Well-endowed campaigns lack substance, integrity

Two of the crassest, most cynical political campaigns I've witnessed in a long time are being run by the current Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and governorship.

Linda McMahon has announced that she will spend whatever she has to win, making it blatantly clear that she will buy her Senate seat, valued at approximately $50 million by her calculation. Tom Foley, the gubernatorial candidate, has indicated he will do the same.

Linda has had a full-time paid staff of 35 for a year making sure every eyebrow hair is in place and the right number of daily "I love you" valentines are distributed to the needy. Linda's campaign ads, however, feature her repeatedly addressing the concerns of supposed small business owners. That's it. Senators, however, vote on national issues and budgets, not the concerns of small business owners in Connecticut.

The media need to start tossing her some hardball questions and stop slobbering over her dubious media polish. Does she know where the Hindu Kush Mountains are? Who the prime minister of Iran is? Anything about the pros and cons of fiscal stimulus and deficit spending?

Tom Foley has a lackluster personality, no elective office experience, and the same single-issue ad focus that is almost as weird as Linda's, except that it has some relevance to the office he wants to buy. Neither Linda nor Tom has any identifiable political philosophy except the stale bromide of smaller government and the equally stale rhetorical attacks on career politicians.

By the latter logic, I'm tired of career lawyers and career doctors. Why don't they switch jobs? Your lawyer can stick you with a needle, and your doctor can write your will. The lawyer will find that vein eventually. All he needs is a bit of on-the-job training on your arms and at your expense.

Don't base a vote on madmen advertising, the substance of Tom's and Linda's campaigns to date. It's the same as believing that infomercials will grow hair. Because they have no relevant past, their actions and votes are not foreseeable.

And given the hoary traditions of the Senate, the winner will not be "shaking things up in Washington" as Linda's loopy make-believe would have you believe, but be a very junior member with a longer learning curve than it would take a lawyer to learn anatomy.

Make an effort to meet the candidates, look them in the eye, shake their hands, and ask them a tough question appropriate to the job they are running for.

But don't bestow a powerful government office on know-nothing opportunists with no government experience, whose private amassing of wealth has little to do with the complicated decisions, legislative expertise, state budget executions, and burdensome responsibilities to many groups and classes of voters of an elective job.

Their money entitles them to campaign -- not to win. We know money corrupts politics. Isn't that what's going on in Connecticut this silly season?

Mary Galgota

Fairfield

Brandt's financial philosophy needed

Having served on the Representative Town Meeting with DeeDee Brandt, I can attest to her dedication to Fairfield and her understanding of the financial problems and associated deficits now facing Connecticut residents.

Then, as now, DeeDee understood that it was unwise for any public entity to pay for current obligations by issuing debt, the effective equivalent of using a credit card, instead of cutting expenses and what the future may bring if the practice continued. I'm confident she will vote against any budget that relies on debt to cover current obligations, includes wasteful spending and will promote policies that will encourage job growth in Connecticut.

A vote for DeeDee Brandt is a vote for good fiscal planning and sound economic policy for the State of Connecticut. DeeDee is getting my vote.

Paul H. Bartlett

Fairfield

Drew, Fawcett fueled fire

of dismal economic climate

With spectacularly miserable records to work with, I don't envy those I see writing letters of support for State Representatives Tom Drew and Kim Fawcett. Talk about "taking one for the team."

Drew and Fawcett might be nice people and good parents, friends and neighbors (Representative Fawcett took the time to walk my neighborhood and stop by my house, which I appreciated.) However, as our representatives they completely failed us and proved they can't be trusted to be responsible stewards of our tax dollars.

Due to policies they supported (in lock-step with the rest of their lop-sided Democratic majority) spending soared, taxes increased at historic rates (for both citizens and businesses,) new regulatory burdens were placed on businesses and the size of our state's bureaucracy experienced staggering growth. You know, pretty much all the short-sighted and often reckless things liberal politicians do when left unchecked by conservatives.

The consequences have been devastating to Connecticut and will haunt us for years to come. We have the fifth largest budget deficit in the country, which is projected to grow to $3.5 billion by 2012. Companies are leaving the state at an alarming rate because of our high costs and unfriendly business atmosphere (we lost 100,000 jobs in the last two years alone.)

Connecticut residents are also burdened with some of the highest taxes ($8,500 per person), energy and healthcare costs in the country. Oh, and the kicker, we currently have the highest debt-per-person out of any state in the Union. Please re-read that last sentence a few times.

These are the same job-killing policies that through the years have brought about the sad decline of our once great industrial cities.

The only specific accomplishment touted in letters I've read is that they've been able to secure state funding for projects in Fairfield. I appreciate them helping us at least understand why we have massive deficits. Drew and Fawcett were given the Connnecticut credit card and spent money the state didn't have so they could have something to hang their hat on come election time. In the meantime, they sat back and watched their Democratic colleagues across the state do the same thing for the same end. In their minds this was all OK; after all, people in Connecticut have the money and, as our President says, "It's not that I want to punish your success; I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

I don't feel comfortable so harshly criticizing people who I assume are doing what they think is best. However, what they think is best is running Connecticut into the ground and I'm not going to just sit back and let supporters tell you different. The stakes are way too high and they need to be removed so they can't do any more harm to our great state.

Let's just hope other districts throughout the state also come to their senses this November and replace their Democratic representatives with conservative Republicans. Only conservatives can be trusted to turn this crisis around and get Connecticut back on track to being the most attractive state in the Union to live and start a business.

So, please don't be fooled by people supporting Tom Drew and Kim Fawcett, talking about how independent-minded and fiscally conservative they are. They're not and it's disingenuous to say otherwise.

And don't even get me started with Jim Himes and Dick Blumenthal supporters...

Joe Palmer

Fairfield, CT