The Darien League of Women Voters will hold a kickoff dinner on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Wee Burn Beach Club in Rowayton featuring Keith Phaneuf, the state budget reporter for the Connecticut Mirror. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and the dinner will begin at 7 p.m. followed by the speaker.

Connecticut is presently struggling to pass a budget which will affect municipalities throughout the state. In “A 30-minute explainer of an 80-year old problem,”  Phaneuf will discuss the causes of Connecticut’s economic difficulties and their effects on state funding for education and other programs in area towns such as Darien.

The Connecticut Mirror is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent online publisher of daily news and in-depth stories concerning the state budget / finance and other issues. Phaneuf has been the Mirror’s budget reporter since 2010. In this role he analyzes and reports on all aspects of State government finances, including the budget development process, pension funding and the impact of the State’s budget on local communities.

Before joining the Mirror, Phaneuf was the state Capitol Bureau Chief for the Journal Inquirer of Manchester. He was also a reporter for the New London Day and a contributing writer for the New York Times. He and reporter Jacqueline Rabe won first prize for investigative reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2012 for a series of stories on the Board of Regents for Higher Education.  He is a graduate and former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

The cost for the dinner is $50 for League members and $55 for non-members. Please R.S.V.P. by Sept. 22 to Mary Ellen Moore, 23 Red Coat Pass, Darien 06820 or email her at For more information on the League of Women Voters of Darien or to pay online, go to