Jodi Rell

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Posted by kaori 03/24/2009 @ 21:10

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News headlines
Gov. Rell intends to veto death penalty - NECN
M. Jodi Rell, R-Connecicut: It is my intention to veto the bill. Governor Jodi Rell is a longtime supporter of the death penalty. If anything were to change the governor's mind you'd think it would be the case of two men here in Connecticut....
Statement of CT Governor M. Jodi Rell on Death Penalty Legislation - All American Patriots (press release)
By admin - Posted on May 25th, 2009 May 22, 2009 -- Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell today issued the following statement concerning House Bill 6578, An Act Concerning the Penalty for a Capital Felony: “I appreciate the passionate beliefs of people on...
Conn. lawmakers look to reinvent government - Hartford Courant
M. Jodi Rell unveiled her two-year budget proposal in February, amid one of the worst fiscal crises ever to strike Connecticut, she suggested the cuts and agency closures were a mixed blessing. While painful, they were a chance to begin rolling back...
Rell, legislators meet on budget issue - Connecticut Post
M. Jodi Rell and leaders of the General Assembly agreed this morning that a small amount of progress has been made on negotiating a new two-year, $38-billion budget. But they indicated that the June 3 adjournment date may come and go without a deal....
Lawmakers revive health bill - TheDay
M. Jodi Rell, who vetoed a similar bill last year, and legislative Republicans, who peppered Democratic lawmakers with questions and amendments, dragging out a seven-hour debate on the measure, the longest so far this session....
Connecticut House Attempts Cutting Deficit -
Now, the bill will be sent to Governor Jodi Rell's desk, where she is expected to sign it. Both Republicans and Democrats in Connecticut have expressed disappointment over the General Assembly's inability to cut more from the budget and avoid utilizing...
Science Center May Face Funding Cut - WFSB
Jodi Rell and other state lawmakers said Monday that they want to cut proposed funding set aside for the new Connecticut Science Center. Slated to open in June, the budgets proposed by Rell and the Democrats would reduce the appropriations for the...
New licenses more secure, Rell says - Connecticut Post
M. Jodi Rell says the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin testing newly designed license and non-driver identification cards that with beefed up security aimed at preventing fraud. Among other things, the new license features an embedded graphic of...
'Great small town' remembers sacrifices -
M. Jodi Rell, a personal friend of Mather, attended the parade as in years past. "Langhorne is a small town, but it is a great small town," Rell said, adding, "Some people think Memorial Day is about a mattress sale, but it is our time to remember to...
Connecticut at 2 p.m. - Hartford Courant
Jodi Rell vowed Friday to immediately veto a newly approved ban on the death penalty, saying capital punishment is appropriate for certain heinous crimes. The measure, approved early Friday by the state Senate and last week by the state House of...

M. Jodi Rell

M. Jodi Rell

Mary Jodi Rell (born June 16, 1946) is the 72nd Governor of the U.S. state of Connecticut on July 1, 2004 and a Republican politician. She had been the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut until Governor John G. Rowland resigned during a corruption investigation. Rell is Connecticut's second female Governor, after Ella T. Grasso.

Born Mary Carolyn Reavis in Norfolk, Virginia, Rell attended Old Dominion University, but left in 1967 to marry Lou Rell, a US Navy pilot. She moved to Brookfield, Connecticut in 1969 and later attended, but did not graduate from, Western Connecticut State University. She never graduated from college. She received honorary law doctorates from the University of Hartford in 2001 and the University of New Haven in 2004.

Rell served as a Connecticut State Representative for the 107th District in Brookfield from 1985 until 1995. She became Lieutenant Governor after the 1994 election and won re-election in 1998 and 2002. Becoming governor in 2004 after John Rowland's resignation, Rell was elected to her own full term on November 7, 2006. She received approximately 710,000 votes, the highest total for any gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut history.

In her first months in office, Rell had high approval ratings, with a December 2004 Quinnipiac University poll showing her at 80 percent, the highest rating ever measured by the Quinnipiac University poll for a governor in Connecticut. She announced in October 2005 she would seek a four-year term in 2006, and was nominated by the Republican Party in May 2006 to seek a full term of her own. Stamford businessman and former state representative Michael Fedele was nominated as her running mate as Lieutenant Governor.

Rell defeated her Democratic opponent, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. in the 2006 Connecticut gubernatorial election .

In December 2007, Rell announced she was considering forming a committee for a 2010 re-election campaign.

On April 20, 2005, Rell signed into law a bill that made Connecticut the first state to adopt civil unions for same-sex couples without being directed to do so by a court. The law gives same-sex couples all of the 300+ rights, responsibilities, and privileges that the state gives to heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children, awarding state income tax credits, inheritance rights, and allowing same-sex partners to be considered next-of-kin when it comes to making medical decisions for incapacitated partners, yet does not require employers to give equal insurance benefits as they would to heterosexual couples. The bill was amended to define marriage as "between a man and a woman" after Rell threatened a veto. Rell signed the bill despite some Republican opposition to it, including from the Chairman of the State Republicans at the time.

Rell has subsequently announced that were the legislature to pass a bill establishing gay marriage in Connecticut, that she would veto the bill.

During Rell's administration, Connecticut carried out the first execution in New England since 1960 when serial killer Michael Bruce Ross was put to death on May 13, 2005. Rell, who supports the death penalty, declined a request by Ross's lawyers to delay the execution in order for the state legislature to debate eliminating the death penalty. Legally, the Governor of Connecticut cannot commute a death sentence.

In January 2008, Rell reached agreement with legislative leaders on a number of criminal justice reforms which were responsive to the systemic failures prior to the Cheshire home invasion. A special session in late January passed laws to toughen penalties for home invasion, and tighten parole procedures , but did not pass a Three Strikes Law which Rell, Caligiuri, and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney had favored.

Rell reiterated her call for a Three Strikes law on March 31, 2008, following the kidnapping and murder of an elderly New Britain woman committed by a convicted sex offender recently released from Connecticut prison.

Rell supported the state's constitutional spending cap against pressure from groups favoring expanded state government to bypass the cap. As a result in late June 2006 the state reported a $910 million surplus for the prior year and the state's Rainy Day Fund exceeded $1 billion in deposits for the first time. In 2007 she shocked many of her supporters by proposing a state budget that would greatly exceed the spending cap to pay for added education spending. This program would require raising the state income tax. Republican legislators as well as a few Democrats, including (at least initially) House Speaker James Amann were skeptical of Rell's proposal. An opinion poll showed opposition to raising the income tax, and widespread skepticism regarding Rell's claim her plan would reduce property taxes. As public opinion remained steadfast in opposition to an income tax hike, she changed her mind and withdrew her support for increased educational spending. Rell originally had the support of the Connecticut Education Association for her proposal, but they later switched to the Democratic plan favoring even higher state taxes and no limits on property tax increases. On May 9, 2007 Rell announced increased state revenues might make a tax hike unnecessary in 2007. On June 1, 2007 Rell vetoed a Democratic plan that increased the income tax. A compromise plan passed both houses of the legislature in late June that did not increase the income tax, but raised the cigarette tax and did not limit property taxes. It exceeded the state spending cap.

Rell supports a lawsuit in response to the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed the lawsuit against the US Department of Education to force Congress and President George W. Bush to amend the act because, Rell contends, it would compel Connecticut to spend tens of millions to meet impossibly high standards, even as the state's schools perform at one of the highest levels in the nation. The act requires states to pay for standardized testing every school year, instead of every 2 years. Rell's State Department of Education says the extra testing will provide little new information about students' academic progress.

In 2005, Rell signed into law a Democratic plan to revive the Connecticut estate tax, despite, again, the opposition from most Republicans. The tax applies to estates worth $2 million or more. Critics say the tax will encourage wealthy citizens to leave and take their money with them. In 2006 Rell proposed the phase-out of her own tax, but the Democrat-controlled legislature ignored the proposal.

In 2005 Rell signed into law a campaign finance bill that banned contributions from lobbyists and would provide public financing for future campaigns. The law received support from Arizona Senator John McCain, who campaigned for Rell in Hartford on March 17, 2006.

In June 2006 Rell intervened with New London city officials, proposing that homeowners displaced by the Kelo v. New London court decision be deeded property so they may retain homes in the neighborhood. A settlement was reached with the homeowners on June 30, 2006.

In 2007, Rell clashed with Democratic lawmakers over state bonding issues. Explaining that she felt the Democratic proposal spent too much funds that the state cannot afford, she called on them to renegotiate a new package with less spending. In October an agreement was reached that reduced the bond package by $400 million and the Governor signed it into law.

Various Democratic state legislators have questioned Rell's Chief-of-Staff Lisa Moody regarding a December 2005 political fundraiser that Moody invited state commissioners to attend. A number of attendees settled their dispute with the State Election Enforcement Commission by paying fines. Moody was not charged with a violation this because Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano said Moody was not considered a political appointee.

On December 27, 2004, Rell underwent treatment after discovering she was in the early stages of breast cancer.

In May 2008, Rell vetoed a bill to raise the minimum wage in the state of Connecticut. The legislature successfully voted to override Rell's veto in June 2008. The legislation will raise Connecticut's current wage of $7.65 an hour to $8 beginning in January 2009, and to $8.25 an hour in 2010.

Governor Rell was one of many Republicans mentioned as a potential candidate for vice president in the 2008 presidential election. The presidential nominee John McCain chose Alaska's Sarah Palin as his running mate instead.

In April 2008, Rell's Lt. Governor, Michael Fedele told the media he expected Rell to run for re-election in 2010. In August 2008 she told reporters she would file an exploratory committee for a 2010 reelection bid. Currently, three Democrats, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, former Speaker of the House James Amann, and Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, have announced their candidacy for governor to try to unseat Rell in 2010. One prominent Democrat expected to challenge Rell, Richard Blumenthal, has announced that he will not run for governor; instead, it is widely presumed that he will challenge Joe Lieberman for his Senate seat in 2012.

Rell is married and has two grown children. In April 2006, she became a grandmother. Her 2006 campaign advertisements featured her with her grandson. Rell underwent surgery for breast cancer in December 2004 and has remained healthy since.

In November 2007, her husband was diagnosed with cancer related to Barrett's Disease and was scheduled for an operation to remove a tumor.

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Map of the United States with Connecticut highlighted

Connecticut ( /kəˈnɛtɪkət/ (help·info)) is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The state borders New York to the west and south (Long Island by sea), Massachusetts to the north, and Rhode Island to the east.

Southwestern Connecticut is considered part of the immediate New York metropolitan area, and three of Connecticut's eight counties—including the majority of the state's population—are in the New York City combined statistical area, commonly referred to as the Tri-State Region. The center of population of the state is in Cheshire, New Haven County, also within the Tri-State Region.

Connecticut is the 29th most populous state, with 3.4 million residents, and is ranked 48th in size by area, making it the 4th most densely populated state. Called the "Constitution State," Connecticut has a long history dating from early colonial times and was influential in the development of the federal government.

Connecticut's first European settlers were Dutch and established a small settlement in present-day Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers called Huys de Goede Hoop. Initially, Connecticut was a part of their North American colony, New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. Today, much of the former colony lies in what is now known as the Tri-State Region.

The first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English. Thomas Hooker led a band of followers overland from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded what would become the Connecticut Colony; other settlers from Massachusetts founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. Both the Connecticut and New Haven Colonies established documents of Fundamental Orders, considered the first constitutions in North America. In 1662, the disparate colonies merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. This colony was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.

Connecticut enjoys a temperate climate owed to its long coastline on Long Island Sound. This has given the state a strong maritime tradition. Modern Connecticut is also known for its wealth. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Connecticut had ready access to raw materials which helped to develop a strong manufacturing industry, and financial organizations flourished: first insurance companies in Hartford, then hedge funds along the Gold Coast. This prosperity has helped give Connecticut the highest per capita income, Human Development Index, and median household income in the country.

Connecticut is bordered on the south by Long Island Sound, on the west by New York State, on the north by Massachusetts, and on the east by Rhode Island. The state capital is Hartford, and the other major cities include New Haven, New London, New Britain, Norwich, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, Danbury and Bridgeport. There are 169 incorporated towns in Connecticut.

The highest peak in Connecticut is Bear Mountain in Salisbury in the northwest corner of the state. The highest point is just east of where Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York meet (42° 3' N; 73° 29' W), on the southern slope of Mount Frissell, whose peak lies nearby in Massachusetts.

The Connecticut River cuts through the center of the state, flowing into Long Island Sound, Connecticut's outlet to the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite its size, the state has regional variations in its landscape and culture from the wealthy estates of Fairfield County's "Gold Coast" to the rolling mountains and horse-farms of the Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeast and northwest corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities, located along the coastal highways from the New York border to New Haven, then northward to Hartford, as well as further up the coast near New London. Many towns center around a "green," (such as the New Haven Green), Litchfield Green, Simsbury Green, Lebanon Green (the largest in the state), and Wethersfield Green (the oldest in the state). Near the green typically stand historical visual symbols of New England towns, such as a small white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or "inne," several colonial houses, etc., establishing a scenic historicity maintained for both historic preservation and the tourism trade.

Due to the climate, degree of urbanization, and economic status of the state, it offers easily accessed forests, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and a coastline, all developed for recreation.

The northern boundary of the state with Massachusetts is marked by the distinctive Southwick Jog or Granby Notch, an approximately 2.5 mile (4.0 km) square detour into Connecticut slightly west of the center of the border. The actual origin of this anomaly is uncertain, with stories ranging from the original surveyors having been drunk, having attempted to avoid hostile Native Americans, or having taken a shortcut up the Connecticut River; Massachusetts residents having attempted to avoid Massachusetts' higher taxes for the lower taxes of Connecticut; Massachusetts' interest in the resources represented by the Congamond Lakes which lie on the border of the jog; and the need to compensate Massachusetts for an amount of land given to Connecticut due to inaccurate survey work.

The southwestern border of Connecticut, where it abuts New York State, is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, containing the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien and part of Norwalk. This irregularity in the boundary is the result of territorial disputes in the late 1600s, culminating with New York giving up its claim to the area, whose residents considered themselves part of Connecticut, in exchange for an equivalent area extending northwards from Ridgefield to the Massachusetts border as well as undisputed claim to Rye, New York.

Areas maintained by the National Park Service include: Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor; and Weir Farm National Historic Site.

Parts of Connecticut, including northwestern Connecticut, have a Humid continental climate, while other parts, especially southwestern Connecticut, have a Humid subtropical climate, with seasonal extremes tempered by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are cold, with average temperatures ranging from 31°F (−1°C) in the southeast to 23°F (−5°C) in the northwest in January. The average yearly snowfall is about 25–100" (64–254 cm) across the state, with higher totals in the northwest. Spring has variable temperatures with frequent rainfall. Summer is hot and humid throughout the state, with average highs in New London of 81°F (27°C) and 87°F (31°C) in Windsor Locks. Fall months are mild and bring colorful foliage across the state in October and November. During hurricane season, tropical cyclones occasionally affect the region. Thunderstorms are most frequent during the summer, occurring on average 30 times annually. These storms can be severe, though tornadoes are rare.

The Connecticut region was inhabited by the Mohegan tribe prior to European colonization. The first European explorer in Connecticut was the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. After he explored this region in 1614, Dutch fur traders sailed up the Connecticut River (then known by the Dutch as Versche Rivier - " Fresh River") and built a fort at Dutch Point near present-day Hartford, which they called "House of Hope" (Dutch: Huis van Hoop).

John Winthrop, then of Massachusetts, received permission to create a new colony at Old Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River in 1635. This was the first of three distinct colonies that later would be combined to make up Connecticut. Saybrook Colony was a direct challenge to Dutch claims. The colony was not more than a small outpost and never matured. In 1644, the Saybrook Colony merged itself into the Connecticut Colony.

The first English settlers came in 1633 and settled at Windsor and then Wethersfield in 1634. However, the main body of settlers came in one large group in 1636. The settlers were Puritans from Massachusetts, led by Thomas Hooker. Hooker had been prominent in England and was a professor of theology at Cambridge. He was also an important political writer and made a significant contribution to Constitutional theory. He broke with the political leadership in Massachusetts, and, just as Roger Williams created a new polity in Rhode Island, Hooker and his cohort did the same and established the Connecticut Colony at Hartford in 1636. This was the second of the three colonies.

The third colony was founded in March 1638. New Haven Colony (originally known as the Quinnipiack Colony) was established by John Davenport, Theophilus Eaton and others at New Haven. The New Haven Colony had its own constitution, 'The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony,' which was signed on 4 June 1639.

Because the Dutch were outnumbered by the flood of English settlers from Massachusetts, they left their fort in 1654.

Neither the establishment of the Connecticut Colony or the Quinnipiack Colony was done with the sanction of British imperial authorities, and they were independent political entities. They naturally were presumptively English, but in a legal sense, they were only secessionist outposts of Massachusetts Bay. In 1662, Winthrop took advantage of this void in political affairs and obtained in England the charter by which the colonies of Connecticut and Quinnipiack were united. Although Winthrop's charter favored the Connecticut colony, New Haven remained a seat of government with Hartford until after the American Revolution.

Winthrop was very politically astute and secured the charter from the newly restored Charles II, who granted the most liberal political terms.

Its first constitution, the "Fundamental Orders," was adopted on January 14, 1639, while its current constitution, the third for Connecticut, was adopted in 1965. Connecticut is the fifth of the original thirteen states. The original constitutions influenced the US Constitution as one of the leading authors was Roger Sherman of New Haven.

The western boundaries of Connecticut have been subject to change over time. According to the Hartford Treaty with the Dutch, signed on September 19, 1650, but never ratified by the British, the western boundary of Connecticut ran north from Greenwich Bay for a distance of 20 Miles "provided the said line come not within 10 miles (16 km) of Hudson River. This agreement was observed by both sides until war erupted between England and The Netherlands in 1652. No other limits were found. Conflict over uncertain colonial limits continued until the Duke of York captured New Netherland in 1664. "... On the other hand, Connecticut's original Charter in 1662 granted it all the land to the "South Sea," i.e. the Pacific Ocean. Most colonial royal grants were for long east-west strips. Connecticut took its grant seriously, and established a ninth county between the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, named Westmoreland County. This resulted in the brief Pennamite Wars with Pennsylvania.

Connecticut's lands also extended across northern Ohio, called the Western Reserve lands. The Western Reserve section was settled largely by people from Connecticut, and they brought Connecticut place names to Ohio. Agreements with Pennsylvania and New York extinguished the land claims by Connecticut within its neighbors, and the Western Reserve lands were relinquished to the federal government, which brought the state to its present boundaries.

The name "Connecticut" originates from the Mohegan word quinnitukqut, meaning "place of long tidal river". In fact, the exact spelling "connect i cut", was rendered by John Dixwell, Edward Whalley, and William Goffe, three regicides who came to New Haven in the 17th century, fleeing prosecution by Charles II of England.

Connecticut's official nickname, adopted in 1959, is "The Constitution State," based on its colonial constitution of 1638–39. Unofficially (but popularly) Connecticut is also known as "The Nutmeg State". The origins of the nutmeg connection to Connecticut are unknown. It may have come from its sailors returning from voyages with nutmeg (which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a very valuable spice). It may have originated in the early machined sheet tin nutmeg grinders sold by early Connecticut peddlers. It is also facetiously said to come from Yankee peddlers from Connecticut who would sell small carved nobs of wood shaped to look like nutmeg to unsuspecting customers. George Washington gave Connecticut the title of "The Provisions State" because of the material aid the state rendered to the Revolutionary War effort. Connecticut is also known as "The Land of Steady Habits".

According to Webster's New International Dictionary, 1993, a person who is a native or resident of Connecticut is a "Connecticuter". There are numerous other terms coined in print, but not in use, such as: "Connecticotian" - Cotton Mather in 1702. "Connecticutensian" - Samuel Peters in 1781. "Nutmegger" is sometimes used, as is "Yankee" (the official State Song is "Yankee Doodle"), though this usually refers someone from the wider New England region. Linguist Allen Walker Read reports a more playful term, 'connecticutie.' The traditional abbreviation of the state's name is "Conn."; the official postal abbreviation is CT.

Commemorative stamps issued by the United States Postal Service with Connecticut themes include Nathan Hale, Eugene O'Neill, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Noah Webster, Eli Whitney, the whaling ship the Charles W. Morgan which is docked in Mystic Seaport, and a decoy of a broadbill duck.

As of 2005, Connecticut has an estimated population of 3,510,297, which is an increase of 11,331, or 0.3%, from the prior year and an increase of 104,695, or 3.1%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 67,427 people (that is 222,222 births minus 154,795 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 41,718 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 75,991 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 34,273 people. Based on the 2005 estimates, Connecticut moves from the 29th most populous state to 30th.

6.6% of its population was reported as being under 5 years old, 24.7% under 18 years old, and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. Females made up approximately 51.6% of the population, with 48.4% male.

In 1790, 97% of the population in Connecticut were classified as "rural". The first census in which less than half the population was classified as rural was 1890. In the 2000 census, it was only 12.3%. Most of western and southern Connecticut is strongly associated with New York City; this area is the most affluent and populous region of the state. Eastern Connecticut is more culturally influenced by the greater New England area, including the cities of Boston and Providence. Some cite this cultural split when noting the state's lack of professional sports teams, ie., NHL hockey since the mid 1990s, NFL football, MLS soccer and men's basketball.

The center of population of Connecticut is located in the town of Cheshire.

As of 2004, 11.4% of the population (400,000) was foreign-born, and 10% of the foreign-born in the state were illegal aliens (about 1.1% of the population). In 1870, native-born Americans had accounted for 75% of the state's population, but that had dropped to 35% by 1918.

As of 2000, 81.69% of Connecticut residents age 5 and older spoke English at home and 8.42% spoke Spanish, followed by Italian at 1.59%, French at 1.31% and Polish at 1.20%.

The five largest reported ancestries in the state are: Italian (18.6%), Irish (16.6%), English (10.3%), German (9.9%), and French/French Canadian (9.9%).

Connecticut has large Italian American, Irish American and English American populations, as well as German American and Portuguese American populations, second highest percentage of any state behind Rhode Island (19.3%). Italian is the largest ancestry group in five of the state's counties, while the Irish are the largest group in Tolland county, French Canadians the largest group in Windham county, and old stock New England Yankees are present throughout. African Americans and Hispanics (mostly Puerto Ricans) are numerous in the urban areas of the state. Like Ohio and New York, Connecticut is also known for its relatively large Hungarian American population, the majority of which live in and around Fairfield, Stamford, Naugatuck and Bridgeport. Connecticut also has a sizable Polish American population, with New Britain containing the largest Polish American population in the state.

More recent immigrant populations include those from Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica and former Soviet countries.

Jewish congregations had 108,280 members in 2000; The Jewish population is concentrated in the towns near Long Island Sound between Greenwich and New Haven, in Greater New Haven and in Greater Hartford, especially the suburb of West Hartford. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives the largest Christian denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Catholic Church with 1,372,562; the United Church of Christ with 124,770; and the Episcopal Church with 73,550.

Recent immigration has brought other non-Christian religions to the state, but the numbers of adherents of other religions are still low.

Connecticut is also home to New England's largest Protestant Church The First Cathedral in Bloomfield, Connecticut located in Hartford County.

The total gross state product for 2006 was $204 billion. The per capita income for 2007 was $54,117, ranking first among the states. There is, however, a great disparity in incomes through the state; although New Canaan has one of the highest per capita incomes in America, Hartford is one of the ten cities with the lowest per capita incomes in America. As with Bridgeport, New Haven and other cities in the state, Hartford is surrounded by wealthier suburbs.

New Canaan is the wealthiest town in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $85,459. Darien, Greenwich, Weston, Westport and Wilton also have per capita incomes over $65,000. Hartford is the poorest municipality in Connecticut, with a per capita income of $13,428 in 2000. There are other lower-income and blue-collar towns, mostly parts of towns, in the eastern part of the State.

Prior to 1991, Connecticut had a highly populist income tax system. Income from employment was untaxed, but income from investments was taxed at the highest rate in the United States: 13%. And this burden was further increased by the method of calculation: no deductions were allowed for the cost (for example, interest on borrowing) of producing the investment income. Under Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., an Independent, this was reformed to the present system.

This system prior to 1991 made it an attractive haven for high-salaried earners fleeing the heavy taxes of New York State, but highly unattractive for members of Wall Street partnerships. It put an enormous burden on Connecticut property tax payers, particularly in the cities with their more extensive municipal services.

With Weicker's 1991 tax reform, the tax on employment and investment income was equalized at a then-maximum of 4%. Since then, Greenwich, Connecticut, has become the headquarters of choice for a large number of America's largest hedge funds, and Connecticut income from that industry has soared. Today the income tax rate on Connecticut individuals is divided into two tax brackets of 3% and 5%. All wages of a Connecticut resident are subject to the state's income tax, even when the resident works outside of the state. However, in those cases, Connecticut income tax must be withheld only to the extent the Connecticut tax exceeds the amount withheld by the other jurisdiction. Since New York state has higher tax rates than Connecticut, this effectively means that Connecticut residents that work in New York state pay no income tax to Connecticut.

Connecticut levies a 6% state sales tax on the retail sale, lease, or rental of most goods. Some items and services in general are not subject to sales and use taxes unless specifically enumerated as taxable by statute. There are no additional sales taxes imposed by local jurisdictions. During the summer there is one week during which sales tax on certain items and quantities of clothing is not imposed in order to assist those with children returning to school.

All real and personal property located within the state of Connecticut is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. All assessments are at 70% of fair market value. Another 20% of the value may be taxed by the local government though. The maximum property tax credit is $500 per return and any excess may not be refunded or carried forward. Connecticut does not levy an intangible personal property tax.

Homes in southwestern Connecticut on the fringes of the New York City metropolitan area are quite expensive. Many towns have median home prices over $500,000, with a good percentage of towns exceeding $1 million. By contrast, other counties have lower medians. The median value for a home in New London County, for example, is about $275,000. Fairfield County has the most expensive real estate market in Connecticut, with most houses selling at over $1.5 million and many costing several million. Connecticut has the most multi-million dollar homes in the Northeast, and the second most in the nation after California, with 3.3% of homes in Connecticut priced over $1 million in 2003. In 2007, the median price for a house in Connecticut passed $300,000 for the first time, even though most of the country was mired in a real estate slump.

The agricultural produce of the state includes nursery stock; eggs; clams and lobster (shellfish); dairy products; cattle; and tobacco. Its industrial output includes transportation equipment, especially helicopters, aircraft parts, and nuclear submarines; heavy industrial machinery and electrical equipment; military weaponry; fabricated metal products; chemical and pharmaceutical products; and scientific instruments.

Due to the prominence of the aircraft industry in the state, Connecticut has an official state aircraft, the F4U Corsair, and an official Connecticut Aviation Pioneer, Igor Sikorsky. The state officially recognizes aircraft designer Gustav Whitehead as "Father of Connecticut Aviation" for his research into powered flight in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1901, two years before the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Governor John Dempsey also declared August 15 to be "Gustave Whitehead Day".

A report issued by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism on December 7, 2006, demonstrated that the economic impact of the arts, film, history and tourism generated more than $14 billion in economic activity and 170,000 jobs annually. This provides $9 billion in personal income for Connecticut residents and $1.7 billion in state and local revenue.

The Interstate highways in the state are I-95 (the Connecticut Turnpike) running southwest to northeast along the coast, I-84 running southwest to northeast in the center of the state, I-91 running north to south in the center of the state, and I-395 running north to south near the eastern border of the state. The other major highways in Connecticut are the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway, which together form State Route 15, running from the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York State parallel to I-95 before turning north of New Haven and running parallel to I-91, finally becoming a surface road in Berlin, Connecticut. Route 15 and I-95 were originally toll roads; they relied on a system of toll plazas at which all traffic stopped and paid fixed tolls. A series of terrible crashes at these plazas eventually contributed to the decision to remove the tolls in 1988. Other major arteries in the state include U.S. Route 7 in the west running parallel to the NY border, State Route 8 farther east near the industrial city of Waterbury and running north-south along the Naugatuck River Valley nearly parallel with U.S. 7, and State Route 9 in the east. See List of State Routes in Connecticut for an overview of the state's highway system.

Between New Haven and the New York City, I-95 is one of the most congested highways in the United States. Many people now drive longer distances to work in the New York City area. This strains the three lanes of traffic capacity, resulting in lengthy rush hour delays. Frequently, the congestion spills over to clog the parallel Merritt Parkway. The state has encouraged traffic reduction schemes, including rail use and ride-sharing.

Connecticut also has a very active bicycling community, with one of the highest rates of bicycling ownership and use in the United States. New Haven's cycling community, organized in a local advocacy group called ElmCityCycling, is particularly active. According to the U.S. Census 2006 American Community Survey, New Haven has the highest percentage of commuters who bicycle to work of any major metropolitan center on the East Coast.

Southwestern Connecticut is served by MTA's Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line, providing commuter service to New York City and New Haven, with branches servicing New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury. Connecticut lies along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor which features frequent Northeast Regional and Acela Express service. Towns between New Haven and New London are also served by the Shore Line East commuter line. Operation of commuter trains from New Haven to Springfield on Amtrak's New Haven-Springfield Line is under consideration.

Statewide bus service is supplied by Connecticut Transit, owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, with smaller municipal authorities providing local service. Bus networks are an important part of the transportation system in Connecticut, especially in urban areas like Hartford, Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven. A three-year construction project to build a busway from New Britain to Hartford will begin in August 2009.

Bradley International Airport, which became truly 'International' in the summer of 2007 beginning service to Europe (which ceased to exist shortly after due to financial issues), is located in Windsor Locks, 15 miles (24 km) north of Hartford. Regional air service is provided at Tweed-New Haven Airport. Larger civil airports include Danbury Municipal Airport and Waterbury-Oxford Airport in western Connecticut. The Westchester County Airport in Harrison, New York serves part of southwestern Connecticut.

Hartford has been the sole capital of Connecticut since 1875. Before then, New Haven and Hartford alternated as capitals.

Connecticut is known as the "Constitution State". While the origin on this title is uncertain, the nickname is assumed to refer to the Fundamental Orders of 1638–39. These Fundamental Orders represent the framework for the first formal government written by a representative body in Connecticut. The government has operated under the direction of four separate documents in the course of Connecticut Constitutional History. After the Fundamental Orders, Connecticut was granted governmental authority by King Charles II of England through the Connecticut Charter of 1662. While these two documents acted to lay the ground work for the state’s government, either document could be altered simply by a majority vote of the General Assembly. Separate branches of government did not exist during this period, and the General Assembly acted as the supreme authority. A constitution similar to the modern U.S. Constitution was not adopted in Connecticut until 1818. Finally, the current state constitution was implemented in 1965. The 1965 constitution absorbed a majority of its 1818 predecessor, but incorporated a handful of important modifications. Another possible source of the nickname "constitution state" comes from Connecticut's pivotal role in the federal constitutional convention of 1787, during which Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth helped to orchestrate what became known as the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise. This plan combined the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan to form a bicameral legislature, a form copied by almost every state constitution since the adoption of the federal constitution.

The governor heads the executive branch. The current Governor of Connecticut is M. Jodi Rell (Republican). The current Lieutenant Governor is Michael Fedele. From 1639 until the adoption of the 1818 constitution, the governor presided over the General Assembly. Connecticut was the first state in the United States to elect a woman as governor without electing her husband first, Ella Grasso in 1974.

There are several executive departments: Administrative Services, Agriculture, Banking, Children and Families, Consumer Protection, Correction, Economic and Community Development, Developmental Services, Education, Environmental Protection, Higher Education, Information Technology, Insurance, Labor, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Military, Motor Vehicles, Public Health, Public Safety, Public Utility Control, Public Works, Revenue Services, Social Services, Transportation, Veterans Affairs. In addition to these departments, there are other independent bureaus, offices and commissions.

In addition to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, there are four other executive officers named in the state constitution that are elected directly by voters: Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller and Attorney General. All executive officers are elected to four year terms.

The legislature is the General Assembly. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of an upper body, the State Senate (36 senators); and a lower body, the House of Representatives (151 representatives). Bills must pass each house in order to become law. The governor can veto the bill, but this veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority in each house. Senators and representatives, all of whom must be at least eighteen years of age, are elected to two-year terms in November on even-numbered years. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, except when absent from the chamber, when the President Pro Tempore presides. The Speaker of the House presides over the House; Chris Donovan is the current Speaker of the House of Connecticut. The Democrats currently hold a two-thirds super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly.

Connecticut's U.S. senators are Christopher J. Dodd (Democrat) and Joseph I. Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman, Independent Democrat) who is part of the Democratic Caucus. Connecticut currently has five representatives in the U.S. House, all of whom are Democrats. Connecticut and Vermont remain the only two states with Independent Senators.

The highest court of Connecticut's judicial branch is the Connecticut Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Connecticut. The Supreme Court is responsible for deciding on the constitutionality of the law or cases as they relate to the law. Its proceedings are similar to those of the United States Supreme Court, with no testimony given by witnesses, and the lawyers of the two sides each present oral arguments no longer than thirty minutes. Following a court proceeding, the court may take several months to arrive at a judgment. The current Chief Justice is Chase T. Rogers.

In 1818, the court became a separate entity, independent of the legislative and executive branches. The Appellate Court is a lesser state-wide court and the Superior Courts are lower courts that resemble county courts of other states.

Connecticut has 169 towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state; the entire state is divided into towns. Connecticut shares a local form of government with the rest of New England called the New England town. There are also 21 cities, most of which are coterminous with their namesake towns and have a merged city-town government. There are two exceptions: City of Groton, which is a subsection of the Town of Groton and the City of Winsted in the Town of Winchester. There are also nine incorporated boroughs which may provide additional services to a section of town. One, Naugatuck, is a consolidated town and borough.

Unlike most other states, Connecticut does not have county government. Connecticut county governments were mostly eliminated in 1960, with the exception of the sheriff system. In 2000, the county sheriff was abolished and replaced with the state marshal system, which has districts that follow the old county territories. The judicial system is divided, at the trial court level, into judicial districts which largely follow the old county lines. The eight counties are still widely used for purely geographical and statistical purposes, such as weather reports, and census reporting.

Connecticut recently leans strongly towards the Democratic Party. However, Connecticut has a high number of voters who are not registered with a major party. As of 2004, 33.7% of registered voters were registered Democratic, 22.0% were registered Republican, and 44.0% were unaffiliated with any party, with 0.2% registered with a minor party.

Many Connecticut towns show a marked preference for moderate candidates of either party. Democrats hold a registration edge especially in the cities of Hartford; New Haven; and Bridgeport, where Democratic machines have held power since the great immigration waves of the 1800s. The state's Republican-leaning areas are the rural Litchfield County and adjoining towns in the west of Hartford County, the industrial towns of the Naugatuck River Valley, and some of the affluent Fairfield County towns near the New York border. The suburban towns of New Canaan and Darien in Fairfield County are considered the most Republican areas in the state. Westport, a wealthy town a few miles to the east, is often considered one of the most loyally-Democratic, liberal towns in Fairfield County. The historically Republican-leaning wealthy town of Wilton voted in the majority for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election. Norwalk and Stamford, two larger, affluent communities in Fairfield County, have in many elections favored moderate Republicans including former Governor John G. Rowland and former Congressman Chris Shays, however they have favored Democrats in recent US presidential candidates, the latter being defeated by Democrat Jim Himes in the 2008 election year. Waterbury has a Democratic registration edge, but usually favors conservative candidates in both parties. In Danbury unaffiliated voters outnumber voters registered with either major party. Other smaller cities including Meriden, New Britain, and Middletown favor Democratic candidates.

Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly. In 2008, Democrats controlled all five federal congressional seats. The remaining Republican, Chris Shays, lost his seat to Democrat Jim Hines in the Congressional Election of that year. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman are Connecticut's U.S. senators. The senior Dodd is a Democrat while the junior Lieberman serves as an Independent Democrat caucusing with Senate Democrats after his victory on the Connecticut for Lieberman ballot line in the 2006 general election. Lieberman's predecessor, Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., was the last Connecticut Republican to serve as Senator. Weicker was known as a liberal Republican. He broke with President Richard Nixon during Watergate and successfully ran for governor in 1990 as an independent, creating A Connecticut Party as his election vehicle. Before Weicker, the last Republican to represent Connecticut in the Senate was Prescott Bush, the father of former President George H.W. Bush and the grandfather of former President George W. Bush. He served from 1953–1963.

Several mayors, state legislators, and government employees have been convicted and imprisoned for crimes ranging from bribery to racketeering. In 2004, Governor John G. Rowland, was forced to resign when it was discovered he helped steer state contracts to firms that offered him gifts and free vacations. Following his resignation, he pled guilty to corruption charges and served ten months in federal prison. Former Waterbury Mayor and 2000 GOP Senate candidate Philip Giordano was stripped of power in 2001 after a corruption investigation had to be cut short when phone taps unexpectedly revealed alleged sexual acts with 8- and 10-year-old minor girls and other possible child sex offenses. In 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to 37 years in federal prison. Democrats have been convicted of corruption as well, most notably former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. The current Mayor of Bridgeport, John Fabrizi admitted to using cocaine while in office, but has stayed on while not running for re-election. In August 2007 Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez announced he had been investigated for ties to a city contractor. In February 2009 Perez turned himself into police on a warrant for corruption charges, and pleaded not guilty. In December 2007 in Enfield, former Mayor Patrick L. Tallarita (D) has been named in a lawsuit over an alleged threatening confrontation with a man at a grocery store.

Several state agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and Department of Children and Families (DCF) have been rocked by scandals over the past decade.

A more recent scandal involved a botched construction project on Interstate 84 near Waterbury. On the incomplete construction project an independent audit of the project in late 2006 revealed that over 280 storm drains installed by the now-defunct L.G. DeFelice Construction Company, were either filled with sand, were improperly installed, or were connected with pipes that led to nowhere. In addition to the faulty storm drains, officials discovered light fixtures with defective mounting brackets when one of the fixtures fell off of its support pole and onto the highway. Inspectors also discovered the structural steel for an overpass was not properly installed, raising serious questions about the bridge's structural integrity. Following the uncovering of this scandal, Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal filed suit against L.G. DeFelice, its bonding company USF&G, and the consultants (the Maguire Group) hired by CONNDOT to oversee the project, resulting in a $17.5 million settlement with USF&G to fix the problems. A federal grand jury and FBI investigation were also launched into the operations of L.G. DeFelice which ceased operations in May 2006. Several CONNDOT employees were allegedly fired or retired after being implicated in the scandal, and are also subjects of state and federal investigations. Finally, the scandal prompted the Connecticut General Assembly to consider contract reform legislation and Governor M. Jodi Rell to order a complete reorganization of CONNDOT.

In the fall of 2005, the public’s trust was betrayed again. This time State Senator Ernie Newton (D-Bridgeport) was forced to resign after a number of abuses, including accepting bribes in exchange for state bonding. In April 2006, former State Senator Ernest Newton reported to a federal prison camp in Fort Dix, New Jersey, to begin serving his five-year sentence for taking a bribe.

On June 1, 2007 Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca (R-Woodbury) was arrested on conspiracy charges after it was discovered he was dealing with a local Mafia boss who is currently facing federal charges stemming from his trash-hauling operations, and allegations that he tried to use these same ties to intimidate the husband of his granddaughter, whom he claimed was abusing her.

Democratic State Senator Thomas Gaffey has frequently been charged with misconduct involving use of reimbursements from his state expense account and campaign funds, as well as charges related to steering state bonding funds to a university lobbyist whom he was dating.

Following Rowland's resignation, the state legislature passed a campaign finance reform bill that bans contributions from lobbyists and state contractors in future campaigns.

Several lawmakers in Connecticut's General Assembly have been working toward universal health care. In 2008, both the House and Senate chambers passed legislation that would have allowed small businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits to join a statewide insurance pool that would be an expansion of the state's insurance plan. In May, 2008, the bill passed the Senate by a 22-12 vote and the House with a 102-43 vote. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz spoke out in favor of the legislation. Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut aired radio ads encouraging Governor Rell to sign the bill. But, after several days wait, Gov. Rell vetoed the bill citing technical problems with the legislation.

Since 2005, the foundation has developed relationships with several key groups that would be instrumental in creating broad change in the health system, including medical societies, hospitals, businesses, labor and clergy.

In January 2009 the foundation unveiled SustiNet, a proposal for a statewide health care plan for Connecticut that would provide residents with their choice of health coverage and care regardless of their employment status, age, or pre-existing conditions. An estimated 1,000 people attended a rally at Union Station (Hartford) for the release of the plan.

In February, the 18,500-member Connecticut Association of REALTORS announced its support for the SustiNet health care plan. REALTORS are independent contractors and are representative of the plight of many independent contractors and small business employees in Connecticut in that they do not have access to group health insurance.

Also in that month, the independent statewide organization "Small Businesses for Health Care Reform" endorsed the SustiNet health care reform proposal and encouraged other business owners to review and support it.

In March, the foundation's SustiNet plan was formally endorsed the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care, a group devoted to health reform, as well as by dozens of other religious leaders representing a wide range of faiths in Connecticut. Fellowship members include Rabbi Stephen Fuchs of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, a co-chairman of the Interfaith Fellowship, and Bilal Ansari, a Muslim chaplain at Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, where much of his counseling involves helping families cope with not just the stress of a relative's illness, but the worries about how they will pay for it.

Connecticut is well known as the home of Yale University (1701), which maintains a consistent ranking as one of the world's most renowned universities and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs of any university in the United States (an 8.6% acceptance rate in 2006). Yale is one of the largest employers in the state, and its research activity has recently spun off dozens of growing biotechnology companies.

Connecticut is also the host of many other academic institutions, including Trinity College (1823), Wesleyan University (1832), University of Hartford (1877), University of Bridgeport (1927), Post University (1890), Connecticut College (1911), Quinnipiac University (1929), Fairfield University (1942), Sacred Heart University (1964), the United States Coast Guard Academy (1915) and the Connecticut State University System. The University of Connecticut (1881) has been the highest ranked public university in New England for eight years running, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Additionally, the State has many noted boarding schools, including Avon Old Farms (1927), Cheshire Academy (1794), Choate Rosemary Hall (1890), Ethel Walker School (1911), The Gunnery (1850), Hotchkiss (1891), Kent School (1906), Loomis Chaffee (1874), Miss Porter's School (1843),Pomfret School (1894), Salisbury School (1901), Suffield Academy (1833), Taft (1890), and the Westminster School (1888), which draw students from all over the world.

Connecticut has many noted private day schools such as the Hopkins School (1660) in New Haven, Brunswick School (1902) in Greenwich, Hamden Hall Country Day School (1912) in Hamden, Holy Cross High School (1968) in Waterbury, Kingswood-Oxford School (1909) in West Hartford, Notre Dame High School (1955) in Fairfield, King and Low-Heywood Thomas School (1865) in Stamford, the Norwich Free Academy (1854) in Norwich, St. Lukes School (1928) in New Canaan, St. Joseph High School (1962) in Trumbull, and the Williams School (1891) in New London, among others.

Connecticut was also home to the nation's first law school, Litchfield Law School, which operated from 1773 to 1833 in Litchfield. Hartford Public High School (1638) is the third-oldest secondary school in the nation after the Collegiate School (1628) in Manhattan and the Boston Latin School (1635). The Hopkins School (1660) is the fifth-oldest after the three previously mentioned and the Roxbury Latin School (1645) in Boston.

The Connecticut State Department of Education manages public schools in Connecticut. Farmington High School, Avon High School, Simsbury High School, Conard High School, and Greenwich High School have been nationally recognized for their excellence.

George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was born in Connecticut. He is a member of the Bush political family, with roots in the state extending three generations. Other notable figures from the state span American political and cultural history, including Ralph Nader, Eli Whitney, Benedict Arnold, Nathan Hale, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown, Eugene O'Neill, Charles Ives, Katharine Hepburn, Vince McMahon, Patti LuPone, Meryl Streep, Wallace Stevens, Florence Griswold, Prudence Crandall, Michael Bolton, Chloe Sevigny, Leroy Anderson, Jane Curtin, Mia Farrow, Joanne Woodward, Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Jacques Pepin, Jane and Michael Stern, and Roger Sherman. The state is often associated with American author Mark Twain, who resided in his innovative Hartford home (now a museum) from 1871 - 1891, during which time he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He lived in Redding from 1908 until his death in 1910. Meg Ryan lived in Bethel, Connecticut while growing up. Paul Newman, before his death in 2008, lived in Connecticut for most of his life and it is often referred to as his 'adopted state'. Many music stars, radio and television personalities, and athletes have made temporary homes in the wealthy suburbs of Fairfield County. Also, Noah Webster was born in Hartford (in an area that is now part of West Hartford), and was the author of the "Blue Backed Speller," now known as Webster's Dictionary. The Speller was used to teach spelling to five generations of Americans. Late Night Show Host Conan O'Brien owns a house in Washington, CT. Actor Dylan McDermott was born and raised in Waterbury. And John Mayer, singer and song writer is from Fairfield county. Where he currently is waiting on the world to change.

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Connecticut gubernatorial election, 2010


The 2010 Connecticut Gubernatorial Election will take place on November 2, 2010. Incumbent Jodi Rell has launched an exploratory committee for her run for reelection. Though there have been rumors that she will not run for reelection, or even resign before her current term is completed, all indication is that she will run for reelection.

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Connecticut gubernatorial election, 2006

M. Jodi Rell.png

The Connecticut gubernatorial election of 2006 occurred on November 7, 2006. The incumbent, M. Jodi Rell became Governor when John G. Rowland resigned in 2004. Rell, whose approval rating as of October 19, 2006 was 70% and her "net" approval rating (approval percentage less disapproval percentage) was 43% led DeStefano by a near 30-point margin, consistent with opinion polls leading up to the election. On November 7 the results were final. M. Jodi Rell is now Governor of Connecticut as of the 2006 elections. DeStefano defeated Mayor Dan Malloy (D-Stamford) in the Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial primary on August 8.

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John G. Rowland

John Grosvenor Rowland (born May 24, 1957, Waterbury, Connecticut) was the Governor of Connecticut from 1995 to 2004; he is a member of the Republican Party. He is married to Patty Rowland, his second wife, and the couple have five children between them. In 2004, Rowland resigned from office during a corruption investigation, and later pleaded guilty in federal court to a one-count indictment for conspiracy to commit "honest services mail fraud" and tax fraud. He was the first Connecticut governor to be elected to three terms since 1784.

He served ten months in a federal prison until February 10, 2006, followed by four months house arrest at his home in West Hartford, Connecticut until June, 2006. His lieutenant governor was M. Jodi Rell, now the governor of Connecticut.

Rowland's political career began in 1980 when, at age 23, he was elected to the Connecticut State House of Representatives. He held his seat until 1984, when he was elected to represent Connecticut's 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives and was reelected in 1986 and 1988.

After losing the 1990 gubernatorial race to Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., Rowland worked as a consultant for United Technologies Corp. He was later elected governor in 1994 at age 37 (the youngest governor in Connecticut history) and later defeated two additional Democratic challengers: former US Congresswoman Barbara Bailey Kennelly (63%-35%) in 1998 and former State Comptroller Bill Curry (56%-44%) in 2002.

Rowland was the only Republican re-elected Governor of Connecticut in the past half-century and was the first governor elected to a third term since Jonathan Trumbull in 1784. His plurality over Kennelly in 1998 was among the largest recorded for any Connecticut politician.

Rowland resigned as Governor of Connecticut effective July 1, 2004. Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell served out the remainder of his term. Rell was elected to her own full term in November 2006 and began that term on January 3, 2007. Rowland is the only Connecticut governor to have ever faced impeachment and he is the only Connecticut governor to have served prison time.

During the years that Rowland was in office, the state enjoyed record-breaking surpluses, state spending increased only modestly, with real spending growth rates of just over two percent annually between 1995 and 2003. For the first time in state history, tax rebate checks were returned to taxpayers in 1998 and again in 1999. He adhered to the state spending cap voters had added to the state constitution in 1992.

During those years, the state invested more than $2 billion to rebuild the University of Connecticut. Major investments were also made in the Connecticut State University and Community Technical College systems; enrollments as of 2004 were at an all-time high.

As of 2004, Connecticut students led the nation in performance, and the number of spaces in pre-school programs more than doubled during his term in office.

During his term, more than 455,000 acres (1,840 km2) (700+ sq. miles) of open space were preserved for future generations and state parks were revitalized. Rowland also led an aggressive clean-up and protection effort for Long Island Sound.

The Adriaen’s Landing project, the most ambitious capital city development project in decades in the state, continued to progress during Rowland's time in office. New college campuses were moved and brought thousands downtown in Hartford, Stamford, Bridgeport and Waterbury. New London's waterfront was thriving as of 2004, with a new global research facility and rebuilt pier. Theaters and museums in all major cities were being revitalized, from the Palace Theater in Waterbury to the New Britain's Museum of American Art.

In 1998, Rowland implemented the HUSKY Plan (HealthCare for Uninsured Kids and Youth) to provide health insurance to uninsured Connecticut children. During his tenure, the budget for the Department of Children and Families more than doubled. Rowland supported the creation of the state’s first Child Advocate.

Rowland was a strong proponent of a tough stance against violent crime as Governor. The prison population grew rapidly during his term, which caused the state to send inmates to prisons in Virginia to deal with overcrowding. Legislative opponents of this policy such as Representative Michael Lawlor urged more rapid release of nonviolent offenders. After Rowland left office the Virginia inmates were returned to Connecticut and more criminals were paroled. This approach was criticized after the 2007 Cheshire home invasion murders committed by two "nonviolent" inmates paroled from Connecticut prison.

Before investigation into his conduct as governor started, Rowland was viewed as a rising star in the Republican party, and was mentioned as a future presidential or vice-presidential candidate.

Shortly after being released from prison, he was offered a job as the city of Waterbury's economic development coordinator. This office was appointed by long time friend and associate Mayor Michael Jarjura.

In the first year of Rowland's third term (2003), rumors began circulating that contractors doing business with the state paid for and made improvements to his weekend cottage, that he benefited improperly from the sale of a condominium in Washington, D.C. at an inflated price, that he took gifts from subordinates in state government, and that he took partial ownership in businesses immediately before they were granted state contracts. These eventually led to federal investigations and then indictments of some of Rowland's close aides, who then cooperated with federal investigators.

Rumors continued that the investigation was building a case against Rowland himself; Rowland publicly denied the allegations.

However, in December 2003, Rowland abruptly appeared on television and admitted that work had been done by contractors on his cottage at no charge, and that his earlier statements to the contrary were untrue. Matters were exacerbated when his wife, Patty Rowland, wrote a satirical poem deriding the media for investigating her husband's admitted wrongdoing.

He claimed that since the work was done he had paid the contractors in full, but in January 2004, an official investigation began into charges of corruption, and whether he should face impeachment.

On June 18, the Connecticut Supreme Court required Rowland to appear before the investigative panel seeking his testimony, which could have resulted in him giving evidence against impeachment in the ongoing criminal investigation. On June 21, Rowland's lawyers announced that he would resign. The resignation went into effect at noon on July 1.

On December 23, 2004, Rowland pleaded guilty to depriving the public of honest service. Rowland was sentenced on March 18, 2005, in New Haven, Connecticut to one year and one day in prison, four months house arrest, three years probation and community service. On April 1 he entered Federal Correctional Institution, Loretto in Pennsylvania. His Federal inmate number was 15623-014.

On February 10, 2006, Rowland was released from federal prison with the stipulation that he serve four months house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet monitor.

On July 1, 2006, Rowland spoke to an association of scholar athletes in Kingston, Rhode Island, about the lessons he learned. A "sense of entitlement" and the "arrogance of power" were two of the biggest things that ended his political career, The Hartford Courant quoted him as saying.

The Courant quoted Rowland as saying that "when you start to find yourself only concerned with yourself" that's the point when you need to find a "grounding force." That should be faith, ideally, he said, or at least "something within yourself" – not just other people.

Rowland, now a resident of West Hartford, told the audience his future is still uncertain. He owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $35,000 and another $40,000 in fines. He said he's a volunteer counselor and hoping to find a publisher for a book he wrote called Falling Into Grace.

In September 2006, local TV station WTNH, reported that Patty Rowland had purchased a house in Middlebury, Connecticut and the Rowland family would be moving to that town.

Rowland discussed his life after politics in a Washington Post article published June 17, 2007. Rowland discussed his work on the lecture circuit and the factors leading to his political demise. He also expressed disappointment that his successor, Governor M. Jodi Rell had "thrown him under the bus" and distanced herself from him after taking office. Rell declined to criticise Rowland over these remarks.

In January 2008 Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura announced that he would hire Rowland as an economic development advisor for the city. Rowland began work in February and is receiving an annual salary of $95,000 as the city's economic development coordinator.

In August 2008 Rowland's stepson died.

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Source : Wikipedia