Or, perhaps the better question is who will be the Winners and Losers as the Malloy Administration seeks to balance the role of “delegate vs. trustee”.
Sometimes the answer to this type of inquiry is pretty simple. When it came to the question of winners and losers, disgraced former Governor John Rowland was famous for saying that Waterbury, Connecticut was the center of the Universe and he consistently used the governor’s office to ensure that his home city got “its fair share” of state resources.
It was never quite clear who or what was Governor Jodi Rell’s priority. But now, Connecticut is getting a new governor and we wait, with baited breath, to see how Dan Malloy approaches this issue.
The fact is, since the dawn of democracy, a debate has “raged” as to whether elected officials should think of themselves as “delegates or trustees” for the people. Some, like American President James Madison argued that representatives should be driven by the expressed positions of their constituents while others, such as the English Philosopher Edmund Burke argued that voters send their elected officials to acquire the facts and determine the best course of action regardless of what the constituents may want or direct.
While American politicians tend to straddle the fence on this issue, the majority see themselves more as trustees than delegates. Deep down they believe Burke’s famous 1774 quote that “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” Interestingly, Burke lost his parliamentary seat in the election following his pronouncement on the subject.
But even when acting in the role of “representative” the question remains, which constituents does one seek to represent; Does the new governor seek to follow the will of the 3.5 million residents of Connecticut, the 2 million who took the time to register to vote, the 1.2 million or so who turned out to vote, the 567,000 (or about 49%) who voted for the Malloy/Wyman ticket, the people who reside in the towns where Malloy got 50% of the vote and the list goes on.
Certainly the towns that provided the new governor with a majority of the votes cast have a significant claim to being heard, represented and helped in the coming year. Governor-elect Malloy won 40 of Connecticut’s 169 towns (although the Democratic candidates for the other Constitutional Offices each won about 94 of the state’s 169 towns). As a result of the Malloy campaign’s urban strategy, he was able to capture big wins in most of the state’s largest cities and received huge margins in all 11 towns with poverty rates of over 10 percent.
Hartford led the way providing Malloy with 88% of their vote, followed by New Haven at 85%, Bridgeport 81%, Bloomfield 76%, New London 67%, New Britain 66% and Windham at 62%. Malloy also did extraordinarily well in his home town of Stamford capturing an impressive 58% of the vote.
Of course, traditionally most politicians also pay particular attention to their campaign’s financial donors since without them, the campaign itself would have been impossible. Even with Malloy receiving public financing, raising the funds to qualify for the state grant was an essential part of his success and a review of where those funds came from creates a very different pool of people who will likely expect to be “represented” in the battles ahead.
Malloy’s exploratory and candidate committees received more than 5,700 campaign contributions, of which 90% were from Connecticut residents. (Donations from New York, Massachusetts and Florida came next).
While Fairfield Country accounts for about 25% of Connecticut’s population, more than 45% of Malloy’s donors came from “downstate” and all together Fairfield Country donors provided a whopping 57% of the money Malloy raised in order to qualify for public funds. The towns of Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien alone accounted for more than $270,000 of Malloy’s donations.