An exciting (or stupid) Connecticut campaign ahead

State of ConnecticutJohn J. Ryan, a former Republican state representative, and Joshua Fisher, Advertiser editor, share their back-and-forth about news going on around the state, among other items of interest. Links to all the articles and other items mentioned in the column can be found in the Opinion section of

Ryan: It’s too bad Connecticut’s fiscal and governmental problems don’t fly by like the summer seems to.

Fisher: News about our state’s economy always seems to be bad. What’s latest on that front, John?

Ryan: There are too many news items about companies closing and jobs moving away. Here are some examples: “Sprague’s top employer will close, leaving 140 jobless” (, July 23) and “Bubble Wrap Maker Moving Some Jobs From Danbury” (, July 23), and “WWE slams workers by axing 7% of jobs” (, July 31).

• See also: New Canaan is last town in state with GOP-voter majority

Fisher: If WWE CEO Linda McMahon is willing to make budget cuts like that, maybe she should have been the Greenwich millionaire to run for governor this year.

Ryan: And for our upstate travelers, your trip to the West just got longer: “American ceasing Bradley nonstop to Los Angeles” (, July 23). That was the last nonstop flight to the West Coast from the Hartford-Springfield airport.

Fisher: I’m still puzzled why they call Bradley an “international airport.” As Hartford continues to fall further from its heyday, it really shows you how delusional city leaders are if they think the city could support a minor league sports franchise. That new stadium is going to be built on the back of state tax money too.

Every day, John, it seems that Connecticut has less and less of a chance of returning to its past days of prosperity.

Ryan: You shouldn’t worry. Remember our state government is doing all it can to support our business community. See: “Conn. unemployment insurance tax stokes complaints” (, July 31) and “Public-sector hiring lowers CT jobless rate to 6.7 percent” (, July 17). Isn’t irony fun?

Fisher: Are readers weary of us linking to another roster of lists where the Nutmeg State is at the bottom of business-friendliness, job creation and more? Well, more of these lists have surfaced in the last few weeks. We’ll let you hunt them down on your own.

But, John, both of us will find this surprising performance on a national list: The only state less into beer than Connecticut is Utah. See: “Where the biggest beer, wine and liquor drinkers live in the U.S.” (, July 29).

Ryan: Now that is depressing!

I thought you would take another opportunity to wonder where that good old Connecticut Yankee ingenuity went, since we no longer see our state and “innovative” in the same story anymore.

Fisher: All of this could make for an interesting campaign for governor this fall. If any “blue state” is in the sights of the GOP, it’s Connecticut. Of course the Connecticut Republicans have a growing history of finding new ways to lose state-wide elections. It’s been eight years since Republicans won a state-wide or federal office in the Constitution State.

But if you ask Chris Powell, he writes this week that “Connecticut can expect a stupid campaign for governor.” See: “You won’t find ‘waste’ in Connecticut’s budget” (, Aug. 4).

But at least the governor hasn’t changed his tune. For the past three years, he’s been saying things are going to get better. So why stop in a campaign year? See: “Malloy: CT budget and economy both poised to take off” (, Aug. 4).

Ryan: Nothing like some absurdity in August. Despite the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis projecting a $1.37 billion deficit in 2015-16, the governor told the Mirror: “We really don’t have a deficit.”

But don’t lose faith. Sometimes our statewide media figures it out: “Connecticut’s ‘surplus’ is really a deficit of billions” (, July 26).

And don’t forget, readers, that Primary Day is Tuesday, Aug. 12. Be part of the process — or part of the problem.

Fisher: We all be watching and waiting to see if both Tom Foley and Ernie Newton can continue their comebacks — from opposite ends of several spectrums — to the general election ballot.

John J. Ryan is of counsel to the Fairfield County law firm Russo & Assoc., and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton’s state representative — and has been writing this column for Hersam Acorn even longer. Joshua Fisher has been an editor with Hersam Acorn Newspapers since 2003.

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