Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Election 2014 Congressional Candidates

Waterbury is divided between two U.S. Congressional Districts: the 3rd and 5th.

Third District Congressional Race

The 3rd District includes some of Waterbury (most of what's to the south of I-84), Naugatuck, New Haven, Wallingford, and so on. Rosa DeLauro (D) has served as the Congresswoman for the 3rd District since 1991. I've never met her, and it seems like she barely notices that Waterbury is in her district. Govtrack.us seems to have some good data on her performance in the U.S. Congress.

Rosa DeLauro
(photo from Govtrack.us)

DeLauro's opponent in this year's election is Republican James Brown of Stratford. According to his campaign website, Brown is a high school math teacher and track coach. He joined the Stratford Republican Town Committee in 2012; I don't see any other political experience in his background. It appears that he supports unlimited gun rights, opposes the Affordable Care Act, opposes bailing out failing companies (like banks or car manufacturers), and seems to think that if the U.S. starts declaring war, there will be fewer wars. In other words, Brown is more or less a Tea Party candidate with no real political experience.

James Brown
(photo from campaign website)

Fifth District Congressional Race

The incumbent for the 5th District is Elizabeth Esty. I like Esty. She attends as many local functions as she can, and she always seems to genuinely care about and like her constituents. She takes the time to listen to what her constituents have to say, and she makes sure that anyone sending her a formal invitation to an event receives a written reply. This is only her second year in Congress, so she is still working on establishing herself in Washington. She has sponsored bills for Manufacturing Universities; Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship; and Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention. Check out Govtrack.us for more on what she's done so far in Congress.

Elizabeth Esty

The challenger in the 5th District race is Mark Greenberg. Greenberg's campaign seems to be mired in ugliness. When I visited the landing page of his campaign website, it was loaded up with negative campaigning against Esty, connecting her with inflammatory words including "hate," "lying," and "failure." That first page of his campaign website was so ugly, it almost made me want to close my browser window. But for the sake of this blog post, I continued on to Greenberg's stand on the issues.

Interpreting the vague generalities of Greenberg's platform, it looks like he favors reducing or eliminating some government programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, while spending more money on the military; reducing taxes for the wealthy; repealing the Affordable Care Act (seriously, the GOP hasn't given up on that yet!); drilling for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (which he prefers to call the Alaskan Coastal Plain, so maybe you won't notice); unlimited gun rights; and banning abortion. I guess that billboard suggesting Greenberg is a Tea Party candidate isn't too far off.

Mark Greenberg
(photo from campaign website)

Finally, there is the John Rowland factor. Poor Mr. Greenberg. When Rowland allegedly approached him with a campaign scam four years ago, Greenberg refused--although he admitted in court that it took him a long time to work up the courage to turn down the offer. He also did not have the courage to say anything about it until two years ago, when Rowland was arrested for running the same scam with Lisa Wilson-Foley and Brian Foley. The scenario woven by Greenberg's testimony is one in which Rowland is allowed to think that Greenberg is interested in his offer for a long time, while Greenberg avoids turning him down. The awkwardness of Greenberg's encounter with Rowland would never have come to light if it weren't for the recent trial. Greenberg's testimony shows us that he has some ethics, but not enough backbone to stand up to political corruption. Now, maybe that can be suspected of every politician, but with Greenberg, we know it's true.

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