There is a certainty in politics: If a poll doesn’t go your way, attack the poll. Such is the case with former pol Jonathan Pelto who just can’t accept the results of a new survey that shows the public in Connecticut gets it. Parents get it. Would-be parents get it. Gov. Dannel Malloy’s education reform initiatives are good for kids, good for the economy, and good for the future of the state.
The problem is that Pelto goes beyond the usual “blame the messenger” reaction to a poll. He goes so far as to suggest wrong-doing and ethics violations on the part of Global Strategy Group and the Malloy administration. Pelto makes the accusations without a shred of evidence. That’s a dangerous game, Mr. Pelto. If you have evidence, file a complaint.
Peltos response to the poll is classic, “throw everything against the wall and see if anything sticks.” He questions whether Malloy or his top people had knowledge of the poll results prior to the governor’s budget address. He offers nothing to back that up. He simply can’t take it that the people of the state reject his protection of a status quo, traditional public school system that has the largest achievement gap in the country and an embarrassing drop-out rate.
Global did the poll for the education reform group, Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN). He questions the integrity of Global, an organization that is nationally and internationally respected and has been hired by the very best in the field of communications, public relations and research. They are beyond reproach.
The real reason Pelto has come up with this crazy conspiracy theory is to deflect away from the fact that the new poll shows widespread support for education reform and how the governor is handling it. The support is strong across party lines and age groups. It’s is a sharp rebuke to reform obstructionists such as Pelto. And of course, by now we all know of Pelto’s grudge against the governor.
Pelto has nowhere else to go in the face of hard evidence that the people of Connecticut support education reform. Simply put, the education issue has left Pelto behind as just another union flunky stuck in the 70’s.
To question the integrity of Global and anyone in the Malloy administration, past or present, is abhorrent and Pelto should apologize. There’s an old legal aphorism that goes, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.” Pelto is desperately pounding the table.
The people have spoken, Mr. Pelto. You may not like the message but inventing ridiculous conspiracy theories is beneath even you in your effort to protect a failing system. Put the kids first!