Shakeup In Connecticut Race For Governor

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) is probably none too happy over Independent candidate Joe Visconti dropping out of the race for governor and endorsing Republican challenger Tom Foley. A recent Quinnipiac University poll had Foley and Malloy tied with Visconti pulling in 7 percent. However, if Visconti was out of the race, the Republican Foley moved into the lead.

Foley described Visconti’s move and endorsement as a surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting to hear from him, but I’m glad I did,” Foley said at the sports bar. “I think an endorsement – bringing everybody together behind my candidacy [for] voting Gov. Malloy out of office for the record he has – is very important to me. [Visconti has] made a commitment to get a message to all his supporters to vote for me. He’s already out on the Internet and social media, telling his supporters to vote for me.

The Malloy campaign characterized the withdrawal and endorsement as further proof that Foley will double down on his promise to repeal the draconian post-Newtown laws. These laws were pushed and signed by Malloy.

“Tom Foley just doubled down on his plans to repeal Connecticut’s strict smart gun law that has made our neighborhoods, our schools and our streets safer,” Malloy spokesman Mark Bergman said. “Make no mistake, Tom Foley is in the pocket of the right wing extreme gun lobby, and today’s announcement is further proof.”

Foley had received the endorsement of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League.

David Codrea has written extensively on this race. He noted that many Connecticut gun rights activists wondered about Visconti’s commitment to the Second Amendment and wonder if his being in the race wasn’t just an effort to torpedo Tom Foley.

While it comes late in the campaign and with his name remaining on the ballot, Visconti’s move may, just maybe, be enough to put Foley over the top. As it is, Mike Bloomberg has invested $1.7 million in getting Malloy re-elected. Malloy is right up there with John Hickenlooper on the list of Democratic governors I’d like to see defeated on Tuesday.

H/T David Codrea

CT Gov. Malloy Continues War Against Gun Owners

Peter Kuck is the longest serving – and most pro-gun – member of the Connecticut’s Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. This board reviews denials of pistol permits by local police chiefs. It is Mr. Kuck’s pro-gun rights stance which has made him a target of Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT) who it appears is trying to oust him from the board. Members of the board serve a term coterminous with the governor who appointed them and Mr. Kuck’s appointment is now considered terminated.

“This is a continuing attempt to put their thumbs on the balance of justice,” Kuck said after learning that Malloy was seeking nominees to succeed him on the board that hears appeals from residents who are denied pistol permits or whose permits are revoked.

Andrew Doba, a spokesman for Malloy, said Kuck’s spot on the board is not the only one on the governor’s radar. “We are currently reviewing all of the expired terms on the board,” Doba said. “The governor has made no secret of his efforts to improve public safety. Clearly, his work on the gun violence prevention bill was a huge step forward. But making sure the spirit of that law is reflected in the Board of Firearms Permit Examiners must be a part of that effort as well.”

Kuck’s record on the board — he votes to overturn local police chiefs and grant pistol permits more consistently than any other board member — was the subject of a story last week in The Courant. The following day, Malloy sent a letter to the group that nominated Kuck.

The Hartford Courant story about Mr. Kuck from last week can be found here.

There are seven members of the board which is appointed by the governor. However, the law creating the board specifies that certain organizations such as the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, the Connecticut State Rifle and Pistol Association, and Ye Connecticut Gun Guild are given representation on the board. These organizations submit nominations to the governor’s office for appointment. Mr. Kuck is the representative of Ye Connecticut Gun Guild and is their treasurer. Representation of different constituencies is meant to provide a variety of perspectives to the board.

Malloy’s efforts to oust Kuck have angered gun rights groups in the state.

“This is yet again a brazen attack on the rights of the people of Connecticut,” Rich Burgess, president of Connecticut Carry, said in a statement. “Governor Malloy is simply not satisfied with his overreaching and unconstitutional gun ban implemented in April. Now he is using alternative means to try and remove rights from law abiding people by denigrating a good man.”

The last time Ye Connecticut Gun Guild was asked to submit names for the board they submitted one name. It was that of Mr. Kuck and they are expected to do the same again.