Tags: Connecticut | governor | Tom Foley | anti-tax

Anti-Tax Furor in Connecticut Fuels GOP's Foley for Governor

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Wednesday, 08 October 2014 06:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As President Barack Obama arrived in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Tuesday for a fundraising event, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley voiced confidence that higher taxes and what he called an "anti-business climate" under Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy would propel him to the governorship that narrowly escaped his grasp in 2010.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll showed Foley defeating Malloy by a margin of 46 percent to 40 percent among likely voters statewide. These figures were similar to surveys conducted a month before by Rasmussen, which showed Foley leading 48 to 35 percent, and Gravis Marketing (the Republican led 46 percent to 38 percent).

"It's a combination of things that brought us to this point," Foley told Newsmax between campaign stops shortly before Obama's visit. "Taxes were raised by a record amount, spending and corporate welfare have gone up under [Malloy], and the anti-business atmosphere here has driven jobs from Connecticut."

Of all the issues that are making Foley the front-runner in a state Obama twice carried with ease, however, the one that has produced the most fury from voters is Malloy's $1.8 billion tax increase.

"They understand taxes," said Foley, "and this is the biggest our state ever had. We're going to cut or get rid of as many taxes as we can. We're going to lower the car tax, which is so unfair to commuters, and, quite frankly, we will go after any tax that discourages business from creating jobs in Connecticut.

"Everything is on the table."

Malloy and the Democrats, insisted the businessman-candidate, "have diminished people's prospects." He added that "something's wrong when there's only been 1 percent economic growth since he was elected governor and Connecticut lost 3,600 jobs in August."

Much like most of the recent Republicans who have been elected to statewide office or Congress from Connecticut, Foley is by no means a conservative on cultural issues. The state's liberal abortion law and the same-sex marriage ruling by courts are not going to be changed, he said, and the latest gun control legislation signed by Malloy won't be repealed "because Democrats are probably going to still control the state House [of Representatives]."

Along with polls, there was also strong anecdotal evidence from several voters we spoke to that Connecticut's modern history as a Democratic state was not helping Malloy.

"I'm a Democrat and I don't like many Republicans because, whether it's Mitt Romney or the leadership in Congress, one of the first things they say they'll cut out is subsidies for Amtrak," a train conductor from Wallingford, who requested anonymity, told Newsmax. "But I'll vote for Tom Foley because the mess this state is in."

This opinion was echoed by Berlin accountant Alan McDonald, who told us: "I'm a Democrat but I won't sure vote for Malloy. When he sees something, he says 'tax it!'"

As it did in the twilight of the 2010 campaign that took a week to completely count, the Malloy camp has unleashed ads focusing on Foley's record in business that suggest a cold elitism not unlike that in the Obama spots attacking Mitt Romney in 2012.

"Yeah, they've put out about $2 million in advertising trying to distort my business record," said the GOP hopeful, "and people who didn't know me four years ago now say 'I don't believe because I know you now' or simply 'I don't care.' This stuff isn't hurting us."

Should Foley emerge triumphant next month, he would be the first candidate of either party in the Nutmeg State to oust a sitting governor since 1954, when Democrat Abe Ribicoff unseated Republican Gov. John Davis Lodge, and the first governor never to have held previous elective office since Democrat Chester Bowles in 1948.

Both Bowles and Foley had substantive business backgrounds — Bowles in advertising and Foley in investment banking — and both had held major presidential appointive offices (Bowles as head of the Office of Price Administration under F.D.R. and Foley as George W. Bush's ambassador to Ireland).

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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As President Obama arrived in Connecticut for a fundraising event, Republican Tom Foley voiced confidence that higher taxes and an "anti-business climate" under Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy would propel him to the governorship.
Connecticut, governor, Tom Foley, anti-tax
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2014-32-08
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 06:32 AM
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