Pelto’s Facebook Rant

Here is the message Jon Pelto posted on my Facebook wall. Yesterday he removed his comment, but since he also sent me a Facebook message with his comment, I was able to save and re-post his message. My guess is Pelto removed his comment, because I called him out for trying to intimidate me:

Megan DeSombre, We’ve never met, in fact, we’ve never even talked or to my knowledge been in the same room. I hope someday soon we’ll get a chance to meet and speak. I’d sure we’d have a lot to talk about. I noticed that you did an internship with Jon Trickett, member of the British House of Commons. Whoever is feeding you information about me probably didn’t tell you that long before you were born, in 1979; I had the honor of working for Robert Jackson in the first European Parliamentary elections. I was 18 at the time. At the time, the Labour Party actually opposed the plan for England to join the European Union so they only way to work on the creation of the European Union was to work on with the Conservative Party who supported it. It was an incredible experience. In 1983 Jackson went on to win a seat in the British Parliament. As the Conservatives moved to their present Neo-conservative approach, Jackson led revolt from the progressive wing of the Party and when that failed, in a dramatic move that garnered attention across Britain, he gave up all of his seniority and become a member of the Labour Party. Since his district was very much a Conservative Party bastion he was forced to give up his seat the following year.

I also not that you are a Rennie and like the New York Ren Faire. Perhaps we’ve walked by each other on multiple occasions. The daughters you degraded in one of your posts have been very active in Ren Faires since they were little children. For ten years we were one of the most popular vendors at the CT Ren Faire and other Fairs around New England. We were known far and wide as the toy sellers. And last, but certainly not least, I read about how much you enjoyed your semester abroad in London. As a junior in college, my oldest leaves next week for London for her semester abroad. I’m have to say I’m a bit taken aback and bemused by your tone and accusations about me, particularly as it applies to describing my moral standing and intentions.

I saw that in recent posts you’ve called me the “The King of the Land-of-Make-Believe,” that “It’s clear that Pelto doesn’t have much of a heart or a conscience, or the courage to actually try to create a better future for children in Hartford, miles away from his secluded, wooded home,” that I’m a “yellow journalist,” and “a cowardly, washed-up politician.” You said that”Jon Pelto is not a teacher. He’s not a principal. He’s not an office assistant or paraprofessional. Pelto was a state legislator back in the early ’90s. Remember when “The Cosby Show” was on network television? That’s when Jon Pelto was relevant.” And you say, “Jonathan Pelto — an out-of-work politician-turned-blogger, resident of a pricey secluded home in a largely white and well-off suburb.” To back up your claims you cite a few examples, including “A few weeks ago, when ol’ Jonny boy was putting the Pelto on Paul Vallas — another hard-working, innovative educator like Perry — he said the “cost for [Vallas’] type of plan would be expected to run about $10,000 – $12,000” to pay through June. How did he arrive at that figure? What algorithm did the not-quite-doctor Pelto use to come up with such a high number? What sources did he speak to? What documents did he uncover? None. The Connecticut Post reported that it actually would only cost the district $1,700.” Pelto doesn’t like Paul Vallas so he makes up how much the superintendent’s health care will cost. In fact, as I explained my post, that cost must be the monthly rate, not the total. $1,700 time Feb, March, April, May, June and July = $10,200. Perhaps we could call the Bridgeport Board of Education to confirm. If I’m wrong I will certainly apologize and correct my blog.

Second you also add: And even more idiotic, Pelto doesn’t like Steve Perry so he makes up how much Perry’s Tweets cost the district. As a public service, will somebody please let Pelto know that Twitter is free? Eh, don’t bother. Pelto doesn’t care about facts anyway. As you know, having read my post that I arrived at that figure by noting that Perry has Tweeted about 33,000 Tweets. I review indicates about half of those were sent during school hours. While Twitter is free, the time we pay him to work is not. A conservative calculation based on his salary and the number of Tweets translated to about $12,500 in public funds that he was paid when he was Tweeting instead of working. A number of those Tweets were to promote his private business which means that activity was actually illegal. I’ll be happy share the “algorithm” and you can modify it all you want but the bottom line is tax payers have paid Mr. Perry a significant amount of money for work hours that were devoted instead to Tweeting.

While I recognize that you haven’t spent that much time in Connecticut, leaving New Jersey after the May 17th graduation at your school and starting your Bridgeport blog only three weeks later, it seems like your allies are providing you with a pretty limited picture of my background. Considering I’m 53 old, I’ve been active in politics and government for a very long time. I spent nearly 5 years learning the ropes as Chris Dodd’s errand boy and campaign youth coordinator when Dodd was still a Congressman from 1975-1980. I was #2 in Sam Gejdenson’s historic primary and General Election in 1980 when, as the most liberal candidate in the field, he came from 5th place to win in the Regan landslide of 1980. In 1981 I become the youngest Democratic Town Chairman in Connecticut history, serving in that position for 6 years. I worked on multiple campaigns at the federal, state and local level including working in Gary Hart’s 1984 presidential campaign. From 1986-1992 I served as the Political Director for the Democratic Party, a time we developed the first computer-based voter contact system in the state. When I left the General Assembly, I had one of the highest AFL-CIO labor ratings of any legislators and had a 100% voting record with all the liberal and progressive advocacy groups. From 1993 – 2010, I developed Connecticut’s first stand-alone grassroots lobbying firm with the vast majority of my clients being from the progressive side of the Party and political debate. While my company was very successful, in 2011 I decided I wanted to try something new and began my blog as part of a broad effort to learn about how to use social media as an effective organization tool. I honestly believe and can certainly explain why, in my opinion, I am taking the more liberal and progressive side in the education reform debate. Finally, to suggest that I don’t care about the children of Connecticut is beyond insulting. Ask your sources to explain my role in the Education Enhancement Act and the development of the Education Cost Sharing formula (before it was corrupted by the Republicans and conservative Democrats). Also for ten years in the Legislature and 15 years through my company Impact Strategies Inc., I led or coordinated numerous efforts to increase funding for our public institutions of higher education and especially our community colleges. From a policy standpoint, my professional life’s work has been to support and increase opportunities for children to have a public education system that provides them with the knowledge and tools to succeed in this increasing complex world.Your suggestion that I don’t understand or oppose educational opportunities is beyond insulting.

Finally, of all the bad developments in American politics over the past fifty years is the belief that an individual’s family and private life are fair game for political attacks. If you feel the need to attack my politics that is your right, but your references to my children is beyond the pale. In a recent post you said “shame on you” – meaning me – I’ll tell you – no matter what you say about me, I would never, ever attack your family or your private life. Despite it being a common strategy in today’s political world, there is no lower form of bullying and abuse.



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