Gubernatorial candidates on Dan Malloy
STEVE OBSITNIK, R: “His greatest day in office was how he reacted in Newtown. That was a challenging day in our history and I think he handled that very, very well. That was leadership. And I applaud him for that. On the other side, the two things I would have the most comment on is the two tax increases, because whenever you increase, whenever government spending increases, economic growth deceases. And we’ve seen that in Connecticut for the last 40 years. And we’ve seen in other states where the opposite has happened. Government spending goes down, economic growth goes up. Because it takes money into or out of the hands of private people who are taking risks. So, I have issues with the tax increases and the First Five program, which put upwards of a billion dollars of corporate welfare in the hands of five-plus companies into a magic box that if you’re able to fit into the magic box you get hundreds of millions of dollars ”
BOB STEFANOWSKI, R: “There’s a lot I’d clear the board of. .........I met with the tourism board the other day. For every dollar they invest, and it’s pretty much proven, they deliver four. Between hotel occupancy and people coming into the state. From a business perspective, if you’ve got an investment that you’re putting a dollar to and you get four back, you should be funding the heck out of that. Their budget was cut from $20 million down to $4 million. So, I think it gets back to running the state like a business. ... It’s taking a lot of these bad practices and bad behaviors. Look at what we’ve been talking about for the last three weeks. A study on tolls. Meanwhile, the house is burning down. We should be talking about tax reform. We should be talking about expense. And we’re talking about a $10-million toll study.
MARK BOUGHTON, R: “I think some of the sustainable energy stuff. I’m a big solar guy because that technology is racing ahead so fast literally every year. Those panels are getting more efficient and less expensive. I think there’s opportunity there in terms of energy. Our energy costs are an issue, when you talk to employers in the state. Some of the bones as it relates to the entrepreneurial spirit, being able to tap into the younger people got me thinking as mayor. We opened an innovation center on our Main Street that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Young people come in there. We have 3-D printers, high-speed internet. And some of them got together and created businesses. There are about a dozen businesses that have been created out of there and put people to work.”
JOE GANIM, D: “We have some similarities in background. Some. Stamford is a completely different city than Bridgeport, and their challenges are not to the same depth as a Bridgeport, Hartford or New Haven, with respect to Stamford. Two, styles. Mine is bringing people together. Any success that I can kind of raise my hand and say, ‘give me credit for this,’ has always been one with partners, of bringing people together to get things done. Whether it’s management and labor, whether it’s business and government, even grass roots and different levels of government. It’s never been stamp my feet and stomp out of the room ... There’s a style of management that is completely different.”
TIM HERBST, R: “One thing I do respect about Gov. Malloy is his work ethic. He has a tremendous work ethic. And as I tell people all the time: Never underestimate Dan Malloy. There are things that he has done that I have obviously disagreed with, and there are things he has done that I do agree with. How he led the state through a tragedy, he is to be commended for that. The strength he showed during the immediate aftermath of that, I do respect. I do think the governor has acknowledged the pensions problems that we have. He took actions to recognize that the can-kicking had to stop. There is more than I would do on that front than he has done, but I will acknowledge that he taken steps to correct a problem that needed to be corrected. ... First and foremost, I think our position on taxes is very much different. I think our position on business tax incentives and corporate welfare is very much different in terms of philosophies. I think our approach to public safety is different in some respects. And I think how we would approach nominations to the bench is very different.”
DAVID STEMERMAN, R: “One of the topics that Dan Malloy talks about, and this was the sole topic of his last State of the State speech, is fairness. Which I found to be stunning given the state of our state, that that’s all he talked about. But he talked about a state that is one that is welcoming to people from all over the world and we should be proud of those kinds of values. Having a state that has values that are open, and welcoming are important to me. ... Being welcoming has devolved into cases of sanctuary cities for people who are here illegally, people who have committed crimes are now being sheltered by the police. ... I look at the discussion that we’ve had about what’s happened with the retirement liabilities and how that has been profoundly unfair to everyone. It is unfair to our state employees and their families to be promised benefits they can’t receive.”
NED LAMONT, D: “I thought First Five is not the way I do business. I don’t want politicians choosing winners. It gets political. I wonder about all the corporate subsidies. I know I need to play in the real world. I’m not naïve about that, but I think we over-rely on those subsidies. When we were competing for (tech giant) Infosis, I did a debrief on Infosis, so I can learn from that. ... So, let’s start with where you want to be in Connecticut. On a positive side, I’d say 1) the guy made a good-faith effort to fund the pensions. He could be a hero. ‘Hey, I balanced the budget, no tax increase. Of course, I skipped making any payments to the pensions.’ We’ve done that for about 20 years. So, a little credit where credit is due there. I think on the criminal justice reform, that gives a lot of folks who deserve a second chance a second chance. It saved the state a lot of dough, and our prime rate is at historic lows.”