I am well aware that this election season is very divisive. There is a lot at stake on both sides, and the added stress of the pandemic has contributed to the local edginess.
It was with that in mind a few weeks ago, that I reached out to my counterpart, DTC Chairman Joe Angland to see if he would agree to move up the date to allow for signs to be put on public property, on account of absentee balloting in early October. We agreed on a date, and I drafted
a joint statement that mixed some humor and history in hopes we could issue it together, in good spirit. Joe did not want to issue a joint statement. He preferred to simply alert the First Selectman with a very plain statement.
Subsequently, I mentioned we should “send the same statement to the press so that people can be made aware the date has been moved”. Again my offer was rejected. Joe’s response was; “I don’t see the need to publicize this. I doubt most people were aware of the old agreement, so they don’t need an explanation of why it has changed.” Not very transparent.
Changing the date for public sign placement proved to be complex as the rules could not be altered on the basis of our agreement alone. I again reached out to Joe several days ago to see if he agreed that the best course might be to simply stay with the original rule of waiting until 15 days before election day. I have not heard back from him.
I will now make a clear announcement to the general public that signs cannot be placed on public property until midnight, October 19th. I urge both sides to be respectful of that rule. Signs may be put on private property in the interim.
I also agreed to appear with Joe at a locally sponsored event to discuss the role our parties play in the local election process. This was meant to be a civil, bi-partisan event. However, a couple of days ago Joe backed out, saying he was cancelling his appearance “because of certain online activity during the campaign”.
I view this as a lost opportunity. I sent Joe an email and told him that I was disappointed, and I made him aware of some of the disturbing things that have been said about me and Republican candidates “online”, none of which deterred me from appearing with him.
I told him about the photo of me with my family, which was doctored and posted online by none other than the son of Rep Steve Meskers. Family is always off limits. There have been some awful things said about me on social media due to my support for our GPD. Democrats have taken to calling me a “Bootlicker”. The images they have posted online are what you
might expect. A man, obediently licking a polished, leather police boot, under the “Thin Blue Line Flag” symbolic of police solidarity.
Most disturbingly, was the post on Rep Steve Meskers Facebook page by former Policeman Mark Kordick in which he stated “The Greenwich Police condone criminal acts and civil rights violations……as long as they are committed to benefit Republicans”. The post from Mr Kordick is insulting to our GPD, but what is particularly disturbing is that Rep Meskers was aware of its existence on his campaign Facebook page for three weeks. The only reason Rep Meskers removed it was because I sent him a message about it.
When I have tried to seize on opportunities for bipartisanship, they have been rebuffed. I don’t blame Joe Angland. We have had several friendly conversations, and he seems like a good guy. I don’t hold his politics against him. It’s his job to lead the DTC. Rather, I’m inclined to think that he is being put in awkward positions by elements from within his own party.
Hopefully he and I will have an opportunity to get together after the election to chat about our experiences during this very unique year. I’m sure he will be discouraged from doing it, but the invitation remains open.
Your local Democrat Party is not interested in any form of collaboration or bipartisanship. They are also intent on making our local races about national politics. Don’t fall for it.
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.