Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Rell: Streamline Economic Development Agencies

Gov. Rell is calling for the reorganization and centralization of economic development services, including the appointment of an economic development director to oversee all of the agencies involved.

"Connecticut business needs a single focal point, and that will be my office," Rell said Monday. "For too long, businesses already in Connecticut and those contemplating moving here have received mixed messages from the maze of agencies working on economic development policy. That will end." (Keating)

The Department of Economic and Community Development is on the list to be restructured, as are several other agencies.

Democrats aren't impressed. Dan Malloy, in a campaign press release, said "Governor Rell, the political candidate in an election year, is now putting forth a campaign strategy for jobs," (Malloy) while rival John DeStefano said "This is another in a series of Jodi Rell’s election-year epiphanies. Reorganizing state agencies is something she could have done a year ago," (DeStefano).

Indeed, it does seem like a small move, especially compared with the massive (and expensive) plans DeStefano unveiled last week. Rell is expected to outline further economic plans in her State of the State tomorrow, but I doubt we'll hear anything that's really innovative or bold.

Still, there is not yet a sense of economic crisis in the state. One may develop as the year progresses, but I doubt it. The economic leakage is too slow to attract much notice.

It would be nice to see the legislative leadership pick up the slack on jobs and development, and it looks like this year they're seriously considering taking it under advisement. We'll see if they can manage anything new or creative during the short session.

In the meantime, jobs, wealth and people continue to trickle south.


DeStefano for Connecticut press release: "Statement by Mayor John DeStefano on Governor Rell’s Announcement of Economic Plan." 6 February, 2006.

Keating, Christopher. "Rell Takes On The Economy." Hartford Courant 7 February, 2006.

Malloy for Governor press release: "Malloy Reacts to Governor Rell's Economic Development Press Release." 6 February, 2006.


Anonymous said...

While all the pols are in "announcement mode"... Susan B is going to do an online system to access your important "Advance Health Care Directive" documents online. Hope it's better than CFIS!

Anonymous said...

After Rell consolidates the agencies, maybe she can stop CT's failing corporate welfare policies in their entirety.

Man in the Middle said...

These agencies are part of the executive branch, reporting to the Governor. Isn't DECD Commissioner Abromaitis the de jure ED director now? If the governor has some ED guru in mind, she should have installed him or her when she cleared house (a bit) after taking office. Re-arranging the deck chairs isn't going to help the ship now, but it's happening because the Dem challengers already fired shots across the bow.

For those who say Jodi's a lock this fall, I'm mindful of Bush 1's approval rating after the Persian Gulf War, only to find himself out of office 10 months later because "it was the economy, stupid."

the wandererrrr said...

MiM: Malloy is no Bill Clinton and Jodi Rell is no pappy Bush. Rell is right to consoidate the agencies and she'd be even more right to dump Abromaitis who is a holdover from Team Rowland. And in reality Ryan, and now Gennuario, approve anything with ED already.

Genghis Conn said...

Man in the Middle:

Wandererrrr is right when he says that Rell is nothing like the awkward, uncomfortable, often weird Bush I, and that neither DeStefano nor Malloy have the charisma or the political acumen of Bill Clinton. Rell is canny and manipulative, and will be formidible on the campaign trail. It's also worth noting that the economy today is significantly better than in 1992, and that there was then a sense of economic panic that doesn't exist now.

However, that election is worth pointing out because it proves that nothing is written, and that upsets can and do happen.

the wandererrr said...

GC: you are absolutley right when you say that Rell is canny and manipulative but I'm not sure it is in a devious way. What gets me is that people don't see it or don't want to see it the same way they missed it with Rowland. What I think is going on with Rell is that she wants to win at all costs rather than try to set a course for the state to prove she wasn't just Rowland's window dressing. And that may just be her downfall.

Anonymous said...

Only 2% of state voters view Gov. Rell negatively. That's more impressive than her 78% approval rating. It's going to be real difficult for Dems to win. Clinton was also aided by a third party candidate (Ross Perot) that took a lot of votes away from the Pres. Bush. Mr. Bush also went back on a tax pledge ("Read my lips") which offended Republican voters.

DeStefano and Malloy are not very good candidtes to go up against her. They are not charismatic and bring nothing to the table to make voters want a change in their Governor. Sorry about that but that's the reality of the situation here.

Genghis Conn said...

You're right, wandererrr, those words "devious" and "canny" carry a negative connotation that I didn't quite mean to come across. In truth, Rell is a skilled political operator. She is savvy, knows how to play the press, is great at handling Democratic legislators, and has crafted a great public image.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how CHFA, which is emcumbered by bond obligations and federal contracts, will fix in some superagency?

DECD was last seen trying to give money away to Wal-Mart to build a warehouse in Windham County that couldn;t get zoning approval. Perhaps a new structure might provoke better economic ideas than handing money to the world's richest corporation so they can run their fork lifts on this side of the state line

DeanFan84 said...

Rell is a lot like George W Bush. A real "likeable" guy, but not all that bright. But to George's credit he did get his degree, (even if he never turned in his senior essay...)

And to say that Malloy lacks charisma is waaaay off the mark. I'm not a DeStefano person, but after seeing Dan last night, I'm going to have to begrudgingly rate him a "9" on a 1-10 scale. As refreshingly good as John Edwards, and intellectually, better.

Anonymous said...

I did read last year that Bush's college GPA at Yale was higher than John Kerry...for what it is worth. In fact the Boston GLobe reported on June 7, 2005 that John Kerry "received four D's in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years."

MikeCT said...

Simmons likes to pride himself on his, um, independence. The Journal Inquirer documents his dependence on the House Republican leadership. His contributions from leadership PACs rank him "second among the top recipients in the 435-member House of Representatives." Along with Nancy Johnson he is heavily dependent on his corporate sponsors and has received $584,210 from 275 PACs.

Anonymous said...

It's odd how only Republicans are dependent on party leadership. You think Rosa DeLauro sends all those checks out to her friends in Red States because of guilt over Reconstruction?

If Simmons is the #1 Dem target he will probably be #1 in getting GOP campaign money. Duh.

MikeCT said...

The local Dems don’t establish their electability by publicly distancing themselves from a leadership that is out of touch with and abhorrent to the CT public - i.e., they don’t have to lie to get elected.

Franks said...

Streamlining, reorganization or combining are simply excuses for poor preformance. Questionable deals continue to waste limited state resources, but accountability must stop at the Governor.

Anonymous said...


How many John Kerry rallies did Colo Sen. Ken Salazar attend?

Distancing oneself from party leadership is a bipartisan tradition. Of course, outside New Haven Democrats have to sound like Republicans to win.