A po­lit­i­cal gar­den of verse

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Opinion - KEN DIXON The Ghash­ly­crumb Tinies: Ken Dixon, po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor and colum­nist, can be reached at 203-842-2547 or at kdixon@ct­post.com. Visit him at twit­ter.com/KenDixonCT and on Face­book at kendixonct.hearst.

We’re fi­nally get­ting down to the greasy nub of this loath­some, cyn­icbreed­ing elec­tion sea­son.

And yet, it seems like just a few days ago that about half of the Repub­li­can uni­verse was spin­ning around the sun, woo­ing convention del­e­gates (Re­mem­ber when party con­ven­tions mat­tered?) and re­porters to lis­ten to the big plans on what they could of­fer if elected gov­er­nor of the great state of Con­necti­cut.

With Democrats, it was less of wild ride, since many of the high­est-pro­file elected of­fi­cials, call them the usual sus­pects — At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ge­orge Jepsen, Comp­trol­ler Kevin Lembo, Sec­re­tary of the State Denise Mer­rill — bailed out of the race early. Only Bridge­port Mayor Joe Ganim, in his end­less quest for redemp­tion — or a bet­ter deal —ended up push­ing Ned La­mont into a pri­mary.

The mayor’s mil­lion dol­lar — OK, $900,000 — sum­mer va­ca­tion re­sulted in his los­ing 168 of the state’s 169 towns. That, folks, is a re­pu­di­a­tion.

It was way back in midMarch that I saw a jovial bar owner and in­dus­trial win­dow-wash­ing en­tre­pre­neur, a U.S. Navy vet­eran named Matt Corey, talk­ing in West Hart­ford town hall to the lo­cal Repub­lic Town Com­mit­tee, at­tack­ing U.S. Sen. Chris Mur­phy over crime in the streets. He was work­ing to­ward the GOP nom­i­na­tion back then, and he might have ut­tered the least-in­formed quote of the year. He said Hart­ford and Bridge­port both had 200 firearms-related mur­ders in 2017. In fact, Hart­ford had 29 homi­cides and Bridge­port had 22. I knew he was some­one to ... ah ... watch.

Nowa­days, I can’t even get Big Bob Ste­fanowski to stop and an­swer a ques­tion, he’s so “busy” try­ing to avoid any more vo­cal pit­falls, while back-load­ing his cam­paign with fresh cash. If he wins on Nov. 6 — and don’t think that he can’t — Ste­fanowski will be­come the first gov­er­nor to be elected with­out hold­ing a sin­gle no-holds-barred, stay un­til the last ques­tion is asked news con­fer­ence. Oh yeah, and he still hasn’t re­leased his tax re­turns, as promised for weeks.

Elec­tors can view Ste­fanowski as a one-note song, in which he promises to cut taxes, but won’t say what he’ll ac­tu­ally pro­pose re­duc­ing in the way of state ex­pen­di­tures. A gov­er­nor is only as ef­fec­tive as their Gen­eral Assem­bly, and the last gov­er­nor who had the kind of will to go to war with law­mak­ers and win was Low­ell P. We­icker Jr., who saw the fu­ture, smelled the bil­lion-dol­lar deficit — yes it was peanuts these days — and per­suaded law­mak­ers to en­act the per­sonal in­come tax in 1991.

I think that af­ter the months and months, as we head into the home stretch, what I re­gret most was not tak­ing a Sharpie and scrib­bling my John Han­cock on the side of the RV that Steve Ob­sit­nik re­lent­lessly drove around the state, first win­ning the sup­port of GOP convention del­e­gates, and then some more be­fore los­ing the pri­mary.

Any­way, dur­ing my lat­est episode of Wait­ing for Big Bob and His Ear­phoneWear­ing Se­cu­rity Team to Walk By Me With­out Com­ment, I started mak­ing a lit­tle al­pha­bet book, in the style of the late Gothic prankster Ed­ward Gorey’s

Ais for all of us, man, we’re in trou­ble. is for Big Bob, who wor­ries he’ll stum­ble. is for con­sum­ing the win­ner’s Cham­pagne. is those dol­lars, the milk of cam­paigns.

is elec­tions and win­ners take all. is for firearms, Ned not at all. is for guns, they gave Bob and “A.” H is the Hol­ly­wood­style

EDCFBG­com­mer­cials they play.

is in­for­ma­tion: they think we’re so dumb. is for jour­neys and trips around the sun. is for Ken, who waits, waits and waits. is for love, the thrill of the chase.

is for money, of which pols have is plenty. is for nom­i­na­tions, can­di­date sought many. is Ob­sit­nik, whom the Democrats feared a bunch. is for Pa­tron­age, the win­ner gets much. is for qual­ity, or lack­ing thereof. is for the re­tail pol­i­tics we love. is the Se­nate, in which there’s a tie. is Tim Herbst’s op­po­nents would die. U is for us, po­lit­i­cal types. V for the vic­tors, of var­i­ous stripes. is this wacky chat­ter­ing elec­tion par­rot.

is al­most what you mark on your bal­lot. is the ques­tion you con­tin­u­ally ask. Zs are what’s wait­ing at home, in bed, at last.


File photo

For­mer Gov. Low­ell We­icker speaks in Hart­ford in 1994.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.