Posted Nov 07, 2010 @ 12:47 AM
Congratulations Gov.-elect Dan Malloy. Unfortunately, the job to which you were elected, one that you have pursued for nearly five years now, has become even more difficult than anyone could have imaged just one week ago.
You will be sworn in with no clear mandate from the people for the reforms you campaigned on, and a growing distrust among citizens of government’s ability to get anything right.
The debacle over the counting of votes from the election did nothing to instill confidence.
Restoring the public’s trust in government — in your administration — will be the biggest challenge you will face in the coming year.
Your predecessor, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, has come under sharp criticism these past two years for her lack of leadership, yet she will leave office in January as one of the state’s most popular governors, and with approval ratings that you can only hope to come close to achieving.
She earned the respect and admiration of citizens because she accomplished what you must now strive to achieve — restoring people’s faith in the government at a bleak moment in the state’s history. But she had an advantage, she didn’t also have to face the dire financial crisis that you will inherit.
We endorsed your candidacy because we believed — and still do — that your vision for this state offered the best hope for the future for the people of Connecticut. We felt — and still do — that your plan to resolve the state’s fiscal problem is realistic and based on sound fiscal policies.
We expect you to make good on your promise that your first act after being sworn in will be to sign that executive order mandating that all state agencies immediately apply Generally Acceptable Accounting Practices to their budgets, and to keep your promise not to sign a state budget until such accounting practices are codified into law.
That action, as you are well aware, will be met with strong resistance from the Democratic-controlled legislature and its leadership that has demonstrated an unwillingness to honestly deal with the fiscal crisis it has helped create.
Converting to honest accounting practices will expose the hidden structural deficits that exist within the state budget — increasing the projected $3.5 billion deficit to its true extent — and will make it harder in the future to conceal with “smoke and mirrors” the irresponsible fiscal practices of the past that has led to this crisis.
Your pledge to reduce the size of state government and get state spending under control will also be met with resistance by a legislature content to maintain the status quo. There will have to be compromise, but we expect you to keep your promise not to sacrifice the state’s obligation to its most neediest citizens or balance the budget on the back of local property taxpayers in making the concessions that you will likely have to make.
You will face yet even greater resistance from all corners with your call for a tax increase.
We understand that will be necessary, as do you. As we have stated consistently since this fiscal crisis began to evolve in January 2009, it will take a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to put Connecticut back on solid financial footing.
We thought you were the right candidate for the job — and we still do.
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