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‘Who Can Beat Dan Malloy?’

Four Republicans running to be Connecticut’s next governor say they all can, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide. For now, the candidates hope their answers during a debate Sunday evening put you in their corner.

Four Republicans running to be Connecticut's next governor get ready to debate. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Four Republicans running to be Connecticut's next governor get ready to debate. Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre

While they’re all after the same job, four Republicans running for governor exhibited a unified front against their presumed Democratic challenger, incumbent Dannel P. Malloy, during a debate Sunday evening.

Still, subtle differences emerged during the debate as the candidates spoke on a range of topics, from the economy and jobs to taxes and tolls, on to education, public safety and the role of government. Sponsored by the Brookfield Republican Town Committee, the debate featured the following candidates:

  • John McKinney — An eight-term state senator from Fairfield, he has been the state Senate Minority Leader since 2007.
  • Toni Boucher — A 12-year representative of a Fairfield County Senatorial District, Boucher lives in Wilton and is from Naugatuck.
  • Joe Visconti — A former member of the West Hartford Town Council, Visconti ran unsuccessfully in 2008 against U.S. Rep. John Larson for the First Congressional District.
  • Mark Boughton — The longest serving mayor in Danbury history, Boughton was Tom Foley's running mate in 2010.

Foley, the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, did not participate due to a personal conflict, and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti pulled out on the day of the debate, citing a fundraiser he had to attend.

While the candidates offered their position on some of the key issues facing the state, a common theme that emerged was their ability to attract voters from the other side of the political aisle, especially minorities and the large, more liberal voting blocks found in Connecticut’s cities. And that will be a necessity if a Republican is to take back the Governor’s Mansion, given that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2:1 in the state.

In making that case, the candidates pointed to what they felt would help them win votes:

  • Boucher noted her roots as an immigrant and her advocacy for children and education. 
  • McKinney highlighted his successful campaigns in Fairfield County, and his accomplishments in the state senate. 
  • Boughton touted his leadership in Danbury, where Democrats outnumber Republicans, as the city’s longest serving mayor, and his blue-collar roots.
  • Visconti pointed to his experience in the trades, his no-nonsense approach to governing and his work on the Town Council in West Hartford, which he called the “liberal movement capital of the world.”

And while each said the state needs to spend less and borrow less — “we don’t have a revenue problem,” was said several times — some clear differences emerged when it came to the controversial topic of guns.

Boughton said the state’s new gun law, enacted in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook School in December 2012, went too far to curtail second amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. And, he said, it failed to adequately address the core issues of school security and mental health. Referring to the later, he said, “That’s the elephant in the room and across the country.”

He stopped short of saying whether he would repeal the law.

Visconti said the gun law was a knee-jerk reaction to the tragedy, which, he said, has been politicized. A gun owner, Visconti said he would have never signed the law.

Boucher said she supported the bill because the majority of her constituents did, but she would not support any further restrictions on gun owners.

McKinney, who served on the task force that crafted the law and noted that his senatorial district includes Newtown, defended his support of it. Referring to Democrats, he said, “It was not if they would pass a law, it was what they would pass.”

And so McKinney said he worked to take out provisions that Democrats wanted, including, he said, the confiscation of guns and limits on the number of guns an individual could buy in a month.

When it comes to border tolls — a hot-button topic in Connecticut that crops up time and time again — all four were clear that they would not support them.

For more information about each candidate, and their stance on issues, check out their websites:

Porter gladstone February 20, 2014 at 02:14 AM
Bill---so you can go on the web and copy and paste the wikipedia goldman page?? Thats really awesome. The thing about you "Bill" is that you get on Patch and utter disgust over dishonesty etc. But Ive asked you now 4 times to draw a line to the frat brothers.... direct line. And then prove that they prvented (in this case steve cohen) from going to jail. Also , yes Im aware that corporations are inanimate--but they pay taxes--and perhaps you are unaware can be given cease and desist orders, have their licenses revoked, charter revoked etc.----these are death sentences for corporations-so im not sure why you are either unaware that corporations can and do suffer . Is jail the only punishment you think suitable for any crime? And then jon corzine-- which university of illinois big wig frat brothers ( i need names bill--not just a bunch of words) have prevented him from going to jail? What was his crime? Where is the evidence? Im no corzine fan-and i do believe he is slime-but in my view people go after rich people far more often than not. at some point you will realize that you are just a sad guy who wishes he went to a good school and had friends --but obviously not the case right now. no-- the reality is people go to jail when they committ crimes and where there is evidence they committed crimes. and ill just sit here patiently waiting for the names of the frat brothers of steve cohen who pulled strings--and/or corzine who prevented his prosecution--and until i see that what you say is actually true-and not just an envious utterance from a guy who went to a crappy school---ill keep with my view of the world . (and my view is there are far too many people who hear about 'old boys networks' and the only way people get ahead is through conspiracies and frat bros. Then you take a look and see bill gates or warren buffet or micheal bloomberg and you see that hey--these guys are worth billions and they still work . every day. and the reason they are successful is because they are driven, passionate intelligent guys. hard work is often met with success. and that is the reality of being in the united states. not the old boys network that you watch on cable tv.
Joeseph Biff February 20, 2014 at 07:02 AM
Cohen should be sent to Riker's Island for a few years,and his family to Siberia. His fellow inmates will welcome him very fondly,if you know what I mean. This man has shown to have no conscience what so ever by letting his employees fall on the sword for him.He knew exactly what was going on as far as the biggest insider trader scam ever is involved. He is a scumbag in the biggest sense of the word.He continues to live his over the top lavish life style,paying millions for pieces of art,fancy homes in the Hamptons,etc.. Die you dirt bag,die!
eileen February 20, 2014 at 07:19 AM
Who can beat Malloy, you ask? At this point, I say anyone! Brian Duffy, "when he gets re-elected", you are kidding, right? Malloy has done nothing but over tax and ruin our state. Mark Boughton is the clear choice on who should be our next Governor.
Bill February 20, 2014 at 08:42 AM
Nobody will beat Malloy. Not in this welfare state. He's the perfect Gov for CT! He just gave Alexion millions in tax breaks when it has billions on its balance sheet in cash! It's the liberal way...march the self sustaining manufacturers to the state line and wish them well in South Carolina while you apply confiscatory taxes on citizens so you can redistribute that money to privately held companies that already have billions on their balance sheet. This state is too far gone with welfare cases, vote buying, sanctuary cities, long term unemployed and public sector workers. Too many people suckling the teat of state government. Game, set, match. Then when Malloy is re-elected in a state with the highest taxes, highest gas and electric rates, highest unemployment and leads the league in school shootings people will wonder how it happened. It's simply numbers. The Ds have a stranglehold on this state. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap and vote with your feet.
Bill February 20, 2014 at 08:48 AM
Wait until the Dems win the battle to give Felons their votes back! :) Guess who the felons will all be voting for??? And once the Felons are allowed to stand in line at the voting booth guess who is going to stay home and rightfully so...you're 65 year old granny and your 75 year old aunt that will be petrified of the idea of going to the polls alone and standing next to a convicted felon. If you care to debate voter suppression! You want the right to vote? Don't commit felonies!
Thomas Paine February 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Bill should warren Buffet go to jail for his sweetheart "bailout" of GS? He's made hundreds of millions, if not billions, on that preferred and equity deal that was blessed by the Feds. How about e cronyism of him buying Norfolk Southern which is a railroad benefitting hugely from the rail transport of crude oil from Canada that would otherwise go through the Keystone Pipeline. How many millions does Uncle Warren mint each mom he Obama delays the start of Keystone. Remind me Bill, did Buffet and Obama/Hillary/Kerry attend the same school or belong to the Sam frat/clubs? Buffet is one of the biggest crony capitalists alive today and yet no one calls him out for that - why? And then there is his cozy relationship with CNBC which can say no wrong about him. Which is kind of interesting given CNBC has been owned by GE which is in itself a huge part of e crony capitalist cabal. GECC gets bailed out in TARP even though it is not a bank, hmmmmm, how does that work?
Porter gladstone February 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM
Bill---is simply an envious guy as is joe biff (troll). They are angry not at the 'crimes" but simply that these guys are wealthy. Bill cant name the frat bros --big surprise. What is always annoying is these guys who get up on their high horse, implicitly claiming they are morally in the right, while at the same time lying or at the very least incapable of acknowledging their hyperbole. This idea of frat bros and dinner parties established by lax players who now rule the world is awesome--but its a fantasy. Are there bad people out there? Yes. Do i think that steve cohen is a good guy--nope. Do I think that the traders guilty of insider trading knocked on steve cohens door and said "hey just want to let you know im profiting on insider trading and hope my bonus is big." No chance. Im one of those old fashioned conservatives that dont expect other people to make up for my mistakes. Society is responsible for the poor. Bankers respobsible for the guy who borrowed over his head. Mcdonalds respondible for too hot coffee, and in this case steve cohen responsible for the conduct (to the degree of jail) for the actions of his employees. Nope--the delusional world of bill who thinks the only reason he has a mediocre life is because he isnt part of the in-crowd is contradicted by too much info. The largest bank is wells fargo headed by a guy who went to st. cloud state.
Porter gladstone February 20, 2014 at 02:01 PM
wait= thomas again--you think that banks were the only one bailed out? "How does that work?" Aig? Allybank?
socrates February 20, 2014 at 02:57 PM
Anyone but Malloy. This state is about at the tipping point.
Thomas Paine February 20, 2014 at 03:33 PM
Porter - EVERYONE was bailed out by the Fed and Treasury. You are a smart guy and you knew that after Lehman, the system could not absorb another failure among the major banks. The two big banks who could buy a firm were already in the process of doing so. There were no "buyers" left and the system was at the brink. After the first failed TARP vote, the House and Senate leadership were called to a meeting with the Administration, SEC, Treasury, FDIC, etc and told what was what. The politicians came out of the meeting ashen because they had just heard about the cascade of payment failures that would arise if a single other major bank failed. Simply put, the risk of a failure would be a potential collapse of the ACH payments system, debit card payments, EBT transfers, ATM cash machines, credit card processing to name a few. Food would not get to stores. Gas would not get delivered. Cash would not be available from some banks. Derivative contracts would have failed as collateral become questionable. Margin calls would have decimated the stock market even from the lows of that time. Individual's retirement accounts would have melted. The Dollar would have tanked and US interest rates would have skyrocketed. In short, large chunks of the system might have collapsed and there was no way for the regulators to stop it at that time. Pellosi looked her age when she came to the microphones after that meeting. So TARP ultimately passed and "the banks were bailed out". But in reality, we all were because they kept the juices (funds) flowing through the financial system and we avoided a complete meltdown. Oh, and as you know as an international investor, this would not have been limited to the USA as foreign banks would have been effected as well. >>> I have often argued that the concept was misnamed "too big to fail" in that it was more accurately "too inter-connected to fail". And with all of the regs, laws, balance sheet adjustments since then, I am still not certain the risk mentioned above has been baked out of the system.
Porter gladstone February 20, 2014 at 04:33 PM
GECC gets bailed out in TARP even though it is not a bank, hmmmmm, how does that work? not sure what you meant by that? as though they were unique beneficiaries of tarp.
Thomas Paine February 20, 2014 at 04:46 PM
No, just pointing out that there was a stretch of definitions to include GECC, an industrial finance firm, in TARP. And then the GE CEO was happy to do the Administration's bidding on global warming, green initiatives, etc., and benefitted from same. As I said, EVERYONE was bailed out, directly or indirectly.
Bill February 21, 2014 at 09:43 AM
TP...the Goldman bankers, Goldman regulators, Goldman treasury execs, Goldman hedgies, Goldman bureacrats, and Goldman politicians (Jon Corzine etc..) paid their lobbiests to write our banking laws exactly the way they want them written. The laws are intentionally ambiguous or non existent including allowing billions in CDO transactions that aren't recorded publicly! The bankers have written the laws so they are allowed to make huge bets on all manner of risk in both directions without any regulation despite the fact they can and do wipe out their own banks while destroying our national economy and wiping out 12% of the jobs in our nation. I'm not necessarily opposed to allowing corrupt or stupid bankers that are full of hubris run amok in an unregulated fashion....ask long as they are allowed to pay the price and their institutions are allowed to fail and they are allowed to go find work doing something they are actually good at. I am opposed to allowing a bunch of over-educated frat boys absent the required intellectual capacity to succeed in their endeavors or absent the moral compass required to avoid making the kinds of unethical and immoral transactions that destroy perfectly good banks and a nation, if they come running to the taxpayers begging for bail outs. Now I know your kind and Porter's kind and you will say yes, but no damage was done and the bankers paid back all the money from the bail out? That may be true. But they have not come close to paying the nation back for putting 12% of the working population of lunch pail type folks out on the street and on long term unemployment and welfare or SSDI. You see the bankers never include the collateral damage of their actions when they calculate re-payments to the taxpayers and that is by design because folks like you and Porter don't think about the additional cost to U.S. taxpayers and businesses of Government paid long term unemployment benefits, SSDI, Welfare, Food stamps, increases in the cost of unemployment insurance charged businesses by states etc...etc... The reality is the taxpayer funded bail out of the frat boys continues it's just no longer in the form of TARP payments it's now in the form of debt U.S. taxpayers are accruing paying out long term unemployment benefits that continue to be extended and SSDI benefits and welfare and so forth. Get real guys. The bankers and pols caused this depression in 2008 and the U.S. Taxpayer is still bailing them out in 2014. Our grandchildren are saddled with all this debt because of a bunch of greedy NYC bankers and because Greenspan was intent of testing the theory of his good pal Ayn Rand who thought large corporations could be unregulated because their CEOs would never make decisions that risked the solvency of the firms because it was in their best interests to ensure the solvency of the firms. Well....even Greenspan has now admitted he was wrong. So I say let the crazy frat boys play their games and whoop it up and when the $hit hits the fan let them pay the price. Don't let Blankefein( Goldman CEO) run to Hank Paulson (former Goldman CEO) and cut a deal behind closed doors that bails out all the bankers at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer unless the bankers plan to pay for the two or three decades of tail risk which is the cost of long term unemployment, increased SSDI payments, increases in welfare program costs and all the rest.
Bill February 21, 2014 at 10:05 AM
There's a very good chance Blankfein perpetrated the greatest hoax of all time on the bankers he bailed out and the U.S. Government. Since many of the financial instruments Goldman held to allegedly hedge their risk against AIG and other perils were unregulated and unrecorded and NEVER examined by the government or aybody else NOBODY really knows if Goldman was solvent when Blankefien and Paulson held their closed door meeting or if they would have remained solvent had AIG and a few of the others been allowed to fail. But Blankfein's strategy of being the first banker that ran to Paulson (Treasury Secretary and former CEO of Goldman and Goldman Stockholder) allowed him to name his price for moving unquantifiable risk/assets to Goldman's balance sheet for pennies on the dollar. Nobody knows how to value the transaction because the instruments involved are unregulated, nebulous and their value depends on a host of variables there were wildly moving targets during that time. Brilliant scheme...Blankefien runs to a fromer Goldman CEO that has ultimate decision making power in the matter and that owns Goldman stock and asksfor the deal of a lifetime! Surprise, suprise Paulson LOVES his idea and they do the most complex deal in the history of the world behind closed doors in one day without input or comment from elected representatives! The part I like best is it's very possible Goldman was insolvent at the time it "rescued" the other insolvent banks! When this is far enough behind us and the right people start dying and some of the truth of what went on starts to come out there is going to be some fantastic reading material for interested parties.
Thomas Paine February 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Jeez Bill, where to begin? You are blaming CDOs and Wall Street for the destruction of "lunch pail jobs"? Do you know anything about the USA's bipartisan lack of a cogent industrial policy dating back to the 1970s? Do you know anything about the impact of overzealous unions, globalization, the interwebs, and the efficient flow of labor and capital? I can't possibly change your mind as you spew a level of hatred toward your targets that indicates you are irreconcilably wedded to your belief system. I assume that you were down in NYC at the Occupy protests, your mindset would have been welcome there. >>> But let me ask you this - could Wall Street have peddled all of the CDOs, SIVs, rotten MBS and other financial tripe if they did not have a ready and expanding supply of refinanced and new mortgages to load into those vehicles? Did Wall Street force individuals to buy, buy, buy in the real estate market? Did the Street force people to put deposits on two, three, four or more properties in developments in the hope that they would flip them before the game of musical chairs stopped? Wall Street manufactures products when given the raw materials to create them, they can not create the raw materials themselves. Let me ask you Bill, were you involved in the real estate markets in 2000-2007? Did you buy a home or a second home? Did you refi a mortgage? Two? Did you take out a home equity loan or use a HELOC? If you did any of those, you helped create the raw material, but, did Wall Street make you do that? Or, were you driven by your own personal needs, wants and maybe, just maybe, greed? And maybe you did not Bill, but millions of "plain ordinary Americans" did, some with a bit of malice and aforethought, creating that supply for the Wall Street securitization machine. >>> Sorry Bill, but you are blaming the rats for creating the Black Plague when it was really the fleas that used the rats as transport that spread the bubonic plague. Yes, I am using the Wall Street = rats analogy intentionally, but it points out that it is easy to blame what appears to be the cause of something rather than taking the time to learn the deeper, more complex processes involved. Dang, I just gave away 10 minutes of my life on this. Adios.
Bill February 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM
TP....4% unemployment before the bankers screwed the pooch in 2008 and the Federal U6 number (the real unemployment number) is just under 15%. Unemployment fell off a cliff when the frat boys screwed up. Direct correlation between the big party and lamp shades and the taxpayer funded bail out and the immediate and staggering increase in the unemployment level. Also a direct correlation between increase in Federal debt and the bail outs and tail risk costs related to the party the frat boys hosted that ended in 2008. Nobody that's not a NYC banker disputes that.
Thomas Paine February 21, 2014 at 03:00 PM
Bill, you have rage issues, as well as data analysis challenges. Let's try this data set for the U3 and U6 unemployment indices. Feb2008: U3=4.9%/U6=9.2%, Peak (~end2009): 10.0%/17%, Jan2014: 6.6%/12.7%. So you were wrong in that the U3 measure was at 4% since it has not been at or below 4% since 2000. You are also wrong about the U6 rate being currently "just under 15%". Now, these numbers are all bad and are stubbornly high, especially given we have been in a "recovery" for several years. But how is that solely the fault of Wall Street? The over-leverage in our consumer, business and sovereign balance sheets was building for well over a decade with everyone enjoying "the good life" based on borrowed funds and "other people's money". Did Wall Street force Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Dubai, and a myriad of other sovereign countries to borrow excessively? Did the street force Americans to play real estate musical chairs hoping to get rich quick? The entire construct was a growth facade placed on a house of cards made of tinder that just needed a spark to set it ablaze. The implosion of the subprime market was the spark and the embedded levels of leverage created the inferno. It was inevitable and the only place it could have started was in the securitization markets. Again, it was the implosion of over-inflated real estate prices which caused the problems (home prices peaked in 2006). As for the "direct correlation between increase in Federal debt and the bail outs and tail risk costs", of course the Fed's balance sheet grew when the bailouts began, but what is your point? Since those were concurrent events that happened after the implosion, you can not blame the Fed's balance sheet expansion for the implosion. You could blame the Fed's loose m-policy, but not the size of its b/s.
Thomas Paine February 21, 2014 at 03:00 PM
BTW Bill, you failed to address my questions on whether you helped provide supply to the securitization machine.
Porter gladstone February 21, 2014 at 09:54 PM
Bill watched wolf of wall street. thats about it. then just throws out a bunch of b.s. charges without any corroboration. bill wasnt invited into a fraternity--and i think its clear to all why he wasnt.
Porter gladstone February 22, 2014 at 05:32 PM
bill--obviosly you couldnt name the frat connections. lets move to another question-- you say unemployment was 4% before the frat boys screwed the pooch then refer to u16---aside from the dishonest comparison, can you tell us why the rate was 4% ? Anything to do with banking system? are all bad times worthy of blame for the rich and all good times just a global economy? and who in the other countries is sitting in jail? iceland? Great britain, france, -- are there frat boys in every country preventing jail time? youve yet to name the crime that cohen committed. blankfein-etc. you must realize you fall short of any specifics?
REVMAN February 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM
I will not Vote for Malloy again(yes I WAS stupid) I will be voting for the PRO gun Visconti. If your talking of TARP money what ever happened to the 54million dollars of YOUR STIMULUS tax dollars that a 1.3 BILLION dollar (in revenue)company got???? It was Mohegan sun Casio. You can thank Chris Dodd(D)for throwing your tax dollars away.
Fed-up February 23, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Just remember when you use your right to vote- that the continued stagnation and tax burden is being led by a legislature composed of FOR YEARS Democrats, Tax and Spend-- Lottery money was supposed to go to education - after two years went to general fund (fix golf courses, etc) the casino money was supposed to go towards municipalities for tax relief - goes into the general fund, the tobacco settlement of millions was supposed to be used for smoking related health issues-- guess what into the general fund- this is YOUR government - Vote them out and clean house- we need common sense dedicated to restoring CT people in our HOUSE. What we have are empty headed losers who think that their power is god given and have no concept of their actions on the public- you the citizen (the ones that are left in CT and the small businesses who are trying to survive)
Thomas Paine February 23, 2014 at 07:44 PM
Bill, you have not deemed it appropriate to respond - was it something I said?
Joeseph Biff February 23, 2014 at 08:53 PM
Porter Glad(to be)stoned, You seem to be nothing more than a long winded Jabbernowl with way too much time on your hands, giving you the time to spew forth your bloviating posts. The only reason your hero and idol Cohen,whom you claim to dislike isn't sitting in a room next to Bernie Madoff( most likely another piece of shit you admire) is because he was smart enough to delete all of the emails that would have incriminated him. Yes,I'm envious of Bernie also.
Bob Cerani February 24, 2014 at 06:36 PM
Malloy is a dictator. and should not be re-elected. Look what he's done to this state. Are all of you happy with his discisions?
James Bond March 19, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Who can beat "Dan" Malloy? Anyone with a stick.
JimH March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Malloy is going to have a tough time rallying the low information voters since it's an off year election. No high profile Senate seats up for grabs. Maybe he can get another visit from Oblamer.
Kevin March 19, 2014 at 03:20 PM
In a sane world,a trained chimp should be able to beat Malloy,but having voted for Obozo the past two times,I would put nothing past the blue state dolts in Connecticut.
Igor March 19, 2014 at 03:36 PM
Do you really think that anyone will beat Malloy? He has the people on the dole to vote for him. They surely out number the paying constituents.
rottyfan March 19, 2014 at 05:50 PM
You are correct, Igor. Malloy is following the same blueprint that the Welfare President laid out. Adding 15 million people to the welfare dole = margin of victory. I never thought this great nation would be populated with a majority of Stupids, but it has come to that.

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