Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Connecticut's Democrat Potholes

Politiconot a raving right news site, offered some hope to Republicans in Connecticut on the last day of the old year:

“Deep-blue Connecticut is actually one of Republicans' best opportunities in 2018. Malloy’s approval ratings were some of the worst among any governor in the country, and he decided not to run for a third term. But Republicans hope that environment in the state will clear the way for their candidate next fall. There are almost a dozen candidates running in the Republican primary and it’s unclear who will emerge as the nominee. A Tremont Public Advisors LLC poll conducted in mid-December found a generic Republican candidate beating a generic Democratic candidate — 35 percent to 23 percent, with 42 percent undecided — despite the fact that Connecticut has not voted Republican at the presidential level since 1988.”

Democrats in Connecticut hope to compensate for eight years of ruinous progressive policies, once the 2018 elections roll around, by offering up a Trump piñata that should distract attention from more immediate disasters. Connecticut is losing both entrepreneurial capital, as companies flee the state, and young entrepreneurs, as recent college graduates pursue employment opportunities elsewhere. Declining to run on their recent record, Connecticut’s progressive Democrats are betting the remote future will be worse than the state’s near past.

Democrat campaign scripts already have been written by national opposition research groups. Trial balloons have been launched. The seven members of Connecticut’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation will energetically put their shoulders to the wheel. Here is Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut’s 4th District inveighing against Trump’s support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore: “It’s sort of the ultimate raising of party and near-term political objectives over country and frankly over morality.” In fact, the results of the election showed that Alabama does not always put party first. One wonders if the same might be true of Connecticut, a state in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a two to one majority.

Democratic officialdom in the state of steady bad political habits is rather hoping that presence of mind – attentiveness to real political problems -- can be overcome by opposition research propaganda. The Democratic Party in Bridgeport has been able to over leap moral bars, perhaps because moralists such as Himes generally wink at home-grown, Democratic moral lapses, whenever there is some measure of political gain in it for politicians.

In May, John Rowland, imprisoned for crimes he had committed while a radio talk show host -- NOT a governor-- will once again be free. Rowland was convicted in federal court of conspiring to violate federal campaign finance reporting laws. He had conspired, his jury found, in “concocting sham consulting contracts to conceal his role as a paid employee of congressional campaigns by Mark Greenberg and Lisa Wilson-Foley.” The contracts had been drawn up by Mark Foley’s lawyers, presumably at the insistence of Foley.

It’s doubtful Rowland will any time soon throw his hat into a gubernatorial ring, unlike present Mayor of Bridgeport Joe Ganim, who announced at the cusp of a New Year that he will be running as a Democrat for governor of Connecticut. Like Rowland, Ganim also had served time when he had been a public official. Convicted on 16 federal counts -- one count each of racketeering, extortion, racketeering conspiracy, and bribery; two counts of bribery conspiracy; eight counts of mail fraud, and two counts of filing a false tax return – Ganim was sentenced to 9 years in prison. Upon his release, he dove back into political waters and was elected Mayor of Bridgeport in 2015, a position he previously had held for five terms from 1991 to 2003. The howls of disapprobation arising from leading Democrat moralists in the state following Ganim’s bid for governor have been muted.

A little more than two years ago in November, Himes met publicly with Ganim and described their encounter as business-like and cordial. Himes said the meeting was “helpful and productive.” Said Himes, “We discussed the many projects like Steel Point and the new $10 million federal grant for a second rail station at Barnum that are revitalizing the city, as well as ways to improve public safety. Continued work and cooperation between federal, state and local officials will be essential to moving Bridgeport forward.

Really, where does Himes believe the co-operation between federal, state and local Bridgeport officials is likely to come from? A report last February in CTPost notes that Ganim’s relationship with Trump is not nearly as hostile as Himes would like. Ganim attended the presidential inaugural, has a past working relationship with Trump and, in Ganim’s words, is “not as distant” as other mayors, not to mention Connecticut’s two U.S. Senators, both of whom would not grieve to see Trump impeached. “I’m hoping,” Ganim said, “some of that residual relationship will benefit the city.”

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