Commentary: 22nd Senate challenger Chadwick Ciocci

When I decided to run for the State Senate, Connecticut's unemployment rate was below 8%. Now it is at 9% (the worst in New England). Then our state had a $155 million budget deficit. Now we still have a $60 million deficit. Then Connecticut was ranked the 7th worst state to do business. Now numerous groups agree we are the absolute worst state to do business.

In just a short span of time we have seen a bad situation deteriorate into a worse situation, and there is no hope in sight that our legislature and Governor Malloy will adopt the policies we need to truly balance our budget and move towards a system that creates jobs and prosperity for everyone who needs them.

What is truly sad about this situation — beyond of course all of our family and friends who are truly hurting in this economy — is the secret to success isn't a secret at all. This economy belongs to Governor Malloy and his liberal allies like Senator Musto who have not only failed to balance our budget, but presided over our bond rating being downgraded and implemented the largest (retroactive) tax increase in our state's history. Not only did they increase the rates at which we pay, but they also expanded the number of income brackets which had the effect of increasing taxes primarily on the middle class.

But there is a viable alternative for a better and more successful Connecticut. First we need to balance our budget by cutting wasteful spending like the 9.4 mile "bus to nowhere" that will cost taxpayers $567 million. This will go a long way towards regaining our bond rating, but it will also permit us the opportunity to implement step number two towards economy recovery: repeal the Musto-Malloy tax increases.

Businesses and individuals are fleeing our state because the heavy hand of government is reaching in to their pockets too much. When New York and New Jersey look attractive to Connecticut residents, we know we are taxing too much. Unfortunately over the last two years those states have successfully been competing with us for educated and talented entrepreneurs that would otherwise help our economy grow. We need to stop this outflow of people and tax payers by reducing our tax burden, which incidentally, will also help to shore up our tax revenues and keep our budget in the black.

When businesses and entrepreneurs see that our state's finances are in order and we will no longer be subjecting them unfair and burdensome taxes, they will have the confidence to set up shop and create the jobs that we so desperately need.

Connecticut has an incredible future before it, but we won't head down the path of jobs and prosperity unless we change who we send to Hartford. It has been an honor to run for the State Senate, and on Nov. 6, I humbly ask for your trust and your vote to be the next State Senator from our district.