State Senate Leader Wants to End Cross-Endorsements

March 25, 2013 | | The CT Mirror |

Connecticut's experiment with New York-style fusion politics gave Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy two lines on the ballot in 2010, and he needed the votes cast on both to narrowly defeat Republican Tom Foley.

So, it's a little surprising that a push to end cross-endorsements is coming from one of the governor's strongest allies in the legislature, Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn. Or that Malloy is open to the idea.

Miles S. Rapoport, the former Democratic secretary of the state, said that banning cross-endorsements is bad for democracy.

"This is a major step backward," said Rapoport, now president of Demos, a nonprofit that encourages greater ballot access. "This is an attempt to cut minor parities off at the knees by forcing them into irrelevancy or spoiler mode. I think that would be a shame."

Rapoport contrasted cross-endorsements with minor parties that act as spoilers by drawing the disaffected away from major parties.