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  Special Elections in Connecticut Hold Possible National Significance
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ContributorScott³ 
Last EditedScott³  Feb 21, 2011 03:35pm
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CategoryOpinion
AuthorJack Fowler
News DateFriday, February 18, 2011 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
Description"On February 22, Connecticut will hold a slew of special elections for the state legislature. The new Democratic governor, Dan Malloy, appointed two senators and six representatives to administration posts, and one incumbent senator, Thomas Gaffey of Meriden, resigned after pleading guilty to charges of larceny. These nine vacant seats will be filled on Tuesday.

Can Republicans run the table, or come close? If they do, will the results send a national message that despite the November elections, there is still a lot of voter angst over the economy?

Yes, and yes. Not helping Democratic chances is Governor Malloy, who released his budget this week, proposing over $1.5 billion in higher income and sales taxes — the largest increase in the history of Connecticut, already the nation’s last celebrant of Tax Freedom Day, and ranked as one of the most hostile states to businesses. Malloy also called for jacking spending by over 2 percent.

Into this milieu come the special elections and a group of conservative Republican candidates who are surprisingly (this is Connecticut, after all) viable, and anything but cannon fodder. Outgunned by 94–51 and 23–13 margins in the House and Senate, the GOP’s prospective gains on Tuesday won’t have major mathematical impacts in Hartford (although a 20–16 balance in the Senate could start to influence votes). But they could send a loud message nationwide — that the voter discontent registered last November is still alive and well."
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