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Pelto Names Running Mate, Pushes Up Decision Timeline In Governor’s Race

by | Jun 5, 2014 3:29pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014, Election Policy

CTNJ File Photo (UPDATED 4:30 P.M.) Jonathan Pelto named a running mate Thursday and began the process of petitioning his way onto the ballot to launch a third-party challenge of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Pelto, a former Democratic lawmaker, is a vocal critic of Malloy’s administration and has been exploring a run for governor under his newly formed Education and Democracy Party.

On his blog, Wait What? Pelto announced he has chosen Hartford teacher Ebony Murphy as his running mate for lieutenant governor. He also announced he is beginning to collect the 7,500 signatures he’ll need by Aug. 6 to appear on the ballot.

“Ebony’s background and breadth of experiences will help ensure that she and I can give a meaningful voice to the extraordinary diversity that is Connecticut,” Pelto wrote. “As we continue to explore a run for governor and lt. governor, I’m extremely honored and proud to working side by side with Ebony Murphy in that task.”

Courtesy of The Real Ms. Murphy blog Pelto said Thursday morning he intends to speed up the exploratory process and expects to make a formal decision whether to run within the next 10 to 15 days.

He said he’s expediting the process so he can be considered for an endorsement by the state’s labor unions and advocacy groups.

“I feel like their requirement that they will only talk to announced candidates has forced me to speed up my exploratory process one way or another,” Pelto said.

On Wednesday, Pelto released a statement calling the preliminary endorsement of Malloy by the American Federation of Teacher’s Connecticut Legislative and Political Action Committee “premature,” “insulting,” and “inappropriate.” AFT spokesman Matt O’Connor said the union is in the midst of an internal process and would not be making public comments.

Much of Pelto’s criticisms of Malloy have focused on the first-term Democrat’s handling of education policy. He said he was disappointed he would not have a chance to have a discussion with the group’s rank-and-file teachers about Malloy’s policies, which he considers to be “anti-teacher.”

Pelto said he does not want to similarly miss out on an opportunity to address the Connecticut Working Families Party at an event on June 21. As a result, he intends to be formally in or out of the gubernatorial race before that date.

“If groups like American Federation of Teachers and the Working Families Party say we will not discuss with you your candidacy or the issues you’re raising unless you’re an official candidate, it makes it pretty clear that if I want these issues discussed I have to be an official candidate . . . and I have to do it significantly sooner than I intended,” he said.

Pelto is hoping for support among liberals disaffected by some of Malloy’s policies and rank-and-file members of the state’s labor unions. And he notes that in a potential three-way race it would not take a huge amount of support to swing the election away from Malloy, who won in 2010 by only 6,404 votes.

“Whether I take 2 percent of the vote or 10 percent of the vote or, as one would hope 37 percent of vote, I would impact the election,” Pelto said.

Pelto may be hoping for union support but the potential challenge of Malloy has put the former Democratic lawmaker and political consultant at odds with leaders of Connecticut’s unions, who seem firmly behind the sitting Democrat.

While Malloy’s re-election campaign and the Connecticut Democratic Party have said little on Pelto’s potential candidacy, SEIU 1199NE President David Pickus weighed in on Pelto two weeks ago, criticizing Pelto for consultant work he did on behalf of nursing home management during a 2001 labor dispute.

On Thursday morning, CSEA SEIU Local 2001 President Patrice Peterson emailed members to tell them that Malloy stated he would not seek more concessions from state employees to balance projected budget deficits in fiscal year 2016. Malloy’s administration negotiated concessions including pay freezes and reductions in benefits with state employee unions during his first year in office.

“CSEA has not made any endorsements in the governor’s race yet, but candidate statements such as these play a major role in our decision making process,” Peterson wrote.

Peterson compared Malloy’s statement on labor contracts to statements from the three Republican candidates. Tom Foley, the Republican nominee in 2010, again won the party endorsement at the convention but Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton both won enough support to wage a primary challenges. Peterson said CSEA will schedule candidate interviews in the coming weeks.

The email did not mention Pelto, who said he expected union leadership to rally behind Malloy but believes there is a disconnect between leadership and members in some unions.

“It’s awkward in the sense of brushing up again union leadership but it reiterates why I’d be running in first place,” he said.

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(31) Archived Comments

posted by: state_employee | June 5, 2014  4:27pm

Do it Jonathan, the state employees (rank & file) are waiting for an alternative to staying home in November.

posted by: ocoandasoc | June 5, 2014  4:50pm

And the game continues. All Malloy has to do is make a few more unreasonable promises to the teachers unions (at the expense of CT’s taxpayers and school children!) and maybe throw in a cushy spot for Pelto in the newly re-elected administration and – viola – the whole Pelto candidacy goes away. Pelto then walks away with a new job and union brownie points to use in a future election for State-wide office.

posted by: Linda12 | June 5, 2014  5:42pm

And so are 45,000+ teachers and their friends and families.  Dannel, your four years of showing up are almost over. Let the countdown clock begin.

posted by: PWS2003 | June 5, 2014  7:52pm

Jon runs = Malloy looses.

Jon doesn’t run = Malloy looses.

Retired teachers+active teachers+state employees unhappy with Malloy and will never again vote for Malloy = a number that is much greater than 6400.

Jon can not change what happens to Malloy, nor can any union leadership.

Malloy had better get use to being called ex-Governor and find a job in a corporation with his supporters and friends.

posted by: BMS | June 5, 2014  8:59pm

“On Thursday morning, CSEA SEIU Local 2001 President Patrice Peterson emailed members to tell them that Malloy stated he would not seek more concessions from state employees to balance projected budget deficits in fiscal year 2016.” Which Malloy said that Dan or Dannel?

posted by: art vandelay | June 5, 2014  9:08pm

art vandelay

How sad you would stay home rather than vote for a Republican if Pelto does not run.
Does the Republican Party repulse you that much?  How selfish!

posted by: art vandelay | June 5, 2014  9:11pm

art vandelay

As a Right Wing Conservative Republican “Extremist”, where can I sign Pelto’s petition.  I ‘d love to see Pelto’s name on November’s ballot. It’s one way to insure a REPUBLICAN victory.

posted by: Querculus | June 5, 2014  9:47pm

Pelto’s candidacy makes a viable impact on Connecticut politics and does much to help keep Connecticut’s unions honest.

The fearmongers who warn of a Republican administration imagine that somehow such an administration will be different from Malloy.  They will not for most intents and purposes. 

This attitude is exactly why we now have Democrats who stray far from the unified moderate populism of community responsibility that the party has represented during the past 50 years.  Neoliberals who sell out millions of hardworking people to corporate interests must be voted out, or that is all we will see at the ballot box.

Somebody posted that Mr. Pelto is angling for a job with Malloy.  This is laughable.  Pelto unflinchingly dissects the education policies of Malloy in the “Wait, What” blog.  His stance and ethics are quite clearly beyond reproach.  This is as morally grounded a campaign as one could possibly run.

How sad it is that such moral grounding relegates a campaign to long-shot status. 

My prediction? Mr. Pelto will surprise the nation with a strong showing, giving pause to corporate education takeover artists wherever they may be—and inspiration to other un-corrupted and honest candidates for office everywhere.  May honesty no longer be a bar to leadership.

Good luck in November! Pelto/Murphy ‘14!

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 5, 2014  9:50pm

Seriously? Dannel is promising to leave we state workers unharmed next fiscal year while staring at a billion and a half dollar deficit? Please. Picture it: SEBAC deal, 2011. Don Williams, mouthpiece of the governor, threatening to introduce a bill to eliminate collective bargaining if workers fail to approve the deal. And we are supposed to trust Dano and the complicit dems next year, based upon an election year promise? No, no, no, no, no. I will take my chances with a Republican governor,because when we have an R in the Mansion, Democrats in the legislature actually act like Democrats.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | June 6, 2014  12:36am

Yeehaw! Twist one up, are you ready to rumble!? Do it Jonathan, you have more support than you know.

The guv is in a funny spot. He’s done all these republican things, like giving cash to big companies and screwing state employees an teachers, yet the republicans hate him! Go figure ......

Those of a larger, progressive mind need a candidate. Do it!


posted by: Pro-Public Education | June 6, 2014  12:38am

I am both a Bridgeport resident and a registered Democrat and I am very excited to have another viable option than either Malloy or Foley. Malloy has nothing but disrespect Bridgeport parents and voters. He must pay a price for his betrayal of those he is supposed to represent, especially those of us that live in Bridgeport. You are a sell out Malloy.

posted by: art vandelay | June 6, 2014  1:38am

art vandelay

@DrHunterSThompson,  Although I deplore Malloy giving millions to corporations, corporations DO create JOBS & pay people salaries. What’s wrong with that?  Might you be jealous that the CEO’s of these corporations make high 6 and possibly 7 figure salaries?  If so, I might suggest enrolling in an MBA program and apply for one of these positions. I’m sorry but they earned it.  The CEO of ESPN or UTC has HUGE responsibilities more than you could ever imagine. They indirectly put food on the table of highly paid state employees.  If it weren’t for the employees of private sector companies, you’d be out of a job.
Did Malloy “screw” state employees?  Absolutely NOT.  He gave them the store.  I’d love to have a job with a no layoff clause.  I’d love to have a job with Rolls Royce benefits.  Problem with state employees is that if they get an inch, they want a mile.

posted by: GBear423 | June 6, 2014  6:54am


What a great example for our Civics Students in Connecticut. I think no matter what side of the fence you fall on, this is a good thing.  Despite the small minded ones who trumpet politics over principle, this imho is what our American democracy is about.  A person with ideas that resonate to a constituency and having the freedom of running for Office. :O)

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 6, 2014  6:57am

Oh Art. You really have imbibed the Kool-Aid. And please, don’t tell me do go get an MBA. I already have one. Yes, corporations hire people. They also take the tax breaks and then lay them off when it suits the corporation. And your disrespect for state employees - a police chief doesn’t have big responsibilities? A fire chief? The people who are teaching the next generation of children to be educated citizens? Yeah, no wonder we’re in trouble when some residents of this state have so little respect for anyone except those who are titans of industry.

posted by: art vandelay | June 6, 2014  7:35am

art vandelay

@Sarah Darer Littman,  Did you take your mortgage & IRA deductions last year?  A tax break, you bet! The main objective of any corporation is to MAKE MONEY. A corporations largest expense is labor.  When labor costs exceed revenue corporations guess what.  Comparing the responsibilities of a Police/Fire Chief & Teacher to a CEO?  You have to be kidding.
I never got a job from a poor person.

posted by: state_employee | June 6, 2014  8:45am

@ Art Vandely.
How sad you would stay home rather than vote for a Republican if Pelto does not run.
Does the Republican Party repulse you that much?  How selfish!

I guess it depends on who the republicans put up against malloy.  I really do not like foley.  I used to only vote democrat, until malloy.  Now I vote for who I think is the best candidate.  So no, absoutelty not, the republican party does not repulse me.  I may even change my status. But I just do not like Foley.

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 6, 2014  9:29am

Respect is earned…  Not won in an election or given by bureaucratic sycophants of a chief politician…  Voting out [rabbis of] mediocre bureaucrats is a lot tougher in municipalities than Shareholder/Board or, private equity/owner driven businesses…  Some owners favor long-term stewardship while others bias cash flow…  Thats their perrogative as owners/operators…

Pelto is simply a key Disruptor for the mess that Malloy leaves behind in Education (Among many other things…)  Unfortunately the amount of CT residents that wish to leave if opportunity arise, feels much like owning a stock that you have been nursing a major loss and waiting for a bounce to sell…  Too bad we cant short-sell Malloy…

posted by: mmal231294 | June 6, 2014  9:38am

Ya gotta love a good spoiler! I am a life long Democrat but the fiscal conservative in me hated Dan. All I had to see was his inability to staunch the “longevity” bonus’ in the midst of massive deficit. If ya don’t have the chops to hit THAT softball….ya gots to go. Besides a divided govt ensures legislative inaction, almost always a good thing. I’d like to see a budget passed, and not one additional item.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 6, 2014  9:53am

Did anyone notice the first word under the picture that Ms. Murphy used to describe herself.


I hear someone use that word to describe someone I immediately think racial slur at some level. Without knowing the target of that persons comment I would assume “black woman” in a derogatory way.

Why is this OK for a candidate for Lt Governor to describe herself that way? Don’t expect other people to not use words that you use yourself.

Having said that I hope they get 15% of the vote.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 6, 2014  9:53am

Art, you are a very empty soul. And sadly, too much of America is like you.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I’m Jewish and I can quote that Scripture. Yes, I will compare a police and fire chief and a teacher to a CEO. You can continue to worship Mammon. I was brought up with different values.

posted by: Bulldog1 | June 6, 2014  10:06am

All this back and forth about getting back at Malloy, R’s hoping that Pelto’s presence lets their boy Foley grab the brass ring but nobody, not anyone of the politicos on any side is talking about the real issue;  Just how do we insure jobs sufficient to allow our citizens to live at some sort of middle class level.

Some want to cut wages and benefits for everyone not at the CEO level but they don’t explain how turning us into Mississippi makes anyone economically secure. With work available people get off the dole and build lives.  You can talk about kicking them off now since they’re just takers but where does that leave us?

I hear lots of noise about “job creators” but if the Righties on this string are honest they’ll admit that Romney, Foley and the rest created jobs in China, Vietnam and a good many other foreign hellholes for workers.  35 years of offshoring has completely gutted the economic prospects of the working/middle class in the private sector.  And if Art gets his way public sector workers will be working for Walmart wages soon.

And Pelto?  No ideas beyond blowing up Malloy so all you State Workers who feel so bad about having to pay a bit more for health care in retirement?  According to Foley it’s going to be your wages or your benefits, you can’t have both. To parapharse Meatloaf:  So what’s it gonna be boy?

No solutions in this bunch.
A fancy courthouse in Torrington just doesn’t get us there.

posted by: 27Reasons | June 6, 2014  1:56pm

PELTO or bust in 2014!

Let the signatures roll in!

It’s time for dannyboy to start packing his bags, and look for a new state to destroy.

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 6, 2014  3:07pm

Yikes…. What did Art say?

@sara while it may sadden you that Art is a proxy for ‘whats wrong with America’...  From what I can remember, Americas exceptionalism comes from the melting pot of immigrants that sought to live in a meritocracy…  Where hard work, perserverence and imagination led to its greatest strength as a nation; and that the invisible hand of capitalism is all we needed as incentive to achieve…  Where healthy competition provided the natural selection of our leaders, innovation and long term growth as a nation (we often refer to as standard of living)...

Whats wrong now is that ...  Hey ... EVERYONE is a CEO, everyone is a WINNER, EVERYONE is ENTITLED to the same wage that a worker in demand has, or even a cell phone (thx Obama)...

Macroeconomics just doesnt work when you FORCE upon a consumer a price or FORCE upon a supplier a COST…  Thats why you create black markets and OVERSEAS outsourcing…Dont blame CHINA, VIETNAM or WHOMEVER - When CONSUMERS WANT TO BUY GOODS AT THOSE PRICE POINTS…  There is a reason why >70% of items sold at Walmart are from overseas….  If you DIDNT want it, Walmart wouldnt sell it…  They are the best at merchandising what the consumers want…  We still live in sort of a free society…  Consumers will buy whats best for them - Companies do what they do because of RATIONAL EXPECTATIONS of what the marketplace will do - NOT WHAT SOME LIBERALS FEEL THEY SHOULD DO - or they will vanish like American Harvester, Woolworth, Allied-Signal, Eastman Kodak, etc..(all once DJIA stocks)...

Its not about respect of public workers…  But respect of meritocracy and the American Dream… Its about what T Roosevelt refers to as the Arena…

posted by: Pro-Public Education | June 6, 2014  10:01pm

As a Democrat, I truly believe that Malloy must be defeated. When elected officials betray those that elected them, there must be a price to pay. Malloy has a completely complicit legislature. If he wins he will become even more brazen and arrogant because he will have gotten away with his betrayal. Malloy will become even worse. However, if a Republican wins, the legislature will not be so complicit and will push back on Foley. If the governor can be taken out for his failure to do the right thing, then as a state rep or senator, I can surely be defeated. A Republican victory will force elected Democrats to behave as such. Although I will be working and helping Pelto. That is ultimately who I would like to see win.

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 7, 2014  5:23pm

Art, Nutmeg and ABC are all amazingly good at missing the point. They apparently never learned how to “close read” between the “four corners of the text.” Oh, and apparently I am “carried on the backs of real taxpayers (producers)”.  My accountant will be very interested to learn this. Clearly he is missing the kind of dodges available to the “producers” like Mitt Romney, who pay an effective tax rate of 14.1%.

posted by: brutus2011 | June 8, 2014  6:25pm


Pelto For Governor!

Ct is finally living up to its nickname, the “Constitution State!”

posted by: CT Jim | June 9, 2014  9:03am

Gee I noticed the Visconti is also going to run as an independent and seeing how pro gun he is with his riding into the gun rally on a horse dressed like Roy Rogers I think he’ll drag more votes away from Foley than Pelto will from Malloy, making this nothing more than an exercise in futility.

posted by: GBear423 | June 9, 2014  2:57pm


Why is Mitt Romney paying an effective tax rate of 14.1%?

posted by: Nutmeg87 | June 11, 2014  9:03am

GBear -  Because Romney has No earned income ($ earned from job or business activity)..  Most all his income is from investments - 15% is the Capital Gain rate when investment is held > 1 yr and 15% was rate on dividends from holding an operating company…  Its less than 15% because he has Charitable Contributions…

In essense, he is double-taxed…  He was originally taxed on income earned that was the basis of his investments (>40%)...  Then taxed again on the gain & income generated from the investments…

Reagan/Bushes/Clinton & OBAMA kept the rate 15% as an incentive to invest in the US as well as provide long-term capital to US Industry…

Romney is NOT alone…  Warren Buffet has widely published that his rate is <15%, as well as Bill Gates (BOTH BTW have donated MOST all of $50 BILLION Fortune to Charity and have Salary of $1)...  All 3 of these capitalists & Philanthropists ARE SELF-MADE… and pay <15% rate..

posted by: Sarah Darer Littman | June 11, 2014  11:22am

Of course Nutmeg87 left out the part about Romney’s inherited wealth and the Cayman Trusts, but why let the truth spoil a good “self-made job creator” narrative?

posted by: GBear423 | June 11, 2014  12:13pm


I hope Sarah is reading your post Nutmeg.  the part about taxed a 2nd time; as the original investment was from taxed income is something I think many ignore.
I have seen a few folks on this forum disparage Romney’s tax rate, comparing it to a secretary or some other person who is at the earned income tax rate for their bracket of income.  Its apples and oranges.
Thanks for the information! :O)

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