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Democratic Soap Opera

Steve Goode

March 12, 2010

Aside from the fact that Ramon Arroyo voted twice for Jean Holloway Thursday night and may or may not have violated Roberts Rules of Order and/or Democratic Party rules,and the whole ideal of one person, one vote, the Democratic town committee convention was definitely bringing the drama.

The gamesmanship and maneuvering got going right away as town committee members had to choose between Arroyo, a Holloway supporter, and Hector Robles, a Sean Arena supporter, for temporary chair. Being a relative newbie to the process Cityline asked a committee member about the importance of the temporary chair and was told it was huge because they determine the rules for voting and also - as seen above- can have a tremendous impact on the vote itself.

Things got muddled with that vote real quick as 7th district committee members Darrell Garner and Carl Hardrick apparently forgot who they were supposed to vote for and chose Arroyo...only to reverse themselves and vote for Robles. The senior moment switch was for naught as Arroyo won 34-32.

Then came the vote for chairman, which went down pretty much as expected and ended in a tie. If you read the story you know the rest. Things went down hill from there with Arena slamming his hand repeatedly on the conference table before storming out threatening to challenge the outcome. That left pockets of gleeful Holloway supporters savoring their apparent victory while losers complained of rule breaking...and in one case, biased reporting by this reporter.

Mild surprise of the night: Former city councilman Lou Watkins voting for Holloway. Not so mild surprise of the night: Watkins being elected vice chair a short time later.

But it ain't over yet. An hour or so ago Arena filed for a dispute resolution, which means that three randomly chosen state central committee members will have to hear testimony from both sides, look at the evidence and determine whether Arroyo was within his rights as temporary chair to vote twice. The hearing is expected to be held sometime next week and a decision rendered within a day or two.

Stay tuned for more of As The Town Committee Turns

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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