Deceitful Dan Malloy

June 15, 2015

By State Senator Joe Markley

“There won’t be tax increases I’m taking that pledge when I couldn’t take it before because this is a budget that I own and I’m willing to own it.” –Dan Malloy September 30, 2014

Dan Malloy spoke those words at a debate during his reelection campaign last fall. Eight months later, the legislative Democrats (without Republican input or support) passed a budget they negotiated with Malloy that raised state taxes by over $1 billion dollars a year.

According to Malloy, if he signs the budget he isn’t raising taxes, because the legislature passed it. My Uncle Myron had a saying for explanations like that: “Don’t pour water down my back and tell me it’s raining!” (My uncle’s imagery was a little saucier, but you get the idea.)

Semantics aside, Malloy made a pledge in order to win election, then broke it to suit his convenience.

Voters deserve the truth, and all of us need predictability. I suspect it is our state government’s constant inconstancy, rather than the new taxes themselves, which finally led GE, Travelers, and Aetna to make the unprecedented public announcement that they would explore leaving the state.

(In a related irony, GE and Aetna donated $366,000 to an organization which helped re-elect Malloy, Remember those ads attacking Tom Foley? GE and Aetna helped pay for them—now they’re paying for them again, in a different way.)

Malloy misled the big corporations, but it’s you and me who will bear the largest share of this tax hike. Whether those companies make good on their threats to leave, or whether Malloy uses our money to bribe them to stay, we’ll bear the cost of his deception and his misguided policies. Shame on us if we forget it, or forget those who supported his mismanagement.

Constituents often ask me how we can we get rid of Malloy; the answer, unfortunately is that we can’t; we’re stuck with him for three and a half more years. The Connecticut constitution contains no provision for a recall election—but it should.

For those who may not know, a recall election is a process whereby a petitioning group of citizens gathers signatures to force a politician to face the voters again before the term is up. Unlike impeachment, a politician need not commit a crime to be subject to a recall, nor does a recall guarantee the politician’s removal. Some, including Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, have kept their offices after recall elections.

Many states added the recall election to their constitutions a century ago, during the Progressive Era. It is a concept I wholeheartedly support. Having the recall as part of a state constitution would punish the deception practiced by Dan Malloy in 2014—and by his mendacious mentor Lowell Weicker in 1990, who pledged not to impose a state income tax during the election, then insisted on one as soon as he took office.
Because Connecticut doesn’t have recall, those deceivers knew they could promise not to raise taxes in order to get office, then break that promise and still not risk losing their jobs.

In past years, I proposed bills to amend the state constitution to include the recall. Lamentably, they went nowhere. But the events of the past week may change things. The people should demand a process to remove particularly bad politicians like Dan Malloy. In my next term, I will again file the recall bill. If there are enough honest souls in the legislature, we will pass it.