And the party line is, don’t mess with the state employee union. Chris Powell, Journal Inquirer:
Meanwhile Greenwich's first Democratic state senator in nearly 90 years, Alexandra Bergstein, has gotten a telling orientation from her Democratic Senate colleagues.
Bergstein, wife of a New York investment banker, enrolled as a Democrat only in April but made good by spending nearly $300,000 of personal money on her campaign, more than triple the amount ordinarily spent under Connecticut's public campaign financing system, which Bergstein bypassed.
Striking a pose of fiscal responsibility in her campaign, Bergstein called for reforming state government's pension system. She tells the Connecticut Mirror: "I said something like, 'We have to address the pension crisis with bold, structural fixes, not just little temporary fixes.'" Whereupon she got a call from another Democratic senator-elect, Julie Kushner of Danbury, a former leader of the Working Families Party, which the government employee unions set up to run candidates against Democrats who don't take union orders.
Kushner, Bergstein said, scolded her that "people who have already taken cuts don't think about them as ‘little fixes.'" So, Bergstein said, "I immediately apologized. Point taken."
Being so new to state politics, Bergstein may not understand that those state government employees who "have already taken cuts" somehow always manage to cost more every year anyway, since the "cuts" are only reductions in the rate of increase in their compensation. But Bergstein has gotten her instructions. She now realizes that the first obligation of Democratic legislators is to serve the special interest that dominates their party, not the public. If she knows what's good for her, Bergstein will drop the pension reform stuff.
The lesson here, and one soon to be learned on a national level, is that, no matter how much a Democrat candidate pledges fealty to fiscal sanity and moderate views on other issues, she or he will bow to power, and will end up as just another shrill for the increasingly-socialist Democratic power.
Of course, that’s not considered a bug by the majority of the new crowd of “activist” voters here in Greenwich; in fact, it’s a feature.
UPDATE: Upon reflection, I realize that I should have said “agrees to”, rather than “learns to” in the headline. Bergstein is no naif, she’s a woman who’s discovered an inner thirst for political power, and if she’s already caved in to the state employees union, just days after she was sworn into office, then she’s made her choice: personal political advancement instead of principle. Another empty-suit lickspittle, though that hardly makes her unique among her fellows in either party.