Norwalk Dems: Republican flier gives plaintiff a better case in mosque lawsuit

McCarthy Wilson
A Norwalk Republican campaign flier left at the Fillow Ridge condominiums, adjacent to the site of a mosque proposed for 127 Fillow St., is signed, “Sorry to miss you, Dave and Em.” An image of the actual flier is below.

NORWALK, Conn. – A flier that was distributed by Norwalk Republicans could cost the city millions of dollars as it supports the position taken by the Al Madany Islamic Center in its federal suit against Norwalk, Democrats say.

Democrats say that Common Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) and District E candidate and Zoning Commission Chairwoman Emily Wilson left the “dirty politics” flier Sunday on doorsteps of the Stone Gate condominiums, adjacent to 127 Fillow St., where Al Madany had been hoping to build a mosque. The controversial application was turned down in June 2012. Al Madany sued in federal court, alleging discrimination based on religious preference, a violation of the Religious Land Use Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

“Mayor Moccia is pressing the legal fight to defend the city against this group’s lawsuit,” the flier says in bold type.

It says, “Mayor Moccia, the Republican caucus of the Common Council, and Zoning Commission decided that the fair and just concerns of the residents of West Norwalk are worth fighting for,” and slams Democratic mayoral candidate Harry Rilling, a zoning commissioner, Common Councilman Warren Peña (D-At Large) and Democratic zoning commissioners Mike Mushak, Nate Sumpter and Adam Blank.

“Politicizing an issue that is still tied up in courts and has not been settled can jeopardize the city’s position in the appeal process and potentially cost taxpayers $2-3 million of dollars,” Peña said in an email.

IMG_1254“It misrepresents the truth,” Mushak said. “It’s a whole list of misrepresentations of the truth. Its really disturbing that the Republican Party would jeopardize the city’s position in the current appeal that is going on by sending out a flier like this.”

Neither McCarthy nor Wilson replied to Monday evening emails requesting comment. Moccia did not respond to a Sunday email.

Rilling voted in favor of settling the lawsuit, the flier says. What is left out is that Wilson also voted in favor, Mushak said. In fact,  every zoning commissioner except one voted in favor of settling the lawsuit, according to minutes of the meeting in question.

The minutes do not say who that one person was. Mushak said it was Joe Santo.

“Harry Rilling was following legal advice given to him and the rest of the commission by a lawyer that the city had hired to protect city taxpayers from liability,” Mushak said. “For the Republican Town Committee to make this a political issue and jeopardize the city’s position in the middle of a federal appeal, a case that is being investigated by the Department of Justice, is completely inappropriate. It is just plain old dirty politics. It also crosses the line into slander. For Emily Wilson to be distributing a a flier that makes misrepresentations about other zoning commissioners calls into question her ability to continue to serve on the Zoning Commission.”

Rilling released a short statement on the matter.

“I promised to run a positive campaign based on the issues,” he said in an email. “We have done that since day one and will continue to do that. It is disappointing that others are not doing the same.”

The flier says Pena “spoke in favor of the mosque, calling it an ‘opportunity’ for the city.”

At the April 12, 2012, Zoning Commission hearing on the mosque, Peña said, “Building this place of worship is no different than building any other. With this project comes a community center. We have a big crime issue here in Norwalk, and I think this will help create some programs and initiatives to keep our kids off the streets. I think it also gives our community the opportunity to build a better relationship with our Muslim friends in the community that contribute so much to Norwalk.”

Minutes of the meeting are attached below.

“My reaction is that when you go negative, you are doomed and desperate,” Peña said in an email. “Also, I think it’s a political maneuver to discredit someone’s character, which is often what you see from their chairman (Art Scialabba). Frankly, a distasteful tactic by the NRTC.”

The flier says Mushak voted in favor of the mosque.

Mushak voted against the resolution, not for the mosque, he said.

“The record shows that I did not vote for the mosque, I voted against the resolution to deny the mosque for various reasons including the fact that the resolution was not the resolution that was approved by the Zoning Commission, but was presented by Corporation Counsel at the last minute,” he said. “It was not the resolution that we approved. So I voted against the resolution.”

A story written by this reporter for The Daily Voice confirms that, as well as the minutes of the meeting, attached below.

Nate Sumpter was the only commissioner to speak in favor of the mosque. Blank voted against the resolution but said he felt the proposed Islamic center was too big for the property and that the application did not comply with Norwalk’s special permit requirements, according to the minutes, attached below.

The comment in the flier that the Republican caucus decided along with Moccia and the Zoning Commission was refuted by Corporation Counsel Bob Maslan.

Asked via email, “Does the Common Council have any role in authorizing the city to defend itself from the lawsuit filed by Al Madany Islamic Center?,” Maslan replied, “No.”

Mushak thinks the flier could be an expensive blunder.

“In most cases where politicians go negative it’s because they don’t have a strong position on the issues or a strong record to run on,” Mushak said. “I think the Republican Town Committee and Mayor Moccia owe the taxpayers of Norwalk an apology for this flier for jeopardizing the city in this appeal process that we are in the middle of. That could potentially cost Norwalk taxpayers millions.”

Correction, 5:28 p.m.: Stone Gate condos, not Fillow Ridge

Zoning 060612 mosque decision

Zoning 042512 mosque

Zoning 040412 Mosque hearing

Zoning 112912 mosque settlement




43 responses to “Norwalk Dems: Republican flier gives plaintiff a better case in mosque lawsuit”

  1. Norwalk Lifer

    Yes, stuff like this smells of desperation, the best people can do is ignore it and vote.

    Get rid of this parasitic organism called the Moccia regime

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. Hobbes the Calvinist

    Riddle me this . . . how can the Republicans claim to be the saviors of our “neighborhoods” yet the supporters of a BJ’s on Main Avenue? Maybe, the flier should have read that the GOP supports neighborhoods who have vote Republican.

  3. notaffiliated

    Maybe I’m missing something. How is this such “dirty politics”? This is what drives me nuts about mainly Democrats in this case, and Republicans in so many others. I’m not in to having the Mosque built (there) nor BJ’s on Main Avenue. If I lived in those condos, I know what lever I’d pull.

  4. ScopeonNorwalk

    This Republican flier doesn’t sit well with me weeks after we saw KKK spray painted at our Vets Park. The flier has an racist undertone to me. If I was suing the city I would use this as evidence of thr zoning chair’s anti-islamic phobia. How is a mosque going to threaten the sovereignty of the city?

  5. Suzanne

    I think a comparison needs to be made with this application and the BJ’s application: very few people said in these threads that BJ’s was not welcome. They just said it was being proposed to be built in the wrong location for traffic and the neighborhoods adjacent. Likewise, this Mosque has been proposed in an area where it would cause dangerous roadway conditions and, with use, be oversized for the lot for the same reason (the intersection nearby is notorious for its dangerous configuration.) No one has said, “Get rid of the Muslims!” Many have said, “Let’s have a mosque. Let’s put it in an area where everyone who worships can be accommodated.” To manipulate this sentiment and to incorrectly represent various Commissioners votes on this matter is highly inflammatory, misrepresentative of the voting facts and, well, lying. How sad! And how desperate this party must be to promulgate such lies. While Rilling sticks to the positive, the Republicans have chosen lies, innuendo, misrepresentation of fact and a nasty spirit toward the political process. Their choice but what a poor example to the community, once again, of political process. They just don’t seem to know how to take the high road.

  6. EveT

    If it’s true that this could cost taxpayers millions of dollars by jeopardizing the mosque appeal process, it’s a very unfortunate move by the campaigns.

  7. M Allen

    So what is it exactly the Mushak voted for before he voted against? That was a very convoluted set of fors and againsts. Did he eventally define what the word “is” is?

    Did Mike vote to deny the application or not?

  8. Farhan Memon

    As Mike Mushak points out Emily Wilson voted in favor of settling the lawsuit with Al Madany. But that’s not the whole story…she was also the Zoning Commission’s chief negotiator having appeared before a Magistrate judge in Hartford last November. She actively participated with the city’s lawyers in crafting the terms of the settlement and personally endorsed it.

    It is extremely disappointing that she has chosen to pander to the opponents of the project in this manner, but her supporters should know the facts of her true involvement.

  9. M Allen

    Eve – my reading of the flier is to say Moccia and the Republican caucus is fighting the lawsuit rather than settle. Not fighting the Mosque. They are fighting the lawsuit that claims the Mosque was denied for biased reasons rather than strict zoning concerns. What is being dredged up here is that by putting it out there as a campaign issue, it could in some way be used by the plaintiffs. Who knows if it can or not. None of the overqualified pundits in this article are qualified to comment on whether it could or could not have any bearing. I’m pretty sure Mike Mushak’s Landscape Architect certification doesn’t make him a legal scholar. But maybe.

  10. M Allen

    Even reading the minutes of the meeting Mushak’s views were convoluted, but I’ll chalk that up to bad minutes compared to more detail in the record for Mr. Blank’s comments.
    In the end, the resolution was to deny the application. Luckily for Mushak, he can claim he voted against the resolution (based on individual, line-item details) rather than the outcome of the resoluton which was to deny the application.
    It would obviously have been more clean cut if there had been a simple up/down vote on the applicaiton itself. But why on earth would anyone want clarity? I din’t voet for the thing I was against because some of thie things I was against were not made clear. Instead we let people walk around lawyering their words and their votes: I didn’t for vote for the application, I voted against the resolution that I knew would be passes by the others on the commission.

  11. Joe Espo

    The flier, read with a neutral eye, is an innocuous political campaign statement. It says we will not give up fighting the appeal that assaults our sovereignty, our zoning regulations, our neighborhoods, and our safety. What is dangerous is the NON article itself, it’s pandering to a leftist readership, the careless misrepresentation that the campaign piece is emblematic of municipal religious bias, and the comments by Mushak, Pena and the anono-lefty posters whose obvious and sole intent, along with NON, is to get a very unqualified candidate elected mayor, simply because he’s not a republican.

  12. Oldtimer

    My recollection is Zoning denied the mosque application for very specific safety reasons related to traffic and off-street parking, with the expectation that the application would be modified to meet those concerns and re-submitted. Instead a lawsuit was filed in federal court, claiming the application was denied as an act of illegal religious discrimination. Efforts to negotiate a settlement have taken place and have not yet been successful. Reaching a settlement agreement is the preferred way to avoid a trial which could be very costly for the city. Using any part of this process in a flyer as part of a campaign is, in my opinion, extremely poor judgement and likely to bring sanctions by the federal court supervising the process. We can be sure the flyer will be an issue in federal court with one side claiming it proves their claims with the other side asking it to be ruled inadmissible.

    Where are you going to find a neutral eye ?

  13. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Now open for business….The law offices of Dem, Dumb, and Dumber. LOL.

  14. R(obot) TC

    This flier looks creepy and is designed to scare voters. Just in time for Halloween.

  15. Jamie Speights

    As much as I appreciate the efforts by NoN to pursue independent journalism, I have to question the blatant partisanship and political pandering evident on this website. As someone who has always identified as in Independent voter, I was thrilled to find a site that approached local reporting without bias. And yet, as the election draws closer, NoN slips further and further toward outright condemnation of one political agenda in favor of the other. For example, the tagline of this article labels the Republican flier “hateful,” but there is nothing (to my eyes) even remotely controversial about it. It is an incredibly innocuous piece of political rhetoric aimed at making Norwalk voters feel represented. Claiming that it is hateful, racist or pejorative to “fight for Norwalk” is a gross misrepresentation of the flier and of the issue that it addresses. That, combined with the fact that this page is littered with advertisements for Democratic municipal candidates calls into question the impartial journalism that first drew me to this website. Where oh where can I find a source of accurate and non-biased journalism in this town?

    (Editor’s note: “Hateful” was a word erroneously put in the original headline based on a quote that did not make it into the story — how’s that for bias? It didn’t occur to look at the tagline (we have since removed it). It was not our word, but someone else’s, but we judged it to be over the top. Also, headlines are based on story content, not on the editor or writer’s opinion, unless you are working for a news organization that regularly and admittedly slants news to their agenda (see NY Post, Boston Herald, Fox News, MSNBC…). Stories are what they are. We don’t make the news, we report it. Shooting the messenger has become quite the blood sport in today’s “I only want to read stuff I agree with” world. As for content, if you read the story, the flyer content did, in fact, misrepresent the facts, which is OUR bias. Rilling was singled out for voting for the settlement, but Wilson and every other commissioner also voted for it, dsave for one Republican. And the council caucuses have no part in the process (according to the city’s own legal counsel), but the flyer claimed the Republican caucus was fighting alongside the mayor in defense against the suit. It was brought to our attention. We gave the people involved a chance to respond. They did not.

    As for ads, we sent our rates and an invitation to advertise to both parties and their candidates. In fact, the mayor twice told us he was going to advertise with us, but did not follow through. We have three political ads — two Democrats and one Republican. We need ad revenue to have any hope of survival. Should we have told one of the Democrats to wait until we got another Republican to balance things out? Mayor Moccia, David McCarthy and Emily Wilson are all over The Hour’s site. I have not seen many or any Democratic candidate ads. Have you complained to them?

    One other thing — the other day I went through the candidate list for mayor, clerk, council and BOE and found that, if the election were to be held today, I would be voting for seven Democrats and seven Republicans. No joke. I had no idea when I started the count. It could change. But that’s how it usually works with me…)

  16. LWitherspoon

    Thank you NoN – keep fact checking everything. It does seem peculiar that Rilling was singled out for voting for the settlement, even though Emily Wilson herself voted for it.
    As an unaffiliated voter, I also find the exhortation to “Vote Republican to Preserve Our Neighborhoods” very unappealing. Democrats and Independents are in favor of preserving neighborhoods too – they just have different views of how it should be done.
    More broadly, here is yet another example of how Norwalk is poorly served by partisanship surrounding Zoning matters. All else being equal, would a real estate development firm considering locations for its next project want to wade into what appears to have become a partisan morass? Does the politicization of the BJ’s issue by two sitting zoning commissioners increase or decrease the likelihood of future lawsuits in the event that an application is rejected? While I agree with Mike Mushak on many issues, his partisan finger-pointing, name-calling, and occasional selective omissions are more or less equivalent to the misleading flier by the Republicans.
    Perhaps a grand bargain is in order between the warring parties – can the commissioners agree to allow a mosque on the Elinco site so that everyone can claim victory for his respective political team, and we can avoid the same useless partisanship that has led Washington to its gridlocked state?

  17. Suzanne

    L. Witherspoon, What a great idea!

  18. Mike Mushak

    LWitherspoon, you make a strong claim that I have lied “equivilant to the misleading flyer”. Please provide specific examples if you are going to attack me in such a way. I have always backed up my statements with facts, and examples. Please do the same. You should be ashamed of yourself, and have lost credibility to personally attack me like this. I use my real name on this site and I find statements like yours coming from an alias quite cowardly.

  19. LWitherspoon

    Mr. Mushak,
    I never accused you of lying. Please don’t put words in my mouth. To repeat:
    “While I agree with Mike Mushak on many issues, his partisan finger-pointing, name-calling, and occasional selective omissions are MORE OR LESS equivalent to the misleading flier by the Republicans.” (emphasis added)
    Perhaps I should clarify that I am thinking of these as equivalent in terms of the undesirable outcomes of injecting politics into zoning matters, which was the point of my comment. I wholeheartedly agree that Republicans have politicized a zoning issue with their misleading flyer, but it’s also obvious that you politicized a zoning issue yourself with respect to the controversial BJ’s application.
    How ironic that you responded to my concern about your selective omissions and name calling by calling me names and selectively quoting me. QED on that.
    As for examples of partisan finger pointing, you have repeatedly referred to your political opponents as “GOP thugs” or some variant of that.
    As I’ve said before, I believe you would have more success in advocating for your various causes if you dialed back the anger.

  20. Joe Espo

    @LWitherspoon: What a wonderful world Norwalk would be, and how so attractive Norwalk would be to development firms and other entrepreneurs, only if Mike Mushak would just move to some bike path utopia in Oregon and leave us alone. Maybe he should consider North Dakota where they can’t get enough landscape architects for the mega-mansions that people are building as a result of the booming oil and gas economy. McDonald’s, there, is paying that BJ’s utopian wage of $12.00/hour plus signing bonuses, plus 401k’s plus health insurance. It’s just a bit of a challenge when your plantings have to endure the occasional -35F degree weather in January, but hey, that’s what makes landscape architects great and Mike Mushak is a genius.
    Why do I wish to bid him adieu? Because it is he, a zoning commissioner and a prolific reputation destroyer, who has single-handedly injected torrents of the most vile and toxic venom in this community’s discourse in the annals of recorded public community opinion. Vile, toxic, and obscene. Designed to divide and to destroy. Not to unite and build.
    But hey, just sayin’

  21. Suzanne

    Joe Espo, You are hilarious. Your attempts at being the provocateur fall flat because we know how Mike Mushak advocated and still does for this community. If he had not spoken up and pointed out the traffic study that would show BJ’s as untenable in that location, the neighborhoods would still probably be fighting it because, frankly, my experience has been the ears of these various Commissions are clearly directed toward the developers and not quality communities (not that those should be mutually exclusive. I just don’t feel that Commissions in general listen to the constituency when dollar signs are blinding their eyes.) So, your vile and toxic bit? Well, that’s just a reflection on you and has nothing to do with the advocacy I have seen from one Commissioner, Mike Mushak, willing to speak up and fight for us, the taxpayers, even when reviled by people like you. So, throw around all the invective you want. It is nothing more than hollow and sad. Sad that you cannot see how much one Commissioner has done to save at least three neighborhoods with the BJ application debacle. Sad that you cannot see what the people want as opposed to partisan politics. Go, Joe! (As in away.)

  22. wait, what

    Lever? @notaffilated, er when was the last time you voted?

  23. Jane

    Joe, Joe, Joe, lets not stoop to personel attacks, ok?
    “What is dangerous is NON itself, it’s pandering to a leftist readership.” Love it. Absolutely love it. LOL, and whats Rush and Fozzy Fox do? It’s called, “target marketing.” which the model appears to need tweaking if your here following and commenting on real issues on a real local journo site. This is a neutral professional jouralisim site, Your not used to real journalisim, refreshing, isn’t it? It is for us freethinkers.

  24. RU4REEL

    Are the Repubs trying to lose the election on purpose? Bonehead campaign flyer, do they think we are stupid, they just plain lied, didn’t they even think someone would check the facts?
    We need to vote these folks out on Nov. 5th, plain and simple or Norwalk is in trouble.
    Shame too on the few folks trying to defend or deflect attention to these lies told by the Repubs. EVERYONE across party lines should be outraged.
    It goes to show, if they lie like a carpet in this instance to win an election, what else have they lied about all along that we don’t know about?
    A couple of new phrases for the RTC’s next campaign flyer; win at all cost or desperate times, desperate measures.
    Thank you for taking the high road Mr. Rilling!
    What say you moccia?

  25. Joe Espo

    (Editors’ note: This comment has been edited to conform with our comment policy.)

    ..and dear Suzanne: rest uneasy that Mike Mushak’s … approach to advocacy, designed to personally destroy public servants and “republican thugs”, is inextricably intertwined with the Rilling campaign.
    I haven’t read that fellow zoning commissioner Rilling disowns Mike Mushak’s … approach to the debate on zoning issues, as evidenced by Mike’s published opinions on NON and The Hour in 1000-line ballistic-missile-missives of personal destruction aimed at public employees and political opponents. So our former chief of police is essentially endorsing the Rodney King-ing of any citizen-servant-elector with a roguish point of view on BJ’s, big boxes, bike paths and other pet issues.
    So, elect Rilling and expect a barrage of verbal baton-pummeling from the jack-booted opinion gestapo if you deign to differ with a contrary point of view. Why? Because you are a thug.
    Just sayin’ ….
    Something tells me that if Harry is elected, the attendance at the Mayor’s Community Ball will be down, somewhat, nest year.

    Editor’s Note
    Our comment policy reads in part:
    “In a perfect world, the next set of items would not be necessary. Unfortunately, not everyone can play nice with others:
    This is something every child in the U.S. is being taught: Do not insult, bully, threaten or harass the writers or your fellow commenters. Comments referring to other commenters as “idiots,” “retards,” or the like will be edited or not published.
    Offensive, inappropriate or annoying comments may be deleted or subjected to distempering.”

  26. twin rotors

    Guess that was Mushak on his bike that kicked and toppled that street sweeper this morning in front of Mr. Napoleon home, at east and fort point, when room for his bike ran out at the trestle underpass. Just for spite huh? Amazing the strength one builds up riding a bike these days, in these parts.

  27. Joe Espo

    @editor: kudos for your editing skills but yours wasn’t a “distempering”; it was a castration. None of my deleted words included “idiots” or “retards” or anything remotely similar. My words weren’t personal and weren’t anywhere near as immoderate as Mike’s standard repertoire of invectives. Hope you exercise similar editorial judgment with Mike Mushak’s posts.

  28. Frank N. Stein

    Yep, we see the editor, on the hill, up all night sharpening his scalpel on a pedal powered grinding wheel, under a full moon with his cape billowing in the cool breeze, while he conjures in his mind the pain he will inflict on his next victim. (Que the scary music). Editors are so evil aren’t they? Anyone else wonder what pseudonym A.S. is posting under? Hmmm.

  29. Mike Mushak

    LWitherspoon, please explain your claim that I “politicized” the BJ’s application. I did nothing of the sort. I exposed the secrecy and corruption of process the Moccia Administration used in this entire episode, that is all.
    The fact that he is Republican is not my fault!

    Mayor Moccia strongly supported BJ’s, and the actions of the both the P and Z staff and the GOP commissioners, (all on record in case you think I am fabricating any of this which I am not), reflected a lack of accountability and transparency that favored the applicant over the neighborhood and local businesses, including the refusal of staff to answer questions about their own decisions and and about serious safety and traffic issues (which denied the commission valuable information it could use in making an informed decision), and the refusal of the GOP Zoning Chair to follow the recommendations of a $500k study and have the recommended proper independent peer review and an expanded traffic study to protect the public health and safety of Norwalk residents and businesses in the area. The GOP commissioners, who answer to the mayor and vote the way he wants them to, which is all on the record (remember Adam Blank was punished for defying Moccia’s directions by not being reappointed, which he was quite transparent about including the meetings where the mayor told him what how to vote), is exhibit #1 that It wasn’t ME politicizing the Zoning Commission, it was the GOP machine that has done that long before I came along. I have simply exposed this corruption of process, and for that I am called every name in the book on this site and elsewhere in public by GOP folks who do not like sunshine in their faces.
    My pointing out of GOP antics on the ZC is not “political”, it is an attempt to show the public that they are not being represented well by this party’s appointees on the ZC, and if Democrats did the same thing I would be just as determined to expose the nonsense. The truth is I do not see the bullying and corruption of process by Democrats on the ZC, but only by Republicans, and not every one but almost every one, which is just the way it is. This is not just my own observation but is well known by many who attend the meetings and have witnessed it or been victims themselves of this childish nonsense and arrogance (just like over at the Oak Hills Authority) which does a huge disservice to the good folks of Norwalk who want their commissions to protect their interests, and not play petty political games with important issues, ignoring studies and master plans and expert advice with impunity.
    The mosque flyer being distributed by GOP Zoning Chair Emily Wilson and GOP Councilman Dave McCarthy, which is full of lies and jeopardizes the city’s position in a federal appeal, is reprehensible and is exactly why we need integrity and professionalism restored to City Hall.

  30. Suzanne

    1. Mr. Mushak was advocating for the public long before the Rilling campaign.
    2. Your love of alliteration: this is a bad habit in the English language. It makes you look desperate to be clever.
    3. The mayor elect Rilling is not endorsing thugishness by endorsing Mr. Mushak’s fact-based approach. He used studies, he used Norwalk’s own study to show that big box in that place on Main Street was in appropriate. It was not concluded to not consider BJ’s, however, for appropriate areas with appropriate planning.
    4.”So, elect Rilling and expect a barrage of verbal baton-pummeling from the jack-booted opinion gestapo if you deign to differ with a contrary point of view. Why? Because you are a thug.” Actually, once again, by verbalizing your opinions in such a way, you become the thug and the ‘jack-booted opinion gestapo’, a term I am imagining you are particularly proud of because I am sure to you it seems so clever. It is not. It is pejorative and I am sorry for you it could not be edited out. You offend, sir, you offend.
    5. By “Rodney-Kinging” something out of someone, I am assuming you mean metaphorically anyone with a contrary point of view would be metaphorically beaten: again, a poor choice. I was in LA during the riots as a result of that beating. Nothing so untoward will happen here because even if we don’t always like each other, we respect the process, what there is of it. You, Mr. Espo, seem to forgo that respect by your comments.
    6. You claiming that your comments were not personal to Mr. Mushak? I am worried about your neurological health: of course they were!
    7. If you don’t have constructive, civil comments to make, you are not contributing to the community in which you live. Neither do you detract from it. Such invective as yours can easily be dismissed in its illegitimacy.
    8. Try it, Mr. Espo. Real comments with real respect that show some insight into this issue: Republican politicking through a flier that seems to contain some statements that could now affect a legal proceeding on behalf of the citizens of Norwalk. Spending time on the constructive, the positive is much better for the brain than what you have been writing (look it up: the Harvard Brain Bank has loads of information.)

  31. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Does Warren Pena, Esquire support the mosque in its proposed location or not? That is the only question here. That politicians would question his statements which are ambiguous is no new trick in this blood sport. Get some spine already.

  32. D(ysfunctional)TC

    Let’s be clear, only a lunatic would think a 30,000 SF structure with parking garage for 100 plus is appropriate for this lot. I don’t care if it is supposed to be a mosque, a driving range, BJs, or a monument to self serving politicians. Grow a pair and tell the voters which side you are on instead of splitting hairs and making a big deal about some stupid flier.

  33. Daisy

    I’m with Jamie Speights, who I don’t know. The bias on this blog is unbelievable and screams out at you. I don’t live anywhere near that spot, but if I did, I’d be up in arms at the idea of the volume of parking needed in what is supposed to be a residential area. Sure there are some churches and a synagogue nearby, but they have adequate parking.

  34. Eric Fullerman

    The only question here is whether or not Harry Rilling will speak up and say whether or not he will continue to fight this lawsuit.

    We know Warren Pena said what he said supporting the mosque. It was all over the original reports and there is no denying it. He is a Mangiacopra guy, though. Is he working for Harry now? I don’t know. If he is working for Harry, is that dependent on support for the mosque application and dropping this lawsuit?

  35. Suzanne

    I’m with L. Witherspoon on the mosque: move it to the rejected BJ’s spot and forgo Fillow. The whole idea, given the capacities, especially on “high holidays”, is ridiculous. Norwalk citizens can be blamed for one thing only in these cases: when they are against something, it is with equal opportunity. Both BJ’s and the mosque jeopardize(d) neighborhoods, traffic and safety for the rest of Norwalk. Those applicants trying to surmount this obstacle should respect that view and try something else, especially when there is an empty lot on Main Street looking for a buyer/developer.

  36. M Allen

    Can BJ’s sue us because it is effectively part of the Universal Church of Consumerism? Its just crazy. All this nonsense over the flier. If there was one reason both parties should be together, it would be over this lawsuit seeking to hold this city for ransom on the grounds of religious bias. It is absurd. I don’t care how much money we have to spend defending against this lawsuit and if it bankrupts the city in the process. Fight it until the last tax dollar is squeezed out of our blighted homes.

  37. Mike Mushak

    M Allen, if your name was on the flier misrepresenting your position, would you be upset, or would you just say it is nonsense? The flier is full of lies, misrepresents what the city did officially, misrepresents what zoning commissioners did, and compromises the city’s position in potentially a multi-million dollar lawsuit. This is dangerous dirty politics.
    I love that you think Democrats should just accept the flier full of lies that is being handed out across the city by the GOP, including by Emily Wilson who is Chair of the Zoning Commission, just to get votes instead of running on the real facts.
    It is funny/sad that I am often accused of politicizing the Zoning Commission for exposing GOP antics and corruption of process that is so entrenched everyone thinks its normal by now, “business as usual” to ignore studies and Master Plans and expert advice, lie about applications (saying it’s “in teh reg’s” without giving the actual regulation when questioned, and me finding out later it’s actually NOT in the reg’s.)
    It is clear with this flier that the GOP has totally corrupted the Zoning Commission with politics, that hands evidence on a silver platter over to the applicant in their case against the city. The so-called fiscally conservative GOP is playing fast and loose with taxpayers money in this case, risking millions, just to win an election. Unbelievable.

  38. M Allen

    Mike, I’m just pointing out that the flier is much ado about sweating the small stuff during an election. Take issue with it, point out what was wrong. I’m not sure I agree with the hyperbole surrounding its effect on the lawsuit, but that is good political fodder. Let’s not act like its the end of the world that something in a municipal election flier was the Watergate break-in.

    You know, I never used to pay much attention to local politics. Now I’m beginning to think I know why. This really is some petty shite going back and forth. Fliers, rap videos, pots calling kettles black. No wonder it just keeps getting worse from here to DC. I’m starting to think that maybe voters should be demanding all forms of government be defunded.

  39. D(ysfunctional)TC

    @MAllen. Don’t you know Mike Mushak, Esquire is the final arbiter of everything that is admissible in a court of law? We know that case history is replete with devious palm cards, lawn signs, and don’t forget those dastardly buttons and magnets.
    Do not confuse him with the political hacks that get appointed to these commissions, of which he is clearly not one. Now shut up and get your family on those bicycles and don’t even get him started on how campaign literature contributes to global warming.

  40. Joe Espo

    @D(…)TC: It’s amazing how much law you get to know when you graduate from lawn mower school.

  41. Tim T

    This is a non issue . It seems like the Rilling campaign is desperate now that it looks as of he has all but lost the election. I hear that many many democrats are voting Republican this time around.

  42. Norwalk Lifer

    That flyer is despicable, everyone here knows the inference, stop acting so stupid

    Norwalk Lifer

  43. Mike Rotch

    @Tim T. Your statement is not true. In fact it is opposite the truth. A recent poll shows that Republicans are fleeing the party. We Republicans have a big problem, we are losing members. Those that remain are not voting. I have voted Republican in every election, this year may be different. It is a sad state of affairs. Mayor Moccia won the last election by 700 votes. This was against a non-candidate. This time he has competition. I am afraid to say it, but Rilling is going to be the next Mayor.

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