Monday, September 20, 2010

Can Hartford Really Be Fixed By The 118Th?

The race for the 118th is just starting to kick off and in the next few months the voters will be rushing to the polls to vote in state and federal races. While I am quite pessimistic about this years choices fixing Washington I am also getting equally frustrated with the economic repairmen competing in our local races.

Dreadfully, I really dislike bringing up the past, but it is always important to know that there are plenty of very popular well meaning people out there. Our last two representatives in the 118th were both Democrats with Barbara Lambert resigning after serving just one term. Prior to that we had the former Speaker of the House Jim Amann who also resigned his post in favor of a Gubernatorial bid.

This year we have another three-way race with four political parties being represented. Added to the usual Republican, Independent, and Democrat Parties, we have the added intrusion of the Working Families Party. While most people think WF is a real party it is important to note that they rarely to never run any candidates.

Working Families is a labor union driven entity who has endorsed Democrats in 99% of every contested race in Connecticut. To see their list of cross endorsements click here.

This years Republican Candidate is Greg Smith the present Chairman of the Milford Board of Alderman. Greg replaced the very popular tax cutting Ben Blake after the Republican landslide in 2010.

The Democrat Kim Rose is vying to retain the 118th yet again for the Democrats. Rose is active in several Milford organizations including the Elks, the Irish festival and the Planning and Zoning Board. Rose is also cross endorsed by the Working Families Party.

The Independent is Rocco Frank Jr. who is running again. Frank is a small business owner and has served the state of Connecticut as a Special Deputy Sheriff. Frank is also the Chairman of the Milford Independent Party and is largely responsible for all Independents that appear on the Milford ballot. Frank is also a former candidate for the Board of Education and has three children in High School.

Deciding who to vote for can be challenging, some things to remember is that this year, except for Frank, we have all new faces running for the 118th. Each of the candidates have their strengths and weaknesses.

The Democratic candidate biggest weakness may be her health, and issues that could impair her ability to represent her constituents. Driving back and forth to Hartford can be a taxing (no pun intended) experience and the same impairments that handicap her at her present job will again handicap her again if elected. Other than this issue Rose is a terrific person who has supported a great many honorable organizations and events in Milford.

The Republican Candidate Greg Smith has all of the luster of calling himself Chairman of the Milford Board of Alderman. Smith also calls himself a Libertarian and a Patriot and embraces Libertarian principles in an age where Tea Party Patriots seem to be en-vogue.

Smith's critics, however, have criticized him on several fronts and call him dis-ingenuous. Smith's greatest challenge came from the parents of Simon Lake school. Greg supported and cut the funding to Simon Lake against the wishes of several parents and teachers. Greg was also criticized again by the local media and several blogs when he voted in favor of paying $700.00 each for computer chairs at the mayors request. Greg has denied this to me in person but has failed to provede any proof by way of a reciept. These, in my opinion, are alleged errors in judgements that many of us use to cast doubt on his ability to "fix Hartford." Democrats have also alleged that Greg has voted to raise taxes more times than any Chairman I have ever known.

Rocco Frank Jr. The Independent has been dubbed and called opinionated and yet open minded at the same time. Frank as the owner of a small business, and as a former state employee has a great deal of state experience. The Milford Mirror called Frank an excellent choice in 2008, and was also endorsed by the Family Institute of CT, and every other state Independent party in the state including the American Independent Party.

Frank's biggest handicap this year is funding as he is self financed and has opted out of the Citizens Election Program. In 2008 Frank qualified and spent nearly $20,000.00 but due to a challenge expressed by Chris Healy (Chair of the CT Republicans) that this program amounts to public "theft" frank decided to opt out in 2010 until the program is proven ethical. Frank's critics have also alluded to the 10% margin he achieved in 2008 after spending $21,000.00. He has also been challenged on issues of physical graffiti objections and reforms in divorce law.

Photo above of Milford's 118th District

Mike V.

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