Southington Chamber forum, Wallingford Fair Rent Commission and House Speaker uncertainty


GOP candidates cite record on taxes, development, crime during Southington chamber event

What happened: Republicans but not Democrats took questions from residents Thursday night at the Southington Chamber of Commerce candidates forum. The forum took place at Hawk’s Landing Country Club. Democrats didn’t attend Thursday, claiming the event was designed to favor Republicans.

What you need to know: Republicans hold six of the nine council seats. Four of the six incumbents — Paul Chaplinsky, Michael DelSanto, Jim Morelli and Bill Dziedzic — are running for reelection. Republicans Jennifer Clock and Tony Morrison are seeking seats on the council.In November. They’ll face Democratic incumbents Chris Palmieri, Val DePaolo and Jack Perry as well as challengers Ed Pocock III, Steve Salerno and David Zoni. Erin Cowles, Southington Democratic Town Commitee chairwoman, said she let Barbara Coleman-Hekeler, CEO and president of the Southington Chamber of Commerce, know on Sept. 10 that Democratic council candidates wouldn’t be attending. 

What’s next: Cowles said she’s glad to have her candidates attend a candidate forum organized by the Record-Journal, scheduled for Tuesday at Kennedy Middle School. In addition to being an alcohol-free location, Cowles said it was more centrally located.

Wallingford Town Council approves creating Fair Rent Commission, but not all members happy

What happened: On its second try, the Wallingford Town Council approved an ordinance creating a Fair Rent Commission as required by state statute, but not all of the council members were happy with it. 

What you need to know: The state passed the requirement last year that towns with a population of more than 25,000 have in place a Fair Rent Commission by July 1, 2023. Many of those affected by the legislation already had commissions, but 27, including Wallingford, didn’t. When the proposed ordinance first came before the council in June, it failed to pass with the required five votes, with three members absent from the meeting. This time, it passed with two council members — Craig Fishbein and Christina Tatta — voting against it. 

What’s next: Renters can go to a Fair Rent Commission with complaints about excessive rent and unacceptable living conditions. Under Wallingford’s ordinance, municipally subsidized units — under federal, state or local authorities — are exempt from falling under the purview of the commission.

Jim Jordan makes impassioned plea to GOP colleagues to elect him House speaker

What happened: Rep. Jim Jordan made an impassioned push to become House speaker ahead of a Friday vote even as his Republican colleagues were explicitly warning the hard-edged ally of Donald Trump that no more threats or promises can win over their support.

What you need to know: The House is scheduled to convene for Jordan’s third try at the gavel, but Republicans have no realistic or workable plan to unite the fractured GOP majority, elect a new speaker and return to the work of Congress that has been languishing since hard-liners ousted Kevin McCarthy at the start of the month. But after two failed votes, Jordan’s third attempt at the gavel is not expected to end any better. In fact, Friday is likely to produce an even worse tally for the fiery Judiciary Committee chairman — in large part because more centrist rank-and-file Republicans are revolting over the hardball tactics being used to win their votes. They have been bombarded with harassing phone calls and even reported death threats.

What’s next: Next steps were highly uncertain as angry, frustrated Republicans predict the House could essentially stay closed for the foreseeable future — perhaps until the mid-November deadline for Congress to approve funding or risk a federal government shutdown. 

[email protected]: @LaurenSellewRJ

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