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Donovan Defends Record In Southbury

by | Aug 9, 2012 1:29pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Congress, Election 2012

Southbury First Selectman Ed Edelson told the Heritage Village Democratic Club Thursday that it really irks him when he hears people say they don’t want to send a career politician to Congress.

It’s like saying you don’t want an auto mechanic to fix your car, or a plumber to fix your leaky faucet, he said in introducing Chris Donovan to a small group of about 20 people.

“You don’t become Speaker of the House overnight,” Edelson said.

Edelson cited Donovan’s experience as a lawmaker for 20 years and his ability to bring people together as two reasons he’s supporting him on Aug. 14.

While there are no public polls on the three-way race between Donovan, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty, and Dan Roberti, the dollars being spent on television advertising seem to point to it being a horse race between Esty and Roberti. Of course, since there is no public polling in the race, Donovan could still be in the lead. It will all depend on whose supporters come out to vote on Aug. 14.

Donovan had been considered the favorite in the race, but the arrest of his former finance director and former campaign manager for hiding the source of $27,500 in campaign donations in exchange for defeating legislation, has taken its toll.

“The elephant in the room is this investigation,” Edelson said.

However, he said the silence of the FBI over the past few months proves to him that it has no evidence to prove Donovan had any knowledge of what was going on in his campaign. Furthermore, no politician has ever held office for a long period of time without one of their staff members doing something wrong.

“The key is how do you respond to that and Chris took action to remove the people,” Edelson said.

Donovan briefly addressed the allegations reiterating all the things he did from immediately firing the staff involved to hiring a former Republican U.S. Attorney to investigate his own campaign.

But he conceded that he doesn’t have the money to answer all the accusations being lobbed against him by Esty and Roberti, who recently loaned their campaigns $500,000 and $830,000 respectively.

“People who have money can put information out there that is actually wrong,” Donovan said.

That’s why Donovan said if he’s elected he would work to establish a public campaign finance system similar to Connecticut’s.

“That’s a reality. There’s a lot of money out there,” Donovan said.

He used that to transition into talking about his background.

“I live on an eighth of an acre, which is very small. I can mow it in 20-minutes,” Donovan said as the group laughed. “I have a mortgage. One and a half bathrooms. My daughter, wife and I have cars that all have over 100,000 miles on them.”

He painted himself as a candidate of modest means who is trying to represent “people in the community.”

Bob Tendler, former Southbury Democratic Town Committee chairman, said he’s known Donovan for 10 years and he knows “people can put stuff on TV and say bad things,” but “this is the best guy in the world.”

Tendler said he knows Donovan would never “take a penny from anyone.”

Donovan spent most of his time recalling the 2009 budget battle with Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell. The battle that year over how to close a $8.56 billion two-year budget deficit was the longest in the state’s history stretching into September.

Several budgets were passed by the General Assembly and the final budget which included an increase on the income tax for millionaires, went into effect without her signature.

Donovan told the audience about how during one session at the governor’s residence he was asked to come up with more than $500 million in program cuts that would impact some of the state’s neediest residents and instead of looking at the list he talked about Tiger Woods.When they emerged after about a half-hour later he said they told Rell they weren’t going to make any cuts.

He said the Democrats eventually convinced her to increase taxes on the wealthy.

Rell agreed in late August of that year to increase the rate on individuals making more than $500,000 a year from 5 to 6.5 percent.

Republican lawmakers warned at the time that the 2009 budget was built on gimmicks and would unravel in short order. The $37.6 billion, two-year budget, only included about $3 billion in spending cuts. The rest of the $8.56 billion budget deficit was made up by $1.2 billion in tax hikes, $950 million in borrowing, $1.47 billion in federal stimulus, $1.3 billion in securitization, and $1.4 billion from the Rainy Day fund.

Just two years later, by the time Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took office in January 2011, he was staring down a $3.6 billion budget deficit.

But Donovan maintains the legislature did the right thing by not cutting social services in 2009.

“It’s not numbers it’s real people,” he said.

The budget that year proposed getting rid of dental services for low-income adults. He said those making more than $500,000 a year can afford to pay $20 more per week in taxes. He said going to the dentist is not a luxury.

He said he believes if he can get a Republican governor to increase taxes on the wealthy then in Washington D.C. he can convince Republicans not to voucher Medicare or privatize Social Security.

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(3) Archived Comments

posted by: MGKW | August 9, 2012  2:48pm


The FBI can take its sweet time and deliver indictments after the election…if Donovan wins what is the party left with? Losing the seat that’s what.

Chris Donovan recently sent out a mailer having Chris Murphy vouching for his integrity to Dems in the 5th CD…the Murphy campaign did not authorize it. Donovan’s campaign manager Tom Swan apologized and said “we have to do a better job of communicating “with the Murphy campaign. Yeah riiiight!…..that happened “by accident on purpose”….Just another day in the life of the Donovan campaign. Along with the scandals which Donovan had no knowledge of, the campaign’s tactics speak for themselves.

“Opie” Roberti will not file his campaign finance report until after the election so no one knows where he is getting his money and who is donors really are…but he continues to run ads that are totally negative after making a pledge during one of the early debates, not to. His father, continues to pull the levers of his campaign, making it look cynical, packaged and taking the voters for granted. Oh, and in addition he mentions Chris Murphy and himself in the same sentence every chance he gets…kinda reminds me of Rudy Guiliani and 9/11. Message to both I know Chris Murphy and neither of you are Chris Murphy.

Meanwhile, Esty has picked up the endorsements of the The New York Times, The Hartford Courant, the Torrington Register and the Danbury News-Times. Apparently, these papers really see what is really going on in the 5th.  I suggest you read their editorials, especially the Register…its assessment is spot on about the candidates and the political landscape of the district.


posted by: Christopher55 | August 9, 2012  8:51pm

If this guy had no idea of what was going on with his campaign, how in heck can he expect to know whats going on in the real world. He needs to drop out now!!!

posted by: ALD | August 9, 2012  9:19pm

“Message to both I know Chris Murphy and neither of you are Chris Murphy.”

I know Chris Murphy too…...... Thankfully there is only one of him…  This state does not need another career politician. We really need someone who has a clue. Which in this case means virtually anyone else.

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