Campaign finance reform ground to a halt last night as the House and the Senate failed to agree on a compromise between their competing bills. Then the blaming started:
"Compromise and consensus was really that close - within our reach," Rell said, holding her thumb and forefinger an inch apart. "But pettiness and bruised egos replaced responsible stewardship."
Williams called the governor's comments a "complete overreaction," then suggested there was "blame to go around."
But first Scully distributed blame for the failure of reform among Rell, Amann and the speaker's chief reform sponsor, Rep. Christopher L. Caruso, D-Bridgeport.
Rell pointed the finger right back at Williams. (Pazniokas)
Had enough? There's more:
“ ... (Some) let time slip through their hands,” [Rell] said of legislators in a statement. “They seemingly cared more about brinksmanship than leadership, and as a result the legislature's work is not done.”
“The reason that this blew up was not because the House Democrats couldn't play well with the Senate Democrats,” Scully said. “This blew up because the House chairman of the GAE committee has absolutely no credibility on this issue, personally attacked the Senate president and should not be a part of this negotiation in any way.”
“I also say that it also blew up because the speaker didn't show the leadership to rein in Representative Caruso, and we think he should,” Scully added. (Mann)
Everyone is blaming everyone else right now, but Williams comes closest when he says that "there's blame to go around." There is. Williams and Amann couldn't agree. Caruso made an ass of himself by attacking the leadership. Rell shook her finger and frowned on the sidelines, even though the fact that this was so late in the session was mostly her fault. In the end, nothing happened.
So a special session will be called a few weeks from now, and hopefully something will emerge from it.
In other news, Keith Phaneuf of the Journal-Inquirer reported yesterday that Susan Bysiewicz and Dan Malloy have offered to return money from contractors and others specified by the governor's reform proposal (there's no link to this story--the J-I didn't post it. I'll have the citation later today). John DeStefano, who leads Malloy and Bysiewicz in fundraising, has said that he wouldn't return the money. Hmm... any reason why not?
Mann, Ted. "Campaign financing overhaul A dead Issue." The Day 9 June 2005.
Pazniokas, Mark. "Next Move: Special Session." Hartford Courant 9 June 2005.