McKinney hits Malloy, Foley in his first TV ad

Republican John P. McKinney asserts in his first television commercial he is the only candidate targeting the size of government — a jab at his GOP rival, Tom Foley, and the Democrat they hope to unseat this fall, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

While Foley’s first ad was a soft-focus bio piece reintroducing the 2010 nominee to voters, McKinney tries to make an impact with a piece Monday showing Republicans he can land a punch on the governor and that he has a different approach than Foley.

“Dan Malloy raised taxes. Increased spending. And now Connecticut is broke. Tom Foley says he won’t cut spending,” McKinney says off camera, narrating his own commercial.

A brief clip twice shows Foley, who has promised to keep state funding level for two years and that he won’t seek state employee concessions, saying, “I’m not going to cut spending.”

“That’s not going to fix the problem,” McKinney says he walks into the frame. “I’m John McKinney. I led the fight against Malloy’s policies, and I voted to cut spending and taxes. I‘m the only candidate for governor who’s willing to target the size of state government.”

The piece is by Jamestown Associates, the same firm that bedeviled Foley in 2010 with hard-hitting ads for Lt. Gov. Michael C. Fedele during the GOP primary. Foley won, but not before seeing a 35-point lead shrink to single digits.

McKinney, who is the leader of the Republican minority in the state Senate, says the Fedele attacks on Foley’s record as a businessman are off limits, but sharply noting differences on policies is not.

McKinney has said he can balance Connecticut’s books and provide some modest sales or gasoline tax cuts in his first year in office – a daunting task given the $1.3 billion deficit nonpartisan analysts project for next fiscal year.

Unlike Malloy and Foley, McKinney says he is open to another round of employee concessions.

It was unclear from FCC records how extensive was McKinney’s initial buy.

He and his running mate, David Walker, are not expected to receive their public financing grant of $1.35 million until later this week. But time is running short.

Republican voters choose between McKinney and Foley, who is the GOP convention-endorsed candidate, at a primary on Aug. 12.

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