The Journal Inquirer reports that Governor Dannel Malloy has gotten fed up with dilatory legislative probes into the Sandy Hook massacre
The day before the arrival in Connecticut of Vice President Joe Biden, the governor will announce his own proposals concerning gun violence. It has been the ambition of Democrats in the General Assembly and the governor to produce a comprehensive set of reforms assuring that Sandy Hook like crimes will not happen in Connecticut again.
The by-invitation-only conference featuring Mr. Biden is to be held Thursday at Western Connecticut State College in Danbury. The conference will be hosted by three members of Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional delegation, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and U.S. House member Elizabeth Esty.
Apparently not addressing Connecticut’s General Assembly, Mr. Blumenthal wrote of the conference in an e-mail, “"Together, I know we can come together to identify real solutions to this complex problem - and I'd love to bring some of your ideas into our conversation as well… This is really to reach out to the whole nation, to enlighten and educate the American people, not simply a group of legislators.”
Appearing to be disgusted at the deliberative pace in the General Assembly, Mr. Malloy said:
“It’s apparent to me that the legislature will not reach bipartisan consensus on this issue. I’m always being accused of trying to play this outsized role. I’ve held back. It’s not working, and I will very shortly be speaking on this issue on a fairly comprehensive basis. I’m not going to shy away from this issue. They wanted to do this — have a big panel with 50 or 60 people on the panel, and wanted to do this on a bipartisan basis and get to the same point. I’m now looking at leaders bailing out on hearings or rallies and people coming to talk about their own personal pain instead of gun control at a gun control rally.”
According to one report, Mr. Malloy’s remarks to the Journal Inquirer surprised even his own staff: “With legislative leaders saying they are days or even weeks away from knowing if the bipartisan process will succeed or fail, it was unclear what prompted Malloy to act now, other than he was asked at the Journal Inquirer. While the governor's staff has been working on a package of legislation, his comments were said to have caught his own staff by surprise.”
The governor’s communications director later explained, "At
this critical juncture, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy in our own state, the governor believes that we cannot let the chance to affect real, positive change pass us by. He thinks we should act quickly and decisively to make Connecticut safer."
Short circuiting the legislative process and using occasions to spur legislation appears to be the rule in Washington D.C. Some – though not, of course, Mr. Biden – would say the President Barrack Obama also is outsized.
Will the General Assembly, controlled for the past few decades by members of Mr. Malloy’s party, become the governor’s whipping boy for purposes of re-election? Or, more probably, has the governor’s disgust and his abrupt decision to kick the General Assembly to the curb been dictated by the imminent arrival of Mr. Biden?
Those who think Mr. Malloy is outsized may well wonder.