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Quality versus quantity

10/25/2010
By:

Sarah Green

Staff Writer

With Election Day just one week away, the gubernatorial race is drawing closer. According to one of the latest Rasmussen Reports, the race no longer “leans Democrat” but rather is considered a “toss-up.” Though Dan Malloy (D) has consistently maintained a lead in the polls, he has gradually lost the 10-point advantage he previously held on Tom Foley (R).

One of the major criticisms of both Malloy and Foley has been their use of attack ads. In fact, 58 percent of Connecticut voters believe that candidates can win an election without criticizing their opponents.

According to Dan Malloy’s campaign page, it is important that his campaign be “one of ideas” because many of the issues currently impacting Connecticut residents are serious. Yet it seems that very few issues have been clearly presented amidst the mudslinging.

After a little digging, however, Connecticut voters can unearth the truth about Malloy’s and Foley’s positions on some of the most relevant topics. For instance, Foley outlines a very concise plan for Connecticut’s economy, detailing four main points to improve the situation: bring back jobs, reduce the cost and size of state government, reduce the tax burden on working families, and change business in Hartford.

Voters can also research Malloy’s position on several key issues: jobs and the economy, healthcare, public safety, and education. But while he is very clear about the fact that Connecticut needs a fresh start and a strategy to revitalize economic security, Malloy does not seem to present his plan.

Yet in regards to healthcare, it is Foley who is vague. Foley says that he will seek to lower costs for everyone but he does not present a specific strategy. Malloy, on the other hand, clearly details his ideas to lower the cost of healthcare and extend access to all Connecticut citizens. Malloy believes that the healthcare bill was a positive first step but that much remains to be done to solve all of the problems of Connecticut residents.

In comparing their campaign pages, Malloy’s is far more detailed than Foley’s on issues like education, healthcare, and energy. Do not let this rhetoric fool you, however. The content of these paragraphs is 95 percent statistics and self-congratulation. The other 5 percent actually addresses his ideas on the issues – but some of these ideas are ambiguous as well.

Foley, in contrast, presents very little information on the issues and very few ideas as well. There are many statements like, “We can do better…” and “I will ensure…” but few explanations. While Foley has a clear plan for the economy, he apparently failed to consider some of the other issues as thoroughly.

Yet, considering that 83 percent of voters in Connecticut have reported that they know someone who is currently unemployed and seeking work, perhaps Foley’s focus is on the right place. Is it better to concentrate on the most important issue to the constituents or to try solving a vast array of problems?

It is important to remember that anyone can make a bunch of lofty promises. But which of those promises can a candidate realistically fulfill? Many citizens have been disappointed that President Obama’s “change” has come so slowly and has been less dramatic than anticipated. We must remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. There is only so much that a politician can accomplish, regardless of his or her ideas or qualifications. You can dream big, but you must think realistically.

Think hard about this election. Search for the truth about these candidates beneath the mud. The governorship is the highest political office at the state level and Election Day is quickly approaching. So let’s start doing our research.

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