“Something I’ve Heard And That People Believe”

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WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hang down your head, Tom Foley. Hang down your head and cry.


Foley’s “Face the State” interview Sunday should have been held in a cab, with Dennis House in the back seat and Foley driving while spewing — a la Mel Gibson in “Conspiracy Theory” — a series of dimly sourced crypto-Masonic conspiracies.


Foley kicked off his tasting flight of charges against Dan Malloy with a series of disclaimers that sounded like the Terms of Service on  a recalled playpen.

“I’m not a news organization; I don’t have  a staff to look into these things …They

were told to me by more than one reliable source so it meets a journalistic standard

…and they’re things that are believed so they’re a problem whether they’re true or not

It seems that there’s some substance to them but I can’t confirm that they’re true.”

That was the preamble.

First of all, that’s not the way the “journalistic standard” works. I’d be happy to flesh out the distinction if anyone cares.
And if there can be such a thing as political “best practices,” this approach is its opposite. If you’re going to attack your opponent in this way, you ordinarily do put some staff work into it. If you don’t have the money — hah! — you have volunteers do it.

Instead, Foley was — in three possible senses of the metaphor — just spitballing.

It seems, if nothing else, incredibly lazy. “I can’t be bothered to bring this information up to code, but, WTF, here it is. Somebody else deal with it.”
The sloppy disclaimers continued, making Foley seem more and more like a guy who had a couple of drinks at the country club bar and was running off at the mouth. He set up his claim that Malloy was compensated either during or before his 2010 campaign — Foley wasn’t sure — by his future commissioner Dan Esty, with the following run-on statement: “It’s believed, or I’ve heard, a lot of people believe.” Well that nails it down for me. If it didn’t for you, Foley then characterized his claim as “something I’ve heard and a lot of people believe.”

“Something I’ve Heard And A Lot Of People Believe” is a great title for an unpublished David Foster Wallace manuscript, but as a political charge, it’s the rhetorical equivalent of a dribble glass.

For his charge that Pullman and Comley has been designated — via dog whistle — as the go-to firm for municipalities seeking funds from the Bonding Commission, Foley added, “Whether that’s true or not, the mere mere perception that that’s the case” creates a situation in which a lot of towns do seek out that firm.

Now, before you all scream that I’m in the tank, let me say this. I think Malloy is truly assailable for not taking seriously government ethics. This, for me, has less to do with his personal conduct and more to do with his negligence about policing his own people and his hostility toward watchdog agencies and sunshine laws. It’s partly an ego thing. Malloy believes that he, personally, is all the Good Government we need right now. I look forward to someone with real credibility — John McKinney — calling him on it.

But not this guy. As I’ve written elsewhere, Foley was always an unlikely standard bearer for ethics. He was tightly wrapped into the truly corrupt Rowland administration and can never find his voice when there’s a chance to say any of that stuff was wrong. I’m less concerned with his old arrests — one of them connected to an ugly divorce  — and more interested in the way he dragged all that unhappiness in front of Rowland’s feet and got himself appointed co-chair of a task for on divorce and custody. By most accounts his work on that task force was pretty good, but his presence as co-chair had nothing to do with qualifications and everything to do with the money-driven cronyism he now claims to deplore. I mean, he had as much business chairing that task force as he would, oh, I don’t know, playing a key role in the attempt to rebuild Iraq.

Oh. Wait.

Something I’ve heard and a lot of people believe is that they still don’t have full electrical service over there.


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15 thoughts on ““Something I’ve Heard And That People Believe”

  1. peter brush

    And if there can be such a thing as political “best practices,” this approach is its opposite. If you’re going to attack your opponent in this way, you ordinarily do put some staff work into it. If you don’t have the money — hah! — you have volunteers do it.
    The State is in trouble. We need someone willing and able to cut spending, get the fiscal house in order. Malloy neither willing nor able. Perhaps Foley could do it, but he appears to be an incompetent pol. We need someone of principle who can deal with a liberal legislature to “get things undone.”
    For my money, the Malloy administration is plenty corrupt, but not necessarily self-aggrandizing. Frankly, I’d rather that he have a hot tub installed than give millions to hedge funds, etc.

  2. Paul

    I don’t know but I’ve been told, Baghdad streets are paved with gold.
    I don’t know but Cheney said, now’s the time to make some bread.
    If two people say it’s true, that’s good ‘nough for me, how ’bout you?

    1. Mr Bill

      Ain’t that a fact. I should have purchased a hot dog stand and shipped it to Bagdad and sold hot dogs in the green zone.

      Bagdad Hotdog: $25.00

      Relish: $3.00

      Pack of Ketchup: 2.00

      Dash of Mustard: $2.00

      Chopped Red Onions: $5.00 (extra labor charge)

      One Ice Cold Coca-Cola: $25.00

      Total: $62.00

      No tax in Bagdad

      Now that’s a deal.

    1. Colin McEnroe Post author

      I could pass a polygraph on that one.
      Actually, the notion that the Capitol Steps have ever arrived at a comic musical trope that the average person could come up with is …well funnier than 90 percent of their material.

  3. Johngaltwhereru

    I remember when Colin McEnroe took the same umbrage when Harry Reid, while speaking on the Senate Floor, claimed he heard Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in 10 years.

    Colin was also very diligent in attacking baseless claims by the Obama Campaign that Romney hated dogs, women, and was responsible for death by cancer.

    The reason I remember this, and you don’t, is that I have a very advanced iPad, purchased in a neighboring galaxy, which allows you to read any invisible ink used in printing The Courant.

    1. peter brush

      Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in 10 years
      And, killed a guy’s wife by depriving her of insurance (or some b.s.).
      Still, Foley appears to be a dope. McKinney is a plausible alternative. Not conservative, but not a dope (as far as I can tell). He would be a big step in the right direction, appears electable, and doesn’t seem to generate extreme hatred in the opposition that needs to be dealt with.
      By failing to address the structural problems with state government and continuing to spend and borrow beyond taxpayers’ means, Governor Malloy has threatened our economic security and the economic security of future generations.

      In the end, Governor Malloy’s vision of shared sacrifice never materialized. Instead, hardworking taxpayers were burdened with the largest tax hike in state history, promised savings from state employee unions were never achieved, government spending increased, the state’s bond ratings were downgraded, our economy shrunk, and unemployment grew.

      Dan Malloy’s state government is broken.

      I want to fix it.

      As governor, I will work to reduce state spending, roll back taxes…

      1. Johngaltwhereru

        I disagree with one point: That Republicans should choose a candidate that doesn’t generate extreme hatred in the opposition.

        The main reason I disagree is that I believe if Liberal Democrats hate you, you are what CT needs.

        Secondly, regardless of who the Republican nominee is, no matter how Liberal, people like Colin McEnroe and the rest of The Courant staff will see to it that the opposition hates him. There will be no regard for reality or unbiased Journalism.

        1. peter brush

          if Liberal Democrats hate you, you are what CT needs
          Some truth to that.
          Perhaps the better putting of it phraseological-y speaking would be that we need, not only a candidate, but a Governor with political skills; someone to whom gauche demonizing is difficult to do. It was more difficult for them to demonize Reagan than it was W. Bush because the latter is a dope. (Mind; I’ve voted for the dopey Bush twice and the dopey Foley once so far.)
          The electorate is, as they say, what it is. The chances of having a sane legislature here in Connecticut are slim. But, the Nutmeg State is on the rocks. We need someone who can get elected and get something of a sane agenda through that august deliberative body.

          1. Johngaltwhereru

            I think Foley is electable.

            He barely lost last time, after likely voting fraud, and Malloy has infuriated wide swaths of normally reliable Democrat voters.

            Further, Malloy and his surrogates can claim whatever they want about how wonderful the CT economy is, and how things are looking up. The problem is most CT voters live in CT and know it is not true.

  4. peter brush

    I think Foley is electable.
    I agree. And, I agree with the New Haven Register that he’s a far sight better than Dan. Given a choice between two New England Republicans, I’ll take the one who makes fewer dumb moves.
    Finally, we have found Foley to be the more forthright of the two candidates. As an aggressive debater, Malloy has claimed he won’t raise taxes and repeated a deliberate falsehood about Foley.

    A textile company that Foley once owned in Georgia spun off a division that employed 1,000 workers. Most, if not all those workers, stayed at their jobs, but under new management. Malloy has claimed the workers were laid off. The false claim is repeated in a television ad.

    Foley ran the company for 11 years. Battered by competition from foreign textile companies, it was reorganized under bankruptcy laws in 1996.

    Foley then left the company, which emerged from bankruptcy, was listed on the American Stock Exchange and was later bought by another textile company.

    Foley’s record as a business executive is commendable. His business skills in increasing productivity while keeping an eye on costs are needed in the governor’s office.

  5. Virginia Drozd

    Good God, I’m watching Tom Foley with John Dankosky on TV (CTN) right now–maybe i’ve never heard TF speak before, but this is making me very uneasy–Does he always slur his speech like this? Is he drunk or sedated? Yikes.

  6. peter brush

    God Bless Tom Delay.
    It is a scandal that there has been and will be no serious jail time in the matter of former Republican majority leader Tom DeLay — Ronnie Earle, the hyperpartisan Democratic prosecutor whose risible case against DeLay has just been finally thrown out by the Third District Texas Court of Appeals, richly deserves to be measured for an all-orange wardrobe.

    After eleven years, the matter of Mr. DeLay’s fund-raising in the 2002 election cycle has been finally put to rest, with Mr. Earle’s case having been vivisected by Justice Melissa Goodwin, who in her quietly scathing opinion did not bother even to consider six of the eight points raised by Mr. DeLay’s defense, finding the first two sufficient to snuff out what is in theory a prosecution but is in fact a persecution.

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