Norwalk political notes: Perone misses deadline, Haselkamp begins again, party time for GOP, Dems

State Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk 137), second from left, joins in a festivities at Harry Rilling’s inauguration in November.

NORWALK, Conn. – The reelection campaign of State Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk 137) appears to be in violation of state statutes.

The campaign, Friends of Chris Perone, has been without a treasurer since Dec. 10, when David Jaegar resigned, according to a document filed Dec. 26 with the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). State statutes require that a new treasurer be appointed within 10 days.

If the committee has raised money or spent money without a treasurer, it could be fined $2,000 per violation, according to a SEEC guide for political committees.

Perone did not return a request for comment, but said Sunday he had not started actively working on his campaign.

Jaegar said the resignation had to do with his future plans..

“Nothing happened in particular,” he said. “I’m thinking of pursing the chairmanship of the DTC, thinking that person should remain neutral. In my opinion, the chairman of the DTC should not be involved in any particular campaign.”

A new DTC chairperson will be elected in March.

Other political items of interest:

Haselkamp catches on in Trumbull

It didn’t take long for erstwhile Norwalk Personnel Director James Haselkamp to land on his feet.

Haselkamp, whose contract with Norwalk was not renewed by Mayor Harry Rilling, has landed a job as head of labor relations with the town of Trumbull. First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst announced the hiring Tuesday.

The position was recently created, according to the town’s website.

“Jim’s breadth of experience as a human resources professional and his proven track record of negotiating agreements that are fair to employees and taxpayers make him uniquely qualified to assume this new assignment,” Herbst said in a statement on the town’s website. “Jim has a consistent track record of negotiating employee labor agreements that respect municipal workers while at the same time implementing innovative cost saving measures that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars in each of the municipalities he has served.”

It was his track record of respect – or lack thereof – that led Rilling to jettison the well-traveled personnel chief in December. What may have been the final straws were an affirmative action complaint filed by DPW acting Superintendent of Operations Chris Torre and an outburst of temper in which he reportedly shoved a table into a union employee during a tense negotiation at City Hall, prompting the employee to file a police report.

This will be Haselkamp’s fifth stop on the Nutmeg State tour of municipal offices, having worked in similar positions in Bridgeport, Waterbury and Stamford before coming to Norwalk not long after another outburst in which he reportedly took a golf club to a union sign at a public event.

Herbst, 33, a Republican, was on hand for ex-Mayor Richard Moccia’s announcement that he would run for re-election in 2013, and donated $200 to his campaign. Moccia hired Haselkamp in Norwalk despite his troubles in Stamford and remained a supporter through his problems here.

Haselkamp is scheduled to begin his new job Feb. 1, according to the Trumbull website.

Who will be next DTC chairperson?

Jaeger said he has heard that three or four people are interested in becoming DTC chairperson, including himself. He did not say who they were.

Current Vice Chairwoman Brenda Penn-Williams said she is very interested. Their approaches couldn’t be more different.

“I feel the organization is headed in the right direction, I want to continue to lead in a positive direction,” Jaegar said.

“I think the DTC needs to move in a different direction,” Penn-Williams said. “I’m interested in trying to bring the Norwalk Democratic Party back together so we can get a little more seats on the Common Council. That takes unity to be able to do what we need to do.”

Jaeger said he’s been involved with the DTC for 15 years in various capacities, including serving on the Common Council, as a volunteer on campaigns and a 2011 candidate for town clerk.

“I want to continue to lead in a positive direction, he said. “I have some ideas for working with the community. I think it’s time that we work in coordination.

“Having a Democratic mayor, we need to work with him with some things he needs from the community.”

Penn-Williams said she really likes being on the DTC, in addition to her other volunteer activities, serving as second vice president of the Norwalk National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and on the Fair Rent Commission. It’s about making a difference, she said. She just wants people to be treated fairly, she said.

“I did not like the way the former mayor handled the NEON (Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now) situation. We have to appreciate the way folks are living here in Norwalk. We are human beings here. … I really liked him a lot, I did. I just didn’t like how he handled the situation. If he had stepped in, NEON wouldn’t be in the state that’s it’s in now,” she said. “Will they help the poor?”

It’s clear she can turn a phrase.

“We need a cohesive organization,” she said. “We all need to disagree. We can talk, have our battles and at the end of the day we need to come together. We all need to be working for the same cause. We are blue. We need to stay blue. We have excellent people to run. We have a rainbow. We have black, white, Hispanic and that’s good. We ought to work for the common cause.”

What of the Republicans?

Republican Fred Wilms, who served as Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) chairman for eight years before Democrat Harry Rilling ousted Mayor Richard Moccia in November, said he is not interested in becoming the next Republican Town Committee chairman.

“The only name I’ve heard is Pete Torrano,” he said.

Torrano did not return a phone call.

Might Wilms run for office again?

“It’s very difficult to say, right now,” he said. “I’m just enjoying my time off and spending more time working.”

The Republicans are meeting for their caucus at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Norwalk Inn to elect new RTC members. All are welcome. Registered Republicans can vote.

Dems withdraw

The number of people vying to be elected to the DTC in District E has dropped from 10 to eight. Scott Kimmich and Regina Krummel have withdrawn.

Krummel was involved in an altercation with DTC Chairwoman Amanda Brown last July in the City Hall parking lot, commonly called The Brawl at City Hall. She declined to comment on her reason for withdrawing.

Kimmich said he backed out so his wife, Kate Tepper, could have a shot.

“I’ve been on for about four to six years  and I am leaving to make room for Kate,” he wrote in an email. “District E has a gentleman’s  agreement that husbands and wives do not run for the DTC as the same time, to avoid the appearance of machine politics, as was the case in District B.”

Bill Krummel, Regina’s husband and current District E chairman, is one of the candidates. The Democratic caucuses are Thursday night in various locations.

Watts files campaign fundraising papers

Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A) undersold the size of his war chest by a few hundred dollars when he said he had raised about $5,000 as he explores a bid for state representative.

David Watts 2014 reports $5,347.38 in total fundraising since the committee was formed in April. His balance on hand is $4,660.69. Watts said the $686.69 his committee has spent on expenses were related to fundraising.

The report, filed Tuesday, is attached below. It includes a $25 donation from David Jaegar, former Perone campaign treasurer.

Also attached are the July and October filings.

Board of Education member Sherelle Harris gave the committee $100 in April.

“I met David as the result of his son being in one of my story time sessions a few years back when I was a children’s librarian,” she wrote in an email. “He sought me out because his son spoke favorably of me. I tend to peel back layers so I can see who they really are before letting them in.  David makes me laugh because he has such ‘creative’ ways of doing things.

“Aside from him supporting me during my run for the Board of Education, I can see that he is a loyal person and that he is no stranger to the hard work,” she continued. “He really helps.  He is not shy about putting himself out there.  He doesn’t sit back and wait for things to come to him. He seems to really understand politics, he quickly learns from his mistakes and his ego is not so inflated that he can’t apologize. That takes strength.  Selfishness and being taken for granted are two of my pet peeves. I presently believe he will work for his constituents year-round and not simply pander to those in power to get power.”

Watts SEEC30_January_10_Filing_23384

Watts SEEC30_October_10_Filing_22260

Watts SEEC30_July_10_Filing_21730


39 responses to “Norwalk political notes: Perone misses deadline, Haselkamp begins again, party time for GOP, Dems”

  1. LWitherspoon

    A dormant campaign not having a treasurer for a month or so would not ordinarily be news. I wonder if this item is the start of David Watts and friends gearing up to slime Democratic Rep. Chris Perone with everything they can. Just when we were all breathing a sigh of relief that the silly season was over! Wouldn’t be surprising, given the nature of past efforts by Mr. Watts, but disappointing nonetheless.

  2. Watts family member


    I wonder if this item is the start of L Witherspoon and friends gearing up to slime Democratic Councilman David Watts with everything they can. Just when we were all breathing a sigh of relief that the silly season was over! Wouldn’t be surprising, given the nature of past efforts by LWitherspoon, but disappointing nonetheless.

    David is a great person and I am proud of him. He fights for the poor and the working class. The people of his district just re-elected him by a landslide. Why, because he fights for the people.

    God Bless!

  3. LWitherspoon

    @Watts family member
    I am flattered that you plagiarized my comment. Your fakery reminds me of the time that Councilman Watts recorded a speech and added fake applause and cheering to give the illusion of support for him. Will we see more of the same in Mr. Watts’s effort against Democratic Rep. Chris Perone? Those of us who are in favor of responsible and thoughtful governance can only hope so.
    It’s entirely reasonable to ask where this non-story about Rep. Chris Perone came from, and I notice you had no comment about that. Was Nancy perusing every candidate committee’s filing, checking to see if they all had treasurers, or did someone bring this technical violation to her attention? If the latter, why? To repeat, we don’t typically see stories here about dormant campaign committees not having a treasurer for a month or so.
    As far as Mr. Watts fighting for the poor and working class, please let me know when that happens. All I’ve seen from Mr. Watts is him fighting against taxpayers to give more to municipal employee unions. Luckily for taxpayers, most of Mr. Watts’s efforts in this regard have been unsuccessful.

  4. Watts family member


    The Citizens of Norwalk have read your comments for about a year now. Guess what? You lost! Councilman Watts is a great person, who stands up for the people who still uses a VCR to watch movies, make telephone calls from landlines, and buy their groceries using coupons.

    A Real champion for the working poor and the middle class. I am proud to call him a family member and I support him 100 percent.

  5. LWitherspoon

    @Watts family member
    First of all, I’ve been commenting for far more than a year. As for the rest of what you said, those are nice slogans, but can you cite any actual examples of Mr. Watts standing up for the poor and working class? Do tell us more about Mr. Watts – does he have a job?
    If Mr. Watts is such a great and effective Councilman, why is it that NoN chose NOT to endorse him in the most recent election?

  6. Watts family member


    Do you have a job? Do you stand up for the people who ride the WHEELS BUS, or the people who eat off the dollar menu? NO! You’ re trying to trash one of the poorest members of the Common Council because it fits into your narrow agenda, to weaken the middle class. You’re a member of the high class society and you don’t need a champion because, your money and influence will always buy you a seat at the table. However, the working poor needs a champion to fight for us.

    FYI- NoN didn’t endorse but the people of his community did and re-elected him by a landslide. They read your daily distortions and rejected it. You lost!

  7. LWitherspoon

    @Watts family member
    Asking whether or not Mr. Watts has a job is an entirely reasonable question, and I’m puzzled as to why it has upset you to the point of making things up about me. Voters deserve to know about the professional careers of their elected officials and aspiring state representatives. So to repeat, does Mr. Watts have a job? As a family member, you must know the answer to this question. Why won’t you share it with us?
    Also, why is it that NoN chose NOT to endorse Mr. Watts in the election?

  8. WOW!

    With all due respect to NoN, its choice not to endorse Mr. Watts had absolutely no baring on the election outcome. You point is therefore mute. With regard to having a job, I believe that the only job that Mr. Watts’ constituents need to be concerned with is his job as Councilman. Many politicians forego earnings opportunities, aka a “job”, while in the midst of a political campaign. With Mr. Watts’ altruism quite apparent (the Council stipend is nominal, at best), his focus on assuming additional responsibilities on the public’s behalf while still performing his duties as a Councilman would perhaps occupy the majority of his time. I don’t know if he has a “job” or not but, quite frankly, that point is also mute. Thank you, Mr. Watts, for your time and dedication on behalf of your constituents.

  9. R(obot) TC

    Thank you, Watts!

  10. LWitherspoon

    R(obot)TC = David Watts himself! I was wondering how long it would take for him to appear here posting under different usernames in support of himself.
    What is a mute point? In any case, I can assure you that neither I nor my points are mute.

  11. WOW!

    My bad, LWitherspoon. “Moot”, not “Mute”. 🙂
    NoN can confirm that I am certainly not Mr. Watts, nor am I a relative of Mr. Watts. I am, however, a supporter of Mr. Watts. He’s a good family man, well educated, and well respected among those of us who know him. Furthermore, he’s always willing to volunteer his time for good causes. I wish him well in his endeavors.

    1. Mark Chapman

      Indeed, we can confirm the factual parts of what WOW! says: He is not Mr. Watts or a family member, and he is a supporter. We will also issue this caveat: We do not know the identities of the majority of our posters unless they use their own names or they identify themselves to us.

  12. I agree with another poster who stated that it is hard to take seriously a candidate who posts embarrassing and contrite videos on “You Tube” acting like a baby. Watts has a lot of growing up to do first before anyone takes him seriously.

  13. LWitherspoon

    I stated that R(obot)TC is Mr. Watts, not you.
    Back to the issue, a candidate’s employment history is entirely relevant and voters deserve to know. Appointees to city boards and commissions, which carry far less weight than the Common Council and the State Legislature, routinely submit resumes when they are considered for appointment. I’m puzzled as to why everyone keeps tap dancing around the question of what Mr. Watts does for a living now and what he has done over the course of his career.

  14. Suzanne

    FYI, The Hour, via Google search on David Watts, Norwalk, CT: “Watts worked as campaign manager for Knopp’s unsuccessful re-election bid in 2005. Before that, the Norwalk Democrat helped administer the city’s youth summer jobs program which is still in operation.”

    And, “Watts worked as a legislative intern in the General Assembly in Hartford as part of the Southern Connecticut State University Internship Program. He worked for Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven as part of the Yale University Community Outreach Program. From 1996 until the present, he has been involved with developing campaign literature and strategies, training and coordinating campaign staff/volunteers and organizing voter registration drives, according to his resume. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in religion from Yale University Divinity School, according to his resume.”

    This search took me less than five minutes. I am sure a little effort more could find more information on Mr. Watts’ recent history. Everyone on this thread is reasonably tech savvy – Google is a great tool. Use it! You might just find the information you are pining for.

  15. Watts Family Member

    Watts, was the first in the family to graduate from college (SCSU) with full honors and became a Yale Scholar. Last year, he helped elect the first woman Mayor (New Haven) and the youngest councilwoman (Norwalk) in 40 years.

    Norwalk Public Service

    Human Relations
    Zoning Commission
    Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program
    2 term Councilman 2011, 2013


    BS. Southern Connecticut State University 2001
    MA, Yale University 2003

    How much more public service and education does this person, want? Watts started from the bottom and is not motivated by money nor personal wealth. David, grew up on food stamps, public housing and raised by a single mother. He was given a change to go to college and he is giving back by being a champion for the working poor and the middle class.

    This person has been trashing Watts for over a year, now and it has nothing to do with the public good- it is very personal and nasty.

    Happy Birthday, Watts

  16. LWitherspoon

    @Watts Family Member
    For the umpteenth time, what does Mr. Watts do for a living now? If he is not employed, when and what was his last paid employment?

  17. According to google, a masters from Yale Divinity school is okay but not really helpful in politics when church and state are separate.
    And it really does beg to answer the question “what is his present employment?”

  18. WOW!

    Confidentially, rumor has it that he works for the CIA. David, I hope I didn’t blow your cover! Oh, that’s right, you went to Yale, not Princeton!

  19. Watts Wattage

    Someone left something out on David’s CV; an inspiring rap artist,,, that is just a wee bit off key. Nothing that cant be tuned up in production. He does have a beat.. .. ..

  20. Suzanne

    He’s listed in the phone book. Why don’t you, L. Witherspoon, call him up and ask him? Or, if you are so concerned about the means by which he makes a living, ask the Chapmans to investigate.

  21. Suzanne

    irishgirl, your moniker would imply that you know something of the workings of a church of some kind. If that is true, you would certainly know that churches are one of the more political bodies in any culture. Like any group where there is real care about the outcome, navigating the personalities and purpose(s) is often a divided and very political game. And, a masters from Yale Divinity School is a highly coveted degree, BTW. It is not an easy academic institution to get into and the requirements for obtaining a degree are rigorous. If nothing else, the discipline of study is a good formation for working with policy, procedure and the public. It is called transferable skills – one can easily work for a church and work for the state and there are many ministers who have been elevated to Congress to prove it. I know of at least one Catholic priest who was in Congress as well as a number of rabbi’s. So, whatever Mr. Watts does today, his Masters is not a detraction in working in government but, rather, one can only hope, a good barometer for some principled action.

  22. @Suzanne,
    my moniker indicates nothing of the kind.
    Too bad you spent a lot of time writing about something that I could really care less about (a degree in divinity school… is he in line for ministry?) Again, a separation of church and state.
    Just wanting to know what Watts does for a living, how he pays his bills…

  23. “I did not like the way the former mayor handled the NEON (Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now) situation. We have to appreciate the way folks are living here in Norwalk. We are human beings here. … I really liked him a lot, I did. I just didn’t like how he handled the situation. If he had stepped in, NEON wouldn’t be in the state that’s it’s in now,” she said. “Will they help the poor?” – Brenda Penn-Williams.
    NEON is a STATE agency and Norwalk does not have jurisdiction over it. It really is aligning up that the new mayor will fall under the guise to give money to NEON when clearly they don’t DESERVE it.

  24. Suzanne

    irishgirl, I believe you are the new Tim T in your rancor and rudeness. What I was trying to explain to you flew over your head because it is, apparently, so necessary for you to be right. Well, right isn’t necessarily informed. Like with L. Witherspoon, Mr. Watts is in the phone book (or, at least I found him on Google.) If his livelihood is such a concern to you, why don’t you call him and ask him? No? Because it is easier to whine about it and you do have that right. How useful is this? Not much and, frankly, we could use more information on these threads than shallow opinion. In any case, what my comment says stands: his degree does not preclude him from separating the state from the church. It just doesn’t. Please re-read above to understand what “transferable skills” means to understand that.

  25. YourDaddy

    I’ve looked at the Watts2014 website and googled him, but this thread gave me more bio info on Watts than I could find. Unfortunately, it looks like his last job was with the summer youth program 10 years ago. Time to leave the nest and get some work experience!

  26. @Suzanne,
    nothing ‘flew over my head’ – I just know what ever Watts ‘may have ‘ learned at yale has not transferred into what he is doing now and is nothing more than an “attaboy” on his resume.
    Call him and get accused of harrassment? Um, no thank you. Watts is not above pulling something ugly like that.

  27. Suzanne

    Irish girl, then show some chutzpah and request the information from someone who can get it. There is more than one person on this thread that wants to know what Mr. Watts does for a living. Your complaining about it? Does squat.

  28. Not complaining about it – just seeing if Watts will ever stand up and do the right thing and acknowledge publicly what he does (doesn’t) do for a living. I guess Watts is NOT that fine, upstanding TRANSPARENT politician that the Democrats are soooo famously known for demanding of the Republicans but are soooo incapable of it themselves.
    Now Suzanne, just stop with all the ‘cute’ slangs and hashing at me for what is considered a legit question. Just because you can’t answer it and don’t like someone asking Watts to be a stand up citizen and end all this doesn’t mean you are capable for carrying this on for much longer.

  29. PS,
    If NoN was really an investigative reporter, non biased, of course (cough cough), she would have “picked” up on this a LONG time ago and investigated already.
    But I guess since its some “republicans” (if anyone can ever say definitively) asking, she won’t go that extra mile.

  30. Suzanne

    Irish girl, You do know the expression about what assuming does? I have been shocked and not a little dismayed at Mr. Watts’ behavior for quite sometime. I would not vote for him. I do not believe his primary consideration is to be of service to his constituents. The recent election vote count was, got to say it, deplorable. Where else could an elected official get away with such behavior and be called a servant to the constituency by whom he is elected?

    Irish girl, I know I should give up conversing with you because absolutely nothing I say gets through with a balanced perspective. I think you just might be cranky and that’s o.k. Someone has got to be, I guess.

  31. Suzanne,
    And you think everything you say is balanced? I really don’t care what you have to say about all this, whether or not you are republican, democratic or independent. I am just interested to see if Watts is transparent and upstanding or not; I guess not. Only he has the right to put all this to rest.
    As for assuming, I never made any assumptions, just a speculation.

  32. Suzanne

    Potayto, Potahto. If you didn’t care so much, why do you insist on commenting, revising those comments to your whim, pound on the given subject until it’s exhausted enough to cry, “Uncle!” and get no where? Perhaps you might ask yourself what your writing actually contributes. With you and with me writing to you, I believe it is absolutely zip. Let this be the end of it and let Mr. Watts stew if you don’t believe anything can be done about it.

  33. Suzanne,
    You pound out what you want to say and then have the nerve to say that I shouldn’t respond.
    Fine, let’s end “whatever” it is that you feel the need to rally up against my posts.
    But something can be done about “getting to the bottom” of what Watts does for a living (NOTHING that anyone can attest to at this time), but these “nonbiased” reporters supporting the democratic ticket won’t be the ones, because they aren’t nonbiased and don’t want anyone upsetting the (democratic) apple cart with just one of the bad apples in the bunch.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Irish Girl

      Your are truly a joy. We are happy you get so much pleasure from having a place to vent. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider making a contribution today. As much as you hate the idea that David Watts might have a source of income you don’t know about (which we talked to him about last night), you should hate the idea that you spend so much time hurling insults and demanding answers from people who provide a service you don’t pay for.

  34. @Mark,
    I am not “demanding answers from people who provide a service I don’t pay for” for several reasons:
    I am not demanding, I am simply stating that if you were truly investigative reporters and since I am not the only one inquiring about a democrat’s employment, it might have been something you would have investigated. You haven’t so I’m just stating that fact. Okay, if you talked with him about it last night, that is good you know that.
    Second, venting?? Nay on that one either. Why is it that repeated questions are considered “venting”? Is only okay for democrats, liberals or independents who support what you print to be considered “unbiased” and “balanced” but when someone else is looking for an answer or is unswayed by your articles or posters writings then they are the ones venting….really, now.
    Hurling insults? Suzanne hurled insults, not I. And she has done that to many a posters.
    How do you know I haven’t donated yet?

  35. PS,
    If you want to really understand “demanding answers”, read “Marjorems” repeated postings in SEVERAL of your articles for a clear example of “demanding” answers from you.

  36. Suzanne

    Irishgirl, it is interesting that you are put in the position of defending your answers, questions and speculations on a routine basis. Self-reflection might be warranted (not a “hurled insult”, just a fact.) As I say on another thread, you reflect who you are exactly in your writing. Nothing else needs to be said.

  37. Suzanne,
    Of course I will defend my answers, why shouldn’t I? And really, the ONLY person so interested in responding with such vigor is you….why?
    I reflect a person not pandering to the “all is good Rilling” or let’s support freeloaders bandwagon (as in NEON). Sorry if you do.
    You reflect a person obsessed with trying to sway people to their own point of view. Sorry, I think too independently for that mentality.
    You are right, nothing else needs to be said.

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments