Republican Bob Stefanowski’s gubernatorial campaign continues to build momentum in Connecticut, winning the endorsement of The Waterbury Republican-American this weekend.
The Republican-American praises Stefanowski for his emphasis on tax cuts and his willingness to stand up to Big Labor, stating that “Connecticut most needs a change from the course pursued by Gov. Malloy.” Conversely, The Republican-American writes that electing Democrat Ned Lamont “would result in more of the same” and that “he is not the right person to make the necessary changes” to Connecticut’s economy.
The Waterbury Republican-American writes:
“Connecticut faces an open gubernatorial race. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a second-term Democrat, is not seeking re-election. The leading candidates to replace him are Republican Bob Stefanowski and Democrat Ned Lamont, both businessmen. Connecticut most needs a change from the course pursued by Gov. Malloy. Electing Mr. Lamont probably would result in more of the same, so voters should choose Mr. Stefanowski.
The most important issues are Connecticut’s troubled budget and economy. If they are not fixed, it will be difficult for state government to tackle other matters, like education, transportation, health care and aid to municipalities. Gov. Malloy has taken an approach characterized by tax increases, mandates on businesses, and coddling of Big Public Labor. The fiscal and economic wreckage were detailed in an Oct. 21 Sunday Republican package.
While Mr. Lamont says he is running ‘to resolve Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and revitalize our economy,’ he is not the right person to make the necessary changes.
Mr. Lamont has sold himself as the candidate of organized labor, and he has been endorsed by the Connecticut AFL-CIO. It is difficult to imagine him making good on his talk about re-negotiating the burdensome ‘concessions’ deals reached with the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) by Gov. Malloy, who also had significant backing from labor. Sure, Mr. Lamont says that as labor’s candidate, he is best positioned to get real concessions, but he would be under significant pressure to take care of his political benefactors. Indeed, earlier in the campaign, Mr. Lamont raised the possibility of implementing Big Public Labor’s preferred approach to budgeting – ‘soak-the-rich’ taxation – which has been tried in Connecticut recently, with disastrous results. Accordingly, Connecticut’s fiscal equation likely would go unchanged under a Gov. Lamont.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lamont says Connecticut must improve its business climate to revive its economy. During his Oct. 25 interview with the Republican-American editorial board, he said there is ‘a lot of anti-business rhetoric coming out of Hartford.’ Yet two of his signature policy preferences, a $15 minimum wage and a paid family-and-medical-leave system, could worsen the business environment. They are reminiscent of Gov. Malloy’s minimum-wage increases and statewide paid-sick-leave mandate.
As for Mr. Stefanowski, while he hopes to negotiate with SEBAC for a more taxpayer-friendly system, early in the campaign, he expressed willingness to go to court to control costs. If a Gov. Stefanowski were to threaten a legal battle, he might compel labor to negotiate. Thanks to Gov. Malloy, a layoff threat is a non-option until 2021. Connecticut faces an approximately $4 billion 2019-21 deficit.
On the economy, Mr. Stefanowski touts tax cuts and a more cost-efficient state government as the keys… For his emphasis on lowering taxes, Mr. Stefanowski secured the endorsement of Jim Grasso, son of the late Democratic Gov. Ella T. Grasso.”