Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday DNC convention speeches reinforce why common sense dictates that Hillary Clinton is the best and only choice for president
When the Republican National Committee’s convention ended last week, the event solidified the tone and sentiment of the Donald Trump presidential campaign with the lies, hypocrisy, fear, gloom and doom and lack of party unity associated with that event.
The RNC event set up a highly anticipated event with this week’s Democratic National Committee convention designed to showcase the advantage of a Hillary Clinton presidency and improve voters’ view of her overall character with its impressive list of speakers.
All the DNC event had to do was move forward and avoid the negative distractions that dominated the RNC event.
When the DNC email controversy broke on the eve of the DNC convention, where hackers made public in-house DNC emails that were designed to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, I shook my head and said to myself “what the…..” But here is the difference between Democrats, the Trump campaign and its Republican followers.
The RNC convention started with Melania Trump’s speech that included plagiarism of a 2008 Michelle Obama speech.
When the Melania Trump fiasco took place, Trump, his surrogates and many Republicans vehemently and publicly denied that any plagiarism was involved with their typical holier-than-thou attitude. There were 24 hours of denials, lies and silly explanations from the likes of RNC communications director Sean Spicer and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The denials were ultimately followed by the admission from a Trump staffer that about two paragraphs were lifted from an Obama speech.
When the DNC controversy took place, Democrats did not hesitate to react and rectify the situation. Embattled DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down, she removed herself as a convention speaker and DNC vice chairman Donna Brazile took over as interim DNC chairman. Brazile’s first move as interim DNC chair was to put forth a press release publicly apologizing to Bernie Sanders for the disparaging emails.
By Monday night at 11:30 p.m., the DNC email controversy was a secondary news item following compelling and moving speeches by Michelle Obama, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Sanders.
Monday night’s speeches set the tone for the rest of the week. Booker gave an emotional, patriotic speech boasting “we will rise” under a Hillary presidency. Obama gave an emotional and touching speech on why she trusts Hillary and how she is best suited to ensure a better life for our children and future generations. Warren did her attack-dog routine and reminded us about all the negatives of Trump. Sanders did his job with his rousing “Hillary understands” speech focused to pull in his millions of followers and giving them reasons to switch over to the Hillary camp.
Following Monday's moving speeches were many rousing speeches on Tuesday, including from members of The Mothers of the Movement who gave rousing speeches of support for Hillary Clinton including Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Lezley McSpadden, the mom of Michael Brown and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner. Highlighting the night was former President Bill Clinton giving America a close-up and personal view of his wife Hillary Clinton and why she would be a great asset and positive influence on all our lives. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama brought down the house with his rousing speech.
While a percentage of Sanders’ supporters likely still need to get on board and vote for Hillary, Monday’s and Tuesday's primetime lineup of speakers showcased another major difference between Democrats and Republicans- unity of the Democrats’ political movers and shakers. And there are more high-profile Democrats to hear from through Thursday culminating with Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech as the Democrat's nominee for president.
Republican leaders like former President George W. Bush, former President George H.W. Bush and presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain and Ohio Governor John Kasich stayed away from the RNC event. Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz was a key note speaker and was the antithesis of Sanders. Cruz never endorsed Trump and instead told delegates to vote their conscience.
Moving forward, and I am sure this will continue to be reinforced at the DNC convention as we approach Thursday night, the bottom line is common sense dictates that the only way to vote in November is to vote for Hillary Clinton.
It’s not even a question of voting for the lesser of two evils, as some people I have talked to have suggested. While Trump excels in the business world and reality TV, his political temperament, ideas and rhetoric scare a lot of people. Clinton, considered one of the best persons to ever be politically prepared to become president, is the safe bet.
Prime time speeches at the DNC convention have hit a home run in sending that message to all Americans.
Trump campaign's double standard showcased on yet another level as plagiarism is connected to Melania Trump speech at Republican convention
When it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it is one thing for his supporters to want change.
It is another to follow him so blindly that you ignore his double standard, whereas a mistake or mis-step by Democrat presidential presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton is bad and a mistake by Trump and his campaign isn’t that big a deal.
The lack of civility during the first night of the Republican National Convention on Monday was concerning, highlighted by the anger and meanness of the routine chants of “lock her up” whenever Clinton’s name was mentioned.
Capping this fear and doom theme the first night of the Republican convention was the obvious plagiarism by Trump’s wife Melania Trump of first lady Michelle Obama’s convention speech of 2008. And again, the Trump campaign and its surrogates continue to perpetuate the double standard that routinely is a part of their campaign.
Normally, when reporting plagiarism you call it alleged plagiarism. But as CNN morning news anchor Chris Cuomo said Tuesday, this goes beyond being alleged with the constant side-by-side comparisons by the media visually showing the word-for-word similarities through videos and in print.
Plagiarism, despite what Trump’s surrogates profess as a minor blip in the campaign, is a serious matter.
I have been a reporter for 37 years. I have seen colleagues, good friends, have their careers ruined for plagiarism.
Sure, Hillary Clinton has her own baggage to carry and overcome in this presidential campaign. But Trump’s double standard enhances his many negatives, from his authoritarian demeanor, his lack of direction and focus when it comes to a clear and understandable philosophy, and his consistent unpredictability and negative tone whenever he is in front of a microphone or sends out a Tweet.
Plagiarism is plagiarism, whether it is done intentionally or by mistake.
Plagiarism is plagiarism, even when it comes from the Trump campaign.
I doubt very much that Melania Trump wrote most of her speech. In retrospect, she actually did a great job presenting the speech.
But again, plagiarism is plagiarism. The Trump campaign and its speech writer need to own up to what was lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech.
Trump’s double standard has been a constant part of his campaign. During a recent CBS 60 Minutes joint interview with Trump and vice president pick Governor Mike Pence, the Iraq war came up. Trump has repeatedly chastised Clinton for voting for the war and it was pointed out Pence voted for the war too. Trump’s response was “I don’t care” and “he’s entitled to make a mistake.”
The double standard becomes more concerning when you see educated people ignore or downplay the severity of plagiarism.
Attribution is the one thing that makes plagiarism moot. If Melania Trump had attributed the portions of her speech lifted from Michelle Obama’s speech and said something like “Michelle Obama once said, and I agree, that….”, it would have raised some eyebrows but Melania Trump would have been okay.
Folks, this is Journalism 101 - It only takes one or two sentences or just a few words pulled from one source and attached to your content to produce plagiarism, especially when there is proof and evidence it came from another source. People over the years have been sued for less than what was plagiarized in Melania Trump’s speech and it could include copyright infringement.
Imagine if someone attached to Hilary Clinton’s campaign was nabbed for plagiarism. How quick would that Donald Trump Tweet be posted to vilify Hilary Clinton?
It likely wouldn’t happen, but Michelle Obama would certainly have a good case if she ever decided to sue the Trump campaign for plagiarism.
This brings me back to where I started this PoliBlog.
Yearning for change is one thing. But to follow Trump so blindly and ignore the obvious problem here makes you wonder where the future of this country is headed, especially with the Republican party. The constant anger displayed throughout the Republican convention on Monday was also scary.
When you have a member of the RNC rules committee come on CNN and totally deny any sense of plagiarism, when Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort blames Hillary Clinton for the plagiarism issue, there is a problem.
The way most of his surrogates are reacting to this plagiarism issue, their dismissal of the issue, it makes you wonder. Trump was probably right during one of his primary rallies when he said his followers are so loyal he could go on Fifth Avenue, shoot someone, and he wouldn’t lose any voters.
Remembering State Rep. Mary Fritz: Local residents, Democrats share precious memories of a beloved, respected Connecticut legislator
State Rep. Mary Fritz, who passed away on Saturday, made an impact on all residents in her 90th District in Cheshire and Wallingford. The only special interests that were important to her were the interests and needs of all the people in her district.
Her passing has evoked memories and emotions for the many people who knew her. Below are some comments and memories from members of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) and local and state politicians who knew her. It serves as a tribute to one of the most beloved and respected legislators in Connecticut.
Check out the story at this link - http://bit.ly/29yMoJj - describing what Mary Fritz’s State Rep. tenure meant to the residents of her District and Connecticut overall.
Funeral arrangements: Mary's family will receive relatives and friends in The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 N. Main St. Ext., Wallingford CT 06492, on Wednesday (July 13), from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday (July 14) at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 382 Hope Hill Road, Yalesville. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery in Wallingford. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be sent to the Mary G. Fritz Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o The Wallingford Funeral Home.
From State Senator Dante Bartolomeo (D), 13th Senate District (Cheshire, Meriden, Middletown, Middlefield)--
“The passing of Mary Fritz is a terrible loss in so many ways. My first recollection of knowing Mary (she reported that I was 11 years old, so I'll go with that) was from my days playing softball with her daughter Heather.
Decades later we reconnected when Heather (PT) and her sister Kathleen (OT) both taught my son. Mary was so proud of her daughters, and rightfully so. Every time we spoke about my son's progress and her daughters' amazing talents and dedication to him and others, Mary just lit up and softened in a way that I only saw from her when speaking about her children.
In 2012 when I decided to run for the Senate I was honored, and relieved, that Mary invited me to sit down at her kitchen table to discuss my race. That day she agreed to endorse me by hosting a campaign event, and that was the beginning of her generosity, support and guidance over the next four years.
I will treasure our conversations about connecting with our constituents on a personal level and then standing up for them without backing down. She taught that solid relationships, both with constituents and government officials, were critical to our success as legislators. Fighting for "my people" was something in which she took much pride, and something in which she was very successful.
Mary was a role model for me, and I will truly miss her.”
From Cheshire Town Councilor Peter Talbot --
“To say that Mary will be missed is an understatement. It would be difficult to measure the impact she has had on Cheshire and its citizens. She fought for us and was the driving force behind countless projects that have improved the lives of our residents. On a personal note, I have incredible respect for her 32 years of service. She was never too busy to listen or answer any questions I had. Her sage wisdom was an inspiration and I will miss her dearly.”
From CDTC chairman Ernie DiPietro --
“Mary Fritz was an outstanding legislator who always went to bat for the town. No one did a better job helping people. If you wanted to discuss an issue she always got back to you. She did a lot for the farmers in town and got them grant money. She always went to bat in Hartford for our local growers and she is the person who pushed to have Cheshire officially known as the bedding capital of the state.”
From CDTC vice chairman Judy Villa --
“Many people do not realize that Mary Fritz was a true public servant who viewed her 32 years as a State Representative as a mission to help anyone who came to her. Mary spent countless hours at her kitchen table with people seeking her advice and assistance with family problems, trusting her to find answers and agencies in local and state government that could provide for those in desperate need. Mary drafted legislation that addressed violence against women and also co-wrote and marshaled the latest law mandating the surrender of firearms to the courts in cases of protective orders. Her concern for the well-being and safety of families was only part of her dedicated service to Cheshire and Wallingford. Her legacy is that she made Connecticut a better place to live.”
From Cheshire Town Councilor Patti Flynn-Harris --
“Mary Fritz did so much for her district, for the all the residents in Cheshire and Wallingford. She helped Cheshire get the turf field, helped us get state help with the waste water treatment plant, she was a friend to the all the growers in Cheshire and the state, helped businesses and did so much more. Her biggest thing was going door-to-door when she campaigned. It was important for Mary to talk to her constituents and voters. She constantly interacted with residents in her district.”
From Jim McKenney, CDTC PR/ITT Committee member and member of the Cheshire Public Building Commission --
“I knew Mary Fritz well and she did many wonderful things for the towns of Cheshire and Wallingford, but I am sure she would most want to be remembered as someone who would help anyone in need. I know this first hand as she has helped both my mother and daughter.”
From CDTC Policy Committee member Kathy Yacavone --
“This is such sad news. She was a fighter for what she believed in. She prided herself on outstanding service to her constituents. As it was said at her retirement dinner (in June), she was a force of nature, not to be deterred from her quest.”
From CDTC Finance Committee chairman Rosalie Fountain --
“I am saddened to hear about Mary. She was a fantastic person. In 1983, my daughter was in college and sent in an absentee ballot. When I went to vote, her name was not crossed off as having voted. I questioned the checker and said what would prevent anyone from saying that she was my daughter because you did not need any identification to vote. I was told that they mark the ballots at the end of the voting day. I went to Mary and she perused the matter and had the voting list marked with absentee ballots before voting day. She also helped with other matters for me. We will all miss her. She was special.”
From CDTC Policy Committee member Martin Coburn --
“As I wrote to her family, Mary was one of my heroes since we moved here. I have never seen a representative who more truly embodied that concept. She devoted incredible energy to representing her constituents both by legislation and in every other way possible. She leaves a great void in our lives, and not only our politics.”
From CDTC Finance Committee member Lou Todisco --
“I had occasion to speak with Mary a few times, as well as to observe her career, and my view is that Mary was committed to public service, a strong advocate for Cheshire as well as Wallingford, and a family oriented person as well as a community oriented person. A good example to all of us, and a person we will miss.”
From Terry Grahame --
"Many years ago, I walked with Mary when she was running for office. We both carried a pad and pencil writing the comments and questions of the people we visited.
She was instrumental in negotiating installing the traffic light at the intersection of Route 70 (Waterbury Road). One day she called me and said meet at the corner of Marion and Route70. When I arrived, she was standing with a photographer from the Republican American. We stood in the middle of the road under the light, as the cars whizzed by us.
She would help everyone, even if you were not in her district. She was a very special person.
On Saturday morning, State Rep. Mary Fritz, one of the most cherished and respected politicians in the state, including the 90th District she served (Cheshire and Wallingford), died at the age of 78 after battling an aggressive form of cancer. According to a report in the Meriden Record-Journal, Mary's family will receive relatives and friends in The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 N. Main St. Ext., Wallingford CT 06492, on Wednesday (July 13), from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday (July 14) at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 382 Hope Hill Road, Yalesville. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery in Wallingford. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be sent to the Mary G. Fritz Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o The Wallingford Funeral Home.
On July 3, 2014, the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee’s PR Committee filmed its first Spotlight On Cheshire video show and Mary Fritz was gracious enough to be the show’s first guest as she prepared for another election campaign. It was my privilege to interview Mary as she described some of her many accomplishments and in the video she explains why it was so important for her to help her constituents in any way she could. Here is the link to the video - http://bit.ly/29s3hkd. (you may have to drag the gray bar located below the video in order to center the video)
Below is my PoliBlog on what Mary Fritz meant to Cheshire and why she will be missed.
State Rep. Mary Fritz had a passion to serve in the House of Representatives and only one item fueled that passion - the opportunity to help people.
With the passing of Mary Fritz, residents of Cheshire and Wallingford have lost a true friend and champion of their interests and needs at the State Capitol. All of Mary Fritz’s accomplishments are too lengthy to list in this one story as she constantly worked hard on issues that impacted her communities including the economy, education and the issues of senior citizens.
One of her recent accomplishments was pushing for legislation that would help Cheshire get a 50 percent reimbursement for upgrading its water treatment plant to limit the release of phosphorus. Her impact on Cheshire was felt as recently as Saturday morning during a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the completion of a new linear trail extension between West Main Street and Jarvis Street. Mary Fritz was responsible for getting a tract of land at the Jarvis Street entrance that is being used as a parking lot for linear trail users. She was also instrumental in helping the town get its turf field at Cheshire High and helped local businesses.
“Mary Fritz was an outstanding legislator who always went to bat for the town,” said Ernie DiPietro, chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee. “No one did a better job helping people. If you wanted to discuss an issue she always got back to you.
“She did a lot for the farmers in town and got them grant money. She always went to bat in Hartford for our local growers and she is the person who pushed to have Cheshire officially known as the bedding capital of the state.”
Praised as the greatest advocate for the state's green industry in the Connecticut legislature, in 2012 Mary Fritz won the Bill Milikowski Founders Award, the highest annual honor of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association (CGGA).
"Virtually every greenhouse grower in Mary Fritz’s Cheshire-Wallingford district is on a first-name basis with this remarkable legislator," said CGGA Executive Director Bob Heffernan in a press release at the time. "For nearly 30 years from her seat in the legislature, Mary has defended our growers time and time again. Because flowers and plants are more than half of all of agriculture in the state, Mary has uniquely understood her responsibility and took it on with great strength and determination."
"There are 187 legislators in the Connecticut legislature. But each of them knows who carries the weight for the green industry, who's the true expert on all our issues, and that's none other than Mary Fritz."
When I first met Mary Fritz, it was at a Cheshire Democratic Town Committee meeting in 2011. I was about to make my debut as a politician as a Cheshire Town Council At-Large candidate that fall. She told me she was happy to see a new person enter local politics and when I asked her for advice, the first word out of her mouth was “doors.”
“Ads in newspapers, public forums, calling voters and even standing on corners waving to people, that’s a part of all the hard work to get elected,” she said. “But the most important thing is to knock on doors and let people see you. Door knocking lets you connect with voters better than anything else that is out there. People need to see you and know who they are voting for in an election.”
Relentless and constant door knocking in the 90th District (Cheshire and Wallingford) during election time was the cornerstone of Mary Fritz’s success. It’s a big reason she served as a state representative for 32 years.
Fritz was elected in 1982 and lost her bid for re-election in 1984. She won the seat back in 1986 and went on to win 14 consecutive elections.
Another reason for the political longevity is her desire to connect with residents didn’t begin and end during an election cycle. Whenever residents in her district had concerns with an issue, Mary Fritz went out of her way discuss the issue with the resident. It wasn’t uncommon for her to invite constituents to her home to discuss an issue.
“Many people do not realize that Mary Fritz was a true public servant who viewed her 32 years as a State Representative as a mission to help anyone who came to her,” said CDTC vice chairman Judy Villa. “Mary spent countless hours at her kitchen table with people seeking her advice and assistance with family problems, trusting her to find answers and agencies in local and state government that could provide for those in desperate need.
“Mary drafted legislation that addressed violence against women and also co-wrote and marshaled the latest law mandating the surrender of firearms to the courts in cases of protective orders. Her concern for the well-being and safety of families was only part of her dedicated service to Cheshire and Wallingford. Her legacy is that she made Connecticut a better place to live.”
Mary Fritz was assistant deputy speaker of the House and served as deputy speaker and deputy majority leader. The many committees she was on included the Planning and Development Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
In March, she announced she would retire at the end of her current term as state representative. On June 10 there was a surprise retirement party for Mary Fritz.
Here is the bottom line – Mary Fritz was a member of the state legislature who went far and above the call of duty for her constituents. She will certainly be missed.
Since Cheshire’s linear trail debuted nearly 23 years ago it has become one of the most popular recreational sites in town with extensive use by the public year round.
Myself and my three children love walking the trail together as a way to get some exercise, do an activity together as a family and just plain be outside, enjoy nature and get some fresh air.
The vision of Cheshire officials and officials of Hamden and Southington to make it an impressive mega trail by connecting it from New Haven to Southington is a step closer to reality. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday (July 9) at 9 a.m. at the Jarvis Street entrance to mark the opening of the recently completed 1.5-mile stretch of trail from West Main Street to Jarvis Street.
Several Cheshire dignitaries are expected to take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony including Town Manager Michael Milone, Parks and Recreation Commission chairman Jim Nankin and members of the Parks and Recreation commission and Public Building Commission.
“We’re excited about opening this new part of the linear trail,” Cheshire Parks and Recreation director Bob Ceccolini said. “The linear trail has become one of the most popular parks in town.”
The West Main Street to Jarvis Street section is one of three final sections in Cheshire needed to be constructed to complete the linear trail between New Haven and Southington. The 2.5-mile section from Jarvis Street to Southington is under construction and Ceccolini said it is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The final 0.7-mile section between West Main Street to Cornwall Avenue is expected to be completed next year.
The final phase of the West Main Street to Jarvis Street project was installing a HAWK crossing light beacon in an effort to have walkers, joggers and bikers cross West Main Street safely. HAWK stands for High-intensity Activated crossWalK. The beacon stays blank until a pedestrian presses the button when a flashing yellow light comes on, then solid yellow and then solid red light for several seconds to allow the pedestrian to cross.
“The HAWK system addresses safety concerns for pedestrians crossing West Main Street to get to the linear trail,” Ceccolini said. “It’s the safest solution. People have to be wary of what they are doing when trying to cross the street, wary of the traffic and when they can safely cross. If they are with children they need to watch their kids and make sure they cross when it is safe. Motorists need to be aware of the pedestrians and be wary of the HAWK system when it is initiated by a pedestrian.”
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.