An Editorial to the Totoket Times

State+Representative+Vincent+Candelora%27s+editorial+in+the+Totoket+Times%2C+5%2F1%2F20

Robert Mullins/Photos

State Representative Vincent Candelora's editorial in the Totoket Times, 5/1/20

By Robert Mullins, Reporter

Every edition of my town’s local newspaper, the Totoket Times runs an editorial written by my state representative, Vincent Candelora. Usually it is a brief update of the humdrum happenings in Hartford, peppered with complaints about the economic conditions of the state followed by the CT Republicans’ proposed solutions. Oftentimes the proposals are reasonable and generate thoughtful public discourse. This week’s proposal from Mr. Candelora as can be read in the featured image does not meet these criteria. The vitriolic language he uses in his article compelled me to write an editorial of my own, which can be read in its entirety here:

To the Editor of the Totoket Times-

 

Recently, I read Representative Vincent Candelora’s editorial column about Connecticut’s economic prospects in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation. While I share Representative Candelora’s frustration with the bleak economic conditions portended by the projected budget deficit, I was dismayed at what he suggested to be a viable solution to our economic woes. The idea that we target the salaries and benefits of state employees as a starting point for balancing the budget is a detestable and misguided sentiment, one that I am frankly shocked to hear come from an elected official who claims to work with the best interests of his constituents in mind.

I object to the characterization of the governor’s deliberation of the issue as brought up in a recent news briefing as “noncommittal.” Connecticut State Democrats have a well-established history of fighting for our state employee unions, which fight for the workers under them. To abandon the unions and their workers at this contentious time would be tantamount to spitting in the face of a group that played a large part in getting the governor where he is today. Furthermore, it is unnecessary to vilify the chief negotiator for state employee unions for doing his job and fighting for the interests of the state employees, who is also in no way responsible for the “gasping” of social service agencies that historically have been first on the chopping block in the State GOP’s proposals for a more balanced budget.

Mr. Candelora’s letter ends on a somewhat defeatist note, predicting that the “state bureaucracy” will prevail. In agreeing with his prediction, I invite the Representative to take his own advice and consider the Connecticut residents whose financial security has been obliterated in this crisis. Is obliterating the security of more residents the solution? I also would invite the Representative and the readers of his columns to challenge the notions they hold of the typical member of the “state bureaucracy.” These men and women are not just nameless, faceless leeches who take pleasure in draining Connecticut of its financial resources; they are our workers, they are our neighbors, they are our friends, and in my case, one of them is my father.

Sincerely, Robert Mullins, Jr.