Republican legislative employees communicated and coordinated with self-identified “progressive” candidate Jon Pelto in an attempt to scuttle the state’s use of national education standards earlier this year, according to a Republican insider.
Yes, politics does tend to make strange bedfellows, but political consultant-turned third-party gubernatorial candidate Pelto has a long history of aligning himself with whomever serves his purposes or lines his pockets.
Recently, Pelto aligned himself with Connecticut Republicans, keeping in close contact with Republicans in the Connecticut House to attack Governor Dannel P. Malloy over the Common Core this spring.
Pat O’Neill, long-time spokesperson for retiring State House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, spoke fondly of Pelto, who he called “thoughtful” and “intelligent,” during a recent phone interview with Education Bridgeport!.
O’Neill said he was in close contact with Pelto during the Republican push to force a hearing on the Common Core State Standards.
According to O’Neil, he “was conversing with Jon on a fairly regular basis about those issues, mostly recently as of this spring.”
O’Neill would not admit to coordinating directly, but said that he was in contact with Pelto, feeding him press releases and speaking with him at news conferences.
While cozying up to Republicans — shortly before announcing a run for governor — Pelto was simultaneously seeking support from labor unions, two of which so far have wisely rebuffed his advances.
Playing both sides of the fence may seem like the politically expedient thing to do. It is not, however, a particularly honest way to conduct business.
After all, this isn’t the first time Pelto worked with Republicans.
According to a Hartford Courant article from 2006, Pelto offered his services to the Rell administration in emails to Republican former Gov. Jodi Rell’s chief of staff, Lisa Moody.
In the email, which was sent Feb. 1, 2006, Pelto offered suggestions with phrasing for the governor’s State of the State Speech. At the time he told the Courant that he “regularly” gave advice to both Rell and Moody.
Self-professed “liberal lion” Jon Pelto was happy to counsel Republican Governor Rell and was in close contact with Republican leaders as they sought to damage Democratic Gov. Malloy in the leadup to the 2014 election.
Politics as usual, for sure, but real progressive Democrats should know to whom they are sending their hard-earned money.
To comment on this and other stories, please check out the Education Bridgeport! Facebook