When it comes to elections, the Blogster believes that the more candidates, the merrier. What could be more fun that four or five Democrats (Susan Bysiewicz, Dan Malloy of Stamford, Jim Amann of Milford, Rudy “Who?” Marconi of Ridgefield, Sen. Gary Lebeau) and a couple or more Republicans (House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, of Norwalk, Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele of Syamford and hey, why not Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield?) cruising around the state next year and bruising each other in the publicly funded runup to the August primaries.
Cafero recently called the Blogster to discuss the terminology of describing Fedele as “arguably” the front runner in the 2010 race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Fedele, Cafero pointed out, doesn’t even have an exploratory committee organized. Cafero organized around the time the legislative session should have ended in early June, although it stretched into October because of the budget battle.
“I totally understand Mike’s desire to run for governor from his perch as lieutenant governor,” Cafero said. I think he’d make good governor. But I think I could bring something to the mix and that’s why I’m exploring. Over the last several years, from the minority we were able to change the debate. We changed the debate in 2007 on (the governor’s proposed education-centric) tax increase. We’ve changed the debate statewide on many things from our caucus room. From the gross-receipts (petroleum products) tax to the ’three strikes’ debate in 2008 (on repeat offenders). The governor and Democrats decided to do nothing to the mid-term of 2008 and we did do something, putting forth an early retirement incentive that was scoffed at, then a year later adopted. When Democrats proposed a corporate surcharge, we did our real-world tour and dramatized the plight of the businessperson. Gov. Rell acknowledged this and changed position to save businesses $190 million.”
He pointed out the 37-114 House minority caucus routinely gets overwhelmed in floor votes. “From a very small minority, we’ve been able to convey a message of common-sense ideas and change the debate,” Cafero said. “I’ve been able to get people from all over the state to call to say ‘thank you for driving the debate, for keeping the drumbeat going’ and it has certainly encouraged me to go forward with my political career and shoot for governor,” he said.