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Crime & Punishment: Someone Else Tries to Exploit the Sandy Hook Tragedy For Money
New Britain Mayor Tim O'Brien chose Christmas Eve to quietly announce the cash-strapped city would use $100,000 from the mayor's legal-defense fund to hire a high-power PR firm to promote a bill that would fine the landlords of properties that rack up police complaints. The firm, Global Strategy Group, counts among its past clients Al Gore, Gov. Dannel Malloy, the last three governors of New York and corporations like Disney and General Electric. It may seem oversized for one issue local to a small city. But the choice makes more sense when you consider O'Brien's political ass is on the line. The bill has been vigorously opposed by landlords, including a politically connected former mayor and a real estate tycoon who, after he implied to his tenants that the city would charge them $500 for calling 911 (which is not true), managed to get them out for city council meetings. The Hartford Courant reports that some of these landlords plan to work to oust O'Brien.
By Nick Keppler
January 2, 2013