During Tuesday night's gubernatorial debate, when GOP candidate Tom Foley alluded to my mentioning on my afternoon radio show, how his opponent had cut deals with government sector employee unions, Dan Malloy bristled, claiming no arrangements had been made. Had Foley pulled from his suit coat pocket a copy of the union questionnaire I had in my possession, you would have had even more TV fireworks. The Foley campaign has since come into possession of the same documents and released them to the media.
At issue is the "Election Year 2010 Endorsement Questionnaire" submitted to the Malloy campaign by the "Administrative And Residual Employees Union Local 4200." The Malloy camp was asked 13 questions, including several that led to Foley's accurate portrayal, during the debate. For example, on question 4, when asked, "Will you support state employee layoffs, after the gubernatorial agreement ends in July 2011," the Malloy campaign answered "We've been very clear that we have no interest in laying off state employees."
On question 2, when asked about privatization, the Malloy campaign's answer: "We are against the privatization of public services currently performed by state and municipal workers and believe that many services currently done by private contractors could be done publically at less cost and with improved results. As Mayor of Stamford, Dan de-privatized services such as garbage collection and recycling and they performed at greater savings and efficiencies."
In the same questionnaire, the Malloy campaign also came out in support of binding arbitration. When Foley also challenged Malloy on the promises he made to the Connecticut Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, during a recent teleconference, Malloy angered again, attacking Foley as being anti teacher. It was one of the oldest attorney tricks in the books, by the long time lawyer: don't acknowledge the charge and turn the tables on your opponent. At last check, Malloy, who like Foley is a millionaire but doesn't want you to know that, still hadn't answered the question. To do otherwise, would have had required an admission that during that conference call, Malloy pledged to teachers his support for binding arbitration and underwriting the teachers' pension fund, while opposing merit pay.
Foley's point is that taxes will skyrocket under Malloy and government will grow, off of the promises Malloy has made to the unions. The former Stamford mayor knows that, which is why he's denying the existence of these deals. His platform stands in stark contract to Foley's "no tax hike pledge." It is probably why Malloy adopted his hard boiled, some might say bullying demeanor, during Tuesday's debate. Better to deflect the charges of your opponent, before a large television audience, than explain what promises have really been made, even if it makes your opponent look more statesmen like in the process.