Let it be noted that on this date in mid-July of 2017, Connecticut Mirror reporter Keith Phaneuf became a verb(past participle).

    Writing a headline for a link to a Phaneuf story proving Governor Malloy’s latest proposed budget is out of balance, Tom Dudchik of CTCapitolReport claimed Malloy had been “Phaneufed.”

    This moment places Phaneuf in the pantheon of Connecticut political reporters who have achieved verbdom as a result of their work. Phaneuf has achieved this status by learning more about the state budget than most members of the legislature’s budget and finance committees. After years of studying the budget, he can now spot fiscal discrepancies with a sharp eye and a small, solar-powered calculator of the kind once successfully marketed by the American electronics retailer known as “Radio Shack.”

    This means when governors and their budget directors put together a budget plan they must honestly ask themselves: Will this pass the Phaneuf test?

    The other member of the verb group is the Hartford Courant’s Jon Lender. To be “Lendered” usually means to be caught in an ethical situation marked by hypocrisy, excessive government spending, patronage jobs for the incompetent, raised questions, or alternatively – raised eyebrows.

    As is the case with the Phaneuf test, there is no way to total up the number of hair-brained schemes Connecticut politicians have chosen to avoid for fear of failing the Lender test. We believe the number to be in the high 100’s based on anecdotal evidence.