In One Eye

Saturday, June 14, 2003
One story of pedophlia, another of pederasty on the front page of the Courant this morning. And people say it isn't a meritorious newspaper.

To my mind, the most important story of the day--and evidently not worthy of the front page treatment of the more salacious material--is the report on the continuing quagmire regarding the state's budget.
Hopes for a budget vote by the end of next week dimmed considerably Friday as haggard Republican and Democratic leaders recessed talks on the issue - less certain than a week ago that a deal could be hammered out quickly.
The 800-pound gorilla not mentioned in the lede is our intransigent governor, who has made it clear that the requirements he demands for a proposal that will get his signature are virtually nonexistent. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the nerve to create a budget proposal that will get vetoed. Thus, they keep spinning their wheels.

They sure look like craven morons in the process.

Speaking of our smarmy chief executive:
Gov. John G. Rowland will pay the state nearly $9,000 to settle a State Ethics Commission complaint about his acceptance of free or cut-rate vacation accommodations from wealthy friends who have done millions of dollars in business with the state.

The ethics commission agreed Friday to drop its complaint and approve a negotiated deal. The settlement gives Rowland 30 days to pay a $2,000 fine, plus $6,972 in restitution for underpaying - and in one case not paying - for four vacation stays since 1999 ...

Rowland did not admit to any impropriety or violation of the law. The written agreement said he agreed to the settlement "for the sole purposes of avoiding the time and expense of litigation and of resolving the controversy over this subject."

"I'm happy that it's done. I'm satisfied with the agreement, the conditions of the agreement, and it's behind us," Rowland said later Friday.

Asked if he believed he had done anything wrong, he said, "It was bad judgment, at best."
I'll bet he's satisfied with the agreement, since it saves his political derriere--at least for now.

I can't say I'm satisfied with the agreement. A $2000 fine for what certainly appears to be a kickback arrangement looks uncomfortably like a mere slap on the wrist.

Of course, this may well be the tip of an iceberg ...