We Endorse, and Clear The Air…

by LonSeidman

The day has finally arrived. Hopefully the campaigns have stopped their negative ads and the clouds will filter so we can focus on how the candidates will make the best decisions for our state. The unfortunate thing about negative advertising is that research shows it works psychologically. Its one way to talk about the opponent’s record or character which otherwise might be difficult to do. Campaigns are meant to draw contrast between candidates so you can make a decision. Before the Tea Paty era, few organizations were interested in having actual debaes – but thankfully this year some of that has occured. A trip to YouTube will bring you to forums galore which took place this year where you can see how a candidate performs. Simply input one of the candidates’ names and you’ll be able to see how those candidates perform.

In the meantime, here are some thoughts about each of the races. Much of the focus has been on Republican races, but there are also differences between Democratic candidates. Sometimes the best way to get a firm decision on candidates is by calling candidates directly. Phone numbers are on their website and staffers are more than happy to share their positions with you – even if they are different from your own. As a worker on a campaign myself, I’ve had the fortune to meet many of the candidates and speak to them and their staffs presonally. Almost all of them are genuine people and want the office they seek for the betterment for everyone. Their philosophies may be different, as well as their outlook, but most willing to answer questions to the point. I’ve also found some that I disagree with very willing to listen to my point of view, and in a few cases have witnssed them incorporate the concerns of some citizens into their campaign and change their view on that issue.

So don’t be shy. These people want to work for you – so give them a call, cut through the morass and see who will be the best leaders.

Republican candidates: www.ctgop.org/candidates

Governor

The Whisper endorses Mike Fedele. He has a plan that focuses on small and medium businesses and has made it publicly available on television. His plan also includes controlling the pensions that many state employees have been getting, sometimes by inflating their retirement calculations by taking on overtime. Fedele is the only candidate to sign a no-tax pledge and in our opinion he is the most family-oriented candidate this year.

In contrast, Tom Foley has a plan that includes specific industries such as green and high-tech firms. Connecticut needs to support all industries – including ice cream shops, cabinet makers, taxi drivers, tool and die makers and many others. Focusing on only a handful of industries is not the magic wand that will get us out of our mess.

As for the nasty ads on TV, its our belief that the Bibb company likely would have gone out of business whether Mr. Foley was involved in it or not. How he treated his employees, however is a legitimate issue. Last week he said that the people in Mr. Fedele’s attack ad never worked ther at all and were given lavish meals to say they did. A Connecticut newspaper and a Georgia TV station have disproved that allegation. The fact is those employees had worked there for more than 15 years each and the most they got was a bottle of water for participating in the ad.

Further, while Mr. Fedele may have encouraged the passage of a state budget- not this yea – but a few years ago, he has spoken to Governor Rell a number of times on state issues he disagreed with. He urged her to veto last year’s budget which she allowed to pass without her signature. And Mr. Fedele further has vowed to veto any bill that increases spending or taxes. For this, he is most definitly the best man for the job for his honesty, character, and principles.

Lt. Governor
Mark Boughton, the mayor of Danbury is the only elected official in New England to participate in a federal program to combat illegal immigration. In fact, 2-3 illegal persons a week are turned over to federal authorities after – and only after – those people are arrested for crimes. Please note that Danbury does not profile and cannot arbitrarily arrest someone just for being her illegal. They must commit a serious crime first (traffic tickets don’t count). He has also led the city in low taxes, the lowest unemployment in teh state and lowest crime rate.

While Lisa Wilson Foley is running for the right reasons, Boughton has the experience and strong communication skills in managing a large pulic organization to get things done in Hartford while also reforming ways they operate. In the past, the leiutenant governor has done little more than become a business advocate as Ms. Wilson-Foley has promised she’d do. We hope Ms. Wilson-Foley can continue working in a job creation role she has promised to do, however we need the LG to do even more than that in upcoming years.

For these reasons, his friendly personality and experience as a high school teacher mentoring youth, we pick Mark Boughton.


US Congress

Here, we see strong promise in a race to unseat Congressman Chris Murphy. Sam caligiuri says he is the best man who can do this. Justin Bernier says he has the educational background in International relations and economics to lead. Mark Greenberg also is running probably for the right reasons and he has come from virtually nowhere with a strong campaign against State Senator Sam Caligiuri and Afghan War veteran Justin Bernier. Greenberg is a propety manager and millionaire from Litchfield. We are troubled by many of his advertising, and therefore cannot support him in this year’s race.

Let’s look at the ad records:

First, abortion is a very important issue for the district. Many in the 5th are conservatives, including Democrats. Sam Caligiuri has a record of being pro-life and having a principled Catholic upbringing. He also has made some difficult decisions in being the ONLY legislator to cast a vote against last year’s budget which has led to this year’s multi-billlion dollar deficits. Caligiuri predicted this would happen and sounded the alarm, but no one else listened. He hasn’t gotton the credit he deserves but has proven he can lead with his gut.

Bernier is bein attacked, not for being pro-life, but not for proclaiming it with a bigger bullhorn. The Whisper found out that Bernier is one of 9 children and three people in his family are adopted. While Mr. Bernier is only 34 years old, we believe he had concerns like many other novice politicians about how he wanted to coney his opinions on the issue without being criticized by Murphy. But, he has never been inconsistent on the issue. And, both Caligiuri and Greenberg’s campaigns have lied about Bernier saying he’s pro-life. Two weeks ago during a debate on WATR radio, Bernier proclaimed that not only was he pro-life, but “we have to build a culture of life” taking in seemingly unrelated issues such as how we take care of children and our social structure so that parents can have meaningful impacts in their children’s lives without government intervention. We like this view with clarity. While we may disagree on every aspect of the issue, the way Bernier answered the questions should garner Democrat and Independent support to get the ball rolling in the right direction in reducing abortions and building happier and stronger families.

On other issues, he is coming under attack. However, the Whisper has asked him about his curious votes on minimum wage. On that vote, he asked local chambers of commerce what impact that would have on their businesses. He also did research to see if raising the minimum wage would impact jobs. Historically, the research proves that they did not. This kills the hypothesis that it would. While we still are curious about these votes and trust the hypothesis more than the research, we admire caligiuri for the effort he has done to back up his decisions. Greenberg however, arbitrarily has attacked Caligiuri on this issue, whereas the job killer is more likely the lack of leadership in Hartford by the Democrats and the overall economy. Our wish, however was a for a stronger campaign that shared this inormation with the voters so that we could be informed too.

Caligiuri is being attacked from both sides for a ‘cap and tax’ bill he voted on in Hartford. The rhetoric on this too, is good, but Caligiuri knows the bill they talk about most. So far this is all gobbly-gook and the campaigns haven’t made it clear what or how this bill worked, or the text of it.

In summary, is Caligiuri the best man to beat Chris Murphy? We’re not sure. But he may be one of the most honest.

What do you think?

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