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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CT-Gov: Blumenthal (D) Is Out

Posted by DavidNYC

Via a DKos diary: Connecticut Attorney General Dick Blumenthal (D) is officially out of the governor's race. Probably a wise move, given that incumbent Republican Jodi Rell (aka the accidental governor) has some of the highest approval ratings in the nation. The Dem primary now falls to a couple of mayors: Dannel Malloy (Stamford) and John DeStefano (New Haven). I don't know anything about Malloy, but I do know that I was unimpressed with DeStefano during the years I lived in New Haven.

On a related note, I wonder if, in the case of gubernatorial resignations, it might not be "be careful what you wish for." The Republican governors of both Ohio and Kentucky are embroiled in ethics scandals and might resign before their terms are up. Would their successors (either in office, or as candidates) wind up getting a huge (and lasting) bounce like Rell, or would they wind up more like middle-of-the-pack Richard Codey, the man who replaced McGreevy in NJ? Hard to know.

Posted at 10:50 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Connecticut | Technorati

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Dear David:

I'm disappointed with your comment on John DeStefano. He is probably the best mayor of New Haven in living memory. He has brought a run down, poor and old industrial city back to life. He has done so by joining with his major asset in the city, Yale University. He has worked with the Yale president to rehabilitate, now virtually all of the center city area. Countless interesting restaurants open weekly. Hundreds of out-of-towners come to New Haven every night. It's the entertainment capital of the region if not the state. It's the only city in the state that has life in the downtown, day and night.

Yale now owns much of the area. The city is in the middle of rebuilding every public school using mostly state money - a billion dollar project. The city has built many regional magnet schools. He has multiple bright experts who work for him. They are constantly looking for ways to obtain state and federal grant money for the city. Working with Yale, there has been much succes. As old utility corporate headquarters close, they turn into Yale buildings or private apartment buildings. Now more than 10,000 middle class people live in the center of the city. There are programs to stabilize housing. New Haven, at its own expense, houses virtually all of the area's homeless.

While the mayors of Brideport and Waterbury now are in prison, and Hartford is in a very, very poor and sad condition, there has never been a hint of personal corruption for our mayor.

John is tireless. He is behind all of this activity. The split between suburbs and the cities in Connecticut is central issue. He has worked to try to bring life to regional organizations.

I have lived in New Haven for almost 30 years and have never worked for the city. The mayor before John could not even get the grass mowed in the parks and began closing down libraries. I live in a neighborhood that has been revived and is gradually improving. Real estate prices have increased. Crime is down. For sure, the public schools still need improving, but not for lack of trying to improve them.

If John were governor and the state legislature cooperated, Connecticut, with its wealth, could become a national model for reviving old cities and helping those who need help. There is no doubt the politics would be difficult, but the opportunity is there.

You know little of this city and ought to inquire before you make such comments. Your comment has lessened your credibility on other matters that you comment on. I will attribute this to your youth and impatience. Keep up your good work, but try to know more before you comment.

Posted by: CTdem01 [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2005 09:45 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, I'm curious about why you were unimpressed with Mayor DeStefano. Were there specific instances? How involved were you with New Haven politics and which years were they?

I must admit, I don't know a lot about New Haven politics, myself. I know that some people have complained that New Haven has a strong political machine, and some people dislike Mayor DeStefano because the machine supports him. I'm from Stamford, so I have a better understanding of Stamford politics.

However, when I got past vague impressions, I found that Mayor DeStefano is a very sharp and engaging leader. He is embracing political innovation, including hiring me as the BlogMaster and sending out a DVD biography to Democratic leaders. He has garnered strong labor support and is building a strong grassroots campaign. I expect we will continue to see great leadership and innovation from him.

I also believe that when people get past vauge impressions of Jodi Rell, they will find that she isn't much of a leader and doesn't have much vision. We have see the quality of life decline during the Rowland/Rell years. When people see the contrast between Rell and DeStefano I expect that DeStefano will come out ahead.

Aldon Hynes
BlogMaster, DeStefano for Connecticut

Posted by: Aldon Hynes [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2005 08:05 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I mostly followed politics by reading the papers - and observing what kind of development was and wasn't (mostly wasn't) taking place in New Haven around me.

I didn't follow things like a hawk, and I have no intention of dismissing DeStefano out-of-hand. I do think Rell will be hard to beat, though - not because she's any great shakes, but just because of already-entrenched perceptions. Then again, 2006 is shaping up to be a Dem landslide, so anything is possible.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2005 08:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment