Michael J. Daly Momentous week of beginning — andending
It was quite a week of beginnings and endings.
Ned Lamont was elected governor and does he have his work cut out for him.
He has a solid majority of Democrats in the state legislature, so he will have no excuse for not being able to advance his agenda.
Connecticut is in rough, rough shape. In addition to its billion dollar budget holes and a choking obligation to retired state employees, this still beautiful state has a lousy reputation both inside and out.
Lamont is a successful business guy, well known in that community, has played a role in bringing business to Connecticut and, if he can convince more to come, he’ll be headed in the right direction.
As a member of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group editorial board — a former member now, but we’ll get to that — I thought it odd that Bob Stefanowski, the outsider’s outsider, had this sudden interest in being the governor of Connecticut.
The guy hadn’t voted in 16 years. It’s like a kid from another neighborhood wandering into a sandlot game and saying not only does he want to play, he wants to pitch and bat first.
And on Election Day, his staff got their knickers in a twist when Hearst Connecticut Media Group columnist Dan Haar had the temerity to ask Stefanowski at a polling location how it felt to vote for the first time in a long time.
In the mid-term elections nationwide, we’ve returned to a two-party power situation in Washington. It should be a good thing. The Democrats control the House of Representatives; the Republicans. the Senate and the presidency.
Logic would dictate that for anything to get done, for either party to be able to do anything, they will need to work with each other and shake hands — even if the other hand is holding the nose.
President Donald Trump sounded downright statesmanly when he recognized the reality of the situation, as did presumptive Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who also spoke of the need for compromise.
Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes gets it. Ded during an editorial board meeting a trip he took to visit a congressional colleague in Youngstown, Ohio. When Himes saw the economic devastation of the area, and talked with some of the people, he had the blinders removed from his eyes and saw the obvious reasons for the support of Trump by people who felt they’d been overlooked and abandoned by the system.
Himes is a realistic guy. He seemed genuinely upbeat about the prospect of working with the Republicans on the infrastructure project that Trump himself seems to be keen on. So, the potential is for cooperation is good. But, don’t hold your breath.
Now, endings. You are reading the words of a retired newspaperman. Can it be? Seems not that long ago I walked into 410 State Street, a very young man, the pungent smell of melting lead and cigar smoke scenting the air — where was OSHA in those days? — the Royal typewriters clattering.
It wasn’t yesterday, though, it was more like 46 years, four owners, nine publishers, 11 Bridgeport mayors — a number that includes Joe Ganim the First and Joe Ganim the Second — and a partridge in a pear tree, ago.
I’ve had a very good run and have worked with any number of wonderful people and only one true bully. I had to fire only two people during my tenure as managing editor. It actually turned out to be a pleasure. They had to go.
I’ve said to people over the years that everyone should have to be a newspaper reporter for a year: The first reason why is that you have to listen to people, really listen, so that you can accurately represent their stories and present them to, well, at one time it was about 90,000 subscribers to the Bridgeport Sunday Post.
It’s a high privilege to write a column and I owe gratitude to one Joseph Owens, a late editor of the Post editorial page who gave me the chance more than 30 years ago.
So I am retired, but the good news, for me — and I hope for you — is that this column is likely to continue.
Michael J. Daly is the retired editor of the editorial page of the Connecticut Post.