Saying the business climate—particularly for gun manufacturers—is bad in Connecticut and better in their states, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard are coming to town to try to convince businesses to move.
Perry is clearly the more aggressive of the two, launching a $1 million TV and radio ad campaign targeted at Connecticut and New York. Perry has taken a rather in-your-face approach touting the fact that gas prices, unemployment, taxes, (there is no income tax in Texas), regulation and the business climate in general are better in the Lone Star State.
South Dakota’s Daugaard is taking the more traditional approach, flying under the radar until it was reported by the Hartford Courant’s fine business reporter Dan Haar. State officials visit rival states to lure business all the time. It’s just not done Perry’s way.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has been unimpressed about the visits, particularly Perry’s saying, “He can do and say whatever he wants, I ultimately think it’s about his running for President.”
Massachusetts Democrats vowed this year not to have a repeat of the 2010 special election for US Senate in which Republican Scott Brown upset Democrat Martha Coakley. But the latest polls in the race to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry has Republican Gabriel Gomez within striking distance of prohibitive favorite Democratic US Rep. Ed Markey in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. Bay State voters go to the polls next Tuesday.
The Real Clear Politics (RCP) website combines a number of other polls and comes up with its own average number. RCP has Markey’s lead in the single digits. Polls by Suffolk University and WBUR radio have Gomez within seven points. That’s bad news for Markey, the longtime congressman. However, the latest Boston Globe poll shows Markey with a 13-point lead but also indicates Gomez is the more likeable candidate.
Massachusetts is as solidly blue a state as possible. The only way a Republican can win a seat in the US Senate or House is if it’s in a special election (see Brown besting Coakley for the seat that opened when Ted Kennedy died). It’s all about turnout.
There is another problem for Markey at play in this race—he is seen as “establishment Washington” and has been tagged by Gomez as “owning” all the problems that plague the nation’s capital. Not that it’s that hard to do. Markey has been in Congress for 37 years.
When Gomez scored an upset victory the three-way Republican primary in April, he was seen as little more than a newcomer who would easily be bested by Markey. But that gradually changed as people started to take notice of his résumé. He’s former Navy SEAL, has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is a successful businessman (although that’s been challenged by the Boston Globe).
Today is the six-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in which 20 children and six educators were slain. And as we all know by now, Texas Gov. Rick “Poachin’” Perry is coming to Connecticut Monday to try to lure business from Connecticut to the Lone Star State. His main target will be gun manufacturers. Talk about your bad timing.
Any Perry visit in which he openly tries to steal businesses from Connecticut will draw criticism from some. But to court gun makers so close to the anniversary of the Newtown shooting shows Perry is tone deaf to the victims’ families.
Join Brad Drazen, Kerri-Lee Mayland and me Monday morning at 6:30 on NBC Connecticut as we discuss Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s visit to Connecticut
If even for appearances sake, it’s probably not a good idea for Gov. Dannel Malloy to be pursuing his national ambitions while Texas Gov. Rick Perry looks to pilfer Connecticut businesses and talking smack about the Nutmeg State. At the very least, Malloy should counterpunch a bit. It’s not like there aren’t ample openings. Perry’s from Texas for goodness sake.
Perry is coming to the northeast Sunday and will presumably meet with business leaders in Connecticut Monday. Gun manufacturers are among his targets. He’ll make a pitch them in Hartford. And his non-Texas-taxpayer-funded group dropped $1 million on TV and radio ads telling the good people of the great states of Connecticut and New York why they’d love it in the heat-stroke inducing Lone Star State.
Economic development officials from one state trying to lure business from another state is nothing new. What is new is how Perry’s doing it. These things are usually done stealthily, on the DL. But Perry seems to be enjoying trumpeting the fact that he’s on the prowl for Yankee ingenuity.
Texas, at least at first glance, has the numbers on its side. It has no income tax, little regulation, it added more than a half million jobs since 2008 (how many of them are minimum wage?), and according to the “Texas, Wide Open for Business” website, electric rates, gas prices, the unemployment rate, and hourly wages are all lower than those of Connecticut. The Home of George W. Bush also isn’t exactly union-friendly.
New York State is also in the crosshairs of Gov. Perry—an apropos metaphor since in Texas, if you’re not packin’, you’re not welcome. Perry hits New York later in the week. But unlike Gov. Malloy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at least fighting back.
It’s curious that Malloy, never one to shrink from an interstate fight (see Christ Christie and even Cuomo), has said nothing about Perry’s “Your State Sucks, Come to Texas” tour. All we’ve heard from the governor’s office was a very dismissive labeling of Perry’s efforts as “lame publicity stunts.”
Former Gov. Jodi Rell may very well be looking to be a factor in the race for governor in 2014. She barely engaged the legislature in her six years as governor choosing “reading days” in Brookfield over the back and forth that takes place at the state Capitol. Yet Rell felt compelled to pen a letter to the editors of the state’s daily newspapers this week wagging her finger at the legislature for its adjusting of the state’s campaign finance laws. Of course, it takes some revisionist history for her to have any credibility on the issue.
In her letter, Rell says of the campaign finance reform (CFR) law passed when she was governor, “I am proud to have sponsored and signed into law these changes.” Please. It’s may be technically true that she signed the Clean Elections bill but she had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to do so. In fact, she was staunchly opposed to public financing—the centerpiece of the bill—and vetoed the first CFR that came her way.
The Shad knows how it all went down because I was there as communications director for the Senate Democrats. Here’s what really happened: When the 2005 regular legislative session failed to produce a CFR law, Gov. Rell was not only culpable, her actions called into question whether she ever really wanted a bill that included public financing.
On April 1 of that year, Rell called the House and Senate campaign finance reform plans — both including public financing — “a sham.” On June 2, she did her first 180-degree reversal by fully endorsing public financing. On June 6, she proposed 2010 as the year that the public financing take full effect. On June 7, when it became clear the Senate would step up to the plate with a public-financing bill that would pass, the governor said she would veto the bill. When a reporter asked Rell how she felt about the Senate bill, which would not institute full public financing of campaigns until 2010, she said, “Why don’t we just make it 2025? The bill is not acceptable. It is not real reform.”
She therefore based her veto of the first CFR bill on the fact the Senate bill used 2010 as the full effective date — the same date she herself proposed just a day before. It was an absolute nightmare trying to get Rell to go along with any CFR.
The truth is the driving force behind CFR was then-state Sen. Don DeFronzo who was the chairman of the government administration and elections committee (he is now Gov. Malloy’s commissioner of the department of administrative services). It was his calm, level-headed and brilliant approach that resulted in the new law.
So why would Rell weigh in on this subject? Why now? To this point, she has been unengaged in politics except for some token endorsements for Republicans such as US Senate candidate Linda McMahon.
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State House Minority Leader Larry Cafero may be trying to position himself as Connecticut’s version of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—blunt, plain spoken, harsh and hyperbolic. That’s a logical explanation for why he said of a now-convicted felon who tried to give him illegal campaign contributions back in 2012, “In hindsight…I’d kill him, I’d kill him.” The difference is, Christie will be reelected governor of his state while Cafero has no chance of being governor of his even though he is considering a run.
The New Haven Register’s Mary O’Leary reports Cafero continues to try to extricate himself from the problems that come with being videotaped by the FBI investigating corruption in the General Assembly last year.
Corrections union bigwig Ray Soucy and two men from a roll-your-own tobacco shop visited Cafero’s capitol office in March in 2012. Soucy was engaged in an illegal effort to try to kill a bill that would negatively affect such tobacco shops by making illegal campaign contributions to lawmakers. Soucy tried to give Cafero a $5,000 “campaign contribution.” (To add a little cloak-and-dagger drama to the story, Soucy claims he left $5,000 in Cafero’s Capitol office refrigerator. Cafero calls that a lie and the FBI recording doesn’t show Soucy doing it.)
There are two strange things about Cafero’s story. First, he said when Soucy tried to make a $5,000 cash “contribution” to what Cafero claims he thought was to the House Republican Campaign Committee political action committee, he stopped him and told an aide to figure out how the sum could be contributed legally (Cafero later returned the money, donated in five $1,000 checks under other people’s names). The question remains: Why didn’t Cafero call the cops, the FBI or other law enforcement the minute Soucy tried to give him $5,000 in cash? Instead, he assigned an aide to make the money legal.