Editorial: Greenwich Sentinel Endorsements

The Sentinel endorses Stefanowski and the incumbent team: Frantz, Floren, Camillo, Bocchino

John Adams, who was born earlier this week in 1735, said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Two-hundred and eighty-three years later, with the advent of direct communications, the facts are often spun, sometimes recklessly, but they are still stubborn.

Whether you are for or against a specific social issue, the facts are that Connecticut will not be making major shifts. Connecticut’s legislature is deeply weighted politically toward social progressives and moderates, and that is extremely unlikely to change.

Connecticut is one of the few states that has codified the provisions of Roe v. Wade in state law. That means abortion would remain legal in Connecticut, even if its historical precedent is revised by a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court.

Connecticut has one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country. In April 2009, the legislature passed a bill to fully codify same-sex marriage making all existing civil unions into civil marriages automatically.

Connecticut has the strictest gun safety laws in the country. Some felt the gun safety law focused too much on guns, and not enough on mental health and school security systems. As the finances of the state improve, we feel more should be spent on these additional safety issues.

Connecticut has a mandatory arrest law for domestic abuse; which means the aggressive party must be arrested if there is probable cause, even for disturbing the peace.

Connecticut is one of five states which have enacted pay equity laws for women.

We believe that the greatest threat to social issues comes not from legislation, but from lack of funding. To be effective, laws need support and enforcement. Without appropriate levels of funding, they are paper tigers.

This brings us back to John Adams. He might have been a bit irritated when he said, “All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”

Few publications understand these issues of finance better than the Wall Street Journal. Their editorial last week took apart Connecticut’s finances. It was not pretty. It read in part:

“Connecticut’s GDP has shrunk an incredible 9.3% since 2007. Had Connecticut grown at the same rate as the U.S. over the last eight years, its economy would be nearly $50 billion larger and annual revenues would be $3.9 billion higher—equal to all of the state’s corporate tax revenues and nearly one third of income tax collections.

Meantime, spending on public worker benefits has grown without restraint.”

We know our state is in dire fiscal shape, but to see it called out in the editorial of the Wall Street Journal was sobering. They advocated for Bob Stefanowski.

One-party rule, whether Republican or Democrat, is rarely a good idea.

For fifteen years, beginning in 1976, our state led the country in GDP growth. In 1991 the flat 4.5% income tax arrived. Since then, Connecticut has indulged a tax, spending and debt addiction enabled by public unions whose members vote reliably.

Democrats have held control of the legislative branch in Hartford for 24 of the past 26 years.

What does that really mean?

In Hartford, it means leadership assignments belong to Democrats. Leadership sets the agenda and the calendar. If there is a “veto-proof majority,” it means that the Governor’s veto is nothing more than a protest, one easily overridden.

It means that no union agreement or arbitration award has been rejected by the Connecticut legislature in two decades.

In fact, Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat, is an employee of AFSCME (an influential public-employee union) while at the same time serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

We do not believe increasing taxes will get Connecticut’s economy moving again. The idea of imposing a state-wide property tax in addition to our local property taxes is very real. So too are “use” taxes like tolls and cell phone taxes.

Increasing taxes means reducing income for individuals, companies, students, and families. That means less money going into the private sector economy and fewer jobs.

This is the Catch-22 we have been experiencing for decades.

We believe Greenwich has made excellent choices in their representatives so far and that our delegation is ready to shine. As a team, we have seen what they can accomplish, how strong they can be, how they protect us and our rights. We believe in them and in our state, so we are excited to see what they can accomplish if re-elected and working with Bob Stefanowski and a moderate Republican legislature… a real possibility for the first time in a very long time.

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