The man who tried to convince voters during the 2014 campaign for governor that no matter what he was saying, Gov. Dannel Malloy would raise taxes, now says Malloy was “dishonest” and his pledge was “the equivalent of lying.” 2014 Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley says Malloy was “making it up as he went along” during that campaign but didn’t care as long as he was elected.
Foley, a former ambassador to Ireland, tells The Hanging Shad Malloy was cynical when made his pledge in 2014 to not raise taxes. “Do I believe he knew he was going to raise taxes? Absolutely. Did I know he was going to raise taxes? Absolutely. I do believe it was dishonest and the equivalent of lying,” Foley said. “But the opportunity for more secure policies was in November. Instead, we’re in more perilous shape.”
Foley is the second man who sought the governor’s office in 2010 to make that characterization about Malloy. Republican candidate John McKinney said Malloy was “lying” when he said he would not raise taxes. McKinney lost the GOP nomination to Foley.
For his part, Malloy said he proposed a budget that didn’t raise taxes. Democrats in the legislature had their own plan that restored many of the cuts in social services the governor made. The two sides hammered out an agreement over the course of several weeks, resulting in the $40 billion spending plan passed this week. Malloy said he would not veto the plan. It raises tax revenue by about $2 billion over two years.
Foley isn’t buying it. “It’s no excuse to say he ‘proposed’ a tax increase [and therefore didn’t violate the pledge]. That’s simply unacceptable. It challenges credulity,” he said.
Foley says the state will suffer from the new budget. “It’s bad policy. It hurts the economy. People can choose where they live.”
Foley says Connecticut is in the same cycle as Detroit. “They lost jobs, lost income. Expenses go up and there is an erosion of the tax base. To fill the hole, they raise taxes on a narrowing workforce. It’s the same cycle Connecticut is on.”
A spokesman for Gov. Malloy declined to respond to Foley”s comments.
Foley noted news reports earlier this year about four of the top income tax payers in the state and that if any one of them left, it would affect the state’s revenue. “Well, I can tell you, one has left, another just bought a big home in Florida and I wouldn’t be surprised if the other two are thinking about it.”
In Foley’s view, the biggest problem with making a pledge like Malloy’s in 2014? “You can win. But you can’t [successfully] govern.”