During the evening of Tuesday, August 3, the three candidates for the 36th state senate district had an opportunity to take a big bite out of each other’s campaign. Instead, the audience was treated to a nibbling fest. However, nibbling goes by another name here: Civility.
The nibbling followed a logical plan of progression from beginning to end. No loud chewing noises or burping allowed. Instead they each took their turns, by delicately consuming some issues in order to outdo the other candidates.
Their comments did seem a little like a restaurant review. They were able to agree that tolls, critical race theory, and defunding the police did not taste good at all.
An important difference was in their review about the overall quality of Connecticut. While Ms. Gevanter kept claiming that Connecticut was getting better. The muttering in the audience said otherwise. Connecticut may look good, but when you take a bite, it is a different story.
While Ms. Gevanter was inclined to dine with gusto, Mr. Fazio had to keep reminding her that Connecticut had way too much unemployment and taxation to be enjoyable. She disagreed. Instead, she kept citing the surge of people to Connecticut while ignoring the impact of Covid-19 driving people out of other states. Some have suggested that over 2,000 families have moved into Greenwich alone. Anyone watching the market at the time noticed how quickly and dramatically house prices shot up. That would suggest Ms. Gevanter was ignoring essential facts. There will be need to be a survey of Connecticut residents to see how many people think the state is heading in the right direction.
Mr. Blankley did pick up on a theme that may have resonated with the audience. He kept pointing out that the other candidate’s positive comments about the future were merely “aspirational”. That’s fine, but you need to be able to deliver. Where Mr. Blankley seemed to run into some trouble was declaring there was no way to cut taxes. Here he enabled Mr. Fazio to get a good bite out of him. When Mr. Blankley offered a challenge where Mr. Fazio would present a plan to but one billion in taxes from the state budget at the next debate, Mr. Fazio shot back and said “I can do it now.” The audience loved his quick response. It certainly put Mr. Blankley in an awkward position.
Mr. Blankley did make what seems to be a novel suggestion. He asserted that digestibility of transportation in the state would be improved by using roll on, roll off ships along the coastline. If he had done an economic analysis, he didn’t share it with the audience, nor did he reference any studies on this matter. This proposal might also be aspirational and requires careful analysis in order to see of it is profitable, competitive, and feasible.
Meantime, Ms. Gevanter seemed to try have her cake and eat it too by carefully agreeing and disagreeing with Mr. Fazio. She lined up by agreeing, again, on education, the police, and energy. But she tried to take her biggest bite out of him over state laws on gay rights and abortion. A food fight almost started when Mr. Fazio put her near-accusation into the context of his writing on Federalist 74 several years ago. Ms. Gevanter attempted to twist his discussion of judicial independence into a grotesque piece of pretzel logic.
Finally, everyone put down their forks and knives, wiped their mouths, and thanked each other for the dining experience.