Category Archives: 2014 Election

Bill Clinton Will Speak Tuesday At New Haven Fundraiser

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Murphy, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Joe Visconti, Richard Blumenthal, Tom Foley Date:

Former President Bill Clinton will headline a fundraiser Tuesday in New Haven for the state Democratic Party in an effort to help Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as he seeks reelection this fall.

Clinton’s visit to the Omni Hotel in New Haven at 11:30 a.m. was confirmed by Malloy’s campaign and announced by the Democratic Party. The Omni, which employs union workers, is a favorite gathering spot among Democrats.

Since Malloy is participating in public financing in the governor’s race, Clinton will be raising money for the Democratic Party instead of directly for the campaign’s account. Tickets cost $50 per person.

Members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation are expected to attend the fundraiser, and the invitation features U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy. Blumenthal is a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton as they are all graduates of Yale Law School in New Haven. Continue reading

Malloy, Foley Square Off in First Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, New Haven, Republicans, taxes, Tom Foley Date:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican business executive Tom Foley squared off Wednesday night in their first debate in 2014 with some lively exchanges.

The first question by moderator Ray Hackett involved whether the candidates believe the other was untruthful or unethical.

“The governor is the single most important person having an impact on people’s lives in Connecticut,” Foley responded. “I’ve talked about Malloy Math” on statistics offered by Malloy.

The numbers cited by Malloy on various occasions show “a lack of truthfulness that discredits a leader,” Foley said.

“I don’t recall the governor saying I didn’t tell the truth,” Foley said.

Malloy responded that there were only three people on the stage, and “only one of us has violated the law in Connecticut related to elections.”

“I don’t think you told the truth about Bibb,” Malloy said to Foley regarding the now well-known company that Foley operated and that has been the subject of numerous television commercials.

On the second question on crime, Malloy cited statewide statistics.

“Crime is down – 45-year low,” Malloy said. “I’m proud of that. I’m proud of making cities safer. … It’s not a matter of convenience or inconvenience. It’s a matter of public safety.”

But Foley countered, “In fact, I don’t think we are safer based on the bill that he passed.” He was referring to Malloy’s signature on a gun-control bill that was passed in 2013.

After Foley said that they had talked about guns, Malloy responded, “Tom and I haven’t had a conversation about this issue, ever” on guns.

“To say I’m not telling the truth is ridiculous,” Foley responded, saying that he essentially talks to Malloy through the press and does not have to speak face to face to get his points across on specific issues.

“If a repeal comes to me, I will never sign a repeal,” Malloy said of the gun-control law, adding that it has “led to lower crime.”

“First of all, governor, this is where you’re twisting the truth again,” Foley said, referring to what Foley had said about a potential repeal of the gun-control bill. “You’re twisting the truth again.”

“You should tell us about all of the litmus tests that you would have,” Malloy said. “That answer that you just gave? That was a career politician answer you gave.”

Concerning crime, Foley said, “Violent crime rates have gone down all over the country. … For the governor to go around saying that crime is low insults those communities” in the state’s largest cities.

“The governor says everything is fine with crime. I don’t agree,” Foley said, adding that three Connecticut cities rank in the top six nationally for the most crime.

“I don’t say everything is fine with crime,” Malloy responded. “It’s never dropping fast enough.” Continue reading

Breaking: Foley Unveils His Plan For CT On Economy, Taxes, Jobs, Schools, Ethics

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Joe Visconti, Tom Foley Date:

Just hours before the first gubernatorial debate, Republican Tom Foley unveiled his plans for Connecticut on Wednesday – with a focus on improving the economy, creating jobs, fixing low-performing public schools, controlling state spending, lowering taxes, and improving ethics at the state Capitol.

Foley has been criticized consistently by Democrats for being vague on various issues, but he released a 10-page plan Wednesday.

Foley and incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy are locked in a dead heat in the fall election, according to various polls, in a rematch of their 2010 contest that was the closest gubernatorial election in Connecticut in more than 50 years.

A longtime business executive, Foley focused on jobs near the beginning of his five-point plan.

“Connecticut’s unemployment rate remains unacceptably high at 6.6 percent, significantly higher than the national average,” he wrote. “The nation has recovered 105 percent of non-farm jobs lost during the recession, but Connecticut has only recovered 64 percent of non-farm jobs – one of the worst job recovery rates in the nation. Connecticut’s economy has grown only 3 percent since the depths of the recession – the lowest growth rate in New England – while our next door neighbor Massachusetts has grown 11 percent.”

Later, those points came up again Wednesday night during the debate between Foley and Malloy on a wide variety of subjects. Foley said that Connecticut’s economy has grown by only 1 percent overall since Malloy became governor – not 1 percent per year.

“Governor, this is not working,” Foley said while seated on the stage at Norwich Free Academy. “Massachusetts, our neighbor, has had growth of 11 percent since the bottom of the recession. … You are hurting the citizens of our state with your policies.’’

“The reality is we’ve created 60,000 private sector jobs since Nancy [Wyman] and I took over,” Malloy responded. “I understand that what you have to do is make everybody feel as bad as they can.”

Under his plan, Foley said that the five points “that matter most” are restoring the economy, gaining control over the cost of state government, reforming the tax code, improving the schools, and “changing the way business is done’’ in Hartford.

But Mark Bergman, a spokesman for Malloy’s campaign, said he would not use the word “plan’’ for the concepts that Foley released Wednesday.

“The fact is this is nine pages of talking points he has used for the last year slapped together and called a ‘plan’ without a single, specific spending cut to pay for any of what he promised. Not one,’’ Bergman said. “We have seen this game plan before 20 years ago with John Rowland, and Connecticut has seen how that worked out. Tom Foley would take Connecticut’s progress over the last four years and shift it directly into reverse.’’ Continue reading

CT-N Will Broadcast Malloy-Foley Debate Live From Norwich

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Joe Visconti, Tom Foley Date:

In a last-minute change of plans, the CT-N public affairs network says it will broadcast the first gubernatorial debate live tonight.

On its website, CT-N says its plan is to broadcast the debate at 7 p.m. from Norwich Free Academy.

The debate is a one-on-one matchup between incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican business executive Tom Foley of Greenwich. Conservative Republican Joseph Visconti has qualified for the ballot, but he will not be participating in the debate as the participants were decided in advance by The Norwich Bulletin before Visconti qualified.

Pelto Surprised How Hard It Was To Collect Signatures For Ballot

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

Liberal Democrat Jonathan Pelto is surprised how hard it was to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot for governor.

In a recent interview, Pelto said he feared that he had not gathered a sufficient number of verified signatures and added that he had collected at least 900 signatures from citizens who were disqualified because they are not registered to vote.

“This whole experience has been an eye-opener, and it’s definitely rigged to make it as difficult as possible,” Pelto told Capitol Watch.

He says his effort was hurt during the summer season as students, professors and administrators were all away from the University of Connecticut and other college campuses. The signatures needed to be collected by August 6 – meaning that June, July and early August were the prime time for finding registered voters willing to sign the petition.

“I probably could have done it if it was schools and colleges, but they were all on break,” Pelto said.

The Secretary of the State’s office is still counting the signatures, and a final decision might not be made until Friday on whether Pelto can appear on the ballot against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Republican Tom Foley and petitioning candidate Joseph Visconti.

Continue reading

Republican Lawmakers Suggest Delay Of Immigrant Driver’s Licenses Was Election Year Ploy

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

Four state Republicans on Tuesday suggested that the delay of a program to offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants was an election year ploy by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The program was supposed to launch in September, but the Department of Motor Vehicles recently delayed the start date to December. On Tuesday, state sens. Len Fasano, Toni Boucher, Scott Fratz, and Michael McLachlan, wrote to DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey “to seek clarification on the motives behind this delay.”

“As you are aware, the immigrant ‘drive only’ licenses have been a controversial issue in Connecticut,” the senators wrote. “We are sure you can understand why, in an election year, a delay of such a debated program initially championed by the governor can be interpreted as a political action.”

The senators asked for her to explain the process by which the department decided to delay the program’s launch – who participated in the decision making, what is the reason for the delay, and what were the factors considered when making the decision.

“It would be extremely inappropriate for any state leader to purposefully delay a program to avoid bad press before an election,” Fasano said in a statement.

Dem Mayor Implies Foley Sold His “Soul to the Devil”

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, Tom Foley Date:

As part of their continued quest to portray Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley as an enemy of gun control, Connecticut Democrats arranged a conference call Tuesday to allow Democratic mayors and first selectmen to speak out.

Throughout the half-hour call, speakers praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as “courageous” for his willingness to take on gun rights groups after the 2012 Newtown school shootings. By contrast, they criticized Foley, who they say would repeal the state’s sweeping new gun control law.

“It’s unconscionable to me that Tom Foley would sell his soul to the devil,” East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said.

Leclerc and others on the call criticized Foley for his alliance with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a statewide fun owners group. She cited news reports that the CCDL would endorse Foley because he supports repealing the gun laws.

“If he’s making these type of promises, I can’t imagine what kind of promises he’d make [if] he has the keys to the governor’s mansion,” Leclerc said. “For Tom Foley to say he would veto the gun law….[that] should make every single person think about what else he would do.”

Chris Cooper, a spokesman for the Foley campaign, said the Democrats’ relentless focus on the gun issue is a an attempt to change the subject from Malloy’s economic record.

“This is another distraction by desperate Dan Malloy who does not want to talk about his record of Connecticut’s largest tax increase, unusually slow job growth and budget gimmicks. Tom Foley has never said he would seek to repeal the gun bill,” Cooper said.

Foley has not advocated for repeal of the gun bill. However, when asked about it at a

CCDL meeting in January, Foley said: “If the legislature was so inclined — the chances of that happening this year is probably the definition of zero — if I were governor and the legislature put in front of me legislation that would reduce the burden on law-abiding gun owners, I would sign it.”

Continue reading

Head of CCDL Hits Back At Malloy Campaign

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

The president of the state’s largest gun rights organization defended his group Tuesday against attacks from the Malloy campaign.

Gov. Malloy’s campaign team has been slamming Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley for his position on guns, accusing him of being vague in his responses to questions about firearms regulation and speculating that the Connecticut Citizens Defense League will endorse him for governor. A recent post to the Malloy campaign Twitter account read: “. won’t tell us what gun laws he’ll repeal — but he’s about to get endorsed by a far-right gun group.” Several others have read things like, “What did Foley promise the far-right gun lobby?”

Scott Wilson, the president of CCDL, challenged those claims Tuesday. He said the group understands that Foley has a moderate position on guns, and attacked the Malloy administration for describing his group as extreme radicals.

“Foley’s not Clint Eastwood and we don’t expect him to be Clint Eastwood,” Wilson said. We want someone who is better with respecting our constitutional rights than Dan Malloy.”

Wilson said Malloy was unfairly portraying CCDL an “extremist rightwing organization.”

“I’d like to go on the record and say that we’re not. We’re family people. We have jobs. We pay taxes. There are gay people in our organization, women in our organization, libertarians and Democrats in our organization,” he said. “Our organization is open to anyone who believes in protecting Second Amendment rights.”

The group has not yet endorsed Foley. The candidate, however, recently purchased a $1000 ticket to a CCDL fundraising event held to raise money for its litigation fund, to help pay for the lawsuit the group has filed against the state’s post-Newtown gun restrictions. None of the money raised at that event will go towards campaigning for pro-Second Amendment candidates, Wilson said. Dave Walker, a Republican lieutenant governor candidate who lost a primary challenge to former Groton mayor Heather Somers, also attended.

“We presented the opportunity to Tom…he offered to come and he came,” Wilson said.

Esty Release First Ad of 2014 Cycle

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Elizabeth Esty Date:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty of the 5th District has released her first ad of the 2014 cycle. It’s a warm and fuzzy spot that features a Danbury veteran who praises Esty’s constituent service.

Esty is locked in a tough reelection battle with Republican Mark Greenberg in the 5th, which is widely seen as the most conservative of Connecticut’s congressional districts.

The National Republican Congressional Committee called the ad “nothing short of deceptive.” Matt Gorman, director of rapid response for the NRCC, says Esty voted against a bill that would have reduced the backlog at VA hospitals “while voting to allow members of Congress, like herself, taxpayer-funded healthcare for life.”

Greenberg’s spokesman Bill Evans also released a statement: “In a campaign ad, we wouldn’t expect Elizabeth Esty to lay out how bad her record is on veterans’ issues. But the reality is that she was silent for months during the VA scandal, never called for Shinseki’s resignation and remained silent — until she voted against helping reduce the backlog of disabled veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Between now and November, Esty will hopefully explain her poor record on veterans’ issues to the voters in discussions longer than 30-second ads,” Evans said.

Transportation Spending By Governors O’Neill, Rell, Malloy

by Categorized: 2014 Election, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Tom Foley Date:

WETHERSFIELD – For the past three decades, Connecticut governors have touted the amount of money they have spent on transportation.

After the Mianus River Bridge collapsed and killed three motorists on Interstate 95 in Cos Cob in 1983, Gov. William A. O’Neill and the legislature passed the largest transportation spending package in state history as officials scrambled to ensure that the roads and bridges were safe. O’Neill’s $1 billion program would be the equivalent today – more than three decades later – of more than $6 billion, according to state officials.

More than two decades later, Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell unveiled a seven-year plan that she called the largest transportation package in more than 20 years with the purchase of 342 new state-of-the-art Metro-North Commuter Railroad cars and a $300 million repair facility in New Haven. The $1.3 billion package was later approved by the legislature.

Not to be outdone, then-House Speaker James Amann announced a 10-year, $6.2 billion plan in February 2006 that was even bigger than Rell’s, saying that would be the largest in state history. He did not announce any funding details at the time, and the full plan was not approved.

On Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy traveled to Wethersfield, near the Rocky Hill border, to tout transportation spending during his administration.

“We’re spending more general fund money and more state bonded money on transportation than any other administration,” Malloy told reporters and state DOT officials near the Old Main Street Bridge over the Goff Brook. “You can slice this and dice this on an accounting basis – which funds go where – but when everything is said and done, we’re spending more than any other administration. And we’ve spent more than any of those transfers [from the Special Transportation Fund] would otherwise indicate if there are transfers back and forth for accounting purposes. But on a net basis and on a gross basis, we’re spending more money of ours, of state money, that we raised.” Continue reading