Local Official: Deliver Gray to Victory in Summer and FallJune 11, 2018
Washington Depot resident Todd Peterson argues Republican-endorsed Thad Gray would be a much better next treasurer than Democrat-endorsed candidate Shawn Wooden.
If you ever needed to see a difference between the two major political parties, one only needs to look at the two endorsed candidates in the race for State Treasurer.
On the State Treasurer’s website, readers can see following under statutory responsibilities. “The Treasurer is the chief elected fiscal officer for the State government, overseeing a wide range of activities regarding the prudent management of State funds.”
The Democratic endorsee, Shawn Wooden of Hartford, is being heralded as an inspirational story.
Mr. Wooden is African-American and grew up in Hartford under challenging circumstances. To his considerable credit, he has earned a law degree and rose to become president of Hartford’s City Council.
If you are reading this column, you probably know that Hartford is effectively bankrupt despite having received copious amounts of state aid to stay solvent. Democratic party stalwarts, in their infinite wisdom, have nominated the former City Council President of a bankrupt city to be our chief elected fiscal officer and oversee “prudent management of State funds.”
As per the State Treasurer’s website, other statutory responsibilities include “the administration of a portfolio of pension assets for more than 190,000 beneficiaries and plan participants and a short-term investment fund utilized by the agencies of municipal and state government.”
Attorney Wooden does not have any background in pension management.
Contrast this with Republican endorsee, Thad Gray.
After earning his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, he joined Abbott Capital Management, LLC in 1989 and became a partner in 1995. For the last decade of his tenure at Abbott he was Chief Investment Officer leading an investment team that managed $7 billion in assets including public pension funds, endowments and charitable foundations.
Thad serves as a board member of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation as well serving on the foundation’s investment committee overseeing $135 million in assets. He also serves on the board of the National Iron Bank, a $125 million community bank based in Salisbury.
Last December, Mr. Gray retired from his position at Abbott to run for Treasurer to put his considerable skillset to work making the Treasurer’s Office accountable and effective. In short, he’s the right man for the job campaigning for the right reasons. Imagine that.
Outgoing Treasurer Denise Nappier recently signed off on the Malloy Administration’s reckless plan to take on $550 million of Hartford’s long term debt over the next 20 years when our state is staring down an estimated $4 plus billion budget deficit over the next two years.
This plan will put our state at risk of yet another downgrade in our bond rating. Currently we have the 48th lowest bond rating (only Illinois and New Jersey are lower).
Bear in mind that every step our bond rating drops, the cost of serving our debt rises another $75 million each year. That’s $75 million spent simply for the privilege of borrowing someone else’s money.
Mr. Gray has been justifiably critical of this backroom dealing while stating that under no circumstances would he sign off on such a plan.
Conversely, attorney Wooden is likely to be happy to see his city’s debt passed off to the rest of our state given his recent stewardship of the City Council.
The days of “screw up and move up” politics that come with one party rule have to end. When an accomplished, seasoned professional like Thad Gray steps forward, we need to step up and deliver for him in the primary and the general election.
Todd Peterson is a lifelong resident of Washington Depot. A paralegal by trade, he also serves as Secretary of the Washington Republican Town Committee and is a commissioner on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Op-eds represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the editorial views of Reclaim Connecticut. If you’re interested in submitting an op-ed to Reclaim Connecticut, contact Andrew Lautz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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