Joe Visconti—Malloy’s New Best Friend? Maybe, Maybe Not

Petitioning candidate for governor Joe Visconti just may be 2014’s Tom Marsh. Marsh was the Republican first selectman of Chester and an independent candidate for governor in 2010 who won 1.5 percent of the vote, more than Democrat Dan Malloy’s margin of victory over Republican Tom Foley. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows this year’s rematch between now-Gov. Dan Malloy and Tom Foley is a dead heat at 43 percent each. Visconti gets 9 percent. Nine percent may not seem like much but Visconti is a one-trick-pony gun rights candidate who presumably siphons off votes from Foley.

Visconti seems determined to stay in the race although it’s not for lack of trying by several groups. Despite his championing of pretty much guns-at-any-cost, the state largest gun rights group—the Connecticut Citizens Defense League—endorsed Foley. Early last month, a number of conservatives urged Visconti to bow out of the race. That was followed by an open letter from Tea Party activists urging Joltin’ Joe to bizzounce from the race.

If Visconti can’t get fellow right-wing gun nuts to back him, who will? Ironically, the answer is union stooge Jonathan Pelto who tried and failed to get on the ballot. Pelto couldn’t make it so he is encouraging Visconti to stay in the race even though it appears to help Pelto’s sworn enemy, Malloy. Pelto seems to be living vicariously through Visconti.

Quinnipiac poll director Doug Schwartz speculates (without any real proof) that Foley’s negatives and therefore Malloy’s improved performance is due to the Malloy campaign’s attacks on Foley. That may be partially true. But it may also be due to voters actually starting to pay attention to the candidates’ positions.

As The Shad has repeatedly pointed out, Malloy’s record and policy proposals are laid bare for everyone to see. Whether it be job creation, education, transportation, gun control, public health, seniors, energy or any other policy, voters are free to choose whether they support Malloy or not.

Foley, on the other hand, remains a purposeful enigma. Other than the generic “I’ll cut taxes” and improve the economy, we have no idea what his plans are should he be elected. The perfect example is his “position” on gun control. He says he would not seek a repeal of the post-Sandy Hook gun control laws but would sign a repeal if it came to his desk.

Foley is also truth-challenged. Every time there is a fact check done, it turns out that Foley isn’t telling the truth. To make matters worse, he accuses Malloy of lying when in fact he is the one guilty of it.

In the last debate, Foley decided it was a good idea to bring up a long-settled investigation of Malloy back when he was governor of Stamford (Malloy was exonerated and praised for his candor). Yet when Malloy countered with Foley’s fine payment for an elections law violation (Foley says it wasn’t a “fine.”) or his mysterious 1981 arrest in a dangerous road rage incident (Foley says the police report was not written by a police officer—it certainly was.), Malloy misstated the facts in both cases and was sent scurrying backwards, asking for a “truce” on personal attacks.

In what it is probably the most head-shaking case to date, Foley now says the last Quinnipiac poll which had him ahead of Malloy by six points, was wrong, that he never was six points ahead and the race was always tied. Wow.