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New Jersey’s Lightning Rod Gov Visits Connecticut to Stump for Foley

by | Jul 21, 2014 6:48pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014, Greenwich

Christine Stuart photo He’s the head of the Republican Governors Association and a potential 2016 presidential nominee. And controversy seems to follow New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wherever he goes.

In Connecticut on Monday for a Republican fundraiser at the home of a hedge fund manager, Christie agreed to a campaign stop with Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley. The two met up at the Glory Days Diner in Greenwich before heading to the fundraiser in the Belle Haven section of town, where admission was between $1,000 and $10,000.

At the diner, the two who were followed by throngs of news media from the tri-state area. They made their way around the diner and introduced themselves to Republican voters who filled the diner shortly before the duo’s arrival.

Christie, a nemesis of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy who has been critical of public policy decisions Connecticut’s governor has made — said Foley should have won four years ago.

“I’m looking forward to working with Tom over the next 100 days or so and we’re going to have a win,” Christie said.

Asked about Sen. John McKinney, who is running against Foley in the Republican primary on Aug. 12, Christie said it’s a hard decision to make.

“I got to know Tom four years ago and quite frankly I thought he was going to be elected four years ago,” Christie said. “. . . He earned my support by the way he conducted himself last time and the way he’s conducted himself over the last four years.”

He said it’s never an easy decision to make but the state Republican Party in Connecticut has also endorsed Foley at the convention.

“I felt like it was the right thing to do,” Christie said.

Christine Stuart photo Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola said he hasn’t made any personal endorsements, but the party made a strong endorsement of Foley in May.

“Tom was instrumental in arranging this fundraiser which will benefit the state party,” Labriola said. “We’ve reached out to both candidates and invited them both to try to help us build our resources for the general election. Tom has stepped forward with this event.”

Christie said he knows how tough things have been in Connecticut over the past few years and he feels like Foley is the “right guy to be able to fix those problems.”

The New Jersey governor said he didn’t know how much money the Republican Governors Association would dedicate to the race, “but we don’t pay for landslides and we don’t invest in lost causes.” He said he would dedicate the resources necessary to get Foley’s campaign over the finish line.

Outside the fundraiser at the home of Brian Olson, a co-founder of Viking Global Investors, Christie was expected to be greeted by protesters upset with his decision to veto a bill restricting some high-capacity gun magazines and refusing to meet with parents of the Newtown victims.

Christie said that the statement was not true. He said he met with Newtown families a year ago and didn’t believe it was necessary to meet with them again after he had made a decision.

“I have nothing but sympathy for those folks, but I don’t believe the bill that was passed in New Jersey was an effective way to deal with it,” Christie said.

Foley declined to comment on Christie’s veto of the legislation.

“Gov. Christie is the governor of a different state. He represents different people. So I don’t really want to comment on the decision he has to face in New Jersey,” Foley said.

After a debate last week, Foley faulted Connecticut for its ban on high-capacity magazines and certain types of assault weapons, and for not doing more to improve access to mental health treatment in Connecticut. He suggested some of the gun control policies unfairly inconvenienced state gun owners.

Christine Stuart photo However, Foley would not specify exactly which gun control policies he opposes. After the debate, he was asked by a reporter to detail which of the firearm policies he would have seen removed from the bill. Foley simply answered “No.”

Christie said it would be unusual for a voter to agree with a candidate 100 percent of time.

“If you look for the candidate you agree with 100 percent of the time, go home and look in the mirror. You’re the only person you agree with 100 percent of the time,” Christie said.

He said he and Foley may disagree on some things, but the “litmus test is who best serves the people of the state of Connecticut. There is no question in my mind after watching the last four years of Gov. Malloy, on the merits, Tom is going to be a better governor for the people of Connecticut.”

The Democratic Party pounced on Christie’s visit.

“It takes a lot of chutzpah for Governor Christie to insult the families of Newtown one week, then fundraise in their state the next,” Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman, said. “We know Tom Foley thinks our smart, strict gun law signed by Governor Malloy is ‘inconvenient,’ but does he think Governor Christie’s actions are acceptable?”

Puglia said Foley has refused to be specific about where he stands on gun control.

“While Tom Foley often struggles to provide specifics on complicated policy questions, this is an issue he can be crystal clear on with Connecticut voters,” Puglia said.

Labriola said the protesters have every right to protest the event. At the same time, Christie has to “govern the affairs in his state as he sees fit.”

Labriola said the fundraiser is being held for one purpose: to defeat Malloy in November.

“It is to raise money to defeat Dan Malloy so we can pull Connecticut’s economy out of last place. That’s what this election is about, and what the Democrats want you to forget,” Labriola said Monday.

The money raised will go to the party’s state account to help statewide candidates, including Foley. Even candidates participating in public financing like Foley can now receive money from the Republican Party to help with their campaign thanks to changes made by Malloy and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly in 2013.

Labriola declined to say Monday how much he expected the party to rake in from the event. The amount will be made available afterward.

Christie came to Greenwich in 2010 to campaign for Foley, who lost that year by 6,404 votes.

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(41) Archived Comments

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | July 21, 2014  7:58pm

Big deal. Anybody who was going to vote for Foley would vote for him regardless of Christie’s support. And anybody who is not going to vote for Foley (Republican or Democrat) isn’t going to change his/her mind because of Christie. The media may be easily dazzled, but the voters won’t be.

posted by: art vandelay | July 21, 2014  8:43pm

art vandelay

Why is there controversy when a Republican like Chris Christie visits our state?  Why is the term “lightning rod” used to describe Governor Christie when he overwhelming won re-election in his state?  I NEVER see these terms used when the Clintons come to our state for a fundraiser.  Bill Clinton as I recall was hailed as a HERO when he visited Waterbury to support then Senate candidate Chris Murphy?

posted by: shinningstars122 | July 21, 2014  9:06pm


If you think Chris Christie is an asset for his campaign… you might want to have Rick Perry on speed dial Tommy boy.

I mean he is calling out the National Guard to chase down children.

That fits more with your plutocratic vision of the new world order anyway.

posted by: Commuter | July 21, 2014  9:43pm

Oh, where to begin.

“However, Foley would not specify exactly which gun control policies he opposes. After the debate, he was asked by a reporter to detail which of the firearm policies he would have seen removed from the bill. Foley simply answered “No.””

Arrogance. That is the real Tom Foley. And he worked so hard at appearing not to be the condescending horse’s behind he is in that commercial. What a shame.

Put Tom Foley in his element, and the sneering, dismissive essence surfaces in a matter of hours. He feels so important, there at the home of a businessman so much more successful than he, with a politician so much more successful than he. He must be one of them, right?

He’s a pawn to these guys. If Tom Foley were governor of Connecticut, it would be run by Chris Christie and Brian Olson, to whom Tom Foley is - already - utterly beholden.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | July 22, 2014  6:56am

Christie has become irrelevant, surprised Foley would bring him in.  Seems it could have hurt more than help, no?

He should bring in the Governor of Colorado to talk about their new cash crop!  CT could be the CO of the east! Twist one up, let’s talk about jobs!


posted by: Joebigjoe | July 22, 2014  8:42am

Ron Pinciaro and his group were protesting up the street because Christie vetoed the bill to reduce magazine sizes from 15-10. What Pinciaro and his ilk forget is that Christie signed some other horrible gun legislation that is very contrary to the 2nd amendment.

These people just want everyone disarmed. I say we should do that. Let’s do that right after we strip away some of the other amendments first and see how they like that. If they like how taking away other amendments goes then they can have my guns. I can assure you they would want to become gun owners very quickly if I could pick and choose other amendments I want to do away with.

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | July 22, 2014  10:24am

@Commuter: You mean that you don’t see Tom Foley as the “regular guy” the commercial portrays him as being? I’m shocked. I guess he’s going to have to go talk to a few more “diner” folks. And you don’t believe that a “good dad” will be a “good governor”? Oh, my. I guess the commercial is a flop. I’m not persuaded, either.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 22, 2014  3:18pm

Does any seriously believe that Tom Foley fixes his own car? Or would be caught dead walking down Greenwich Avenue wearing a Harley Davidson shirt? ROTFLMAO!

posted by: dano860 | July 22, 2014  5:14pm

Gov. Perry has called out the Guard to enforce the Federal Immigration Laws. If children and the phony families they cobble together are the criminals then they should be treated as such. I still wonder how it is that they get through Mexico without being turned around? Their immigration laws are more stringent than ours. As far as Christy, who cares? It’s like dragging in a Hollywood type, so what! What does an actor know? The only redeeming value that Christy carries is that he is and has been a decent leader for N.J.
As a President he would probably do something to stem the flow of illegals.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 22, 2014  9:28pm

It’s no surprise that neither Democrats, shinning stars or Commuter are supporting Foley, yet they have nothing good to say about Malloy.  It must be difficult to truly glorify our governor’s inept record in office. Even Malloy’s campaign ad sounds like the hoax that it is.

posted by: Commuter | July 23, 2014  6:56am

Page after page of accomplishment borne of leadership. That’s Dan Malloy’s record as governor.

Malloy isn’t a good governor, he is a great governor.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 23, 2014  9:16am

You know, y’all are so funny.  As if Foley will be different than Malloy, as if Malloy will be any different than McKinney… the all drink from the same trough.  All this angst from Shining Stars or Commuter, pick your team of idiologues.  I mean the shot at governor perry for securing his border - as if the National Guard of Texas will be shooting at kids is ludicrice.  But that is the discourse these days, imagery and overblown character assasination.  I’m a VERY conservative guy, I’ve met the governor and lt. governor and like them… I found Nancy Wyman to be a delightful person.  I wouldn’t say a bad thing about her.  Nor will I go to bash the Governor… he’s not a “bad man” he’s a decent guy, a little quirky - i disagree with the overall politics and policy that he champions (most of the time) believe it or not, some times he has good ideas.  It seems that some of you are so caught up in being ‘right’ that you cannot see people and things for what they are.  It is so easy to manipulate you because you are craving a smack down on who you percieve to be ‘bad’.  News Flash - George Bush was a really good person.  I’m sure I’d play golf with President Obama - I’d beat him, but i’d play with him.  What the heck is wrong with you people?  Just because we disagree on taxes, or spending, or border security - that makes us enemies?  WOW!

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 23, 2014  10:04am

Commuter - you can tell me what a great governor Malloy is again AFTER the feds finish with their investigation.

posted by: GBear423 | July 23, 2014  10:27am


Astanvet you are completely ruining our partisan warfare here…  I work hard to get thru the censors to get my digs in, and you wanna play nice… sigh ;O)

Gov Christie is a very charming character, I think he is doing the best for NJ, representing ALL of NJ. Some compromise must be met, he can’t be a Red State Republican and do his job properly.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 23, 2014  12:50pm

GBEAR - it is just the same in CT.  We cannot elect a RED republican and turn the state red.  You have to work with what you have.  Why will McKinny and Foley be no different?  Because we have a mountain of debt, a ton of programs that no one will cut, we will have to raise taxes to pay for it because the regulatory system will not allow for the expansion of the economy.  you still have the CGA to deal with. So whomever becomes governor will look and act a lot like GOV Malloy…

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 23, 2014  7:05pm

ASTANVET:  It’s true that Malloy is leaving a mess for any Republican that follows him into office, 
but that’s why we need a change “to eradicate the color of red ink.”

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 23, 2014  9:17pm

Sarah:  Commuter is pulling your leg. He is on record indicating he has disdain for Malloy’s failed leadership.

posted by: Commuter | July 24, 2014  6:46am

Dare(r) I ask? What “investigation” are you talking about, Sarah?

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 24, 2014  8:00am

See Courant Clip

“The state Department of Education disclosed that it was served a federal grand jury subpoena last week that seeks, among other things, “All emails of Commissioner Stefan Pryor” since January 2012. The wording of the subpoena shows that investigators are interested in email exchanges related to Jumoke, FUSE, FUSE founder Michael M. Sharpe and the Milner elementary school in Hartford….


A day earlier, Department of Education spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly issued a statement saying “we have been assured that the department is not a subject of this investigation.”

On Tuesday, Donnelly said she could not provide the name of the person responsible for the assurance or under what circumstances it was given. She said that someone from “law enforcement” had said something to “our legal team, staff attorneys.” Asked what was said, she replied that she didn’t have the exact words, but it was “relayed to us” that no one at the agency is “the subject of an investigation, or a target.”

If any of you think for a nanosecond that this trail of breadcrumbs won’t lead us to the Governor’s office, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. Or maybe in Westchester. Cuomo and Malloy have a lot in common when it comes to governing style. They both talk about transparency but do the exact opposite.

posted by: GBear423 | July 24, 2014  8:46am


I would say there is a more than subtle change.  the one immediately is the runaway freight train of midnight legislation being given a pass & signature by the malloy Administration will end.

There is also the one that Pelto supporters acknowledge, democrats will act like democrats when there is a republican governor. Malloy’s administration has gone against teachers/public ed/local ed and the legislature is not bucking against that push.  Were it a republican, well then you have a fight.
I think it would be a slight mitigation to spending if Foley were elected.  Though small a change, it would do less damage to our tax payers.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 24, 2014  10:46am

QuestionMark: I agree with you.  We need to change course, but the idea that it is the politicians that need to change doesn’t reflect the people’s will.  Until the CGA changes course and finds ways to grow our economy (or at least get out of the way) - and the governor is willing to address our spending/borrowing… it is a paradigm shift that can’t happen at one level.  I’m not saying that I have all the answers or that conservative solutions are the only viable ones, but at least we should do something to change course… what we are doing isn’t working.

posted by: Salmo | July 24, 2014  1:17pm

Wow! Thanks for visiting our poor uninformed State, Governor Christie. It’s nice to have you here. By the way: How are things in Fort Lee, New Jersey? Have you straightened that mess out yet? Well, of course you have! Otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting precious time here in Connecticut leading us po’ folk to the promised land!!!

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 24, 2014  1:50pm

Sarah: I am not aware of a fed investigation of Malloy, but his use of his office for his taxpayer paid political advantage should be investigated.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 24, 2014  1:58pm

Don’t chide Gov. Christie in comparison to Gov. Malloy.  At least Christie was named as a presidential candidate, but not Malloy.

posted by: Commuter | July 24, 2014  10:38pm

Oh. I see, Sarah.

Well, I guess you’re providing balance on the left side of the teeter-totter to the unsubstantiated, counter-factual, baseless conspiracy theorizing we get from the right side on everything from Benghazi to fluoride in the public water supply.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 24, 2014  11:13pm

Care to wager on that, Commuter?

posted by: Commuter | July 25, 2014  7:46am

Is this story a about a fundraiser held at the house of Brian Olsen? The same Brian Olsen who is formerly Chair of ConnCAN? Holding a major fundraiser to unseat Dan Malloy? With Chris Christie? Forget breadcrumbs - you’ve got the loaf right here, Sarah.

Instead of wasting time trying to turn Malloy into some kind of stalking horse (ridiculous) and Stefan Pryor into the anti-christ of public education, maybe keep your eye on the ball: who it is with their fingers on Foley’s strings.

posted by: JH_1 | July 25, 2014  7:54am

I agree 100% with Astanvet.  As much as I’d prefer a conservative governer, not much will change until the CGA becomes more balanced.

I saw a comment above praising Malloy’s accomplishments.  Although I won’t dispute that he has been able to implement a lot of policies, I attribute that to having a a CGA that is completely in his control, not because of strong leadership.

The CGA are his minions and will pass whatever Obama wants Malloy to implement.

A balanced CGA is more willing to find real bi-partison solutions.  There was a recent article about 50 or so state legislature seats that were going unchallenged.  That’s too bad.  That’s part of the problem.

I wish there were term limits in the CGA.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 25, 2014  9:27am

ASTENVET:  That’s why Malloy will not be reelected as he won’t address our borrowing/spending but instead is the biggest abuser himself

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 25, 2014  11:10am

Commuter, change your news sources. Obviously keep CT News Junkie.

Two weeks ago the US Justice Department indicted in NYC the Libyan terrorist we captured that was a leader at Benghazi. The Holder Justice Dept had to tell the truth for once or this guy walks. Case gets tossed and we can’t have that happen. They detailed the timeline which was months of planning and a broader conspiracy.

Read my right wing lips. THERE WAS NO ISSUE WITH A VIDEO. NONE! NADDA!!

I guess with this issue the right was right.

Now forgive me as I have to go destroy some hard drives and oh by the way, make sure I destroy the ones of other people in other departments under scrutiny at the same time.

posted by: Commuter | July 25, 2014  11:18am

@ JH_1 - In government, having a a legislature that “is completely in his control” is widely recognized as the definition of strong leadership.

That Malloy is able to incorporate so many conflicting priorities, develop a strong consensus, and advance the agenda he campaigned on is quite remarkable, and very, very rare.

No other governor in Connecticut history has had to come to grips with the scope, scale, and depth of issues that Malloy has.

He’s done it under incredibly unfavorable economic circumstances, and in a media and public opinion environment that is absolutely poisonous.

That’s leadership.

posted by: ASTANVET | July 25, 2014  11:31am

Questionmark: I don’t make a habit of making predictions on elections… but I would hope that you’re right, and that at some point a change is welcomed by our voting public.  But as I said earlier, it can’t just be the GOV - we have to address the underlying systems or whomever gets elected will get the same nonsensical bills that our current governor gets.  Change is slow.  Especially in CT where we have been conditioned into some kind of group think.  I am cautiously hopeful that this time will be different.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 25, 2014  11:35am

Republican leader Jerry Labriola made a resounding point in “the Connecticut economy being in last place.” A big reason to replace the failed Democratic Gov. Malloy regime.

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 25, 2014  11:58am

The only way to balance our CGA is to vote the Democratic Malloy rubber-stamps out of office. Easier said than done, as we must educate our voters to stop voting for these fiscal losers. Nothing will change unless our voters wise up.

posted by: Joebigjoe | July 25, 2014  12:55pm

I’m actually in Stamford on business the last few days. Malloys old stomping grounds. Its really an exciting vibrant downtown and business district ,but you realize that it much different than other CT cities due to the NYC influence. Malloy probably won because he bamboozled people into thinking this was repeatable. Its really not.

posted by: JH_1 | July 26, 2014  7:22am

Sorry Commuter, but I couldn’t disagree with you more.  In government, strong leadership is getting those that disagree with your philosophy and your policies to follow your lead.  That’s not the case here in CT.

The CGA is heavily democratic and believes in the same underlying policies as Gov. Malloy.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 26, 2014  8:28am

Commuter - So Foley has Brian Olsen of ConnCan holding his purse strings and Malloy has Stephen Mandel of TFA and Zoom (whose employee, Meghan Lowney corresponded with State BOE Chair Allen Taylor on how to deprive Bridgeport residents of an elected Board of Education)  holding his (with a Zoom fellow in govt offices). Where is the difference, pray tell?

posted by: SocialButterfly | July 26, 2014  11:07am

Joebigjoe: That’s why Malloy is a false political prophet. He is continually “careless with the truth.”
that’s why no one ever calls him “Honest Dan Malloy.”  Hopefully he goes to church to ask God for forgiveness.

posted by: Commuter | July 26, 2014  11:40am

@ Sarah - Where’s the similarity, pray tell?

Malloy is working with people across the spectrum who are committed to improving outcomes in Connecticut’s worst districts, including (I know, you don’t like this) teachers and union leadership.

Bottom line, Malloy is a great governor because he leads and because he finds a way to put together the majorities he needs to move his agenda through the legislature.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | July 26, 2014  6:57pm

Commuter - the fact that you can’t see the similarity between Stephen Mandel and Brian Olsen using their money and influence is a reason why I’m now unaffiliated and will remain so. Blind party loyalty is what is keeping our state the corrupt place that it is.

posted by: Commuter | July 26, 2014  8:27pm

Sarah - you fail - not atypically - to actually make you point clearly. Merely asserting an equivalence doesn’t make it so. You also neglect to actually engage with the points being made - in this instance by me - preferring to pound the table and insist on your point of view, and resorting to personal invective.

On the subject of the latter, I understand that you believe that your inability to see and effectively engage with the opinions of others seems to you to be independence, but that doesn’t mean that those who disagree with you are - in this instance me - blindly loyal to the party.

That is how the people on the other end of the teeter totter “think” - disagree with me about Benghazi, and the terrorists win. Pretty lame.

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