A skunk by any other name is still a skunk; here in the fair State of Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy is displaying his stripe and odor for our electorate. For those not familiar with election law in Connecticut, we have had the cleanest election system in America since 2005 when our system of public campaign financing was instituted. This event came on the heels of corrupt Governor John Rowland being run out of Hartford on a rail. Governor Malloy is now joining a seemingly endless line of politicians in this country who successfully campaign yet turn their back on principle as soon as they take office. President Obama railed against the influence of special interest money in 2008, yet refused to accept public financing. In this campaign cycle, he is gladly accepting Super PAC money to fuel his re-election effort. Like Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul, our President uses the age-old “well, everyone else is doing it” excuse. That line never worked for me when I tried to use it with my parents; it doesn't work in school or in the workplace. Yet, astonishingly, this excuse finds a perfect home in American politics.
Governor Malloy was a clear beneficiary of Connecticut's Clean Election Law in 2010 when he used public financing to defeat a very wealthy opponent. Malloy now wants to permit candidates to accept unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and other monied interests if those candidates are being outspent. Here is part of Malloy's facile attempt at obfuscation: "I am trying to preserve a public system. I'm willing to live by those rules. But you can't live by those rules in the state and then have other people come in and destroy the value of those rules.” If you are truly willing to live by those rules, Governor, then do so. If you think the law needs to be strengthened, then make that case and fight that fight. The Governor's senior advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, makes the following patently absurd argument to support his boss:"He's not being a hypocrite at all. He'd prefer to live within the public financing system.” Clearly the Governor would NOT prefer to live within the system; if he truly did, he wouldn't be making this effort. You are wrong, Mr. Occhiogrosso – your boss is an enormous hypocrite.
Perhaps the underlying issue here is the Governor's decreasing popularity resulting from his attempt at education reform. Perhaps the Governor doesn't think he can defeat a challenger in a fair fight. Perhaps the Governor feels that if you don't like the rules, you should simply change them to your personal benefit. I understand that Governor Malloy, like all other politicians, can only see as far as his next re-election effort. The people of this State, for whom Governor Malloy works, can see farther than that. Governor Malloy, we can see farther, and we can see right through your farcical smokescreen. We also have pretty good memories; don't insult our intelligence more than you have already done by assuming we will forget this by the time you run for re-election in 2014.