Politicos from across the state are handicapping how much of a handicap two prior arrests will be to Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Foley. Foley is in trouble with these revelations—they aren’t going to blow over because his fellow Republicans won’t let them.
The Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender reported last week that Foley was twice arrested years ago. Details are a bit fuzzy but it appears one incident was not that serious but the other will demand scrutiny.
Foley, the former ambassador to Ireland, was arrested after leaving a party in the Hamptons (reason enough not to vote for him) and bumping into the car in front of him the occupants of which thought Foley had done it on purpose. He was arrested and charged with assault the next day. The charges were eventually dropped.
The second incident is more troubling. Anything that even has a whiff of domestic violence rightly demands complete transparency which Foley has been reluctant to provide to this point. Foley’s soon-to-be-ex-wife at the time accused him of using his car to run hers off the road—and hers had their young child in it. The charges there were also eventually dropped but the point is details on both incidents are a bit murky with files being sealed and the like.
Foley needs to be able to say he did everything possible to open them. To date, he has given the unsatisfactory answer of “it was many years ago” or “they were minor incidents.” The fact is, lawmakers have in recent years been focused on domestic violence and have done some fine work on the very troubling issue. Until these incidents are scrutinized, Foley carries no credibility on the domestic violence issue thereby making him a tough sell as governor.
There is a clear reason as to why this all won’t “blow over”—Foley’s rivals for the Republican nomination for governor won’t let it. Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele and economic development professional Oz Griebel jumped all over Foley as soon as the Lender story broke. They called on Foley to “come clean” or have any sealed files opened. Bad news won’t go away when your own party plans to put it front and center.
And the preceding is also the reason why the Foley case is nothing like Richard Blumenthal’s Vietnam “misstatements.” In Blumenthal’s case, the Democrats circled the wagons and supported him (Merrick Alpert doesn’t count. He called Blumenthal a “liar” one day and endorsed him the next after crashing the convention podium).
The bottom line is: Foley is in trouble unless there is complete and total transparency on these incidents. If they truly are “minor incidents, many years ago,” he shouldn’t have a problem providing it.