by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 6, 2014) — In a posting dated November 5, 2014, Connecticut House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, Jr. celebrated the net gain of ten seats in the lower chamber of the General Assembly in Tuesday’s elections.

A map of “blue,” representing Democrat, and “red” areas representing Republican seats in Cafero’s report shows what appears to be, at first glance, an evenly-divided state politically resulting from the election.

Republicans in both the House and Senate have been in the minority for at least two decades in Connecticut.

In May, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said in a news release at the end of the legislative session that the Democrat majority’s actions under Democrat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had led to “a fiscal house in disorder.”  At that time, Cafero described the Democrat state leadership as having “refused to cut spending as revenues declined and taxpayers struggled,” adding that “It was a toxic mix that will no doubt result in another massive tax hike or government layoffs after the November elections.”

Cafero will not be House Minority Leader for the new legislative session beginning in January.  He believes that if McKinney, who had been a candidate for governor in the Republican primary, had survived it, Connecticut “would be having a very different conversation.”

The state has been suffering delayed effects from the recession which began in 2007 but did not immediately impact the Northeast.  In 2011, a 10% unemployment rate affected both small eastern towns and the capital of Hartford.  In September, the overall unemployment rate was reported as 6.4%, .5% higher than the national average.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Hartford is home to more than one-quarter of Connecticut’s 3.5 million people.  In 2012, Bridgeport was reported to have 146,425 people, the largest in the state; New Haven had 130,660 as of 2013.

Elected in 2010, Malloy signed a bill the following year passed by the Connecticut General Assembly mandating an unprecedented increase in state taxes.  In April 2013, he signed a controversial gun law which has been challenged in federal court and which caused at least one firearms manufacturer to leave the state.

The state’s three largest cities are Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, the latter two of which are sanctuary cities for illegal aliens.

Although a very close race ensued for governor on Tuesday which was not settled until mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Malloy won re-election in what town election reports appear to show came primarily from the cities of Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford.

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns with no county government.  An examination of the election returns shows that voters in small towns throughout the state overwhelmingly voted for Republicans for governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, comptroller, and state assemblymen.  However, they chose to re-elect all Democrats to the U.S. Congress.  Connecticut’s two U.S. senators were not on the ballot in 2014.

Petitioning candidate for governor Joe Visconti announced on Sunday that he was withdrawing from the race and supporting Foley, although Secretary of State Denise Merrill stated during a Monday press conference that because Visconti had not submitted an official request to withdraw, his name would remain on Connecticut ballots.

Most, if not all, executive-branch Democrats appeared on the “Working Families Party” ticket, and Republicans also ran as “Independents.”

The wealthy town of New Canaan on the border with New York voted more than 2 to 1 against all Democrats on the ballot.

Settled in 1673, the town of Southbury reported a difference of more than 1,500 votes in favor of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley over Malloy.  In a departure from statistics noted in other towns, the majority of Southbury voters cast their vote for Republican Mark Greenberg, challenger to the incumbent Democrat U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty.

The rural town of Barkhamsted in Litchfield County, population 3,620 and known as a Republican stronghold, followed suit with New Canaan and Southbury, among others.  Litchfield County voted heavily in favor of Foley on Tuesday, as did Windham County and rural Tolland County, which includes Stafford Springs, the home of The Post & Email.

Fairfield County, the most affluent area in the state, was equally split between Malloy and Foley.

Esty represents Litchfield County; Newtown, where 26 children and educators were killed in a school shooting on December 14, 2012; and Cheshire, the location of a heinous home invasion in 2007, and was re-elected on Tuesday.  An attorney and former Cheshire Town Council member and state assemblywoman, Esty believes in federal-level gun control and “commonsense improvements to the Affordable Care Act to make it work better for Connecticut businesses and families.”

In the governor’s race, Newtown voted for Foley by a slim margin despite Malloy’s signature on the new gun law, but favored Esty by approximately the same margin.

The town of Voluntown bordering Rhode Island voted for Republicans for executive-branch government but Democrats for their state representative and senator.  However, they preferred a Democrat registrar of voters over the Republican and Democrat U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, who was re-elected to a fifth term on Tuesday with 63% of the vote.

The small town of Scotland, CT also voted against what could be interpreted as bigger state government in the persons of Malloy, Secretary of State Denise Merrill, and Treasurer Denise Nappier.  Voters there preferred Republicans to represent them in the state assembly over Democrats, but they voted in favor of Courtney.

Courtney is known for having “secured more than $500 million in funding for advanced procurement and production of a second submarine” at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, CT, where many in his district are employed.  Courtney also has “secured more federal funding outside the President’s budget for SUBASE New London in his first two years in Congress than were secured during the entire previous decade. The over $80 million that Courtney has brought home to the base will ensure that New England’s largest military installation will thrive well into the 21st century.”

West of the Connecticut River, the affluent town of Simsbury split its ticket by preferring a Republican governor and state senator but Esty and a Democrat for state representative.  They preferred Republicans for Treasurer and Comptroller but Democrat incumbent Attorney General George Jepsen.

The “small city” of Manchester, whose population and crime rate have burgeoned over the last two decades, heavily preferred Democrats for all offices except for one state assemblyman.  Out of 26,832 registered voters in Manchester, 16,615 were reported to have cast a vote.  Manchester is participating in a program called “Manchester 2020” which will “will guide how land in Manchester is developed and conserved over the next decade.”  The “growth management principles” on which the program is based are:

  1. Conservation, Restoration and Protection of the Natural Environment, Farmland, and Assets Critical to Public Health and Safety.
  2. Conservation, Restoration and Protection of Cultural and Historic Resources.
  3. The Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers and Areas of Mixed Land Uses.
  4. Concentration of Development Around Transportation Nodes and Major Transportation Corridors.
  5. Expansion of Housing Opportunities and Design Choices in a Variety of Housing Types.

Republicans won a seat in the state House of Representatives in Manchester on Tuesday.  A representative from the Connecticut Republican Party said that one Senate seat was picked up, although he believed some votes are still being counted which might result in a second.

In Bridgeport, four Democrat candidates for the General Assembly ran unopposed, one of whom replaced Rep. Christina Ayala, who was arrested on charges of voter fraud in September and was defeated in her primary last spring.  Bridgeport voters did not favor Republicans in any race and voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to enact “early voting” and other accommodations to voters outside of Election Day.

The constitutional amendment proposal failed 52% to 48%.

Hartford voters overwhelmingly chose Democrats in all offices, although there was a small percentage of votes for Republican candidates.

In New Haven, Democrat State Senate President Martin M. Looney ran unopposed along with several state representatives.  Some Democrat candidates ran against Green Party-only opponents.  Voters in New Haven strongly preferred Democrat executive-branch leaders over the Republican challengers.

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution guarantees every state “a republican form of government” by the federal government, which, before the Revolution, had been devised by the people of the several states themselves.

When the constitutions of the original 13 colonies were written following the Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania’s abolished the requirement that only property-owners could vote and run for political office.  South Carolina, however, maintained the policy that “only individuals who were financially independent were believed to have the self-control to make responsible and reasonable judgments about public matters.”

While based partially on speculation, it appears that suburban Connecticut residents want smaller government and lower taxes, as indicated by their votes against Malloy and his administration.  However, many of those same voters elect progressives to the U.S. House of Representatives, perhaps in search of money from “someone else’s pocket.”

Following Foley’s conceded loss, North Haven Republican State Senator Len Fasano said, “It’s very tough to beat the city vote. It’s the city vote that tends to put this governor . . . over the hump. So what does that say? I think it says that we as Republicans, I think you’re going to see . . . a new strategy, an urban strategy. I think we’ve got a good message, it’s just that we don’t get it to the cities.”

As of publication time hours later, Cafero had not responded to The Post & Email’s tweet.

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. —Thomas Jefferson
The people flatter themselves that they have the sovereign power. These are, in fact, words without meaning. It is true they elected governors; but how are these elections brought about? In every instance of election by the mass of a people—through the influence of those governors themselves, and by means the most opposite to a free and disinterested choice, by the basest corruption and bribery. But those governors once selected, where is the boasted freedom of the people? They must submit to their rule and control, with the same abandonment of their natural liberty, the freedom of their will, and the command of their actions, as if they were under the rule of a monarch. — Alexander Fraser Tytler

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. — Thomas Jefferson

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  1. Thomas Jefferson’s “a wise and frugal government” is NOT what we have today. To hope that it will act that way is beyond logic and reason. To believe that way is the opiate of the masses. When major population concentrations dictate, we have what we have. U.S. Senators used to be appointed by state legislators, not by popular vote. It’s time to change that back. And maybe, just maybe, counties in the several states should follow that example. Now that would bring about “hope and change”.