Some people just can’t let things go. My recent column in the opinion section of The Hartford Courant somehow resulted in a “War and Peace”-length response from one of subjects in the piece (“Malloy labor critics should count their blessings, Aug. 7). The main point of my argument—which seemed clear to most people—was that people who are attacking Gov. Dannel Malloy for courageously trying to fill a gigantic budget hole are forgetting what the other choice was.
Republican Tom Foley was ready to fill the $3.5 billion budget shortfall with no new revenue whatsoever. If he followed through on that promise, the state would be unrecognizable. There would have tens of thousands of state worker layoffs and services would barely exist.
In a sort of throwaway line in my column, I wrote that the policies of George McGovern are no longer relevant. I should have “economic policies.” Political activist Jonathan Pelto was singled out for his incessant and churlish criticism of Malloy, going so far as to say he wish he could have his vote back and choose Foley.
Instead of countering my argument, Pelto launched into a lengthy defense of George McGovern. Pelto started with “My response [to Scully’s column] is rather long, but I hope you’ll take the time to read it in its entirety.” Not a chance. I started to doze after the first five or six paragraphs. I did notice Pelto saw the need to question my age—always an effective debating tool.
There’s more to this whole story besides Pelto failing to answer my point about why he is slapping around Malloy when Foley would have gored Pelto’s ox and then some.
Pelto’s unremitting disparagement of Malloy dates back to when he was snubbed for any role in the newly elected governor’s transition team and then being summarily dismissed by the new governor’s top guy. Back in December of 2010, as Malloy was assembling his transition team, Pelto was all but lobbying for a role. He didn’t get one. And to add insult to injury two Republicans did gets roles. That sent Pelto over the edge. When he criticized the governor for picking two Republicans for the team, top Malloy advisor Roy Occhiogrosso slapped him away like an annoying mosquito
“No one cares what Jonathan Pelto thinks,” Occhiogrosso at the time. “He posts some comment on Facebook. Who cares? If some guy in the Midwest posts something about the Malloy transition team on Facebook, is that newsworthy? The fact that he’s reduced to making comments on his Facebook page proves his status in the Democratic Party.” Ouch.
When I asked a longtime political insider whether I was too harsh on Pelto in my op-ed piece, my friend replied, “Not at all. Life on a diet of sour grapes is no fun.”