#7 - Don Williams threatens Joan Hartley
When Governor Rell vetoed the $3.2 billion package that the supermajority Democrats in the legislature approved in October, Speaker Jim Amann had more than the 2/3 needed to override the veto in the House and force through the package.
Unfortunately for Senate President Don Williams, he needed every single one of his 24 Democrats in the Senate for an override. And he couldn't get it.
Senator Joan Hartley wanted $1.4 billion pledged to the CSU system moved into a separate bill, and she was the lone hold-out. Williams quickly issued a threat to Hartley. From the Republican-American: " 'They told me I had to support this, and if I didn't then the benefits of the caucus wouldn't be available to me, and I would lose my committee chair, my office and my parking space,' said Hartley, D-15th District."
It was a stupid gambit. The threat didn't work, Hartley held firm, and in the end, Democrats had to capitulate to some degree on the bonding package and were unable to override.
Perhaps worse for Williams - he demonstrated that he didn't have the power to pull his element of the supermajority together and get his members to toe the line. He showed that he was willing to threaten his own loyal members over policy disagreements, and finally, he showed that his threats were entirely empty, as Hartley walked away with all of the trappings of her office intact. That is why I select this as the 7th Dumbest Thing Done by Connecticut Democrats in2007.