Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Republican Chances: Hopkins-Cavanagh in the 2nd

Lori Hopkins-C avanagh ,  a Republican running for the U.S. House in Connecticut’s sprawling 2 nd 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 25 th anniversary of the Weicker income tax – which, during its day, was thought to have solved Connecticut’s revenue and tax problems.

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.

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 sho

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.

Foley’s “Plagiarism,” Connecticut’s Plummet, Yankee’s Light

Republican Gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley has been accused of plagiarism in an attack ad endorsed by Governor Dannel Malloy. Should there be an FBI investigation? Knowing the ways and means of powerful political incumbents, an investigation of some sort may be in the offing. Incumbents have a way of turning the great water cannons at their disposal against their, relatively speaking, inoffensive challengers. When Hartford Courant columnist Robert Thorson  protested that innocent plagiaristic-like slip-ups were common in this the era of “copy and paste,” he risked being set upon by the righteous forces supporting Mr. Malloy, who has not yet been accused of plagiarism, though in this regard he is guilty as Foley. Mr. Malloy’s recent Bibb ad, in which former workers at the Bibb factory step before the cameras to accuse Mr. Foley of snatching food from the mouths of their children, was plagiarized from an earlier assault on Mr. Foley produced by Jamestown Associates and endorse