That's the amount Greenwich millionaire businessman Ned Lamont has spent on his
bid to be the next Governor of Connecticut.
Add to that the estimated $17,000,000 he ponied up up from his personal fortune in his unsuccessful bid for Joe Lieberman's senate seat in 2006. We're talking thirty million
dollars for two campaigns --and he's not finished hurling money at his dream.
The things one could accomplish with that sort of money : one could create 600 middle
management jobs, or buy off a gross of warlords in Afganistan or perhaps that much money could buy a $200 laptop for every low to middle income child in the state of Connecticut.
This sort of profligate spending in these economic time seems somehow perverse.
Mr. Lamont asks the voters of Connecticut to hire him on to be their CEO based on his
past success as an entrepreneur. In his ubiquitous print, television ads, and during his debates with Dan Malloy the Democratic Party's endorsed candidate, Ned Lamont makes
a point of letting the voter know he started his business Lamont Digital Systems with a loan.
Surely being the grandson of J.P. Morgan partner Thomas W. Lamont must count for
something when applying for credit at the the local bank and trust.
The Party's endorsed candidate, Dannell P. Malloy, unlike Ned Lamont, is not the scion of old and venerable house. Dan Malloy is the seventh son of the Malloy house; hard working middle class people much like the folks you see surrounding Ned Lamont in his " See ...I'm a regular guy too" ads which run non-stop on every local television channel.
Dannell Malloy's personal story of overcoming a profound learning disability and being the first sighted person to take the bar exam orally exemplify to me the fortitude required to be an effective and compassionate leader. When I think of Mr. Lamont the term 'Noblesse oblige' comes to mind.
The experience brought to the table by Malloy and Lamont could not differ more.
Tested by his tenure as the Mayor of Stamford for fourteen years, Dannell Malloy is a 'proven pudding.' Mayor Malloy turned the city of Stamford from a place that had a full measure of crime to one of the country's 'Ten Best Cities to Live In." Malloy successfully negotiated deals which brought 5000 well paid jobs to Stamford and created a program which provides every four year old in the city with the advantage of preschool.
While Ned Lamont was running a profitable telecommunications company staffed by
employees who served at his pleasure, Mayor Dan Malloy who served at the pleasure of his
vastly diverse constituents was navigating an exponentially more complex entity; the fourth largest city in Connecticut.
The Malloy campaign is being run on Connecticut's public-finance system. Malloy's budget is approximately a fifth the size of Ned Lamont's $10, 000,000 (and counting).
Inexplicably, the more 'Regular Guy Ned' spends, the greater the media saturation his millions buy, the tighter the race has become. Lamont's early name recognition advantage
has dwindled over the summer. It all comes down to who campaign more aggressively 'gets out the vote.'
Follow Suzanne Langlois on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theVicomtess