On Tuesday, the Republican Party came roaring back. Even the most delusional Republican stalwart could not imagine winning at least eight U.S. Senate seats and increasing the number of House seats to around 250. But the real surprises came in the Gubernatorial races. Republicans not only won tough races in Florida, Michigan, Maine, Kansas and Wisconsin; but also won Gubernatorial elections in Maryland, Illinois and Massachusetts – states where Republicans barely outnumber Ivory Billed Woodpeckers.
No state was riper for a Republican takeover than Connecticut. Governor Dan Malloy, with a 35% approval rating, was vulnerable. He proceeded to raise taxes to confiscatory levels, give sinecures with lavish pensions to his cronies while handing out taxpayer money to avaricious corporations and hedge funds. Connecticut is now the leading state where citizens are planning to leave. Our roads are a mess, our infrastructure is crumbling, our inner cities are war zones, jobs for young people are non-existent and our pensions are grossly underfunded. The only thing that is improving are the handicaps of our State’s early retirees.
Enter the Republican Party Insiders, who specialize in convincing Greenwich millionaires that they are electable. Tom Foley worked hard and adequately represented Republican values; but it is quite difficult for a Republican with a 116-foot yacht with a suggestive name to win in Connecticut. Ask in Linda McMahon. One of my patients, a hairdresser, told me that she was going to vote for Tom Foley until she heard he paid no income taxes for three years. Maybe if our Party Insiders spent more time listening to average voters than hanging out in Greenwich, we could win an election.
Connecticut is what is called a Convention State. Each town has both a Democratic and Republican town committee. They nominate local officials for various town positions – Board of Education, Planning and Zoning, First Selectman etc. They also send delegates to various nominating conventions for State Representative, State Senator, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senate and Governor. These delegates then choose the candidates. This system is dominated by individuals who have been active in the state Republican Party for years if not decades – the Party Insiders.
Very few states have Conventions Systems. Those that do are among the original 13 colonies. In fact, the Convention System is actually a feudal remnant from England and was used to pick earls, dukes and even kings when an heir was not apparent. It is as antiquated as feudalism. It wastes the times of prospective candidates. Instead of raising money, meeting with civic groups and establishing a database of supporters, candidates must address town committees and constantly harass delegates. This is the only way to get on the ballot as Party Insiders have made it almost impossible to petition one’s way onto the ballot.
Even when a candidate receives the support of a Town Committee, there is no assurance that the assigned delegates will vote for that candidate. Party Insiders simply switch the votes of delegates at the Convention. When I was running for Congress this year, I won the vote of a Town Committee. The Town Chairman just smirked in my face and told me he would change the votes of the town’s delegates at the Convention: Which is exactly what he did, denying me access to the ballot.
When this happens to a lackluster politician like me, it’s no big deal. But when Party Insiders manipulate the Convention in favor of weaker candidates, it’s a disaster. This is exactly what happened at the Gubernational Convention. While Tom Foley won the majority of the delegates, Mark Boughton – a much stronger candidate – earned over 15% of the delegates, surpassing the threshold to force a Primary. Party Insiders, believing that Foley would be incapable of beating Boughton in a one-on-one battle switched delegates to push a third gubernatorial candidate, John McKinney, over the 15% threshold – insuring a three way primary.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, Boughton’s running mate – Heather Somers – abandoned him making it impossible for him to quality for matching funds from the State. Boughton graciously withdrew leaving Foley to primary one-on-one with McKinney. McKinney ran advertisements attacking Foley, calling him arrogant and uncaring. Foley won the Primary but quickly blew his lead to the ruthless and savvy Malloy, who picked up where McKinney left off. The rest is history.
Many of my friends ask me why I spend my time doing politics. They point out to me that I obviously am not that good at it. Furthermore, they see the average politician and political insiders as oily individuals, whose word cannot be trusted and who will do anything to win. My response is always the same: these people – whether we like it are not – create the world we live in. As Plato said: To not be involved in politics is to be governed by your inferiors.
Connecticut was once a beautiful and prosperous state. When my wife and I moved her 27 years ago, there was no state income tax and unemployment was 1.9%. Because we have allowed the Democrats to win, we are about to become a Third World Country, with the Greenwich hedge fund and financial barons making monopoly money, the poor becoming poorer and more dependent on government handouts and the middle class heading for the doors. Thank you Party Insiders.
Darline Perpignan says
You said it best. It is with great sadness that I have to live in a the state of CT where party insiders only seek to support their weakest links of candidates. For example, Foley is a savvy-shrewd business man; however, politics is not one of his strong attributes. However I do not believe that he did not relate to the people because of the size of his account. If that were the case, Bloomberg former mayor of New York would have never been elected and re-elected. Foley’s fault lies within his arrogance and lack of calculation to see the full scope of advantages in the urban communities. He refused to grass root in the urban communities throughout the state, and totally did not take advantage to the new form organization such as CTBRAC to mobilize these communities. That made him out of reach to the majority of these cities.
In addition, Debicella stood no chance against Himes for all the reasons I mentioned above. Though his wallet does not reach as deep as Foley’s, he did not seem relatable to the people within the larger three cities including Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford. He has been an insiders’ favorite and for that reason they lost views of the best potential candidates.
All-in-all, as chair of the Diversity Outreach Committee we are dedicated to register about 3000 Republican voters by 2016. I remain optimistic to see a more sustainable CT. We are far from becoming a Third World Country. We just need to go into those communities and educate them of the importance of supporting candidates who believe in fiscal discipline, limited government and personal responsibility.
I must admit, as a Haitian-American I ache to see my fellow Haitians, African-American and Hispanics voting like they did back home. Voting Democrat seems to be insane as some of these ethnic groups keep repeating the same mistake over and over by giving the Democratic Party more power to control all aspects of government, where there are no freedom and the pursuit of the American ideal for a better prosperous life and happiness.
On the CT campaign trail this past election most of what I heard from my fellow Republican candidates, was that they are afraid to “wake the giants”. Across the nation, the Republican party has decreased 6.3% making it an average 28.9% to 43.9% Democrats and 20.9% No Party Preference. What does that tell you?
These averages tells you there’s a work to be done and with a party decreasing we should never take a vote for granted. Pat Longo said publicly at a CTBRAC function in September, the RNC just do not have the money to invest in the urban communities, and the little they have they invest it in the areas where they believe they can get the votes. Longo’s miscalculation is very poor as she and the rest of her entourage continues to be tunnel vision. For example, Charlie Baker defeated his opponent Martha Coakley by this said his campaign: “I think that was certainly a part of their strategy,” said Peter Ubertaccio, political science professor at Stonehill College. “It was good for his campaign, and it’s also good for the state of our politics to have Republicans campaigning in urban areas, actively seeking the approval of voters in urban areas.”
Until our CT Republicans and Party Insiders catch up with this revelation we will continue to get the same results. I say we wake the so-called giants and help them realize that voting for handouts will only continue to paralyze and enchain them. Waiting on government handouts is a form of slavery and we need to educate them to “emancipate their minds from mental slavery”. Also, as Republicans we must change the delivery of our message to be more amicable, and understanding to the larger population. We are not a dead party, nor the party of the rich or of the old. Allowing all Americans to a chance of achieving the American dream is our motto. We stand by it.
“I was here”