McKinney, Foley Spar at Courant-Fox CT Debate

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney, Republicans, Tom Foley Date:

By Matthew Q. Clarida

The gloves came off as John McKinney and Tom Foley, two Republican hopefuls for governor, squared off on the economy, spending, and Common Core in a debate Thursday.

The hourlong forum was held at the Courant’s offices and moderated by the paper’s Christopher P. Keating and Laurie Perez of Fox CT.

McKinney, a state senator from Fairfield and the Republican leader in the senate, was aggressive from the start, attacking Foley for a spending plan McKinney claimed would offer little change from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s. Foley pledged to hold spending flat, while McKinney has consistently proposed cuts.

“We need to be honest with the people of the state of Connecticut: I have the only plan to reduce spending, in real dollars, in the state of Connecticut,” McKinney said.

McKinney stayed on the offensive when asked about his tax plan. Like Foley, he said that he would cut taxes, but he attacked his opponent for a recent advertisement which said that McKinney has voted with Malloy to raise taxes.

“[Foley] is running as an outsider but his commercial is like that of a typical politician, distorting the facts,” McKinney said.

Foley continued his charge that McKinney, who has served in the state Senate since 1999, is part of a dysfunctional insider’s club in Hartford.

“John McKinney has been in the legislature for 15 years. He’s part of the problem,” Foley said.



Trinity Prof: Blumethal Need Not Say “Pretty Please” on Contraception Mandate

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal made headlines earlier this week with his request that Hobby Lobby DEO David Green comply with Connecticut law and provide the company’s employees with contraception coverage–despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision saying it did not have to.

But according to Trinity College professor Mark Silk, the state’s senior senator did not need to ask so nicely.

“Connecticut is within its rights to demand that Green provide the full range of contraceptive services to his women employees” in the state, writes Silk, professor of religion in public life and director of Trinity’s Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life.

Read more on Silk’s blog, Spiritual Politics, which appears on the Religion News Service website.


Republicans Question Accuracy Of Malloy TV Commercial

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:

Republicans are questioning the accuracy of the first campaign commercial that is currently being aired on stations across the state by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s campaign.

The 60-second commercial credits Malloy with creating jobs, raising the minimum wage, and using “spending cuts and new revenue” to reduce the state’s budget deficit. The commercial does not mention that the state’s personal income, sales, corporate profits, estate, alcohol, cigar and cigarette taxes were raised in 2011 to help close the budget gap.

“The revision of history has begun,” said Senate Republican leader John McKinney of Fairfield. “This ad should win the award for “best fictional documentary in a political campaign” at a film festival.”

McKinney, who is running in the August 12 Republican primary against Greenwich business executive Tom Foley, said, “A non-fictional analysis of the Malloy record would have to account for the $2.8 billion projected deficit he has handed us, the largest tax increase ever hoisted on the people of Connecticut and the $115 million give-away to a billionaire-run hedge fund. It’s sad that Governor Dannel Malloy thinks so little of the people of Connecticut that he would insult their intelligence in this way.”

Devon Puglia, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party, responded, “The fiction so far in this campaign is the series of absurd, impossible-to-keep promises John McKinney’s been making. Truth is, Connecticut’s making progress, much to John McKinney’s and the GOP’s chagrin.” Continue reading

McKinney Receives Public Financing For Gubernatorial Campaign

by Categorized: 2014 Election, David Walker, John McKinney Date:

As expected, the State Elections Enforcement Commission on Wednesday approved Republican candidate for governor John McKinney’s application to participate in Connecticut’s public campaign financing program.

“Our campaign has gained significant momentum over the last two weeks,” said McKinney, the Republican leader in the state Senate. “Today’s good news will allow us to continue making a case for real change.”

Approval of McKinney’s application comes as the Republican gubernatorial contest enters a more contentious phase in the waning days before the Aug. 12 primary. McKinney’s rival, Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, released a new attack ad targeting both McKinney and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is seeking a second term.

“It’s not lost on us that Mr. Foley has decided to launch his first attack ad on the day of our approval,” McKinney said. “We look forward to a competitive primary race.”

The two Republicans will face one another in a debate at noon Thursday at the Hartford Courant. The event is not open to the public but it will be streamed live on and It will also be broadcast on Sunday at 10 a.m. on Fox CT.

McKinney and his running mate, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, are set to receive $1.35 million in public money for the Republican primary. In order to qualify, the two candidates raised a total of $250,000 in contribution $100 or less.

“He’ll get the money within two days,’’ attorney Joshua Foley, a spokesman for the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said.

McKinney had announced last week that he would be receiving public financing, but the formal approval did not come until Wednesday.

In addition, 14 of 24 candidates received authorization from the commission to receive public financing for their campaigns.


Walker Begins Airing First TV Ad, Cites Internal Polling Showing Him in the Lead

by Categorized: 2014 Election, David Walker Date:

David Walker, a Bridgeport Republican running for lieutenant governor, unveiled his first TV commercial Tuesday.

The 30-second ad highlights Walker’s background as a CPA and Reagan appointee who “led the fight to reduce spending an reform government.”

Walker, who has forged a political alliance with gubernatorial candidate John McKinney, told a friendly crowd of Bridgeport Republicans Tuesday night that he is the Republican front-runner in the lieutenant governor’s race, beating his two rivals, Penny Bacchiochi and Heather Bond Somers.

“I’m the leader and I’m the person who should win the lieutenant governor nomination, provided that I can get out my background as compared to the other candidates,” he said, citing internal polling. “I’m leading right now but if I can get my background out as compared to the other candidates, I win comfortably.”

“And interestingly,” Walker added, “I win women by a wide margin.”

Walker says his name recognition is as good or better than that of his two competitors — even in the 2nd Congressional District, which is home to both Bacchiochi and Somers.

“I was really surprised by that because they’ve lived their whole lives,” Walker said. “They’ve been in politics for 10-plus years. I’ve lived in Connecticut for four and a half years…and I’ve never been in politics before. So I think that is encouraging.”

The three lieutenant governor candidates are scheduled to debate on Sunday Aug. 3 in a debate hosted by WFSB and featured on the station’s political show, “Face the State,” Walker said.

Dems File 2nd Complaint Against Foley

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

State Democrats have filed their second complaint in two weeks against Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley regarding the filing of campaign expenses.

The Democrats charge that Foley has not disclosed the expenses to create a television commercial that is currently on the air on multiple stations across the state. The Democrats say that “no payments or obligations regarding advertisement production costs have been disclosed in Mr. Foley’s most recent filings” on July 10.

Those production costs to create the ad “typically run in the tens of thousands of dollars,” the party said.

In the same manner that the Foley campaign rejected the first Democratic complaint made to the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Foley campaign spokesman Christopher Cooper said, “This is another attempt by Governor Malloy and his surrogates to distract attention from his failed leadership and his terrible record as governor.”

He added, “The Foley campaign has been working with the SEEC on nearly everything we do, and we are confident that we are in compliance with all SEEC procedures.”

Citing state law, a spokesman for the SEEC, attorney Joshua Foley, said the commission cannot confirm or deny whether it received a complaint and also could not comment on the details.

Continue reading

Republican Candidates for Governor To Debate Thursday

by Categorized: 2014 Election Date:

The two Republicans running for governor of Connecticut will face one another at a debate in Hartford on Thursday.

Tom Foley, a businessman from Greenwich and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, and John McKinney of Fairfield, the Republican leader in the state Senate, will square at the Hartford Courant office at noon. The debate is not open to the general public but it will be streamed live on and

It will also be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sun., July 20, on FOX CT’s “Political Power Hour.”

Foley, who won the party’s endorsement at the Republican convention in May, and McKinney are competing in the Aug. 12 primary. The winner will face Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the November general election. Independent candidates Joe Visconti and Jonathan Pelto are also working to qualify for a spot on the November ballot.


Larson, House Dems To Introduce Constitutional Amendment

by Categorized: Washington Date:

U.S. Rep. John Larson, CT-1, will join minority leader Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats Tuesday to introduce a constitutional amendment that would reverse recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings removing limits on outside spending in campaigns.

The proposal would allow states and Congress to regulate election spending and impose restrictions on how much outside groups can spend on behalf of or against a candidate. In two campaign finance cases – Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC - the high court rolled back restrictions on campaign spending, both by individuals and outside groups.

The proposed amendment has cleared committee in the Senate, but has little chance of passage in the House.

Hard-Hitting McKinney Ad Takes Aim at Malloy and Foley

by Categorized: 2014 Election, John McKinney Date:

Republican candidate for governor John McKinney’s first TV ad of the 2014 cycle is 30-second blast that criticizes both Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Tom Foley, McKinney’s Republican opponent.

“Dan Malloy raised taxes, increased spending and now Connecticut is broke,” McKinney says. “Tom Foley says he won’t cut spending…that’s not going to fix the problem.”

McKinney, the Republican leader in the state Senate, said he “led the fight against Malloy’s policies and I voted to cut spending and taxes.”

Foley won the Republican party endorsement at its convention in May but McKinney won enough support to qualify for the Aug. 12 primary.

Still, McKinney has persistently lagged behind Foley, the GOP’s 2010 nominee, is public polls. A May survey by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute put McKinney 31 percentage points behind Foley among registered Republicans. Moreover, 71 percent of all voters said they hadn’t heard enough about McKinney to form an opinion.

McKinney’s ad, which begins running Tuesday, is a sharp contrast to the warm and fuzzy tone of Foley’s first TV ad. That spot, which started airing earlier this month, depicts Foley as a suburban Everyman, playing with his young twins on the lawn and fixing a car with his oldest son.

The Malloy campaign also released its first ad today. You can watch that here.