Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 11-1-18

Maria Horn is the choice for saving the environment

Social Services will confirm, citizens’ first calls for help are for fuel assistance and no one calls for the environment, yet the two are fundamentally linked: Colder winters require more fuel. Likewise, we talk about health care and the economy as key issues. Clean air, water and healthy natural resources support our farms, our industries and, of course, our bodies. These are essentially environmental issues. Along with economy, health, and education, Maria Horn has made the environment one of her top issues. She has gained the endorsements of both the Connecticut Sierra Club and the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.

“Connecticut deserves lawmakers who will fight for renewable energy, clean air and water, and open space,” said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. “The candidates we endorsed today have made a real commitment to the environment. They have all signed on to our Clean Energy for All pledge to move Connecticut to 100 percent renewable energy [by 2050], and each has demonstrated in the legislature or on the campaign trail that the environment is more than just a talking point, it’s a priority.” Solar energy is now the leading electric energy employer. This will not only help alleviate climate change but also develop a sustainable economy. 

We love our rural landscape for its scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and recreational opportunities. Our forests and farms are important to absorb harmful carbon and other emissions from the atmosphere while our state parks and conserved lands support our tourism economy, strong property values and better quality of life. Meanwhile, we have open space for positive development. Maria can achieve the healthy balances we need between economic development and land conservation. 

Maria is engaged in the issue of toxic threats to air quality presented by the upcoming Cricket Valley Energy Center (Power Plant) under construction in bordering Dover, N.Y. She has attended all presentations by the Western CT Clean Air Action, representatives from Town Conservation Commissions, Land Trusts and other environmental groups. Maria’s legal background will help them navigate these new challenges successfully.  

Maria is also a backer of the State Water Plan insuring water be protected as a public trust, the ban on single use plastic bags, the repeal of the gas pipeline tax to stimulate fracked gas, and carbon pricing to reflect the true costs of fossil fuels.

The Republican scorecard on the environment is very low: fighting the State Water Plan, protection against fracking waste and other toxins, and most egregiously, diverting ratepayer money from the Energy Efficiency Fund, which had cost-saving opportunities for all. 

We need an environmental advocate for the 64th District with a comprehensive vision. Please vote for Maria Horn for state representative on Nov. 6 so that sound environmental policy will be maintained and developed for better health and better lives for the Northwest Corner and Connecticut. 

Wendy Murphy


Debby Bennett

West Cornwall


‘Yes’ to two ballot questions

On Election Day, Nov. 6, Connecticut voters will weigh in on two proposed amendments to our state Constitution when they cast their ballots. The League of Women Voters urges Connecticut voters to vote “yes” on both. Here’s why.

Ballot question 1: Lockbox amendment. A “yes” vote will permit the state’s Special Transportation Fund to be used only for transportation purposes. This amendment will prevent future governors or lawmakers from raiding the Special Transportation Fund for purposes other than transportation-related improvements.

Ballot question 2: Public Lands Protection.  A “yes” vote adds new rules for transferring or selling state property, like parks, forests, beaches or other public lands. This amendment will require public hearings, specific targeted legislation, and a two-thirds supermajority vote by your legislators to approve certain transfers of public property. A “yes” vote will help preserve Connecticut’s treasured public lands, protect our state’s quality of life, and provide greater transparency in government decisions. Open and transparent government is a bedrock principle of the League of Women Voters. State lawmakers from both major parties have supported this change. 

LWVCT recommends a “yes” vote on both ballot questions.   For background information, see the LWVCT website at www.lwvct.org.

Kerwin Mayers, president

League of Women Voters of Litchfield County



Connecticut needs a Republican governor

Along with the other members of the Salisbury Republican Town Committee, I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that The Lakeville Journal endorsed Ned Lamont for Governor. After all, waiting for the Journal to endorse a Republican for federal or statewide office is a lot like waiting for Godot.

The ownership of the paper is apparently unaware of, or unconcerned about, our state’s dire economic situation. Following eight years of ever-increasing taxes and spending, here is where Connecticut finds itself:  We have the highest tax burden and the lowest rate of job growth in the nation. We have the third lowest growth in Gross State Product; while Massachusetts’ economy has grown 2.2 percent a year since 2009, ours has shrunk by .5 percent a year. We also have the fourth most under-funded pension and health-care benefit system in the country, with the projected shortfall approaching $90 billion.  And more people are leaving Connecticut each year than any state save West Virginia.

It is folly to think that continued Democratic control of the governorship will generate policies that will reverse this downward spiral.  Bob Stefanowski has a carefully crafted 5-Step plan to turn the state around. It begins in the first year with zero-based budgeting and the elimination of the Gift and Estate tax, which will help staunch the outflow of residents to more tax-favorable states; in the past 10 years, we have lost $6 billion in taxable income to Florida alone. Over two years Mr. Stefanowski would phase out the Corporate Income Tax and the Business Entity Tax; these taxes have led to a huge exodus of major corporations.  Just this year we have seen  GE and Alexion depart while Bristol-Myers and Konica Minolta have announced plans to move. The elimination of these taxes and a reduction in business regulations should also stimulate the growth of small businesses, the heart of the state’s economy.

Most significantly, Mr. Stefanowski would begin phasing out the state income tax over a period of eight years, with the cuts tied to the state reaching needed revenue targets. A recent study shows that in the 15 years prior to the inauguration of the state income tax, Connecticut led the nation in growth; in the 25 years since the tax was instituted, we are 46th in the nation in growth. Mr. Lamont’s alleged plan (according to your editorial) to reduce property taxes is unhelpful as property taxes are assessed at the local, not state, level.

The late Ella Grasso served as Connecticut governor from 1975 to 1980.  Ms. Grasso was extremely popular on both sides of the aisle and was known for her fiscal conservatism and opposition to a state income tax. Ironically, her son Jim Grasso has recently endorsed Mr. Stefanowski; we wish that The Lakeville Journal had done the same. If Mr. Lamont succeeds Mr. Malloy, Connecticut’s downward economic spiral will continue.

Tom Morrison

Chair, Salisbury Republican Town Committee



Symbolism of the Doughboy

In the center of North Canaan, on a rise of ground overlooking the town, is a memorial to World War I, or The Great War. Fashioned in appearance as a soldier of the time, it is meant to pay honor to those who fought. There is, however, another reason for its presence that can easily be overlooked.

Hastily raised and equally hurriedly trained, the U.S. Army of 100 years ago were shipped to France by the tens of thousands as quickly as they could be loaded onto a ship. No small number of these men hadn’t ever fired a weapon, and an equal number and probably more shipped without all of their equipment. The idea was we could catch up on all of this when we got there. General Pershing didn’t plan to commit the American Army until the spring of 1919.

The German offensive in the spring of 1918 changed all of this. By mid-summer, they had destroyed two British Army groups and punched a 40-mile-wide hole in the French line east of the Marne River. The untried American Army was called forward to stop the German advance and they did, on the Marne. How did a green, untested Army do this, you might ask?

In my opinion, the American spirit played heavily into this. The American spirit, you ask?

Yes, the absolute refusal to be a subject or to be subjected, and an intolerance for those who treat their fellow man in such a manner. Resolute, tempered with sound reasoning and strengthened with courage, it has seen us through our darkest hours. The spirit has always been with us, as a part of our character. We are possessed of it in our blood and bones, even at the cost of our lives. Each group of immigrants that has joined us over time has added its own nuances to it and made it ever stronger.

The men who this monument was built to honor are long gone, but the Doughboy stands, symbolic of the American spirit. Give some thought to it as you pass by, if you may. The spirit I speak of is the reason we have never had a yoke around our neck, and as long as it remains with us in any quantity, we never will.

David A. Woodruff

East Canaan


Ohler understands 64th District

Election Day, Nov. 6, is closely coming up. There is clearly only one choice on whom to vote for in the state House 64th District race on this day: Brian Ohler. He is a man who is truly there for his community. 

All the times I have called him for help, morning or even late at night, he is always responsive. He truly understands the needs of our small communities. Brian understands the people’s struggles living here: housing costs, jobs, the future of the Northwest Corner. 

Does Maria Horn really get our struggles? I think not. Maria comes into our community originally as a wealthy weekender from New York City. Do you think someone like this gets financial struggles and making enough money to put food on the table? Brian surely does as someone born and raised here.

Make the right choice, vote for Brian Ohler. 

Jessica McCue

North Canaan


Clear choice for state treasurer

Next week, your choice for state treasurer is clear. Who would you trust to invest your money: an experienced investment professional or a career politician? Just like you, Connecticut deserves the best ­— Thad Gray, the Republican and Independent candidate. He’s a financial professional with 35 years of experience investing for public and private pension funds and also held a leadership position at his investment firm. He is ideally qualified to take on the responsibilities of state treasurer: investing $42 billion of pension assets for Connecticut’s retirees, teachers and most of our state employees and overseeing our state bond obligations. 

Our pensions are seriously under-funded and we have excessive state debt and a very poor bond rating. Frankly, it’s a small miracle that we have someone as knowledgeable, hard-working and honest as Thad Gray ready to take on this challenging job.

His opponent, Democrat Shawn Wooden, has experience in government which he is proud of. I wonder why. As president of the Hartford City Council he made numerous bad decisions that accelerated that city’s slide toward bankruptcy. All of us in the rest of the state are now paying for his failed leadership. Our taxes pay for $40 million in the current state budget to keep  Hartford afloat and, even worse, for $550 million of city debt from the Hartford bailout. 

Mr. Wooden has demonstrated the same dismal fiscal management and pandering to special interests in Hartford that Governor Malloy has shown at the state level. We can’t afford more financial incompetence in state government. This is no time to let partisan politics get in the way of electing the most qualified candidate. Please join me in voting for Thad Gray for state treasurer on Nov. 6.

Mary Robertson



Lawson for 30th District

I’ve known David Lawson for more than 10 years and enthusiastically endorse his candidacy to be our next state senator. David, a retired high school history teacher, has been a member of the New Milford Board of Education for more than 12 years, and its chairman for the past three years. He fully understands the challenges faced by our public schools in terms of accessing the needed facilities that are necessary so our students can make the most of the opportunities needed in the 21st century. He is well aware of the need for well-prepared dynamic teachers and gives the curriculum of the New Milford public schools his full attention. When I was a teacher at New Milford High School, he was the only Board of Education member who visited my classroom so that he could keep current on what was happening in our schools.  I very much appreciated the support that he gave the teachers. 

David’s candidacy is endorsed by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters because of his strong commitment to the environment in western Connecticut.  This same group has said that his opponent, Craig Miner, “has taken the anti-environmental position on more than 85 important environmental bills in the Connecticut legislature between 2001 and 2018”. 

As far as I am able to research, his opponent has yet to take a stand on the Cricket Valley Energy Center project that is currently under construction in Dover Plains, N.Y., a mere 6 miles from New Milford, Sherman, and Kent.  Even the DEEP has said that this plant “would definitely add pollutants” to the air that western Connecticut breathes.  The plant is expected to produce tons of pollutants annually (although we are told these would be within federal limits).  As we all know, many times the winds blow from west to east – meaning that many Connecticut towns will receive the polluted air caused by this large gas-powered facility. Many of us, including David, chose to live in western Connecticut in order to have clean air. Lawson has stated that the first bill that he will introduce in the Legislature would require air-quality monitoring on the state line of our air before the plant starts operating with continued monitoring after it starts producing energy. Do you think it was an accident that New York state decided to build such a plant within a few miles of their border with another state?

A state senator, especially in a district as large as the 30th, (going from Brookfield to the Massachusetts border) will need to do a significant amount of travel to keep in touch with those of us who live in that district. How many times in the past two years have you heard of town hall meetings when Craig Miner came to meet and listen to his constituents? When elected, David will not be a stranger in any of the towns in this district.

I will be voting for David on Nov. 6 and I urge you to as well.                   

David Shaffer



Help make area great again

I am a registered Unaffiliated and Independent conservative voter. I will be voting for Jay Case for state representative serving the 63rd District (Winchester, Torrington, Colebrook and Goshen) in the November 2018 elections and recommend that others in the 63rd District do so too. 

I will also be voting for Bob Stefanowski for governor and will also vote for financially conservative senator and representative candidates in an effort to help the current president “Make America, Winsted and Connecticut Great Again”.


I have lived and owned property in the 63rd District for many years and earned and invested a dollar or two over the years and know a lot of people in the area. Many residents in the district are constantly asking me for advice on investing and voting when they see me, send mail to me or contact me.

Both Winsted and Torrington have seen better financial days. Now, under a few years of financially conservative leadership (Town Manager Robert Geiger and Financial Director Bruce Stratford in Winsted, Elinor Carbone in Torrington and Jay Case in the 63rd District) things are slowly improving. The continuance of the current 63rd District state representative, Jay Case is very important for continued improvement and eventual financial success as the current team works well together. So why change it?

America and the state, cities and towns have suffered greatly financially over the last eight years and it hurts most job seekers, businesses, companies and property owners. Businesses are closing and residents and companies are constantly voting with their feet by moving out of the towns, cities and state.

For those concerned and looking for answers, please take my advice and vote for Jay Case for state representative 63rd District and Bob Stefanowski for governor on Nov. 6. Do it to help your friends and family, and their children and grandchildren. You will be glad if you do and may be kicking yourself if you don’t.

Please help to “Make America, Winsted, Torrington and Connecticut Great Again.”

I will vote for them and I hope they win.

Brian O’Heron



Vote for Perez in the 63rd

This will not be a letter of negative comments directed toward Jay Case. I suspect, like me, you might be tired of that kind of approach. I know Jay and he’s a good person, but we do have to make a choice and I believe that Candy Perez will make an outstanding representative for the 63rd District.

I’ve known Candy Perez since she was a little girl and because of that I can tell you some “for sure” things about her.

She is really smart and resourceful. She is honest. She is super hard-working, goal-oriented and focused. Candy is persistent and will follow through on issues for you. She is caring, generous, respectful and inclusive of all people. Candy is also very authentic and forthright. You will know exactly where she stands.

She has shown the ability to work “across the aisle” as demonstrated by the way the Winchester Board of Selectmen has been working together very smoothly since she’s led it as mayor. (And thank you to all the current Board members who have contributed to that bi-partisan effort.)

Candy has been a teacher, a principal, a coach, a volunteer, a member of local boards and commissions, and a mayor, among other accomplishments. She is a Hall of Famer and she will bring that same level of excellence and teamwork to the Legislature for you.

Another aspect of Candy’s character is that she is humble and not a natural self-promoter. I happen to think this is a virtue; however, in a political campaign I recognize that it might not sufficiently allow you to know her, which is why I’m writing this letter.

Not long ago I was honored to attend her birthday party, to which approximately 100 people came (from as far as Europe). I wish you could have heard the testimonials to her and the high regard in which she is held by those who know her.

I hope you will choose to vote Democrat for Althea “Candy” Perez as your representative for the 63rd District.

Shirley Allshouse



Be prepared for coming Trump/GOP recession

When the next recession hits, don’t count on the “safety net.”  The Trump/GOP administration  and Congress are doing all they can to be sure there won’t be a safety net. All it will take is a tipping point where the wealthiest American oligarchs lose confidence, sense disaster, pull out their money and initiate a run on the banks. The debts that mega-investors hold today (and report as “assets”) are reported to be nearly one thousand times greater than the total of all the equity reserves held by all U.S. banks to guard against another Great Recession. The global debts of governments, companies and households, which stood at “only” $97 trillion in 2008,  now exceed $233 trillion in 2018!  We teeter on the brink of a massive national and global crash.

The U.S. national debt burden under the Trump administration is now the heaviest it has been in 70 years. Tax breaks for the wealthy add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. (If they could, they’d abolish the capital gains tax and the inheritance tax too — a fiscal disaster.) When the next recession hits, there won’t be any funds for such already-depleted, people-oriented “safety net” programs, as food stamps, unemployment insurance and job-creating public works. As many of us learned in the last recession during the Bush years, government benefits that require recipients to hold a job become worthless when there’s no work to be had. 

Let’s not be misled by the false assurances by the so-called conservative right that they have the slightest interest in your well-being, or that they want to (a) save Social Security by privatizing it, or (b) ensure your future health by repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act,  derisively called Obamacare, or (c) reduce the tax burden on working Americans by means of (falsely labeled) tax reform. That’s all copy-cat populist rhetoric designed to sound concerned, but really to deceive and misinform a gullible public.

Both Democrats and Republicans promise to  grow the economy so that everyone has a well-paying job. The difference is, the former have actual proposals to build infrastructure, stimulate new technology and provide affordable education for technical jobs needed in the future. The latter have no specific proposals except deregulation, and further tax breaks for the most wealthy among us. This, they claim, will obviate the need for welfare or a safety net to “coddle” the “idle poor,” who, they claim, “fail to invest” and are therefore “responsible for their own poverty.”  

No, the Trump/GOP has nothing in mind to deal with the likely coming recession. Indeed, their self-interested policies will be among the root causes of it. All that is needed is a trigger event where the disparity of wealth, inequity of taxation, and imbalance of debt in America becomes evident, panics the oligarchs and initiates  a domino effect leading to a Great Recession No. 2.  

Can we do anything to counter this? Yes, we can do it in the voting booth in November 2018 and 2020. 

Tony Piel



Look beyond NRA ratings: vote Democrat on Nov. 6

At the recent candidate debate at HVRHS there was a brief discussion of NRA ratings, and then the matter was dismissed. The NRA-PVF (Political Victory Fund) is a self-described, single issue, political action committee, and these ratings have meaning and importance to the NRA leadership. The ratings run from A+ to F with question marks (?) for those who do not respond to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire. See www.nrapvf.org/grades/Connecticut and click on “What the grades mean.”

So how do these rankings play out in the upcoming Connecticut election? Of the 18 candidates on the ballot (federal, statewide, state local) there are 8 Fs (all Democrats). The Republicans scored two As, 4 Aqs, 1 B+, and 2 ?s. There was one ? on the Democrat side. Three candidates on the ballot are getting “NRA Endorsements”: Stefanowski (Aq), Markley (A+), and Miner (A-). These are the messages NRA voters are getting from their PAC.

Although the NRA doesn’t publicize it, there is a split in attitudes toward gun safety between the NRA leadership and NRA members. A recent Pew Research Center study (www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/05/among-gun-owners-nra-members-ha...) reports that 52 percent of NRA members favor “background checks for private sales and at gun shows”; 29 percent favor “creating a federal data base to track gun sales”; and 28 percent favor “banning assault style weapons,” all of which are contrary to the official NRA line. So when you see candidates with high ratings, you can infer that they do not represent all of the NRA membership, and in the case of background checks at gun shows, not even a majority of members. 

Although Maria Horn is perfectly fine with her “F” rating, she does support the Second Amendment even though the NRA claims she is a “true enemy of gun owner’s rights.” Her position on common sense gun safety is more in line with the 52 percent of NRA members cited above. She has said that she supports NRA members, not the NRA leadership. She has spoken publicly in Hartford in support of two gun safety issues: the bump stock ban, which eventually passed the Legislature with bipartisan support, and the “ghost gun” ban, which was tabled. Her expertise on the latter issue was the result of her experience as a federal prosecutor. 

In reading this, one might suppose I am a far-left gun control nut. I grew up on a local dairy farm, hunting from the time I was 13 years old. I am a gun owner. Every year I sign a few deer hunting permits. I am a veteran. And, more recently, an NRA member. The hysteria and fear-mongering I see coming out of NRA publications is astounding, much of which advertises and promotes a paramilitary culture. As I write this, I hear news reporting the bomb attacks on our past and present politicians. Intentionally or not, the NRA contributes to this violent, incendiary moment. 

Peter Neely



Maria Horn is my choice

I’m voting for Maria Horn for my Representative for the 64th Legislative District. I am confident that she has the competence to make the right decisions that will positively affect the quality of life for all of us in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut and beyond.

I agree with her positions on issues that are important to me such as the environment and climate change; the economy and job opportunities;  gun safety laws; education and equal rights for all.

Beyond the issues the feeling of trust means a lot to me and that’s why I’m voting for Maria on Nov. 6.

Judi Armstrong



For Brian two years ago, but Maria’s the one now

Two years ago I voted for Brian Ohler. That was before the Republicans turned into the party of Trump. This year I will vote for Maria Horn. If you think that’s not a local concern, recall what the Salisbury Republican Committee Chair said two weeks ago. He dismissed Maria Horn because he says her “credentials” are relatively unimportant and followed that with populist nonsense about governing being best left to “non-elite” citizens. That’s how we ended up with a president with no credentials at all beyond closing real estate deals. If you think that’s worked well, you will probably vote for Brian and other Republicans.

Credentials translate to me as experience and background, both of which are extremely important. Maria’s experience in finance, as a federal prosecutor and chair of non-profit boards like Women’s Support Services, give me a lot of confidence in her ability to be a great representative. She met with many of us in Cornwall, and I’ve rarely met a more caring, intelligent, and articulate candidate. She’s also a great listener and knows state issues well.

I will vote for Maria because she is the better candidate and also because I do not want to turn the evenly divided Legislature over to the Republicans. Do we really want to go down their road of eliminating the income tax and then cutting back on education, social services and the like? How will that attract new business? Connecticut doesn’t have a tax problem; it has a city problem. We are bereft of cities that are attractive to young, tech savvy workers. This state has big problems, and a rep with Maria’s background and experience is my choice to help solve them. If we are to turn this country around, what better place to start than right here.

Ed Ferman

West Cornwall


Maria Horn is an exceptional candidate

Our district has a rare opportunity on Nov. 6 to send Maria Horn to Hartford as our state representative.

Following a career in investment banking and as a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Maria settled in our area with her husband and family and raised three children. Immersing herself in the community, she stepped up to serve on local boards, and as board chair, in the areas of education, women’s support services, and finance. This in-depth involvement has led Maria to a cogent, detailed assessment of our district, clearly presented at the recent Candidates’ Debate at the Housatonic Regional Valley High School. 

Mindful of this region’s striking natural beauty, Maria sees protecting our environment as critical on its face and as an economic imperative. For growth, she believes we must also move decisively on other fronts.

We lag woefully on broadband access and speed. To draw young families and entrepreneurs, create more and better jobs, secure a broader tax base, ensure excellence and equity in education, she knows we must prioritize digital infrastructure — the highway system of the 21st century.

Talking with job seekers and employers with openings, Maria has observed a need to facilitate recruitment and application. She’ll also pursue smart, efficient regulation reform to reduce hurdles for small businesses.

Developing affordable housing options for young people who want to live and work here, ending wage stagnation, and fighting the scourge of income inequality — all are priorities for Maria, as is tackling the state’s looming budget crisis, a challenge for which she is well prepared.

As our region contends with the current complications of rural healthcare, Maria will zero in on both health-care access and affordability, and on shielding Connecticut from the ongoing federal assault on the protections of the Affordable Care Act. She sees health care as a common good, and government with a role to play in its defense.

She has spoken out consistently about the future of critical medical services at Sharon Hospital. Maria’s unique combination of financial and legal skills and her deep knowledge of our towns have equipped her to work productively with all stakeholders and to be a negotiator in Hartford with command of the complexities.  

She recalls that growing up, in her family, it was what you did, not said, that was emphasized. During the last months, she has engaged with people of differing political views in order to formulate responsive action.  

Maria will do that in the statehouse. She believes that politics is not a team sport but a set of values put to work. For her, finding solutions collaboratively, across party lines, in the legislature and in our towns, is a high purpose we can all adopt. Maria cares deeply about cooperation, civility, and respect; her campaign has reflected that.

We and our Legislature need her. Vote Maria Horn to represent the 64th.

Kathleen McCaffrey Friedman



Vote for Horn

I am supporting Maria Horn for Connecticut’s 64th state house seat because she is the kind of person who will continually work to bring progress to all of the residents of the area. She’s extraordinarily intelligent and driven. So much so, that the race against her opponent has become quite close and I believe leans toward Maria’s victory. Maria has inspired dozens of locals to volunteer for her. She and her volunteer force have knocked on thousands of doors and made hundreds of calls to constituents. 

Maria is proving she will involve all of our residents in the political happenings of the Legislature. Maria Horn is the kind of person we need to properly represent the Northwest Corner. As a youth and recent college graduate, I feel that Maria is the best representation of the values this district shares. Maria cares about making the education of youths affordable, accessible, and impactful for the younger constituents of the 64th. She is far and away the clear choice to represent us.

Connor Riley


Connor Riley



It’s Horn for the 64th

I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to endorse a colleague and a friend, Maria Horn, in her run as the Democratic candidate for Connecticut’s 64th House District. The residents of the 64th District are fortunate to have this woman represent them, especially now with Republicans having lost their moral compass and having forgotten the democratic fundamentals our country was founded on. She can be that kind of leader and  has that moral compass in addition to financial and administrative skills and a thorough understanding of the law that comes from work as   a federal prosecutor with the U.S. District Attorney’s office.   

I encourage you to think through and understand some of the votes incumbent Brian Ohler has taken in the past two years. In a state that has the unfortunate distinction of being home to one of the worst school shootings, Brian made no public statement when a bill on banning bump stocks died in committee and provided no support for the similar bill debated by the Judiciary Committee. When the bump stock ban reached the House floor he eventually voted to support it, after Republican leadership acknowledged it had enough support to pass anyway.  

This view and this vote appear to align with a conservative agenda, a perspective that we don’t see a lot of in the 64th District. It is not reflective of the majority of the residents Brian represents.  Please join me on Election Day on Nov. 6 in voting for Maria Horn for the 64th District.

Jessica Fowler



Thoughts and gratitude for support after Pittsburgh shooting

Heartbreaking to hear how Jews were murdered just for being Jews in Pittsburgh, Pa.

There is nothing that can truly comfort such a heinous crime. However, as the Sabbath ended my phone started beeping with messages from my Gentile friends from all over northwest Connecticut sharing in the grief and in our mutual pain. I know we live in the great USA and empty drums make a lot of noise. The world is a good world.

Over 75 years ago, Rabbi Sholom Posner was sent as the Rebbe’s first Chabad Emissary to Pittsburgh. The Rebbe told him that “your name is Sholom — peace, there should always be peace around you”.

The Pittsburgh Jewish community, and with all its different elements, has a thriving, growing — and peaceful — existence. This tragedy hits the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, my dear cousin the Chabad Rabbi Mendel Rosenblum and all of us worldwide, it affects every peace-loving person no matter race, color or faith, in the USA and everywhere.

Faith is beyond understanding. The Rebbe always taught us that in times of tragedy we must turn the darkness immediately into light, by doing an extra act of uncalculated love to humanity as a whole and to see the good in everyone and everything.

Let us hope for a time of respect, peace and harmony, and ultimately, lasting peace — the coming of Moshiach.

Rabbi Joseph I. Eisenbach



It’s Ohler for the 64th

Others have written in support of Brian Ohler’s candidacy for his second term as Connecticut’s 64th District representative, and I would like to lend my support as well.  

It’s difficult to know where to begin; however, I guess the best place to start is with Brian’s roots in the Northwest Corner.  He is part of the fabric of our special place in Connecticut and understands its character and needs, I believe, better than his opponent. Additionally, he sits on key committees that place him in a great position to represent the concerns of northwest Connecticut.

Another strong quality in Brian’s favor is his solid commitment to the 64th District.  I’ve admired him for several years, but he really sealed the deal with answers to questions about a couple of his votes earlier this year. His responses embodied what representational government is all about:  he based his votes purely on what benefited the district the most. Period. No political party benefit. No caving to lobbying.  Just representing the people of northwest Connecticut.

The final character trait I believe can be attributed to Brian is honor. I’ve been thinking about this word quite a bit lately, and very few live up to its ideal. I believe Brian Ohler is one of those individuals who still understands the meaning of the word and strives to live honorably every day.

Please join me in voting for Brian Ohler on Nov. 6.

Karen S. Dignacco



Vote for Althea Candy Perez

On Nov. 6 I am voting for Candy Perez for our next state representative for the 63rd District because we need to have a strong advocate in Hartford for fiscal responsibility. Candy has worked tirelessly through the years as mayor of Winchester to insure that actions are taken to create and support town budgets that reflect and balance the needs of the community with the ability of the taxpayers to pay for those needs. Candy doesn’t just show up for photo opportunities at election time, she shows up every day of every week of the year to listen, lead and perform her civic responsibilities.

Candy believes in bipartisan actions rather than in single party directives. Candy will provide our 63rd District with representation of all our citizens.

I am voting for Candy Perez on Nov. 6 and hope you will support her candidacy as well.

George Closson



Vote ‘yes’ on Ballot Question 2

Ballot Question 2 would require the State to hold a public hearing and then a 2/3 vote of the Legislature before selling any lands held by DEEP or the Department of Agriculture.

These lands include not only state parks, farmland, wetlands and forest, but also some important historic sites such as Canaan’s Beckley Iron Furnace and Gillette Castle. This measure would provide an appropriate level of protection and transparency.

Chris Brennan, President, Salisbury Association

John Landon, Chair, Salisbury Association Land Trust

Lou Bucceri, Chair, Salisbury Association Historical Society



Vote the Democratic line

The coming mid-term elections on Nov. 6 are vitally important if you feel dismayed and disheartened by the current political situation in Washington, D.C. Your vote counts, whether it be on the national, state, or local level. Our state General Assembly can effectively function as protection against some of the more egregious federal policies of the current administration. 

If you care about our environment, voting rights, fair immigration policies, public education, health care coverage, retirement, medicare and medicaid, workplace health and safety laws, and a fair minimum wage you need to become informed before Nov. 6 so that your vote reflects your core beliefs. 

Please consider visiting www.ctaflcio.org/legislative-scorecard. Then click on 2017-2018 legislative scorecard. You can scroll down through our state Senate and House of Representatives to see bills that passed or failed and how each representative voted on them. You can also visit ballotpedia.org, lcv.org, and other informative sites for further information. 

After researching the voting records of the incumbents for our federal and state House of Representatives and Senate, I trust that Chris Murphy, Jahanna Hayes, David Lawson and Maria Horn will support the Democratic values that I believe in.

Kathy Lyon



Maria Horn for the 64th

I am proud and excited to be voting for Maria Horn in November, because I know she shares my values. I have talked to Brian Ohler on a number of occasions and like him personally, but too often he votes with the most conservative wing of his party. While he has told me on more than one occasion that he is also a “social moderate,” his votes in Hartford say otherwise.

He voted against a constitutional amendment to allow early voting making it easier for working people to cast their ballots. He voted for a Texas-style voter ID law that would require photo IDs to vote, which disenfranchises many lower income voters. He voted against campaign finance reform bills in 2017 and 2018 designed to restrict dark money in Connecticut. He voted against a bill that would have provided protection for undocumented minors against abusive parents. 

He voted against a 2018 bill to allow Dreamers to apply for financial aid at state colleges, aid every student contributes to through their tuition, 15 percent of which goes to fund financial aid. (The legislation passed anyway, thanks in part to other Republicans who saw it as an issue of basic fairness.) He voted “no” in the Appropriations Committee in 2017 on a bill that would have provided protection to whistleblowers. These are not the votes of a social moderate.

Maria has worked tirelessly in her community to protect abused women, to combat the opioid crisis and to improve education. She will be responsive to the needs of all of us, whether our day-to-day problems or longer-range issues we must solve to have a vibrant state economy. And by the way? Many first responders I know are voting for her. 

Susannah Wood



Vote for Perez for the 63rd

I would like to wholeheartedly endorse and briefly explain why I believe Candy Perez is the better candidate for 63rd State Representative. In the few short years that I have lived in Winsted, I have seen this town go from being overlooked by businesses to set up shop, to now new businesses establishing themselves in a very friendly community, being welcome with open arms.

I attribute the success of new businesses coming into Winsted thanks to the leadership of Mayor Candy Perez and the Board of Selectmen she leads. Candy is also a fiscal conservative who does not believe that we need to tax our way out of Connecticut’s economic crisis. She is her own person, more than capable of making her own decisions, and who won’t be one who always takes marching orders from the leadership of her party.  

Candy’s first priority will be to the citizens of the 63rd House District of Connecticut. By electing Candy as State Representative, no longer will northwest Connecticut be the forgotten corner that it has infamously become. I will close by saying that as an ex-Republican turned Democrat, I would trust Candy Perez to best represent my and my family’s interests in Hartford more so than I would trust any Republican I ever voted for in my life.

Aubrey English



Vote for Horn

We have an extraordinary opportunity in the candidacy of Maria Horn for the 64th District. Her professional life after law school has been one entirely of public service. She will bring to the statehouse a lifetime of skills, experience and determination on behalf of the residents who live and work in the Northwest Corner.

Merely showing up is not sufficient: Horn is a problem solver who has developed and then publicly stated strategies for improving the local economy, dealing with threats to our environment and protecting our healthcare options. Representing us will be a full time job for Maria Horn.

Ruth Skovron

Falls Village