Shays Launches Air Campaign, Plus: Uncle Milton And Mr. Ed

Congressman Christopher Shays’ air campaign has begun with an introductory cable spot that shares the “hope” of Democrat Barack Obama and the “straight talk” of Republican John McCain. Translation: whomever you support for president, I’m safe. I can work with either.

It’s an interesting strategy. Rather than running from the liabilities of either candidate, or embracing entirely the candidate (McCain) Shays supports for president, the Shays campaign is attaching the congressman to the values that make Obama and McCain attractive to their supporters respectively. The Shays spot appeals primarily to independent voters that will decide his fate.

Shays’ Democratic opponent Jim Himes introduced his first cable spot more than a month ago. So far, in this Congressional race that is being watched nationally because Shays is the last standing New England Republican in the House of Representatives, both camps are taking a high road approach. Two years ago at this time, Shays’ opponent Diane Farrell was airdropping bombs on Shays for his support of the war on Iraq. Her effort came up short. I suspect the rhetoric between the camps will heat up following the respective party conventions.

The major difference between this race and 2006 is that it appears the economy will be taking center stage.

See the Shays commercial here.

Johnson Takes On Gomes

Milton Johnson, a city police officer that waged an independent run for mayor last year, officially kicked off his Republican campaign for state senate against Democratic incumbent Ed Gomes. The district takes in the lower and eastern portions of the city and a piece of Stratford. Johnson, a good guy, is taking on one of elder statesman of the Democratic Party with strong union credentials and a major registration advantage. Key for Johnson waging a competitive battle is qualifying for Connecticut’s public funding that would allow him to spend 100K. See Johnson’s press release below:

 Milton Johnson says “Enough is Enough” Bridgeport & Stratford Citizens deserve better

Come November Bridgeporters will be at a crossroads but the signs will clearly direct them away from danger.  They’ll warn Bridgeporters against going down the familiar path of destruction and off the side of a cliff.  For years the policies of the Bridgeport state delegation have failed to produce policies which benefit Bridgeporters as well as the residents of Stratford.  Yet the incumbent Democrats have gotten re-elected time and again.  Legislators such as Ed Gomes have led to high taxes, electric bills, and gas prices, also loss of jobs, and stagnant population and economic and business growth.

Citizens of the 23rd District today are prepared to go down an unfamiliar route where hope and common sense prevail.  Milton Johnson, who is running for State Senator against the self-serving ruling party in Bridgeport says enough is enough.  The Law Enforcement officer says he’s prepared to do the right thing for Bridgeport and Stratford residents if they are willing to go down the road less traveled.

Johnson supports lower spending and taxes, a clear departure from the actions of Ed Gomes.  Johnson says, “I will support more electric power generation, consider nuclear power generation, lowering of the gas tax, and the writing of policies that put more emphasis on the development of Connecticut’s urban centers.  I believe if residents of the 23rd district just look at the rocky road they’ve been down they will be willing to give a qualified alternative candidate a chance.” 

“My opponent hopes that Bridgeporters don’t realize who has put them in the situation the city now finds itself, I believe my fellow citizens are smart enough to vote for change.  Change that means considering alternatives to high gas taxes and government spending.”  Johnson believes the Bridgeport taxpayer is looking for a Samaritan to pull over to the side of the road and provide real assistance.  Enough is enough vote for change, vote Milton Johnson.



  1. I was the first to break this news on Shays. It seems I am always first to break news and also I was the one who said Auden will win Longfellow big and I also said Auden built up steam on the North End. Shays’ camp is very worried about the amount of new voters in Bpt. Just today three of my friends registered to vote and on election day I’m gonna make sure they come out and vote at Longfellow with me. Shays is trying to use Obama to help him but it will not work. Obama ’08.

  2. Shays would have been far better off not inviting the presidential campaign into this race — his joint appearances with McCain (and McCain’s lack of actual “straight talk”) can now be added to his side of the ledger, and he’s inviting the Obama campaign to drop a media bomb on him directly (as they did with Smith in Oregon).

    Plus, there’s nothing as basic and un-fudge-able as one’s presidential pick — the next step in this watusi is someone (maybe Himes, more likely the DCCC) using Shays’ hedge as Exhibit A in proving how he tells the public one thing when his real preference is something else. Like clockwork — every election year.

  3. donj:
    Your ongoing brilliance is mesmerizing; your ability to predict recent political events is amazing. But then you messed up when you mentioned your three friends just registered to vote. Let’s call it political enthusiasm which is in short supply around here.

    Expect a parade to be thrown in your honor.

  4. Remember Chris Shays was a c.o. during Viet Nam, and then thought war was a good idea when he didn’t have to put his life on the line. He put other men and women in front of death, when he was safe.

  5. Shays is one of an endangered species: a moderate (translation: middle-of-the-road) Republican from the northeast. There were more than a few of ’em in the U.S. House of Representatives at one time, representing districts from Philadelphia to Maine. Shays knows that he’s up against it with Himes, which explains why he’s playing both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue.

  6. donj:
    I followed your lead yesterday and checked out that video which, quite frankly, left me totally confused. Knowing Chris is a Republican and using Obama as part of his message left me scratching my head. I sincerely don’t believe the ad is going to have the effect he’s looking for, but will only act to confuse his constituency.
    Chris: scratch that ad!

  7. Maybe Shays can do an ad showing him and Obama and have a voiceover saying:

    “I know Shays, I’ve worked with Shays, Chris Shays is a friend of mine…Himes, you’re no Chris Shays!”

    Then he can do the same one with John McCain!

  8. If elected you vote.
    Chris Shays in essence voted to have Americans die in Iraq.
    I wonder if Iraq was/is a threat to the U.S.
    Or is a petro. pipeline in the picture?

  9. When it comes to the Shays-Himes race this blog is always hot and it always seems like everybody supports Himes. Wow I can’t believe Shays put Obama in his ad he must be really scared but Shays will lose big come November.

  10. Field Day!

    Yahooy and Anna were observed going for the Gold in a 3-legged race this morning crossing the finish line at the Liberty Rock Motel in Devon.

    Would this be considered a Manage-A-Trot?

  11. RE: Shays / Himes

    If Shays can link Himes with subprime real estate, his chances will improve. But by “endorsing both candidates” Shays’ political strategy shows the kind of savvy that’s kept him in office for over twenty years.

  12. It’s a shame that Chris has to resort to using pro-Barack tactics to attract those that may be ignorant enough to vote for the man because he gives a good speech. Try reading the transcripts of those bad boys, more doubletalk and rhetoric and no plan. Jim Himes is a joke of a candidate as is Obama. Opportunistic individuals who care only about winning an election and not their country.

  13. Is anyone thinking about Obama’s lack of a clear vision for the country? He seems to keep changing his mind. Any thoughts on his stance for babies that survive long-term abortion attempts? Any thoughts on his friendship with Pentagon Bomber William Ayers? His friendship with Retzco a convicted felon from whom he borrowed $1,000,000? Any thoughts on his friendship with the Rev. Wright or the Catholic radical priest? Any thoughts on the fact that he was a practicing muslim until in his 20’s? Any thought on the fact that his programs will lead to a tax increase for most americans? Any thoughts on why he is steadily dropping in the polls?

  14. To Black Rockin:

    Your comment was rather simplistic. You vote therefore you’ve killed. Well my friend, what about Hillary and the other members of congress that voted to approve the military action and spending money and thus killing americans? I’m totally in favor of getting out and believe we should have never gone in. BUT, don’t make this a one-issue contest for Shays and Himes. Shays has a record of good and bad votes. Let’s hear not just what Himes says he can do but HOW he’ll do it. Don’t be a lemming, think independently and outside the political box.

  15. #14
    I’m simple.
    Shays was a vote to kill people in Iraq, Hillary’s vote too!
    Simply speaking anyone who voted to invade Iraq I view as a “kill them” act.
    To be a c.o. is a committed, educated, emotional, state.
    Simply put Shays (et. al.) said (voted) let’s kill them, as well as AMERICAN women and men.
    I hope Chris gets a nice pension.

  16. How about the photos on today’s front page of Lieberman with Cheney and McCain? He’s totally gone over to the republican side – let them have him. I would never vote for him again.

  17. Ahh, it’s so good to be back in the City…I know much has transpired…I was on vacation with no access to a pc…

    A mi amigo Palmieri, how good to recognize the efforts of el Representative Ayala!!!

    Pobresito Mario Testa…I called Testo’s today to order dinner, but, sadly THEY DON’T DELIVER!!!

    As for the other Primary Victories, Auden took the key from good ol’ Bob…unbelievable…

    Poor Town Committee…For those that voted for Testa, what’s he doing now? They said he would “bring the party together” and deliver winning candidates…

    Oh and poor Paulie and Vinny Mangia “piece of sh*t” didn’t do much for anybody on 8/12…

    Well, ’til my next posting…Rie, llora, que a cada cual le llega su hora!!!

  18. Lieberman finally saw the light after his last election & realizes now that it’s not so much about the party you belong to; it’s about the actual person running and whether they can do the job. If he’s not comfortable with Obama’s politics, etc.; why support him? Just like Shays, who’s willing to work with either party & support whom he feels is the better candidate for the job! That’s what’s needed in Bpt. politics in general, instead of what’s been the turn of events lately. Officer Milton Johnson is not going to beat the Dem. nominee Ed Gomes, however I feel there’s no better time for change up in Hartford. So I would vote for Mr. Johnson on that note alone! Besides what’s Gomes done, especially now that Finch is not there to guide him & show him the way! And for those that believe in destiny, is Obama’s (a minority) win of the Dem. nomination for President, destined to win the election? How about McCain’s plight, surviving all those years as a P.O.W. in Viet-Nam, is he destined to be President? Remember, it’s not so much about the party, it’s about the right candidate for the job, the people, the nation!

  19. I love reading the Stafstrom, “chupa pipi” follower’s comments that believe everything they’re told or hear outside the box! ‘Til you’ve walked a mile, (so to speak) in someone else’s shoes, how could you judge or criticize their intentions? No seas pendejo; Wake Up!

  20. Today Obama responded about the Shays ad; here is what he had to say. “Barack Obama has strong, positive vision for America and a long record of bipartisan accomplishment, and we are pleased that it is respected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “However, in this race, the good people of Connecticut should know that Barack Obama supports Jim Himes and believes Himes is the candidate who will bring the change American families need to Washington.”

  21. Chatter like which candidate will kick whose ass is really a nonstarter. Reminds me of professional wrestling. No offense to donj, but you were saying that Keeley was going to best Grogins in the primary. The reverse turned out to be true.

    Celia, call Domino’s. They deliver.

  22. Yes donj, you’ve been doing a wonderful job on this blog. Keep up the good work doing whatever it is you do. I’m impressed and so is Lennie and his next-door neighbor as well! So most bloggers on this website will notice the excellent work you do, you may want to write an article for the new Conn. Post commentary section too! Well, cheerio, pip-pip and all that’s grand in fairyland, and a bag of peanuts as well.

  23. “Yahooy and Anna were observed going for the Gold in a 3-legged race this morning crossing the finish line at the Liberty Rock Motel in Devon.”

    I didn’t know Liberty Rock rented rooms by the minute!

  24. Just to clarify whether or not I started the name calling, check blog Aug. 22nd, 6:51pm under “Mojo”. I believe it was meant for all the Stafstrom followers at random, however some felt compelled & guilty, so started the childish name calling, etc. Just making a point towards a covering-up attempt by Celia Cruz for Ed Palmieri which was way off base! What now?


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