Welcome to the newsletter of the Sherman Democratic Town Committee. Our goal is to share with local Democrats news and resources to help us stay involved for positive change on a state and local level. We are committed to working for and with the citizens of Sherman to promote issues, initiatives, and candidates that will make Sherman a better place to live and work.
These Mid-Terms Will Be Impactful
This newsletter will focus on the races that will be on the ballot in Sherman on Tuesday, November 6th.
Don’t Blow Off The Mid-Terms!
This election will determine the next Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Attorney General and Representative in the U.S. Congress. You will also be voting for our next Senator and Representative in Hartford.
- CT’s Governor’s race could shift the Governors’ balance country wide
- The CT Governor’s race is close, considered a toss-up by 2 predictors
- This election we have an amazing slate combining experience, diversity & talent
|What’s the Issue Driving Mid-Terms?|
Nationally and even in Connecticut, the underlying issue that is driving the midterm elections is…transmuting!
Broadly speaking, we’ve moved from “It’s the Economy, Pal” to “It’s The Women, Pal” to “It’s The Turnout,Pal” in just a few weeks. So here’s a recap of that transmutation.
In these last weeks and days before the election, making ends meet in Hartford may matter less to many people than the far more emotional issue: the reprise of white male establishment entitlement vs. women’s rights.
“It’s The Women, Pal.”
This issue is looking like a trend that is just going to intensify in CT and across the country. A Vox article posted on October 8th cites a new poll (conducted by the Washington Post and Schar School of Policy and Government) indicating Democrats have a narrow advantage in 69 competitive House races with seats mostly held by Republicans. And, the article points out, “The new results are being propelled by women voters tending to prefer Democrats, the common theme of 2018. Fifty-four percent of women voters in these districts said they preferred Democratic candidates, and 40 percent preferred Republicans. Men, on the other hand, favored Republicans by 51 percent, compared to 46 percent favoring Democrats.”
The Kavanaugh hearing and appointment threw gasoline on the already burning fires of the #MeToo movement and seemed to give new energy to Democrat candidates here and across the country. However, Republicans were then able to “close the enthusiasm gap” by stoking voters’ rage about how “the Democrats” perpetrated a “hoax” of which, apparently, Dr. Christine Ford was an unwitting pawn. The discussion of white male entitlement vs. women’s rights was quickly absorbed into a partisan political strategy in which Republicans are successfully leveraging rage, first by using it as the energy that will turn out their base, and second by turning it against Democrats, whose anger is now being characterized as turning them into a fearsome “mob.”
These national tides of voter emotion will likely determine the results of the midterm elections, across the country and here in Connecticut as well. Any discussion of real issues has been eclipsed by an all-encompassing focus on voter turnout.
“It’s the Turnout, Pal”
Whatever twists and turns occur between now and November 6th, “It’s the Turnout, Pal”—getting voters registered and committed to showing up at the polls—is the name of the game
|The Governor’s Race: Talking to the Undecided’s and Politically Apathetic|
The CT Governor’s race began and continues to be a fairly subdued affair, due to the candidates’ personalities which range from bland to blander. Both Lamont’s and Stefanowski’s inclinations are to stick to issues rather than flame-throwing. Connecticut’s fiscal crisis (“It’s the Economy, Pal”) remains the focus of their debate and the candidates’ solutions continue to embody familiar party lines.
Ned Lamont wants to boost workers, students, and families. He is particularly focusing on those who spend 6.5% beyond 12% of their income on property taxes for home and car. Lamont wants to reduce those taxes in the form of a state credit. He also wants new funding to cover 25,000 senior renters.
To raise the funds for those ambitions, Lamont wants to :
- toll CT highways
- develop new taxable cannabis market,
- reduce costs at the Department of Correction
- improve tax collections
- audit, enforcement and close the “tax gap”
- tax under-the-table sports gambling
- hold accountable companies that receive public support
- ask municipal and nonprofit leaders to do more with less.
Additional benefits Lamont wants to provide are:
- cutting business taxes
- pruning regulations
- streamlining permitting and job training
- cuting capital stock tax
- creating a Business Recruitment Board
Bob Stefanowski has offered two Republican bumper stickers—“Let’s Get Rid of Big Government!” and “Honk If You Hate Taxes!” Like the jailed Gov Rowland in 1994, he is promising to eliminate state income taxes. During the latest debate, Stefanowski was unable to provide any details for his plan to close the deficit, which is projected to be $1.9 billion for fiscal year 2020 and rising to $2.5 billion in 2021. Critics of Stefanowski’s economic plan say it will gut municipal aid, education funding and the state’s social safety net and still increase the state debt.
The much-maligned Malloy was actually the first Governor to try to address any of this debt by cutting state jobs, but overall spending was not affected because of those rising pension, health and debt payment bills.
Stefanowski’s big assumption has never been proven. It is the idea that lower taxes will lead to higher revenues. This idea was pushed by Reagon’s economic advisor whom Stefanowski says endorses his plan.
Stefanowski will raise funds by:
- contracting out public services to the private sector, starting with the DMV
- rewarding and protecting whistle-blowers
- reducing SEBAC* by lowering staff via attrition
- using zero-based budgeting
- lowering taxes for the rich so they’ll stay in the state
- tolling out-of-state heavy trucks
*SEBAC is the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, made up of 15 public sector employee unions representing roughly 46,000 Connecticut state employees. SEBAC was recognized in 1986 under Conn. Acts 86-411 to negotiate with the State on healthcare and pension benefits for its individual unions’ active members, as well as retirees.
Copied from the issues sections of both Lamont’s website and Stefanowski’s websites, the entries below list issues as posted. Those on the same row approximately overlap, though their framing of the problem and their solutions may be dramatically different.
|Ned Lamont||Bob Stefanowski|
|Creating Jobs||Help Small Businesses|
|Property Tax Relief for the Middle Class|
|Quality, Affordable Health Care||Health and Human Services|
|Investing in Education||Education|
|Building a Fair Economy||Rebuild our Economy, Fiscal Framework|
|Solving the Housing Crisis||Protecting Municipalities|
|Fixing the DMV|
|Addressing Climate Change & Expanding Renewable Energy, Protecting the Environment||Preserving Nature|
|Fighting for the LGBTQ Community|
|Investing in Infrastructure||Modernize our Infrastructure, Transportation|
|Supporting Our Veterans||Veterans|
|Combating the Opioid Epidemic|
|Preventing Gun Violence||Public Safety|
|Investing in Arts and Culture|
|Government Accountability, Controlling State Costs|
|Keep Our Retirees|
|Keep our Graduates|
“It’s the Woman, Pal”
Even before the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, the #MeToo Movement had quietly infiltrated Connecticut politics, as shown in a Sacred Heart University/Hearst CT Media Group survey released September 20. Compared to a late August poll, there was an overall uptick for Lamont of a 6.2 lead over Stefanowski (from 36.9 to 43.1). This gain is despite the same poll showing men and Independents leaning toward Stefanowski (43% of men support him; Independents are newly swaying from 26.5 to 29.8 toward him). More than 50% of women are for Lamont, versus 36.5 % for Stefanowski, showing that it is women who are solely responsible for Lamont’s gain in the polls.
“It’s the Economy, Pal ”
As you seek to influence “undecided” friends or acquaintances, especially those with an aversion to politics and drama, “It’s the Economy, Pal ” may be your best bet to get them to the polls.
|Candidates for the U.S. House Connecticut District 5|
Democrat Jahana Hayes, Republican Manny Santos (R) and “Independent Conservative” “John Pistone are running in the general election for U.S. House Connecticut District 5 on November 6, 2018.
The contrast between Hayes and her two opponents could not be clearer:
Santos, the former Mayor of Meriden, is a strong Trump supporter.
Among other things he advocates:
- arming teachers
- taking a hard line on immigration (including supporting Trump’s wall and opposing a path to citizenship for Dreamers)
- repealing the Affordable Care Act
- imposing work requirements on those receiving Food Stamps, and
- supporting the Trump tax cuts
Pistone, who describes himself as “too conservative for the Connecticut Republican Party,” believes that “President Trump is the best president we have ever had outside of President Reagan.”
To Santos’ positions, he adds, among other things support for:
- a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution
- school vouchers
- abolition of constitutional protections for people accused, but not convicted of, “terrorism.”
Jahana Hayes, the former National Teacher of the Year, strongly supports public education, of course. She supports:
- expanded gun controls including a ban on assault weapons
- a path to citizenship for Dreamers
- single payer health care, and
- combating climate change
Perhaps nowhere is the difference between Hayes and her opponents more clear than in her commitment to social justice:
|Supporting Jahana Hayes…|
- Canvassing is held regularly from the Litchfield campaign office (7 West Street, 2nd Floor), Saturdays and Sundays, 11-6. Canvasing is also being organized out of the Danbury Office.
- Phone banking is held regularly also from the Litchfield office, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
- If you or anyone you know wants to canvass around Sherman or phone bank from home, contact Emily Armstrong, the northwest corner field organizer for the campaign, at Emily@jahanahayes.com.
- To help with data entry, go to https://www.jahanahayes.com/dataentry
- To request a lawn sign, go to https://www.jahanahayes.com/lawnsigns
Check out her website at https://www.jahanahayes.com/ for other ideas.
|Supporting Julie Kushner…|
To recap the site’s introduction to Julie:
Julie Kushner will bring four decades of experience and passion shaped through activism with her into Connecticut’s state senate. From her first organizing wins among secretaries at Columbia University (where they won a higher minimum wage, pay equity, and protections against sexual harassment) to her recent experiences advocating for UAW members in Puerto Rico after the 2017 hurricanes, Julie’s tenacity and dedication bring people together to achieve real change.
|Needed: Election Volunteers|
The Registrar’s office is seeking volunteers to assist at the various elections and referendums held throughout the year. There are a variety of positions, some for the entire day and some for a half day.
Any registered Democrat interested in volunteering or seeking more information should contact either Bill Perkanis, Registrar, email@example.com, or Carol Muska, Assistant Registrar, firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Upcoming Sherman Events|
Sherman Democratic Town Committee Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, October 24th, 7:30pm
Old Town Hall (Senior Center)
All registered Democrats from the town of Sherman are welcomed and encouraged to attend our monthly meetings.
Board of Selectmen Monthly Meetiing
Thursday, October 25th, 7 PM
Mallory Town Hall
Meet & Greet with BOTH Jahana Hayes AND Julie Kushner
Sunday, October 28th, 7 PM
Jewish Community Center
9 CT-39, Sherman, CT 06784
|Contact Your Representatives|
Sherman is lucky to be represented by two Democratic senators and a Democratic representative in Congress–but don’t think that your phone calls in support of their votes and actions do not matter. Senator Chris Murphy, speaking recently at a campaign-training event, made it clear that tallying up those supportive calls from his constituents helps him maintain a strong case for his positions. Sherman’s state-level representatives are both Republicans.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D)
(860) 223-8412 (202) 225-4476
Senator Chris Murphy (D)
(860) 549-8463 (202) 224-4041
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D)
(860) 258-6940 (203) 330-0598 (202) 224-2823
State Senator Michael McLachlan (R) Senate District 24
State Representative Richard Smith (R) House District 108
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We are an organization of inclusion, not exclusion. We have a longstanding history of attracting both Democratic and unaffiliated voters and endorsing both Democratic and unaffiliated candidates. We work to represent the wide variety of Sherman citizens who hold many different viewpoints and opinions.
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