Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Vision Thing

Gov. Rell previewed the 2007 legislative session before the Metro Hartford Alliance, a business group. She revealed little:
In a speech to the Metro Hartford Alliance, Rell delivered only a broad call for fiscal responsibility and statesmanship when the General Assembly convenes Jan. 3, the same day she begins her first full term as governor.

"We don't have the time for politicians. What we need right now are statesmen," Rell said. "We do not have time for people with an agenda. What we need right now is people with a vision."

That would be great! So, um, about that vision...
Rell acknowledged after the speech that she offered her business audience few specifics about her own vision, saying those details will have to wait until her budget proposal in February.

"There are some ideas we have on the table," Rell said. "I need to know if I can afford to do them." (Pazniokas)

I keep waiting for Jodi Rell's vision. I believe, somehow, that she has to have one. I waited throughout the 2005 session, and then through the 2006 campaign season. All she has provided, apart from an apparently waning dedication to ethics and campaign finance reform, are a few halfhearted feints in the direction of a vision.

Rell was overwhelmingly elected in November. She received an enormous mandate. If ever there was a time to unveil her vision, now would be it (Actually, that time would have been two months ago, during the election).

Meanwhile, it's obvious in the article that business leaders, at least, are getting a little impatient:
The governor was introduced by James C. Smith, the chairman and chief executive of Webster Bank. He complimented her for her easy election victory, then pointedly reminded her of an October 2005 economic report that found Connecticut lagging in job creation.
Smith left little doubt Monday that he and other business executives still are waiting for Rell to act on the report. (Pazniokas)

But don't worry. Vision is on the way. In February. Promise.

Pazniokas, Mark. "Rell's 2007 Preview Gives Nothing Away." Hartford Courant 12 December, 2006.


ken krayeske said...

Vision - isn't that what the opthamologist, no, oncologist, er, optometrist is for?

20/20 here in Connecticut. That's 20 percent unemployment and 20 percent job loss.

Genghis Conn said...

Things aren't nearly that bad yet, Ken.

cgg said...

Uh, Genghis,

What exactly led you to believe that Rell had any vision to begin with?

Genghis Conn said...


Campaign finance reform and ethics. The landmark 2005 session.

I still think she probably does have some big ideas. I also think she's way over-managed by her staff, especially Lisa Mooody.

Anonymous said...

It's tough to implement a vision when the Democratic legislature wears blinders. Still, CT does pretty well, considering the anti-business environment perpetrated by Hartford. Job growth this year may be flat or go negative due to the impending job losses at Pfizer.

Anonymous said...

Is Moody really that bad? Shouldn't a Gov. have a strong chief of staff to allow the Gov. to concentrate on big issues?

Anonymous said...

I think the only vision she has is trying to put a lid on legislative majority whose members are going to drag out every pet spending idea they've ever had.

Anonymous said...

I was there, and the Courant might as well have covered another speech. Rell didn't lay out chapter and verse of her plans for an overwhelming Democrat majority to shred between now and the February budget speech? *gasp* Imagine my shock. Geez. This is what passes for sophisticated legislative journalism at the Courant?

grumpy said...

Concerning "job creation," here's a chicken and egg question that I don't think I've ever seen answered.

Pretty much everyone seems to accept the conventional wisdom that Connecticut is "lagging in job creation" compared to the rest of the country, and that this is a bad thing. But how do we compare to those other states when it comes to growth in our working-age population? If our population is relatively stable, is a low rate of "job creation" really all that negative an economic indicator? I ask, because logically I wouldn't expect to see a rapid rate of "job creation" in Connecticut if we aren't also adding large numbers of working age adults.

Isn't a combination of the unemployment rate and statistics on average wages earned by CT workers a better guage of what those who focus on "job creation" are trying to measure in the first place?

FrankS said...

Rell sees nothing. Even the Waterbury Republican has taken their blinders off. Instead of cleaning house, she's overseen 18% raises for politcial staff and her campaign finance effort is about to hit the deficit wall.

Fuzzy Turtle said...

that broad is useless.. the state is hemorraging jobs, housing costs are so artifically inflated and will drop like that proverbial brick ..

and healthcare and rising electical rates? what are those? did anyone tell her??

she's dumb as a brick. No wonder she couldn't get a degree. It's not that she couldnt afford to finish, they probably threw her out.

Anonymous said...

Fuzzy, once again you come onto this blog to say nothing constructive. Several people have asked you to keep it civil when talking about officials but once again you didn't do that.

GMR said...

I also am unsure if low job growth is due to low population growth, or low population growth is due to low job growth.

Housing is damned expensive in Connecticut (and Massachusetts and Westchester as well). This causes people to demand higher salaries than elsewhere (but not as high as in NYC, which is even more expensive).

Why is housing so much more expensive in Connecticut than in southern states? Well, more people want to live here compared to the number of housing units than in other places. Supply is unable to be significantly increased, since there isn't that much developable land, and various local zoning ordinances prevent a lot of denser housing from being built.

This causes some people to move further away from their jobs, but then have long commutes. Due to the aging infrastructure, the viable commuting radius isn't that large. In some cases, it's simply not feasible to expand highways (I-95 for instance would cost a ton to widen). Other times, it's local opposition (Super 7).

Companies, faced with having to pay higher and higher wages, then have to make a decision: do we keep paying these high wages, or do we move where wages aren't so high?

If they move out, then I guess the people that worked there have to look for other local jobs or move. Thus, there aren't that many people moving into Connecticut to find jobs, compared to the number of people leaving.

Then there's retirees and college graduates. While we have good colleges here, that doesn't mean the graduates are necessarily going to stick around here if there aren't better offers in Texas, California, Georgia, or Manhattan or wherever.

Because of the high cost of living, and aging infrastructure, Connecticut is not going to be a high growth state.

meteskyjr said...

Say what you will about jobs, job growth, etc., but the fact remains that among those who are interested in working, over 95 percent have jobs. In historic terms, and even in present-day global terms, this is amazing. It is also a number that has nothing to do with who is sitting in the governor's chair.

Anonymous said...

Rell has no vision. She never has and never will unless you think eliminating the car tax is vision. Yeah, the Democrats like to spend and will play politics as well but that's not the reason she hasn't professed a vision. You can't profess what you don't have.

Anonymous said...

Will Rell evr stop wagging her finger like a minority legislator and do her governor's job?