Four weeks until Election Day and by any measure of voter outlook this governor’s race should be over, stick a fork in Dan Malloy and hand Republican Tom Foley the keys to the mansion. But it’s not over.
Tax increases, an economy still struggling for a turnaround, an incumbent governor with a prickly personality used to doing things his own way, has half the electorate, according to polls, on Foley’s side out of sheer loathe toward Malloy.
Only Foley’s sheer ineptitude as a candidate and disengagement from the reality of governmental life, has kept Malloy in the game for a possible second four-year term.
During a debate last week between Foley and Malloy, the challenger demagogued a 10-year-old law enforcement investigation into Malloy’s relationships with city contractors when he served as mayor of Stamford like it was some new revelation. Malloy was never charged and even cleared by law enforcement in a public statement of no wrong doing.
Malloy waited for his turn near the end of the debate lancing Foley’s past indiscretions including two automobile wrecks that landed him a night in the joint decades ago and a $15,000 fine this year for illegal campaign contributions.
Foley punched. Malloy punched back. Foley then called for a truce over personal attacks.
Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s chief strategist, responded: “Somebody calls for a truce when they’re losing an argument.”
Foley is losing the battle of character assassination, but veracity on various issues also calls into question his judgment.
In a television commercial Foley declares “Over 100,000 Connecticut children are in underpreforming schools.” He’s surrounded by blond-hair, blue-eyed school children, not one of them black or Hispanic. You’ve got to wonder how disconnected Foley is from the reality of underperforming schools when he disregards children of color from his advertising message.
Now certainly children of color do not hold a monopoly on low school performance, but when you examine education performance the greatest impact is in urban areas where Foley has promised to devote more attention this election cycle backed by a dubious urban agenda.
As governor, Foley proposes to strip funds from underperforming schools. When asked how he expects to elevate poor performance if he takes money away from them, he responded (duh!) no one ever asked me that question before.
Malloy pounced all over this declaration saying Foley will close schools like all those mills he shut down to pad his pockets as a financial liquidator.
And so Foley may very well be elected governor despite himself. But Malloy may very well survive, thanks to Foley’s Follies.