By Carl Dickens
Every now and then Democrats and Republicans agree, it should be noted.
When Norwalk Democratic Party Chair Eloisa Melendez wrote, “Norwalk and Connecticut’s future require thoughtful leadership as we look to invest in and improve our local economy, address local challenges, and move through a global pandemic,” she spoke not only of her party but our party priorities.
Furthermore, Ms. Melendez described not only Democrat but Republican candidates, stating, “They are invested in Norwalk. They have raised children here, started successful businesses, run non-profits, supported local organizations attended houses of worship, and assisted community efforts throughout the pandemic.”
And I do believe Democratic candidates are determined to improve the quality of life for Connecticut citizens.
But they are not doing it. They are failing. It is the inability of Democrats to fulfill the desire to improve life in Connecticut that prompts reason to make the change this year. Under Democratic leadership, the Connecticut economy has suffered year after year after year. Barron’s Magazine ranks Connecticut’s financial situation 46th in the nation (“Is Your State in Financial Trouble? Here’s How All 50 Stack Up” by Leslie P. Norton, August 31, 2020). Barron’s observes Connecticut is “The state with the highest overall debt burden on a per capita and a per GDP basis.”
The American Legislative Exchange Council “Rich States, Poor States” Economic Competitiveness Index report for 2020 describes Connecticut’s economy as in “Freefall.” The report asserts Connecticut’s Real Personal Income growth ranks last in the nation and employment growth ranks 47th.
Connecticut’s unfunded pension liability ranks fourth-worst in the nation according to the Foundation for Economic Education. It is a debt burden of $9,933 for every Connecticut citizen, including children. It is a debt that diminishes the ability for Connecticut to invest in the infrastructure to help out local residents, healthcare, and business innovation which Eloisa Melendez points to as priorities of the Democrats who have been in power for years.
Ms. Melendez says the Democratic policies give people reason to stay in Connecticut, but in fact, our state is losing population more rapidly than 41 of the 50 States. Fewer people live in Connecticut today than a decade ago, and the loss of population every year since 2014 represents the first time in more than a century that our State population has shrunk so consistently for so long.
The improved quality of life in Connecticut that both Democrats and Republicans desire simply cannot come about if the state continues to spend more than it can afford, levy taxes that force citizens to find affordable lives in other states, and incur debt that will burden citizens for generations to come. To improve, Republicans offer the candidacy of Elisavet “Ellie” Kousidis running for the 25th Senate District along with State Assembly incumbent candidate Terri Wood of the 141st District, former Representative Fred Wilms of the 142nd District, and Assembly candidates Ellen Wink of the 137th District, Patrizia Zucaro of the 143rd, and John Flynn of the 140th District.
“Let’s be real,” as Ms. Melendez opens her assessment of the campaign. Once again, I agree with the directive, but the numbers do not support the Democratic ticket. Connecticut is simply worse off because of the mismanagement of our economy by Democrats. They have dug a big hole that will take years to fill. The time to turn things around has come and voters should select Republican candidates to turn Connecticut back in the right direction.
Carl Dickens, Chair, Norwalk Republican Town Committee