Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dannel Icarus Falls To Earth

The single event that precipitated this run of bad news for Governor Dannel Malloy, the most progressive chief executive in Connecticut since Wilber Cross, was the most recent Quinnipiac University poll.  First elected in 1930, when the progressive era in American politics was in full swing – Yes, Virginia, progressivism is even older than that, though the Cross administration is but a few years older than Bernie Sanders, progressivism’s great white hope for president  -- Mr. Cross abolished child labor and instituted the state’s minimum wage rate. Grateful for superman governors during The Great Depression, Connecticut later would show its appreciation of Mr. Cross by naming a highway after him.

The Q poll shows that Mr. Malloy has fallen back to earth after a brief flight in the stratosphere. Mr. Malloy has lost considerable height, the equivalent in political terms of popularity.

Commenting on the Q poll and twisting a stiletto in Mr. Malloy’s wound, Mark Pazniokas of CTMirror writes: “Malloy's double-digit fall from a poll in March produced one of the lowest approval ratings ever recorded by Quinnipiac, which regularly polls in nine states. It approaches the record low of 24 percent registered by Gov. John G. Rowland in January 2004 as he faced impeachment.” Mr. Rowland has set the gold standard of corruption in the state, according to most journalists. Lying at the bottom of the polling barrel, the publication noted, was the Democrat dominated General Assembly: “Legislators, who face re-election next year, were rated lower than the governor: Only 27 percent said they approved of the way the General Assembly was handling its job, with 57 percent disapproving.”

Mr. Malloy greeted the sour news with an indifferent shrug and, consulting his political thesaurus of trite political phrases, offered the following gem: “I’ve never run my life to be popular. Let’s put it that way." Icarus may have echoed Mr. Malloy as he strapped on his wax wings before his flight to the sun: “Yes, I know it may be thought foolish to fly near the sun with wax wings. Daddy Daedalus and all the polls say so, but never in my life have I flown to be popular”… shrug. At the moment, Mr. Malloy is as popular in Connecticut as brussels sprouts and Connecticut’s Democrat dominated General Assembly. The tax thirsty body has yet to shrug its shoulders – it has none – nor apparently has it a spine. Such blobs move forward progressively on their stomachs, like many-footed millipedes.

The Malloy tumble from an inscrutable blue sky has been a long time in the works. Flying a banner of “equal sacrifice” – think of a bloody corpse on a cross – Mr. Malloy imposed on the working class of Connecticut the largest tax increase in state history followed, at the beginning of his second term, by the second largest tax increase in state history. The “shared sacrifice” he demanded from state unions was far less sacrificial; certainly it was not equal. State Senator Edith Prague -- who during her long political career in the General Assembly had never met a tax or a union favor she did not like – berated union rank and file members for having balked at affirming the contract negotiated between Mr. Malloy and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC).

After a second round of negotiations, union leaders send the following memo to dunderheaded rank and file members:

“We would receive four years of job security, an extension of our health care and pension plans to 2022, an irrevocable trust fund to insure there will always be retiree health care, three years of wage increases, a reaffirmation of the independence of the state employee health plan, and contract protection lasting through 2016. Additionally, all of the layoffs, anti-union legislation, and faculty/office closures would be reversed.”

Having extracted the gold from Connecticut’s teeth, rank and file members of SEBAC, a union conglomerate authorized to bargain for union contracts with the state, at last accepted the multi-year deal, an offer, Ms. Prague reminded restive rank-and-file union workers, they should NOT refuse. At the time the deal was struck, pension obligations were approaching $68 billion.

A succession of deficits predictably followed. At his wits' end some months ago, budget Czar Ben Barnes threw in the towel: Connecticut, he said, would have to get used to successive deficits for some time to come.

No kidding.

In an age of diminishing tax resources – Mr. Malloy already had raised taxes by including under the tax umbrella every tax resource that preceding legislatures had overlooked – Mr. Malloy and Mr. Barnes began, in a series of rescissions that by-passed General Assembly scrutiny, to cannibalize state support for hospitals and mentally ill patients; this only a few months after Adam Lanza had opened fire with his now prohibited AR15 on school children in Sandy Hook, murdering seven staff members and 20 children.

To date, Mr. Malloy has alienated: union leaders, who are never satisfied; Republicans he consistently pushed away from budget bargaining tables, mentally ill patients, victims of murderers such as Frankie “The Razor” Resto --  who was given get-out-of-jail-early credits by Mike Lawlor, the governor’s prison czar -- all the  victims of the 11 death row inmates whose death penalties were abolished through a ruling by Connecticut’s left of center Supreme Court following the abolition of the death penalty by Connecticut’s progressive Democrat dominated General Assembly. The above is but a partial list of rational people whose disdain for Mr. Malloy is evident in the latest Q poll. Many expats in Connecticut already have voted against Mr. Malloy with their feet.

The Q poll results have long been predictable for those few journalists in Connecticut who have not come under the spell of ideology or the perfumed propaganda of politicians on the make.
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