In what other election cycle, in what other state, are there so many candidates still deciding what office they will seek? The author of The Shad can’t think of one. However, things may settle down a bit this week as all indications are that Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz will announce her choice between running for governor or for attorney general. The Shad talked to two officials close to Bysiewicz and while they obviously were not willing to spill it as to which race she’s chosen, both went out of their way to stress that Bysiewicz has an exploratory committee; that she has not officially announced she’s running for governor; and therefore entering the race for AG race would not be a “switch.” The conclusion drawn here is she opts for the AG’s race despite the fact that she leads in the polls in the race for governor. And that she makes that decision public this week—possibly today.
Why would Bysiewicz (or anyone else) forgo the governor’s race to run for attorney general? Amazingly, it has more to do with the jobs and less about whether he/she can win. Whoever becomes governor walks into an unprecedented financial mess and will likely be the most hated political figure in the state. That is based on the assumption the new governor will actually do something to right the financial ship; something Governor Rell was unable or unwilling to do.
Sunday’s state public affairs shows can accurately be called “DB-TV” or “Dick Blumenthal Television.” He appeared on every show possible (Connecticut Newsmakers, The Real Story, Face the State, etc.). His performances were classic Blumenthal—consistent, prepared and vague when asked about his opponents. He promised to address any and all issues he would face as a US Senator as the campaign progresses.
With Blumenthal all but annointed our new governor, candidates are lining up for his old job. Republicans are floating names for the race. They include: state Rep. Themes Klarides, a popular, well-respected and intelligent potential candidate; state Sens. Andrew Roraback, a moderate from the northwest part of the state, and John Kissel, respected on both sides of the aisle; state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a former state party chair; Ross Garber, a one-time attorney for John Rowland. Garber is bright, personally likable and has experience as a candidate for different offices; and others
Two Democrats who appeared on shows yesterday (ostensibly as analysts) dropped their own names for attorney general. On NBC-30 Connecticut’s “Connecticut Newsmakers,” Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura, who was appearing on the show as a board member of CRRA (the region’s trash authority) first mention his interest in running for governor but then seemed to settle for AG.
Former state Comptroller Bill Curry twice hinted at a run for AG on FOX-61’s “The Stan Simpson Show.” Curry ran for governor 2.5 times—unsuccessfully in each. The voters have spoken and spoke again in case Curry didn’t hear them.
The moral of the story? If you have a law degree and an extended family who live in the state, consider running for AG.
Former wrestling executive and now Republican candidate for governor Linda McMahon says her campaign will comply with the Federal Elections Commission’s order to disclose who received $567,000 in payments for political consulting, computer work, and legal services. The campaign said it had considered the work as “in-kind” contributions.
What if the state legislature held a veto session and nobody came? That’s basically what happens today. They will hold a technical veto session. But because there aren’t the votes to override any of Governor Rell’s vetoes, they will simply gavel in and gavel out.
Republicans in Massachusetts are not going down without a fight in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy. Scott Brown, the Republican candidate, is running TV ads statewide and is getting national face time by appearing on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” show. Then yesterday, on “FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” panel member William Krystol said Brown was within “low single digits” of Democratic front-runner, Attorney General Martha Coakley. He obviously hadn’t read the Boston Globe yesterday morning. It reported on a poll that put Brown 15 points behind Coakley. Now that’s “Fair and Balanced” for you.
Condolences to the family of the 17-year old victim of the tragic school bus accident on I-84 Saturday morning. Published reports identify the victim as Vikas Parikh, a promising student from Rocky Hill. Most of the other students were treated and released, although at least one remained hospitalized Sunday. All 16 students from the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science were excited as their school bus headed along I-84 toward a robotics competition Saturday about 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, at least one legislator — state Rep. Antonio Guerrera,( D-Rocky Hill) — vowed to introduce legislation in the coming legislative session that would require that seat belts be installed on school buses.
Police have identified the driver of the Volvo wagon involved in the crash as Christopher Toppi, 16, of 38 Balsam Landing in Glastonbury. Toppi was taken to Hartford Hospital and released Saturday.
Any loss of life, particularly that of young, talented people, is heart-breaking. But one wonders if the death of this 17-year math and science whiz will garner the memorials, candlelight vigils, speeches and media coverage that we saw after the murder of UConn football player Jasper Howard. Doubtful.