Despite Wednesday night’s “debate,” the otherwise disappearing act state Treasurer Denise Nappier has performed this election cycle is only the latest chapter in a troubling, circuitous and sometimes bizarre tale of the treasurer in recent years. It’s hard to make the case for her re-election.
The Hartford Courant, which endorsed Nappier’s opponent, Republican Tim Herbst, explained well why it’s time for a change based on job performance. Further, Nappier is now caught in a situation in which she is accused of simply not telling the truth.
It’s the Courant editorial board meeting with Nappier that is very troubling. See it here.
But there are other reasons why Nappier should move on.
Former employees say Nappier was prone to erratic behavior including outbursts and humiliating treatment of employees. The former employees, all Democrats, spoke on the condition they not be identified. They also say Nappier kept strange hours—not just working early or late but 4 a.m. emails and the like.
Still troubling to Democratic officials—although they won’t say it publicly—is the September 1, 2011 incident in which Nappier was stopped in her state car, in the parking lot on Barbour St. in the city’s north end, a neighborhood troubled by crime and drugs. What is not in dispute is that police had the car towed because it appeared the registration had expired. To be fair, it turned out later that there was a mix up at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The story took a strange turn from there. Police say they suggested Nappier call someone to drive her home and then offered to do so themselves. Nappier says they never offered a ride. She walked the three miles to her home. Now let’s be clear: the police either offered her a ride or not. Someone wasn’t telling the truth.
More than a week later, Nappier finally made a statement but never fully explained why she walked home or why she used profanity and accused police of pulling her over because she is black. She says she was dropping off a friend.
Nappier’s debate performance was fairly good. The forum turned contentious right away and continued after during the period when candidates usually shake hands. As the streaming-cast was wrapping up, keen-eyed viewers could see Herbst and Nappier going at it. We just don’t know for sure what was said.
The 25-minute debate only proved that we need more information. The two candidates differed sharply on many points. Voters deserve to see more of the two debating.
Many Connecticut voters will reflexively vote for Nappier, either because she’s a Democrat or because she’s the incumbent (“Land of Steady Habits” and all that). But, we should consider what is known – and what isn’t – before making our choice.