Sloppy Staff Work? Foley’s Rollouts of Education and Urban Policies Crash and Burns

Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley better hope the people of the state really can’t stand Gov. Dan Malloy because Foley’s policies are a disaster. His education plan can easily be seen as a program to close schools. His urban strategy was stolen from think tank ideas. In the latter case, he first said it wasn’t plagiarism to copy successful ideas (word for word?). He then blamed it on his staff. It was not a shining week for the Foley campaign.

The Malloy campaign’s time has recently been spent simply ridiculing Foley’s ideas. It’s rather rare that a candidate holds a campaign appearance for no other purpose than to show how his opponent’s ideas would be a disaster. Yet that’s exactly what Malloy did with his appearances this week at an East Hartford school where he argued that Foley’s education plan would result in closing schools. He was backed by elected officials from East Hartford.

One would think Foley would try to make inroads with teachers since Malloy honked off the educators in 2010 with his now-infamous comment that all they had to do was show up and they get tenure. Instead, Malloy has gone to great lengths to repair his relationship with teachers (he got one union endorsement over education status quo protector Jonathan Pelto) while Foley proposes a policy that very well could result in the closing of schools and the firing of teachers.

Foley’s urban policy rollout was even more of a disaster. The reality is very few people actually evaluated the policy because they couldn’t get past the fact that the Republican plagiarized a good portion of it from conservative think tanks. Foley made things worse by first claiming it wasn’t thieving, that taking successful ideas from other sources was simply smart. Foley then reversed course and blamed the piracy on “sloppy staff work.” Could he get any lamer?

The biggest knock against Foley so far in this race is that he is completely devoid of any specifics and throws out generalities and vague ideas. When called on it, he responds that he would “bring in experts.” Now that he actually has some details for his agenda, it turns out they are someone else’s.