On Monday August 14th I had the opportunity to meet with former United States Comptroller General David M. Walker. Dave is a republican candidate for Governor in 2018. Dave has a very interesting backstory. He was born in Alabama and has lived in several states since then. He then went on to receive his B.S. in accounting from Jacksonville University and a Senior Management in Government Certificate in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Dave first worked in accounting for several years for firms such as Arthur Andersen LLP. Dave has been confirmed unanimously three times by the U.S. Senate, which included serving in the labor department during the Reagan administration. In 1998, Bill Clinton nominated Dave as the United States Comptroller General. He was confirmed unanimously by the senate. The Comptroller General is the head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Comptroller General’s job is to ensure the fiscal and managerial accountability of the federal government. In the interview, Dave talks more about the appointment process, the responsibilities of the Comptroller General, and some of the things he accomplished while he was in the office. In 2010 Dave stepped down from the job and went on to serve on various foundations and initiatives that worked to make sure the federal government was spending, and using their money wisely. Dave is now a candidate for governor and wants to turn around the state. He talks more about his campaign and how he will turn around the state in the interview. I interviewed Dave at 5pm at his house on the water in the black rock section of Bridgeport. As I arrived, he was wrapping up a meeting with one of his campaign staffers. Dave was very welcoming and we talked for a while before and after the interview. My interview setup looked very good. I had a model of a ship and the ocean behind Dave and I. The interview lasted a little over 20 minutes and I asked him about many issues facing the state as well as more about his career and personal life. I really enjoyed my interview with David M. Walker and I wish him luck on the campaign trail.
Chris Mattei Blog
On Tuesday, August 8th I had the opportunity to interview Chris Mattei, who is exploring a run for Governor of Connecticut. Chris has an interesting back story. He was born and raised in Windsor, CT and then attended Georgetown University and Uconn Law School. He originally wanted to be a teacher and taught English on A Navajo reservation in Arizona. He then became a lawyer and served as the Assistant United States Attorney for the State of Connecticut and then the Chief of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption unit in the district of Connecticut. As a prosecutor, Chris sent former CT Governor John Rowland to prison for the second time. I really enjoyed meeting Chris and he was really nice and interesting. Chris arrived with one of his campaign staffers Connor. I coordinated the interview with another of his staffer’s named Maryli. We first talked a little with my Dad about him, his life, and a little about sports. Chris said that he was a big Whalers fan and hoped he could get them to move back to Connecticut. The interview went really well and he had great answers. I asked him about the trial of John Rowland, working as a teacher, why he is running for Governor, tolls, tax increases, and much more. The interview lasted just under twenty minutes, which is around the time it takes for most of my interviews.
That same day, I went to watch Chris speak to the Woodbridge Democratic Committee. I have never been to one of these meetings before and I was surprised to see how tense it gets. The Chairwoman of the board has decided to challenge Denise Merril for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State. This got many Woodbridge Democrats upset because they felt that it showed that it could hurt the Democrats chance of winning the seat and that it would look bad for a divide in the party. After 30 minutes of bickering Chris finally got up and talked for around 15 minutes. He talked about many issues and his plan to fix Connecticut’s financial crisis. the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee seemed to like him and they were interested in his candidacy. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Chris Mattei and I hope to speak with him again.
On August 1st I had the opportunity to sit down with Congressman John Larson of Connecticut’s 1st Congressional district. The 1st district is made up of cities such as Hartford, Bristol, and Torrington. Preparing for an interview is something that takes a lot of time and focus. The first step in preparing is to just watch some of the person’s past interviews, speeches, and other appearances. Before you even start to write questions you want to know the person very well. You also need to know a lot about them. You need to know about legislation they have sponsored, candidates they have endorsed, as well as past positions they have held in government. After all of that is done I begin to write my questions. I try to focus my questions on their past experiences and struggles, statewide issues, as well as national issues such as healthcare and tax reform. Once my questions are written I read them over multiple times so that I am familiar with them during the interview. The interview was scheduled at 3 pm. I arrived in Hartford at the Congressman’s office at around 2:40 and I took the elevator up to the second floor where his office was. I have been to many congressional offices and all of them are very nice. There is generally a secretary at the front then various office spaces, conference rooms, and then the Congressman’s office. The man at the front desk brought me to a conference room and I began to set up. My setup consists of 3 tripods, 2 lavalier microphones, 2 iPads (for audio recording), Canon EOS 60D camera, iPhone as a camera, as well as an iPad as a camera. As I was setting up Mary, Congressman Larson’s Press Secretary, walked in. Mary was very nice and she helped find a date for the interview and was my contact inside the office. Mary also brought in two interns that watched my interview with the Congressman. Congressman Larson arrived just on time and was very welcoming. Congressman Larson is also very nice and friendly to his staff and you can tell he takes the time to remember the names of all of his staff even the interns. Before the interview, I talked to the Congressman a little about myself and my show. Congressman Larson gave me a very nice congressional pen and mechanical pencil. I also gave him a Raving Ryan mug, as I do with all of the people I interview. Congressman Larson gave very interesting answers to all of my questions. He told me about being in the state senate and how it prepared him very well for being in congress, health care and what parts of the Affordable Care Act he thinks needs to be placed, tax reform and an update on the tax reform bills being proposed, as well as some of his hobbies and favorite restaurants. After the interview, we talked and he told me why he thinks public service is an amazing thing. He told me that giving back to the community is such a great thing. I really enjoyed my interview with Congressman Larson and I hope you all take the time to watch it under interviews on this website.