OP-ED: Hey Democrats; Face It, We Suck
In honor of the on-going effort by the two Democratic gubernatorial campaigns to destroy each other and ensure that that the eventual Democratic nominee is not electable in November, it’s time to roll out a new website or Facebook called “Hey Democrats; Face it, We Suck”
The facts speak for themselves, or if not the facts, at least the hyperbole, innuendos and name calling. Key players in both of the Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial campaigns are working hard to ensure that we all recognize that despite their dedication, intelligence and experience, neither Dan Malloy nor Ned Lamont have what it takes to put our state back on track.
Let’s review what we’ve learned in the last few days and weeks.
Malloy says that rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs is absolutely essential but we now understand, thanks to the Lamont campaign, that while Malloy says that he brought 5,000 jobs to Stamford, Connecticut’s economy actually tanked during the last decade wiping out thousands of jobs including many in Stamford. The very real collapse of the American economy is held up by the Lamont campaign as proof that Malloy is lying and does not have what it takes to be governor.
Meanwhile, Lamont says that rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs is absolutely essential but we now understand, thanks to the Malloy campaign, that Lamont’s businesses have, at some point, actually had to lay off employees, although apparently he still paid himself during those downturns. This fact is held up by the Malloy campaign as proof that Lamont is lying and does not have what it takes to be governor.
Joe Abbey, Lamont’s political operative, recently commented on the Malloy’s campaign ad in which the former Stamford mayor says he brought 5,000 jobs to Stamford during his tenure. Abbey claims that Malloy “should do the right thing and take this misleading ad off the air”
Meanwhile, the Malloy campaign is busy claiming that Lamont doesn’t want to talk about his own failed record on jobs and that “in his time as CEO Ned laid off most of his workforce, while paying himself hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Unable to contain themselves and stick to the problems and issues challenging Connecticut, Malloy’s mouthpiece, Roy Occhigrosso stepped up the tone and tenor of the attacks saying “Every few years Ned re-invents himself, or tries to re-invent himself, usually by using his own money…Ned doesn’t seem to know who he is.”
However, the Lamont campaign has been coming up with its own share of absurd and embarrassing comments. When confronted with the fact that the Lamont campaign had been seen filming Malloy’s private residence, Lamont’s road-warrior campaign manager shot back “We did film in Stamford recently, including in Dan Malloy’s neighborhood…But with all the issues facing Connecticut families right now, it’s disappointing that the Malloy team is trying to make this campaign about standard political tactic.” Not quite sure how this response addresses the Lamont campaign’s outrageous and inappropriate decision to film Malloy’s home.
Of course, Lamont’s campaign manager, Abbey, is the same guy who attacked Malloy early this year following a press conference in which the Malloy campaign announced that an impressive list of political leaders from the greater East Hartford, Manchester area had endorsed his campaign for governor. In a prepared statement, Abbey implied that the endorsements from local community leaders was actually a negative thing and said that Lamont “won’t participate in the same old political deals motivated by selfish political ambition”. It must have come as quite a shock to these East of the River political leaders to learn that their decision to support Malloy was based on political deals and selfish political ambition.
With that said, perhaps the most honest and informative comment of all comes from Malloy’s Occhiogrosso, who when asked about the political attacks retorted “political campaigns are a contact sport”. Well that explains it and lest we forget, Occhiogrosso was a key advisor to Lieberman, in the 2006 Democratic US Senate primary, a campaign that was successfully dedicated to ensuring that Lamont was not electable once the primary was over and the focus turned toward winning a general election.
With about six weeks to go until the August 10 primary, we can save ourselves a lot of time and energy if we just face the facts, hey Democrats, we suck. Period, end of story.
Jonathan Pelto served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1984-1993. He was Deputy Majority Leader and member of the Appropriations Committees during the income tax debate of 1991. He presently works as a strategic communications consultant.