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April 14, 2005

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from the NY Times:

A cost analysis prepared by the state's education department projects that by 2008 Connecticut will have shouldered $41 million in unreimbursed obligations because of the new law, and that additional assessments in grades 3, 5 and 7 will cost $8 million more than what Washington is expected to pay.

Ms. Spellings has called those estimates "off the mark."

Seems to me this event goes to a general problem blue state Republicans are having. Most of them have held office by promoting moderate policy, disagreeing with but also co-existing with the national party, and getting by in an "all politics is local" way. Now, however, the damage from Washington has been so great that it's spilling over into the states.

I doubt Rell really expects a favorable ruling from the Bush folk (or even wants one all that badly). What she'd like (and what the powers in DC might try to provide) is some sort of Orwellian pronouncement that CT is not in fact suffering in the way it seems to be under this program -- a cosmetic cover for very little concession in policy. I think you can only ride this sort of deception for so long, but it's about the only route open to GOP moderates at this point.

Rell is, from what I understand, riding a wave of voter approval right now, but much of it is in contrast to her predecessor (like Gerald Ford for a while benefitted from being Not-Nixon) and personal rather than political (my mother shares a beauty parlor with her, and says she's a very nice lady). Being not stupid, Rell must understand that she will be judged on policy eventually, and this is probably the first of many steps to distance herself from the gang in DC.

A comment and a question. The comment--demtom's suggestion that state-level Repubs may have to distance themselves from DC repubs will be key next year. Jeb may be safe, but if Perry staggers through (which probably won't happen if Hutcheson runs) and with the problems Schwarzenegger and Patacki are facing, it's quite possible that Dems could come out of the 2006 elections with an important shift of power. In the ten largest states--CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA, OH, MI, NJ and GA--we have four governors (IL, PA, MI and NJ). It's quite possible that we could go from not controlling any of the 4 largest and only 4 of the 10 biggest to controlling a majority of the top ten, including the first and third largest. That would be incredibly important for financial reasons, for a Dem governor in CA and NY helps raise money for Dems and keeps some money from going to Repubs. It would also, obviously, provide two more candidates would could be groomed for higher office, a problem we faced in 2004 when we had few potential candidates from outside the Senate.

And a question for either of you Dems--any idea of the % of CT that gets NYC television and the % that gets Boston TV? And is there any portion of the state that gets Connecticut TV? I know NJ is largely NYC and Philly, so is outrageously expensive for television for its size. I wonder how that works for CT.

Percentages would be beyond my sphere of knowledge. Just as a guess, given how population concentrates around metropolitan areas, I'd say a good portion of the population is probably in the south shoreline/semi-NY suburbs -- an area with, certainly, exposure to NY stations, though I can't swear that's all most of them get. (My parents, in fact, are in New Milford, and they get all NY and CT stations -- though no Boston). The other concentration of population I would assume is around Hartford; they have their own stations, and may get Boston as well.

Which I guess answers the other part of your question: yes, there are stations, in New Haven as well as Hartford -- maybe elsewhere, too, though Dem from CT is obviously a better source than I there.

Thanks, that helps. I wasn't sure if there was much of a CT-centric media market, but from what you wrote, it sounds like there is. And even if folks get NYC stations, those who watch TV news probably watch it on the CT stations.

CT stations are watched for local news (two focused on Hartford and one is focused on New haven). Fairfield County and some of Litchfield (i.e., New Milford) focus on NY, the rest of the state on Boston (you can track it by Yankee-Red Sox loyalties, in part because of where the media comes out of).

see link

"Geography counts with Connecticut baseball fans: People near New York City root for the Yankees; those near the Massachusetts border like the Red Sox," said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D.

"Just like the presidential-election maps – red and blue Connecticut divides over baseball. The Southwest is squarely for the pin-stripe Yankees. Color the north and east red, for the Sox."

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