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Letters: Campaign mailbag

Published 12:28 pm, Friday, October 26, 2012
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OBSITNIK KNOWS HOW TO GET JOB DONE

Steve Obsitnik has the experience and passion to represent and fight for the people of Connecticut's 4th Congressional District.

Steve is a first generation American, was raised in Stamford and is a product of the Stamford public school system. He knows that an educated workforce is the cornerstone of economic growth and prosperity for Connecticut.

Steve and understands the values of our community, the importance of our cities and the local treasures that make us a unique place to live. He knows how to revitalize Stamford, Bridgeport and Norwalk and how important they are in our District's local economy. He understands the varied lifestyles in our community and the benefits and challenges of being a suburb of New York City. He will protect the Long Island Sound and rivers that define our lifestyle.

Steve Obsitnik is also a business leader, an engineer, a local educator, a former military officer and a Westport resident. His military and business leadership has been a voice for many diverse groups and his success demonstrates that he knows how to get the job done. He knows the challenges faced by entrepreneurs as he has spent the last 20 years building businesses, creating jobs and advising other entrepreneurs. He is an advisor for the Wharton U.S. Small Business Development Center and served on the U.S. Small Business Administration National Advisory Board.

The challenges of our time require leaders with real job experience and personal character to step forward. I believe Steve Obsitnik has the fortitude to make and communicate the tough choices that face our nation. He knows how to work with others to get results.

I hope you will vote for Steve Obsitnik on Election Day to represent us as our Congressman.

Bob Zappi

Westport

FAULTS CURRY'S `OFFENSIVE TACTICS'

I would like to thank state Sen. Toni Boucher for taking the high road and running a campaign that we can all be proud of. With a solid record as a socially moderate and fiscally responsible leader, Toni Boucher has been a model for the leaders we need. This commitment to honest and ethical leadership is clearly reflected in her campaign.

In sharp contrast, I have been dismayed by her opponent who has been using desperate and offensive tactics imported from Chicago. It is a shame that Ms. Curry is unable or unwilling to follow a similar and honorable approach.

Janet Bondeson

Wilton

MANY PERSPECTIVES FAVOR LAVIELLE

Gail Lavielle is one of the most effective members of the legislature, and I am pleased to endorse her re-election as our State Representative from the 143rd District, which now includes part of Westport.

However, I'm just one person and one opinion. What is most amazing is the agreement among the wide variety of professional organizations with very differing perspectives which have endorsed Gail or given her high ratings. These organizations study the issues closely, analyze every vote and rate the members of the legislature and have found Gail to be one of the best.

Gail was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, which named her an "Environmental Champion" and gave her a perfect score of 100 percent on issues related to protecting the environment. At the same time she received a perfect score from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association for votes on bills affecting the state's business climate and economic growth. Gail also received the endorsement of Connecticut Realtors and received a statement of support from the Connecticut Doctors for Good Medicine. Gail has been a strong proponent of improving education in Connecticut and in 2011 received the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now's "Tip of the Cap" award for education advocacy in the legislature. Gail also was endorsed by the Sierra Club for her efforts and voting record on behalf of the environment.

The fact that such diverse organizations all rate Gail Lavielle as excellent is concrete evidence that we should re-elect her on Nov. 6.

Joan Lasprogato

Westport

RUBIN'S WIFE ASKS VOTERS' SUPPORT

Thirty-one years ago, we moved to this wonderful town of Westport. Within a few days and before most cartons were unpacked, Steve was off to Japan for yet another long business trip. I had been accustomed to him being away for work, but just as we moved leaving the work of setting up a new home alone to me was something else. He wanted to postpone this Asian trip, but knowing how dedicated he was to his work. I insisted he go.

On his return I told him all the Westport stories including the welcoming people, Longshore, Compo and of course the shopping. I was about to take a job teaching pre-school at the YMCA. As we met more and more neighbors, Steve recognized opportunities to be involved with the community. You see, when you live in New York City, one tends to be just another number or just an additional person on the subway, but, as Steve said, "In our Westport you can do something and actually make a difference."

Before long he was involved with the Red Cross, PAL, the Staples Gridiron Club, Y's Men and had an interest in politics. Most of this became a major part of his life, since an early retirement was on the drawing board and I could not have him in the house all day. In 1993 he ran for Representative Town Meeting. He was a top vote-getter, and he was hooked and today he still holds this office, being a senior member on the RTM and holding what may be a record for 100-percent attendance. In addition, Steve has enjoyed a full-time position with our Westport Parks and Recreation Department for the last 15 years. He has realized that if he had the opportunity to be a state representative he could bring to Hartford what he learned in Westport, being a public servant and not just another politician.

After years of involvement, dedication, sincere desire to give back and love of Westport along with an ever growing group of charities and organizations such as Al's Angels, my best friend and husband is now running for the position of state representative. I will vote for him and hope you will too. His daughter and grandchildren also support him, and he will work hard for us, our town and our state. Please vote for Stephen Rubin, and help me keep him out of the house!

Toni Rubin

Westport

NO TELLING WHAT MCMAHON WOULD DO

Chris Murphy supports among other things, affordable quality health care for all, a quality public education for all our children, a woman's right to choose, renewable energy, keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States and government accountability.

Linda McMahon claims to support some of these. Which of these policies has the Republican Caucus voted to implement? When the Republicans have allowed a vote, they vote unanimously against anything proposed by a Democrat. Do you really believe McMahon would vote against her entire caucus? No matter what she says, we can't possibly know what she will do if elected.

Barbara Stein

Richard Tenenbaum

Weston

OBSITNIK KNOWS ECONOMIC ISSUES

I urge all voters in Connecticut's 4th District to support Steve Obsitnik for Congress on Nov. 6.

I first met Steve several years when our daughters attended pre-school together, and I know that Steve is a dedicated husband and father and a genuinely kind individual who will work tirelessly for us in Congress. Steve is running to be our representative so he can help ensure a bright future for this generation and the next.

As a technology CEO, Steve understands what it takes to get our economy growing and our businesses hiring. As an educator at Sacred Heart University, Steve has witnessed first-hand the challenges recent graduates face in the job market, and he knows how critical it is that we match education and training with the needs of the workforce of the future. Steve will also fight to reduce annual deficits and our nation's crushing debt, because as a graduate of Annapolis and a decorated Navy veteran, Steve knows that our country's dire financial situation compromises our national security.

I am confident Steve will work in a bi-partisan manner to achieve our common goal of getting America back on the right track. Please join me on Election Day in supporting Steve Obsitnik for Congress.

Karen Hess

Westport

RUBIN AN ADVOCATE FOR ALL IN TOWN

In my close-to 12-year tenure as Westport News sports editor, I had the privilege of getting to know the Town of Westport.

One constant while covering the local sports teams was getting to know Stephen Rubin, who is a credit to the town and the local sports scene, from his volunteering countless hours for Westport PAL and at the concession stand for Staples football games. He has always been a strong advocate for the sports programs and is a tireless advocate for everyone in town.

Because of what Stephen Rubin has contributed to the town in various roles, coupled with his knowledge on the issues facing the town and state, I endorse his candidacy for State Representative and urge everyone in the district to vote for him. He combines a philosophy of fiscal restraint and moderation and is willing to spend in areas where it's needed.

The endorsement isn't based on party loyalty because I believe in endorsing the individual, not the party. In fact, I'm voting for President Obama and Rep. Chris Murphy for U.S. Senate, but I feel Stephen Rubin is the vastly superior candidate for the office of State Representative, and if I lived in Westport, I'd be voting for him too.

Please vote for Stephen Rubin on Nov. 6.

Eliot Schickler

Bridgeport

EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is a former Westport News employee. Company policy prohibits the paper's journalists from individually issuing endorsements or working on political campaigns.

STEINBERG HELPED GREEN FIRM GROW

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and I met when I applied for a state incentive grant under the Small Business Express program earlier this year.

Rep. Steinberg was enthusiastic about the expansion of this program, one of the important elements of the jobs bill that the Connecticut legislature passed during the past year. He was eager to hear about my Yumi eco-friendly business and how the grant funding would help my company to achieve critical growth and create new Connecticut jobs.

As a legislator committed to the green economy and innovation, Rep. Steinberg was particularly excited that my company, Yumi EcoSolutions, has created eco-friendly tableware made from plant materials which replace plastic and are totally biodegradable, petroleum-free, and as safe and affordable as comparable products. Jonathan showed a real interest in our Yumi eco-friendly business and demonstrated knowledge of the tableware business since he worked for a cookware company early in his career.

When the program administrators initially approved less funding than needed for my company to spur growth and jobs, Rep. Steinberg went to bat for us with the administrator, helping to explain why the larger grant funding was critical for my company to fulfill its pledge to grow Connecticut green jobs.

I am very pleased to report that with Jonathan Steinberg's assistance and thanks to the grant program's capital, we've recently secured a number of large orders from major customers and retailers in the U.S. and abroad. We are very excited about the growth projections for our company, which now is on a path of continued prosperity.

It was truly a pleasure to get to know a legislator who not only voted for such beneficial programs but was willing to roll up his sleeves to help a small local business work with government to achieve the desired outcome for both.

Virginia P'an

Westport

LAVIELLE BEST FOR TOP SCHOOL SYSTEMS

Gail Lavielle is running for re-election in the 143rd district. I could easily recommend voting for her just on the strength of her personal qualities, which include high intelligence, integrity, strong work ethic and commitment to constituent service. However, I want to talk about Gail's commitment to improving education, since that is something most all families in Westport are concerned about.

Gail has made strengthening education a priority in her legislative career. She is on the General Assembly's Education Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education. In the past year, she played a major role in shaping the recent education reform bill passed by the legislature that seeks to strengthen and improve education across the state. In 2011, she was honored by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now with its "Tip of the Cap" award for legislative leadership in education.

During the past several years, I have spent a fair amount of time with our legislators in Hartford advocating on behalf of public education reform and appropriate financing. Gail has been among the most responsive and effective legislators that I have encountered. Moreover, she "does her homework" on proposed education legislation to be sure she understands all the details and implications so she can protect the success of high-performing school districts such as Westport.

What should be of particular interest to Westporters is that Gail has been a leading advocate in moving forward legislation that will bring mandate relief to quality school districts like Westport and Wilton. As administrators and school board members will tell you, these onerous "one-size-fits-all" state mandates bog down our schools with unnecessary requirements that are wasteful of financial resources and wasteful of the most precious commodity, the time of our teachers and students.

Let's re-elect Gail Lavielle on Nov 6 and let her continue with the task of improving the education system statewide and bring mandate relief to our high-performing school districts.

Jim Marpe

Westport

PROUD LEVIELLE REPRESENTS HER

It's not very often that we can say we are genuinely proud of an elected official, but that is how I feel about state Rep. Gail Lavielle.

Before running for the legislature, Gail served Wilton well in a number of important roles. In fact, she still sits on the Board of Finance, where she continually demonstrates her complete understanding of the issues important to our community. She is an active and visible member of our town, and can frequently be seen out and about chatting with the public, keeping her finger on the community's pulse.

Gail has established herself as a smart, outside-of-the box thinker who consistently demonstrates that she has the interests of the people of our state at heart. She has gained the respect of colleagues from both parties, a rare feat these days.

Gail has done us proud, and I am pleased, proud and respectfully give her my support.

Elizabeth Rudolph

Wilton

VOTE OBSITNIK FOR CHANGE IN D.C

Westporter Steve Obsitnik deserves your vote for Congress. Steve is one of us with views on the various national issues that are moderate and compatible to the typical Westporter's (see www.obsitnik.com). Steve is a Stamford High School graduate who was captain of his soccer team and a nationally ranked squash player. Former Congressman Stewart McKinney nominated Steve for an appointment to the Naval Academy. After graduating from Annapolis with honors with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, Steve served as an officer on the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Ray for five years. From there he entered The Wharton School where he met his wife, Westporter Suzanne Tager. Suzanne's father was a well known Westport physician for many years. She is now a successful business woman.

After graduating with his MBA from Wharton with a degree in finance, Obsitnik went to Silicon Valley where he worked for the former Stanford Research Institute and other companies on research and development. Steve and Suzanne returned to Connecticut in 2005 and moved into their home in Westport where they are now raising two beautiful daughters. Steve was chairman and CEO of Quintel , a rapidly growing small business which provides wireless infrastructure to mobile companies and many jobs across the country, but he resigned to run for Congress. Obsitnik is frustrated by the inability of members of Congress to work together to solve our many national problems and feels the need to again serve our country. Steve has an innate ability to work well with people and is convinced that he can contribute by working with both Democrats and Republicans in Washington to make some of the hard decisions that are necessary to get our country back on track.

I urge you to vote for Steve Obsitnik on Nov. 6. We have had four years represented by a former Goldman Sachs multi-millionaire from Greenwich who votes with his party more than 90 percent of the time. We need a change, and Steve Obsitnik is a candidate who can make a difference in Washington.

Pete Wolgast

Westport

BUSINESS BACKS LAVIELLE'S RE-ELECTION

Connecticut is one of the toughest states to do business in due to high taxation, high costs and an unfriendly state-government-regulatory environment. Businesses don't want to expand here or relocate here. State Rep. Gail Lavielle, who is seeking re-election in the 143rd District, understands what businesses need to thrive and grow and has worked unceasingly to improve the business climate in our state.

Business leaders across the state have recognized Gail as a legislator who is trying to improve the business environment. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association endorsed her and said, "Representative Lavielle has shown a solid understanding of the challenges facing our economy and how to create a business climate in Connecticut that will help retain and create jobs. We encourage voters to return her to Hartford"

The National Federation of Independent Business endorsed her recently and said, "Gail Lavielle's voting record over the last two legislative sessions on key issues important to small business indicated that she will continue to be committed to the needs of thousand of Main Street small businesses and their employees in Connecticut."

Most recently, the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County named her 2012 "Woman of the Year" based on her support of policies that help businesses grow and create jobs.

It's clear Gail Lavielle knows what Connecticut needs to get our economy growing again and to return to prosperity. I know Gail personally, and she is a dedicated, tireless and highly intelligent advocate for our state. I urge everyone to re-elect Gail on Nov 6.

Patricia S. Norton

Managing Partner

On Course Strategies Westport

TRANSPORTATION A LAVIELLE PRIORITY

Few public issues are more important to Westporters than having an efficient and cost-effective mass transit system. Gail Lavielle who is running for re-election as State Representative in the 143rd district understands this and has made it one of her legislative priorities. Gail served on the Transportation Committee in the legislature and she has fought tirelessly on behalf of commuters.

Gail has been a vocal advocate for commuters on many fronts. She testified for better safety and operating procedures after the rail car incident in Westport last year which trapped hundreds of riders in a sweltering train. She was instrumental in getting the Wilton train station re-opened after four years of closure. She introduced bipartisan, co-sponsored legislation to prevent having commuters pay higher fares just to balance the General Fund for non-transit spending elsewhere. Gail has consistently opposed fare hikes in public hearings and has been an opponent of re-introducing tolls on I-95.

Gail has also been an excellent communicator to her constituents regarding updates and happenings related to changes and issues related to our transit system. Gail Lavielle has our backs on transportation which is just one more reason to re-elect her on November 6th.

Jean Trainor

Westport

LAVIELLE FOUGHT EARLY-RELEASE LAW

I am supporting Gail Lavielle for re-election as State Representative in the 143rd District, as she has common sense when it comes to crime and did her best to protect Connecticut residents against legislation that endangered all of us.

This year Gov. Malloy and the Democraic majority legislaturepushed through legislation that allowed violent criminals to be released early from prison for good behavior. Gail fought this ill-conceived move, but unfortunately it passed. The consequences have not been good as there have already been numerous incidents where those released early have been re-arrested almost immediately for new crimes, many of them of a violent nature including murder.

Gail did her best to try and rectify some of this damage. She worked to have a bill raised that would have denied the possibility of early release from prison for violent criminals who have caused death. While a number of legislators in the majority party did vote for that bill, it ultimately failed in the Judiciary Committee by three votes. I know that Gail will keep working with both sides of the aisle on this issue and try again to prevent these releases.

Gail Lavielle is doing her best to keep all Connecticut citizens safe and we need to re-elect her on Nov. 6 so she can continue working on this important issue.

Jerry Doyle

Westport