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Labor Applauds Malloy, Not Wisconsin

by Hugh McQuaid | Jun 16, 2014 4:39pm
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014, Labor, New Haven

Hugh McQuaid photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

NEW HAVEN — Labor delegates embraced Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy during the AFL-CIO’s political convention on Monday during an event that was focused as much on labor laws in Wisconsin as it was on the last four years in Connecticut.

Malloy, a first-term Democrat facing a tough re-election battle, firmly positioned himself on the side of the labor movement during Monday’s convention and tried to shrug off some tough contract negotiations early in his tenure as he was facing a deep budget deficit.

“I stand with labor, I always have, I always will. It goes back to who I am and what I am,” Malloy told the crowded convention room at the Omni Hotel. “. . . Yeah, we’ve had some fights. We’ve had some tough times. When somebody hands you a $3.6 billion deficit and says ‘have at it,’ of course we had to come around a table . . . And I’ve made mistakes and everybody else in this room’s probably made mistakes once or twice in their lives.”

But whatever mistakes Malloy may have made, they seemed distant Monday. The convention’s agenda seemed designed to draw a stark contrast between Malloy and his likely Republican opponent, Tom Foley, who he narrowly defeated in 2010.

Foley addressed the group earlier Monday when he attempted to clarify a remark he made to the Hartford Courant last year about waiting for a “Wisconsin moment” in Connecticut. Foley insists he wants to replicate that state’s flip in control of the state government from Democratic to Republican. He said he was not seeking to replicate the way Republicans drastically scaled back collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin after they were in power.

But the convention was scripted in opposition to any kind of “Wisconsin moment” in Connecticut.

Before Foley had even stepped up to the podium, the delegates had heard from a Wisconsin labor official who left the crowd with little appetite to hear Foley’s clarifications. In fact, they laughed while he was speaking.

“Did I say something funny?” Foley asked.

Meanwhile, Malloy was preceded by national AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who gave a rousing speech that offered at times reserved support for Malloy, but pulled no punches in opposition to Foley.

“We haven’t always agreed with him . . . but the governor’s record of supporting working families is very clear. He consistently supports the right to organize,” Saunders said of Malloy.

“If you don’t want another Wisconsin, then don’t listen to his rhetoric because he will tell you anything then he’ll try to kill you if he gets elected,” Saunders said of Foley.

When Malloy addressed the crowd sometime later he received several standing ovations during his 20-minute speech. He quickly seized upon the Wisconsin theme.

“I am tired of politicians who come around and say just about anything. There are people who would call a ‘Wisconsin moment’ a movement to eat more cheese, I think, as opposed to what it truly is and that’s the attack that you’re under and your members are under,” he said.

Malloy touted the passage of a number of policies for which the labor movement has advocated over the years, including paid sick leave for some workers and increases in the state minimum wage. He signed legislation this year that will see the minimum wage raised to $10.10 by 2017. Malloy acknowledged that union contracts are often tied to the minimum wage and said he was “all for” helping to drive them up.

“We’re just demonstrating for the rest of the country what a Connecticut moment is,” Malloy told the crowd. “A Connecticut moment is when we stand up for rest of our citizens — understand they too have rights — and move forward together.”

After Malloy’s remarks, the delegates passed a “We are not Wisconsin!” resolution, rejecting that state’s labor policies.

“Note that it was unanimous, we are not Wisconsin,” AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Lori Pelletier said.

The convention will reconvene Tuesday morning when the group will officially endorse a candidate for governor.

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(11) Comments

posted by: BMS | June 16, 2014  5:01pm

Whoever the next Governor is, state employees are going to be asked for concessions.State employees represent 1/3 of the budget. I believe Tom Foley, when he says he is not going to try and change the collective bargaining laws. Foley knows a democratic controlled legislature, would not allow him to do that. However, the democratic controlled legislature threaten a change to collective bargaining laws unless the 2011 SEBAC concessions were passed. In addition, under Rowland the democratic controlled legislature, killed arbitrated contracts. Kevin Sullivan, Malloy’s current Commissioner of Revenue Services was Rowland’s point man in the State Senate in killing the correction officers contract in 1995.Who do state employees trust Malloy, Foley or Pelto?

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | June 16, 2014  5:34pm

DrHunterSThompson

Sounds like a Spongebob episode.

HST

posted by: PWS2003 | June 16, 2014  5:51pm

Now that it is election session Malloy wants to play kissy kissy with unions, but the members we not be fooled again. He does like to play the Democrat during election season only to return later to his real self, the tool of the oligarchs. But you can’t blame him, he’s got to have a job when he is an ex-governor after November.

posted by: dano860 | June 16, 2014  6:43pm

Without a few Wisconsin moments we won’t be able to afford cheese.
Take them to the rail, without good competition they will never be cost effective.
Run Jonathan, run!

posted by: state_employee | June 16, 2014  6:53pm

“I stand with labor, I always have, I always will. It goes back to who I am and what I am,” Malloy told the crowded convention room at the Omni Hotel. “.
Ya, he stands with labor in a back room somewhere while they conspire to take more from the unionized employees. 
He lied then and he’s lying now. 
Pelto 2014

posted by: art vandelay | June 16, 2014  10:39pm

art vandelay

All I can say is what a bunch of Hypocrites.  I hope Pelto splits the union vote so Malloy cannot be elected to a second term.

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 17, 2014  6:44am

Art…I like Pelto. I believe he is a man with conviction. Should he end up being a Malloy spoiler and Foley wins, I can live with that because should Foley start some shenanigans re a Wisconsin moment, our dems in Hartford will support their labor base. But should Dannel win, he’ll come after labor and those previously mentioned dems will do his bidding, as he holds lots of authority over them. I work with state workers and there is a plethora of ill will towards the Governor. No one believes election-year Dan….we state employees have lots of experience with the real Dannel. We will protect our hides and if you were a state worker, believe me, you would, too. Maybe some day a relative of yours will get a job with the state…a son or daughter, perhaps…. And then you will understand.

posted by: GBear423 | June 17, 2014  6:53am

GBear423

This may as well have been hosted by CT Dem party.  Foley’s handlers should have seen the set up, to be preceded by a Wisconsin labor rep??  Seriously should have insisted on change of schedule or just not have gone.
Union members I hope you can see thru the wool being pulled over your eyes.  The Democrat your Union endorsed is only interested in your dues. Look at the bigger picture, the debt this Party is racking up will be paid by you and your heirs.

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 17, 2014  9:18pm

shinningstars122

>>>>“A Connecticut moment is when we stand up for rest of our citizens — understand they too have rights — and move forward together.

That one is twitter worthy folks.

Clearly Pelto will not split the union vote. Most people, once they hear Foley try to articulate a position will have all they need to cast their vote.

If Malloy wins a second term it is up to CT voters to stay on their Legislative representatives and Malloy to be pragmatic, constructive, and fair as they lead the state forward.

I have not heard one iota from Foley that he even has a plan to do that.

posted by: Not that Michael Brown | June 19, 2014  10:06am

Either Foly was lying or he had a ‘Senior Moment’ when he tried to backtrack on his ‘Wisconsin Moment’ comment.  That meme was all over right wing media back in 2010 and 2011.  For example. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/11/other-states-could-have-wisconsin-moment/

posted by: Ct Hostage | June 19, 2014  12:27pm

Foley’s mistake was not embracing the “Wisconsin moment” statement and throwing it back at the union leaders.  I think we desperately need a “Wisconsin moment” here if we hope to ever turn this state around.

Under Walker’s initiatives, WI has seen an increase in the number of teachers hired in every district that has enacted his programs.  These districts have also saved millions of dollars on health insurance by being free to shop around instead of being forced to buy from the Union-owned WEA Ins. Corp.

The money saved there is now being put towards the actual education of the students.  And gee, what do you know… test scores are up in Wisconsin.  Amazing how that happens, isn’t it?

Walker also turned a $3.6Billion deficit into a real surplus, which he returned to the taxpayers.  And unlike Gov. Dan, he did it without borrowing a billion dollars and cooking the numbers.

Unemployment in Wisconsin is at its lowest rate since the start of the Great Recession.

So yeah… the only people who fear a “Wisconsin moment” are the public union leaders, as it puts their power and their jobs at risk.

Nice to see they are more concerned about that than they are about actually solving the very real problems that we face here in CT.