Tom Foley, the Republican convention-endorsed candidate for governor, roughs up his GOP rival, John P. McKinney, in a new tit-for-tat ad that still keeps his campaign’s focus on weakening the Democratic incumbent, Dannel P. Malloy.

Foley, a major political fundraiser for George W. Bush, a former U.S. ambassador and the 2010 GOP nominee for governor, lumps together Malloy and McKinney as “career politicians” and “insiders” who pushed “failed policies” and “billions in higher taxes.”

But the ad takes liberties with McKinney’s record in the state Senate, and one of the votes it references in a footnote implies criticism of a bipartisan measure in 2005 that boosted spending on Metro-North, deficient bridges and other transportation infrastructure.

YouTube video

The ad follows by two days a McKinney commercial that compared Foley’s unwillingness to consider further employee concessions to shrink the cost of government to the stance of the Democratic governor.

Foley’s new commercial ties Malloy and McKinney together on higher taxes. But McKinney, the GOP minority leader, voted with every other Republican against the $1.5 billion tax increase that Malloy obtained from the Democratic-controlled legislature in his first year.

And faulting McKinney for joining nearly every other legislator in 2005 in voting to invest in transportation infrastructure seems odd in a week when a report on transportation deficiencies has Malloy defending his administration against criticism it is not spending enough.

The 2005 vote is referenced in a footnote supporting the claim of McKinney supporting higher taxes. The vote came during a special session in which the legislature and Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, agreed to raise the gross receipts tax on petroleum products from 5 percent to 8.1 percent in a series of steps over eight years.

The money helped pay for a state investment of nearly $1 billion on transportation projects, including the purchase of 342 new commuter trains for Metro-North, a new rail repair facility and improvements to I-95 from Greenwich to Stonington.

The Foley campaign had no immediate response when asked if their candidate thinks that raising gas taxes to pay for the Metro-North cars and other transportation investments was a mistake.

The ad also talks about failed economic policies. According to a footnote, that is a reference to McKinney’s vote for legislation that enabled Malloy to initiate his now-controversial “First Five” program of economic development assistant to major companies willing to pledge the creation of 200 new jobs.

McKinney is now among the critics of how Malloy implemented the program, which he has likened to “corporate welfare.”

A basis for a claim of policies that are “costing us jobs” is a bill that Malloy actually is highlighting as an accomplishment in his own TV ad: a bipartisan bill that authorizes $400 million in tax breaks to United Technologies Corp. in return for a major expansion designed to preserve Connecticut’s aerospace and engineering base. McKinney voted for the bill, which passed on a 34-2 vote in the Senate.

The Foley ad refers obliquely to McKinney and Malloy’s support for “bigger intrusive government.” The footnote for that claim refers to the 2011 budget, which Malloy signed and McKinney opposed, and to the 2013 post-Newtown gun law supported by both.

The script:

Dan Malloy.  John McKinney.
Career politicians.  Insiders.
Pushing failed policies – costing us jobs
1 .
Billions in higher taxes
2 ,
More spending – more debt
3 ,
Bigger, intrusive government
4 .
Time for new leadership – new ideas.
Tom Foley.  An outsider.
Problem solver who will stop out of control spending,
Lower taxes,
Support job creators,
Fight for ordinary citizens.
Tom Foley –
Pride, prosperity for Connecticut.
I’m Tom Foley and I approved this message.
Tom Foley is the Republican endorsed candidate for Governor of Connecticut

1Source: Public Act No. 11-86, 7/8/2011; Public Act No. 14-2,  5/8/2014;  CNBC, 6/24/14
2Source: Bloomberg, 5/4/11; Public Act No. 05-4, 7/1/2005

3Source: CT Assembly’s Fiscal Analysis, 7/1/14, Comptroller’s Reports, Accessed 7/1/14
4Source: Public Act No. 11-6, 5/4/2011; Public Act No. 13-3, 4/4/13

Avatar photo

Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

Leave a comment