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Friday, November 11, 2011

November Elections: Truth and Consequences Part 2

If you've stumbled onto Part 2, you might want to go back and read Part I located here.

Milford:  Sure a win is a win and a loss is a loss, but it's important to inject a bit of reality into the media headline arguing that Milford is a revolutionary pick up for Democrats.  Over the last twenty-four or so years, Republicans have held Milford and governed it well.  This past summer, incumbent Jim Richetelli opted to not run for re-election this time around. Richetelli is popular with members from both political parties and independents alike.  Bernard Joy temporarily filled Jim's role when Jim took leave a few years ago, and acquitted himself well.

Tuesday's outcome was not a referendum on Republicans or on the good work of Mayor Richetelli, but rather the result of a low voter turnout and a dedicated Democrat Town Committee which took the race seriously and got their people to the polls.  We see quite often that towns change hands when popular leaders decide not to run for re-election.  It's a complicated task to fill the shoes of someone who is admired and liked by the general public - if not an outright hurdle to overcome.  Democrat Benjamin Blake took 7364 votes to Bernard Joy's 5482 (1882 vote margin).  Personally, it's more likely than not that Republicans have a good chance to take back the Mayorship at the next Municipal election, and they have plenty of time to think about getting back to basics and getting registered Republicans to the polls.

Milford Democrats should enjoy
their stay because deep down they
know they are on borrowed time
Truth:  Democrats winning gives the false appearance of a major upset in Milford, and perhaps it's nothing more than a kink in the armor of a usually well-oiled Republican machine.  The reality is that Democrats know they are likely to enjoy a couple years of rule before returning to their minority status.  Keep those seats warm boys, the hourglass has been turned over.
Consequences:  A full scale overhauling of the Milford RTC won't be necessary, it's just a matter of getting back to basics, and understanding Campaign 101.  Republicans have plenty of time to find the right candidate to challenge Blake, whether it be Bernard Joy or another individual waiting in the wings.

Vernon:  When Mayor Jason McCoy decided he wasn't going to run for re-election there was concern among the Republican Party faithful that Vernon would be easy prey for Democrats.  Keenly aware of this threat, the Vernon GOP planned out a contingency plan well in advance by selecting an extremely well-qualified, and talented candidate in George Apel. To Mayor McCoy's credit, he did not leave his party flapping in the breeze in the same way Governor Jodi Rell screwed over Lt. Governor Michael Fedele by informing him only minutes before her public press conference that she didn't intend to run for re-election (The King considers this one of the greatest betrayals in the history of the Connecticut Republican Party). Not to be overdone, the Vernon contest was a 4-way melee in which George Apel managed to take 38% of the vote.   Moreover, Vernon was heavily affected by the October snowstorm which required changes to polling places which added confusion to Election Day - and as of this writing - there are still outages that Vernon authorities are being forced to contend with, an issue resulting both directly and indirectly from the storm. 

By their own admission, Vernon RTC will tell you that the harsh reality is that if it were not for late evening phone calls to Republican voters who hadn't bothered to show up to the polls, then George Apel may not have won the election. 

Truth:  A head to head Democrat v Republican fight may have offered a different outcome - possibly similar to what happened in Milford or elsewhere. Notwithstanding, 251 votes was enough to put George Apel over the top. Vernon is an example to other Republican towns that you don't quit until the last possible ballot is cast for your side. 
Consequences: Vernon RTC has a lot to be proud of.  The team canvassed the entire town, day and night, knocking on the doors of over 4000 homes trying to get their message out.  They may be unlucky to see Jason McCoy go, but at least McCoy didn't simply abandon his team for his own agenda; he stayed and helped them fight to the finish.  Regardless, of what happens to George Apel, or Jason McCoy's Senate run, you have to admire Vernon GOP for a fantastic photo finish!

According to The Harford Courant,
South Windsor Republicans, pictured
above, posed for this photo shortly
after they "seized control of town."
South Windsor:  You can almost feel the liberal media outrage in places where Republicans recapture typical Democrat strong-holds.  The Hartford Courant's opening line in Section B5of Wedneday's paper reeks of anti-Republican bias, "Republicans seized control of Town Council Tuesday, winning six of nine seats."   Seized control no-less. Hey Janice Podsada, How about stormed town hall with German tanks, while carrying machine guns and machetes?  Jesh. Tell us how you really feel!  Democrats have supporters, while Republicans have followers, right?

Congrats to Thomas Delnicki who is presumed to be Mayor-elect based on being the highest vote getter.  It's likely that the hot-button issue that prompted a Republican takeover was that each resident saw an 18% increase in their sewer bill from 2010 to 2011.  In an economy like this, its understandable why the outrage resonated from South Windsor Town Hall to the voting booth.

Truth:  It's pretty clear to everyone that South Windsor Democrats pushed the envelope too far with a spending spree and increased taxation which led to their downfall.  South Windsor Republicans ran a text-book campaign, and utilized the Democrats arrogance against them.
Consequences:  South Windsor Republicans have a unique opportunity to restore faith with the public through fiscal accountability and government transparency.  This is a huge boon to a Town that should really be Republican when you think about it.  But be cautious, Democrats are meeting in their underground cave, working to plan their revenge.  So watch out!

Farmington:  This is a horror story with a happy ending.  The October snowstorm did so much damage to the town of Farmington that town officials pleaded, then threatened legal action in order to delay their Municipal Elections.  Their pleas and threats fell on deaf ears as Secretary of State Denise Merrill said of Republicans, "Let them eat cake."  Farmington has been in Republican hands since the days of Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Republicans lived up to the standard by winning all possible seats available. 

Truth:  There was never any doubt that Republicans would take the night.  The GOP's insistence that the election be moved was a sign of their sense of fair play, not fear that the outcome would have been altered simply by downed trees and power lines.  The fact that Farmington's GOP fought so hard so as not to disenfranchise voters speaks to their keen sense of integrity.
Consequences:  One would not expect the local media to carry the commentary in the same positive light that we've published it here at The King's View - but they should have.  The only consequence beyond this easy win is that Farmington residents have tangible evidence that they are led by a group of people who put people ahead of politics.

Plainville:   This was a good pick up for Republicans since the previous Council was Democrat controlled 4-3, and now shifts to 5-2 in favor of Republicans.  It's The King's View that this campaign victory is a bigger bright spot for the GOP as a whole than most others because it's one of the few places where budget concerns and an unacceptable approval process came to the forefront of the election and residents decided it was high time to end an insane process.  For those who don't know, Farmington has a provision in its Charter which thumbs it's nose at residents - while it's true residents have the right to petition for a budget referendum - after the third revision to the budget, residents are stuck with the outcome - whether they like it or not.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that all the big spenders ever needed to do was to wait , and run out the clock. They knew that no matter what the peanut gallery thought, that they would eventually get whatever they wanted.  Plainville's GOP was able to make Charter revision a hot-button issue and as a result Democrats who supported, endless spending, and a corrupt process, were thrown out.

Truth:   Democrats in Plainville are still wandering around town with their lower jaws dragging along the roadside.  This shouldn't surprise anyone since most Democrats are entirely out of touch with reality anyway.  Plainville Republicans deserve an award for making their campaign 100% issue-oriented.  If only the State Connecticut Republican Party could take notice, and learn from the local Plainville RTC about how to not waiver when it comes to issue-based campaigns.  Plainville Republicans didn't talk about negotiating away their position, or splitting the difference, or anything like that.  They marched forward, fearless and stalwart without wavering one iota.
Consequences:  This will be another town worth watching in two years.  If Republicans don't make the Charter revisions that residents demand, they could be back on the minority side of the table with an even harder task of winning in subsequent elections.  It's up to the new Council to deliver or die.

I bet Tolland residents
are bloody happy their
ancestors broke away
from Windsor. Yikes!
Tolland:  This is another town were Republicans managed to pick up a Council to the surprise of just about  - everyone.  It had been four long years and Democrats seemed quite comfortable at the helm for what seemed like an eternity.  Republicans didn't have an overwhelming win but managed to take 4 of 7 seats giving them the majority rule on the Council.  What was really surprising on Tuesday night was that incumbents Craig Nussbaum and MarAnn Tuttle, long time, entreched Democrats, had lost their seats.  According to our contacts in Tolland, there isn't any underlying  hot-button issue that screamed for a reversal of the last four years - it just seemed that residents en masse opted to throw out long time incumbants in favor of start-up newbies.  Jack Scavone was the highest vote getter with 1274 followed by Mark Gill with 1217 votes.  Most winners are within 150 votes of the losers which means that the bottom line is that Republican voters came out to support their candidates while Democrats opted to stay home.

Truth:  Obviously, this came as a big surprise to everyone.  It's a quiet election with quiet results.  The big challenge with a 5-4 split will be keeping the ranks tight and working together as a majority party.  I don't know much about Tolland politics, but I do know that these kinds of margins test the patience of everyone involved when it comes to Council votes.
Consequences:  This is another election to watch closely in 2013. 

This photo used by the Southington
Citizen is another piece of
evidence that journalists just can't
contain their bias. Someone pass
Angelina a tissue, and then pass one
to the photographer. Good Grief!
Southington:  Mayor Edward Pocock III and his enthusiastic Republican army came across big winners on Tuesday taking a 6-3 majority.  Pocock won the majority Republican vote earning 4213 votes.  What's noteworthy is that despite remaining in the minority, Christopher Palmieri, a Democrat, received the highest number of votes with 4784,  sort of an interesting subplot to a near perfect night.

Republicans were rewarded for keeping taxes low and pushing through economic development improvements.  Southington also approved an $85 million dollar project to renovate the Middle School, which was openly criticized by Democrats.  It's not often that Democrats find themselves so void of issues that criticizing Republicans over school renovations becomes their only possible tactic.  How often does that happen?  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Southington Republicans also managed to take super-majority on the Board of Education as well.  Congrats for a job well done.

Truth:  I know first-hand how hard the Southington RTC works to keep political campaigns as issue-oriented as possible, and the payoffs are tremendous.  Plus the Southington RTC deserves extra credit for winning despite the handicap of having Doug Hageman on their team.
Consequences:  Southington Republicans will benefit from making good, well-vetted fiscal decisions, and will continue to be rewarded by constituents for advancing only those expenditures that are necessary and realistic given the realities of a harsh economic climate.  There is a reason that Southington is considered one of the best places to live in Connecticut. 

Glastonbury:  Last but not least - and not surprisingly, Glastonbury Republicans secured a super-majority, 6 to 3 over Democrats on Council, and 5 to 3 majority on the Board of Education.  I don't want to belittle this achievement but Glastonbury has consistently been a Republican stronghold.  What's unique about this victory is that Republicans ran several new faces which you would have thought would have created a level playing field for opposition Democrats.  It's pretty obvious that when it comes to retaining a Republican majority, the Glastonbury GOP machine runs like clockwork, the Council represents residents well, so there is no justification to change course.  New Republican Council members are expected to act like their predecessors, and not skip a beat.

Truth:  Glastonbury isn't a cheap place to live, even though the Council is run by Republicans. It's sort of exists in a parallel universe as a mirror image of West Hartford. 
Consequences:  There really aren't any to speak of.  But I bet this town is tired of being stuck in district that sends John Larson to Congress on it's behalf.

Hopefully, I'll get to Part 3 tomorrow.



This original article can be read at

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