Fasano Responds to Gov. Malloy’s “Un-American” Insinuation

June 3, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to Gov. Malloy’s comments yesterday questioning “what kind of Americans” people are who disagree with the governor’s proposed “Second Chance 2.0” bill. Gov. Malloy said: “I don’t want to question what kind of Americans they are, but I grew up in an America where you’re not presumed guilty, that there actually is a presumption where you are assumed to be not guilty of something you are charged with until such time as a trial takes place.”

“To call lawmakers ‘un-American’ because we disagree with the governor’s bill is perhaps the most politically motivated, offensive and attention-seeking commentary I have ever heard from Gov. Malloy,” said Sen. Fasano. “I hope he simply misspoke, because the reality is that the people of this state, the good Americans of Connecticut, did not support the governor’s proposal. Represented by their locally-elected legislators, the people spoke loud and clear: the bill went too far. That’s why it was not called for a vote.

“As Americans we support the pillars of our justice system including the fact that you are innocent until proven guilty. But bail obviously has its place and judges do their jobs. Using the governor’s logic, it seems he’s saying we should repeal bail for all offenses no matter why someone is arrested. Why hold someone accused of murder on a bond – they’re innocent until proven otherwise after all? The governor’s logic is fatally flawed and borders being irresponsible. His logic doesn’t take into account the reality of the obvious need for public safety and justice.

“Let’s also be clear about what the people of this state actually think about the governor’s overly broad proposal. Democrats control the majority in both the Senate and the House in our state. It is Democrats who determine whether or not a bill is called for a vote. The fact that they killed the governor’s bill by not calling it means either one of two things: they don’t think it’s good policy, or they believe the people of this state who they represent don’t think it’s good policy. Otherwise, they would have passed it and stood proudly by their votes if they believed passing the bill was what the people wanted.

“Our nation’s judicial system is one built on fairness, justice, and public safety. To question a bill that could compromise those values is entirely ‘American.’ It is the foundation of our democracy and our right and duty as lawmakers. To call us un-American appears to be nothing more than an attempt to grab a national headline, the same goal this bill attempted and failed to capture,” said Fasano.