To the Editors:

As a former chairman of the Wilton Republican Party, I have to say how offended I am by the tactics the Wilton Republicans are employing in this election. They are right out of the National Republicans’ playbook. Donald Trump and the National Republicans drove me out of the Republican Party in 2016. Wilton Republicans drove me into the Democratic Party in 2019.

After the Republican members of the Wilton Board of Finance cut our school budget on a partisan basis over Democratic opposition in 2019, I joined the Democratic party and got elected to the Board of Finance as a Democrat to protect our schools. In contrast to the Republicans’ partisan action in cutting our school budget in 2019, everyone in town regardless of party affiliation — Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters — worked together on a non-partisan basis to oppose school regionalization. For Republicans to now make this a partisan issue is shameful.

It is also dishonest. I can state for a fact that local Democratic opposition to school regionalization, and specifically the actions of our state Sen. Will Haskell, were critical to our collective success in opposing school regionalization. Will Haskell, leaders of the Democratic Party in Wilton, and I met personally with state Senate leadership to voice our collective opposition to school regionalization. I know from being there that Will Haskell’s opposition to school regionalization was critical to the success of the effort. He convinced other senators to abandon a one-size-fits all approach, and the regionalization concept died without coming up for a vote.

If Wilton Republicans were really being honest with Wilton voters, the Republican lawn signs would say Vote Democratic to Protect Our Schools.

Michael Kaelin