Rowland's Woes Ripple Through 2014 Campaigns

Apr 11, 2014

Former Governor John Rowland.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

John Rowland may have been out of office for years, but both Democrats and Republicans are still calculating what his latest troubles may mean for this year's campaigns.

It didn't take long for the positioning to begin -- just a few hours after Rowland was indicted, the Connecticut Democratic Party issued a press release trying to tie Republican front runner Tom Foley to the former Governor's alleged wrongdoing.

"Did you compensate John Rowland for campaign help?" asks party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo, referring to advice Rowland may have given Foley in 2010.

Five GOP gubernatorial hopefuls debated on Friday.
Credit Marisa Finn / CPBN

For their part, Republicans are trying to turn the corruption accusations around. During Friday's debate in Hartford among five of the GOP gubernatorial candidates, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney first distanced himself from Rowland, but then attacked Governor Dannel Malloy.

"We've seen Governor Malloy and the Democrats raise millions of dollars from state contractors," McKinney said. "[They are] people who are getting money from you, the taxpayers, turning around, and giving it to the governor for his re-election. That's wrong."

As usual, rival candidate Martha Dean had her own unique take on Corrupticut, saying, in effect, that the Nutmeg State gets the politicians it deserves. "If they spend to much," she said, "it's because we spend too much. If they lie too much, it's because we lie too much, or we tolerate lying too much within our own families."

Rowland's legal troubles will stay in the headlines for some time as the 2014 campaign season heats up, meaning even in his absence, he's likely to remain a fixture on the debate circuit.