August 20, 2014

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...]

Share

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.

Share

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.

 

Share

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”.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Carney Understands Cost Challenges of Connecticut Living

To the Editor:

As a newly registered voter, I am very much looking forward to casting my first vote for Devin Carney  for State Representative on August 12th.  My generation (and many others) understands that we need to have strong representatives who want to focus on improving opportunities here in Connecticut.  I hope that when I graduate from UConn, I will be able to find work and afford to live in the state I love – Devin wants to help make that a reality. 

He understands that the high costs of doing business in Connecticut significantly diminish our competitiveness. I am confident that his vision of housing affordability to the new workforce, investing in our transportation system, and lowering taxes and regulations on business will help improve the job market.  Not to mention, he will fight to keep tuition costs low for our state schools, so that everyone can afford a quality education. 

Sincerely,

Sam Stadnick,
Old Lyme.

Share

Letter to the Editor: After Declining Debate, Carney Now Needs to Offer More Details About Candidacy

To the Editor:

Unlike some residents of the 23rd District, clairvoyance is not my strong point.  I felt compelled to study the candidate’s most recent literature for more information about his professional background, and his solutions to problems he has identified that need correction.

After reviewing the material, I believe that the candidate still has no experience in government, no managerial experience in business, no background as a negotiator, and no stated solutions to problems.

It has been pointed out that vetting a candidate is a most important factor in the decision making process.  But how can we do that when Candidate Carney has ducked  a debate, which would have given us a true side by side comparison of the two office seekers?

Remember, Vicki Lanier accepted the invitation to debate, but Devin Carney declined!

Sincerely,

Joseph Bruno,
Old Lyme

Share

Linares Renews Call for Hearings to Address Child Tragedies

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares

In light of the tragic and unsettling Child Fatality Review Report, released yesterday by the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA), State Senator Art Linares (R-Westbrook) is renewing his call for a public hearing to review the recent child fatalities involving children under the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

“This report gives us a closer look into the horrible accounts of child deaths connected to families involved with DCF.  The sad and eye-opening report also recommends annual public hearings on these fatalities.”

The report identified 24 infant and toddler deaths among families with DCF involvement.  The review also discusses recommendations to prevent future fatalities, including a recommendation to hold an annual public hearing on child fatalities along with a focused discussion on infant-toddler deaths.

“A public hearing is needed to improve transparency and open the dialogue between DCF, lawmakers, child advocates and community members.  We need to not only recognize the problems, but we must also work together to determine the cause of any system weaknesses and identify the appropriate actions to prevent future tragedies.”

In a letter to the co-chairs of the Children’s Committee, Linares again urged the committee to schedule a public hearing considering the report results.

“Everyone needs to have a seat at the table when it comes to the safety of children.  Legislators need to understand the short and long term needs of caseworkers and child advocacy officials.  Caseworkers need to understand what policies would most benefit families.  A hearing would allow us to better understand what is being done and what still needs to be done to put an end to these serious and devastating events,” said Linares.

Editor’s Note: Linares represents the 33rd senatorial district, which includes Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland & Westbrook.  He serves as Ranking Member of the Committee on Children.

Share

Bjornberg Claims Linares Has Appointed Industry Lobbyist to Children’s Committee Cadmium Task Force

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg

A new state task force was convened for the first time last week to the study the presence of elemental cadmium in jewelry produced for and marketed to children. The task force is charged with examining evidence of cadmium’s toxic effects, and determining what levels of the element, if any, might be safe for children.

As the ranking Republican member of the legislature’s Children’s Committee, state Senator Art Linares was named by law to serve on the task force or to appoint a designee to serve and vote in his place. At last week’s meeting, Linares announced that while he planned to attend future task force meetings, he would not actually serve as a task force member. Instead, he appointed a paid representative of the companies that manufacture cadmium-containing jewelry to occupy his seat, as recommended to him by the industry’s lobbyists.

Linares’ general election opponent, Emily Bjornberg of Lyme, criticized Linares’ decision as an abdication of his responsibilities. “By handing his vote over directly to unelected special interest lobbyists, right at the beginning of the process and without hearing any evidence, Art Linares has abandoned his responsibility to our families and their legitimate interest in children’s safety,” said Bjornberg.

Bjornberg continued, “The sole aim of this task force is to protect our children and safeguard their health. Doing so will require an open mind, and a willingness to hear all evidence and make an independent judgment. Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of cadmium in children’s products, and the issue should be fully vetted before any kind of decision is made.” 

Numerous experts have raised concerns about the negative health effects of children’s exposure to cadmium. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers cadmium to be a probable human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) and has classified it as a Group B1 carcinogen.

Among other effects, the EPA also reports that inhalation or oral exposure of animals to cadmium results in effects on the kidney, liver, lung, bone, immune system, blood, and nervous system.

Linares’ named appointee is Brent Cleaveland, Executive Director of Fashion Jewelry and Accessories Trade Association of Rhode Island. Cleaveland markets himself as experienced at testifying before Congress and various state legislatures to convince them of the safety of products containing cadmium, as well as barium, antimony and other “heavy-metals.”

Earlier this year, Cleaveland testified in favor of failed legislation in Connecticut that would have increased the legally allowable amount of cadmium in children’s jewelry.

Cleaveland has also defended the use of lead in consumer products, and was quoted in the New York Times last year saying,  “It’s a gross exaggeration to suggest that the lead you get on your fingers from handling a wallet is a health problem.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Their website states that, “Protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. And effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected.”

The recent task force meeting was well reported, and criticisms of Linares’ appointment were raised by other members of the task force. In justifying his decision to appoint an industry representative, Linares said, “It’s important to have a diverse group on the task force.”

By law, the 16-member task force already must include a jewelry manufacturing industry representative appointed by the House speaker, and a state jewelry retail business or association representative appointed by the Senate minority leader.

“Rather than seeking fair input from all sides on this important issue, my opponent seems focused on stacking the deck in favor of an industry that has lobbied him heavily. Our families and our children deserve a representative who will not shirk hard work and tough questions, and who will put their interests above all others,” said Bjornberg.

Linares appointment last week mirrored official actions he has taken on other issues concerning children’s health.

In 2013 Linares voted against a ban on known carcinogens in children’s clothes, and also opposed efforts to create a watch list of chemicals of high concern to children. He was also one of only two Children’s Committee members to vote against a ban on spraying toxic pesticides at all Connecticut schools. In 2014, Linares again opposed Children’s Committee legislation promoting many of the same concepts.

Editor’s Note: Emily Bjornberg is running to represent Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District, which includes the communities of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

 

Share

Primaries in Lyme, Old Lyme Aug. 12 Include Carney, Lanier Contest

Primary elections of a selection of Democrats and Republicans will be held in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Tuesday, Aug.12, at the Hamburg and Cross Lane Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s offices.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.

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

Share

Bjornberg Expresses Concern for Implications of Family Institute’s Support of Linares

Bjornberg_headshot_cropped

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the 33rd District State Senate Seat, pledged she will oppose any efforts in Connecticut to limit contraceptive coverage for workers through their employer-provided health plans. 

“The recent decision by the US Supreme Court has serious ramifications on women’s rights and their reproductive health,” Bjornberg said, “The most appalling aspect of this decision is that women who are the victims of sexual assault will be denied coverage to emergency contraceptives.” 

Connecticut law requires fully-insured employee benefit plans to include contraceptive coverage, although certain companies such as Hobby Lobby, a lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, are able to avoid this requirement due to preemption by federal law. 

The Hobby Lobby case has emboldened anti-choice organizations like the Family Institute of Connecticut to seek further legislative changes in states that would provide similar exemptions on what supporters say are religious freedom grounds.

Bjornberg pledged to oppose any efforts to change the law to further limit coverage of contraceptives. 

Her opponent, incumbent State Senator Art Linares, has yet to make any public statements on the issue. Linares did, however, earn the endorsement’s of the Family Institute in 2012 for his support of their issues opposing same-sex marriages and women’s reproductive choices. Family Institute members were seen demonstrating at a Connecticut Hobby Lobby store supporting the Supreme Court decision. 

“As a youth and family ministry director in Deep River I am a strong supporter of religious freedom in our country, but that freedom does not give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others,” Bjornberg added, “The fact my opponent has been silent on this issue yet has been endorsed by an organization that opposes contraceptives even for victims of sexual assault should give every voter in the 33rd district cause for concern.” 

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

For more information about Emily Bjornberg, visit www.emily4ct.com.

Share

Linares Endorsed by Connecticut REALTORS

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares

Connecticut REALTORS announced that their association voted to endorse Senator Art Linares’ candidacy for Senate District 33. The association is Connecticut’s largest trade association representing 15,000 real estate professionals.

“We carefully evaluate candidates in determining who may best ensure there is a positive environment for living in or transferring property in Connecticut.  Real estate is essential to economic recovery and stability in the state and the nation and helps to build communities.  We thank you for your commitment to serve,” stated Debra Chamberlain, President, Connecticut REALTORS and Jack Heckman, Government Affairs Director.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the association.  Realtors understand the importance of a strong economy and affordable, predictable property taxes that will attract businesses to Connecticut. Taxes are a deciding factor for people who are looking to become new homeowners,” stated Senator Art Linares.

Connecticut REALTORS was founded in 1920 with a mission to support real estate professionals and maintain the preservation of property rights, while maintaining a strict Code of Conduct.

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.
For more information about Senator Linares, visit www.artlinares.com

Share

Ballot News Ranks Connecticut’s 33rd Senate Race One of Most Competitive Statewide

Bjornberg_headshot_cropped

Emily Bjornberg

Ballotnews.org ranked the most competitive legislative races in Connecticut on their website yesterday, with the 33rd Senate contest ranked as one of the top four.

The ranking comes a day after Emily Bjornberg, the Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat, was approved by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for a clean elections fund grant ahead of her incumbent opponent Art Linares.

State grants require the candidate to demonstrate significant support behind their campaign, with small contributions required from at least 300 constituents and at least $15,000 raised in the aggregate.

The 33rd Senate contest is one of only four state senate races statewide held by an incumbent to be ranked as competitive on the Ballotnews.org list. The full list can be found at: www.ballotnews.org/ state-legislatures/ legislative-lowdown- identifying-competitive- connecticut-elections-in-2014/

Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the community of Lyme along with those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Share

Blumenthal Urges “Yes” Vote by Old Saybrook to Grant $3 Million Towards Purchase of ‘The Preserve’

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at July 7 rally for a “yes vote” at July 8 referendum

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at July 7 rally for a “Yes” vote at July 8 referendum

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal came to the Old Saybrook Green on Monday, July 7, to urge Old Saybrook voters to vote “Yes” in a referendum to grant $3 million of town monies to help purchase 930 undeveloped acres in the open land known as The Preserve. The referendum for Old Saybrook voters will be held on Tuesday, July 8, at the Old Saybrook High School gymnasium, and the polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m.

Other public officials urging a “Yes” vote on the July 8 town referendum were: Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, State Representative Phil Miller; and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Old Saybrook First Selectman Fortuna said in his prepared remarks, “This property has been at the center of attention, good and bad, for 20 years. It is now time for resolution. We are optimistic that enough private and public funds can be raised to purchase the property and preserve The Preserve in its natural state. The Town will work cooperatively with all parties in this effort, including DEEP. Most importantly, I will work for and listen to Old Saybrook’s residents as they decide the future of this parcel.”

State Representative Miller said in his prepared remarks, “We’re grateful to the citizens of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, and our allies, the Trust for Public Land, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Governor Malloy, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Congressman Courtney, First Selectmen Fortuna and Needleman and the Connecticut legislature. A thousand acres forever preserved. What a rightful thing.”

Essex First Selectman Urges “Yes Vote”

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman said in his prepared remarks, “Over in Essex, we’re excited about the proposition for acquiring this majestic property. Essex will hold a public hearing and town meeting to approve a $200,000 appropriation for the purchase on July 16 and look forward to joining our neighbors in Old Saybrook in support of this wonderful project.”

The Essex town meeting to consider approval of the town’s $200,000 appropriation to The Preserve’s acquisition will be held at 6:45 p.m. on July 16 at Essex Town Hall.

pic3

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal with State Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg at the July 7 rally for a “Yes” vote.

Other Supporters of Acquisition

Other remarks for the occasion were offered by Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, who said, “Coming off July Fourth weekend, this is an exciting time for Old Saybrook to exercise their patriotic rights and vote to protect this important piece of land here in town.”

Also, Alicia Sullivan, Connecticut State Director of the Trust for Public Land said, “We commend Governor Malloy and the General Assembly for the state’s early funding commitment to this significant landscape. Also, we are grateful to Senator Blumenthal and our congressional delegation for supporting federal conservation programs that the state will use for this acquisition.”

An audience of some 30 to 40 persons attended the pre-vote July 7 rally.

Share

Incumbent State Senator Linares Faces Strong Challenge from Democrat Bjornberg

Bjornberg flanked by State Representative Phil Miller and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Bjornberg flanked by State Representative Phil Miller and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Determined to recapture the state senate seat in the 33rd District, which Democrats held for many years, a united Democratic Party has now fielded Emily Bjornberg, as the party’s candidate. Bjornberg, 32-years-old, is a resident of Lyme, the wife of an Iraq War veteran and the mother of two children, ages 4 and 7.

The basic theme of Bjornberg’s campaign is that the incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares, although he may be a personable young man, is ideologically out of sync with the residents of the Senate district. That district encompasses 12 Connecticut River towns including Lyme, as well as Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook and Westbrook, along with six other neighboring towns as well.

Specifically, Bjornberg faults Linares for: voting twice against raising the state’s minimum wage; being against a reduction in income tax credits for state residents; voting against public school funding; and having the third worst record in the State Senate in supporting environmental legislation.

Democratic Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg in Ivoryton

Democratic Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg in Ivoryton.

Positions that the Democratic candidate mentions in her campaign literature are her support for: increasing state assistance for small businesses; responsible management of state finances; holding the line on local property taxes; standing up for all women and their right to make their own health care decisions; helping every veteran to find work and end veteran homelessness; and, finally, she would, “Protect the environment of our beautiful and unique Connecticut River Valley.”

Tough Race Anticipated

Bjornberg said at a recent campaign event on the Ivoryton Green, “It is going to be a tough race.” Although differing with the incumbent on many issues, she acknowledges that he, “Is marvelous in following up on citizens’ complaints.” However, ideologically, she stresses that she strongly disagrees with many of his Linares’ legislative positions.

As for endorsements of her candidacy, Bjornberg said that former State Senator Eileen Daily, who held the post for over 20 years, has endorsed her, as has incumbent State Representative Phil Miller. Miller said at the recent Ivoryton function that Senator Linares is, “A nice young person, who has no clue as to what is going on.”

Miller also expressed the fear that Republicans would spend enormous amounts of out-of-state money to keep Linares in office in Connecticut. In addition to Miller, attending the Ivoryton event was: Judge of Probate Terrance Lomme, who is running for re-election; Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and Essex Selectman Stacy Libby.

In her remarks in Ivoryton, Bjornberg noted that her family (the Reynolds family of Lyme) had lived in the region for seven generations and presently runs a local car dealership.

At the Ivoryton event, every seat was taken in the building on the Green and some supporters estimated that as many as 40 people were present to hear what the candidate had to say.

If elected, Bjornberg would become one of 36 members of the Connecticut State Senate. Representative Phil Miller characterizes the 33rd District as, “A grand, sprawling district. “

Also at the event, a supporter mentioned that if she were elected, Bjornberg would be entitled to a low numbered license plate for her car. In response, the Democratic candidate said firmly, “I would never run for office for a license plate.”

A smiling supporter with Democratic Senate candidate Bjornberg

A smiling supporter with Democratic Senate candidate Bjornberg.

Share

Courtney Staff Host Office Hours in Old Saybrook

Today, Thursday, June 19, representatives from US Congressman Joe Courtney’s office will be at the Action Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook from 12 to 2 p.m.  Members of Courtney’s staff will be available to take questions or concerns on any issue of importance, and to work with constituents who may be having issues with a federal agency.

As part of an effort to bring federal resources closer to his constituents, Courtney’s staff has been traveling the district to provide constituent services in local communities and meet with individuals at a location convenient for them.

Walk-ins are welcome, but if you wish to let Courtney’s office know in advance that you are coming, contact  Taijah Anderson in the Norwich District Office at 860-886-0139.

This opportunity is for individuals only.  If a group would like to meet with Courtney’s staff, contact the Norwich District Office at the number above.

Share

Nominating Conventions Set Up Contest Between Incumbent Linares (R), Newcomer Bjornberg (D) in 33rd District

Democrats have nominated political newcomer Emily Bjornberg of Lyme to challenge one-term incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook in the 12-town 33rd Senate district.

Bjornberg, 33, was the unanimous choice of the 45 delegates gathered for the Democratic convention at the Old Town Hall in Haddam. Linares, 25, was nominated by delegates at the May 12 Republican convention at the Riverhouse in Haddam.

Linares, cofounder of a Middletown-based solar energy company, was elected in a three-way contest in 2012, succeeding a 20-year Democratic incumbent, former Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook. Ljnares defeated Jim Crawford of Westbrook, who was then serving as a state representative, on a 23,915-21,251 vote in a race where an active Green Party candidate, Melissa Schlag of Haddam, garnered 4,317 votes. Schlag later rejoined the Democratic Party was elected last year as first selectwoman of Haddam, She was present at the convention Monday to support Bjornberg.

Also offering support at the convention was Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, telling delegates “we’re finally going to get someone who will replace Eileen Daily.” Bjornberg was nominated by Crawford, with seconding remarks from Mary Ellen Klinck of East Haddam, who competed with Crawford for the party nomination at an August 2012 Democratic primary, and Daily.

Bjornberg, the married mother of two grown children, contended Linares’s views and votes over the part 18 months are “clearly out of step with the majority of his constituents.” She cited Linares vote against raising the minimum wage, and opposition to bills that included grant funding for local projects in the district.

Bjornberg said Linares would often vote against total funding bills, and then claim credit for grants that are awarded for projects in district towns. “I will be a strong voice for our district inside the majority caucus,” she said.

Linares was nominated last week by former state representative and environmental protection commissioner Sidney Holbrook of Westbrook, with seconding remarks by Carl Chuznik of Portland. Linares told the delegates he would continue efforts to improve the business climate in Connecticut and support policies that provide more flexibility and local control in education.

The 33rd Senate District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex,, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and sections of Old Saybrook.

Share

Democrats Nominate Lomme for Second Term as Regional Probate Judge, Will Face Delia in Re-Match

Democrats nominated incumbent Judge Terrance Lomme of Essex last Thursday for a second four-year term as judge of probate for the nine-town region.  Lomme was the unanimous choice of the 31 delegates gathered for the nominating convention at Essex Town Hall.
The nine-town region, which was established under the statewide consolidation of probate courts in 2010, includes the town of  Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. The court is located in Old Saybrook.
Lomme was nominated by Bruce Edgarton of Deep River, with seconding remarks from Larry Oullette of Clinton.  Edgarton said Lomme has “invaluable experience,” as a practicing lawyer for 30 years and former local judge of probate in East Haddam during the early 1990s.  He said Lomme had successfully implemented the consolidation of the nine local probate courts during the eight weeks between election day 2010 and the start of the new judge term in January 2011.
Lomme, in brief remarks to the convention, recalled his initial endorsement for the judge of probate position at a May 2010 party nominating convention where six candidates competed through six ballots before he secured a majority of the delegates.  “What a difference four years makes,” he said, adding that “compassion and understanding” are requirements for the regional judge position..
Lomme won the party nomination in 2010 after an August primary with Raymond Rigat of Clinton, who was serving as that town’s local probate judge at the time.  Lomme later defeated the Republican nominee, Clinton lawyer Anselmo Delia, by a 419 vote margin in the general election.  Lomme faces a rematch contest with Delia in the Nov. 4 election.  Delia was nominated for a second run for the regional judge position by delegates at the Republican convention on May 8.
Share