Tom Scott is a New Haven area native who spent his formative years serving in Connecticut government and politics. Since then, he’s enjoyed bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to talk radio listeners around the state, hosting shows from Hartford to New Haven to Bridgeport.
Via TomScottReports.com, Tom offers residents his insightful perspective on Connecticut happenings – a view that simply isn’t available anywhere else.
Tom’s entry into public service came when he was elected Milford City Constable at age 19 – working his way through college serving divorce papers and subpoenas.
At age 22, he won a seat in the Connecticut State Senate from Milford, making him the youngest person ever elected to that body. He served five two-year terms, and was one of the few non-lawyer members of the Judiciary Committee. Tom was known as an expert on judicial matters (the courts, criminal law and prisons), tax policy, transportation issues and Long Island Sound. He waged a number of battles that branded him a populist-conservative firebrand. Among these were removal of highway tolls, strengthening the death penalty, making English the official language of Connecticut, and waging a 10-year battle to keep the income tax out of the state.
Tom’s relentless efforts to help citizens cut through government red tape earned him the Constituent Service award from Connecticut Magazine.
In 1984 Tom was tapped by Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign to chair the Connecticut chapter of “Voices for Victory.” In this capacity, Tom crisscrossed the state speaking on behalf of President Reagan, and debating Walter Mondale’s surrogates on radio and TV. He proudly served as a Reagan delegate at the 1984 National Republican Convention in Dallas, TX – an unparalleled life experience.
In 1988 Tom teamed up with Connecticut’s own William F. Buckley, Jr. to convince Connecticut Republicans to throw Lowell Weicker – a snake-in-the-grass Republican if there ever was one — out of the U.S. Senate. Tom was the only Republican legislator in the state to work with Buckley on this effort, and it succeeded.
In 1990 Tom ran for an open congressional seat in Connecticut’s heavily Democratic Third Congressional District. He lost that election to Rosa DeLauro, but won 49% of the vote.
That same year, Lowell Weicker was elected Governor of Connecticut. Days after the election, Tom formed the Connecticut Taxpayers Committee (CTC) in anticipation of Weicker breaking his campaign pledge against imposing a state income tax (which, of course, he did). The committee waged a raucous grass roots battle to first reject, and later repeal, the state income tax, which was passed in August 1991. The effort culminated in a historic rally on the grounds of the State Capitol which Scott and CTC co-founder and former senator Joe Markley organized, drawing an estimated 65,000 people.
Although the taxpayers’ voices were heard, Weicker bribed enough legislative votes to pass the tax by a single vote in the House and Senate, and ultimately prevented repeal. A myriad of incumbents went down in the next election or didn’t run, and Weicker chose to leave town rather than face the voters.
The Republican Party nominated former congressman John Rowland as their candidate for governor in 1994, but he was a reluctant friend of the taxpayer. When Rowland would not make the income tax repeal pledge, Tom Scott was recruited to wage a two-month campaign for governor under the Independence Party banner for the primary purpose of forcing Rowland to commit to eliminating the state income tax. Rowland won the election with 33% of the vote in the five-way race, spending $3 million. However Tom received 11% of the vote and succeeded in forcing Rowland to the right on taxes and other issues, by spending only $100,000 (but winning every televised debate).
At this point, Tom vowed he was done running for office – making the Shermanesque declaration that “wild horses couldn’t drag me back into elective politics” — and he has never looked back.
Tom’s first radio gig was on Hartford’s WPOP-1410 AM from 1993 to 1994. After his break to run for governor, he returned to radio in 1995 as a night fill-in host at WTIC (a Red Sox station) during the baseball strike.
Tom brought the same talents to the airwaves that he did to politics and government service: political independence, strong views, fearlessness and tenacity in the face of big government and corrupt politicians, and detailed knowledge of a range of local, state and national issues.
“Some believe that Beck studied Scott’s conservative talk concept as much as he did Limbaugh’s.”
Hartford Advocate story about Glenn Beck
In 1995 Tom was hired by Glenn Beck (then operations manager and morning host on KC-101 FM) to host a midday political talk show on Clear Channel’s sister station, WELI-960 AM in New Haven. Glenn worked in an adjacent studio and was a regular — and usually spontaneous — guest on Tom’s show, often stopping by to critique the show on-air (in a way only Glenn could), shoot the breeze, or to promote his latest “Stuff a Bus” charity. Tom stayed at WELI for six years, for one period co-hosting the Off Center show with the head of the Connecticut NAACP, and for a year with the liberal editor of the New Haven Advocate.
Tom usually knows the inside story behind every headline.
Tom was chosen as one of Connecticut’s 24 national presidential delegates in 2000, and broadcast his WELI show from the floor of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. A live interview he conducted with Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays made national news.
From 1998-1999 Tom co-hosted a Crossfire-type issues segment on Connecticut Public Television with a variety of liberal co-hosts. The show aired during the legislative session in Connecticut each year. In 2002, Tom provided regular in-studio election analysis for WTNH-Ch. 8, the New Haven-based ABC affiliate.
Tom thought he was retired from radio after leaving WELI in 2001. However, after several years of doing occasional fill-in on area stations, he decided to take on an afternoon drive show that became available at WELI in July 2008. After only four months on the air, Tom left the station over a hard hitting interview with Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd that the station refused to air.
Tom’s world continues to be an eclectic blend of media, business and family. His full-time career is residential real estate, specializing in waterfront sales on the Connecticut shoreline. However, Tom remains an astute observer of the political scene, and serves as an occasional confidential advisor to various elected officials and policy makers around the state. He is regularly called on by the media for commentary and analysis.
Tom is a history buff who enjoys spending time with his wife Lydia, and blue fishing, boating, hiking, and flying kites with his two adventurous young sons.