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New Malloy Ad Features Sandy Hook Mother

by | Aug 4, 2014 12:58pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014

screengrab A new ad from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s re-election campaign features Nicole Hockley, a Newtown mother whose son, Dylan, was among the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

“Gov. Malloy has the courage and conviction to stand up and do the right thing,” Hockley says during the 30-second TV spot released Monday. Hockley serves as communications director of the nonprofit group Sandy Hook Promise. She is identified in the ad simply as, “Nicole Hockley, Newtown, CT.”

The campaign commercial, called “Determination,” is the Malloy campaign’s second during this election cycle.

Malloy, the incumbent and Democratic nominee, will face whichever Republican candidate prevails after a primary election next week. Malloy’s 2010 rival Tom Foley is the Republican convention-endorsed candidate. He is running against Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.

Although Malloy is not facing a primary challenger, his campaign has now released two commercials. His first ad, called “Tough Times,” also alluded to the 2012 shooting, in which 20 first graders and six educators were murdered by a gunman inside an elementary school in Newtown.

During the first commercial, a narrator lists challenges the state has faced during Malloy’s tenure. He points to a “budget crisis,” “historic storms,” and “unimaginable evil let loose in a school.”

In a statement on the ad released Monday, Malloy campaign spokesman Mark Bergman the TV spot “continues to tell the clear story that in challenging times, Governor Malloy provided steady leadership and made tough decisions.”

“Now, Connecticut is making progress. There is more work to do to make sure every Connecticut family has the opportunities they need to succeed, and the stakes are too high to return to the failed policies of the past,” Bergman said.

The ad also includes Milford Mayor Ben Blake praising Malloy’s response to storms Irene and Sandy. But the inclusion of the Sandy Hook shooting risks backlash from the public if it is perceived as politicizing a tragedy, former state Republican chairman and political strategist Chris Healy said.

“The question becomes, do people listen to the message, or do they focus on using the tragedy for political purposes? That’s always a fine line,” Healy said. “It’s certainly a bit of a gamble. It’s a dice throw.”

Within hours of being posted on Youtube, the new commercial had prompted user comments accusing Malloy of “shamelessly” politicizing a tragedy. In a statement, current Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. accused Malloy of “exploiting” Newtown and Hurricane Sandy for political gain.

However, Roy Occhiogrosso, an advisor to Malloy, said the ad strikes the right balance in dealing with an unquestionably difficult topic. He said Hockley reached out to the campaign, seeking ways to help and has spoken publicly often since the shooting.

Occhiogrosso, who was a senior staffer in the Malloy administration when the incident occurred, said Malloy’s handling of the tragedy should be part of the his re-election campaign.

“The governor — the leadership he exhibited that day and in the aftermath of that tragedy is part of his record and his record is part of his campaign,” he said. “There’s no question it’s a sensitive issue but I think the ad strikes the right balance and brings it forward in an understated fashion utilizing a person who’s been very public since that day.”

The campaign spent $180,000 on the ad buy for this week in the Hartford-New Haven and New York City media markets. The ad was made by AKPD Message and Media, a firm with offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles and which also made ads for President Barack Obama’s campaigns.

Foley also released a new TV spot Monday, called “New Direction.” The one-minute ad is narrated by Foley, who appears to walk from shot to shot.

“No matter where you live in Connecticut, things can be better. But things won’t get better with the same old policies and politicians in charge. We need a different direction,” he says.

In the ad Foley promises to hold state spending flat, provide tax relief, and fix “broken schools.” He also promises to reduce regulations, and “treat job creators like friends, not whipping boys.”

“And when we’re done, Connecticut will come roaring back. Prosperity, promise and pride aren’t that far away. They’re just in a different direction,” Foley says.

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(28) Archived Comments

posted by: Ct Hostage | August 4, 2014  1:18pm


Just when you think a politician has reached rock bottom, they prove you wrong.

posted by: Colleenct1 | August 4, 2014  1:23pm

I think it is terrible that he is exploiting the tragedy that happened in Newtown.  Shame on you Gov. Malloy!

posted by: GBear423 | August 4, 2014  1:57pm


This is shameless, there is no grace or decorum with this man. he will parade all these victims, all the storms, and winters, taking full credit for work performed by first responders, emergency dispatchers, and generations of lessons learned from New England weather and wrap this all around his campaign as if it were not for Dan Malloy we would all be homeless, left out in the elements, fearing for our lives that some gun somewhere will shoot us while we are shopping or watching little league. Not even a smidgeon shocked at his pretentiousness.

posted by: newview | August 4, 2014  1:58pm

Politicizing this tragedy…is beyond disgraceful.

Shame on Malloy and his entire staff for thinking (seriously?) that this kind of exploitation is good campaign strategy…disgusting.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 4, 2014  2:15pm

I don’t like Malloy and I hate his gun law. However, the one time he did show leadership was the week around Newtown. I have zero complaints about the way he was in that immediate time period.

So since this is about Sandy Hook, I have a question for people. We can all agree that the shooter was mentally ill. Many of us disagree on how the new gun laws would have impacted that event or future events, but almost every one of us can talk about something in that law whether it be pro or con.

The question is can as many people talk about what has been done around mental illness to prevent crazy people from doing that again? I honestly cant tell you one or two major new laws that have been passed since Sandy Hook that will do something to potentially violent mentally ill people.

Since I think I am right here, what does that say about what was done? Exactly what many people have said from the beginning. This was an anti law abiding gun owner law and as it relates to the one thing we can all agree on, mental illness of violent people, most of us cant tell you what if anything has been done.

They must still be researching.

posted by: justsayin | August 4, 2014  2:25pm

“Perceived as politicizing”? Please that is clearly what he is doing and has done to drive parts of his agenda. Shameless is a good term, selfish and clueless also are a good start.

posted by: state_employee | August 4, 2014  5:11pm

This is repulsive.  He is a disgrace.  He should bow his head in shame and resign after this one.

posted by: SocialButterfly | August 4, 2014  5:12pm

Shame on our governor. Using the mother of a Sandy Hook child who lost his life in the Sandy Hook School massacre in a campaign ad has to be classified as a no class desperation ploy by Malloy to gain votes from this national tragedy.  How desperate can he get to try to win an election?

posted by: sofaman | August 4, 2014  7:58pm

Detractors here seem to have a problem with the english language.

If Mr. Malloy was “exploiting” anyone, it would be through some fundamental unfairness. However the opposite is true.

Mrs. Hockley is obviously a supporter of Mr. Malloy, and fully endorses him. I think it’s fair to say she is happy that, under Mr. Malloy’s leadership, a big leap forward in gun protection law has been passed.

The gun zealots have nothing left but to cry “exploitation” but like all their arguments, it’s factually incorrect.

posted by: Noteworthy | August 4, 2014  9:36pm

I’m disgusted by Malloy and Hockley - in equal measure. This is really bad.

posted by: dano860 | August 4, 2014  10:37pm

Right from the beginning his micro-managing and over involvement was nothing more than building a “,hey, look at me,” resume effort. This guy has zero credibility as a leader as far as I’m concerned. He is an opportunist for sure.
He is a mentor of Barry and Rahm Emanuel and believes that no good crisis should be wasted.

posted by: gutbomb86 | August 4, 2014  11:29pm


Actually I think the ad is appropriate. It’s not an attack ad and it attempts to show what the administration has dealt with during the first term - which is has been easily the most extraordinarily difficult period in modern history in Connecticut. The Republicans can’t allow the truth of that narrative to get out there, because the storms and the shootings at Sandy Hook set the tone for this term, more than anything else.

What I see in the ad is a depiction of the way things went. They didn’t sugar coat it but they didn’t sensationalize it either. This hardly qualifies as exploitation. I think it’s exploitive to try to ignore it because doing so definitely serves the Republicans’ political purposes.

What I see here in these comments - as usual - is typical cynical nonsense from a handful of angry anonymous commenters who hate democrats. 

Joe - that’s very honest of you to say about Malloy and his response on the scene and after Newtown. I don’t see how anyone could fault him there either, but there they go.

This story isn’t about the legislation, but since you brought it up, you and a lot of other gun enthusiasts appear to have failed to read the law that was passed. The legislation laid the groundwork for a path to better mental health care as well as the checks and balances necessary during and expanded gun permitting process The GOP elephant in the room is a stingy one - the cost of mental health care and the interventions that are necessary are significant. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, but what you appear to be doing, once again, is attempting to marginalize the legislation and the bipartisan group that passed it. You are short-changing it through intentional omission. At the end of the day, this is about universal background checks and getting the federal gov’t to wake up and see the reality of what the mass proliferation of firearms has done to the country.

posted by: Bethy | August 5, 2014  3:42am


I believe it’s an awesome commercial. It’s real. Those things happened during his term. It’s the truth! He doesn’t need to get political gain. He already has it. I give the commercial a thumbs up. Malloy is the greatest Governor. Now what’s pathetic is Tom Foley’s press conference - boldly standing in front of a group of workers telling them it’s their fault that they’re losing their jobs! They blasted him and he deserved it. That alone should tell any hard-working individual democrat or republican that Foley has no empathy for middle class citizens. I stand and support Malloy/Wyman November 2014 for re-election! I love the commercial Governor Malloy, keep them coming!!

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 5, 2014  6:01am


Nice to see the CCDL is reloading once again on these pages.

Newsflash! Foley received a B- from the NRA and they will not be dumping money into this election.

If McKinney wins next Tuesday? You all will really be silenced.

I guess free speech is not part of your warped “version” of our country?

I think in both of Malloy’s TV ads he has used tack and respect in detailing his leadership during those awful days following the shooting.

I guess you would all would have preferred the Wayne LaPierre approach?

The majority of you are clearly out of step with the majority of CT residents on this one.

Keep on throwing your temper tantrums it really becomes you all.

posted by: GBear423 | August 5, 2014  6:53am


What sets the tone of this administration is not a collection of storm responses and the seized opportunity to restrict more rights of the People, it is the mismanagement of the tax surplus he created.  Dannel was supposed to control Spending in CT and pay our debts and try to reign in the pension liabilities. Instead he continued to borrow and spend more. We are at the bottom of list of States’ Financial Strength, that is the tone set by this administration.

It is a mischaracterization by the great unwashed to refer to those who oppose excessive gun control as “gun enthusiasts”.  I have NEVER purchased a gun in my life, yet have been referred to as gun nut, enthusiast, extreme 2A supporter, etc. I am a Bill of Rights Enthusiast. As are the many who comment about the over reach of this State Government and its violation of the Public Trust.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 5, 2014  7:21am

Gutbomb you said the “commmission laid the path.”

Can you please explain the new mental health laws that will prevent the actions of an Adam Lanza or the deadly actions of the mental patients in the last 6 months that have knifed their mothers to death?

I’m not discussing the specifics of the bad gun laws right at this moment, but would like the specifics of the big mental health law changes that keep these people from killing others through any means.

Not sure how you can blame the GOP for this one. Not a GOP Gov or legislature and since I said we can all agree that the primary issue is mental health, and the civil libertarians are more the Dems, I’m at a loss to see legislation other than more programs and a few block grants for more services.

Where is the legislation where people on either side can stand up and yell that the Constitutional rights of the mentally ill are being violated in some way because we are being tougher on them. Wasnt that the battle cry of the anti gun crowd that they needed tougher regulations to stop this from happening again and losing some rights or inconveniencing people was OK?

posted by: Commuter | August 5, 2014  7:47am

Oh come on, trolls. There is nothing exploitative about this ad.

Virtually every one of your comments boil down to “I hate Malloy, and everything he does I am going to use as an excuse to display as much disrespect as I can muster.” Mission accomplished.

Bad news though, boys and girls. The ads will be effective, Malloy will win, and you’ll be whining miserably in the comments of online publications for another four more years, to exactly zero effect.

posted by: Christine Stuart | August 5, 2014  8:36am

Christine Stuart

Here you go JoebigJoe:
The bill the General Assembly passed requires mental health and substance abuse services to be considered “urgent care” and also shortens the review time for service requests from 72 hours to 24 hours.

The legislation also requires:
—insurance companies to inform consumers that they have the right to appeal a denial of care;
—the Insurance Department to evaluate and report on compliance with mental health parity laws, and;
—the health professional reviewing an insurance claim to have similar qualifications to the medical professional prescribing it.

Read more

-The Department of Children and Families will also make recommendations for behavioral and mental health services for children in September. Likely most will require increased funding which will succeed or fail based on who is elected in November.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 5, 2014  8:59am

Thanks Christine. I think you kind of made my point.

The piece talks about new services and giving stuff to people. For example it says ““let’s make sure the process for getting payment doesn’t constitute an impediment for getting the care.”

To me that means that they are making process better and making it easier for people to get services and have to fight insurance companies less.

Where is the part about taking away rights? They feel they’re providing better access to services. I’m looking for the legislation that makes it easier to commit and hold someone that poses a threat. I’m looking for the legislation that says that people who have made a threat of violence while mentally ill have to go through alot more hoops before they can buy a gun. I’m looking for the legislation that says that if you have a tendency towards violence and you dont take your meds you are going to be locked up.

I’m looking for things that the ACLU doesnt like but since they havent really been fired up, that tells me that we haven’t been tough enough and its feel good legislation that insiders can pat themselves on the back for doing, cheerlead for personal benefit, and give grants to their friends.

posted by: Bethy | August 5, 2014  9:22am


Malloy/Wyman 2014…I love you too…Can’t wait until November to run to those polls!!

posted by: SocialButterfly | August 5, 2014  10:08am

@Bethy: Careless with the truth? You are a very partisan but not convincing Democrat.  Only you attempted, twisted and blamed Malloy’s desperate, shameless vote-seeking commercial on Tom Foley.












posted by: Linda12 | August 5, 2014  10:54am

But I don’t see how this is an accomplishment? How could anyone mess up leading during a tragedy? Put aside my disgust with Malloy, who wouldn’t come off as showing leadership?

posted by: Bethy | August 5, 2014  11:46am


Ohhh QuestionMark and Linda, get with it. I will always be partisan and a very convincing democrat for life. There is no need for me to blame Foley for anything. He does it to himself. Come on really?  You seen his fake, unrealistic, corny commercials. Then his recent press conference, humiliating the selectwoman and those workers who will be losing their jobs due to a sellout company that does the same kinda stuff he did to Biggs Company? Come on, really? So done here… ready for the next article please “CT NewsJunkie”..

posted by: One and Done | August 5, 2014  12:34pm

Spot on Linda12.  Malloy simply doing his job in a crisis seems to be all he can hang his hat on shamelessly.  Either that or he is trying to insinuate that Foley or anyone else would be incapable of this basic tenet of the job.  Either way, this is pretty tasteless and there have been dozens of gun related crimes since where judges have reduced bail and sentencing in gun related crimes.  The only people who are safer from his legislation are the criminals.

posted by: GBear423 | August 5, 2014  2:51pm


One&Done; wrote poetically:  “The only people who are safer from his legislation are the criminals.”
no truer words have epitomized SB1160. I am going to quote you!  lol

and to the commuters and Shininstars and Bethys, if Foley or McKinney or any other Repub used a horrific tragedy in their political ad I, and I am willing to bet others here, would be the first to call out bad form. Disgraceful and shameful tactics are non-partisan. Run on your Platform and not on the misfortunes of the times.

posted by: Joebigjoe | August 5, 2014  6:58pm

I just read that there is a new book coming out next week called the Future of the Gun.

Within the book this reporter says that after Newtown there was a proposal from gun rights groups to work with Obama on sweeping legislation to remove illegal guns from the streets. It would have shocked even pro-gun people with its intensity and the spirit of partnership offered, but we’re all for illegal guns being removed from criminals.

Obama turned them down because he wanted to go after evil black rifles and thought America was behind him on that. They werent.

Who was? Malloy. We were part of Obamas laboratory and Malloy as a loyal Dem went along with it. He’ll be out and so will the buffoon across the border that makes Malloy actually digestible by comparison. Cuomo will be out when the US Atty indicts him for covering up corruption. That day is coming.

posted by: SocialButterfly | August 5, 2014  7:44pm

@One&Done; You were completely
on target when you wrote:  “The only people who are safer from Malloy’s legislation are the criminals.” Clearly, Gov. Malloy must be voted out of office.

posted by: Milton Buckley | August 5, 2014  8:59pm

Typical drivel from the usual suspects, Commuter, Shiningstars, and now Bethy. The end of a dem gov and government reform probably means and end to the state dole for them. I’d be nervous too.

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