LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY

A group of apparently dissident Democrats in both the state Senate and House have written a letter to Senate President Donald Williams and Speaker of the House Christopher Donovan expressing discontent with the legislature progress—or lack of—with the budget process.

An excerpt of the letter:
“Dear Senator Williams and Speaker Donovan:
We, the undersigned, write to you today in the hopes that our voices will help to spur action with regard to the current financial situation of our budget. According to the Comptroller’s office, the Office of Fiscal Analysis and the Office of Policy and Management, the budget for this fiscal year is over $500 million in deficit. The picture for fiscal year 2011 doesn’t look any brighter with even less good news for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. We need solutions NOW that do not exacerbate the problems that loom for the foreseeable future. (their emphasis and bold font.)… We can no longer wait or hope for a miracle on Capitol Avenue. Times are tough. We stand, ready, willing and able to assist and provide the support for closing our deficits in a responsible way. There is no time to waste.”

The unusually public airing of intra-caucus disagreement may be a sign of bigger problems within the two caucuses which both hold veto-proof majorities, at least by the numbers. The leaders responses to the letter were fairly casual with Donovan saying he appreciate the input and a spokesman for Williams saying that the Senate president has been saying the same thing about the budget all along.

But as the former communications director for the Senate Democrats, the author of The Shad knows first-hand that this type of public letter is nearly unheard of and indicates there are problems within each caucus and that the speaker and president don’t have the full support of their members. Caucus members who have a serious disagreement with leadership can always walk down the hall and talk to their leader. Does this indicate that the signers of the letter feel so disconnected from leadership that a letter that ends up in the public square is the only way to be heard?

In any event, having so many recalcitrant members of any caucus does not bode well for the leader. And the leaders’ responses have been “we’re all on the same page”—which obviously they are not.
*
After spending more than a year “exploring” a run for governor, former Stamford Dan Malloy makes it official today at the state Capitol. Malloy will file the necessary paperwork to officially enter the race.
*
Another gem from The Hartford Courant’s investigative reporter Jon Lender and yet another case of breakfast indigestion for Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz. Today’s front page article is here: http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-bysiewicz-database-0310.artmar10,0,5071820.story Bysiewicz is approaching the point where her bid for attorney general or any other office in this election cycle is snake-bit.