On the Campaign Trail: Bedell, Malloy, Boucher, Debicella, Lavielle, Rodgerson

Police and fire union endorse Green candidate Bedell

The Connecticut Police & Fire Union (CPFU) has endorsed Green party  candidate David Bedell in his campaign for the 125th house district seat, representing New Canaan and Wilton.

The union represents about 850 police officers, firefighters, and other public safety professionals employed by the state.

A press release from Mr. Bedell’s campaign said the union thanked him for his “commitment and dedication to public service. We feel that the citizens of the State of Connecticut, and our members, will benefit greatly from your work as a State legislator.”

In response, Mr. Bedell said, “I’m honored to receive the support of the Connecticut Police & Fire Union. If elected, I hope to strengthen laws protecting state employees and all working people and their families.”

Specifically, Mr. Bedell said he believes public safety officers deserve the security of a defined benefit retirement plan, as well as access to affordable higher education for themselves and their children.

Mr. Bedell is a justice of the peace in New Canaan, an instructor at Norwalk Community College and Sacred Heart University, and a former treasurer of the Green Party of Connecticut.

Malloy earns CTLCV nod

For the first time since its inception in 1998, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has chosen to endorse in a gubernatorial race.

After interviewing both candidates, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has earned the CTLCV’s endorsement as a strong leader on protection of Connecticut’s environment.

“It is not often that you have such a solid record for a candidate in making these decisions. Gov. Malloy’s record has been exemplary,” said Lori Brown, CTLCV executive director.

Mr. Malloy’s record includes major investments in the Clean Water Fund, helping to ensure water quality by upgrading sewage treatment plants that impact rivers and Long Island Sound. Mr. Malloy supported the passage of a statewide water plan, as well as committed to support a Long Island Sound “Blue Plan” to best manage that critical resource.

His administration has worked to protect major tracts of environmentally significant properties and continues to fund open space acquisitions across the state.

The CTLCV also praised Mr. Malloy’s decision to consolidate several governmental entities into the new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

“This was a creative solution to some of our environmental problems in Connecticut and which moved the bar forward dramatically. By connecting energy and the environment, he made an important statement about the relationship between these two critical issues,” said Ms. Brown.

Boucher receuves endorsements

When the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) named its second round of endorsed candidates for election to the Connecticut General Assembly, Ms. Boucher’s name was on the list.

The CTLCV said in a press release it endorses candidates for the state legislature every election cycle based on their positions and track record on the environment. Endorsed candidates must be committed to protecting Connecticut’s land, water, air, and wildlife, and to working for sustainable solutions to pressing state issues like transportation, energy, and waste management, the league said.

Ms. Boucher also was presented with the Legislator of the Year Award from the Fairfield County Medical Association earlier this month. The association is a professional membership representing physicians from every medical specialty and practice setting as well as medical students, interns and residents.

The association’s president, Dr. Robin Oshman, said Ms. Boucher is recognized by the medical community as strong advocate for preserving the freedom of physicians in Connecticut to provide patients the quality care they deserve, and for “her courage and diligence in preserving the integrity of the medical liability Certificate of Merit and protecting the freedom of physicians in Connecticut to attend the medical needs of their patients.”

Debicella endorsed

Republican Dan Debicella, a candidate for the 4th Congressinal District seat, received several endorsements recently from national organizations.

In its endorsement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “Dan Debicella’s record of support on pro-business issues earned him this endorsement. In today’s economy, it is critical that members of Congress provide strong support of free enterprise and leadership for policies that will return the United States to its full growth potential. We believe that Dan’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives will help produce sustained economic growth, help create jobs, and get our country back on track.”

The U.S. Chamber’s goal to help elect a pro-business majority in Congress and work diligently in support of the interests of businesses to advance legislation that encourages economic growth, job creation, and a less intrusive federal government.

Mr. Debicella was also endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“Dan comes from the business world and his experience clearly informed his policies as a state legislator,” said NFIB Connecticut State Director Andrew Markowski. “Connecticut’s economy is a small business economy and our members are eager to have a representative in Washington who fights for their interests.”

“Dan Debicella was one of the most dependable advocates for small business in Hartford and our members have no doubt about where he’ll stand as a member of Congress,” said M. Markowski. “Small business owners, consumers and taxpayers in Connecticut need a genuine ally in Congress and we’re very excited about Dan Debicella’s candidacy.”

Mr. Debicella’s endorsement comes from the NFIB SAFE Trust, the organization’s political action committee.

Lavielle earns endorsements

State Rep. Gail Lavielle has received endorsements from former 26th district state Senator Judith G. Freedman (1987-2008) and the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC) – PAC. Ms. Lavielle, a Republican, is running for re-election to the 143rd House district, which includes parts of Wilton, Westport, and Norwalk.

“Gail Lavielle is my state representative, and I am proud to give her my support as she runs for re-election,” Ms. Freedman said. “Gail has proven how in touch she is with the district and her constituents. She listens to all of us.

“Gail has been tenacious regarding transportation issues and worked hard to ensure that the omnibus transportation bill in 2013 included language requiring that monies in the Special Transportation Fund would be spent only on transportation, and that the fund would not be raided for other purposes, as has been common practice.”

Ms. Freedman singled out Ms. Lavielle’s work on forming a bipartisan task force focused on eliminating unfunded mandates imposed by the state on school districts, cleaning up brownfields and  promoting the state’s deep-water ports to encourage the development of business.

“Gail Lavielle is on top of all the issues facing our district,” Ms. Freedman continued, “and has earned not only my support, but should have everyone else’s as well.”

October 20, 2014 – WILTON, CT – The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC) – PAC has endorsed State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143) for reelection on November 4 to the General Assembly’s 143rd House district, which includes parts of Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton.

The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut is a non-profit organization of retired teachers with 16,000 members/affiliates advocating on behalf of Connecticut’s 33,000 retired teachers.

“We encourage our members and their families to actively support your campaign. We look forward to working with you to help secure a bright future for Connecticut’s retired teachers,” wrote Michael Norman and Ellen Long, ARTC Endorsement Committee Co-Chairs, in a letter to Ms. Lavielle dated Oct. 1.

Rodgerson earns endorsements

Keith Rodgerson, a Democrat running for the 143rd House district seat, has been endorsed by the  Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association (UPFFA) and the National Association of Social Workers Connecticut Chapter (NASW-CT).

Peter S. Cardozza, Jr., president of UPFFA, said in a press release, “This action is taken after careful consideration of your support for professional firefighters of the State of Connecticut and your commitment to helping to insure the health and safety of our brothers and sisters throughout the state. We are proud of our association with you and look forward to our continuing partnership.”

Mr. Rodgerson responded by saying, “Public safety is of great importance to me. I am thankful for this validation from all our first responders. I come from a family of Connecticut policemen and firemen. We must always ensure that those who protect us in our greatest time of need are given the support they need. They put their safety on the line for us every day, so we must always look out for them in these uncertain and challenging times.”

The UPFFA represents 60 affiliated local unions in Connecticut, comprising about 4,200 members, including Norwalk Local 830, Westport Local 1081, and Wilton Local 2233.

NASW-CT represents more than 3,000 members statewide and is “… committed to social policies that enhance quality of life of the residents of Connecticut. The NASW-CT is actively involved in workforce development issues, which we will be placing a focus on in the upcoming legislative session.”

“Social workers are on the front lines of so many of mental health issues that, as the tragedy in Sandy Hook showed us, have been ignored for way to long,” Mr. Rodgerson said. “Once I get to Hartford, I will work incredibly hard in making sure that we stop sweeping these issues under the carpet and actually do something to address them.”

He added that many of these priorities are aligned with what he is already running behind, such as supporting the minimum wage increase, advocating for retirement security for our seniors, as well as the expansion of school based health centers and mental health care.

Stephen Karp, executive director of NASW-CT said “Keith Rodgerson is a trusted voice for social justice in Connecticut. Sending him to Hartford will ensure that outstanding mental health issues will finally be addressed in a bi-partisan manner once and for all.”

First selectman endorses Boucher and Lavielle

Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan released a statement endorsing the re-election of state Senator Toni Boucher and state Rep. Gail Lavielle, saying they have earned his support “by their tireless efforts in support of Wilton. Please join me by voting for these incredibly active and articulate legislators.

“The state of Connecticut is in serious financial trouble,” he said. “Continuing huge deficits, underfunded state employee pension funds and uncontrolled spending have contributed to numerous ‘bottom of the barrel’ state rankings.

“Both Toni and Gail have fought to reduce state spending and the infinite array of taxes that burden all of us making it almost too expensive to live or die in Connecticut.

“The Town applied for grants four times to the state for a pedestrian walkway bridge to connect the Wilton train station and the village. Toni and Gail’s tenacious last-minute efforts greatly influenced the decision that eventually will be so beneficial to Wilton commuters and other residents who regularly use this station.

“Both of our legislators are very experienced and hold key legislative committee positions that are vital in protecting Wilton interests. Lastly, Toni and Gail have worked effectively as a legislative team and have enviable voting records supporting commuter transportation, education and environmental issues.

“Please vote with me for Toni Boucher and Gail Lavielle. They have earned our support.”

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