by Charles A. Monagan
Feb 4, 2011
10:26 AM
On Connecticut

License to Drill


Today's story on the issuing of low-digit Connecticut license plates to key players in the Rell administration is much ado about almost nothing - but fun to read about nonetheless.

The practice of political hotshots driving around with low-digit plates goes back to the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of license plates. It has always been one of the little pleasures of being governor that you get to hand out these prizes to loyalists, although Rell's (and  chief of staff Lisa Moody's) idea to issue them all at once in the very last days of the term probably was not very smart.

Sometimes governors have a hard time finding enough plates for everyone. It was Gov. Thomas Meskill's operation in the 1970s that came up with the brilliant solution of simply adding a zero at the beginning of the number. By doing that Meskill  was able to make 99 courtesans very happy with their new plates numbered from 01 to 099.

The practice strikes me as completely harmless. Being governor is not nearly as much fun as it once was. Everyone is watching every move you make, ready to disapprove and demean. In fact, the Courant's and Kevin Rennie's tone on this story is so rigid and humorless and scolding that it makes you want to sympathize with Rell and Moody. And that's a pretty neat trick.

License to Drill

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