If you guessed January, 2004 you’re correct.
An editor recalled the following report in the Stamford Advocate from Jan. 16, 2004 when then-Republican John Rowland was on his way out the door and there were rumors Shays might run for the job in 2006.
Oh, and that Ashton Kutcher movie? Something called “The Butterfly Effect,” released near the end of that same month.
Shays: I will not run for governor
By Louis Porter
STAMFORD – U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays will not run for governor in
2006, he said yesterday.
“If anyone suggested it, they were not encouraged to pursue it,” Shays,
R-Bridgeport, said about being asked to run for governor. Shays met
yesterday with editors of The Advocate and Greenwich Time.
He instead will put his energy into a campaign to retain his seat against
Democratic Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell, who will run against
him this fall.
“I am absolutely running again, and if I win that, I am running again” in
2006, Shays, said. “I am focused on issues that are important to my
district and that are national.”
Shays, who spoke for the first time on the upcoming race, called Farrell
“hugely formidable,” and said the campaign would require more work than
On Monday, Shays joined several other Republican lawmakers in calling for
GOP Gov. John Rowland to resign because of an ethics scandal over gifts
from friends, state employees and a contractor.
President Bush should not ask the governor to resign, Shays said
“I would like the president to stay as far away from this as he can stay,”
Shays said. He added Bush is busy with other matters.
Bush will attend a Greenwich fund-raiser later this month, but Rowland,
state chairman of the president’s re-election campaign, will not.
Although he would like Rowland to resign, Shays said he does not think the
governor has committed impeachable offenses. Shays voted against impeaching
Speaker of the House Moira Lyons, D-Stamford, launched a committee to
investigate the charges against Rowland on Wednesday.
“Bill Clinton, in my judgment, was a sleaze,” Shays said. But “you want to
make sure that it is very difficult for elected officials to vote out
someone who has won an election.”
He did ask Clinton to resign, Shays said.
Republicans should be taking the lead in pushing Rowland to resign, Shays
“This is a Republican problem, Republicans have to deal with it,” he said.
It would be possible for Rowland to regain the ability to govern if he
faced the scandal with absolute candor, Shays said.
“It has gotten to the point that he has to be candid to the point of
embarrassment,” Shays said.
But Rowland has not done that, Shays said.
Instead, he has continued to “parse words,” as at a recent press conference
the congressman said he watched with dismay. Rowland said no members of
Congress had asked to meet with him, although Shays said he had been trying
to set up a meeting through the governor’s staff.
“I thought, ‘Oh, no, he is doing it again,’ ” Shays said yesterday.
Dealing with Rowland and potential other scandals may mean creating a state
office of inspector general to investigate corruption, waste and fraud,
“The only difference between New Jersey and Connecticut is that Connecticut
didn’t look at the corruption that was around,” he said.
State Sen. William Nickerson, R-Greenwich, supports the investigation of
Rowland, but has not called on him to resign.
“I think it is moot for anyone to ask the governor to resign because he
has made it clear a dozen times that he is not going to, at least in the
short term,” he said.
Without an impeachment, federal indictment or some other major event in the
story, Rowland will probably not resign, Nickerson said.
“Unless there is some event . . . I don’t see him changing what he is going
to do,” he said. “I don’t see it happening at the moment.”
The war in Iraq is likely to be a central issue in Shays’ race against
Farrell, who opposed going to war without broader international support.
Shays said that although some materials may have been transported to Syria,
it now appears that Iraq did not have an active weapons program as was
stated before the U.S.-led war there.
“The reason for going there was not backed up by what we have found so far,”
he said yesterday.
He did not blame the Bush administration for incomplete intelligence.
“No member of Congress has anyone to blame on this issue. It was our own
deductive reasoning,” he said. Even countries that did not support the war
thought Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had such weapons, Shays said.
Iraqis should determine what kind of trial Saddam, now a prisoner of the
United States, should face as long as it meets international standards of
fairness, he said.
If evidence comes to light that Saddam’s regime got support from the United
States, it should be public, he said.
Going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do, since there was no way to be
sure there were not nuclear, biological or chemical weapons in Iraq, Shays
Some decisions should not rely on public opinion, no matter what the
political cost, he has said.