Tom Foley Comments Show Ignorance of the Law and Disregard for Middle Class and Working Families

by Matt O'Connor on October 12th

Leadership and members of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) called recent comments by Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for governor, a demonstration of his ignorance of Connecticut state law and his callous disregard for the middle class who are struggling with job loss, a lack of vital public services and an economic recession.

In an interview with the New Haven Register, Mr. Foley was quoted as saying he believed the state was in a “fiscal emergency” and as such the governor had the authority to not honor contracts with state employee unions. The very question of a fiscal emergency and collective bargaining, however, was previously addressed by the Attorney General who, in a formal opinion issued in May of 1989, rejected that argument.

“Tom Foley clearly has no sense of how government works,” said Carmen Boudier, President of New England Healthcare Employees Union, District 1199/SEIU. “His statements reflect campaign rhetoric and don’t provide realistic solutions for meeting the public service needs of Connecticut. The idea that any governor could ignore public employee contracts is ludicrous. Foley demonstrates time and again that he’d prefer running the state the way he ran his bankrupt company in Georgia.”

“We have said for more than a decade that Connecticut needs a governor who knows how to work with working families instead of against them, who is committed to an economy that provides good jobs with decent benefits for everyone,” Ms. Boudier said. “Every day Tom Foley makes more clear that he sees middle class families as expendable. That’s just not what Connecticut needs in a leader.”

While Mr. Foley’s comments show his inexperience with government function and law, he went on to say that as governor he would go to court to enforce his proposed cuts. The candidate boasted that he had been to court before, perhaps referring to his court challenges over the state’s Citizen’s Election Fund. Tom Foley’s approach to the state’s fiscal crisis — slashing vital public services at the expense of the middle class and promising no tax increases at the benefit of the wealthy — is simply unrealistic and a recipe for disaster.

“There will always be a fortunate few in our state like Tom Foley who are very rich,” said Sharon Palmer, President of AFT Connecticut. “If the Tom Foley’s have their way, there will be a few more super rich people, lots more people who are poor and out of work, and far fewer people in the middle, people with decent jobs and decent benefits and a safe community for their children and grandchildren.”

District 1199 and AFT are two of the thirteen unions in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which serves to unite approximately 45,000 Connecticut State Employees to address issues of common concern. To learn more about the coalition’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services visit

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Attorney General Riddle’s 1989 Opinion on Abrogating Contracts for Public Employees

2 Responses to “Tom Foley Comments Show Ignorance of the Law and Disregard for Middle Class and Working Families”

  1. Amy Gunderson Says:

    Tom Foley will gut health care, smash the unions, wrestle with the Legislature, fire thousands of workers, outsource critical services, and pander to his rich cronies. This is a failed Governor before he starts.

    “Foley’s Folly-Nomics!”

    I’d rather vote for Gordon Gekko…… THERE’s a corporate raider that I could like!

    But Mr. Foley? COMPLETELY UNTRUSTWORTHY for the middle class, the working class, the unions, single working Moms, sick people, and CT state workers.

  2. Charles P. in Hartford Says:

    Tom Foley tests the limits of fiscal credibility and leadership credibility.

    He also exhibits sneering disdain for middle class and working families.

    He appears to be an elitist, look at all the clearly evident signs.
    The loose denials about ruining Bibb Textiles Corp and laying off thousands while he pocketed millions (I still do not believe him, the facts look very black and white).
    He says he’s a “management expert” at improving organizations–REALLY??? Tell that to the people who felt the sharp sting of his Corporate Raider tactics, when he bankrupted or melted-down their company, took out huge “Management Fees” as they slid downhill, then retreated to his $8 Million mansion in Greenwich.
    He says he will not harm the neediest families of CT, but he has ruthlessly done so in his past experiences, why should we think he will change his stripes now?

    Last two points here are from my wife, who says (1) that anybody who has such a lengthy and ugly divorce as what Foley had with his first wife, should not be trusted by women voters. And, (2) she still wants to know why we would ever elect a Governor who has two arrests and a falsified security clearance in his background; both signs of poor character.

    Tom Foley is a bad choice, just a rich snob who has dressed himself up with slick TV ads. He should go have a martini on his 116-foot yacht “The Odalisque” and forget about running Connecticut, ‘CAUSE WE FEAR HE WILL JUST RUN IT INTO THE GROUND.

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