Debates during this campaign season have been filled with charges and counter-charges. The points of contention usually involved statistics or carefully chosen adjectives about a candidate’s opponent—things that can be the subject of “spin.” However, in Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate, Republican Tom Foley made a specific charge that was seemingly easy to check.
In trying to make a point about the need to reform the state’s pension system, Foley took a jab at Democratic opponent Dan Malloy of Stamford. Foley said Stamford’s fire chief retired last year with a pension of $264,000 a year, earned by running up 4,000 hours of work in his last year. Problem is, veteran Stamford Fire Chief Robert McGrath is still on the job and he was probably was quite surprised to learn he had getting such a huge pension.
There are a couple of possibilities as to what Foley was talking about. One is he was thinking of Stratford’s police chief and the other might be he was thinking of Stratford’s pension situation. It’s really hard to tell. And apparently, Foley didn’t know either because he dropped the issue—even when he had 30 second of rebuttal time remaining—after Malloy said the fire chief he appointed was still on the job.
Someone who wants to be the governor should know more about the state other than Greenwich—even those pesky “ ––ford” towns.