You could call this letter simply "A Local Republican Looks at His Party." With yet another statewide election defeat, making it eight years now, maybe the chairman and the State Central Committee will finally get the message. In either close or maximum plurality, Connecticut voters promptly see through the manipulation of "one percenter" business figures who want to buy their way into senior elective office, with all the easy campaign funding, bullying staff and attack ads necessary.

For Fairfield, the Foley defeat should be especially telling. Had the nomination gone to our John McKinney and his 20 years of legislature experience, we might better have had a GOP governor-elect presently getting ready to sit behind the Charter Oak Desk and lead our successful underticket.

The nomination process belongs to the party cadre and first consideration given to candidates who have worked their way up around the Capitol. That's the way the system has always worked throughout history. This current trend of taking candidates from boardrooms and the golf course and country club network of Greenwich and blindly following their Tea Party scripts from the campaign strategy playbook of the Koch Brothers will ultimately yield nothing but further public alienation.

This message should have been heeded following the Linda McMahon successive defeats in recent U.S. Senate races. Now the two-time defeat of Tom Foley for governor should make it undeniable.

For these individuals themselves, the message should have meaning also. In politics and public service, the checkbook and "A-list" clout are not short cuts. Learning time must be spent in local and middle state level office to gain the legislative seasoning, broader empathy with constituent needs and cross-the-aisle issue resolution, just as they would in middle management during a business career. If better role models are needed, look to Theodore Roosevelt or, more recently, Nelson Rockefeller.

For the GOP, the present situation it has created for itself in both state and national levels is a further test. Is it truly going to work in a spirit of cooperation with the other side and get the public's business done or is it going to stick to the Tea Party obstructionist dogma of just saying no to everything. Only time will tell.

David K. Sturges