Each week I set a lineup in Fantasy Football based on stats, projections, matchups, weather, the moon and other ephemeral criteria. If only politics were more like fantasy football. Instead, we get ads, accusations and admonishments flung in every direction without any baseline scorecard on gameday. We’re expecting some sense of where candidates stand based on voting records, but the bills they pass are filled with amendments and appropriations that have little if anything to do with the original bill.
For me at least, voting is a strategic plan to counter whatever the match-ups of the prevailing climate in government. I have some huge philosophical differences with some of my picks, but that's not the sole criteria. Competence, experience and integrity matter too. So here are my political picks for 2006.
I see the Governor as the QB of team Connecticut. The knocks on Rell is that she might not have a great arm, and isn’t very mobile. DeStefano can throw the deep ball, but lacks judgement. I’ll take the dink and dunk game of Rell, she’s moved the chains up to now and looks like she can deliver a win-win game. Rell is my pick.
Often out of the spotlight, they are the defensive line of team Connecticut. They work well together so I pick Blumenthal, Nappier, and Wyman. With the Secretary of State though, I have other thoughts. It’s 2006 and we still have levers. We are not heading down the path of investigating new voting technologies and practices like other states. While it may shift the chemistry a bit, I’m picking Abbatte.
Here in the 4th CD division, we’ve been long served by Shays. Our congressional representation is like having a good TE, able to block and run with the ball. In any other year except the last 2, he’d be my pick. But Shays isn’t playing the oversight game like I think he should be. He’s lost some of that maverick mojo and doesn’t look past the beltway and to the big picture. And he seems to care more about roads in Iraq than the federal highway that disrupts everything in Fairfield County. Congress is more of the raucous caucus then the deliberating branch of government, and that means we need someone not afraid to rock the boat. Farrell will bring new energy to Congress and maybe raise the urgency of our transportation infrastructure needs. If the Democrats go on to win a majority in Congress, than she’ll be part of that oversight that is so incredibly lacking right now. Farrell is my pick.
They’ve got big egos, but in the end their performance is always dependent on someone else throwing them the ball. There are 100 WRs in the Senate and they all like to talk. Sometimes this gets them in trouble. Trash talking does that to you. In the end though, this is the position that can turn the game around with a quick score. We’ve got another couple of years of the Bush administration quarterbacking America. It’ll be up to the Senate to keep the Executive branch from turning over the ball so much. We’ve got our military spinning wheels in the sand in Iraq, resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, North Korea playing with physics and Iran threatening something, Our executive team needs to be benched, but since that’s not going to happen we need some experience to get things back on track. Sending two rookies into DC to both look out for us internationally and keep an eye on legislation affecting Connecticut is not my idea of a sending up a good team. Farrell in the House makes sense because Shays shouldn’t get a pass on supporting Republican leadership. Preserving Republican leadership in the Senate doesn’t mitigate the executive branch, so no Schlesinger. Then there’s Lamont. He’s been adopted, in a reverse Mr. Drummond situation, by the liberal fightn’ keyboarders. They come streaming to his side, not because he’s the pied piper of progressives, but simply because he’s adopted their talk and vision of the world and repeats it with powerpoint imprecision. He is the embodiment of the echo chamber that prefers trash talk to touchdowns. Without them, who is Ned Lamont? With Lieberman, you get what you see. Sure, he’s got ego and arrogance. But you know he knows how to play the game. The touchdowns of the Senate are getting legislation voted on. With Bill Frist throwing tantrums instead of being senatorial, having a steady cautious game is not such a bad idea. So Lieberman gets the nod.
State Senate 25th District
Rell makes a very good argument when she campaigns that she wants more Republicans in the legislature. One party rule is never a good thing. This seat was held by a Republican during the Rowland years, and for the last two by a Democrat. Bob Duff campaigns that he will “stand up for you”. I’d prefer that he’d stand up to Hartford. Fred Wilms, his Republican challenger promises to do just that. But wait, he’d be Hartford too. It’s tempting to give Rell someone to throw the ball to, but in the end I come back to super 7. Bob Duff says it’s time to make Super 7 happen. I say, stand up in Hartford and make some things happen, Bub Duff is my pick.
State Rep 137th District
Chris Perone is a good friend. I think he’s a pretty decent legislator too. The one party rule applies here too, so I weigh the tactical field. Chris is more of a thinking person’s idea of a legislator than your typical legislator. He brings a real-world in-the-trenches view point to policy. Smart people should be encouraged to be in public service. No contest here, Chris Perone is my pick.
So that’s it, team turfgrrl.