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Tom Foley, Tied With Gov. Malloy in Latest Poll, Talks Taxes

Chion Wolf
Tom Foley appears on WNPR's Where We Live.
Foley called Malloy more anti-business than recent governors.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley appeared onWNPR'sWhere We Live on the same day the latest Quinnipiac University poll showed Foley trailing Governor Dannel Malloy 43 to 42 percent.

In a September Quinnipiac University Poll, Foley had a six point lead over Malloy. When asked why he thought he dropped in the polls since September, Foley told host John Dankosky that he thought the results of the September poll were wrong.

"We were never six points up," Foley said. "I've been saying ever since late August that this was a dead heat, and that's what our internal polls told us."

Foley answered questions about the negative tone of the campaign, the issue of his tax returns, and his plan to reduce the car tax in Connecticut's largest cities.

Foley also called Malloy more anti-business than recent governors.

Foley said that as governor, he would roll back what he described the "corporate welfare" policies of the Malloy administration. "Governor Malloy, with his first five program," Foley said, "has handed out over $2 billion. That's money that's going to large, profitable companies, to bribe them to keep jobs here. It hasn't worked. We have of the worst job recoveries in the country."

When Foley was asked about his decision to outsource jobs from Tennessee to Mexico when he was the owner of manufacturing company TB Wood's Sons, Foley had a different spin. "Let's talk about the jobs in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where I saved those jobs," he said. "I didn't have to move them out of Pennsylvania, or certainly to another country, and those jobs are still there." 

Dankosky persisted. "What made you as a business person decide to say we're going to take these jobs and move them elsewhere?" Dankosky asked. Foley responded, "I actually didn't make that decision. I owned the company, but I wasn't running it, and I actually don't know."

According to filings with the SEC, 78 jobs from the TB Wood's plant in Trenton, Tennessee were shipped to a new facility in Mexico in 2004 as a cost reduction plan for its mechanical division. 

Foley did say he was in favor of universal health care, and health care for people with pre-existing conditions, although he is critical of certain provisions of Obamacare.

One of Foley's plans to improve the economy is to keep state spending flat for two years. He said he has pledged to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities that he would not reduce spending for cities and towns under flat funding.

Foley was also asked why he decided to back out of Thursday night's gubernatorial forum, hosted by NBC Connecticut. He said his campaign could not agree to terms with the television station. "We thought they were trying to game us," said Foley. “We couldn't get the ground rules for the debate worked out with them."

Thursday night's forum will feature Governor Malloy and petitioning candidate Joe Visconti.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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