Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s campaign sought to defend Malloy’s economic development policies in an ad released Friday that touts a $400 million deal with United Technologies Corp. approved earlier this year.
Malloy is hoping for a repeat of the 2010 gubernatorial election, in which he defeated Republican Tom Foley. But Malloy has trailed Foley slightly in recent public opinion polls.
Foley has been critical of the tax incentives Malloy’s administration has offered employers during his first term. In an editorial published in the New Haven Register, Foley said Malloy has sought to bribe companies with “corporate welfare” rather than fix the business climate.
In the 30-second TV spot, released Friday morning, a narrator accuses Foley of threatening Connecticut jobs by opposing a common practice.
“Every state uses incentives to keep or attract jobs, but Foley says he won’t. The states that want to take our jobs are for Foley. Are you?” the female narrator says.
The ad begins by highlighting a tax credit deal Malloy’s administration negotiated with United Technologies Corp. earlier this year. The agreement, which had bipartisan support from the legislature, allowed UTC to use $400 million in stranded tax credits to reduce their tax liability. In exchange, the corporation agreed to invest in Connecticut facilities and keep jobs here.
Malloy’s new ad paints a dire picture, saying UTC’s departure from Connecticut was imminent in 2010.
“Four years ago, our state’s biggest employer, United Technologies, was about to leave,” a female narrator says. “Then Dan Malloy fought and won the battle to keep them here.”
The ad bases the claim that UTC was “about to leave” on a Hartford Courant article from 2010, in which UTC’s CFO Gregory Hayes paraphrased another company executive and said “Anyplace outside of Connecticut is low-cost.” Hayes did not state any specific plans to leave the state.
The ad then transitions to attacking Foley.
“Tom Foley opposed that deal, threatening up to 75,000 jobs. But Foley did support tax breaks for millionaires,” the narrator says.
The 75,000 jobs referenced is the number of positions the Malloy administration estimated the deal could “impact,” when it announced the deal in February. The claim that Foley supported tax breaks for millionaires stems from a 2012 Hearst Connecticut Newspaper article. In the story, Foley called for the Bush-era tax breaks to be extended across the board.
In a statement, Malloy’s campaign spokesman Mark Bergman said the UTC deal ensures that Connecticut will remain a leader in the aerospace industry for years.
“As we’re competing against 49 other states, Tom Foley would have done nothing to keep these jobs at home — and that makes him a risk Connecticut workers can’t afford,” Bergman said.
Foley’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment for this story. He was scheduled to tour businesses in Meriden and Bristol on Friday afternoon.
However, Foley was critical of the deal during a debate with his primary opponent, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. McKinney voted to approve the agreement in the legislature.
“John is using career politician talk. He’s saying tax credits are okay. Tax credits are spending,” Foley said.
Last month, Foley was asked about the $1 million equity investment in his running mate Heather Bond Somers’ company, Hydrofera, by the Connecticut Development Authority in 2000, which then received $475,000 back when it was sold in 2012.
The state told the New Haven Register that it was a routine investment in a startup. The firm paid $10,000 of an $80,000 fine for not meeting the 150-person job goal.
Foley said he is “not against incentives for businesses that are properly conceived and administered. Many of the incentive programs that the government has offered long before Governor (Dannel P.) Malloy, I support.”