Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

July 25, 2019

Sen. Looney Issues Response to Latest
New Haven/Tweed Airport Letter

NEW HAVEN – Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) today released the following statement in response to a letter to Attorney General William Tong from Hugh Manke, General Counsel for Tweed New Haven Airport Authority, and John Rose, Jr., Corporation Counsel for the City of New Haven.

“The letter from Mr. Manke and Mr. Rose to the Attorney General on behalf of their clients, the Mayor of the City of New Haven and the Tweed Airport Authority, contains a number of mischaracterizations regarding the realities of the legislative process and regarding my own intentions and motivation. This kind of polarizing rhetoric and disparaging speculation does nothing to advance the interests of the clients they represent.

“The letter contains a dismissive characterization of legitimate community concerns as seeking mere ‘sweeteners’ to ease the way for approval of the airport expansion. To use that trivializing term indicates that, as the impacted neighborhoods have long suspected, the City has never given due regard to genuine and objectively reasonable local concerns, and instead has regarded them as mere nuisances.

“My joint letter to Attorney General Tong with Senator Fasano was based upon what we see as a legitimate basis to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for review, since there are substantive issues of municipal standing and questions involving federalism and the scope of federal authority to pre-empt state action under state constitutional power to protect public safety and health. However, the response from the attorneys for the City of New Haven and the Tweed Airport Authority is to engage in a political and personal attack against two state senators who simply maintain that when a Connecticut statute has been upheld in the federal trial court for the reasons we cite, and when a similar state statute has been upheld in another federal circuit, but when the Second Circuit has reversed the trial court in this case, then the Attorney General should pursue a resolution to the conflict in the circuits by seeking United States Supreme Court review.

“The allegation of bad faith is not only wrong but also has no place in determining the answer to legitimate constitutional questions.”