Gov. Jodi Rell‘s (R) “decision to bow out” and “not seek a second full term” will “demand public and media attention for a contest that might otherwise have been drowned out by the noise” of the SEN and nat’l races.
‘06 candidate/Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy (D): “The press was not likely to cover a Democratic (primary) contest if the governor was in it. So, for a guy like me, who represents one tiny portion of this state in a media market that has nothing to do with New Haven or Hartford, the chance for me to break through was impeded. Now, it’s no longer impeded. I’m going to get coverage.”
Sec/State Susan Bysiewicz (D) said Dems “are well-positioned to take back an office they haven’t won since” ‘86.
Bysiewicz: “She had been a very popular governor, and I think it is always more difficult to run when you have to go up against an incumbent, particularly one who has been popular. So there is a sense that the Democrats have an opportunity, and I’m very pleased to be the front-runner among Democrats” (Mann, New London Day, 11/15).
Hartford Courant‘s Bigelow writes, Dems “suddenly have their best chance to win the top job” since ‘86. “The possibility of winning has led to a lot of confusion among Democrats, so they’ve fallen back on a time-honored tradition: waiting for Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) to do something.”
Blumenthal “predictably abstained from the race” in Feb. “but now that Rell is gone there is suddenly a sliver of hope that he might enter this race instead of waiting for that Senate seat to finally open up. That’s the problem with Blumenthal; it’s been clear for a while that being governor is only something he’d settle for.”
Bysiewicz “has definite gubernatorial ambitions. … Of the current candidates, Bysiewicz is the only one to have won a statewide race, and she is known to be a tough primary campaigner. I still have no idea what she thinks she would do as governor, though.”
Malloy “was a useful sort to put up against Rell next year, but now that Democrats actually have a shot at winning, he may find his support draining away to better-funded, better-known candidates.” Then there’s ‘06 SEN nominee/businessman Ned Lamont (D), “who has support from the left wing of his party, name recognition from his 2006 run and plenty of money to work with.”
“I suppose there are Republican candidates, too, but they aren’t nearly as interesting or relevant. … Republicans are still heavily outnumbered in Connecticut, after all, and without the power of incumbency, the personal popularity of a Jodi Rell or a weak Democratic candidate to face off against, their chances look pretty grim” (11/15).
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U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."
President Trump on Wednesday "will order a review of national monuments created over the past 20 years with an aim toward rescinding or resizing some of them—part of a broader push to reopen areas to drilling, mining, and other development." Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on Tuesday said he'd be reviewing about 30 monuments.
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.