It’s not boring. In fact, it can be wildly entertaining. It’s also a bit sad. The 2012 session of the Connecticut General Assembly isn’t even a month old but the back and forth bickering between the Malloy administration and Republican legislative leaders indicates it will be an extremely acrimonious session. In short, Republicans are doing their best to get exposure for their proposals and trying to be relevant while Malloy’s people are managing to hand it to them.
Right from the beginning, Republicans were feeling left out—present but barely noticed. It was Malloy’s state of the state address on Feb. 8th that got them going and rightly so. Malloy speech can be described as “Here’s how great I’ve been and now I tell you how great I’m going to be.” Republicans have been peppering the press with “We told you so” on the state budget. GOP leaders Sen. John McKinney and Rep. Larry Cafero sounded howls of protest last year when the budget was passed, saying there’s no way it would balance. Depending on how you look at it, they might be right.
Strangely enough, Malloy has in fact accomplished everything he has set out to do in his first two years. But as the president says, “There’s no need to spike the football.” Despite his successful policies and initiatives, Malloy’s people can seem to stop themselves from giving the Rs more publicity on a silver platter. After the GOP news conference, Malloy budget directly Ben Barnes issued a peculiar statement refuting everything McKinney and Cafero. “For 16 years under Republican governors, Rep. Cafero and Sen. McKinney held exactly zero press conferences to highlight the financial games the governors from their party were playing. Zero,” Barnes said. “If they’d spoken up then, they’d have more credibility now. Nice way to turn a rather obscure news conference into a two-day story picked up by everyone.”
Senior Malloy strategist Roy Occhiogrosso would do well to finally put behind him his campaign mode in favor of his governing mode. Instead, he continues to take the bait like Jaws. If he persists, he’s gonna need a bigger boat.
Just a thought: Maybe the Malloy administration and all legislators could get together, decide what has to be done to make sure the state is not in a deficit. Naw, that would be boring.