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Tom Foley on Government Reform

 

 


AdWatch: Complains about ethics, but was fined for PAC

Foley recently wrote an OpEd titled "Democrats exploited ethical loophole" (Dec. 26)--a hit piece designed to whitewash his ethically spotty record as a big-money Republican. The problems with Foley's OpEd are two-fold: first, his accusations of improper fundraising are false; and second, Foley's own record flies in the face of everything he claims to hold dear.
  • First, Foley's entire OpEd is based on the false notion that lobbyist & contractor donation standards were loosened in a law recently passed. It's simply untrue.

    Foley also left out of his oped that he personally solicited contributions from lobbyists and state contractors as one of the main speakers at the Connecticut Republican Party's major annual fundraiser. It's either deeply cynical or misleading to criticize others for doing something you've already done.

    Foley was recently fined by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for improperly using a PAC to promote his candidacy for governor.

    Source: Connecticut Post on 2014 Connecticut gubernatorial race , Jan 2, 2014

    Electoral system is gamed by insiders; citizens lose trust

    Americans have lost trust in their government. A recent survey by Politico indicates the number of people who trust the federal government has dropped from 75% of the population in the mid-'60s to 19% currently. Some of the reasons are positive--higher education levels among voters, more transparency, a more skeptical and more decentralized media, and more information available to everyone. But mostly the reasons are negative--too many examples of weak and ineffective leadership, major policy failures, incompetence, scandals, and citizens' perception that the system is corrupted by insiders and special interests.

    All but the last one of these we can't do much about because elections don't always result in great choices. But ordinary citizens' perception that the system is gamed by insiders is not unfounded, but it is treatable. A lot of progress has been made federally and in Connecticut eliminating improper political influence, but a lot more can be done.

    Source: Tom Foley editorial in The New Haven Register , Dec 11, 2013

    Allowing $10 ,000 lobbyist contributions is a step backward

    A lot of progress has been made federally and in Connecticut eliminating improper political influence, but a lot more can be done--and Connecticut recently took a big step backward.

    Powerful organizations have a stake in what government does. Those with the most at stake are government contractors, public sector unions, public universities, and [their lobbyists], because their survival depends on public spending.

    Recently, Connecticut took a big step backward on limiting the influence of state contractors and lobbyists. Under Gov. Rell, state contractors and lobbyists were restricted from contributing directly to state races. In an about-face for the state, Gov. Malloy signed into law a loophole that allows state contractors and lobbyists to directly participate in a governor's race by donating up to $10,000 to a state party, which can then spend and coordinate directly with those campaigns. And, no surprise, many state contractors and lobbyists have already done so.

    Source: Tom Foley editorial in The New Haven Register , Dec 11, 2013

    Restrict state contractors donations to political parties

    Campaign contributions motivated by party affiliation, or a belief that a candidate is the better representative of the citizens' interests are fine, and should be encouraged. But contributions made primarily for the purpose of receiving a personal or organizational benefit in return are not so fine and should be restricted or eliminated.

    I will encourage the Republican Party not to accept contributions from anyone prohibited from contributing to my campaign, period.

    If I am elected governor, I will seek to disallow these tainted contributions to our state parties because they erode public confidence. I will also seek to prohibit state contractors who make contributions to one of our state parties in the current election cycle from entering into new state contracts for five years. And, to the extent possible, impose civil fines and sanctions on those who contribute in the current election cycle to a state party who would not have been allowed to contribute to a governor's race.

    Source: Tom Foley editorial in The New Haven Register , Dec 11, 2013

    2010: criticized public campaign financing; 2014: accepts it

    Foley has put the political establishment off balance at his exploratory announcement by saying he intended to qualify for public financing, a program Foley vigorously criticized in 2010. And he accused Malloy of accepting improper payments from Dan Esty, the commissioner of energy and environmental protection, offering no evidence. Esty and Malloy deny Foley's claim.
    Source: Connecticut Mirror on 2014 Connecticut Governor race , Nov 11, 2013

    Reduce the cost and size of state government

    We need a new direction and new leadership that will deliver the opportunities and promising future our citizens want and deserve. We need change that will get Hartford working for us again. We need a plan that will keep businesses and young people from leaving our great state.

    I have a plan that will get Connecticut headed back in the right direction. It is a plan that will restore a promising future by focusing on the four things that Connecticut families tell me they care about most and want to see changed. They are:

    1. Bringing Back Jobs and the Economy
    2. Reducing the Cost and Size of State Government
    3. Reducing the Tax Burden on Connecticut Working Families
    4. Changing the Way Business is Done in Hartford
    Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website tomfoley2010.com, "Plan" , Oct 9, 2010

    Other candidates on Government Reform: Tom Foley on other issues:
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    Page last updated: May 02, 2016