Knowledge, experience

in Steinberg's favor

I believe that Westport will be well served by Jonathan Steinberg as our state representative.

Jonathan is a smart and pragmatic person who has contributed to a better Westport. Over the last seven years he has been on the RTM, currently as the deputy moderator. He has served on the Library Committee and on the downtown plan sub-committee, and has been a strong supporter of our schools. He has a long history in Westport -- born and raised here. His deep knowledge of our town coupled with his legislative experience make him highly qualified to represent Westport in Hartford.

Please join me and vote for Jonathan Steinberg on Nov. 2.

Dan Kail

Westport

Steinberg is good for jobs

For the past several years I have been working with the unemployed and underemployed members of the Westport community, listening to their difficulties in securing meaningful employment and helping them become more effective with their job searches. As a consequence, I am very interested in supporting candidates who will be most attuned to helping my clients get back to work.

Jonathan Steinberg is that candidate. Jonathan is deeply committed to improving the economic climate in Connecticut through innovative, thoughtful and collaborative initiatives. He's no "tax and spend" liberal, and he's no "my way or the highway" anti-government activist. He understands that bringing more jobs to Connecticut, and high quality jobs to our community, is a complex challenge that will require a wide variety of approaches. He understands that it may be necessary, on the one hand, to curtail popular spending programs in state government to help balance the state's budget today, and, on the other hand, to increase spending on infrastructure and education in order to improve the state's economic climate in the future.

What distinguishes Jonathan from his opposition candidate is his wide-ranging experience working with the business community, including chair of Westport's commission to study downtown, and his effective leadership experience as deputy moderator of the town's RTM. His talent to bring people together to find real solutions to real problems is the reason we need to send him to Hartford.

I strongly encourage fellow Westporters to vote on Nov. 2 -- and to cast their ballot for Jonathan Steinberg.

Stanley P. Witkow

Westport

Understanding the issues

Jonathan Steinberg is running for the 136 District seat. I wanted to share a short story about Jonathan that shows his proactive approach to understand the issues.

I was walking up Imperial Avenue one day and I saw Jonathan walking in the opposite direction. I asked him what he was doing walking so far away from home.

He explained a proposal was being considered to create a walkway that would be closer to the Saugatuck River. He was walking the route to see if it was practical and he was making some notes about things that would need change to make it work.

As we parted, I thought about how Jonathan wasn't taking out a map or trying to deal with the issue theoretically; he was getting close to the issue and seeing if some practical solutions could be found to make it happen. This is the kind of approach we all want in government and this is why I urge you to vote for Jonathan this Fall as Connecticut state rep.

Ed Cowden

Westport

Cohen for the people

There are many reasons to vote for Nitzy Cohen as your next state representative. Important factors include views and principles followed by education and real world experience.

To me, Nitzy wins hands down, no contest. She is untainted by any prior political experience and is the only fiscal conservative in this race. Secondly, she has had a structured education with an economics degree and a master's in public policy/public administration. Most importantly, Nitzy is the only candidate who understands what it means to create economic value, start a business, create jobs, and meet a payroll. You know what I mean. Nitzy is an entrepreneur who knows what it means to wake up on a Thursday morning in a cold sweat to figure out how to make payroll on Friday. She also understands how legislative policies negatively affect business decisions in the board rooms of Connecticut and what companies are seeking to relocate to Connecticut, create employment opportunities and a tax base for all of us.

Nitzy is a small business owner. Growth and job creation are contributed by small businesses. The principles for both small and large businesses are the same. Connecticut is now a leader in jobs lost. Nitzy will bring to the legislature business knowledge from a structured education and business experience. Vote for Nitzy on election day ... your voice to support economic growth in Connecticut.

Burt Fried

Westport

Two Republicans

worth voting for

Having been an activist Republican for over half a century, words cannot express my disappointment at most of the 2010 Republican candidates (nationwide, and in Connecticut). There are two I will vote for with enthusiasm -- Toni Boucher and Jan Bryniczka.

Toni is in the spirit of moderate Republicanism epitomized by Chris Shays, Jo Fuchs Luscombe and Ken Bernhard. She listens, considers and acts without an agenda, and even will work with the occasional Democrat to get good things done. Jan is "Mr. Ethics" personified. He really knows probate law and the variety of circumstances that bring people to his office.

Without going as "negative" as I would like -- let me say that Dan Malloy really turned Stamford around by working in a responsive bi-partisan way. That's what we need in Hartford.

While I haven't saved any wrapping paper so Nitzy can send me off to Bridgeport with Westport's other seniors, I realize that she is representing a NIMBY zoning constituency that will fight homes for the homeless and seniors with equal vigor. Nitzi, as a Jew, I remember moving here 45 years ago this month having been shut out of Darien and New Canaan. Westport was a diverse and welcoming town. You shoulda been here.

And as for Linda McMahon -- she's the least qualified candidate for any office that I've seen since I was old enough to vote. But at least she doesn't need all that anonymous corporate money.

John Franklin

Westport

Connecticut needs a senator with experience

The political brochures invading my mail box prompted me to take a closer look at some of the statements made by the McMahon campaign.

A relatively political unknown, Linda McMahon has conveniently adopted a strategy to criticize her opponent's voting record while she has no voting record of her own.

Here are some facts. The assembly (not only Dick Blumenthal) voted for a tax increase to bridge the budget gap. It may have been the largest tax increase in 1989 but the largest increase was two years later when Dick Blumenthal was no longer a state Senator.

O'Neill was governor and it was considered political suicide to even suggest a state income tax. Prosperity in the mid-80s expanded state programs and provided assistance to local towns for education programs and increase teachers' salaries among others.

A revenue shortage was predicted. A bill was passed to expand the sales tax to other goods and services and to increase the sales tax from 7.5 percent to 8 percent. The sales tax does not apply to the sales of gas, electricity, or heating fuel used in any residential dwelling (though McMahon's information vaguely states the contrary).

Weicker began his term in 1991. Laying off state employees (3,500) would not bridge the budget gap. He vetoed three budgets and shut down the state government for two days, until state income tax was finally passed. Sales tax reduced, corporate taxes lowered and existing taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains were eliminated with all income treated equally under the new income tax.

That bill was the largest tax increase in Connecticut.

Since 1999,Weicker, the father of the state income tax, has been on the Board of Directors of the WWE (that "family entertainment" business that The New York Times called "demeaning and noisy" ) Linda and her husband Vince created. Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows! Linda, remain in the entertainment ring and leave the political ring to those with public service experience and a record of fighting for the citizens of Connecticut. We need to vote for experience rather than place hope in a candidate who lacks the ability to take on real national issues.

MaryAnn Meyer

Westport

Choose Tom Foley

for jobs and education

There are two reasons I am convinced that Tom Foley should be Connecticut's next governor: jobs and education.

As a successful business leader who has employed thousands of workers in our region, and whose expertise was relied upon to help jump start private enterprise in Iraq, Tom Foley knows how to create jobs and he has a plan to do so in Connecticut. Tom will eliminate the job-killing taxes and regulations that have sent businesses fleeing from our state, and he will market our vast resources, including our high-skilled workforce, access to cultural centers, and premier educational institutions, to attract new employers to our state.

Tom is also committed to ensuring that every child in Connecticut has access to a high quality education -- not just those fortunate to live in affluent, high performing districts. Connecticut has the highest educational achievement gap in the country. There is no excuse for this shameful record, or for failing another generation of students who are forced into underperforming schools. Tom rejects the status quo in education and will work tirelessly to improve schools and provide educational choice for parents and students.

On Nov. 2 we have a chance to move Connecticut in the right direction. I urge you to join me in voting for Tom Foley for governor.

Karen Hess

Westport

Steinberg is the sensible choice

This November I am supporting Jonathan Steinberg for state representative.

Many people know Jonathan for his numerous accomplishments in town: deputy moderator of the RTM; his support of education; and his plans to revitalize downtown. Others are supporting Jonathan for his plans to change Hartford. However, I am also supporting him because of his strong moral character and qualities as a softball teammate and a friend.

Of all the people I have met in Westport, Jonathan has proven himself as that one "go-to" guy on whom you can always rely. On the softball field, Jonathan always puts his team first, builds consensus among players, and motivates us to reach our goals. As a friend, I have witnessed Jonathan spend most of his time either being a family man, or finding ways to make Westport an even better town. It is truly rare to find someone who cares so much about his community.

These are the qualities that we need in a state representative: someone who wants to do the right thing for the team and makes sure he is in a position to do so. I believe the voters will hit a home run when they vote for Jonathan Steinberg on Nov. 2.

Michael Lustbader

Westport

Re-elect Toni Boucher

Toni Boucher must be re-elected as our state senator in the 26th District. No one has the passion, interest, energy and expertise to get the results Connecticut residents deserve.

The American people are sending a strong message that we need our government to listen to what we are saying; not vote for what government deems correct but to hear the needs of constituents.

Toni Boucher is the right person for that job. She has a 100 percent voting record for 2009 and 2010. She has won on issues such as funding for 380 new Metro-North rail cars; negotiated the widening of Route 7 in place of a super highway; saved the Danbury-to-Norwalk rail line from closure and won $30 million to incurease train speed and frequency.

These are just a few examples of Toni Boucher fighting for us. And she is on the right track with wanting to cut state spending, pay down debt, reduce job-killing state taxes and demand rigorous education standards and accountability. Toni wants to revitalize Connecticut and I know she can get the job done. Her proven track record says she must be re-elected.

Vote for Toni Boucher on Nov. 2.

Andrea Britell

Westport

Why we need Nitzy Cohen

I have lived in Westport with my family for the past 20 years. I have seen us elect leaders to represent us in Hartford who maintain the status quo and continue doing things the same way they have been done before.

Nitzy Cohen is not like that.

I have worked on several successful statewide political campaigns and I can tell you Nitzy is not following the same old playbook. If she was, then this letter would be "coached" to contain two or three message points the campaign wanted me to be sure to include.

Nitzy is different. She's the real deal and she brings her passion for practical change and the fresh voice we so desperately need in Hartford, where the current legislature has only gotten us deeper into debt.

Nitzy gets it. She knows what needs to be done to lead us to a better future and I urge all Westporters who care about our town and our state to vote for Nitzy Cohen on Nov. 2. Your vote really does matter!

Ed Katz

Westport

Steinberg has leadership skills needed in Hartford

This Nov. 2 I am voting for Jonathan Steinberg for state representative and I urge my fellow Westporters to vote for him, too.

Jonathan knows Westport well. He grew up here, he has raised his family here and he has very ably served Westport as an RTM member and as the RTM deputy moderator. He has worked hard to understand and to address Westport's issues and to improve the quality of life for its residents.

I met Jonathan when I served for two terms on the Board of Trustees of the Westport Public Library and Jonathan served on the RTM's Subcommittee for Library, Museum and Arts. He is a clear-thinking, well-educated and intelligent person who listens well, knows how to build consensus and has the leadership ability to translate good ideas into action.

We need a representative in Hartford who has earned our respect and who has the talent and the probity to earn the trust, confidence and cooperation of his fellow legislators. Let's give ourselves the best chance to bring the change we need to state government. Please join me in voting for Jonathan Steinberg for state representative on Nov. 2.

Maggie Mudd

Westport

Blumenthal running

on his `record'

Attorney General (AG) Richard Blumenthal claims that his record of public service shows he should be our next senator.

However, a closer look at his record raises a number of concerns about what kind of senator he will be if elected. First, much like former New York Governor/AG Elliott Spitzer, Blumenthal has used the office of attorney general to target and bully companies that he doesn't like. Perhaps the most egregious example was his lawsuit of a small business, Computers Plus Center, in which he had the owner arrested and sued for $1.75 million. In typical fashion, he issued multiple press releases praising his actions and how they would protect the state's interests. However, the courts disagreed and not only threw the case out, but a civil jury awarded the owner $18 million to compensate her for the AG's aggressive and overreaching attack.

Unfortunately this was just one of many actions by AG Blumenthal which has resulted in Connecticut's reputation as one of the most business-unfriendly states. On another high profile case, AG Blumenthal argued that the city of New London should be able to take land from private homeowners and give it to private developers (Kelo vs. New London). In another politically charged case, AG Blumenthal refused to investigate his friend Senator Chris Dodd's questionable mortgages from Countrywide. Thanks to Mr. Blumenthal, Senator Dodd has avoided ever providing details on those mortgages. You can be sure that if the senator had been part of the opposition party, Blumenthal would have aggressively gone after him.

And finally, we have Mr. Blumenthal's "mis-statements" about his military service. A one-time mistake I could understand; multiple references to something untrue sound like a lie to me.

So, this is the "record" that AG Blumenthal says should make me vote for him: bullying lawsuits, taking people's property from them, currying political favors, and lies. No thanks. I'll take my chances with Linda McMahon and her real world experience creating jobs, meeting a payroll, navigating the state's anti-business climate and making tough decisions every day.

John Coykendall

Westport

Foley has Rubin's support

Stephen Rubin has been referred to as Westport's most active advocate. Both in his many diversified volunteer and elected positions he has been in touch with almost everybody in town sooner or later. His 16 years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) have earned him the unofficial title of RTM senior member.

Steve and his wife Toni are very involved in Westport's Jewish community. They both attend Chabad on a regular basis and Toni teaches nursery school in a Westport Jewish Center.

As a long-term member of the Westport Republican community it is Steve's honor to represent Tom Foley as part of his Jewish coalition. He believes that Tom Foley will supply the state with the leadership it so badly needs but will also be sensitive to the minorities including Jewish residents of Connecticut and to the State of Israel.

Stephen Rubin

Westport

Himes is responsive

and responsible

Responsive and responsible -- that is what we want from our congressman. With the re-election of Jim Himes, that is what we will get.

I have witnessed Jim's responsiveness first hand.

As guardian of my severely disabled brother, Joseph, I asked Jim to support H.R. 1255, a bill to protect Joseph and similar citizens from being swept into federally-funded class action lawsuits without their guardians' consent.

After reviewing the bill, Jim is co-sponsoring it!

Let's elect a responsible, responsive and knowledgeable congressman. Let's re-elect Jim Himes.

Terry Castellano

Weston

Steinberg committed

to Westport

As a registered Independent voter I am very happy to support Jonathan Steinberg for state representative.

I first met Jon seven years ago when we were both campaigning outside Coleytown Middle School, running for the RTM. Since that time I have seen how much he has contributed to the Town of Westport over the years, not only on the RTM, but on various other Town committees.

He has been chair of the RTM Health and Human Services Committee, the Library, Museum and the Arts Committee and the IT Committee. He also served on the Education Committee, and while always willing to ask the hard questions, supported the BOE budget when it came before the RTM. His colleagues on the non-partisan RTM, made up of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, have so much respect for Jon and his efforts, his abilities and his integrity, that they have elected him deputy moderator for the last three years -- always unanimously.

Outside of the RTM he has been on numerous Town committees, and most recently as chairman, has led the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee as they have come up with a broadly applauded plan involving public and private partnership to revitalize downtown, take advantage of the riverfront location, possibly bring in a niche movie theater, and at the same time increase affordable housing by incorporating second floor apartments over new waterfront development.

Why does Jon get so involved in so many aspects of Westport? He loves this town. He grew up here, graduated from Staples, and when it came time to raise his own family, knew there was only one place to do it -- Westport. His daughters have either graduated from Staples or are still in the Westport school system.

Jon is committed to the Town of Westport -- his town -- and will do his best to represent our interests in Hartford.

I urge you to join me in getting out and voting for Jon Steinberg as Westport's next state representative.

Hadley Rose

Westport

Toni represents us well

I am writing to encourage my fellow Westporters to support our state senator, Toni Boucher, for re-election.

We need someone with Toni's passion, energy and level-headed good judgment representing our district in Hartford. Toni has owned her own business and is currently a business leader -- she knows what it takes to attract and keep businesses in our state. A prior member of both the Wilton Board of Education and the State Board of Education, she was recognized by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now as a leader in public education. Toni understands how important providing a quality education to all of our children is to ensuring a bright future for our kids and our state.

Whether fighting the ill-conceived Super 7 project, that would have ruined the rural character of towns like Wilton and Ridgefield, or standing up to wasteful government spending, Toni has represented us and represented us well. She deserves our continued support -- she's earned it.

Kristin LaFleur

Westport

Hartwell, Steinberg have answers to state problems

If you attended the League of Women Voters of Westport debates on Oct. 13, you left believing that Connecticut is a troubled state, that we've over-spent, over-borrowed and lost our competitive edge.

If you want an indication that candidates have ideas, if not answers, you left believing that Westport's Democrats -- Jonathan Steinberg, candidate for representative, and senate candidate John Hartwell -- will work for you.

Their opponents offer simplistic solutions -- 30 percent across the board tax cuts -- without bothering to spell out the impacts. They grab headlines with "programs" that have little likelihood of being enacted, yet a high likelihood of fostering unintended consequences if they were.

In contrast, Messrs. Steinberg and Hartwell will make this state more attractive to families and businesses -- more affordable, more livable and more business friendly.

Government, they said, needs to be resized, reshaped and recreated. They favor a thoughtful review to determine what services are essential, what are useful and what are unnecessary, followed by rebuilding our departments and agencies, incorporating up to date technology, and giving citizens the 21st century government that delivers just what its constituents want.

While I am no longer a Westport voter, I'm still engaged here and I care about our state. I recommend Jonathan Steinberg and John Hartwell to you.

Roy Fuchs

Trumbull

Bryniczka for probate

The critical changes facing the Connecticut Probate Court system next year require a dedicated and experienced legal professional in Westport and Weston to help take care of our families in the future.

This year there is finally a candidate who has a proven track record to handle the myriad of changes coming in January of 2011. My family and I have known and worked with Jan Bryniczka for nearly 30 years, and there are a few keys things you should know about him ... commitment, experience and enthusiasm ... all vital traits, and then some, that he would bring to the revamped Probate court system. He has been our friend for a long time, and he has been a friend of the community for even longer! The Grahams offer their highest possible endorsement for Jan Bryniczka ... a refreshing change for our future in Westport and Weston.

Mark S. Graham

Westport

McMahon not right

for U.S. Senate

It's amazing. An old movie title turns out to be the entire resume of a U.S Senate candidate. Evidently, Linda (as all her lawn signs identify her) believes a career based on and comprised of "Sex, Lies and Videotape" more than qualifies her for be elected to what once was our most august legislative body. As a bonus she also brings extensive experience with steroids, sexual degradation, sleaze, and masochism (not to mention some dead wrestlers).

If you remember and thought it foolhardy and a taunt to the scurrying press corps in attendance when Gary Hart was seen on the aft deck of a yacht named "Monkey Business," imagine seeing Linda aboard hers, a 47-footer tastefully kept in South Florida, with its transom tastefully embellished with the name "Sexy Bitch." A different kind of eponymous spin, I guess.

Just a few more reasons why I will vote for Dick Blumenthal.

Bob Gardner

Weston

Our right to choose

As State Comptroller, Jack Orchulli states that he will insure that bureaucrats with a personal agenda will not be allowed to stop others from exercising their right to choose.

For instance, for more than 30 years, the Boy Scouts of America were on the comptroller's list of over 900 not-for-profit organizations to which state employees could make payroll deduction contributions. However, Jack's opponent for comptroller, and a former assistant in that office, Kevin Lembo, is strongly against the Boy Scouts and was instrumental in having them removed from the contribution list.

Jack believes that career bureaucrats, like Kevin Lembo, with a personal agenda should not be allowed to block more than 54,000 individuals (state employees) from making a personal choice. Jack believes that such interference sets a dangerous precedent and risk to personal freedom.

Join me in supporting Jack Orchulli for comptroller on Nov. 2. We back Jack!

Elliott Netherton

Westport

Toni Boucher for state senate

As an exceptional public servant and experienced business person, Toni Boucher has long recognized the need to encourage people and businesses not only to remain in Connecticut, but to come to Connecticut. She knows that the small business and other private sector jobs that fuel the economy are essential if we are to maintain our state's vibrancy and support the amenities which we have so far been able to afford.

Toni's public service began more than 20 years ago on the Wilton Board of Education, after which she served on the State Board of Education. In the state senate since 2008, and in the house for six terms before, Toni has been active in education, finance, transportation, and the environment. She received the 2010 "Tip of the Hat Award" from the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now in recognition of her work to improve public schools. She has received the endorsement of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.

Toni knows that we need a strong commuter rail system both to keep and attract businesses and residents. Among other efforts, she worked to save the Danbury train line and has supported the successful widening of Route 7, as opposed to the imposition of a huge Super 7 highway that would have damaged one of the state's largest wetlands. Her environmental activities include protection of the Kelda and Troutbrook watershed areas, a DEP open space grant for the Cranbury/Partrick area of Norwalk and Westport, support for the Wakeman Farm, the protection of Westport's oyster beds, and support for the sewering of Saugatuck Shores to help keep Long Island Sound clean.

Toni Boucher has been working hard to make Connecticut a better state. I encourage you to vote on Nov. 2 for Toni Boucher for state senate.

Judy Starr

Westport

Dem signs disappearing

In Westport and perhaps other towns, campaign signs for Democratic candidates are disappearing every day.

What shoddy, mean-spirited, petty and unprincipled individuals are responsible?

Whoever they are, it's clear they're not Democrats.

Elizabeth Gerteiny

Westport

Political signs MIA

Two hundred Blumenthal campaign signs put up in Westport at the beginning of the month mysteriously vanished. Then signs for Dems -- Malloy, Himes and Jepson -- met the same fate this week. I witnessed first hand the underhanded tactics of the Tea Party at last year's town hall meetings. Now that dirty tricks from the new Right have sunk to the local level, national policies including health care, financial and other reforms to protect Americans may disappear as quickly as the campaign signs if they succeed on election day.

Sinbad Jartani

Westport

We need Himes

This November I will vote for Jim Himes to continue as my representative in Washington.

Jim is not only extremely intelligent and thoughtful, he truly understands the economic issues we face. He is fiscally responsible and truly "gets" our unemployment problem as well as the national deficit we have to whittle down as quickly as possible.

Voters should go to the Himes website and learn the facts of what he has accomplished in less than two years for the people of Connecticut and what his thoughts are on how we will overcome the problems we see around us.

Over the past two years Jim has held a number of town hall meetings in our area and has fielded some very tough questions, proving to me that he has the know-how to work effectively to improve our economy and grapple with the tough issues that lay ahead.

I have total confidence in Jim Himes. We need him working for us, all of us. He will continue to do a splendid job. Vote for Himes.

Jacqueline Masumian

Westport

Our mother --

Nitzy Cohen

We could probably write a book about our mom, but we will give a condensed version. We are all Staples graduates and ever since we were in grammar school we noticed that our mom was different, and as typical children we didn't always like the attention that we were getting because of her activism.

When we lived in Madison, Wisc., our mom single handedly made the town change an ordinance that allowed cars to drive by school buses when their red flashing lights were on. When we asked her why is she doing all this advocating and fighting, she always said, "I have to, who else would do it?"

Taking care of us, cooking the best food always, galloping around the world on business, and putting herself in the public eye by advocating for issues that many times had nothing to do with our lives, defines our mom.

Eventually we learned to accept and appreciate mom's style and advocacy. Our friends are actually excited, informed and energized by her. There is something special about our household spirit that mom created by regularly hosting gatherings of more than 100 people to either promote awareness of an issue or just getting people together to celebrate life.

This election campaign has been hard on our mother, as we see what she has had to deal with, and we often go back to our elementary school question of "Why?" Well, the answer is still the same, but we understand it better now. People should know that if they elect our mom they will be getting a state representative in their corner the likes of which they have never seen before. Trust us, we know from experience.

Erik, Maya and Mikey Cohen Fitzgerald

Westport

Nitzy Cohen, still super woman

Before Nitzy Cohen won big in her primary I said she was a "Super Woman." Well, I was proven right as she flew away with that race. We in Westport are so lucky to have someone of Nitzy's caliber running to be our state representative. I probably wouldn't be giving her enough credit by saying Nitzy is an amazing woman. Smart, educated, savvy, tenacious, energetic, courageous, sophisticated, dedicated and caring are only a few words that describe her. Business entrepreneur, owner of an international business, consultant to USAID, Governor's Task Force member, mother of three Staples graduates and volunteer to countless community organizations only describes a small part of what she does. Nitzy will continue to amaze and do a great job for us in the legislature. Vote for Nitzy Cohen on Nov. 2. Send a Super Woman to Hartford!

Jesse Blieberg

Westport

Nitzy Cohen, change we can believe

Connecticut sits at a crossroads as the inevitable results of ever increasing spending, taxes and regulation come back to haunt us. We have a $3.5 billion budget deficit, more debt per person than any other state, and over $35 billion in unfunded state pension and healthcare obligations. State spending has increased 95 percent since 1995 while job and population growth has been flat.

Despite having one of the highest tax burdens in the country, Democrats in Hartford think the solution is more taxes and spending. It is time to find a solution to these problems -- more of the same is not the answer. We need someone with good ideas who is willing to stand up in Hartford and say, "Enough already!"

Nitzy is someone who will do this! She is smart, understands the issues, has offered solutions and she will not shy away from what needs to be done to return our state to prosperity. For too long, the Democrats and their super-majority have run roughshod over taxpayers while doing their best to curry favor with state employees and their unions. Balancing the budget was too easily done by issuing new debt (to cover routine expenses), raising taxes and depleting the rainy day fund. With a sinking credit rating, high unemployment and a bleak budget outlook, more of the same from Hartford is just not an option for our state anymore. Nitzy will fight for the taxpayers to drive change and improvements in our state's finances. She also understands that we need to be more business friendly, so that employers will want to locate here and grow.

We no longer have the luxury of giving one more chance to a tired philosophy that has ruined us in Hartford -- join me in voting for Nitzy Cohen on Nov. 2.

John Coykendall

Westport

Mioli endorses Steinberg

As your state representative for the past six years, I heartily endorse Jonathan Steinberg's candidacy to become Westport's next state representative.

Jonathan understands Westport's needs. He grew up here and came back with his family because he values what this community offers families: from excellence in education to a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities. Furthermore, Jonathan has spent years in town government working to make Westport a better place to live, to work, to raise a family and to enjoy retirement. He knows how to build consensus and find common ground -- to make good decisions.

People know that they can work with Jonathan to solve problems. He's proven he can work well with local business interests in his efforts to revitalize downtown. Jonathan's business background will help him tackle the budget crisis in Hartford.

I know that I will leave Westport in good hands with Jonathan to follow me. Please be sure to vote for Jonathan Steinberg on Nov.2 so that Westport's voice will be strong in Hartford.

Joe Mioli

State Representative

136th District

Westport

Cohen will help bring balance to Hartford

As the current election season draws to a close, it is important for voters to realize that the only way critical fiscal problems facing our state will be addressed in a constructive manner, will be to level the playing field in Hartford.

Currently the Democrats hold a "veto-proof" majority, permitting them to override the voting power of the governor. With the incestuous ties between the state unions and the Democrats, it is unlikely that the issues of smaller government and reduced benefits will ever be addressed while this imbalance continues.

Nitzy Cohen offers a refreshingly new voice to the ingrained Hartford policies of "tax and spend." Her business experience and her forthrightness will be a welcomed change to the kind of Democratic policies that have resulted in Connecticut having the highest debt per capita of any state in the Union.

While Hartford politicians stand by as jobs continuing to exit our state, our state's largest employer, United Technologies, threatens to move out taking thousands of jobs with its potential relocation. We need representatives in our legislature who understand how to foster new opportunities and who can help frame economic policies that are conducive to attracting new business and that provide incentives for the organic growth of existing entrepreneurial efforts in Connecticut.

Wesporters have already seen that active roles on the RTM do not translate into leadership. While we all owe our gratitude to those who serve on this local legislative body, I am much more interested in sending to Harford an independent thinker who understands solving economic problems and is not going to be co-opted by Democratic party politics. Nitzy Cohen is the only clear choice for the 136th on Nov. 2.

Peter Thorner

Westport