What a strange year we have politically - a president who, in the middle of a tough campaign, misleads the country about a fatal attack, and a Senate candidate (Murphy) who uses a Norwegian submarine in his commercial about building American.
However, at two forums this year, your reporter got to the nub of what affects us every day in Connecticut - taxes.
At the Hartford Public High Forum, before the primary, we asked the question: if Connecticut straightens out financially and the money is there to cut taxes, which tax would you eliminate or modify? Answers were all over the lot, with Rico Dence going after our ruinous car tax and others bemoaning our whole property tax set-up. One candidate, Leo Canty, said taxes were too low, saying that we need more town and state employees at higher salaries. We all know what the voters thought of that gambit. Thanks, Leo, for your straight forward answer and enjoy your political retirement.
This last Monday night, the candidates for the November election, State, House and Senate, were all at the Hartford Library. Asked fairly tough and complicated questions, they all had a minute or two to solve all our problems. Senator John Fonfara, "You've given me a minute and a half to explain a problem we've worked on for two months".
Again, your servant asked the tax question, and this issue lended itself to the format. And again, answers were varied with Rico again the most forceful condemning the car tax that is Hartford's bain. Matt Ritter (D) would cut the sales tax, Barbara Ruhe (R) also thought that was the one that hurts the most - especially low income folks. Most of the others think the property tax is the problem. Mike Lupo gave a tutorial about the balance between taxation and spending that was a high light of the evening.
So, occasionally, these "forums" or "debates" give an insight to the thinking of candidates and maybe the hint - of lower taxes - might even do some good.