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Mr. Giles, The Survivor

Courant Editorial

May 29, 2008

The decay of Hartford's long-dominant Democratic Party was never more apparent than in the 5th District town committee's endorsement last week of Abraham L. Giles to run for state representative.

Is Hartford's leadership pool really that shallow?

Over the years, Mr. Giles has found jobs and bought groceries for constituents in a bind. He's a streetwise politician and a savvy vote counter.

But Mr. Giles, at 81, is old-school. His parking lot management dealings with Mayor Eddie Perez's administration have drawn the interest of a state grand jury looking into possible corruption at city hall. When he was a state representative in the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Giles was ranked by peers as the worst lawmaker in the General Assembly. He gives experience a bad name.

We imagine his endorsement is the product of one of Hartford's famous parochial political feuds. If Democrats feel the need to dislodge 5th District incumbent Rep. Marie Kirkley-Bey, who says she will wage a primary to retain her seat, why didn't they pick someone young, promising and unmarked by the scent of scandal a rising star as it were?

Mr. Giles represents yesterday.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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