The ConnCAN approach - Don't let the truth get in your way...
Last week, ConnCAN, the pro-charter school and "education reform" advocacy group was trumpeting the results of a survey that they had conducted of Connecticut teachers.
The problem is that ConnCAN's report on their own survey is nothing short of a lie - and yet these are the people who are saying that Connecticut's legislators should vote for the "education reforms" that they are proposing.
The anti-tenure reformers claimed that their survey proved that (1) "More than four out of five Connecticut public school educators say schools and districts ought to be able to dismiss teachers and administrators with a documented history of poor performance." And (2) "Nearly 60 percent say educators should be promoted and receive tenure based on their success with increasing student achievement growth."
After reading their press release and related PR about their survey an observer would be left to believe that Connecticut educators support the positions being put forward by ConnCAN and Governor Malloy.
But not surprisingly, in this day and age of being loose with the facts and misrepresenting the results to get the headline, their own data doesn't back up the claims they are making.
In fact there isn't even a question that would allow ConnCAN to intellectually claim that "nearly 60 percent say educators should be promoted and receive tenure based on their success with increasing student achievement growth."
How ConnCAN makes that claim reveals much about their level of honesty.
48 hours ago the Malloy Administration announced that their plan for the coming winter is to drop the number of households who will receive fuel assistance from 118,000 households to about 37,000 households.
As a result of federal budget cuts, Connecticut will leave 80,000 lower income households who use electric or gas heat without any aid at all.
The official position, as articulated by OPM Secretary Ben Barnes is that since state law prevents electric and gas utility companies from shutting off service between Nov. 1 and May 1 for failure to their pay bills no one using electricity will freeze to death so State Government will use its funds to exclusively help families who use oil.
Good to know no one will freeze to death, but the net result is that low-income electric and gas users (who mostly reside in our cities, many of whom are low income elderly and who, over all, are predominantly minority) will face almost certain shut off of their utilities in May 2012.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that the utility company programs aimed at helping low income families pay their utility bills all require the households to apply for a get a government funded energy assistance grant - something they will not be able to get as a result of Malloy's plan.
So not only will tens of thousands face the prospect that their electricity and gas will be shut off in May but they will be left with utility bills that they will never be able to pay.
Then, when utility companies are left holding the bag, we can be sure that they will be coming in for a rate increase to off-set those bad debts.
Bottom line - thousands of people with no utilities starting in May and the rest of Connecticut's electricity and gas customers facing higher rates to cover the utility company's loses.
One would think this story would be on the front page of every newspaper in the State and leading the evening news but as of now the only media outlet to cover the story is the CTMirror.
Malloy now needs legislative approval to implement his plan.
The legislature's Appropriations, Human Services and Energy and Technology committees will hold a public hearing on the plan on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 3 p.m., in the Legislative Office Building.
As of now there has been no response - what so ever - from the Democrats in the General Assembly.
Surveying the damage from Hurricane Irene, Governor Malloy's 80-minute flight on a UH-60 Blackhawk served as the perfect backdrop and reminder that Connecticut's Governor was in charge and mobilizing a historic response to a major storm.
In seems almost ancient history now but if former Governor Thomas Meskill holds the record on how not to deal with a storm (he didn't want to leave his skiing vacation in Vermont when a major winter storm hit Connecticut and ended up not seeking re-election which in turn ushered in the election of Ella Grasso), Malloy has clearly positioned himself at the opposite end of spectrum and will go down in history as the epitome of what a chief elected official can and should do.
Giving credit where credit is due, Malloy has done a great job mobilizing every resource and proving that a state leader and state government can make a different. Quite frankly, it provides us with a glimpse of what happens when Candidate Malloy steps into the Governorship.
While Malloy's approach is a tough act to follow, Northeast Utilities and CL&P seem to be trying hard to play a fairly good game of catch-up.
There is no doubt their rank and file employees are working above and beyond the call of duty and the utility company's leadership seems to be making a major effort to rise to the occasion.
Of course, ratepayers will end up paying for the massive expenses associated with this effort but when it comes to getting people back on the electric grid the watchword is "make it happen" and then deal with the expenses and the fall out.
Hidden behind the Northeast Utility's response is a much bigger issue that undoubtedly will be reviewed and discussed in coming weeks and months.
The fact is, while any utility has a fundamental and legal obligation to their customers they also have a fundamental and legal obligation to their shareholders.
Let's face it - a utility company - while "heavily regulated" - is still a company and its goal is to make money. And NU is prime example of how it is done in our modern capitalist system.
In the last four years, during this Great Recession, NU's earnings per share have increased by 38%.
So, sure CL&P has fewer line crews then 25 years ago when Connecticut was hit by Hurricane Gloria but increasing profits means increasing revenue and cutting costs.
Jeffrey D. Butler, the now familiar CL&P President and Chief Operating Officer, was very clear the other day when he said "absolutely I believe it's probably lower [the number of line-crew]... I can speak for the behalf of the entire industry, there's probably fewer line workers within the utilities today than there were in 1985."
So true it may take longer to get people hooked up and true more crews will need to be brought in from far off places but shareholders do better and when the crisis does hit, those additional costs will be recouped through the rate setting process.
And meanwhile, NU's profits are up and company executives are receiving generous compensation packages.
In fact Butler is fairly far down the NU corporate executive food chain.
Charles W. Shivery, NU's Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer pulled in a compensation package of about $8.25 million.
Below him come a couple of Executive Vice Presidents (paid $5 million another at $4.3 million).
And then a couple of Senior Vice Presidents (paid $3.6 million and $2.3 million).
And then we get to Butler.
As Butler reminds Connecticut that CL&P is doing everything it can and has flown in crews from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia while other crews have driven in from Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, Alabama and Colorado, SEC filings show that in addition to his $8.25 million salary package, NU's CEO has also received an additional $10 million in differed compensation.
After 60 years in business, Storrs Drug across from EO Smith High School closed its doors the other day.
The couple who owned the small pharmacy lost their dream and their life's investment. The employees lost their job.
When asked, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed little sympathy for the business closing.
According to the story in CTNewsjunkie, the Governor said, "We're not in the business of subsidizing individual businesses."
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Public policy decisions are made every day that support the success of individual businesses and entire industries.
As mayor of Stamford, Malloy provided tens of millions to help dozens of selected businesses succeed.
Hello? Governor, do you really mean government is not in the business of subsidizing individual businesses?
Royal Bank of Scotland, Stamford Advocate, 6-30-2007
"...in an air-conditioned, carpeted tent, Royal Bank of Scotland executives and political leaders celebrated the approaching start of construction on the bank's trading complex off Washington Boulevard (Stamford)..."
"A kilted bagpiper played as guests entered the tent, while images of the building played on wide-screen televisions inside... The state is providing $100 million in tax breaks for the building. As part of the incentive package, the city has agreed to forego part of the property tax revenue for the building's first five years...City leaders also agreed to move Richmond Hill Avenue 100 feet to the north to create a larger building lot, and fast-tracked the approval process."
And of course, Malloy played a leadership role in luring UBS, the former Swiss Bank, to Stamford thanks to a $165 million publicly funded state and local incentive package that included money, subsidized construction and tax breaks.
The last sad irony... One of the legislators who helped me with the 1989 law protecting small pharmacies was Governor Malloy's Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman whose district included another pharmacy that was worried that they might be forced to go out of business if all state employees were forced to use mail order drugs.
Bottom line: it's okay to give hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds to lure international corporations to Connecticut but when it comes to small family owned businesses - Capitalism is Darwinism - True Natural Selection is the rule and only the strong shall survive.
(cross posted from Pelto's Point, New Haven Advocate)
Yesterday could have been a day of simple congratulations, with Governor Malloy congratulating himself and Legislative Democrats and the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate returning the favor.
But then, as if he just couldn't help himself, Malloy returned to his old mantra of claiming that if Connecticut's state employees don't approve the concession package and come up with $1.6 billion dollars, he can't be held responsible for the pain and suffering that will occur.
At yesterday morning's gubernatorial press conference, Malloy told the media "I'm not bullying anybody. Talking in real terms and telling people the truth is not bullying...I just want people to understand the reality."
And Malloy's "reality" is that if state employees reject that Malloy/SEBAC concession package, he will be "forced" to lay off up to 7,500 or more state
employees including public servants with as much as 10 to 25 years of service.
According to the Governor, his approach is not "bullying", it is just a simple statement of fact; If the kid doesn't turn over his lunch money, he will be forced to beat the crap out of him.
Of course, the Governor's "reality" doesn't actually cover the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
That is not to say that rejecting the concession agreement is a good idea.
However, the real truth is that if the agreement is rejected, Malloy and the Democrats could utilize one or more of the following options to fill some or the entire $700 million deficit;
(1) They could fill a portion of the budget deficit by utilizing the growing surplus from "excess revenue". Connecticut's 2nd gas tax will generate more than $100 million dollars extra in the coming year. The income tax and corporate tax will also likely produce more than was budgeted.
(2) The budget itself has extra funds in some key line items. The account to pay retiree health benefits, for example, may have as much as $70 million or more in extra funds
(3) The Governor could utilize some of his authority to cut up to 5% of the state budget ($1 Billion) without legislative approval. Although there are some limitations to areas that can or should be cut, the Governor could certainly cut millions if needed.
(4) The law further requires that the Governor develop a plan to deal with any deficit that may arise and propose changes for the General Assembly to approve.
(5) Finally, the Governor could follow the collective bargaining process and return to the table to negotiate a package that would garner majority support among state employees.
So - call it what you want - but the real reality is that Governor Malloy would have lots and lots of options if the agreement fails.
While suggesting that he will lay off 7,500 state employees may or may not be bullying, one thing is certain, it is not his only option.
(Cross-posted from Pelto's Point at the New Haven Advocate)
Democrats Complete the Task of Undermining the State's Public Finance Law
"Senate Democrats gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a budget bill that cuts the staffs of the three biggest watchdogs by about one-third and ends mandatory audits of publicly financed legislative campaigns."
Mark Pazniokas, of the CTMirror, reports on the successful effort by the Democrats to undermine Connecticut's landmark campaign finance law.
Karen Hobert Flynn of Common Cause responds, saying "For a minute amount of money to be saved out of the state budget, in the end I fear we have made the watchdogs far weaker and made it much harder for them to do their job."
The new state budget actually cuts the staff at the State Elections Enforcement Commission by a larger percentage than any other agency, and the budget implementation bill goes on to target the public financing program with a number of changes that will undermine the campaign finance program's ability to function.
The attack was led by people who have consistently claimed to be the program's biggest supporters.
Oh remember the days...
Back on January 27th, 2010, when then-candidate Dan Malloy spoke out after a Zogby public opinion survey found that 79 percent of Connecticut voters supported public financing and the Citizens' Elections Program.
Malloy said, "In my view, this poll should serve as proof of just how strongly Connecticut voters feel about campaign finance reform, and as a warning for those candidates who think they can brush aside the Citizens' Election Program..."
And Speaker of the House Chris Donovan was so pleased with the passage of the landmark campaign finance bill back in November of 2005 that he wrote "Almost 230 years ago, the founding fathers took a huge risk when they signed the Declaration of Independence and set the wheels in motion for the world's greatest democracy. Today, this historic campaign finance reform legislation reaffirms that this is a government for the people, not special interests. This campaign finance reform bill is our declaration of independence. We can look our constituents in the eye and say we created the strongest campaign laws in the United States."
Even now, Senate President Pro Tempore Don Williams' official biography reads, "Since his election as Senate President, Senator Williams has been a leading advocate for cleaning up government. He authored legislation to reform the State Ethics Commission and supported sweeping changes to the campaign finance system and the state contracting process. With the creation of a publicly funded campaign finance system in 2005, Connecticut now has the strongest reform laws in the nation."
But the legislation that passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday May 31, 2011, and then the State Senate yesterday, severely limits the oversight of the program by mandating that the State Election Enforcement Commission cannot audit more than 50% of the State House and State Senate campaigns that utilize the public financing program.
Furthermore, it also places extraordinary term limits on those who serve on the State Elections Enforcement Commission, reducing their terms from five to three years; and bars them from serving consecutive terms. The law will ensure that no commissioner has the historic perspective to properly monitor the program.
State Senator Gayle Slossberg, the only Democrat to vote against the anti-public financing proposal was quoted as saying, "I just think that the proposal in front of us undermines the independence and the integrity of the watchdog agencies,"
Although the Malloy Administration said the cuts to the State Elections Enforcement Commission were necessary to balance the upcoming state budget, Pazniokas' story notes the irony that only a few days ago Malloy and the Democratic leaders were able to "find" the money to eliminate the $400 budget deficit in next year's budget thanks to the use of surplus state revenues. In fact, the growing revenues have allowed Malloy to propose using cash instead of borrowing over $600 million dollars for this budget.
A new billion dollars in revenue; but the massive changes to the public financing program were still needed...
At least, that is the situation according to Malloy's primary advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, who said "There are difficult decisions. There are difficult spending cuts. There are difficult tax increases...That's what happens when you have a $3.5 billion deficit."
But Occiogrosso added that the changes would make government "more efficient and cost effective."
Cross-posted from Pelto's Point (New Haven Advocate)
Connecticut Voices for Children, the New Haven-based public policy research organization has put out the most extensive assessment of Governor Malloy's income tax proposal to date.
As has been pointed out on numerous occasions, even after the Connecticut legislature increased the income tax rate on the wealthy, Connecticut richest citizens "pay less than half the percentage of their income in state and local taxes than do most of the rest of us.
Connecticut's low- and middle-income families pay about 10% or more of their total income in state and local taxes while the state's top earners pay only 4.9% of their income in state and local taxes (after accounting for Federal Tax Deductions).
The new study by CT Voices points out that while the income tax is the fairest way to raise revenues, the Governor's proposal to totally eliminate the property tax credit "as well as increases to the sales tax make the middle class the hardest hit of any income category."
In the end, the report shatters the notion of shared sacrifice and points to the need for the Governor and Legislature to rework the revenue side of the Governor's budget proposal.
(Cross-posted from Pelto's Point (New Haven Advocate)
(As the Malloy Administration and Connecticut State Employee Unions prepare to meet today... )
Connecticut is not Wisconsin, right? Right,
Connecticut is not Wisconsin. But let's not fool ourselves - read on...
Unlike Wisconsin, Connecticut has a Democratic Governor who supports the right of people to join unions and collectively bargain and we have a Republican Party that is not following in the footsteps of the ultra-right, ultra-crazy tea-baggers and their post-modern Republican converts.
That is good news for Connecticut's unions, their members and society as a whole.
But recognizing the American right to join unions is not a progressive or liberal position.
As has been widely reported in recent days, when Ronald Reagan stood up for the people of Poland in 1991, he reminded that world that "one of the most elemental human rights [is] the right to belong to a free trade union"
American leaders across the political spectrum have recognized that the right to collectively bargain is truly a requirement for a civilized society.
So Governor Malloy does deserve credit for attending the recent State Capitol Rally in support of Wisconsin's state employees. He deserves credit for doing something that every reasonable American politician should be doing.
But before we think that Connecticut and Wisconsin have nothing in common when it comes to the rights of workers, let us remember that efforts to undercut unions and the rights of employees to join together for their common good come in a variety of forms.
Like bullying, anti-union efforts can be overt, covert or both.
Bullying occurs when a "person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways". It is behavior that seeks to intimidate, offend, denigrate or humiliate a person or group of persons.
As we know, now more than ever, bullying is a form of abuse that is often perpetrated on another as a way to intimidate someone to take some particular action.
Governor Malloy's entire budget is based on state employees agreeing to make $2 billion dollars in wage and benefit concessions.
Anyone familiar with Connecticut's state budget knows it is a number that literally cannot be achieved and the Governor purposely put out a number that is designed to fail.
However, the off-the-cliff drop in the number of votes cast for the Republican candidate this election when compared to previous elections is puzzling. ... Furthermore, it is a 32% plunge from the previous low of 6,094 votes in 2002 and an astounding 51% drop from the 8,366 votes in the last gubernatorial election in 2006.
This is nonsense. Looking at raw vote totals without any sort of context will lead you to this kind of absurd conclusion (Where are the votes for Republicans? FRAUD!).
In 2002 and 2006, there were popular incumbent Republican governors running for re-election - of course there were more votes for Republicans in Bridgeport - Democrats were voting for the Republican governors!
In 2006, popular incumbent Republican Governor Rell had the support of 38% of Democrats.
In 2010, not that popular non-incumbent Republican Tom Foley had the support of only 13% of Democrats.
(The article makes the case that the 2010 totals were below the ten-election average number of Republican votes in Bridgeport. Leaving aside the discussion of whether this is a measure that has any meaning, the ten elections include only four open seats: 2010, 1994, 1990, and 1974 and two of those (1994 and 1990) feature serious third-party challengers (actually 2 in 1994 for a 4 way race)).
In fact, the Democrat winning this election perfectly fits the historical trend. While Democrats haven't held the Gubernatorial office in 25 years, Republicans haven't won a 2 way race for Governor without running the sitting governor since 1970!
As the Election Day nears, the race for Governor is a dead heat. According to the latest polling, 6% of voters don't know who they're voting for yet. At Working Families, we look past all the mudslinging and focus instead on where the candidates stand on the issues that can make a difference in ordinary people's lives.
And on the issues that matter most, Dan Malloy is the clear choice.
Not sure how you're voting yet? Keep reading for our one-minute voter guide.
Every year, Working Families examines all the candidates -- Democrats and Republicans -- and only supports those with a real track record of backing policies that will make a difference in the lives of ordinary families.
There are many important issues, and big differences between the candidates. Here's two issues that really show why Dan Malloy is the right choice for ordinary working class families.
Well, if you applied the partisan breakdown of the 1994 exit polls to this race, you get Blumenthal 51.5, McMahon 44.0. In other words, this Q poll is projecting a turnout scenario which is markedly worse for the Democrats than even 1994.
Inspired, I did the same for today's Gubernatorial Q-Poll and found that, while the difference isn't as pronounced as in the Senate Poll, the Democrat again fairs better with the partisan break down from 1994 (via exit poll data available here - roughly 34D-27R-38U (119/1500 respondents declined to list their partisan identification - these are removed to get the percentages)), than with the partisan breakdown used by the Q.
In today's poll, Malloy leads Foley 45-42 with 12 percent undecided. Using the 1994 partisan breakdown, Malloy would lead 46.9 to 42.6 with 10.5 percent undecided.
Their are two takeaways here:
1. Quinnipiac is using a partisan ID breakdown that is somewhere between a little and way worse for Democrats than the 1994 partisan ID breakdown was.
2. Quinnipiac doesn't release their partisan ID breakdown, so its incredibly hard to evaluate the decisions they made in determining who is a likely voter - and impossible to decide how much faith to put in their results.
The first point is certainly arguable. The partisan breakdown of voters in 2010 could be worse for Democrats than 1994's were. I don't think so - I think 1994 was probably the low-water mark for Democrats - but a case can be made.
The second point isn't - Quinnipiac should be releasing the partisan ID breakdown that makes up their likely voter screen - other pollsters do (and some even release all of their crosstabs, not just the toplines), and the transparency allows observers to decide for themselves how much weight to give the poll.
Since, aside from Rasmussen and all their baggage, Q-Poll is basically the only pollster polling these two races (at least so far, this might change as the races tighten), we (political junkies) need them to be more transparent, or we can't get the information we need to obsess over these races. And the press need the transparency to accurately portray these races for the non-political junkies among us.
CTBlogger has reported on his Hat City Blog that Republican Tom Foley has ditched three debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Here's why that refusal to debate is different from Lamont's initial decision not to debate on John Dankosky's WNPR.
The primary reason is that League of Women Voter-sponsored debates for general elections are a tradition around the country, as well as in presidential debates. Of all possible debate formats, LWV is the most respected, and participation in them is a time-honored tradition. In contrast, during the primary, Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy had already agreed to participate in two debates, and had participated in numerous candidate panels. Dankosky's "me-too" attempt to force a debate was gratuitous, and specifically designed to embarrass Lamont.
Furthermore, LWV, according to CT Blogger, decided to cancel the debates after Foley refused to agree to participate. That is what WNPR should have done when Lamont informed them that he declined to participate. Instead, unlike LWV, WNPR and Dankosky decided that they would go ahead anyway, and give Malloy an hour of free air time, if Lamont didn't show up. That was nothing but a partisan ploy, and an attempt to take sides in a campaign issue. League of Women Voters did the responsible thing here and canceled.
WNPR should take a lesson. It's now up to the voters of Connecticut to make their own determination about Foley and his refusal to participate in an electoral tradition.
Amazing that Rell still has a high approval rating.
But 8 percent are undecided and 26 percent of those who do name a candidate say they could change their mind by Election Day.
The keys to the election
"Key to deciding the Governor's race are independent voters, especially the 16 percent of independents who are undecided right now."
"Change" is the top quality voters want in their next Governor as 32 percent say bringing "needed change to Hartford" is the quality that matters most in their vote. Another 23 percent want a candidate who shares their values, followed by 21 percent looking for experience and 20 looking for a candidate who is honest and trustworthy. Malloy leads on all counts as voters say:
51 - 33 percent that Malloy can bring needed change to Hartford;
43 - 36 percent that Foley can bring change;
66 - 19 percent that Malloy has the right experience to be Governor;
53 - 26 percent that Foley has the right experience;
58 - 16 percent that Malloy is honest and trustworthy;
51 - 21 percent that Foley is honest and trustworthy;
51 - 30 percent that Malloy shares their values;
42 - 33 percent that Foley shares their values.
With a 9 pt lead, I'd say Malloy will most likely win this time. It's better to have the lead with a prominent US Senate race overshadowing the governor's race than not having it
In an effort to try something new, we went with a 3PM time slot, which historically means the audience was likely made up of more women than men.
August is a tough time for television because many folks are at the beach, on vacation, or doing something else than sitting on the couch.
The debate was the second most watched program from 3 to 4PM, beaten only by General Hospital. It was the most watched debate of the primary season, but hardly a ratings blockbuster. The debate was on par with the ratings for "Better Connecticut," which was pre-empted for two days for the debates.
Lamont vs Malloy Debate
Combined with the CPTV airing of the debate at 8PM, the debate got a total rating of 2.7.
The NBC30 debate got a 2 share at the 7-8PM time slot, so the WFSB debate scored much better in the 3PM time slot, but overall, did slightly better than the NBC30 debate. As Dennis said, these ratings are not a blockbuster.
It will be interesting to see what happens on Primary Day.
Lamont v. Malloy Debate This viewer has to hand it to Ned Lamont, who seemed move lively, energetic and full of ideas than Dan Malloy, who appeared almost somnolent at times. What on earth was Malloy thinking about with that tie?
I'll admit there's still that deer-in-the-headlights issue with Lamont, but at least he's got something more to say than "hey, we did it in Stamford and we can do it in Hartford." They did it in Stamford with millions of dollars from state taxpayers, by the way.
I agree with Mr. Green. Ned appeared calmer and better prepared for this debate than the NBC30 one. He looked more in command. As I said in another post, Ned has the energy, actually more energy, than the Energizer Bunny, which is what made him a successful entrepreneur, but it doesn't work in a formal debate setting. He needed to rein in that energy and appear calm.
Before this debate, I had sent the Lamont campaign my critiques of Ned's NBC30 performance and a few others since that debate. Since formal debates fit the training of a lawyer, whose daily job is to debate, Ned needed his own frame to approach debates. After some thought, I realized that professors are also debaters and since Ned had been a teacher, he should envisions himself in the debates as a professor/teacher answering questions from his students.
I also suggested he give examples and explain them a bit of what he means after listing his policy positions and not to assume that people know what he is talking about when he mentions things, like reforming schools the way New Haven did. He did that today.
Overall, Ned Lamont struck the right balance between calm and enthusiasm in his debate performance today. This was the best I've seen him debate. He still needs practice and refining of his debate persona, but he appears to be on the right track.
Dan Malloy was in New Haven two nights ago, so I went to find him in order to speak with him about his new TV ad and share my disappointment that the Democratic gubernatorial contest was seemingly going negative in a hurry.
First the ad:
"in fact he reduced his employees by more than 70%, while paying himself a HUGE salary. Don't you think CEO's behaving that way is what messed up our economy in the first place?"
Now our brief exchange:
"We haven't gone negative. It's a contrast piece!"
My point, which I didn't get to make to Dan, (knocked off-message by his incredible assertion), -- but which I did get to share with reporters, -- is that I think Team Malloy is making a huge mistake with this first negative television ad, as Joe Abbey is certain to retaliate.
Last cycle, behind by 20%, Malloy was able to catch DeStefano off-guard with the condemnable "DeStefano in a dress" ad. (anyone have a copy, btw?) And not only did Dan pretty much get away with the dastardly-ness of that last minute attack, he damn near rallied to win.
But this cycle, well aware of Malloy's willingness to go "there", the Lamont campaign has spent literally months preparing for the end game. Dan's having hit the airwaves with this first negative ad is all the excuse Team Lamont will need to launch whatever they want in the way of return fire. Will we see a million dollar assault on the fuzzy math of Dan's Stamford job creation numbers, perhaps with a tie-in to the fuzzy budget math up in Hartford? And then there are those Employees of the Month!
Finally, is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that unlike Ned, Malloy hasn't really been vetted yet. Sure Dan likes to talk about how politics is a tough game, but is he really ready for what's coming next? John Q. Public is about to hear a lot of things about Dan Malloy, and I'm betting it won't all be good.
Updated 7:40pm. Still searching for the right headline.
In the latest Quinnipiac Poll, Ned Lamont enjoys a nearly double-digit lead among likely Democratic voters over rival Dan Malloy in his bid for the gubernatorial nomination.
Previous Q-Polls only questioned "registered Democrats", which is a larger pool and includes people who haven't bothered to vote for years. "Likely voters" are Democrats who have actually voted during the last few years, and are the ones who are most likely to drag themselves out of bed on August 10th and go down to their polling place.
So Lamont's current 9-point lead over Malloy in this poll is more likely reflective of his actual lead than previous polls that only questioned registered Dems. But you can't really compare the two polls when they questioned different sets of Democrats, so anyone who claims the race is tightening isn't working with valid data. Reporters who cover the political beat should know this difference.
I was wondering when the Lamont campaign would get around to smacking Malloy on his 5,000 job creation claim, and looks like with help from the Hartford Courant, they are taking on one of Malloy's supposed policy strengths.
Lamont Campaign Calls on Malloy to Take Down Misleading TV Ad New Haven, CT - In light of today's front-page Hartford Courant story revealing that Dan Malloy misrepresented his record of job creation as mayor of Stamford, Ned Lamont's campaign called on him to take down his new television ad that highlights Dan's claim that he created 5,000 jobs. Dan's claim ignores the fact that Stamford lost 13,000 jobs and unemployment increased by 58.7 percent during his tenure as mayor.
"Job creation is the single most pressing concern to the people of Connecticut in this economy, and I'm disappointed to see in today's Hartford Courant that Dan Malloy is inflating his record on this issue. Unfortunately, it's something that career politicians do all too often," said Lamont campaign manager Joe Abbey.
I'd rate this as a fair attack since it attacks an issue or policy position of Malloy's and is not a personal attack against him.
Working Families was founded on the idea that our politicians should be just as accountable to every day citizens as they are to well-connected lobbyists and powerful corporations.
But it's not often we get to make politicians answer to us quite as literally as this:
In a few weeks, at the Working Families annual meeting, we're hosting a Gubernatorial forum, where some of the leading candidates for Governor in 2010 will answer questions from every day people about how we can make our economy really work for working and middle class families.
But we want your help. What question would you ask our next Governor?
[cross posted at yourct.com] Stamford Mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial front-runner Dan Malloy was invited to the White House along with about 80 municipal executives from across the country to discuss with the President implementation of the stimulus moneys just passed and signed into law.
"We have urban areas -- Stamford, Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven -- that are job-producing centers," Malloy said. "We need to get the money quickly."
Malloy said Obama has delivered on his pledge to work with mayors by including them in the economic recovery bill. Money is available for weatherization, community policing, schools and road repairs. But much of it will have to pass through the state first -- and that worries Malloy. "A lot depends on whether Connecticut state government can do its job and get the money in our hands. My fear is they won't," he said. Malloy ... sees a potential conflict between the governor's office and state legislature over how to disburse the stimulus funds.
"The last eight years was roughly the equivalent of 40 years in the desert," Malloy said. "This is the first time I've been back to the White House since Clinton was president." Malloy said the Bush administration would turn to the governor to see their input, but Clinton and Obama see mayors as their allies.