The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Visconti to appear on Face the State

Clean cut, and ready to give
it his all
If you haven't heard the news - our old friend former West Hartford Town Councilman and former-Congressional Candidate Joe Visconti is running for Connecticut Governor on the Republican ticket.  Deemed a "firebrand" by The Hartford Courant, Joltin' Joe is ready to take center stage this Sunday on Dennis House's Face The State program.

For many, this will be a first time opportunity for the public to see Visconti field questions on key social and economic issues facing Connecticut on a state-wide televised Sunday Morning program.  Several Connecticut Republican insiders aren't happy to see Visconti getting the high-profile lime-light because they're aware that he's articulate and knowledgeable, and brings an energetic charisma to the debate - a stark contrast to the low-brow, stale rhetoric of Tom Foley; a person who doesn't resonate with the average Joe.  The Foley people recognize that they'll have a long road ahead because unfortunately for them, Visconti exemplifies precisely what Tom Foley isn't - likeable. For those CTGOPers who think - so what, this isn't a popularity contest - well, you've been drinking the establishment cool-aid too long.  Keep your stats, and corporate PowerPoint presentations to yourself, they won't do you any good in this race.  Not against Visconti anyway, or for that matter - even against Malloy.  As we've seen with Barack Obama's re-election, even a dismal performance can be rewarded at the polls.

As far as The King is concerned, the Visconti candidacy is a good thing for the CTGOP, and its not surprising to see him ahead in the unscientific, but well-respected Hartfordite Blog Poll. With a 40% take of all candidates in the race (including hapless Dannel Malloy) rockstar-activist Visconti is the man to beat. And so you know, despite our criticisms of him, we were sad to see House Minority Leader Larry Cafero drop out of the race this week.  Larry would have brought an insiders view of the legislative engine which has plagued Connecticut's economic recovery over the past 28 years.  Arguments can be made either way about Cafero's leadership effectiveness, but he'll likely remain a side factor for the duration of the race. He'll bide his time before throwing support in either direct - the sign of a savvy politico.

As of this writing, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney sits at 5% and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton creeps in at 4%. This is a pretty disappointing showing for two men with long political careers, and plenty of name recognition.  If Tom Foley were the shoe-in preference of the public, he'd be doing a hellava lot better than 23%. Of course, it is quite early in the game.

With brains and beauty,
Connecticut might
just vote Penny for just
about anything
But The King has also noticed the Hartfordite Poll shows State Rep Penny Bacchiochi (Stafford Springs) coming in third at 10%.  Having announced her intention to run for Lt. Governor, this poll sticks her in the middle of the Governor's Race with a fair showing for someone not technically running for Governor (at least Republicans get points on the gender issue). Bacchiochi deserves credit for voting against the gun bill, and has a reputation for not backing down against the opposition in the Legislative Chamber.  People see her as polite, but firm - characteristics highly regarded in a nasty and confrontational environment.  This is a candidate worth getting to know.

As for Tom Foley, hey maybe - after all the delegates are bought-off, and all the insider favors paid as Chairman Jerry Labriola hides and plays dumb, he eventually becomes our nominee - but if he wants to win anything, he needs to loosen up a bit - perhaps get a massage or something, or take a Yoga Class to find his Zen.  Foley needs to shed the Armani suit, mess up his hair, go on Dancing with the Stars, and be seen wearing a pair of ripped jeans, and heard using a few curse words while crushing an Old Milwaukee beer can in his hand while standing around the fire-pit with a bunch of salt of the Earth folks.  In short, Tom Foley has to learn to converse with everyday people, drop the billionaire act, and most of all loosen the buttocks, and drop the dime.

Despite a high misery index in the Nutmeg State, if the election were held today, I can't imagine any outcome that wouldn't give Dannel Malloy a marginal re-election victory over Tom Foley.  Republicans have a lot of work to do.  If Tom Foley isn't up to it, maybe Republicans can find someone else.  In the meantime, let's check out what Joe Visconti has to say... he's worth a listen.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Boo Hoo! The Not-So-Great State Chairman's Race - 2013

And we do it so well....
What a difference day makes... and from my perspective it appears that they've taken all the fun out of it....

With the withdrawal of Fox 61 television megastar Chris Healy,  and passionate ideologue Wayne Winsley bailing out of the CTGOP Chairman's Race, the game has changed dramatically.  Sadly, the big show down between Mr. Corrupt and Mr. Irrelevant will never come to pass.  We've gone from Chess to Tic-Tac-Toe - a game where everyone loses. So what pray tell will become of the 32 State Central votes that Catherine Marx and Grand Old Profiteer Mary Ann Turner corralled?  With the magic number being 42, and Ron Wilcox well positioned to pick up the lion's share of anti-Labriola sentiment, there's still plenty of time for Wilcox to pull off an upset (or even time for someone else to be nominated from the floor who might shake things up in a last minute stand).  Too bad Mike Clark isn't available.

It's being heard loud and clear that Republican Town Committees don't want Jerry re-elected. As has been previously explained in these pages over the past two years, Labriola is considered the lapdog of House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney via his brother David.  An agreement was reached long before Labriola's election to the Chairmanship; in exchange for a place in the spotlight, Labs would remain silent on the issues, and not engage in public discourse unless given permission by his political keepers.  Sadly, Labs so willingly complied. When it came to issues most important to statewide voters, Labriola remained intentionally disengaged and aloof - uttering No Comment when cornered, or making a beeline for the exit at the sight of anyone harboring a pad and pen. A more courageous leader would have stood up for Second Amendment rights, or worked on behalf of Connecticut families and spoke out against perversion in our public bathrooms and elsewhere, or challenged Democrats on a dozen other important issues which apparently Labriola found uninteresting. Even when questioned by the Hartford Courant about Healy's possible coup d'etat, as if on queue - Labs volunteered the only phrase he knows - No Comment (BTW - seeing it in print brought laughter far and wide). In fact, on any issue of consequence, Labriola has been nowhere to be found - perhaps only espousing his opinions to select individuals up at the bar and out of earshot of media moguls.   Leading from the rear is not the comeback strategy that anyone ever demanded.

Even the hoity-toity gang down in Greenwich don't want to see Jerry coming - it must be more than just the Miami Vice outfit and the Member's Only Jacket he adorns when visiting the local Yacht Club which puts them off.  Or maybe its the whole 70s retro cover-band act that he takes on the road which doesn't fly with the Fairfield County elite.  It says a lot when you get dissed by someone like Linda McMahon.

Last week, Ron Wilcox had about 12 votes, and his stock has gone up significantly with the exit of Chris Healy.  Critics of Wilcox believe that he'd be unwilling to listen to opinions outside of the Tea Party faithful.  However, Republicans want to see conservative viewpoints championed in light of the state Democrat's continued, unopposed push to the left - on both economic and social issues.  Republicans have negotiated away basic principles for little or no gain, and thus have diluted the party's public image as a mere replication of state Democrats with a quasi-moderate bend - still unwilling to cast a caucus vote of "no" leaving GOP voters feeling bitter, and abandoned.  Clearly this lack of principle has been well rewarded at the polls.

If Republicans had a spokesman in the form of a Chairman who could articulate basic policy positions, week after week in a public forum (e.g. television, radio, web, and press releases, or simple ad hoc appearances) then the Party would attract voter appeal outside of diehard GOP party activists.  Today, the vacuum of leadership at the State GOP is more than self-evident, it's self-destructive.  The idea that State Central Members would chose the same course of failure for two more years is truly beyond belief.  In the absence of a viable candidate, a vote of no confidence is more preferable giving a mandate for two more years of the status quo.

On Tuesday, State Central Members have an opportunity to change the direction of Connecticut's beleaguered Republican Party.  But deep down you have to wonder if we have the stomach to end a tenure of mediocrity and give ourselves half a chance at victory by electing real leadership.  From The King's View, its hard to imagine at this late hour - anyone other than Labriola winning.  That should provide no one comfort, even those who've been bought and paid to support him.

Somewhere Nancy DiNardo and our foes are celebrating.



Friday, June 21, 2013

CTGOP Chairman's Race 2013 - Part I

CTGOP Tagline
Isn't it fitting that we should start off the first day of summer by cranking up the heat a bit on the upcoming CTGOP Chairman's Race?  And what kind of contest would it be without The King weighing in with a little evaluation of the situation at hand?  A morbid foreshadowing, no doubt with maybe a few surprises in store.  Connecticut, being the land of steady habits, will likely see its Republicans clinging to old time politics facilitated by the same old wrinkled faces who have brought them defeat after defeat, year after year.  

Generally speaking, it's the old cliche its not what you know - its who you know which is a song sung loudly in the hallways at CTGOP Headquarters; for it's that practice which has always reigned supreme over Connecticut Republican politics.  The majority of elected delegates who time after time have been so easily bedazzled by cash, favors, and titles eagerly delivered by those elitists who see Connecticut politics as nothing more than a sport; moving state central members and delegates around like pawns on a chessboard for personal gain and entertainment.  All the while, Connecticut residents and businesses suffer catastrophic loses.

Of course, we at The King's View have to take some accountability for what has come to pass. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were cheering the demise of the failed, corrupt tyrant, Chris Healy, as if he had been deposed from his cushy throne in a fashion not seen since France's King Louis XVI.  The final straw which did him in was his mismanagement of the worst series of election cycles that the CTGOP had ever seen.  I distinctly remember him face palmed while statewide Republicans tarred and feather him in the CCSU auditorium in December of 2010.  And we wildly cheered the ascendancy of Jerry Labriola, Jr. for whom we had such high hopes for moving Connecticut's beleaguered GOP forward into an era of victory followed by a period of prosperity.  But we were both misguided and mistaken - for we traded failure and corruption for incompetence and ineptitude (much of it intentional).  The vacuum of leadership is so obvious that we have nearly half a dozen candidates (that we know of) seeking the not-so-high office of CTGOP Chairman.

We now hear rumbles that profiteer State Central Member Mary Ann Turner and other Healy-loyalists have been burning up the phone lines to drum up support and bring back their disgraced leader.  Even old friend Catherine Marx is trying to find relevancy again since sitting by while Nancy DiNardo took us apart in the press. A email has been distributed to State Central Members full of lies and half-truths about Healy's so-called success record and ethics prompting multiple cries of outrage via email to The King's View. (Of course, in fairness, this isn't the only team working the phones for support; so anything could happen post this entry).  Labriola brags of having over 50 followers in line to hand him victory (and you'd need to be a blind follower after this past election cycle which resulted in pure calamity).  Meanwhile, Conservative Wayne Winsley, and Former Tea Party Patriot Ron Wilcox have their own surrogates pushing for support and attempting to siphon off votes from the heavy hitters.

For those who wonder why we are so down on the past and current Chairman, let's examine the recent history of failure:

Connecticut State Central Members
would do well to remember why this
cartoon was drawn
(Credit: Mr. Englehart)
Under both Chairmen, the CTGOP has steadily lost more key elections then ever before.  

Despite his revisionist public relations campaign, under Chris Healy's Leadership, Republicans lost all representation in the U.S. House of Representatives (ending with Chris Shays' defeat), he advanced the cause of the shameful candidacy of Linda McMahon for US Senate (by backstabbing Rob Simmons while his wife was on the McMahon payroll), lead us to a reduced representation in both Connecticut State Chambers, and finally lost the Gubernatorial Race which brought us four years of liberal Dannel Malloy.  Based on the evidence, it's impossible for any reasonable person to make the case that a return to the Healy years would be in our best interest. We can't imagine what tall tale can be told to brainwash state central members into supporting guaranteed failure.  Make Blue Red?  Are you kidding?  This guy left us Black and Blue, and Democrats actually felt sorry for us because of the shellacking we took. 

And if electoral failure isn't bad enough, you need to look the ethics of the Healy regime.  Attached are three documents which are part of the public record in the Manchester Small Claims Court, Manchester, Connecticut which underscore reasons for concern about how the CT Republican Party was financially run by Mr. Healy (to borrow a phrase: We report, you decide):

Federal Election Commission Complaint

Smoking Gun?

Investigation Continues
So the question people are asking is - would you trust Chris Healy with your money? Certainly, some candidates never received donations entrusted to the then-Chairman which were specifically intended for them to receive. We could also provide a list of hotel expenditures and receipts for the outrageous lifestyle of a man who lived large on Republican donors.  Of course, it would have easier to overlook had we actually won anything!!

Make no mistake about it
Jerry "Lewis" Labriola drowned in
irrelevancy.  And we joked about
Obama as an empty chair. Good Grief!
Jerry Labriola, Jr. faired no better - if not worse - at least from a political standpoint.  Besides refusing to speak publicly or distribute press releases on major issues affecting our state including gun control, the bathroom bill, economic issues or in any sort of issue of concern, he allowed Linda McMahon and Lisa Wilson-Foley to run the Republican Party ticket and under-ticket into the ground,  There are few State Chairman across this country who would sit by silently while their Republican Senate Candidate ran television ads promoting Barack Obama at the expense of other Republican candidates (if that didn't take the cake, were not sure what did).  Bending to pressure, Labriola caved in and jumped on-board McMahon's circus in the last week of the campaign.  What a joke! Then we can't forget about the one time Jerry did appear on Television, he took aim not at Democrats, but at the National Republican Party by calling Connecticut Conservatives "bombastic extremists" while he wined and dined himself at the RNC Convention for Mitt Romney.  It's no wonder why Connecticut needed to buy it's own Mitt Romney election signs.  I'm sure when it comes time for the next GOP Convention, the Connecticut Delegation will find itself seated somewhere in the back parking lot after that act.  We saw how the Romney camp skipped Connecticut after receiving such a warm welcome from our Chairman.  There was a point in time when Connecticut was actually in play.

Labriola's surrogates will claim that he raised more donations than the previous Chairman, however this can discounted by the fact that it was a Presidential Election year.  All in all, between giving Democrats the silent treatment, and letting Democrats control the debate, it's not in our best interest to continue forward with this lack-luster style of leadership.  There is just no point.  He's in Cafero's and McKinney's pocket - and he's just not his own man.  There's nothing to indicate he'd ever change

At this point, I don't see where the two upstarts - Wilcox and Winsley have enough star-power to pull enough votes to capture a majority.  Rumors are that if choices had to be made - Winsley will slide toward Healy, and Wilcox would move toward Labriola.  There's always hope that another candidate could trump them all, but it's up to that person to put themselves forward this weekend else we'll end up with the lesser of two evils - Mr. Corrupt, or Mr. Controlled.  And a split caucus that hates each others guts for another two years.

More to come?  We'll see.  Stay tuned....