Malloy lied to hide fiscal mismanagement
Earlier this year a Quinnipiac University Poll found that half of all Connecticut residents would leave if they could. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his allies have just reminded us why so many of Connecticut's citizens have given up hope for Hartford and consequently for our state. Barely two weeks after the gubernatorial election, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, a Malloy administration official, announced: "We have entered into a period of permanent fiscal crisis in state and local government."
Malloy and Barnes proceeded over the following few days to lay out to the public the reality behind a $100 million current deficit in the state budget and their plans to cut new spending in state government to reduce the size of that deficit. This is the same governor who in seven debates and in dozens of interviews looked the people of Connecticut in the eye and told them there was not, nor would there be, a deficit this year.
Many people have come to expect career politicians to make empty promises, but this governor spent millions of Connecticut taxpayer dollars on his campaign cementing this misnomer as a critical aspect of his leadership and success as governor.
The governor played into Connecticut citizens' hopes that maybe we were making progress, perhaps state government was becoming more responsible and that maybe our leaders might actually care more about results than politics.
Less than 14 days after winning re-election, Governor Malloy has shattered those hopes.
This turn of events runs much deeper than a broken promise or cunning politics. Due to the complexity of the governor's austerity plan to limit the deficit announced this week, it is obvious he was keenly aware of the problem well before Nov. 5, the day after the election. Malloy and the Democrats deliberately and systematically lied to the citizens of Connecticut in order to win an election.
The governor and his allies used millions of Connecticut tax dollars from the Citizens Election Program program to fund their deception and to falsely define Republicans who were challenging his claims as alarmists.
Not surprisingly, Connecticut families are once again faced with the possibility of another major tax increase and our cities and towns will be faced with large cuts in state aid for schools and security. All the cuts for teachers, police, prisons, our poor, our elderly and our children - which Malloy falsely accused his opponent of supporting during the election - the governor will now be forced to sign into law because of his gross fiscal mismanagement of our state.
As we work to rebuild the Republican Party we should focus on expanding our success in winning seats in the state Senate and House of Representatives to provide a firewall to the Malloy administration's reckless fiscal policies.
Connecticut and its citizens deserve better than one-party rule and the disaster it has brought us. Connecticut deserves much better than what they are getting from Hartford. Democratic legislators have been complacent and stood by the governor's reckless policies and corroborated his deception. Those legislators are equally culpable as the governor and should be held accountable in coming elections for the great Malloy deficit farce of 2014.
Heather Somers was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in the recent election. She is also a past mayor of Groton.