Letter: For some, it’s all about the Party

By Rod Lopez-Fabrega

To the Editor

The debates are over and we are at the eleventh hour as Norwalk Republicans and Norwalk Democrats duke it out again and the unaffiliated just can’t make up their minds.

Let me posit this to those who dither. After a relatively gentlemanly campaign — as compared to national political campaigns in recent memory — and the candidates’ comparative merits and achievements have been trotted out for all involved citizens to evaluate, it all boils down to this:

Do you want to keep a mayor who is affiliated with a political party that has let itself be hijacked by an extremist minority (think tea), leading that party to discredit the reputation and stability of a country, until now the financial bedrock of the entire world (think USA)? Do you want to keep a mayor who is affiliated with a political party that represents the interests of the 10 percent at the top and has been making every attempt to disenfranchise minorities (think gerrymandering) and eliminate popular and effective programs that benefit the 90 percent (think Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, school meals for disadvantaged children, cutting of aid for low income seniors, ad infinitum)? Do you want a mayor who is affiliated with a party that has openly demonstrated its prime goal is not to govern but to eliminate a president it does not like (think color)?

On the other hand, would you prefer a mayor actively affiliated with a party that, with all its imperfections, and in the memory of the oldest among us (think New Deal), has traditionally stood for the interests of the 90 percent ? Would you prefer a party that established the 40-hour work week (think FDR in 1938)? Would you prefer a party that established the Minimum Wage Law and Unemployment Compensation (think FDR again)? Would you prefer a party that established Social Security (once again, think FDR)? Would you prefer a party that established Medicare and Medicaid (think Lyndon Johnson)? Would you prefer a party that began the Student Lunch Program (think Harry Truman)?

Would you prefer a party that enforced the Civil Rights Act (think Lyndon Johnson)? Would you prefer a mayor who has the ear of the state government in Hartford (think our Democratic governor and our two senators)? Would you prefer a mayor whose personal values reflect the care and compassion for the welfare of the average citizen demonstrated historically by his party? Would you prefer a mayor with a life-long reputation of personal integrity and a more than 17-year record of proven leadership (think Harry Rilling)?

Well, as they say, “A man is known by the company he keeps”.

Rod Lopez-Fabrega


21 responses to “Letter: For some, it’s all about the Party”

  1. M Allen

    Would you prefer the party who freed the slaves (think Lincoln) or the one that kept them in chains? What kind of idiotic thought process are you running here Rod? If you can’t differentiate between political parties at the national and local level, I feel bad for you. There are many people who may side with a party at the local level that may turn the opposite way when it comes to national issues. It’s like trying to blame Harry for Obamacare. That’s just dumb. The fact is politics at the local level are different. “A man is known by the company he keeps.” I sure hope neither candidate associates with you.

  2. Bill Dunne

    Think of the party of black slavery (Democrat); think of the party of Jim Crow (Democrat); think of the party of the President who re-segregated the federal government and our armed forces (Woodrow Wilson, Democrat); think of the party of segregation (Democrat); think of lynching of blacks in the South (Democrat); think of the Klu Klux Klan (Democrats); think of the former Grand Kleagle of the KKK who went on to become the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate (Harry Byrd, Democrat), think of Sheriff Bull Conner (Democrat), think of George Wallace in the school-house door (Democrat), think of Lester Maddox wielding his ax handle (Democrat); think of the fact that a larger proportion of Republicans than Democrats in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1963. Shall I go on, Rod?

  3. Suzanne

    You don’t have to, Mr. Dunne. As a community, we just need to think of Mr. Moccia sneering at participants at a council meeting (Republican), the disrespectful and heinous argumentativeness of David McCarthy (Republican), the lack of accountability by this mayor to provide performance reviews of all employees, suspended under his watch (Republican), the lack of data and knowledge of the Master Plan supporting a smaller installation at the BJ’s site (Republican), the rubber stamping of countless developments that end up in no developments at all as with the destruction of a huge amount of property south of I-95 leaving a hole in the ground (Republican), the lack of participation by Council members in tendering their platforms to the community, particularly with the recent LWV debacle (Republican), the increase in taxes and despoiled infrastructure in the last few years leaving streets with potholes, inadequate addressing of neighborhood needs, business shut-downs in South Norwalk and elsewhere, a lack of robust property values while taxes increase, an educational system hemorrhaging money with no real gains in achievement (Republican) and, the worst of all, the uncivil countenance, disregard and lack of information provided, especially regarding staff directly hired by the mayor, who does not see the need to review past job performances (the DHR), (Republican.) This is just a part of what is happening, NOW Mr. Dunne, in our community. I would say that your history lesson may lend some sort of bias in your mind about what it is to be a Democrat but, frankly, in the here and now, your history just does not ring true to the circumstances in which the City of Norwalk finds itself.

  4. M Allen

    Suzanne, I believe that is the point Mr. Dunne was trying to make. Stick to the local issues because we can all pick out things about the debacle at the National level and none of it has any relevance to our local situation. Trying to stretch things so far just to make a snide point doesn’t help and is indicative of where our politics have gone. And we wonder why we can’t have courteous debate. And no point in addressing your little points above, because you could toss in names like Watts and Mushak and others into a lot of those same items. Glass houses are riddled with missing panes these days.

  5. Oldtimer

    Party ? Think about a victory party tomorrow night. Bill Dunne, I hope you have done your best on a concession speech that will make Moccia sound like a gentleman, stepping down with a little class. Or will that be too much of a challenge for your considerable talents ?

  6. Norwalk Lifer

    And we forget about Nixon’s southern strategy, to capitalize on the vitriol post the Civil Rights Act, my dear historians, you forget that Strom Thurmond as a Dixiecrat, held the record for filibustering on the Senate floor, until he lost and became a Republican.

    Now I ask, if Lyndon Johnson were such a politico, wouldn’t he have thought of votes first and people second?

    of course, he would.
    Now, we all know the founders had slaves, and we know that they talked of a “more perfect union”, in fact, I seem to recall the “two thirds” compromise allowed human chattel to be counted as humans so the southern states could load up on their representation, yes? you agree? good!

    Now, let’s talk about Norwalk shall we? we have a very important choice to make tomorrow, and even if this mayor does succeed in securing another two year term, please make no mistake about this; this was his Schwartznegger moment, he will get a mandate from the voters, I hope he listens.

    But then again, Harry could pull it off tomorrow, by this time

    Norwalk Lifer

  7. Norwalk Lifer

    @Suzanne, Norwalk deserves a mayor that leads a common council, not one that is led by a Common council.

    If Mayor Moccia were a leader, he’d be adding his comments here, and shushing those that believe they are carrying a banner of loyalty by exhibiting sarcasm and scorn instead of intelligence and wit.

    Norwalk Lifer

  8. Norwalk Lifer

    @ M Allen,why do you find it necessary to speak for others?

  9. M Allen

    @Lifer – Uh, I was bored? And you hadn’t commented yet so I couldn’t wait any longer and just used it as an opener. But I appreciate the question.

  10. M Allen

    You now what, let’s do this. Because it’s a little late in the cycle for real issues.
    Do all of you Democrats think your party has some lock on civility and courteous discussion? Mike Mushak publicly insults fellow commissioners, city workers he doesn’t agree with, and then expects respect be given to him? I understand you may prefer his subject matter and his targets and are therefore willing to overlook it, but your willingness to defend his words aimed at insulting some while accusing others of potentially criminal wrongdoing would seem a tad bit disingenuous. David Watts and his videos? Again, you may like the targets he chooses, but does it aid in generating the goodwill and civility you seem so eager to demand? The head of your party commits assault and/or breach of the peace and most of you are deathly quiet. The outcry that would have come from you had that been Art Scialabba cold cocking an elderly RTC member would have been deafening. You want to look at the history of someone like Mr. Virgulak yet you will never comment about the criminal history of candidates you have running for common council. You call for experience and qualifications for city staff and commissioners, yet you will run candidates for public office with no experience, qualifications or even education. Had the RTC run an individual one year out of high school who might be elected to the job of acting in the capacity of a council person, I am quite sure it wouldn’t have been met with appeal by most of you.
    I understand the party out of power likes to play the victim. It’s a crutch both parties use when it suits them. But at least try and be honest with yourselves that you’re using many a double standard. I don’t agree with many of the things that have been done or said during this election on all sides. I have my disagreements with commenters on this site and elsewhere who I believe have stepped out of line and reinforced misleading statements and outright lies. But some of you want to keep toeing a party line that is rife with double standards while screaming for civility. It’s quite laughable if it wasn’t actually serious. I truly hope that when this election is over, regardless of the outcome, that saner heads can prevail in moving the business of this city forward. Unfortunately, the civility shown in places like this is not a reflection of the civility you seem so keen to demand. And it will be no wonder when we look back and see that things only got worse in the civility department. Because that is what we see every day and every year in our national politics. Respect on both sides falls to new lows in a race to the reality-TV bottom. We get what we deserve because when we begin to tolerate it from our own then we give up the right to ask for something different from those we disagree with. Politics is an ugly business. But it is what we have made it. Despite some of our attempts to claim its just the fault of the other guy.

  11. @Norwalk Lifer:
    I personally didn’t read MAllen’s response as “speaking” for others but rather his interpretation on what was written.
    I think you are a little peeved because he called Suzanne out on her snarky anti-republican remarks and reminded the public of the democrat embarrassments known as Pena and Watts, just to name a few.

  12. Bill Dunne

    Norwalk Lifer… (1) The Founders were not, as you imply, all slaveholders, and (2) the two-thirds compromise is commonly misconstrued and misunderstood (as you apparently do) unfairly to impugn the work of all the Founders. The Southern delegates wanted their slaves to be counted, for representation purposes, as fully equal, politically, to themselves, which was absurd because they were not in fact equal politically. They were enslaved. The slave-holding delegates wanted that false political equality in order to increase their own power in the proposed new United States, even though the blacks were to remain enslaved. For that reason the anti-slavery delegates wanted slaves not to be counted at all for representation purposes (not two-thirds but zero). They begrudgingly compromised on two-thirds only because it was necessary to get the Constitution ratified. Interesting to speculate on how much longer the institution of slavery would have persisted in the Southern states if they had refused to ratify the Constitution and gone their own way.

  13. Norwalk Lifer

    @ Irish girl, then you must have not read the opening remark

    Norwalk Lifer

  14. Juscelino M. Acevedo

    This has to be one of the most ridiculous articles that I have recently read. Attempting to steer your readers towards a specific party? How about we allow a candidate that is not affiliated with any party (or even third-party) to run? Stop voting for the same people over and over again. Republican equals Democrat and Democrat equals Republican. I want you all to actually think about the last time that a member of these two parties actually did something that actually meant something to the community. Feel free to shut me up if you do…

  15. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    So far, I like Mary Pugh’s comment best of all.

    So, all of you: GO OUT AND VOTE right now!

  16. Juscelino M. Acevedo

    Can take criticism? 🙂

  17. Mike Mushak

    M Allen, the facts and the record speak for themselves. Everything I have said about staff and other commissioners is true. That’s how we almost got a BJ’s that was ten times larger than our Master Plan recommended, potentially ruining neighborhoods and a busy dangerous road for generations, that is until taxpayers would be asked to underwrite $30 million in expansions to subsidize our own planning mistake, the same that is happening on CT Ave long after the big box developers have made their money and moved on. Our esteemed staff and GOP commissioners denied state and local regulations to try to push this monstrosity through, and tehy even denied the the contents of our own Master Plan!
    I am speaking truth to power, and do not roll over and play nice in the face of such widespread GOP corruption. The flyer McCarthy and Wilson distributed is Exhibit A of how this crowd distorts the truth and jeopardizes the city’s position in a federal lawsuit, just to get a few votes. Shameful.
    Back to teh wonderful letter above, I do hold local Republicans responsible for supporting a national party that shut down the government because tge democratic process didn’t work in their favor, betraying the very principals of our nation that millions have fought and died for. Just this week, the GOP House is refusing to support ENDA, the law that will protect LGBT fiolks like me from being fired from a job because of who they love, which is still legal in 2013 in 29 states.
    The modern GOP Party is anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-voting rights (look at FL, TX and VA today with their new GOP-backed ID laws specifically designed to reduce minority, female, and student voting who favor Democrats), anti-science(women can’t get pregnant from rape, climate change doesn’t exist, evolution never happened, Obama was born in Kenya, etc. And our local GOP party in Norwalk sends them money and works to get them elected (i.e., McMahon and Romney, who Moccia and McCarthy and our local RTC worshipped and supported). Romney promised to restore Don’t Ask Don’t tell for our military and pass a Constitutional Amenement banning gay marriage nationwide if he was elected. And Moccia and the Norwalk GOP wanted him elected! No thanks. I judge folks by the company they keep.

  18. M Allen

    That’s fine Mike. Don’t preach to the choir on BJ’s. There were more than just Democrats who were in opposition to that, including myself, who I think was pretty vocal. Publicly as well as in private. I take no issue with your content and have often supported various ideas you’ve championed. But speaking truth to power doesn’t require incivility in the face of incivility, real, perceived or otherwise. You have yourself said on occasion that you lowered yourself in how you spoke to and about your fellow commissioners. It doesn’t add to the civility issue by detracting from it further. We’re all at fault. I claim no high ground except to point out the double standard by those who would back you while pointing the finger elsewhere. But do what ya got to do man. Free country and all that.
    As to your other points, not all Republicans agree with every last thing that comes out of various corners of the party. I’m pretty sure not all Democrats agree with everything on their side. I don’t link all Democrats to being in bed with the likes of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or mafia-controlled organized labor or crooked Chicago politics, blah, blah, blah. But again, have at it. You want to blame the local Republicans for being associated with every last detail of the national party? Like abortion should have some influence on how a voter decides on who is going to raise their property taxes? So be it. It’s silly. But I know the drill. All’s fair until the other side cries that it isn’t and invokes some sad story.

  19. Ark

    Fortunately most Republicans are open minded and they don’t judge all Democrats by Mike Mushak and his slanderous attacks and mean spirited posts. Besides Mike’s better half makes up for a lot of his incivility and meanness. 🙂
    I do judge Harry Rilling by the company he keeps, Bob Burgess, Chaquita Stephenson, Alex Knopp, Bill Wrenn and Diane L. All people who have made this City worse over the years. I don’t judge Harry to be a bad person just someone who will raise taxes, stop development, support NEON and place a giant Mosque and community center on tiny lot on a dangerous corner in residential neighborhood. Hope the voters stop him before he starts us on the road to making Norwalk into Bridgeport.

  20. The Deal

    blah, blah, blah……..to be continued…….thanks NoN!

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