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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"Congressional negotiators released a stopgap spending bill Tuesday night to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight Friday and to fund federal agencies and programs through April 28." The 70-page continuing resolution includes $170 million to aid Flint, Michigan's water supply, and a waiver that would allow Ret. Gen. James Mattis to assume the role of secretary of Defense.
"A number of Capitol Hill Democrats have revived proposals to reform or abolish the Electoral College," chief among Michigan's John Conyers, who "held a panel on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss options for eliminating the Electoral College and replacing it with a system where a national popular vote elects the president. ... The plan with the most support to reform the election college at the panel was the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a proposal first developed in 2001 that would give the national popular vote winner the majority of electoral college votes through an agreement between the states."
House Speaker Paul Ryan has decreed that House members "won’t receive their committee assignments until January — after they cast a public vote on the House floor for speaker. "The move has sparked behind-the-scenes grumbling from a handful of Ryan critics, who say the delay allows him and the Speaker-aligned Steering Committee to dole out committee assignments based on political loyalty rather than merit or expertise." The roll call to elect the speaker is set for Jan. 3, the first vote of the new Congress.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.