Arthur Christopher Schaper
The year, 2010, was a banner year for Republicans across the country, particularly the Tea Party caucus push-back against Obamacare and other progressive intrusions.
In New England, the Tea Party waves even covered New Hampshire, and helped out a little in Massachusetts (earlier, in January, with Scott Brown), but in Connecticut, a Democratic candidate (who had run for Governor in 2006 and lost), finally got the top office. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy won election with a margin of fewer than seven thousand votes.
Like Republican governors with their like-minded conservative legislatures, Malloy had at his feet a sympathetic, Democratic super-majority to enact a government centered world-view and policy shift. Washington Monthly listed his progressive accomplishments (in gushing terms, since one of Malloy's former interns wrote the piece):
He repealed the death penalty.
He allowed drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.
He raised hundreds of taxes.
He opened public bathrooms to transgendered individuals.
He passed extensive gun control legislation, de facto criminalizing three hundred thousand gun owners who refused to register their guns, or get rid of a wide range of firearms now classified as assault weapons.
How have residents responded to Malloy's tenure?
This letter, published in the October 4th, 2014 edition of the New Haven Register minced no words, and ended with this harsh appraisal:
Despite Malloy's spin and negative campaigning, the picture is clear. He has done a poor job! Connecticut is one of the worst run states in America and Malloy should be fired. - Richard Mingrone Madison
Does Malloy deserve to be fired?
The Hartford Courant painted a friendly picture of Governor Malloy's "shared sacrifice" budget:
The Malloy budget asks for a lot of sacrifice. The budget he proposes for the fiscal year beginning July 1 contains tax increases of $1.5 billion, with 81 percent paid by individuals and 19 percent by businesses. It seeks state employee concessions and other savings of $1 billion in the next fiscal year (and another $1 billion the following year). It calls for an additional $758 million in spending cuts that will affect those who use state services.
Did these budgets save the state from three billion dollar short-falls? In 2014, the Connecticut Mirror reported a $300 million budget shortfall. Nonpartisan analysts are predicting $3 billion shortfalls in the years to come. No, they did not work at all. Why? The CT Mirror reports that Malloy's promises to spare cities and school district budget cuts forced him to pass the costs onto the state, which it could not afford to do in the long-term.
Did Malloy actually tax individual residents' pensions? Yes. Does the state tax social security? Yes. Is Connecticut a terrible place to retire? Yes, according to US News and World Report.
What else has Malloy taxed? Consider this list of goods and services.
What else about Malloy's tenure is spelling trouble for his reelection chances?
About unemployment, Connecticut lost 3,600 jobs, and the unemployment still hovers around 6.5%. Newspapers are wondering how this poor data will hurt Malloy's chances, too.
Despite Malloy's vocal cheerleading for Obamcare, the state health exchange, Access Health CT, has been plagued with problems, including a federal data crash, system errors , inefficiencies, and rising costs. For all these negatives, liberal champions of the Affordable Care Act presented Connecticut as the successful model for state health care exchanges.
Other "'progressive reforms", like the transgender bill have instead created humanitarian nightmares like the case of Jane Doe, a boy who identifies as a female, now incarcerated in a state prison, even though he (she?) did not commit a crime. This state-sponsored abuse has only gotten worse with transgender legislation like Malloy's, yet the mainstream press has avoided discussion on this tragedy, although NBC reportedon her attempt to escape last month.
Then there was the comprehensive gun legislation after the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Malloy's gun control laws took national headlines not just for their sweeping changes, but the upswing of opposition, especially the en masse civil disobedience of thousands of gun owners:
On Jan. 1, 2014, tens of thousands of defiant gun owners seemingly made the choice not to register their semi-automatic rifles with the state of Connecticut as required by a hastily-passed gun control law. By possessing unregistered so-called "assault rifles," they all technically became guilty of committing Class D felonies overnight.
Police had received 47,916 applications for "assault weapons certificates" and 21,000 incomplete applications as of Dec. 31, Lt. Paul Vance told The Courant.
Just last week, one individual case highlighted a culture of gun conscription bullying: Scott Lazurek, who refused to show his permit to a Connecticut police officer, because was not legally obliged to. Now the state is suing to have his gun permit taken away. Big Government has become a big bully under Governor Malloy.
The Connecticut Republican Party is blasting Malloy's record on budgets, jobs, and taxes. With this train wreck of a track record, Malloy's polling in the Land of Steady Habits shows a steady lead for a GOP takeover for the Governor's mansion in November.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.