Hold off on a funeral for the Hartford Republican Party , says town chairman Mike McGarry. During a taping of Face the State, McGarry admitted the GOP “got creamed” in the November election, and made serious mistakes, but he pointed the finger of blame at the unions.
McGarry said the Working Families Party brought in big guns from outside the city, in the form of six unions, to help get their message out, and help get voters to the polls. City Republicans got little help from the state party, according to McGarry, and as a result, didn’t elect a single GOP member to the city council. McGarry said the election of Working Families candidates to the council instead of Republican candidates, is bad for business and sends a message to investors to stay away from the city. He called the WF party “dangerous.”
Republicans are hardly blameless in the election fiasco. McGarry concedes the party should have fielded a mayoral candidate, which would have aided voter turnout for the Republican city council candidates. He also says the party could have done a better job recruiting younger voters.
After the taping, McGarry told me he was disappointed in the voter turnout of downtown residents, many of whom are new to the city. He told me many indicated to him they were going to vote, but couldn’t for legal reasons. He claims many of Hartford’s newer and younger citizens may live in the city, but have their cars registered at their parents homes in suburbia, saving them hundreds of dollars by skirting Hartford’s high car taxes. To vote in Hartford and register your car in West Hartford is illegal. Certainly provocative, and we may have to may revisit the issue in a future Face the State.
McGarry predicts the increased power of the Working Families party, will be so detrimental to the city it will actually help rebuild the Republican party in the city. You can watch McGarry’s explanation for the defeat and his plans for the future, this Sunday morning at 11 on Face the State, only on Channel 3.
UPDATE: Here is the interview that aired on December 6, 2011 http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6516536