Category Archives: Mark Ojakian

State Officials Clash Over Whether Malloy Is \”Hands Off\’\’ On Higher Ed System

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Larry Cafero, Mark Ojakian Date:

State officials are clashing over whether Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is \”hands off\’\’ regarding the higher education system.

The dust-up began after it was revealed that Malloy\’s chief of staff, Mark Ojakian, had asked Lewis Robinson to step down as chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. Malloy has the authority to appoint the chairman of the board, but he no longer has the authority to choose the president of the system. The president oversees the four-campus Connecticut State University system and the state\’s community colleges.

\”First of all, we\’re very hands-off on this,\’\’ Ojakian told Capitol Watch in an interview. \”This is the appointment of the governor. We were the ones who introduced legislation in the last session that made the appointment of the president of the system an appointment of the board. We did not select the new president of the system. We made no recommendation to anyone on the board about who to select.\’\’

But House Republican leader Larry Cafero said the characterization is wrong.

\”To make the statement that we\’re totally hands off, when your chief of staff just asked the chairman to resign, is false,\’\’ Cafero told Capitol Watch. \”It\’s not true. It\’s inaccurate. It\’s only because of Mark Ojakian that this man resigned.\’\’ Continue reading

Republicans Say Gov. Malloy Did Not Tell Truth on Budget In State of State Address

by Categorized: Brendan Sharkey, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Mark Ojakian Date:

For more than a year, state Republicans and Democrats have been clashing sharply over Gov. Dannel Malloy\’s enactment of the largest tax increase in state history.

Malloy went back to that subject Wednesday in his State of the State Address when talking about the fiscal issues facing the state.

\”Anyone who tells you that the budget we passed two years ago didn\’t do its job, that it didn\’t make real change in how we approach our finances, is simply not telling the truth,\’\’ Malloy said to state legislators and a live television audience across the state.

But Republicans said that synopsis is wrong, and the governor made misleading statements about the budget during one of the most high-profile speeches of the year. They said the statements were wrong.

\”In every speech, I think the governor probably has a line that he wishes he could take back,\’\’ said Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Fairifield. \”Last year, it was bashing our teachers. This year, it\’s calling us liars. It\’s hyperbole. It\’s not true, and I think he knows it\’s not true.\’\’

McKinney added, \”There are still some facts that he can\’t ignore. Our unemployment rate continues to go up. It\’s too high right now. That\’s a direct result of an economy in Connecticut where taxes are too high, businesses are overregulated, and people don\’t want to live here and work here as much as they should. … I would find it difficult to characterize a budget, which results in a $2-plus-billion-dollar deficit [in the coming two fiscal years], as something that worked.\’\’

 Sen. Rob Kane, the ranking Senate Republican member of the budget-writing appropriations committee, said the continuing deficits show that the tax increases did not solve all of the state\’s fiscal problems.

\”It didn\’t work,\’\’ Kane said of Malloy\’s tax plan. \”I think he\’s incorrect. The budget didn\’t do its job. I sure hope the rhetoric ends and we all work together. … It\’s obvious it didn\’t work.\’\’  Continue reading