GOLDRICK: Questions Abound for Local Republican Candidates

Sean Goldrick served two terms as a Democratic member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation

Since our newspapers of record, Greenwich Time and Stamford Advocate, have virtually abandoned coverage of candidates for the state legislature, I’ll pose questions about policy and values to Republican candidates for the General Assembly – Ryan Fazio (state senate – 36th district, including Greenwich, northern Stamford, and New Canaan), Joe Kelly (state representative, 150th district – southern Greenwich), Kimberly Fiorello (state representative, 149th district – Back Country Greenwich, western and northern Stamford), and Harry Arora (151st district, Cos Cob, Greenwich).

Republican candidates Fiorello, Fazio, Arora, and Kelly, did you vote for Donald Trump for president in 2016, and do you intend to vote for him on November 3?  We have a right to know.

Republican candidates, Donald Trump is deliberately sabotaging the United States Postal Service with the explicit objective of subverting its ability to collect, process, and deliver mail-in ballots in time to be counted in the November elections. 

That sabotage includes removing 671 high-speed mail-sorting machines capable of processing 100,000 pieces of mail daily.  Many were removed from the battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.  Trump’s USPS director has banned banned employees from working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail.  Trump also refuses to approve $25 billion in emergency funding.  Connecticut will be sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters for the November elections, and Trump’s sabotage endangers the ability of Connecticut mail-in voters to have their votes counted.  Republican candidates, do you approve of President Trump’s efforts to sabotage the USPS and undermine mail-in voting?

In August 2017, White supremacists and neo-Nazis, chanting “Jews will not replace us!” and “Into the ovens!”, rampaged through Charlottesville, Virginia while protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.  Donald Trump described those neo-Nazis as  “very fine people.”  Do you agree with Donald Trump that White supremacists and neo-Nazis are “very fine people”?

The Republican Party’s 2020 national platform includes the same plank on marriage from its 2016 platform: “Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society….We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a ‘judicial Putsch'”…  In other words, it is the GOP’s official position that same-sex couples should not have the right to marry.  Do you agree with your party that same-sex couples should have no right to marry?

In 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the equality and liberty rules in the Connecticut Constitution.  In 2009, enacting legislation (SB 899) was introduced into the Connecticut General Assembly codifying the Supreme Court’s decision into state law.  Yet a  majority of Republicans in both chambers of the legislature, including all Republicans from Greenwich, defied the Supreme Court’s ruling, and voted “no.”  Had you served in the legislature at the time, would you have voted for marriage equality, or against it?

In 2017, Governor Malloy nominated Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald for the position of Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.  Though Justice McDonald possessed a long record of excellence in public service to Stamford, his hometown, which he served as state senator, and to the state of Connecticut, which he served in many different capacities, Republicans blocked his nomination because he was openly gay, and married to a man.  Had you served in the legislature in 2017, would you have voted in favor of Justice McDonald’s nomination to be Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court?  Or would you have voted to block his nomination due to his sexual orientation, and having married a man?

In 2017, Republicans in the General Assembly proposed their own state budget, which included elimination of funding for the Citizens Election Program, the system of public financing for state elections that was implemented in the wake of the rampant corruption of the Republican Rowland-Rell administration. 

Had you been serving then, would you have voted with every other Republican to defund the Citizens Election Program?

That Republican budget also included the virtual elimination of funding for the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit that today helps more than 6,000 hard-working, low-income families in Stamford, and over 1,300 low-income families in Greenwich make ends meet. Every Republican in the state legislature voted against creation of the EITC in 2011.  Had you served in the legislature at the time, would you have voted to eliminate the EITC for thousands of working poor in your districts?  

Voters deserve answers.  We’re waiting.