By Charles Desrochers
With the announcement that Governor Jodi Rell will not run for re-election in 2010, local politicians have begun to crawl from their spaces between the refrigerator and the wall to announce their bid for Connecticut’s governance.
While most of these figures cite experience as mayors of the state’s major cities, like John Destafano Jr. of New Haven and former mayor of Stamford, Dan Malloy, the most popular candidate to this point is a man whose experience seems to barely stem beyond his own personal gain.
Ned Lamont, the former Democratic candidate in the 2006 Senate race has thrown his hat into the ring and already has a narrow lead in polls conducted by Rasmussen Reports.
This is a man who lost to an Independent running Lieberman in the 2006 elections. While he flooded the airways with high school students’ testaments of his moral fiber and proclaimed his status as a self made millionaire we heard little else about how or why he was running.
The dog and pony show of parading minority citizens in front of a camera serves a purpose for capturing the hearts of Connecticut, but it does little for the mind. Not once did I hear of his experience on the Greenwich town council, investment advisory council, or his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and Master’s degree in Public and Private Management from Yale.
Other politicians don’t hesitate to flaunt or pad their resume, like Senate candidate Linda McMahon, who had barely had a seat on the Connecticut Board of Education for a year before announcing to run this November. Where is the trumpeting from Lamont in the papers and press? He declared his candidacy in The New York Times, but the last time I checked, New York doesn’t vote in the Connecticut elections.
I will admit that an associate professor using his connections with a school to better his political career is the definition of a conflict of interest. But, with how little the people in my age group follows federal or local politics, we need as much information spoon fed to us as possible.
Lamont is an honorary member of the Peace Studies program at CCSU and speaks regularly on campus. However, he does not address the issues that we would like to hear from a political candidate. Downtown Hartford is failing, jobs are leaving- jobs that we will want upon our graduation- and things are blowing up but he addresses us on topics of the Middle-East.
He’ll come in and speak generally and unoriginally about the Israel-Palestine Conflict but he won’t explain the simple differences between himself and other candidates. Under Malloy, Stamford enjoyed a rise in new businesses and in New Haven, Destefano has been spearheading a higher standard of education. These are reported on and known statewide because they were matters of the public. What do we really know about Lamont?
Maybe the better question is, “Who will tell us more about Ned Lamont if not himself?”