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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Malloy and DeStefano campaigns get ugly

Seems like these two guys know that the various town committees are choosing their delegates for the convention this week. With a governor with an approval rating over 70 percent, it would be wise to go after Rell (which isn't that hard if you think about it) than go after each other.

No wonder these two guys aren't receiving much coverage in the press or blogs.

From the Hartford Courant
In the sharpest exchange of their campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, John DeStefano Jr. and Dannel P. Malloy accused each other Monday of betraying bedrock Democratic ideals.

DeStefano, who reintroduced himself to voters by formally declaring his candidacy after two years of campaigning, accused Malloy of joining Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell in supporting a regressive tax structure.

"No sharper distinction exists between me and my two opponents for governor than their determination to repeal the estate tax," DeStefano said. "I believe it is a fair and progressive tax, one that affects only the top 2 percent of Connecticut's wage earners."

The Malloy campaign responded by releasing a piece of opposition research: excerpts from testimony DeStefano delivered years ago in which he appeared to favor limits on binding arbitration for public employees, a position that is anathema to his union supporters.

Each campaign then accused the other of misrepresenting its candidates' positions, giving a jolt to a contest that had been notable for the two Democrats virtually speaking with one voice in criticizing the Rell administration's record of job creation.

The clash may have been inevitable as DeStefano, mayor of New Haven, and Malloy, the mayor of Stamford, enter a new phase of their campaign. Today marks the beginning of a seven-day period in which Democrats will select 1,607 delegates for the nominating convention in May.

At the convention and during the primary campaign that is all but certain to follow, the two mayors must appeal to organized labor and liberals who favor a progressive tax structure, both important parts of the Democratic constituency.

"This is a different part of the campaign now," DeStefano said. "And, in this part of the campaign, drawing distinctions for voters is very important."

"This is a real horse race," Malloy said.
Again, with a governor with a high approval rating, the best these two Democrats can do is fight with each other?

These two guys should of debated each other weeks if not months ago and we shouldn't be at this point wondering who is going to be the Democratic candidate. Somewhere, Gov Rowland-Rell is smiling right now while her administration and cronies are getting away with crazy stuff under the radar.
State elections enforcement Director Jeffrey B. Garfield, under fire for giving Gov. M. Jodi Rell's campaign manager access to a confidential draft settlement of his agency's case against several of her top appointees, was at the Capitol Monday to lobby against a planned legislative hearing to investigate his actions.

In a parallel development, a high-ranking Rell administration official made phone calls Monday to the top leaders of the Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate in hopes of persuading them against the investigative hearing, Capitol sources said.

A spokesman for Senate Democrats questioned the appropriateness of the phone calls by Rell's budget director, Robert Genuario - and a Democratic legislative leader indicated he would not back down on the hearing.

"I think it's fair to say that the hearing will take place," said Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, co-chairman of the legislature's elections committee.

Caruso and his committee co-chairman announced Friday that their panel plans to hold a hearing within weeks regarding Garfield's actions. Garfield sent confidential information in a Feb. 10 e-mail to Rell campaign manager Kevin Deneen and let him act as a go-between in negotiations to settle charges of fund-raising violations by 16 top Rell administration officials.

The 16 officials ultimately settled the cases against them on March 8 by paying $500 fines and signing agreements with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Keep up the great work guys. You're doing a fine job holding the governor accountable for her administration's shady actions. Stepping up the pace for delegate points is understandable but I can't see how the fighting (at this point in their campaigns) helps the party as a whole.

No wonder the Democrats haven't won a gubernatorial election in in twenty years...