Former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto, the Mansfield Democrat and teacher union supporter who was petitioning to get himself on the ballot for governor and was thought likely to drain votes from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Democratic nominee, failed to submit the necessary 7,500 valid signatures, Connecticut's secretary of the state's office announced today.
The secretary's office said Pelto had submitted only 4,318 valid signatures.
Today, Jon Pelto issued the following statement regarding his failed attempt to get on the ballot for governor.
"We are, of course, deeply disappointed that we were unable to collect a sufficient number of signatures to qualify as 3rd party candidates for governor and lt. governor. While we failed to achieve that critical goal, we're hopeful that our effort has and will continue to spur a more serious discussion about the critically important issues facing Connecticut.
I want to especially thank Ebony Murphy for agreeing to serves as my running-mate, the hundreds of people who helped collect signatures and the thousands of people who signed our petition. We are also especially grateful to those who provided the campaign with their financial support.
I apologize to all of our supporters for our inability to get onto the ballot, but want to assure them and the citizens of Connecticut that we will continue to stand up and speak out about the problems facing our state and our society and the solutions that will be necessary to ensure a better future of our of our state's residents.
The petitioning process was an eye opening one. While requiring candidates to collect 7,500 signatures to qualify for a position on the gubernatorial ballot continues to seem like a reasonable number, the primitive and burdensome laws and archaic system clearly serves as an unfair barrier to those who believe our democratic system would be better served if voters had more choices when they go to vote.
In the coming months we'll seek to partner with other 3rd parties, their supporters and those who believe in a more open and democratic process so that we can develop and advocate for a legislative package that will reduce the unfair aspects of the petitioning process and create a more open, democratic system of campaigns and elections.
I also want to offer a special thank you to Connecticut's reporters and media for providing us with fair and extensive coverage of our campaign.
Finally, a special word of congratulations goes out to Joe Visconti, the other 3rd party candidate, who, along with his team of supporters, did a remarkable job collecting the signatures necessary to get on the ballot. Joe has shown that the People can challenge the incumbency parties and, shake up the establishment. I wish him continued success as he speaks out on the issues he is so passionate about."
I'll give my take on Pelto's faield attempt to get on the ballot later.
Today, responding to the announcement that President Clinton will make an appearance in Connecticut next week, the CTGOP/Teabag Party issued the following press release...I'm not kidding, they really released this statement.
"We understand that Governor Malloy needs to raise money because he is behind in his race for re-election, but bringing former President Clinton here is a risky move. President Clinton insulted his wife and the American people by having an extramarital affair with a very young intern. This affair was conducted at least partly in the Oval Office when the president was supposed to be on the job serving the American people.
"We'd like to know if by bringing president Clinton here, Governor Malloy is condoning the president's behavior in office."
The Norwich Bulletin newspaper is hosting the first gubernatorial debate tonight between Dannel "Dan" Malloy and Tom Foley.
On behalf of the more than 100,000 active and retired teachers, their families and public education advocates, I am publicly requesting that the following question be asked;
Governor Malloy: You are the only Democratic governor in the United States who has proposed doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the lowest performing (the so-called turnaround schools), will you use this opportunity to renounce your 2012 tenure proposal and can you tell us exactly what your position is on teacher tenure and collective bargaining?
Mr. Foley: Governor Malloy earned the wrath of teachers and public school advocates when he proposed doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in the lowest performing schools. Can you tell us whether you would have supported or opposed Governor Malloy's proposal and what you would do on these two issues if you are elected governor?
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)- A new law that will allow people here illegally to get a Connecticut driver's license is already controversial.
But News 8 has learned that the 'roll out' of the first phase of the new program has been postponed until after the election.
'I certainly had nothing to do with the delay," said Governor Malloy. "No one in your office, your chief of staff, anyone?" asked Chief Political Correspondent Mark Davis. "You know...not that I know of," said the governor.
But a highly reliable government source tells News 8 that the delay of the roll out of the immigrant driver's license program was done because someone in the Malloy administration did not want the adverse publicity that might occur during the campaign.
If anyone believes Gov. Malloy's suggestion that he or anyone in his adminstration had nothing to do with the delay in this important program for tens of thousands of people in the immigrant community, then you're simply a fool.
Not that long ago it looked as if former ambassador and Bush/Cheney BFF Tom Foley were going to make ethics reform a central feature of his 'sequel' campaign for governor. First there was Foley's aggressive lobbying of the Connecticut General Assembly in the 2013 legislative session for an ethics reform bill that even fellow Republicans criticized as poorly conceived. The legislation went nowhere -- but Foley argued that the strenuous opposition to his proposal only proved his point. Then in September 2013 Foley conducted an all-out media blitz against Malloy's perceived ethical lapses, appearing on public affairs TV program "Face The State" and calling Malloy an "unethical leader." Armed with a list of mostly dubious accusations culled from the right-wing fever swamps (admittedly some of them had merit -- even a broken clock...), Foley accused Malloy of crony capitalism, pay-to-play favoritism, and illegal fundraising activities, charges that he doubled down on even after his 'evidence' was revealed to be completely baseless.
To some extent every candidate accuses his or her opponent of dirty politics. And you could infer that while Foley always knew that the 2014 campaign would be mainly about jobs and the economy, he didn't want to put too many eggs in one basket. But for a brief moment Foley's aggressive piety actually looked sincere. He really fancied himself a good government crusader. After Dan Malloy's reign of wickedness, only Tom Foley could restore honor to Connecticut state government.
Less than a year later, ethics has disappeared completely from the Republican's campaign. Foley has dispensed with the pious hand-wringing, and his anti-Malloy attacks are being waged on purely economic grounds. How did a pillar of the argument against Malloy's re-election suddenly vanish beneath endless platitudes about an 'urban agenda' and making the state more 'business-friendly'? The explanation is simple: it turns out that a man who signed checks for a dark-money operation, was fined by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) and forced to reimburse a Super PAC $15,500 (which should have been $76,500) for improper campaign expenditures, and whose newly minted running mate accepted a half-million dollar loan from the state that is still in arrears, is not the best messenger for a campaign based on the message of ethical purity and an end to crony capitalism.
Foley's participation in public financing -- after months of embarrassing vacillation about whether or not he would self-fund as he did in 2010, to the tune of $13 million -- might have been a good argument for a renewed interest in good government after his SEEC fine and connection to the ludicrously named "Voters For Good Government" (VFGG) Super PAC were revealed. By participating in the Citizens Election Program (CEP), Foley agreed to sever his ties with VFGG, and to abide by voluntary campaign spending limits and caps on individual contributions, meaning that he wouldn't be able to vastly outspend Malloy and money wouldn't be dispositive in the election.
But even Foley's participation in Connecticut's "clean elections" program is now under a cloud, with the revelation last week that Foley received multiple $100 donations (that counted toward his CEP grant) from fraudulent straw donors. As reported by Ken Dixon of Hearst, the wealthy Greenwich investor who apparently orchestrated the straw donations was hit with a near-record fine by SEEC. (Dixon revealed that disgraced ex-state senator Ernie Newton is currently under investigation for a similar straw-donor scheme -- it's never good when your name appears in the same news cycle as Ernie Newton). Foley denies any knowledge of, or involvement in, the scheme, but with his track record of serial "truthiness" it is increasingly hard to believe anything that he or his campaign says.
Will this emerging scandal sink Foley's campaign? Probably not, but it has thoroughly vaporized the already-crumbling argument that Foley -- for whom "good government" is not a set of deeply held values, but merely the ironic name of his favorite Super PAC -- is the right man to restore ethical government to Connecticut.