Dear Fellow Citizens: The recent effort to shift $550 million in debt from the City of Hartford onto the citizens of the State of Connecticut is illegal and is without authority under Article 1, Section 2 of our Constitution. It is about as effective as one drunken sailor telling the bartender that he will cover the bar tab of another drunken sailor.
It appears that those operating in the Hartford Bubble have not received the memo that the State of Connecticut is broke and cannot take on more debt. While I understand that it is standard operating procedure for the Hartford insiders to make special favors for their friends and allies, it is pointless for one spendthrift to guarantee the debt of another spendthrift. To the creditors of the City of Hartford: Don’t cash your chips yet as they will not be honored by the State of Connecticut.
If the GOP leadership in Hartford will not tell Hartford that its best course of action is to file for bankruptcy, then as a leader of the Connecticut GOP, I will. This agreement is unenforceable and will be voted out when I become governor. It is contrary to our Constitution at Art. 1 Sec. 2 that all free governments are instituted for the benefit of the citizen. That means that we will not govern, as Hartford is accustomed to do, for friends, cronies and allies. What a swamp!
We will not put the proud City of Hartford before the equally meritorious cities of New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, New Britain, Waterbury and the rest of our citizenry. All shall receive equal consideration as opposed to the rule by fiat favored by the statists in Hartford. Connecticut will not continue to be a personal piggy bank for the friends of Gov. Dannel Malloy.
On this $550 million in City of Hartford debt, Mayor Luke Bronin, a good man, has already disqualified himself for consideration as the governor of Connecticut as he has refused to govern the City of Hartford for the benefit of the present residents, the young, the students, the businesses, the old and the infirm who live and operate there today and will be there tomorrow.
In his words: “bankruptcy [is] the only responsible long-term alternative to the partnership that [Republican leaders] supported last fall.” Mayor Bronin should have pushed for bankruptcy. His campaign is wedded to the bad deals and bad decisions of the past represented by the heavy load of retiree benefits and debt service that consume approximately 80 percent of the City of Hartford tax dollar. (The state fills in for about half of the rest of the city’s budget.)
So instead of filing for bankruptcy and reducing that burden to maybe 50 percent of the City of Hartford tax dollar, thereby being better able to service the needs of the residents and businesses of the city, Mayor Bronin keeps hanging the millstone of the debt for overly generous past benefits and debt service on the citizens and businesses who are there today.
Now Mayor Bronin has tried to foist it on the rest of the citizens of the state, including the residents of New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, New Britain, Waterbury, Torrington and all the rest of the 168 other towns, cities and municipalities. Because it violates Art. 1, Sec. 2 of our Constitution it fails as it is not for the benefit of the general citizenry.
A vote for me is a vote for the present and future of our citizens in the cities, suburbs and rural areas.
In fact, Mayor Bronin has twice avoided debating me at TGIF debates, once on March 11 in the distant city of West Hartford and again on March 22 in front of young students at Farmington High School, where we could have discussed together the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and what steps need to be taken. How nice it would be to debate Mayor Bronin on this most recent abuse of our Constitution and citizenry and how that reflects on the governor’s race as well as the significance of the Parkland school shooting for our state.
Peter Thalheim of Greenwich is a Republican candidate for governor.