Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

Foley comes out swinging and Gov’s race gets more interesting

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley just released the following statement responding to today’s Hartford Courant article about his prior arrests in 1981 and 1993.

He takes aim at both Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele of Stamford and Simsbury businessman Oz Griebel, the two Republicans who are challenging Foley for the GOP nomination in August’s primary and who today demanded he release more details of the arrests:

“Jon Lender of the Hartford Courant published an article this morning about two motor vehicle related infractions I was involved in a number of years ago. One was in 1981 and the other in 1993. The one in 1981, when I was 29, involved a minor car accident in which the occupants of the other car filed a complaint resulting in my arrest. The case was later dismissed. The one in 1993 involved my former wife and we were both arrested. The charges were dropped in that case, too. I was candid with Jon Lender and he wrote a straight and fair article.

These were unfortunate incidents and ones that I wish hadn’t happened. Both of these incidents came to light as a result of a letter my former wife wrote to the Governor’s office in 2002 at a time when our relationship was particularly strained. I first heard about the letter yesterday afternoon after it was leaked to the Hartford Courant. The circumstances of how a confidential document from the Governor’s office was leaked to the press and by whom raise serious questions.

My opponents have already tried to exaggerate these long ago incidents to gain advantage in the race. Their over-the-top attacks and mischaracterizations include that I was imprisoned, that I have not been candid about these events, that there are still unanswered questions, and that these incidents involved domestic violence. My opponents should be ashamed of their false and intemperate remarks which raise serious questions about their truthfulness and personal characters. In the 1981 incident I was retained in a police cell overnight until an attorney could arrive from New York City. Characterizing this as imprisonment is misleading and mischievous. I was frank and forthcoming with Jon Lender and there are no unanswered questions or discrepancies in my story. There was no suggestion in Jon Lender’s article that domestic violence was involved in either of these incidents and I categorically deny that any domestic violence occurred between me and my former wife at any time before, during, or after our marriage. To raise that specter publicly without any evidence is a shameful lack of fair play in the public domain.

In 2006, I was fully investigated for a Top Secret clearance and for confirmation by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If these incidents were cause for concern about my temperament or character, I would not have received a clearance or been confirmed as a United States Ambassador.

I hope my opponents will soon see that the citizens of Connecticut are interested in a dialogue about the serious issues facing Connecticut and not events from long ago that have no bearing on who should be Connecticut’s next governor. I call on them to engage in a substantive dialogue about the issues and stop embarrassing our state with cheap attack politics.”

Categories: General
Brian Lockhart

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