Unions to Connecticut Governor: You Owe Us

Connecticut’s first Democratic governor in 20 years, Dannel Malloy, won his race last November by less than a percentage point, largely because of the public sector unions of the state, who worked tirelessly to have him elected. So, when Malloy unveiled his budget a couple of weeks ago, proposing to close his state’s deficit of $3.5 billion by hitting taxpayers with one of the largest tax hikes ($1.5 billion) in Connecticut’s history, and by having the unions, who worked to get him elected, give back $2 billion in concessions over the next two years, the unions made it clear that they expected their governor to give them a payback in the form of much higher taxes on the rich, who fared well during the Bush years.

The Journal Inquirer (available online by subscription only) reports that a meeting between the governor and union leaders on Friday was marked by blunt conversation, with Malloy, nevertheless, admitting, “The reality is in many ways, I won this election because of you…And I’m proud of that.”

But union leaders criticized Malloy for openly advertising his hopes of befriending more businesses in Connecticut, like current resident, Pratt & Whitney, which just became a winner of a $35 billion U.S. Air Force tanker plane contract. AFL-CIO officers rebuked Malloy for sending businesses, which have cut union jobs, signals of support. Ultimately, the message from union leaders was: the wealthy should give up more and businesses are anti-union. These leaders clearly still view their members as the “working class” from the twentieth century. To them, business ruins a state. Union jobs are what count. Sounds like a parallel universe.

In fact, Malloy was one of many, mostly Democratic, candidates whose names appeared twice on Connecticut ballots, once under a traditional party ticket column, and another on the “Working Families Party” line. The Working Families Party is essentially labor-backed, and endorses those candidates who support the public sector unions.

Here, notice again, the common liberal theme that “working families” are only public sector union members, while middle class, private sector taxpayers, are not “working” for their “families.”

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Worlds apart from states run by conservative Republican governors, Malloy appears to be borrowing from President Obama’s “apologetics” repertory, defending an ideology that has no hope of succeeding. Below, he is back to back on MSNBC with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who suggests that Malloy “read the governor’s owner’s manual.”

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Governor Malloy says Connecticut is “coming to grips with what our issues are.” Really?

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