Making a list, checking it twice: A job for Dan Malloy, a new chairman for the GOP

It's not often we get snow around here before Thanksgiving, long before the last of the leaves have been raked up or blown away.

Indeed, the late November snow and bitter cold were good warnings of the quickening pace of the onslaught of real winter. And that means Christmas shopping is upon us.

I've been working on a list for some movers and shakers around here, as we take stock of the year almost over and celebrate at the start of another.

Feel free to beat me to gifting anything on this draft Christmas shopping list.

The Connecticut GOP

Talk about a bad year. After sliding ever closer, election by election, to parity with Democrats in the General Assembly, state Republicans took a giant slide backward this year, as the midterm rout unfolded here.

Can anyone be blamed more than the Trump-endorsing party Chairman J.R. Romano?

The best present anyone could give the GOP here this year is someone new at the helm to get the party back on track.

Dannel Malloy

I know he has lined up a teaching gig at his alma mater, Boston College Law School. And why not head to Boston? After all that's where two big companies, Pfizer and General Electric, went when they retreated from Malloy's Connecticut.

Boston sure beats the next stops for Malloy's two predecessors, Florida for Jodi Rell and prison for John Rowland.

Boston College looks like a short-term placeholder. It's at least two years before a Democratic administration in Washington might find big jobs for out-of-work governors. The rumors that Malloy might be a closer in the current search for a new University of Connecticut president have subsided.

A job for Malloy might be an excellent present.

State Sen. Heather Somers

She issued an extraordinary self-complimentary news release after the election, headlined: "Groton Senator Bucks Blue Wave." She did indeed do well against a fine opponent. Did she, as her release suggested, offer "the GOP a roadmap for winning in the state"?

Perhaps for the Groton senator, a little snifter of warmed humility, for sipping while handing out those roadmaps.

New London Mayor Michael Passero

The mayor, as he contemplates a re-election bid, has some strong headwinds, like the developers who are warehousing and not developing downtown properties. Will one big apartment project be enough to stake a claim on a downtown renaissance when the next campaign rolls around?

The mayor is lucky that it is unimaginable that a Republican could beat a Democrat in a city mayoral race. And the Democratic back bench in the city looks thin at best.

Still, I think a good Christmas present would be at least the stirrings of some opponents, if only to keep him on his game.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy

The early days of Trump in Washington gave the senator a lot of prominence, as a glib presidential bubble buster, a darling on the cable interview circuit. Cake walk hardly describes his easy glide through re-election. The race was called almost moments after the last ballot slid into a counting machine.

I would suggest a present of more mentions as a presidential contender, because, really, he must be disheartened about all that swooning over Beto, who did, after all, lose.

Gov.-elect Ned Lamont

I know. I know. He has everything.

How about a present of tolls, legal pot, sports betting and all the budget-closing goodies that have been left on the table so long here.

The Mohegans

Let's face it, the proposed East Windsor casino is dead. And the tribe's South Korea plans are problematic. Who wants to build a casino in a part of the world where Rocket Man is still tuning up his nukes. The tribe has had a bad year.

How about giving the tribe the license to the casino in Revere, Mass., now that it may be yanked because of Steve Wynn's alleged misconduct. That would make things merrier for all here in southeastern Connecticut, as the lights of our own casinos go dim, in the shadows of the new ones in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

New London

The city is on the cusp of what could be an economic boom. Its representatives in Hartford need to make sure the development of an offshore wind terminal doesn't happen only on tax-shielded port facilities owned by the state.

The best gift of all to the city would be a generous cut of the port fees paid to the state as the result of the new development.

Indeed, this one should lead the list of resolutions this New Year's. Every voter and every business owner in the new year should pressure every local and state politician to see that New London gets its fair share of revenue generated by its deepwater port.

2019 should be the year New London finally gets its fair compensation for being the cultural and social services hub of the region, as the wind comes up.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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