Category Archives: Tom Foley

April 15 Tax Day: GOP Focuses On Malloy Tax Increase; Dems Talk About Rowland

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Jerry Labriola, John McKinney, John Rowland, Nancy DiNardo, Tom Foley Date:

On April 15 each year, voters and taxpayers are focused on the federal and state deadlines to get their taxes completed.

The Republican and Democratic parties both released statements Tuesday with a tax theme.

“On this Tax Day, we encourage all Connecticut families to thank Governor Dan Malloy and his record-setting tax increase for the $700 more in taxes they owe this year,” said Republican chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. “Today, we’re all receiving a painful reminder of exactly what Dan Malloy meant when he pledged to take a ‘different path.’ Instead of holding the line on taxes and reigning in out-of-control government spending, Governor Malloy increased government spending and passed the largest tax increase in state history at a time when Connecticut families could least afford it.”

Labriola continued, “In hopes of convincing voters to give him a second term, Governor Malloy has been ignoring the facts as he tours the state armed with Malloy Math and made up “facts” about Connecticut’s economy. But Connecticut voters know the truth. The reality is that Dan Malloy’s record-setting tax hikes and irresponsible spending increases have driven us further into debt and given Connecticut the worst economy in the nation.”

In response to Labriola’s comments about Malloy, Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo focused much of her statement on the past policies of former Gov. John G. Rowland, who left office in 2004. 

“The GOP gubernatorial candidates’ tax plans are like fairy tales: fun to read, but not believable,” DiNardo said. “Nearly all of them are saying some variation of the same thing: they’ll cut taxes by more than $1.5 billion. That reminds me of John Rowland, who ran in 1994 on a promise to eliminate the income tax. We all know how that turned out.”

DiNardo continued, “Seems they’re not quite done with John Rowland yet, since all of them are trying to be just like him. Either their ‘proposed’ cuts won’t happen, or if they do, they will attempt to balance the budget by gutting funding for essential programs like education, or by laying off tens of thousands of state employees. There simply aren’t many places in the state budget where you can cut $1.5 billion.”

Foley Slammed for Skipping Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Tom Foley Date:

Five of the six Republicans running for governor came to the Mark Twain House for a debate Friday.

IMG_2221

Tom Foley, who is the frontrunner according to several Quinnipiac University polls, chose not to attend the debate. His spokesman said he is focusing his efforts on delegates at this stage in the campaign. He intends to participate in debates after the Republican nominating convention next month.

But several of Foley’s opponents criticized him for skipping Friday’s forum, the first major televised debate of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

“It’s unfortunate one candidate opted not to attend today,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. “I think that the delegates that go to the convention next month, I think the people of Connecticut and the Republicans of Connecticut ought to be able to hear from all of us…that’s how you lead. You lead from the front, you don’t lead by hiding somewhere else in the state of Connecticut.”

After the debate, Boughton reiterated his point:

“Tom Foley should be here. Look, we have a responsibility as candidates to have a conversation with the public in Connecticut and when you duck your responsibility, when you don’t come…it’s not like he’s doing anything else today but hanging around the estate. The reality is, you have a duty to share with the Republican voters and later the general voters, where you stand on the issues of the day.”

State Sen. John McKinney echoed those comments:

“Listen, ambassador Foley should have been here today. There’s no other way to describe it. When you run for office, you have an obligation to tell the people who are going to hire you what your positions are. You need to listen to them and you need to respond to their questions. Not showing up for a debate I think shirks a fundamental responsible and obligation as a candidate for public office.”

 

First Major TV Debate In Governor’s Race Friday; To Be Broadcast Sunday Morning

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Greenwich, Joe Visconti, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Tom Foley Date:

The first major television debate in the governor’s race was held Friday at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.

While Republicans have faced off in various forums across the state, Friday was the first big debate televised statewide. Sponsored by The Hartford Courant and FOX CT, the one-hour debate was taped in front of a live audience in the Twain House auditorium and will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX CT.

The debate will preempt “The Real Story” and Tom Dudchik’s weekly Capitol Report that combine for the Political Power Hour on Sunday mornings.

The participants were Senate Republican leader John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Avon attorney Martha Dean, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, and former West Hartford town council member Joe Visconti. Greenwich business executive Tom Foley, who is leading among Republicans in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, did not appear. Continue reading

Finance Committee Supports $55 Rebates, Malloy’s Tax Package

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

HARTFORD – The legislature’s tax-writing finance committee voted Tuesday in favor of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s tax package for the next fiscal year, including refunds to individual taxpayers.

The most prominent piece of the package covers $55 refunds for individuals and $110 for families earning up to $400,000 per year. The total cost of the refunds is $155 million, and the money will be taken from the state’s projected surplus of more than $500 million in the current fiscal year that ends on June 30.

The bill passed by 31 to 19 on a largely party line vote. Rep. Ted Mouwkasher of Groton was the only Democrat to break with his party on the governor’s tax package, and all Republicans voted against it.

The package restores the sales-tax exemption on non-prescription drugs that are sold over the counter, which had been put in place by Malloy and the Democratic-controlled legislature in 2011. The finance committee bill also cuts income taxes by 50 percent on teacher pensions. The total revenue package for the general fund is $17.4 billion.

Malloy hailed the rebate plan and the committee vote, saying, “After all, if Connecticut taxpayers are asked to share in the sacrifice during tough times, they should also share in the state’s continuing economic recovery.”

He added that the bill “benefits municipalities by exempting them from the insurance premium tax on health plans.  It restores the sales tax exemption on non-prescription drugs.  And, it begins a phase in of exempting a portion of teachers’ pensions from the income tax.”

But Senate Republican leader John McKinney, who is running for governor, had a strongly different view of the votes by both the tax-writing and budget-writing committees.

“Unsurprisingly, Democratic leaders on the finance and appropriations committees have rubber-stamped Governor Malloy’s gimmick-filled budget proposal, including his most infamous and disingenuous gimmick, the $55 rebate check,” McKinney said. ”Like the governor’s proposal, this budget is unbalanced, fails to adequately pay down state debt, and ignores long-term structural deficiencies in state government. The result is a tax and spending plan Connecticut residents cannot afford today, and one that is projected to sink the state back into a $1 billion deficit by the middle of next year.”

State Rep. Vincent Candelora, one of the top three House Republican leaders, said that some of his constituents have come to him and said that the state should keep the $55 and instead pay down debt.

“I don’t like the $55 rebate that we have included in this package,” Candelora said. “Unless revenues turn around at a significant pace, we are going to be faced with a deficit in the out-years. … This is just a short-term outlook, and we are throwing money into a hole.”

He added, “We have long-term problems in the state of Connecticut.”

But Rep. Patricia Widlitz, a Guilford Democrat who co-chairs the committee, noted that the refunds are tax-free because they are not based on the personal income tax. She said the legislature should send refunds back to taxpayers “when there’s an opportunity to give back.”

Republicans offered an amendment to remove the refunds from the package, but the motion failed by 31 to 18 with five members absent. More than 2 million checks are expected to be mailed out by mid-September at a cost of more than $1.7 million.

“The so-called rebate is the “Three Card Monte” version of Governor Malloy’s phony math: Give me $700 in new taxes forever, and I’ll give you back a one-time payment of $55,” said Chris Cooper, a spokesman for gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. “In his first year in office, Governor Malloy permanently raised taxes on Connecticut taxpayers by an average of over $700 — per year, per person, every year, into perpetuity — and now he offers an election year $55 refund.”

“Even as stunts go, Governor Malloy’s $55 deal is bad deal for taxpayers. By using these taxpayer dollars to bribe voters instead of paying down the state debt, the taxpayers will wind up paying more in long-term interest than they will ‘receive’ in their rebate checks. And I think most taxpayers know that is true.”

Continue reading

With No Fanfare, GOP Surprised by “Bizarre” Announcement After Bond Commission

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Democrats, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Jerry Labriola, John McKinney, Tom Foley Date:

Without the traditional trappings of being surrounded by family and friends behind the podium, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy abruptly announced Friday that he is running for a second term as governor.

Malloy picked the Legislative Office Building in Hartford for his announcement, which came in response to a reporter\’s question after he had spent more than eight minutes answering questions on the details of the state budget and other issues.

Word started to spread among Capitol reporters that Malloy might be making an announcement Friday morning, but Malloy first covered a series of other issues while talking to reporters. Certain selected reporters had gotten a heads-up with a telephone call to make sure they would be attending the post-bond commission press conference. Others received nothing.

Greenwich Sen. L. Scott Frantz, a member of the Bond Commission who had attended the meeting, said it was a \”bizarre\’\’ way to announce for a second term as governor.

\”I\’m really surprised that he came out after a Bond Commission meeting and announced,\’\’ Frantz said. \”There\’s not a lot of fanfare here. There\’s virtually no on from the public here – no family, no close friends outside of government. … It\’s bizarre.\’\’

On the merits, virtually no one in state government thought that Malloy would not be running.

\”It\’s the worst-kept secret since Gwyneth Paltrow\’s divorce,\’\’ said former state Republican chairman Chris Healy, referring to the well-known actress who recently broke up with her husband, Chris Martin.

Healy and others said the key reason for running now – as cited by Malloy – is Malloy needs to get started on the daunting task of raising $250,000 in maximum amounts of $100 in order to qualify for $6 million in public matching funds. That means getting at least 2,500 individuals to contribute $100 each. If some contribute less than $100, then a candidate needs more than 2,500 people – a very difficult task.

\”He wants to raise the low-dollar money and has probably been told that it will take longer than expected, even for an incumbent governor,\’\’ Healy told Capitol Watch Friday. \”It took him almost a year and a half last time [in the 2010 race for governor], and he wasn\’t sitting as an elected official with a captive audience.\’\’

Regarding Malloy\’s long delay in making an official announcement, Healy said, \”Maybe he\’s tired of the absurdity of denying the question. It\’s probably no more complicated than that.\’\’ Continue reading

Nonpartisan Office Projects Next Year\’s State Budget Deficit At $69.4 Million

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Beth Bye, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Hartford, John McKinney, Larry Cafero, Tom Foley Date:

Top Republican leaders said Monday that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s budget was unbalanced from the moment he delivered it last month, citing a new report by the legislature\’s nonpartisan fiscal office.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis says the projected deficit for the fiscal year that starts on July 1 is $69.4 million. The latest fiscal report focuses on the next fiscal year that starts July 1, and it does not have an impact on the current year\’s budget.

In the current year, which ends on June 30, the state has a projected surplus of more than $500 million partly because the state reaped huge capital gains from taxpayers due to the skyrocketing advances on Wall Street in 2013 that state officials believe will not be duplicated in 2014.

Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Fairfield and House GOP leader Larry Cafero of Norwalk said that Malloy\’s proposed state budget would have broken the state-mandated spending cap if it included all the items that are now being considered, including additional money for magnet schools and retirees\’ healthcare.

“It is clear now that the governor willfully disregarded what people in his own administration presented to him in their budget requests last October and November, months before he put out his budget,\’\’ Cafero said Monday. “We know now the budget was out of whack the moment he dropped it and exceeded the spending cap.’’

Citing documents from the nonpartisan fiscal office, the Republicans said that Democratic state comptroller Kevin Lembo had sought nearly $52 million on October 12, 2013 for health insurance for state retirees. The reason is that more than 800 employees in the Department of Correction are eligible to retire, but the governor\’s budget anticipates that fewer than 300 employees will retire.

The Republicans also cited a request by the state education department on Nov. 13, 2013 for nearly $34 million in additional funding for magnet schools. The fiscal office now estimates a shortfall of nearly $19 million in the account for magnet schools.

“The governor had a fiduciary responsibility to present the legislature and the people of Connecticut with a balanced budget and he failed to meet that responsibility,\’\’ McKinney said. \”What’s worse is that the omitted expenditures look intentional. How else can [state budget director Ben] Barnes and Governor Malloy explain shortchanging two areas of their budget they said were priorities?\’\’

Malloy\’s spokesman, Andrew Doba, responded, “The governor’s budget proposal is balanced. If it were passed today, we would live within it.”

\”In contrast to previous administrations, Governor Malloy has shown that he can manage to the bottom line. That’s why we’ve held growth to less than 2.8 percent over the course of his term. It’s clear that many in the Republican caucus will say anything to score cheap political points,\’\’ Doba said. \”If they were serious about managing the state’s finances, they would put forward a budget. But we all know they aren’t going to do that.\’\’

Administration officials believe they can manage the budget within the current totals, and they do not consider the projected deficit to be a major issue. A projected deficit of $69 million represents a tiny fraction of an overall budget of about $22.3 billion, including off-budget accounts, that is managed by commissioners, budget officials, and the governor. Continue reading

GOP\’s Foley Blasts Malloy Over Tony Avallone Nomination As A Judge

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Larry Cafero, Tom Foley Date:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is blasting Gov. Dannel Malloy\’s nomination of a longtime Democratic political insider for a judgeship where he will eventually qualify for a pension of more than $100,000 per year.

Malloy nominated former state Senator Anthony Avallone, who turns 67 later this year and would qualify for a six-figure pension after reaching the age of 70. The state pension rules for judges are far more lucrative than for other state employees, and the pension is available regardless of how long the person serves as a judge. The nominations are for an 8-year term, but the mandatory retirement age is 70.

Superior Court judges are paid more than $150,000 annually, and their pensions amount to two-thirds of their salary.

“This nomination is symptomatic of two major problems with our state government,\’\’ Foley said Friday. “First, it is another example of how ordinary citizens are getting larger-than-warranted tax bills heaped on them because of the system of political favors that Governor Malloy has implemented at the Capitol.  Governor Malloy should either withdraw his nomination of Mr. Avallone or secure an agreement that he will decline or substantially reduce the extra pension benefit resulting from his very short appointment.\’\’

But Malloy\’s spokesman, Andrew Doba, responded, \”It sounds to me like Tom Foley is saying we should take a person’s age into consideration when making appointments, which would be a violation of state and federal law.\’\’ Continue reading

Gun-rights Advocate Martha Dean Enters Governor\’s Race As Boucher Drops Out

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Martha Dean, Quinnipiac University Poll, Tom Foley, Toni Boucher Date:

 

 

\"martha

In a surprise to many political insiders, conservative Republican Martha Dean said Tuesday that she is running for governor.

The word initially trickled out from the pro-gun Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which released it on the group\’s blog. Dean said later that she is scheduled to officially unveil her campaign next Tuesday, March 18, at a time and place that will be announced in the coming days.

The entrance of Dean would shake up the race, bringing a strong gun supporter into a potential Republican primary as the party goes up against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. But Dean\’s entrance would be very late, particularly in fundraising, where she would need 2,500 contributors at $100 each to qualify for the public financing matching funds for gubernatorial candidates. Numerous political operatives say that raising that type of money – particularly with just two months before the convention – is much more difficult than it appears.

Malloy has not yet officially announced that he is running, but both Republicans and Democrats fully expect him to be nominated at the party\’s convention on Friday, May 16 in Hartford.

In the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Greenwich business executive Tom Foley leads in a potential Republican primary with 36 percent, while Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is in second place at 11 percent. Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Fairfield and former West Hartford town council member Joe Visconti both trail at 3 percent.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, who dropped out of the race Tuesday before the news about Dean, was in last place among Republicans in the poll at 2 percent. Boucher, who is running for reelection for her Senate seat in Fairfield County, cited the difficulty in fundraising in her dropping-out announcement Tuesday.

Dean declined to comment to Capitol Watch, saying that she will not be making any statements about her gubernatorial platform until her official announcement next week. She said she has turned down a television interview and will not be speaking to reporters in detail during the next week.

Longtime Democratic political operative Matthew J. Hennessy said that Dean will have an impact on the race with a strong chance of pulling Republicans to the right on gun control.

\”She\’s not going to win the Republican primary, but she may drag the conversation to places that are not going to help the Republicans in the general election,\’\’ Hennessy said.

Republicans, he said, would rather avoid controversial issues in a potentially divisive primary.

\”They quickly want to move beyond the gun issue,\’\’ Hennessy said. \”They don\’t want to be bogged down in that discussion. This will be a discussion at every debate where she is allowed to participate.\’\’

Continue reading

Sen. Toni Boucher Not Running For Governor

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Tom Foley, Toni Boucher Date:

Faced with lagging poll numbers, state Sen. Toni Boucher announced Tuesday that she is no longer running for governor.

A longtime legislator who has served in both the state House and Senate, Boucher had been exploring a bid for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. But Boucher had kept her options open by creating an exploratory committee for an unspecified statewide office, which would have included lieutenant governor.

Instead, she now says she will run for reelection to her state Senate seat, representing her hometown of Wilton and other surrounding communities.

Polls have shown Boucher far behind the Republican frontrunner, Tom Foley of Greenwich. In the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Foley was tied with Malloy at 42 percent. That sets up a possible rematch in the fall that could mirror the 2010 race, in which Malloy won in the closest gubernatorial election in Connecticut in more than 50 years.

Foley is running for the Republican nomination against Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former West Hartford town council member Joe Visconti, and Shelton mayor Mark Lauretti. In the latest poll, Foley had 36 percent among Republicans and Boughton was in second place at 11 percent. Lauretti had 6 percent, while McKinney and Visconti were tied at 3 percent. Boucher trailed in last place at 2 percent.

\”Exploring a run for governor has been an extraordinary journey,\’\’ Boucher said in a statement.

She added, \”While we have made considerable progress toward our fundraising goals, it is unlikely that we will be able to reach them in the time that remains.\’\’

The votes in the governor\’s race at the state Republican convention are set for Saturday, May 17. Any candidate who gets the votes of 15 percent of the delegates can force a primary in August, but state GOP chairman Jerry Labriola has pledged to try to avoid a divisive primary. Continue reading

Foley-Founded Think Tank Offers Urban Solutions; Dems Question Politics

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Barack Obama, Connecticut Policy Institute, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Quinnipiac University Poll, Republicans, Tom Foley Date:

A think tank founded by Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley offered multiple solutions Friday in a detailed report that tacked the urban problems of jobs, crime, housing, and public education.

The Connecticut Policy Institute issued the report that called for expanding the use of urban enterprise zones to attract businesses, upgrading either Sikorsky or Tweed New Haven airports to create jobs in the cities, and requiring a reading exam before third-graders can be promoted to the fourth grade.

Foley attended the nearly one-hour presentation at the state Capitol complex, but the institute\’s executive director, Yale Law School graduate Ben Zimmer, said that Foley had nothing to do with the writing of the 100-page report.

James Hallinan, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, declined to comment on any of the solutions mentioned in the report, saying that he had not had time to read it.

\”This is purely political, and I think he made that clear,\’\' said Hallinan, who attended the press conference.

Foley\’s spokesman, Christopher Cooper, responded, \”I don\’t think James Hallinan knows a policy from a petunia, but he does know propaganda, and you all heard that today.\’\’ Continue reading