Tom Foley, Republican candidate for Connecticut governor, said on WNPR's Where We Live that he agrees with third-party candidate Jonathan Pelto on education policy and his approach to corporate welfare, and doesn't see a threat from him in the upcoming election.
Foley said he agrees with Pelto's criticisms of Governor Dannel Malloy's commitment to education, and would like to see a more "pro-business" governor who would support employers in the state.
Pelto may take away votes from Malloy, Foley said. "I think he is liberal, and to the left of Governor Malloy, so I think he'll take votes away from Governor Malloy," he said. He thinks Pelto won't appeal to moderates, and won't take away votes for himself.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Foley said on education. He disagrees with Malloy applying the Common Core standard to all schools in the state, saying Connecticut schools are doing well under local control. He would only impose Common Core on underperforming schools, with an in-district public school choice system. "Let the marketplace work a little bit," he said. "Let the parents make the decisions. We also need to provide parents information that they can work with. I think we need a statewide school grading system, A through F."
Foley thinks current state gun laws are generally adequate, including when it comes to guns and mental illness. He doesn't plan on repealing Connecticut's most recent gun law.
State Employees and Unions
Foley said he would not lay off state employees if he is in the governor's office, although he would like to see a more efficient, productive state government. With regard to labor, Foley said, "Unions serve a useful purpose. They've been active and functional in Connecticut, particularly in the public sector, for a long time." He doesn't want to change collective bargaining relationships, and doesn't imagine it would be "politically effective" in the state.
Pensions and Infrastructure
Foley criticized Malloy for having compromised spending on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure in order to cover pension obligations. "All our bridges are rusting," he said. "They haven't been painted for years. We have potholes that need paving. We don't have adequate shoulders. All our infrastructure -- we're underinvesting in it."
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