October 22, 2014

Linares, Bjornberg to Meet in Final 33rd District Debate Tomorrow

Republican State Senator Art Linares has committed to participating in a final 33rd Senate District debate on Oct. 23 at Morgan High School in Clinton after skipping a session held Tuesday at Haddam-Killingworth High School amid disagreements with the sponsor and moderator for the session.

Linares announced his willingness to participate in the Thursday, Oct. 23 debate, set for 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Clinton school, after declining to participate in the session Tuesday that was sponsored by the Haddam Bulletin, a monthly newspaper for Haddam. The Oct. 23 debate will be run by students in the Morgan High School current issues class, which had sponsored 33rd Senate debates in previous years.

Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg and Green Party nominee Colin Bennett faced off Tuesday before about 30 voters in the Haddam-Killingworth High School auditorium, with an empty chair on the stage for the absent Linares. Moderator Edward Schwing, editor of the Haddam Bulletin said Ryan Linares, the senator’s brother and campaign manager, had imposed several conditions on participation in the session that included a demand to review questions in advance. Schwing said such a condition would be “contrary to the spirit and intent of the debate.”

Ryan Linares said Wednesday it was Schwing’s role as moderator that prompted the demand to review questions in advance. He noted that Schwing had helped run the 2012 state senate campaign of Green Party nominee Melissa Schlag in the three candidate contest where Art Linares was elected for his first term. Schlag was elected in 2013 as the Democratic first selectwoman of Haddam, and has endorsed Bjornberg for the Nov. 4 vote. “The senator is not interested in that kind of debate,” he said.

Bennett, who has run as the Green Party nominee in previous 33rd Senate contests, used the session in Haddam to contend the current Democratic majority in the Legislature has failed to address several issues and priorities that Bjornberg has stressed in her campaign. Bennett said he is “100 percent committed to this campaign” despite raising and spending no money on the race. Bjornberg said if elected she would be a voice for the district towns in the majority party caucus.

The three candidates had faced off previously at debates on Sept. 16 at the Lyme-in Old Lyme High School, Sept. 23 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, and an Oct. 6 session with House candidates that was sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches. But Bjornberg has pushed for a debate in one of the northern towns of the sprawling 12 town district, and suggested the session Tuesday at Haddam-Killingworth could have been the missing northern town debate. The 33rd District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and parts of Old Saybrook.

Bjornberg said Wednesday she will participate in the Oct. 23 session in Clinton, but contended Linares is “locking out” the northern towns of the district from a public debate. “The district’s two most populous towns in particular, Colchester and East Hampton, deserve to have their residents’ questions asked and their issues addressed” she said.

Bjornberg said she is still working to have the Norwich Bulletin sponsor a debate at the high school in Colchester, but Ryan Linares said Wednesday no one from the newspaper has contacted the campaign about a debate in Colchester.

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LymeLine Writer Recalls Eleanor Roosevelt’s Endorsement of His State Senate Candidacy

Eleanor Roosevelt endorsing the candidacy of Essex resident Jerome Wilson, when he was a candidate for the New York State Senate in 1962

Eleanor Roosevelt endorsing the candidacy of Essex resident Jerome Wilson, when he was a candidate for the New York State Senate in 1962

With much of the country riveted by the PBS documentary on the “Roosevelt’s,” Essex resident and LymeLine contributor Jerome Wilson has released a photograph of his one time meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt. The photograph was taken in the fall of 1962, and pictured Mrs. Roosevelt’s endorsement of Wilson’s candidacy for the New York State Senate in Albany. Wilson won his race in 1962 and went on to serve three terms in the New York State Senate.

Wilson was a member of what was called the Reform Movement in New York City in the 1960’s. The leaders of the Reform Democratic movement were three notable national Democrats: Eleanor Roosevelt, former New York State Governor Herbert Lehman and former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Thomas Finletter. The purpose of this group was to defeat Tammany Hall, Democratic Party officeholders (the so-called “bosses”), and replace them with Reform Democrats.

On the West Side of Manhattan, the Reform Democrats had already beaten Tammany Hall candidates in the 1960 elections, electing a U.S. Congressman and a New York State Senator. Wilson’s election as a State Senator on the Manhattan East Side in 1962 would be yet another victory for the Reform Democrats. In addition to electing public officials, the Reform Democrats had set up Reform Democratic clubs on both on the West Side and the East Side of Manhattan. At the time of his election to the New York State Senate, Wilson was the President of the Yorkville Democratic Club, a Reform Democratic club located on East 79th Street in Manhattan.

Wilson’s most significant accomplishment during his service in the New York State legislature was to lead the fight to reform the state’s 179-year-old divorce law. New York’s divorce law up until 1966 had only one ground for divorce, which was for adultery. There was not even a ground for extreme physical cruelty. Through his efforts, as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee and Family Law, Wilson exposed the inadequacy of the one-ground divorce law, and, as a result, the New York State legislature adopted new grounds for physical and mental cruelty, among other humane grounds for divorce.

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Deadline for Mail-in Voter Registration is Today

The Old Lyme Registrars of Voters, Sylvia Peterson and Donald Tapper, have made the following announcement regarding the upcoming Nov. 4 election:

  • Oct. 21 is the deadline for mail-in voter registration.  Oct. 28 is the deadline for in-person voter registration. Voters are encouraged to check their status with the Registrars’ office if they have moved, changed their name or not voted in several years.
  • The Registrars’ office will be open:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 28  from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.  This is the last session for admission of electors for those who become 18 years of age, U.S. citizens, or residents of the town before Oct. 28, 2014.
  • Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for members of the armed forces or persons whose qualification as to age, citizenship or residence was attained after Oct. 28.

The Registrar’s office is located on Mezzanine Level of Town Hall.  For more information, call 860-434-1605 Ext. 226.  Regular office hours are Monday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Voter Registration applications are available at the Town Clerk’s office during regular Town Hall hours.

 

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Formica Wins CBIA Business Support

Paul Formica

Paul Formica

Paul Formica, the Republican candidate for the 20th State Senate seat, has won the endorsement of the state’s largest business organization.

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) this week endorsed Formica, the owner of Flanders Fish Market, for the last 31 years. Formica is the First Selectman of East Lyme who has been active in local business and government leadership initiatives.

“We need to elect more candidates like Paul Formica, who understands the importance of economic development and has a commonsense approach to dealing with issues of importance,” said Joe Brennan, CBIA executive vice president.

Formica, who lives in Niantic, believes tax reform, real discipline in state budgeting and more private sector solutions are needed to grow Connecticut’s economy.

CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies. For more information, contact Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957; meaghan.macdonald@cbia.com) or visit the CBIA Newsroom.

Formica has also earned the support of the National Federation of Businesses, the nation’s largest association for small business, as well as the endorsement from the CT Realtors Association, the state’s largest trade association.

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Linares Explains Absence at Haddam Debate, Contends Bias Apparent

Senator Art Linares, R-33rd, has announced he will participate in one final pre-election debate on Thursday, Oct. 23, in Clinton.

By Election Day, Nov. 4, Linares will have participated in five debates and six forums with his two opponents. Linares said he is proud to have attended more debates and forums than any other sitting Senator this election season, adding that he wanted to make sure his opponents and the public had the opportunity to have an honest and open exchange of ideas.

Asked about the debate on Oct. 14 being sponsored by the Haddam Bulletin, Linares’s Campaign Manager Ryan Linares said, “The moderator and editor of the Haddam Bulletin, Ed Schwing, helped manage Melissa Shlag’s Senate campaign.  Ms. Schlag was Senator Linares’ opponent two years ago.  Ms. Schlag works at the Haddam Bulletin, is Democratic First Selectman for Haddam and has endorsed Senator Linares’ opponent this election.  This will not be an unbiased debate.  The Senator is not interested in that kind of debate.”

Ryan Linares pointed out that former Democratic Senator Eileen Daily saw fit to hold only one debate during her last re-election.

“Senator Art Linares has personally knocked on more than 7,500 doors this election season,” Ryan Linares said. “He has visited all 12 towns in the 33rd district on numerous occasions and has had hundreds of encounters with individuals at fairs, festivals and town events. In addition, he has called and spoken to hundreds of voters over the last few months.”

Senator Linares voted against increasing the budget and the tax increase during the last two legislative sessions.

Ryan Linares said, “Senator Linares has a solid record – from protecting people’s rights as stated in the state constitution to understanding that jobs and business growth are the way to balance budgets, not tax increases.”

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Linares Not Participating in Haddam Debate, Bjornberg to Appear Regardless

Challenger Emily Bjornberg (D)

Challenger Emily Bjornberg (D)

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares

Yesterday Democratic State Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg of Lyme announced that she will appear at the Haddam Killingworth High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. this evening for a public debate hosted by the Haddam Bulletin.  The school is located at 95 Little City Road, Higganum, CT.

As of yesterday morning, Bjornberg’s Republican opponent, incumbent Senator Art Linares, would not commit to participate in tonight’sdebate, as moderators would not agree to provide him with questions in advance. The newspaper continues to solicit questions for the event from members of the public, which may be submitted by email to: haddambulletin@comcast.net.

Bjornberg stated, “Because the 33rd District is comprised of 12 towns in a large geographic area, local debates provide an invaluable opportunity for voters to get first-hand information from the candidates. A debate in which questions are provided in advance to the participants is not a debate so much as a scripted recital. Voters deserve more than just memorized soundbytes from their candidates. They deserve an authentic discussion of the issues with spontaneity and answers to tough questions.”

She continued, “The central and Northern regions of the 33rd Senate District have yet to see a Senate debate in this election that is open to all members of the public. I believe strongly that every community in this district deserves to hear a debate focused on the unique issues which affect their own town. I encourage Art Linares to participate in Haddam on Tuesday.”

The 33rd State Senate District includes the Town of Lyme along with an additional 11 towns as follows: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Late last week Linares’ campaign manager and brother, Ryan Linares, emailed the following list of demands to the debate moderators at the Haddam Bulletin (follow this link for full email exchange):

Thank you for your time today and hope you understand why we have to stand our ground on certain issues. With that said, unless the below criteria is not met (sic) we will not be able to participate…

3 Podiums

Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning

1 hour 15 minutes

5 questions in advance (Sunday morning)

1 rebuttal if necessary at the closer

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Re-Run of Race for Judge of Probate in Old Saybrook District

Voters of nine towns, including Lyme, in central Connecticut will decide on Nov. 4 whether to re-elect Judge of Probate Terrance Lomme of Essex for a second, four-year term or to replace him with Attorney Anselmo Delia of Clinton. The two ran against each other four years ago in 2010 when Lomme won by 419 votes. In the 2010 race, Lomme carried the town of Lyme, along with Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme and Old Saybrook while Delia carried Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth and Westbrook.

When Lomme ran against Delia in 2010, he committed that, if elected, he would become a full time Judge of Probate. However, after his election Lomme changed his position and in a recent interview he explained, “I thought the job would require a full time judge. However, once we merged the courts, I realized that it was not necessary to be on the job every minute, when the court is open.” The merger to which Lomme is referring was when the probate courts in nine towns were merged into a single court in Old Saybrook.

In the 2014 campaign, Lomme has been nominated unanimously for re-election for a second term by the Democratic Nominating Convention. The convention cited Lomme’s “invaluable experience” in urging his re-election. The convention also noted Judge Lomme’s pivotal role, “for implementing, successfully, the merger of the nine former town probate courts into a single Saybrook Court District.”

Lomme’s Record as a Judge

Discussing his work over the past four years as a Judge of Probate, Lomme said in a recent interview that he had held over 3,500 hearings since becoming a judge. He also observed  that most Judges of Probate in the State of Connecticut maintain private law practices. As for his current campaign for re-election, Lomme charged that his Republican opponent did not have the necessary experience to do the job. Lomme said that Attorney Delia has had only four cases before the probate court over the past four years.

In addition to serving as a Judge of Probate, Lomme in his capacity as a private attorney has represented a major New York City developer before regulatory bodies of the Town of Essex, including five public hearings before the Essex Planning Commission and another before the Essex Zoning Commission.

The Republican Challenger

Delia, Lomme’s Republican challenger, notes that he has been an attorney for 34 years and has represented legal clients in every federal and state court in Connecticut. Delia cites that he has chaired many important public bodies in his hometown of Clinton, including the planning and zoning commission, the board of education and the Youth and Family Service Bureau.

With regard to being a Judge of Probate, Delia comments, “Four years ago … I promised, as I do now, that if elected I would terminate my private practice and serve as a full time Judge of Probate. My opponent has opted to continue his private practice during his term in office. I believed then, as I believe now, that the office warrants the level of attention and avoidance of conflict of interest afforded by a full commitment.” Delia said, “I am ready to do the job from day one,” adding though, “It may take as much as six months to wind up matters with present clients.”

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Democrat Stone Endorsed by CT Education Association

Mary Stone (D)

Mary Stone (D)

Yesterday afternoon, the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) announced the slate of candidates it is endorsing for the upcoming Nov. 4 election.  The list includes Mary Stone of Old Lyme, who is the Democratic-

endorsed candidate for the 23rd District State Representative seat currently held by Marilyn Giuliano, who is retiring at the end of the current session.

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33rd District Senate Candidates Hold Lively Debate at Valley Regional High School

Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg, Republican candidate Senator Art Linares and Green Party Candidate Colin Bennett (photo by Jerome Wilson)

From left to right, Democratic candidate Emily Bjornberg, Republican incumbent candidate Senator Art Linares and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett at Tuesday evening’s debate.  (Photos by Jerome Wilson)

The three candidates in the 12-town 33rd State Senate District, one-term incumbent Republican Sen. Art Linares, Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg, and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett, held a lively debate Tuesday that covered the economy and taxes, along with social issues such as reproductive rights and possible right-to-die legislation.

A crowd of more than 100 voters filled the auditorium at Valley Regional High School in Deep River with sign-waving supporters of the two major party candidates gathering outside the school before the start of the debate. The 90-minute session was moderated by Essex  Library Director Richard Conroy, who posed questions that had been submitted in writing before the debate from district voters.

Linares, describing his record as “pro-growth and pro jobs,” attempted to tie Bjornberg to tax increases imposed during the administration of Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Democrat-controlled legislature. Bjornberg noted that she was not in the legislature when most of the higher taxes were approved, and pledged to be “very wary” of increases in “regressive taxes,” such as the sales and gasoline taxes, in any future budget decisions.

Objections from Linares to the Malloy Administration First Five program of grants and loans for business expansion prompted one of the sharpest exchanges of the session, with Bjornberg noting that Linares had accepted a $350,000 state low interest loan for his Middletown-based Green Skies solar power company while later voting against funding for the program.  She also contended Green Skies resells cheaper solar panels from China at the expense of producers in Connecticut and the United States. Linares replied that Bjornberg’s comments show “my opponent is ready to attack a good thing,”  describing the business he co-founded as a clean energy company that is providing jobs.

The candidates differed on possible right-to-die legislation for the terminally ill, with Bjornberg pledging support for what she called the “compassionate choices” bill that failed to win approval in this year’s legislative session. Linares said he is “concerned about human error,” under the proposed legislation. Bennett also expressed support for the bill that is expected to be considered again next year.

A question on reproductive rights and insurance coverage for birth control brought passionate remarks from Bjornberg, declaring that she is concerned about her young daughter losing rights that women have fought for and secured over the past 40 years. Linares said he was “born a Catholic” and is “not running for the U.S. Supreme Court,” before changing the topic to his support for new legislation to protect women from domestic violence.

Marijuana and the minimum wage brought the most passionate remarks from Bennett, who has run as the Green Party candidate in three previous elections in the 33rd District. Bennett said  “ending the prohibition” on marijuana would help the state’s economy and finances. Linares dismissed the idea of legalizing marijuana, while Bjornberg said she would not support legalization at the present time but favors a “careful and measured” review of the option and possible further reductions in penalties for possession of marijuana.

Bennett said the minimum wage, set to increase to $10.10 per hour in the coming years, should be even higher and suggested there should be a “maximum wage” for the highest paid earners. Linares said he opposed the minimum wage hike adopted earlier this year because Democrats had blocked all amendments to establish a lower starting wage for workers under age 21. Bjornberg said Linares and state Republicans were “fear mongering” on the minimum wage issue and quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s Depression era comment that “we all do well when we all do well.”

In her closing remarks, Bjornberg called on Linares to agree to hold another campaign debate in one of the northern towns of the sprawling district. Other sessions set for early October are more limited forums that include candidates for state House seats. The 33rd District includes the Town of  Lyme as well as Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep  River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and sections of Old Saybrook.

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23rd House District Candidates Carney, Stone Face Off in First Debate

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23 rd House District candidates Devin Carney (R) and Mary Stone (D) respond to audience questions in Tuesday night’s debate at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

An almost capacity audience of around 200 people gathered Tuesday at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for an hour-long debate between 23rd House seat candidates Democrat Mary Stone and Republican Devin Carney. The debate was co-sponsored by the New London Day and the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.  The Day Editor Paul Choinere, who moderated the debate, asked the candidates written questions submitted by the audience.

The 23rd seat has been held for the past 12 years by state representative Marilyn Giuliano (R), who will be retiring after completing her current term.

In a relatively quiet, respectful debate, candidates responded to audience questions on a wide range of topics including education, job creation and taxation.

Carney described his array of political and business experience, adding that he has “done all this while working part-time jobs to help pay the bills.”

“We need a state rep. to carry on Marilyn’s legacy of strong constituent services and passionate public service,” Carney noted, adding “It’s time that my generation steps up and takes hold of the debt we will have to shoulder and the future of our state.”

Stone said that the extensive experience she has gained in volunteer and elected positions over some 20 years in the town, including on the Board of Education, Zoning Board of Appeals, Old Lyme Libray and Open Space Commission, has demonstrated her, “ability to lead and work hard with proven results.”  She submitted that “everything I have accomplished in our towns … has been because of my ability to work with others across party lines, to make real and lasting changes.” She summed up her candidacy in the words, “I do not make huge, unrealistic promises just to get your vote. But, as your full-time legislator, I will work as hard as I possibly can to serve your needs and get the best results for our towns.”

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33rd Senate Candidates Clash Over Task Force Appointment in Campaign Debate

Colin Bennett (Green Party), Republican Senator Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg in first campaign debate

Green party candidate Colin Bennett, Republican Senator Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg in first campaign debate

OLD LYME— A legislative appointment to a state task force on children’s jewelry was the focus of the sharpest exchange Tuesday as three candidates for the 12-town 33rd State Senate District seat faced off in the first campaign debate.
Republican State senator Art Linares of Westbrook, Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg of Lyme, and Green Party nominee Colin Bennett of Westbrook appeared before a crowd of nearly 100 voters at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for an hour-long session that was co-sponsored by the New London Day and the League of Women voters. Day editor Paul Chionere posed written questions, most submitted from audience members, to the candidates.

Linares, a 25 year-old incumbent seeking a second term, and Bjornberg, a mother of two who works in the Youth and Family Ministry of Deep River Congregational Church, agreed on some issues, such as support for small businesses, and differed on others, such as the  stricter state gun law enacted last year. Linares had voted against the gun bill, contending it was never fully presented at a public hearing and imposed “unnecessary” restrictions on “law abiding citizens.” Bjornberg, noting she is from a “family of hunters”, said she would have supported the legislation, and contended Linares was not engaged during the crafting and debate on the bill.

Linares called for tighter control over state spending, along with possible reductions in the state gas and sales taxes. Bjornberg promised “fiscal responsibility,” while adding that she would “not balance the budget on the backs of children and senior citizens.”

But it was a question on the environment that prompted the sharpest exchange of the session, with Bjornberg contending a Linares appointment to a 16-member state task force reviewing the safety of children’s jewelry, particularly the presence of cadmium in the jewelry, showed a lack of concern for the environment and children’s safety.

As the ranking Republican member of the Children’s Committee, Linares was appointed to the task force, or allowed to designate a member in his place. Linares named Brent Cleaveland, the executive director of the Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association of  Rhode Island.

Bjornberg said Cleaveland is a paid lobbyist for the children’s jewelry business, and has publicly opposed limits on the mineral cadmium in jewelry.  She noted that cadmium has been listed as a potential human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration, and also claimed that Cleaveland has publicly downplayed the hazards of lead. Bjornberg raised this issue during the exchange on the environment, and again in the final minutes of the debate.
Linares said Cleaveland is “an advocate for making children’s jewelry safe.”  Linares also contended a bill that Bjornberg had expressed support for, to ban all pesticides from high school athletic fields, would have imposed a costly new mandate on schools districts in the 33rd District.

Bennett, a substitute teacher who has run for the seat previously on the Green Party line, avoided direct criticism of the two major party candidates. Bennett said he was uncertain whether he would have supported the 2013 gun law, but expressed opposition to plans to expand natural gas service in Connecticut because much of the gas is produced through hydraulic fracking. Bennett also called for expanded investments in clean energy technology and legalization of the recreational use of marijuana as economic development measures for the state.

Bennett will also participate in a second debate scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Another debate sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook. The 33rd District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook and sections of Old Saybrook.

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State House Candidates Stone, Carney Debate Tonight in Old Lyme, 7pm; Also, State Senate Candidates Linares, Bjornberg at 8pm

Challenger Emily Bjornberg (D)

Challenger Emily Bjornberg (D)

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R)

Republic State Senators Art Linares and Democratic challenger Emily Bjornberg have agreed to at least three public debates for their election contest in the 12-town 33rd Senate district, though Bjornberg is calling for at least one more face-off to be held in one of the northern towns of the district.

In a separate campaign development, Colin Bennett of Westbrook has been endorsed the receive the Green Party line on the Nov. 4 ballot. Bennett has run for the seat several times as the Green Party nominee in past elections where former Democratic State Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook faced Republican challengers.

The Green Party has secured a ballot line in the district with past campaigns by Bennett, and particularly with the 2012 contest after Daily’s retirement where Melissa Schlag of Haddam won nearly ten percent of the vote as the Green Party candidate in the contest with Linares and Democratic nominee Jim Crawford of Westbrook. Schlag was elected last year as the Democratic first selectwoman of Haddam, and is supporting Bjornberg in this year’s election.

Bennett is not believed to be waging an active campaign for the Nov. 4 vote, but he has been included in at least one of the Linares-Bjornberg debates. Bennett has been invited to participate in a Sept. 23 debate at Valley Regional High School in Deep River that is sponsored by the Essex Library. The debate begins at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium, with written questions from the audience that will be screened by the debate moderator, Essex Librarian Richard Conroy.

Devin Carney (R)

Devin Carney (R)

Mary Stone (D)

Mary Stone (D)

The first campaign face off between the one-term Republican incumbent and Bjornberg, of Lyme, will be held Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Old Lyme. The session, sponsored by the New London Day and the Eastern Chamber of Commerce, begins at 8 p.m.  The evening starts at 7 p.m. with a debate between the candidates for the 23rd House seat currently held by Marilyn Giuliano.  Democrat Mary Stone of Old Lyme will face off against Republican Devin Carney of Old Saybrook.  The 23rd seat covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern section (south of I 95) of Westbrook.

Old Lyme is part of the 20th Senate District, but Lyme, its northern neighbor, is in the 33rd District. The district also includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and parts of Old Saybrook.

The candidates will also appear at a debate sponsored by the Westbrook Council of Beaches in early October, and at a forum, not a debate, sponsored by the Chester-Deep River-Essex chapter of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce on the morning of Oct. 3 at the Chester Meeting House.

Bjornberg this week urged Linares to agree to hold one additional public debate in one of the five northern towns of the district, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Haddam, or Portland. Bjornberg said she would keep her schedule open for a northern town debate

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Clinton Stumps for Malloy in New Haven, Highlights Governor’s Strengths

Photo by Christine Stuart/CTNewsJunkie.com Former Pres. Clinton shakes hands on his way in to give a speech for Gov. Malloy at the Omni in New Haven on Tuesday

Photo by Christine Stuart/CTNewsJunkie.com
Former Pres. Clinton shakes hands on his way in to give a speech for Gov. Malloy at the Omni in New Haven on Tuesday

Former President Bill Clinton told a friendly crowd of party loyalists Tuesday that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should be elected by 10 points or more based on what he’s been able to accomplish.

That’s the message Clinton told a half-full ballroom of supporters at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. He also said …

Read the full story by Christine Stuart and published on CTNewsJunkie.com Sept. 2, at this link.  LymeLine.com is a proud member of the Independent Media Network LLC, along with CTNewsJunkie.com.

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Carney Cruises to Victory, Even Winning Lanier’s Hometown of Old Lyme

Still smiling --- despite having just heard details of her loss in Old Lyme to Devin Carney, Vicki Lanier receives a comforting hug from her daughter.

Still smiling — despite having just heard details of her loss in Old Lyme to Devin Carney, Vicki Lanier receives a comforting hug from her daughter.  Campaign worker David Kelsey stands in the background.

After the Old Lyme Primary results had been announced in the Cross Lane Firehouse by Moderator Kurt Zemba, one voter muttered, “Blame the Giuliano endorsement.”  She was referring to the fact that Vicki Lanier did not even manage to win the 23rd State Representative primary in her hometown of Old Lyme against her Giuliano-endorsed opponent, Devin Carney.  Lanier netted 279 votes to Carney’s 294, losing by 15 votes;  in fact, the vote was closer in Lyme, where Lanier only lost by nine votes, netting 98 votes to Carney’s 107.

Lanier was gracious in defeat saying, “I offer congratulations to my opponent for a campaign well run.  I wish him all the best for November.  I look forward to endorsing my opponent.”  She added positively, “I ‘m excited to bring my message of experience and smaller government to the voters of the 23rd District.”  Asked her reaction to the result, she replied, “They’ve cast their votes,” noting pragmatically, “I expected to win in Old Lyme.”

Carney also won handily by over 500 votes in his hometown of Old Saybrook, predetermining that, despite the absence of the Westbrook vote numbers when this report was filed, he will face Democrat Mary Stone in the November election,.

The  full results in  Lyme and Old Lyme were as follows:

Race

Old Lyme Result Lyme Result
Governor: GOP Primary
Tom Foley 330 117
John McKinney 238 90
Lt. Governor: GOP Primary
Penny Bacchiochi 170 51
Heather Somers 199 72
David Walker 183 79
Comptroller: GOP Primary
Angel Cadena 102 37
Sharon McLaughlin 397 142
State Senate Representative: 20th District Democratic
Elizabeth Ritter 252 n/a
William Satti 46 n/a
State House Representative:23rd District
Devin Carney 294 107
Vicki Lanier 279

98

 

[Read more...]

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Primary Elections Being Held Today in Lyme, Old Lyme

Both political parties will be holding Primaries today in Old Lyme, while only the Republicans will be going to the polls in Lyme.

Voting will take place at the Cross Lane and Hamburg Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of the Republican Primaries sees Vicki Lanier of Old Lyme face off against Devin Carney for the right to meet Democratic candidate Mary Stone in the November election for 23rd District State Representative.  Incumbent Marilyn Giuliano is retiring from her seat at the end of this session.

We have  published numerous letters of endorsement for both candidates: click on this link to read them all.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce attempted to organize a debate moderated by LymeLine publisher Olwen Logan between Republicans Lanier and Carney and Democratic State Senate candidates Betsy Ritter and Bill Satti.  We believe that neither Carney nor Ritter accepted the invitation and so the debate was cancelled.  Incumbent Andrea Stillman is also retiring from the 20th District State Senate seat she has held for five terms.

A debate between Ritter and Satti, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Southeastern Connecticut and the Waterford Public Library, was held Tuesday evening at Waterford Public Library.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.
The candidates in the Lyme Republican Primary are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena
The candidates in the Old Lyme Republican Primary are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena
The candidates in the Old Lyme Democratic Primary are:

State Senate 20th District (D): Elizabeth B. Ritter or William L. Satti

The results will be published on LymeLine within minutes of their announcement.

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Letter to the Editor: Retiring State Rep. Giuliano Supports Carney to Succeed Her

To the Editor:

I write in support of Devin Carney for State Representative for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook in the upcoming August 12th Republican primary.

Devin will work for all of us with energy, with integrity, and with an abiding interest not in politics, but in public service.

In the 12 years that I’ve served in the General Assembly, I’ve been an eye witness to what it takes to succeed in that world – the thought and deliberation required to craft good public policy; and the importance of each vote cast on behalf of 24,000 people. We speak of jobs, the economy, and political issues, but the work of the state representative is really about people, families and communities who count on the attention, the concern, and the commitment of their state representative. Devin Carney is known for these attributes and can be counted on to listen and to serve.

Each legislative session brings difficult challenges to confront and, for Connecticut, these challenges loom large. I am confident that Devin Carney will confront these tough issues with fairness, honesty, intelligence, and with an impassioned advocacy on behalf of us all.

Join me in supporting Devin Carney on August 12th.

Sincerely,

Marilyn Giuliano,
Old Saybrook.
Editor’s Note: The author is State Representative for the 23rd District.

 

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Republican Primary: Candidate Responses to our Questions

Two candidates, Devin Carney and Vicki Lanier, are running in the Republican Primary on Tuesday for the right to be the party-endorsed candidate for the 23rd District State Representative.  The 23rd District covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern portion of Westbrook.  The seat was previously held by Marilyn Giuliano, who is retiring.

We asked each candidate to submit a biography of 100 words or less and to answer each of three questions in a maximum of 250 words.

The questions are:

  1. Why are you running for this position?
  2. What do you consider is the greatest challenge currently facing the state? What suggestions can you offer for solving it?
  3. What is your opinion on the recent ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision by the Supreme Court?

We thank both candidates sincerely for responding to our questions by the specified deadline.

Voting will take place Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Old Lyme and Lyme at the Cross Lane and Hamburg Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Only registered Republicans may vote in this Republican Primary.

DEVIN CARNEY

Biography

Headshot_247x283I was raised in Old Saybrook, but my family has been in the district since the 1950’s when my grandfather, Art, bought a home in Westbrook. I went to Old Saybrook High and graduated from Brandeis University.

I have worked on statewide and local Republican campaigns. I have experience in public health, real estate, and most recently starting a home-based business in the voiceover profession.

I am a passionate volunteer in the community and lector at Grace Episcopal Church. I live in Saybrook, but am in Old Lyme all the time as my long-time girlfriend her wonderful children live there.

1. Why are you running for this position?

The 23rd District encompasses everything I love in Connecticut, from its beaches to its forests to its wonderful people. But, for all of the reasons that bind me to Connecticut, there’s much work to be done to make our state affordable and prosperous for all.

Connecticut has lost a lot of our 25-34-year-old population. Folks my age have opted to go to other states because our economic climate is so bad. It’s very simple – when the youth can’t work then they can’t stay here. They can’t buy homes and start families. Parents and grandparents lose out because their children and grandchildren are forced to leave the state because it’s unaffordable, and that’s wrong.

I never had it easy and have been working since I was twelve years old, when I decided to take up a paper route to help my mother with expenses.  I understand the value of a hard-earned dollar. It’s simply unfair that so many people are forced to leave their homes because the cost of living is too high here, in the state they chose to live, work, and retire in.I’m running because I believe Connecticut is at a crossroads – we can stay where we are or we can work together to reinvent the way our government works.  I believe it’s time for fresh ideas and innovation up in Hartford, which is what I promise to provide as your next state representative.  I want you, your kids, your business, and your quality of life to thrive.

2. What do you consider is the greatest challenge currently facing the state? What suggestions can you offer for solving it?

The greatest challenge facing the state is improving business confidence so that our economic climate is healthy.  When private industry is successful there are more job opportunities available and more people staying in the district.  In order for business confidence and industry to improve, taxes must be lowered, roadways must be fixed, and Connecticut needs to be affordable.I would look at alternative programs that can provide better results at lower costs, particularly in areas like long-term care and corrections. I would promote improvements to fiscal planning that would work to reduce long-term unfunded liabilities, particularly with pensions. I would seek to avoid any tax increases that would harm our economic recovery thus encouraging employers to invest in Connecticut.

Our roadways must be improved for tourism and business to thrive. The government often takes tax dollars from the transportation fund and puts it in the general fund, which does our businesses no good. Too often I hear of the issues with I-95 in terms of traffic and safety – it’s about time we focus on this instead of kicking the can down the road.

Our state government must ensure state funding commitments to small towns, so as to avoid unfunded municipal mandates that raise property taxes. This requires the state to help with funding of education, particularly special education, and transportation. Another burden on many is the energy costs and, in some areas, flood insurance costs – I would work to help consumers by promoting innovation and competition in these areas.

3. What is your opinion on the recent ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision by the Supreme Court?

The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision is now federal law.  The state government may choose to try to nullify the law, as Minnesota is trying to do, independent of federal mandates. If Connecticut chooses this route, then it may find itself in court, but likely with more liberal conditions since Connecticut courts are more liberal than the US Supreme Court.  It is not likely that many of our businesses, here in the 23rd, will be affected by the ruling at all since the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the ‘employer mandate’.

I do believe strongly in freedom of religion as stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution.  Thus, I do not think that anyone’s religious liberty should be abridged so long as it doesn’t take away anyone else’s Constitutional rights. Employment is not a Constitutional right, but I do believe that it may be necessary for companies like Hobby Lobby to at least make it very clear of their beliefs, which is my main concern with the decision. Something like a church or a religious non-profit may be easily recognizable, so one must assume there may be company policies that reflect a particular religious viewpoint. But, Hobby Lobby is a large chain of craft stores, so it may not be reasonable for one to assume they are religious.

It is very clear is that Obamacare has many unanswered questions. We are likely to see issues regarding it for many years.

VICKI LANIER

Biography

Headshot_225x279Vicki lives and works in Old Lyme and is the mother of four children aged 7-22.   She owns a general practice law firm focusing on family and child protection law.  An involved member of the community, Vicki has served on the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee since 2007.   She was elected to the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education in 2009, serving as its treasurer from 2011-2013.  A room parent at Mile Creek Elementary School, Vicki is also actively involved with her children, who keep her busy with their participation in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and recreational sports.

1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running for state representative in the 23rd district because I am committed to being part of the solution in Connecticut.  Our bloated and ineffective state government has made Connecticut one of the worst states for businesses, retirees, and working families.  If we have any hope of turning Connecticut around, we must insist on real change in Hartford.  Real change starts by electing qualified candidates who offer relevant experience, with a reputation for delivering real results.

Because I believe in public service, I am running for state representative.  After serving on both the Old Lyme republican town committee and the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, I want to serve the community in another capacity.  Utilizing my experience as an effective attorney, skilled negotiator, and creative problem solver will enable me to tackle the difficult issues facing our state.   I am running because Hartford needs fewer career politicians (seasoned or aspiring) and more practical, results-oriented leaders with the demonstrated fortitude to make difficult decisions.

I believe the people in the 23rd district want a representative that will defend our constitutional rights, reduce and repeal unnecessary legislation and regulation, insist on fiscal responsibility, promote local decision making, and reduce the size of state government.  I am running because I am the candidate with the personal, professional, and political experience necessary to further those goals in Hartford.

2. What do you consider is the greatest challenge currently facing the state? What suggestions can you offer for solving it?

The greatest challenge currently facing our state is our sluggish economy.  Connecticut’s economy is suffering because of our government’s inability or unwillingness to balance the state budget, the state’s onerous tax structure, and excessive regulation and taxation on business.  Our state legislators must stay focused on the role the state government plays in promoting a healthy economy.

The most effective way for state government to stimulate the economy is through prudent fiscal management of the state budget – including addressing the state’s unfunded pension obligations, reducing taxes on businesses and eliminating unnecessary regulations so that private industry can thrive.  Therefore, I am not a proponent of creating “new programs” to stimulate our economy.  Rather, I am a proponent of smaller state government.  I favor repealing the nearly 300 taxes that contribute less than .001% to our annual revenue.  This includes repealing the small business entity tax and other nuisance taxes.  I also support reducing the gas tax and eliminating the tax on retiree pensions.

In order for Connecticut to become a more business friendly state, legislators must examine current legislation, repeal unnecessary regulation and be thoughtful about enacting new legislation.  Before enacting any legislation, we must ask ourselves, “what is the problem this legislation is solving, does it effectively solve the problem without unintended consequences, and can we afford it?”  Our economy will not recover until our state government acknowledges that it must right size government, reduce our revenue requirements, and allow free enterprise to flourish with limited government intervention.

3. What is your opinion on the recent ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision by the Supreme Court?

I support the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Burwell, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al.  This case addressed whether the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could require closely held corporations to provide its employees health insurance coverage for methods of contraception that violated the sincerely held religious beliefs of the companies’ owners.

The Supreme Court held that such a requirement would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).  The RFRA prohibits the federal government from taking any action that substantially burdens the exercise of religion unless that action constitutes the least restrictive means of serving a compelling government interest.  While the Supreme Court found the regulations of the HHS to serve a compelling government interest (providing health insurance – including coverage for contraceptive methods that are abortifacients), it did not find that the mandate was the least restrictive means of serving that interest.

Instead, the Supreme Court found that there were other ways that either Congress or HHS could ensure women access to the particular contraceptives at issue in this case.  Specifically, employees of any closely held corporation where the religious beliefs of the company owners prohibited offering such coverage for contraception could be offered coverage through the same coverage already available to religious non-profits.  This decision represents the appropriate balance between honoring our constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion with the current federal law (whether you agree with it or not) commonly known as “Obama-care”.

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Primary Election Update: LymeLine to Publish Local Candidate Responses Tomorrow

Both political parties will be holding primaries in Old Lyme and only the Republicans in Lyme next Tuesday, Aug. 12.

Voting will take place at the Cross Lane and Hamburg Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of the Republican Primaries sees Vicki Lanier of Old Lyme face off against Devin Carney for the right to meet Democratic candidate Mary Stone in the November election.  Marilyn Giuliano, who has endorsed Carney, is retiring from her 23rd District State Representative seat at the end of the year.

We have already received numerous letters of endorsement for both candidates and will be publishing a variety of them during the coming week.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce attempted to organize a debate moderated by LymeLine publisher Olwen Logan between Republicans Lanier and Carney and Democrats Betsy Ritter and Bill Satti.  We believe that neither Carney nor Ritter accepted the invitation and so the debate was cancelled.  Consequently, LymeLine has invited both Republican candidates to submit a short biography and give written responses to three identical questions.  We plan to publish those responses next Sunday, Aug. 10.

A debate between Ritter and Satti, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Southeastern Connecticut and the Waterford Public Library, was held Tuesday evening at Waterford Public Library. The debate was videotaped and will be aired on SEC-TV and other public access stations.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.  Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s offices.

The candidates in Lyme are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena

The candidates in Old Lyme are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Senate 20th District (D): Elizabeth B. Ritter or William L. Satti

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena

The results will be published on LymeLine within minutes of their announcement.

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Letter to the Editor: Similarities to Giuliano Make Lanier Best Candidate to Fill Giuliano’s Shoes

To the Editor:

For a seamless transition to elect a new State Rep in the 23rd District, Republican voters should consider the similarities between the retiring Marilyn Giuliano and Vicki Lanier when voting on August 12th.

Both are long-time Republicans with experience in elected office before running for state rep; Vicki was treasurer on Region 18 Board of Ed; Marilyn was vice chair of Old Saybrook Board of Finance.

Both are working mothers who balanced demands of parenthood, work, and volunteerism with their public service; Vicki is partner in her law firm, Marilyn is a public school employee.

Both devote time to community outreach; Vicki mentors women in need; Marilyn lent time to public health and housing. Both gave time and effort to PTO and Scouts.

In an ironic twist, both Giuliano and Lanier did not emerge with their party’s endorsement.  Twelve years ago, Marilyn won her primary.  Given the similar strengths and experience that both Vicki and Marilyn possess, please vote for Vicki Lanier on August 12th.

Sincerely,

Joan C. Carlson,
Old Saybrook.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Has the Character to Continue Giuliano’s Work as State Rep.

To the Editor:

Devin Carney is a great choice to be our next State Representative for the 23rd District and we will proudly vote for him in the Republican primary on August 12th.  Marilyn Giuliano has held this seat for 12 years and it is important the next person represents us with the same passion as she has.  We believe Devin is that person.

Devin is committed to the 23rd District and believes in focusing on making it possible for our families and seniors to be able to continue calling it home.  Times are tough and no one better than Devin understands, first-hand, that when times are tough it means rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. We are reminded of when he was a kid and he started a paper route to help his single mom, Deb, make ends meet.  Through hard work and against the odds, he became the first person in his immediate family to graduate college.

We believe his character, morals, and values are exactly what our district needs and he is more than ready and able to continue what Marilyn began. Please join us on August 12th in voting for Devin Carney for State Rep.

Sincerely,

Sharon and Dave Tiezzi,
Old Saybrook.

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