NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:
Dodging responsibility – is it partisan?
Republican Town Committee Chairman Pete Torrano had a long agenda for Monday’s Republican Outreach Committee, including plenty of time for thoughtful out-of-towner Regina Roundtree to share her insights in addition to the organizational chores necessary for a new group.
This drew a friendly rebuke from Darline Perpignon, who held up the agenda and said, “No offense, I like what you wrote in here, but we still have just way too much in the cart.”
“What?” Torrano said.
“We have a lot more in the cart before we can put the horse in front of it,” Perpignon said, waiving the agenda.
“I know that, but I had to start somewhere,” Torrano said. “I didn’t know where to start because I haven’t done this before. … That’s why for No. 4 it says, ‘select a chairperson.’ Well, from No. 4 on, the chairperson is in charge of this agenda – See the way I got out of it?”
“Very well done,” Roundtree said, giving a little round of applause. “That was almost done like a Democrat.”
The chairperson in the previous item turned out to be Perpignon. Before ending the meeting, she thanked Torrano for getting her involved and said she understood, he doesn’t want people looking at him and “having the wrong perception” because he is Republican.
“I have to tell you I get that, too. They look at me, I tell them I went Republican. They say, ‘You what?”
She continued, comically, “I usually tell people we’re not contagious. We’re not contagious. Even my father, not too long ago – he works at the Mohegan Sun, quick story – I said, ‘Oh Poppy, I will see you.’ He said, ‘For what? Why are you coming? You a gambler now?’ I said, ‘No, I’m coming up for the convention.’ He said, ‘What convention? The only convention I know of that is going on is the Republican convention.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that one.’ He said, ‘What? You’re rich now??’”
She said that was the kind of “not in my back yard” attitude that needs to be addressed.
Voting for Bruce Morris, no matter the obstacle
Turnout was high for Tuesday’s Democratic caucuses, with long lines at both Tracey Elementary School and Columbus Magnet School, where state representative candidates were endorsed.
One woman tried to vote in both places.
The voter, who declined to be identified, came out of Tracey as the caucus was nearly at an end and said she voted for Bruce Morris. Funny thing is, Tracey was where the choices were either David Watts or Chris Perone.
She described the ballot she filled out: “There was a section. It had a blank line. It said ‘write in.’”
She wrote in Morris.
Told Morris didn’t represent the voters in this district she said, with a laugh, “I know.”
She had gone to Columbus only to be told she couldn’t vote there because she didn’t live in the district. “I was like, ‘rats,’” she said.
The ballot was set aside as provisional, but the voter seemed to think she had scored a moral victory.
Counting ballots at that caucus appeared to be simple – Democratic Town Committee members Elsa Peterson Obuschowski, a Perone supporter, and Dwain Omar King, a Watts fan, examined each of the yellow slips of paper and set them into piles signifying who had voted for who. Then they counted.
Former Mayor Alex Knopp was chairman of that caucus.
“In case you don’t like this system, I just read a novel by Jeffrey Archer about a British parliamentary election and this is how it was done,” he said. “They caught a cheat very easily so I thought this was a good thing to try out.”
That brought some snickers.
“They don’t use machines, they use paper ballots,” Knopp said of Parliament.
No cheats were found, just the aforementioned invalid vote.