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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

09/21/08 Greenwich Time News Links

Richard Vargas of Old Greenwich on the front lawn of his home on Hassake Road that is decorated for Halloween.

(Bob Luckey Jr./Greenwich Time Staff photo)

Family turns yard into fright fest

Bob Luckey Jr./Staff photoThe terror of 22 Hassake Road begins at the mailbox, wrapped in skeleton print ribbon and topped by an evil looking rag doll.

Just beyond it - for those who dare - lies a toad- and skull-lined walkway, leading to a glowing mummy and a ghastly bride, beckoning her lost groom.
"I'm ready when you are," she says, holding her own head in her hand. "This has been the happiest day of my life." As she breaks into sobs, behind her emerges a skeleton pirate from the grave, followed by a bony vampire from the coffin, thirsty for his favorite elixir.....

STAMFORD - Making what could be a last stand to save his "endangered" seat, Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.

Throughout the hour-long debate, Himes characterized Shays as having lost touch with his constituents on the major issues of the day, from his support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq to being "asleep at the switch" on congressional regulation of the financial services industry.

In the sixth of seven debates scheduled between them, this one at Swiss banking giant UBS at 400 Atlantic St., Shays went after Himes for a flier depicting a U.S. soldier with blood on his face and stating that Shays voted against bonuses for the troops.

The flier, Shays told about 175 business leaders, was a deliberate attempt to distort his record of support for the troops and took several of his votes against broad budget resolutions out of context.

"He said he's not a politician, but before he's even a politician, he's acted like a politician, and the worst kind," Shays said.

Himes responded that the flier was not produced by his campaign - it was put out by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - and said that Shays was creating a distraction with his attacks.

"My opponent, over the course of six debates, has wanted to talk more about political advertising than the issues," said Himes, a former......

STAMFORD - The economy is the issue weighing heaviest on voters' minds in the 4th Congressional District, according to a University of Connecticut/Hearst Newspapers Poll released Monday.

Fifty-five percent of likely voters polled in the district named the economy and jobs as their primary concern in the U.S. congressional race between Democratic candidate Jim Himes and Republican incumbent Christopher Shays.

In comparison, 9 percent said the Iraq war was their top concern, while 7 percent cited health care, 7 percent chose terrorism and national security and 7 percent named fuel prices and energy policy.

"It's like a replay of 1992," University of Connecticut finance professor Walter Dolde said during a panel discussion at the school's Stamford campus after the release of the survey. "It's the economy, stupid."

The phrase was used as a campaign slogan for Bill Clinton in his race against incumbent George H.W. Bush.....

...Though hedge funds and other largely unregulated financial services firms flourished in the district during the economy's boom years, 81 percent of likely voters polled said they want to see the government significantly increase its regulation of the investment banking industry.

Voters were split on whether Himes or Shays is better suited to deal with the economy.

Forty-two percent said Shays would do a better job of handling the economy, compared with 40 percent who favored Himes. Eighteen percent said they could not chose one over the other as being better on economic issues.

Survey: McCain trails badly in 4th District

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama holds a commanding 20-point advantage over Republican John McCain among likely voters in Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, according to a University of Connecticut/Hearst Newspapers Poll released Monday.

"McCain has zero chance in Connecticut. It is going to be an Obama landslide," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Among more than 500 likely voters surveyed, 54 percent said they would vote for Obama while 34 percent preferred McCain - leaving 12 percent undecided.

With a clear majority backing Obama, McCain will need some of them to switch sides in the next 15 days to have a chance to win the 4th District. let alone the state, which has backed the Democratic presidential ticket in the past four cycles.

"McCain has to persuade people to reconsider their decision," said Samuel Best, director of UConn's Center for Survey Research and Analysis.
That will be a difficult task for McCain given the broad preference voters have for Obama.

"On almost every issue we talked to voters about they preferred Obama over McCain. Their support is not driven by a single issue but a range of issues," Best said.

The Democratic candidate has carried the 4th District in the past three presidential contests but by a smaller margin than the state as a whole.
In 1992, Republican George H.W. Bush edged Democrat Bill Clinton by a narrow margin in the 4th District, but lost the....

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