Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of success in life is showing up.” It seems that Dan Dauplaise, democrat candidate for Connecticut State Senate, could learn a lot from that old adage.
On Friday October 26, Dauplaise was scheduled to debate State Senator Scott Frantz, but showed up 25 minutes late. The moderator let him begin the debate via cell phone until he arrived on site. It begs a simple question for Connecticut voters: If you can’t show up for something as important as a debate two weeks prior to an election, why would voters have confidence that you would show up to solve the very difficult and crippling financial problems facing the state of Connecticut? It sounds an awful lot like another of Connecticut’s democrat candidates – the one with the alleged 80 percent record of not showing up to congressional meetings. Let’s just call it, “Chris Murphy Disease.”
The debate ultimately raised numerous issues that were discussed by both candidates during the course of the debate. Dauplaise continually spoke in platitudes and called for a need to “think forward.” His stock answer to almost all of the questions asked in the debate was that it “needed to be studied,” or “re-examined,” or that “investments needed to be made.” Translation: “I don’t’ know the answer to that issue specifically, but I’m willing to advocate for more spending against it, and borrowing the money to do that is not a big concern for me.”
In stark contrast to his challenger, State Senator Scott Frantz, now running for his third term in office, expressed grave concern about the fiscal problems facing the state of Connecticut, currently rated an abysmal 50th in the country in fiscal management, with another downgrade reportedly imminent. Frantz provided an incisive and substantive analysis, clearly demonstrating a far greater understanding of the complex issues facing Connecticut, and the ways in which Connecticut can get back to fiscal health. Frantz contended that the budget is not fixed, despite Governor Malloy’s assertions to the contrary. Malloy used borrowed proceeds of a quarter of a billion dollars this last fiscal year to balance the budget, and as a result, we now spend 12% of the overall budget to pay off the interest on the debt. Malloy’s calls for additional borrowing are only putting further pressure on the budget.
Bottom line, we can’t sustain it, and it is therefore imperative that we elect officials willing to address fiscal issues decisively, and with urgency. Frantz maintains that the challenges in Hartford are growing, but underreported, and spoke of his strong desire to go back to Hartford to help improve the situation for the citizens of Connecticut. Frantz has the talent and experience to do just that, while his challenger not only doesn’t have the requisite experience, he also doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of the issues, or what’s really at stake in this election. Connecticut voters care about solving fiscal problems and fostering an environment of opportunity for its citizens. We need a candidate with a proven track record of success in business and in the public sector. But apparently in the case of this senate seat, we also need someone who understands the importance of showing up.