The Democratic primary fight for state comptroller has dissolved into one of the sleaziest, most vile political brawls that I've seen in decades of watching candidates claw for public office.
Let's start with this classic hit piece, put together by Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura's campaign that's challenged Lembo for the office:
For more, you can just go to Jarjura's "LemboLies" website. Click here.
I'll leave it to Democratic voters to decide whether that's so vicious that the man who put it out there should be sent packing or not.
Lembo, the endorsed candidate, has a website here where you can learn more about him.
And here is a statement Lembo's campaign put out last night after seeing a mailer that Jarjura must have sent to every Democrat in the state:
Statement of Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for state Comptroller Kevin Lembo on negative direct mail and internet website launched by his opponent today.
“I am shocked, and frankly, appalled by the distortions and lies, and the juvenile nature of the direct mail and website that the Mayor of Waterbury launched today against my campaign.
“Connecticut is facing an almost $4 billion budget deficit. We are competing here to be the Comptroller of the State of Connecticut, and to administer a $19 billion budget. The Mayor’s campaign strategy is to use copyrighted music for a cartoon campaign hit? What kind of debate on the issues is this?
“Some of my opponents’ claims are just bizarre. But let me be clear – I have never lied to the people of Connecticut or distorted my record.
“I was given the title of Assistant Comptroller by Nancy Wyman, and she can verify it. My work in the Comptroller’s office focused, in part, on convincing the legislature to increase contributions to the Rainy Day Fund, and I am proud of that effort.
“I have never proposed a $3 billion increase in state spending, ever. Having been a home owner in three states, I am unaware of any personal credit issues or unpaid bills.
“And yes, I did work for the former Republican Lieutenant Governor of New York in the late-90s. But my opponent fails to reveal that the Lt. Governor also became a Democrat in very short order, and ran against her former running mate: Republican George Pataki. I didn’t (and still don’t) agree with every policy position Betsy takes. But for the record, she is probably less conservative than the Mayor of Waterbury; she actually supports a woman’s right to choose.
“If it has been a secret to the Mayor of Waterbury that the Office of the Healthcare Advocate is funded through the insurance fund (I know he was absent for that vote as a member of the General Assembly), then he is woefully uninformed. The OHA, like the Banking and Insurance Departments, is funded by an assessment on the regulated industry. I make no apologies for helping consumers save $20 million dollars since taking office. My record of accomplishment is pretty clear.
“I am enormously proud of the work I’ve done in Connecticut and New York advocating for health care and better budget practices. It is truly unfortunate that the Mayor of Waterbury and his cronies think that singing songs and distorting my record is more important than talking about their own.”
I may have missed something -- probably have, in fact -- but the worst thing I can find that Lembo has done to Jarjura is to point out the Waterbury mayor helped hire former Gov. John Rowland to do economic development in his hometown. He has also said that Jarjura is anti-choice on abortion and was involved with the group that led the fight against gay marriage in Connecticut. As far as I know, those claims are true.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org