledgeable and in every way better than any elected form of government. The difficulty with that is that corporations can go out of business, relocate or simply develop new markets with new products. Municipalities are pretty much stuck where they are and going out of business is not an option. ALEC also promotes very similar ideas that we have all heard before from the Tea Party. Repeal Obamacare, repeal the minimum wage, eliminate unions and on and on. They actively invite corporate sponsors at exorbitant admissions costs to access local and state legislatures and executives (like Harkins) in order to “bid” on “transparent” projects.

So what? The “what” is what did we vote for? Did we actually vote for the sale of our assets to some random corporations? Did we vote for the salary elevation of appointed officials? Did we vote for the complete disregard of the voters will? Did we vote for the abdication of responsibility?

Maybe. Because that is certainly what we got.






14 Responses to “Municipal Government or Stratford Inc.?”

  1. 1 Rockannand

    Wow, this post has been here for 2 weeks and not one comment until now? AYFKM? This is no-show mayor does not show for the 375th this past Saturday after not showing for Stratford of the Worlds and is going to ALEC/ACCE meetings on our nickel and all we get is a giant shrug? Really?

    Question to all those who voted for this guy: If you knew he was going to bring the Koch Brothers and ALEC into our town and privatize everything and make deals to enrich his political friends (look at Point Stratford and the next target – Pleasure Beach) … would you have voted him for another 4 years???

    Be honest now.

  2. 2 jezebel282


    Yeah…sad, ain’t it? And we paid for Harkin’s trip with our own money.

    Google Quits ALEC, Says Link With Climate Skeptics Wrong
    By Jim Snyder and Brian Womack Sep 23, 2014 12:01 AM ET

    “Google Inc. (GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt said the world’s biggest Internet search company made a mistake in funding a political group that opposes U.S. action on climate change.

    Schmidt said Google paid the American Legislative Exchange Council as part of a lobbying campaign on an unrelated issue. Without elaborating on Google’s relationship with the group, Schmidt said facts about global warming aren’t in dispute.

    “The people who oppose it are really hurting our children and grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” Schmidt said on NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show” yesterday. “We should not be aligned with such people. They are just literally lying.”

    Of course, there is no viable political opposition to Harkins or the RTC Council. The Democratic Town Committee seems intent upon continuing their policy of self destruction (Kent Miller? You’re kidding, right?)

  3. 3 Rockannand

    I’m sure he will ignore this rant, but I am on mission now on this ALEC/ACCE affiliation. And the council will have to bear the brunt of the criticism as we raise awareness, especially with the seniors who are getting screwed by this no-show.

    I heard recently that Harkins will step down after this term. That would mean he would have to get a real job for the 1st time in his life. Maybe he will get a job with one of the groups who are feeding at the Stratford government trough so he can cash in too?

  4. 4 jezebel282

    Editor’s Note:

    We are not commenting on the recent news of the filing for dissolution of the Harkins’ marriage. That is a personal family issue. This blog is about politics.

    If, however, it turns out that taxpayers, town employees or our dollars are involved….that is a different story.

  5. 5 stfdprofessor1

    I’m sure theres quite a bit more to this story in the Star. It was the talk of the town at my favorite coffee spot this morning. Rumors are all over town about an inappropriate affair with a junior employee, a disproportionate raise proposed by the mayor for that employee, etc., etc.

    If this is true John Harkins certainly cannot “restore the pride” as promised and needs to resign. Stratford does not deserve to go through another scandal and major embarrassment due to another corrupt Mayor.

    If its true Mayor Harkins put your family and we taxpayers before your ego and selfish interests. We dont deserve the drama nor want our tax dollars funding any more corrupt political shennagins. If its even close to true you need to return to private life.

  6. 6 1cyclops

    Professor1 – Holy Cow!

  7. 7 jezebel282


    This one is absolutely hysterical.

    The President of the United States was scheduled to visit Stratford (Yes, this Stratford) for whatever reason and Harkins bitches about it? At least the President didn’t blow off the visit due to some Tea Party meeting in Texas. The President had actual obligations that even his wife Michelle knew about.

    How much did that trip to Texas cost Stratford taxpayers?

    We suppose Harkins will talk about anything other than his own actions.

  8. 8 stfdprofessor1

    A tea party meeting in Texas with a TEA PARTNER no less. Laying around eating kaiser buns and drinking Coke…or is that Koch?

    “How much did that trip to Texas cost Stratford taxpayers?”

    Not as much as it cost the Harkins family. This leach on the taxpayers should resign.

  9. 9 jezebel282

    Maybe candidates of either party will start avoiding being seen with Harkins. Doesn’t really help their “family values” position. Are you listening, Mr. Foley?

  10. 10 jezebel282


    Obama reschedules his visit to Bridgeport
    Neil Vigdor
    Updated 11:44 pm, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    After Harkins’ ridiculous demand that someone else should pay for the President’s visit to Stratford it seems that it has been rescheduled. For Bridgeport.

    We can probably rest easy that Stratford will not appear on the President’s itinerary nor would Obama be caught dead shaking Harkins’ hand. So we will not have nearly every national reporter mention Stratford, no pictures published…nothing. No notoriety for Stratford of any sort.

    Another nice move, Mayor Harkins. I guess we will have to settle for your hypocritical indignation.

  11. 11 jezebel282


    While we are on nice moves by this mayor, this week will be our last opportunity to utilize Main Street in order to access Lordship and Short Beach, Long Beach, the Seawall, the Lighthouse or the 1,200 homes that will be effected by the proposed four month closure and redirection. Although we all know it will be more like six months or more. This is not to mention the asbestos-laden soil (amongst other toxins) that will be disturbed and set free near those same 1,200 homes.

    And what, you might ask, did we receive in return for this? Absolutely nothing. We, in fact, lost real estate.

    We wonder if ALEC advises members to give away municipal property to anyone at all for free.

  12. 12 jezebel282


    One of the things we believe is that Stratford municipal government should have essentially no involvement whatsoever with the Shakespeare Theater. Any number of reasons will do such as our government can’t even handle the proper management of what we flush down the toilet.

    Given that, the Town Council is down to two groups who want to redevelop the theater. One group, The Stratford Stage Group LLC, has a $15 million Letter of Credit available for immediate use. The other group, The Elm Street Theater Company, has zero dollars of their own (or anyone else’s) and would like to borrow a boatload of money from you and us.

    Now, which one should be chosen? Do you feel good about leaving this decision to our Town Council and mayor?

  13. 13 1cyclops


  14. 14 jezebel282


    Yikes is right. Not a single comment on this ridiculously simple decision. You can rest assured our Town Council will pick the group that has no money and no chance of success. But the way our Town works, I’m sure there will be something in it for somebody and we will be writing the checks. Again.

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