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Labor Laughs At Foley

by | Jun 16, 2014 12:59pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014, Labor, New Haven

Hugh McQuaid photo NEW HAVEN — Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley’s efforts Monday to clarify his positions on labor issues before delegates at the AFL-CIO convention were met with laughter and skepticism.

Foley, who received the Republican Party nomination at the party’s convention but is facing two primary challengers, spoke before labor delegates Monday at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. The delegates are weighing endorsements for this year’s gubernatorial election and were scheduled to hear from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy later in the day.

During his short talk, Foley tried to clarify comments he made last year to the Hartford Courant, where he was quoted saying he was waiting for a “Wisconsin moment” in Connecticut. The quote has been repeated often by labor advocates who interpreted it as a desire to see collective bargaining rights scaled back as they were in Wisconsin after Gov. Scott Walker was elected.

Foley maintains that he meant he was hoping to see Connecticut repeat Wisconsin’s state government flip from Democratic to Republican control. He has said he was not looking to change the way collective bargaining works in Connecticut. That’s what he told the convention room full of labor leaders Monday.

They laughed.

“Did I say something funny?” Foley asked, briefly stopping his remarks.

“Yeah,” a few in the audience answered. The group had just heard from Stephanie Bloomingdale, the secretary-treasurer of Wisconsin’s AFL-CIO.

After his remarks to the group, Foley told reporters he was not sure why the labor delegates reacted the way they did.

“I’m not sure what they were laughing about. It was a pretty straight comment. Were they laughing because they didn’t believe me or because of something I said?” he said.

According to Lori Pelletier, Connecticut’s AFL CIO executive secretary treasurer, the group did not believe him.

“I think they didn’t buy his explanation, is the problem,” she said. “. . . For him to now come up and say ‘Oh, I just meant to change party rule,’ they bought it for what it is. He’s just changing his tune because he sees the pushback he got from it.”

But Foley insists he is not looking to enact major changes to state collective bargaining laws, an effort he says would be a “fool’s errand” in Connecticut. During his comments, Foley also echoed Malloy’s commitment to respect the terms of current collective bargaining agreements with state employees.

In order to balance projected budget deficits, Foley told the group he would hold state spending flat for the next two years.

“I can do this without layoffs and without undoing the agreements public employees now have with the state of Connecticut. The governor and the state must keep their word. A deal is a deal. You can tell everybody you know I made that commitment,” he said.

Pelletier said she was skeptical of that promise as well.

“I think John Rowland may have made the same commitment when he was running for governor,” she said, referring to the former Republican governor who had a divisive relationship with the state’s labor unions.

Foley seems well aware that Malloy will likely emerge Tuesday with the union’s endorsement. So far, the incumbent Democrat has been endorsed by both the Connecticut American Federation of Teachers and the local chapter of the United Auto Workers union.

“Every time I speak to a group I try to anticipate the issues that will matter to them and what are their anxieties and to the extent that I can relieve them, I do so. I think with this group, it’s obviously not a group that would tend to be Republican oriented. I just wanted to assure them that under a Republican governor, they’re going to be just as well off, or even better off than under this governor,” Foley told reporters.

Foley faces Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton in the August Republican primary.

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(54) Archived Comments

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 16, 2014  1:38pm

SEBAC 2011: Don Williams, President of Senate, threatened to introduce a bill to eliminate collective bargaining in Connecticut if state workers failed to approve the SEBAC deal….Don Williams! We have to imagine Dannel was in concurrence. So I trust NOT the supposed labor-friendly democrats. If they threatened that in 2011, they’ll do it again. Our.no-layoff protection, for which we paid dearly, ends on 7/1/15. Do I trust Malloy and the dems? No. If Foley is Governor I believe the dems will act like dems. Not like in 2011.

posted by: Noteworthy | June 16, 2014  2:22pm

Labor’s response was predictable and pathetic. Add disrespectful. What’s new? I appreciate the fact that Foley showed up, spoke with labor and explained his comments and philosophy.

If labor thinks there are no efficiencies in state government, then it is collectively and individually wearing something other than a hat on their head.

posted by: GBear423 | June 16, 2014  3:24pm


Olivia, if only Foley had your knowledge handy he may have avoided the weak excuse he presented.
And it was a weak excuse, and deserved some ridicule. You talk about Wisconsin in regards to Labor and nobody is fooled.

If Foley is gonna make comparisons he ought to have a follow up when he is challenged.

posted by: art vandelay | June 16, 2014  3:45pm

art vandelay

@oliviahuxtable,  Could you kindly explain to me how state workers paid dearly for the no layoff protection clause?  I’d really like to know.

posted by: JAM | June 16, 2014  3:49pm

They’ll offer a new suggestion box.

posted by: art vandelay | June 16, 2014  4:00pm

art vandelay

I give Foley credit for walking into a hornet’s nest.  Did he actually think he was going to change people’s minds?  Connecticut needs to abolish collective bargaining and a right to work state.  The current system is unsustainable along with the defined benefit package vs 401K’s.  In Connecticut that’s just wishful thinking.

posted by: Linda12 | June 16, 2014  4:31pm

Olivia, I agree. Dems won’t bend over and take it from Foley like they do for Malloy. Until they represent the people I will no longer vote for Dems. Third party time…Pelto/Murphy 2014.

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 16, 2014  4:56pm

Art….in 2011, 50,000 state workers gave back 1.6 billion dollars in concessions, and 20 billion over 20 years. This while the richest in the state did not have to pony up and pay their fair share….why? Because they donate a lot more money to politicians than you or I can. You’re not one of the rich guys, are you Art? They are pitting you against me, all the whole laughing at Art and at Olivia all the way to the bank. Smarten up.

posted by: Bluecoat | June 16, 2014  4:57pm

Did any ask these two how are we going to fix the pension liability problem here in CT?

posted by: art vandelay | June 16, 2014  5:14pm

art vandelay

@oliviahuxtable,  I’m sorry but I don’t buy your argument one bit.  First the only concession state workers made was a slight increase in co-pays, not even close to what private sector employees get.  Twenty billion over 20 years?  Get real!  Were the “suggestion boxes” part of that Twenty billion concession?  I’m also really sick of hearing that term “FAIR SHARE” touted by labor & especially Democrats.  It’s always about rank & file state workers pitted against big corporate CEO’s.  How about comparing rank & file state workers to comparable workers in the private sector.  That comparison can’t hold water because state workers know they have it FAR better than the average worker in the private sector.  I’m sorry but state workers gave up NOTHING compared to the taxes and foolish spending perpetrated by Malloy & the Democrats.  As far as corporate CEO’s making tons of money!  FANTASTIC!  The more the companies they represent make in profits, the more jobs they create.  How many jobs has Blumenthal, Murphy and for that matter Malloy created.  ZERO without having to bribe companies to stay or relocate from one town to another.  Keep drinking the cool-aid.

posted by: Commuter | June 16, 2014  5:26pm

“I can do this without layoffs and without undoing the agreements public employees now have with the state of Connecticut.”

That is a lie.

Can someone somehow get this con artist to give a straight answer to a straight question: How?

If you haven’t listened to it yet, go listen to the archive of Dankosky’s “Where We Life” interview with Foley last week. It’s painful.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | June 16, 2014  5:29pm

Union officials and delegates can laugh at a BS event like this - hey! why wasn’t Pelto there? - but the rank and file will speak with their votes.


posted by: SocialButterfly | June 16, 2014  7:37pm

It’s academic that Lorie Pelletier, Connecticut AFL CIO Executive Secretary only believes in “Truthful Dan” Malloy.

posted by: Commuter | June 16, 2014  8:29pm

Editorial observation: The first paragraph of this piece is unnecessarily misleading:
“Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley’s efforts Monday to clarify his positions on labor issues ...”

He was doing the opposite. He was trying to obfuscate his his positions. That’s why they are laughing at him.

He’s a crook and they know it. How they know is by listening to him.

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 16, 2014  10:45pm

Art, you so passionately defend the uber wealthy and think so much of them. They never think of you.

posted by: Rick | June 16, 2014  10:57pm

Amen, Art.  It’s not about rich/poor or class warfare, it’s about fairness. A guaranteed fixed pension (from a system on target to bankrupt the state) and essentially free healthcare for all eternity?  How is that fair or equitable?

posted by: art vandelay | June 16, 2014  11:52pm

art vandelay

Olivia, Labor & the Democrats aren’t thinking of me when they raise my taxes, and pass anti business legislation.  Let’s face facts everyone is out for themselves. I don’t like what the Unions & Democrats are doing to this country.

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 17, 2014  6:17am


>>>>How about comparing rank & file state workers to comparable workers in the private sector.

@ArtVandelay you answered your own question.

Corporate America ensured that there would be no comparison.

That is not right and you seem to agree with that to some point but you keep over simplifying the debate about who are really the ” takers” in our economy.

Eliminating collective bargaining rights for all federal, state, and local employees will be the final dagger.

Is that what you really want?

Employees in the private sectors need to realize that they will be empowered, as well as their paychecks, to seek out and establish union protection again.

It is the only real check and balance for business to act with fairness.

As our economy has shifted to a service based economy with lower and lower benefits how far should we sink?

As for Wisconsin…

Scott Walker was clearly a Koch Brother stooge.

I do hope you get an opportunity to see the new documentary ” Citizen Koch” when it comes out soon.

It might put that entire fight in a new light for many on this site.

Plus what is the GDP of our great nation?

If you believe the current GOP narrative we are on a road to ruin…hardly.

There is more than enough financial resources in our country to right the ship we just lack the political courage.

The only way that is to happen is to unite the working class of our country again not divide it.

posted by: Chien DeBerger | June 17, 2014  9:05am


“Scott Walker was clearly a Koch Brother stooge.”

And how is Wisconsin doing compared to Connecticut because of the Governor and Legislature in spite of the unions?

It should be a lesson for us here. Time to wake up.

posted by: art vandelay | June 17, 2014  9:08am

art vandelay

@Shinnningstars122,  The elimination of collective bargaining is EXACTLY what is needed in Connecticut. When state employees DEMAND salaries & benefits higher than what the job is worth on the open market, that justifies being a TAKER from the taxpayers who are forced to pay those salaries. For example, wouldn’t it be cheaper for the state to hire outside contractors to manage the landscaping at Southbury Training School (which should be closed) than having permanent state staff to do the work?  Talk to the union workers at Newport News Shipbuilding about empowerment and their paychecks.
The only work they can get are shipbuilding contracts from the US Government.  Not ONE & I repeat NOT ONE Cruise or Merchant Ship has been built there since the late 50’s.  Talk to the former “Big 3” auto workers who are in unemployment lines where American auto workers are gainfully employed at VW, BMW, and Mercedes at US plants.  It’s all about supply, demand and what a job is actually worth. Go to a restaurant and wait an hour for your food because the owners are forced to pay an artificial minimum wage. Unions have out served their usefulness and are ancient dinosaurs.  They need to be abolished.

posted by: jim black | June 17, 2014  9:11am

Headline should read “Labor laughs at taxpayers”

posted by: One and Done | June 17, 2014  12:55pm

In the private sector, if you and a bunch of your co workers pooled some money together and paid off your boss (campaign contributions) for lavish raises, bonuses, and lifetime guarantees against the fiduciary interests of the shareholders (taxpayers), people go to jail.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 17, 2014  7:14pm

Art: You are right. “Unions have milked the cow for so long that the Connecticut cow is now dry.” Even Malloy had to go to California to milk a cow.

posted by: shinningstars122 | June 17, 2014  9:51pm


@ChienDeBergo before you go popping that teaparty cheap champagne you better do some fact checking.

Wisconsin only created 9400 jobs in the first quarter of 2014 and he will not come close to his ” promise” of a quarter of a million new jobs in his first term.


I am curious how many are PT?

Forbes rated Wisconsin 41st in business friendly at the end of 2013.

Hardly better than CT.

As for you Mr. Vandelay my goodness aren’t you a venomous one?

I hate to burst your narrow view of the world but in 2013 the US auto industry sold 15.6 million cars.

Why don’t you chew on this fun fact as well?
“Car companies and parts manufacturers have added more than 173,000 jobs over the last four years and now employ more than 826,000 workers in the U.S., according to federal jobs reports.”

Ford is spending $1 billion to update a plant in Kansas City too.

You think abolishing unions will save the tax payers money?

I guess you never have seen how much a corporate charges when a   government responsibility is privatized?


You could also cite the cost over runs that the private sector call center will bill the state for the excessive interest in CThealth.

I think that will be $11 million.

Yeah its is great when corporations make money… yeah rah rah!

Now we just have to update the tax code so that they pay their fair share and stop hiding profits in dozens of countries from the Netherlands to Bermuda.

For some strange reason I have a feeling we will disagree on tax policy as well?

Well at least Reagan and Tip got it done.

posted by: GBear423 | June 18, 2014  8:25am


SS122 its amusing you do not cite the figures of what the “Wisconsin Moment” actually accomplished.
The Public Sector Unions are bleeding the budgets dry, and they are acting irresponsible by not accepting freezes or reductions in benefits.  Lets face it, they were/are implicit in making deals with politicians that are NOT in the interest of the People. Its about “whats in it for me” and the politicians and Union Leadership that strike these deals enjoy the spoils of robbing the treasury and pleasing the masses, knowing that down the road other politicians and Union Leadership are going to face a fiscal mess.  No sir, you do not create more debt to get rid of debt, you CUT the credit card up and pay the bills you have.  Municipalities across the States are locked into mandatory spending and they need the power to re-negotiate with their local unions to keep their budgets in the black.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 18, 2014  9:44am

Agree with Commuter on the Where We Vote interview w John Dankosky. It’s really astonishing that CT GOP chose to nominate such an ineffective candidate not just once, but twice. Another example of how money dominates politics rather than common sense.

posted by: GBear423 | June 18, 2014  10:38am


Regarding nominating Foley-  It was the lesser of evils. there was not much selection.
McKinney- anti Bill of Rights, oath breaker.
Boughton- same as above, flip flopper.
Visconti- Tea Party
Lauretti- a mouse
Foley- has the name recognition and came very close in an eyebrow raising (Bridgeport et al) election.

Not sure how money dominated this selection process, our delegates didn’t receive or see any funds distributed on Foley’s behalf. Sadly since no Linda, there was no catering either… sigh ;OP

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 18, 2014  11:25am

Tom Foley will get the last laugh that counts on Election Day. Connecticut voters will not be stupid this time. The last four years of failed rule has put the final nail into Malloy’s political coffin.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 18, 2014  9:10pm

@GBear423: Why are you doing a autopsy on the GOP candidates for governor, instead of recognizing that Malloy will get the final nail in his political coffin in November?  There is no Democratic Party prosperity in Connecticut for voter recogition except what is acceptable to die-hard Democrats like you.

posted by: GBear423 | June 19, 2014  4:55am


@Questionmark- “what is acceptable to die-hard Democrats like you.”
ROTFLMAO…  I do not think anyone would accuse me of that, ty tho, makes me feel fair and balanced! I was responding to someone remarking about CTGOP nominating Foley, its not like there was any better option. 
Tho Foley is not the best campaigner, I have not seen any reason to think he would do a poor job, certainly would be MUCH better than the current Office holder. I like your optimism!

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 19, 2014  10:33am

GBear - Yeah the catering was pretty spectacular at Linda’s primary party. As was the swag. My niece still wears her LINDA t-shirt in London - ironically. And don’t let me forget the 6 foot high LINDA balloon sculpture.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 19, 2014  2:06pm

Do we really want to be Wisconsin? Do you really want to hold up Scott Walker as your hero? Maybe think twice about that, folks:http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/prosecutors-accuse-scott-walker-of-running-criminal-coordination-scheme/article_ab656c57-c352-5294-8d56-08ddd6f61d18.html

posted by: Ct Hostage | June 19, 2014  2:26pm

Malicious Prosecution FTW!!!

posted by: GBear423 | June 19, 2014  7:04pm


@ Sarah… really?  thats what ya got? campaign donations during a ridiculous recall hysteria drummed up by the great unwashed that held a State Capital hostage??  Remember the Fleebaggers? The death threats? The children being dragged out to that circus being used as props when they should have been in school?

Wisconsin and Chicago are examples of “that which will be not spoken of” as it was a bad bad moment for Teacher Union PR. Jus sayin.

The “John Doe federal” lawsuit is also politically motivated (hi AG Holder!), I can see that without my glasses. The relevance tho is just not here. What Walker did for Wisconsin was fiscally sound for Wisconsin Municipalities.

posted by: PWS2003 | June 19, 2014  7:46pm

Sarah, the real problem with the Wisconsin Moment is Google and the truth but we mustn’t mess up their story straight from Fox News.

posted by: art vandelay | June 19, 2014  10:09pm

art vandelay

@Sarah, I’d like Connecticut to be BETTER than Wisconsin. Yes Scott Walker IS a HERO!

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 19, 2014  10:22pm

The only thing I know for sure about Wisconsin was the disgusting thuggish childish behavior of Democrats during that time. Yeah, exactly the kind of people that I want to align myself with.

posted by: PWS2003 | June 20, 2014  8:40am

Sarah, given the news yesterday, Scott Walker will soon be sharing a cell with his pal Chris Christy in the big house. So some may consider him a “hero” but while he is sitting in his cell and looking out through the bars in the window I’m sure he will start thinking that laws seem to apply to him too. But you can be assured the Koch brothers that pushed him along will not be with him and will very quickly forget his name and the Wisconsin Moment will soon be forgotten because as the facts come out it too was a fraud.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 20, 2014  8:48am

Y’all are a great example of why I am now unaffiliated. Because you are unwilling to call out unethical behavior by one of your own. Instead, it’s yet another conspiracy theory. I’m not saying this is just a Republican problem. It’s a Democratic problem too. (See Bridgeport, State Dept of Education, etc)  Apparently being a member of a political party these days requires one to check critical thinking and ethics at the door. Is it any surprise that the number of unaffiliated voters is growing so rapidly?

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 20, 2014  9:27am

Sarah:  Since you like Dannel Malloy, you ahould LOVE Scott Walker, if you will be honest with your political appraisals. Don’t always be prejudiced by your devoted Democratic background.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | June 20, 2014  10:28am

Sarah offered a Scott Walker article. Here is another:
The John Doe grand jury inquiries in Wisconsin are 100% politically motivated and they and the law on which they are based have been discredited by a state and federal judge.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 20, 2014  11:42am

PWS2003: You have a faulty crystal ball. The fraud we have is in the White House.

posted by: Ct Hostage | June 20, 2014  2:23pm

>>>Y’all are a great example of why I am now unaffiliated. Because you are unwilling to call out unethical behavior by one of your own.

Yeah, that’s what it is.  It certainly isn’t a recognition that that investigation was entirely politically motivated and that the charges were never filed because both a state a a federal judge saw through this malicious prosecution and demanded that the investigation cease.

from this link: http://thefederalist.com/2014/06/20/a-basic-primer-on-the-scott-walker-case-for-ignorant-reporters/

“According to the judge, “the subpoenas do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws.””

Also this:

“The media claim was based entirely on the subpoena document that was denied by the state judge as failing utterly to demonstrate probable cause to believe a crime occurred. In short: the judge, looking at all the evidence, found no reason to believe that a crime had occurred. That has not stopped the media from falsely implying otherwise. “

A thorough and competent reading of the AP article would show that these are prosecutors who are simply announcing what they believe are the charges they WOULD have filed, if the judges had not called a stop to their fishing expedition.

But I guess we should just stick to reading the headlines and then fall mindlessly in line with the proper narrative.

posted by: JenP | June 20, 2014  4:13pm

It would be refreshing if someone in politics could actually tell the truth; there should be no unionization of public sector workers. It isn’t the same as a regular union in a commercial shop.
The interests of public labor unions are not pitted against some fatcat corporate boss. They are pitted against the interest of the taxpayers. Since taxpayers are represented by politicians, and labor unions can deliver large quantities of votes, this creates a perfect opportunity for the politician to spend other people’s money for union votes. In any other area of life we would call that a conspiracy.

Which is pretty much what we have now. All these politicians made big deferred promises to unions so that they could get votes. By the time the bill comes due, that politician is retired with a fat pension and now the next shmuck down the line doesn’t have the guts to tell the truth, which is that the people left in Connecticut’s shrinking private sector cannot afford to pay for these salaries and benefits and also prosper themselves.

I have had public employees cry to me about how they didn’t get a raise year after year.

I lost my business and now have two part time jobs. No health insurance, and we are barely keeping a roof over our heads. I still have to pay all my taxes. That’s fine; nobody made me any promises, and having a business is a deliberate risk.

But I’m supposed to feel sorry for people who have been insulated from the recession, just because they didn’t get a RAISE they were promised?? They are so clueless and coddled. Their complaints are so ridiculous to me.

I wish Foley had some guts to look these people in the eye and tell them what is happening out in the real world where there are no such promises.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 20, 2014  9:50pm

@JenP:  I don’t think Foley will be the Mr. Nice Guy that he was in the last election and profit from a close election loss by running an aggressive “No Holes Barred”  gutsy campaign against Malloy.  Malloy has been in office too long and has many skeleton’s in his closet that need to be exposed by Tom Foley.

posted by: gutbomb86 | June 20, 2014  10:10pm


@questionmark, i think the phrase you’re looking for is “no holds barred.”

“No Holes Barred” means something ... entirely different.

posted by: JamesBronsdon | June 20, 2014  10:48pm

A holes barred would be ok with me.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 21, 2014  11:34am

@gutbomb86: “No holes barred” bothers you because you aren’t supporting Tom Foley—being the dedicated Democrat you are. To each his own.  Nobody knows you so one cares,  except the voters who don’t like the bad direction the state is going. Their voting decision is already made to eliminate our spoiled political cancer leadership.  Dannel won’t sell the Brooklyn Bridge to the voters this time. You can count on it!

posted by: Christine Stuart | June 21, 2014  3:10pm

Christine Stuart

No I think Gutbomb was just pointing out that you are using the saying wrong it’s “holds” not “holes.” It’s a matter of the English language and not politics.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 21, 2014  7:36pm

Sorry. “No holes barred.”

posted by: GBear423 | June 23, 2014  6:58am


HOLDS!!  say it, “HOLDS”  do it!  “no HOLDS barred”...  /panting  

JenP is right on with the Public Union Conspiracy! It’s clear as the summer sun!

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 23, 2014  9:29am

Gbear, don’t bother arguing with Question Mark. He still thinks I’m an unquestioning Democrat who supports Dan Malloy. He clearly missed all the columns criticizing Malloy, the one criticizing corruption in Bridgeport, the one where I wrote about becoming an unaffiliated voter, oh the list goes on. The Force of Denial is strong in this one.

“Since you like Dannel Malloy, you ahould LOVE Scott Walker, if you will be honest with your political appraisals. Don’t always be prejudiced by your devoted Democratic background”

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 23, 2014  9:49am

JenP:  You are 100% correct.  Politicians like Dannel Malloy
know how to spend other people’s money for union votes. Thank you for “calling a spade, a spade.”

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 23, 2014  1:22pm

Sarah:  Thank you for reassuring me that you are no longer an unquestioning Democrat supporting Gov. Dannel Malloy.  Your support for Tom Foley would be greatly appreciated if you now feel the state needs a change in direction.

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