Calls for honest and real legislative leadership

To the Editor:

Unfortunately, the newly elected Democratic Town Committee Chairwomen Heather Dean has decided to start the political season on a negative note.

Instead of looking forward and addressing the many critical issues that our state representatives and senators will face in the next term, she and her followers would rather try to mislead voters by distorting the facts and motives behind the voting records of state Reps. Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick (both Republicans), while purporting that state Rep. Kim Fawcett (a Democrat) can do no wrong in her support of Gov. Malloy’s bonding and budget proposals.

Mrs. Dean tried to characterize Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick as “radical, cut-everything” politicians who are “playing a dangerous game that threatens our excellent public schools, property taxes and economic prosperity.” These characterizations are shameful and provide a sad insight to Mrs. Dean’s belief that negative campaigning is the way to win in Fairfield.

For those of you who know Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick, know that they have dedicated themselves to community service. They have spent hundreds of hours researching and voting on thousands of bills, bonding packages and budgets.

During all of this, they have stood united in the fact that they will not support a budget that does not properly address debt service and they will not support further increases in bonding until our debt is addressed.

In Mrs. Dean’s world, the fact that someone votes against a budget or bonding means that they must not support anything funded within that budget or bonding proposal. Her rationale is unreasonable and insincere. When Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick vote against a budget or bonding, it does not mean they want to shut down government, it simply means that they believe it needs to be reworked to gain their support .

The Democrats currently have a massive majority in the state House and control the governor’s office. The Democrats dictate and drive the agenda.  Tony Hwang, Brenda Kupchick and John McKinney have been vocal voices against excessive borrowing and against budgets which refuse to properly prioritize and supports debt service.

The Institute for Truth in Accounting identified Connecticut as the state in the worst financial position in the country. With $20.4 billion in outstanding debt, Connecticut has the highest debt in the country. Combine that with $13.3 billion in state employee pension obligations, $11.1 billion in teacher pension obligations and $23.8 billion in other long-term obligations and the big picture is a scary one.

When it comes to bonding, the fact is that since Gov. Malloy took office the bond authorizations have more than doubled. This year Gov. Malloy set a record with $3.1 billion in bonding. The recently passed budget, which Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick opposed and Kim Fawcett supported, contains $3.4 billion in bonding.

As worthy as some state bond projects may be, there has to be a point when we slow our spending and focus on paying our debt. Next year, the Democrats have delayed $196 million in debt payments in order to “balance” the state budget. Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick did not support this while Kim Fawcett did. You decide who made the right choice.

Heather Dean said in her letter, “there’s no doubt that Connecticut’s economy continues to struggle, forcing our lawmakers to make tough choices.” John McKinney, Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick have shown they have the courage to make those tough choices. Furthermore, they did not just vote against the Democrats proposals, they present their own fiscally responsible alternatives.

The voters have a clear choice in November between Republicans willing to do the heavy lifting, which may not always be popular, or the Democrats who will borrow without hesitation to “balance” a budget and continue to grow the size of government.

As always, the voters will decide. I encourage all voters to do your own research, listen to the candidate’s ideas this season, try to ignore the inaccurate negative campaigning and make your choice on the direction you want our state to go.

 

James Millington

Chairman

Fairfield RTC

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