With Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s approval rating steadily below 50 percent in polls, he and his lieutenants have embarked on an unusual media-management effort — directing dozens of officials to produce “communications plans” to put out a steady stream of positive news.
The administration says this is an effort to help the public understand why further improvements in government operations are needed and not merely a political plan to polish up Malloy’s image for the 2014 election campaign.
But not everyone is buying that.
Documents obtained by The Courant under the Freedom of Information Act show that in recent months, a lot of time and effort by state employees has been put into an initiative to convince taxpayers that they are being well served.
Having spent a good portion of my summer standing in line at the DMV and thus having the opportunity to speak with many of my fellow oppressed citizens, I think that the most effective thing Malloy could do for his image is to reform and clean up the DMV, which is the only face of government most of us see. Imagine, Dannel, if one of your subjects could suddenly walk into DMV and be met by helpful, courteous employees, short lines and a computerized record system that was accurate and up to date, allowing him to transact his business and leave, all within, say, a half-hour. Such a wondrous experience would, I promise you, convert tens of thousands of government-haters into Malloy fans and could perhaps even convince them that government can work for them, not serve merely as a full-employment service for low-intelligence, lazy beneficiaries of political patronage.
Can’t be done? Oh pshaw – imagine if two private companies were competing with each other and trying to make a profit running the DMV – the one that alienated its customer base and left everyone who came in contact with it loathing the company and its employees would be out of business within the year. Only a state monopoly could survive such a business plan; Connecticut is pushing that model to the breaking point.
Keep your state agencies busy doing something else, Dannel, or, better, send them home, and turn your attention to making the DMV work. Don’t tell us government works, show us. You’ll see a bang for your buck beyond your wildest dreams.