EXCLUSIVE: Gov Candidate Stefanowski on Tolls, “Unconscionable” Spending, and the CTGOP ConventionMarch 20, 2018
Part two of our two-part interview with Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, including some news on Stefanowski's May and August plans.
This is part two of a two-part interview with Bob Stefanowski, Republican candidate for governor. Reclaim Connecticut covered spending, tolls, and the May state GOP convention with Stefanowski.
Stefanowski pointed out several areas of state spending he considers wasteful, but one drove him “crazy” in particular: the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), where candidates for state office can receive taxpayer funding for their campaigns if they hit certain fundraising requirements.
“You’ve got a state with a $3.5 billion budget deficit,” Stefanowski said. “You’ve got crumbling roads and bridges.”
“And under the CEP program, you’ve got 33 candidates, or 32,” Stefanowski continued, and almost “[e]veryone one of them, they’re gonna take $1.2 million of taxpayer money to run their campaigns.”
Stefanowski called it hypocritical, and “unbelievably unconscionable.”
“You’re gonna have a bunch of politicians running around the state of Connecticut, using taxpayer money to tell you how broken the state is.”
“Most of the people I talk to,” Stefanowski concluded, “they don’t even know it’s happening.”
Reclaim Connecticut asked for Stefanowski’s position on tolls, an issue dominating discussion in the state legislature as of late.
“I’m against the tolls,” Stefanowski said. “I don’t think you can trust the state to spend the money on fixing the roads.”
“We can’t really put the tolls on the border,” Stefanowski added. “We’re gonna lose tens of millions of dollars of federal funding.”
So, Stefanowski said, in the end “[i]t’s just gonna be another tax.”
“I’LL BE ON THE PRIMARY”
Reclaim Connecticut also asked Stefanowski about his convention and primary plans.
Earlier in March, businessman and outsider candidate David Stemerman told Reclaim Connecticut he is “committed to being on the [primary] ballot on August,” whether by earning 15 percent at the state party’s May convention or by petitioning onto the primary ballot.
Stefanowski had similar thoughts.
“We intend to be on the ballot,” Stefanowski said.
“I’ve spent a ton of time down at the RTCs [Republican Town Committees],” Stefanowski said, saying he does three or four a week.
“They like that I’m a New Haven guy,” Stefanowski said, and that he’s “not taking the taxpayer money” in the CEP.
“The convention process favors the people who have been doing this a long time,” Stefanowski added, but “there’s other ways to get on the ballot.”
When asked if he would petition his way onto the August ballot if he doesn’t earn 15 percent of the vote at the convention, Stefanowski said:
“I would say I’m working hard with the RTCs, but I’ll be on the primary one way or the other.”
That conclusion, and Stefanowski’s commitment to changing directions from “where the state has come in the last eight years under Malloy,” would lead to one logical conclusion: he’s in it to win it.
This is part two of a two-part with Bob Stefanowski. Click here for part one.
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