Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quick Commentary

I'm stuck in a library science class all day today, but I wanted to get in a few quick comments about what's been happening.

I was surprised that Michele Jacklin joined the DeStefano campaign. I thought she'd resurface at another newspaper or maybe migrate online, but apparently not. Here's a quote we should expect to see a lot of in the next day or two:

While Rell has been basking in the glow of her poll ratings, DeStefano and Malloy have engaged in some juvenile sparring. DeStefano, who we can only assume is trying to bluff Malloy out of the race, had the audacity to wag his finger in Malloy's face and brag about his own "overwhelming re-election win" in New Haven two weeks ago.

Never mind that DeStafeno's toughest foe hailed from the Guilty Party and that Democrats outnumber every other party-affiliated voter in the Elm City by about a bazillion to one. The city hasn't elected anyone other than a Democratic mayor in 50 years.

To be sure, Malloy won re-election by a nose. But Republicans, in an effort to be rid of him, threw everything at him but the UBS office tower, including Rell, who made phone calls on behalf of the Republican candidate. To suggest, as DeStefeno did, that he's the stronger of the two because he won by a larger margin is preposterous.

DeStefano's candicacy is headed for trouble if he persists in taking us, and Malloy, for fools. (Jacklin, Michele. "How Solid is Rell's Support?" Hartford Courant 23 November, 2005.)

It sounds like she'll be doing research and policy for them. She probably ought to be handling press relations, but okay.

I've seen a lot of press releases today about the poll results. Here's the reaction so far:

DeStefano campaign: The poll shows we're still ahead.
Malloy campaign: The poll is meaningless.

I'm tempted to side with the Malloy folks, just because it is such a long time until the primary, but Malloy (despite doing well raising money) needs to get his name out there a little more.

The Rell campaign so far has been content to let the numbers speak for themselves. And why not? There's very little that's negative there.

Okay. Back to class with me.


DeanFan84 said...

Jacklin was wrong in the column GC cites.

The real argument was/is that Malloy's greater "electability" is bogus when he could only garner 51% of the vote in his hometown.

The Malloy team talked about how many Republicans live in Stamford, but they forget to mention that Stamford Democrats substantially outnumber those R's.

CT's biggest November surprise was that Malloy's gubernatorial bid almost ended, right then and there, and to a political novice, no less!

Proud Moderate Dem said...

DeanFan, i agree, malloys election showing was an embarrassment. however, if it was seen that his bid for gov was almost ended, how in the world did destefano not capitalize in fundraising? doesnt say much about your candidate when he got taken out to the woodshed in fundraising by a candidate who was barely able to win his hometown. so while nov biggest surprise may have been that malloys camp almost ended right there and then, i would have to say that januarys biggest surprise is that destefano couldnt outraise malloy to end it right here and now.

ctkeith said...

My take

Destefano Leaned on his people early and often and took a huge lead in Fundraising.The "shakedown" took a Christmas break(another smart strategy) and he still has about 3/4 of a million more than Malloy.

Malloy was screwed By the NYT reporter ratting on him and has been playing catch-up ever since.If he can't catch up on the money side and round up some big support in the Hartford area soon he's still done by the time the grass starts turning green.

Other Events are about to take over sucking all the air out of the Governors race and taking it off the front burner.The guy who has the best team at backroom deals and the team that knows how to make others feel important takes the next 1/4 and the convention.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

ctkeith, allowing your opponent to outraise you in any quarter (esp a quarter when you have him on the ropes) is never a 'smart strategy'.

bboop said...

I picked this up on the Boston Globe's site: "The Republican Governor's Association took $500K in dirty Abramoff dollars. They're going to give it to charity. Over two years."

I find this interesting in light of our upcoming race for the Governor's seat in CT.
The move allows Romney and the RGA to avoid questions about the contributions while they are trying to help Republican governors win elections in 36 states this fall.
And while the divestiture will take at least $250,000 out of RGA coffers this year in the run-up to those elections, Romney refused to swear off future contributions from lobbyists or their corporations to replace the lost funds.
They just can't (won't) give it back all at once. That would interfere with their political agenda. And how much of that dirty money was used to help elect Republican governors in 2002 and 2004? More to the point, how much of that dirty money will help elect Republicans in 2006?
And does anyone really believe that Abramoff-tainted dollars are really the only bad dollars in the pot? These Republicans like to talk a good game -- when caught.
Gov. Mitt Romney said the Republican Governors Association would donate to charity $500,000 in contributions it received from a donor entwined in the investigation of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
So, by their OWN implicit admission......for the next TWO YEARS they will be using dirty, ill-gotten money from a corrupt criminal to pay for their political endeavors.
Was the return of money delayed deliberately? Had they done it 3 weeks ago, they would have had to give up all that cash by the end of this year...
State Democratic Parties with Governors elections this year need to make some hay of any Republican Governors Conference donations to Republican Candidates in their state. It is the perfect opening to make an issue of Dirty Money coming in and corrupting state elections. What you want to accomplish is to get the State Republicans to feel forced to "reject dirty money" laundered through a party organization.
That could actually start now -- "Will you (Mr. Republican Candidate) accept money that originated with Abramoff?"
How much easier it is to tie republicans to scandal if they keep using the money!
Does Jodi have some of the money from the RGA? What portionof her contributions came from Abramoff or the RGA?
Think of this advertisement:
"Republican governor X says that stealing money from Indian Tribes in order to bribe congressmen is bad. So why is he taking money from Jack Abramoff and using for his run for governor?"

Kerry Guy said...

The margin of victory in a mayoral race matters not in the greater scheme of things. In a primary, DeStefano wins. But in a general election, Malloy is a much more palatable candidate to moderates and therefore more electable. I just hope the D's don't eat our own and waste any chance to take out Rell.

captain obvious said...

DeanFan - the electibility argument is complete nonsense. Malloy turned out MORE democrats than DeStefano did. If DeStefano got as many votes in New Haven as he did in Stamford, he would have lost. Fact is your guy drove a huge percentage of voters to vote for protest candidates like "the Guilty Party", and has been primaried by his own party before. If DeStefano was the mayor of a town with more than one real party, he'd have been gone a long time ago. Electability... please.

Kerry Guy is exactly right. Malloy is the candidate who could attract all those unaffiliated voters and actually win in a general.

Anonymous said...

Let's see: the mantra is to get money out of politics, so everybody is trying to brag who has been able to get the most money as a badge of who can be the best governor. I think I got the message right.

F--- the issues

FrankS said...

With the latest Q Poll, neither Malloy or DeStefano has yet to make themselves into a creditable challenger to Rell, so their approaches must change.

DeStefano must sense this in hiring Jacklin, though she has no winning/losing campaign experience, she has observed many campaigns. In short, they should bring in more people.

Anonymous said...

Captain Obvious,

You couldn't sound more ignorant. Are you serious when you bring up the fact that DeStefano "has been primaried by his own party before?" You have no idea how New Haven politics works. There hasn't been a Republican Mayor since the sixties, so the primary IS the race. The fact that he wasn't primaried this year, especially when some might have smelled weakness while he was running a statewide campaign, is a true testement to his popularity. You can spin it however you'd like, but the fact of the matter was that DeStefano ran basically unopposed, while Malloy faced a real challenge. I agree you cannot compare the two cities because they are politically so different. But you can't throw out lines like the one about being primaried or "the Fact is your guy drove a huge percentage of voters to vote for protest candidates like "the Guilty Party" (the green party candidate received 110 votes or less than 1%), and think you'll be taken seriously. You're obviously an idiot.

Anonymous said...

why am I not surprised a liberal dinosaur like Jacklin signed up to join DeStefano's Jurassic Park?

Watching Malloy and DeStefano supporters bash each other with childish insults is amusing, sorta like someone who dislikes the South watching a Mascar race and waiting for the wrecks

Anonymous said...

Let's see, the DeStefano campaign just got fined $2,000 for preventing an opponent of a DeStefano sanctioned candidate from campaigning at a nursing home while the DeStefano sanctioned candidate was there campaiging with JD. Ummmm....perhaps tactics like these have kept other "legitimate" opponents out of past primaries? It is no secret JD runs his party with an iron fist. These tactics, and his recent campaign violation (and subsequent fine) should cause people to pause and reflect on whether or not this is the guy they really want as our Democratic nominee.

Anonymous said...

the fine was a $1,000 and it wasn't DeStefano's. clearly someone screwed up. it just wasn't John.

"Registrar Blamed in Election Fine"

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Actually you're both wrong.

The fine was $2,000, but it wasn't DeStefano who was fined.

It was DeStefano's minions who were involved - they allegedly strong-armed a nursing home into chasing off an aldermanic candidate DeStefano didn't like - but the nursing home was the one fined.

It wasn't the story Anon(807) links to, it is this issue, which is mentioned at the bottom of the New Haven Independent article on the other screw-up:

[The other screw-up] follows an agreement with operators of another east side nursing home, Clifton House, to pay a $2,000 fine for barring an aldermanic candidate from a pre-election visit with residents at the request of Mayor John DeStefano's office. The mayor's team was hoping to unseat that candidate, incumbent Rose Santana. Clifton House made Santana leave the premises but allowed Santana's opponent, Alex Rhodeen (who eventually won the election), to stay and meet with the nursing home's residents.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:25,

My figures can be inaccurate, but I remember DeStefano received 76% of the votes in the recent mayoral. 24% went to candidates who did zero campaigning--that's kind of alot if you think about it. I know New Haven politics, and wouldn't categorize Captain Obvious as an idiot-- or anyone else on this site. It's an exchange of ideas and if it doesn't agree with yours, doesn't mean they're stupid. If you really knew New Haven politics, you'd know that DeStefano ran unopposed not because he's so popular, but probably because he had more money and name recognition than anyone else. In fact, people would probably vote for Malloy simply because he's not John DeStefano. I wouldn't be surprised if Malloy does receive the 40% of the primary vote in New Haven for this very reason.

If the Dems really want to win against Rell and George Gallo, putting up a candidate with campaign finance violations and serious skeletons in the closet is not the way to do it.

Anonymous said...

I think talking about the '05 Mayoral election is pretty pointless. I was surprised to see Malloy only get 51% of the vote, but I didn't think the race was over. That being said, 76% is a lot of votes, no matter what city you're in and who you're running against. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but how many elected mayors/first selectman received more than 76%. I can't imagine it's very many.

To say that Malloy will receive 40% of the primary votes coming out of New Haven seems a like quite a stretch though. No offense to 3rd parties, but folks that vote for candidates from the Guilty Party aren't typically the same folks that will go out and vote in a primary. If you want to make the argument that the results from the '05 election can help predict the '06 primary, then you'd have to say that DeStefano will do comparably well in Stamford. Dems outnumber Republicans 1.5 to 1, but he only carried 51% of the vote. That either means that a lot of Dems voted for a Republican, or they didn't bother to vote at all. If they didn't come out to vote on election day, do you think they'll come out for a primary?

Aldon Hynes said...

As much as I want to rejoice with my friends back at headquarters that John is leading Dan 2 to 1 in the latest poll, I think it is important to focus on who is really leading right now amongst Democrats, Undecided. Neither John nor Dan have the name recognition that they will need to win and that is where I believe the smart campaign should be focusing.

That is why I’m very upbeat about even things that might not look good on the surface. The poll does show John ahead in the name recognition area. In fundraising, while we didn’t have a bunch of $2,500 donors on the list, we still lead the Malloy team with about 20% more donors this quarter than he had. Yeah, the money is important, it is one of the tools that we will use to build name recognition, but it is building name recognition that matters right now. The SEIU endorsement will be a great boost in name recognition. It gets our name and message out in front of a lot more people, people that are good at getting the message out. Michele Jacklin’s hiring is also going to help a lot with the name recognition as well.

Jacklin’s role is going to be Director of Policy and Research. I’m very excited about that. As I’ve noted before, I’m not a wonk. I’m interested in my pet issues, but I can’t talk well about a lot of the issues. I believe that Jacklin will help the campaign talk much more strongly about the issues and I believe that the efforts in building name recognition will mean we will be able to talk to many more people about the issues, and not just the high dollar donors.

So, I think the DeStefano campaign is doing very well, but it isn’t based on some of the superficial signs that a lot of people on all sides are focusing on.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:46 --

Actually, I think if you were to look back at election results for other unopposed mayors/first selectmen, or those who only had token opposition from 3rd party candidates, you'd see that 76% or higher isn't that uncommon. You could check that on the Secretary of State's website, if it's working.
Also, and someone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Malloy was basing the 40% number on the percentage DeStefano's last primary challenger, Martin Looney, received.