Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Qui Bono? What Did The Winners Win?

Who benefits by the Democrat sweep in the recently concluded elections? The obvious answer is – Democrats. They won, didn’t they? What have they won?

The Democrats have floated to the top in a state that is sinking to the bottom. Even prominent Connecticut Democrats agree that the stewardship of out-going Governor Dannel Malloy and – very important – a hegemonic Democrat power base in the General Assembly has left the state in a precarious position.

There really is no need to sound the death knell here. All the lurid figures have been paraded often enough before voters: We are among the highest taxed state in the nation; we are leeching entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial capital to neighboring states, not to mention southern economic powerhouse states; we can no longer balance our budgets because state labor costs will always exceed on-hand  revenue -- unless long-term labor costs are permanently reduced, and this cannot be done because the party in power in the General Assembly for more than thirty years is tied politically to the apron strings of powerful state employee unions.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Lamont, The Legatee, A Satire

“Lamont says Malloy has "done a lot of thinking about transition…" – WTNH News 8

After lunch, Governor Dannel Malloy and Governor-Elect Ned Lamont have a “frank and honest” conversation with each other. Throughout, Malloy – approval rating 15 -- appears to be carefree, strangely excited. The burden of governing has been lifted from his shoulders. When his term ends, he will kick the dust of Connecticut from his feet, move to Massachusetts and teach courses at his old alma mater. Lamont is restrained, his characteristic ebullience gone, now that he faces the reality of governing a state in the dumps.

Malloy:  … reason to be depressed. According to one analysis, your margin of victory in the race was larger even than mine during my first campaign. Imagine that. You have in your corner the large cities, most of the state’s media and – big surprise – portions of the state that have always gone Republican. Right now, you are very well positioned. You have the General Assembly laying like a cat in your lap, purring. Why, President Pro Tem of the Senate Martin Looney can hardly contain himself. He no longer will have to deal with Themis Klarides or Len Fasano; tough customers, those two. You can do whatever you want. It’s 2011 all over again. Be happy.

Friday, November 09, 2018

FDR On Connecticut’s Union Problem

The condition of Connecticut, most reliable political doctors tell us, is not good. And if the condition of the state is failing, its future health will depend upon a radical cure. The treatment of the body politic must be different if the same regimen will deliver a death blow. What are the possibilities of radical change in Connecticut?

Slim to none. A major part of the problem is that the executive department-state workers union combine, useful to both, has simply assumed powers and prerequisites that should belong to the General Assembly.

For the last thirty years, state government has been run by "strong governors" – one thinks of former Governor Lowell Weicker or present Governor Dannel Malloy, allied with obliging leaders of the General Assembly – who set our feet on the path to the future and command charge of state finances. Now all that sounds intellectually complex, but it really is simple. It means that governors, not state legislatures, are primary decision makers, and within the state political architecture, state unions exercise far too much political power. What we have witnessed during the last quarter century is a gerrymandering of constitutional powers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Post Mortem, Back To The Future

Image result for martin looneyIt’s all over, but for the gnashing of teeth and the weeping of tears. The banner headlines on Tom Dudchik’s Capitol Report pretty much said it all on the day after Connecticut voters went to the polls and turned back the clock to out-going Governor Dannel Malloy’s first election win eight long years ago.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

After Effects, What We Can Learn From Orwell

This writer has said several times in various columns and in his blog, Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes from A Blue State, that the off-year presidential election on November 6th would test whether people in Connecticut trusted the dubious claims of politicians or the obvious empirical evidence displayed right under their noses.

He has quoted George Orwell on the point, who once said that the most difficult thing for a writer to do is to see the thing that lies right under his nose. “To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle,” Orwell wrote in an essay titled In Front of Your Nose. “The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right...”