Press Releases

TOM FOLEY — YACHT, MANSION, FIGHTER JET OWNER — DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Hartford, CT – Another day on the campaign trail, another day that Tom Foley doesn’t know specifics about important issues facing Connecticut. Today’s example was in front of the Partnership for Strong Communities, where multimillionaire Tom Foley couldn’t articulate specifics about affordable housing.

It was clear throughout his appearance that Foley — who owns two million-dollar fighter jets as toys, a $5 million yacht chartered outside of the country, and a seven-bedroom mansion — doesn’t know the basic details of housing policy.

Affordable housing affects veterans, the elderly, low-income and urban communities. What’s Tom Foley’s plan?

A lot of: “I don’t know” and “I’m not an expert.”With answers like that, it’s no wonder he won’t participate in tomorrow’s gubernatorial debate with NBC Connecticut.

When asked how he would expand affordable housing to suburban areas, he said:

“Well, you’re asking something that’s really beyond my area of expertise in this area. So I don’t really know….I don’t know the answer, but I would like to help you and others solve the problem.

When asked how to increase low-income housing and how to deliver income rises:

“Well, if we get the economy going, then you get people’s incomes going up, and you get real estate values moving again, a lot of these problems take care of themselves. Now I’m talking about I don’t know the specifics of the public policy and the experience of communities in Connecticut and where it hasn’t worked and where it has worked…”

When asked about supportive housing, he didn’t even know what it was:

“When you say supportive housing…I’m not exactly sure what you mean…”

The questioner then had to define it for him, to which he eventually said:

“…I think the answer’s yes?”

The list could go on and on.

His utter lack of policy knowledge even came up during his press availability and he appeared to double down on a campaign painfully devoid of specifics. The on-topic availability can be found here. Some highlights:

“It’s not something I’m an expert on. Some of the questions they ask me I actually don’t know the answer to.”

“I’m a problem solver, so I was just making the point that if it’s working, if it’s a program that’s working and it’s good public policy, I support it. If it’s not working, I don’t.”

The translation? Tom Foley, who has been running for Governor for five years, will figure it out later — when he isn’t flying fighter jets.

“As someone who owns fighter jets, yachts, and mansions, Tom Foley seems to know nothing about affordable housing, even though it affects veterans, seniors, and so many others across the state. Tom Foley’s lack of policy knowledge is stunning but to a degree, it’s to be expected from someone who made millions as he was exploiting the middle class, closing down mills, and making working families suffer,” said Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman. “The litany of issues of which Tom Foley doesn’t know specifics has reached a mind-boggling point. It’s no wonder he’s refusing to participate in tomorrow’s debate with NBC.”

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WHY DID CHRIS CHRISTIE BAIL ON TOM FOLEY?

Hartford, CT — Governor Chris Christie was supposed to be in the state today—for the fourth time—to stump for Tom Foley. Yet, he pulled the plug. Why?

Because of Tom Foley’s surging unpopularity? Because the needle is moving in the wrong direction for the Republican gubernatorial candidate? Because of sustained scrutiny of Foley’s $5 million dollar yacht, seven-bedroom mansion and fighter jets while paying a zero percent effective federal income tax rate for two years?

What’s clear is that Foley’s campaign is struggling—and Christie’s cancellation raises even more questions about the viability of Foley’s campaign. When Foley’s biggest backer at the RGA is pulling the plug on his visit and prioritizing other races, it’s clear things are moving in the wrong direction for Tom Foley.

This also appears to be the first time this cycle that Christie has canceled an RGA-endorsed candidate event for political reasons.

“The more Connecticut residents get to know Tom Foley, the less they like him. When they hear about fighter jets, yachts, and mansions—bought during a career of destroying the lives of middle class families—they realize he will reverse the progress Connecticut has made. Now, even his biggest out-of-state backers are tip-toeing around Tom Foley,” said Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Democratic Party. “Tom Foley has offered voters plagiarized plans, no specifics, and no vision for the future. It’s no surprise that his biggest boosters—Chris Christie and the RGA—are running away from him.”

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TOM FOLEY OPPOSED OUR INCREASE TO $10.10 — AND STILL DOES

Hartford, CT – As Governor Dan Malloy and Governor Deval Patrick celebrate Connecticut’s historic increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 on 10/10, Tom Foley opposed the increase — and he still does.

Like on almost all other issues, Tom Foley hedges and misleads:

  • He’s said “we need to be careful about having a minimum wage in Connecticut that’s higher than other states.”
  • Tom Foley claimed the higher minimum wage “drives jobs out of the state” — a claim debunked by economists. A recent reportshowed that states that raised their minimum wage gained more jobs than those states that didn’t.
  • In defending his opposition to the historic $10.10 minimum wage increase, Tom Foley claimed that Connecticut instead needed to enact a tiered minimum wage system. The problem: Connecticut already has one, which even the Republican American — in a story entitled “G-Oops-P” — has noted.
  • He’s claimed to support an Australian-style system, even while Australia has a minimum wage around $15 per hour.

“Tom Foley bankrupted companies, laid off workers, and exploited working people to enrich himself with $5 million yachts, million-dollar fighter jets, and seven-bedroom mansions. While he shut down mills at Bibb and watched striking workers suffer at T.B. Woods, he bought the best toys money can buy,” said Ian Sams, a Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman. “So it’s no surprise he opposed the historic, first-in-the-nation legislation that increased the minimum wage to $10.10, which will help working families move into the middle class. Now, he’s trying to lie about where he stands on the issue, and voters just aren’t buying it.”

Background:

Tom Foley “I Think We Need To Be Careful About Having A Minimum Wage In Connecticut That’s Higher Than Other States, Because That Drives Jobs Out Of The State.” “’I think we need to be careful about having a minimum wage in Connecticut that’s higher than other states, because that drives jobs out of the state,’ Foley said. Foley suggested there was no serious plan to raise the state minimum, saying, ‘I don’t think anybody’s proposing that.’ He seemed unaware that a state legislative committee had approved and sent a $10.10 minimum wage bill to the Senate floor on Tuesday, the day before Obama’s visit here promoting a higher federal minimum. With the support of Malloy and legislative leaders, it is expected to pass.” [CT Mirror,03/07/14]

Foley: Seemed Unaware That A State Legislative Committee Had Approved And Sent A $10.10 Minimum Wage Bill To The Senate Floor On Tuesday. “Foley suggested there was no serious plan to raise the state minimum, saying, ‘I don’t think anybody’s proposing that.’ He seemed unaware that a state legislative committee had approved and sent a $10.10 minimum wage bill to the Senate floor on Tuesday, the day before Obama’s visit here promoting a higher federal minimum. With the support of Malloy and legislative leaders, it is expected to pass.” [CT Mirror,03/07/14]

In An Interview With The Mirror, Foley said a Connecticut Minimum Wage increase could drive jobs out of Connecticut. “In an interview with The Mirror, Foley clarified that his preference for Congress to set a uniform standard does not mean he opposes raising the state minimum. ‘I support a $10.10 minimum wage for certain jobs,” Foley said. ‘I would support that in Connecticut, too, but you have to be careful about this, because people complain already that our current minimum wage, because it’s higher than the national one, it’s driving jobs away.’” [CT Mirror,03/07/14]

Foley Said He Was Not Ready To Define A Standard For Exempting Jobs From The State Or Federal Minimum, But He Opposes An Across-The-Board Raise. “Foley said he was not ready to define a standard for exempting jobs from the state or federal minimum, but he opposes an across-the-board raise. ‘If I was governor, I’d be encouraging the legislature to have a multi-tier state minimum wage that offered a minimum wage in that range to people who are working for large corporations, who can afford it,’ Foley said. He offered no definition of large corporation or an affordability standard. Without saying how, Foley said he also would like a minimum wage increase narrowed so that it goes to workers who ‘have to support families on that, and who aren’t going to lose their jobs as a result.’” [CT Mirror,03/07/14]

Australia’s National Minimum Wage Is A$16.87 Per Hour Or A$640.90 Per Week.[mywage.org.au, accessed 8/14/14]

The Australian Dollar Is Exchanged At .9315 Of The United States Dollar As Of August 14, 2014, Therefore A A$16.87 Would Be Worth $15.71 In The United States. [Bloomberg, accessed 8/14/14]

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TOM FOLEY LIES—AGAIN—ABOUT ARREST DISCLOSURE

Hartford, CT After yesterday’s gubernatorial debate, Tom Foley liedyet againabout his arrest history during his media availability.

It’s been reported by the Hartford Courant and other outlets that, during Foley’s background check to be Ambassador to Ireland, he indicated to federal authorities he had never been charged for anything more than “a minor traffic offense”.

That, of course, is not true. He has been charged twiceonce for a felony assault for ramming another vehicle at speeds of up to 50 M.P.H. and a second time in an altercation involving his car and his wife.

Yet during his background check, when asked if he had ever been investigated, arrested, or charged by any law enforcement authority, Foley answered “No” on his national security clearance form. We know that to be untrue.

Yet, during Foley’s availability yesterday, he denied that he had ever lied about his arrest history to authorities.

Question: “Can you comment on his accusation where you didn’t disclose your arrest?”

Foley: “That’s absolutely false.”

Question: “Completely false?”

Foley: “False. Am I clear about that?”

The exchange can be found here.

Background:

Foley Said Neither Arrest Came Up In His Confirmation Hearings And “I’m Sure They Were Aware Of Both The Incidents, And It Was Not A Problem For Them.” According to the CT Mirror, “In a telephone interview with The Mirror, Foley said neither incident came up during his interview by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when President George W. Bush nominated him as ambassador to Ireland in 2006. He said he did not make a point of disclosing the two arrests, but he was subject to a detailed FBI background investigation. ‘To be an ambassador, you have to have a top-secret clearance,’ said Foley, who also was a Bush administration appointee to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003, overseeing the nation’s state-owned businesses. ‘I’m sure they were aware of both the incidents, and it was not a problem for them.’” [CT Mirror, 6/25/10]

Foley Wrote On Background Check Forms That He Had Never Been Charged With Anything More Than A “Minor Traffic Offense.” According to the Hartford Courant, “Another form that Foley filled out asked: ‘Have you ever been investigated, arrested or charged or held by any federal, state or other law enforcement authority for violation of any federal, state, county or municipal law, regulation or ordinance other than a minor traffic offense?’ Foley said he again answered “no” because he considered both the 1981 and a 1993 breach-of-peace charge – which involved his attempt to block his then-estranged wife’s car from leaving his driveway with their young son, and then following her for a short time – to both be ‘minor’ and ‘traffic-related.’” [Hartford Courant, 7/30/10]

Foley Answered “No” On His National Security Clearance Form And U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Form On The Question Of Whether He Had Ever Been “Investigated, Arrested, Or Charged Or Held By Any Federal, State Or Other Law Enforcement Authority.”According to the Hartford Courant, “He filled out two kinds of questionnaires: the national-security clearance form that asked about any felony arrests, and one for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s approval of his ambassador’s nomination that asked a broader question: ‘Have you ever been investigated, arrested or charged or held by any federal, state or other law enforcement authority for violation of any federal, state county or municipal law, regulation or ordinance other than a minor traffic offense?’ Again, Foley said he answered ‘no.’” [Hartford Courant, 7/23/10]

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