Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

June 21, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 21, 2024

 

SENATE PRESIDENT LOONEY AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER DUFF STATEMENT ON THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOHN ROWLAND’S RESIGNATION

HARTFORD – State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) issued the following statement today on the 20th anniversary of former Governor John Rowland’s resignation from office on June 21, 2004, in the midst of an impeachment inquiry and a simultaneous federal investigation into Rowland’s awarding of state contracts in exchange for cash and home improvements.

In 2004, Sen. Looney served as Co-Chairman of the Senate Bipartisan Committee of Review that would try Gov. Rowland if the House of Representatives voted to impeach him; Sen. Duff was a member of the House of Representatives at the time, and he voted to create the bipartisan House Select Committee of Inquiry. The House had a June 30 deadline to vote on impeachment; Gov. Rowland resigned on June 21.

Governor Rowland remains the only Connecticut governor in state history to ever resign the office for reasons related to criminal activity.

“What we recall from the impeachment process 20 years ago was just how bipartisan and sobering it was. Minority party Republicans were willing to work with the majority of Democrats in the House and Senate to investigate one of their own party members, a political prodigy who at age 37 became the youngest governor in America. It was a courageous decision then by Connecticut Republicans to hold one of their own to the highest standards of government accountability, because we all knew that this was a black eye for democracy and for the people of Connecticut. Former Republican House Minority Leader Bob Ward said at the time, “We have a moral and legal obligation to get to the bottom of this.” Working together, our actions led to Rowland’s resignation from the highest elected office in the state. It was a superb example of a bipartisan dedication to something beyond raw politics.

“Unfortunately, the world has changed for the worst in the past 20 years, thanks in large part to the hyper-partisan actions of Donald Trump and the national Republican Party. We can think of no example in the past decade where Congressional Republicans subjugated their singular quest for power and influence and their blind allegiance to Donald Trump – a convicted felon with even more serious felony charges still to be adjudicated – in order to act for the greater good of our country. There are essentially no moderate, reasonable Republicans in the national Republican Party today as there were in the Connecticut Republican Party of 2004.

“So, on today’s 20th anniversary of John Rowland’s resignation as governor, we’re reminded of just how important are reason, moderation and bipartisanship for the good of the public and for the good of a democracy, at both the state and national levels. Unfortunately, Republicans beholden to Donald Trump lost sight of this sacred duty a long time ago.”