Norwalk political notes: Presidential politics, BoE maneuvers, star athlete

Former Norwalk City Clerk Mary Roman, in a photo from a CrowdRise fundraising page created on her behalf.

Former Norwalk City Clerk Mary Roman, in a photo from a CrowdRiser fundraising page created on her behalf.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s what we have for you in political notes this Monday:

  • McQuaid says voter actions ‘unprecedented’
  • Former Clerk Mary Roman still winning gold medals at age 80
  • Republicans not opening office
  • Republicans offer Google group for networking
  • Norwalk supports presidential Dems with money
  • Wilms and Woods got perfect records when it came to voting in the recent session.
  • Kimmel not interested in swimming with sharks

Voters keeping town clerk busy

Most likely, when Sept. 23 comes around everyone in the Norwalk town clerk’s office will be busy sending out overseas ballots, Town Clerk Rick McQuaid said Friday.

“We have that many,” McQuaid said, describing a very busy election season in the office, calling it “unprecedented.”

Many people came in to register a party affiliation, most of them Democrats, he said.

“A lot that is a swell from Bernie Sanders,” McQuaid said. “We got quite a few applications for absentee ballots before the conventions, there was a big swell.”

The Sanders crowd now needs to be taught about the ballot and the clerk’s office is really working on giving them information on how to vote because, “If they were Sanders people and they decide not to vote it’s all for naught,” McQuaid said.

As for the presidential contest itself, McQuaid said, “I don’t even know where this one is going. I have no idea. I mean the polls are just polls, from what I am getting from people coming into the office. … You don’t know where they’re going, it’s really interesting. On any given day either (presidential) candidate could say something to make the other one jump in front.”

McQuaid said that in all of his years of being involved in politics he has never seen an election with so much interest and yet uncertainty of what the outcome will be.




Roman, with three gold medals just this year, aims for Perth

Former City Clerk Mary Roman, a member of this year’s Charter Revision Commission, continued excelling in athletics this year – at age 80 – with three gold medals at the U.S.A. Track and Field National Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championship.

Now Roman plans to compete in the 2016 World Masters Games in Perth, Australia, and Norwalk politicos are among those pitching in to help fund the trip.

Roman, whose athletic prowess is legendary in these parts, scored gold medals last month in the shotput 2K, the hammer throw and the weight throw, in the women’s 80-or-older class. She got a silver medal in the discus throw and a bronze in the javelin throw.

“Mary holds world and national records in every age category she has competed in, starting at age 55, and continuing today in the Age 80 and Over categories,” said Diane Cece, one of the women spearheading a CrowdRise fund raising drive to pay for Roman’s airplane ticket to Perth.

It’s going well – as of early Saturday morning, $2,625 had been raised, 73 percent of the $3,600 goal.

Donors include State Rep. Terri Wood (R-141) at $100, Mike Mushak and David Westmoreland at $250 and former Common Council member David McCarthy, who declined Saturday to say how much he donated.

“Mary is a gifted athlete, a valued member of our board at the Norwalk Senior Center, and I consider her a friend. I wish her a great deal of luck,” McCarthy said in an email.

Roman is also an active volunteer with the Rotary Club, which donated $500.

Go, Mary.


No office for RTC this year

Norwalk Democrats plan to open an office as the election draws near, Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho said last week.

Norwalk Republicans will not, Republican Town Committee Chairman Andy Conroy said this week.

“It is our norm to open a HQ in support of the Muni races – but then we have occasionally chosen not to,” Conroy said in an email. “Can’t remember a time when we opened one in a Pres. year.

“The State Rep. and Senate races are usually run independently,” he said. “They are supported by House and Senate political staff in Hartford. This year we are helping our Rep. & Senate candidates in the manner permitted – 4 of the 5 have qualified for CEP (Citizens’ Election Program) financing and the fifth is very close.  That is the best use of time and money.”

“I’ve yet to learn what the Trump campaign intends to do in CT,” Conroy said Saturday.
Norwalk Republicans have Google group

A link on the Norwalk Republicans’ website is set for an update, Conroy said.

That’s the one for a RTC Facebook group, as currently the link sends you to Responsible Norwalk, a McCarthy Facebook page.

“We’ll keep the group active and at least post admin and coordinating info – with a corrected link from the website,” Conroy said. “Keep in mind the candidates have FB pages and/or websites – we (the RTC) need to point to them but not dupe them.

“The page DM made me admin of yesterday is a Google group called Norwalk RTC.  Very little existing content.”




Norwalk money flows to Democratic presidential contenders

Far more Norwalk money has gone to Democratic presidential contenders this year than to the Republican field.

A Saturday survey of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website, looking to see who contributed what to whom from Jan. 1, 2016, to Aug. 1, 2016, found:

  • 97 donors to the Bernie 2016, a total of $26,252.41
  • 73 donors to Hillary for America, a total of $46,380.50
  • Eight donors to Donald J. Trump for President, a total of $1,875.91
  • Seven donors for Kasich for America, a total of $11,400
  • Seven donors for Carson America, a total of $842
  • 11 donors for Cruz for President, a total of $2,916
  • One donor for Jeb! 2016, $155
  • Two donors to Carly for America, $125
  • Two donors to Marco Rubio for President, $1,250

There are also Super PAC donations listed; Joseph Bucciarelli gave $600 to The 2016 Committee and Daniel Frank gave $300 to the Great America PAC, a Trump backer.

There’s a joint fundraising committee category:

  • 16 donors gave a total of $7,526.84 to the Hilary Victory Fund
  • Three people gave a total of $750 to Make America Great

Big spenders? Well, for starters, Norwalk developers Paxton Kinol, Clay Fowler and Stanley Seligson each gave $2,700 to the Clinton campaign. But here’s a complete list:


  • Clifford Desouza $2,525
  • Souvaine Meehan $1,500
  • Leean Morris $1000
  • Judith Rafael $1000
  • Bob Vietro $1,150
  • Elizabeth Whalen $1,100


  • Christopher Blunt $5,400
  • Hilary Cosell $1,325 (plus $348 through the Hilary Victory Fund)
  • Mary Delyonas $1,000
  • Clay Fowler $2,700
  • Ellen Gerstein $1,000
  • Kamla Hingorani $2,700
  • Karen Karniol-Tambour $2,700
  • Paxton Kinol $2,700
  • Alexandra Kreiter $1,000
  • Brian Kreiter $1,000
  • Richard McGonigal $2,000
  • Gloria Neaderland $1,000
  • Marjorie Neaderland $2,000
  • Marilyn Rowe $2,700
  • Arnold Rutkin $2,450
  • Stanley Seligson $2,700
  • Jeffery Sterritt $1,455
  • Phyliss Weisberg $1,000
  • Mary Yordon $1,000
  • Kathy Youkins $1,260


  • Stephanie Ziegler $2,700
  • Eric Zeigler $2,700
  • John Marion $2,700
  • Norman Buck $1,750
  • B. McMahan $1,000


  • Roger Kimball $1,600


Republican state reps get A+ for attendance

Both State Rep. Terrie Wood (R-141) and State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142) achieved a 100 percent voting record during the legislative session, casting votes in all 313 roll call votes taken on the floor of the House during the 2016 regular and special sessions, according to a pair of press releases.
“Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only 32% of legislators able to do so this year,” the Wilms release said.

Wilms is in his first term and has maintained a 100 percent voting record since being elected, the release said.

“Being present to cast a vote on the House Floor is part of my role as your voice inside the Capitol,” Wilms said in the press release. “I take this responsibility very seriously and I wouldn’t be able to accurately represent our district and various communities without being present for every vote. I hope to continue advocating on your behalf.”

Wilms has no challenger to his re-election this fall, but Wood is being challenged by Democrat Randy Klein.

“My job is to be here for the residents of the 141st district, representing their interests and needs with my vote,” Wood said in the release. “I am happy to have achieved this record, and fulfill my goal of representing my constituents. It’s important to me that we all have a say in ensuring a better future for the State of Connecticut.”


Kimmel not into shark baiting

A Saturday Facebook post from Common Council President Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large):

“Being a member of the Ordinance Committee of Norwalk’s Common Council is interesting. We’ve actually had to come up with ordinances for beekeeping, raising chickens, parking large vehicles on city streets… But get this: On Monday night, the City Council in Ocean City, Maryland, may address this problem: Kayakers are heading about a half mile into the ocean, dumping bait, waiting for sharks, hooking one, dragging it back to the beach, charging folks to have their picture taken with the shark, then (finally) releasing the shark. Among the many questions: What happens to swimmers in the vicinity of the released sharks? Will sharks start to come closer to shore looking for food? My guess is Ocean City will pass an ordinance outlawing this money making enterprise.”


Dawn August 15, 2016 at 7:09 am

There will be three candidates on the ballot. Is it the job of the clerk to promote one candidate over others? Just wondering.

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