In Case You Missed It: Columnist Kevin Rennie eviscerated the Democratic gubernatorial primary field in the Hartford Courant. The candidates, says Rennie, are "scrambling to distance themselves from the state's troubles" under the leadership of current Gov. Dan Malloy. "This is not an election where a candidate will want to emphasize experience in state government," he adds.
That's unfortunate for one candidate - state Comptroller Kevin Lembo. Writes Rennie:
"He's a second-term Democrat exploring a race for governor. At the end of June, Lembo told prospective supporters, "I'm done sitting on the sidelines. I'm immensely frustrated by what's happening in Hartford, and it's time we got serious about fixing it."
That's an extraordinary statement to make for someone who has been in influential positions in state government since the end of the 20th century. The state's comptroller is a key player in state government. When he ran for the job in 2010 and for re-election in 2014, Lembo did not tout the position as a place from which to sit on the sidelines. Since the last six and a half years have gone so wrong so often, Lembo wants to be the Sgt. Schultz candidate and claim he has seen nothing.
Lembo's been in a high-profile position as a state office holder for close to seven years, plenty of time to be "serious about fixing" Connecticut's government long before these harrowing times. He's been a member of the state's bonding commission since 2011. There have been plenty of opportunities to lead the fight to stop the dangerous growth of state debt. Only recently — as a new campaign beckoned — has Lembo begun to oppose some of the worst excesses of Malloy's crony capitalism.
The other Democratic hopefuls have been just as disingenuous as Lembo. They continue to sit on the sidelines of this essential struggle."