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Brinton isn’t racist and has nothing to do with Trump

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I felt it was time to say something based on unsettling comments made by Bob Duff regarding Lisa Brinton, Mayoral candidate.

Bob Duff is hitting below the belt.  Our state senator is out of touch if he thinks any of us are going to believe that Lisa Brinton is somehow racist.  Concerned?  Yes, she is.  Ready to work?   Yes, she is.  Ready to do her best for the people and city of Norwalk?  Unlike Harry, yes, she is.

Lisa Brinton isn’t racist and has nothing to do with Donald Trump, no matter what any politically motivated bobblehead says.  She has been involved with the school system and political reform for more than a decade.  She has worked with people from across the spectrum, all for no gain.  She is about as pure of spirit as they come, that is why she has received so much support from across the city, from members of all parties.

I know it is time for a change.  The first one to go is Harry Rilling and his rudderless, pandering way of not being responsible for anything.  We need someone who will lead this city to responsible growth with effective non-partisan leadership based on data, not political donations.

Ursula Leo

Norwalk

26 comments

John ONeill October 15, 2019 at 12:18 am

I don’t know Lisa well. I will say I was voting for Harry Rilling BEFORE I understood ELL situation. It shocks me that nothing has been done over the past 5-6 years to help Norwalk taxpayers with this situation. Has Harry been calling Himes prior to September 2019 on this? I find it INCREDIBLE that funding has not been addressed before. What about Hartford? Rilling’s friends up the political food chain need to do something before election day. ELL funding is Harrys Ukrainian phone call moment. He’s not alone. What about every current elected Norwalk leader who’s been around for a few years? As your typical Norwalker, I’ve been too busy working and raising a family to understand the situation. Now, I understand and am very ticked off. Let me be very clear: I want everyone of these children in ELL program to succeed. Our local and state government has had their head buried in the sand on how to pay for it. That is why I’m unhappy . AND every taxpayer in Norwalk should feel the same way. The last 10 years has cost $225+million dollars! Based on current trends the next 10 will cost $350-400 million dollars.

Mike Mushak October 15, 2019 at 7:23 am

I won’t call Lisa Brinton a racist, and I won’t address her recent comments about immigrants and the press, but I will describe other disturbing positions she has taken that can be seen as racist and discriminatory.

Last year, Lisa started creating a deliberate narrative that renters are a “burden” on single-family homeowners, and that renters don’t pay property tax and are somehow supported by the virtuous “real taxpayers.”

This is nonsense, not supported by any facts. It was just a tactic to divide our great city into two classes, renters and homeowners, depicting those “awful renters” as some kind of scourge on society to be feared. Many see see that as dog-whistle racism and a tactic worthy of Trump. I agree.

The truth is, renters pay more per square foot in property tax, through their rent payment, than single family homeowners do, and they cost the city much less in services because the rental buildings in denser neighborhoods don’t need the services the suburban sprawl needs along hundreds of miles of paved streets and expensive-to maintain utilities.

Never mind that most of the renters are millennials and empty nesters and retirees who are following the national trend to rent in more walkable neighborhoods near transit, helping revive once-blighted and dangerous downtown areas and fueling job and business growth in our region.

Never mind that the rental buildings are providing an affordable alternative for many folks in our area where housing supply can’t meet the demand, creating some of the highest housing costs in the nation in our area.

Never mind that studies have shown a trend for many millennials to often buy houses in the communities they have settled in as renters at first, providing a built-in future market for the suburban houses that by the way are getting harder to sell as the nationwide demographic trend is shifting to prefer more urban and walkable neighborhoods near transit.

What is also disturbing is that some of Lisa’s more radical right wing supporters, which she has many of, took the bait she was offering up about renters and started online rumors that Harry Rilling had a secret plan to fill up the new buildings like Waypointe with illegal immigrants, a clearly bogus charge but one that gained traction among some of Lisa’s hard core base of Trump supporters. As far as I know Lisa has never publicly debunked these rumors she helped encourage through her deliberate demonization of renters.

Another disturbing comment Lisa made recently, indicating at a minimum poor judgement and a warped mindset about lower income folks, was when she said that the replacement of the affordable housing project Washington Village with a mixed-income complex should have been all market rate housing, as the waterfront location of Washington Village was “too valuable” to be used for affordable housing.

This assumes of course that low-income folks needing subsidized housing should be relegated to “less desirable” areas, a clear violation of the Fair Housing Act. This statement by Lisa still disturbs me when I think about it, especially coming from someone living in a million dollar house with a swimming pool in the heart of beautiful Rowayton. Where does Lisa think low-income folks should live, if not in what she declares “desirable” areas? It was a bizarre statement to say the least.

David Mapley October 15, 2019 at 7:48 am

Let us not forget the sterling work done by State Senator Bob “9 cents” Duff, who claws back peanuts from the money Norwalk sends to Hartford in State and Sales Tax. The Education Cost Sharing is pitiful, resulting in Norwalk home owners paying 80+% of their property taxes towards the school system due to the Hartford short-changing. Norwalk and Representative in one title is a paradox indeed, we home owners are getting fleeced. Time to change the mayor and the state senator, let’s rebuild and manage better the finances and the quality of life of Norwalk – and end all these lies and wasteful litigations on bs property deals favouring rich Greenwich developers..

Colin Hosten October 15, 2019 at 9:19 am

Here’s the thing.

Local Republicans keep saying that this election has nothing to do with national politics. That it’s a “distraction.”

If that’s the case, then why won’t they disassociate themselves from their party’s willingness to disrupt global stability, undermine the US Constitution, and trample human rights?

Republican policies on issues like immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, national security, and the environment have a *direct* impact on us here in Norwalk. We’re not immune.

And if Norwalk politics, as our local RTC claims, is completely separate, then why don’t Norwalk Republicans clearly separate themselves from what their national party is doing?

They can easily do that. But they won’t.

Their candidate for Mayor insists up and down that she is not an actual Republican — yet her negative rhetoric about immigrants has dark echoes of Someone’s obsession with building a wall. Why won’t she clearly articulate her opposition to the incredible harm that the Republican party has done to this country? No, of course she is not Trump, but what Republicans are doing at the national level does have an impact on her would-be constituents here in Norwalk. Her perspective on national issues could give some insight on her potential approach to local policy. Why can’t she see that?

Her response, as quoted in the media: “I don’t want to offend any of my Republican friends.”

Since when did it become “offensive” to stand up for the US Constitution, the rule of law, and plain old human decency?

John ONeill October 15, 2019 at 10:26 am

@Colin – As a middle of the road voter, I would like your opinion on funding ELL programs. Do you believe some have dropped the ball on this? As Board scrambles to reallocate resources other programs will be negatively effected. I think poor kids will be more impacted than wealthier kids in town. Do you think our local leaders should do a little more than make phone calls every 3 weeks or so? Maybe you can enlighten me on what’s been done to support(fund) ELL over the past 10 years. Don’t you think cost should be shared regionally or nationally? If so, why the heck hasn’t it been done?

Peter October 15, 2019 at 1:01 pm

I continue to be incredulous that the Colin’s and the Mike’s of the world continue to bash a candidate but provide no data sets/metrics regarding questions asked? Spell out the cost of the additional ELL. How much will come from Hartford? How much are we responsible for?

I care about MY community first and foremost. About MY quality of life, about MY taxes going up and Norwalk quality of life going down.

Stop cherry picking your arguments and start providing insightful data, start providing a plan.

steve October 15, 2019 at 1:03 pm

I’m confident that Brinton isn’t a racist, but she surrounds herself with people that choose to go in that direction, among others. Brinton, like many in the GOP today seem to find it necessary to make the opposition into a cartoon caricature. When followers of Brinton have to be censored on Facebook and other forums for vile comments and she whistles in the wind she loses whatever high ground she may have had. Maybe if Brinton would make the slightest attempt to say something to her own followers when they go down an ugly line I could support her but victory seems more important than character.

steve October 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm

partial info from Mr. Meek, in April, Stamford was down 20%, –Greenwich in April was down 28% (https://www.newstimes.com/business/article/Despite-drop-in-prices-Fairfield-County-home-13761022.php) when you’re down 20% it’s not hard to rise.
While Norwalk sales were down 9 percent, Westport’s was off 16 percent. What does everyone agree is the biggest cause of the overall drop in the Ct. market?—SALT passed by the GOP without even a debate despite an over 100 year history-designed to hurt Blue America. Mr. Meek has regularly defended the tax change or dismissed it.

Paul Lanning October 15, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Attempts to divert voters’ attention from local issues to matters of immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, national security, the environment, and Trump’s presidency aren’t fooling anyone.

Except for drinking straw and plastic bag ordinances, no legislation concerning any of those national topics has been proposed in Norwalk.

Bob October 15, 2019 at 3:49 pm

@ Colin….will you and Mushak “denounce” Obama for failing on his promise (for 8 years!)to deliver the much-hyped “Hope and Faith?”

JustATaxpayer October 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Some people living in glass mansions should not throw stones such as….

“This statement by Lisa still disturbs me when I think about it, especially coming from someone living in a million dollar house with a swimming pool in the heart of beautiful Rowayton.”

Us Norwalk “deplorables” see what’s at work.

Bryan Meek October 15, 2019 at 4:20 pm

@Steve, read the article again. Stamford and Danbury up ending September, the number that matters. April does not. Westport down 16% too, probably due to bone crushing traffic from the Yankee Doodle, Stroffollino, Merritt, etc and every other project DOT wants to land here that creates bottlenecks in the corridor.

Also, I’ve never defended SALT, in fact I’ve stated it isn’t fair to married filers and empty nesters in high cost markets. Along with pointing that out, I’ve also reminded everyone that AMT has been on the books almost 50 years, which is an offset to taxpayers with large deductions and modest income for this area. It’s fake outrage ignoring the real issue, uncontrolled, misguided spending at the state level.

John ONeill October 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm

Anyone who thinks SALT is the reason for property declines needs to review local/state tax burden, and businesses moving out of state. It’s a ludicrous opinion.

Alan L Kibbe October 15, 2019 at 5:21 pm

I’m surprised at the lack of positive support for Harry. All we seem to read are smears of the unaffiliated candidate coming from the Mayor’s two compadres. How about some discussion in lieu of lobbing hateful insults!

Helen Demeris October 15, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Lisa Brinton’s rhetoric of us vs. them is dangerous and not what Norwalk is about. We should embrace our socioeconomic diversity and not be fearful of it. Our school district has a responsibility to meet the educational needs of all students. Newcomer students are not “other people’s children”. We all need to take responsibility for giving them a quality education.

Mimi Chang October 15, 2019 at 6:40 pm

@Colin Hosten, Ms. Brinton is not a Republican. She is an Unaffiliated, fiscally conservative, socially progressive mayoral candidate, running a successful grassroots campaign and garnering the support of D’s, R’s and U’s. Her courageous, nonpartisan message is resonating with Norwalk residents who are fed up with cronyism and partisan, machine politics. You’re conflating national with local politics, and you’re conflating Ms. Brinton’s genuine desire to resolve Norwalk’s historic, inequitable underfunding of its school children with her being anti-immigrant, which could not be farther from the truth. Please explain how her, as you say, “negative rhetoric about immigrants has dark echoes of someone’s obsession with building a wall.” That is some sensationalist claim! Specifically, what negative rhetoric are you referring to? Please back your serious allegation. I look forward to your response.

cc-rider October 15, 2019 at 8:17 pm

What has Harry directly fixed during his time in office? The big reorg that didn’t actually save any money? The charter revision was a complete bust? Poko? Firetree?

The city’s lousy zoning, out dated charter, amount of school funding from Hartford, and weak blight ordinance are all a sad joke. Where are some new ideas for any of the above?

TRS October 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm

I know Lisa Brinton very well. She is not a racist. How dare people just throw out that term nowadays about good people without any basis?
Disgusting.

Niz October 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Omg the maypr and Lisa are NOT RACISTS
Enough already. Norwalk is diverse, that is why Lisa moved her family out here.
Let brown skin people speak on racism & racists… then the rest of us be supportive to them, when there is concern or issue.
And that my opinion

John Miller October 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

@Colin Hosten: Would you mind responding to John O’Neill’s query regarding why the issue of finding the ELL program wasn’t addressed well before it became a fiscal crisis for the City? Your comment is little more than a repeat of the partisan rhetoric advocated by Messers Duff and Camacho with a slightly less vitriolic tenor. Keep in mind what happened the last time a presidential candidate from you party essentially broad brushed pretty much everyone in the “fly over” states as deplorables.

I’m also a middle of the road voter who believes that local politics are just that, local, and have voted for D’s, R’s and I’s. However, I’m also a member of the Baby Boomer” generation, have a very long memory and am extremely skeptical of our political class at all levels.

You might ask, why would that be? On October 21, 1964, during a campaign speech at the University of Akron two weeks prior to the presidential election, President Johnson said the following: “We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away to do what Asian boys should be doing for themselves.” Guess what: 2.7 million of us got to experience the outcome of that whopper and 58,264 never made it home. So, please, don’t lecture us about what defending the Constitution is all about. Tulsi Gabbard and Dan Crenshaw have the right to do that, not you.

john flynn October 20, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Diversity is good as long as you don’t listen to the sane half of the population. Lesa is not a racist, The Dems want illegal undocumented immigration with drugs and no borders. Lesa wants immigration reform, no drugs, no gangs and civility. Norwlak is not a Sanctuary City by public opinion, it is Rilling’s opinion that has moved too far to the left. Who amongst you would perform a late term abortion when adoption is an option??

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