Malloy Hits Urban Reelection Notes

Paul Bass PhotoHe brought a $1 million gift for Dixwell. He spoke to an R&B DJ about racist attacks on President Obama and the need to boost the minimum wage. He swung back at local critics upset about the drying-up of state “PILOT” money to the city.

In other words, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was hitting all the urban notes needed to win himself reelection this year.

Malloy hit the notes during a sweep through New Haven Tuesday. It wasn’t officially a campaign swing. He was officially conducting his duties as governor.

But he in practice has already started running hard for a second four-year term leading the state, a quest that promises to be a tough one. And judging by his repeated focus on New Haven, as well as the urban focus of his top Republican rival, New Haven is a central battleground in that quest.

He started his mid-day visit on Temple Street—coincidentally, steps away form the building where his 2010 and leading 2014 opponent Tom Foley has set up an urban-issues “think tank.” He spoke with WTNH’s Mark Davis about his public spat with U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader John Boehner over food stamp cuts; Malloy enraged Boehner by moving to enable 50,000 Connecticut households to bypass Republican-backed food-stamp cuts.

After finishing with Davis, Malloy (with Davis and cameraman in tow) took the elevator up to the studios of WYBC-FM, an R&B station with the largest local radio listenership. Program director and top DJ Juan Castillo (pictured) peppered Malloy with questions submitted by listeners via Facebook and Twitter.

The station has a large African-American audience; Malloy segued at one point into an unprompted attack on critics of President Obama for “continuing racism” in how they question his “legitimacy” in office. Castillo asked about jobs and crime. Malloy touted his proposal (which he linked to Obama) to raise the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017. Click on the video to watch Malloy rebut claims that a higher minimum wage destroys jobs.

Malloy also cited his administration’s help in bringing health care and tech jobs to New Haven through deals like the one that lured Alexion Pharmaceuticals back to town in a newly built 13-story office tower. On crime, Malloy spoke of targeting gangs; he praised New Haven Chief Dean Esserman (Malloy’s former police chief when he served as Stamford’s mayor) for New Haven’s decline in shootings. He took credit for Connecticut posting, for “the fourth time in 40 years,” fewer than 100 homicides. Still, he said, New Haven’s number of shootings and murders—67 and 20, respectively, last year—remains too high, he said. He segued into a pitch for his efforts to improve schools—and then plugged the purpose of his New Haven visit Tuesday, the announcement of a $1 million state grant to redesign a new Dixwell Community “Q” House. Better schools and after-school programs will “help lower crime,” he argued.

Touching on the personal, Castillo asked the governor about his continuing struggle with dyslexia. Click on the video to watch his answer. “I still have weaknesses in performance, for instance taking oral communication into written form,” Malloy said. “I’m still embarrassed about being dyslexic. But it doesn’t stop me from stop talking about it.”

After the interview Malloy fueled up on some Roly Poly restaurant-prepared wraps delivered to the studio; he also chatted with Inner-City News Managing Editor Babz Rawls-Ivy (pictured). Malloy can’t win reelection without winning New Haven, and winning it big: The city delivered Malloy his largest vote total in 2010—22,285—and largest plurality, 18,606 votes. That was three times his statewide margin of victory. Malloy has assiduously courted his supporters in elected office and local unions for months now to gear up for the reelection campaign; last week he fired up the “Hilltop Brigade.”

His overwhelming support in town this year is not a given, in part because of anger in some neighborhoods (primarily East Rock) over a proposed tax increase. Neighborhood Alder Michael Stratton has repeatedly criticized the governor for shorting the city on the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program, which reimburses New Haven for revenues lost on tax-exempt properties like colleges and universities. Before leaving the studio, Malloy answered questions about the issue. (Click on the video to watch.) He defended his efforts to boost PILOT by $8 million statewide this year; he said doesn’t know yet if he’ll back a proposal by New Haven state Sen. Martin Looney to guarantee that New Haven always receives at least 50 percent reimbursement under PILOT. He said critics should look at the entire picture of aid to the city, not just PILOT—especially his increased support for aid to urban schools.  “We’re sending millions and millions of dollars more per year to New Haven” than before he became governor, he said. Stratton this week criticized Malloy for using part of a $500 million surplus on $110 tax rebates to families—“dinner vouchers,” Stratton called them—rather than fundamental PILOT reform. “I think that anybody who disparages a family getting $110,” the governor responded, “doesn’t really get how difficult life is in some of the neighborhoods in New Haven.”

Allan Appel PhotoThen it was off to the Dixwell Q House, where a crowd of politicians and activists celebrated his announcement, along with Mayor Toni Harp, that the state Bonding Commission has approved a $1 million grant for planning and design of a new community center. Click here to read a full story about that.

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 18, 2014  5:19pm

Wake up Black folks.This is carrot and stick poltricks.Dan Malloy is in trouble.He needs the Black and latino votes.You will start to see Black and Latino Judas Goat leaders along with judas goat prechers bring Dan Malloy around.Do not fall for this.

posted by: robn on March 18, 2014  5:31pm

So Malloy can give out $110 bribes $because he “gets” “how difficult life is in some of the neighborhoods in New Haven”, but somehow he doesn’t get it that New Haven residents are fed up with paying twice as much property tax as everyone else in the state.
Forget 50%. Full PILOT or no votes!

posted by: anonymous on March 18, 2014  5:31pm

Where’s the money for Route 34 and the Coliseum Site? 

Since New Haven is really the only place in the State that is growing jobs, projects like these impact job growth throughout the entire state, not just in New Haven.

If the Republican candidate were smart, he would announce his strong support for the Coliseum project and talk about how it benefits the economic future of our entire State, in addition to New Haven residents. 

He could even contrast wasteful, even detrimental, zero-spillover projects like the Q House (more nonprofits and government in a neighborhood that is saturated with them, and desperately needs small business, local entrepreneurs, and housing, not more nonprofit space) with projects to rebuild our cities as a whole, that can create tens of thousands of jobs for everyone in the state.

Jobs is the number one issue.  Malloy’s strategy of only focusing on small-potato projects or policies that will help New Haven is not a winning strategy.  Instead, he needs to be talking about doing things that will help New Haven AND the economy of the entire state.

posted by: Gener on March 18, 2014  5:59pm

There is nothing that Malloy can do that will win my vote back after endorsing Toni Harp in our local primary. I’ve spoken to quite a few others who feel the same way - hopefully voters can send a message to Malloy about the true cost of political favors.

posted by: liznewhaven on March 18, 2014  6:49pm

No way will I be voting for this man. $110 is insulting. We need effective property tax relief and increased PILOT. I cannot afford my modest home in this city.

posted by: A.T. on March 18, 2014  6:51pm

Life long Democrat and New Haven resident here who will not be voting for Malloy. I made the decision when he involved himself heavily in the N.H. Mayoral election.

posted by: getyourfactstraight on March 18, 2014  6:52pm

Will never support Malloy again. Also, if Harp had a brain in that head of hers she would tell him privately that she cannot deliver New Haven for him unless he increases our pilot money to a very formidable amount.
I will not vote for him, her and plenty other politicians in their next election.
Mayor Harp, could you at least show some spunk by outwardly trying to get more money for the pilot in New Haven? And mayor, aren’t you a little embarrassed that the money you are spending on your inaugural ball is going to the Town of East Haven, to their police force, fire department and for the use of the hanger?  Why would you do such a thing? If we have to pay any police and fire personnel it should be our own. I haven’t seen one thing from you so far that actually makes me a little optimistic about your 2 year term.

posted by: mstratton on March 18, 2014  7:40pm

Hey 3/5 we all need to wake up. White, black,
Whatever. These people we call democrats are simply not liberal or progressive. They are no better than the most cynical republicans. They are treating us like a charity case while they hold back money owed to us that would give us all real freedom and dignity. It’s all about using out money for pet projects and political favors. We need real liberals to step up and give us back our independence. No more democrat driven generational poverty for ct cities. The politicos like to keep people hungry. It makes them reliant. Reliance is power for them and misery for us. And we need people to make this point. This “rich white guy from prospect hill” is getting bruised up pretty good trying to speak the truth to politicians who do not want to hear it.

posted by: OneCityManyDreams on March 18, 2014  9:40pm

Malloy gives out money in an election year like every other Governor that has ever been Governor in Connecticut.  The Problem is simple. Most, not all, of the other Governors knew Connecticut actually had the ability to give out this money and balance its books. This is not the case with this Governor or this State.  That is the problem.  When the State collapses (and it will) then you will understand.  Simple.

posted by: LookOut on March 18, 2014  9:42pm

This is election year theater.  I’m very skeptical.  There are rumors that Harp and Malloy already have a deal brokered where extra state dollars will become available at the end of the city budget process (this year only!).  This will be another PR opportunity for Malloy+Harp as they attempt to keep the electorate dependent and ill-informed. 

When will we elect those who make good decisions rather than those who engage in slight of hand?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on March 18, 2014  9:43pm

@mstratton.You say These people we call democrats are simply not liberal or progressive.
why did you run with the democrats.You should have run as a Independent.Rememberthe person who had the seat you now hold was with the same machine you are talking about.You see The donkey and the elephant symbols of the two dominant political parties are tied at the hip.The Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy.By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power.This is why I am pushing for Term Limits and Proportional Representation.Iam a part of Fair Vote The Center for Voting and Democracy which is pushing for Term Limits and Proportional Representation across this country.Also the reason I wrote that Black folks need to wake up.The major of Black folks are voting Monolith for the Democratic Party.We do not need real liberals to step up and give us back our independence.We need Proportional Representation which would put all parties at the table.

A true people People’s Caucus would be the Bull Moose Party which says.

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.
To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.The deliberate betrayal of its trust by The Republican Party, and the fatal incapacity of the Democratic Party to deal with the new issues of the new time.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on March 18, 2014  9:46pm

Hey Dan keep your $110 and I will keep my vote.
Unless there 100% pilot funding I am voting for whoever is running against you.
I agree with all above, you should have stayed out of OUR election.

posted by: Honest in New Haven on March 18, 2014  10:44pm

$1 million to redesign a Q House sounds great.  The real question is what is going to sustain it?  Funding and incompetent management lead to its downfall. Is the Q House going to become the city’s responsibility from now on?

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on March 19, 2014  8:43am

The $1 million state grant is to redesign a new Dixwell Community Q House, following $40,000 already spent on a “feasibility study”; the projected price tag of actually BUILDING a new Q House is c. $15 Million. So bringing in the funds in small increments to actually build a new Q House, with the promise the rest will come “in a few years”, should keep a lot of politicians in office for years to come.
mstratton says “No more democrat driven generational poverty for ct cities. The politicos like to keep people hungry. It makes them reliant. Reliance is power for them and misery for us.” This has been the GOP message for decades. Democrats twist it to sound “uncharitable”, “immoral”, etc., but enslaving people to govt dependency (Uncle Sam’s Plantation, as Star Parker calls it) is hardly “charitable”. Such politically-motivated “charity” has become foundational to the social destruction of entire urban neighborhoods and all that accompanies this: drugs, crime, absent fathers, dysfunctional schools, etc.
Although I’m white, I’ve lived c. 30 years in an overwhelmingly black neighborhood. From this experience I have concluded that, from a political standpoint, black Americans will make the most progress when they form they own unique political party: not a “black caucus” in the existing Machine which simply uses them as pawns.

posted by: Scot on March 19, 2014  10:58am

“I think that anybody who disparages a family getting $110,” the governor responded, “doesn’t really get how difficult life is in some of the neighborhoods in New Haven.”

A tax rebate only goes to people who paid state income tax right?  So New Haven’s unemployed, or people making $15k AGI per year or less, (a large number of people in New Haven’s poorest neighborhoods) wouldn’t get the rebate.

As for the $1 million for the Q house, that’s a small token of charity. The estimated rebuild cost for the Q House is $14-15 million; then how much will it cost to run it/maintain it each year?  If he really supported the Q House he would fully fund PILOT so that New Haven could afford to build it and keep it going.

posted by: Scot on March 19, 2014  11:10am

“I think that anybody who disparages a family getting $110,” the governor responded, “doesn’t really get how difficult life is in some of the neighborhoods in New Haven.”

Furthermore, this is incredibly misleading!  He’s talking to an “urban” NH audience and implying they will get a $110 rebate.  You need to make between 200-400k per year to get a $110 rebate. If you make less than 200k you get a $55 rebate.  And if you make less than 15k you don’t get anything.

posted by: Pantagruel on March 19, 2014  12:39pm

Add me, and the 4 votes in my family, to the roster of people who will not vote for Malloy because of his primary endorsement of Harp. I can’t remove from my memory Malloy’s distespectful pushing aside of the local activist at the Nica’s Market event. Others who have lost our vote include Blumenthal, Murphy, and Wyman. It would have been one thing had they endorsed Harp as the Democratic candidate. I would have still voted for Elicker but I would not have seen it as interference with the local deliberation that is a primary. I may give DeLauro and Looney a pass because they are in fact locals.

I’m not sure I could actually vote for a Republican, Foley, but I consider showing up at the polling station and not voting for a candidate a fulfillment of my civic responsibility.

Candidates have to learn that decisions have consequences. I am an active donor to the Democratic Party, and I have to confess looking forward to giving Malloy’s fund raisers a piece of my mind and a NO when they come after my wallet.

posted by: FacChec on March 19, 2014  12:48pm

@ Scott:

If you read you link to the NHR once more you will find that your statement(s) on both posts are incorrect.

You said,

“Furthermore, this is incredibly misleading!  He’s talking to an “urban” NH audience and implying they will get a $110 rebate.  You need to make between 200-400k per year to get a $110 rebate. If you make less than 200k you get a $55 rebate.  And if you make less than 15k you don’t get anything”.

The register quoted Malloy and Barnes this way.

“On sales and gas tax refund, Malloy said it would give $55 to individuals earning less than $200,000 and $110 to joint filers earning less than $400,000, which he projected would put $155 million into the economy. This would benefit an estimated 2.7 million individuals, Budget Chief Ben Barnes said”.

Therefore, the rebate is not based on income tax paid, but, is based on sales and gas taxes, which just about every tax payer contributes and or pays. In order to receive a rebate you will have had to fill income taxes.

Yes, this is electioneer engineering.

posted by: Scot on March 19, 2014  4:18pm

@FacChec, I re-read the article and stand by what I said. I was partially mistaken when I said rebate only goes to people “who paid income tax”.  I should have said people “who filed income tax”. You may be right someone who filed but didn’t have to pay income tax might still get the refund.  However, I stand by my point that many low income, NH households won’t see a $110 refund;  some will get $55, others will get nothing. It’s much more likely families in wealthier towns will get the full $110.

Above all I feel this refund whether its $55 or $110 isn’t the best use of the current state surplus. I feel that increasing PILOT funding would be a better use of the money. 

I don’t dislike Malloy. I didn’t like how he got involved in the New Haven mayoral election but besides that think he’s doing ok. My vote will likely come down to how much support he shows for New Haven and CT’s other cities. What he’s proposed to this point for PILOT isn’t enough. A token $1 million donation to the Q House isn’t enough.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on March 19, 2014  6:48pm


Put your man pants on Alderman, you’re doing a great job.

I can remember almost 10 years ago battling then John DeStefano in a manner similar to yours.  Yes it gets lonely, but at the end of the day you can walk out of there with your character in great shape.  Conversely, many of my former colleagues are still trying to repair theirs today.

You’re not going to be liked by the vast majority of your colleagues.  But you’re going to be loved by the vast majority of tax payers.

Voters in New Haven must educate themselves on how they’re being played.  On one hand the Mayor raises your taxes by 3.8%.  On the other hand, the Governor robs you out of PILOT reimbursements.  Collectively the two then posture themselves as if the city is finally winning economically.

Where’s the true un-bought black leadership that’s willing to tell this poor black community the truth about this Harp and Malloy shell game?

There are many a Democrat that can’t fathom the idea of voting for a Republican for anything.  Yes the vitriol that emanates from the National Republican Party [and at times locally] can be difficult or even impossible to swallow.  But I think in Foley you may have a more tempered fella.  And it’s this fella, Malloy will have trouble defeating this time around.

posted by: Serf of New Haven on March 19, 2014  8:10pm

Anybody who calls themselves a Democrat should never vote for this man again.
He raised taxes on the middle class when he could have raised it more on the top 10% and chose not too. He is unfortunately a classic Connecticut Democrat who is wiping out the middle and lower to enrich two constituencies, the upper 1% and the embedded union bureaucrats who compromise 5% percent of the voting population.
Politicians like Malloy will wipe out all wealth not politically connected for those two groups. If you are not one of them you should not be voting for Malloy.
He is shameless politician who uses the minority population for elections and then stabs them in the back. Perfect example is PILOT.
Says he’s giving us millions? Look around your neighborhood?
He’s sending it to his cronies and union administrators.

I personally know many people, old time Democrats, who have had enough of the lies and false promises, and the cronyism and the annual 4% tax hikes, that are giving up on this party for the first time in forty years. They thought over and over again, maybe this time is different. But like Charlie Brown, how many times are you going to try to kick that football?

People like Malloy and Harp are destroying the Connecticut Democrat brand. And its’ a shame, because I know teachers and firemen who don’t deserve the gross negligence and greed of city fiduciaries, but when push comes to shove, twenty years from now, and all public coffers are in the deepest red, and bankruptcy is through its’ second cycle, and taxes have doubled once again, they will have no friends left around to vote for their survival, and most important, their pensions.

That day is coming as sure as the sun will rise.

Let’s get economic justice and fiscal sanity back for all the people of Connecticut.
A party that represents something other than government financial oppression for the vast majority of lower and middle income citizens.

posted by: new havener on March 19, 2014  8:10pm

I will gladly take my $110, with my family of 4, out to dinner in Hamden and have the full meal including desert and margaritas(Ixtapa, try it!!). I won’t pay for parking, and I will explain it great detail why I won’t vote for Malloy. They’re half-way there already. This man throws good money after bad, tries to buy people and corporate votes, and it seems people are waking up.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on March 20, 2014  12:34am

I like Malloy. He’s been a strong pragmatic progressive during hard times. We shouldn’t forget that if Foley or any GOPer got in, it would be game over for New Haven. The good news is that PILOT is on the table, and the debate seems to be about the right fix. But while the iron’s hot New Haven should push hard on this. Right now it’s neighborhood vs. neighborhood. Looney’s proposal is a start but would pit one city against another. The cannibalization doesn’t stop until the tax burden falls on the non-profits themselves who owe the taxes. We just can’t afford to subsidize them anymore.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on March 20, 2014  8:28am

Pantagruel says “I may give DeLauro and Looney a pass because they are in fact locals.” So if a careerist politician is “local” they are absolved of the cronyism that comes with long-time incumbency? Do a google search of Rosa DeLauro and Martin Looney and you soon will discover that, after 3 terms max, any incumbent’s first priority (regardless of political party affiliation) is getting re-elected—and therefore an incumbent will promise virtually anything to accomplish that goal. All other goals fall far, far down the list.
This is why we never will have legal term limits. Term limits only can be legislated by those who have everything to lose by imposing such limits and everything to gain by maintaining the status quo. But YOU the voter have the power to impose term limits—by dumping incumbents. Even if this means temporarily voting for a Republican. And yes, even despite the fact that the GOP is the party of “Rich White Males”, like Richard Blumenthal.  Oh, wait: he’s a Democrat. But you know what I mean. Because, well, I read it somewhere, so it must be so. 
Nevertheless, I will admit that, to her credit, Rosa DeLauro epitomizes what the Democratic Party is REALLY all about: the humble, working class, underpaid woman:
Well, OK that’s not a good example. But we’re talking about “principles”. And talking about them a lot, in front of the media at every possible opportunity, is what REALLY counts. Because that means instant name recognition. Which means automatic re-election.
Anyway, I need to check my Facebook feed, Twitter, email; who has time to research what our politicians actually have accomplished—versus their sound bites, talking points, carefully-timed news releases, etc.?
I mean, they’re MY elected representatives. So if they said it—it MUST be true.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on March 21, 2014  9:05am

What our One-Party system hath wrought: “The definitional borders of our politics – most importantly its constitutional borders – are disappearing. Social borders and social compacts also are disappearing. Why should it surprise us that politicians wander, dazed and sometimes lacking a moral compass, through a borderless social and political wasteland? Without confining limits, politics is free to flow as it will across a barren flatland. Without ideas – and most importantly, without a commitment to ordered liberty – thinking is suspended, as if in a dream.
Without firm political and social structures in place, liberated politicians energetically set about fashioning gilded cages for the governed.
In any autocratic form of government, especially one in which experts rule, the ruling authority requires only your money – not your permission – to govern.”