Could this be the end of the road for former Gov. John G. Rowland? If once again convicted of political and financial malfeasance, will he ever be taken seriously when he’s released from prison a second time? And moreover, will his legal troubles drag down Republican candidates, especially the six running for the privilege of unseating Gov. Dannel P. Malloy?
In the eyes of the state’s political observers, Rowland has remained a fascinating figure ever since he burst on to the scene in 1984 by riding President Ronald Reagan’s coattails and unseating Democratic incumbent William Ratchford for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District seat. A gifted politician, Rowland went on to win the governorship in 1994 and won re-election twice before resigning in disgrace after getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar early in his third term.
After emerging from 10 months in the poky, Rowland professed himself a changed man and got a job as economic development coordinator in his hometown of Waterbury. So far, so good.
Eventually, however, the still-ambitious Rowland felt the need for more exposure and more money, so he landed a job as afternoon drive-time host at WTIC 1080 AM. In a line-up that included the ornery libertarian Jim Vicevich and right-wing blowhard Rush Limbaugh, the moderate Rowland quickly emerged as the ideological grown-up during afternoon drive.
Contributing op-ed columnist Terry Cowgill lives in Lakeville, blogs at ctdevilsadvocate.com and is news editor of The Berkshire Record in Great Barrington, Mass. He has been a guest on Rowland’s show several times. Follow him on Twitter @terrycowgill.
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