Everyone every now and again needs a mulligan, a do-over. The state NAACP needs one on its premature, misinformed and just plain dead-wrong criticism about a supposed lack of diversity in the transition team of Gov.-elect Dan Malloy.
A week ago, Scot X. Esdaile, president of the state NAACP released a scathing news release about Malloy’s transition team. “So far the names that we received pertaining to Dan Malloy’s transition team are: Nancy Wyman, Tim Bannon, Colleen Flanagan, Howard Rifkin, Lori Aronson (Tim Bannon’s wife), Mark Ojakian, David McQuade, Kevin Sullivan, Bill Curry, Ben Barnes,” the release said. “‘The lack of diversity in Dan Malloy’s transition team is a slap in the face to all of the urban areas in the State of Connecticut. Clearly Dan Malloy would not have been elected if the minority communities did not come out in record numbers on election day,’ Esdaile said. ‘Only time will tell, but we demand substantial representation at the table,’ he also added.”
Well, time did tell. And the story it told makes Esdaile, the popular, effective and media-savvy leader of the civil rights group, look a bit silly. It turns out, the transition team hadn’t been announced when he made the statement. And worse, the team did not include McQuade, Rifkin, Curry, Sullivan or Barnes (who was named budget chief).
It was odd that Esdaile didn’t have his facts straight or that he would even question Malloy’s commitment to diversity in the first place. As it turns out, the Malloy transition team includes some of the best and brightest in the state. It also reflects the state’s diversity.
Lest anyone think Esdaile’s criticism forced Malloy to “act,” it was just two days after his misguided criticism that Malloy announced his actual transition team. And as the Hartford Courant’s Rick Green put it, “…the list goes beyond the usual white guys.” Indeed.
One would think an apology from Esdaile would be in order. A Malloy insider says there hasn’t been one.
Meanwhile, Malloy has announced a “transition website.” The gov.-elect said, “I encourage those people who have suggestions or ideas for my administration to share them with us through our web form. In addition, I’ve told my transition team that we’re looking for the best and the brightest for every position we fill within state government. People who would like to join our efforts can send their resume and cover letter to us for consideration. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll launch additional ways for the people of Connecticut to stay in touch with me and get answers to their questions, and I look forward to being an active and accessible Governor.”