Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bysiewicz Puts Her Toe Into The Gubernatorial Pool

Like U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal before her, Susan Bysiewicz was looking for a sure-thing. Blumenthal replaced U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, with minimal resistance from Republicans, and Murphy replaced U. S. Senator Joe Lieberman.  Both Lieberman and Dodd were passé liberals; Murphy and Blumenthal are hip progressives. The seats were retained by Democrats in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by a two to one margin.

Bysiewicz, who has been known to change her mind concerning which post she would like to hold, had been considering a run for the State Senate in District 13, but then the heirs apparent to an open gubernatorial seat that is to be vacated by lame-duck Governor Dannel Malloy began dropping out. Comptroller Kevin Lembo, an early candidate, had second thoughts; lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman pleaded grandchildren; Middletown Mayor Dan Drew stumbled on route and bowed out.

On February 8, NBC Connecticut reported, “Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced on Thursday that she is pursuing a run for governor, opening an exploratory committee for the office.

Reiss noted that Bysiewicz had served as Secretary of the State from 2003 to 2011. And then the mailed fist was displayed:

“And she remarks how that time frame puts her in a favorable position compared to other Democrats running for office.

“‘I haven’t served a day with Governor Malloy,’ she said, somewhat too gleefully.”

Democrat recruitment for the open gubernatorial seat has not drawn many front-bench takers – what used to be called “experienced politicians” in the pre-populist era -- because so many current Democrat officeholders have firmly attached themselves to reckless progressive policies advanced by Malloy, who has yet to tell a state media growing curiouser and curiouser precisely WHY he has decided not to defend his seat in 2018.

Are Democrats perchance putting a ten foot pole between themselves and Malloy a) because he has become toxic, with a remarkably low approval rating, 23 percent in February, more than 17 percent lower than that of President Donald Trump, or b) because his policies have driven Connecticut into a ditch?

Democrats in the General Assembly have conspired with Republicans to produce a fusion budget, quickly vetoed by Malloy, who appears to be mounting a non-partisan General Custer defense against both Democrats and Republicans, a majority of whom have cheerily overridden his vetoes. So what’s going on here? 

The usual camps are pushing out the usual campaign fog. In the Democrat camp, populists, i.e. former liberals who long since have jumped on the progressive campaign bandwagon, will once again be flying progressive flags. More taxes, in addition to Malloy’s two massive tax increases, are necessary to repair Connecticut’s crumbling infrastructure and, since the intolerable Trump regime will be picking up part of the tab, shouldn't we have a second look at First District Representative John Larson’s “Big Dig” tunnel? Tolls are necessary to replace revenue lost to temporary gas price reductions. Shoveling tax money into the maw of large corporations will prevent them from pulling up stakes and moving to Taxachusetts or Mario Cuomo’s progressive utopia. Unions, given the gold teeth from taxpayers’ mouths  during the Malloy-SEBAC agreement – which includes a no-layoff clause and cost of living adjustments (COLA) until the contracts expire in 2027 – will want more, because unions always want more, and the beast must be fed.

Ah! But once elected, will Bysiewicz turn tail, renege on gossamer campaign expectations and do what is necessary to pull the state out of its progressive ditch? Campaign promises in the United States over the years have become nearly as worthless as the wedding vows of the usual Tinseltown stars and starlets. Only Trump, a non-pro politician, appears to have taken his reformist campaign pledges seriously.

“I haven’t served a day with Governor Malloy,” is hardly a battle flag. It is little more than Kevlar against the charge that a Bysiewicz gubernatorial regime will be a repeat of Malloy’s disastrous eight years in office distributing “shared sacrifice” tickets.

The Republicans this year will be marching under much different campaign flags: no more taxes, Malloy’s broken pledge during his second campaign, until spending has been significantly and permanently reduced; renegotiate union contracts or, better still, eliminate contractual snares altogether and set salaries and benefits through statute; forget large bling projects and fix the roads and  bridges; somewhere down the road, replace the volatile income tax with a flat tax, a fair tax or consumption taxes; reform government rather than businesses; a new day requires a new General Assembly – throw the bums out! Do it now.

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