Time to choose who I'm going to vote for on Tuesday. As always, I pretty much ignore the commercials and flyers--they are useless for making a truly informed decision. Also worth noting, although I am a registered Democrat, I don't blindly vote Democrat. I am more than willing to accept that the other parties have good candidates too. I typically make my choices through a process of elimination. If you're still trying to figure out what to do on Tuesday, try visiting VoteSmart for more information. There will also be Charter Revision questions on the ballot. Bryan Baker has done a great job of posting information about the questions on his blog, The Second Generation.
Governor: Dan Malloy
Dan Malloy is the former Mayor of Stamford, one of the largest and most successful cities in Connecticut: he has fourteen years of experience in running a complex government and appears to have done it very well. As Mayor, Malloy would have become very familiar with the workings of state-level government and surely has a clear understanding of how state government impacts the cities and towns. Malloy has the right experience for the job and a great history of success.
Tom Foley is a venture capitalist. Venture capitalists are the guys who buy companies or their subsidiaries, suck as much money out of them as they can, then either shut them down or sell them off. Venture capitalists are the bad guys in every movie about factory workers facing layoffs when the cozy family-owned business is forced to sell. Venture capitalists focus on their money, not on their people. This is not the sort of person I want as governor. Foley claims to have experience in government, but his experience consists of being the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland for a few years--not something that will help him run Connecticut. His appointment was not entirely welcomed by the Irish: one blogger described him as "Iraq pillager" and quoted sources claiming that Foley got the Iraq job because he was a long-time friend of George W. Bush. Foley's time in Iraq is his other "experience" in government (according to his own campaign website), but his actual activities there have been shown to have been of minimal importance, and in one instance even detrimental. No matter what actually happened in Iraq, setting up a stock exchange in a foreign country is simply not relevant to being Governor of Connecticut.
Tom Marsh is a small business owner and First Selectman of the small town of Chester. I think he has some good ideas, but I'm not sure he has the experience needed.
Lt. Governor: Undecided
This is the backup governor position--if something happens to the Governor, the Lt. Governor takes over the job. Like the Vice-President, the Lt. Governor campaigns mostly for the running mate who chooses him or her. And, like the Vice-President, it's a package deal. Voting for Malloy means I'm also voting for Wyman by default.
Nancy Wyman has long years of political experience in Hartford, most recently as Comptroller. I can't really generate an opinion about her, which bothers me.
Mark Boughton was a state rep for three years and is in his fifth term as Mayor of Danbury, which has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. Boughton is also a blogger, which is not itself a reason to vote for him (nor is the fact he wears a Timex), but I still give him points for it. Blogging is a great way for politicians to communicate with the people they represent, and it's a great way for readers to get some insight into what's happening. I don't agree with him on several issues (he really crumbles when issues about immigration and racism are raised).
Cicero Booker is a Waterbury Alderman, which does make me partial to him--I like to be able to support Waterbury candidates at the state level--but that's not enough of a reason to vote for him.
This is probably the most-watched race in the state. Blumenthal has done some great work as Attorney General. He's not very good at campaigning, but that is not a reflection of what he'll do in the Senate. McMahon is a great campaigner, and a fascinating personality, but I think she is primarily focused on benefits for people like herself--millionaire business owners. Also, to touch on one of her campaign points, since when is it the Senate's business to create jobs? She keeps saying that Blumenthal will be a bad Senator because he doesn't know how to create jobs, but her website says "People create jobs, not government," which makes her campaigning hugely hypocritical.
Congress: Chris Murphy
Whenever I've heard Murphy speak, I've agreed with what he's said. I'm pleased that Caligiuri is doing well, since that bodes well for Waterbury's reputation, but I think Murphy deserves another term.
72nd District: Larry Butler
Not much choosing to do here. There is technically a Republican candidate, but he has done no campaigning. The Independent candidate was a last-minute addition with no intention of winning. Once again, the Waterbury parties are showing that they don't care about my district. Butler sent out a flyer--after all, he's the incumbent and needs to win re-election--but the Republicans and Independents seem to be relying on the old "nobody" votes in the 72nd, so why bother? Meanwhile, if you ask people here why they don't vote, they tell you it's because the politicians don't care about this district. It's a vicious circle that needs to end.