by Charles A. Monagan
Jun 28, 2011
03:46 PM
On Connecticut

Sound Familiar?


[The governor] believes in keeping his pre-election promises. He does not, as have other elected officials, have to have a story for each separate group with no intention of keeping any pledge.

He promised no increased expenses. If possible, he assured a decrease in public costs. He promised no increase in taxes, and no new bond issues. Right now he is continuing his fight, begun in January, to keep the legislature from exceeding his well-planned budget. If balky, uncooperative senators and representatives at Hartford think they can upset his plans, stop the state from living within its income, and repeat the ridiculous procedure of the last session, by voting expenditures far in excess of income, they will receive a terrific jolt if ever seeking office again ...

An editorial about Gov. Dannel Malloy trying to get the state's budget under control? Not quite.

This piece was written over 70 years ago in the June 1939 issue of The Connecticut Circle (the forerunner to Connecticut Magazine) about then Gov. Raymond E. Baldwin, a Republican who was serving his first term and trying to negotiate his first state budget. Not unlike Gov. Malloy, Baldwin was elected by a slim margin (less than 2,700 votes out of over 458,000 cast) on the promise that he was going to get state spending under control. Unlike Malloy, however, Baldwin got state spending under control without raising taxes.

Ironically, Baldwin was an advocate for more progressive labor legislation and better workman's compensation, and was responsible for establishing the first comprehensive pension system for state employees—all items that are now out of control and are major challenges for the current governor (and possibly subsequent administrations).

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: It's like deja vu all over again.

Sound Familiar?

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