Thursday, February 01, 2018
Ned Lamont back in Governor's race
After an eight-year hiatus from active political campaigning, our old friend Ned Lamont has jumped into the race for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of retiring Governor Dan Malloy.
The state is facing a fiscal crisis not too different from the one Malloy inherited from former gov. Jodi Rell eight years ago. The State Senate is dangerously close to the Democrats losing control unless there is a significant outpouring of Dem voters.
So, we're here now with Lamont back in the race. He's probably the candidate with the most name recognition from his past efforts, although there so far isn't a stand-out candidate in the race as far as I can tell. Things can change quickly though; current Comptroller Kevin Lembo was my early choice for the seat, but he bowed out while still in the exploratory phase. Lamont has apparently hastened from exploring to full-fledged candidate in a matter of weeks, as a result of polling he commissioned.
I do not doubt that those numbers showed promise!
So far I haven't see a lot of detailed policy issues discussed, other than general calls for more jobs, better infrastructure, lower health-care costs, etc. He has as recently as yesterday (Jan. 31st) come out in full support of Malloy's plan to add tolls to the highways as a way to generate more income.
It's a plan that's not very popular with the voters, and perhaps Ned would like to see it go through under Dan's watch so he can avoid taking the heat for it.
Then again, Ned has often taken the less-popular stance because he felt it was the right thing to do. We can always use leaders who make decisions with that in mind.
I tend to think that we do need tolls, as unpleasant as it sounds. It's a another form of a tax, but it's a "use" tax, where only the people who use the roads will be liable for it. And with a smart plan that uses the very best ideas other states have in their successful programs, it can be made virtually painless for state residents, while passing a large portion of the costs to out-of-state drivers and especially trucks that pass through Connecticut. A sliding rush-hour scale may encourage more commuters to use public transit, reducing the traffic on overburdened stretches like I-95 between Bridgeport and Stamford. This revenue will be used for projects like widening I-95 where the traffic has the worst bottlenecks.
Of course, there are plenty of issues besides tolls that come to mind. You can look at Ned's website and read up on his various ideas as he posts them, at NedLamont.com.
Posted by CT Bob at 2/01/2018 04:26:00 PM