Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tolls, The Second Thoughts Gambit

Lamont Looney Aresimowicz
Clever frogs know how to take a step back so that they might advance two steps forward.

Governor Ned Lamont met recently with the governors of two contiguous states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to palaver about infrastructure maintenance. A fierce middle class taxpayer opposition to tolling in Connecticut has given the governor and the two Democrat gate-keepers in the General Assembly, Senate President Martin Looney and Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, political hiccups.

Lamont began pushing for tolls during his election campaign for governor. In that campaign, Republican nominee for governor Bob Stefanowski was widely derided by Democrats and critics in the state’s media for centering his campaign on a pledge to do away with Connecticut’s income tax over a ten year period. Pressing on, Stefanowski said his pledge was aspirational and, once accomplished, would reset Connecticut in New England’s crown as a haven from excessive taxation. In addition, it would force politicians in the state to confront the ongoing problem of excessive spending.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Lamont Jaw Jaws the WSJ

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont traveled to New York the other day to convince Wall Street Journal editorial writers that his state is in the grip of a turn-around, thanks to the Lamont administration.

The business oriented WSJ is not at all the same media gang that covers the Lamont administration at home. Most Connecticut news outlets are willing to allow Lamont a loose tether; not so the WSJ, which has been critical of the direction of the state for the past few decades.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Vernon Union In Compliance With Supreme Court But Not AFSCME Council 4

The larger principle underlying the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 is this:  To compel people to give money to a cause of which they disapprove is the very definition of tyranny. The court decision ending the automatic deduction of union dues from employee paychecks naturally did not go down well with unions.
Recently, the town of Vernon bumped heads with union honchos. Administrator for the Town of Vernon Michael Purcaro has said that ending automatic union dues deductions protects the town, taxpayers and employees from any legal issues in the wake of the Janus decision. The town, attempting to bring itself into compliance with the Janus decision, ran afoul of AFSCME Council 4, according to a piece by Marc Fitch in The Yankee Institute, a non-partisan Connecticut think tank.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Harp Harpoons A Wife

Harp and Elicker
Mayor Toni Harp of New Haven, Hartford Courant reporter Chris Keating tells us, “has won 14 consecutive elections in her hometown, dating to her first run for state Senate in 1992.” That is as close to invulnerability as one might expect in a Democrat machine run city. The Republican Party has been for years but a ghostly presence in Connecticut’s larger cities. The last Republican mayor of the city, William Celanto, a funeral director and its first Italian –American mayor, left office in 1953, more than six decades ago. Democrats, out polling Republicans by a ratio of 15-1, have owned the shop ever since.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Business Of Politics And The Politics Of Business

When Ned Lamont was elected Governor of Connecticut last November, many businessmen in the state breathed a sigh of relieve. Finally, one imagines them imagining, one of us is at the helm. Possibly Lamont was a businessman who understood a principle some trace back to Alexander Hamilton --- the business of politics is business.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Back To The Future In Connecticut

“When the fiscal year closes,"Governor Ned Lamont said after he had dotted the “i’s” and crossed the “t’s” of his budget, "Connecticut will have the largest rainy day fund in history and this budget maintains and grows our reserves, providing reliability and predictability for our taxpayers, businesses, and those looking to invest in our state well into the future.”

Lamont did not bother to pause and ask, “Why does the state need such large reserves, the largest in state history?”

Friday, June 28, 2019

Connecticut's Administrative State Is Not The Real State

Thomas Hooker
After Governor Ned Lamont had signed a budget that Republican leaders in the state House and Senate insist is woefully out of balance and therefore unconstitutional, a eupeptic Lamont said this: “For years, instability in the state’s finances has resulted in slow growth and volatility in our economy — and this budget was adopted with a focus on providing the foundation from which our state can grow,” Lamont said. “When the fiscal year closes, Connecticut will have the largest rainy day fund in history and this budget maintains and grows our reserves, providing reliability and predictability for our taxpayers, businesses, and those looking to invest in our state well into the future.”

Republicans Len Fasano and Themis Klarides are likely right. The Lamont-Looney-Aresimowicz budget depends upon tax receipt projections that are, to put it mildly, fanciful. The budget hawks at CTMirror tell us, “The new $43.4 billion, two-year plan “ recently signed by Lamont “assumes $180 million in income tax receipts that neither Lamont’s analysts — nor the legislature’s — projected in their last joint forecast.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The GOP Chairman Contest

What does the Republican Party need to do to wrest control of the fate of Connecticut from dominant Democrats who outnumber Republicans in the state by a two to one margin? Pollsters tell us that unaffiliateds slightly outnumber Democrats. Will a change in the party chairmanship do it?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Bronin, Damaged Goods Or Urban Savior?

Mayor Luke Bronin of Hartford will be facing six Democrat mayoralty opponents, nearly all of whom insist that the bonds of affection that tie former Governor Dannel Malloy’s chief counsel to the city of Hartford are not, shall we say, fierce.

The lede in a Hartford Courant story ominously titled “Luke Bronin has again promised to serve a full four years as Hartford mayor. Will voters believe him this time?” pretty much sums up the general discontent: “Mayor Luke Bronin said this week it’s his intention, if re-elected, to spend all four years in office, and to support Gov. Ned Lamont in his own potential bid for a second term. But the familiar pledge, given during an interview with The Courant, carries less weight than it did four years ago when the 38-year-old, then a candidate heading into the mayoral primary, made what turned out to be an empty promise.”

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Pelosi In Connecticut

Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi came to Connecticut trailing clouds of impeachment.

Impeachment is the removal of a governmental official from office. When the official is a president duly elected to office in a national vote -- rather than, say, a judge -- cautious politicians tend to be cautious. Pelosi herself is said to be, in most news reports, opposed to impeachment. Newly elected U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes said she would favor impeachment “if the facts merit.”