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He's Back - But Is He - Darth Vadar or Captain Kirk?

By Mike McGarry

May 21, 2009

Bruce Rubenstein is back in Hartford, faint hearts beware. Bruce, almost singlehandily, made history in the late '80's and he is bound and determined to be a player in Hartford, once again. Maybe he never really left, ensconsed in his law practice on Jefferson Street. But, to be legit you must live in the city. It also helps to be a voter and he is now enrolled, yes, as a Democrat.

Rubenstein kind of defies description politically. A fellow who collects commie memorabilia thinks high taxes are ruining the tax base. Once, the financial chair of the state Democratic party, he thinks we need (in the city) the right of recall and referendum. Most Democrats - especially union types - think government knows all and owes us citizens just a vote every two or four years.

Does anybody follow the political twists and turns closer than Bruce? Does anybody know the personalities (and their warts) better? And who doesn't return his calls? Most report that he gives straight answers and advice, no matter what political stripe you wear, always tempered with the "watch outs".

One wonders in this climate of failed governments, indictments, and dramatically (proposed anyway) higher taxes, anybody would want to be tarred with the brush of Hartford's Democratic party. With a mayor in legal trouble, a divided council and a state delegation saying "don't blame us," the idea that the Democratic party has much to offer is almost silly.

So, has the savior arrived? Can the force of personality that Bruce brings make any difference? What big company would decide to invest in a town with a potential 100 mil tax rate. Just because the Democratic party has a new leader? Unindicted. Will the unions finally come to the rescue of the Hartford taxpayer with a nudge or push from somebody who speaks their language?

Well, something has to happen. State oversight board, mayoral resignation, change in council leadership, the science center/front street finally giving downtown its needed boost, all are possible, any one or two could shake up the whole game. Maybe it's the game Bruce really likes, and we'll see if it's a black hat or white stetson to pull rabbits from.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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