Denise Merrill, Democratic House Majority leader is running against Jerry Farrell Jr., Commissioner of the state’s Consumer Protection Agency to become the next Secretary of the state. The key responsibilities of the office include business registrations and the administration of elections.
Both candidates come with a history of public service and both candidates have run clean campaigns. History is a great teacher and Connecticut voters would do well to take a history lesson when considering these two candidates.
Denise Merrill has been in the State legislature for 17 years and has served as chairman of the Appropriations Committee and as vice chairman of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. While this experience would indicate she is well qualified it is precisely her role as Chairman of Appropriations and as a member of the house majority leadership that makes her candidacy endorsement questionable.
Ms. Merrill must take responsibility for her role in leading Connecticut down the path that has the taxpayers now facing a $3.4 billion budget deficit on the horizon. This is not a sunrise that will bring economic prosperity or job growth to our state.
Mr. Farrell also offers a history lesson having run a major state agency for the last 18 months and reducing the size of government by increasing efficiencies. Through the efforts of Mr. Farrell the department is more efficient with few workers resulting in a reduction of workers from 160 to 140. His management becomes more impressive when we look at the actual results and find he returned 5 percent of his budget back to the general fund to help eliminate deficit spending.
Too often the culture in government when it comes to taxpayer dollars is “use it or lose it” and dollars are spent to fully expend allotted dollars to protect the budget base for the next year. Mr. Farrell’s management style in tough economic times will not solve the entire budget problem but every step in the right direction is a step forward to a better Connecticut. The past actions of Mr. Farrell triumph over the past spending policies of Ms. Merrill.
In this election year Mr. Farrell is the right person, at the right time. In this case action should trump rhetoric. Jerry Farrell is the clear choice for an endorsement for the office of Secretary of State for Connecticut.