GOP CANDIDATES FOR GOV DEBATE

The reason the headline for this entry is not more descriptive or even longer is because that’s really all there is to say about the encounter between the 8 people vying for the Republican nomination for governor. It was your typical initial debate, no one straying very far from the traditional GOP line.

How do we fix the state budget shortfall? Cut, cut and cut some more (nearly every non-partisan expert on state government has said a combination of spending cuts and new revenue is needed to solve the budget crisis). The leader of the pack in the latest Q-Poll, Greenwich multimillionaire Tom Foley, promised to forgo the $150,000 governor’s salary if elected, saying the state’s problem is not one of revenue but one of taxing.

Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele who earlier this week promised not to raise taxes of any kind, touted what he said was a record of job creation in his years as a businessman.

The most noticeable thing about the debate was there were candidates The Shad had never heard of—as in last night was the first time I had ever heard his name mentioned.

Those participating in last night’s event were Foley, Fedele, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, economic development leader Oz Griebel, Newington Mayor Jeff Wright, Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh, financial analyst C. Duffy Acevedo (?), and former Congressman Lawrence DiNardis.
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While many of us are trying to figure out how to finance a new couch at Ikea or sit through the commercial just to see what’s on sale at Bob’s furniture, UConn President Michael Hogan has $35,000 worth of new furniture (including a $3,600 desk and $8,000 window treatments)in his office. This is not to begrudge President Hogan some nice digs. After all, he is a university president and some nice “stuff” should be part of the deal. The big question is, “Who is paying for it?”

The answer is that about two-thirds of the furniture costs will be covered by private donations. The rest of the furniture cost as well as the $475,000 renovation to the second floor of Gulley Hall will be paid for through…cue the outraged students…operating funds which is made up of tuition fees. The renovations have been a thorn in the side of UConn officials for some time, going back to when officials admitted violating federal law by improperly removing asbestos.
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Connecticut has the 4th most millionaire households in the country. The nutmeg state has 83,000 millionaire households according to Phoenix Marketing International. 6.5 percent of the state’s population are millionaires and the median household income is $68,000. Phoenix does point out that it unknown how the new budget that increases taxes on the wealthy will affect the numbers.

Ahead of the nutmeg state are #1- Hawaii; #2-Maryland (again, politicians are included); and #3-New Jersey. Hawaii benefits from its smaller population. It has 28,000 millionaire households but only about a half million households in all.