If you wanted to narrow it down to four or five people that should be held responsible for the complete wreckage our state's finances have been reduced to, Denise Merrill would make that short-list.
There is nothing likable about Denise Merrill. She is arrogant, lecturing, foolhardy, and mousy. And those are her good qualities.
Now campaigning for Secretary of the State, Merrill is all too happy to pretend that she has nothing to do with the economic mess she helped create as the Democratic Majority Leader in the Connecticut State House. Instead, she reflexively blames George W. Bush on our bad economy, and arrogantly sniffs that these issues are of little import to her as she looks to succeed Susan Bysiewicz as the state's chief elections official.
There is one thing that Merrill has in common with our current and outgoing Secretary of the State, and that is the gross exaggeration of her legal credentials. We all know how Susan Bysiewicz screwed herself by forcing a legal decision that established she did not have the necessary ten years of legal experience to become Attorney General. As the Courant's Jon Lender points out, Merrill claims on her state site and her campaign site that she is an attorney.
Yet she does not practice law and is considered "inactive" since she passed the bar in California 30 years ago. She has never practiced law in Connecticut. She never attended law school, and instead passed the bar after having interned at a law firm under a California law in place at the time.
According to Connecticut law, one cannot advertise themselves as an attorney in a way that gives the impression that they are an attorney in practice if they have not passed the Connecticut bar. Merrill's disregard for such technicalities is entirely in step with the precedent set by the current Secretary of the State, and just as imbecilic.
But this is a small issue to the fact that Merrill has been a complete partisan hack and a failure as a leader in the legislature. For the details on why she is such a torpid and useless politician I could not possibly do better than Ray Hacket at the Day did here. She has helped crash the ship of state on the financial rocks and is now hoping to be rewarded with the safety boat of higher office. If there is any political justice she will be washed up this November (literally. Please Miss Merrill... take a shower).