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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Agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives " used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account," according to a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by a group of tobacco farmers who claim they were "swindled out of $24 million." The agents allegedly used shipments of snack food disguised as tobacco. The Justice Department is reportedly investigating the matter, though as of now it is unclear how widespread the practice was or if it is still ongoing.
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