Sunday, February 19, 2006

Curry Rumors Fly

Here's an interesting tidbit from Fred Lucas at the Danbury News-Times:

Bill Curry, a former state comptroller and losing gubernatorial candidate in 2002, won't deny or confirm rumors that he plans to get into a primary.

After the rumors started late last year, Curry couldn't be reached for comment on the matter for months.

Last week, he admitted to me he has intentionally avoided talking about the topic. Asked why, he only said he could talk about it in a few days. A few days passed, and he hasn't returned follow up phone calls.

The general rule of thumb is that if a politician isn't strongly considering running for something, he'll just say no.

Curry wasn't considered all that strong against Gov. John G. Rowland in 2002, but if people had known then what they know now about Rowland's corrupt activities, the result could have been different.

This would further marginalize J. Paul Vance Jr., the president of the Waterbury Board of Aldermen. That's a high office in the district's largest city. But so far, Vance hardly gets noticed in his primary challenge.

Murphy is already the chosen primary candidate of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington, so this might put Curry in an uncommon role. A former party nominee for the state's top office and former domestic policy adviser to President Clinton could run as an anti-establishment candidate in his party. (Lucas)

The Curry rumors have been around a while, and I haven't paid that much attention to them. But what if he did jump in? How would he do?

He might take the convention, and there's a chance he could win a primary against Murphy and Vance. Curry has won primaries as an upstart before, defeating the dull-as-dishwater John Larson in 1994. He could do the same to the equally colorless Murphy by appealing to liberals and the grassroots.

He'd face a serious general election battle, though. A quick look at the 2002 Gubernatorial Map shows that there was nowhere in the state where Curry did as badly as he did in the 5th District. He won one town: liberal-leaning Cornwall. That's it. Granted, that was a Republican year and Rowland was still a pretty popular governor, but it's hard to see a lot of those towns really getting behind Curry.

Then again, they wouldn't have to. If Curry could carry New Britain, Meriden, Waterbury, Danbury and a handful of other suburban towns by more than a few percentage points, he'd win. He may very well have a better shot than Murphy, who has no name recognition and would absolutely be attacked for moving into the district just last year.

Curry would have to scramble to raise money if he decided to get in, but he has so many contacts within the Democratic Party that that might not be a problem. He'd also be bucking the D.C. Democratic "establishment," such as it is, but with the track record those guys have that might be a real blessing.

He seems like he's getting ready to do something, although we'll have to wait and see what that actually is. For now, he's apparently still making up his mind.


Lucas, Fred. "Capitol Notebook." Danbury News-Times 19 February, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Winning Danbury, Meriden, Waterbury, New Britain and holding his own in Bethel, Newtown, New Milford and Brookfield would make Curry the winner. However, greater Danbury truly would hold the key to his winning, and with Rell running as the favorite daughter, his chances are very, very slim.

Bill should bide his time, let Murphy lose badly, then attempt a comeback.

Gabe said...

INHO, Murphy will not get attacked too badly for moving into the district to run, only because he was in Johnson's district until after the 2000 census redistricting.

Anonymous said...

Are there really people who consider Bill Curry to be the answer to CT dems' problems? CT dems can't be that slow to finally learn their lesson, can they?

Genghis Conn said...

You may be right about Greater Danbury, anonymous, but it ought to be noted that Rowland's hometown of Waterbury went for Maloney in 2002.

In 2004, Johnson's hometown of New Britain voted against her. Also interesting.


Really? I can see Johnson making a huge deal out of that.

ctblogger said...

Being a hat city resident, let me chime in.

Although Danbury has a Republican mayor, the city has a long history of being a Democrtic stronghold (although not recently). In short, with a majority of the voters in Danbury being registered Democrat and the last Democratic House Rep being Danbury's own James Maloney, don't think for one second that this is Johnson territory (remember, the 5th district was re-drawn and Johnson was stronger in her former district than Maloney in his.

People in Danbury are ANGRY over one big issues...overcrowding (i.e. too many condos). Overcrowding contributes to the all-ready bad traffic problems (Main Street, White Street, I-84, Route7), condition of the roads (which are getting worse with the increase in population), draining on the education system (ask any parent here about Robert's Ave middle School and you'll get the idea), etc.

Now, taking anon 1:26 analysis into consideration, If Curry gets Maloney's support and establishes a base in Danbury (both things are critical), Curry, with the help of the Democratic Town Committee (if they ever get their acts together) could pick up Danbury relatively easily. Democra Lori Kaback victory in the race for town clerk proved that a Democrat can win if he or she runs an effective campaign (which Dean Esposito did not do).

If Curry wins Danbury, Bethel, Newtown, New Milford, and Brookfield (don't know about that one because it's Rell's hometown), his chances are very good. I'm not sure Chris Murphy even knows where Danbury is because he hasn't campaign down here once so his chances in beating Johnson in Bethel, Brookfield, or Danbury are slim (if not slightly impossible).

In conclusion, just because Danbury has a Republican mayor, don't think that it's a Democratic city becuase it is not. With an effective and highly visible campaign (and the right local people by his side), Curry can take Danbury in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

my, some delusions die hard

The 5th District is compared to the rest of CT more Republican than the 6th District was when Curry lost to Johnson in 1982.

For one thing, a lot of R's in Shays district moved north (like me).

Since then, Johnson gained some very Republican towns (i.e. Brookfield and Middlebury), lost some Democratic towns (Bristol and Enfield) and put $2M in the bank and 24 years of serniority behind her.

The 5th was Curry's worst district against Rowland and the only town where Rowland was more popular then than Rell is now is Waterbury. Since the Dems are compelled to nominate another liberal visionary for Governor, Jodi is gonna be a snowplow for all the local R's.

Not that Nancy needs one. The district generated a Kerry plurality of less than 1000 votes when he won statewide by 100k and most of the Mayors are R's or somewhwat ambigious D's (i.e. Jarjura and Bengnini).

Besides, she beat Jim Maloney by over 20K and if you think Curry will run better than blue collar Jim in Danbury and Waterbury, please return to the quiche belt.

I'm not a big Murphy fan but for Dems to cut a hard working challenger like him off at the knees for a retread like Curry is really disgusting, and sadly like the shiv job the DC Dems did to Paul Hackett in OH

Anonymous said...

Please Mr. Curry. NO! Don't jump into this race.

I'm not a huge Murphy fan, but darn it, he has paid his dues, and deserves this run and probably one more in '08.

Is your ego so large? I hope not.

Please, it's someone else's turn.

Genghis Conn said...

I had forgotten that Curry ran against Johnson in 1982 when they were both state senators, and the 6th district seat had just been vacated by Toby Moffett.

I smell another history project.

Gabe said...

Really? I can see Johnson making a huge deal out of that.

I agree, I just don't think it will have alot of resonence with the voters. Its not like he moved from San Francisco, he stayed within his State Senate district after he was redistricted out of the Congressional district where he has contacts and had run campaigns.

As for how vulnerable Johnson is, I think it is instructive that the national Republicans released Simmons and not Shays or Johnson when they had the budget bill locked up. They obviously think that Simmons is the one with potential trouble and not Johnson or Shays.

That said, the budget vote should be used as a blunt instrument against Johnson and Shays.

Genghis Conn said...

A good point about the budget, Gabe. Given that it passed by two votes, though, they had to pick the people who would be released from it very, very carefully. That she was made to vote for it suggests that they think she and Shays are more likely to win than Simmons. It doesn't mean she's not vulnerable, just that she's much less so.

Anonymous said...


Yes, Danbury has been and is still a Dem leaning city. However, excluding Boughton's and Cappiello's popularity, Danbury, as it grows wealthier, is trending slightly more Republican.

Curry *could* win Danbury, but would need to expend significant monies and line-up both Joe and Jimmetta and the Godfrey-Gallo factions.

I don't know if Maloney underperformed in '02 or Johnson was somewhat popular, but neither Curry nor Murphy could take the city for granted.

Anonymous said...

New Britain voted against Nancy in 04 because Gerratana was from New Britain as well.

Gabe said...

GC - Agreed. I did not mean to imply that she was not vulnerable - I think she is. I just wanted to point out that the national Republicans don't think she is as vulnerable as Simmons.

Also, the final vote being by two isn't the measure of it being close enough to be careful. When the party who wins those votes chooses to catch and release, the final vote total will always be close. The question is how close it was initially; how many releases could they afford. Its unlikely that we will know but a good guide is the first vote (before the Senate passed similiar but different legislation requiring the House to vote again): That tally had a six vote margin of vicotry. Again, we don't know if or how many members were released to vote the safer-politically way. Without that knowledge, its impossible to determine whether they released Simmons and not Shays or Johnson because they didn't have enough votes to release everybody and they were close in terms of risk, or they were able to release everybody that they thought could lose and Johnson and Shays were not thought to be at risk.

There is no way to know for sure, but I, and it sounds like you, believe it to be the former.

Aldon Hynes said...

Great, let’s play the rumor mill a little more. This morning on News 12’s On the Record show, they spent some time discussing Kevin Sullivan’s endorsement of DeStefano. They talked about how Sullivan never wanted to be Lt. Governor and suggested that perhaps he is positioning to become a commissioner. Sounds like a good rumor. Somehow, I just can’t see Curry taking on Murphy. If Murphy can balance support from both the grassroots and from Rahm Emmanuel of the DCCC, then he can pull together a feat that is eluding Democrats around the nation.

Meanwhile, I was speaking with my friends at ActBlue. They have their list of candidates running in Connecticut. It includes Ernest Newton, so I’m not sure how accurate it is. I passed on information to them about what was going on in Connecticut and took a moment to review the Secretary of State’s List of Candidates and Exploratory Committees for the 2006 Election.

I found it interesting to note that Jepsen and Maloney both have exploratory committees for the 2006 cycle. I imagine Jepsen’s is the one he had set up when everyone expected Blumenthal to run for Governor and he was going to run for Attorney General. Yet I wonder what Maloney’s exploratory committee is or was about. I notice that Paul Vance had Connecticut exploratory committee as well, but that has been terminated.

I suspect they are all looking to see what sort of options will open up during the coming months, whether it be for Lt. Governor, some commissioner role, or who know what other options.

MikeCT said...

If true, apparently Curry has not lost enough times and is looking for one more round of abuse. Maybe the third, fourth, or fifth time will be the charm? I helped a bit on his campaign and found him to be the most embarrassing candidate and worst public speaker that I ever volunteered for. I’ll never forget his performance at a news conference, slumped over the podium, not looking at the cameras, mumbling, and sounding bored and dispassionate. Never again.

I think it is too early to judge Murphy’s campaign. The media is paying almost no attention, and most newspapers in that district don’t even have political reporters. We have little on which to base a judgement, but we do know that he has been a tough campaigner in the past.

Maloney had a news conference many months ago to announce that he had formed an exploratory committe for an unnamed office that he would not identify. It was treated humorously in news accounts at the time.

Anonymous said...

Bill Curry is the only guy who can beat Johnson, who I too believe is vulnerable. He has town coordinators in each town from his Gubernatorial run, something which Murphy is struggling to find since he has still not even been to many of the towns in the 5th. Regarding money, Murphy has only raised $400k. Curry could raise that amount with one fundraiser with Bill Clinton, who would come into the district more than once to help his former aide. Curry is a political goliath. Curry has lived in the district for over 20 years! Murphy has been in the district for 9 months! If he got into the race I think he can beat the dry personality of Murphy and would be a great way for him to get back to doing what he loves doing.

Anonymous said...

"Curry is a political goliath."


2002 vote totals in the 5th District

Rowland 132,970
Johnson 113,626
Maloney 90,616
Ross Garber 88,012
Curry 78,547

So a "political goliath" got 10,000 fewer votes than a failed GOP underticket candidate?

as Dr. Evil would say "Rrright!"

Anonymous said...

More on the "political goliath"

Curry's total FR in 2002: $2.804M

Nancy Johnson raised $3.405M and spent $3.753M that year

Anonymous said...

Maybe we got the wrong primary. Maybe we're looking at Bill Curry for Governor? Think about it...Who was the one who told us about Rowland before it became front pages news? I think people would think they owe him a shot. Even the Hartford Courant owes him one after endorsing John Rowland. Bill Curry would certainly do much better than DeStefano or Malloy. Could there be a big annoucement soon?

Yuppie Pr#ck said...

Please, Bill, please....RUN !!!! RUN FOR ANYTHING...FOR EVERYTHING !!!!! CT will be a red state yet!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't put Roy in much of a pickle at history's taught us, Roy's destined to be with the losing candidate, and I'd say that he's on the right track.

Anonymous said...

Boy, wouldn't that put Roy O. in a pickle?

Anonymous said...

Curry for Governor?

That would put Malloy in the left lane with DeStefano and Curry vying for who'd break through the guard rail into incoming traffic

Anonymous said...

Governor Curry has a nice ring to it. He told the truth on J.R. and yes,we really do owe him one.
Curry-Sullivan or maybe a Curry-Jepsen ticket once again would bring experience, name recognition and money. This is the Democrats best chance of winning the Governorship. If he goes don't forget, Bill Curry knows how to win a primary. The timing could be right!

Anonymous said...

When Curry ran for Gov in '02, he had $200,000 on hand by the start of the election year. Murphy, running for a seat that usually costs 1/3 of what it costs to run for Governor, had almost twice that amount in the bank by Jan 1. He's one of the top fundraising challengers in the nation.

Murphy has a reputation as one of the brighter minds at the legislature, and he's done nothing except turn Republican seats into Democratic seats over the last ten years. Underestimating him would be a giant, giant mistake.

Anonymous said...

Alright, enough already with the Curry stuff. It's less than nine months before election day. Bill is a smart enough guy to know that you can't beat Nancy Johnson if you get into the race in the end of February. I think he is enjoying the attention that he gets from refusing to comment on whether he'll run for Congress, or Governor, or dogcatcher. He needs an ego boost. That's all well and good. But he's not running for Congress, and he ought to stand up and say so.

Giving Curry the benefit of the doubt, could it be that he has been refusing to comment because he's getting ready to endorse Murphy? Perhaps in connection with the impending visit of Congressman Emanuel in support of Murphy this week?

5th District Dem said...

Chris Murphy is the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 5th District. A few things to think about:

* At the end of 2005, he had more money in the bank than any other challenger to Johnson had EVER had at that time.

* The DCCC is targeting the race because of the work Murphy has done already.

* Murphy has been in the race since last summer, and has been running hard all the way.

* Most of the town chairs, first selectmen, city council members, state reps. and other Democratic bigwigs in the district have already endorsed Murphy.

* Murphy is starting to get good media coverage. He's been mentioned in USA Today, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and a bunch of national wire service stories recently. The local papers have run stories on the campaign in the last few weeks, and lots of letters to the editor are cropping up. One of the local political TV news reporters even did a big story on how the race is heating up. It's only February, and people are paying attention.

* Murphy has never lost a race. He beat a long-time incumbent to win his seat in the State House and a popular State Rep. to win his seat in the Senate.

Murphy is the guy. It's that simple.

PingPong said...

What does Bill Curry do for a living? Also, wasn't he supposedly writing a book a few years back? What ever happened to that? Also did he ever marry that woman he was dating? I just remember the Courant running a big story on that during the last campaign.

Anonymous said...

Check out Murph's website. You'll see that he's got the endorsements of the vast majority of town chairs, state legislators, etc, including most every political bigwig in New Britain, Meriden, Danbury, Torrington, Simsbury, etc. Plus, he's already got the endorsement of every major union.

Curry would be a disaster anyway, but it's too late.

Anonymous said...

I hope Curry does run for Governor - it would just be too funny to see those three clowns beat the crap out of each other while Jodi coasts to a 20 point win.

Anonymous said...

I thought Murphy was from southington, and hasn;t that always been in JOhnson's district?

Anonymous said...

If Curry runs for Governor or Congress, who will he hire? Aren't all of his people working for Malloy already?

Speaking of which, could he be holding out on making any comment to build suspense until he is named Malloy's choice for Lt Gov? That would give Malloy a lot of credibility with the liberal wing of the party. The more I think about it, the more that makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

he's actually a Wethersfield native, and has spent the past few years trolling central CT is search of good districts

Anonymous said...

But I thought when he was a state rep he was from southington? Hasn't that been a while ago that he was elected there?

Anonymous said...

Did somebody on this site say we should support Curry b/c "we owe him one"? Doesn't he owe us one, like something in the W column for a change?

He had his shot, for him to jump into the 5th or the gov's race would make only show him to be self serving and frankly, kind of sad.

Genghis Conn said...


Interesting insight on Curry. How did he ever beat Larson? Was he a different campaigner then?

Anonymous said...

bill curry? he is 0 for 3...come on he is old,tired and is a terrible candidate...used to sleep til 11am AND GO IN THE OFFICE.

he has bad old....fat...tired...and no ideas...

Anonymous said...

RE: Curry > Larson 1994

You guys have Jerry Brown and Tom Swan to thank for that one

RE: Murphy

He identified a sleeping GOP House member (Angelo Fusco) and moved into his district just long enough to retire him.

His senate opponent (Dandrow) was a sweet older woman who ran a Pepperidge Farm campaign in a digital era

Anonymous said...

Murphy supporters seem very very scared of a Curry primary. I think the real thing that could emerge from a Curry entrance would be that the quiet Paul Vance Jr of Waterbury could get more active and really impress the moderate Dems in the district. Murphy being a liberal lefty in the spirit of Bill Curry, Vance would provide a moderate alternative that actually has a geographic political base (Vance was the top vote-getter in the district's largest city in the 2005 Waterbury Muni Election)
If Curry isn't commenting, it means he is going to get in. And saying that Murphy has endorsements of a bunch of DTC Chairs is ridiculous. Curry has worked with these folks for 20 years, ever since his first run against Nancy in 1982. He would garner PLENTY of support.
Imagine this possible scenario-- Curry and Paul Vance hold a press conference outside Murphy's Rahm Emanuel fundraiser chastising the national party for picking sides in a primary for the Democrat nomination for the 5th district, undermining our Democracy. It would be instant national press attention for both Vance and Curry and the local media would have to stop ignoring the primary for the rights to knock off Nancy..

Anonymous said...

anon 8:04am-
"Curry and Paul Vance hold a press conference outside Murphy's Rahm Emanuel fundraiser chastising the national party for picking sides in a primary for the Democrat nomination for the 5th district"

WOW imagine that. Curry and Vance would get national press attention and the local press would go bezerk with the lack of a race for Larson or DeLauro's seat and no primary for Joe Courtney. They would focus all of their attention on the 5th and really put the heat on Nancy. Also, Rahm would have to either stand by Murphy or "unendorse" him so that the registered Democrat voters of the 5th district can decide who the Democratic nominee is going to be.
As for the Curry for Governor rumors, that is truly a fundraising race where he has missed the boat.
I have heard for months from people that Curry was considering running. It looks like the stars are falling into place for him to finally knock off Nancy and a press conference at the Rahm Emanuel fundraiser would be a blockbuster way to make a splash!

ctkeith said...

I was a paperboy for the Danbury News Times in late 1960s and I don't think they've gotten a story correct since then.

If Rahm Emanual is coming for lunch this week Currys annoncement will be his endorsement of Murphy.I'd give 5to1 odds on it.

Anonymous said...

Our favorite New Britain granny looks on in quiet amusement I'm sure

Anonymous said...

FYI- I know Vance from working in Waterbury-- Curry, Murphy and Johnson could not beat him in Waterbury. The guy loves his hometown and the numbers in the last election show that the feeling is mutual.

I am not sure that Murphy would be able to win Waterbury or Danbury--

Maloney would be a better candidate than any of them.

Anonymous said...

This might seem slightly off-topic, but one thing that struck me about this string is that regardless of who the candidate is, we’re talking about a serious challenge to the old lady from New Britain. We also have two other big-time Congressional challenges going on with Farrell v. Shays and Courtney v. Simmons. My point is that our little state has a golden opportunity to play a decent-sized role in winning back the House from the Republicans. The thing that troubles me is the amount of time and energy that would be sucked away from these races if Lamont goes ahead with his primary of Joe Lieberman.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thrilled with Lieberman’s stance on the war, but at the end of the day, I think the Dems should be focusing their efforts on the races that are winnable. The Q poll shows Lieberman beating Lamont 68% to 13%, and last Friday’s Rasmussen report had Joe easily winning a three-way race even if he loses the Democratic nomination and runs as an Independent.

Dems need to keep their eyes on the prize, which this year is electing a Democratic governor and doing our part to win the US House back from the Republicans. We can’t afford another two years of George Bush running amok, unchecked by his Republican friends in Congress. We should be focusing our resources on the races that are winnable (Farrell, Courtney and whoever it will be in the 5th), not wasting them on a Senate primary.

Anonymous said...

You think the Dems have shot at 1) beating Rell 2) keeping the Kossacks from primaring Lieberman

In the words of the great political theorist Steven Tyler

"Dream on"

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:01,

I prefer the words of another great political theorist, Steve Perry:

"Don't stop believin'"

DeanFan84 said...

everyone, I think we might have just been paid a visit by Adam B, the Lieberman apologist extraodinaire!

Anon1:34, whoever you are, let me tell you how I see it. Giving money to other Dems, and/or even showing up to vote, -- makes little or no sense if we don't insist that our Dems:

1) Behave like Dems.
2) Stand together on certain basics.

Plus your repeated insistence that political giving is a zero-sum game is just out-and-out wrong. Only insiders buying influence have a budget for political donations.

Finally, don't you understand that Shays, Johnson and Simmons all want Lieberman to be the Dem nominee. He is their only cover re: Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:13

Actuallt Supoertramp is more in line with your thinking

"Dreamer...nothing but a dreamer..."

PingPong said...

So What you are all saying is that Bill curry doesn't have a job? How does he make money? Did he lie about the book he was writing too? Sounds like it.

Anonymous said...

C'mon stop being silly, no politicians in this state have 'real' full time jobs. They work for non-profits or semi-public companies or work part time- if at all.

Lets not pretend that most of 'those people' can represent us when many of them don't understand working for a living.

Anonymous said...

Johnson lost her hometown of New Britain in 2000 to Paul Valenti, a candidate with absolutely NO $.

Murphy helped Charlotte Koskoff when she nearly knocked Johnson off in 1996, losing by less than 2000 votes. Moral: He knows the district and he knows campaigning.

Bill Curry is a good guy, but his time has passed. Although teaming with Malloy as Lt. Gov candidate makes sense for both of them.

Look at the towns in the 5th which went Dem this past Nov.: Bethlehem, Watertown, etc., etc... I believe it was anti-incumbency, which, along with the headwinds the Rs face, could help any Dem candidate raging against 20 years in DC is too long....

PingPong said...

Okay Anonymous. So what non-profit does he work for and what about those books he wrote?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:56-

What does running a campaign in a district that no longer exists have to do with being a candidate? Murphy cannot win two of the three big ones, Danbury- New Britain and Waterbury.