COURANT ENDORSES FOLEY; COLUMNIST CALLS HIM ‘EITHER STUPID OR DISHONEST’

Depending on which page of Sunday’s Hartford Courant “Opinion” section one turns to, Tom Foley is either the best of the three Republicans running for governor this year or a man who is “either stupid or dishonest.” The former is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board, the latter that of blitzkrieging columnist Kevin Rennie.

Foley, the former ambassador to Ireland and Bush fundraiser picked up the Courant’s endorsement for the Republican nomination for governor, with chamber of commerce official Oz Griebel running second. Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele was third, unable to shake-off the failures of the Rell administration.

More eye-opening was the scorched-earth approach Courant columnist Kevin Rennie is using against Foley. Last week, Rennie called Foley “unfit to lead” (a quote quickly stuck in the middle of an attack ad on Foley by Fedele). This Sunday, he savages Foley for checking “no” on a background disclosure form that asked if he had ever been arrested for anything more than a minor traffic violation.

And just for good measure, Rennie, in essence, declares Republican candidate for attorney general Ross Garber spineless (Garber was also endorsed by the Courant).  Rennie apparently was unhappy with the way a disciplinary committee, headed by Garber, treated a drunken, racial slur-spewing judge.  A couple more steps and Garber is related to Kevin Bacon.

Rennie has no problem throwing around words like “stupid,” “dishonest,” and “unfit.” “Bumbling” and “a disaster” are other favorite terms for the targets of the defeated state senator. But it’s his opinion. And he is entitled to it even if it consists of hyperbole. And it’s a must-read in this household every Sunday.