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On the Move: Bhargava to Treasurer’s Race.

Wealthy Greenwich Democrat Dita Bhargava is applying a reality check to her aspirations to become governor of Connecticut, Daily Ructions has learned. Bhargava has been making inquiries of party leaders on whether to convert her exploratory committee into a candidacy for treasurer.

Bhargava’s fundraising has lagged far behind what she would need to qualify for public financing as a credible candidate for governor. She was an unsuccessful candidate for the state legislature in 2016. A race for treasurer will require Bhargava to provide more details on her career in finance.

Bhargava would be the fourth Democrat in the race to succeed five term incumbent Denise Nappier. Hartford Democrat Shawn Wooden has been expected to be a decisive favorite but has been slow out of the starting gate.

February 19, 2018   No Comments

Bob for Governor Buys a Few Spots.

You will have to watch a lot of television to catch them. Bob Stefanowski, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, will air $12,057 in ads for two days on Fox News in the Hartford and New York markets. The buy should get the candidate about a half dozen spots a day.

Stefanowski is the self-funding Madison resident who did not vote for 15 years but did find time to make a maximum contribution to Democrat Christopher Dodd. Curiously, Stefanowski was a Democrat for parts of 2016 and 2017.

Expect the Stefanowski ads to highlight the tax repeal plan the campaign paid entrepreneurial Tennessee economist Arthur Laffer $75,000 to draft and explain.

January 24, 2018   Comments Off on Bob for Governor Buys a Few Spots.

Middletown Democrats Inflict Humiliating Defeat on Drew.

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Dan Drew’s candidacy was in doubt Tuesday night after his hometown Democrats swept his supporters from Middletown’s Democratic town committee. It was a stinging defeat for the mayor who has hoped to become governor from a loyal base in Middletown.

By a lopsided vote of 118-41, Drew’s allies suffered a decisive defeat at the local caucus. With their victory, the anti-Drew forces have gained control of the selection of delegates to the state Democratic convention. Drew will be shut out in his hometown.

A brutal night at home for Drew, who will now have to consider his position.

January 9, 2018   Comments Off on Middletown Democrats Inflict Humiliating Defeat on Drew.

Again: Connecticut Lost 3,500 Jobs in November.

In the midst of a national economic expansion, Connecticut lost 3,500 jobs in November. The grim news raised the job casualty toll to 15,000 in the past six months.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s office continued its tradition of silence in the face of the monthly flight of jobs and opportunity from the state. The continuing bad news will require candidates to replace the unpopular incumbent to provide credible, detailed plans on how to reverse the jobs crisis.

December 22, 2017   Comments Off on Again: Connecticut Lost 3,500 Jobs in November.

Mattei Follows the Bysiewicz Trail. Abandons Race for Governor to Run for AG. Trips at Starting Gate.

Hartford Democrat Christopher Mattei has thought about it for a week and decided he has a better chance to become attorney general than governor. The ambitious former federal prosecutor and first-time candidate will make his announcement Monday at 11 a.m.

Mattei has chosen the steps of the state’s Supreme Court on Capitol Avenue to meet the press. His inexperience is showing. Connecticut politicians have long treated courts as no-go zones for campaign props. Courts in the Constitution State are seen as places where the government should have no inherent advantage over the citizenry.

Attempts to politicize our judicial system flash all sorts of dubious signals. The first is what a clumsy transition Mattei is making from prosecutor to candidate. The second is that he is either getting terrible advice or ignoring wise counsel. The third is William Tong may have an easier time than party insiders have been predicting.

December 3, 2017   Comments Off on Mattei Follows the Bysiewicz Trail. Abandons Race for Governor to Run for AG. Trips at Starting Gate.

It Begins. Shaban Will Seek Republican Nomination for AG.

John Shaban will announce today that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for attorney general. The Redding Republican served three terms in the state House of Representatives. He represented the 135th District before running for Congress against Jim Hines in 2016.

Shaban will have no trouble meeting the 10-year practice rule that proved so lethal to Susan Bysiewicz in 2010. He is a partner at Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan in Greenwich. He previously practiced at the New York and Stamford firm Kelly Drye & Warren.

November 28, 2017   Comments Off on It Begins. Shaban Will Seek Republican Nomination for AG.

Herbst Calls Bipartisan Budget “Imperfect” “Watershed”. Urges Malloy Not to Veto.

From Republican gubernatorial hopeful:

“Friday night was a watershed moment in our state where it became crystal clear that struggling Connecticut taxpayers will not tolerate any more tax increases from Hartford,” Herbst said.

“Connecticut residents have had enough of the business-as-usual attitude in Hartford that has brought our state’s economy to its knees, driven businesses and residents out and suppressed wages and opportunity for hardworking taxpayers,” Herbst continued.

“The plan, passed by both chambers, is imperfect but takes some significant steps in the right direction and would avert another massive tax hike,” Herbst said, “and so I urge Gov. Malloy to reconsider his pledge to veto this budget.”

“A veto from Gov. Malloy will embolden his insider allies in Hartford to make a renewed push for job-crushing tax hikes and allow the governor to slash municipal and education aid,” Herbst warned.

“Most of all,” Herbst said, “a veto would reaffirm the servile commitment of Democratic insiders in Hartford to putting the welfare of big labor special interests above what is right for Connecticut workers, families, businesses and retirees.”


September 16, 2017   Comments Off on Herbst Calls Bipartisan Budget “Imperfect” “Watershed”. Urges Malloy Not to Veto.

The Silence of Those Who Would Be Governor.

Thursday and Friday were historic days in modern Connecticut political history. On Thursday, the legislature’s Democratic leadership imploded into incoherence as its members were appalled to discover they were expected to vote for a messy, greedy budget. The stampede left leaders undone and incapable of explaining the way forward for even a few hours at a time.

Friday afternoon saw a bipartisan response forming on the rubble of the previous day. It began with a Republican budget proposal–shaped by the Senate Republicans and eventually supported by House Republicans–that had been unveiled months before. The decisive moment, however, came when three Democrats voted for it, providing a wide margin of victory in the evenly divided upper chamber.

Early Saturday morning, after an extended and notably bitter debate, enough Democrats joined their House Republican colleagues to provide a majority for the Republican proposal.

Missing in action was the herd of Republican and Democratic candidates for governor. The next governor will have to live with the biennial budget that is finally adopted. The opening days of the new administration will be spent coping with the new budget and proposing one to follow it.

Budget decisions made this week–even with Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of the bipartisan budget–are of lasting significance. We have entered into a new era of consequences. The politically ambitious, who spend their days seeking to persuade party activitists of their ability to lead, have been hibernating. Some cowering. Those are not the hallmarks of leadership that seeks to lead the state through the many perils that await.

When will they find their voices and add specific ideas to this critical debate?

September 16, 2017   Comments Off on The Silence of Those Who Would Be Governor.

Eye on Esty. Former Malloy Administration Official Sniffing Around Race for Governor.

Ethically challenged Democrat Dan Esty is making calls in the aftermath of Kevin Lembo’s Thursday retreat from the governor’s race, Daily Ructions can report. The Cheshire Democrat’s interest in a bid for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor was revived when Lembo announced he would rather pursue his policy passions from the comptroller’s office than in the state’s highest office.

Esty served as Democrat Daniel P. Malloy’s first commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. He was in the administration when it passed the largest tax increase in the state’s history. Esty, who is married to the heiress and Fifth District U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, ran into trouble when he failed to disclose his lucrative relationship with Northeast Utilities (now Eversource) in his ethics filing required as a high-ranking administration official.

Esty may find public financing campaign rules a challenge. They do not allow transfers from the family fortune to campaign coffers, which proved so helpful to Elizabeth Esty in her 2012 bid for Congress. That may be why Dan Esty’s initial calls have been to test his ability to attract party donors and fundraisers.

September 2, 2017   Comments Off on Eye on Esty. Former Malloy Administration Official Sniffing Around Race for Governor.

Back to the Sidelines. Lembo Nixes Race for Governor. Will Seek 3rd Term as Comptroller.

It’s a return to the sidelines for State Comptroller Kevin Lembo. The two term Democrat abandoned his exploratory campaign for governor. Lembo announced he will seek a third term as comptroller.

Lembo has been seen often lately at lunch in Hartford with Democratic lieutenant governor and Malloy nodded Nancy Wyman. The Tolland Democrat has not announced her 2018 plans but is said to be receiving encouragement to run from people who would profit from the continuation of the Malloy administration.

August 31, 2017   Comments Off on Back to the Sidelines. Lembo Nixes Race for Governor. Will Seek 3rd Term as Comptroller.