A Check-Up With Governor Dannel P. Malloy

We take his blood pressure and we administer a stress test...

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Betsy Kaplan checks Governor Malloy's blood pressure.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Governor Malloy.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Governor Malloy.
Photo:Chion Wolf
A Check-Up With Governor Dannel P. Malloy
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A Check-Up With Governor Dannel P. Malloy

Last week Dannel P. Malloy got the kind of press coverage that governors dream of. Unfortunately, he got it in New Jersey, which is not the state he governs. A columnist for the Star Ledger revisited a two-year-old flare up between Malloy and New Jersey governor Chris Christie who taunted Malloy about his tax policies which he said would drive jobs out of Connecticut and into New Jersey where he, Christie, would be waiting with open arms. 

The Star Ledger columnist essentially says Christie was wrong, Malloy was right and that Malloy's centrist vision was more attractive to potential employers like Jackson Labs. Connecticut's unemployment rate has fallen. New Jersey's is stagnating, said the columnist.
Dan Malloy joins us in studio today. He green lighted the busway, launched a new state branding campaign, raised taxes, repealed the death penalty and challenged the unions. So how does he think he's doing?
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin



Colin, simply put, I loved

Colin, simply put, I loved the way you humanized the governor. Great show today...


Excellent interview....I will make this quick Governor..I still believe that you're doing a great job...It's great to hear that you're in good health....now that we know this, I think you should take 1 day off and throw a BBQ for your favorite supporters....Great Day!


I was heartened to hear Gov. Malloy express the need to look at public mental health. Thanks, Gov. I have been waiting for someone to even mention the heart of the issue behind these violent acts that have become all too common.

I would love to see the press, local and national, talk to experts on prevention/promotion of mental health, and experts in forensic psychology to find out what we actually know about how someone becomes so ill and destructive and what we as a society can do about it. There has been so much learned about the brain. Our culture needs a national wake-up call. We need to raise the national IQ on mental health. Awhile ago, the mother of one of the killers at Columbine did an article in Oprah. Her description of her son showed for me many red flags that she and apparently the school district missed. Reading it and knowing that maybe that tragedy could have been prevented made me feel sick. I am a school psychologist and I feel the broad field of mental health in this country is not loud enough or not being heard or a combination of the two.

Mental illness comes from multiple factors transacting over time. This includes factors of genetic predisposition, biology/neurology, parenting, temperament, resilience and factors of fate such as abuse, neglect, trauma and loss. Early intervention is critical. The longer people with mental illness go without treatment, the more intractable the issues become in some cases. The path of the shooter in Aurora to come to that horrible act, no doubt, was complex.

As I wrote in a letter to the Courant, I see these horrible events as a canary in the cave, signs of how we as a culture are failing at promoting mental health and preventing violent attacks. Our media celebrates bad behavior, disrespect, glorifies violence and celebrity status and devalues human life. Those most sensitive and vulnerable, the young and the mentally ill, I believe have the most potential for being hurt by these messages. And for the rest of us, I think the trash in the media numbs us to what is important. Everything we take in every day, both child and adult, changes our brains.

Our policy makers, educators, physicians, researchers, clergy and mental health agencies all need to set their sights on prevention and mental health promotion. Why not require a course in high school on child and human development and the promotion of mental health? We require students to learn U.S. history and sex education and biology. Why not teach how to build mentally healthy people and how to recognize mental illness? Over time if done well, I think this could make people better parents and perhaps prevent more tragedy. Can clergy collaborate and provide practical resources for parents and individuals on promoting strong families, healthy children, going beyond the spiritual message and providing practical how-to supports? And boy, we really could use someone with the broad appeal of Oprah or Dr. Oz who is either a mental health expert or interviews a variety of those in the mental health field to help raise the nation's awareness of child development, mental health promotion, awareness of signs of mental illness. Wasn't there a child development expert in Great Britain...Penelope Leach I think was her name, who had a program. Why does America not have a program to inform us on one of the most challenging and the most important job in the world? What are physicians doing to screen for mental illness?

So Colin, can you do a program, contact the folks at Yale Child Development Center, find other experts in forensics and neuropsychology and primary prevention? A few folks I have come across in my career include Dr. Ann Leonard-Zabel, a professor at Curry College in Mass. with a private practice in school neuropsychology in Plymouth Mass and an instructor for a diplomate program on school neuropsychology and background in forensic psychology, how the brain becomes aggressive, how what happens to us affects the emotional aspects of the brain. (She was my instructor in that diplomate program, a cohort taught in Ct. in 2007). Dr. Roger Weissberg used to be at Yale but I think he is now at the University of Chicago. He developed a curriculum for New Haven schools while at Yale on teaching problem solving skills to kids to help prevent behavioral and mental health problems and works in primary prevention.

I plan on contacting other members of the media to ask for them to take a hard look at this issue and help educate the public. We need some serious in-depth reporting.


Hi Colin!!

Great job today. I was informed, entertained and gained insight!!

Hope your relationship with the governor builds regular appearances from him a la your new feature The Process!!

It was interesting to see how the thinking works at the top and he isn't afraid to take on hard questions.

Plus it would be nice to see how his visions and ground laying develops over time.


Amtrak recently released a proposal for modernization of the Northeast Corridor, intending to connect Boston & New York in 94 minutes. This would bring the proposed HSR stations in Danbury, Waterbury & Hartford within 30-60 minutes of both Boston & NYC. While this is a long range vision, what sort of effects on the state do you think this would bring, particularly in relation to your experience as mayor of Stamford.


Governor Malloy,

The Stamford Advocate reported that you joined the picket line at Newington Health Care Center. As a new resident of Connecticut and a lifelong Democrat, I’d like to share my perspective.

I acknowledge your support of the strikers. However, I believe an informed view of the circumstances would not support this strike.

The New England Health Care Employees Union is striking because they rejected a contract that offered raises but also required that they contribute to their health care coverage.

I have worked for twenty years for company that has often been listed first in Fortune’s list of best companies to work for. The year our benefits package has been restructured and I’m required to contribute significantly to my family’s health care plan.

My grandfather was a coal miner in Nova Scotia. He mined pits 2,000 feet down, four miles out under the Atlantic ocean. His job was uncertain, harsh and dangerous. His union did their best to balance the unmitigated power of the coal company.

I ask that you, a representative of all citizens of Connecticut, meet with the other side of this conflict. If you visit the Westport Health Care Center you will find a staff that is doing their best to protect their vulnerable residents from an unruly group of picketers.


I am absolutely thrilled about today's show and was hopping you might be able to ask Governor Malloy questions from his constituencies. I was surprised about several aspects of the educational reform proposal, but what was most striking was the way it was communicated to the citizens of Connecticut. I was wondering what prompted the rhetoric by the Governor, why was his tone so harsh to the education community of Connecticut? As a student who required special education services and understands their importance, Governor, I was surprised at the tone of the public conversation. Why was the rhetoric not one of comradery, but a combative one? Furthermore, you have been at my alma mater, Southern Connecticut State University to attend an awards ceremony for the School of Education where you continued this rhetoric in a speech, why was this debate at this forum?

Thank you for your time I love the show!