Every other week, John J. Ryan, our former Republican state representative, and Joshua Fisher, former Darien Times 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 DarienTimes.com.
Ryan: Has the editor held the inaugural meeting of the New Canaan Chapter of Rabid Cincinnati Redlegs fans? The color coordination is much better for you than it was in the home of the Blue Wave.
Fisher: The actual news here and across the state has kept baseball in the background so far. But did you know that New Canaan native and baseball star Wayne Krivsky was the Reds’ general manager from 2006-08? He’s back with the Minnesota Twins, serving as a special assistant to the general manager.
After covering last week’s U.S. Senate primaries it might have appeared that Connecticut voters were paying more attention to the Yankees and Red Sox than state politics.
Ryan: One indicator that you might have noticed is that the lawn sign and bumper sticker count seemed to be way down for this recent primary, but the barrage of silly TV commercials has not missed a beat.
Fisher: The sign and sticker count likely reflects the increasing voter apathy and indifference to an August primary, which was the subject of the New Canaan Advertiser’s editorial last week, calling for the state to move the primary to a better time of year.
Ryan: Apathy seems to be the operative word; these statistics were fairly typical of the turnout: “24.4 percent of Norwalk Republicans …” (TheHour.com, Aug. 14). Obviously those in government who set the primary date in August pay no heed to items such as “Editorial: A better primary for Connecticut” (NCAdvertiser.com, Aug. 17).
Fisher: There was considerable statewide coverage of the “big races,” where former U.S. Rep. Shays had the interesting distinction of obtaining every media endorsement but losing handily. Of course, I don’t know many Connecticut Republicans who look to the state’s opinion writers to figure out how to vote.
But what went under-reported while many of us were focusing on McMahon-Shays and Murphy-Bysiewicz?
Ryan: You must be referring to the age-old “what does it all mean” head-scratcher, and here is one insightful analysis of a topic that will be the subject of more ruminations: “Moderate Republicans Face Test In Connecticut” (courant.com, Aug. 17).
And the most attention-getting race for a Connecticut congressional seat, in the Fifth District to our north (now an open seat with Chris Murphy as the Democrat’s U.S. Senate candidate). The favored Democrat, State House Speaker Chris Donovan, clearly lost because of the well publicized, ongoing FBI investigation into his office. There is a race that bears watching.
Fisher: That should be an interesting race and might be the Republicans’ best shot of regaining a U.S. House seat here in the Nutmeg state — something the party hasn’t had since Shays lost in 2008.
What was the most interesting development on Primary Day last week?
Ryan: A contested race for the Democrat Registrar of Voters in Stamford where somehow the challenging candidate — not the party-endorsed candidate — won. See “Malloy wins as Democrat registrar” (StamfordAdvocate.com, Aug. 14) Does that name sound familiar?
Fisher: That name does sound familiar. Is our governor still be on his summer “tourism and economic development tour?”
Ryan: He certainly is. It even gave us this memorable headline from Litchfield: “No Bull, Governor Promotes Tourism” (CountyTimes, Aug. 9).
Speaking of economic development, I assume you noted “World’s Largest Hedge Fund To Get Up To $115M in State Assistance” (courant.com, Aug. 15). And there were numerous other news stories about this Gold Coast move.
Who says the Gold Coast can’t get some attention and help from Hartford?
Fisher: But wait a minute. This is $115 million of Connecticut tax money for a hedge fund that is moving from Westport to Stamford? So Hartford is going to pay a company to move from one of our state’s towns to another town? I’m sure Westport must be thrilled.
Fisher: That column includes the best paragraph summing up Connecticut politics this year:
“One political party in Connecticut can’t give the store away fast enough. The other has sold itself to a super-rich, former pornographer trying to buy not just respect but a seat in the U.S. Senate.”
On that note, we are out of space. I guess we’ll have to wait until next time to read more about the latest, fascinating political happenings in Bridgeport.
Ryan: Indeed. As we cannot say often enough: you can’t make this stuff up.
John J. Ryan is of counsel to the Darien law firm Tibbetts, Keating & Butler, and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton’s state representative. Joshua Fisher is editor of the New Canaan Advertiser, a Hersam Acorn Newspaper. A former Darien resident, he was Darien Times editor for seven years.