New Chairman

I blinked and thirty years of politics is behind me now.  Fitting then, that I should become the Republican Town Committee Chair with such varied political and community experience.  I have had a different path than my predecessors; taking to politics out of necessity rather than want.  Many folks remember my years as an Advocate for people with differences and Special Education PTA President.   Others as Board of Education Member or Chair of my Community Board.  Those who know me of late know that I am the Elections Administrator for Ridgefield and all around campaigner. 

My first priority as Chair is to join with others to save our state.  Friends are fleeing or talking about moving.  This November election can turn the state around or put the final nail in our coffin.  It is that simple.  No one believes that we can continue the present course of taxation and deficits.  No one wants tolls or more taxes. Our only chance now is to vote to change our leadership and the direction of Connecticut. So think now….primaries are certain to come this summer. You want change and know that it is needed.  Think carefully about which party you believe can change the freefall spiral in our state.

Know this: The Republican Town Committee will be an inclusive group - the preverbal large tent.  It is what I believe in.  It is the path that has enabled my life to become so rich.  Join us too, if you have a community project or idea in mind and lack the necessary hands to do it.  We meet on the third Thursday of the month at town hall conference room at 7:30.  Come and meet us.  We look forward to a great year!

Hope S. Wise


Let’s not honor a bigot

Although it had been hailed as the crown jewel in the town’s acquisition of the Schlumberger property, the iconic building there is becoming a painful reminder of murderous bigotry.

Impossible? Not really. Not if we continue calling it “the Philip Johnson Building,” labeling it with the name of the man who designed it decades ago.

Mr. Johnson was not just an internationally famous architect. He was a loyal apostle of Adolf Hitler and he preached the abhorrent Nazi gospel in several pre-war tours of Europe. And back home in the United States at the same time, he was an outspoken supporter of political candidates who leaned toward Der Fuhrer’s fascism.

Indeed, his enthusiastic embrace of Hitler’s “ethnic cleansing” and a “master race” attracted the attention of the FBI which suspected Johnson, fluent in the German language, of being a Nazi spy. In a memo on Johnson to Director J. Edgar Hoover, one agent wrote that he could not think “of no more dangerous man” to have in any agency entrusted with military secrets.

In his new book, “Fighting the Shadow War---A Divided America in a World at War,” Marc Wortman reports that in speaking at a Hitler rally during the rise of the Nazis, Johnson warned the French government about a “group that always gains control in a nation’s time of weakness --- the Jews.”

In 1940, after Nazi armies invaded the Polish Corridor, Johnson all but applauded, noting the large Jewish population there. And as the Reich’s “putsch” continued across Europe, millions of people were being “relocated” to the ovens at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Johnson never apologized nor recanted his Nazi bent although before he died he did ascribe it all to a “young man’s fancies.” Earlier, Wortman’s book quoted Johnson as saying, “You simply could not fail to be caught up in the excitement of it, the marching songs, by the crescendo and climax of the whole thing as Hitler came on at last to harangue the crowd.”

But the famed architect was not nearly so innocent. Hitler was notoriously and sometimes violently homophobic and he called modern architecture “degenerate.” Johnson was gay and a leading advocate for that architectural style, but he backed off on both to fit more precisely into the Nazi mode.

And there also was a kind of “master race” aura about Johnson. We saw it one spring afternoon as we chatted with him over tea at his famous Glass House in New Canaan. His “husband” flitted obediently about the room and Johnson came off as a bit arrogant that day. Perhaps, some lesser people --- people like Hitler --- equate wealth and fame with power and control, we thought.

And now, in still another bit of bitter irony, we have developed the bad habit of calling one of Ridgefield’s much heralded possessions “The Philip Johnson Building,” perpetuating the memory of a man who was enchanted by the evils of a madman and insulting the memory of his victims.

Giving that haunting memory an extra caustic twinge, plans call for the building to house some of the works of the late Maurice Sendak, famous author/illustrator of children’s book. Mr. Sendak was the son of Polish and Jewish parents.  

But all is not lost yet. The building label is not yet official. But we need to head it off before it becomes another painful reminder of the great injury done to millions of families, whose ancestors were persecuted and whose sons had died fighting to save the world from a madman.

For purposes of quick and convenient identification, town officials and development planners, who were uninformed or insensitive, or both, began labeling the structure with the name of the man who designed it decades ago.

The tag became a habit, a habit that is becoming entrenched and threatens to morph into formal dedication, perhaps marked by a permanent plaque to establish what would be memorial to a disciple of Adolf Hitler, an insult to all who had suffered at his hands.

It’s time, right now, to break this hurtful habit before it becomes even more deeply ingrained. Changing a community’s habit will not be easy. It will require more thoughtful leadership at the Town Hall, where the pattern was first set and where the change must now begin.

Even now, Ridgefield already seems guilty of at least hypocrisy. While town officials and the clergy express the community’s outrage at the appearance of swastikas and other hateful graffiti, we are at the same time allowing the identity of a town-owned building to drift inexorably toward permanently memorializing a man who had cheered the Nazis’ bloody march through Euro

Planning the Hard Work - Alex Karsanidi

Now that we're beyond the election and Donald Trump is our next President, the first phase in getting our economy back on the right track will be the tedious job of undoing the extensive mess of regulations the Obama Administration imposed on our businesses, from the small entrepreneur to major corporations.  The following article by Michael Bastasch highlights some rays of light shining through the dark clouds that have been hanging over our country for the past 8 years:   

"President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress could eliminate at least $42 billion worth of major federal regulations in January, according to a new report.  Trump said on the campaign trail that 70 percent of federal regulations1 "can go," so the American Action Forum (AAF) put together a list of 48 major regulations Congress could invalidate under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

"Together, those rules impose more than $42.5 billion in total costs, $6.5 billion in annualized costs, and 53 million paperwork burden hours," AAF analysts Sam Batkins and Dan Goldbeck wrote in a new report.  Republicans have the opportunity to enact regulatory reform on a scale not witnessed since President Reagan," they wrote.  CRA disapproval resolutions seem poised to be a significant part of those plans."

The CRA gives Trump the opportunity to eliminate a bunch of regulations imposed under President Barack Obama, including at least two costly energy rules.  Trump could repeal the Department of the Interior's rule restricting Arctic offshore drilling and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) fuel efficiency rule for heavy trucks. Interior recently announced a new rule for flaring natural gas on federal lands, which is estimated to cost $1.4 billion. The Arctic drilling rule costs more than $2 billion, and EPA fuel efficiency standards cost a whopping $29.3 billion, according to federal estimates.

"Although it is unlikely that Congress will cash in all its political capital to this end, several high-profile major rules – and their sizable burdens – could go by the wayside in 2017," Batkins and Goldbeck wrote.

Trump could end up getting rid of even more regulations early on in his presidency based on reports that both Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told their employees they would be working hard to finish more rules4 before Obama leaves office.

"As I've mentioned to you before, we're running - not walking - through the finish line of President Obama's presidency," McCarthy wrote in an email to staff after Trump won the election.

Federal agencies already added 78,020 pages of new regulations to the Federal Register so far this year, and more pages are likely on the way as agencies rolls out more "midnight" regulations.  The Obama administration imposed millions, and sometimes, billions of dollars in new rules virtually every week this year, adding more than $148 billion worth of new regulations so far. The total federal regulatory burden costs the economy $1.8 trillion per year".

Obviously, once businesses shed this weight off their backs, they can start concentrating on the important things, like improving their sales, modernizing and starting new factories, and, yes, creating jobs for the many people who had given up trying to find a decent job.  The future finally starting to look better.

Republican slate makes right choices

Republicans have always encouraged Integrity and commonsense decision making and this year's election is a good time to start making the right choices for Ridgefield, Connecticut and our Country.  We have been coping with buyer's remorse for the past 8 years and it's time to look beyond the smoke and mirrors of the overwhelming media bias.  The flimflam of Hillary Clinton's double talk as become so evident, that even her staunchest supporters are finding it hard to accept her deceptions or explanations, or for that matter, their lack of plausibility.  As evidenced by even more disclosures, even the FBI had to backtrack and admit there is just too much to ignore and requiring further investigation into the corruption and lies.  

Sure, Donald Trump has his warts, but his heart is in the right place and he tells it to you like it is, for better or worse, sometimes to his own detriment.  But, however he says it, his plans have one singular goal, which is to restore our country to its premier leadership role and pursuing one of Ronald Reagan's primary goals: making America the "a shining city on a hill," and enhancing its boundless potential, as well as that of its people.  After all, this is what you expect from a leader, to work for the people they represent, whether you are the President, a Senator, Congressman or State Legislator.  The job is always to create the environment and opportunities for people and business to grow and prosper and then get out of their way, not stay in their way with regulation after regulation.

Connecticut possesses some of the best resources to offer anyone in the country – high caliber education systems, beautiful landscape, 4 seasons, and vast array of personnel and intellectual capital.  However, with some of the highest tax rates in the nation, jobs and people are fleeing our state, which has led to massive deficits that has put Connecticut among the highest debt-per capita in the country.  Years of one-party Democrat rule have allowed two of the largest tax increases in state history and out-of-control state spending, only to be followed by irrational attempts at cuts to areas that can least afford it, while leaving their favored ones untouched.  The damage done to our state has been extensive and now is the time to make the bold move to install the right people and correct our downward spiral.

Our candidates: Donald Trump for President, Dan Carter for US Senate, John Shaban for US Congress, Toni Boucher for State Senate and John Frey for State Representative, all support policies to improve our economy, help businesses grow and create jobs, reducing taxes and using commonsense planning strategies, giving people the opportunities for a better future for themselves and their families, as well as emphasizing our Nation Security so we are safe in our towns and our homes.

On November 8th, the Republican candidates need your vote.  The silent majority has been silent too long and it's time to unite as one team and begin taking our futures back.

A Confident Future - Alex Karsanidi

The Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus today unveiled their policy agenda for the next legislative session. The Republican plan “A Confident Future” presents multiple policy proposals aimed at moving Connecticut in a new direction to grow jobs, renew business confidence, build opportunity, and restore people’s trust in government. The Confident Future plan outlines the Republican priorities the caucus will pursue in the 2017 legislative session which begins in January.

“Our goal is to make Connecticut a better place to live, work and raise a family. This plan shows exactly how Republicans in the state Senate plan to move Connecticut in a new direction to restore people’s confidence in our state and define a brighter future for jobs and families. Connecticut is facing serious economic challenges. Republicans have the right ideas to change this downward spiral, but we have a lot of work ahead of us. These policy changes are the first steps that must be taken to change course,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano.

“We believe Connecticut is a great state with incredible potential, and with the right policies we can bring opportunity, success and stability to our families. We need to restore people’s trust in our state to create opportunities and a reliable, predicable business environment,” said Senator Kevin Witkos.

“A Confident Future” identifies three main areas Republicans will focus their efforts:

  1. Creating Financial Stability & Predictability. A reliable state with business confidence is the best environment to grow jobs. By reforming the state’s spending and borrowing, Republicans plan to improve the state’s financial health to support a more predictable business environment so that job creators don’t have to worry about what new tax proposals could be awaiting them in bad budget years.

Republican budget proposals include properly funding transportation needs without tolls or new taxes like the mileage tax, reducing the size of state bureaucracy, and making long term structural changes to government. The Republican priorities also include specific tax relief proposals to reduce the burdens on individuals and job creators, such as property tax relief and phasing out taxation of pension income.

  1. Supporting Families and Growing Opportunity. Connecticut’s future depends on supporting our families and creating opportunities for all to succeed. The Republican plan includes policy proposals to strengthen Connecticut cities and help improve life for families in urban areas. It also includes reforms for the state’s child welfare agency, proposes restoring education funding that was cut in recent budgets, protects seniors and the developmentally disabled, and offers new ideas to improve health care and insurance quality and accessibility.
  2. Restoring Trust in Government. The Republican legislative agenda contains proposals to ensure that government operates efficiently and transparently and uses tax dollars as wisely as possible. Proposals include ideas to reduce DMV wait times, eliminate waste, live within our means, strengthen campaign financing laws, and create a more transparent budget writing process.

The Ridgefield Republican Town Committee has its Campaign Headquarters at 35 Danbury Road, next Mobil Gas station and has available material for all our candidates, including Presidential Candidate Donald Trump.  Stop by or call 438-6010.

Economic Facts - Stephen Moore

President Barack Obama needs a reality check. Earlier in Indiana, he accused his critics of ignoring the “facts” and purporting “myths” about his economic record. But if Republicans are truly ignoring the facts, Obama should consider it a blessing.  A quick look at the facts will show that Obama’s economic performance has been weak—even by his own standards.

In its budget for the fiscal year 2010, the Obama administration estimated that real gross domestic product would decline in 2009 by 2.8 percent that year and then increase by 2 percent in 2010.  Furthermore, the White House forecast that by 2011 its massive stimulus program would start paying off, with growth accelerating to 3.8 percent that year and then soaring above 4 percent from 2012 to 2014.

The chart below compares Obama’s predictions to actual growth statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  When it comes to economic growth, Obama has consistently failed to meet his own expectations. Not only has Obama’s economic recovery been the weakest of any post-recession recovery1 since World War II, but he is also on pace to become the first U.S. president2 in history to have never presided over a full year of growth averaging at least 3 percent.

But is this really surprising? We know that Obama has done virtually everything wrong when it comes to promoting growth.  Here’s a reminder:

1. Obamacare: When Obama pushed this boondoggle of a bill, he said on several occasions3 that it would lower health costs by $2,500 per family. Instead, insurance premiums have risen— in some cases nearly 30 percent.  On top of this, business owners are hiring fewer people to stay beneath the 50 employee threshold, which mandates business owners employing 50 people or more to provide full health insurance.

2. Regulation: It’s hard to grow, when the federal government is literally standing in the way of business.  According to a recent Heritage Foundation study4, More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans, costing Americans nearly $100 billion annually under Obama’s presidency.       

3. Taxes: Obama has raised taxes on investment income by nearly 60 percent (raising capital gains tax from 15 percent to 24 percent), and pushed the top marginal tax rate (the tax on small business owners) to 40 percent.  The U.S. has the highest business tax rate in the world; causing companies to flee offshore (with jobs) to find a better deal elsewhere.

After nearly eight years of “hope and change,” wages are stagnant, growth is sputtering, entrepreneurship is in decline, our once great domestic companies are finding a better deal off shore, and more Americans are out of the work force than ever before.

The “facts,” Mr. Obama, speak for themselves.