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Letters: Campaign mailbag

Published 9:31 am, Thursday, November 1, 2012
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LAVIELLE KNOWS SMALL BUSINESS

Only an individual with business experience can understand the detrimental impact that government intervention can have on a small business. Rep. Gail Lavielle spent more than 20 years in the private sector, which gives her unique insight about how to run a business and how easily government can stand in the way of success.

As a small business owner, I speak from experience. Every time Hartford imposes a new regulation, it generally means more time spent on paperwork and compliance and less time for my business. And every time taxes increase, it is money that I can't invest in growing my business or use to hire additional employees.

Gail Lavielle has a unique understanding of the business world because of her experience with meeting a payroll and turning a profit. She is a much-needed voice of reason and experience, and deserves to be reelected.

Margaret Sapir

Wilton

LAVIELLE HAS EARNED RETURN TO HARTFORD

State Rep. Gail Lavielle serves her constituents with intelligence, integrity, and dedication. A priority for Gail is to speak personally with residents of her district and learn about their concerns. She has a thorough knowledge of the issues facing our state and a record of working effectively with legislators from both parties.

Gail opposed Connecticut's largest-ever tax increase. She also worked in a bipartisan manner to sponsor or co-sponsor 89 pieces of legislation that supported education, small business, public transportation, and protecting the environment.

Gail takes seriously her responsibility to represent all residents of her towns. She forcefully advocates for us -- by authoring legislation, speaking out on the floor of the House, and working with local elected officials. We are indeed fortunate to have Rep. Gail Lavielle standing up for us in Hartford, and she has earned the opportunity to continue her service.

Virginia Smith

Wilton

STEINBERG IS BOTH A WORKER AND LEADER

I'm voting to re-elect Jonathan Steinberg as our State Representative, and I hope you will too. Jonathan has had an impressive first term in Hartford. Not only has he been active in proposing and supporting important legislation regarding job creation, government efficiency and energy policy, he also has stayed actively involved in Westport.

He helped the Levitt Pavilion obtain state-grant funding for its renovation and helped the Saugatuck Apartments obtain state funding to replace its aging roof, as well as providing valuable constituent services to residents.

Before his election as our State Representative, I worked with Jonathan on the RTM for five years and on several volunteer committees in town. I have consistently found that he is not only one of the most diligent members of each group that he becomes part of, but that he also quickly rises to a position of leadership. This is due to his considerable talents and expertise, his willingness to roll up his sleeves and devote the time needed to dig into details, and his ability to present his ideas clearly and persuasively.

Jonathan brings these skills to Hartford on our behalf. Please vote for Jonathan.

Eileen Lavigne Flug

Westport

BOUCHER A VOICE FOR FISCAL RESTRAINT

Fairfield County residents are fortunate to have an outstanding state senator, Toni Boucher. Toni has been a strong fiscal conservative. She had championed the "no-tax increase," balanced budget alternative to the governor's record, retroactive tax increase.

At a time when a number of states are focused on tax reductions to improve their business climate and promote jobs, Connecticut is going in the wrong direction. In September, Connecticut's unemployment rate was 8.9 percent, well above the national average. Moreover, Connecticut lost 6,800 jobs during August, and total employment in Connecticut remains below the level of 1991, when the state income tax was enacted.

It's certainly no surprise that Gov. Malloy's approval rating is one of the worst of any governor. Toni is an important voice for fiscal conservatism for our state and advocates pro-growth initiatives focused on jobs. I urge you to join me in supporting Toni Boucher for re-election.

Charles Wessendorf

Wilton

STEINBERG ENHANCES OUR CULTURAL CLIMATE

I am writing in support of State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg for re-election in the 136th District. Jonathan has been a thoughtful, conscientious advocate for our community who clearly understands the complexities of public policy.

He is always available to his constituents, seeking their input and clearly elucidating his positions. Above all else, Jonathan is dedicated to this town, where he and his family have deep roots.

He is particularly committed to enhancing the cultural legacy of Westport, understanding how the arts can significantly enrich our quality of life. His efforts on behalf of the Cinema Initiative and the Levitt Pavillion will bring new vitality to an already exciting artistic scene. A vote for Jonathan Steinberg is truly a vote for Westport.

David Rubinstein

Westport

FAMILY SUPPORTS HOFFSTATTER'S BID

I support Ted Hoffstatter for State Representative.

My parents, five sisters and I know the importance of participation, having been involved in Wilton sports for years participating on youth and varsity levels in football, basketball, baseball, softball, lacrosse and cheerleading.

Mr. Hoffstatter knows this as well, having played Warrior hockey and has expressed his pride to have taken the ice with great people like Mr. Wall. Ted Hoffstatter is a selectman and respected teacher that always presented a positive experience in the classroom. He will lead projects that affect the future of the fields my family played on. Ted gets it.

He now has two children, Wyatt and Elle. Mr. Hoffstatter can do good things for Wilton in Hartford such as secure support and funds to help with our hometown projects. Ted Hoffstatter has supported Wilton and I ask that you now support Ted Hoffstatter for State Representative.

Ricky Ricco

Wilton

STEINBERG DESERVES 2ND TERM IN HOUSE

I urge Westporters to re-elect Jonathan Steinberg as our state representative.

Jonathan has worked on many town initiatives over the years, including as an RTM member, chairman of the downtown plan subcommittee and co-founder of Westport Cinema Initiative, to name just a few.

As our state representative he has focused on issues that are critical to our town and region:

He has fought for education reform that is reasonable without imposing new mandates on well-performing districts like Westport. He focused attention on students, emphasizing expanding pre-kindergarten, reading-readiness and helping teachers address different student learning styles.

He is a strong environmental advocacate, including shoreline preservation and participation on a genetically-modified-organisms task force.

As a member of the legislature's Transportation Committee, he has worked with Fairfield County legislators on both sides of the aisle to fight for our fair share of state transportation funding to support our roads, bridges and rail lines which bear the brunt of traffic through the New England corridor. He has maintained communication with the state Department of Transportation to help prioritize local projects.

I believe Jonathan has been a sensible voice of moderation on so many issues that are important to me and others in Westport and our region. He deserves our support to return to Hartford to pursue those goals.

Ellen Lautenberg

Westport

PREDECESSOR PRAISES STEINBEG'S WORK

Jonathan Steinberg has done an excellent job in his first term as Westport's state representative. Right after the election two years ago, I took him to the Capitol to meet the people I knew he would have to connect with to be a good legislator. These were people from both sides of the aisle

It is next to impossible to get state funding for Westport because it is a wealthy town. I learned that the hard way. In 2007, I was able to get bonding approval by the General Assembly for the Levitt Pavilion, Westport Historical Society and the leaky rood at the Saugatuck Co-op Apartments. The co-op building is town-owned, but the apartments are privately owned and are age and income restricted. The state Bond Commission never put the co-op funds on its agenda for release. Jonathan was able to secure release of the money for the Levitt and co-op.

I've gone to the Capitol many times visiting with former colleagues, whom I miss. They've missed me, too, but have never missed a change to praise Jonathan for his with them and on behalf of any constituent who needs help. The important work in the General Assembly is done at the committee level, where bills are shaped. Once bills reach the House floor, they have the votes for passage, and the speeches are mostly for show. My former colleagues always complimented Jonathan's participation and work in committee assignments, especially his contribution to the 2011 energy bill, which is saving the state (taxpayers) millions of dollars.

In conclusion, Jonathan Steinberg in more ways than one has been my worthy successor, even though his size 11 foot doesn't fit in my size 8 shoe. I urge you to vote for him on Nov. 6 and send him to Hartford to keep working for us.

Joe Mioli

Westport

The writer is a former Westport state representative and former assistant majority leader.

END ONE-PARTY RULE, VOTE LAVIELLE, RUBIN

It's been six years since I ran for state representative in the 136th District. Not much has changed except for the district lines. It is still one-party rule in Hartford. You can help change things for the better by voting for Republicans Gail Lavielle in the 143rd District and Steve Rubin in the 136th.

Let me tell yoou why.

Connecticut is ranked at or near the bottom of all 50 states in debt to GDP. A couple month's ago, Barron's had us dead last.

We have lost population every year since 1990.

Our new Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy, pushed through the largest tax increase in Connecticut history in 2011 and was awarded an "F" in fiscal policy from the libertarian think tank, Cato Institute according to the Hartford Courant.

So what are we in Connecticut doing wrong?

Could it be that group-think in Hartford is to blame? We have had 25 years of Democratic majority in the House, 16 in the Senate, and now a Democratic governor. Is that good for democracy?

In terms of balance, today there isa nearly 2-to-1 ratio (99 to 52) Democrats to Republicans. Is that good for democracy?

Specifically, our incumbent Democrat legislator, Jonathan Steinberg, has reportedly voted 95 percent with his majority party. Is that good for democracy? Is that good for Westport?

Does that make Jonathan a bad person? Certainly not. I know him and he is a fine man. But can he make things change by voting 95 percent of the time with his decades-old majority? Certainly not.

We need both of our two Legislators to stand tall and represent Westport, not Hartford.

Republicans Gail Lavielle for the 143d and Steve Rubin for the 136th have the proven records of local constituent service, experience, and understanding of our issues that can bring professionalism, efficiency and leadership to Hartford.

Business as usual in Hartford is going to drive us over our own Fiscal Cliff.

Bill Clinton had it right during the Democratic Convention in North Carolina when he said, "It's just arithmetic." We have to stop using hope to make the budgets work. We need a dynamic democratic process that can only happen with competitive party numbers in Hartford wherein legislators must compromise.

Let's get some balance and be represented by folks who can buck the status quo in Hartford and truly represent Westport. Please consider voting for Gail Lavielle and Steve Rubin on Nov. 6. We can do so much better.

Bill Harris

Westport

WILL TAKE PLEASURE IN VOTING OBSITNIK

If a man is honest in his mind, you are safe in trusting him.

I believe this defines Steve Obsitnik.

We need this kind of person in the Congress.

It will be a pleasure to cast a positive vote for Steve Obsitnik .

Joseph Vecchiarino

Westport

A GOP COLLEAGUE ENDORSES LAVIELLE

I am proud to serve with Gail Lavielle, and I am proud to endorse her for re-election.

She is recognized for her record of substance.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association supports Gail as a legislator who values a robust business environment with real job opportunities and who appreciates the particular importance of small business. Among her many other endorsements, Gail is the only candidate in this race endorsed by both the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, who actually named her an "environmental champion," and also by the Sierra Club.

Gail was particularly engaged last year in the effort for education reform, demonstrating that bi-partisanship can work where there is intelligence and good will. Showing the breadth of her work, she also continues to demand better from Metro-North, garners state support for Wilton Commons and has distinguished herself in committee and on the House floor as a reasonable voice for fiscal responsibility.

I never encountered a legislator more fully prepared to serve in the General Assembly. Before winning a substantial vote of confidence from voters and taking her seat in the General Assembly, Gail undertook for a time to be a regular inHartford, getting to know the legislators and the process. Earlier she had a full career as an international business executive. Gail knows how to build jobs and how to keep jobs when the going gets tough.

"By re-electing Gail, her constituents and our state will retain a smart, sophisticated woman who is committed and energetic yet moderate in tone and centrist in view. It has been a privilege to serve with Gail Lavielle. She is an easy choice for re-election.

Rep. John Hetherington

R-125th District

New Canaan

143RD DISTRICT LUCKY TO HAVE LAVIELLE

We who are residents of the newly redistricted 143rd House District, (that includes some of west Westport, east Norwalk and southern Wilton) are so fortunate to have Gail Lavielle as our hard-working representative in Hartford. This intelligent, experienced business woman and educator is working to remake Hartford to be more efficient, less costly, and improve it to once again be the state of good jobs, lower taxes and better schools where we all want to live, enjoy and eventually retire.

Gail has served on the Wilton Board of Finance, The Connecticut Public Transportation Committee, the board of Connecticut Girl Scoutsthe Norwalk Senior Center and may other organizations that make ours the fine place to live.

I urge our neighbors to reelect Gail, our very talented Representative.

Lea Bemus

Westport

LAVIELLE PROVIDES COMMON SENSE

I am writing to urge residents of the 143rd General Assembly District to vote for Gail Lavielle. During the past two years as State Representative, she has been a conscientious protector of our towns and state.

She has brought some common sense to the far left ways of the Connecticut legislature, and with your support she can help build a more balanced House of Representatives. The choice is clear, vote for Gail and you vote for common-sense representation in Hartford.

Tim Meyer

Wilton

STEINBERG CHAMPION FOR EPILEPTIC KIDS

In this season of mudslinging and name calling, I would like to talk about a state representative from Westport who I feel personifies through his words and his actions the true meaning and nobility of public service. He not only is an attentive steward for his district, but he is a dedicated and determined advocate in Connecticut's legislature and government on issues that effect his district and state. His name is Jonathan Steinberg, and he is a very good man who has made a positive difference in the lives of my family members.

My son, Emmett, who is 6, has epilepsy. Epilepsy and seizure disorders in children unfortunately are not uncommon, and seizures can strike at any time and without warning. When not treated quickly, a seizure can lead to status epileptus (a constant state of seizure), coma and even death.

Thankfully, there is an amazing, life-saving medication called Diastat that when administered quickly can break the seizure. (It is very similar to the EpiPen used to treat emergency allergic reactions.) While state law permits school staff (trained paraprofessionals, teachers and coaches) to administer EpiPen shots in emergencies on school grounds, the regulations do not permit these same school staff to minister Diastat. This is simply a risk no family should have to take when an able, trained school employee can step in when a school nurse is not immediately available.

With Emmett starting school last fall, my wife and I turned to Rep. Steinberg for help. Not only did he take the time time to listen to our situation, he did a lot of research on epilepsy, Diastat, state regulations states such as California have recently adopted legislation. Through his efforts and during a short legislative session, Rep. Steinberg not only drafted legislation for a Diastat bill, but he also worked closely with other state representatives (such as the equally amazing Rep. Kim Fawcett of Fairfield) and government officials to coordinate the conversation about this bill. In March , Reps. Steinberg and Fawcett invited my wife and I to testify before the Public Health Committee about this bill.

Rep Steinberg not only put his time and effort into this cause for all children with epilepsy, but he stood with us and testified on behalf of all children with epilepsy. This was not just someone else's case, this was his cause. Rep Steinberg stood up for us and all Connecticut families who deal with epilepsy everyday. He is not just our representative he is our champion.

Jim Ross

Westport

WHICH ROMNEY IS THE REAL GUY?

Exactly who is Mitt Romney?

The "severely conservative" candidate who ran as a right-wing ideologue in the Republican primaries? Or the man who morphed into "Moderate Mitt" in recent weeks?

If you don't know the answer, you must vote for Barack Obama. He's the same inspiring man he was four years ago.

Woody Klein

Westport

TIRELESS LAVIELLE DESERVES 2ND TERM

I can't imagine that any other member of the state legislature works harder than Gail Lavielle or has the complete understanding of the complex issues as she does.

She has worked tirelessly on our behalf and deserves a second term.

I have seen Gail "in action" on numerous occasions, either in person at local community events, via her frequent newsletters, or while participating in organized panels and hearings. I always come away impressed not only by her complete command of the issue at hand, but also by her ability to articulate her position without disparaging the views of others who may have a different position.

Gail has truly mastered the lost art of diplomacy. She is able to work well with people of all viewpoints, which is key to getting anything done in today's unstable political environment.

Gail has earned my respect and my vote.

Laurie Mortensen

Wilton

LAVIELLE IS CHOICE FOR FISCAL RECOVERY

Who better to represent us than someone who has earned the endorsements of two leading business associations? Gail Lavielle was endorsed by both the National Federation of Independent Business and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association as the best candidate in the 143rd District.

Gail received these endorsements for her work in support of economic recovery and job growth. Among other things, she supported legislation to create innovative training programs, as a way to address the state's high rate of unemployment. She voted in favor of the education reform package, which is a step toward correcting some of the serious problems facing our schools. And Gail has been a consistent voice against higher taxes.

If we are serious about fixing our state's economy, then we need to elect smart and qualified people to represent us. That's why I'm voting for Gail Lavielle.

Jim McSweeney

Wilton

AWARDS CONFIRM LAVIELLE IS SPECIAL

Those of us in Westport who know Gail Lavielle and are supporting her re-election as State Representative in the 143rd District always knew she was something special, but now it's confirmed. Last week, the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County named her its 2012 Woman of the Year!

The homebuilders bestowed this award based on Gail's demonstrated understanding of the state's economic and business environment and her support of policies that help businesses -- such as those in homebuilding and renovation -- grow and create jobs. Something Connecticut desperately needs.

Gail has now received three major awards in one term: the homebuiders' award; Tip of the Cap Award from the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now for legislative leadership on education issues; and the Environmental Champion award from the League of Conservation Voters. This consistent recognition deserves our applause.

Three major awards in one term is a pretty amazing accomplishment and is public confirmation of the hard work and outstanding leadership that Gail Lavielle has provided on so many different issues. To me it's three more reasons to re-elect Gail Lavielle on Nov. 6. How many other towns can say they have the Woman of the Year representing them?

Neil J. Wessan

Westport

FORTUNATE TO HAVE STEINBERG AT WORK

We in Westport who are fortunate enough to live in the 136th District have an opportunity this coming Tuesday to vote for Jonathan Steinberg. He is helping to make good things happen for residents of Connecticut.

Whether it is furthering investment in business through the Small Business Express; an awareness of the importance of science development in the state; the importance of high educational standards; the reduction of the cost of energy; the need for accountability; and creating a working transportation system, Westport must be in the forefront of creative solutions. Having Jonathan Steinberg as our representative makes this possible.

Remember to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. We will all be winners having Jonathan Steinberg represent us in Hartford.

Carole Donenfeld

Westport

HOFFSTATTER ALERT TO ENVIRONMENT

While I cannot vote for Ted Hoffstatter because I don't live in his district, I urge those who do live in his district to vote for him.

I have known Ted for almost my entire Westport life, and while we do not always agree eye-to-eye on the broader federal issues that abound, we see eye-to-eye when it comes to preserving Connecticut, and especially our little section of Fairfield County.

I find when it comes to our environment Ted is a non-partisan civic leader. Ted fought hard for the Reusable Checkout Bag Initiative, and it has improved our environment here in Westport and Wilton. Ted is a fiscal conservative, and when it comes to fighting for our environment, a Social Progressive. Our energy future is in natural gas, wind, solar and nuclear energy. Ted believes Connecticut's role in developing our energy future will bring jobs, which means more revenue. He will protect our environment even as we grow to ensure our energy future.

Please vote for Ted Hoffstatter come Election Day.

Jay Beckoff

Westport

OBSITNIK HAS SKILLS, CHARACTER FOR JOB

I have been impressed with Steve Obsitnik, candidate for Congress, from the first day I met him. Growing up the son of a U.S. Naval Officer and having lived on a nuclear submarine base in Rota Spain, I had the honor of knowing other Annapolis graduates and submariners in the mold of Steve Obsitnik. These are serious men on serious missions where leadership and correct decision-making really means something. Failure is not an option, and poor decision making can have life-and-death consequences not just for the crew but for the security of our country.

Honor, duty, love of country and doing the right thing at all times, regardless of the personal cost, characterize such men and is the code they live their lives by. Steve Obsitnik shares these qualities. They are in his DNA and are enough by themselves to recommend him as our next Congressional representative.

However, beyond these personal qualities Steve brings the knowledge and experience of an entrepreneurial high-tech CEO. Steve understands what it means to build a business, create jobs and grow the economy. This is the type knowledge and experience which is sorely lacking in Congress today.

Steve Obsitnik brings together exactly what we need more of in Congress; integrity, truthfulness, and leadership skills informed by business knowledge and entrepeurial zeal. Yes, Steve Obsitnik truly has all "The Right Stuff," and I highly recommend we vote on Nov. 6 to send him to Washington as our Congressman from the 4th District.

Dewey Loselle

Westport

OBSITNIK IN MOLD OF SHAYS, LIEBERMAN

We in Westport are independent thinkers and have historically sent moderate members to Congress who have reflected that tradition. Chris Shays and Joe Lieberman both were in this independent mode working across party lines when it was for the good of the country. This year we have the opportunity to send another independent thinker to Congress -- our own Steve Obsitnik of Westport.

Steve Obsitnik is the Republican alternative to Jim Himes. Himes has voted 90 percent of the time along with Nancy Pelosi and his party. Not the type of independent New England moderate we expect in the 4th Congressional District. A successful businessman, Steve Obsitnik grew up in Stamford, went to school at Annapolis and served his country as a submarine officer. Please vote for a change in congressional leadership, vote for Steve Obsitnik.

Carol Asness

Westport

A LAVIELLE INTERN DREAMS OF BEING HER

I have always had a deep interest in politics and American government. My aspirations to become involved and make a difference are becoming a reality because of watching the hard work and dedication of State Rep. Gail Lavielle, candidate for re-election in the 143rd District. As one of her interns, she has taken me under her wing and shown me that being involved can truly make a difference, and she inspires me to follow the career path that peaked my curiosity in middle school.

I've watched Gail at town meetings, during debates, at fundraisers and simply shaking hands all over Westport. Her ability to connect with her constituents is what is needed here in our town and all across America.

One of my college application supplements asked, "If you could dream of becoming anyone, who would it be?" Here's what I wrote:

"Through my experiences in high school, I have met and gotten to know countless people with whom I admire and enjoy spending time. Last year, I began volunteering on a campaign for Gail Lavielle, a Connecticut State Representative for the 143 District. If I could dream about being one person, it would be her.

"Representative Lavielle is first and foremost one of the nicest people I have ever met. In addition to over 20 years as an executive at Fortune 500 companies, serving on two state commissions and teaching at UConn, she has taken her knowledge and helped lead her district to great things. She has been able to give back and represent the ideas and aspirations of her constituents.

"She has been an inspiration and a role model for me. I can only hope that one day I will be able to give back and do the same for another student."

I urge all Westporters in her district to get out and vote to re-elect Gail Lavielle on Nov. 6. Take it from me, Gail is great and you will be doing yourself and your town a big favor.

Jacqueline Devine

Westport

NEW BLOOD NEEDED, SO RUBIN IS CHOICE

I have lived and workedin Connecticut all my life, and I like all of us, I have suffered the frustration of ineffective leadership right in our legislature. Our tax structure is simply out of hand and getting worse by the day. Just following Gov. Malloy's largest-ever tax increase, the talk on the street is that we can expect more and higher taxes while the governor continues to expand state government.

We all have a passion for the quality of our lives and the lives of those around us. One way to show it is to vote for Steve Rubin to bring fresh new blood to the Connecticut Legislature this Election Day. Also there's a new face in town in a newly established voting district which comprises a significant portion of voters west of the Saugatuck River into the Cranbury Area of Norwalk and all of Wilton. In Westport it is representative district 1.

The New Face is Gail Lavelle who has been representing Wilton in the State Legislature. She is a seasoned energetic legislator who needs our support. Gail is a leader in the new voices who are fighting for a positive change in Hartford. If you live west of the river or in Cranbury and are a part of this new district you will make your vote truly meaningful by casting you ballot for Gail Lavelle

Michael Calise

Westport

WE NEED OBSITNIK'S INDEPENDENT VOICE

Please vote for Steve Obsitnik for U.S. Congress on Nov. 6. This is a critically important election, and we must make sure that we send to Washington a new representative who will tackle our problems without making excuses. Steve is the right man for the job in the 4th District.

Our current representative, Jim Himes, has voted with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats 90 percent of the time and has supported policies that have added $5 trillion in new debt and have hindered job creation and economic growth. He has been representing Washington's interests, not ours. Steve Obsitnik will be an independent voice that will work with people on both sides of the aisle toward our common goals. This is essential today as we face $16 trillion in debt, unacceptably high unemployment, weak economic growth, and a partisan divide that keeps us from making real progress. Steve Obsitnik will work hard to meet our challenges and will be a champion for common sense fiscal reform.

There is so much at stake this election. The status quo isn't working. It is time to send to Washington a real leader for our district who will make the tough choices now so our children will have real opportunity in the future. That leader is Steve Obsitnik, and I hope you will join me in supporting him on Election Day.

Rob Hess

Westport