Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Malloy Truth Gap

The Malloy-teacher gap just got wider. According to a “factcheck” story in CTMirror , claims made by Governor Dannel Malloy concerning his role in protecting teachers’ pensions are a bit of a stretch.

The leadership of the Connecticut Education Association (CEA), one of Jonathan Pelto’s targets before the penniless Mr. Pelto withdrew from the gubernatorial race, has been touting Mr. Malloy as the “first governor in Connecticut’s history to annually fully fund teacher pensions during his first term in office and guarantee full funding in the future.” Other governors certainly have short-sheeted the teachers’ pension fund. However, CTMirror notes, the leadership “doesn’t mention that Malloy had little choice but to do so. His hands effectively were tied by legal guarantees put in place by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the 2007 legislature.”

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Second Malloy Administration

It may not be too soon to consider, if only as a hypothetical exercise, what a second Malloy administration might be like.

There is a short and a long answer. A second administration would look very much like the first. Republicans, kept idle on the back benches, would be curtly cut out of governing. During his first administration, Governor Dannel Malloy simply waved Republicans away from the budget negotiating table and formed a tax and spending plan through secret, closed door negotiations with Democratic General Assembly party leaders.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How Dietrich Won The War

Will it strike anyone as odd that the best war song of WWII was also a love song? Here is Marlene Dietrich singing Lili Marlene:

And in German:

A captain in the U.S. Army, she won the war.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Do Political Endorsements Matter?

First Lady Michelle Obama has endorsed Dannel Malloy for governor. In a picture worth a thousand words, Mrs. Obama was shown on “Capitol Report” being bussed robustly by U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, who no doubt would endorse Mr. Malloy were Mr. Blumenthal a newspaper; some would argue that Mr. Blumenthal IS a newspaper. The winner of the Malloy- Tom Foley contest will become governor of a state first in the nation in progressive governance and crony capitalism and last in almost every other important measurement of prosperity.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Visconti, Spoiler?

The charge that by remaining in the gubernatorial race as an independent Joe Visconti may be a spoiler was always a bit fudgy; after all, anyone in a gubernatorial race seeks to spoil the race for his competitors. Republican gubernatorial contender Tom Foley would be quite happy to spoil Governor Dannel Malloy’s gubernatorial bid, and likewise Mr. Malloy is doing his best to spoil Mr. Foley’s reelection chance.

The most recent Quinnipiac poll continues to show Mr. Visconti drawing votes equally from both Mr. Foley and Mr. Malloy. However, Mr. Visconti has now seized 16 percent of the independent vote which ought to worry the usually unflappable Mr. Foley.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Survivor Of the Republican “War On Women” Endorses Foley

Formal endorsements may not mean very much in the modern political theater, which tends to rely on political hype produced by paid assassins, Twitter feeds and political Facebook sites, but this one might prove to be the exception that proves the rule.

Reticent former Governor Jodi Rell has fulsomely endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley.

“For far too long,” Mrs. Rell wrote, “Connecticut has been under one-party rule — not the balanced two-party system our founders intended. Governor Malloy, with the support of the Democrat-controlled legislature, enacted the largest tax increase in Connecticut history — a tax increase that has acted like a brake on the economy.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Republican Chances: Hopkins-Cavanagh in the 2nd

Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh ,  a Republican running for the U.S. House in Connecticut’s sprawling 2nd District, is uniquely situated to unleash a thunderbolt against supporters of President Barack Obama such as U.S. Representative Joe Courtney, who wrested the seat from former Republican U.S. Representative Rob Simmons in 2006.

Mr. Simmons lost to Mr. Courtney by a heart thumping 167 votes of more than 242,000 cast. An automatic recount concluded early in November showed Mr. Courtney winning by a slender 91 votes. Since then, Mr. Simmons has moved on to other pursuits: Yes, Virginia, there is life after Congressional politics. Now the Chairman of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, a flickering conservative-libertarian candle in Connecticut’s bleak mid-Winter, Mr. Simmons  recently was appointed to the Board of Selectmen to fill a Republican vacancy in his beloved hometown of Stonington.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Malloy The Campaigner

It has been said of President Barrack Obama that he is a perpetual campaigner, a remark not intended as a compliment. The charge has been made in connection with Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. To cite but one example, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan was an early campaign promise the consequences of which have proven to be exceedingly dissapointing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Taking The Fifth, Rich Incumbents, Poor Challengers

Incumbents are much favored and pampered creatures. The Captains of Industry throw dollars their way, and major media outlets pet them shamelessly. It is not at all surprising then that U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty should be richer than Republican challenger Mark Greenberg in campaign donations, even as the supporters of Mrs. Esty chide Mr. Greenberg for being a wealthy and successful businessman. In American politics, with precious few exceptions, incumbency trumps personal wealth. Of course, some politicians -- U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro and U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, both millionaires many times over, come to mind – are fortunate enough to be both wealthy and incumbent progressives.

Monday, October 13, 2014

How Prominent Democrats Steer Paths Around Anti-Corruption Campaign Finance Regulations

Some people – the Kennedys are among them – consider rules and regulations merely as obstacles to be surmounted on the path to political glory. It is a well-worn path often trodden by the great and near great. In Connecticut, the path offers special immunities from criticism for incumbent Democrats.

Gore Vidal, who left us more than two years ago, memorably described the Kennedy clan descending on Washington D.C. after John Kennedy had been sworn into office as president. He said it was like watching the Mafia descend on a small, northern Italian town, and his was a friendly voice. First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Mr. Vidal shared a stepfather, the stockbroker Hugh Auchincloss.