Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bysiewicz Out

Will Seek Re-Election to Secretary of the State

Landino Drops Out

Susan Bysiewicz is dropping out of the governor's race, and will seek re-election to her current position of Secretary of the State, the Courant is reporting. (Thanks to Paul for the heads-up!)

What does this mean for the governor's race, and for the very crowded Secretary of the State race? One Democrat has already dropped out:

One of the contenders for secretary, Bob Landino, said Bysiewicz informed him Wednesday morning of her decision. He said he would not challenge her.

"She is a friend and great public servant," Landino said. (Pazniokas)

So who else might drop out? Audrey Blondin is close to Bysiewicz, and may defer to her. The rest? At this point, it's impossible to say. Fleischmann, who already has a lot of money, may feel compelled to stay in... but maybe not. I bet a lot of them get out. Don't expect any high-profile Republicans to enter the race, either.

The primary for governor is now a two-person race, barring the entry of Lt. Gov. Sullivan (who has backed off lately) and Attorney General Blumenthal. It's John DeStefano's race to lose, right now. Bysiewicz, with her intimate knowledge of the political system, was his strongest challenger. I like Dan Malloy, but DeStefano is picking up a lot of momentum and press and is outraising him by a wide margin at present.

Bysiewicz fans (those who exist) should not be disappointed: I have a feeling she'll resurface. She'd make a great Lieutenant Governor nominee. DeStefano/Bysiewicz would be a decent ticket.

In the meantime, watch for Democrats jumping out of the Secretary of the State race like rats from a sinking ship.

Pazniokas, Mark. "Bysiewicz Reported Out Of Governor Race." Hartford Courant 7 September, 2005.


DeanFan84 said...

DeStefano/Bysiewicz would be an awesome ticket! Let's hope this happens.

As a huge Fleischmann fan, I've got to say I prefer Andy to the status quo.

I will never vote for a DLC Dem. This Party has lost too much by following them down the road of Republican-lite, watered down politics.

What we should really hope for is a Lieberman retirement. Joe's house is on the market, (maybe he cashes out?) In any case, I want Blumenthal at the tippy top of the ticket, and I don't mean Governor. Blumenthal will help us pick up House seats. Joe won't.

Hey Jodi Rell, BRING IT ON!

P.S. What now happens to Susie's war chest?

Genghis Conn said...

The Secretary of the State tangle will sort itself out over the next few days. Fleischmann may stay in, and I think Nussbaum is annoyed enough at being forced to drop out for governor in 1998 and 2002 to stay in, but the rest...?

As for where her money will go, I have no idea. Anyone know for certain what Connecticut law is on this?

Quinn said...

I'm sorry but the Democrats have lost because of the radical PC "Democratic" wing of the Democratic party.

Remember the last popular two-term Democrat President? I would not chalk him up as a "loss" for the Democrats under the DLC type wing.

Connecticut, being relatively moderate, would in my opinion be much more inclined to vote for a DLC type than a Dean type. Howard Dean is all well and good for CT Democrats as a national figure, but Connecticutters would never abide having someone so radical in the Governer's Mansion.

Aldon Hynes said...

I am not an expert of current campaign finance law in Connecticut, but I believe that Susie's campaign committee must donate the money to another campaign committee or PAC, probably within a month or two of her official withdrawl. I'm sure that someone in the Secretary of State's office will know.

What does that mean? If she decides to run for re-election, I believe she could contribute the money from her Gubernatorial campaign to her Secretary of State campaign.

If she ends up running as someone's running mate, she could probably donate the money from her campaign to her running mate's campaign.

She could also probably contribute it to some sort of leadership PAC and keep her powder dry until she decides what she wants to do.

It will be interesting to see what develops over the next several days.

Great Santini said...

Following up on Quinn's comment, the only Democrat who has won the White House in the last 40 years was a DLC devotee. As the Democrats become more and more radical left, the Republicans become more and more radical right.

Anonymous said...

First off, excellent analysis of the situation Genghis. I too believe that this is DeStefano's nomination to lose. But he is going to have a very uphill battle against Rell. Having one less primary opponent will allow him to focus more on her.

Second, Quinn and the Great Santini are absolutely right...we need DLC Democrats to take over our party. We will be in the minority in the US until we realize that Americans like moderates. The Republican Right is overreaching right now, and we need to be a viable alternative. Joe Lieberman is, Ted Kennedy is not.

DeStefano will hopefully remmeber this has he positions himself during the primary.

FatKitty said...

SB cannot put the money she raised in her race for Gov into her campaign committee for SOTS. The money can go back to the donors and then she can ask people to "redonate" to the SOTS campaign or the $$ can be given to a party committee (State Dem Party). That is why an exploratory committee is often used, that money can go to any office a candidate chooses to run for.

MikeCT said...

If Bysciewicz goes back on her word and runs for Secretary of State again, she will reinforce two elements of her reputation:
* The only thing Susan Bysciewicz cares about is her career.
* You can't believe *anything* she says.

Anonymous said...

The other option for the campaign money is to give to a 501(c)(3) charity. It will be interesting to see if she tries to "wash" the money through the state party, then receive it through a "donation" from the state party back to her new SOTS campaign.

likekramer said...

I am not a Susan devotee, but I think she does a decent job. If you don't like Susan, you don't like Susan, but let's not make the leap to her being untrustworthy. This is the way the game is played. They all play it that way and they all care about their careers - they have to. Everyone who entered the race knew there was a possibility that she cut and run again for SOS. If they didn't, they don't belong in politics. And I wouldn't count on her playing second fiddle to anyone - it just doesn't seem like her style.

Aldon Hynes said...

I like Susan and I wish her well with whatever she choses to do. If she does decide to run for re-election as Secretary of State, people will complain. If she tries to wash the money through State Central, people will complaing. Actually, it doesn't matter what she does, people will complain.

I hope that we can all find ways to work together.

Aldon Hynes said...

2006 will be an interesting year. I've heard the arguments that the Democrats need to become more like Republicans to win. I don't buy it.

I think Quinn, Great Santini and Anonymous are wrong. I think we need Democrats to start acting like Democrats again.

Last night, Mayor DeStefano addressed the Fairfield County Democracy for America group. He commented that "New Orleans is a metaphor for the difference between Democrats and Republicans."

I think that he is on to something very important there. I've written a LONG blog post about what I believe this means. I encourage all of you to stop by and read it.

Dems in 06 said...

It's rather bold to say this is DeStefano's race to lose, what with almost a year until a primary, the field having just been radically redefined, and a potential heavyweight who still isn't completely out still looming. A LOT can (and will) happen in the next 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Susan was tipped off that Dickie Blumenthal is getting in the race ...

Anonymous said...

with all due respect, going back to truman, the only dems to win the white house have been moderate dems. the world and life is built on compromise. whether is be a successful marriage or a successful democracy. as a dem, i have my core values which i will never compromise, but in odrer to acheive goals and make progess, as opposed to being the constant victim,you need to find compromise in other areas. its not about becoming more like a republican, its about governing.

Indian2Nighthawk said...

Susan left because she is the only one in the race who cannot lose. It's the same reason Blumenthal won't enter the race.

Both DeStefano and Malloy have jobs win or lose in November. Their terms expire this year and their re-election gives them a higher tolorance for risk.

Like Blumenthal, Bysiewics are out of jobs if they lose the Governor's race. Bysiewics looked at her bank account, compared it to DeStefano and Malloy. She looked at Rell's approval numbers and looked at her head to head numbers with the Governor.

She did the math and made the only real choice she could without risking falling out of a place within government.

Incumbancy is powerful and if she wanted to go up for SOS again in 4 years she'd lose. Thats the way incumbancy works.

So Susan backs out to live to fight another day. No one should be surprised.

FrankS said...

Unless Blumenthal enters the race, Dems are going to face a very costly and aggressive primary, giving Rell the upper hand in November.

Bysiewicz's decision to forgo that challenge hurts her politically, with a Dem winning the Governor's office she will have no higher office to seek for 6-10 years and questions her own "guts". Why a statewide elected official, would retreat from a primary with two local mayors has give one pause.

Aldon Hynes said...


I’m not sure that the issue so much left, center, or right. I think these terms have been tossed around so much that they have become meaningless. I think the bigger question is what role should the government have in caring for people. FDR, I don’t know if you would call him a liberal or centrist introduced The New Deal. The New Deal increased Government oversight of business and introduced Government sponsored job initiatives.

LBJ, whom I also wonder if people would consider liberal or centrist, introduced the Great Society with its war on poverty. The Great Society was loosely based on the New Deal and the idea that the Government does have a role in caring for the people.

In contrast, we now have people like Grover Norquist seeking to cut government to “the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”.

If I am a liberal, I am a liberal like FDR and LBJ and I believe that we must fight for the liberal ideals that they stood for, even if it is unpopular. We must seek to convince people to pursue the common good and not simply the expedient. It may be an uphill battle. Too many people are too comfortable with the status quo. However, for me it is a moral issue and I will do my best to convince others of the same.

Aldon Hynes said...

I think anonymous - 11:28 (not to be confused with anonymous 11:31, who may or may not be the same person), raises a very important question, which echos what dems in 06 brings up.

We don't know what Dick is going to do. If Dick decides to run for Governor, it will make the race much more difficult for Mayor DeStefano. However, it opens up the Attorney General seat for Susan to run for. As it stands right now, that would put her running against George Jepsen. Did Dick tip off Susan? What did Dick say to George? I think there is another big shoe to drop.

Of course, deanfan84's fantasy that Joe might be retiring offers another scenario where Dick doesn't run for Attorney General and Susan could.

Who knows, with a second opening on the Supreme Court, may be Joe is hoping for a different job as well.

There is still a lot of different scenarios that could play out and while I think it is fun to guess what will happen, it is still pretty early to tell.

Anonymous said...

Malloy for AG, if Blumenthal enters, is also possible.

Genghis Conn said...

As I've said before, I will be absolutely floored if Blumenthal runs against Rell, and I don't think Joe Lieberman is going anywhere (unless Bush fires Chertoff and appoints Joe to DHS), meaning Blumenthal will probably run for AG again. Therefore, both George Jepsen and all of the Democrats running for SOTS are out of luck. Then again, we're getting to a point where anything might happen. It's rather refreshing.

In the meantime, while this mess sorts itself out, no high-profile Republican has declared his/her intentions to do anything in statewide races. Apart from the governor's race, are these guys really going to cede the field again?

Anonymous said...

Bysiewicz dropping out in the Gov race is a direct result of Blumenthal playing Hamlet again. Malloy and DeStefano have large municipal donor bases to draw on. Blumenthal's refusal to announce that he is not running for Gov yet again keeps a lot of the other Dem money frozen out. I am sick and tired of people speculating about Dick running. Unless he is coronated, there is NO chance he will run. He must announce NOW that he is not running for Gov. Otherwise I and many other Dems will blame him for undercutting yet another Dem in the race for Gov by choking the money.

Quinn said...

I think it more likely that Lieberman would get the SecDef post once Rummy finally retires. I find it extremely unlikely that a Senator would be appointed to the Supreme Court, especially a Democratic one, no matter how moderate. Republicans do want to overturn Roe, after all.

And on the suggestion that Democrats need to start acting like Democrats.

People outside of the cities and NE don't buy it anymore. Democrats had 50 years with a majority in Congress. The War of Poverty was a failure in the eyes of many. The Welfare State became a bloated mess. People are sick unto death of the political correctness, the" my way or the highway" attitude of the ultra-liberals.

"Clinton's" welfare reform is the sort of thing Americans are looking for. We are disillusioned with Big Brother government. The majority of people do not want socialised healthcare. Sure, there are problems with our system, but the American people want moderate reform, not socialism.

Moderation is the key to victory at every office above the local level, especially in a state like Connecticut.

FrankS said...


I don't disagree with your position, "Malloy and DeStefano have large municipal donor bases to draw on.", but these donor funds would be used in a primary first not the general election, so the money issue against Rell is speculation. It's the aggressive primary that would hinder the Dems, just as the Larson & Curry primary aided Rowland/Rell's 1994 effort.

Rell has yet to announce, so why should Blumenthal

Anonymous said...

Rell doesn't have to announce. She is the incumbent and has huge name recognition and popularity and money follows incumbancy.

Blumenthal doesn't HAVE to announce he is NOT running AGAIN, but he SHOULD for the good of the party. He is like Lucy and the football. How many times can Dick tell people he really is running for Guv? He had the nomination for the asking in 94,98 and 02 - NO ONE would have primaried him. Curry bowed to Kennelly in 98 and would have done the same for Blumer.

FrankS said...


Blumenthal endorsed and supported Curry 94 for an open office, Kennelly 98 & Curry 02. Each of these elections were lost by those candidates and a DeStefano/Malloy battle looks to repeat the 94 effort.

If Blumenthal enters, we'll see a contested battle for the AG position and that can't help the party, the negative spin will be that he's used the AG office as a stepping stone (Even though he declined to do so 3 times) and DeStefano/Malloy will spit bullets, but Dems will avoid the primary for Guv.

Chris Mc said...

Shonu's analysis of Susan's (and Dick's) rationale is just right. I'd add it is unlikely that Susan will be able to contest for governor after this, for reasons that include it is difficult to reignight a career based on momentum once you lose it, and the fact that her SOTS administration has been, to be kind, less than stellar. Her withdrawal is an unmitigated positive for the party at the gubernatorial level, but there are two to four good and viable candidates for SOTS that are now deprived of taking their respective shots (probably).

Dick will stay where he is, doing a historic job of serving the people of Connecticut when he could be doing most anything he wants elsewhere.

This is a very good thing for the party and the state, IMHO, because it begins to break up the logjam at the top of the Democratic party in time for the next generation to persist with some hope of advancing in the future.


Aldon is a very supportive friend of mine, but I have to finally take public issue with his habit (and to his credit he says publicly who he is, and this goes by proxy to the rest of you who spout off on this subject) of saying in the same breath that we should eschew labels,and that the so-called "DLC Democrats" aren't "Real Democrats".

Enough already.

Hillary Clinton is a DLC Democrat. Barak Obama is a DLC Democrat. Chris Dodd is a DLC Democrat. John Larson is a DLC Democrat. Are these people not Democrat enough for you?

It is sloppy at best to glom "DLC" or "moderate" Democrats into the same thread with Grover Nordquist. You are committing some rather dramatic errors there - first of which is that there is no - I repeat no - meaningful comparison to be made between Nordquist and anybody who considers themselves a moderate, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, because he and his cohort are IDEOLOGUES, while moderates by definition are not. And the DLC is not and never has been an ideological project in the way that the Project for a New American Century or related organizations and individuals are.

This is not to say that the DLC post-Clinton and under Al Fromm didn't deserve major criticism, it did, I did, and The Nation did. So 'nuff said - there has been a wholesale turnover in the leadership at the DLC and the strength of the party nationally resides in the new generation of leadership at the gubernatorial and congressional level, MANY of whom are DLCers.

As to the substantive aspect of the so-called progressives who view themselves as the defenders of faith as articulated in the Great Society, it is a matter of historical fact that (as someone else stated above) these programs served to demonstrate the limits of these types of approaches to dealing with the very real problems they were intended to address. That is why we moderates have abandoned them. They didn't work.

And BTW, as someone who spent a great deal of my own time and treasure working on behalf of HBD in the Presidential primary, those of you - and we both know who you are - who are laboring under the false impression that something in that individual's record or personal makeup makes him discernable from a DLC / moderate Democrat need to acquaint yourselves with his record as Governor of Vermont and with his efforts as DNC Chair to reach out to people who - by your rhetoric - should not be considered "real Democrats".

As stated above, the Henry Wallace (who was REPLACED with Harry Truman by a dying FDR in his last race)/George McGovern tradition in the Democratic Party, while important, is only one voice in the conversation. And outside of a few precincts and Congressional Districts, it is not a successful voice electorally. The tradition that represents the majority of Americans, and the majority of Connecticut citizens, traces from Truman to JFK to Bill Clinton. And its core and success is not based on ideology.

MikeCT said...

Latest according to Associated Press on the Secy of State candidates:




Such a waste of time and money on all their parts, all gone to preserve Bysiewicz's job security and sense of entitlement. I doubt that any of them will stay in ultimately.

Lon said...

Hi all,

Just a note to let you know that there will be a special This Week in Connecticut Politics podcast tomorrow night featuring interviews with Mayors DeStefano and Malloy on their reaction to the news.

Subscribe via iTunes and grab it when it's ready. Subscription and direct download links on our homesite,

Genghis Conn said...

Ugh, all that interview time... Oh, well.

I hope at least one of them stays in, but you're probably right, they'll all drop out. Incumbency is powerful.

Indian2Nighthawk said...

Chris -

Where did Shonu post? I missed her posting but would like to hear her opion. Is it on the DeStefano blog?

MVD said...

off topic, but here's a story that you missed--Orman has dropped out of his primary race against Lieberman:

Indian2Nighthawk said...

Great, now who am I gonna be able to vote for?

I can't believe I'm going to have to obstain in August and vote for a Republican in November...

Well there's a first time for everything. Don't get me wrong...I don't want a Republican but I say it's better to be stabbed in the front by an enemy you know than stabbed in the back by someone you think is a friend.

Matt Bailey said...

There will be a special edition of the podcast "This Week in Connecticut Politics" out tomorrow featuring interviews with Dan Malloy and John DeStefano talking about the race with Secretary Bysiewicz out. Visit to learn more or subscribe via iTunes and hear it as it becomes available.

Anonymous said...

Susan's a crook just like every other politian that you are all talking about. Not one mentioned could understand the full scrutiny required in ths day and age.

Susan ran a criminal enterprise out of her office for years. She and her staff raised money right out of the office. Staff paid for by Joe Taxpayer... the records and proof are there going back years and years.

Ebpie said...

If DeStefano can pick up enough momentum from SB leaving than the big Democrat primary we've been talking about might not even take place. That would give him a massive war chest going into the general and help level the field against Rell. Malloy has to work overtime now if he wants to stay competitive.