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View Diary: CT Gov. Dannel Malloy on the long view of governance (153 comments)

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  •  Good news from CT (8+ / 0-)

    even though it looks like public employees and services are going to take pretty serious hits.

    Still, we're living in tough times and the pain is real.  In CT, at least, that pain is being distributed in ways that appear, from the outside, as fair.

    Could Malloy be establishing a model that politicians can follow in other states?  Let's hope so.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:58:06 AM PDT

    •  The failure to ratify by SEBAC (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, tr GW, dinotrac, joanbrooker, litho

      ...was bad.

      It's bad for the "national optics" of public service union workers for the very reason that the legislation and the agreement was one of "shared sacrifice" and now was turned away by the union. Doesn't matter nationally that the vote required an 80% super-majority to pass (that itself may be a problem, but I won't get into that), the "optics" play directly into the hands of those trying to break the unions nationally.

      And it's bad because the consequences on the union and state workers are now more likely to be more (not less) draconian - in the form of job cuts, defunded programs, etc.

      It really is an unfortunate shame that SEBAC was not able to clear the 80% approval hurdle last week.

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

      by frisco on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:24:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bad optics for the unions (6+ / 0-)

        Not so bad for Malloy.  He tried to negotiate with them and they bit his hand so he had to get tough.  At least that's how it will be perceived by the low info voters.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:29:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "They" didn't "bite his hand", though. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tr GW, dinotrac, frisco, joanbrooker

          Two units did.  The majority of units voted for the agreement.

          The headlines don't reflect that, of course: "Unions reject deal".   We'll see what happens when SEBAC leadership meet tomorrow to ratify (or not) the agreement, but right now, the damage done to unions because of those two individual units is enormous.

          I do not understand why social workers would vote against the concessions.  I understand why corrections workers would, because they apparently think Malloy is bluffing.  And, by law, their numbers are probably more protected than other employees.  But social workers?

          "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

          by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:55:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's a puzzle (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, joanbrooker, frisco
            Donald Williams, the president pro tem of the State Senate said he couldn't understand why the unions would vote down the deal.

            “The failure to ratify by state employees does more harm to them and the cause of labor than anything their enemies could possibly achieve," he said in a letter to colleagues announcing an emergency session to close the gap.

            Despite over 60 percent of state workers approving the deal, Connecticut's collective bargaining rules require 14 of 15 of the public sector unions. Two state unions, including its largest, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, opposed the deal, believing the Governor would offer them a better package if they rejected it.

            Malloy said Friday he would under no circumstances renegotiate with the unions, saying the state will send out layoff notices to affected workers immediately.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/...

            The results of the voting in Connecticut exasperated and infuriated even longtime allies of state workers.

            “The failure to ratify by state employees does more harm to them and the cause of labor than anything their enemies could possibly achieve,” Donald E. Williams Jr., a Democrat who is president pro tem of the State Senate, wrote colleagues in a message announcing the special session. “It’s unbelievable that they don’t understand that.”

            But the rejection reflected a complicated whirl of factors, not least of them the approval process itself, in which about 60 percent of workers voted in favor of the agreement only to have it fail.

            Under longstanding collective bargaining rules, the agreement needed to be approved by 14 of the 15 unions in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, with the bargaining units voting in favor representing 80 percent of the 45,000 state workers covered by the deal.

            What doomed the package was its rejection by two unions — including, notably, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 4, which covers about one-third of all unionized state employees.

            http://www.nytimes.com/...

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:00:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  perhaps they remember what happened when the (0+ / 0-)

              auto and steel unions "negotiated" lots of givebacks, and what it got them.

              Apparently we're all in favor of the right to form unions, as long as they don't actually act like unions.

              •  As a union member here in CT, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                frisco, joanbrooker

                the majority has voted one way, but the minority is holding veto power, essentially.  Does this mean the majority isn't acting like a union?

                "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

                by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:12:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, that is exactly what it means. (0+ / 0-)

                  It means that just like the USWA and UAW in the 80's, the "union" is willing to sell itself to the boss just for a short-term paycheck, even if it means their eventual death.

                  Shortsighted.

                  Look where it got the Steel Workers union.  Nowhere.

                  The purpose of a union isn't to "negotiate" givebacks. That's what we have managements for.

                  Sad to see them both on the same side.

                  Sadder still to see "unions" cheering it on.

                  And even sadder to see "progressives" cheering the act of balancing the budget on the backs of the state workers when a Dem does it, while bitching and moaning and crying about it when a Repug does it. Just partisan patter. When it comes to economics, both parties are one.

                  •  Yeah, how dare someone who will be affected (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dinotrac, frisco, joanbrooker

                    by the outcome have the nerve to vote differently than a "true" union supporter would?

                    "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

                    by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:25:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  oh, I'm never surprised when "union" workers (0+ / 0-)

                      sell their balls to management.  Just like the UAW and Steel Workers did.

                      Look where it got them.

                      •  But you're making false claims. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dinotrac, frisco

                        For instance, about wage cuts.  There aren't any, in this agreement.  So be surprised, don't be surprised, whatever--you're not well-informed of the details.

                        "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

                        by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:33:54 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  "Selling their balls" (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Missys Brother

                        I think it's simpler than that -- many in the leadership have simply invested themselves in Malloy's success.

                        I would have thought that when Malloy blamed his near-loss on his support for labor that the bloom would have been off the rose, but their loyalty to him is impressive.

                        •  that's a problem the labor movement has always had (0+ / 0-)

                          We give our votes to the Dems, we give our money to the Dems, we do GOTV and organizing for the Dems---and when Dems get elected, all we get is shit on.

                          And we have no choice but to sit there, grin, and say "thank you sir, may I have another?"  After all, what choice do we have---work for the Repugs instead?

                          •  It's a real problem (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            BranfordBoy

                            And as a liberal CT Democrat, I've been at a loss recently on how to address the situation we're in now.

                            Some people like Jon Pelto -- who believed in what Malloy talked about during the campaign and supported him energetically -- are now driven by righteous anger and betrayal.

                            I feel like this is the Malloy I've known all along, and it's churlish to keep harping on "I told you so" so for the most part I keep quiet. But I'm moved to respond to posts like this -- when progressive advocates pin a big gold star on what is essentially union busting.

                  •  actually when it comes to numbers (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    frisco

                    the choices are similar.

                    Dems tend to include tax increases and bargaining rights and Rs reject both. That's a huge difference.

                    Saying they're the same because both have to balance a budget (and they do have to) is pretty shallow analysis.

                    You got a better plan, btw, we are all ears.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:29:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  as a wise man once said . . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      a difference is a difference only when it makes a difference.

                      When one loudly proclaims the right to unionize--but then treats unions just like GM and US Steel management does, then there's no difference.

                      What good is it to defend the existence of a union that can't act like a union?

                      •  Excuse me? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        frisco

                        Seems that requiring a vote by union members (who approved by a 60% margin) is indeed respecting their rights.

                        You are the one who seems to disrespect them.  
                        If the members make what you consider to be the wrong choice, you say they have no guts.  In your view, it seems, union members should not be allowed to make choices based on the realities of the day.

                        In short, you would replace a vote by those poor dumb clods with a decision by the great and powerful Lenny.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:54:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Tomorrow's meeting will be interesting. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not 100% certain on this, but I think it's misleading when the rules are described as "approved by 14 of the 15 unions"...The rule is that there can be no more than one negative vote.

              And if abstentions are possible (and there was one for the 2009 concession agreement)...

              "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

              by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:10:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  AFCSME (0+ / 0-)

            AFCSME-having been involved in coordinated but not mandatory joint union negotiations at the county level, AFCSME has always proved difficult and often unrealistic. It's a shame they have a joint approval agreement.  Really not fair to the other unions.

      •  maybe they remember when "labor savings" used to (0+ / 0-)

        mean "pay cuts".

        Apparently it's OK to have the right to form a union, as long as it doesn't actually act like a union.

        •  And their reward for not agreeing... (0+ / 0-)

          ...to what virtually EVERYONE had said was truly a compromise agreement of shared sacrifice across the state is going to be a much harder line taken against them and other state employees and programs. Short-sighted, much?

          This failure to ratify plays directly to those who claim that the public employee unions are unwilling to yield on anything, even when times are tough for everyone. The SEBAC rejection is the exact opposite of the levels of sacrifice the unions in WI had been openly willing to make while seeking to preserve their unions.

          "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

          by frisco on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:22:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about fair (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, litho

      but it's more fair than in most states which is a great start.  

      Personally I think the tax increases in the state on the wealthy should have been a bit higher.  We rank 48th overall in tax burden so there is some room to increase but the fact that they went up at all is amazing in and of itself.  When we and other states like Illinois show the rest that it is okay to raise taxes and that life as we know it will not end or that there won't be a mass exodus out of the state with Porche's, Rolls Royces and Astin Martins all lining up along I-95 with suitcases strapped to the top of their cars, maybe they will realize it is okay to do so as well.

      On a side note, the rich are already finding loopholes around the taxes.  My fiancee works at a day spa in CT and I made the suggestion to her that they should run a 'Beat The Tax' special since the massages will all be subjected to a 6.35% tax as of July 1.  Wouldn't you know it, she took the idea to her boss and they ran with it.  They've been going gangbusters selling packages that can total upward of $600 for 6 sessions.  All so people can save $8.25 on a $130 massage.    

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:27:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "More fair than in most states" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Missys Brother

        DisNoir, do you know of any states in which the givebacks demanded of public employees were greater? $3.6 billion over (a generous estimate of) 90,000 is a LOT of money ($40k a head over 2 years). I know it's more than Walker or Christie demanded.

        It didn't have to be this way -- "give back the money or I'll fire 10% (or more) of you." It also doesn't have to mean that all negotiation ceases just so Malloy can look like a tough guy.

        Malloy said Friday he would under no circumstances renegotiate with the unions, saying the state will send out layoff notices to affected workers immediately.

        To me, this whole charade is like watching the rank and file applaud while faithless Dems demand cuts in Social Security to improve the deficit -- when the truth is, conservatives could never get those cuts themselves without a Democratic beard to provide cover.

        Twenty years of Republican governors haven't done as much damage to labor in this state as Dan Malloy has in six months.

        •  Correction: 1.6, not 3.6 (0+ / 0-)

          $18,000 in givebacks per employee.

          •  stuck with a budget deficit that had to be closed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell

            Cuomo and Malloy negotiated, Christie, Walker and others demanded, and went after bargaining rights to boot. The comparison isn't even close.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:23:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Raise. The. Damn. Taxes. (0+ / 0-)

              It won't kill anyone.  I promise.

              •  taxes were raised (0+ / 0-)

                On the whole, CT residents wanted to see them go up even more than they did on the wealthy. But please get the facts straight. Taxes were raised.

                Driving against traffic in an antitax era, Connecticut lawmakers appear poised to approve a two-year, $40.2 billion budget that includes $1.5 billion in increased taxes on income, corporations and an array of purchases and services, from yachts to yoga classes.

                http://www.nytimes.com/...

                Yell at him for stuff, but yell at him for the right stuff.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:36:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Raise. The. Damn. Taxes. More. (0+ / 0-)
                  •  could have done a bit better, but... (0+ / 0-)
                    His low approval rating is a reflection of how voters feel about his budget. Many voters are dissatisfied and some even say they are angry. They think the budget relies too much on tax increases and not enough on spending cuts. They also think the middle class is paying more than its fair share while those with higher incomes aren't paying their fair share."

                    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

                    voters are fine with raising taxes, so long as it is on someone else.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:00:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so in other words . . . (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DemFromCT, SingleVoter

                      what we have is:

                      Repugs:
                      1. cut state workers or else
                      2. no raise in taxes

                      Dems:
                      1. cut state workers or else
                      2. raise taxes, but only a little bit

                      Yeah, THAT's worth it.

                      (sigh)

                      •  what we have is (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hester

                        Lenny Flank, with no practical political sense. ;-)

                        Same as always, Lenny. I love reading you on policy (truly), but when it comes to politics... well, you ain't always practical, my friend.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:46:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  practical, shmactical. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DemFromCT

                          In the words of my political hero Abbie Hoffman---"Be realistic.  Demand the impossible."

                          :)

                        •  Answer me this. (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm not from CT (although I once lived there) and not a state worker.  So I hope I can be objective.  You don't mention what the non-union managers among the state workers are giving up.  Are they sharing the additional pain in any way?  I don't think the unionized state workers shoulder the entire burden.  Also, what about the health insurance?  Are the the state workers who are part of management subject to the same new restrictions that the union employees would experience under Molloy's plan? From what I hear, the proposed health plan changes were a big factor in this election.  The new proposed plan has a lot of people convinced that they will have to give up HIPPA privacy rights now.  What about this?  

                          •  fear of health plan changes (0+ / 0-)

                            more than health plan changes. there seems to be a tremndous amount of disinformation which has flummoxed union leaders.

                            http://www.myleftnutmeg.com/...

                            ctblogger has a pretty balanced post. this is the most thorough go-over:

                            http://www.newhavenindependent.org/...

                            So what happened?

                            “Just in speaking to different people,” James-Evans said, she found people left with unanswered questions from union brass. “I think the communication wasn’t there. The union did a terrible job communicating with their members. It was a big, big issue. They didn’t make the investment in communicating with folks.”

                            Indeed, misconceptions about the deal spread like wildfire among the rank and file, with tales of “Obamacare” “nanny state” provisions forcing workers to switch doctors, penalizing them for smoking or being fat, or denying emergency care, for instance. The plan required them to sign a form saying they’d undergo annual physicals (or face new deductible and higher premiums) and twice-annual free dental cleanings. It also required most workers at some point to have colonoscopies or mammograms absent compelling reasons not to, and to visit primary care centers rather than emergency rooms if the option exists.

                            AFSCME spokesman Larry Dorman blamed “outside influences” for spreading misinformation. “There have been hundreds of informational meetings, videos, and question-and-answer sessions” to explain the deal, he said in an interview.

                            Some DCF colleagues also didn’t want to forgo raises at a time when state taxes are also rising, James-Evans said.

                            Workers outside New Haven’s downtown state courthouses Friday preferred not to give their names, but were happy to explain why they voted no on the deal.

                            “I voted no basically because of the medical,” said one, a member of AFSME Local 749. He said he already pays $500 per month for health insurance for his family.  He said he didn’t have enough information about the proposed health care plan to trust that he wouldn’t lose benefits.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:05:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  more... (0+ / 0-)
                            Although the union voting is by secret ballot, there have been widespread reports that many of the "no'' voters were older state employees who wanted to preserve their lucrative benefits and knew they would not be laid off because they have seniority. Malloy conceded that some state workers clearly believed that they would not lose their jobs because of "bumping rights'' that protect the older workers with seniority.

                            "If you have more than 10 years in seniority, they might be pretty safe,'' Malloy said Friday.

                            I can't find anything about HIPPA, which I am extremely familiar with, and can't figure out what that has to do with anything.

                            http://www.courant.com/...

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 04:23:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  "Give back a billion a year or get fired" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Missys Brother

              that doesn't sound like a demand to you?

              Apart from the fact that it was an order of magnitude more than Wisconsin workers were demanded to give back, deciding on a budget cut amount and announcing that it would be made up by state employees by givebacks or layoffs doesn't represent much of a difference from a "demand."

        •  This is hyperbole. (0+ / 0-)
          wenty years of Republican governors haven't done as much damage to labor in this state as Dan Malloy has in six months.

          Ask those laid off by Rowland about how much damage a Republican governor can do.

          "Don't act stupid just because you know how to"--

          by CT Voter on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:21:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I quite agree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Missys Brother

          If a Repug Guv had done this very same thing, we'd be yelling for his head on a plate.

          Apparently it's OK to screw unions if you are a Democrat.

          It's just partisan patter.

      •  And you helped... (0+ / 0-)
        On a side note, the rich are already finding loopholes around the taxes.

        Not that they wouldn't have found them anyway, but let's not complain about "the rich finding loopholes" when we point them out, m-kay?

        "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

        by frisco on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:30:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for pointing out cruel irony (0+ / 0-)

          not that I wasn't already aware of it.  

          It was a suggestion said in jest.  We were having a conversation about the fact that rich people are so fucking cheap in CT they wouldn't even give you the sweat off their balls if you were dying of dehydration.  I made some comment about how I bet if they ran a 'beat the tax' sale with info on the tax hike people would flock to save money even though it amounts to pennies to people with money.  

          I pretty much won the bet. But hey thanks for making me feel even more shitty for contributing to the anti tax/pro consumerist society we live in.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:23:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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