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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fox Meet Henhouse: Promises, Promises, More Taxes On The Way


The Hartford Courant has only recently discovered the vital connection between taxes and spending: The more you tax, the more you can spend.

For many years, stretching back to the administration of maverick Governor Lowell Weicker, the father of Connecticut’s income tax, the paper argued in countless editorials and op-ed pieces that Connecticut did not have a spending problem; it had a revenue problem. Translation: The state needn't worry about the level of taxation or spending or regulation, a hidden tax on the cost of business in the state, for as long as Connecticut was viable enough to continue to increase taxes. Any bumper stickers from the failed anti-income tax years reading “I survived the Weicker income tax” are, this year, 23 years old. In two years, Connecticut will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Weicker income tax – which, during its day, was thought to have solved Connecticut’s revenue and tax problems.

Monday, October 06, 2014

DeLauro’s Alternative Ways


Remarking on the guilty verdict in the recently concluded trial of former radio talk show host John Rowland, Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney noted, "It's very sad to see.” Mr. Rowland’s fall from grace was due “at least in part” to arrogance, but it was also related to the fact Mr. Rowland “never learned to find alternative ways of earning a living other than through political influence."

Mr. Rowland may or may not be arrogant, an attribute usually associated with politicians; what is the difference, for example, between arrogance and self-assurance, and is it possible for politicians who lack self-assurance to be effective in office?

It is undoubtedly true that Mr. Rowland was inept in earning a living when he was a politician.  Other politicians are far smoother in the gentle art of making politics pay.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Dannel vs. Dan

Roy Occhiogrosso, now back in the fold as a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy, has taken a bullet for the boss.

Mr. Occhiogrosso was plucked from Global Strategy Group (GSG)  to work as a flack catcher during Mr. Malloy’s first term, left the administration after a few years and returned to his roost, was rewarded for his tireless work in the Malloy vineyards with a Managing Director’s post at  the Hartford office of GSG, and now is making his second official tour as a Malloy “top adviser,” according to a Connecticut Post story.

Way back in the day when Mr. Malloy seemed to be anxious to reform public school education in the state, most especially in Connecticut’s consistently failing urban schools, Mr. Malloy turned upon teachers resisting his reforms. The newly ensconced governor told the General Assembly on the opening day of their session that “… to earn that tenure -- that job security -- in today's system basically the only thing you have to do is show up for four years. Do that, and tenure is yours."

Saturday, October 04, 2014

African Americans, Crime, Guns And Race


When Regina Roundtree, the Chair of the Urban Affairs Coalition at Connecticut’s Republican Party, was assembling a roster of speakers and participants for Crime, Guns and Race: A discussion on today’s civil rights issues,” she settled upon former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, among others.

The event, sponsored by The Connecticut chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation and its parent organization, CT Black Republicans and Conservatives (CBRAC), will be held on Saturday, October 11 from 9AM to 12PM at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.