Letter: Voting is a right and a privilege

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To the editor,

With less than a month to go before Election Day, Naugatuck is pretty quiet. Still, we have taken some requests for lawn signs for our Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and for U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon. Linda has been to several Naugatuck events listening to resident’s concerns and responding with understanding. While Romney’s campaign may be focused on other states, we certainly have heard from many supporters, who know first-hand, as they try to maintain their own household budgets, that we are not better off than we were four years ago.

While the big campaigns command a lot of our attention, we should be paying at least as much to the races for state offices. These candidates are our local leaders and neighbors.  In Naugatuck, we are fortunate that our two state representatives David Labriola (R-131) and Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) have no opponents this Election Day. They will continue to represent us well in Hartford. For state Senate, Joan Hartley (D-15) is also running unopposed.

We do have a vote to cast in the 17th Senatorial District. Tony Szewcyzk from Derby has stepped up to run against Joe Crisco, a long-time incumbent. Interestingly, this newcomer is raising money for his campaign the old-fashioned way — by asking for support from area residents. Tony is not using the taxpayer-funded program voted in by the legislature, supposedly to clean up elections and make it easier for someone new to enter the arena.  Joe Crisco, however, has qualified for these funds and feels entitled to use our taxpayer dollars for his reelection campaign.

While we complain as we sit in our living rooms watching the political debates and ads on TV, and while we say that it is time for these incumbents to go, consider how much more difficult it is to make a decision to run a campaign knowing that you are committing your own valuable time with the intention of serving in office to try to make a difference in our state or municipal government.

At our September meeting, we got to know that Tony Szewcyzk, who seems quiet, has strength in his beliefs and convictions. While working with Tony and the Valley GOP as we planned an event held earlier this year, I found Tony to be a real, down-to-earth, fiscal conservative, who is concerned with the present and future direction of our Naugatuck Valley towns. Voters in the 17th Senatorial District, while you are learning more about the candidates on the ballot, please consider Tony Szewcyzk to represent us in Hartford.  More information about Tony can be found on his website at www.tony4senator17.com.

Naugatuck voters should also pay close attention to the questions on the ballot which would amend our Charter: changing municipal elections to November, extending the mayor’s term from two to four years, revising the budget referendum process, changing town clerk’s position from elected to appointed/hired, eliminating some archaic offices and charter language.

Lastly, try not to get discouraged by all of the political bantering. Debates and negative ads have been a part of politics long before any of us were alive. While studies may show that they are effective in getting a message across, I worry that they discourage compassionate and intelligent people from voting. While it may be some work to filter out the unimportant, voting is a right and a privilege. This Nov. 6, make a choice that is right for you and your family and vote.

Dorothy Hoff

Chairwoman

Republican Town Committee

Naugatuck