By ANDY THIBAULT
The Cool Justice Report
Oct. 14, 2006
EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
NEWS ITEM: Connecticut Legislative candidate and crooner Ralph Capenera was banned from singing at senior citizen centers in the Hartford suburbs after his opponent, Paul Doyle, complained, "It isn't fair."
"I have no talent," said Doyle, a Democrat. "I'm just a lawyer and a politician. Unless there's a potential class action because of this unfair advantage, I don't know what to do."
Capenera, a Republican and a university-trained Elvis impersonator, makes old ladies cry with his deep and silky voice. Besides Doyle, old men are also jealous.
This is not the first such incident in which a Connecticut politician has sought an unfair edge by performing at public events. The Cool Justice Report has been carefully monitoring these incidents. Following are excerpts from the report of a six-month investigation that included more than 100 interviews, eyewitness accounts and examinations of several lawsuits and restraining orders.
Republican Congressman Chris Shays was booted from the North Stamford Pumpkin Festival following his erotic readings -- while sitting naked on a fallen apple tree -- of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover and Seymour Hersh's Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 To Abu Ghraib. His remarks were broadcast live by Myleftnutmeg.com, Ctnewsjunkie.com and the Connecticut Local Politics blog.
"I am the gamekeeper Mellors and the personification of all that is strong in America," Shays told a supportive gathering that included Greenwich backcountry residents. "What else can you say of one's ability to stay the course? In all of my14 trips to Iraq, I did encounter heinous examples of Bush administration incompetence. I assure you it was not systemic malfeasance or torture but rather pornography by rogue national guardsmen who piled naked Iraqi citizens atop one another like sardines."
Democrat Diane Farrell, Shays' opponent, protested after Shays collected $72 million in campaign contributions from the Stamford event.
"I know, I know," Farrell said, "I read The Velveteen Rabbit at the Westport Elks Club. But, after buying drinks and playing poker, I was $340,000 in the hole. It's just not fair."
Look for more notes from the campaign trail at The Cool Justice Report. Andy Thibault, author of Law & Justice In Everyday Life and a private investigator, is an adjunct lecturer of English and a mentor in the MFA writing program at Western Connecticut State University. He also serves as a consulting editor for the literary journal Connecticut Review. Website, www.andythibault.com and Blog, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
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