Sept. 16, 2009
For the second consecutive time, Governor Rell’s approval ratings have dipped in a Quinnipiac University poll, to a record-low 59%. Don’t be fooled by the poll-interpreters/Rell cheerleaders who will tell you the 59% is still a monstrous number that any politician would love to have. The fact is, more than a year out from the 2010 gubernatorial election, it’s the trend that matters, not the number. The governor has now trended down in the last two polls.
The governor has been a bit coy about whether she will run again but she can’t help but be moved to choose the grandchildren over dealing with the legislature. The latest poll shows 56% the people in the state think she “copped out” by walking away from the latest budget deal and allowing it to become law.
No amount of spin from the governor’s office will persuade the public that the governor “made some choices she knew would not make everyone happy. That’s leadership,” as we’re told by the governor’s press aide Rich Harris. Huh? In fact, walking away from the final budget is the exact opposite of leadership. Core beliefs and tough decisions are anathema to this governor and may lead her to decide she’s had enough.
The state legislature’s numbers are again pathetically low but less can be concluded from them. Not unlike the US Congress, may people have negative views of the General Assembly but are pleased with their own representative or senator. We’ll see.
Sixteen days late and only after questioning from some state lawmakers, advocates and the media, the state’s strategic economic development plan was released by the governor’s office. The General Assembly passed a law two years requiring the governor’s office produce the document through the state Office of Economic and Community Development (DECD). DECD commissioner Joan McDonald recently wrote, “The quality of the final report is of much greater importance to the state and its taxpayers than the due dates outlined in the law.” Use that one on your boss the next time you have a report due that is two and half weeks late.
State Sen. Gary LeBeau, co-chair of the Commerce Committee, plans to hold hearings on the plan that he calls a “Smörgåsbord” of ideas.
P.T. Barnum would love this. Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, is running for Republican nomination for the US Senate seat currently held by Sen. Christopher Dodd. It gives new meaning to the idea that money and exposure are keys to winning campaigns. Will people really vote for someone whose major accomplishments should never been seen by children under 16? Then again, think Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
—Patrick Scully, Wethersfield