Read my lips…No New Taxes!
“Both Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his Republican challenger Tom Foley said they will not increase taxes… (CT NewsJunkie)
When Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy took office he faced a $3.6 billion dollar deficit.
As result of budget gimmicks, the use of one-time revenue and his failure to require the wealthy to pay their fair share in income taxes, the candidate for governor that is elected next month will have to manage a $4.8 billion dollar deficit over the next three fiscal years, including at least a $1.4 billion shortfall in next year’s state budget.
But rather than tell voters the truth about Connecticut’s fiscal situation at last night’s WFSB candidate debate, both Malloy and Foley reiterated their promise not to raise taxes over the next four years. Their pledges come despite the fact that both of these politicians know that there is absolutely no way to balance the state budget without additional revenue.
Both Malloy and Foley say that, if elected, they will not raise taxes, not cut vital services, not reduce the state workforce and will not need to negotiate contract changes with state employees.
The notion that such campaign promises could be met is not only laughable but it is a sad commentary on how far from the truth Connecticut’s gubernatorial candidates will stray in their ongoing efforts to get elected.
Malloy and Foley’s claim that they will “flat fund” the state budget purposely overlooks the fact that the state budget will grow by at least half a billion dollars next year including an additional $330 million for debt service as a result of Malloy’s excessive state borrowing and $170 million in increased payments to the pension and healthcare funds.
If Malloy and Foley were being honest with voters they’d be saying that if they win, they will need to raise taxes, cut services, transfer costs to the cities and towns and negotiate contract changes with state employees.
However, as appalling as the candidate’s performances were in last night’s debate, the award for “anti-democracy” goes to WFSB for excluding or agreeing to exclude Joe Visconti, the petitioning candidate for governor, from the event.
According to the CT Newsjunkie article, “WFSB officials didn’t include him because he didn’t receive 10 percent support in the last public poll.”
A candidate needs to get 10% in the polls to attend a debate?
WFSB, in conjunction with the two major party candidates, banned Visconti from the stage despite the fact that he collected the requisite 7,500 signatures and will be listed as a gubernatorial candidate on this year’s ballot. Although it should irrelevant at this point, Visconti also received 7 percent of the projected vote in the last public opinion poll. That translates to over 70,000 Connecticut voters saying they will vote for the 3rd party candidate.
The decision by WFSB and the Democratic and Republican candidates to hold a debate without Visconti is nothing short of an insult to every voter in Connecticut. Connecticut has been traditionally known as the Constitution State but to refuse to allow a certified 3rd party candidate to participate in the televised debate violates the most basic tenets of our democracy.
Rather than exclude 3rd party candidates, WFSB and other broadcasters have an obligation to open up access for their viewers. As WFSB knows,
“Broadcasters have an obligation to serve the public’s interests, not just their own commercial interests. The government provides broadcasters free and exclusive access to a portion of the public airwaves – “spectrum” – for broadcasting. These profitable licenses come in exchange for broadcasters’ commitment to serve the “public interest, convenience, or necessity.”
Preventing a certified candidate for governor from participating in the televised debate should be viewed as a violation of WFSB’s broadcasting license.