El gobernador Ned Lamont, Bob Stefanowski y Rob Hotaling en el estudio de la NBC Connecticut en West Hartford.
Gov. Ned Lamont and challengers Bob Stefanowski and Rob Hotaling at NBC Connecticut in West Hartford. NBC Connecticut

Recently the CT Mirror asked about coverage of the recent elections. As a third party candidate for Lt. Governor, I have some opinions that I would like to share.

First, coverage was accurate, but I feel the entire Fourth Estate had coverage that was incomplete. The state lost the chance to really evaluate where we go over the next two to four years because of those deficiencies. My grandfather was the print executive for a major paper in the state during 50s and 60s. As an elementary student, he would always say who, what, where, when, why and how?

Chip Beckett

News coverage specialized in who and what happened, often noting where. They rarely asked what was happening in a context nor why the ideas/responses were what they were or how they would be accomplished. Often the answer seemed to be “trust me when I am in.”

We do have $40 million in TV advertising telling us respectively that two rich guys that self-funded were alternatively heroes we should bow down to or were the devil bent on destroying our state. Does their perspective really encompass the entire state’s collective understanding of the issues? They really were both unable to articulate a future plan for our state — not only directionally, but also what would the implementation specifically be.

An illustrative example is the recent call for a 1% cut in the rate for income taxes and saying it would help the working and middle class. 1000 friends of Connecticut recently pointed out that property tax is the killer for those groups of people. You should read their December report. The 2019 tax incidence study shows how the bottom 30% of earnings (78% of the people) pay 60% of property taxes; which is why Rob Hotaling and my plan called for focusing on property tax. Lowering the property tax provides more relief than any other credit or tax reduction available for the same dollar expenditure.

We did a lot of research to look at the actual pain points of Connecticut cost of living. We know that Connecticut really needed an overall tax reform with government services delivered by a synchronized state-local system; not competition and blame between state and local governments claiming each can’t control their spending and overtax the public. But did news coverage ever reference the tax incidence study? Was either major party candidate asked about its impact on their plans? What about the leadership of the state house and senate, did they respond to those questions?

Many third-party candidates run to raise awareness of issues and to join the discussion of solutions to problems. My hope was to join the conversation to make Connecticut better to live, work and play in, for all residents. I certainly hoped to win, but did not expect to. I personally don’t have $20 million to spend on anything; but I have 18 years of experience solving local and regional government problems that I thought the state would benefit from.

Kevin Rennie said we had to prove we would have a competitive campaign. He meant money, not ideas. We failed at his test. Other candidates may have similar views for their respective races. But, with coverage of why and how policies are suggested in the job interview of elections, what did Connecticut lose by not discussing policy alternatives of all candidates?

Chip Beckett of Glastonbury was gubernatorial candidate Rob Hotaling’s lieutenant governor running mate.