Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Democrats in Profile

Two articles were published in the Stamford Advocate and the New Britain Herald profiling the Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor.

Scott Slifka, running mate of John DeStefano, was the subject of the Advocate article:
At 32, West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka knows his youth can be viewed as an impediment in his quest for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.

But Slifka, a lawyer, and others say he has experience beyond his years and a bearing that makes him a good fit for the job.
...
"Obviously age hasn't been an issue with the people of West Hartford," he said. "One thing that probably makes me different from another candidate is I come from a generation that is living with debt from the first minute. We're the generation that has to borrow an extraordinary amount of money to get through college or graduate school. The day we take our first jobs, we are in debt and you have to learn to have to live with it. I might be among the first that has something to say about that." (Coleman)

Glassman, who has ties to New Britain, is profiled in the Herald:
Glassman's first foray into political action was her successful run for first selectman of Simsbury, a largely Republican town, in 1991. She was the first Democrat to be elected to the post in 36 years. She served eight years.
She last worked as Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan's chief of staff, but resigned immediately after being named Malloy's running mate. Sullivan supports Democratic New Haven Mayor John DeStefano's bid for governor.
Glassman, 47, said open government will be one of her major themes on the campaign trail. She and Malloy, who is currently mayor of Stamford, will make a good team, she said, because they both have experience as chief executives of municipalities.
"He's been a successful mayor. He understands the needs of big cities," she said. "I think he sees me as complementing that because I have also served in office. I have a record of accomplishments in Simsbury and I understand the needs of small towns." (Moore)

It's interesting that both candidates come from well-off Hartford suburbs: Slifka from West Hartford and Glassman from Simsbury. Both Malloy and DeStefano desperately need to court suburban voters, and this is a good way to do it.

Interestingly, this will be the first time in a long while that the Democrats have nominated a ticket with no legislative experience at either the state or the national level. DeStefano/Slifka may very well be the first "all mayor" ticket in state history, as both are currenly mayors of their municipalities.

Sources

Coleman, Tobin. "Dems race for lieutenant governor: Slifka: 'Viewed as mature beyond my years'." Stamford Advocate 29 May, 2006.

Moore, George. "For city native, role in politics was natural." New Britain Herald 29 May, 2006.

43 comments:

Chris MC said...

Glassman's experience in the Legislature is substantial, despite the fact that she has never been a State Rep or Senator. She has worked at the highest levels of both the Senate and the House, and is uniformly well respected in the Capital.

Bogina said...

Yeah, but she's as ugly as an ape.

Chris MC said...

She is an attractive person in every respect.

MightyMouse1 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Derby Conservative said...

Come on people, let's not make these attacks personal. We've all got too much class. Besides, a person's looks don't weigh in as a big electability factor...I can think of a particular member of the states Democrat Congressional delegation that is not beautiful in any conventional sense, but certainly has no problem getting reelected every 2 years.

frank chi said...

I think the fact that neither ticket has an established legislative background helps this race because it does breathe fresh air into the governor's race. Since progress has been stifled in Hartford since the Rowland and now to the Rell years, outsiders with substantial political and executive experience will let the air out a bit and make sure we actually achieve substantial results instead of these polished, PR stunts Rell's people have been putting out when in reality nothing's been done during her tenure at all.

By the way, I'm back from college, I'll be on regularly, it's good to see the CLP is so popular these days.

Chris MC said...

Another thing that impresses me about the Malloy/Glassman ticket is their personal stories.

Malloy overcame severe personal disadvantages, which is a part of his story I hadn't even heard until a couple weeks ago. No silver spoon is this guy's mouth, unless you count the commitment of his mother and father to letting him lead a normal life.

And Glassman is one of those all-American success stories, working her way through law school and on up to the LG nomination by virtue of her talent, hard work and accomplishment.

Really a compelling pair on the human level as well as professionally.

MightyMouse1 said...

I find Slifka to be a little stiff, perhaps it is because of his youth and inexperience on a bigger stage. Glassman seems much more poised and ready to be governor in a pinch.

ALittleBitDramatic said...

The lack of legislative experience, although I don’t think would have a HUGE impact on how state policy would be shaped under one of these two guys, might make for some interesting theater at the Capitol.

For example, if John DeStefano is elected governor (and I understand that’s a pretty big if) it would be interesting to see how his relationship with the legislature develops.

In his years as Mayor, DeStefano has been known not so much for building consensus as for stomping out opposition. New Haven has a 30 member board of alderman controlled almost entirely by Democrats, but if any one of those Democrats opposed him on something significant, they would get primaried. You can do that with a 30-member legislative body, but not with a 187-member one. He’s not going to be able to run primaries against every Democrat who questions him, and he’s going to have to deal with a much more substantial minority party. He would pretty much be in uncharted waters.

Also, I’m sure any Democratic governor would want their hand in the decisions of the two caucuses - something that the Speaker and the President Pro Tem haven’t had to deal with for a long time. DeStefano would also want his hand in the caucus elections. How would that pan out? Would DeStefano try and get a Democratic legislative leader dumped for questioning him, like he got his former pal Jorge Perez dumped as President of the BOA? Would he be successful? And what do the legislative leaders think of that?

I mean, I know they probably think “He’s not going to get elected anyway”, but I think it might be fun to watch the dynamics.

bluecoat said...

There are a number of people, myself included, that think West Hartford under Slifka with help from Kevin Sullivan paracticed voo doo economics when they jumped in bed with financing Blue Back Square, LLC - one story here - the only financial benfit enures to the LLC but that's not the schtick out of the naive mayor's maouth.

MightyMouse1 said...

I do not mean to attack Slifka personally, he just is percieved as Kevin Sullivan's puppet.

bluecoat said...

Here is mor of the financial kool-aid out of west hartford. They think because the rating agencies gave them AAA to finance the project the it is a good project. the reason the rating agencies hgive them AAA is because of the strong financial backs of the west hartofrd taxpayer - the LLC if it were strong could have gotten its own financing but that's not possible -the tax revenues from this project will be overshadowed by the costs but lawyers and politicians don't look at cash flow.

Pirates say "Rrrrrr" said...

GC,
You should really remove "Bogina"'s post. Offensive to apes.

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

frank chi says: make sure we actually achieve substantial results instead of these polished, PR stunts Rell's people have been putting out when in reality nothing's been done during her tenure at all.

Frankie, baby, ease up on the kollege kool-aid, willya?

As I pointed out last week to Chris MC, presumably you mean besides campaign finance reform, besides the transportation bills, besides the reform of the ethics commission, besides the establishment of a Contracting Standards Board, besides new money for special ed and early childhood ed, and besides the civil unions bill.

To say there hasn't been any change in Hartford under Rell is simply crap. More has happened -- even for progressives -- in her two years than under 10 years of Rowland. You might not like to admit it, and no one is asking you to sing its praises, but the least you can do is not tell bald-faced lies about it.

Chris MC said...

Hey ADANR!, where ya been?

[...]campaign finance reform,
A strictly Democratic initiative, co-opted at the last minute by Rell when she saw the train pulling out without her thanks to the bumbling machinations of Caruso. I watched it happen.

the transportation bills
Again, Rell gave it a lot of lip service and a token amount of money. Amman stepped up and showed leadership and put real $$ on the table.

the reform of the ethics commission
Isn't there some kinda lawsuit about this now?

establishment of a Contracting Standards Board
uh, opposition to inclusion of State Contractors in the campaign finance reforms...

besides new money for special ed and early childhood ed
Wait a minute, isn't this the work of the Legislature, whom you castigate for spending the taxpayers' money? How come Rell is only selectively responsible on your ledger?

the civil unions bill
You have to be kidding. This was the work of key Democrats in the Capitol, and is another example of the Legislative leadership showing the Governor the way forward.

Leadership is about making choices and setting the agenda. Connecticut needs leadership, to move with speed toward a better and more competitive future. "Governor" Rell has been more like the governor on an engine - functioning with exactly the opposite effect.

Mmmm Jodi Rell said...

Rell's "reform-driven" agenda seems a little smoke & mirrors to me. She never stood up for civil unions or campaign finance reform until last year. It comes across as more of election posturing - why would a life-long Republican all of a sudden turn around, after 20 years in public life, and support civil unions and campaign finance? Its posturing. The big issues, such as transportation, have been driven by the Democratic majority. I'd even argue that the Democratic transportation plan doesn't go far enough - this state needs to make serious investments in transportation if we want any kind of growth to happen.

The Moody affair and the continued hangover of Rowland appointees (Raggaglia?) in Hartford have proven to those who pay attention that Rell's reform efforts have been largely superficial. And thats disapointing and insulting to the state - after Rowland, we deserve a bit more than lip service from the governor.

CTColonial said...

I agree with Chris MC.

Rell has had little to do with those initiatives. Those were, for the most part, championed by the legislature and Jim Amann.

I'll take him over a Senate President that considers soda a top priority. He controls WAY more then he is given credit for. A polorazing figure for sure, but he is a strong speaker who controls the agenda.

Poli Sci 101, he who controls the agenda controls the power. Most of Rell's initiaves were left on the screening room floor.

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

campaign finance reform,
A strictly Democratic initiative, co-opted at the last minute by Rell when she saw the train pulling out without her thanks to the bumbling machinations of Caruso. I watched it happen.
On what planet? What I saw -- and what everyone else saw -- was a Governor dragging majority Democrats kicking and screaming to embrace the very thing they claimed they wanted -- at least until someone said put up or shut up ... and even then they insisted on larding up the bill with all the PACs and perks they could jam into it.

the transportation bills
Again, Rell gave it a lot of lip service and a token amount of money. Amman stepped up and showed leadership and put real $$ on the table.
Hey, if you call $1.3 billion -- and the first real action on the issue in 20 years -- "token" then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree ...

the reform of the ethics commission
Isn't there some kinda lawsuit about this now?
I dunno, is there? And has anything happened in Connecticut that hasn't resulted in a lawsuit?

establishment of a Contracting Standards Board
uh, opposition to inclusion of State Contractors in the campaign finance reforms...
Presumably by this you mean the oral favor legislative Dems tried -- thrice -- to provide their union buddies, said favor so overt, so inept and so grotesque that even people like Colin McEnroe were repulsed?

besides new money for special ed and early childhood ed
Wait a minute, isn't this the work of the Legislature, whom you castigate for spending the taxpayers' money? How come Rell is only selectively responsible on your ledger?
I never said they shouldn't be spending money -- especially on education. What I said was they didn't need to be spending more money, especially money raised through more taxes.

the civil unions bill
You have to be kidding. This was the work of key Democrats in the Capitol, and is another example of the Legislative leadership showing the Governor the way forward.
And how do you think that bill became law? Did it pass with veto-proof majorities? Do you think JGR would have signed it?

Think back to what I said: More has happened under Rell -- even for progressives -- than under Rowland. Like it or not, it's true.

Again, you don't have to like it. I won't even ask you to admit it. All I'm asking is that you don't make absurdly untrue statements about it. That hardly seems like a lot to ask.

Chris MC said...

In other words, you are spinning the events in question. Everyone paying any kind of attention recognizes that Mrs. Rell is an Accidental Governor, and neither a strong executive, a visionary leader, nor even an accomplished Legislature. What she was, prior to the prosecution of her patron John Rowland, was the handmaid of corruption.

Which was it, a lie that she was John Rowland's full partner, or a lie that she didn't know what was going on?

It is a simple choice between those two.

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

That simple, is it?

Then riddle me this, Batman: How could Kevin Sullivan not know his closest aide was consorting with Dan Malloy? She worked right next to him for all those years!

Or is it possible -- just possible -- that people keep secrets from one another?

Chris MC said...

Nice try, but an absurd comparison.

What could explain Jodi Rell's denials?
Willful ignorance?
Utter incompetance?
Machiavellian deception?
Get ahead by not making waves?
Outright complicity?

What? How can you explain, how can you justify such an egregious record?

What explanation recommends itself when we consider that there was no house cleaning of the Rowland Administration? Why has "Governor" Rell kept Rowland people in place. Is is by choice or necessity?

TrueBlueCT said...

Jodi was in the loop, she's an artful liar, and I agree with Chris Mc, -- an accidental, and lousy, Governor.

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

Why absurd? Because it's a little uncomfortable? A little too close to home? Kevin certainly thought so -- he alluded to it in his news release.

Denials? Of what? That she didn't know about Rowland? Umm ... maybe that she didn't know? I know that doesn't suit your politics, but that doesn't necessarily make it untrue -- see the discussion above.

Dick Blumenthal, as a member of the Bond Commission, voted for every one of those benighted projects (CJTS, the Bradley garage, etc.) that became the subject of federal probes as well ... are you saying Dick should have known, too? Or is it only Republicans who "had to know" what Rowland was up to ... by virtue of, I guess, being Republicans?

Art Rocque, Art Spada, Gary DeFilippo and others would beg to differ with you, by the way ...

Chris MC said...

Obfuscation and misdirection.

I understand it doesn't suit your politics, but the corruption in the Rowland/Rell Administration and the practices engaged in went on for years.

The issue isn't the dismissal of a few high-profile individuals. It is the lack of any real effort to make the kinds of real change, even around her own office, that would have prevented the kind of ongoing behavior like Lisa Moody distributing fundraising invitations to Commissioners to take place.

How many times can you cry "ooops!" and keep a straight face?

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

I guess we'll have to ask folks like Thomas Ude and Karen DuBois-Walton what sort of changes are really necessary to avoid those sorts of problem, eh Chris MC?

You call it obfuscation and misdirection. I call it sauce for the gander.

Jabba the Hut said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Certified squeaky clean ... I like that. That'll come in handy when he tries to explain, for example, signing a Board of Reps measure that makes it easier to give city employees gifts, as long as we all agree they really, really weren't bribes and we mean it, we swear.

Talk about fostering change ...

Chris MC said...

Not my gander, ADANR!. My gander is the only choice in this race that has been certified squeaky clean. Which was no surprise, given the way he constructed his Administration.

Let's keep our eye on the ball, shall we? How do you defend the refusal or inabilitiy, take your pick, of "Governor" Rell to make real changes in the Rowland/Rell Administration since she found herself in the Boss' office?

bluecoat said...

As I pointed out last week to Chris MC, presumably you mean besides campaign finance reform, besides the transportation bills, besides the reform of the ethics commission, besides the establishment of a Contracting Standards Board, besides new money for special ed and early childhood ed, and besides the civil unions bill.
To say there hasn't been any change in Hartford under Rell is simply crap
and I agree, like Rowland she spends, spends and spends as well as compromising on her lofty principles to get votes.

Brassett said...

I don't know where this "ape" stuff got started, but Mary Glassman happens to be highly cute.

Genghis Conn said...

I'm looking forward to the day when discussions of female candidates won't turn to their looks.

Brassett said...

I've heard far more comment on Dan Malloy's looks this campaign season than I have Jodi Rell's.

Chris MC said...

And he is damned attractive, don't you think?

turfgrrl said...

It may be true that the Democratic legislature worked the issues to the front burner, but to the average voter, the legislature is invisible in these intiatives and Rell gets the credit for them. Until the Moody thing and the Ragalia thing, she hadn't made a political mistep. The big issue is now if she'll fumble her lead or try to put the race away.

Chris MC said...

Ah, turfgrrl, where ya been all my weekend?

You may be right, but frankly I think you are too refined in your analysis for most voters... The question will be who is Jodi Rell and what has she done for the average Connecticut voter lately?

Mark my words: on Labor Day - with a hard fought primary under his belt - Malloy 45 - Rell 55 in the public opinion polls.

BRubenstein said...

chris....what factual basis do you have by way of evidence ( and not your wishes or spin) to conclude that DM will beat JDS?

I gave you the real numbers based on history and ive not yet concluded DM will win.

The labor unions in the main will determine the winner and i havent seen much yet from them except that the executive board endorsed JDS, the 1st time they have ever done that.

MikeCT said...

Slifka will be on WTIC AM on Wednesday morning at 8:20 AM.

Chris MC said...

Bruce -

Why did the AFL=CIO executive board endorse DeStefano in a primary in the first place?

And the AFL-CIO executive board isn't the end-all be all it once was, is it?

BRubenstein said...

chris....without evidence...its just spin.

yes the afl isnt what it once was..lets see how hard they work for JDS.

Chris MC said...

Bruce -
You didn't answer my question - why did the AFL-CIO executive board endorse JD in a primary situation where he lost in an evenly divided convention, not to put too fine a point on it?

BRubenstein said...

Chris..because they prefer JDS to DM..it should be obvious to you.

Mr X said...

I really think that Mary Glassman will make a Great Lt Governor.She seems to have the experiences needed to be Lt Governor.Working as a First Selectwoman in Simsbury and as Chief of Staff to Lt Governor Sullivan.

Now on Scott Slifka he has been Mayor of West Hartford since 2004 and do you seriously believe he has the credentials to be Lt Governor I dont think so.The Mayor of West Hartford is a PT Job They have a Town Manager so he is basically a ceremonial guy who gets on the news occasionally.

The Facts are this Mary Glassman has experience and Scott Slifka was put on the team just Because West Hartford has a great turnout in voting.

Well see How well they do in August primary.

Chris MC said...

Succinctly put Sarge. Malloy selected someone fully prepared to be a partner in Hartford and assume the top job if it became necessary, God forbid.