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.”
Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. agreed with McKinney regarding the 60-second commercial that Malloy released Monday.
“Governor Malloy has failed to live up to the campaign promises he made in 2010,” Labriola said. “Now, he is misleading voters about his record in a feeble attempt to improve his chances of being re-elected. His failed policies have only added to the ‘tough times’ cited in his new ads – which is why Connecticut’s economy continues to lag far behind the rest of the nation. Connecticut voters beware: Governor Malloy has proved time and again that he is willing to do or say whatever it takes to get re-elected.”
In Malloy’s commercial, entitled “Tough Times,” it says that the state “deficit is down.”
While the budget has been balanced for the fiscal years that have been completed under Malloy’s watch, the Republicans cite statistics from the legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal office that says the state is facing a projected deficit of $1.293 billion deficit in the 2016 fiscal year and $1.566 billion deficit in the 2017 fiscal year.
Malloy, however, has said repeatedly that those deficits will not be that large because the spending assumptions are higher than the amount of annual spending increases that he has signed into law.
Malloy’s commercial states that he “created jobs,” but the numbers have been in dispute on that issue between the two sides. Malloy touts the amount of private-sector jobs that have been created, while Republicans point to a different number that paints a different picture.
Malloy cites a number that includes all the jobs in Connecticut, including Rhode Island residents who work at Electric Boat or at the two casinos in southeastern Connecticut. Those numbers do not include farmers and those who are self-employed.
By contrast, Republicans cite a different number that covers the total of Connecticut residents who have jobs.
“The state has yet to recover all jobs lost since the end of the recession, lagging behind the nation’s recovery,” Republicans said in a statement. “We have fewer jobs now than we did when the recession began.”