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If Governor What Would Ganim And Others Do?

June 11th, 2017 · 3 Comments · Analysis and Comment, State Politics

Of the dozen or so candidates raising dough for a gubernatorial run in 2018, one of them–or perhaps another unnamed–will have a mighty mess on his/her hands to fix fiscally upon taking office in January 2019. The other night at the Connecticut Democratic Party’s annual dinner, CT Mirror reporter Kyle Constable questioned five Democratic candidates who have formed candidate or exploratory committees for a governor’s run in 2018, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, former Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo and former chief of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Chris Mattei, a Bridgeport attorney.

The candidates all responded to the same questions. Here’s how Ganim answered:

Given the state’s budgetary crisis, why would you want to be the one leading Connecticut as governor through these difficult fiscal times?

Well hopefully, being able to look at some of the experience I’ve had taking Bridgeport twice from fiscal mess to balanced budgets – I think there’s some experience there. I’m not saying I have all the answers, [just] some experience that I hope, from working with others, can help benefit the state. I applaud the efforts that are being made right now at the state level trying to balance the budget and all that. But I think I can bring some experience and hopefully a new perspective that will benefit Connecticut.

What budgetary items or ideas would you say are “off limits” for cutting if you were guiding the legislature in crafting a budget?

I’m biased to a certain extent, knowing the challenges our cities have and that we’ve neglected our cities–and looking at the challenge Hartford has. But any major city is one step away from–could be one budget away from where Hartford is. I think anything that would shortchange the most vulnerable, that would–in this case, most of them are in cities–that would hurt cities and towns, but especially the big cities that are shouldering the burden. That would be something that would be unacceptable. And I hope this governor finds it unacceptable as well, and he’s said that. So I applaud that. And the leadership in the legislature has said that as well, so hopefully we’re all going to come out with something that helps our cities.

What revenue options should be on the table? Income tax and sales tax? Tolls, legalizing and taxing marijuana, new casinos?

I think looking at those is important. They made some changes with casinos. I don’t know quantitatively how much that’s going to be. That’s another revenue source. I think we’ve long passed the moral argument of who’s in favor or against gambling. I think, collectively, I think that’s where we are. I may be wrong, but that’s how I view it. I also think that you can’t cut cities and towns to the point where you’re just going to raise property taxes. That, I think, should be a non-starter because that’s the most regressive tax. And the over-reliance on property taxes to fund local government and public education is just a ridiculous formula.

See answers from other contenders here.

On the Republican side, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, a Bridgeport resident, are among the candidates raising money for 2018. Others may jump in.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Frank Gyure

    I think the Democrats are in trouble. Just wait. Whoever will be elected will get stones thrown at them one year into their term. Instead of complaining about Malloy,Connecticut Yankees(and OIB posters) will be moaning and complaining about whoever is the next Governor of Connecticut. Connecticut has a history of do-nothing Governors and State Legislatures. The only Governor who dared to shake the cobwebs in this State was Lowell Weicker. Weicker said that Connecticut cannot continue financing itself as it had been doing. Unfortunately,the People and Leaders of Connecticut have not learned that lesson.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    “I may be wrong, but that’s how I view it. I also think that you can’t cut cities and towns to the point we’re you’re just going to raise property taxes. That, I think, should be a non-starter because that’s the most regressive tax. And the over-reliance on property taxes to fund local government and public education is just a ridiculous formula.”

    You are wrong, who said cities and towns just have to raise taxes when or if the state cuts funding? If the State cuts, cities and towns can cut. Didn’t you cut our negotiated union (NAGE) raise. You even pointed out that the NAGE giveback or should I say take-back, help the city get out of the alleged deficit in 2016.

    “…the People and Leaders of Connecticut have not learned that lesson.”

    Hold on there, never put the people with the so called leaders of Connecticut. I for one NEVER supported Malloy, I did my best to warn “the People” about him. Mario Testa did everything to elect and re-elect him for example. You get what you elect and the Democrats in all the major cities in Connecticut must pay for their poor choice. Unfortunately, we will all pay with even higher taxes and fees in the near future.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Ol’ Joe will play possum much as he’s been doing in City Hall.

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