Mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin, once Governor Dannel Malloy’s Chief Counsel, has declared war on the National Rifle Association (NRA). Democrats running for high office in the upcoming elections will likely follow suit, mostly because they dare not defend the rapacious policies of Governor Dannel Malloy, the nominal head of the state Democratic Party, and they need a distraction sufficient to beguile a public that already has voted against Malloy’s policies with its feet. The national anti-NRA campaign script, widely vetted in the northeast and California, reached Connecticut politicians early on. In fact, they had a hand in its construction.
Only recently Malloy condemned the NRA in what might be termed politically pornographic terms. The NRA has become in essence, Malloy said, “a terrorist organization."
Unable to defend Malloy’s ruinous eight years in office, Connecticut Democrats yearning to be governor are anxiously scouring the premises for villains. Bronin, who recently received from his political patron forty million dollars in tax funds to bail out the state’s Capitol City, which has been directed for the last half century by Connecticut’s hegemonic Democrat Party, is anxious to ensure that Connecticut's government has no connection with the NRA.
Connecticut’s statutes require those applying for gun permits to take safety training courses certified by the NRA, an affront apparently to anyone who wishes to be instructed in the proper and safe use of firearms. Bronin wants to be certain that the state is not “inadvertently legitimizing or supporting or endorsing the NRA in any way,” according to a recent NBC Connecticut report. To this end, Bronin has written a letter to Malloy and legislators imploring them to dissever any statutory connection between Connecticut and the much demonized NRA. The leadership of the NRA, Bronin intoned, “serves as lobbyists for the gun industry and the NRA is the single biggest obstacle to common-sense reforms.”
Lobbyists in the United States spent $3.34 billion in 2017 seeking to shape legislation. NRA’s portion was $5,122,000. The lawyer’s lobby ponied up $19,323,598. Bronin and Malloy are lawyers.
Bronin has not yet told people who might be voting for him as governor with what instrumentality he would replace the instruction functions now performed by the NRA, but then solutions to agonizing problems have never been a strong suit for Democrat mayors of Hartford who collectively have reduced the Capital City to penury. Before he received a bailout from padroni Malloy, Bronin was on the point of declaring Hartford bankrupt -- which it is, whether or not the city, under the thumb of Democrats for decades, has made a formal declaration.
It cannot come as shocking news that Bronin, who has opened a gubernatorial exploratory run for governor having served only two years in his four year term, may also be bailing out of Hartford. He is following in the footsteps of his patron, Malloy, who imposed on Connecticut the largest and second largest tax increases in the state's history, and now has decided to call it quits. Malloy’s approval rating, remarkably consistent, is among the lowest in the nation, but the barrel scraping rating did not prevent the Democrat National Governor’s Association from choosing Malloy as its chief honcho, a political lobbying position.
In politics, as in life, when the subject is distasteful, the best recourse is to change the subject. Nearly everyone in Connecticut – with the exception of Democrat politicians certain that it is always possible to fool most of the people most of the time – senses that the state is now on life support. Recently, the usual save the state commission returned a report on the patient that prescribed a mixed bag of recuperative measures: replace the state income tax with revenue neutral consumption taxes; raise the gas tax, thus relieving the pressure of legislators to institute long-term, permanent spending cuts; allow municipalities to levy a half percent sales tax, a cherry on the top of already burdensome property taxes; modify but do not eliminate binding arbitration; and increase Connecticut’s minimum wage by 50 percent from $10.10 to $15per hour. “Nothing recommended by the commission,” political columnist Chris Powell wrote, “would get state government out of its projected short-term deficits in the billions of dollars, much less its projected long-term deficits in the tens of billions.”
“The more things change,” the French say, “the more they remain the same.” Far from an agent of change, Bronin is more Malloy-like than any other Democrat gubernatorial candidate in the running. Some signs suggest a weary state may turn its eyes to Republicans in the next gubernatorial election, but Republicans have shown themselves to be notoriously pallid campaigners. For instance, no Republican candidate for governor has yet accused his opposite number on the Democrat side of having conducted “economic terrorism.”