Connecticut, the land of steady habits

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When it first appeared widely in print in the early 1800s, the term “The Land of Steady Habits” was associated with Connecticut’s ancient tradition of assuring political stability through repeatedly electing the same officials to high office.

The question today is—are you, as a taxpayer, happy with Connecticut’s State of Affairs?

A CT Boomonline article of April 12, 2018, stated, “The nation finally woke up and realized what we knew all along. Governor Malloy is, indeed, the worst governor in America. CT News Junkiereports that the latest Morning Consult Poll confirmed it. With a 21 percent approval rating, Malloy sinks even further than Brownback ever did.”

The latter comment does not necessarily mean that the most-liked governors are always the best governors for their respective states, as it depends on whether one cares about fiscal accountability or a likable personality. Affability can lead to being victimized. Remember the line from the movie Wyatt Earp starring Kevin Costner, where his character (Wyatt Earp) stated to his deputy, Ed Masterson: “You’re not a deliberate man, Ed, I don’t sense that about you. You’re too affable.” Ed Masterson was too trusting, which secured his demise by the Clanton gang.

I noted two recent articles: One, Oct. 28, online in the CT Mirror by Bob Stefanowski (R) who lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Ned Lamont. The other was by Toni Boucher (R), former Connecticut state senator in her online-published newsletter, CT Insights. Both centered on Connecticut’s abysmal fiscal status and dismal economic future. Certainly, we’ve received some population influx from those fleeing the urban centered cities due to the COVID-19 crisis creating a false sense of a real-estate boom and rising property values. But that can reverse itself once the virus crisis is in our rearview mirror. The Tax Foundation ranks Connecticut 47th for business tax climate in 2020.

While Republican 2018-primary-winner Stefanowski should have won walking backwards through the finish line after Malloy’s eight-year fiasco reign, he lacked charisma and avoided in-person media scrutiny. Now he’s playing Monday morning quarterback with commentary on the current administration on local radio show interviews.

Is this his strategy for another run at the State Capital in 2022? Will he develop a charming demeanor with the roughly 42 percent independent voters between now and then? Parties like candidates who are self-funded, such as Stefanowski, because it reduces the need for major fundraising efforts.

What about Themis Klarides? Is she stepping down from her House minority leader post to be a challenger in the 2022 gubernatorial race? Given her recent marriage to Greg Butler, a senior vice president of Eversource, do the optics pose a conflict of interest? Consider Connecticut’s serious issues with Eversource’s massive rate hikes and unjustifiably poor emergency service to state residents.

What about her newly established federally-registered Republican PAC geared to party building? Under campaign finance laws, a federal PAC offers the most flexible way to raise and spend money for general party-building activities, while limiting direct candidate contributions to federal campaigns. However, this does help Klarides maintain her public political profile. Under her House leadership, Republicans lost at least seven seats in the recent state elections, giving the Blue party a veto-proof majority.

Speaking of potential candidates—what about Governor Lamont? He said he only wanted his post for four years to get Connecticut economically back on track. While folks were unimpressed with his initial foray in the capitol, his handling of the COVID crisis seems to have bolstered his rating, but our fiscal house is sliding into an abyss.

Does this mean we have to remain the land of steady habits to assure political stability by repeatedly electing the same officials to high office?

What if we could draw a candidate with global corporate marketing experience, Washington D.C. interface with both party’s administration officials, fiscally conservative, media savvy, a non-profit veteran, a champion for administration transparency with taxpayers, and like Mr. Earp, a fierce defender of law and order? Stay-tuned.