Friday, October 28, 2005

Shadow Governing

Malloy Issues Statements on Legislative Action

In countries with a parliamentary system, prominent members of the opposition will take up the roles of cabinet ministers and issue plans and statements that compete with those of the government. This presents voters with a clear idea of what the opposition wants, and what it would do if in power. These opposition members are called "shadow ministers."

Right now, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy is trying to act as the shadow governor, issing two statements in the last 24 hours about the actions (or lack thereof) of the governor, and giving us a clear idea what, exactly, would be different if Malloy were in charge instead of Rell.

On Contracting Reform

"I applaud the State Senate for once again passing much-needed comprehensive state contracting reform and am confident the House will follow suit. I strongly urge Governor Rell to drop her continuing opposition to this bill and sign it into law.
"It seems that the Governor's real problem is with the privatization standards themselves, which do place some common-sense restrictions and guidelines on the Governor's ability to privatize state services. There were virtually no standards during the Rowland Administration, and we all know how that turned out." (Press release: "Malloy Calls on Rell to Sign Contracting Reform Bill." Dan Malloy for Governor. 27 October, 2005)

Malloy would be signing the bill, because he believes that the privatization of state services ought to be better regulated. Rell sees this bill as legislative encroachment on the executive branch's power.

On CDA Disclosing Company Information

Dan Malloy, Stamford Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor, today called on Governor Rell to order the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA) to release the names of companies that have defaulted on state loans or have had their loans written off as uncollectible by CDA employees and its Board of Directors.
"Governor Rell should order the immediate release of this information. ... The Governor has said that disclosure might need to be weighed against the interests of the businesses and their employees, but that does not serve the interests of the state's economic development policies, or that of the taxpayers who unwittingly shell out millions of dollars to these private corporations. ... I'm not suggesting CDA release proprietary information, but, at the very least, we should be entitled to know the names of those companies who can't meet their financial obligations to the State." (Press Release: "Malloy says Rell Should Order Connecticut Development Authority to Release Info on Companies that Fail to Repay Their State Loans." Dan Malloy for Governor. 28 October, 2005.

If Malloy were in the governor's chair, he would order the release of some information. Rell and her party seem to be in favor of keeping the information under wraps for economic reasons.

While these releases aren't surprising in any way, they do start to highlight actual differences between the candidates, and what we could expect from a Malloy administration, should one ever come to pass.

Issuing a statement for every action the governor takes (or doesn't take) may seem unnecessary, but the eventual goal for the Malloy campaign is to clearly define what a Governor Malloy would be like, as well as showing why the current administration is lacking.

Expect both the DeStefano and Malloy campaigns to be very active at shadow governing next year during the legislative session.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate that a candidate is taking strong positions on issues like these. All too often we see our politicans try and straddle the fence, or speak from both sides of their mouth in order to win everyone over. Agree or not, I respect Malloy for not hesitating to tell us exactly what he wants, and for giving the voters a better picture of who he is.

Chris MC said...

An excellent step by Malloy to establish a substantive, ongoing debate about the brass tacks of governing, in real-time.

Perhaps by "economic reasons" you mean "commercial reasons", e.g. trade secret information?

Although knowledge of a loan default will provide competitors with a data point that could be used to help divine what is happening at the borrower, the reporting of the name of the company and the amount of the default on publicly provided funds is not, in and of itself, information so precious as to justify withholding disclosure. In any case, a default on publicly offered debt securities would certainly not be proprietary, and any significant default on private funds is unlikely to escape those with a real interest in knowing about it (one way or another).

Perhaps there are some other considerations of a less-pure nature that the Governor's office would rather not discuss?

Dave Mooney said...

I too like this stragey. The content provides some fodder for his opponents but it might be worth the risk as this point. It will be interesting to see if JD takes a similar tact, and how JD and DM can differentiate from each other if JD does so. It will also be interesting to see which, if any, bills DM is quiet or vague on.

Dave Mooney said...

By the way, I signed up for DM's mailing list but haven't received any of his press releases. Has he been sending them like Shonu has for JD?

John Rowland said...

It's cold in this prison... I hope heating oil's cheap enough this year to keep my cell above freezing.

Love always,

BrassTacks said...

The tactic is a good one, and Malloy is the class of the Democratic field, but don't mistake for a minute that press releases from a candidate even comes close to "defin[ing] what a Governor Malloy would be like." They're half a step above a schoolyard "I told you so."

And CDA's mission, for anyone who scratches the surface?? They're the lender of last resort for start-ups and companies who have a higher than average risk of getting funding in traditional areas. But don't let that get in the way of a good press release.

FrankS said...

I would wait to see the CDA information before suggesting that the CDA loans went to start-ups and companies who have a higher than average risk of getting funding.

Chris MC said...

And if they do, that potentially is a perfectly valid raison d'etre, if it is CDA's, and we could know whether or not that explanation might apply, and whether CDA is operating consistent with its mission.

Transparency in matters of the public purse seems like a fair expectation. Why not open the books, Governor?

Jack said...

Malloy is making headway into the
3rd CD. Last night he received the
official backing of the Stratford
Town Committee. DeStefano should
remove himself from the race while
the going is good.

John E. Fahan