Oz Griebel, me, Rick Green of the Hartford Courant and Brian Lockhart of the Stamford Advocate
The state budget is a mess. Connecticut is losing jobs and losing its influence . Whoever becomes governor will have to make dramatic changes to turn the land of steady habits around. Last week, Ned Lamont said he was fine with the two Democrats in charge of the budget crisis being re-elected. The Republican in charge of the budget crisis isn’t running and GOP candidate for governor Oz Griebel says her way of running the state won’t be sticking around either if he is elected.
During a taping of “Face the State” Griebel became the first Republican candidate for governor to break ranks with Governor Rell. The president of the Metro Hartford Alliance was hesitant to criticize the Governor, but spelled out how would he have done things differently. One thing was clear: a Governor Griebel will much more active and hands on than Governor Rell.
When asked if he would have gone to the National Governor’s conference attended by President Obama, Griebel said “yes.” Rell was roundly criticized for not going, even though the governor of Guam flew in from the other side of the planet.
Griebel: “I really believe it is vitally important the governor be the face of the state , that the governor be the chief business development officer of the state. Not only do other governors go to these events but many major businesses do as well and I think it is important that the governor communicate to businesses that Connecticut is open for business and we are eager to retain jobs we have and gain new ones.”
That wasn’t all. Without mentioning Governor Rell by name, Griebel spelled out his philosophy on governing, which is in sharp contrast to how Rell runs the state.
” In this kind of global economy you have to understand that every state and many countries are going after these jobs. If Connecticut doesn’t have a hungry governor, there are 49 others out there eager to eat our lunch.”
“It is vitally important that a governor stay involved in this. This is a 6 or 7 day a week job.”
Ironically, Governor Rell could have kept Griebel and a few others stay out of the race had she endorsed Lt. Governor Michael Fedele. It is unlikely they would have jumped into the race knowing they would have to run against the administration.
Griebel is not a politician, which could be why his answers had a little more meat than those from some of the people who have come before him on “Face the State.” It is something reporters Rick Green, Brian Lockhart and I found somewhat refreshing.
Griebel also shares his views on tolls, taxes, Sunday liquor stores and more this Sunday morning at 11. Also, why he believes the next governor needs to be the defacto mayor of Hartford.
By the way, Griebel has hired the man who hired me. Chris Rohrs, General Manager of WFSB from 1989 to 1998 is now the Griebel campaign’s senior media advisor. Chris signed my first contract and paycheck back in 1992 and was a familiar face to viewers for the award winning editorials he presented pertaining to all the issues of the day: Governors Weicker and Rowland, the income tax battle, casino gambling, and more.