The Take Away from New Haven Independent Interview?—Tom Foley is Clueless

The Shad rarely makes absolute statements about politicians or political campaigns. But after reading Paul Bass’ article following an interview with Tom Foley, I can’t come to any other conclusion other than that the man has done nothing over the last three and a half years (since his last unsuccessful effort) to prepare himself to be governor. Further, it is questionable as to whether he doesn’t give specifics on the important issues facing the state because he is trying to win votes from both sides of the issues or because he is simply clueless. I tend to think it’s the latter.

Foley certainly knew he was being interviewed about issues facing New Haven. Now, he can’t be expected to know intricate details of New Haven-specific topics but he should be able to offer some sort of coherent idea about certain things a governor should know. He claimed he could improve service by the department of motor vehicles but when pressed on how, he said he would “bring in experts.” He called for changes in the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) system—the money the state grants to municipalities to make up for the tax revenue lost to tax-exempt property. Yet he couldn’t say what the changes should be.

I hope Foley doesn’t claim he was “taken out of context” by the Independent’s Bass. He is among the best reporters in the state. There is no doubt he simply wrote a story after asking pertinent questions of the newsmaker Foley.

Not only couldn’t Foley articulate any specifics but defended his inability to do so. “The governor is the captain of the ship. He’s not cleaning the propellers. He sets the tone. He’s the leader. It’s enough for a governor to set the priorities and the goals,” Foley told Bass. Does Foley think the state is the SS Minnow? Probably more like the Titanic if he becomes governor (both vessels met the same fate). One can support or criticize Gov. Malloy’s past performance and/or his recent proposals on education, transportation, job creation, etc. But at least he has proposals that are spelled out and are specific. Foley’s answer to everything seems to be “I’d bring in experts.”

The election will be won by whoever can get the independent vote. Anyone who is on the fence as to who to vote for needs to read the Bass article. It’s an eye-opener.