Former Gov. Jodi Rell may very well be looking to be a factor in the race for governor in 2014. She barely engaged the legislature in her six years as governor, choosing “reading days” in Brookfield over the back and forth that takes place at the state Capitol. Yet Rell felt compelled to pen a letter to the editors of the state’s daily newspapers this week wagging her finger at the legislature for its adjustment of the state’s campaign finance laws. Of course, it takes some revisionist history for her to have any credibility on the issue.
In her letter, Rell says of the campaign finance reform (CFR) law passed when she was governor, “I am proud to have sponsored and signed into law these changes.” Please. It may be technically true that she signed the Clean Elections bill, but she had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to do so. In fact, she was staunchly opposed to public financing—the centerpiece of the bill—and vetoed the first CFR that came her way.
The Shad knows how it all went down because I was there as communications director for the Senate Democrats. Here’s what really happened: When the 2005 regular legislative session failed to produce a CFR law, Gov. Rell was not only culpable, her actions called into question whether she ever really wanted a bill that included public financing.