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One would think Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley would take a cue from Linda McMahon in the sense of, “Whatever she did, do the opposite.” We thought that might be happening when Foley decided to participate in the public financing of his campaign and not spend a boatload of his own money (McMahon spent $100 million on two failed US Senate bids). But those hopes were dashed when Foley decided to run by hiding. His reluctance to engage on issues important to the state and his decision to tell newspaper editorial boards they get one chance to talk to him are an absolute insult to Connecticut voters.
Looking at it from Foley’s side, it’s probably appears to be a sound strategy. Right out of the gate, he coughed up the ball when he started throwing unsubstantiated charges of ethics violations at Gov. Dan Malloy. He further twerked off reporters by saying he had evidence that meets “journalist standards.” We still don’t have any information that backs up his claims.
Foley decision to run a “rose garden” campaign was probably cemented with his ridiculous appearance before the AFL-CIO convention last month in which he told union members that he would not try to reopen their collective bargaining agreement to balance the state budget. Foley also tried to explain away his previous call for a “Wisconsin moment.” The 2010 nominee claims to be able to balance the books without raising taxes and without asking more of labor. That’s one The Shad would like to see him do without absolutely shredding the state’s safety net.
Foley and his advisors perceptively see that nearly every time he speaks, he loses votes. McMahon decided to do no editorial board meetings before the election. That strategy backfired as the ed boards were rightly insulted and said so.
Republicans should be able to see the contrasts between Foley and state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney before their primary. McKinney is a bright and engaging candidate who has trouble getting Foley in the same room with him. That’s unfortunate.
The bottom line is that voters should hear as much as possible from candidates for elected office so they can make as sound a decision as possible. That’s democracy. Foley’s decision to give as little as possible is an affront to voters.