So, I’m wondering, as a brief segue from the local political scene … do you want Hillary to bag it, embrace Barack and get out of the way? Or should she keep fighting, take it to the Democratic convention and hope he does something stupid along the way?
Is Clinton a stronger general election candidate than Obama? And if Barack ends up the Democratic standard bearer should he ask her to take the second spot?
I say no. Barack should identify someone that can actually deliver a purple state. Plus, I’m not so sure that Hill wants to be second fiddle. She did that for eight years. Although if Hill ended up being the candidate she might be forced to ask him to accept the second spot to ensure that black voters are super energized for the general.
Barack at the top of the ticket would have implications locally. For instance, he’ll juice the turnout in Bridgeport, bringing new Democratic and unaffiliated voters to the polls, that could bolster Democrat Jim Himes’ challenge of Republican Congressman Chris Shays, or Democratic state senate candidate Anthony Musto’s challenge of Republican State Sen. Rob Russo.
If that’s the case, Republican incumbents would be forced to contemplate a surgical retail strategy. For example, if Russo successfully secures state money for a forensic audit of the Bridgeport Board of Education, it would build heapings of goodwill across the board with voters that want to know where the ed money is going.
General elections, during presidential cycles, are far more about message than identifying and dragging voters to the polls. You know they’re coming out, the key is finding the message that will cut through the static.
(By the way, I’m loving the banter between the Bob Keeley and Auden Grogins supporters. Keep it coming! We may yet have that mud wrestling match at Ellsworth Field.)
News release from State Sen. Rob Russo
Russo Signs on to Revised Balanced Budget Proposal
Plan would protect municipal state aid, fund Early Reading Success Program, encourage small business growth and reduce state gas taxes
Hartford, CT – Amid skyrocketing gasoline prices, worsening economic indicators and pleas for help from taxpayers, educators, nursing homes, private providers, public housing authorities, Mayors and First Selectmen; State Senator Robert D. Russo (R-Bridgeport) today joined House and Senate Republican leaders in reintroducing a balanced budget proposal that would cut state gas taxes, protect municipal state aid and fund the Early Reading Success program. The budget proposal, first introduced in April, also provides tax incentives to small businesses, streamlines state government, and reduces state spending by more than $160 million.
“We are just beginning to see the negative impact of the state legislature’s decision not to adjust the FY09 budget,” said Senator Russo. “Connecticut residents and businesses continue to struggle with rising gasoline prices and will be hit with another gas tax increase on July 1st. Moreover, municipalities are being faced with the difficult decision of cutting critical local services such as education and public safety. The City of Bridgeport alone will lose $3 million in state funding for its Early Reading Success Program and likely deny full-day kindergarten to as many as 370 children, unless we make necessary adjustments to the budget now.”
In anticipation of a June special session, Republicans have also revised their budget proposal to address the debate on extending the state conveyance tax. The Republicans have proposed a solution that will lower the conveyance tax rate without lowering state aid to municipalities. They accomplish this by keeping the municipal portion of the conveyance tax intact, while reducing the state portion (.5% on residential real estate sales under $800,000) by .15%. The savings to taxpayers is equal to savings that would be achieved if the conveyance tax were to sunset. The Republicans pay for the tax cut by implementing a Tax Amnesty program.
The Republican budget proposal is balanced, offers significant and lasting tax cuts, addresses shortfalls in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) and funds the two major criminal justice initiatives adopted this year. The plan includes several proposals Russo has advocated for throughout his campaign and since being elected to the State Senate on March 11th. It calls for a two-year phase out of the Business Entity Tax, an expansion of the job creation tax credit, and the elimination of the .5% increase in the gross receipts tax on gasoline scheduled for July 1st. In an effort to save money and slow the growth of government, more than 11,000 eligible state workers will be offered an optional early retirement plan.
. Balanced Budget for ’08 and ’09 and a surplus for ‘09
· No Tax Increases
. No Program Cuts
. No Layoffs
. Funds Housing PILOT/tax abatement
. Repeal of the Gross Receipts Tax Increase on Gasoline Scheduled for July 1st
. Cap on the Gross Receipts Tax on Gasoline
. Phase Out of the Business Entity Tax
. Phase Out of the Estate Tax Cliff
. 1% Increase for Private Providers & Nursing Homes
. Saving the Early Reading Success Program
. Does not touch the Rainy Day Fund
. Reduces the Size and Cost of Government through Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program.
. Lowers conveyance tax without reducing municipal aid
For more information about the Republican Alternative budget proposal, please visit www.senaterepublicans.ct.gov.