Friday, December 09, 2005

Malloy Slams DeStefano, Rell on Campaign Finance Reform

All three gubernatorial candidates have been sniping at one another over campaign finance reform, today. Here's the latest release from the Malloy campaign:

Democratic candidate for Governor Dan Malloy, Stamford's Mayor, today criticized Governor Rell and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano for what he called "disingenuous squabbling" over the financing of their gubernatorial campaigns. Earlier today, DeStefano and Rell traded criticisms regarding Rell's apparent willingness to use State party funds coming from contractors and PACs, and DeStefano's heavy reliance on contractor dollars.

"Both Jodi Rell and John DeStefano are being disingenuous," said Malloy. "Governor Rell wants to have her cake and eat it too by refusing 'special interest' money and then accepting money from the State party -- most of which comes from special interests. Meanwhile, John DeStefano is trying to wear a mantle of reform that doesn't fit. As the New Haven Register pointed out today, John rejected a proposed spending cap in 2001 and opposed proposals to implement public financing for the 2006 Governor's race."

This dance is going to continue for how many more months? Anyway, here's the opinion piece Malloy is referencing. You'll have to register, since the New Haven Register has decided that it doesn't really want readers, after all.

As for DeStefano rejecting the public financing for next year, everyone already pretty much knew that wasn't going to happen. If Malloy were asked to give up the money he has raised right now, would he?

Rell, on the other hand, is kind of trying to have things both ways. She's always walked a very fine line between her desire for reform and her desire to raise money and win. For example, she shouldn't have printed up those "annual reports," nor should she have done state TV commercials or allowed her name to remain on a lobbyist-infested golf tournament back in October. Yet, for all of that, she did end up signing the bill.

Lather, rinse, repeat.


CT_Guy said...

Ghengis: If Malloy were asked to give up the money he has raised right now, would he?

He has said he would. Actually you posted about the JI article in which he said this (and DeStefano said he WOULD NOT) back in June:

Here's your old post

I still cant find the JI article you reference, I guess they never put it online.

Guy that never posts said...

Of course Malloy would give up his money for a fully public financed campaign, he is $1,000,000 behind John DeStefano in fundraising. $1,000,000 here $1,000,000 there and pretty soon we are talking real money.

But what is worse than Dan Malloy's shameless attempt to play politics in order to level the playingfield is Jodi Rells twisting of the truth.

I'd like to ask Jodi where she thought the Republican Party was getting its money, from candy shop and pet store owners? -

Chris MC said...

GC, you are surprisingly dismissive of this. Malloy is trying to pick a fight and keep the issue you seem to be genuinely passionate about front and center.

This seems to happen a lot, GC. On the one hand, you donate a ton of time running this blog, with nothing really in it for yourself. A genuine community service that many of us, obviously, appreciate.

But you vacillate into this sort of psudeo-cynicism about motives and so on. What is that?

No need for a response, I am not trying to piss on you. Just consider that without Malloy calling the others out, your repeatedly expressed desired for the next tranche of campaign reform has no hope of coming about.

Malloy laid his cards on the table earlier - it doesn't matter to you or almost anybody else that his position (for the moment) is arguably served by saying what he said - and he just re-upped.

Rell, as you yourself have recently pointed out, is out to take credit for doing something that, according to you, is actually seriously flawed. She is, as I think you'll at least tacitly allow, being more than a bit disingenuous on the issue. Malloy appears to share your view here.

Game on! Let's hash and rehash the facts. Let's name names. Let's force everyone to go public on it. Let's have the debate!

What else could we possibly be doing here?

Aldon Hynes said...

Perhaps I've been inside with little kids too long today, but when I read Mayor Malloy press release, I couldn't help but think of preschool.

Danny rushes in screaming, "Mom, Dad, Jodi and Johnny are fighting again."

We need to focus on how we can make Connecticut better. Some of that includes working to get more people involved in the political process.

This 'disingenuous squabbling', including Mayor Malloy's latest press release does little to suggest how we can make Connecticut better or how we can get more people involved in the political process.

ct_guy said...

Aldon: Some of that includes working to get more people involved in the political process.

How about showing what you believe with action, as opposed to just words? I know that Malloy has been doing just that. From the link:
Clean-government advocates lobbied effectively for change, as did other elected officials. Mayor Dannel Malloy of Stamford, for example, was credited with persuading several doubting members of his city's legislative delegation to vote for reform.

Or how about this one?:
At one point, they called Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate and a supporter of public financing, and asked him to intercede with reluctant members of the Stamford delegation. Malloy was seen on the House floor, talking to his local delegation.

You can try and downplay this issue all you want, but the facts speak for themselves. Malloy said he would return funds, your boss didnt. Malloy was the one at the capitol speaking out for this issue, your boss was not.

Trying to minimize what Malloy is doing amounts to minimizing the issue at hand. In my eyes, Malloy is the only candidate who has shown that he is for true finance reform NOW.

Chris MC said...

OK, my friend.

So, in your opinion - as DeStefano's blogmaster - no further work needs to be done on the process.

The campaign finance reform legislation just passed was, in the opinion of Mayor DeStefano, perfect.

Governor Rell, in the opinion of the Mayor, is being completely candid, honest, and forthcoming about this, and there is no daylight between his view of the status quo and hers. They just disagree about the details.


DeanFan84 said...


Both Malloy and DeStefano were doing plenty of arm-twisting to get CFR passed. The Dem Statehouse's delay in getting this done allowed Rell the opportunity to try and take credit for it. If it didn't get done, Dem's chances for the governorship were going to take an even worse hit. Both camps knew that.

It's out and out laughable that the fundraising LOSER is suggesting we adopt different rules for 2006.

Instead of sniping at each other, aren't we better off getting together to go after the Republicans, (and their leader Rell), for failing to vote for this historic legislation? We've got to take the polish off of Rell if we're going to hope to win.

P.S. We all know it needs some tweaking. Can't we get on message and just declare that we, (i.e. Dems), will tweak it next session?

superD said...

Your either for or against real campaign finance reform and two of the three guberntorial candidates have demonstrated that they definitely aren't for it. John DeStefano has basically said I believe in campaign finance reform, just not for me and my campaign now (if I remember correctly, he actually stated in the JI article that he worked too hard to raise the money and wasn't going to give it back now) And Governor Rell has found a conduit to funnel the money she knows she needs but she won't accept directly to her campaign. Come on. Voters aren't stupid, but these two candidates clearly think we are. Shame on both of them.

DeanFan84 said...

Voters aren't stupid enough to believe that you change the rules of the game, in the middle of the game!!!

Has Malloy been pushing for the public funding of mayoral campaigns in Stamford? B/C DeStefano has been in New Haven, for several years now.

Anonymous said...

BTW, is Malloy promising to take all the improvements out of his house the contractors who work for the city did?

Sure, he paid full price and got cleared. But a paragon of attentiveness to ethical cocnerns he is not

Aldon Hynes said...

Ct_guy: I believe that getting people involved in the political process is about much more than twisting arms of a few elected officials in Hartford. It is about encouraging supporters to get involved in other campaigns around the state, the way Mayor DeStefano has. It is about reaching out to people who have not been involved with, or who have become disillusioned with the political process.

Saying that you would give funds back in a scenario that wasn’t going to happen, really isn’t meaningful. It is grandstanding. That said, I promise that if Jupiter explodes before the election, I will work for Jodi Rell.

Chris, I’m really disappointed that you are trying to put words into my mouth or Mayor DeStefano’s mouth. Like the rhetoric of ct_guy, these sort of things are what is wrong with politics in our country. I do not believe that the campaign finance bill is perfect. I don’t think Mayor DeStefano thinks it is perfect either.

That said, I don’t believe that Mayor Malloy’s posturing in his press release, nor the posturing of people on this blog is really going to help perfect campaign finance.

As to superD’s assertion that voters aren’t stupid, I agree with him on that. I believe they will recognize the sort of claims he is making as the same old political posturing that turns off voters and does nothing to really address the problems that our state faces.

Chris MC said...


You might get away with that condescending crap with other people, but I know you too well. Spare me.

I asked you direct, clear questions. The substance of your response consists of this:
I do not believe that the campaign finance bill is perfect.

I don’t think Mayor DeStefano thinks it is perfect either.

You don't think the Mayor thinks that? Why don't you ask him and get back to us?

I'll ask you again:
In your opinion - as DeStefano's blogmaster - do you believe further work needs to be done on the process?

In the opinion of Mayor DeStefano, is Governor Rell being completely candid, honest, and forthcoming about this issue? Is there no daylight between his view of the status quo and hers? Do they just disagree about the details?

Aldon Hynes said...

Chris, if I thought you deserved to be spared from condescension, I would spare you, but I don’t believe you need sparing this time.

I said I do not believe that the bill is perfect. If it is not perfect, it means that further work needs to be done. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about coming up with revisions in the 2006 session and I think that is a good thing.

That said, I do not believe it is a good use of my time, or Mayor DeStefano’s time, for me to bug him on a Friday evening about whether or not he believes more work needs to be done or whether or not he thinks Rell is being candid. As a matter of fact, it seems disrespectful that you would suggest that.

ct_guy said...

Jeez Aldon... step back and listen to your own spin. Malloy goes to Hartford to encourage votes for something you claim to believe in, and you say he's "twisting arms"? Please. You know damn well if your guy had been doing it you'd be touting it as what it is: action on behalf an important cause.

You're at your best when you're being candid and honest. This desperate spinning doesn't suit you. Maybe the idea of a paid blogger is a bit of an oxymoron.

Aldon Hynes said...

ct_guy: The reference to twisting arms was quoting DeanFan84: "Both Malloy and DeStefano were doing plenty of arm-twisting to get CFR passed."

They both were doing it, and I think it was a good think they were both twisting arms to help get the bill passed.

That said, I still say that getting people involved in the political process is about much more than twisting arms (insert some phrase you feel is less pejorative, if you must) of a few elected officials in Hartford.

I apologize if for some reason this doesn't sound candid to you. If you have read much of what I've written on numerous blogs over the past couple years, or listened to me speak at conferences, you would realize that this goal of promoting participatory democracy is my passion. I joined the DeStefano campaign because I believe that he works hard to promote participatory democracy.

I also believe that the bickering back and forth on this blog post, as well as is represented by the Malloy press release does not promote participatory democracy and may actually harm it.

ctkeith said...

What a bunch of Dumb shits you posters are.

The only loser here is RELL. If I had her poll numbers I would be as quiet as a churchmouse.

Both candidates missed an opportunity today.They should have both said,"I'm certain Rells mentor,JOHN ROWLAND,is very proud of her and I see the 10 years she spent in the office next to his taught her plenty."

PS.I told my Bookie chris mc is on board with DLC Dan and the odds just changed from 3 to 1 to 9 to 1.
Some people you just don't want on your side.

Genghis Conn said...


The idea of that original post you reference was that it didn't cost Malloy or Bysiewicz a thing to say they would give back the money, considering it wasn't going to happen. I have a hard time believing Malloy really would give up his campaign cash. I was pretty hard on DeStefano for saying he wouldn't, but at least he was honest.

chris mc,

My initial reaction to the Malloy press release was, "Hey, they're playing the 'holier than thou' game!" I do care about this issue, but arguing about who has the most street cred on campaign finance reform is silly. Sometimes I write the mood that has struck me.

However, I am glad to see that they're all on board. No candidate is opposing the bill. I hope Malloy and DeStefano are back at the Capitol next February helping to make the bill better.


You're absolutely right. Rell shouldn't have said a word. Her competitive streak will do her harm.

Genghis Conn said...

You all may also be interested in this article from WTNH:

DeStefano hits Rell over contributions

superD said...

Interesting post. I see Mayor DeStefano has joined the "bickering" Aldon is so opposed to, both on the blog and in candidate press releases and/or statements.

Perhaps he thinks that pointing the finger at someone else will take the heat off him?

Anonymous said...

The idea of that original post you reference was that it didn't cost Malloy or Bysiewicz a thing to say they would give back the money, considering it wasn't going to happen. I have a hard time believing Malloy really would give up his campaign cash. I was pretty hard on DeStefano for saying he wouldn't, but at least he was honest.

Well we officially know which camp you're in Ghengis. You assume Malloy's claim was disingenuous (with absolutely zero proof) and then give credit to DeStefano for being "honest". Is that about right?

Genghis Conn said...


And if I'm in neither?

Tell you what: if I were voting in the Democratic primary right now (unlikely, I'm not a Democrat), I have no idea who I would vote for. I like both men. I've had the chance to interview them both, I've spoken with Mayor Malloy over the phone and Mayor DeStefano personally. Nice guys. Good ideas.

However, I don't support any of the candidates over the others at this point. Read whatever you like into what I say, but personally I am genuinely undecided.

Aldon Hynes said...

Yes, I am opposed to the bickering, whether it is done by Malloy, Rell, or my boss. It doesn't help make Connecticut better.

I don't believe that Mayor DeStefano is perfect, just like I don't believe Mayor Malloy is perfect, and I certainly don't believe Gov. Rell is perfect.

I'm not especially interested in deflecting blame from Mayor DeStefano. Instead, I am hoping that we can refocus the discussion ways that we can make Connecticut better. That is where Mayor DeStefano shines.

Independent1 said...

I looked at the Survey USA site. How does Rell by 78% approval from the Pro-Choice, AND 78% from Pro-Life???? And her highest geographical area is New Haven, at 84%? These numbers are just incredible.

Julio Gonzalez said...

The Malloy release is more interesting as evidence of a tactical shift by his campaign. So far, the Democratic "sniping" has been insider baseball banter about who is in, fundraising and endorsements.

With this release, it strikes me that the earned media campaign for Malloy is now seeking to make more forceful contrasts against his Democratic opponent. We'll have to see if this oddly timed release (a Friday?) is just an anomaly or if it signals a shift towards a more combatative, or negative tone by Malloy and his team towards DeStefano.

As for the issue of who is the best Democrat on CFR...this seems like a weak place for a contrast. Both candidates support statewide and seem to have done their part for passage. Maybe Malloy did a bit more - seems there is no publicly available metric to make a defensible judgement. On the local option side, DeStefano's administration and several New Haven alders have clearly led for the inclusion of the local option - which could be a really important reform in the long-term. So, that is a clear plus from him that for whatever reason Malloy can not claim.

Malloy did say he would give up funds, but he never really had to suffer any pain for it and nobody really thought there would be a publicly-financed system imposed in the middle of an election. Maybe it was a platitude, maybe a signal of true leadership. Absent the true expenditure of political political we can't really know. However, we can deduct that Malloy rationally determined that it was improbable the system would pass for the 2006 cycle. If he thought it had a high chance it would pass, he would have suspended fundraising since he would have already passed the qualification marks being discussed under the prominent proposals.

DeStefano (the candidate I support) said he wouldn't give up funds. His reasoning was that he had a plan to raise private funds and wasn't going to pause its execution until the legislature figured things out. Not the height of idealism by the standards of some folks, I guess, but at least his actions were linked to his honest assesment of the situation.

I hope in the future this site will dedicate more time to the different techniques Rell will be using to wash money - especially the Party committee.

CT05 Admin said...

Problem with you, Aldon, when it comes to partisanship, is that it doesn't suit you well.

You're persistent chiding of everyone else for substanceless bickering, while being the very first in on it, is painful to watch.

On this occasion, you've been asked direct questions in your professional capacity as DeStefano blogmaster about the substance of this issue, and you've ducked and attempted to insult your way out of the conversation.

Why not discuss the issue on the merits, beginning with the Mayor's position on it?

Instead of your ridiculous "I'm-gonna-have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too" rhetoric about how you're all about engendering participation, why don't you just participate? In case you haven't noticed, the rest of us are showing up on our own.

This thread, beginning with your post has quickly devolved into another waste of time pissing contest.

Nice work.

Aldon Hynes said...

CT05 Admin, as I told Chris MC (are you to friends?), I don't believe that this is a key part of the DeStefano message. It may be that I am wrong, and if Mayor DeStefano comes back to me and says that it is a key part of the message, I will try to get on with the new message.

My job is not to pull Mayor DeStefano off message, nor to repeat attempts by people like chris mc or you to pull him off message.

The message of the DeStefano campaign is that we should be working together to build a better Connecticut. That is a message that I support. It is a message that includes increasing citizen involvement, not only in the electoral process but in all aspects of governance.

I don't believe that when a reporter asked Mayor DeStefano, "So are you saying Governor Rell's a hypocrite?", Mayor DeStefano's response has one of the key talking points of the campaign. I've commented before that I think Rell is being hypocritical. However, I always try to get us back to the message of how we can work together to build a better Connecticut.

You questions, chris mc's questions and others, are I believe, a continuation of this distraction.

Yes, I am chiding people to get back to the message of how we can work together to make Connecticut better. I believe that is the message that will resonate with more people, and ultimately is better for the state.

To you, it may appear that these efforts joining in with the bickering. I hope that most people will recognize that it is an effort to get people to move beyond the bickering.

Anonymous said...

Aldon- Once again, little substance, a lot of rhetoric....

Here, in a nutshell, are the arguments you most recently made:

1. That you are not clear as to whether this issue is key to DeStefano's message (surprising for someone to posts regularly all over the internet about how DeStefano is bar one the best man for the job).

2. Though you are unclear as to what that message is, you are unwilling/unable to pull him off of that message.

3. That you believe the Mayor's message is to work together to build a better Connecticut (do you read your own comments? That kind of statement is so milquetoast that no one could EVER oppose it!This is like telling someone to be good to their mother or not to run with scissors!)

4. That ChrisMC and CT 05 are distracting away from the central issue, which you have not yet identified, by asking you direct questions about what the central issue is.

5. That you would like people to move beyond bickering (though you seem uninterested in talking about the finer points of the Mayor's proposals and have flat out refused to do so.)

With all due respect, we're not buying what you're selling, sir.

Anonymous said...

Julio Gonzalez's comment is analogous to Heidi Fleiss accusing another woman of flirting with married men

Chris MC said...

I appreciate your discretion, but it's not a secret that CT05 Admin and Chris MC are the same person. That post above was a typo.

As to the rest of your post, Anonymous (8:30) has it just about right.

And the Mayor, prior to the gotcha question to which you refer, was perfectly clear and, watching Rell's response, I thought he rattled her.

Fact is, thanks to Malloy and now DeStefano, the Governor's duplicity on this issue has now been exposed.

Off-message has nothing to do with it.

brass anon said...

I'm not an insider like most of you, but I see the issue this way. Rell is a national leader in getting CFR passed in a state that heretofore has been known for corruption. At least that is the way the average voter would see it. A dem can't beat her on this issue.
And as far as Malloy trying to distinguish himself from DeStef on the issue, it simply looks like hair-splitting to me.
I don't know how the dems can frame this race and be successful, but so far, they have failed to create any meaningful distinctions between themselves and the Gov.
And BTW, Malloy's odds just went to 12 to 1 with the albatross Chris MC on board.

Anonymous said...

And BTW, Malloy's odds just went to 12 to 1 with the albatross Chris MC on board

As a Malloy supporter, we'll take Chris MC and you can have DeanFan, k?

Julio Gonzalez said...

Heidi Fleiss? How saucy, anonymous! Never has the old saying been more true: it takes one to know one.

Anyway, I am not exactly sure what the substantive attack buried in that line is. I think it means that I don't have the moral authority to point out that the Malloy campaign might be switching tactics because I myself have engaged in some variant of those tactics in my past political work. That's kind of odd because such logic disqualifies anybody that has done real political work from ever having the authority to comment.

I am pretty sure that if we were discussing the topic of women seducing married men, I'd want Ms. Fleiss' opinion.

Or perhaps you mean that I can't comment about the campaign finance situation because in the past I have worked with candidates that have taken private money. Again, that disqualifies pretty much everyone, except a few political hermits.

Moreover, I feel pretty good about the work we've done in New Haven around getting the local public-financing option done. I personally think it can eventually have a significant impact on choice and accountability at the local level. It is action, not words.

And that was my point in my post - finding a way to measure the actions of the candidates, instead of just their words.

Chris MC said...

Fair enough Julio. But a credible competitor for the job calling his opponent(s) to account for their public statements is in fact an action, one that can be measured by simple observation.

Aren't you, like most of us, tired of substanceless political "debate"?

And don't you agree that whether or not the Governor and her competitors are consistent and accountable is a fundamentally desirable thing?

Whatever his motives and machinations, Malloy's public stance puts him on the spot and, if the rest of us step up to it, provides a bona fide opportunity to raise the bar in the Gubernatorial campaign.

DeStefano supporters dismissing what Malloy did as merely posturing doesn't pass the sniff test. And evidently, at least as far as criticism of the Governor goes, Mayor DeStefano agrees.

DeanFan84 said...

I asked upthread, but didn't get an answer. Where is Malloy on public campaign financing in Stamford? Has he tried to implement it in the past? Or now in the present? Does he have any plans for the future?

To his credit, DeStefano saw a problem following his 2001 race against Looney. Since then he has made good faith efforts to fix the system, in New Haven.

What has Malloy done in his own backyard?

Julio Gonzalez said...

To Chris MC,

I would agree with you that Malloy's pledge had some leadership value. I was just trying to develop some way of quantifying it. I reason that the amount of personal political capital expended should be the metric. And I couldn't see how it was a significant expenditure. For my own pro-DeStefano purposes (!) I then compared it to the expenditure of capital to get the local option in the CFR bill.

Whomever your candidate, I hope more of our debates here at this site focus on finding reasonable, measurable criteria as points of departure for discussion.

Finally, Chris MC, how do you think both Democrats can effectively make contrasts on economic issues with Gov. Rell? It seems that the MSM only covers these "he said/she said" press release fests about ethical issues. The most recent Q Poll said most voters cared about jobs and taxes. What can we do to get the conversation to those issues?

Anonymous said...

Julio: Any Mayor featured in a series of articles entitled "City for Sale" knows a great deal about Ms. Fleiss's occupation even if he always kept his clothes on