Maybe theyâ€™re right, but from their pandering and groveling it seems that most candidates in the Democratic and Republican primaries for state ticket nominations arenâ€™t worried about critical thinking by the voters.
Seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, zillionaire businessman Ned Lamont and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who says he has stopped taking bribes, are pandering and groveling for the partyâ€™s base - coddled government employees, whiny minority groups, indignant welfare recipients, and haters of gun rights and President Trump.
At a campaign forum in New Haven last week neither Lamont nor Ganim could talk back to the angry defenders of Jayson Negron, the 15-year-old car thief who, leading police in a chase, was fatally shot in Bridgeport last year as he backed into an officer with the stolen car he was driving. The boy had a hallucinogen in his blood and the stateâ€™s attorney found the shooting justified. At the forum Lamont and Ganim responded as if the boy had been innocent and the stateâ€™s attorney should have brought a murder charge against the officer who shot him. The candidates could not question the government-induced antisocial lifestyle of the urban underclass, part of the partyâ€™s base.
Last week Lamont said he wants to be Connecticutâ€™s â€śeducation governor,â€ť just hours after results from the latest national college readiness test showed the performance of Connecticutâ€™s high school students declining substantially despite ever-increasing school appropriations. It was another sign that the more Connecticut spends on education, the less education it gets. An â€śeducation governorâ€ť might notice this, challenge policy premises, and hold schools and especially parents to account, not pander and grovel to those on the payroll.
Meanwhile the candidates for the Republican nomination for governor are professing loyalty to President Trump and gun owners, who are thought to constitute that partyâ€™s base. Last week former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst said he is running for governor because Connecticut needs leaders who will respect the president - as if the country doesnâ€™t have far greater need of a president who engenders respect instead of disgust.
Westbrook state Sen. Art Linares, seeking the Republican nomination for state treasurer, is airing a commercial opposing sanctuary cities, as if the treasurer has any jurisdiction over that issue.
Former Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden, seeking the Democratic nomination for state treasurer, is airing a commercial criticizing the state pension fundâ€™s small investment in the gun industry, though some of that industry is based in the state and makes guns for the military. The treasurerâ€™s office is far more concerned with state governmentâ€™s finances, which are desperate, but Woodenâ€™s ad says nothing about that problem, since addressing it requires raising taxes or cutting spending. Itâ€™s far safer to posture against guns.
Two candidates for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, Stamford state Rep. William Tong and former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei, are airing commercials promising to sue the Trump administration over national issues. But the attorney generalâ€™s main job is to represent and defend state agencies.
So where do Tong and Mattei stand on the never-ending Sheff v. Oâ€™Neill school integration lawsuit, which has cost state government more than a billion dollars without integrating even Hartfordâ€™s schools and might cost the state a billion more? Tong and Mattei say nothing about that, relevance being too risky.
Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.