Tom Foley has been a disappointing candidate in some ways — particularly for someone who has been running for governor for more than four years. He hasn’t become as intimately familiar with the details of state government as he should have during that time.
But Dannel P. Malloy has been an even more disappointing governor for nearly four years — and he’s run an overly negative and personal campaign for the past few months.
Connecticut finally released a positive jobs report — just in time for the election — last week. It notes that the state added more than 10,000 private-sector jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 6.4% — the lowest since November 2008.
Does this mean that Malloy’s stewardship is leading the Nutmeg State out of the Great Recession? Or is it just that many have stopped looking for jobs and thus are not included in the unemployment report?
The initial reports from the state Department of Labor always need some tinkering. A month ago, the department announced the state added 3,600 jobs in August; that number was adjusted down to 1,200 jobs once all the data finally came in.
Malloy has been quick to take credit for any sliver of good news in Connecticut over the past four years — and just as quick to blame his Republican predecessors for the sluggish economy.
Of course, it’s mostly the policies of the heavily Democratic General Assembly that have helped keep Connecticut down for years. The only truly growing industry here is state government — and that hasn’t changed under Malloy.
It’s been a one-note Malloy campaign strategy: Foley is rich and therefore you shouldn’t like him. How does that relate to the issues facing Connecticut?
Connecticut continues to lag behind most other states. And when you add up all the taxes you have to pay — income, property, sales, conveyance, etc. — the average Connecticut resident has to work until May before he or she has made enough money to pay those taxes. That is longer than in any other state.
Under Malloy, Connecticut had the biggest tax increase in state history — yet still has large state budget deficits looming. Most people would realize the problem also has to do with spending.
Malloy, a Democrat, has championed corporate welfare by picking and choosing which state businesses can benefit — not only giving them an unfair advantage over their in-state competitors but sometimes encouraging a business to leave one town for another, hurting the town it has left.
Malloy concealed the names of nearly 200 state employees who were caught fraudulently taking welfare benefits after Hurricane Irene.
Malloy does not want to hold himself or state employees accountable. However, the people of Connecticut should. Foley might not be the best man for the job, but Malloy has proved he certainly isn’t.
Foley understands how to efficiently run a business, despite the constant mudslinging claims by Malloy in his TV ads (it’s been a one-note campaign strategy: Foley is rich and therefore you shouldn’t like him. How does that relate to the issues facing Connecticut?).
Personal success — and the wealth that can come with it — shouldn’t be an albatross around someone’s neck. It’s usually a sign of someone who is pretty good at what they do.
Tom Foley is Connecticut’s best chance of holding the tax-and-spend-happy General Assembly in check, and he’s therefore the choice of this newspaper.