The silver lining you'll hear muttered by Jerry Labriola, Jr. and others is that Connecticut Republicans picked up roughly ten seats in the State Legislature. Of course, that's good and all, but at the end of the day, it’s a far cry from holding a majority in either Chamber. God Bless those elected Republicans who'll be forced to spend many a day listening to progressive dribble and watching unproductive bills pass by wide margins that'll probably do more harm than good. Imagine the torture of sitting through hours of legislative hearings devoted to throwing even more money at self-inflicted problems in order to keep the patronage-go-round spinning at full tilt.
|"What do ya' think, Tom? Dumpster|
Diving for lost ballots or a Beer and
"How about 10 beers and 20 shots. Labs?"
During the deconstruction of one of the CTGOPs worst elections, you can expect those who hold CTGOP power will devote hours and hours trying to rationalize the results of this election in order to hold onto power … and the purse-strings. The truth of the matter is that you can't really point to any one thing or any one person that led to such unfortunate results which solidified Connecticut’s reputation as a true Blue State. It’s hard to poke fun at states like Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island where Yankee Republicans can still win.
As far as the election is concerned… let's impart a few observations...
|No doubt, Tom Foley would have been|
a great Governor. But he seemed to
self-sabotage from the start
In Connecticut Republican politics, long tenures of control by aging minds and wrinkled faces clearly lead to very bad results. If fact, maybe it’s time to put West Hartford on the shelf for a decade or two, and let their know-it-all leaders focus on winning back their own city council - a task far more complicated when the geniuses on the West Hartford Republican nominating committee keep finding candidates who eventually defect to the Democrat Party after only serving a few months.
Second, I've written this before and I'll write it again - Jerry Labriola, Jr. has got to go!!! Whoever thought promoting this amateur bean counter to the chairmanship of the Connecticut Republican Party aught to be s------. Oh wait. That was me. Sorry! Ok, he over-promised and under-delivered. Actually, to be fair - he never really wanted the job at first, but he did fight to retain it. Even if Jerry raised more money then his predecessor - it doesn't matter because the results are about the same. Maybe he used the money to buy more pizza or some soccer balls or something because the alleged cash cow didn't show up in the win column.
I've always said a role like this requires one to lead from the front. Few registered Connecticut Republicans could point out Labriola if he was standing right in front of them. For several years, we’ve had no tangible communication plan (save for a handful of generic press releases after he’s been shamed into writing them), and some behind the scenes back room meetings, and a lack of overall statewide strategy which has plagued the Party from getting off the ground. And while we’re at it - throwing accolades and personal support behind convicted felons and unethical people probably isn’t the best CTGOP public relations strategy. Those are the moments when you should remain silent instead of telling the press how proud you are of your personal relationships with Republicans who should be put in jail for life! Completely inappropriate!!!
Labriola's manner of dealing with Joe Visconti was disastrous. Joe and his dirty dozen went on a rampage machine-gunning Tom Foley online and on-air for two and a half months. Angry RTCs passed resolutions and demanded action from our Chairman and nothing happened. Finally, Jerry told a statewide Republican audience over a teleconference that he "had a plan for dealing with Visconti, and something was coming.” I guess chanting magic spells didn’t work.
The last straw was watching Labriola cackle over Visconti’s one-liners during the televised Unification Press Conference last Sunday morning. "Invite my mom to the inauguration" - Hardy, Har, Har! Glad he's having such a back-slapping good time. The whole thing was one gigantic embarrassment for Tom Foley. Everyone thought they were watching a B movie horror scene - Tom Foley standing there like a deer in headlights listening to Visconti spew phony platitudes and offer luke-warm support. I’m trying to imagine what it was like to rouse everyone up out of bed on a Sunday morning to make this big announcement. Surely, Foley’s time would have been better spent soliciting breakfast goers at a local diner, or attending a Church service and praying for divine intervention. Instead, photo-ops of the three amigos - Foley, Visconti and Labriola hugging, smiling and appearing “unified”, what a load of malarky! Three months ago that would have been great, and it would have been nice to have his support and campaigning for Foley. But two days before the election? It was a comical sideshow of little consequence. Heck, Visconti didn’t even officially withdraw by filling out paperwork with state officials which added insult to injury. Election analysis shows that Visconti would have been better off following through to the end - at least he wouldn’t have lost respect of his followers who have labeled him a quitter.
|A last minute ditch effort to ... absolve Visconti from .... any wrong-doing?|
Did Joe Visconti cost Republicans the election? Privately, he’s telling his closest supporters that he’d like to think so while publicly his succubi are blaming Foley, but the real answer is No! Of course, no serious person could claim that on top of everything that went on - having a guy from your own Party challenge you, ridicule you, demean you, make fun of you, and discourage neutral voters from supporting you while uplifting the credibility of your chief opponent - certainly had to take its toll. The official numeric election results (if we ever see them) will only tell a partial tale of how Visconti damaged Foley on Election Night; however it won’t detail how Visconti eroded Foley’s support leading up to Election Day - limited data shows that Foley received approximately 100,000 votes less in this election than he did in 2010. Does Visconti share a portion of voter abandonment? Sure, but certainly not all of it.
Visconti's 11th hour jump to support Tom Foley wasn't meant to help Tom Foley as much as it was a tactic by Visconti to avoid blame should Malloy have won. Trust me, Visconti would have run around, and posted his saviorship all over Facebook and taken full credit had Foley won by a slim margin. Most people realize that self-preservation isn't a heroic trait. Neither is throwing oneself on one's sword for Political Martyrdom. What a bleeping joke!
God willing, we hope this will be Visconti's last battlefield. On a personal note, we all hope and pray that Joe Visconti returns to Earth, puts away his horse and tricorn hat, and seeks steady and regular employment, so he can right himself. He's long overdue for a Come to Jesus meeting with himself and get things back on track. The prognosis isn't good, but we can all hope. We won’t even object if Dan Malloy offers him a nice job sheet-rocking the entire Capitol. Heck the guy aught to be compensated for his treachery somehow. Seriously, we hope the best for Joe - maybe he’ll win the lottery, or more likely - find a woman who wins the lottery and have his happily ever after. Ah, on second thought - he might use that money to run again. Let’s wish him limited success instead.
If Republicans want to rebuild their reputation, they need to keep the fringe element at bay. The amount of damage caused by wing nuts like Avon’s Martha "Washington" appearing on TV or at Republican rallies sponsored or under the banner of the CTGOP is astronomical. It's been estimated that every time Martha speaks publicly, Republicans lose about 150 permanent and/or potential votes. There can't be any room in our Party for a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, or people who can't keep themselves under control, or who float mind-boggling off-the-wall conspiracies about every little thing that happens. I love people who defend freedom of speech and anonymity - when it benefits them and then quickly lose sight of constitutional principles when the tables are turned. Generally speaking (and not pointing at any one person) screeching, turning red, pounding fists on tables, playing the geocache game with ankle bracelets is product of a hateful and spiteful person. Instead of carrying the Holy Bible around, posting or quoting scripture or using it like a spray of bullets from a hollow point gun magazine - try reading it and adopting some of it’s principles instead. If you don’t like this blog - then don’t read it. Sorry, we can’t be on the Martha "Washington" bandwagon; we have our credibility limits.
Lastly, a heartfelt thank you for all of those folks who volunteered their rears off to try and drive victories in the numerous districts and races all over Connecticut. After this disappointment, many of you are going to have to take a hard look at your personal long term plans and decide if its worth continuing the fight or residing in a place where you are Government-mandated to support people who've made a career out of not pulling their weight and where a majority of business owners are deemed an enemy of the state. It's pretty clear to this writer that the State Motto Que Transtulit Sustinet, roughly translated: "he who is transplanted still sustains" no longer applies here. Some of you might want to follow Jeff Wright into the land of prosperity.