Tom Foley has apparently decided that he isn\’t just running for governor. He\’s running against the entire Hartford establishment, Democrat and Republican.
How else can one make sense of Foley\’s appearance before a capitol committee yesterday to testify in favor of a \”clean government\” bill that could make felons out of dozens of legislators — including perhaps Republican leaders and Gov. Dannel Malloy — because they work (or live with) someone who does business with state.
It\’s worth reading his carefully-prepared testimony. Here\’s an excerpt:
\”What is okay around our capitol is considered a bribe in most places,\’\’ Foley testified yesterday. \”Why would anyone hire a lobbyist when you can just put a legislator on your payroll!\”
\”The foxes are running the hen house. Our ethics rules start off as \”ethics light\” and then, on appeal, everyone is given a pass because \’people have a right to earn a living.\’ That\’s the same argument you hear when you to go a foreign country and the police demand a bribe with the excuse that they are not paid enough. That may be true, but it is still a bribe. And in most of those countries, unlike here, it is illegal. This is Connecticut. We are part of the United States of America. Let\’s make this sleazy practice illegal here, too.\’\’
\”If a legislators can\’t earn a living with someone other than a public employee union, state contractor or lobbying form, they probably aren\’t qualified to be a legislator.\”
Citizens, undoubtedly, are increasingly fed up with how money influences government. Tom Foley, a successful Greenwich businessman, is about to test whether they are ready to turn the reins over to a businessman who pays for everything with is own money.