Thursday, January 29, 2009

Common Sense ... leaves you speechless

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.  What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.  When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. 

~~~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers , 1931 to 2005



HYDROGEN MANHATTAN PROJECT - A movement led by individual Americans to support corporations and elected officials that work towards the goal of having every car on the road in the U.S. powered by hydrogen produced from clean sources of energy by the end of 2020.

The United States is currently in the process of slowly committing suicide. Energy is the blood of the economy and that blood is filled with poison. The same fuel (gasoline blended withethanol) that gives us the freedom of mobility is a direct and imminent threat to our overall freedom and way of life.

Escalating oil prices, rising food prices, military conflicts, and damage to the environment represent four walls that are closing in from all angles on each and every one of us. All of these problems will steadily worsen in the future if we don’t start to make a dramatic change beginning soon.

The first and most important step in solving a problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists and fully appreciate its magnitude. Without this, the necessary will power to decide to act and follow through until the problem is solved will be lacking. Fortunately, more and more Americans are realizing the depth and scope of the energy crisis to the point where they are ready to take action.

So what needs to be done? The United States needs to be powered by a transportation fuel that is:

1) Totally produced in this country;
2) Used in cars that will meet or exceed the performance of the ones on the road today;
3) Less expensive than gasoline;
4) Without any negative economic side effects; and
5) Friendly to the environment.

There is only one option that can meet all of these requirements: hydrogen produced from clean sources of energy.

The HYDROGEN MANHATTAN PROJECT was created because the movement to solve this energy crisis must be led by individual Americans. Up until now, corporations and politicians have not stood up and provided bold leadership and vision. Therefore, individual Americans must take responsibility by using their purchasing power with corporations and votes for politicians to help lead the way to energy freedom and security.

It makes perfect sense for you as an American citizen to take this responsibility. After all, you have to live with the consequences of the country’s energy policy.
Your gasoline prices are much higher. Your grocery bill keeps going up. Your brother, sister, son, daughter, or friend is putting their life at risk in a war over energy. Your health is affected by air pollution. Your children and grandchildren will suffer the effects of climate change. Your job could be lost due to high energy prices having a negative impact on the economy. Your country and way of life are at risk.

And that is why you as an individual American should be a catalyst for positive change.

The most important area of focus right now should be on building the hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have advanced to a point where the initial stages of mass production can begin in the next three or four years. Although hydrogen cars are rapidly approaching commercialization, the fueling infrastructure needed to support them lags far behind.

Larry Burns from GM has made a heroic effort to both promote the need for hydrogen fueling stations and persuade the energy companies to build them. But the actions of the energy companies clearly communicate that they have no interest in doing this. The two likely reasons are that hydrogen is a competitor to oil and the ultra-competitive fueling station business is not one they even want to be involved in.
Even though the energy companies could build the hydrogen fueling stations, they should not be forced to do this. However, they are not entitled to permanently receive $1.8 billion per year in tax breaks.

Although there are currently around 170,000 gasoline stations in the U.S., GM has calculated that only 12,000 hydrogen fueling stations would need to be built in order to have a fueling station within two miles of 70% of the entire U.S. population and one every 25 miles on the freeways between the largest 100 cities.

Hydrogen fueling stations currently cost around $2 million each to build. However, this cost will decrease as more stations are built. Therefore, at an average of $1.5 million per fueling station, the initial 12,000 hydrogen fueling stations would likely cost around $18 billion (which is 3.6% of the current $500 billion total cost of the Iraq War).

As part of the overall goal of powering all cars in the U.S. with hydrogen produced from clean sources of energy by the end of 2020, the HYDROGEN MANHATTAN PROJECT proposes that the first step would be to eliminate the $1.8 billion per year in tax breaks ($18 billion over a ten-year period) that the oil companies currently receive, and instead use this money to pay for the entire cost of building all of the initial 12,000 hydrogen fueling stations needed in the U.S.

Companies currently involved in hydrogen infrastructure, such as Air Products, could build the hydrogen fueling stations with this program in place. However, any company that has the ability and desire to build the hydrogen fueling stations would be eligible to participate. This would allow the free market to be utilized to the fullest extent possible in this situation.

Although the tax breaks that the energy companies are currently receiving should be eliminated immediately, the hydrogen fueling stations should not be built in large numbers until 2011 when the hydrogen fuel cell cars are just about ready for commercialization in much larger numbers. However, a much smaller number should be built as soon as possible. This will also give the hydrogen infrastructure companies and their suppliers a chance to prepare for the dramatically increased workload.
Although hydrogen infrastructure companies will build the fueling stations, other companies will be needed to operate them. One possible scenario would be to allow these companies to lease the hydrogen fueling stations for a low rate for a certain number of years before the U.S. federal government sells them.

In order for a program of this magnitude to succeed, the right leadership is essential. In my opinion, Paul Brubaker, who is the head of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration for the federal Department of Transportation, should be appointed to the position of Hydrogen Czar to lead the U.S. federal government’s HYDROGEN MANHATTAN PROJECT activities.

In just the eight months he has been in his current position, Paul Brubaker has become one of the leaders in promoting a hydrogen economy. He has the intellect, leadership skills, and vision that will be necessary in this position.

Furthermore, as Hydrogen Czar, I am quite confident that Paul Brubaker would surround himself with exceptional people currently involved in the hydrogen industry (e.g. Paul Williamson from the University of Montana-Missoula) and others not presently involved in hydrogen to serve as catalysts to accomplish the objectives of the program.

Although many extremely talented people are involved with the hydrogen industry, there are also some in high-level positions, comfortable with the status quo, who do not have the disposition or mindset to work in a team that will bring about such massive change. This is a revolution and revolutionaries are needed.
Furthermore, there are people with connections to the hydrogen industry who are currently working against it. This will need to be addressed. For example, the Department of Energy is currently attempting to impede the progress of a hydrogen economy from clean sources of energy by completely eliminating both hydrogen pipeline and applied solar to hydrogen research funding beginning in the 2009 fiscal year. Many more details describing this outrageous situation can be found here.
Although solving this problem may be America’s greatest challenge, I have no doubt that we will rise up to meet this challenge and make the country much stronger in the future as a result. The truth is that we have no other option. And action must be taken soon.

Finally, to learn more about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, here are “Twelve Hydrogen Facts” (click on the links below to read the articles):

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Warren Buffett-Backed Electric Car Makes Detroit Debut

Posted By: Alex Crippen Monday, 12 Jan 2009

China's BYD Auto's e6 all-electric automobile made its Detroit debut today, with an assist from the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings.

MidAmerican and Warren Buffett made headlines last September, paying $230 million for a 10 percent stake in BYD.

CNBC's team at the Detroit Auto Show shot some video of the car, described by the manufacturer as a "mid-size five passenger crossover vehicle" with a range of about 250 miles on a single charge.

A shorter-range electric vehicle was introduced in China last month.

In a news release, BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu is quoted as saying the company plans to sell both all-electric and hybrid vehicles in the U.S. starting in 2011. He also says BYD will set up manufacturing facilities in the U.S. "when it is appropriate."

MidAmerican Chairman David Sokol was also present at the Detroit show. His quote: "For the electric-vehicle market to mature, the underlying charging infrastructure and technologies must mature at least simultaneously, if not first. Perhaps like no other corporate entity in the world, we are in a position to help make that happen."


Federal Government Ransom Note


Check back after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to see how and where your tax dollars are spent.

An Oversignt Board will routinely update this site as part of an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government.

Monday, January 26, 2009

PM speech on the global economy

The Prime Minister has laid the foundations of the upcoming G20 summit in London by stressing that “only a truly international response” to the current global economic crisis can be effective.

Speaking at the Foreign Press Association in London today, Mr Brown said that the world should avoid retreating into domestic markets and beginning a process of “deglobalisation”. World leaders attending April’s London Summit should secure the “widest possible international agreement” on building a financial early-warning system, establishing the principles of new global regulation and agreeing international standards of governance, he said.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Crude Oil Futures Close Above $46 on OPEC Supply Cuts

Posted: 23 Jan 2009 03:17 PM CST
Crude oil futures posted gains on Friday amid continuing signs that members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were complying with their production quotas, which is increasing speculation that crude supplies will begin to decrease.

U.S. light, sweet crude rose $2.52, or 5.7 percent,to settle at $46.20 a barrel at the close of floor trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

While still 47 percent less than a year ago, oil futures are up 3.6 since the start of the new year.

Data from the U.S. Energy Department released Thursday showed that crude and fuel inventories continued to rise sharply as the economic recession erodes demand.

Starting this month OPEC members have a combined quota of 24.845 million barrels a day. A reduction to that point will require the member nations to make their deepest supply cut in their history.

Iraq is the only member of the oil cartel exempt from the production quotas.

Earlier on Friday, crude had traded as low as $41.40 a barrel.

According to data released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportion, consumers drove 112 billion fewer miles during the 13-month period between November 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008.

Oil Speculators Await Higher Prices ...

Oil Speculators Await Higher Prices As Stockpiles Hit Record Levels
Posted: 25 Jan 2009 12:15 AM CST
By Greg Flaukus - via VOA News

When news reports mention the price of oil, they are usually referring to the price of a barrel of the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude, and that price often depends on how much of it is in large storage tanks near the small town of Cushing, Oklahoma. Paying storage costs may prove profitable if oil prices go back up in coming months as some experts predict they will.

A partial view of the oil storage facilities in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Cushing is a town of just over 8,000 people, halfway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, an important U.S. oil and gas production zone. Cushing is the location of between five and 10 percent of total U.S. domestic petroleum storage and the delivery point for the New York Mercantile Exchange crude oil contract.

Contango is the term oil traders use to describe the profitable price spread that can develop between the spot price of oil and the higher price they can obtain for future delivery. If the future price is high enough, the person selling the oil can pay all the storage costs and still make a good profit.

Oil market analyst Phil Flynn of the Alaron Trading Corporation explains how it works. “You may only pay $40 a barrel, but you could sell it today, lock in a future price much, much higher, just a few months down the road and take advantage of that. You could lock in, per barrel, a $3 or a $5 or, if you could hold the oil long enough, maybe even a $10 profit.”

But Flynn says speculators responding to the recent contango have dramatically increased the amount of stored oil and caused the spread to diminish. He says the monthly supply report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Agency Thursday shows an abundance of idle oil.

“We got hit with a flood of crude. Crude oil built like [approximately] over 6.5 million barrels in just one week. We went from a year ago worrying about peak oil and the world running out of oil to having an oil glut of basically historic proportions,” he said.

What Flynn is talking about is the way investors, buyers, sellers and speculators react to market fundamentals. But the role of speculators, particularly in the oil market, came under intense scrutiny last year when the price of oil soared to over $147 a barrel.

In May, the International Monetary Fund reported that “speculation has played a significant role in the run-up of oil prices.” In June, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued a report that called the spike in oil prices a speculative bubble that could not be justified by normal supply and demand factors.

But many of the experts who follow the oil and gas industry closely say the price rise was driven by market forces and that it is likely to happen again. University of Houston Finance professor and Director of the Global Energy Management Institute Craig Pirrong says there is no evidence to support the case against speculators.

“If speculators are the ones willing to pay the high price, they should be the ones who end up holding the barrels. That certainly was not the case during the summer when prices were very high. We would have seen, under those circumstances, sort of a ballooning of inventories during the summer, and that is not what we saw,” he said.

Pirrong says demand for oil was driven down by the recession, and that has led to cutbacks in production by many oil companies. Eventually, he says, prices will rise because of the drop in production and the increase in demand that will come with an economic recovery. “Basically, there has been a huge brake put on capital expenditure in the business and exploration, et cetera, as a result of the current financial and economic downturn. But when the economy turns around, and we are back in a situation where capacity has not expanded and demand picks up, then we could see a big spike in prices, and then that will galvanize a whole different political dynamic,” he said.

Pirrong says it is all but impossible for anyone to predict the exact timing of the rise, but he says the market is very efficient in setting the price.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The second shoe drops in 2009 of financial tsunami...

The lead into a Nationalized Banking System?

The banking system is now venturing down the street called "ARM resets"(or adjustable rate mortgage resets). With billions in Option ARMs resets in 2009 and 2010, this crisis is about to unleash a financial fury similar to the sub-prime debacle - is the system ready to the next shock? The Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Fed better get the financial defibrillator charged and ready. Will it as bad as sub-prime or perhaps worse. I suggest worse due to the increasing unemployment rate. Those not taken out on the first wave of the financial tsunami may get become a statistic with the backwash.

That's because lenders created these ARMs with "teaser" features to borrowers, which included making lower minimal payments for the first few years before the loan reset to a higher payment schedule. And if that weren't bad enough, there's another feature called "negative amortization," which means you're not paying back any principal.

In fact, with negative amortization loans, your loan balance increases over time. Incredulously, every time you make a payment, you owe the bank even more. These are the loans that allow consumers to buy a house they can't otherwise afford.

As for speculators, they may use negative amortization loans if they believe prices will increase at a fast pace. But with the opposite happening, they're out of luck.

And the banks will be left holding the bag or more accurately cashing more chits on the empty promises of hope and taxpayers backs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SEEC Affidavit of Complaint File No. 2009-003

The State of Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) Law Enforcement Unit has accepted an affidavit of complaint and assigned the file number 2009-003.  The complaint in the affidavit alleges possible violations of the Connecticut election laws by First Selectman John E. Hodge and Selectman Ronald R. Oliveri, including, but not limited to, General Statutes 9-369b.

The Commission staff attorney, Kevin M. Ahern, Esq. has been assigned the lead in the investigation and can be reached at (860) 256-2940 or email at  Should anyone in New Fairfield have additional information that might assist the Commission, please contact Mr. Ahern.

For details on the affidavit of complaint click on Affidavit of Complaint

Financial Titantic and the Interest Iceberg

A Legacy of Debt 

  • The national debt was $5.7 billion in 2000
  • The national debt increased by about $5 trillion from 2000 to 2008
  • The latest debt is approximately $10.6 trillion
  • In 2002, the federal mantra was "deficits don't matter."
  • The interest payment on the national debt in FY 2008, was $451 billion
  • Now, in additional to the $700 billion bailout, we have a proposed $825 billion stimulus package.
  • This will increase the interest payment on the national debt at the same time as the federal revenue from tax collections is decreasing by an estimated $166 billion
  • Most economists argue that it is necessary to spend your way out of a recession, thus deficits are okay.
  • As the Interest Iceberg is getting bigger and bigger, the federal government is rearranging the chairs and listening to the music and chanting ... "Yes, we can!"  But, what can we do?  Keep printing money?
  • For additional details on America's Total Debt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Transition of power, but what of promises?


With each passing day, families across America are watching their bills pile up and their savings disappear.

President Obama believes that if we do not act quickly, this recession could linger for years – and America could lose the competitive edge that has served as the foundation for our strength and standing in the world.

That's why the President has put forth an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will jumpstart job creation and long-term growth by:

  • Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years.
  • Modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.
  • Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized.
  • Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries.
  • Expanding broadband across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
  • Investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.

On January 8th, 2009 -- less than two weeks before taking office -- President Obama spoke on the need for urgent action on his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to save or create over 3 million jobs while investing in priorities like health care, energy, and education that will jumpstart economic growth. The plan represents not just a new policy, but a new approach to meeting our most urgent challenges.

Dependency on foreigen Oil

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Credit Carnard

"The Bush administration [2003] recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance
industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios." Democrats pushed back. "Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharplyreduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing". "These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis", said Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed. "I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer familiesand their ability to get affordable housing," Mr. Watt said.

Thursday, January 8, 2009



Mr. Victor Boronkay wishes to extend his congratulations to Ms. Ellen Burnett, Editor & Publisher of the Citizen News the weekly newspaper serving New Fairfield and Sherman, CT for graciously publishing a retraction.

State Elections Enforcement Commission Complaint

20 Trinity Street Hartford, CT 06106-1628

To track the status of the complaint.

Affidavit of Complaint

I, Roger C. Wise, am a resident of 3 Fox Run, Candlewood Isle, Town/City of New Fairfield, State of Connecticut 06812; and my Telephone Number is (203) 746-5492. I hereby allege and assert that the election laws of the State of Connecticut have been violated in the following manner, place and time, as specified below:

Recommendations: That the Commission Find Reason to Believe that certain members of the New Fairfield Board of Selectman, Republican Town Committee and Board of Education participated in the violations of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) §9-369b by using public funds, High School facility, Educational TV media access and salaries of the production studio personnel and recording secretary of the Board of Selectmen while a referendum was pending to advocate a particular outcome during a televised Board of Selectman meeting on December 11, 2008 at the New Fairfield High School Library between the hours of 7:00pm to 8:35pm. Subsequent violation of CGS §9-369b occurred when the recorded video production of that meeting was put into special rotation for airing on Charter Communications Local Educational Access Channel 17 while referendum was pending. Mr. John E. Hodge, First Selectman of New Fairfield, Connecticut committed multiple violations of CGS §9-369b by using the Local Educational Access Television channel to advocate a certain outcome of a pending referendum. Further, Mr. Hodge, First Selectman and Mr. Ronald R. Oliveri Selectman failed to warn the public by changing the Board of Selectman meeting agenda after the meeting began on December 11, 2008. Mr. Hodge change two agenda items #5 and #12 to a future Board of Selectman meeting replacing item #5 with a detailed discussion of the pending referendum. Mr. Hodge further advocated voting ‘yes’ to the pending referendum in extended commentary permitting Mr. Oliveri to selectively name resident letter writers allowing negative characterization of individuals and their letters of opposition to the pending referendum from the local New Fairfield/Sherman CT weekly newspaper Letters to the Editor and opposition advertisment and the reading of the editorial endorsement from the Danbury Newstimes a daily regional newspaper. Mr. Hodge over the objections of the minority selectman [Mr. Corbett] permitted Mr. Oliveri to continue to commit multiple violatons of CGS §9-369b advocating the pending referendum on a point-by-point basis letters in the local paper and reading into the official record a letter advocating the same from the Board of Education Chair. Mr. Hodge as Chair of the Board of Selectmen continued to permitted advocacy during the initial Public Comment in violation of §9-369b by certain members of the Town Republican Town Committee, several Board of Education members and other stakeholders.

SEEC Complaints should include the following:

• The legal name, address and telephone number of the individual filing the complaint.
• A clear and concise statement of the facts including:
1. The date of the alleged violation(s);
2. The identity of the person(s) alleged to have committed the violation(s);
3. The identity of any person(s) who may have knowledge of the facts asserted in the complaint; and
4. Any other document, written material or other information known to the complainant and having a bearing on the violation(s) alleged in the complaint.

Reference to Item 1 above: The critical dates are the Board of Selectman Special Meeting, Monday, November 24, 2008 setting in accordance with CGS the referendum date December 13, 2008.

Reference to Item 2 above: Each of individuals listed can be contacted at New Fairfield Town Hall, 4 Brush Hill Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812. Mr. John E. Hodge, Mr. Ronald R. Oliveri, Mr. Donald Blackwell, Mr. Ralph C. Langham, BOE, Karen Chance, BOE, Kim D. Hanson, BOE Chair [need to FOI the letter], Victor P. Flaggelo, BOE and Ray Juskiewicz, Channel 17 Producer and Board of Education and Town funded individual, .
Stakeholders would include Ed McCue Fire Chief.

Reference to Item 3 above: The Charter Communications Cable franchise area reaches thousands of residents in several adjoining municipalities. The New Fairfield Local Educational Access Channel is broadcast on the Charter Communications Cable franchise as Channel 17. The Charter Communications Cable Franchise passes with service over an estimated 5,450 homes in the town of New Fairfield.

Reference to Item 4 above: This Affidavit of Complaint is joined by several other complainants each a New Fairfield resident. A single set of evidentiary materials are incorporated by reference including a video tape of the December 11, 2008 BOS Special Meeting, certified Posted Agenda, Citizen News publication date of December 10, 2008 [legal notice of Referendum], a copy of the letter Mr. Oliveri read into the BOS Special Meeting minutes of December 11, 2008, Board of Selectman Meeting of September 25, 2008, Board of Selectman meeting, November 13, 2008, Board of Selectman Special Meeting, November 24, 2008, Board of Selectman Meeting, November 25, 2008, Board of Selectman Regular Meeting, December 11, 2008 Agenda, Board of Selectman Regular Meeting, Agenda of Tuesday, December 23, 2008.

Political members and town officials of New Fairfield involved in this complaint:

  • Mr. John E. Hodge, First Selectman, Republican Town Committee member
  • Mr. Ronald R. Oliveri, Selectman, Republican Town Committee member]
  • Mr. Thomas M. Corbett, minority Selectman
  • Victor P. Flagello, Board of Education member
  • Kim D. Hanson, Board of Education Chair, Republican Town Committee member
  • Ralph C. Langham, Board of Education member, Republican Town Committee member
  • Karen Chance, Board of Education member, Republican Town Committee member
  • Paul Bruno, member of the Permanent Building Committee, Planning Commission, Republican Town Committee

  • Ed McCue, Fire Chief, stakeholder


Dated this 5, day of January, 2009 at New Fairfield.

Signed: _______Signed _____________________

Oath Administered By: ________Assistant Town Clerk _____________

Title: ______Assistant Town Clerk _____________

Note: This oath may be administered by anyone authorized by Section 1-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes, which includes notaries public; justices of the peace, town clerks and assistant town clerks, judges and clerks of any court, and attorneys who are Commissioners of the Superior Court of Connecticut.

Sec. 9-369b. Local questions and proposals. Explanatory text. Expenditure of state and municipal funds to influence vote prohibited. Preparation and printing of certain materials permitted. Exception. Civil penalty. Summaries of arguments for, against local questions. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body, authorize the preparation and printing of concise explanatory texts of local proposals or questions approved for submission to the electors of a municipality at a referendum. In a municipality that has a town meeting as its legislative body, the board of selectmen shall, by majority vote, determine whether to authorize an explanatory text or the dissemination of other neutral printed material. Thereafter, each such explanatory text shall be prepared by the municipal clerk, subject to the approval of the municipal attorney, and shall specify the intent and purpose of each such proposal or question. Such text shall not advocate either the approval or disapproval of the proposal or question. The municipal clerk shall cause such question or proposal and such explanatory text to be printed in sufficient supply for public distribution and shall also provide for the printing of such explanations of proposals or questions on posters of a size to be determined by said clerk. At least three such posters shall be posted at each polling place at which electors will be voting on such proposals or questions. Any posters printed in excess of the number required by this section to be posted may be displayed by said clerk at the clerk's discretion at locations which are frequented by the public. The explanatory text shall also be furnished to each absentee ballot applicant pursuant to subsection (d) of section 9-140. Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, no expenditure of state or municipal funds shall be made to influence any person to vote for approval or disapproval of any such proposal or question. Any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body and subject to the approval of its municipal attorney, authorize the preparation and printing of materials concerning any such proposal or question in addition to the explanatory text if such materials do not advocate the approval or disapproval of the proposal or question. This subsection shall not apply to a written, printed or typed summary of an official's views on a proposal or question, which is prepared for any news medium or which is not distributed with public funds to a member of the public except upon request of such member.

(b) For any referendum called for by a regional school district, the regional board of education shall authorize the preparation and printing of concise explanatory texts of proposals or questions approved for submission to the electors of a municipality at a referendum. The regional school board of education's secretary shall prepare each such explanatory text, subject to the approval of the regional school board of education's counsel, and shall undertake any other duty of a municipal clerk, as described in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The State Elections Enforcement Commission, after providing an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with chapter 54, may impose a civil penalty on any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section by authorizing an expenditure of state or municipal funds for a purpose which is prohibited by subsection (a) of this section. The amount of any such civil penalty shall not exceed twice the amount of the improper expenditure or one thousand dollars, whichever is greater. In the case of failure to pay any such penalty imposed under this subsection within thirty days of written notice sent by certified or registered mail to such person, the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford, on application of the commission, may issue an order requiring such person to pay the penalty imposed. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 5-141d, 7-101a and 7-465, any other provision of the general statutes, and any provision of any special act or charter, no state or municipal officer or employee shall be indemnified or reimbursed by the state or a municipality for a civil penalty imposed under this subsection.

(d) Any municipality may provide, by ordinance, for the preparation and printing of concise summaries of arguments in favor of, and arguments opposed to, local proposals or questions approved for submission to the electors of a municipality at a referendum for which explanatory texts are prepared under subsection (a) or (b) of this section. Any such ordinance shall provide for the establishment or designation of a committee to prepare such summaries, in accordance with procedures set forth in said ordinance. The members of said committee shall be representatives of various viewpoints concerning such local proposals or questions. The committee shall provide an opportunity for public comment on such summaries to the extent practicable. Such summaries shall be approved by vote of the legislative body of the municipality, or any other municipal body designated by the ordinance, and shall be posted and distributed in the same manner as explanatory texts under subsection (a) of this section. Each summary shall contain language clearly stating that the printing of the summary does not constitute an endorsement by or represent the official position of the municipality.

(P.A. 75-349, S. 1; P.A. 79-363, S. 28, 38; P.A. 81-434, S. 4; P.A. 84-94, S. 2; P.A. 86-179, S. 47, 53; P.A. 88-230, S. 12; P.A. 89-159, S. 1, 2; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; 90-156, S. 10, 11; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 00-92, S. 15; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1, S. 44, 46; P.A. 01-26, S. 8; P.A. 04-117, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 79-363 added provision for explanatory text to be furnished to absentee ballot applicants; P.A. 81-434 deleted the words "an election" and inserted the words "a referendum" in their place; P.A. 84-94 added prohibition of expenditure of state funds to influence vote for approval or disapproval; P.A. 86-179 made technical changes; P.A. 89-159 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (a) to prohibit expenditure of municipal funds to influence vote on proposal or question and by adding provision re exceptions to this Sec. and added Subsec. (b) authorizing elections enforcement commission to impose civil penalty. (Note: P.A. 88-230 authorized substitution of the phrase "judicial district of Hartford" for "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" in 1989 public and special acts, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993); P.A. 90-156 added Subsec. (c) re authorization for summaries of arguments for and against local proposals and questions; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 00-92 amended Subsec. (a) to permit a municipality, by vote of its legislative body and subject to approval of its municipal attorney, to authorize the preparation and printing of materials concerning a proposal or question if such materials do not advocate approval or disapproval; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 00-1 changed effective date of P.A. 00-92, S. 15 from October 1, 2000, to May 26, 2000, effective June 21, 2000; P.A. 01-26 made a technical change in Subsec. (a) for purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 04-117 amended Subsec. (a) to add exception for provisions of Subsec. (b), provide for procedure to authorize the preparation of texts in a municipality that has a town meeting as its legislative body and make a technical change, added new Subsec. (b) re authorization and preparation of texts for referendum called for by a regional school district and redesignated existing Subsecs. (b) and (c) as new Subsecs. (c) and (d), respectively, making technical changes therein, effective May 21, 2004.

Expenditure of public funds to print and distribute pamphlet discussing a referendum on proposed budget of regional school district violated the statute. 249 C. 296. Statute is not unconstitutionally vague. Id.

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