Republican American: We endorse Mr. Stefanowski for governor

October 29, 2022

It would be incorrect to say this gubernatorial election represents a crossroads for Connecticut. The tragic fact is that the state – once one of the most prosperous in the nation – has consistently chosen the path of high taxes, business-hostile policies and fealty toward overpaid public servants. The results have been a declining population (the 2020-21 crime- and pandemic-inspired influx of New Yorkers notwithstanding), companies choosing to do business elsewhere and deteriorating urban centers.

Despite his claims to the contrary, Gov. Ned Lamont has not corrected the course.

During the campaign, the governor has conveniently omitted the fact that much-touted surpluses are temporary and exist only because of federal pandemic relief, not a change in the state’s disastrous fiscal policies. Given the way Gov. Lamont and his fellow Democrats have continued to handle the state’s finances, residents should brace for impact when the aid money runs out.

“Connecticut’s unprecedented budget surplus meant state officials could have given middle-class families and businesses meaningful relief from the destructive Malloy-era tax hikes. Instead, Gov. Lamont and the (state legislature) squandered that surplus on a mix of election-year tax gimmicks and a spending spree that will together hike general fund expenditures almost 7% next year,” Yankee Institute President Carol Platt Liebau said in May. That’s the kind of fiscally reckless governance that has defined the Nutmeg State for too long.

Many fiscal mistakes can be corrected, but the worst mistake Gov. Lamont made was the extended closure of schools during the pandemic, which caused potentially irreparable harm to a generation of children.

The (National Assessment of Educational Progress) test, known as the nation’s report card, showed that fourth and eighth graders had the steepest decline in learning since the early 1990s,” CT News Junkie reported Oct. 25, noting that the decline occurred during the pandemic. When other blue states were depriving their students of an education – despite red states and most of Europe showing in real time that shutting down schools didn’t make a meaningful impact on COVID-19 transmission – Gov. Ned Lamont could have shown courage. Instead, he followed the lead of other blue states, working in concert with corrupt, now-former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make a disastrous mistake.

Although Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski has not done as much as he could to differentiate himself from the governor, he has done enough to show that he is the better choice.

On the fiscal front, Mr. Stefanowski disappointingly defended recent 2.5% raises and $3,500 bonuses for state workers. He also has backed off from the plan he introduced during his unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial bid to eliminate the state’s income tax. However, we were glad to see him release a plan last month detailing $2 billion in tax relief.

On a host of other issues, we have been impressed by Mr. Stefanowski.

Unlike Gov. Lamont, he supports the common-sense measure of requiring parental notification when minors under 16 seek abortion, which, as we have noted, could have protected past victims of sexual abuse.

On education, Mr. Stefanowski largely gets it right. He has “proposed a school choice program that would provide vouchers or establish education savings accounts for parents of students in underperforming public schools to help pay to send their children to charter, magnet, technical and religious schools,” the Republican-American reported. He also has defended the integrity of girls’ sports and the safety of the players, arguing that biological males should no longer get to compete against biological females. His “Parental Bill of Rights,” which can be found on his website, includes a host of welcomed policy proposals to enhance the public’s control over public education.

Connecticut residents have a choice between maintaining failed policies and taking steps – even if they’re baby steps – toward improving the state’s economy and making the government, including schools, more accountable to the people. Mr. Stefanowski promises to disrupt the ineffectual status quo, and for that reason he has our endorsement.

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