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Bruce Is Back

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

May 18, 2009

He bought a condo in Goodwin Estates Friday, and he switched his party registration from West Hartford to Hartford. Next on Bruce Rubenstein's list?

"I'm going around, assessing my future political role with respect to town chair," Rubenstein said today.

Rubenstein, a frequent comment-sender at Cityline who has long been active in city and state Democratic circles, has a law practice in Hartford. He doesn't think much of Mayor Eddie A. Perez or his leadership style, nor does he think much of Democratic Town Committee Chairman Sean Arena. It's Arena that Rubenstein is considering challenging.

He says he notices a lack of civility in Perez's government. He says the mayor is distracted by his recent arrest. He thinks the strong mayor form of government, as it is, is "an inducement for anybody who might be insecure or have ego problems to run Hartford rough-shodly."

Asked last week about Rubenstein's soft campaign for town chair, Perez didn't say much.

"That's why they call it democracy," Perez said. "That's why we have a town committee, that's why we have a process, and any resident that's a registered voter -- there's room for leaders."

Perez also gave Arena a nod, saying "he's doing a great job as town chair."

"I'm honored that he has me in his sights," Arena said today. "I have no thoughts on it at all. This is may of '09. There's not an election until March 2010."

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.
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