Foley’s Risky Embrace of Far Right Groups; Malloy Surrogates Pile On

You know you’re taking perilous positions when people like state Comptroller Kevin Lembo and state Sen. Beth Bye are absolutely offended by your acceptance of an endorsement from an out-of-the-mainstream group. Add Gov. Dan Malloy supporters state Reps. William Tong (D-Stamford), Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) and former state Rep. Evelyn Mantilla (D-Hartford) all making statements condemning the endorsement and you pretty much have the state covered geographically.

Regardless of the political leanings one may have, Lembo and Bye are universally respected and held in high regard. The two held a press conference Thursday to express their outrage over Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley’s acceptance of the endorsement of the Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC)—an anti-choice, anti-marriage equality, anti-emergency contraception, far-right group that has never endorsed a candidate for governor before.

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Lembo and Bye are openly gay and ironically, given the name of the organization offending them, have beautiful and loving families.

Bye accused Foley of seeking the endorsement of the FCI and then accepting it. Foley, in a sort of “depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” moment, claimed he didn’t seek the group’s backing but is happy to have it. That kind of double-talk recalls Foley’s position on the state’s landmark, post-Sandy Hook gun control laws. He says he would sign a repeal but wouldn’t propose one. He’s on the fence and it hurts.

Just like the endorsement from the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL), Foley can’t or won’t articulate just what positions of the FIC he agrees with. Yet he is happy to accept the ultra-conservative group’s backing.

Interestingly, the FIC has not a hint of the endorsement on its website home page. One has to go to the group’s blog to find it. At Least the CCDL had the guts to put its endorsement on its home page.

It’s hard to determine which is the riskier roll of the dice for Foley—accepting the endorsements of groups with which a strong majority of Connecticut voters disagree or his refusal to specify where he stands on issues important to these groups. Either way he is taking one heck of a gamble for November.