Monday, July 31, 2006

Malloy: A Slightly Better Choice

It must be frustrating to be either Dan Malloy or John DeStefano. The race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination has been going on for something like two years, now, and the media consensus that has developed boils down to “Flip a coin.” Democrats who go to the polls on August 8th will almost certainly know whether they’re going to vote for Lieberman or Lamont. They’ve probably known for months. The choice there is pretty clear. It’s less so with DeStefano and Malloy.

Each man offers a universal health care scheme. Each promises a better transportation plan, and property tax relief. Each says he wants to turn Connecticut’s lackluster economy around, and each points to the record in his city as proof that he can do just that.

But Dan Malloy has done a better job of communicating his message, and this is a major part of what makes him the superior candidate.

Malloy is the better public speaker: he tends to favor concise bluntness over the more wordy style of his rival. DeStefano likes to take time to explain his positions and the theories behind them, a noble effort which often gets bogged down or wanders off onto other paths.

Malloy’s proposals also seem a little more concrete than DeStefano’s. Malloy’s plans are usually richly detailed and often more realistic than DeStefano’s, which seem sparse by comparison. Malloy’s ideas are also more business-friendly, which is desperately important to a state that is losing jobs. Lastly, Malloy’s plan to uncouple property taxes from education seems a lot clearer than DeStefano’s, and it will take clear leadership to accomplish that worthy goal. The unintended consequences of policy have often been an afterthought in the gubernatorial race, but Malloy has often spoken to the practice of measuring results and examining policy enacted. It is clear that under Malloy, the overarching question of "Can it work better?" would be a guiding principle.

John DeStefano is a good man with a lot of very bright ideas, but many of his plans seem to lack a good dose of realism. One of the major problems with DeStefano’s proposals is an over-reliance on taxing the wealthy, and, in some cases, a lack of specific plans for financing his proposals. His plan to establish pay equity between men and women would result in the creation of a huge, unmanageable bureaucracy that would poke into the books and practices of every single business in Connecticut. His willingness to let the details of funding some of his ideas be taken care of later is also unsettling.

DeStefano also seems to make poor political decisions. For example, his comment that Jodi Rell’s plan for combating urban violence was like that of a 1950s Mississippi governor was absolutely over-the-top, and his strange willingness to roll back things like mandatory hospital stays post-childbirth and insurance coverage for birth control as part of his health care plan has left him desperately trying to reclaim the votes of women. Also, his unwillingness to return campaign money raised from contractors should campaign finance reform pass in time for the 2006 election was foolish, at best.

Malloy, by contrast, is a far more credible candidate who seems less prone to missteps. His record in Stamford is slightly more impressive than DeStefano’s in New Haven, although it’s difficult to compare the two cities. Stamford is one of the safest cities in the nation, as Malloy is fond of saying. New Haven has also made great strides under DeStefano, but Stamford’s example is the better one.

Most importantly to Democrats, Malloy has a better shot at giving Jodi Rell a run for her money in November. Rell is aware of this: it’s why she picked a running mate from Malloy’s city of Stamford. A contest between DeStefano and Rell would end up being more about DeStefano than Rell’s record or Connecticut’s future, which would be a shame. A race between Malloy and Rell would still offer clear distinctions, as well as a lively debate over the future of the state.

There are still problems with Malloy. His lack of union support may cost him later on, and his name recognition is extremely poor, even now. But he is the better choice to face Gov. Rell in November. We endorse Dan Malloy for the Democratic nomination for governor.


BRubenstein said... to make a friendly wager here? I will take JDS...

Genghis Conn said...

Hmm... Since as a lowly librarian I have no money, what can we wager?

BRubenstein said...

breakfast or lunch in enfield...the tab will be small since i dont eat much..

Genghis Conn said...

You're on.

Paul Vance said...

Geez Bruce, you are a betting man! How many bets do you have going?

I hope GC wins this one--- and Genghis, order the filet. ; )

Wrath of Conn said...

Genghis, nice post. I think the mandates for women thing is going to be a problem for DeStefano on the 8th as well. Malloy did a good job drilling him on it at the debate.

Aldon Hynes said...

Paul, lay off of Bruce and his betting, it pales in comparison to the bets that Alan Gold has on. :-)

Paul Vance said...

Aldon, now that cracked me up! I will give Bruce credit for using his real name.

Back to work for me.

TrueBlueCT said...


Disappointed that you fell for DLC Dan's "Republican-lite", "I'm more electable" crap.

DeStefano poses a sharper distinction between himself and Rell, and that makes him a far better candidate.

For the record, even though Stamford Democrats out-number Stamford Republican, Malloy barely got re-elected last year. The fact that he received but 51% of the vote should be cold water on the "electability" myth. Oh well.

Wrath of Conn said...

Disappointed that you fell for DLC Dan's "Republican-lite", "I'm more electable" crap.

You know, Democrats like you give the rest of us a bad name. It is so arrogant to think that because someone disagrees with you they must have been "duped" or "just dont see the light yet."

As for Republican-lite... please. Malloy was the first candidate on record calling for universal health care, the first on record supporting full gay marriage rights, and the first on record against the death penalty. The fact that he takes those stances and still runs a tight ship fiscally (keeping Stamford tax increases below cost of living increases) means he is exactly the kind of Democrat that most Connecticut residents would like: Socially progressive, financially responsible.

The mayoral thing is also nonsense. Malloy pulled more than half of the registered Democrats in Stamford to the polls. DeStefano barely pulled one quarter of his in New Haven. He also let an unknown, 3rd party candidate get over 20% of the vote as I recall, in basically a one-party town.

You really think he knows how to get out the Dem vote? The man has literally zero record in defeating real Republican opponents.

Anonymous said...

This is great that Dan Malloy is endorsed here I bet tomorrow though we will see An endorsement for idiot Ned Lamont a guy who cant disclose his tax returns and uses his wife as an excuse so he dont have to release them and now this Campaign filing snafu.

At least Joe Lieberman sticks to his principles even though people dont agree with him.

It will be so good to see the end of The Lamont/Swan/Crane express and that sucky and deceitful and the end of hearing Keith Crane run his sewer mouth he can go back to under his rock on the shoreline or wherever he hails from.Also DFA will go bye bye too.

Chris MC said...

Excellent decision, of course.

If anything the gentlemanly acknowledgemnet of DeStefano in this post is too generous. Some of us have held our fire on JD's New Haven. The place is not in good shape. But perhaps I'll elaborate further on that in another thread.

Saying JD is the better choice because he offers a greater contrast is just about as weak an argument as saying "well, he was never actually indicted".

What next? Fidel Castro would be an ideal candidate for the Democratic party because of the enormous contrast? Being unelectable is not a rationale for the Party's nomination.

Perhaps the most telling thing uttered on that point was posted by inveterate JD supporter and erstwhile "political operative" BRubenstein (if that is in fact his real name). You remember, don't you?
BRubenstein said...
...for 2 years in the race [JDS] hasn't yet thought of a way to [bring Rell's popularity numbers down] and I doubt he will in the remaining few months.
10:51 AM, July 20, 2006

If only out of respect for the fact that this evaluation of JD caps who (really) knows how many years of experience as a "SENIOR political operative", accept the truth that your guy is the wrong choice. It is time to end this divisive and wasteful primary challenge.

Let's begin today, now, to work together, as Democrats to elect the man whom everyone acknowledges is our best and brightest hope in November.

Dannel Malloy for Governor!

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Wrath of Conn said... "...
Democrats like you give the rest of us a bad name"

Funny you should bring that up.

Just this evening I attended a state senate fund raiser for one of ours. Shortly after Jodi left we were chatting and several of us agreed that it's only 99% of Democrats that give the rest a bad name.