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Wilms, Dathan, take their case to Norwalk and New Canaan voters

From left, Democratic District 142 State Representative candidate Lucy Dathan and incumbent Republican State Rep. Fred Wilms, Monday in New Canaan. (Harold Cobin)

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated 1:23 p.m.: Copy edit.

NORWALK, Conn. – Stark differences emerged Monday between two finance professionals seeking to represent District 142 for the next two years in the State House.

While incumbent State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142), who was first elected in 2014, said there’s room to cut Connecticut’s spending, his Democratic challenger, Lucy Dathan, said, “We can’t be shortsighted and cut our way to prosperity.” Dathan said she supports tolls and took shots at Wilms, accusing him of voting with his Party 97 percent of the time; Wilms said he’s voted with his Party 98 percent of the time but also with the Democrats 75 percent, and said Democrats want to use tolls to solve their excess spending problems.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story

Wilms and Dathan shared the spotlight in the New Canaan Town Hall auditorium with State Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125) and his Democratic challenger, Ross Tartell, in the debate-like candidate forum sponsored by The League of Women Voters of New Canaan, the New Canaan Advertiser, and New Canaan Public Access Television – Channel 79.

Wilms is former Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation Chairman and a Webster Bank Senior Vice President working with small businesses. Dathan, a New Canaan resident, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who has served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Spectrum Technologies LLC and Domino Data Lab, and as manager of finance and intellectual property for the London Stock Exchange from July 2003 to October 2005.

 

 

Connecticut’s fiscal ‘crisis’

“What revenue streams would you suggest to make Connecticut fiscally sound?” Moderator Kate Hurlock asked, to begin the forum.

“People are leaving and taking their revenues with them,” Wilms said. “Especially people who have a lot of affluence… Our revenues are growing organically at zero. But our expenses are growing organically at about eight percent. So that’s the mathematical definition of a fiscal crisis that we are in.”

“I have identified 25 percent of the budget for expenses that we can reduce,” Wilms said, mentioning $2.5 billion in non-salary compensation for employees because “nobody gets free health care anymore.”

The state could save $1 billion by having nonprofits provide social services, he said.

Dathan said, “I find this whole discussion worrying, that we are listening to Republican governor candidates who want to take away our income tax because that is funding our education,” and asserted that 60 percent of the budget is funded by income tax, that cutting income taxes would decimate the schools.

She attacked Wilms for supporting a municipality-centric sale tax, arguing that it would disproportionately affect senior citizens.

Wilms said that 30 years ago, Connecticut did not have an income tax and attracted new residents.

“We need to be competitive against New York,” Wilms said, arguing that the income tax should be lowered and the estate and gift taxes scrapped.

“The income tax has nothing to do with the schools, certainly in New Canaan, we get no aid from the state, it’s paid for the property tax,” Wilms said.

“It’s shocking that Fred dismisses ECS (Educational Cost Sharing) that Norwalk receives,” Dathan replied. “… We have a wonderful opportunity to fund our schools, fund our post educational programs to invest in our students.”

 

Transportation funding

Wilms and Dathan both said they support the ballot measure calling for all money in the Special Transportation Fund to be used solely for transportation purposes, although they feel there are holes in the language as the “lockbox” could be picked.

The crowd Monday in the New Canaan Town Hall auditorium. (Harold Cobin)

Connecticut is the only state between Maine and North Carolina that does not charge tolls, and cars are getting more efficient so gas tax revenue is dropping, she said. Dathan said.

“Democrats have wanted to use tolls to plug holes in the budget.. to pay for reckless spending,” Wilms said.

The best way to fund transportation infrastructure is through capital bonds but Gov. Dannel Malloy has been using bonds to fund pork barrel projects, like a New Haven splash pad and the POKO bankrupt housing project and the bankrupt Wall Street Theater, Wilms said, advocating that bonding be prioritized for transportation.

People drive all the way through Connecticut without buying gas, and, “We shouldn’t be funding for people from New York to get to the Cape by using our roads,” Dathan said.

 

 

Education funding

Wilms brought the conversation back to income taxes, asserting that the Commission On Fiscal Competitiveness And Economic Stability recommended phasing down the income tax and said there would be no impact on schools.

New Canaan only gets $345,000 in ECS and Wilms votes on party line 97 percent of the time, including voting to significantly cut funds for local community colleges and the University of Connecticut in a budget bill that did not become law, Dathan said.

“I voted repeatedly, as have my Republican colleagues, to protect town aid, which includes ECS and school funding,” Wilms replied, asserting that Republicans stopped Malloy’s plan to transfer teacher pension obligations to municipalities.

“I introduced the first bill to reform ECS,” Wilms said, mentioned that he and State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) teamed up last year on another run at the ECS formula.

“All due respect, I understand that your bill didn’t make it out of the Education Committee and never got voted on,” Dathan replied, explaining that it took nearly 40 years for a revision in the ECS formula, following a lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice Education Funding (CCJEF).

“We need to look at other funding measures, like the Alliance Grant, to get more funding for our state and more funding for our towns that need more funding,” Dathan said.

“I don’t give up easily,” Wilms replied. “Yeah, my bill didn’t make it out of the Education Committee. The Democrats there thought I was a stranger from another planet… so I am on the Appropriations Committee. I got it put in the budget. The formula has been readjusted pretty much based on our bill in the budget, it’s now currently law. If you can’t go in through the front door, you go in through the back door.”

 

Gun safety

A high school student asked about gun safety.

Wilms said he’d supported security both at the City level and the State level, voting as BET chairman to put School Resource Officers in Norwalk Public Schools and voting to ban bump stocks and to take guns away from people on temporary restraining officers.

Dathan said she is a Moms Demand Action Candidate of Distinction and accused Wilms fo voting for amendments to weaken the bump stock bill.

“He and his caucus decided ghost guns weren’t appropriate to be talked about,” she said.

“Your own caucus doesn’t have majority to pass it through,” Wilms replied. “If that bill had come through, I would be willing to look at that.”

“I was shocked to find out in this process that you can, as a convicted stalker in this state, you can go and buy a gun,” Dathan said.

 

 

 

 

 

LGBT; voting on party lines

“We are all children of God,” Wilms said, professing support for LGBT rights before responding to Dathan’s accusation that he votes with Republicans 97 percent of the time.

“I thought it was 98 percent,” he said. “I voted with Democrats 75 percent of the time

We work together. We put bills through the committee process. The other 22 percent where I voted no, I am damn proud of it because these are all the bills that made the state into the fiscal mess that it is in and so, I am going to continue to do that.”

Dathan said she was happy that Wilms had supported two bills that helped the LGBT community but added, “I do find it disconcerting, though, that he didn’t think that an openly gay judge was fit to be sat on the bench.”

“I pride myself on being down as Switzerland for many of my companies,” she said. “I have sat of Boards of Directors where it is the most dysfunctional group of people you would ever want to meet and I have been bringing people together, and I am going to do the same thing in Hartford. Because we have too many problems to be short-sighted.”

“On the one hand we are expected to work together, on the other hand we are expected to stand up for our principles, too. That’s the mix,” Wilms replied, repeating that Connecticut is in a fiscal and economic crisis and, “If we are going to turn our state around we need to take a different approach.”

“I feel that we can’t be shortsighted and cut our way to prosperity,” Dathan said. “We have seen what has happened to other states that have done this. Look at Kansas, people are leaving the state, that can afford it. Other people are sending their kids to school four days a week because that’s all that they can afford. we can’t cut our way to prosperity. There is too much at stake for our state, we need to capitalize on our assets of where we are in our location, we need to capitalize on our asset of education.”

 

Closing remarks

“I am a wife and a mother of three kids here in the New Canaan Public Schools,” Dathan said. “I spent 25 years working in finance. The last 15 years I have been a company CFO. I know what it means to be thinking long term and strategically. I look at what is going on in Hartford and I see a very short-term outlook. People are lurching from one budget cycle to the next, or one election cycle to the next. We can’t be doing that. our problems are too big to not be thinking long term.”

“I feel that we can’t send the same legislators up to Hartford and expect different results.

not very effective,” she said, calling Wilms a “back bencher.”

“He is not getting a lot done, he votes with his party, as he said, most of the time,” she said.

“I love our state and our state is in a real mess,” Wilms said, characterizing himself as having a “uniquely strong finance background” given his role in City government and as working with small business owners professionally.

“I get what our economy is like, I get what small businesses need and small businesses are the ones who are going to create jobs if we are going to get our economy growing again, get more jobs in the state .. that’s what we need to revitalize and I know how to do that,” Wilms said.

Norwalk got through the recession when he was BET chairman by doing “the kind of structural reforms that Hartford needs to do,” Wilms said, going on to call himself “one of the leading Republican members on the budget Committee.”

He was a key architect of the first Republican budget to get passed in 40 years, and was asked to give a key speech in support of that budget, and to lead the House debate on the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) contract, he said.

“I want to go back,” Wilms said. “We need to turn this state around, and we can because many of our towns and cities have already done it. You have done it here. We have done it in Norwalk, many other places. Together we can get this economy growing, we can get our state back to where it was before.”

42 comments

Mike Mushak October 23, 2018 at 8:40 am

Great job Lucy Dathan! Thats the kind of responsible and progressive leadership we need in Hartford, not another Republican who takes his orders from the Trump administration, including the disgusting anti-gay vote against Andrew McDonald who would have been the country’s first gay Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Trump is saying at all of his disgusting racist Nazi-like rallies that a vote for any Republican this year is a vote for Trump, as he stokes the ugliest side of America’s dark past which includes white supremacy, nationalism, and male aggression. CT voters on both sides of the aisle are too smart for this {…}, and so we all need to send a message that Trump-loving Republicans will not be tolerated in CT.

The CT economy will do much better and attract more corporations and investment if we maintain our historic position as a state that protects the rights of ALL people, instead of falling into the clutches of racist low-life Republican operatives working out of DC as our local Republicans have already shown us they are willing to do with their anti-gay vote.

As Lucy Datham said, just look to Kansas to see a state that has failed miserably following the same anti-public education and healthcare-destroying strategies these local Republicans are pushing. No thanks!

Fred Wilms, as well as Gail Lavielle and Terrie Woods, have shown the world they will not protect CT residents from this lying, racist, anti-women, and anti-gay president president and his regressive policies. The fact that they have not publicly denounced Trump and his policies says it all.

Vote Democrat in 2 weeks, and protect our state from this historic Republican assault on the true American values of truth, integrity, honesty, and equal rights for everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, income, physical ability, and sexual orientation. Our future as a beacon of hope for everyone depends on it!

Edited to remove a vulgarity.

Kevin Kane October 23, 2018 at 8:59 am

It seems Lucy is highly focused on how much a politician votes with ones Party which to me is a bit of a secondary concern. I think a Politrickcian needs to be evaluated on the issues and nature of the vote. I wonder how others in the Democratic party voted such as Bob Duff who I’d be shocked if he, or frankly others, did not vote with their party. Lucy may want to walk down the hall and speak with Bob on his percent of votes along party lines.
She mentions being a CFO – we’ll never know but how much did she stand up to her president or board of directors and if so, what examples were given last night?
She mentions long-term; what was here stance last night on quarterly earnings reports?

Isabelle Hargrove October 23, 2018 at 9:09 am

I applaud Ms. Datham for having the courage of her convictions. She is a true tax-and-spend Democrat and she owns it. This election cycle is filled with Democrats trying to sound like fiscal conservatives in order to dupe voters. It’s refreshing.

She reminds me of a conversation I had on primary day with a prominent member of the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee. She argued that you have to spend your way out of a recession and that Malloy’s biggest problem was that he did not spend enough to recover faster.

Neither must believe Margaret Thatcher when she famously said ” the problem is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”

When people tell you who are are, believe them. Voters need to chose wisely…

Piberman October 23, 2018 at 11:13 am

So refreshing to read the old Nancy commentators with their “well chosen” diatribes. Ce la vie.

Given the damage done to CT’s economy by nearly a decade of CT Democratic misrule widely viewed as the nation’s worst managed State its refreshing to see a new bee Democrat promising relief in the form of new ideas. But the facts are – and facts matter even in Norwalk – that Fred Wilms is an old fashioned finance professional well versed in local and state finances and economics. We don’t have many really capable and knowedgeable Legisaltors left in Hartford. Wilms merits re-election because he’s demonstrated over a long time that he’s competent and hard working. Along with Gail Lavielle and Franz Scott the best set of financial intelligence in our Legislature. By a long shot. Democrats own CT. Why give them just another voice.

DrewT October 23, 2018 at 11:30 am

I just love waking up and reading or trying to even stomach Angry Mike’s Disgusting and Bullying comments directed at the people of Norwalk.

Alan October 23, 2018 at 11:45 am

Was it just two years ago that Dan Malloy gave Xerox $4.4 MILLION in bonded debt for the creation of forty jobs?

“Having a global brand like Xerox headquartered in Norwalk has always been a huge source of pride for the city,” Duff said. “Building and strengthening Connecticut’s relationship with Xerox will help the company expand and ensure that good jobs remain in our community. Today is a good day for Norwalk and a good day for Connecticut.”

State Rep. Fred Wilms, R-Norwalk, said the company’s decision is good news for Norwalk but he added that Connecticut’s business climate remains poor and must be addressed.”

And today’s news?
“Xerox cut 900 people from its global workforce in the third quarter as part of an ongoing restructuring, while reporting it has reduced the severance it pays employees who are losing their jobs, particularly in the United States.”

We need smart leaders, not party loyalists. Malloy squandered $1.4 BILLION on corporate welfare, and drove Connecticut not just into the ditch but into the abyss.

Lisa Brinton Thomson October 23, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Mike, Your candidate thinks that income tax funds local education. Hmmm that’s news to me. Last time I checked, it was property taxes.

Cecilia Andy October 23, 2018 at 12:18 pm

State Representative Wilms is a breath of fresh air from the one party rule which is spending the state into oblivion. As someone who has supported more Democrats than Republicans, the state must change course and look at those most capable of navigating the state through its fiscal woes. Mr. Wilm’s background and professionalism speaks for itself. The electorate must stop blaming Trump as an excuse to endorse a “Malloy” like ballot and initiate spending cuts which will be mandatory in the next several years.

Alan October 23, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Angry Mike,
Being gay does not automatically make you Chief Justice.
Andrew was not qualified.
Andrew has never spent much time practicing law.
Andrew is a product of the spoils system and rode his mothers (and Dan’s) coattails all his life.
You seem very angry Mike!

V October 23, 2018 at 3:21 pm

When your gay and you have routinely put Bruce Morris signs in your front yard –

hyp·o·crite
/ˈhipəˌkrit/
noun
noun: hypocrite; plural noun: hypocrites

a person who indulges in hypocrisy.
synonyms: pretender, dissembler, deceiver, liar, pietist, sanctimonious person, plaster saint; informalphony, fraud, sham, fake
“I’ve been made to feel inadequate my whole life by someone who turns out to be a total hypocrite”

Patrick Cooper October 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm

You might be a successful professional, happily married, a terrific parent and citizen, involved in your community and faith, and a responsible taxpayer. But if you happen to be a republican, Mike hates you – and spews his vitriol at you without caring to know you.

Fred, you’re my guy – and Republicans – say thank you. Because Mike is the absolute best argument you have for why there needs to be a powerful counter-balance to the one-party insanity that has been this state. Ground zero for us is Norwalk – and independent voters and fiscally conservative democrats are certainly openly questioning the “leadership” we have that has delivered the devastatingly poor results every person in CT and Norwalk has experienced over the past decade.

For Norwalk – our 14-1 council has been an embarrassment. I’m disgusted how party politics shapes their agenda, and decisions – often made in the dark. Harry Rilling is the single worst mayor we have had in at least 50 years – {…} who thinks he was elected king. 1st one to need first an assistant, and then a chief of staff – earning equal pay – to do one job. Mike will tell you with 1000 words everything that is wrong with the opposition – but can’t provide a single sentence of accomplishments for the donkeys. I’d love to see that epistle.

Mike – keep throwing up poison. You may singlehandedly deliver the change we so desperately need.

Edited to remove an insult. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Mike Mushak October 23, 2018 at 11:14 pm

Yes, I’m angry. I see what has happened to the Republican Party and it disturbs me deeply, and watching local Republicans pretend they are isolated from this nationwide descent by their party into racism and corruption is even more disturbing.

How Fred Wilms or Gail Lavielle or Terrie Wood can wake up and look themselves in the mirror as their party deliberately pushes lies and racism and fear is going to be their own personal burden for the rest of their lives, something they and their families will look back on years from now and wonder how they ever could identify as Republicans in this ugly era, just like the millions of German citizens who survived the war but whose souls were destroyed forever when they did nothing as Hitler destroyed their culture and their morality with hatred and propaganda.

From my perspective, it’s a sign of deep moral weakness that none of these folks have anything to say about Trump and his regressive hateful policies, and I will absolutely speak up about it as I always have when I’ve seen injustice and hatred happening especially by our government.

It’s apalling that Trump is now identifying himself as a (white) nationalist and scapegoating desperate poor immigrants, even stealing their babies right out of their arms, as local Republicans remain silent and pretend their party is the bastion of traditional conservative ideals. That’s just plain wrong on so many levels. Where is their outrage?

But don’t take my word for it. I couldn’t have said it better than the sources Nicholas Kristoff pulls together in his article for Wednesday’s NY Times, published online a couple of hours ago:

“The Republican Party must suffer repeated and devastating defeats,” Max Boot, a lifelong Republican until Trump’s election, writes in his new book, “The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right.”

“It must pay a heavy price for its embrace of white nationalism and know-nothingism,” Boot continues. “Only if the G.O.P. as currently constituted is burned to the ground will there be any chance to build a reasonable center-right political party out of the ashes.”

Then there’s Andrew Sullivan, the conservative writer, who dismisses today’s Republican Party as “the party of corruption, propaganda, vote suppression, and barely masked bigotry.” He adds, “I despise it because I am conservative.”

Lisa Brinton Thomson October 24, 2018 at 6:17 am

Mike, I fear you’ve become that which you claim to loathe. The personal attacks and vitriol smears written by you on this site and FB regarding good people – the latest being Terrie, Gail and Fred makes you have more in common with the president than you care to admit.

These demonizing political tactics don’t serve our city or state and mirror Washington’s problems of single party rule – just ‘your side.’ We desperately need meaningful dialogue to resolve our state’s fiscal crisis. You further isolate yourself with these angry diatribes that don’t apply to CT.

Mike Mushak October 24, 2018 at 7:50 am

@Lisa, {…}

Now that you’re an active Republican supporting all Republican candidates, after previously saying you reject party politics and labels, I can understand your sensitivity on the issue. Any moral high ground you once claimed collapsed into the Five Mile River long ago.

Let me just say that it appears you don’t have a clue what the Republican Party has become, not just under Trump but going back decades. Trump is just a symptom, not a cause.

I remember well when the gay community was made a scapegoat and punching bag by the GOP in the 2004 election, when hatred and bigotry against marriage equality was used by the GOP to win an election, all orchestrated by the party you now belong to and give your time, money, and energy to.

Across the country in 2002-4, GOP-controlled statehouses introduces bills to ban gay marriage, and Karl Rove devised a strategy for Bush to run on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That was just 14 years ago, and I remember it well, as does every gay American who through conservative media and in polo always campaigns were suddenly made out to be the enemy of the people and immoral animals not worthy of equal treatment under the law. Sound familiar? Hitler used the same tactics of demonization and hatred to gain and hold power.

Now, under Trump, we have the highest rate of hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, 57 deaths last year, or one per week. Suicide in our community is still a huge problem. Constant attacks by the GOP for decades on our basic value as human beings, to win votes amongst the religious bigots and under-educated, has certainly taken its toll in pain and lives.

And it’s not just gay folks like me who have been treated like sub-humans by the GOP. Republicans have often used racism and fear of “others” to win over the hearts and minds of hateful small-minded people. Now it’s people of color that have to be feared by the conservative white masses, as the drumbeat of racist propaganda in the form of “caravans full of terriorists” at the border or the vilification of “Black Lives Matter” is broadcast 24/7 on Fox and by tweet. Kneeling for social justice by athletes suddenly becomes an attack on the military and the flag, even though that was totally fabricated by Fox and Trump and then parroted across the country by racists. Oh, but we should all just love our country! How dare anyone speak up for social justice! Traitors!

Reducing millions of Americans to become worthless “others” through deliberate propaganda and demonization has been the GOP strategy since Reagan’s “welfare queen” directed hatred against poor people back in the early 80’s. It didn’t seem to matter that most folks on food stamps back then and now are poor white folks in red states. It was a deliberate use of racism by the GOP to gain and hold power. What’s changed, except now the hatred is spread onto every iPhone in an instant?

They say it works, so why not? Winning is everything, no matter what the cost to our society or numbers of human lives, right? Is that what you believe now Lisa, now that you’re a card-carrying Republican supporting a party that uses racism and hatred and fear to gain and hold power?

Yes, Lisa, chew on that for awhile, and then tell me why I should just shut up and love Republicans and vote for them. Sorry, I’m just not that gullible, self-hating, or morally corrupt.

Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comment policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Teacher October 24, 2018 at 9:23 am

Any chance we get back to the story here instead of attacking one another… This attack counter attack dialogue does nothing to find solutions for Norwalk or the state. It simply chases people into a place of isolation.

Many of the commentators here attack one another because they lack compassion and the ability to compromise.

Lisa Brinton Thomson October 24, 2018 at 9:34 am

Mike, I CRAVE a third party. I voted third party in the last presidential election and ran as a petitioning candidate as mayor. As I recall, you didn’t like me then either. 😆 I’ve voted for Dems and Republicans all my life. I vote person not party. If I had my way, we’d have local non-partisan elections. However, at this low financial point in Connecticut’s and Norwalk’s history – We need more fiscally responsible folks and at this stage – that happens to be RED 🙂

Marija Bryant October 24, 2018 at 9:36 am

You bet decent folks are angry. What they are angry about is how local elected Republicans can turn a blind eye to the demonizing, divisive tactics of their leadership. Privately, they share their discomfort. Publicly, they toe the line out of fear of losing the “base” (an amazingly descriptive term for many Trump supporters.) Not one has come out against the “otherness” being driven by Washington. Until a local Republican – decent people like Wilms, Lavielle, etc. – come out to condemn those tactics, they are enablers and do not deserve our votes.

Bob Welsh October 24, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Mike,

If anyone accuses you of being a Nazi, feel free to point it out and we’ll address it. Thank you for commenting.

Scarlet ohara October 24, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Geez, mike is one raging out of control liberal. Almost comical in his delussional rants.

Is there a safe room for him to cry in? Or at least focus on why rilling is the worst mayor EVER and has cost this city millions of dollars without delivering shinola?

Scarlet ohara October 24, 2018 at 1:33 pm

This comment includes multiple personal insults along with an invitation to a NoN volunteer to remove them. Therefore this comment has been disallowed in its entirety for clear, willful disregard of the comment policy.

Continued disregard of the comment policy will result in banning of this commenter.

Rick October 24, 2018 at 2:56 pm

wont mention names but they are seeking new members this is what happens when you have angry people, the Hudson Valley Antifascist Network needs help they are after all providing cheese doodles .

To think they the 500 people are raising money for a flag mural a big one and they were met with….

Nearly 500 people showed up to pay their respects to the flag on Sunday, but they were met with a small group of protesters, including some from the Hudson Valley Antifascist Network, according to Hudson Valley One. The protesters held signs bearing such messages as “Yes, I’m anti-AmeriKKKan,” and “Stop Pretending your Racism is Patriotism.”

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/american-flag-appreciation-walk-met-protests-everyone-welcome-democrat-republican-liberal-230830507.html

time to thin the herd?

Its ok continued nonsense tells us all vote for Trump twice if you can next time until then keep the Red White and Blue flying high.

By the way its starting to make sense

Kashmira [email protected] wrote

For all of their flaws – from their luminous orange appearance to their odd synthetic flavour – cheese puffs are among the most popular snacks in the world.

Although it is hard to imagine a time before cheese puffs, that world did in fact exist. And the bizarre story of how they were made makes them even more intriguing. Cheese puffs are the by-product of animal feed.

The brightly coloured snacks were created by animal food manufacturer Flakall Corporation in Beloit, Wisconsin in 1935.

To make the feed, a grinder was used to flake corn. In order to clean the machinery, staff fed moist corn into the grinder. This process, to the surprise of workers at the plant, produced airy blobs of corn. And so, the first corn puffs were born.

There is a link to cheese doodles , what makes it comical they used humans back the to test them.

My next thought is all conspiracy , did anyone in Norwalk come from Plum Island?

Before I’m corrected its Cheez Doodles.

Very Troubling October 24, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Every day, I find it more and more difficult to wade through the comments on this site. I fully understand the rage aimed towards our current Oval Office resident. Personally, I have voiced my outrage at this administration. The tactics and vitriol spewing from our Commander in Chief are despicable.

What concerns me deeply is the exacerbated tribalism happening in our country, state and city. Mr. Mushak is one of many commentators on both sides of the argument that is only adding fuel to the fire and continuing to deepen the divide. As I stated earlier, I understand the anger. I live through it every day. I choose to funnel that anger differently than those like Mr. Mushak. Today, however, I am taking to a forum that I have been trying very hard to avoid.

I appreciate Mr. Wilms, Ms. Dathan and others running this year’s willingness to serve. Stepping into the political arena during this toxic period of our lives is no small feat. Watching local candidates, from both political ends, take heat from commentators based, in many cases, solely on their political affiliation is troubling to say the least. Folks like Mr. Mushak, damning candidates because they are Republicans, is exactly the same tactic the president uses. In an ideal world, would I like to see more GOP members publically denounce the president? Absolutely! In that same ideal world, I would also love to see more Democrats be held accountable for their questionable votes and not so liberal beliefs.

Another post questioned Mr. Mushak’s support of Bruce Morris. I too hold issue with that fact. Bruce Morris is the only Democrat that voted against the passage of same sex marriage at the state capitol. He is also one of the few members that was not present at the vote to ban conversion therapy when it was passed in Hartford. . I would like to note that Fred Wilms, Terrie Woods and Gail Lavielle were all present for that vote on conversion therapy and voted to ban it in our state. Bruce Morris, like GOP state representatives condemned by Mr. Mushak, also voted against the confirmation of Andrew McDonald.

Mr. Mushak and others have regularly used the fact that the above-mentioned GOP state representatives voted against the confirmation of Andrew McDonald as Connecticut’s Supreme Court Chief Justice as a deep mark on their otherwise notable voting record. Mr. Mushak and others have declared that this was a vote against the LGBT community and perhaps a bigoted vote. I do not believe that all votes against Andrew McDonald’s confirmation were due to opposition of his sexual orientation. I am certain that some of the no votes were based on this fact, yet I cannot bolster opinions like Mr. Mushak’s that all no votes were due to Mr. McDonald’s being an out gay man. I would like to point out that Mr. McDonald did vote against the CJEFF case while on the supreme court, which was a hit to Norwalk’s efforts to try to right the ship on the ECS formula.

So now for a question…

@Mike Mushak, I really would love a response to the following question. Why you have continued to support a man like Bruce Morris who has continually stood against the LGBT community and voted against Andrew McDonald’s confirmation?

You are quick to point out times when you believe that injustice is done to the LGBT community, yet you have remained silent and complicit with Bruce Morris’s continued stances again the community you defend so honorably. You have many times called out silence of GOP members as support of Trump. So I guess one could argue that you, Mr. Mushak, are guilty of exactly what you blame Fred Wilms, Terrie Woods, Gail Lavielle and other members of the GOP.

I want to make it very clear that I am choosing to post anonymously because I frankly do not want any of the animus that Mr. Mushak and others have to be directed my way, outside of this forum. I have seen people attacked for choosing to question the motives of their affiliated political establishments and not towing the party line. I also know that it is a favorite attack of many commenters on this site to chastise individuals for withholding their identity.

Reasonable Doubt October 24, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Mike Mushak needs to be removed from his public position on the Planning Commission.

Anyone espousing such hatred and anger has no place holding public office, even if appointed.

Mayor Rilling, Mike Mushak is your appointment, therefore your responsibly. His comments put the taxpayers at risk for future law suites (discrimination case brought against the planning commission).

Mike Mushak October 24, 2018 at 5:53 pm

@Very Troubled, you are clearly misinformed and parroting another anonymous commenter named “V”, which must stand for something, perhaps “Vacuum”, lol. I mean, a single letter ain’t sayin much! At least you tried with your phony name.

Truthfulness and honesty aren’t requirement for this comments section, obviously. Real verifiable names would certainly help. But you gotta love anonymous commenters on NoN spreading lies about me. Gee, who can they be we wonder? So let’s get to the truth, children.

Bruce Morris will be the first to tell you how I feel about him, and let’s just say it’s not adoration. I held him accountable and even asked for his resignation many times, beginning 10 years ago when he opposed marriage equality in CT., and most recently in a speech at a District B meeting that anyone present won’t soon forget. Ask around, they’ll tell you.

Sorry, you’ll have to find another line of attack.

Andrew October 24, 2018 at 6:20 pm

@VeryTroubling – very well written
Not an endorsement, just appreciate the time you took to write your thoughts and how well you did so.

DrewT October 24, 2018 at 8:23 pm

@angrymikeM. There you go again..This blog must be like some warped therapy for you. I highly recommended getting on your bike and go ride in the bike lanes. Your nastiness and bulling is no longer accepted nor will be tolerated. And how dare you refer to Gail, Fred and Terrie as racists?! You owe them each a public apology! How disgusting. Three of the most hardest working representatives we have fighting for our City. They banned Donna and Brian and now it’s time they banned you!

Mike Mushak October 25, 2018 at 8:15 am

@DrewT, your comment is angry and bullying, as you lecture me on anger and bullying. Oops!

Read my comments again carefully. You obviously didn’t the first time. I didn’t call anyone racist. I simply called for our local Republican politicians to take a stance on Trump and his racist policies, instead of remaining silent. Their silence is tacit approval. Do they support Trump? Which of his policies do they agree with and which do they oppose? Why the silence?

Don’t Norwalk voters absolutely deserve to know where Gail Lavielle, Fred Wilms, and Terrie Wood stand on these issues, as they will have to implement them or oppose them as our representatives in Hartford? Will they protect us or harm us? We all know where the Democrats stand.

Why won’t these local Republicans take a stand on the demagogue in the White House and his continuing attacks on our institutions?

As Trump is shouting out at his racist and ugly rallies, any vote for a Republican is a vote for Trump. I believe him, as he leads the Republican Party!! Therefore, any vote for Fred Wilms, Gail Lavielle, Marc D’Amelio or Terrie Wood is a vote for Trump. Unless they convince us they oppose Trump and his racist policies, which they haven’t done.

Silence=approval. Vote Democrat on Nov 6th!

Debora Goldstein October 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

Fact Check: Mike Mushak has been a vocal critic of Bruce Morris for years over his LGBT voting record and public stances.

V October 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Fact Check – Mike has absolutely put Bruce (Morris is for us) Morris signs in his front yard. Maybe not because he supports Bruce (Morris is for us) Morris but because he unequivocally and wholly supports his party. At the time no one asked him to denounce Bruce (Morris is for us) Morris. It’s hypocritical for him to grandstand about local politicians having have supported a LOCAL anti-gay Bruce (Morris is for us) Morris.

hyp·o·crite

Mike Mushak October 25, 2018 at 12:59 pm

@V, I never once put a Bruce Morris sign in my front yard, ever. In fact, I criticized his signs many times, as Bruce Morris wasn’t “for us” LGBT folks.

Your obsession with connecting me and Bruce Morris is bizarre to say the least. This is why anonymous commenters should not be allowed on NoN, in my opinion. We can’t have honest debate when half the commenters take responsibility for their words, as I do, and the other half hide {…} behind phony identities.

Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comments policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

V October 26, 2018 at 9:06 am

Bob , Nancy – what gives here? Mushak’s comments are continuously “Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comments policy” yet he still gets to lob grenades at everyone who doesn’t fall in line with his views?

NO BAN?? Proof of what a sham your rules are. You do a good job reporting {…}

Edited to remove ascribing of motives without proof, a violation of the comments policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Bob Welsh October 26, 2018 at 11:50 am

@V

Thanks for your comment and question.

Fairness is clearly important to you, and it’s important to us too. Yes, Mike Mushak violates the policy more often than most. So does another commenter who regularly blasts City Hall. Despite repeated past infractions, neither commenter has been banned because, in our opinion, both make good-faith efforts to honor the policy. Bans, which are rare, are a last resort. Historically we have only banned commenters after one or more warnings.

If we had unlimited resources, we could do it differently. We could, for example, count violations, issue a warning, and then perhaps ban. We are doing our best with limited resources and a lot of volunteer hours. If you have a suggestion for a different approach that does not require more resources, feel free to post it here or e-mail me at [email protected].

Other than NoN, I’m unaware of any sites which edit comments, and explain why the edit was made. Other sites simply delete the entire comment, and everything disappears with no explanation. For the time being, we’ll continue our more labor-intensive approach, in order to respect the effort made by commenters. There are many informative, issue-based comments on this news site, from people with wildly differing points of view. There is also some snark and sarcasm. I cannot think of a time when I was ever convinced of anything by snark, sarcasm, or bombast. Entertained, maybe. But never convinced. All commenters who seek to convince may wish to keep this in mind.

The purpose of the comment policy is to encourage a meaningful, issue-related civic dialogue. If you believe the current policy located at https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/ could be changed in a way that encourages more civil discourse, feel free to propose the exact changes you would make. If you would like to further discuss this over a cup of coffee and a slice of pie, e-mail me at [email protected].

Thanks for reading and commenting.

V October 26, 2018 at 2:15 pm

Bob – Why ask me to suggest and/or make changes? Genius! Deflection at it’s best. Nice try. I don’t run, make rules or administer your website other than the occasional donation. I also don’t blatantly insult or attack people (but apparently that’s okay) You edited my previous comment for what reason – for questioning you? And That’s why, no difference, about how creatively you try and spin this it’s clear what you’re missing

fair·ness
/ˈfernəs/
noun
noun: fairness

1.
impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.

Bob Welsh October 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm

V,

First, thanks for your past support. People like you make this news site possible.

Blatant insults and personal attacks are not allowed, which is why the person you want banned has had comments edited. Ascribing motives without proof is not allowed. If you’re unclear on what any of this means, just ask.

Let’s review how we got here. Mike Mushak wondered if “V” stood for Vacuum. You called him a hypocrite. Each of you could feel insulted by the other. Or not, depending on your interpretation and sensitivities. There are plenty of other comments in this thread, in all directions, where parties could take offense, or not.

To keep things simple, I have taken the approach of editing unambiguous insults only. For example, calling someone a “moron” is unambiguous. Even this “simple” approach takes a substantial amount of time. I asked if you felt the policy should change — should there be a tighter standard than calling someone a moron? If so, what should it be? If a comment is snarky and a little bombastic but not overtly insulting, should that be allowed? What should be the policy on biting sarcasm? This is not a deflection, this is me trying to understand what you think should and shouldn’t be allowed in this comments section. One person’s witticism is another person’s insult.

You don’t like some of what appears here, that’s clear. What restrictions would you impose? Can you articulate them in the form of a revised policy which will be clear and easy to enforce?

Mike Mushak October 26, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Still no word as of today from Wilms, Lavielle, Wood, or D’Amelio on Trump or his racist policies.

They obviously support him and his policies. Vote Democrat on Nov. 6th!

Patrick Cooper October 27, 2018 at 7:33 am

Funny – this writer obviously knows the tactic’s well –

https://greenwichfreepress.com/letter-to-the-editor/melillo-connecticut-democrats-run-to-trump-ignoring-the-issues-facing-connecticut-113977/?fbclid=IwAR2WDAYGAIY-zlI3EsJF4JMyhuyUhvQoegjkCLxq1MJQMW0rGwGfiGb2GDk#

Mike is simply taking orders from the scared and dysfunctional branch of his party machine. And that’s all it is – a machine devoted to the party – not the people. Win at all costs – even get a hopping to be judge to do the dirty work.

Oh and Bob – you can use my name. I’m cool with that. I’m such a flag – I can’t even use lyric’s clearly lifted from a Don Henley song – “end of the innocence”.

O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king

Yep – that got edited.

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