State Democrats may have over-reacted to Tea Party comments by John McKinney, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful who might be more of a threat than known-quantity Tom Foley.

The Democratic State Central Committee today was apparently looking at Senate Minority Leader John McKinney with rose-colored glasses, hopefully dredging up a few remarks in his Wednesday night appearance in far-off Putnam. The scene was the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots meeting. “John McKinney said that if he were governor, he would sign legislation to repeal the gun control bill “SB 1160″ if the legislature sent it to him,” the hopeful Democrats posted this morning. In fact, McKinney, whose Fairfield district includes Newtown, was instrumental in the bipartisan passage of enhanced gun control measures after the Sandy Hook massacre. So what he said was that if he were governor and the Legislature voted to repeal the measures, which included a ban on military-style weapons and large-capacity magazines similar to those used by murderer Adam Lanza, he would support it.

While there is still a chance that McKinney, or Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, or Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, can beat Tom Foley – the Greenwich businessman who lost to Dannel P. Malloy by 6,404 votes in 2010 – in a GOP primary, there is not much of a chance that Democrats will lose control of the House of Representatives, where they have a 96-54 majority pending a special election in New Haven. The Senate is currently run by Democrats 22-14.

So, after providing you the analysis, you can watch the video here:


Questioner: I have a few questions here from your constituents. Because one of them was, that got sent me, is if Republicans took over the General Assembly [McKinney: Right] and if they put forward a repeal of SB 1160 [McKinney: Yep], if you were elected governor, would you sign that?

McKinney: If the legislature repeals something, I think the governor owes a great deference to what the legislature does, and I would.

In an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, McKinney just said he would not offer such a bill; he stands by his 2012 votes for tighter gun controls; and the question was under the confines of a hypothetical of GOP majorities.

Here is McKinney’s statement on the tempest:

“The misleading attack by the Democrat party and the Malloy campaign represents exactly what’s wrong with politics. They took a two-hour-long conversation and reduced it down to a 22-second sound bite to distort my record and the truth. In our republic, the will of the people is expressed through its elected representatives. I stand by my comments: if the legislature repealed a law, I as governor, would give them great deference. That standard would apply equally to SB 1160 – the bi-partisan bill which I helped pass into law. However, as I said last night and have consistently said, I stand by my vote and as governor I would not offer legislation calling for its repeal.”