Thank you very much Greenwich!! - I'm so sorry for being late, Assembly business in New York City held me up, thanks for staying out in the cold... I promise I'll be quick so you can get inside...
I've had the tremendous honour of travelling across Connecticut with our former 5-term Governor and your local son, Andrew.
I have been touched by your support in these early days of the campaign. But the days will get longer and competition more fierce - I will need your support then, more than ever. This race will down to the wire and in order to do what we need to do to fix the issues this region faces, I need your voices, I need your enthusiasm, and I need your passion, and I need your vote!!
I have put together a platform across three key themes...
Community - I have always believed that as a community, we rise and fall as one. I believe that we need to foster a greater sense of common purpose. At times of trouble, when jobs have disappeared and houses are foreclosed upon, the temptation to look inwards is overwhelming... but it is in those times when we need to join together.
Strength - By this I mean at the same time re-building our economic infrastructure, by investing in region-building physical infrastructure. This will not only give us assets for the future, but build up skills and create jobs. We also need incentives for employers to bring staff on and keep them.
It also requires strength to make cuts where possible, I have already announced that I will mandate wage-freezes on the top 50% of the public service for up to 18 months. I am today announcing that all Regional Agencies will have a 2% savings dividend. This will not apply to frontline service delivery agencies. This is not to be achieved through redundancy, but through reductions in overheads. This includes the Governor's office.
My opponent is going to throw the much used anachronism of "the liberal is spending". Absolutely, as Governor, one thing I can guarantee is that if you elect me you will not have an ideologue in the Governor's Mansion. I am pragmatic, and I know that sometimes you need to spend money to get things going again. I will not shy away from expenditure that works, and equally will not shy away from making tough decisions that help our economy.
Government that works: If there an ideological bone in my body it's my belief that Government can work for the people. We all hear the scream of limited government, or small government... never hear them shouting about 'effective government'
If the government needs to be big to work well... so be it, if it works better smaller... then I'm happy to see that too. We have wasted so much energy worrying about the size of Government without really wondering how well it works. I'm proud to be someone who thinks that the state can deliver high-quality services without having to worry about profit. I will never back away from supporting a system that supports people when they're in trouble, when they're sick, disabled or elderly.
Government that works for you, that works efficiently and delivers high-quality services.
This is what I stand for, if you want a pragmatic Governor, who has a record of working across the aisle to get things done, I truly hope you will entrust me with your vote.
I was an active Governor in the Mideast, I am active member of the Northeast Assembly, as well as it's speaker, and I am working hard every day to get the message out there that I will be an active and engaged governor, and I want to get you engaged again... I want to be a Governor you will be proud of.
Thank you all so much