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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tom Foley: Slinking Away from Debates?

Is Tom Foley slinking away
like a Coward?
Most politicians realize that coming in first place at the onset of a race in a single, arbitrary Quinnipiac Poll over your inter-party rivals doesn't necessarily make you a front runner in anything. This is particularly the case when the alleged-leading candidate is Tom Foley; a man who has been anything but active on the Connecticut political scene since facing defeat at the hands of Dannel Malloy in 2010.

Aside from a few social appearances here and there, Tom Foley hasn't done much of anything to support his Party over the last four years.  He hasn't served as a de facto opposition leader -voicing dissent against poor policy decisions thrusted upon the public by Governor Malloy, or even bothered to show up at the Legislative Office Building to offer his leadership, or uttered a word of support for his Republican colleagues locked in battle (if you can call it that) against Democrats on social and economic issues. Of course, he did once serve as Joe Markley's lackey, and made the claim that both parties are unethical - a comment not very well received by Republican legislators who shook their heads and privately told him to "go away". Heck, who knew that only months later, the FBI would be strolling into town trying to nail Republicans to the wall over a 2008 election scandal. Well, Tom Foley's timing has always been a bit off. (insider's joke - sorry!)

Yet, despite his self-imposed exile from politics, we now hear - far and wide - how Billionaire Tom Foley is the anointed one - all but guaranteed his unearned place as the Republican gubernatorial nominee for all to bow down to and serve - especially certain handsomely paid delegates.  This is typical arrogance of elitist man who sits in his mansion drinking Macallan 64 and dining on five-course meals while his minions shakedown RTCs for delegate votes; Foley has so little in common with the average guy - a disconnect so widely felt that even some of his biggest supporters feel a sense of frustration with his snobbish contempt for "the little people".  A contempt clearly reflected in the same aforementioned Q-Poll which shows him barely neck-and-neck with one of the most unpopular Governors in the history of Connecticut

Now this isn't a discussion on the corrupt and twisted Connecticut Republican Convention process (we will get into that on another day), but rather to call attention to the disgraceful reluctance of an alleged Republican front-runner who outright refuses to exchange ideas and debate with his fellow competitors in a televised venue scheduled by The Hartford Courant-Fox 61 on April 11th (rebroadcast on April 13).  There can be no more sign of disrespect of our American tradition then for Tom Foley to slink away, and thumb his nose at a process that has been in existence since the early 1800s.  (Besides, if you recall the 2010 Foley v Malloy debates, you know darn well that Foley could use the practice - because he wasn't ready then, and he's not ready now).

Hold on there! You didn't say this was going to be Televised!

On their own merits, we thank John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Joe Visconti and even CTGOP Party looney-toon - Martha Dean for their willingness to take tough questions and engage in live public discourse.  Foley's approach makes him look weak and cowardly to the general public, and the media (we remember how well that worked out for Linda McMahon).  And it shows Republican delegates that he lacks confidence by refusing to engage fellow Republicans in front of a Republican friendly-audience.

If Tom Foley isn't willing to debate members of his own Party to win support, then how will he win support from Republicans in the Primary? Or possibly later from Democrats and Independents in the General Election? The prevailing thought is that if he goes off and hides under the bar until after the State Convention that his rivals won't bring him down a notch by forcing him to defend his questionable, and ambiguous positions on Minimum Wage Increase, Pension Reform, Municipal Taxes, Public Unions, and even Second Amendment Rights. But one would think both he and the public have more to lose by him playing it safe. Much like ObamaCare where Congressmen said they had to pass the Bill before knowing what's in it, Connecticut Republicans are being expected to nominate Tom Foley without knowing where he stands. This has been a reoccurring theme by some of our CTGOP nominees over the last few election cycles (and it hasn't boded well for us).

Four years have passed since Tom Foley ran for Governor and lost. Unfortunately, Tom Foley's sole focus has been on how to locate the 6,000 votes from 2010 election which he presumes, if found, will catapult him to victory in 2014. But by trying to rerun the 2010 election, and repackaging himself as the same stale candidate, he wrongly assumes that the landscape hasn't changed, and that he doesn't have to re-earn the support of his own Party, and those who voted for him during he last gubernatorial cycle - a strategy that may prove deadly to his gubernatorial ambitions.

Just because RTC Chairmen and his campaign staff (with the help of Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr.) may jury-rig and deliver Tom Foley the State GOP Convention, doesn't guarantee that Foley will have the same showing that he had during the 2010 primary.  Given the strong field of candidates who are more than willing to engage the public on issues of the day, and earn the public vote, Foley may find himself trailing behind shortly after he receives the usual temporary State Convention boost.

Connecticut Republicans want to elect a candidate who is unafraid to stand on principle. Not a politician like Tom Foley who would rather lead from the rear and play "the strategy game." He may not know it, and he may not believe it - but Tom Foley is losing respect of Republicans all over the State who are already lukewarm about his nomination to begin with.

Maybe Tom Foley might change his mind. Perhaps he'll show the courage of his convictions and take the stage with his colleagues on April 11th, and just maybe he might earn the respect of the Party faithful and the delegates (many he has already bought) by outlining his vision for Connecticut's future.  But if he's not, then it signals that Connecticut Republicans are ready to nominate a new gubernatorial candidate; someone unafraid to serve as the standard bearer on behalf of voters who have for so long been under-represented. 




Anonymous said...


I agree Foley appears weak for not wanting to participate in televised debates with the other Republican candidates. This is a topic that should be discussed at every RTC meeting in Connecticut. Thanks for creating this awareness.

Madison, CT

Anonymous said...

The Foley campaign 2.0 is Linda McMahon 3.0 since it's chock full of Linda McMahon staffers. His campaign rivals a similar strategy and he's a money magnet for the starving political consultants in CT who lose every year and only reflect those who lost by the least which is still failure. The recent poll is nothing short of fiction and if Foley thinks he's such a shoe in and the debates will only hurt him, he's crazy. Everyone knows he's going to lost the general election and those folks rubbing their hands together hoping for a state gig are going to have to wait four more years for another shot if Foley wins the nomination. Enjoy the warm beer and stale victory cake.

Anonymous said...

I'm very disappointed to see Martha Dean using Justina Pelletier as a campaign prop. This speaks to the heart of the problem with Martha Dean which is that she has NO HEART - she'll do anything to get attention no matter who it hurts, or what it costs. She is a despicable person. As for Tom Foley, he should show up and debate. Thank you.

The King said...

If this story about Tom Foley turns out to be true, he should consider withdrawing from the race: The Republican Party cannot afford a fatally wounded candidate atop of the ticket.