Draft speech of the 89th gov­er­nor

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Opinion - Ken Dixon, po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor and colum­nist, can be reached at 203- 842- 2547 or at [email protected]­post.com. Visit him at twit­ter. com/ KenDixonCT and on Face­book at kendixonct. hearst.

Ladies and gen­tle­man; an­gry tax­pay­ers; bloated hedge­fun­ders; stoned, bor­der- bust­ing pot buy­ers; happy cor­po­rate re­lo­ca­tors; bit­ter, los­ing Repub­li­cans; and per­plexed, win­ning Democrats. Hi ev­ery­body.

Can’t we just call our­selves Con­necti­cut­ters?

Thanks for join­ing me, my wife An­nie, and the rest of our fam­ily on this big day, when I take the oath of of­fice.

I’m Ned La­mont, and I’d like to take time out from the pageantry, pomp and pun­ditry of this his­toric In­au­gu­ra­tion, to as­sure you that my up­com­ing term will

not be like stand­ing in line at the DMV for four long years.

Nor will it be as if we’re in a speed­ing in­ter­state trac­tor- trailer, bar­rel­ing along un­der those high­way- toll gantries at 85 miles per hour.

Yes, the road’s go­ing to be bumpy and yes, some­one will have to pay. Cha Ching! But my flair for col­lab­o­ra­tion, re- in­ven­tion, self­p­reser­va­tion and what­ever lever­age I can gain in the Gen­eral Assem­bly, should make the State Capi­tol a much- eas­ier place to work than un­der my pre­de­ces­sor, the over- hated, Gov. Dan Mal­loy ( point hand to­ward Mal­loy; Pause for boos).

Say what you want about him, or bet­ter yet, let the con­ser­va­tives at The Yan­kee In­sti­tute blather away, but Dan Mal­loy’s leav­ing very big shoes to fill, es­pe­cially for me, who ex­cept for tonight’s for­mal In­au­gu­ral Ball ( Tick­ets are only $ 200, folks, so let’s shred a rug) al­ways wears penny loafers.

Yes, be­ing from Green­wich, you’d think that I’d have a closet full of for­mal wear, but in fact, I’m like any down- to- earth small busi­ness­man with $ 300 mil­lion in the bank.

For starters, I’m go­ing to save Connecticut at least $ 600,000 over this com­ing four years, by es­chew­ing the pal­try $ 150,000- a- year salary. Sure, it’s more than dou­ble the state’s av­er­age an­nual in­come, but re­ally, it’s chicken feed for some­one run­ning a $ 20- bil­lion- a- year busi­ness. I don’t feel like I should in­sult you seething tax­pay­ers by tak­ing it.

As you re­call, when I re­leased my tax records in the weeks be­fore the elec­tion, re­porters saw that my av­er­age char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions were about half a mil­lion bucks a year, so, yes, I’m here to serve and not put my­self into a higher tax bracket.

In fact, for you news­me­dia types here ( Crowd hisses) my great- grand­fa­ther Tom La­mont, was a news­pa­per­man whose sense of pub­lic- re­la­tions and de­sire for ac­tual money, led to a job as the top deputy to an­other small- busi­ness owner, John Pier­pont Mor­gan Sr. It was just a fluke that Mor­gan’s epony­mous bank­ing in­sti­tu­tion lit­er­ally be­came the Fed­eral Re­serve dur­ing the Panic of 1907.

Let me re­mind you that I have some solid me­dia roots my­self, hav­ing led the news­pa­per at my ob­scure high school, Phillips Ex­eter

I’d like to take time out from the pageantry, pomp and pun­ditry of this his­toric In­au­gu­ra­tion, to as­sure you that my up­com­ing term will not be like stand­ing in line at the DMV for four long years.

Academy, then, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from that col­lege on Har­vard Square, was the ed­i­tor of a lit­tle weekly pa­per in Ver­mont. That was be­fore I up­ended the ca­bleTV in­dus­try, fol­lowed by the whip­ping I gave Sen. Joe Lieber­man in the 2006 Demo­cratic pri­mary.

Sure, Joe won in the gen­eral elec­tion and re­turned to the U. S. Se­nate, but I got value for the $ 20 mil­lion I spent on the cam­paign. And An­nie’s eye­balls even­tu­ally popped back into her head.

A lot of peo­ple thought that a Demo­crat could not be­come the next gov­er­nor, what with the lin­ger­ing multi- bil­lion- dol­lar deficits and the $ 100- bil­lion un­funded li­a­bil­ity in the longne­glected state retirement plans lurk­ing like Burmese pythons in the Ever­glades, ready to swal­low us.

But thanks to the “re­cent trou­bles” in Wash­ing­ton, com­bined with an im­plod­ing Connecticut Repub­li­can Party, I was able to keep the Democrats’ hands on the levers of gov­ern­ment.

So, our chal­lenges are myr­iad. Our time is short. Our pa­tients are won­der­ing if they are on life- sup­port, if you’d al­low me to bust a rhyme.

I’d like to say that my back­ing from state unions was not for naught. I’d like to say that my neigh­bors in mid- coun­try Green­wich will be pay­ing more in­come taxes, be­cause who en­joys the good life in Connecticut more than some­one pulling down $ 3 mil­lion a year, or as my tax re­turns in­di­cated,

$ 18 mil­lion over five years?

But I’m not go­ing to say that to­day, am I? Nope. You’re go­ing to have to wait for Fe­bru­ary’s bud­get pro­posal, which will re­quire months of review, re­vi­sion and re­gur­gi­ta­tion among the 187 mem­bers of the House and Se­nate as we head to­ward the June 5 ad­journ­ment.

So to­day, let’s en­joy the in­au­gu­ral splen­dor, and the glit­ter of tonight. Then as Dan Mal­loy would say “Let’s get to work.”

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Me­dia

Demo­cratic can­di­date for gov­er­nor Ned La­mont fields ques­tions in June.

KEN DIXON

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.