Fasano: Governor Should be Talking to Legislators about Criminal Justice, Not Name Calling [NBC]

May 19, 2015

NBC CT

Gov. Dannel Malloy met with religious leaders and resident of Hartford’s North End neighborhood to strike up more support for his legislative proposal that would remove mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug possession.

“I think the whole idea is to make people uncomfortable that you can be treated one way in Avon and a totally different way in Hartford,” Malloy said outside the Cozy Spot, a local breakfast and lunch staple in one of the city’s roughest neighborhoods.

Marcus Brown now owns the barber shop down the street where he worked for his father years ago. He says the North End is a shell of its old self and doesn’t resemble thriving cities and towns in other parts of the country.

“You go to other states and you see right off the highway lots of other businesses and companies and manufacturing,” Brown said. “Down here in the North End, in the Meadows, you don’t have that.”

Last week, Malloy took strong criticism from Republicans who accused the governor of inappropriately injecting race into the conversation by saying that opposition to the Second Chance proposal was “if not racist in its intent, racist in its outcome.”

On Monday, State Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven, criticized the governor for not discussing the specifics of his proposal with members of the General Assembly.

“I don’t get it. He thinks he’s in a totally different role,” said Fasano. “This is the legislature. We know what the issues are. We should be sitting down. We have 13 days left. He should be saying, ‘Hey, let’s sit down, let’s talk.'”

Fasano also said of the governor’s comments last week, “I think the governor’s name calling was just unnecessary. That’s sixth grade.”

Malloy took the opportunity to snipe at Republicans, on the notion that Democrats are concerned a vote for Second Chance could become a campaign issue.

“Republicans want to oppose a package that will lower crime so that they can score cheap political points, that’s what they’re trying to do,” Malloy said.