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Friday, June 17, 2011

A Game of Chess

The Chairman's Race has become a
Chess Game that's locked in Stalemate
Well, its been an interesting week, hasn't it? 

I know folks are eager for an update on where things stand since the rapid disintegration of Bill Aniskovich this week.  And the honest truth is that there are some interesting developments happening behind the scenes which I'm obligated NOT to disclose at this time.  But I PROMISE that if there is any exciting news to share ... you'll see it right here!

That being said, there let's take a quick look at the pieces on the CTGOP Chairman's Chessboard right now.

It's reported that Catherine Marx remains locked in her Ivory Tower angered by what is taking place via email and social media between State Central Members.  She is trying her best to stay above the fray and continues to communicate her intention to seek the Chairmanship. The unfortunate part for her is that during the past few days she hasn't lost or picked up support from any State Central members.  She is holding steady with only 10 committed votes; Of course, she has a lot of people giving her patronizing encouragement.  It's likely that voters see Marx as enthusiastic but linked to the failures of the Healy regime.  I say good for her - if she goes down fighting with her 10 supporters.

Before I get into the other candidates, I have to ask a question that everyone is wondering about: WHERE THE HELL IS CHRIS HEALY

Chris Healy: Off in Wonderland with
a big grin on his face while
State Central Members go Bananas!
While the members are in a total uproar - shooting nasty missives at each other on Facebook, and via email, Old Man Healy is just sitting back on his lawn chair watching the fireworks.  When I see this kind of inaction from him, it reminds me of why we are here selecting a new Chairman in the first place.  Can he not blow his whistle and ask folks to take a breather?  Or is he too busy gathering up all his reciepts from his fancy hotel stays, car repairs, and gas fill ups from his petty trips from New Britain to Newington? 

Even Connecticut's Mayor - Mark Boughton has been trying to get Members to relax and work things out without tearing each other to shreds.  And Catherine Marx should be angry, although Chairman Chris helped Catherine kick start her campaign (you can see the fabulous results of that), he did NOTHING to vet Aniskovich from the start. Healy has known about Bill Aniskovich's troubles and he just let him slide through the process - watching it all unfold like the Cheshire Cat in the Corner.

I know some you Healy-loyalists are thinking, "Hey King, you guys wanted him gone, so what do you expect?"

The answer is simple - For the sake of the Party, I expect him to STILL do his job.  The least he could have done was to draft a Press Release telling Democrats to Get Lost and Mind their own G-d damn business!!  What a perfect nail in his coffin for a failed tenure!
If there's anyone in the race who has benefited from this weeks' crisis, it's Al Alper.  Alper has been heads down, making calls and is picking up supporters beyond his own district.  Of the existing candidates, he has the most well-rounded resume of all of those left in the race.  Alper is an experienced businessman with a track record of raising funds, and winning elections - albeit locally.  For those who haven't see it, it's worth taking a look at the short Winsley Interview in which he deals with the GOPs long term struggle winning inner city support. If you want to get a sense of Alper's philosophy on Government, read this posts from the Daily Wilton. I draw your attention to the bullet points mid-Page which I find most impressive. Alper isn't the Establishment's guy which is clearly a plus. Currently, Alper has 12-15 votes (many are defectors from Aniskovich's broken camp, I'm told.)  Alper could gain more steam if other dark-horse candidates don't enter the race.

Scialabba (pictured here)
already played his hand, and
lost.  No second chances
for dishonest players
The next character I want to deal with may turn out to be the next prop of the Establishment - Art Scialabba. This guy really takes the cake when it comes to audacity. First, let's be very clear - Art Scialabba is the opposite of a guy like Alper - Scialabba is said to be jobless and is hard up for work. Regardless of what spin you may hear, Scialabba opted to cut the first big deal which positioned Aniskovich to take the lead. The unexpected sell-out, where he was promised the role of Executive Director created a shock-wave which led to days of embarrassment for CTGOP. If Scialabba was smart, he would have taken a few minutes to step back from his own desire to get paid and analyze the situation where he might have discovered that Aniskovich was doomed from the start.

The reality is that many State Central Members who trusted and supported Scialabba in the beginning are not inclined to return to his camp because they are angry about his being a part of an elaborate bait and switch scheme. It's become such a problem that he's estimated to have only 7-9 votes at the moment. The old saying: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me applies here. Scialabba would quickly beguile his supporters once again for cash. That's just they way he is.

It's very hard to rebuild a reputation after you've bartered your integrity away.

I'm also inclined to mention Former Secretary of State Pauline Kezer who remains an underdog in the race, and is not to be underestimated.  Kezer has 30 years of experience in the field of politics and has helped both Conservatives and Moderates win campaigns over the course of her years with the Party.  If you want to know more, you can read her resume and work history here.  From a professional standpoint, she has always been considered liked, and well-respected.

Kezer lost a tough Gubernatorial nomination battle against John Rowland (1994), and ironically - was railroaded in a very controversial Convention where time was extended hours beyond the allocated time sanctioned in the rules in order to permit deals to be made, and votes to be switched from Kezer to Rowland (I was there to witness this first hand).  This was quite similar to the way that the 2010 State Convention was managed (and how this past week's State Chair electioneering was conducted).  Kezer would never permit such shenanigans should she be elected Chairman.  Of that, I am certain.

The biggest issue that Kezer needs to overcome are her liberal positions on social issues.  You may be surprised to see me write this, but I strongly believe that this election is more than about winning elections - it's about establishing a platform which includes a rejection of many of the disgraceful legislative decisions forced on the public by Democrats - this includes the notorious Bathroom Bill, Decriminalization of Marijuna (and nearly included the removal of the Death Penalty). The Republican Party has an obligation to revisit the Bathroom Bill and the Decriminalization of Marijuna Bill for the sake of our children and our future. Declaring these issues dead is akin to surrendering the high ground to our foes.  If Ms. Kezer is unwilling to champion important social causes like these, then she clearly would not be fit to be Chairman..  The King is still quite unclear about many of Ms. Kezer's positions, and how she would reconcile the desires of conservatives versus her own moderate views.

I would have no issue with Ms. Kezer being placed in any strategic role within the CTGOP; I'm just not sold on her becoming Chairman.

As for Rich Olivastro - I believe it was he who told State Central Members on Tuesday that the so-called front runner would likely need to withdraw from the race before it was over.  Good call, Rich!  Now, can you tell me what the lotto numbers will be for next week? 

I'm sure there is plenty more to come before someone screams CHECKMATE!



This original blog post can be seen at

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