Sampson opened by asking for citizens’ questions:
Citizen: We should all agree to sue Hilary Clinton because she and Bill received $852,000 of taxpayers’ money for a speaking engagement at UCONN; now UCONN is short of money.
Citizen: Why is the state ruining our cars by spreading acid on roads to dissolve snow? Why is the cigarette tax $8.50 on a $10.25 pack? (Grumbling about taxes from the group.)
Zupkus and Sampson: We never voted for a tax increase and never will.
Zupkus: We have a spending problem in Connecticut. Money stolen from the transportation fund in the past: millions. This year the new budget took $171 million from the fund. Lock box is a joke, so tolls become the answer to our transportation ills. A couple of people want tolls. Lamont wants 50 tolls to start and then another 50 later—on 84, 95, 91, 15, etc.
Citizen: Soon they will be on Route 10.
Zupkus: Earmarks are the problem in the state budget. Like $580 million to bail out Hartford. How about $1 million to Boy Scouts. Stop spending and increasing taxes. State grants should stop as all the money goes to the big cities. Then the towns get small grants to shut them up.
Sampson: The state is not broke. We are not spending wisely. Roads and bridges should be a priority for spending. Need responsible people to make us live within our means. Must grow the economy and attract people to move here and retire here.
Zupkus: Unions are a problem. Twelve new contracts for state employees were passed thru appropriations; e.g., 185 new assistant attorney generals got 9 weeks’ vacation, 3 ½% raise, and a $6000 bonus in year one; next year they will get a 2% raise and $12,000 bonus.
Citizen: Yeah, Tong needs all that help—ridiculous.
Citizen: Nobody except state employees get medical coverage for life for self and family upon retirement.
Citizen: I’m a retired teacher; I can’t believe that people on welfare collect more than I do.
Sampson: Robbing the pension funds is a Democratic strategy. They want teachers to complain.
Citizen: Yeah, and Blumenthal sues everybody. (Judy Villa: With this remark I was biting the insides of my cheeks.)
Sampson: Dems like to mix up the terms “immigrants” and “refugees” with “criminals.” “Democrats want to protect terrorists. The Connecticut Trust Act took out exceptions that protected us from criminals.” The President is not separating families; the families are separating themselves. “There is not a racist bone in the bodies of Republicans. We want to expand legal immigration. We have to stand up, be unafraid, and elect different people.”
Citizen: The Trust Law is against the Constitution.
Zupkus: Democrats need to be told what we want. NO tolls, just the way you all stood up and made the Dems back down on forced school regionalization. You must rise up, call your legislators, call Looney, the Speaker, the Governor. Go to www.notolls.org for info and join the fight.
Citizen: Yeah, our two Senators Murphy and Blumenthal got a free vacation in sunny Puerto Rico on taxpayers’ money; they came back to Connecticut and recruited all the Puerto Ricans in the cities to vote Democrat. (Judy Villa comment: My ears are beginning to bleed upon hearing this.)
Citizen: How is the Republican Party pushing back?
Sampson: “There is no Republican Party, just four of us. People don’t understand socialism. Democratic policies are all socialism.” (Judy Villa: Yikes!)
Citizen: Yeah, the government wants socialism, centralization, and communism. (Judy Villa: At this comment, my eyes are bleeding.)
Sampson: “Republicans never force people to do anything. Democrats want to tell you what to do.”
Zupkus: Family medical leave is a bad law; it will cost every employee ½% tax. The program can’t pay for itself.
Sampson: “People will abuse the program. Tiny businesses will suffer. The government has no right to intervene in a private contract between an employer and employee. The minimum wage law is government interference. Setting minimum wage by the government will kill jobs and kill all production by eliminating jobs that pay under $15/hour. Suppose someone wants a job for $10/hour; that will be against the law.”
Citizen: Do you realize it takes taxes from 18 citizens to pay for one state employee’s salary?
Citizen: What are you doing to protect election integrity?
Sampson: “Nothing is being done to insure that elections are fair and honest.” Automatic registration is paid by the State. DSS doesn’t ask any questions, just registers people. Early voting will provide no checks and balances. Same day voting now provides no follow-up to insure a person is not voting twice at two different polls. (Judy Villa: Surely the SOTS will throw up.)
Zupkus: People go to affordable housing and collect registrations. (Judy Villa: This comment is unintelligible.)
Sampson: Dems want to expand voting rights at colleges and in low income areas. There is political extortion, too, by Democrats who are taking in more money than the state needs. (At this point it bothered Sampson that Judy Villa had been taking copious notes. He said, “Yeah, write that down.”)
Citizen: What about the citizenship question on the census? The President is right.
Sampson: Connecticut is giving benefits to illegal immigrants. They want to bring in illegal workers. Republicans want a lawful process unlike the Dems who use immigrants as a political tool.
Zupkus: Women’s shelters tell people to spread the word up and down the East Coast to come to Connecticut for hand-outs; we have the best benefits.
Citizen: The indigent get all they need; the more kids they have, the more they can get: food stamps, housing. Those who don’t work do better than workers.
Sampson: DSS and State agencies want to give multiple entitlements; no incentives to get off welfare; Republicans offer alternatives. We proposed a bill that would require able-bodied people to apply for jobs while on welfare, but it went nowhere.
Citizen: Taxes on automobiles should be cancelled. I’m just not going to register my cars; that’s all. Yeah, Malloy promised “unintelligible comment” and then Lamont –comment trails off
Sampson: We MUST win elections and get a Republican majority. The principles of the Constitution are what we stand for. Don’t be afraid to stand up. Only Republicans are brave enough.
Citizen: At some point, he gave agreeing nods but no clear words heard.
Zupkus: Democrats want to control all for everyone. I’m not saying we didn’t pass any good laws; we did agree on many things but not on minimum wage, FML (family medical leave), and the budget. (Judy Villa: Biggies).
Sampson: I do think many of my Dem colleagues are trying to do good work, but I disagree with their ideas. We had more agreement than disagreement. Thanks for being here. We will stay for questions.
Citizens: Applause and Huzzahs!