The Norwich Bulletin is disgusted with our legislative leaders after they failed to come to any sort of agreement with the governor over the budget despite labeling the continuing fiscal crisis as their top priority back in January, and has made their displeasure pretty plain. They want Speaker Donovan and Senate President Pro Tem Williams to resign, and let someone else take over as leaders.
You said the problems facing the state were unprecedented, requiring bold and decisive action. But all we got from you was business as usual.
Consider this morning’s editorial a vote of no confidence in your abilities to provide the necessary leadership Connecticut needs. This morning, we call upon you both to step aside as “leaders” of the legislature and turn the reins over to others more capable, and who have the political courage to act.
Is that extreme? Not at all.
Williams and Donovan wasted the regular session on posturing, and then proceeded to fritter away most of the month after the end of that session nitpicking the governor’s proposal instead of drafting one of their own.
Certainly Donovan and Williams deserve a great deal of the blame for dragging this out, especially after they promised swift action. However, the governor also seems to lack the will to implement real reform. She opted instead to put forward a budget filled with the predictable, unfocused slashing of services (only to turn around and rescind one of her cuts when it proved widely unpopular) that had no chance of passing. This sort of jousting is silly, and frankly a little insulting.
There is a leadership vacuum in Connecticut. No one in charge seems to be willing to really work to change our government and our state for the better. What happened to fundamentally remaking government? That doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar anymore. The crisis, and the opportunity to reshape Connecticut’s government, has been wasted.
A budget may yet emerge from the meeting at the governor’s mansion this weekend. We’ll know more tomorrow. But, even if it does, it’s no real cause for celebration or relief. Our leaders have proved sluggish, ideologically bound and indecisive in the face of a real crisis.
The governor will face the voters next year–if she decides to run. Her opposition may be weak, but at least the people of Connecticut will get to have their say on her. We don’t, however, vote for Speaker or Senate President Pro Tem. And yet, their failure in this crisis is simply unacceptable. Donovan may yet prove to be a better Speaker than he seems to be right now, but Williams has had his chance and then some.
The Bulletin is right. It’s past time for better leadership in the legislature.
What do you think?