Continuing in the series of who we plan on voting for and why I offer you my choices. Despite the fact that I am a registered Republican, I am a very independent thinker (Last year's municipal election was the first time I voted all Republican) and not all my choices make me feel good inside. Anyway, here we go!
I am taking this a bit out of order for one main reason. I love Rob Simmons. I think he is the epitome of what a Congressman should be and despite what the opposition party says, he does a wonderful job for the people he represents. With that said, it should come as no surprise that I am voting to re-elect Rob Simmons for Congressman in the Second District.
Simmons represents the largest district in Connecticut in terms of land mass and effectively represents the people of the entire district. Aside from the sub base, Simmons biggest accomplishment is far and away the amount of funding he brings back to the District. Rob has been able to secure 10's of millions of dollars for the different cities and towns in his district. Being from Enfield, I will use it as an example. In the 4 years he has been our Congressman he has gotten Federal funding for projects in our community such as: $2 million for a high speed rail crossing to allow people to regain access to the Connecticut River after Amtrak closed it off. Historic fishing spots such as the Enfield Dam, known around the world for it's Shad fishing, will once again have fisherman a plenty. Projects like the South Maple Street bridge where Rob worked with Joe Lieberman and fought to get us over $2 million to replace this bridge that is about to fall into the Scantic River; over $1 million for roads and sidewalks and upwards of $3 million for a train station in Thompsonville to support a Springfield to New Haven commuter rail line.
Now this is only a partial list and these are not pork barrel projects. They are real. They add to the community's infrastructure. Pick any town and you can find many, many similar examples. The only way to accomplish this is to be out in the community, listen to the people you represent and Rob does just that, perhaps better than anyone in Congress.
The Democrats try to paint him with their evil Bush Brush but it just isn't true. He has been critical of the Bush Administration's handling of the war in Iraq and even gave a floor speech saying just that. He is an independent voice trusted by both sides of the aisle and deserves an additional 2 years.
For Governor, it should come as no surprise that I am voting for M. Jodi Rell. She stepped up when we needed her most. She helped put Connecticut back on the right path and is the right person to lead us for the next 4 years. She has worked with the legislature to accomplish many things in 2 short years. Campaign Finance reform, transportation initiatives, stem cell research, ethics reforms and beyond. This was no easy task and not many could have accomplished this but she did. She is a common voice for the common people and has earned my support.
Now with that said, I hope some things change. We absolutely need to ease the over taxation on our people and our businesses. We need to look at our utility issues, property tax reform for both businesses and homeowners. While her opponent, John DeStefano, offered many plans I do not think they are realistic and to be frank, I have major problems with some of them, specifically universal health care coverage. That said, he had ideas and talked about them and I she becomes more proactive and adopt the same mentality, perhaps with less specifics.
For State Senate, I will be voting for John Kissel. John has served his district well the past 14 years and deserves to go back for another term. He is knowledgeable on the issues that matter and is out in the community. He doesn't tow the party line and has shown his bi-partisanship numerous times over the years. And as he has pointed out, he is very close to the Governor and that can only mean good things for the 7th District. Furthermore, his opponent, Bill Kiner, does everything but excite me. I think Bill is a good man but I cannot help but question his reasoning for running. With the negativity spewing from him and his campaign, I have to wonder if it is more about him than it is about the District and that cannot be good for anyone.
Now that brings me to US Senate. On August 10th, I was 100% positive I was voting for Joe Lieberman on Tuesday. This says a lot. I cannot stand Joe Lieberman but in my mind voting for him was the only way we could stop Ned Lamont, a man who scared me at the time. Over the past couple weeks I have truly been unsure of how I was going to vote. I had even gone so far as to think about voting “present” by not casting my ballot for this race Then the debates happened and Joe reminded me that I couldn't stand him. That was when I also realized that he and Ned Lamont, aside from the war in Iraq, are no different. That was when I realized that it wasn't Ned Lamont that scares me but instead it is many of the people that support him like the folks at Daily Kos and dumpjoe.com and their extreme vision for America that frighten me. That is also when Alan Schlesinger “brought me home” to borrow a phrase a Simmons staffer used when we talked about the debates. Brought me home indeed. And I will in fact vote for Alan Schlesinger on Tuesday. Alan is by far the smartest of the three fiscally. He knows his stuff on Social Security and the budget and to be frank, he is what Washington needs. He would be an advocate for the people when Congress debates our ballooned budgets. I like his ideas on solving the quagmire in Iraq. I like his demeanor and sense of humor. In a way, he is kind of refreshing.
That is not to say I like everything about Schlesinger. I had major issues with the casino stuff and his immigration stance is a bit to the right of mine but when you take into account the entire package of the 3 candidates, Schlesinger is the closest to me and is why he will get my vote. I realize it is probably not going to make a difference but I cannot in good conscience vote any other way.
Well, that's that! I can't wait to read what you think!
Only 5 days to go!