Feb 2, 2011
On this Ground Hog's Day, we see a ballot in the 20th Assembly District with Allen Hoffman appearing on two lines, just as was the case when he overcame long odds to prevail as the people's choice for state representative in 1994. Back then, he was cross-endorsed by Governor Weicker's "A Connecticut Party." This time, the Republican nominee is also cross-endorsed by the Connecticut for Lieberman party. Both times, I was the one who rallied supporters to his side.
The fact that I have sided with this Republican twice, now, comes as a surprise to those who know me as a champion of many liberal causes and campaigns. My first campaign was George McGovern's bid in 1972, when I tagged along with my dad as a seven-year-old. I liked Jimmy Carter, and I still do. Gary Hart was my favorite in 1984, when I cast my first vote in a Democratic primary as a senior at Conard High. I never liked Reagan, and I campaigned for a little known governor from Arkansas in the bitter cold New Hampshire January of 1992. In January of 2008, the Obama campaign selected me to be their spokesperson at the Middletown Straw Poll. Most recently, as the CFL candidate in this district last fall, I praised the merits of the Democratic incumbent as the best man to serve the district.
David McCluskey and I agree on many things, but at this point, we are not in sync as to who will best serve as his successor. While Allen Hoffman has a record of serving in the House and bringing to bear a keen intellect and a realistic balance of compassion and fiscal responsibility, nothing has come to my attention that convinces me that Joe Verrengia's concerns extend beyond the narrow constituency of public workers bequeathed unsustainable compensations at the expense of the solvency of the state treasury.
While I have high regard for someone who serves in a profession where you regularly pull over people who may or may not be wanted felons, sometimes with a loaded weapon and with nothing to lose, but go in harm’s way, nevertheless, to defend the rest of us against such criminals, this does not exempt a candidate for elective office of the responsibility to share with voters his intentions once elected. To those of us who suspect a public employee will serve their special interest over the common good, his silence is tantamount to a confession.