What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Thomas Breen PhotoNed Lamont may have bought a little intraparty peace by luring a top opponent onto his gubernatorial campaign ticket — but he also may have sucker punched his urban base.

That was the sentiment in New Haven political circles Wednesday — even as Lamont picked up another high-profile endorsement for his campaign, from New Haven State Sen. Martin Looney. (Read about that here.)

Lamont chose New Haven on Tuesday to announce that his formel rival for the nomination, Susan Bysiewicz, has agreed to run as his lieutenant governor candidate instead as a ticket. New Haven is the big prize for statewide Democrats: It sends more delegates (100) to the state convention than any other city. And it produces more Democratic votes on Election Day. So Lamont has already opened two offices here and put local Democratic politicos on his payroll. He has also picked up Mayor Toni Harp’s support.

Markeshia Ricks PhotoBut other African-American politicians were seething at Lamont’s announcement. For the first time in nine years the top two positions in state government were opening up, and people were led to believe that the Democrats would make sure to put a person of color in one of them. Lamont and Bysiewicz are both white.

“With this move, people felt like they had reassurances from Ned’s campaign that he was going to be bringing a diverse candidate onto the ticket, from one of the big cities. A lot of people rallied around him with that understanding. With Susan being selected, a lot of people are disappointed,” said one active New Haven delegate and party worker who asked to remain anonymous.

The delegate, who is African-American, said he still plans to honor his pledge to support Lamont. If no one else better enters the race.

“My main concern with this is the ticket as a whole is incredibly uninspired. I don’t think anyone is excited about this. It’s going to be difficult to win in November with this ticket,” he said.

Adding insult to injury for New Haven was the well-known prospect that Lamont was considering one of the city’s leading African-American elected officials, State Sen. Gary Winfield, as his running mate before jumping at the chance to remove Bysiewicz from the field by bringing her onto his ticket. Winfield had openly expressed an interest in the lieutenant governor position. Winfield Tuesday expressed frustration at Lamont’s announcement. He noted that Democrats have picked women before to run and serve as governor and lieutenant governor, but never a person of color.

“Whether it’s me or anybody else, diversity was something that was part of the conversation from the beginning this year,” he said. “We’ve had a female lieutenant governor and governor before. We haven’t ever had a person of color. I’m not saying it has to be a man. It’s interesting when that was part of the conversation, how little was made toward making an attempt toward that.

“You’re going to rely on certain communities to get over the hump. Those communities want to see themselves reflected on the ticket.”

Thomas Breen Photo“It’s not just New Haven,” Democratic Town Chairman Vincent Mauro Jr. said of the grassroots discontent. He said delegates in the major cities, including but not exclusively delegates of color, felt burned.

Indeed, Lamont’s major remaining Democratic opponent for the nomination, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, seized on the discontent Wednesday to issue a statement criticizing the state Democratic Party’s alleged exclusion of people of color. “We believe our Party needs to do a better job to be more inclusive and more fully embrace communities of color which have been a bedrock of the Democratic Party. We need a ticket at the highest levels that reflects the rich diversity of our state,” the release quoted him as saying. Ganim has hired Jackie James, a former New Haven Democratic town chair who is African-American, as his campaign manager.

Ganim has begun petitioning to earn a spot on the August primary ballot even if he fails to win the 15 percent of the delegates needed at this week’s convention. If he picks a running mate of color, that could increase his chances of pulling urban support away from Lamont.

Bysiewicz faces a challenge at the convention for the lieutenant governor endorsement from Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a union organizer from Newtown who is Latina.

Lamont was asked about the racial diversity issue at his press conference Tuesday with Bysiewicz.

“Our administration will be the most diverse administration in Connecticut history,” Lamont responded. “It’s not a political calculation. You’ve got to make sure that you have a government that reflects the people of the state. They have to have someone they can believe in. They have to have someone they can identify with.” He and Bysiewicz said they will prioritize appointing people of color to judgeships, commissioner positions, deputy commissioner positions, and other state boards.

Barring a dramatic surprise last-minute gubernatorial candidate, most of New Haven’s disgruntled Dems will probably honor their pledges to vote for Lamont at the convention, Mauro predicted.

“The expectations were different,” Mauro said. “When you have expectations that are not met, you are inherently disappointed when it doesn’t go a certain way. The anger part, you get over. The disappointment part is the real test. Does the disappointment last to the convention? Does it last to the primary? Does it last all the way to November — and does that cost votes?”

The Lamont decision may have potentially cost one vote: Gary Winfield’s.  He said Wednesday night that he hasn’t decided yet whether to pursue his lieutenant governor quest. And as for whom he will support for governor? “I was leaning Ned, but I am back in the wait-and-see column. Maybe I get back there, maybe not.”

Tags: , , , ,

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment

If you already have an account, please log in here | If not, please .

Comments

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 16, 2018  10:00pm

The Lamont decision may have potentially cost one vote: Gary Winfield’s.  He said Wednesday night that he hasn’t decided yet whether to pursue his lieutenant governor quest. And as for whom he will support for governor? “I was leaning Ned, but I am back in the wait-and-see column. Maybe I get back there, maybe not.”


Snake-Oil and Three Card Monte being sold.Now Black folks are crying about diversity on the Democratic Ticket.This is nothing new with the Democrats.Did not Brother Malcolm X call the democrats dixiecrats?This is why you need a independent Black political party.In fact this was Malcolm X’s objective.In fact In 1980, Black nationalists convened to form the National Black Independent Political Party, out of frustration over the Democratic and Republican Parties.Even the lations had there own political party.call The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.The time is now for Black and latinos to form there own political party. Brother Malcolm X try to warn us when he said this.

It’s the year when all of the white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community jiving you and me for some votes. The year when all of the white political crooks will be right back in.Don’t be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.(1964) Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet

You’ve been waiting for the crumbs to fall off the white man’s table, but God is going to take the white man’s bread away, and force you to do for self. The only reason you are following the white man, is because you are looking for crumbs, and when you find out he has no more crumbs or bread to give you. Then you will turn him loose like a hot potato———MALCOLM X (from his speech called, Cooperative Economics)

posted by: RatashaSmith on May 16, 2018  10:19pm

It would have been great to have a person of color on the ticket, especially because they will lean on people of color to secure the Governor’s Mansion. I agree with Senator Winfield on that. However, Lamont has made his choice and announced it publicly. For Senator Winfield to come out after this announcement and share that he publically disagrees with Lamont’s choice puts forth a divided or segmented front in the time we need to show a united from against our competitors. We need to be on the same page moving forward if we are going to secure these seat for the Dems.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 16, 2018  10:46pm

“With this move, people felt like they had reassurances from Ned’s campaign that he was going to be bringing a diverse candidate onto the ticket, from one of the big cities. A lot of people rallied around him with that understanding. With Susan being selected, a lot of people are disappointed,” said one active New Haven delegate and party worker who asked to remain anonymous.”

“The delegate, who is African-American, said he still plans to honor his pledge to support Lamont. If no one else better enters the race.”  This weak delegate who wishes to remain anonymous should just shut and remain being the sheep that he is.  Personally, I have no respect for a person who wishes to entertain a political position, and in small circles appear to posture himself as if he is important, but when it’s time for him or her to take a principled stand, they go into hiding.

Fortunately for me, I was influenced both directly and indirectly by some of New Haven’s finest political minds.  Wendell Harp, Hank Parker, Vinnie Mauro Sr, Walter and Theodore Brooks, Fred Wilson, Stanley Rodgers, Chuck Allen, Moe and Jean Wadley, Arthur T. Barbieri and above all, my lovely mother former Alderwoman Bessie E. Jenkins.  These folk taught me the importance of standing up while hiding from no one.  Like my good friend Wendell Harp would always say, “let your yes be your yes and your no be your no.”

Paul Bass, if these elected officials cannot disclose who they are, then we don’t want to hear their complaints.

posted by: Razzie on May 16, 2018  11:15pm

“Winfield had openly expressed an interest in the lieutenant governor position. Winfield Tuesday expressed frustration at Lamont’s announcement.”

C’mon Paul ... If a candidate doesn’t have the balls to get into the race, why should anybody else support him. There are scores of other African American politicians in the stayte who would be equally deserving of a shot. So why keep harping on Gary. Gary may be a personable guy, and an effective legislator ... but he has never been tested in a serious race and seems to have an aversion to getting out there and campaigning. This will be a tough race for the Dems. They need to bring their “A Game”.

Gary is saddled with the leftover Malloy fiscal baggage. So why would any candidate take that on. Sorry ... I don’t agree that there is a color quota that applies to this race. We need the strongest candidates, candidates that are willing to give 110% effort to forge a winning team. I don’t think sitting on the sidelines waiting to be “chosen” sets the best example.

PS—I am not White or Republican.

posted by: Razzie on May 16, 2018  11:26pm

In summary:
“The Lamont decision may have potentially cost one vote: Gary Winfield’s.  He said Wednesday night that he hasn’t decided yet whether to pursue his lieutenant governor quest. And as for whom he will support for governor? ‘I was leaning Ned, but I am back in the wait-and-see column. Maybe I get back there, maybe not.’ “

I think we will survive without Winfield’s vote. If not, maybe he should jump in as a primary candidate and show us what he’s got.

posted by: Timothy G. ORourke Jr. on May 17, 2018  5:48am

What a bunch of crybabies. Nobody is being oppressed here.  The simple fact is that Bysiewicz is clearly a stronger person than Winfield.

posted by: Noteworthy on May 17, 2018  5:50am

Whiner Notes:

1. Diversity is overrated. And so is the whining about it. It’s being used to give extra points to a potential candidate who has made very little if any effort to run for Lt. Gov. and frankly, doesn’t bring a lot to the ticket in terms of strategy, gravitas or name recognition.

2. Lamont made a strategic decision. Get over it. In the end, democrats in New Haven will vote as they’re expected to do.

posted by: robn on May 17, 2018  6:09am

Diversity will come to the ticket when diverse candidates that are qualified show up and do the leg work required to get on the ticket. That being said, neither Bysiewicz nor Winfield are inspirational candidates for Lt Governor; no one at the top of this race in either party is.

posted by: Kevin McCarthy on May 17, 2018  6:41am

I respect Senator Winfield and appreciate his work. But ultimately, the issue is who are the most electable candidates among those who hold progressive stances. State senators are little known outside of their districts, regardless of their race, gender, or party. I doubt the average Democratic voter in Wallingford, New Britain, or West Hartford could identify either of New Haven’s senators. Bysiewicz, because she has held statewide office, would do somewhat better in this regard.

posted by: Perspective on May 17, 2018  7:33am

““With this move, people felt like they had reassurances from Ned’s campaign that he was going to be bringing a diverse candidate onto the ticket, from one of the big cities”

I realize my comment may receive the wrath of many of the commenter’s here but I feel compelled to comment nonetheless.
I continue to be amazed that diversity is being defined simply by the color of the candidates skin and/or their gender.  Just because a candidate shares your skin pigmentation does not guarantee they will truly represent your interests.  To paraphrase MLK, I sincerely hope we judge (vote) not simply by the color of ones skin, but by the content of their character.

posted by: ShadowBoxer on May 17, 2018  8:24am

Governor Malloy just nominated the first African American Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court who was confirmed unanimously.  Susan is by far more qualified than Gary, and this smacks of desperation from him.  Identity politics at its worst, at a time when it is becoming the undoing of the Democratic party.  Remember the “emerging Democratic majority” that would last for two hundred years?  This story was disheartening to read, and among the reasons millennials are losing interest in the party.  It’s not good enough that Susan is a woman, but she should have been an African American woman, right?  I lost a lot of respect for Senator Winfield whom I previously admired for his work on criminal justice reform.  If he reads this he should realize his ambition probably cost him in the long run with Democratic voters who pay attention to the issues, not vote according to race or how their local union tells them too.  We know the one determinitive reason that Trump is president and not HRC is that African Americans stayed home in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  They did not turn out in the numbers they did for Obama, so while liberals don’t like to hear or admit it, HRC lost precisely because African American voters were racist.  She adopted every single policy Obama did, and yet they stayed home.  This a fact that can be verified by looking at 538 or even Wikipedia.  The Dem gubernatorial ticket should based on qualifications, not race.  I fear for my party if victimhood is the rallying cay year after year.

posted by: LoveNH on May 17, 2018  9:17am

To further @shadowboxer:
“I lost a lot of respect for Senator Winfield whom I previously admired for his work on criminal justice reform.  If he reads this he should realize… Democratic voters… pay attention to the issues; we
[do] not want Gary to vote according to race or how their local union tells them to.”
Senator Winfield has 1) inexplicably advocated AGAINST his district’s largest employers.  2) has been silent on other economic development (eg Tweed and southern CT transportation infrastructure), 3) has spent his time pushing either narrow subsets of union platforms or identity-politics-bills from the far leftist wing of the party and 4) has been abysmal at constituent services - in particular for anyone who voices an alternative view from his. 
Rather than ask for a quota appointment, Senator Winfield should take this as an opportunity to reassess, realign, and reenergize his service and advocacy on behalf of ALL of his district. If he does that, statewide support for him will expand beyond a few far leftist blocks of New Haven. I’d love to be back among his supporters.  For now, I personally write in a candidate when I see him on a ballot unopposed.

posted by: Peter99 on May 17, 2018  9:36am

In a statewide political race splintering the black (10%), Hispanic (13%) and “other” (< 1%) vote makes those votes inconsequential. The minority vote is and can be instrumental in electing a politician because the white vote (77%) will splinter between the parties. No one group will vote in a monolithic fashion, but if the majority of the minority vote reliably votes with one segment of the white vote, then that segment will win the statewide election. The leadership of the minority segments needs to be publically supportive of that whiter voter segment they choose to support, demand significant post election participation in determination of policy and make it clear that they will change their support if significant participation is lacking. Everybody needs to put their thinking caps on and stop splintering or the majority will continue to do nothing after the election. Minority leadership needs to forget personal gain and use their power to enrich the entire minority community. This goes against human nature, but it must be demanded by everyone.

posted by: Politics 101 on May 17, 2018  9:45am

“Susan is by far more qualified than Gary….”

On what measure is she “by far” more qualified? Lately she’s just a professional candidate, setting a record for how many state gigs one person has run for. Seriously, she’s been a candidate for 4/6 constitutional offices. It’s pathetic. She spent 6 years in the State House of Representatives, just long enough for no one to notice that she hadn’t accomplished anything. She then spent 12 years as Secretary of State where she got to build her popularity, again, by not rocking the boat too much. He has spent 10 years in the State Senate pushing fights that no one thought were winnable and, more often than not, has won them.

posted by: Tessa Marquis on May 17, 2018  9:50am

All the more reason to get non-white people into other strong positions. Not going to name any names but there are other candidates of several non-white racial backgrounds who are running for constitutional office. Treasurer and Attorney General for instance.

As for our beloved Gary Winfield: everyone should be campaigning to have him elected Senate President Pro Tempore. Get more Dems into the State Senate and let’s make it happen!

posted by: HenryCT on May 17, 2018  10:26am

As a delegate to the Democratic state convention I’ve been called by most of the candidates for state office to convince me to support them. Many have sent me literature, emails. They have showed up for forums, made their pitch and answered questions. They have canvassed and called voters. Being a serious candidate takes serious work. Getting support is not a gift that you expect voters, or delegates, to hand you. It is not a privilege.To his credit Gary has worked hard as my state senator for his constituents. He has led a number of important battles in the legislature. On the other hand, Bysiewicz has gone all over the state selling her ideas and credentials as a hopeful candidate. If Gary is serious about running for Lt. Governor, then let him make the case with the hard work of being a candidate. Let him convince the voters in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury and the other big and small towns in CT. There is a good possibility for a primary. Walk the walk. Make the case. Win the votes.

posted by: Babz Rawls Ivy on May 17, 2018  10:56am

I am sure the universe will cause a piano to fall on my head… I happen to agree with Brian L. Jenkins on this one sentence “Paul Bass, if these elected officials cannot disclose who they are, then we don’t want to hear their complaints.” That being said…
Gary Winfield is absolutely qualified. He’s no Flava Flav. He is earnest, well-read, conscientious and serves New Haven with great aplomb. It is unfortunate Lamont didn’t choose him, Okay. Done, lets move on.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on May 17, 2018  12:00pm

So Democrats are squabbling over identity politics while CT’s financial picture looks increasingly bleak. And Democrats actually think voters are going to continue to let them control State government. Quite amusing.

posted by: 1644 on May 17, 2018  12:27pm

Henry:  Did Bermudez lobby for your vote?  Make the rounds of the DTC’s, etc.?  (Honest question).  At this point, Winfield’s failure to do so is moot, as he has endorsed Bermudez Zimmerman.
  Shadow:  Presuming that you want to win, and knowing that black voters are more likely to turn out for a black candidate, wouldn’t you want a black candidate?  BTW, perhaps black voters just felt, regardless of position papers, someone who looked like them was more likely to understand their issues on a visceral level than someone who didn’t.  (HRC always had credibility issues, not least because of shifting positions on issues like Iraq.) Likewise, urban voters may rationale favor someone from New Haven over someone from Middletown or Newtown (or Southington or Darien on the Republican side.)

posted by: RatashaSmith on May 17, 2018  12:28pm

We are all quibbling over semantics. Yes…it would be great to have someone of color in these high-level positions, I honestly believe that as an African-American. But as a Democrat, that is honestly not my priority. We need to put forth who ever is going to get us out of this state financial crisis, whatever color they are. That needs to be our focus. We need to put forth stong candidates that can assure the residents of this state that they are going to clean up this mess. At this point, I don’t care if that is Ned and Susan, Gary or whoever. I am voting for whoever can convince me they are going to get the job done and are ready for this fight against the Republicans come November. So often people dismiss what the Young Democrats have to say, but right now we are the only ones making sense and looking at the whole picture in my opinion.