As the Buddha said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.” Jon Pelto’s candidacy appears to be an attempt to hide the truth as long as possible. Here, in an attempt to reveal some difficult truths, are five things Jon Pelto does not want you to know.
1. He’s not a progressive as he has claimed
Pelto’s carefully crafted persona, that of a liberal too progressive to be a Democrat, has been built and reinforced over years. But in reality, it’s a sham. He’s admItted to working for former Gov. Jodi M. Rell, the last Republican to hold Connecticut’s highest office, while simultaneously touting his progressive credentials on his blog.
More recently, Pelto took money from former state GOP party chairman Chris Healy, who also admitted to helping drum up signatures for Pelto. “To that end, if anyone is comfortable, I have a petition to get Jonathan Pelto on the ballot,” Healy wrote to his supporters.
2. Organized labor has abandoned him
Though Pelto himself has tried to convince the world that he’s fighting for working families, every major union in the state, including the teachers’ unions Pelto has claimed to support, has ignored his candidacy. Even the Working Families Party refused to come out in favor of Pelto’s run for governor.
That might be a result of his work against labor unions a few years ago, before Pelto thought he needed labor’s support to win a campaign. Back in 2001, Pelto advised nursing homes how to break the union, when workers at 40 nursing homes walked off the job and picked up picket signs.
It wasn’t forgotten. “When the future of low wage health care workers was on the line, Jonathan Pelto sided with the association paying him to defeat workers,” the New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199 said a few months ago.
3. He is not in the race to win
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro recently told the Hartford Courant that Pelto “should not be running for governor.” DeLauro, however, is laboring under the illusion that Pelto actually wants to win the race. He does not.
Pelto has spent the last few decades making a living as a political advisor. He’s been around long enough to know that he does not have a snowball’s proverbial chance in Hell, and he does not care. Last month, Pelto told the Wall Street Journal that the purpose of his candidacy is to “send a message” to Democrats.
As Politico’s Stephanie Simon wrote, “In a close race, could Pelto play the spoiler? He would love to.”
4. He does not have the financial support
As Pelto is scrambling to get the necessary signatures to actually be on the ballot in November, it’s worth noting that he has almost no money. According to his most recent campaign finance filing, Pelto has raised about $7,000 so far.
That lack of financial backing will come to bear when and if Pelto actually does make it onto the ballot; he’ll up against independently wealthy Tom Foley and incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, both of whom have the support of their major parties, and both of whom have already met the threshold to qualify for public financing.
That means both Foley and Malloy have raised more than $250,000 in small donations, and will receive an additional $1.3 million for the primary and $6.5 million for the general. Pelto has to raise $243,000 more to qualify and potentially compete. Not bloody likely.
5. He has no track record
Perhaps most importantly, Pelto’s experience as a state leader amounts to a few state rep. turns a few decades ago. Since then, he has made his living as a political advisor, a hired gun, masquerading as a progressive blogger.
Most of his time has been spent criticizing the leadership of others, and while he is fond of critique he is not fond of solutions. During his “campaign,” and before it even began, Pelto has offered no solutions, no ideas, no platforms. Nobody knows what he would do if, by some miracle, he actually did become governor. We don’t know what he’s for, though we’re all well acquainted with what he’s against.