Gov. John G. Rowland launched a television ad this week attempting to link Democratic opponent Bill Curry to the legal problems of Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The ad says, “Ever wonder why all the Curry campaign can do is to personally attack Gov. Rowland? Is it because Curry doesn’t want you to think about his shameful ethical record? Curry’s last running mate for lieutenant governor was indicted on corruption charges.”

While that is true, Curry and Ganim haven’t exactly been pals.

In 1994, Democrats at the state convention nominated current U.S. Rep. John Larson for governor and Ganim for lieutenant governor. Curry wound up defeating Larson in a primary election and inherited Ganim as his running mate. A day later, Ganim said he wasn’t sure whether he could run with Curry because the two disagreed on several issues.

Ganim had been considering a run against Curry before the Bridgeport corruption scandal broke.

In an interview this week, Rowland defended the ad and accused Curry of trying to link him to the Bridgeport corruption scandal.

“It’s not a cheap shot at all,” Rowland said. “What do I have to do with the Bridgeport scandal? I didn’t have Joe Ganim as my running mate.”

The mayor was charged in a 24-count indictment released last October. He is accused of seeking more than $425,000 in bribes, including cash, merchandise, services and meals, in return for steering city business to friends and associates.

Rowland, who said he’s working to clean up messes in cities like Bridgeport and Waterbury, said he has called for Ganim to resign and questioned why Curry hasn’t followed suit.

On Friday, Curry said, “If he’s guilty, he should have resigned ages ago. Should it ever be found that he’s innocent, they won’t be able to make it up to him. But if he’s guilty, he’ll never be able to pay the city.”

–Associated Press