Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nancy Johnson and Ways and Means

The Courant has an interesting story about Nancy Johnson's quest to become chair of Ways and Means. It makes two things pretty clear: one, she's running, and two, she probably has no shot.

"I consider myself a candidate" for the chairmanship, said Johnson, who is up for re-election to her 5th District seat in November. She said she would run for the chairmanship if there is a wide-open race, which seems likely. But, she said, if longtime colleague Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fla., becomes the consensus choice, she will back him.
...
The position of Ways and Means chairman historically has been filled by hard-nosed, authoritarian leaders, and Thomas fell squarely into that category. (Lightman)

Johnson, on the other hand, has spent time cultivating her image as a nice old moderate granny--sort of like Jodi Rell without the teeth.

But Johnson's bid could present other complications. McCrery, chairman of the Ways and Means' Social Security subcommittee, is an ally of newly elected Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Johnson had hoped to win favor by declaring herself an early supporter of Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to succeed Tom DeLay, R-Texas, as House majority leader last month. But Blunt lost to Boehner. (Lightman)

So in other words, forget it. The atrocious and befuddling Medicare bill, which Democrats could make a centerpiece of their campaign this fall, could also be a drag on a Johnson candidacy, although the fact that she's not in step with the leadership ideologically will probably hurt her more than anything else.

And there's the problem with being a Connecticut Republican in Congress. To survive here, Republicans need to be much more moderate, especially on social issues, than their comrades from other parts of the country. The most conservative Connecticut Republican in Congress is Rob Simmons, who would probably be a liberal Democrat in Texas.

This is a great strategy for being re-elected, but it stinks if a Connecticut Republican wants to move up the leadership ladder. Can you imagine Chris Shays as part of the Republican leadership?

That brings up the question of what will happen should Johnson not get the chair, which now seems likely. She may decide to throw in the towel in 2008, which is what everyone is half-expecting anyway. If she did become chair, she'd probably stay in Congress another six years.

Something to watch next year, should both Johnson and the GOP win in November.

Source

Lightman, David. "Johnson Aspires To Lofty Position." Hartford Courant 7 March, 2006.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

The early speculation was that this was Nancy's last term and that Capiello, Rorabach, and Stewart would fight it out to succeed her (as would Murphy, Vance, Giannaros and Curry on the other side of the aisle). Clearly, if Nancy is re-elected and the GOP keeps its majority (which should not be that difficult), she isn't going anywhere for 6 years. That means the rest of those folks need to keep patient or make their moves now.

Stewart (who is close to Nancy and probably knows her long term plans better than just about anybody) is ready to make his move now. The word in Hartford is that he's gearing-up for a run for State Treasurer. If he wins (and manages to stay out of prison... ha ha) he becomes the front-runner to succeed Nancy in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Who is Stewart?

Anonymous said...

Tim Stewart is the Republican Mayor of New Britain... and people shouldn't forget.. Mark Boughton, Tom Herlihy and Sam Caligiuri and Tom Gaffey for the Dems.

Anonymous said...

I heard her District Director has been telling people he will be her choice to replace her when she retires but I can't remember his name.

Has she announced that she is running again this year for sure?

Anonymous said...

If he wins Murphy's open seat, Caligiuri is a good bet to succede Nancy. He will always be known statewide as the hero who cleaned-up the Giordano mess.

As for Stewart: if Rell's coattails are big enough, he could beat Nappier. He has a good fiscal record.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Johnson is absolutely running this year. And if that's true about her annointing Tim Stewart, then it seems more likely that he would run for something he can win, like State Senate against Don DeFronzo.

brown trout said...

All of this "we need more Democrats
running the US capital again" begs the issue that Bush will be a lame duck after 2006, Frist will be gone just as DeLay will and the 2008 Presidential election campaign will be underway - Bush is out. Pegging Simmons, Nancy and Shays as right wingers really only works if you think that Congress works like the CT general Assembly - and it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

If the Fifth seat opens up, Maloney is a prime candidate to reclaim it. Murphy will have to primary. The other Dems will be sidelined, with Vance in position to play an influencial role - although Mayor Jarjura would hold sway to be sure.

Boughton is a better candidate than Stewart. But Johnson's support for Stewart would be important obviously. Could it boil down to a Rell/Boughton v Johnson/Stewart battle? Should he win Murphy's seat, Sen. Caligiuri would be odd man out and maybe kingmaker there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:13,
Where did you hear that Giannaros is in the hunt for Nancy's seat?

Anonymous said...

The democrats tried to get Giannaros to run 2 years ago instead of Gerrantana.. he's long been mentioned as interested in running. He has an incredibly high opinion of himself... as you know he is a professor of economics.

Anonymous said...

Giannarros? It has to be him posting this nonsense, because I have never heard his name mentioned anywhere before this. He is an ass, plain and simple. You want better D names? How about Lew Wallace - at least he knows something about DC, having worked with Dodd (I believe). DeFronzo is also much better suited for a large district run than Demetrios. I'd even venture to say that Kostas Diamantis is a better candidate.

Anonymous said...

Lew Wallace? Now that's funny. I needed a good laugh today.

CT05 Admin said...

We weren't after Giannaros instead of Gerratana. Giannaros had indicated interest, but after mulling it over decided against the run for several reasons.

Then Bob Marconi of Brookfield took a stab, was given the nomination, then bowed out and Gerratana was nominated in a special convention.

Unfortunately by then it was late summer, there was little we could do at that point. Gerratana actually ran for the office, and even beat Johnson in New Britain. Not a bad showing.

Anonymous said...

It's March 7. Exactly 8 months until the election. Ain't nobody else getting in or out of this race.

If Johnson wants to be chairman, she is going to have to vote with her leadership even more than she already does, which is going to hurt her in Conn. Interesting catch 22 for her.

Anonymous said...

there will be alot of names from both sides of the aisle should the seat open up....having said that i dont see Nancy Johnson leaving anytime soon...

Anonymous said...

Giannaros and Vance seem to be moderates, to Curry and Murphy's liberal chops. Giannaros has 75k in a campaign account before he even raises a dime-- which would not come close to Johnson-- but would be a nice start in an open race.

Anonymous said...

In what world is Giannaros a moderate? He is one of Donovan's liberal minions.

Anonymous said...

Whoever is floating the "Stewart for Treasurer" rumor is obviously out of the loop. Lovely as it may be, it's wrong. Now the "Stewart for some other office" rumor...that's one to spread.

Psychic Cleo said...

I think Ryan Bingham will be the Republican nominee for US Senate against Lieberman.

And Stewart will be the Republican nominee for Secretary of the State. He will face Norma Rodriguez, who will beat Bysiewicz in the primary.

Finally, look for Tom Herlihy to take on Blumenthal in the AG race, arguing that being a lawyer "is like, so not a big deal" for the job.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

one name not mentioned here for open seat in the 5th, Jim Maloney....

Silver Fox said...

Why do dems keep bringing up the name "Jim Maloney?" Is it Jim Maloney writing these posts? It vexes me why you would want to hitch your wagon to a guy who was a mediocre politician at best, and someone who has already demonstrated an ability to be listened-to and summarily rejected by 5th district voters. It's the same with Bill Curry--folks can't imagine that their candidate just doesn't have what it takes, and therefore blame the losses on the strength of their opposition or the general "disposition" of the electorate in a given year. Granted, those are elements, but they aren't enough to make up for a 20,000 vote margin. And this isn't the same thing as Farrell running again this year...in many ways, she never stopped running from 04. But digging Maloney out of mothballs after 4-6 years (like unearthing Curry after 8) is absolutely nuts. Not too mention that without Maloney being a sitting Rep in 02, there's no way we would have had that kind of money-from the DCCC or otherwise. Johnson can raise $2 million in her sleep, and more when she puts her mind to it. Stop squawking about Maloney...or, better yet, roll him out and watch the 5th go bye-bye again.

Anonymous said...

I've heard "Stewart for Lieutenant Governor" and "Stewart for State Senate". But not "Stewart for Treasurer." Although I do think she can be beat.

Anonymous said...

silver fox

you hit the nail on the head

but i will add that a new guy like murphy has a better shot than curry and maolney of beating johnson

Anonymous said...

Tricky for the Republicans to run an aggressive race against Nappier without risking seeming racist -- their ticket will be lily-white and attacking the one person of color on the statewide ballot might cause trouble.

Anonymous said...

Giannaros has 75k in a campaign account? Hahahahha that was good for a chuckle. His challenger in his last re-election bid raised as much as he did.

Giannaros is no moderate either - he voted against death penalty, for civil unions, and for equalizing crack and cocaine penalties.

Anonymous said...

Well, considering that this state is still mainly "lilly white" it shouldn't be a problem. Never got brought up when Garber ran.

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in the 5th, Maloney was a great congressman-- very visible in the district and fantastic at responding to the local concerns of his constituents.

It seems to me like Murphy supporters don't like the mention of his name for 'next time'. When he loses this time, he will be in mothballs having forfeited his senate seat to chase Johnson.

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in the 5th, Maloney was a great congressman-- very visible in the district and fantastic at responding to the local concerns of his constituents.

It seems to me like Murphy supporters don't like the mention of his name for 'next time'. When he loses this time, he will be in mothballs having forfeited his senate seat to chase Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Of course Maloney was visible in the district...there was a time when Maloney was visible from space (yes, that was a fat joke). And it's not about how good he was at showing up at events or having his staff write letters back to constituents...important as that is, almost ALL congressmen do it...it's about having a candidate who can WIN A CAMPAIGN! Tough to campaign on the "I promise to have my staff write nice letters back to you and show up at every pasta dinner" platform.

CheshireCat said...

Maloney was a good congressman. He is a nice guy, too. I'm a "Murphy supporter" and I like him. Who cares about 2008? I want to win this year, and I think Murphy can do it.

Brass Anon said...

If you want a darkhorse in the 5th in a few years if Murphy loses, remember Paul Pernerewski. He is the brains on the Waterbury Baord of Aldermen, he works as an A.G. with Blumenthal, he is a grad of G'Town, and with a name like Pernerewski, he'll run strong in New Britain. The Democratic party needs to forget about the has-beens and start cultivating new talent. Pernerewski is an up-and-comer.

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon 346-

Why does is it racist to say she is a crappy treasurer which , in fact, she is?

With the right candidate, she's ripe for the pickin

Anonymous said...

Paul Pernerewski would be a good candidate, very sharp guy.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

silver fox, try and pay attention, we are talking about Jim Maloney in an open seat, not running against johnson. remember that jim was the last dem to take out a sitting R, and the last to win a targeted race here in CT when he beat nielsen by 10pts. you can make all the fat jokes you want but people liked Jim as their congressman and he will have a much greater ability to raise money that any other candidate in open race as he set the fundraising record for dem cong candidates when the limits were half what they are now. plus he has very high labor support which is key in any kind of primary. this is all a moot point however of nancy doesnt retire or if murphy wins this time around, which i hope happens and will be working to do.

Anonymous said...

Sam Caligiuri is the next congressman from the 5th.

Largest city and largest ethnic group. And much to many posters dismay, the 5th is a Republican district unless the GOP candidate is deficient in some respect (i.e. Franks & Nielsen)

Silver Fox said...

PMD...
I believe it is you who aren't paying ANY attention to what I was saying. Please re-read my earlier post. My point is that Maloney's time should be over, the same as Curry's time should be over. You are right on with the history lesson. Jim Maloney beat Gary Franks (a below average Congressman who believed his own hype). Jim Maloney beat CHALLENGER Mark Nielson...Oooo. And he set a fundraising record for Dem congressional candidates when, as I said, the majority of those funds were directed his way from the DCCC and out of state donors b/c he was a sittin congressman fighting for his political life. He lost. He'll have been out of the game for SIX years and hasn't been heard from since November 2nd 2002. It doesn't matter whether it's an open seat or a challenge race, he shouldn't be an option. We have new blood and a new bench. What does it say about the party that the two people mentioned most often to take the seat after Nancy are Jim Maloney and Bill Curry? As I said before, it vexes me that these names keep surfacing. The Dems hold HUGE majorities in the state house, senate, constitutional offices, and registered party voters. Why these past losing candidates keep coming up is amazing. I'm not trying to be condescending, but it's time to wake up and realize the true opportunity the party holds here to redefine itself and take these seats? And I'm a Republican!

MikeCT said...

Amen to Silver Fox. Some Dems can't get enough of repeated failure and political dynasties.

MikeCT said...

Tomorrow in Simsbury & New Hartford, Steve Berry will announce his campaign for State Senate in the 8th District, challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Herlihy.

I don't know much about Berry, but was entertained by this odd declaration in his bio: "As your state senator, I will show up for work. But showing up is just the beginning of what I intend to do." Well, I hope so. He has apparently been thinking about this for a while, as an August article hints at some of his priorities:

Issues he likely would champion include controlling urban sprawl, universal health care and the environment. But the Democratic Party needs to come together in a unified front, which has not happened in past years, before he would announce his candidacy, he said.

Local Dems have had an 8th District PAC site for some time. Presumably they have come together.

Anonymous said...

just because murphy is running now doesnt make him the consensus candidate should nancy retire in 2008 or 2010.
check out these names on the dem side, basically have already announced for whenever nancy retires:
curry
maloney
mark benigni, mayor in meriden
mike jarjura, mayor in waterbury
gaffey, state senator in meriden
giannaros
paul vance (top vote getter in waterbury)
bob godfrey-danbury
don defronzo

none of these guys are going to roll over for murphy in 08 or 10 and none of these guys is dumb enough to ever think of running against nancy johnson

Anonymous said...

Anon 12;24am, there ain't a name on that list that scares any 5th CD R

(I know Vance posts here and he seems like a nice guy, he still doesn't scare us)

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing Cappiello is being groomed for the 5th congressional seat. I think he would be pretty tough to beat.

yellow hair nancy said...

Check out the Courant's editorial cartoon this morning re: Nancy Johnson. Pretty funny!

http://blogs.courant.com/bob_englehart/2006/03/march_8_2006.html#more

yellow hair again said...

http://blogs.courant.com/bob_englehart/2006/03/march_8_2006.html#more

Oops, here is the full link

Anonymous said...

Groomed? By whom? Is it another monkey picking the grubs and bugs out of his hair? Please. I just don't understand all the Cappiello love here. Wonderful family man and husband, people begging him to unseat DeLuca. The only ones clamoring for him are the voices in his own head.

Anonymous said...

"Rell-Stewart '06"... you heard it here first.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

Silver Fox, thanks for your suggestions on who should be the Dem nominee. if i were a Republican I wouldnt want Jim Maloney to the the Dem candidate in an open seat 5th either.

Paul Vance said...

Anonymous (5:08 am)--

I am not that 'nice', I played linebacker in college, but I guess I lost some of that scariness over time?

I am not trying to scare Republicans-- only working hard for the people that elected me.

While some of the fun in politics is guessing who is going to run for what and when, that game only distracts from the present. (I have heard locally that I am running for State Senate, Mayor, State Representative, Attorney General and Lt. Governor, all in 2006. My wife thinks I have too many meetings now.....wait until I run for 5 offices in 06!)

My energy is going to focus on two things in '06, first, making certain that Waterbury keeps moving in a positive direction and second, making sure that Nancy Johnson retires in '06. Nancy is not going to be chair of Ways and Means and there is a good chance that she won't be in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Tim Stewart is NOT going to be Rell's running mate. Nobody even knows who he is. It will be somebody from her neck of the woods.

Joe Sixpack said...

Rell's running mate will be whoever can help her raise money. Stewart is NOT that guy.

CT05 Admin said...

So much for the the boon to the Fifth CD.

Silver Fox said...

With 81% approval, Rell doesn't need to pick someone who can bring in the bucks. The one thing these polling numbers have done is to free her up from having to choose McKinney and allows her to choose someone she likes and someone who will know how to be a good soldier. Stewart could be that guy. As could a host of others.

Anonymous said...

Stewart raised over $80K for his last race (a hell of a lot more than his opponent, who took the majoirty of his dough from DeFronzo's JFK PAC).That's pretty damn good for an R in a Dem stronghold. His $$ appeal may be understated.

bluecoat said...

McKinney as LG would be a waste of talent.

NB Dem said...

Incidentally, the Jakubowski campaign is still trying to retire some debt. Please make checks payable to Diane DeFronzo.

Anonymous said...

Why would Rell take the only electable republican out of New Britain? They would lose the mayoral race for sure.

Anonymous said...

That's an incredibly good point... she isn't likely to win New Britain with him on the ticket anyway and since she's going to win, it makes more sense to build the party in N.B. starting with Stewart.

Anonymous said...

There no building of the party in NB. Stewart is an anomaly, not a product of a rejuvinated Republican presence. Just see if they elect any R's to the legislature this year. With Stewart and Johnson running hard in NB this year, Rell could take it. Perhaps you haven't noticed her GI-NORMOUS APPROVAL among D's? And if you think a sitting mayor who's considered a rising star isn't going to jump a the chance to move up in a party that is light on talent, you're crazy.

Anonymous said...

Rell wants Stewart, but she's not going to pick him just so the Dems don't regain control of New Britain (which is likely to happen soon anyway)... that is one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard.

And we're talking about LG - not VP of the United States here. The LG candidate's #1 job is to balance the ticket, not necessarily to win his/her home turf. Stewart probably gets Rell about 2,000 more votes in New Britain; but more importantly, he is a successful BIG CITY MAYOR who gives Rell credibility on local issues... which is her one weakness running against a BIG CITY MAYOR.

Anonymous said...

Running the entire freaking state should be enough to counter the experience of a BIG CITY MAYOR. She isn't getting the inner city votes anyway, as the D machine will likely pay for those. She could pick anyone and win. She will pick someone she is comfortable with, not someone who is a threat to her or Moody. Look for a nondescript zero.

Anonymous said...

Stewart is a non-descript zero... which is why he'll be her running mate.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:27.. you call my argument dumb? what you just said makes absolutely no sense what so ever... if the LG is going to balance the ticket.. how does he balance the ticket? he's not italian, jewish, black and although i don't think he's polish.. Stewart isn't Stewartski.. and unless he is Italian, Polish, black or jewish and not just plain old Stewart then he better bring the town or city he's coming from because why the hell else do you have him. And Rowland/Rell lost N.B. by 2000 votes in 2002 so to say that Stewart will bring 2000 more votes is a statement that has no basis in fact. And as far as addressing her weaknesses maybe Anon 1:09 should ask you if you've seen her GI-NORMOUS APPROVAL among D's (whatever THAT means).

Anonymous said...

Rell isn't scared to have strong-minded people around her, look at her campaign team. It's Moody who is threatened by other strong-minded people around her.

Bill Hamzy still only has an exploratory committee, could he be looking for the LG nod? Former State Party Chair, good conservative counterweight to Rell...

Anonymous said...

Stewart is 1/3 polish, I beleive. and he drew more Pol's than a kid named Jakubowski and a geezer named Pawlak (not exactly irish/ginzo names). Here's the argument for Stewart:
1) Sitting big city mayor on the upswing of his political career.
2) Has only been in office for three years and has a record of cutting taxes (what rell wants) and accomplishing things despite a 15-0/12-3 democratic council (what Rell needs).
3) Is a plain spoken, blue collar guy who's unassuming but can create a lasting connection with the blue collar workers Rell currently has supporting her, and needs to hold through November.
4) Isn't a member of the permanent Republican minority in Hartford--a fresh perspective with few enemies outside of NB.
5) A tenacious campaigner who can take some of the weight off her shoulders as she continues her Rose Garden strategy.
6) Someone who she can groom in her image to carry on her philosophy after her term is up.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see that Stewart's mother writes-in to this blog... you would think the guy walks on water!

Anonymous said...

That's John Healy for ya'.. i can barely stop laughing..

Anonymous said...

Wait, Stewart is ONE THIRD Polish??? Seriously??? Don't genetics generally run in one halfs and one quarters and the like? How do you get to be a third anything???

Anonymous said...

If being 1/3 polish isn't the biggest oxymoron, i don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

I think being born from three parents has to be a pretty big negative when you're actively campaigning for LG. I wouldn't make that public.

Anonymous said...

Though I'm sure he appreciates the vote of confidence in his mathematical abilities, I can't allow you to attribute my gaffe to the gentleman you mentioned earlier. Please direct all criticsm, jokes, and comments squarely to me.

Silver Fox said...

So noted...stop gushing over Stewart and go back to class.

Anonymous said...

RE: Paul Vance

he won;t scare me unless he steals gear from his dad....he might swing a mean flashlight

seriously, glad to hear you are more interested in doing stuff than slinging stuff

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Senator Murphy.