February 24, 2009

Democrats eye Rell's ouster from governor's office

Democrats are looking to take down Republican Gov. Jodi Rell next year.

After two decades without a Democratic governor, despite a lopsided advantage in voter registration in Connecticut, the party is eager to capture the state’s top political post.

Nancy DiNardo, who’s in her third term as the state Democratic chairwoman, told Bristol Democrats this week that the party has “a deep bench” heading into the gubernatorial race and stands a good chance of knocking off Rell.

But not everyone sees it that way.

Jim Hopkins, a party activist, said that Rell “will win easily” if the Democratic contenders spend the next year and a half ripping into each other instead of targeting the Republicans.

He said that with Rell’s popularity, she may not only win re-election, she might help the GOP capture the U.S. Senate seat held by Chris Dodd, who’s struggling in the polls in the wake of unproven accusations that he got favors from mortgage brokers.

If Rell runs again, Hopkins said, “she threatens out senatorial seat” because Dodd’s own poll ratings are low.

The Republican National Committee’s “going to put a ton of money in here” to boost Rell and try to take down Dodd, warned Hopkins.

DiNardo said that she generally agrees with Hopkins’ take on the political situation that party faces, adding that it’s been a topic of discussion lately.

DiNardo said that Democrats need to take aim at Rell as much as possible.

“It is unfortunate that we have a governor who lacks any vision,” said DiNardo, a Trumbull resident.

She said that Rell, who hasn’t said whether she intends to run again in 2010, offered “a disingenuous budget” to the General Assembly that neglected to address more than $2 billion of anticipated revenue shortfall.

Fortunately, DiNardo said, the Democratic-controlled legislature is “holding her feet to the fire” in a bid to make her offer a plan to close the gap.

“She values the millionaires more than ordinary, working people,” said Terry Parker a potential City Council candidate in the 3rd District.

DiNardo said that Rell has proven over the years that her image as a nice person isn’t quite the true picture.

“She does these little political games,” DiNardo said, and can be vindictive toward those who don’t fall in line, which her efforts to eliminate the state’s insurance advocate prove.

DiNardo said that Rell got a free pass for a long time because “the press loved her” and didn’t tie her to the scandals of her predecessor, former Gov. John Rowland, who tapped Rell as his lieutenant governor.

She said Rell has never been a leader, just someone who reacts to headlines.

Democrats have an opportunity to send Rell packing, DiNardo said, if they can keep the heat on and expose Rell’s record.

DiNardo said that Bristol is lucky to have someone like Art Ward as its mayor.

She said he is humble and has demonstrated “foresight and vision” in running the city for the past 15 months.

Noting the recent Standard & Poor’s bond rating upgrade that Bristol achieved in the midst of a recession, DiNardo called the achievement “phenomenal.”

Democrats eyeing the governor’s office next year

Former state House Speaker James Amann

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz

Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy


Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Odin said...

Maybe the problem with getting Democrats elected is Nancy DiNardo. What a dud she is. No wonder a blue state can't get a Democrat elected if she's been head of the party for three terms.

Anonymous said...

We might have had a Republican Governor for 20 years, but we have had the Democrats control the house for 20 years or longer. With their leadership we are on path to having the state file Bankruptcy. What people tend to forget is that when then Gov. Wicker proposed the newly passed State income tax in 1991 we only had a budget deficit of $1 Billion. Since 1991 our state government has doubled with Union workers our budget is headed for a $40 Billion shortfall in the next 2 years, and the population in the State of CT has stayed the same or maybe even shrunk in the last 20 years. Oh and we even added 2 huge casinos to off-set much need cash for Cities/towns. So, please can someone on these boards explain to me how we have ended up in the situation we are in today? Please don't blame Bush because we live in a state with the highest tax in the country and most if not all of you on these boards pay about 7 to 10 taxes a day before you even put your head down to go to sleep. Does anyone have any idea where your hard earned tax dollars are going? And who is to Blame?

Anonymous said...

DiNardo: wrong on two out of two.
She is wrong on Rell, and she is wrong on Ward!

Anonymous said...

What an bright statement by Terry Parker. He wants to be a City Councilman...what a joke. But then again Bristol voters elected Chris Right! Now there is two peas in a pod.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why the Democrats always say the Republican's are for the rich, when the truth is that both parties are survive on the backs of wealthy individuals and organizations. Almost all of Hollywood goes Democratic; Unions are not exactly poor organizations. The UAW has their own Golf course for their members. Unions spend millions of dollars to support campaigns, when why can't they spend that same money to help their membership out. I bet in these tough times the Unions ate not even considering cutting their dues to help their members in this time of stress? Doubt it!

Anonymous said...

How did she (how can she) explain the democrats hiring a $165,000/yr Press Secretary. I know the push is to get people working, but that is ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Rell will whip any democrat, and Kenny will slam the door on Artie's backside!

Anonymous said...

@ February 24, 2009 2:22 PM

There is sooooo much wrong with what you have spewed out. For one thing, CT is not "headed for a $40 billion shortfall in the next 2 years" as you've stated. Where did you get that number?

Do your own homework. Nobody owes you an explanation. And please stop spreading your ignorance around like it has some value or meaning in reality, because it DOES NOT!

If you want to know who is to blame, it's people like you who like to criticize without offering solutions or strategies to improve the state of the State of Connecticut. The first step on the road to improvement is to show Rell the door! After that, all will fall into place naturally. She has done nothing significant for the State of CT or its citizens.

Anonymous said...

What insults to our governor! She plays little political games...oh brother. Democrats better come up with something better than that if they want her office.

Anonymous said...

Electing a democrat governor would turn connecticut into a black and blue state .

Anonymous said...

"DiNardo said that Rell got a free pass for a long time because 'the press loved her' and didn’t tie her to the scandals of her predecessor, former Gov. John Rowland"

The press COULDN'T tie her to Rowland's scandals, otherwise they certainly would have. But obviously DiNardo would like us to think there was a connection. Sleazy.

Anonymous said...

February 24, 2009 4:59 PM

You really have no clue do you! And you must me a state employee. Please go talk to Chris Wright or Bill Hamzy for the real facts and numbers. Because that is where I received my numbers from and you can google all of the info as well.

Anonymous said...

@ February 24, 2009 2:22 PM

How can Rell do anything! The DEMOCRATS are in control and they will over turn anything she vetoes. So, please put your UNION card back in your back pocket and zip it. This State has been controlled by DEM's like the person said above for 20 something years with no tax breaks, and we have the highest taxes and nothing to show for it. And yes we are headed for something close to a 8 to maybe a 20 billion dollar shortfall in the next 2 to 3 years. I think the 40 might be a little high. but who knows. Maybe someone knows something we dont!

can I, can I? said...

5:00pm - don't tell ken johnson that or he'll want to a governor too.

monkey see, monkey do said...

7:33 - would be fun to see ken johnson's little tirades, like when he slammed and broke the door to the city council, on statewide tv - no reason that everyone in the state shouldn't be given the opportunity to witness his juvenile actions.

Anonymous said...

Ken who?

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...


Although I'm sure it's for different reasons. I have to say I'm completely in agreement with you.

Anonymous said...

No reason why WE have to be bothered with his puerile behaviour!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you need another drunk like Healy! You jokers ought to tell it like it is. You jerks know it all !

Anonymous said...

How about Jill Fitzgerald and David Cappiello ? You guys forget them because you hired them was it possible that you forgot ? LOL or because they couldn't win ?

Anonymous said...

Dodd for governor!