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Watts stuns Perone, wins Dem endorsement for House run in 137th District

Norwalk District 137 Democratic caucus
State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137), left, listens as his challenger, Councilman David Watts (D-District A), thanks supporters, including his 9-year-old son DJ, right.

NORWALK, Conn. – David Watts, the controversial District A Common Councilman, stunned five-term state Rep. Chris Perone Tuesday night to win the endorsement of the District 137 Democrats for a run at Perone’s seat in the General Assembly.

Watts out-polled Perone, 135 to 99, to win the party endorsement in Tuesday night’s caucus, held at Tracey Elementary School. Perone said he would do the work to force a primary in August. “The work” means collecting 228 petition signatures, representing 5 percent of registered District 137 voters, by June 10.

“I think it would be the same if the numbers were reversed,” Perone said. “I always got the sense that David would primary me if this had gone the other way. Logistically, it’s a Tuesday night, it’s a school night, that we got as many people here is pretty amazing, but it is a tough ask for two hours on a Tuesday night to come out rather than the 14-hour window that we have for a normal election.”

The high turnout included a school bus full of Watts supporters.

“I had a school bus. I organized them,” Watts said. “… Had cars drive them to the designation, threw them up on the bus, had a spot designated for the school bus.”

The two candidates shook hands after the count was announced. Watts credited his 9-year-old son with his bid for state rep.

“It was a council meeting, I was getting hammered. DJ said, ‘You know what, I think you need to move up one step.’ For weeks he would say ‘We need to move up one step.’ I gotta thank my son, who inspires me every day,” Watts said.

Watts also thanked his mother, his organizers and former Mayor Alex Knopp, who was chairman of the caucus.

“I would not be here if not for Mayor Alex Knopp,” Watts said. “He recruited me years ago and he encouraged me to get involved. He put me on the Human Relations commission, on the Zoning Commission, and he told me, ‘One day you’re going to be the future at some point.’ I thank Alex every day.”

Former Norwalk Mayor Frank Zullo
Norwalk Councilman David Watts (D-District A) shakes hands with former Mayor Frank Zullo as Zullo heads in to vote Tuesday at Tracey Elementary School.

“I congratulate David on the work that he did,” Perone said. “The bus was impressive, but frankly the work that he put into it was good. My job is to continue forward to talk about what I think is the right thing for our city.”

Perone went on to explain to reporters that he only had 10 days to campaign after the end of the legislative session. He was not surprised by the outcome, he said, pointing out that it was a 36-vote difference.

The vote included six provisional ballots.

“He looked to turn his vote out; I had a shorter window,” Perone said. “My feeling is it’s not entirely indicative of the larger conversation that I feel that I want to have with the voters. The fact is, I campaigned for an open and accessible political process, the Citizen’s Election Program. I believe in an open government. I believe in thorough debate on the issues. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a coronation, as they say. But this is really a work review. We all can be reviewed in our job. We have to make our case as to why we deserve to go back to Hartford and I have never taken that for granted. I continue to take that message out to the people in my district.”

He stressed that he was complimenting Watts.

“I have been in Norwalk campaigning 15 years or so, I’ve never seen (a bus full of voters) before,” Perone said. “It was more about, as I called voters, as I knocked on their doors in the last 10 days, it was clear that people want to have a conversation about the issues and so I believe that is what we are going to be doing going forward.”

Watts said the bus was also his son’s idea.

“He said we need to create bus routes like an average school day to be sure people, the maximum amount of people, would vote at the start of the caucus,” Watts said in an early Wednesday email exchange.

Watts never officially announced his candidacy. NancyOnNorwalk found the documents online in the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website and published a story.

Watts said in the early Wednesday email exchange that he had delayed because his mother is ill and he wanted to wait so she could be at the announcement.

Perone said the election is “really not about candidates.”

“It’s about what the message is,” he said. “My message has always been putting the people first, putting the needs, the business of education first, people’s access to health care, in the forefront of what I’m talking about. I look forward to having a conversation with the voters going forward.”

Norwalk Democratic Caucus 052014 115
Voters check in as Tuesday night’s District 137 Democratic caucus nears its end.

Original story: 

NORWALK, Conn. – David Watts, the controversial District A Common Councilman, stunned five-term state Rep. Chris Perone tonight to win the endorsement of the District 137 Democrats for a run at Perone’s seat in the General Assembly.

Watts outpolled Perone, 135 to 99, to win the party endorsement.

There was no surprise in the 140th District, where incumbent Bruce Morris beat challenger Warren Peña, 222-99. Peña plans to force a primary Aug. 12.

Perone qualified to be on the Aug. 12 primary ballot.

The winners of the primary will move on to the Nov. 4 election.

This story will be updated.

Comments

79 responses to “Watts stuns Perone, wins Dem endorsement for House run in 137th District”

  1. Bill

    Watts had a buss full of black people that someone bussed in. Not sure I agree with his type of racial politics.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Bill
      Details will be forthcoming in the full story. Nancy is still out reporting on 137, 140 and has to get something on Garfunkel, who had no opposition. It will all be there.

  2. Bill

    This comment has been deleted for violating our policy.

  3. peter parker

    OK, I don’t think this is about race. I am white and David Watts shook my hand and introduced himself to me. David has been working very hard for all the people of Norwalk regardless of race. Where and what has Perone done for the 137 district lately?

  4. New Era

    Congrats! New Era Begun in The 137th! 140th happy to stay with the status quote

  5. EveT

    When did Watts change his voter registration to the address of his new apartment so that he officially lives in the district? When did Watts announce he was actually running, not just doing an exploratory committee? Lots of people didn’t think there was any reason to come out and vote because they didn’t know more than one candidate would be on the ballot.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @EveT

      We are not sure when he changed his voter registration, but we do know he registered his campaign committee for the 137th seat in late April after having his undefined exploratory committee for just over a year. He never made a formal announcement of his run. We reported on it earlier this month after we discovered he had finally filed for the seat. He did not cooperate with us when we contacted for comments to put in the story.

  6. Bill

    Watts was dressed really poorly, […] not (like) a politician that was well put together. If we are dumb enough to vote for this guy, we get what we deserve […]

    This comment has been edited to comply with our policy.

  7. D(ysfunctiona)lTC

    Watts Up? This is fantastic news. Can we really possibly get rid of Watts by applying the peter principal and toss Perone from Hartford at the same time? Count me in. Thanks for the entertainment. Going to be a good one.

  8. minimum wage worker

    Congrats to Councilman David Watts!

    Watts built a solid Democratic machine in Ward A and you sore losers know it. Rally behind the endorsed democrat and stop with the personal attacks. I saw a dozen or so young Watts recruits and it was impressive.

    The bus was classic!

  9. Joe Espo

    My understanding of this development is obscured by the fog of the new Chapman PC lens… So much for transparency, Mark. But this is so exciting!!! Go Dave!!!

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Joe Espo
      Sorry civility and a refusal to allow racist comments has ruined your experience. There’s always Topix.

  10. concerned student

    You guys are never satisfied, to say people weren’t aware there were 2 candidates on the ballot that’s classic.
    What really happened- Perone, underestimated Watts, and didn’t do much campaigning!!

  11. minimum wage worker

    This comment has been disallowed for violating our policy

  12. Norewalk Lifer

    Congratulations to David Watts, change is a hard thing to swallow, don’t choke on the convictions that got you into this mess in the first place

  13. John Hamlin

    Watts out organized Perone and, it seems, took him by surprise. Congratulations on his win. But it’s clearly going to be decided in the primary. And ultimately the voters want to know which candidate will do more for Norwalk and the state — if both of them would simply support the disastrous fiscal policies of our state, then it probably doesn’t matter which one of them goes to Hartford.

  14. srb

    sad to see so many comments expunged for what appears to be racism. Sad to see people stoop to this level, can’t they find something substantive to cite? It also shows how deep racism still exists in this society. Pre-WW2 France had a Jewish President (Blum) and this was a supposed sign of the level of integration- then came the Vichy government and collaborators–lots of them…Maybe that’s the way to think of modern day racists as collaborators

  15. Ray J

    It was all about the bus

  16. NorwalkVoter

    And the campaign is just beginning.

  17. David Watts MUST have been desperate to have his people bused in…
    I guess if it is devious enough for obama – it is devious enough for watts.

  18. Having read that it is still possible to get Perone in by collecting signatures – then I hope he goes for it – he could still win this yet.

  19. peter parker

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about the bus. There isn’t any rule that says Watts can’t do this. Bottom line, Watts got one up on an unprepared Perone. This shows how out of touch Perone is, maybe he’ll wake up now and give his district some attention. Perone should have gotten back here sooner and got out his message, and reached out to voters like Watts did. Perone has gotten complacent, he’s been in office too long. Maybe it’s time for a change, that’s not to say Watts is the shining star, but we need change in the 137th district, just like we need big changes in our local government right here in Norwalk.

  20. EastNorwalkChick

    I give kudos to Watts for out organizing Perone in getting people out to vote for him. Like Peter Parker posted, Perone was unprepared and I think a little taken back by it all by look on his face last night. This is a wake-up call to all our elected officials not to become complacent, no seat is a given, you have to earn out vote ever election.
    .
    That said, I still don’t believe Mr. Watts is ready for Hartford, he may be young, enthusiastic and have some great ideas, but I question his maturity to be able to make the right decisions for ALL of us in this district.
    .
    I wish both of them luck in the primary and hope this is going to be an issues based campaign, not a down and dirty one.

  21. D(ysfunctional)TC

    @EN Chick. Watts would be perfect for Hartford. He could grandstand and bore his committees to death with his antics. That may in turn slow down some foolish spending bills. Or they could give Norwalk some ECS boosts just to shut him up. Not too mention the common council would function normally again. Watts not to like here?

  22. LWitherspoon

    I agree with EastNorwalkChick. The behavior Mr. Watts has displayed on Council shows a lack of maturity. The last thing we need to do is reward such behavior with a promotion to Hartford.
    .
    https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2014/05/mccarthy-calls-watts-behavior-inappropriate/
    .
    See the video at the top of the article around 0:50 for an example. There is a striking contrast between the childish buffoonery displayed by Mr. Watts and the thoughtful, reasonable approach displayed by Bruce Kimmel.
    .
    When will Mr. Watts answer the many questions that have been raised about his lack of gainful employment, apart from short-term campaign work for a shoe-in New Haven mayoral candidate?

  23. Bill

    There is nothing racist in saying someone is unemployed, or that a candidate appeared to only shake minority citizens hands while waiting in line, or saying everyone on Watt’s bus was a minority. Those are facts Mr. Chapman, “edit” however you see fit, but print the facts.

  24. FYI

    Just to add a little information and help clear up some things for people who were not there last night…
    The bus was not filled with one particular race but a mix of races. The bus was actually mostly filled with seniors, who we all know always come out to vote but because of this specific voting time needed a ride. So having a bus wasn’t some crazy thing.. but rather a huge help to those who need it the most.
    To address the way Councilman Watts was dressed: Yes, his shirt was a little untucked but that’s what happens when you’re working hard. He was helping seniors in and out of the bus, greeting people, and walking with his 9 year old son.

  25. Peter Parker

    I disagree with LWitherspoon. Mr. McCarthy could make anyone lose their patience so please don’t lay all the blame on Mr. Watts as it relates to the article you referred to. So is there a double standard? McCarthy can adorn himself in pompous self-riotousness, and support Hal Alvord’s incompetence and blatant disregard for the taxpayers, but Watts can’t make a lighthearted joke. It’s a two way street.

    Perone may really have to fight to keep his seat. It could be a close race. I love watching democracy in motion. I’m also wondering where all the registered democrats of the 137th district were last night? Apathy is poor policy. If people don’t vote they shouldn’t complain. It would have been in Perones best interest to canvas his constituents votes instead of kowtowing to the Hartford Rat Pack. Perone has obviously fallen short of his duties to the 137th constituents, Last night was Perone’s wake up call, or was it the beginning of his nightmare?

  26. LWitherspoon

    @Peter Parker
    .
    If Dave McCarthy did a mocking impression of David Watts at a Common Council committee meeting, I would condemn it just as strongly. In fact if you go back and look you’ll find that I have criticized Mr. McCarthy in the past when his behavior has fallen below the standard that I expect from elected officials.
    .
    I find it interesting that the most common response to factual comments about Watts’s childish and unprofessional behavior is to change the subject by attacking someone else. In other words, “but look what this other guy did some other time.” We don’t accept such justifications from schoolchildren and we certainly shouldn’t accept them from aspiring state representatives.
    .
    I agree with you that healthy competition is good for Democracy. I would add that so is civil discussion about a candidate’s employment history and accomplishments as an elected official. Can you tell us anything about Mr. Watts’s employment history and accomplishments?

  27. Bill

    Yes, I would love to know about Mr. Watt’s history and employment record. Maybe NoN could do some research on this topic.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Bill

      Yes, we will be researching this, along with the same info on all the candidates, starting today.

  28. Peter Parker

    @LWitherspoon,
    And I find in interesting and disconcerting that everyone is willing to overlook the actions of McCarthy and Alvord as it relates to the DPW, and their questionable practices. But meanwhile there is a preoccupation with David Watts employment history and not his record of service for this City. Watts has been effective on the council and that’s why they are looking for anything they can to discredit him. The status quo are intimidated by him, so now it’s all about his employment history. So what’s next, do they ask Watts to produce his birth certificate? I don’t care if he was a dish washer, as long as he is an effective councilman and subsequently an effective state representative if he should win the election.

    I am not endorsing Watts per say, but I do think that the current bunch of bananas should take note, the taxpayers are feed up and changes are inevitable. The next city elections may prove very interesting unless things change for the better.

  29. D(ysfunctiona)lTC

    @PeterParker. Name one thing Watts has done effectively as a councilman. Just one. I dare you. And please spare us any non binding resolutions. Please tie in, if you can, how his 50% plus absence/tardiness rate is effective.

  30. Bill

    @PeterParker, you should care if the man who wants to be responsible for your government can’t even be responsible enough to hold a day job, much less lose weight and live healthy.

  31. “the taxpayers are feed [fed] up…”
    Yup, but electing Watts for anything is just a blind eye to the problem. Watts doesn’t solve problems but creates them… and not the kind that should get political merit ….

  32. LWitherspoon

    @Bill
    .
    NoN asked the question back in January. Here’s the result:
    .
    https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2014/01/once-around-the-city-some-shocking-news-about-watts-bjs-more/
    .
    After questioning the motives of those wondering what an elected official does for a living – as if it’s not appropriate to ask – Watts responded that he worked as a “campaign consultant” for out of town campaigns, citing work for the campaign of New Haven mayoral shoe-in Toni Harp. Obviously that campaign ended last November. I hope NoN continues to research the question and that Mr. Watts provides a full answer. When the Mayor wants to appoint someone to one of the City’s many volunteer boards and commissions, that person must provide a resume. The same, if not more, should be expected of someone who aspires to be a State Representative.
    .
    I believe Mr. Watts had some job with the City back when Alex Knopp was Mayor but I’m not aware of the details, or of any other gainful employment. The City web site shows that as of May 16, Mr. Watts owes a total of $7,602.10 in unpaid property taxes, interest, and sewer fees. A portion of that sum dates back to the 2011 tax year. He appears not to have paid ANY property taxes for the 2012 tax year and owes $629.65 in interest for that year. If Mr. Watts wants to help the City of Norwalk, how about he start by paying his long overdue tax bills?
    .
    In the meantime voters should ask themselves if we are best served by electing a state representative who can’t or won’t pay his taxes on time.

  33. Peter Parker

    @Bill regardless of what race the people on the bus were, they were residents and registered democrats of the 137th district, and had every right to be there and cast a vote for the candidate of their choice. I’d be careful what I called those people on that bus someone may get the wrong idea and accuse you of being a bigot. And what of it if Watts facilitated them with a bus? Score one for Watts! Ingenious! Perone’s own over confidence and complacency left him blindsided. It wasn’t a secret there was going to be a democratic caucus last night, so there was no excuse for all registered democrats of the 137th district not to show up and vote.

  34. Peter Parker

    @ D(ysfunctiona)Really, this is the only fact that matters at the moment: David Watts, the controversial District A Common Councilman, stunned five-term state Rep. Chris Perone Tuesday night to win the endorsement of the District 137 Democrats for a run at Perone’s seat in the General Assembly.

  35. Peter Parker

    @lilly deacon thanks for pointing out that spelling error how kind of you. Your kindness is appreciated. Some might say Watts is obviously doing something right, he just won the endorsement of the District 137 Democrats for a run at Perone’s seat in the General Assembly.

  36. Hobbes the Calvinist

    Exposing the weak campaign organization of Rep. Perone has to make Republicans cringe. For years they put up anemic opponents none of whom broke 40% of the vote. With their weak bench, the local GOP will have to sit this game out.

    It was nice of David Watts to thank his son. But, he really should have thanked ex-Mayor Moccia. It was Moccia who gave him countless opportunities to prove that David was unafraid to fight with the insiders and the political elite.

    Hal Alvord might consider Watts “rude”, but the people who elect him to fight for their overlooked neighborhoods care less about his presumed manners and more about his moxie. They know it’s hard to keep your shirt tucked in when you’re landing so many solid punches to your opponents.

  37. Peter Parker

    @ Hobbes the Calvinist, very well put. Excellent!

  38. Peter Parker

    @ LWitherspoon, Evidently Watts supporters are not fazed by these accusations, they gave him the nomination.

  39. Bill

    Highlighting that one candidate can pay for a private bus full of minority voters but still fail to pay his $7,000 past due tax bill does not make someone a bigot, it makes them informed 😉

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Bill

      But a private bus full of white voters would have been different? Would you have noted the color of the passengers in your original post had they been white? Last warning: You are butting up against our ban on racist comments. To paraphrase another frequent commenter, one (more) and done.

  40. D(ysfunctional)TC

    @PeterParker. No doubt kudos deserved to Watts, but do try to list one meaningful job he has held and one meaningful contribution to council business. He is going to have to do this to win the real deal. Anyone can pack a convention hall with the over zealous. The electorate will not be the same mix. Tell us in real terms what he will do if elected and show us in his past where he has proven he is capable of delivering. In almost three years we have seen nothing but the council clown in action.

  41. Peter Parker

    Obviously they were not a bus load of minorities, in fact, if truth be told, they were most certainly a bus load of the majority as quantified by last night’s caucus results.

  42. LWitherspoon

    @PeterParker and HobbestheCalvinist
    .
    Doing well in a caucus and doing well in an election are two different things. But don’t take my word for it, just ask Mayor Mangiacopra.
    .
    It’s also worth noting that Rep. Chris Perone has the near full-time job of State Representative, along with freelance marketing work according to a media report from several years ago. David Watts, in contrast, doesn’t appear to have any gainful employment. While Perone was working in Hartford, Watts was spending money on a school bus to bring people to the caucus to vote for him. In the meantime Mr. Watts has unpaid property tax bills going back to 2011. Is that the kind of irresponsibility we want representing Norwalk’s needs in Hartford? How would Mr. Watts balance the CT state budget when he can’t even pay his own bills?

  43. Peter Parker

    @D(ysfunctional)TC It’s up to Watts to quantify his accomplishments, which I’m sure he will do during the course of his campaign, as will Perone, who I’m sure will get the signatures he requires to run. Then the voters will decide the outcome, or should I stipulate, the voters that make it to the polls will decide the outcome. As I said earlier, I am not supporting Watts per say, but it would be unwise for anyone to count him out. He has an overwhelming group of supporters who will rally behind him. I think Perone has a lot of work to do if he wants to get back in this race.

  44. Oyster

    Though its insider baseball, a previous poster has made a very good point. Watts has been raising money and organizing full time for over a year.

    Perone stepped out of the final session in Hartford straight into a caucus fight. It is likely than many who supported Perone stayed home thinking he was safe from a candidate who couldn’t be bothered to move into the district or file to come out of exploratory until the last minute.
    Perone’s multiple terms show that he is popular with his constituents. He is well respected in Hartford. I would not put odds on a Watts win in a primary.

  45. Considering Watts only won by 36 votes (probably those bused in…) lets see if Perone fights back and takes to getting signatures to get back on the ballot (just like Pena).

  46. And I hope that all people were verified as legal people to vote….Can NON get verification on that? If I were Perone, I would demand verification.
    (obama’s premise….)

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Lilly Deacon

      Nancy says voters were checked in by Dwain Omar King and Diane Lauricella.

  47. peter parker

    and ID was required. If you were not on the list you were not allowed into the building. Perone and Watts were both there as well

  48. peter parker

    Lilly may I ask if you live in the 137th district, because I do and was there? It sounds like you were not there.

  49. Was not there and not a liberal –

  50. peter parker

    I would never have guessed. So then you can’t even vote if there is a democratic primary runoff in the 137th district. That explains your anger on this issue. I wonder how many others voicing their objections to Watts don’t live in the district and are not registered Democrats. Amazing.

  51. peter parker

    LWitherspoon That all may be very true, but the 137th constituents present at last nights caucus gave it to Watts. They don’t seem to care about all the facts you note. Were you there, or are you just another republican, or democrat that doesn’t live in the 137 district? If so you really have no control of last nights vote or any upcoming primary. My guess is you don’t live in this district and you are not a democrat.

  52. Bill

    @Mark Chapman, you do an admirable job reporting that news, but it isn’t racist to report that Mr. Watt’s bus didn’t include a single white person. If that gets me banned, so be it. The actual racism could be found in the fact that Mr. Watt’s bus didn’t attempt to pick up a single white elderly voter, why was that? These are fair questions and do not make anyone racist.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Bill
      Your observations are disputed by others. As we were not there, we cannot judge who is correct. However, what difference does it make what color they were? If Chris Perone bused in 30 white people would anyone have called him out on the race issue? If we find true racism in such a move – denying people equal access to transportation based on color, for instance– them it becomes an issue. A big one. But injecting race this election because a black candidate provides transportation to people no doubt identified as likely favorable voters? Wrong. Happens all the time with candidates of all races. We won’t allow this site to be used as for the perpetuation of bigotry against anyone for any reason. If you have any evidence or concerns that a candidate is discriminating against anyone for any reason, email us at [email protected]. Allegations of that type, unsubstantiated, can be considered libelous, so we need to hear about them offline.
      Thank you.

  53. EastNorwalkChick

    I was there last night, I’m a 137th constituent, I voted. I was impressed by the turnout, I give it to Mr. Watts for getting the vote out. Not only did he provide a bus, but he also sent out postcards, good for him for being so forward thinking.
    .
    The only thing is, I who live in E. Norwalk did not recieve one, nor did any of my neighbors who are registered Democrats received one. So I wonder if Mr. Watts believes that only the constiuents who live in So. Norwalk will be enough to give him a primary victory.
    .
    The district is big and it includes all races, ethnicities, beliefs and every income level posible, Mr. Watts is going to need to reach out to everyone and appeal to everyone in the district if he wants to get elected. He may have a name for himself in So. Norwalk, but many here in E. Norwalk have no clue who he is.
    .
    I have met and spoken to Mr. Watts on several occasions, he does have moxie, that someone here posted earlier, for sure. He definately wants this and he is working hard to get it, definately a great campaign organizer. But do I think that is enough? No.
    .
    Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my cynicism, but I was not impressed with the conversations I had with him. I believe he needs a little more maturity, experience and to realize he has to appeal to everyone.
    .
    But I will not tell him to temper his enthusiasm….because I do find that very refreshing and something that is much needed in Hartford.

  54. Bill

    Nothing libelous in stating facts. My question should be answered by Mr. watts himself. Probably not appropriate for a comment section, but relevant nonetheless. Why didn’t Mr. Watt’s bus pick up anyone not considered a racial minority in Norwalk? No one disputes the fact that not one non-minority or “white” person was brought to the election on Watt’s bus. Does Mr. Watts want to imply that there isn’t a single indigent white, elderly person who could have used a ride to the polls? This is trivial in the end, but something I find disheartening. It is sad that politics has devolved along racial lines, and simply stating the fact that one candidate seems to facilitate certain races to vote over others is neither racist nor liable.

  55. peter parker

    Some people are racist, but just don’t realize it. The comment at the top of this list posted on May 20th at 9:51pm is most certainly racist. Unfortunately most bigoted racists don’t even realize they are. We are all God’s children. Watts was not required to bus anyone to the polls that was not a supporter regardless of color. I don’t know David Watts very well, but you can bet if a constituent needed a ride to the polls, supporter or not, David would give them a ride. He is a good and kind person.

  56. FYI

    Bill, I find your comments very interesting because you seem to be VERY passionate about this and the fact that you THINK there were no white people on the bus. As someone who WAS there and saw every single person come off the bus, I can confirm that there were white people on the bus (not that it matters White, African American or Hispanic) the people on the bus needed rides. So please stop with the lies…

  57. peter parker

    @Mark Chapman, Censorship of reader comments and views will adversely affect your news reporting and website. As long as there is not offensive language it should not be a problem. Taking down a comment page fly’s in the face of its purpose. You are not libel for reader comments. Continued censorship will give certain folks the opportunity to accuse you of manipulating comments to serve your views. I think it’s a practice that will come back to haunt you.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Peter Parker
      FYI, just looked at The Hour story. They shut down comments and took down the 8 that were there.

  58. LWitherspoon

    @peter parker
    .
    “They don’t seem to care about all the facts you note.”
    .
    Your comment conveniently omits another possibility – that those voters were simply unaware. It is hard to believe that anyone who is aware of Mr. Watts’s behavior and irresponsibility with respect to paying his taxes would vote for him for anything.

  59. Mike Mushak

    To Dysfunctuional TC and others requesting employment records: great idea! That would include McCarthy too, right?

  60. Mr. Ludlow

    Nobody (maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, so let’s say “few of the people”) who voted for Chris Perone could tell you any position he’s taken or legislation he’s written. But they voted for him because he’s a nice guy– with no credible Republican candidate to ever challenge him (Art Scialabba? Perennial recount winner Joanne Romano?), there was never any thought given to thinking about if Perone was the best Norwalk could do.

    Say what you will about his shirt, his job or his “manners”, but Watts saw the weakness of his opponent and had the sense to rent a bus, offer rides to the caucus and get his vote to the polls.
    Whether he’s the worst kind of tax and spend liberal there is, or some covert conservative, it doesn’t matter because he’s the guy who got the busload of people to vote for him. With no Republican candidate willing to run (a sad commentary on the anemic “leadership” of District A which makes up most of the Perone district), Watts will just have to rent the bus for one more day and he will have punched his ticket to Hartford.

    And a special note to Bill and his obsession with the racial composition of the bus– the three-fifths compromise was repealed. Everyone’s vote counts the same so the race of voters becomes irrelevant. But, if they had buses bringing voters to the polls in the early 1800’s, you would be the person I’d call to see if the passengers were entitled to a full or fractional vote.

  61. @Peter Parker –
    why do you interpret anger? I am just playing devil’s advocate –

  62. @PP,
    No problem on the spelling error – and thank you for your sentiment\….

  63. If the bus was truly a “general” concern to get voters to the polls then why didn’t Watts extend this offer to those OUTSIDE of south norwalk? Could be that he ONLY wanted his people on the bus? It definitely reeks of a racially motivated agenda.

    But talk about stooping low. Not a bright political move – Watts has shown his true colors – his campaign will get MORE low brow than it already has shown and it highlights how desperate he is to getting his votes.

  64. LWitherspoon

    @Mike Mushak
    .
    Absolutely. During the last election we learned from NoN that McCarthy has worked at GE Capital and IBM, and when McCarthy is up for re-election I hope he will be asked about his employment once again.
    .
    To be clear, nobody is asking for employment records. A simple resume would be fine, just like the Common Council requires for appointed boards and commissions. I hope you’re not suggesting that we’re not entitled to know this information about someone who wishes to represent Norwalk in Hartford.
    .
    To those who seem obsessed with the racial composition of the people on the bus – it doesn’t matter. What matters are Mr. Watts’s immature behavior, his lack of qualifications and accomplishment, and the offensive way in which he consistently prioritizes the interests of municipal employee unions over those of taxpayers.

  65. Peter Parker

    I agree, all should produce employment records, but the fact that Watts won the 137th Democratic causes remains. It may also turn out to be a fact that a majority of the Democratic constituents from the 137th district care more about Watts moxie and ability to fly in the face of convention than his employment record, or alleged unpaid taxes. I guess that remains to be seen, and will be decided by the registered Democrats that live in the 137th district. Meanwhile Watts is in the race and gaining great notoriety via all the controversy. Again, democracy in motion. I love it. Congratulations to Councilman Watts.

  66. srb

    Of course he only wanted his backers on the bus, he’s paying for the bus. That’s the job of a politician to try to get his or her people out to vote. The Presidential caucus in Iowa is famous for similar tactics. There were less than 450 votes in these elections, a few extra people at the polls makes all the difference. Both parties do it- as they should.

  67. Norewalk Lifer

    This again is ridiculous, busing voters has been a tool for many elections, Kennedy did it, Nixon did it, Carter did it, Reagan did it, Clinton did it, Bush did it,

    And we “pick on” Obama for doing it? Oh yeah, that’s right, he has big ears which is offensive to some!

    Geez people, can you get anymore “transparent”? no pun intended?

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  68. LWitherspoon

    @Norewalk Lifer [sic]
    .
    I agree that most campaigns bus voters to polls. Who is on the bus is a non-issue, and as I have noted previously there has been a lot of ridiculousness surrounding Mr. Watts’s bus.
    .
    May I respectfully suggest that you avoid making broad accusations of racism against others, i.e. “Geez people, could you get any more transparent”. There are plenty of us who find Mr. Watts unsuitable for elected office for reasons that have nothing to do with race. Jumping to conclusions and painting everyone with the same brush is the sort of behavior I would expect from a racist. I would not expect it from an educated person such as yourself.

  69. piberman

    Has NON learned the details of Mr Watts “platform” ? Mr Perone has supported the Governor’s tax snd spend policies earning impressive local victories. Would Mr Watts be different ?

  70. Norewalk Lifer

    @Witherspoon, not referring to your comments at all.

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

  71. Tony Stark

    This comment has been rejected because it violates our comment policy.

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