Republican First Selectman of Trumbull Tim Herbst, in a commentary, takes aim at local and state Democrats accusing them of not practicing what they preach when it comes to political inclusion asserting “watching this Democratic primary unfold in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe is a case of absolute hypocrisy on the part of Connecticut Democrats.”
In the commentary, Herbst points out his support for Republican Elaine Hammers as the August 9 primary plays out between incumbent State Senator Marilyn Moore and party-endorsed Tom McCarthy, president of the City Council. But he levels Democratic party insiders for abandoning Moore, the only African American woman in the Connecticut State Senate. From Herbst:
In July of last year, the Connecticut State Democratic Party overwhelmingly supported a resolution changing the name of their annual statewide fundraising dinner, previously called the Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey Dinner. In the resolution, Connecticut Democrats unanimously declared that, “as members of the Democratic Party, we are proud of our history as the party of inclusion. Democrats have led the way on civil rights, LGBT equality and equal rights for women … it is only fitting that the name of the party’s most visible annual event reflects our dedication to diversity.” Despite their claims, two months ago, Democrats denied re-nomination to Marilyn Moore, instead nominating Bridgeport City Council President Thomas McCarthy to run for the State Senate. Senator Moore is an African American woman who was elected in 2014, defeating a three-term Democratic incumbent. Her election symbolized every constituency that the Connecticut Democratic Party claims they support and protect.
Make no mistake. I am a Republican supporting the Republican candidate, Elaine Hammers. But watching this Democratic primary unfold in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe is a case of absolute hypocrisy on the part of Connecticut Democrats.
Senator Moore has been a reliable vote on core Democratic principles and by her own admission, she is a passionate advocate for paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage and being a strong supporter of organized labor. Her voting record indicates that she has been a strong and consistent voice for the Democratic majority in Hartford. In 2006, when Senator Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination to Ned Lamont, Senator Lieberman’s stance on the Iraq War did not comport to the values of traditional Democratic voters. To the contrary, Moore has done nothing to alienate core Democratic principles or core Democratic voters. This has nothing to do with Senator Moore’s record and everything to do with who she happens to be.
It is understandable that Moore and McCarthy would split delegate votes in Bridgeport. This is their hometown and both have constituencies within the Park City. The bigger question is why the Trumbull delegation almost entirely voted for McCarthy and did not support Moore. Two of the people leading the charge against Senator Moore are two of my predecessors, Paul Timpanelli, the current President of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Business Council and Raymond Baldwin, Jr, a Vice President at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Recently, Mr. Timpanelli said he was supporting Tom McCarthy because he viewed Senator Moore as “anti-business.” If that is the case, then how can Mr. Timpanelli support Governor Malloy, whose policies Senator Moore has in large measure supported? And how can you claim a person is anti-business when over a two-year period you have never even met with that person one on one to discuss differences in an effort to find common ground? When the most recent hospital cuts were proposed, Senator Moore was responsive to requests for help from St. Vincent’s Hospital. So why would one of their vice presidents lead the charge at a nominating convention to oust someone who just helped their employer?
Governor Malloy makes it a point to talk about those that practice bigotry in the opposing political party but says nothing when members of his own party deny an incumbent, African American woman re-nomination after being duly elected by the people in a primary and a general election. Another organization that has shown a lack of consistency is the Connecticut Chapter of the NAACP. If the Republican Party had done something like this, we would rightfully be called to task. To date, you haven’t heard a word from them. Sometimes you have to stand up and do what is right, even if it means calling out those that you usually support.
There are some in the Connecticut Democratic Party that should read again the resolution they passed last July. Instead of Governor Malloy being so quick to call Republicans bigots, perhaps he and members of his party can engage in some self-reflection and start practicing what they preach.