⏩ IN­SIDE: La­mont an­nounces tran­si­tion team mem­bers.

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Pazniokas CTMIRROR.COM

Con­necti­cut’s gov­er­nor­elect, Ned La­mont, is a Demo­crat who be­came a lib­eral anti-war icon dur­ing a U.S. Se­nate cam­paign a dozen years ago, but he made clear Thurs­day he also is a well-con­nected Greenwich busi­ness­man in­tent on us­ing a net­work of high-level busi­ness con­tacts to help pop­u­late his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The four co-chairs of his tran­si­tion team in­clude two close friends: At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ge­orge Jepsen, one of the few es­tab­lish­ment Democrats to back his run against U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieber­man in 2006; and Gar­rett Mo­ran of Greenwich, the for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the world’s largest al­ter­na­tive fi­nance firm, The Black­stone Group.

The two oth­ers re­flect his in­ter­est in higher ed­u­ca­tion and work­force devel­op­ment, plus an ac­knowl­edg­ment of lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ence with leg­isla­tive play­ers: Elsa Nuñez, the pres­i­dent of Eastern Con­necti­cut State Univer­sity; and Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven, the co-chair of the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee and pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate of ju­ve­nile jus­tice re­form.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the team is Ryan Dra­jew­icz, a for­mer con­gres­sional staffer who has taken a leave of ab­sence from Bridge­wa­ter As­so­ci­ates, the world’s largest hedge fund. He had been an aide to for­mer U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, who filmed a com­mer­cial en­dors­ing La­mont af­ter he de­feated Lieber­man in the Demo­cratic pri­mary.

La­mont and his run­ning mate, Su­san By­wsiewicz, in­tro­duced the tran­si­tion lead­ers af­ter a lun­cheon meet­ing with Mal­loy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wy­man at the Ex­ec­u­tive Res­i­dence, the brick Geor­gian Colo­nial in Hart­ford’s West End that will be­come La­mont’s new home on Jan. 9.

“It was pretty nice, I’ve got to tell you,” La­mont said.

Mal­loy gave him de­tailed as­sess­ments of ev­ery depart­ment to pre­pare for the tran­si­tion, he said. La­mont has made no state­ments on com­mis­sion­ers or other Mal­loy ap­pointees he would re­tain.

In a news con­fer­ence later on the east steps of the State Capi­tol, he promised to bring “a dif­fer­ent group of ex­pe­ri­ences” to Hart­ford.

“I love Hart­ford. I love the folks who know how the game is played here and the eco-sys­tem here. And I be­lieve in con­ti­nu­ity,” La­mont said. “But as you know…I also re­ally be­lieve in big change. And I’m go­ing to be bring­ing in folks that I know through the busi­ness world, that I know and Gar­rett knows from the not-for-profit world, who bring a very fresh per­spec­tive in terms of what we’ve got to do.”

For the past five years, Mo­ran has been the pres­i­dent of Year Up, a non­profit that pro­vides tech­ni­cal and life skills train­ing to low-in­come high school grad­u­ates who are not em­ployed or en­rolled in school.

La­mont said his ap­proach will be to pair out­siders with peo­ple who know gov­ern­ment, which he likened to his re­la­tion­ship with Bysiewicz, a for­mer state leg­is­la­tor and sec­re­tary of the state.

“I’m the out­sider who’s ready to come in and shake things up,” La­mont said.

La­mont is the founder of Cam­pus Tele­v­ideo, a com­pany that com­peted with cable tele­vi­sion gi­ants by cre­at­ing in­de­pen­dent sys­tems on col­lege cam­puses. He no longer owns the com­pany.

In 2006, when no Demo­crat of any stand­ing would chal­lenge Lieber­man over his sup­port of Ge­orge W. Bush and the war in Iraq, La­mont ran and won the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, only to see Lieber­man pre­vail in the gen­eral elec­tion as a pe­ti­tion­ing can­di­date with Repub­li­can sup­port.

In a fi­nan­cial state­ment filed dur­ing his Se­nate run, La­mont and his wife, An­nie, a suc­cess­ful ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist, had a net worth of be­tween $90 mil­lion and $332 mil­lion. He largely self-funded cam­paigns for U.S. Se­nate, gover­nor in 2010 and again this year, when he spent at least $12.1 mil­lion of his own funds.

On Thurs­day, he called his wife an un­of­fi­cial mem­ber of the tran­si­tion, his touch­stone at the be­gin­ning and end of ev­ery day.

As first lady, An­nie La­mont in­tends to con­tinue man­ag­ing Oak HC/FT, a health and tech­nol­ogy fund she co-founded in Greenwich af­ter step­ping away from Oak In­vest­ment Part­ners. None of the star­tups she has fi­nanced ever sought eco­nomic-devel­op­ment as­sis­tance from the state, she said.

Ned La­mont was crossendorsed by the Work­ing Fam­i­lies Party, a la­bor off­shoot that pro­motes pro­gres­sive is­sues, in­clud­ing seek­ing greater tax­a­tion of hedge-fund man­agers and the wealthy, paid fam­ily and med­i­cal leave and a $15 min­i­mum wage.

Lind­say Far­rell, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of WFP in Con­necti­cut, was cir­cum­spect about La­mont’s choices of tran­si­tion lead­ers, as she was dur­ing the cam­paign when asked about La­mont’s wealth.

“Our re­sponse dur­ing the cam­paign was we don’t care where you come from, we care what you do,” Far­rell said. “We still be­lieve that we are go­ing to ac­com­plish some real pol­icy vic­to­ries for work­ing fam­i­lies with this gover­nor.”

A few re­counts are ex­pected, but La­mont is ex­pected to take of­fice with ma­jori­ties of at least 23-13 in the Se­nate and 92-59 in the House. With big­ger ma­jori­ties come higher ex­pec­ta­tions from the Demo­cratic base.

La­mont sup­ported a $15 min­i­mum wage dur­ing the cam­paign, as well as paid fam­ily and med­i­cal leave, two pro­pos­als op­posed by busi­ness groups. But he de­clined to sup­port the WFP’s call for higher taxes on the wealthy. Like Mal­loy, he is ex­pected to re­sist tax poli­cies that would make Con­necti­cut less hos­pitable to what is the world’s largest hedge-fund in­dus­try out­side New York City and Lon­don.

“I think your ex­pec­ta­tions should be — what did I run on, what did I win on,” La­mont said. “I’m here to rep­re­sent all of Con­necti­cut, and leg­is­la­tors on both sides of the aisle, Demo­cratic leg­is­la­tors. I’m proud we’ve got a lot of new blood in there, a lot of new en­ergy. But I’m the per­son who’s com­ing in to make the changes we need to get this state work­ing again, and that’s what I mean to do, and I want to do it in year one.”

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