HARTFORD, CT – Tax cuts and abortion access.
Top Democrats returned to those topics again and again Saturday during their nomination acceptance speeches for various statewide offices during day two of the 2022 Connecticut Democratic Party convention.
Nearly 1,600 voting delegates and proxies gathered in the half-covered amphitheater at Xfinity Theatre on Savitt Way. They unanimously nominated Ned Lamont for another term as governor, Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor, William Tong for attorney general, and Sean Scanlon for comptroller. All four came into the convention running unopposed for their party’s endorsement for their respective sought-for offices.
Throughout their nomination acceptance speeches, the top endorsed state Democrats made clear they believe that some of the winning campaign themes of the day are keeping taxes low and defending the now-precarious precedent of Roe V. Wade, just as Richard Blumenthal did during the first night of the convention as he won the unanimous endorsement for another term in the U.S. Senate.
While also touting investments in childcare, workforce, and the state’s pension funds during his first term in office, Lamont celebrated his administration for overseeing “the biggest tax cut for the middle class this state has ever seen.”
The $600 million in tax cuts that were part of the $24 billion budget approved this week by the General Assembly is one of the biggest in state history.
Lamont’s budget director Jeff Beckham has acknowledged that former Republican Gov. John Rowland’s 1995 tax cuts, if adjusted for inflation, come close.
“Despite what Republicans like to say,” Bysiewicz said. “It was Democrats that balanced the budget, Democrats who cut taxes, and it was Democrats who made sure we have the resources we need to invest in the future.”
“Gone are the days of persistent deficits and tough decisions like raising taxes and cutting spending,” said Scanlon. He stressed that, for Democrats, tax reform means “not cutting taxes for the wealthy. It’s cutting taxes for the middle class and the working class.”
The state budget currently has a $2 billion surplus, he said. The rainy day fund is up to $3.3 billion.
“And we are cutting taxes for the people of Connecticut,” he repeated. “That is the Connecticut turnaround that the Democratic Party should be proud of.”
The candidates also made frequent and repeated reference to the U.S. Supreme Court’s likely reversal of Roe v. Wade, as signaled by a recently leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.
“This is a tragic and destructive decision that will likely end reproductive healthcare and outlaw abortion in 26 states at least,” Tong said, “and put the health and safety and lives of 36 million women and patients at risk.”
He warned that, “once they get finished with Roe, they will turn their focus to the states. They will come for us.”
“When the court overturns Roe v. Wade,” she said, “we need a governor who makes sure that Connecticut remains a state where women’s reproductive rights are sacred. And a governor who knows that the choice to have an abortion is between a woman and her doctor.”
“And you can count on Ned and me,” Bysiewicz continued, “to be there for the women of Connecticut.”
Still to come on Saturday are the nominations for treasurer and secretary of the state.