Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wesleyan Democrat President/ DTC Member Admits to Some False Allegations by Fellow Wes Dem

Mansoor Alam, Wesleyan student who was the sole protester in Hartford Tuesday at a demonstration to object to the appointment of Sebastian Giuliano to the SEEC, in a letter by Ben Florsheim says Alam accused Giuliano of various acts of voter suppression in statements he made to media at the event. In a letter to Gregory B. Hladky of the news website Wesleyan Democrat President and new member of the local Middletown Democratic Town Committee student Ben Florsheim dismisses some of Alam's statement's but still maintains his original accusations of Giuliano of violations of CT statutes and suggests voter intimidation and suppression. Florsheim maintains others spoke about ramifications of the voter registration process that in his opinion constitute wrong doing and were solely responsible for below anticipated student voter turn out. Also in the complaint letter to the SEEC, Florsheim alludes to his subsequent accusation of Officer Tom Sebold and then candidate Molly Salafia of voter intimidation ( a felony) based on their statements of the possible enforcement of local car tax as a result of changing of student's permanent address thru the process of voter registration; a contradiction to Florsheim's original letter published in the Patch, Argus, and Eye where he states:"Additionally, car taxes only apply to that small minority of Connecticut-registered vehicles at Wesleyan that are in the name of the student (as opposed to their parents). " This tax could be enforced by following thru with the state statute's stipulation (C.G.S. 14-36(b)(2) that the car's registration is changed to be consistent with the domicile Middletown address as listed on the voter registration form. Registering to vote is one step in changing a person's permanent address. It appears that Florsheim originally agreed with Sebold and Salafia in his statement; but contradicts this statement and suggests their statements as fraudulent in his complaint regarding Giuliano's appointment to the SEEC. The blog applauds Florsheim's and the Wesleyan Democrats efforts to delay Giuliano's appointment. Florsheim wrote the following letter to the web author:

Dear Mr. Hladky,

As someone who has been involved in the filing of a complaint with the SEEC over Sebastian

Giuliano's appointment, I wanted to offer a clarification due to some things that Mansoor Alam apparently said at today's sparsely-attended protest at the offices of that organization. According to your article, Mr. Alam said or implied that Mr. Giuliano falsely claimed students would be subject to new taxes for registering to vote; that Wesleyan mailboxes were not acceptable for use on a voter registration form; and that voter registrations were thrown out. He misspoke on these counts.

First of all, Mr. Giuliano did not claim that students would be subject to new taxes, though this claim was made by other individuals. The implication that he did is not an accurate reflection of the complaint that was submitted today to the SEEC by Paulina Jones, nor of the position of Wesleyan University or the Wesleyan Democrats.

Second, Mr. Giuliano did indeed make the alleged claim about Wesleyan mailboxes-- and the claim was correct. The issue, as detailed in the complaint which will be subject to review and scrutiny shortly, had nothing to do with the state policy that these mailboxes are not sufficient for voting purposes and everything to do with how this matter was communicated to students who erroneously used them on their forms. Again, this is made entirely clear in the complaint itself, and Mr. Alam's statement does not accurately reflect its content.

Finally, voter registration forms were not thrown out, though it appeared briefly that they would be. The Office of the Registrars of Voters implied as such to the Middletown Press in late October, but later reversed its decision.

The complaint clearly alleges violations only of Connecticut General Statutes 9-363 and 9-364, which deal with misleading and influencing statements regarding voting. Any implication made today that it went beyond that, including by alleging threats of punitive taxes or rejection or registration forms, was an unfortunate misstatement, nothing more. I regret that it has become a complicating factor in our attempt to appropriately address this serious matter.

Please accept my apologies for any confusion that this may have caused, and my appreciation for your coverage of this important issue.

Ben Florsheim, President
Wesleyan Democrats


Anonymous said...

Confusion Ben? No you are ruining people's lives to gain notoriety.

Tom Sebold said...


Time to grow up son!

I have never tried to discourage anyone from voting, unlike the slanderous comments from WESU Democrats in their pre-election flier.

All I ever state was the need to comply with laws that other CT residents have to comply with. Yes, registering to vote in CT, which is a declaration of your residency under penalty of perjury, triggers the need to comply with numerous CT laws.

Do you understand son?

Tom Sebold said...

Ben Florsheim:

The behavior is very consistent and pathetic.

The pre-election flier released by your campus Democrats is SLANDEROUS at minimum. It was full of lies and made statements attributed to me which I never made. I hope you and your ilk are prepared for the CIVIL legal ramifications of your actions in that flier.

As I sit here I am debating filing CRIMINAL harassment charges against you.

All I have ever done is provide information about the legal requirements, found in the CT General Statutes, that are triggered by becoming a CT resident. Registering to vote is a signed document with severe penalties if falsified. The CT standard for voter registration is that you present yourself as a "Bona Fide" resident of this state.

I have heard that you have become a member of the Middletown Democratic Town Committee. I suggest that you speak with Tom Serra, Gerry Daley or Bob Santangelo about me.

You still have the time to apologize publicly.

There is a famous quote from WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A Japanese top military leader told people not to celebrate because we (the Japaneese) have "awakened the sleeping dragon".

Yes you have son!

Anonymous said...

It appears Tom Sebold is trying to intimidate Ben Florsheim. What is Sebold going to do? I would not be surprised if he tries a repeat of the 2005 incident with former Mayor Domenique Thornton when the Middletown Police Dept. stalked the former Mayor and arrested her on a phony charge of DUI. Stay strong Ben and stay true to your political beliefs don't be intimidated. Middletown Politics can be very nasty.

Anonymous said...

Ben-Don't let Giuliano's henchmen scare you! Continue to stand up for what you believe in!

Anonymous said...

It appears to be more than intimidation, but rather a very public threat. This should be investigated by the MPD and the major's office. Sleeping dragon? Tom, perhaps you should preface your posts with "I probably should't say this, but..." like you did a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

What Sebold is doing is telling Ben to stop lying in public.

This is not the comment of a cop but a private citizen who thinks there may be civil and criminal aspects to Ben's behavior toward Sebold.

Anonymous said...

The Middletown Police Dept is not going to investigate one of their own, Tom Sebold. It's up to Mayor Drew to investigate it, the State Police or a private investigator.

Anonymous said...

Publicly accusing Sebold of voter suppression is slander. This is not about politics. This student needs to publicly apologize.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Sebold apologize for his patronizing attitude?

Anonymous said...

Former Mayor Seb Giuliano should do the honorable thing in this case and formally withdraw his name for consideration as the Executive Director/Legal Counsel to the State Elections Commission due to the controversy surrounding his appointment. Let's see if Giuliano will do this. I doubt he will.

Anonymous said...

Today's Hartford Courant is reporting the Commission has decided against appointing the former mayor and is seeking new applicants.

Anonymous said...

The Hartford Courant's wrote another editorial in today's newspaper about the Giuliano's Appointment Controversy. Here is the text below:

Agency Got It Right, Finally
Election Enforcement Same standard should apply to both commissioners and staff

Sebastian N. Giuliano claims the State Election Enforcement Commission looked weak and vulnerable by reversing its original decision to hire him as the agency's executive director and general counsel.

Wrong. The damage — if indeed there was any — was done by the commission's selecting Mr. Giuliano in the first place.

In November, Mr. Giuliano lost a bid for his fourth term as Middletown mayor. The commission shouldn't have picked a person so recently involved in partisan politics as its top staff person. It's akin to appointing Newt Gingrich to the Federal Election Commission if he loses his race for the Republican presidential nomination.

A politician shouldn't regulate other politicians. The enforcement commission was wise to reconsider. On Friday, it chose Michael Brandi, an attorney and former chief administrative officer of Hamden — a non-elective office.

To serve, Connecticut's election enforcement commissioners must be removed from partisan politics for three full years. The same standard should apply to the commission's executive director. That prohibition should be put in statute by the legislature.