Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ward Retires

Led House Republicans for Twelve Years

As you know by now, House Minority Leader Robert Ward, who has led the House GOP caucus since 1994, and has been in the legislature since 1984, has announced he won't be seeking another term this November. He represents the 86th Assembly District, which is mostly in North Branford.

Ward has been at his post longer than any legislative leader in modern history. His tenure was entirely as Minority Leader: he never came close to being Speaker of the House. His party has been in the minority for all but two years of Ward's long service in the legislature: from 1985-87 the Republicans controlled the House following Ronald Reagan's landslide election victory.

Ward's departure raises questions about who will follow him, not only in his legislative district but as the leader of the House GOP, as well.

The 86th is a contested district, although just barely. Democrat Ashley Clow Joiner, a member of the North Branford Town Council, lost by 13% in 2004. Ward had no Democratic opponent in 2002.

North Branford also elected a Democratic mayor, Andrew Esposito, in the 2005 election. So this area is not a GOP lock--a Democrat can win here, although it would be an uphill climb. There is no word yet as to who might be running for Ward's open seat.

The other question is the House Minority Leadership. Who will replace Ward? Larry Cafero and Dolly Powers are deputy minority leaders, and can be expected to at least measure support for a leadership bid, but who else in the current leadership might be in the running? William Hamzy? Themis Klarides? Anyone have any other insight as to how this might shape up?

Ward's retirement is sort of the end of an era, seeing as he had been in the position for so long. The choice Republicans make for his successor will say a lot about where that party, lost in the political wilderness for so long, wants to go from here.

50 comments:

bluecoat said...

Cafero chose not to run as Senator from Norwalk and remain in the House so he could succeed Ward. He said that publicly as I don't know either of these guys. Should be fun to watch who actually emerges after the next election nd who jockeys for position between then and now,

Anonymous said...

Today's Stamford Advocate editorial.

Basically, it states that Farrell has screwed herself over, big-time, by mistakenly endorsing Lieberman.

Anonymous said...

Farrell...is unfit to be in Congress.

Farrell is a hypocrite opportunist who as 1st select person took the lead in killing an anti-war proposal in her town...now she is anti-war?..she has no credibilty.

She supporting Liberman will translate into decreased work by progressive dems for her.

Furthermore...she endorsed Malloy and should have stayed out of the primary...as an insurgent she will need "friends" everywhere....wonder how her 3rd CD fundraising is going?

He campaign manager isnt ready for primetime either..he is 0 for 3 in congress races in the 4th CD.

I guess the " lights" are out in her campaign and Shays ( who called for DeLay's ouster) will win yet again...

Why does my party continue to run dummies?

disgruntled_republican said...

As a Republican, the only thin I can think of for parting words to Mr. Ward is simply good riddance.

His attitude has been holding Republicans back...my only hope is that they now make the right choice for a new leader.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 11:22

The onlyone more braindead is Roy o who is 0 for 5 in statewide races and is working for Farrell,Malloy and Lieberman

Anonymous said...

The unholy triumverate...

Can someone tell me why Roy-O is such an unpopular figure on this blog? Was it something he said?

Weicker Liker said...

Themis Klarides and Bill Hamzy both have established exploratory committess with the CT SOS office.

I wonder if they aspire to run for Lt. Governor?

Ready for change said...

Just got an invitation from the Malloy campaign to their Hartford office grand opening. Are they the first campaign to open a second office?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that West Hartford Rep. Bob Farr is not even mentioned as a possibility to replace Ward despite his many, many years of service. Is he hated in his caucus or just seen as ineffective/lazy?

Weicker Liker said...

Bob Farr also has an exploratory committee set up.

Anonymous said...

About exploratory committees... is there a relationship between an exploratory committee and a race for the GOP House Leadership? I figured that as sitting members, the only purpose of an exploratory committee would be for a different position that they would seek in a general election (i.e. senate or Lt. Governor), but not in a caucus election. Am I missing something here?

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 11:22,

Farrell is a better fit to be in congress than Shays has ever been. The anti-war drumbeat that goes on here is so dumb. Congress needs to be a beck on executive power. You are not going to get that with a republican majority in congress while Bush holds the whitehouse. Simply, you need to get Farrell and the rest of the Dems running for congress elected. It doesn't matter if she supports Lieberman. It matters that she would vote with the democrats and hold this administration accountable. Anyone who cares about dismantling the GOP corruption that has control of all branches of government can see that the real game is control of committees.

Beyond the political landscape is the simple fact that Shays has done nothing for Fairfield County. We have by far the worst transportation infrastructure in the tri-state area. You cannot have an economically viable region unless you have decent infrastructure, and that means getting the grants and federal dollars to support projects that the state itself cannot do. Shays has failed at that.

He has done nothing but vote for unfunded federal mandates, pork projects for other states, and screwing up medicare and social security.

He is a nice guy whose grasp of what Connecticut needs and capability of doing something has past him by. In short we need someone new.

Light in the Loafers said...

Despite presiding over a continually dwindling caucus, Bob Ward is a stand-up guy whose integrity and fatihfulness earned him the respect of other, more ambitious members.

But on the brighter side, his departure will hopefully mean the ouster of the idiot brothers Norton and Berner, whose gross inability to run (or win) an assembly race has cemented the Democratic majority for years to come. Time for new blood and, possibly, new hope for prospective GOP candidates.

Anonymous said...

Cafero gets Wards seat

The Architect said...

Bob Farr might not run again.

MikeCT said...

Architect,

Interesting rumor, but sez who? And why did he form an exploratory committee, as opposed his regular old committee?

Weicker Liker said...

FYI....

I believe they are seeking the Lt. Governor nod or the Attorney General Nod.

Remember, Hamzy left the Chairmanship of the State GOP

Exploratory Committees.
Cash On Hand,As of 1/10/2006

FARR 2006
**No Filing, formed after 1/1*

Thomas Knox, Treas.
18 Fuller Drive
West Hartford, CT 06107

HAMZY 2006
**$7,400 On Hand**

Dina Mazzone, Treas.
160 Melinda Lane
Bristol, CT 06010

FRIENDS OF THEMIS 06
**$15,000 On Hand**
Themis Klarides
Karen Arnold, Treas.
28 Tyler City Road
Orange, CT 06477

Anonymous said...

Klarides is the most attractive option the GOP has

Anonymous said...

Klarides may be the most attractive (she was a model) and very bright, but not gonna be the new leader. She is mulling a run for State Senate - if not this time, next for sure.

Cafero has it locked up, with several - like Dolly Powers, Kevin DelGobbo shut out.

There is a tier of younger members of the caucus who have been biding time for Ward to go -- like Heagney, Hamzy, Frey, Harkins, Klarides, Labriola.... If Cafero delegates to these members and others, they could be powerful.

Expect some old timers, like Ferreri, Fahrbach, Ryan, Winkler, to be relegated to the back benches.

Farr is an outcast in the House GOP'ers.

Anonymous said...

You know Anon 8:07.. you sound too well educated about the House Republican politics to be just anyone...

Anonymous said...

And for the record, Larry Cafero is a piece of garbage.. he's the Republican lobbyist for Brown rudnick for god's sake and no one has ever called him on it. The House republicans deserve him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:14pm..

Golly, imagine if someone is posting who knows what they are talking about...

Must be a legislator (past or present) staff member or lobbyist. So what?

Anonymous said...

I would certainly guess republican legislator... but you wouldn't id yourself anyway. You're not fooling anyone, but you're not going anywhere wither so who really cares.

Anonymous said...

themis was the republican legislator that Roy O was dating while running the 2002 Curry Gubernatorial campaign into the ground and probably telling her alot....she also had a very close relationship with Rowland...

Anonymous said...

So pillow talk did Curry in?

Weicker Liker said...

Bill Hamzy, Bob Farr and Themis Klarides all have Exploratory Committees set up.

Verifiable on SOS Website.

Klarides has $15K on hand , Hamzy, $7,500 and Farr appears to have filed recently, so there wont be a report until April.

I think they are running for Lt. Governor or Attorney General. All Three of them are attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Roy O couldn't beat Gallo in a race if Roy was managing Bubba and Gallo managing Dick Cheney

TruBluDem said...

Anon 7:20,

Gallo has only run races where his candidate bought the election and bullied people into not contributing to his opponent.

Why all the sour grapes toward Roy O.? Did he kick your tail in a Senate race or something?

At the end of the day, who cares who's running the show behind the scenes, it's the candidates that count.

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason why any of them would run for Atty Gen? No offense, but none of them could honestly believe they would beat Blumenthal, right? The only thing that makes any sense would be to prove their fundraising ability and hope that Jodi gives them the nod for Lt. Gov. Or is there something that I’m missing?

Anonymous said...

Genghis… looks like you should add House 86 (and Senate 16) to your list of “races to watch.”

Anonymous said...

Those exploratories are probably for Senate (Klarides & Hamzy), SOTS (Klarides), AG (IF Blumenthal got in the Governor race)(All three). I would be willing to bet that none of those three are the LG pick of Rell.
And if some of the old time House republicans get pushed to the back benches, good! They have accomplished nothing and have only seen their ranks dwindle. Time for some new blood there. It sure can't get any worse for them...

bluecoat said...

The GOP needs to get rid of DeLuca in the Senate or at least get hin to step down from the leadership. If it had been up to Him and Ward, Rowlad would still be governor. And yeah, Cafero is a slime ball but he'll probably get the job. Dummies.

Anonymous said...

Anon… “It sure can't get any worse for them...” don’t agree. I believe MA has 36 Senate seats, 6 of which are held by Rs. At least with our current house makeup, there is the theoretical possibility of upholding a veto, if a vote fell along party lines… so yeah… it could get worse.

Anonymous said...

This is just plain sad.

Genghis writes stuff that is often interesting and occasionally insightful. A number of bloggers -- named and anon -- offer perspectives on candidates, races, policy and history that are valuable or at least amusing. Then you get a couple of childish, pathetic political wannabes who start throwing insults at STAFF PEOPLE for candidates. Come on.

There are times when a candidate's staff or consultant choices are relevant. It might tell you something if a candidate hires a D.C. insider, or a new face, or a local who has been around the block. But there's just no call for personal attacks on campaign workers.

There's no place for comments about whether female campaign staffers have "nice racks." There's no place for crude insults about people being brainless or incompetent. If you want to analyze a race, go for it. Stay out of the gutter.

I would also note that anyone who has actually worked on a campaign -- really worked on a campaign, where you have to give up your family and friends and your life for 6 or 12 months, all for the greater glory of some ideal or some person you believe in -- would never believe that a campaign staffer would put all that hard work at risk with "pillow talk."

This blog has so much potential. The ability to post anonymously gives insiders freedom to share information they cannot risk having credited to them. But that freedom is being abused. Things have been on a serious downward slide in recent weeks, and the blog is at risk of losing its value as a result.

Grow up. Talk politics. And leave the catty personal crap out of this.

Anonymous said...

Ward is squeaky clean. Hamzy and Klarides may not be as pure as the driven snow, and I wonder whether, in the current atmosphere, the Rs can afford anyone in that leadership role who isn't absolutely spotless?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but the DeStefano staff still sucks, big time.

Anonymous said...

Cafero is a scumbag and a lobbyist? He can't be a loobyist and sit in the assembly. Does he have an employer with special interests? Yes.

For comparisons sake, look at all the conflicts there- Toni Harp proposed a bill that gave money directly to her employer. Donovan, McCluskey, Tercyak et al are union employees, whose job is to be a legislator and push the union causes at the capitol. That's not a conflict or a reason to cry "scumbag"?

Dave Cappiello is married to a lobbyist, as was Jack Malone (now divorced). Lenny Winkler's daughter is a lobbist.

Crisco constantly pushes legislation to benefit his son. Finch works for a B'Port economic development group then rails against eminent domain reforms. Fonfara is in outdoor advertising, then tries to pass laws to put billboards in city parks.

Terry Backer, the energy committee chair (former, I think) had CL&P donate $500,000 to the group that pays his private soundkeeper's salary. Dick Belden was a board member at CRRA who voted on the restructing of that mess of an agency. Art Feltman votes to give money to Hartford housing groups, then acts as the closing attorney in the deals.

How many lawyers are up there who are hired by big firms because they like having an "insider" on their letterhead to show clients? There are conflicts everywhere you look. The whole place is full of scumbags.

Anonymous said...

Cafero is a scumbag lobbyist for Brown,Rudnik and was caught with his hand in the cookie jar for legislation benefitting a client of the firm...He was put in the Firm by Tommy Ritter...who often benefitted personally himself while he was speaker...

The Architect said...

I don't know what the deal with Farr's exploratory committee is, but I have a good source who claims he might not run again... whether that means for State Rep or run at all, I honestly don't know.

I could see Hamzy perhaps challenging Colapietro for the Senate seat, but he's a very very busy man and I don't know if he's up to that right now. Whether of not he'd accept the nomination for Lieutenant Governor is a bit fuzzier - he would be a good conservative counterweight to Jodi, but he has young children and a law practice to consider.

Don't read anything into Themis raising $15k already, that woman is a machine plain and simple. She raised $70k for her last state rep race with no opponent. She might be eyeing a Senate run as well, but again I have heard she doesn't see the incentive in such a jump, if you could call it that.

Anonymous said...

What are people hearing about Rep. LG and especially the underticket... what lambs are willing to be slaughtered?

Anonymous said...

Farr has a tough dem challenger this year -- can the Rs really afford to let him retire and have her sweep in?

Anonymous said...

Farr is solid, and no dem is going to beat him. Redistricting helped him out by giving him some of Avon and Devonwood in Farmington. He isn't going anywhere until he becomes a judge.

Anonymous said...

DeStefano certainly has not displayed skill or judgment in selecting the people who will represent him on the campaign trail.

Is that a more constructive way of putting it?

Anonymous said...

Bob Ward has done a good job but it is time for him to move on and give others a chance. I hear some are asking Lou Deluca to step aside in the Senate in favor of Dave Cappiello.The GOP could use new leadership in the Senate and Dave is known to be a consensus builder.They need to do something to end their downward spiral and replacing Lou would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

"Don't read anything into Themis raising $15k already, that woman is a machine plain and simple."

Like Ahhnuld's nemesis in Terminator 3?

Anonymous said...

Some are asking Deluca to step aside? Who might they be?

Anonymous said...

People tired of losing

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you David..

Blackie's Dogs on Friday said...

DelGobbo would be an excellent candidate- well spoken and reasoned in his arguments and very well respected. People- legislators -and others pay attention to him when he speaks.

Anonymous said...

Except for the fact that nobody likes DelGobbo. And that when he talks, it is the utility lobbyists whose mouths move.