26 June 2007

CTGOP Moving Forward

With tonight's re-election of Chairman Chris Healy to a full two-year term as State Party Chair, the Connecticut Republicans will soon be primed to move forward with an aggressive approach to the 2007 municipal election cycle and the 2008 Legislative elections.

The election results from 2006 were disheartening to say the least - both nationally and across the state - and it had been widely wondered how the Republican Party, either in Washington or in Hartford, would be able to turn the momentum back around.

The first answer to that question came in February when the Governor proposed a historic investment in education in Connecticut - and then, to further the novelty - actually took the unprecedented step of writing a budget that was both balanced and took into full account the liabilities that the State has; no accounting gimmicks thanks very much.

And then the "Fighting 44" and their Leader, Larry Cafero, decided that it was time to stand and fight by being the party of big ideas - with proposals like "Learn Here, Live Here". But their boldest step was the creation of the "No Tax Increase Budget", which was met with high acclaim by the pundits. It was an odd suggestion by Hartford standards - perhaps that legislature could content itself with merely spending the money that is already sent to Hartford by the hardworking folks of Connecticut - and not asking for even more money.

It hasn't, of course, been all flowers and chocolates. The sad revelation that Senator Lou DeLuca, a longtime member of the Senate, and a man long noted for his decency, asked an alleged member of the mafia to rough up his granddaughter's significant other was a setback to the momentum that was building in the waning days of the 2007 Legislative Session. And the disclosure of Healy's driving under the influence arrest added to the problem. But the Party as an organization and as a Legislative caucus worked through the tough times - and have emerged on the other side with fresh resolve - Senator John McKinney is the new Senate Republican Leader and Chairman Healy is re-elected to a full term as State Party Chair.

The Connecticut Republicans are ready to move forward and work - work to become the majority party in this state. Governor Rell and the Legislative Republicans went to the negotiating table for the State Budget at significant disadvantages to the SuperMajority; but still, they came away without raising taxes on job creators and families in Connecticut. And just today, the Governor has vetoed the bill to grant in-state tuition to illegals. We are making progress on our legislative agenda and we will do more in the weeks and months ahead as we strive to make the Connecticut Republicans a Majority Party that can govern effectively and best serve the people of this State.