The question Democrat candidates should ask Republican opponents this fall: Do you support Donald Trump?
The 2016 presidential campaign has certainly been unique, especially when it comes to the Republican effort.
As a Democrat, each day you shake your head, think you have seen the Republican presidential campaign sink to it is lowest level and then something else happens on the Republican campaign trail to cause you to shake your head again.
Many words have been used to describe Donald Trump’s campaign including entertaining, scary, harmful, insensitive, vindictive, authoritarian, mean spirited, negative, direct, blunt and certainly not politically correct.
In my opinion, if Trump is the Republican nominee for president at the Republican National Convention July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio, and it looks like he will be at this stage, Democrat candidates at every level need to look their Republican opponent in the eye and ask one question.
Do you support Donald Trump and will you vote for Donald Trump for president?
The question needs to be asked of every local and state Republican candidate on whatever public stage or platform is available – town hall, forum or debate.
Democrat politicians need to ask this question of their opponents in a public setting because the response would be a telling one. A Republican candidate might not conduct their campaign in a similar manner as Trump and might not believe in his tactics. But in my opinion supporting Donald Trump is a statement that reflects that Republican politician’s support of Trump’s conduct, positions and his overall actions.
And there is a catch 22 situation for Republican politicians. If you don’t support the Republican nominee for president, does it mean you have an issue with the Republican process and party in general?
One staunch Republican, Peter Wehner who served in the past three Republican administrations, in a recent article in Time Magazine titled ”The Party’s Over” eloquently provided a Republican political narrative if Trump is the presidential nominee.
Here is a link to the article - http://time.com/4253747/the-party-of-reagan-is-no-more/
In the Time Magazine article, Wehner wrote Trump would undo the influence of Reagan on the modern Republican Party. This would include Reagan’s influence on policies such as trade and immigration, commitment to limited government and cultural renewal and concern for justice.
Wehner goes on to write that a Trump presidency would produce a “dramatic change in tone, countenance and ethos.” The grace of Reagan would be replaced by crass and cruel insults, use of social media that would involve obsessive Twitter attacks and Trump’s vindictiveness.
Wehner goes a step further to say the party of Lincoln and Reagan would be led in part by Trump who embraces the ethics of Nietzsche.
Rarely has the answer to one question significantly and potentially defined a politician and his or her position in a campaign. But
Democrat candidates locally in Cheshire, CT and nationwide, even if it’s done just once during your campaign, need to ask your Republican opponent: If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president do you support Donald Trump and will you vote for Donald Trump?
Voters need to know.
Liz Linehan announces run for Connecticut Representative (103rd District): A candidate who makes promises and produces results
Residents in Cheshire, Southington and Wallingford recently got a shot in the arm when Liz Linehan of Cheshire announced she is a Democrat candidate for 103rd District Representative.
Linehan, in her second term as Cheshire Third District Town Councilor, is a proven special politician whose only agenda is the agenda of the people. She believes a great leader is one who is open to any idea for the betterment of the community.
As 103rd District Representative, that basic philosophy will certainly extend to all the communities she will serve.
Linehan is a no-nonsense, straight shooter who extensively researches both sides of every issue and relays that information to her constituents so they are informed.
Linehan is a politician who believes in inclusion and working both sides of the aisle to get the best results for her constituents. Civility is a priority for her.
But perhaps the most important aspect of Linehan’s political career, something that Southington and Wallingford residents should embrace, is that she delivers on her campaign promises.
When she first ran for Cheshire Town Council in 2013, she promised to improve public safety, restore bulky waste and limit tax hikes. She was able to accomplish each of those promises in her first four months on the Cheshire Town Council in 2014.
When it comes to public safety, the Cheshire Town Council approved the contract with Student Guardian, which places cameras on school busses to take a video of motorists who pass a bus when the stop arm is extended and lights are flashing.
The company then reviews the tapes and issues a ticket on the town's behalf, all at no cost to the town (the contracted company does the work).
“As a mother of small children and a human with a general dislike of dangerous behavior, I was absolutely flabbergasted that this resolution was tabled (not taken up for a vote) by my District Councilor last year (2013),” Linehan said at the time. “It was done so over money, as Mr. Falvey (then Town Councilor Andy Falvey) thought the town should receive a greater take of the ticket revenue. In other words, squabbling over a few dollars in revenue was more important than the safety of our children.”
When it comes to restoring bulky waste, this was accomplished at a far, far lesser cost to the town than the bid that originally came in.
When it comes to limiting tax hikes, together with fellow Town Councilors Peter Talbot and Patti Flynn-Harris, Linehan fulfilled this promise. They put forth a budget that was just two hundredths of a percentage point higher than the Republican budget. They also added two new services that the Republican budget did not - full-day kindergarten and Sunday library hours in the winter.
Linehan has proven to be both fiscally prudent and community centered, which is exactly what the people of Cheshire deserve under her Town Council watch and what the people in the 103rd District in Southington, Wallingford and Cheshire will get as their state Representative.
Linehan is a fighter and whenever told she can’t accomplish something it makes her work harder. She listens to voters, colleagues, the numbers and the experts.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.