Another "Explorer" Comes Calling

Last night, June 30, 2009. the Waterford Democratic Town Committee was treated to a visit from “Exploring” Democratic candidate for Governor Susan Bysiewicz. After a short meet and greet while members of the committee arrived, Ms. Bysiewicz delivered her stump speech.

She started by explaining why she was exploring a possible candidacy for governor. First – Young people are leaving the state and fifty percent of those who attend college out of state, never return to Connecticut to live; Second – Last year, the state lost 40 thousand jobs. Unemployment is around 8% statewide but it is greater than 10% in Windham County. Third – A record number of businesses have failed in the past year. From 1950 to 1990, Connecticut lead the nation in job creation. Since 1991 the state has sunk to nearly last in the nation for job creation. There hasn’t been a democratic governor since 1991.

According to Bysiewicz, Connecticut needs a leader in green technology and renewable energy; a leader in Health and life sciences. Connecticut needs a comprehensive transportation plan that will improve rail transportation and make CT ports deep water ports for receipt of foreign shipments. She would focus on small business because 90% of the jobs are created by small business. Connecticut’s small businesses need affordable health care and affordable utility costs.

Last year, as Secretary of the State (SOTS), Ms. Bysiewicz delivered a health care bill that would permit small business, municipalities, and non profits to join the state worker’s health plan. Governor Rell vetoed such a plan. IT is coming back for signature this year (along with a second health care bill. Small business will suffer in CT if it is not signed this year.

Utility deregulation passed in the ninties has not worked and CT pays some of the highest utility rates in the Nation. Ms. Bysiewicz urges that utility pools be established that permit smalll business to obtain less expensive electricity by negotiating a rate with the supplier is a group. The high cost of utilities must be reduced.

When looking for a governor, we should consider the following- 1)Does the candidate have a plan for the future; 2) Does the candidate plan to meet personally with her cabinet officials to set goals and to insure that the targeted goals are being met. The Office of the Secretary of the State has a business plan and works to follow the plan. 3) We should want a hands on governor who sweats the details. This will avoid such debacles such as the New Haven train station and the route 84 cost overruns as well as other state wide oversights. Bysewicz would be a governor in the pattern of Ella Grasso. Bysiewicz states she will be a govenor with a work ethic, not one that only puts in 31 hours per week like the current incumbent. 4) There should be ethics and transparancy in government. As governor, Bysiewicz will ask the legislature to pass limits for size and compleixty of gifts to state employees.

In conclusion, Bysiewicz touted that she was the only CEO in the race. As SOTS, she is in charge of the equivilant of a $250 million company. She knows how to be fiscally responsible and will lead the state to do more with less. Finally, the Democrats need to win and she is the only candidate who has won a state wide primary and got 19 thousand more votes than Governor Rell in the 2006 election.

The following is a summary of the Q&A session:
Q-How do you feel about the an employee incentive program?
A- Supported such a program while in the State Legislature. We need to get state employees to work as efficiently as possible. Governor Rell opposed performance based budgeting. Tax loopholes for business should be closed just like they are in New York and Massachusetts.

Q- What would you do to resolve the current budget standoff?
A- She would follow the lead of Governors Ella Grasso and Lowell Weiker who brought leaders in from both sides of the aisle and basically said no one was leaving the room until the impass was resolved. The legislature should have focused on the budget first. The governor should have been meeting with the principle leaders prior to February Both side of the legislature and State Commissioners should all be a part of the solution. The Governor should be engaged.

Q – How resolve the small business health care issue?
A- There are two bills on the Governor’s desk, all she has to do is sign them.

Q- How keep college graduates from moving away?
A- Problem is lack of jobs and poor quality of life for young persons. Connecticut cities need to be vibriant Need to attract new businesses to CT. Young people will stay. The state should adobt “Smart Growth” principles.

Q – How solve the I95 problems?
A- Transportation should be shifted to trains. Shore Line East should stretch from the Border with Westerly all the way to New Haven. We should be able to get from Westerly to New York by train along the shore.

Interestingly enough, some members of the Waterford DTC heard from two exploring candidates last night. The Democratic Party’s other intrepid explorer, Mayor Dan Malloy, was also in Waterford attending a fundraiser at a private home. The fundraiser was scheduled just before the Town Committee Meeting so it was possible to attend both events. Malloy delivered his stump speach that was reviewed on this site when he visited the WDTC in late April.

One of the unanswered questions last night was “When will the explorers complete their exploration?” Neither explorer would be specific but indications are that the “exploring” will end after the November 2009 Municiple elections. Time will tell if that is the case.

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16 responses to “Another "Explorer" Comes Calling

  1. I’m interested in another candidate having tangentially addressed Connecticut’s “brain drain.” Genghis addressed this phenomenon in a post over a year ago, even then bemoaning a failure of imagine on the part of state government to address the issue.

    Indeed, it seems that every attempt to deal with the issue sets a tenor as hokey as the “New England’s Rising Star” slogan for Hartford a few years back. I think it would be in lawmakers’ best interest to recognize that Connecticut is unlikely to become as dynamic as the metropolitan hubs that surround it, and that instead they should focus on more substantive, pragmatic, and tangible incentives.

  2. Alex P. Keaton

    Speaking of “exploring,” Cafero, again, seems to make a heck of a lot of sense. Looks like this video hit the Web recently — take a few minutes to check it out: http://www.vimeo.com/5410361

  3. TheStickler

    The stuff about “utility pools” is nonsense.

    The first problem with our utility rates is that the Millstone Nuclear Power Station probably makes power at a cost of 2 cents per kwh, yet with our idiotic single clearing price market system (courtesy of ISO New England, FERC) etc., it has an entitlement to payment like a natural gas plant. It hedges that right through contracts that probably pay it 8-10 cents per kwh. As a result, Millstone makes about 1 billion a year over its costs, at our expense. If it made a mere, say, 100 million over its costs, it would operate no differently. Our failure to do anything about this is probably the most glaring failure of our political culture (but perhaps I’m biased).

    The second biggest problem with our utility rates is similar–the PSEG Bridgeport Harbor Coal station. It too has an entitlement to payment like a natural gas plant, even though it uses cheaper (and filthier) coal.

    The third “problem” with our utility rates is that we don’t use coal the way the South and Midwest do, with the Bridgeport Harbor plant being a minor exception. Places like Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia get essentially all their power from coal. Because coal is filthy, we shouldn’t fix this “problem.”

    The fourth problem with our utility rates is that they are larded up with corporate welfare programs for such things as “energy efficiency” and demand response. We all pay to buy efficiency equipment for businesses that they should be buying themselves, since they get to keep the electricity savings.

    That’s it. That’s basically the whole picture. You can take all the wind towers, windy pronouncements, buying pools, efficiency, etc. and chuck them out the window. If we just stopped the ridiculous overpayments to Millstone and PSEG, our power prices would be lower than our neighbors (but not lower than Kentucky’s). If someone talks about doing something about power prices without talking about Millstone, they are essentially urinating on your shoes and telling you it’s raining.

  4. Alex P. Keaton

    For the state’s sake, let’s hope Malloy gave the good folks in Waterford something more than the gristle Suzie dropped in their bowls. If we’re to take this post as an accurate report of what she said, Bysiewicz did nothing more than take pot shots at the governor and belch buzz phrases her clumsy capitol cronies use every day. We know, you’re going to use smart growth principles, you’d lock people from both sides of the aisle in the room to solve the budget crisis, and you’d solve our health care problems by forcing a plan that no business owner wants. And, of course, you’d make Connecticut a leader in green technology. Whatever that means. Let’s pray that the only person who bought that jive is our gushing poster above.

  5. palendrone

    There are tons of problems with Suzie Q’s points here – most annoyingly
    is her talk of ‘delivering’ a bill. Awesome, I know how to use the
    postal service too. It’s just like when the Governor makes a big deal
    about signing a bill she didn’t write, debate, or do anything else of
    merit on besides sign. Big deal. Suzie has remained as hands off as
    could possibly be in her position, while only working on getting her
    (very hard to spell and pronounce) name out there. Her arguments don’t
    differentiate her from the other Democrats, let alone the Governor. She
    is a CEO? Let alone the only CEO?! Really? I think we should fact check that one.

  6. palendrone

    Well done.

  7. She’s the “only CEO” in the race?

    I could have sworn one of the other potential candidates was mayor of a large city or something.

  8. I could have sworn one of the other potential candidates was mayor of a large city or something.

    I heard that another was actually a sitting Governor.

  9. Third – A record number of businesses have failed in the past year. From 1950 to 1990, Connecticut lead the nation in job creation. Since 1991 the state has sunk to nearly last in the nation for job creation. There hasn’t been a democratic governor since 1991.

    Hmm…didn’t something else happen in 1991 to the state’s taxes? I suspect that has had a lot more to do with CT’s sagging economic growth than the party affiliation of the Governor.

    Also, I agree whole heartily with Adam Talbot about focusing on specific, tangible priorities for growing the state’s population. We’ll always have a substantial number of young people leaving the state with the twin magnets of Boston and New York. I think the key has to be getting those young people back once they get a little older and want to settle down.

  10. Bysiewicz is very good at pointing out some of the problems we have in this state but has yet to offer any solutions or how she intends to pay for some of her proposals. She is all fluff. Just watch her TV interviews – absolutely no solutions.

    CEO – really? Ask most lawyers and Corporations and they will inform you the Sect of State’s office is a mess. While I will probably support Gov. Rell, Dan Malloy has way more CEO experience then Bysiewicz could ever dream of having.

  11. “We’ll always have a substantial number of young people leaving the state with the twin magnets of Boston and New York. I think the key has to be getting those young people back once they get a little older and want to settle down.”

    If we were only losing all our young people to Boston or NY maybe. But there are at least 40 other states in this country that are for one reason or another are just as magnetic to not just our young people, but many others as well.

    Beyond that what exactly would be the attraction to getting those young people back to CT to settle down once they not only become older, but also learn CT is not the center of the universe?

    Is it our affordable housing? Reasonable power costs? Vibrant job market? Tax advantages? Ease with which we can get from point A to point B without being caught in some traffic jam for an hour on the way? Maybe our weather? Or how about after working hard all your life why not come back here to retire so you can then pay death taxes?

    I guess the answer according to our SOS the attraction would be to adopt “smart growth” principles.

    Well at least it is reassuring to know she has a clear plan. I’ll e-mail my kids to let them know.

  12. wtfdnucsailor

    Alex – Just because I posted it, it doesn’t mean I believe it. I tried to give as true an account as possible regarding what Bysiewicz said and leave my personal opinion out of it (as much as possible). I personally think that Malloy would be a stronger candidate for the DEMS. I believe that he will be able to penetrate the Rell Teflon coating in a one on one debate. That said, the SOTS deserves a chance to be heard and compete in the process. Not all DEMS may agree with my assessment. That is why we have elections. Right now, I have my “commentator” hat on, when I wrote the original post, I had my “reporter” hat on. I try not to switch hats in the same post without positive ID of the shift.

  13. CEO – really? Ask most lawyers and Corporations and they will inform you the Sect of State’s office is a mess. While I will probably support Gov. Rell, Dan Malloy has way more CEO experience then Bysiewicz could ever dream of having.

    Yeah, this really irritated me. Suzie’s got to be nuts to think this is somehow a valid talking point. Malloy, as her biggest intraparty competition, is actually running government operations that is tantamount to a small state. She’s ‘delivering’ bills. Suzie, next time you’re out on deliveries can you drop off the paperwork for my business that your office hasn’t been able to process yet?

  14. I agree with her on city’s in Ct are lame. I am 19 and voted in my fisrt election ever on november 4,2008. It is true that young people do not want to stay here. There is little job creation and nothing attractive about this state at all
    If its one thing i tell you My vote is either going to her or the mayor of stamford and the reason Malloy has a chance to get my vote is he has done a good job in stamford and thats a big city just like in Bridgeport. So if the election was held today there is a 51% chance i vote for malloy

  15. Q- How keep college graduates from moving away?A- Problem is lack of jobs and poor quality of life for young persons. Connecticut cities need to be vibriant Need to attract new businesses to CT. Young people will stay. The state should adobt “Smart Growth” principles.

    So do “smart growth” policies usually lead to lower real estate values or higher real estate values? Are high real estate prices better or worse for business growth?

    While many conservative comments on this site are quick to point to taxes as the reason for low job growth, I think that high real estate prices have equally large of an impact. It makes rents for business more expense, but more importantly, it makes housing more expensive. Employees need to demand higher salaries to make their mortgage payments, and thus it’s more expensive to do business here than elsewhere.

    There isn’t a simple answer to solving this. We have high population density. A better transportation infrastructure would help: it’d open up more areas to allow people to commute from. Right now, it’s almost impossible to commute very far on I-95. However, road construction in this state is problematic. We can’t even build interchanges between two highways without judges issuing injunctions and so on. (Merrit / Route 7). But smart growth, where we have another layer of land use regulation, coupled with more trains and less roads, isn’t going to make real estate any less expensive.

  16. So do “smart growth” policies usually lead to lower real estate values or higher real estate values? Are high real estate prices better or worse for business growth?

    Smart growth coalitions are loose alliances of NIMBYs, environmentalists, and working-class economic advocates. In the original proposals, there’s always money to expand affordable housing, bus service, and the like. But when a slice gets taken out of the loaf, it’s usually the share that would have gone to making housing and transportation cheaper.

    “Don’t build a Wal-Mart near me” is a more popular position among current residents than “build high-density condos for young families near me.” The former, of course, makes property prices go up, while the latter makes them go down, since wealthy people often prefer not to live near poor people.

    I’m interested to hear if you have any ideas about how to more effectively tie the two kinds of proposals together, so quality of living in the neighborhoods can go up while the entry costs go down.

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