Foley On Biden’s Visit

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Tom Foley Date:

Vice President Joe Biden in Connecticut to raise money and boost Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s reelection campaign, his Republican rival said he doesn’t think visits from high-profile surrogates will play a role in the governor’s race.

foley over

 

“Listen I think that people are either with Gov. Malloy and they think he’s doing a good job or they think he’s had his chance and things haven’t worked out very well and they’re going to vote for me,” Tom Foley told reporters in Watertown Tuesday night.

“And I don’t think people are going to be swayed [by] other politicians, even prominent politicians, who come in from out of state,” Foley said.

“A governor’s race is kind of a unique race. A Senate race, a congressional race, if a president comes in or a vice president comes in and says, ‘I need your vote to help me run the federal government’ that’s a very different arguement from somebody coming in and saying, ‘We need a Democrat governor in Connecticut.’

“So I don’t really think it will mean a whole lot in the outcome of the race,” Foley added.

 

Visconti Officially Qualifies for the November Ballot

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Joe Visconti, Jonathan Pelto Date:

Gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti has qualified for the November ballot.

visconti pic

Visconti, a former member of the West Hartford town council, was notified by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill this afternoon.

Visconti started out as a Republican but petitioned his way onto the ballot by collecting 7,500 signatures.

No word yet on whether former state legislator Jonathan Pelto, another petitioning candidate, has qualified.

 

 

Coalition Calls On Governor Candidates To Debate Transportation Taxes, Tolls

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

A broad coalition of environmental, economic, regional and construction groups urged Connecticut’s gubernatorial candidates Tuesday to debate and consider higher taxes and tolls to pay for the state’s dire transportation needs.

The activists put out a four-point program they said the state’s next governor must consider, including the possibility that massive federal funding for highways and mass transit may dry up in the next few years.

Karen Burnaska, spokeswoman for Transit for Connecticut, speaking at Union Station in Hartford.

Karen Burnaska, spokeswoman for Transit for Connecticut, speaking at Union Station in Hartford.

Other items on the coalition’s list include a demand that state revenue that is supposed to be devoted to transportation – such as gas and fuel taxes – not be diverted to ease other state fiscal problems; and using existing state transportation funding as rapidly as possible.

Incumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy and his Republican opponent, Tom Foley, have both already ruled out any state tax increases as an option if they are elected in November.

As for tolls, Malloy rejected a proposal for so-called “border tolls” in January 2013, and Foley has said he would only consider tolls as a tool to help reduce traffic congestion.

But Don Shubert, president of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, said he tax increases and/or tolls may be the only way to pay for the billions of dollars in transportation infrastructure improvements that this state desparately needs.

“I don’t see any other options out there that are viable,” Shubert said.

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SOTS Reports 21 Percent Turnout At Primaries

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Voter turnout figures released Tuesday show low participation in last week’s statewide Republican primaries.

Turnout was 21 percent among Republican voters, who last week elected Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and former Groton Mayor Heather Somers to run against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman in November.

Of the nearly 400,000 registered Republicans in Connecticut, less than 83,000 voted in the primary.

“The turnout was actually slightly higher than we had predicted for this year” Secretary Merrill said in a release.  “Compared to general elections, primaries consistently have a lower turnout so exceeding twenty percent was actually a little higher than we originally thought.”

The voter turnout was a nearly 10 percentage point drop from 2010, the last Republican gubernatorial primary, when 30 percent of Republican voters cast ballots to choose Foley as that year’s nominee. Foley said last week that a high profile senate race in 2010 contributed to the higher level of turnout four years ago.

New Foley Ad Hits Malloy: “Connecticut Is Hurting”

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

“Dan Malloy is so desperate that he’s falsely attacking Tom Foley,” a voice narrates in a new ad from Republican Tom Foley, responding to allegations in a recent ad the governor’s campaign launched against its challenger.

Malloy a week ago launched an ad that featured an awkward exchange between Foley and employees at Fusion Paperboard in Sprague earlier this summer, and compared the Greenwich businessman’s remarks there to what Democrats say are problems with his ownership of the Bibb Co., a Georgia textile manufacturer, in the 80s and 90s.

“It’s sad Malloy can’t defend his policies,” the new Foley spot says, criticizing the governor for the largest tax increase in state history, a struggling economy, and an unfavorable jobs market.

Stefan Pryor Won’t Serve Second Term As Education Chief

by Categorized: Education Date:

StefanPryorStefan Pryor, the controversial state education commissioner, will leave his post and is “actively seeking new professional opportunities,” according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office.

Pryor informed the governor Monday that he will not serve a second term. “Having served for nearly three fulfilling years as commissioner, I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this administration’s current term and to pursue new professional opportunities,” Pryor said. “Because I believe it’s important to communicate my decision proactively to the governor and the public, I am doing so now.”

The announcement indicated that Pryor’s move was his own choice. But a prominent Malloy critic said the truth is that Malloy has decided to “send…Pryor packing” — in an election-year attempt to distance the governor from Pryor, and reconcile with public school teachers alienated by both Pryor and the Malloy administration’s education policies.

“It’s a late and overdue political maneuver to try desperately to convince teachers ,parents and public school advocates to vote for him,” said the critic, Jonathan Pelto, an independent candidate for governor who is trying to petition his way onto the November ballot.

Pelto said the move won’t win back any votes for Malloy from disaffected teachers and parents, “because Pryor is but one piece of a broader, anti-public-schools agenda.”

Pryor has become a political liability for Malloy, with the Republican leader in the state Senate — John McKinney — calling for his removal. A champion of charter schools, Pryor was also criticized by some education union officials. That criticism was turned up after a series of embarrassing revelations involving a charter school operator that he had once embraced.

On Monday, Malloy publicly praised Pryor. “Commissioner Pryor has worked hard and well on behalf of Connecticut students. In the three years he’s led the department, we’ve taken tremendous steps forward to improve education, with a particular focus on the districts that have long needed the most help. We needed someone who could act as a change agent, and Stefan fulfilled that role admirably. And we’re seeing strong results. Graduation rates have gone up each of the last four years, national high school tests show that Connecticut students are leading among participating states in reading and math, and that we are making real progress in closing the achievement gap.

“It has been a pleasure working with Stefan,” Malloy said. “His energy, intellect, and work ethic are exemplary. I wish him well in his next endeavor, and I want to thank him for his service.”

However, Pelto — whose petition forms are now being examined by election officials to determine if he has the 7,500 signatures from registered voters required to get on the ballot — issued a statement saying:

Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy’s decision to send Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor packing is long overdue, but it is still great news for Connecticut’s  public school students, parents, teachers and taxpayers.

 As a leading proponent of the corporate education reform industry, Stefan Pryor and his team of anti-teacher, pro-standardized testing, privatization zealots have done immeasurable harm to Connecticut’s public education system.

 While Governor Malloy remains the only Democratic governor in the nation to propose doing away with teacher tenure and repealing collective bargaining for teachers in so called ‘turnaround schools,” one would hope that he is finally recognizing that his anti-teacher, pro-charter school, pro-Common Core agenda is bad news for Connecticut public schools or, at the very least, a political disaster for him has he aspires to a second term in office.

When it comes to actually supporting Connecticut’s public schools, Malloy’s true intentions remain unknown, but Pryor’s departure is a small step in the right direction.

A Battle is Brewing for Independent Party Nomination

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Jonathan Pelto, Tom Foley Date:

A potentially bitter battle is brewing for the right to run for governor on the Independent Party line.

Republican nominee Tom Foley and Trinity professor John Mertens, a newcomer to the race, are likely to seek the party’s endorsement, said Mike Telesca of Waterbury, chairman of one the factions of the Independent Party. The nominee will be decided Tuesday night at a caucus in Watertown.

“I’m not sure who is going to win the caucus,” Telesca said. “I just want to make sure there’s a fair process.”

Foley

The backing of the third party is important to Foley because having his name on a second line on the November ballot could strengthen his position against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, whose own name will appear twice, under the Democratic and Working Families lines.

A cross-endorsement from the Independent Party could also give Foley a boost among unaffiliated voters and some Democrats, who may feel more comfortable voting for him on the Independent line than the Republican one.

JohnMertens

Mertens ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 on the Connecticut for Lieberman line. He is a member of the Independent Party and he has tapped another party official as his running mate.

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Malloy Promotes Promotes Tax-Free Week, Shops for Jeans

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy went to a Berlin footwear and clothing shop Friday afternoon to promote the state’s upcoming tax holiday; he wound up shopping for jeans.

Malloy boasted to reporters about the size of his pants. “For a 59-year-old guy, a 32-inch waist is not too bad,” he quipped.

MalloyJeans

Malloy held a press conference at Mickey Finn’s on the Berlin Turnpike to highlight Connecticut’s annual back to school tax-free week, which runs from Aug. 17-23. During that time, the 6.35-percent tax on most clothing and shoe purchases under $300 will be waived.

Afterward, Malloy browsed for jeans, trying on two pairs of T.K. Axel Jeans, which are produced by Jade Marketing of West Hartford.

His first selection–dark-washed and slim-cut, with a 33-inch waist–was too big. Then he tried on a pair with a 32-inch waist, which fit better but were rejected as too short. “I don’t like seeing my socks,” he said.

Malloy said he’s been “a Levis guy for most of his life,” but he was sold on the Axel Jeans. He said he plans to return to the store with his son and buy a pair once tax-free week starts. The pants sell for $39.99, or two for $70.

Sean Connelly, who works in Jade Marketing’s men’s division, said he was pleased the governor liked his product. He told Malloy the company employs 75 people in West Hartford, “and thanks to you, we’re hiring.”

Before leaving the store, the increasingly lean Democrat was asked about his exercise regimen.

“My normal run is 2.3 miles and then I walk up and down a hill for two miles and then I do 300 sit ups, 300 toe touches, 300 side to sides, 300 kick and twists, 300 lift and twists and 50 rotations around the waist,” Malloy responded.

 

 

Cook Political Report Moves Conn. Gov Race From Lean D to Toss Up

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

On the heels of Tom Foley’s Republican primary victory, national political analysts have changed their rating of the race from “lean Democrat” to “toss up.”

Cook Political, the elections analysis firm, changed the rating Friday. Cook analyst Jennifer Duffy said in a post to Twitter that the switch has “nothing to do with pol enviro or any GOP wave, but because voters are unhappy w/ incumbents.”

“Despite Connecticut’s solid blue hue, Malloy has had a difficult first term and is not all that popular with voters,” Duffy said. “He inherited a $3.5 billion budget shortfall that he closed by raising taxes, including the sales tax. Although he claimed a budget surplus this year, it turned out to be premature”

Sen. Maynard Discharged From Hospital

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Sen. Andrew Maynard, who suffered severe head injuries as a result of a fall at his home last month, has been discharged from a Rhode Island hospital and was transferred to a New Britain facility for therapy to continue his recovery.

“He is making a slow, yet positive, recovery,” according to a statement issued Thursday by Denise Mahoney, Maynard’s sister. “He is awake and is responsive to family and friends who have been by his side. While his recovery will take time, his doctors are confident that the recovery will continue to be positive and that the [Hospital for Special Care in New Britain] is the right place to continue that recovery.”

Sen. Andrew Maynard

Sen. Andrew Maynard

Maynard, 52, was injured in the early morning hours of July 21 when he fell from an outside staircase at his Stonington home. He was rushed to a Westerly, RI hospital and then transferred to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for further treatment.

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