Connecticut Democrats are abandoning centrism and embracing extreme, far-left policies as gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont runs to bring a third term of Dan Malloy’s job-killing agenda. The Hartford Courant reports that “once-fringe policies are gaining traction within the Democratic Party as it coalesces around a ticket of Ned Lamont for governor and Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor.”
The Courant noted that Lamont has emerged as the frontrunner of a primary where “almost all of the leading contenders” for the nomination “embraced a liberal policy agenda” and that “Lamont’s liberal tone differs sharply from the more middle-of-the-road positions he took in his unsuccessful 2010 bid for governor.”
Lamont also confirmed to the Courant that he plans on imposing even more Malloy-style business tax hikes, claiming “companies are going to pay more.” Lamont has shamelessly defended his failed governor’s tax hikes, even pushingfalse information to support Malloy’s policies after they forced General Electric and numerous other major employers out of the state.
As Lamont builds his campaign around far-left policies and job-killing tax hikes that have weakened Connecticut’s economy for the last eight years under Dan Malloy, he continues to show how out-of-touch he is with the people of his state.
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But in Connecticut, those once-fringe policies are gaining traction within the Democratic Party as it coalesces around a ticket of Ned Lamont for governor and Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor.
Lamont, a wealthy businessman from Greenwich who rose to prominence with his insurgent U.S. Senate campaign against Joe Lieberman in 2006, says he is uniquely positioned to advocate for liberal ideals…
Democrats will meet in Hartford this weekend to chose a gubernatorial nominee, though two other Democrats — Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and retired business executive Guy Smith — are collecting signatures to appear on the Aug. 14 primary ballot.
The triumph of the progressive agenda over the political centrism of ‘New Democrats’ such as Bill Clinton is partly a legacy of the 2016 election, said Gwendoline Alphonso, an associate professor of politics at Fairfield University who studies the ideology of political parties…
The rift between mainstream Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton and progressives who supported Bernie Sanders has yet to fully heal. But the new muscle of the Sanders wing is evident in key races in blue states across the country as candidates seek to galvanize newly energized members of the Trump resistance.
Almost all of the leading contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Connecticut this year embraced a liberal policy agenda. Jonathan Harris, who served as executive director of the state Democratic Party as well as mayor of West Hartford, called himself a “proven progressive problem-solver,” before he withdrew from the race and endorsed Lamont.
Bysiewicz, a former state legislator who served three terms as secretary of the state, says she also has strong progressive credentials. She withdrew as a candidate for governor this week to unite with Lamont as his lieutenant governor.
‘For me, none of those things are new issues,’ Bysiewicz said. ‘I’ve been advocating for all of them since I was secretary of the state.’
Bysiewicz raised money for Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 election and said she encouraged Clinton to adopt a more progressive stance.
‘I had a conversation with Hillary Clinton and her people and I told them that she should go from supporting the $12 an hour [minimum wage] to $15 an hour and she ultimately did,’ Bysiewicz said. ‘I did support her but I liked a lot of Bernie Sanders’ positions.’’
Lamont was propelled to the front of the Democratic pack in early April following his victory in a straw poll at the AFL-CIO political convention. His platform includes a number of core progressive principles, including support for higher taxes on corporations and top earners.
‘The wealthy are going to pay more, companies are going to pay more, but they’ll only do it if it’s part of a real, honestly balanced budget,’ Lamont said during a campaign stop in February.
Lamont’s liberal tone differs sharply from the more middle-of-the-road positions he took in his unsuccessful 2010 bid for governor. At that time, the one-time liberal darling who took on Lieberman over the Iraq War drew the wrath of labor unions for his reservations about a bill mandating employers provide paid sick leave. He also weathered criticism from others on the left for not participating in the state’s first public campaign financing program.
Lindsay Farrell, executive director of the Connecticut Working Families Party, said the gubernatorial field’s collective move to the left is more than a backlash against Trump.
‘Bernie Sanders did much better than anybody anticipated he would do by championing these kinds of values,’ Farrell said. ‘On the other side, a lot of Democrats lost races they shouldn’t have lost because they were fearful of these issues. Establishment Democrats and consultants who advise Democrats went after this mysterious elusive center.’
The labor-backed Working Families Party, which generally doesn’t field its own slate but cross-endorses candidates who support progressive policies, has played an outsized role in nudging the Democratic Party to the left. Both Lamont and Bysiewicz have conducted interviews with the party and are seeking its endorsement.