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JOHN MCKINNEY NEEDS AN INFUSION OF CREDIBILITY

Hartford, CT - John McKinney is expected to receive his public financing grant today, and he needs it--badly. Right now, John McKinney’s campaign finances are in the red. His campaign has unpaid expenses that exceed his cash on hand.

But after making ludicrous public statements about Waterbury recently, he’s also red in the face. In a show of just how desperate, ill-informed, and sloppy his campaign has become, two days ago he sent out a 9 P.M. press release opposing Governor Malloy’s investments in Waterbury. The only problem is no one in Waterbury agreed.

Even more embarrassing, Mr. McKinney criticized Governor Malloy for his position on Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital. And he did this -- are you ready? -- the day before St. Mary's announced a partnership with Tenet, the same company that’s partnering with Waterbury Hospital. Governor Malloy was praised for legislation he signed two months ago that allowed these agreements to occur.

So what was John McKinney’s overall message to Waterbury? Drop Dead.

“Clearly, John McKinney needs this grant -- and not just because he is running out of cash. He’s lost so much credibility through his reckless public statements, that just maybe, an infusion of funds might mean an infusion of credibility. Congratulations to Mr. McKinney on his likely grant. Maybe he’ll actually get his act together now,” said Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman. “Given that he chose to tell the people of Waterbury to drop dead around the same time Waterbury celebrated the Governor's historic announcement, and around the day St. Mary's Hospital made a historic announcement of its own, his campaign is clearly unraveling, if it was ever organized to begin with. Right now, he doesn’t have one iota of credibility.”

What McKinney Said: “Today’s announcement of a nearly $20 million investment of taxpayer funds in Waterbury is too little, too late. The people of Waterbury—and people across the state—are looking for a stable job base and growing economy, not the promise of a state handout at election time.”

Reality: What’s too little, too late is this ill-informed, inaccurate, desperate 9 P.M. press release from the McKinney campaign. Here’s what Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary had to say:

  • “I cannot express strongly enough how grateful we are for Governor Malloy's continued leadership, support and assistance to Waterbury.”
  • “These initiatives represent an incredible leap forward for Waterbury, our economy and quality of life.”
  • “Today's announcement will produce benefits to our entire region that will be felt for generations to come.”

What McKinney Said: “One year ago this week, Governor Dannel Malloy vetoed a hospital bill that his own advisers helped draft. That piece of legislation would have given real economic stability and jobs to hundreds of workers in Waterbury.”

Reality: Health care leaders had this to say...

  • We are grateful for the leadership and cooperation of both Gov. (Dannel) Malloy and Mayor (Neil) O’Leary, and ask for the community’s support throughout the approval process to ensure a timely and smooth transition.”

  • “This proposal offers Saint Mary’s financial stability and sustainability, and offers the community the kind of high quality, comprehensive health care it deserves, all while retaining the heritage and legacy Saint Mary’s has established over the last century.”

  • “Our community and our caregivers will benefit immensely from the capital and expertise that Tenet will bring to Saint Mary’s.”

Background:

McKinney For Governor’s Itemized Statement Accompanying Application For Grant Of July 7, Shows The Committee Had $18,549.47 Balance On Hand At The Close Of The Reporting Period, But Had $22,962.04 In Expenses Incurred During The Period But Not Yet Paid. [McKinney For Governor, Itemized Statement Accompanying Application for Grant-Amended, accessed 7/9/14]

Saint Mary’s Hospital Announced Plans To Be Acquired By Tenet, Allowing Saint Mary’s To Serve The Waterbury Area As It Has Done For More Than 100 Years. “Saint Mary’s Hospital and Tenet Healthcare Corporation announced plans today for Saint Mary’s to be acquired by a subsidiary of Tenet, a leading health care services company which operates 79 acute care hospitals and 193 outpatient centers in 16 states. The transaction, subject to approval of contractual and regulatory conditions, represents an opportunity for Saint Mary’s to provide the community with continued access to care, as it has done for more than 100 years. Under the terms of the transaction, Saint Mary’s Catholic heritage and its religious directives will be honored and maintained. Also, Saint Mary’s will continue to abide by the same charity care and uncompensated care policies as in the past. And the hospital will fulfill the community benefit standards required of tax-exempt hospitals, which include improving access to care by the elderly, the poor, immigrants and other at-risk populations.” [New Haven Register, 7/8/14]

Waterbury Hospital Also Partnered With Tenet, And Each Hospital Will Maintain Its “Heritage, History, And Uniqueness.”  “Meanwhile, the other major hospital in Greater Waterbury concurred in Saint Mary’s choice of Tenet. The Board of Directors of the Greater Waterbury Health Network and Chairman Carl Contadini said, ‘We have been consistent in our belief that Tenet Healthcare is the right partner for Waterbury Hospital and therefore are not surprised that Saint Mary’s has also come to the same conclusion.’ GWHN President and CEO Darlene Stromstad said that this model of common ownership — with each hospital having its own agreement with Tenet Healthcare — offers long-term benefits to the community. “Most importantly, each hospital will maintain its heritage, history, and uniqueness,” said Stromstad. ‘Right now, Waterbury Hospital is staying focused on working our way through the state’s regulatory process to complete our transaction,’ said Stromstad.” [New Haven Register, 7/8/14]

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