Connecticut Republicans are fortunate to be able to choose between five hard-working candidates on our August 14 primary. I will be casting my vote for Bob Stefanowski.
Connecticut was once one of the most desirable states in the country. With low taxes, an educated work force, pleasant four-season weather and easy access to both New York and Boston, our economy boomed and our citizens flourished. But after passage of the state income tax in the early 1990s, the productive people of Connecticut became piggy banks for politicians from both sides of the aisles, who funded ineffective social programs and promised lavish pensions for state and municipal workers.
Connecticut now has the highest taxes in the country. Yet our pensions are grossly underfunded and a continuing chorus of unhappy and dysfunctional dependents clamors for more. Many people have chosen to leave. Connecticut is one of the few states to lose population in the last decade and is 47th in job growth.
This is a crisis situation and will not be solved by traditional politicians who reach across the aisle and make deals. We need an outsider and businessman like Bob Stefanowski to clean up this mess.
Stefanowski, a Madison resident, had a career as a successful businessman. His opponents point out that he was once a Democrat. But Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump were former Democrats too and became effective conservatives once elected. Stefanowski is acolyte of Authur Laffer, the inventor of the Laffer curve that demonstrates when taxes are increased too much, revenues actually decrease. Connecticut is a case study of this effect, which is why the political class is pushing for tolls.
For those who agree with my analysis but have misgivings about Stefanowski, Dave Stemerman – a hedge fund plutocrat – may appear to be a reasonable alternative. But Stemerman refuses to promise not to raise taxes. He has the naïve belief that he can renegotiate the contracts of public employees not realizing that the Connecticut constitution makes this difficult. He would like to see a casino in Bridgeport which would bring in minimal revenue while turning Route 95 and the Merritt Parkway into parking lots while preying on our poorest and most vulnerable citizens. His attacks on his fellow candidates are gratuitously vicious. He appears to have an infinite supply of money but that does not insure victory. His fellow Greenwich residents Tom Foley and Linda McMahon were also well financed and lost. Linda McMahon spent $55 million and $60 million respectively on each of her Senate campaigns and lost both by landslides. Besides, Stemerman was endorsed by the Hartford Courant, raising further suspicions of closet liberalism.
Boughton, Herbst and Obsitnik have more political experience. But all of these gentlemen are part of a political class whose instinct is to reach across the aisle and compromise. The budget deficit will balloon after we elect a new governor, and you can be sure we will hear of the need for “leadership” and “reason” from our media, political class and advocacy groups. In other words – tolls. And once this happens, Connecticut is dead in the water, as the exodus of the productive, the young and the retired accelerates. These guys may not have the stomach to fight. Previous Republican governors from the political class, John Rowland and Jodi Rell, caved even thought they had promised to cut taxes. It is naïve to think that Boughton, Herbst or Obsitnik will not do the same.
In order to turn our beautiful Connecticut around, we need a Governor with business experience, who knows how to make cuts and is not beholden to the political class or special interest groups. We need a Governor who is willing to watch his popularity plummet to 20% and not care about his political future. We need a Governor whose lawn signs say one thing, “Cut Taxes.” And that man is Bob Stefanowski.