Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Prominent Democrat Endorses Simmons

Yeah, you read that correctly. Former Democrat State Senator Bill Stanley of Norwich has given a ringing endorsement for the re-election of Congressman Rob Simmons.

The endorsement from the Norwich Bulletin:

It is not unusual for governments to be ungrateful. We need only look at how our military heroes are often neglected. But, individuals should always demonstrate gratitude for favors received. Such is the case with all of us in Eastern Connecticut who, a year or so ago, were frightened at what seemed to be an irreversible decision to close the U.S. Naval Submarine Base at Groton.

A very effective team was put together headed by John Markowicz. Today, our sub base, at least for the moment, is still part of southeastern Connecticut, and so are the more than 30,000 jobs related to the base. But Markowicz, who was likened to a no-nonsense football coach, brought that team to play against all odds.

Last month, Markowicz warned we must not be complacent because the Groton base is ranked 19th among 20 East Coast naval installations. In the 100-point system used, our sub base is rated 40.2. Only Staten Island, N.Y., is rated lower.

Among those who saved the base were Gov. M. Jodi Rell and U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, but the two most critical players had major positions on the Armed Services Committee: U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman and U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District. Those two special players on the Armed Services Committee knew the Base Closure and Realignment Committee members personally and were able to negotiate one-on-one over dinner and even influence their coming to view the sub base and submarine builder Electric Boat.

Lieberman and Simmons were key players. Without them, the outcome of the sub base might have been closure. Beyond saving the base, both Simmons and Lieberman have not hesitated to cross party lines to benefit the people of America and especially those of us in Eastern Connecticut.

Governments can often be ungrateful, but we in Eastern Connecticut owe Lieberman and Simmons our votes. With our votes, we can say "thank you" for accomplishing the impossible. They may be needed again if the threat of closure resurfaces.

A freshman senator or congressman will not make any difference in the war in Iraq, but two new members, without seniority, could cost us the submarine base.

They did job once

While I wish to speak no ill of any of the candidates running, because they are all honorable people, I do think, because of performance and because they may be needed again, Lieberman and Simmons, more than any other elected officials, deserve our votes.

The people of Norwich, New London, Groton and all of Eastern Connecticut will be far more secure with Lieberman and Simmons in Washington.

This election, for all of us in Connecticut, is far more than a gauge of our opinion on Iraq.

We must consider our future with the base and Electric Boat. We should reward all those who had a hand in saving the base.

Mistakes in judgment can be costly. Some of us still regret when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Let us not make a mistake and vote away two valuable players on the Save Our Base team. We may need Lieberman and Simmons again.

Our votes are very important, and no vote more important than for Lieberman and Simmons, both senior members of the Armed Services Committee.

He is right on with this. Simmons has done an excellent job as Congressman. Beyond using his influence to help save the sub base he has brought home millions of dollars to the towns of his district. I can name numerous projects that, quite frankly, wouldn't be getting done if it were not for Simmons' help. He is out in the community, meeting his constituents and has certainly earned another term in Congress.

Note: There is no negative comments about his opponent in this post; Let's see if we can stay away from the negativity in the comments as well.

Bill Stanley, We must retain Lieberman, Simmons, October 18, 2006; Norwich Bulletin


Anonymous said...

Speaking of endorsements, I noticed that the Courant has made 12 endoresments thus far, 11 of which are Democrats. Good thing there is no liberal bias in the local media.

Anonymous said...

Good to see a Democrat has come forward and recognized the good work that Simmons has done. There are plenty of good, honest, hardworking people on both sides of the political fence and more people need to start relizing that instead of just immediately dismissing someone because they are from a different poltical party.
As far as the Hartford Courant, is it really any surprise that one of the most liberal papers in the country has come out against 95% of the Republicans running. They do nothing but demonize Republicans and when months after the election all the negative things they reported do not end up being true, they quietly forget about it-AKA Bill Aniskovich.

turfgrrl said...

They're even doing it in Kansas newspapers.

cgg said...

This election gets more bizarre by the day.

FrankS said...

Stanley's view of Lieberman and Simmons efforts argues for a return to an age of favors in home porting Naval facilites to appease members of Congress, a practice that probably played a part in Groton's orignial selections for closure in both BRAC proceedings.

On its merits, the nuclear-qualified waterfrontage at Groton, if closed, could never be regained elsewhere. Groton is the East Coast base nearest to the shortest and most covert route to the Pacific, which goes under the Arctic ice cap -- a faster route to North Korea than the subs based in San Diego, in fact. So this is a terrible time to be cutting back on their facilities or disrupting their operational flow.

Despite strong counter-arguments from a group of retired admirals including three former CNOs, plus almost every New England politician from either party, not to mention community leaders and thousands of private citizens, the Pentagon remained insistent that Groton be shuttered... a Department of Defense spokesman saying that New London met all the formal criteria for closure, while someone from the Government Accountability Office firmly stated quite the opposite.

Senior DOD and Navy leaders who, despite admonishments to the contrary from many quarters of the nation, remained so fixated on a narrow view of undersea craft to safeguard our country's future. The fight over an adequately-sized submarine force vs surface craft, especially given the rising threat of China and North Korea, will undoubtedly continue in spite of Lieberman or Simmons elections.

baghdadjoe said...

A much more interesting idea that "rewarding those that saved the sub base" would be bringing in someone who knows how to create jobs.

Submarine construction is hardly a growth industry. And even though a BIPARTISAN group of politicians managed to save the Groton base, much of the work it was doing has been relocated to other states.

Lamont is a businessman, and an enterpreneur. He's likely to be much better at finding ways to create good CT jobs than Lieberman. On the other hand, Joe "NAFTA/CAFTA" Lieberman's job exportation record speaks for itself, and is clearly the wrong choice for people like me who actually have to WORK for a-living.

Anonymous said...

Maybe people are endorsing Democrats b/c Republicans control every aspect of the federal government and look how well that's worked out.

Anonymous said...

As long as Markwoicz is being quoted why doesn't someone say that he indicated that next time around the base will probably stay on the closure list regardless of what CT does? Why won't CT people face reality? This wasn't about DoD redcuing the size of the sub fleet at all. It was about saving money without sacrificing national security or defense capability. Unfortunately the Navy did a sloppy job estimating the cost of closure so the base was taken off the list. Next time around the Navy won't be so sloppy.

Genghis Conn said...


True. The Navy doesn't want to be here. Eventually, they'll find a way to leave.

disgruntled_republican said...

Isn't that more of a reason to keep people we know have influence in the fold such as Simmons?

Anonymous said...

The subs weren't being redeployed to San Diego, they were going to be berthed in Virginia and Georgia when not underway or deployed at sea. Subs don't sit around in port to be all of a sudden sent out like a USCG search and rescue mission. The "proximity to China" argument defies military reality on the seas.

bluecoat said...

It didn't take disgruntled_republican long to make this a campaign for Simmons post now did it?

disgruntled_republican said...

Oh bluecoat, is that not appropriate? Funny how you don't say a word when Bobby McGee does the same for Lamont of Trfgrrl does it for Lieberman or Farrel...

Only difference is I try to put up positive posts.

bluecoat said...

Saying that one should vote for Simmons for whatever reason is by definition negative for Courtney. That's just the way it is and there's nothing wrong with that except that you violated your own silly Note admonition in the post. Get over yourself disgruntled.

disgruntled_republican said...

bluecoat -

So by that logic voting is negative. My disclosure was meant to sway people from name calling as seems to become the standard on many posts. As for getting over myself, I did that years ago. Oh, and I was once told...people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Now you have heard it to. And you'll be happy to learn I am going back to ignoring you again. Congrats! (All said with a happy voice and no ill will meant by it)

Anonymous said...

Didn't Stanley endorse Rowland? Gotta love these "loyal" conservative Democrats - loyal only when the candidate is theirs!

Anonymous said...


Thanks to the stupidity of the Bush/Lieberman foreign policy, and to the GOP's corruption, the balance of power is rapidly shifting in America.

Dems are about to re-take Congress, and odds are 2008 will deliver us the next Democratic President.

Knowing this, isn't Connecticut better off with a strong Democratic coalition, and not the washed out Republican moderates? Fact is, when Dems take back the House, both Larson and DeLauro will be in the top leadership tier, with real power to keep and bring jobs to Connecticut.

And Lieberman? The desperate fool has burned so many bridges who knows what to expect. He got beat by a novice, and he still can't see the writing on the wall regarding Iraq. What makes you think he'll have any juice going forward?

The Caretaker said...

Isn't that more of a reason to keep people we know have influence in the fold such as Simmons?

The true hero of the subbase seems to have been Jimmy Carter.

Simmons and Lieberman are disingenuous about their roles in all of this. In sitting on armed services committees they seem to be sleepwalking through the process.

As someone has noted above, the location of any particular subbase is of no strategic consequence. Cost savings has been the sole criteria for the base downsizings we've seen. In that regard, both Simmons and Lieberman for all of their vaunted bipartisanship failed to make the case that Groton should be a base that's retained.

The cost savings is in fewer bases and not their geography. It is hard to imagine the navy pinching pennies on the quality of work that it takes to build a sub. Connecticut is no less cost-efficient as anywhere else.

So why isn't Groton one of the few bases chosen to serve? The only conclusion one can draw from the politics is that both Lieberman and Simmons have long exercised a nod-and-wink relationship with their respective committees to let the base slip into closure when it's politically feasible to do so. Otherwise any real influence or even interest would have been applied to selling Groton as a historical and prime candidate to be retained.

If Lieberman and Simmons in fact have any influence they cash it in elsewhere or expediently to save their own sorry political careers. This is not enough reason to vote them back in.

Simmons' blunders in handling body armor for our troops, expeditious deployment of armored vehicles and training, and his penchant for snuggling in Bush's lap are reason plenty to boot him out with gusto.

And the endorsement of a Democrat who has had his bread buttered but turns his back on his own party is hardly a profile in courage.

Frank Krasicki

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about Simmons and Lieberman claiming to have saved the sub base, is that when they had influence over the process in the initial cut, they failed to keep Groton off the list. Of course, Simmons at this point, scared out of his mind, commended Courtney for not making a "political issue" out of it.

Only in the second wave of review when high-ranking officers in the military spoke in favor of the base was the sub base saved.

Does anyone remember differently?

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon -

That certainly factored in but it was also Simmons' PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with many members of the BRAC Commission that pushed it over the top. As Stanley points out, if not for that relationship many members would not have even visited the sub base much less vote to save it.

The call to Courtney for not making it political was a kind gesture towards Courtney, who in turn made it political by releasing it to the public. To be frank, if Courtney had made it political at that time, he would have looked horrible and he knew it, thus not saying anything.

As for the base getting on the list, it was the Navy and Rumsfeld who put it there, not the BRAC Commission.

That said, it is now Team Connecticut's job to strengthen the area and make sure that the base stays off the list in the future - and I fully admit that is a very tough task but it will be tough for anyone, Dem or Rep.

turfgrrl said...

disgruntled_republican-- although I disagree with why your support Simmons, there's noting wrong with your post. People here tend to forget that writers express opinions.

The Caretaker said...

The funny thing about Simmons and Lieberman claiming to have saved the sub base, is that when they had influence over the process in the initial cut, they failed to keep Groton off the list.

That's precisely the point everyone in their giddy excitement over "saving the base" misses. Considering the seniority of our representation the base should have never been allowed to become endangered. Simmons and Lieberman were NOT DOING THEIR JOBS TO BEGIN WITH.

And it is quite beside the point to say that Simmons' relationship with this guy or that got the base renewed attention. The fact of the matter is that Lieberman's unholy relationship with the Bush administration should have been plenty of leverage to secure the base's future.

After all, it is Lieberman's stealth facade as a Democrat that has enabled Bush to claim bipartisan support for his draconian policies on dozens of occasions. Lieberman's duplicity in the scorched earth policies of Bush must be worth more than $.66 on the tax dollar to Connecticut.

Frank Krasicki