Connecticut Politics Week in Review: Gov. Ned Lamont says ‘no more badmouthing’ the state

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says Connecticut voters can have confidence that the Iowa Democratic caucus debacle won’t happen here when primary voters head to the polls on April 26. “The Iowa Caucus is an excellent reminder of why important elections should be run by trained, skilled, and experienced state and local election administrators, not political parties,” she said. The results from Iowa were not released until days later and have come under scrutiny from the campaigns of several presidential campaigns. Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has called for a recanvass in Iowa. The most recent results show Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, neck-and-neck for first place. Both candidates have declared victory. … Blumenthal was dealt a blow Friday when a federal appeals court threw out the lawsuit against President Donald Trump that he had helped lead with other congressional Democrats. The lawsuit charged Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president and other government officials from accepting payments from foreign governments. The Democrats argued Trump was profiting from foreign nations through his vast business empire, including foreign leaders staying at Trump hotels. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled members of Congress did not have standing to sue the president. … Vice President Joe Biden’s fundraising numbers trailed the other Democratic candidates for president nationally in the fourth quarter of 2019, but in Connecticut he raised more than the rest of the field, helped in large part by a fundraiser hosted at Lamont’s Greenwich home. Biden raised $507,778 in the quarter from Connecticut donors, compared to $256,901 for Buttigieg, $197,866 for Sanders, $171,703 for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and $144,546 for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Lamont and Lt. Gov Susan Bysiewicz have both endorsed Biden, who finished a disappointing fourth in the Iowa. … Sticking with the presidential race, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced in an op-ed in Hearst Connecticut Media newspapers Tuesday that he was endorsing Warren. “Sen. Warren has shown a unique desire to wield the tools of the presidency through smart, consumer-focused regulation and the appointment of diverse experts, advocates and activists in policy and management throughout her administration,” he wrote. Enacting the Warren agenda would reinvent the federal government and make it more responsive, more representative and more just.” Merrill has also endorsed Warren. … Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, also vying for the Democratic nomination for president, has tapped two legislators to co-chair his campaign in Connecticut: Rep. Chris Rosario, D-Brigeport, and Rep. Kerry Wood, D-Newington. “Since taking office six years ago I’ve dedicated my work to serving the communities and people that raised me because I want to see them thrive,” said Rosario, who is a leader of the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. “We need a president that has the vision and ability to bring better jobs to the people that have been short-changed by President Trump. Mike has that vision and he will get our country back on track.” Bloomberg has skipped campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, focusing his efforts on the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday on March 3.

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