Now and then, The Shad has pointed out what I see as arrogance on the part of the Malloy administration’s communications team. Any reader of The Hanging Shad knows that I am a supporter of the governor and his policy initiatives. But that doesn’t change my “call ‘em as I see ‘em” approach. When I think it’s necessary, I criticize the administration.
A week ago I pointed out what I thought was a dangerous arrogance and condescension creeping into the administration. Now it seems the arrogance has devolved into bullying.
There has been a lively debate over the need to spend $800,000 for a new vote tally board in the House chamber. The state bond commission, for which Malloy’s office sets the agenda, authorized borrowing for the voting tallying board (incidentally, I agree it’s needed. When I worked for the legislature more than five years ago, it was constantly breaking down and they couldn’t get parts for it). State Sen. Andrew Roraback thought the money shouldn’t borrowed given the state’s budget struggles. Folks can disagree, right? Not for Malloy strategist Roy Occhiogrosso.
Occhiorgosso felt the need to slap Roraback around, referencing the Goshen Republican’s run for congress from the state’s 5th district. CTNewsJunkie.com reported, “Malloy’s senior communications adviser Roy Occhiogrosso said Roraback, who is running for the Congress in the 5th district, should look more closely at the housing prices in the district he’s running in. With $800,000, someone could buy several houses in New Britain or Waterbury, he said.”
Here’s the scary part. The news website of record quotes Occhiogrosso as saying, “He [Roraback] knows full well that the governor inherited this problem. The same way he’s inherited a lot of other problems and unlike a lot of predecessors, he does what has to be done to fix what’s broken. Is he happy about it? No. But I think Senator Roraback is about to have a bad day.” Just what exactly is Ochciogrosso referring to? Is he threatening Roraback’s congressional run? Why is he wading into a congressional race at all?
To compound things, it appears that what Occhiogrosso says “here” comes out “there.” “There” being the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC). Within 24 hours of Occhiorgosso’s seeming threat, the DSCC came out with this.
The Shad firmly believes that fabulously wealthy candidates—with no real government experience—should be suspect (see Linda McMahon and Ned Lamont). Agree with his positions or not, Roraback has a long record of public services and deserves better.
Arrogance is one thing. Bullying is quite another.