Foley’s chances falling faster than the leaves

connecticut-ryan-and-fisherJohn J. Ryan, a former Republican state representative, and Joshua Fisher, a Hersam Acorn 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

Fisher: It’s autumn in Connecticut and Tom Foley’s poll numbers are falling faster than the leaves along the Merritt Parkway.

Ryan: You know what piece of equipment is overworked in every home at this time of year?

Fisher: The leaf blower?

Ryan: It’s your TV remote every time those unending campaign ads come on.

Fisher: If those ads are helping anyone, it’s the governor, who has rebounded in the polls this week. See “Q-poll tie: Malloy rises as Foley falls” (, Oct. 8) and “Malloy leads Foley in latest governor’s poll” (, Oct. 6).

Ryan: I am detecting far less enthusiasm among the public this fall, which might be why fewer lawn signs are seen around town. Of course, the Foley camp is spinning the results saying they never had a lead to begin with. See: “A new twist: Foley embraces tie, denies ever holding lead” (, Oct. 8)

Fisher: Republican Tom Foley is continuing to disappoint the few Republicans and moderate independents left in the Nutmeg State. Any candidate here who thinks that a New Jersey politician can help get him votes in Connecticut, is obviously getting bad advice. And Gov. Chris Christie, stumping for Foley again this week, had some trouble connecting to potential voters. See: “Christie slams Malloy, supports Foley during Trumbull visit” (, Oct. 6).

That story is worth a view just for Gov. Christie selfie picture. Too bad there isn’t a shot of Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst getting his selfie with the New Jersey governor.

Ryan: Speaking of Tim Herbst, who I have known since he was a legislative aid in Harford back when I was toiling away in the State House, he has been trying really hard to get a debate with State Treasurer Denise Nappier — but it isn’t working out. See: “Video: Herbst reacts to Nappier pulling out of debate” (, Oct. 7).

Republicans, for decades, have always had a good shot at the governor’s mansion — and in turn a constitutional office or two such as treasurer — but this is reminding me of the ’70s …

Fisher: Are you going to regale us with stories about the Ella Grasso years? I had to look up the results of the 1978 election. She was re-elected with 59% of the vote. No matter how weak this year’s Republican candidate may be, Gov. Malloy isn’t going to do that well.

Ryan: Hey! I’m not old, I’m experienced. And that experience could have told you that State Sen. John McKinney would have given the Republicans a better chance of retaking the throne upon which Dannel Malloy sits.

But moving on to the typical interesting state government news items: Did you notice the latest publicity hit for our Department of Transportation? See “State DOT Removes Breast Cancer Awareness Signs In Shelton” (, Oct. 2).

Fisher: While traffic continues to back up on our roads, the state continues to find other things to do.

And speaking of our fine state and its puzzling decisions. See: “UConn to put roof on building to be demolished” (, Sept. 24).

Ryan: Marty Hersam could start a whole new publication called Puzzling Connecticut: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up and would never be short on content.

Fisher: Connecticut is a puzzle that can’t be solved these days (or years).

Here’s some disquieting news: “Greater Hartford Last In Survey of Charitable Giving” (, Oct. 6).

Ryan: Hard to figure. But there is always serious, and disturbing news in addition to the merely “puzzling,” such as “Hartford’s Bond Rating Downgraded” (, Oct. 2) — referring to the City of Hartford — and also “Crisis at Connecticut Innovations as State Agency Runs Out of Money for Entrepreneurs” (, Sept. 22) — news that would be extremely upsetting to my predecessor in the 141st State House District, the late and distinguished Reg Jones. Reg put in a great deal of time helping to set up Connecticut Innovations.

Fisher: Let’s not forget, John, our goal to include good news in every column. See: “Crime In Connecticut Drops To Lowest Levels in Four Decades” (, Oct. 6).

Ryan: Keep in mind as the story points out, that crime is going down almost everywhere nationally. But it’s an election year.

Fisher: Have you noticed that Gov. Malloy is happy to take credit for the drop in crime in Connecticut over the years? Yet when it comes to the state economy, which ranks among the worst in the nation on several studies, he only has blame for his predecessors and the few Republicans left.

You have to credit the Dannel. He’s been a terrible governor but he’s making a good case for why Tom Foley would be even worse.

Ryan: It’s fall in Connecticut and if you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around you now, when are you going to start?

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, editor of the New Canaan Advertiser, has been an editor with Hersam Acorn Newspapers since 2003.

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