The political primary season is over but not the politics. In the Democratic primary Dan Malloy trounced Ned Lamont 58% to 42% in what was suppose to be a close vote. How did that happen were the pollsters wrong or was there something more to it?
Malloy has said all along he is a come from behind candidate and indeed he was trailing Lamont in polling numbers through the campaign. His past experienced paid off, he learned a valuable lesson on how to win from the ashes of defeat when he was edged out by DeStefano in 2006. John DeStefano bested Malloy in that election by fewer than 4,300 votes with nearly 270,000 votes cast.
Malloy took the playbook of Destefano and polished up his approach. He concentrated a considerable amount of effort based on Democratic history and lessons of the past. Malloy met with and courted union leaders and their members knowing that motivated bodies actively working can make great strides in voter turnout in a Democratic primary.
One key union group working in support of Malloy this time was the state employee unions. While Malloy’s opponent Lamont was honest and straight forward concerning employment issues and the impact on our State budget he failed to make promises to the unions thus costing him their support.
In a Democratic primary battle making promises to special interest groups is a formula for building a coalition of support to gain the nomination. Lamont did not pander to the unions choosing instead a realistic common sense approach to the financial problems facing Connecticut.
While Malloy supporters attacked Lamont for his wealth and business experience, Malloy invested his time and political knowledge into the old time backroom game of politics with promises to gain the nomination. Now the question becomes can Connecticut continue to afford the promises and pandering to protect unions in the future? Can Dan Malloy shake the image of being beholden to the unions at the expense of the taxpayers?
Maybe Ned Lamont was being honest when he said, “I say the same thing to a business audience as I do to a labor audience. The first thing I’ve got to do is deliver an honest budget.” Now that Ned is out of the race the torch of reality will have to be carried by Republican Tom Foley who will not be counting on unions to tell him how to solve the budget mess. Foley can work out the best solution for all the people of Connecticut both union and non-union because we are all taxpayers and we pay the bills. Foley will not have the baggage of promises to haul around and hide from the voters but he will have to promise voters real solutions to real problems.
Promises, promises they all come with a price. Are you willing to pay more taxes for the promises of pandering politicians?