What has happened

to our country?

To the Editor:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

What has happened to our country? When have we ripped nursing babies from mothers arms? Imprisoned 3 year old children without a parent?

The most amazing aspect is the very people who espouse family, God and country support reprehensible actions like these.

They happily spend 2 or 3 times the money necessary to address the issue in an effective and humane fashion.

I’m ashamed and alarmed by the people who continue to ignore the popular outcry demanding an end to this outlandish action.

Rob Jackson

Westport

Important vote for state Democrats

To the Editor:

Registered Democrats in our state have an important vote on August 14. That is the date that state democrats can vote in the primary to select who they want to stand for election as the Democratic candidate for Attorney General.

There are two critical factors to consider: (1) who is best positioned to win the general election and (2) who has better experience and skills for the job. Both factors point to Chris Mattei.

1. Chris has far more relevant and better experience:

Chris, like former Attorney General Blumenthal, has the U.S. Attorney’s Office background. That background is absolutely the best litigation background for a job involving litigation —which is a large part of what the AG’s office does. Moreover, within the USAO, the most prestigious job to which one can get promoted from within is the one Chris held — being the head of the Public Corruption and Financial Fraud unit. (The top job as U.S. Attorney, in contrast, is a political appointment). That says a lot about Chris’ performance at the USAO and the respect he garnered from his superiors. As someone who has served at the USAO myself, I can attest that only the very best in the USAO office get the job to head the Public Corruption and Financial Fraud unit.

Many people do not understand what an AG actually does and cannot do. William Tong, who is also running, has emphasized his legislative experience, but AGs don’t legislate. The AG enforces laws, and brings fraud and consumer protection actions. Chris has experience with all of that. Fraud enforcement actions brought by the Connecticut AG’s Office have resulted in many tens of millions of dollars contributed to our state budget. At a time our state is suffering from serious financial woes, such enforcement actions make important contributions to our state finances. Chris Mattei has handled some of the state’s biggest fraud cases. Tong has no such experience.

The AG runs a big office and supervises a lot of attorneys. Chris has run the Public Corruption Department at the USAO and supervised twelve attorneys in that job. Tong has never even run a legal department —ever! Tong made it to an of-counsel spot in a boutique firm, Finn Dixon. Finn Dixon is principally known for corporate-side private equity and hedge fund works, but its forte has never been in litigation.

One of the biggest challenges for our AG in coming years will be fighting the public corruption of the Trump administration. Chris has fought such corrupt individuals in power before. (He prosecuted Governor Rowland). Mr. Tong never has.

Our state has relatively strong gun laws, but our problem is one that all states share — the problem of porous borders and gun trafficking. We need to have someone in the AG’s office who enforces our gun control laws. Chris cracked down on and prosecuted gun traffickers who were bringing illegal, out-of-state guns into Connecticut’s cities. William Tong has no experience on the enforcement side. The present AG, Jepsen, also had no USAO experience, but he has twenty more years of experience than Tong, and was far more ready for the role.

When one considers the variety of areas where the AG operates (see, http://portal.ct.gov/-/media/AG/About-Us/annualreport2016-17-pdf.pdf?la=en ), Chris has experience covering those areas. William Tong has had limited experience as a Finn Dixon attorney in the private equity and hedge fund world that is really not particularly pertinent to what an AG does.

One of the key accomplishments of Blumenthal’s tenure involved a multi-state effort on tobacco cases. Multi-state cooperation between AG offices in multiple states is one of the most useful ways for the AG to combat the Trump administration’s deleterious efforts, e.g., on the environment, and immigration. For instance, a multi-state effort has been begun by the California AG, suing the Trump administration over car emissions. Chris has experience on multi-state, multi-office prosecutions. Mr. Tong has none. Chris has enforced environmental laws in the cases he has handled. Mr. Tong never has litigated environmental cases.

2. Choosing Mattei means we have a better chance of parrying the GOP narrative Finally, it is critical that we choose an AG candidate who will beat the GOP candidate. I am concerned that William Tong will be attacked as part of the “problem in Hartford.” Mattei can completely escape those attacks, as he has not worked in the state legislature. He has a pristine record fighting public corruption. If we choose him, we deprive the GOP of a useful narrative to attack our choice for AG. Mattei is the AG candidate the GOP fears most.

For good reason: There is no one running in either party who has a more pristine record or better experience fighting fraud, environmental violations, gun trafficking and corruption. Chris’ leadership was recognized at the Connecticut US Attorney’s Office. He is the best person to lead the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office.

Joseph Vallone

Westport

Stop 3-D plastic guns

Dear Mr. President:

We implore you to immediately stop Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Department of Justice, Secretary Pompeo, and the U.S. State Department from authorizing Defense Distributed to release downloadable files for 3-D guns. These files would allow anyone around the globe to make do-it-yourself, untraceable 3-D guns by circumventing any existing state and federal gun regulations, resulting in serious public safety and national security concerns.

Unless you stop the U.S. State Department from authorizing this special exemption for Defense Distributed, you are enabling terrorists, criminals, domestic abusers, and other prohibited firearm purchasers to use the downloadable gun technology. They would be able to print plastic guns that are undetectable by metal detectors at the White House and other government buildings, airports, office buildings and schools.

Earlier this year, the government filed a motion to dismiss Defense Distributed’s lawsuit, citing serious national security concerns from global access to the computer-aided design (CAD) files. Then last month, the Department of Justice settled the lawsuit, agreed to allow the public release of Defense Distributed 3-D firearm printing tutorials and made an egregious decision to use our tax dollars to pay nearly $40,000 for the plaintiff’s legal fees.

Please keep all Americans safe by helping to stop the U.S. State Department from establishing a permanent regulatory change that would provide unlimited online access to 3D gun printing design.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter involving our national security.

Sincerely,

A New Routine for America, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Arizonans for Gun Safety, Ceasefire Pennsylvania, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, Faith Community of St. Sabina, Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Franciscan Action Network, Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, G-PAC Illinois, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, Georgia Student Alliance for Social Justice, Georgians for Gun Safety, Gun Violence Prevention Action Committee Illinois, Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, GunControlToday, Healing 4 Our families & Our Nation, Herndon-Reston Coalition To End Gun Violence, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jr Newtown Action Alliance, League of Women Voters of Florida, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, MomsRising, National Council of Jewish Women, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, Newtown Action Alliance, NoRA, North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, One Pulse for America, Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, Protest Easy Guns, Psychiatrists for Gun Violence Prevention, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, San Diego for Gun Violence Prevention, Sandy Hook Promise and 14 other groups.