November 3, 2010

How come Colapietro lost?

While there's no doubt that Republicans across the country found many Democrats to be easy picking in a blowout election, that's not what happened in Connecticut.
In fact, it appears this morning that Connecticut Democrats may be in better shape today than they were before the election.
The Democrats retained all five congressional seats, turned aside Linda McMahon and her $50 million to hang on to a U.S. Senate seat and may well have captured the governorship for the first time in a quarter century.
So Colapietro's loss wasn't just the result of a shifting tide.
It was more personal than that.
Voters in the 31st District installed a GOP newcomer, Jason Welch, at least in part because they wanted a new state senator, not so much that they wanted change generally.
Colapietro, who was supremely classy in his defeat last night, said it was time for him to go out to pasture.
The truth is that Colapietro was ready to call it quits after 18 years in the Senate. He'd done much of what he sought to do -- the 'no call' list, subcontractor reform, holding off Sunday liquor sales and more.
He didn't have a burning desire to go back and finish anything in particular. He seemed, to be truthful, kind of tired of it all.
From the Democrats' perspective, it probably would have been best if Colapietro had simply stepped down, opening the door for a fresh face to claim his party's line.
But he wasn't quite ready for that.
Neither, though, was he ready for the rigors of a campaign.
He didn't bother to get his public financing in order until the last possible date. He didn't do much campaigning at all until the last few weeks, when the state Democrats stepped in to lend a hand.
Meanwhile, Welch was out there day after day, week after week, month after month, showing his face, telling voters about his more conservative vision for Connecticut, and sounding thoughtful, decent and solid.
In the sole debate, where the candidates had the questions in advance, Colapietro sounded confused and halting. Welch rolled over him. It was hard for most of us watching to imagine that Colapietro was the legislative veteran.
I've known Colapietro for a long time now -- 16 years -- and I've come to like the man. Politics aside, he's genuine. He says what he thinks and he doesn't really care what the consequences are.
When I first got to know him, he complained endlessly about the paper, about the vicious editorials that an anti-union former publisher used to write. He saw a conspiracy against him at the Press in every story.
But over time, he recognized that whatever had been the case, the paper no longer had it in for him. It just reported the news, which sometimes made him mad and sometimes happy.
Colapietro was always good ink.
I've read with horror the terrible things people write on this blog and elsewhere about Colapietro when they can bat out anonymous nonsense. Much of it is so cruel and beside the point that I can't figure out how come the words get spewed out.
I know some of that stung the senator, however much he claimed to have thick skin.
I really don't have any doubt that Colapietro and his wife Susan are going to have some good years ahead. The legislature is hard on anyone -- and the next couple of years are going to be especially difficult.
Welch thanked Colapietro last night for his 18 years of public service. That, too, was classy.
The new Republican senator has found Bristol a welcoming home. Let's hope he serves the city as well as he ran his upbeat, positive campaign.
*****
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

There appears to be more to the Welch story than meets the eye: lotta money (from where) non local manager, late arrival in town, etc etc.


Interesting.

Hoope he really is ready to serve Bristol, not just use it as a stepping stone.

Anonymous said...

Another loss for Zoppo!

Anonymous said...

Boo hoo. You're a certified jerk that's why Steve.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Steve

Anonymous said...

Like Colapietro has stated in the past, "The voters are smarter than you think".

Well obviously it took a while for them to wake up, but they did. Too bad you haven't yet.

Anonymous said...

at least Zoppo supported the ticket unlike Ward and his cronies who gave pretty speeches in public yet talked behind the backs of Colapietro to others. I 'm getting kinda sick of the two faced turn the Bristol Democrats have taken. And it all starts at the top.

Anonymous said...

why is it when the voters decide to support a Dem, their are always reasons why something went wrong and voters were misled, and when the gop gets a victory, its "the voters have spoken?" Enjoy the victory, as you should, but know there is another set of cynical voters wiating in the wings for the next cycle. This should keep all elected officials honest - you never know year to year which party will be favorite.

Anonymous said...

November 3, 2010 10:15 AM:

"Non local manager"? The man is Bev Broboske's son who lives in the District you jerk-weed.

Anonymous said...

the vicious editorials that an anti-union former publisher used to write
`````````````````````````

He certainly didn't need to worry about that this year w/ the commie publisher we have now .

This victory is one of the few bright spots in the State elections . Too bad we have soooo many elite welfare recipients determined to save their union "jobs" .

At least there were many bright spots where Americans votes counted in the Nation.

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH.....really move on !!! Clean your yard or something...

Anonymous said...

Oh please -- he loses so now he says he really was ready to go into retirement anyway!
Excuse me, but that exemplifies why you lost! You no longer cared about the constituents.
Shame on you for even trying to take on another term if this is truly where your heart is.

Anonymous said...

Both candidates took advantage of state campaign financing. I'm pretty sure they both had the same budget. Welch just had better media people on his team.

Steve Collins said...

11:07 -- Our publisher is a registered Republican.
And I suppose I should add that the editorials Zerbey wrote about unions were vicious in the eyes of Colapietro. I never saw most of them because I moved to Bristol only in 1993.

Anonymous said...

10:51

Tim was manager in name only: he does not have the experience to put together an effort like the Welch campaign did.

Check back, I think that TJ even claimed to be his manger.

All in all, jasaon had out side help, however they were titled.

Anonymous said...

November 3, 2010 11:34 AM

Bring back Zerbey. It sounds like he knew what was going on.

the architect said...

November 3, 2010 11:45 AM:

Yes, I have an idea who it was...

Karl Rove!

GET OVER IT! Bristol finally wised up!

Anonymous said...

10:24 AM: Would that be the same way Zoppo supports/supported Ward???

I guess two-faced is in the eye of the beholder, and it doesn't start at the top...it starts behind the scenes, and Zoppo is the one behind the curtain. The fact that she was in Colapietro's corner probably sealed his fate.

Anonymous said...

I worked intricately on Jason's campaign and he had NO outside help of any substance at all. To claim he did, just shows how little that person knows. Where Jason spent his money was local and the people who helped him were local. On a contrary note, I have not agreed with Senator Colapietro on many things, including things he did in this campaign, but I must admit that his coming to the Republican party to concede did show class.

Anonymous said...

I think this was a nice piece by Steve. I only wish he would have described his true opinion of the debate in the article as accurately as he did in this post-election blog. Congrats to Jason on a great, clean and honest campaign. Good luck to Senator Colapietro in the future.

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD.THIS IS STEP ONE IN REMOVING CORRUPTION OUT OF THE LIQUOR INDUSTRY. NEXT ON THE AGENDA IS CORROL HUGHS. BYE BYE TOMMY JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU IN JAN.OF 2009

more of the same said...

10:15 - zoppo stabbed couture in the back too, thinking that with him out of the way, the throne was hers.

Anonymous said...

Never saw Zoppo at all yesterday accept when she came to vote and that was an in and out......and I was at all polling places thru the day. she is an easy target but I think you are misfiring on this one.

Anonymous said...

3:36 You really need to find and use a spell-check!!

Anonymous said...

3:57 PM, That's exactly what she wants you to think. Believe me...she's pulling the strings on many puppets.

Anonymous said...

The UNION GUYS ARE ALL DONE. BRISTOL WOKE UP. Next will be useless dept heads and city employes that cant do there job. Like RAY RAGAZINISKI.

Anonymous said...

5:23

Next will be Art Ward!!!

Anonymous said...

1:17 You gotta be a real idiot. Sunday liquoir sales will remove corruption? Boy are you a hypocrite. I think the corrupton is you . Show me the corruption !

Anonymous said...

1:17 Colapietro has more class in his little finger than you will ever have. And we know who he is. You must not have anything too show or you would.

Anonymous said...

8:37 pm, Nah, 5:23 pm is talking about "useless" people. Sounds like YOUR job is the one in danger.

Anonymous said...

The union guys are going one by one.

Anonymous said...

To answer the question? Welch worked very hard and convinced voters to take a chance on him. Let's wish him luck and thank Tom for his service and move on already.

Pat... said...

Well Said 8:48 AM...THANK YOU!!!