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Connecticut Republicans Rally to Turn State Red [Photos]

"If we're going to win the hearts and minds of the people of Connecticut, we have to not just show them what we are against, but what we are for." — State Sen. John McKinney


Connecticut Republicans have their eyes set on victory in November. And now that the primary is behind them, they plan to get there as a unified team with a consistent message focused on how they have the right answers to the problems facing the state and country.

To build momentum and mobilize, about 100 members of the GOP gathered Saturday at the Monroe residence of Mitch Beck for an event billed as The Rally for Republican Unity.

"Connecticut can be won and come November it will be won, and we're going to do it together," said Beck, a human resources professional who was a comedian for many years.

While the event was open to all regardless of political affiliation, it was an overwhelmingly Republican crowd; although one speaker, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, did point out a few in attendance who he said were Democrats there taking video for Congressman Jim Himes (D-4). Herbst turned to their camera with a message for the incumbent: "Start looking for a new job."

Westport resident Steve Obsitnik hopes to reclaim the Fourth Congressional District seat for Republicans. Prior to Himes' election, Chris Shays held the seat for 20 years. 

Despite that longstanding pocket of Republican control in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut's voting history has earned it blue state status. Indeed, it's that very track record of voting for Democrats that has led Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Rommey to all but written Connecticut off in this year's election, Beck said. But that is something Beck is simply not willing to accept.

So Beck reached out to the Romney campaign and, with their support, is now planning a series of "Connecticut Calls Our for Romney" nights in which Nutmeggers will call folks in swing states to drum up support for the former Massachusetts governor. Beck said he pitched the idea to the campaign with only one request: that Romney visit the state for one hour, in Trumbull.

The campaign hasn't said yes or no yet, Beck said. The hope is that Connecticut Calls Out for Romney will be such a success that Romney will have no choice but to come.

The Three-Step Plan for Victory

Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek took his iPad with him on stage to read the definition of unity, as told by Dictionary.com: "the state of being one; oneness."

Vavrek was among a handful of municipal leaders who turned out for the rally. Danbury, Shelton and Trumbull were also represented on the local level.

"We know how to govern," Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. "We get it."

Of the state's 169 municipalities, about 100 are run by Republicans, Boughton said, citing it as evidence of the GOP's effectiveness.

Brookfield resident Michael O'Shaughnessy, an Army combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, shared his three-step plan for victory in November:

  1. "We have to be united behind our candidates."
  2. "We need to get our message to every voter."
  3. "Learn political judo ... Don't let [Democrats'] attacks gets us down. Let's use it against them."


In Their Own Words

Mark Boughton, Danbury Mayor

"As bad as things are — did I mention Democrats are bad? — we need to talk about how great we are ... we want to talk about our plans."

"We're right and they're wrong. If we want people to see the light we have to flip the switch."

Wayne Winsley, Third Congressional District Candidate

If Democrats retain control in November, Obama's 'hope and change' will turn to "hopelessness and spare change."

Steve Obsitnik, Fourth Congressional District Candidate

"We know that our fight is just. We know the facts are on our side."

Washington's spending is "radical, reckless and wrong."

"Together we will reach the top of that mountain."

John McKinney, State Senator

"We are going in the wrong direction."

"If we're going to win the hearts and minds of the people of Connecticut, we have to show them not just what we are against, but what we are for."

Editor's note: This article was updated to correctly state that Republicans have historically held the Fourth Congressional District seat.

Paul Improta August 26, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Karen - Probably you watched Fahrenheit 911, right? The commies used to be behind the iron curtain. Now, they are in the White House.
Karen G. French August 26, 2012 at 02:40 AM
I fear the republican party more.
Paul Improta August 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM
You must be from among the moocher class and have nothing to lose.
the watcher August 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I do not agree with everything the D's do or stand for. The R's are running on a very short term memory platform, cherry picking their so called facts. The R's plan that allows the wealthy to pay less in taxes then the middle class, is just clearly greedy and nothing more then class warfare. We would not be in this mess if it wasn't for the previous eight years of GB policy.. Trickle down and deregulation got us into this mess, more of the same sure the hell is not going to solve it. So save your Rush's bloated ego spin for someone who's memory only goes back for four years. The R's are far from guilt free as you would like us to believe, their current plan is just simply putting lipstick on the same old pig and lots of hot air. We simply would not have a welfare or economic problems if trickle down and deregulation really created jobs as promised. The truth is the country and the middle class deserves far better then playing another childish silly game of my party is better then your party. It all BS .
Paul Improta August 26, 2012 at 04:49 PM
A lot of talk, nothing said. Mess started under Clinton. I guess you were too young to remember. The dereg was the bastardization of the CRA by Franklin Delano Raines, Ron Brown and other social activists who forced no-income verification loans on mostly minorities and other underprivileged who couldn't repay for as little as 3% downpayment. This drove the real estate market, and the subsequent home equity borrowing which paid for all sorts of things including college, home improvement, real estate speculation, etc. It all poofed when the shit hit the fan, and yes, it was going to eventually. The elimination of Glass Steagal didn't help, but the proximate cause of the collapse can be traced directly to social engineering begun under the Clinton Administration. Those are facts. Now, Obama takes trillions borrowed with no way of paying it back, and throwing it at the fire. How's that working for you? He pissed away a trillion dollars and accomplished absolutely nothing but doubling the debt in three years. And by the way F_ck Rush. I have a brain.
Paul Improta August 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Donkeys? You're confused! You need a serious examination of who and what will take from you. Republicans are all about personal responsibility and individual freedom. They want you to keep what is yours. Get a grip. If you in fact aren't sitting there with your hand out looking to get what's yours, then you just have an axe to grind, because the Dems are the ones who want you to be a slave, live in your hovel, accept your lot in life, be just comfortable enough so as not to better yourself, and stay in the economic prison they have built for you. We are saying the cwell door is open, don't be afraid to walk out. I came from nothing, and no one gave me anything. That is why I resent everything about the Democrat agenda, which is to punish people who are successful - take what's theirs and give it o the enslaved class who are their base. If you are a loser, stay with the Dems. They give you just enough of the nipple to keep you sustained, but you'll never be anyone.
MAC August 27, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Why are you afraid of the TRUTH, Karen? See "2016: Obama's America," and then you can at least be a little informed--although you will probably be dumbstruck at how you were conned into voting for someone you knew next-to-nothing about! Paul Improta is telling you the facts about how the U.S. was brought to the economic and fiscal disaster we are now in, starting with the CRA under Clinton, but you seem to want to keep your blinders on, sadly. Fortunately, I don't think there are enough voters who are moronic enough to re-elect this totally failed president!
the watcher August 27, 2012 at 01:58 AM
There are some things we agree on, like the elimination of Glass Steagal. But please don't tell us the R's are without guilt here, or have a better plan that they are going to enact if they get control. That simply BS . ALL POLITICIANS SPEND that's what they do. The question is on what and to benefit who? Political parties are more interested in politics and whats good for their their contributors, then in what's good for middle class. You know what made this country great? It not a political party or a corporations , it is the average hard working generous people that make up this great country And when they are in need, they should come first.. You want to get a handle on the debt? FINE start by telling Romney and the large corporations not to hide the money they made here, in offshore accounts. I am sorry but I have a tough time believing anyone that does that deserves to be president. or is in any way a patriot. Also tell the wealthy they have to pay a higher rate then the middle class because that is the way it should be. This claim that its the poor and middle class that should pay more because the debt is to high is just laughable. You can not get taxes from those who simply do not have it. Lets be honest, the only group that has any real political power are the wealthy. To claim otherwise is just untruthful and silly How about the costs of the two wars in the trillions you mentioned ? You seemed to over look that?
Paul Improta August 27, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Let's get real. We all have ooportunities to invest in foreign companies, buy mutual funds with foreign investments. I drive two japanese cars - let's get off this "off-shore" BS. The reason there are offshore opportunities is because the foreign governments of their domicile don't exact the same taxation, hence a better opportunity for a return. A corporation is nothing except the people who work for it. It isn't some evil clandestine entity. People earn money for their work, and shareholders earn money IF the corporation turns a profit. They all pay taxes on their incomes. As for wars? Liberals used to tout the evil military industrial complex. It's based on the fact that when their is war, businesses are engaged to manufacture, service and supply the military. In other words, the money isn't wasted, it's paid to corporations who make weapons, supply troops, manufacture equipment, grow food, etc. It makes jobs. You can't say it vanishes in thin air. That's contrary to what libs stood against in the past - making money off of war. You can't have it both ways.
the watcher August 27, 2012 at 07:08 AM
@Paul Improta I am not trying to trade barbs or insult you.. But comparing off shore bank accounts to reducing tax liability with offshore investment or purchasing of a foreign car is clearly nothing more then a very bad attempt spin this issue. I am sorry but any individual or corporation that hides money off shore is simply NOT patriotic. Their actions proves that do not care about the welfare of our great country and or system that allowed them the freedom and or opportunity to make those profit.Their actions speak volumes about their moral character.
Karen G. French August 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM
@paul, you say, "Republicans are all about personal responsibility and individual freedom." Yet those same republicans DENY those same freedoms to others!!!! Hello?!!!! anyone in there?? You say " I came from nothing, and no one gave me anything." I didn't realize there were 2 immaculate conceptions. You were fed, housed, clothed & given somewhat of an education by somebody.
Karen G. French August 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM
@watcher. I couldn't have said it any better. All paul did was describe the republican party to a tee!!!!!! "the REPUBLICAN hoarders of $$ are the ones who want you to be a slave, live in your hovel, accept your lot in life, be just comfortable enough so as not to better yourself, and stay in the economic prison they have built for you." in order to make them more $$$$ to hoard. Dribble down is a myth. Bush had 8 years to create jobs, btw, so did Romney, instead they destroyed manufacturing, closed plants & sent the jobs overseas. Ya they want to help, BS!!!
Paul Improta August 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Taking advantage of a tax shelter isn't "hiding" anything. It's a shame that post-tax money investmented in the United States are double taxed. When one is retired, you live off of your passive income. You need to put your assets in safe investments with the best opportunity to make a decent return without the risk of losing principal. Let's look at CD returns; can the average person with a small nest egg live off that? Whose fault is that? What should they do, go back to work? You gotta stop the "corporation" BS. If a company has employees "off shore", and they have a domicile off-shore, do they do business in that country AND the U.S.? For the foreign office, wouldn't they be doing business locally? Why is banking locally "hiding" money? Finally, mortgage-backed securities once were a safe investment for retirees. Thanks to the CDA and no-income verification loans, they are among the most risky.
Paul Improta August 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I didn't think you psyco-libs were allowed to believe in Christianity. I've lived on my own since I was 17. I started with a pair of jeans, a shirt, and some old sneakers. I slept in an abandoned car. I had a minimum wage job which I walked to and earned my money. I eventually saved enough to live in a rooming house shared with four other men. I saved a downpayment for a phone, saved enough for a junk car and some insurance, and from there I saved enough to pay college tuition at night. No one gave me anything, I got no special treatment from any government entity - white men are not on the list of the deprived, but I remember spending a dollar on a beer so I could eat the bowl of pretzels at happy hour because that was my dinner before I went "home". I remember eating cereal with no milk three times a day to assure I had rent money. Don't give me that Obama "you didn't build that, someone else clothed you and GAVE you somewhat of an education". People aren't denied anything, they don't have the balls to get out of their own way, and turn to blame others while they sit there with their hands out, while at the same time attacking others, blaming them for their chosen lot in life.
Paul Improta August 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Karen, here are the companies Romney "destroyed": AMC Entertainment, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, Hardee's, Sports Authority, Staples, Toys R Us, Weather Channel - clearly these companies were bought, their physical assets stripped and sold off, and all those jobs were sent overseas. These companies would've been out of business and all of their thousands of employees would've been out of jobs if Bain hadn't invested in them and changed their business models. You just prove yourself ignorant when you say ignorant things, assume or just repeat the ignorance you've been told.
Karen G. French August 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
You just prove yourself ignorant when you say ignorant things, assume or just repeat the ignorance you've been told.
Christine E. August 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Karen, with all due respect I haven't seen you say anything of substance on this forum as of yet. It's easy to say Republicans are evil - but please tell me exactly why you feel that way. Calling people ignorant, throwing around curse words and using a lot of exclaimation points does very little to shed light on why you feel liberals are better.
Walt August 27, 2012 at 06:06 PM
You said you have a lot to lose. Is it unemployment/welfare checks?
QWERTY August 27, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Increase taxes on top income earners by 2-4%, leave the middle and lower class alone. Decrease all government handouts and welfare by 10%. Decrease all government spending across the board by 10%. Problems solved. I'm the smarted guy in America.
Joey August 27, 2012 at 07:20 PM
@Christine: With all due respect I never see you in this forum calling out people like "Walt." It seems you are fine with name calling if it is against a Democrat. You even support name calling by elected officials as long as the Republicans are doing it.
Christine E. August 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
No, Joey. I just don't acknowledge people like Walt because that's exactly what he's looking for people to do. If people stopped acknowledging what he said, maybe he'd stop getting a rise out of it. One of my professors used to always say that if you're basing your argument off of 5 words you saw run across the ticker tape on the bottom of Fox News or CNN, you're wasting your energy. I am just looking for specifics instead of just saying "they're bad". It's no different than saying "Smoking is Bad"...telling people why it's bad is key to the argument, no?
Karen G. French August 27, 2012 at 07:58 PM
@ christine, I have voiced my opinion more than enough on here. I did not call anyone ignorant, what I did was copy/paste what Paul called me in his last post, last line. @Walt, FYI, I am a single homeowner here in Monroe, drove a tractor trailer all over this country for the last 18 years, upgraded & maintained my home in Monroe, still do, paid in, recieved some unemployment, went back to work, laid off again, no unemployment or welfare and now do landscaping, home repair, dump runs, moving, airport trips ect, anytyhing to make a dollar. Sooooooooo, I do have a lot to lose, my home, my health, no ins, etc.. not that I need to explain it to some wanky guy that thinks he knows it all.
jim laguardia August 27, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Good gosh, it is perfect, but.... That sounds too reasonable. No one will ever go for it
Paul Improta August 27, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Karen - Did you not call me "Shit for Brains"? Ignorant means you choose not to consider what someone else is telling you. I gave you a list of companies Mitt Romney's company invested in and turned. Stop repeating BS just because you saw it in a campaign ad. Obama has never as much run a lemonade stand, and it shows. I feel bad for you and your struggles. Let me ask you a couple of questions: 1.) With the Democrats in control of the U.S. Congress since 2006 and the Democrat President since 2008; with the Democrats in complete control of the CT legislature, and with a Democrat Governor giving them complete control, what have they done to improve YOUR specific situation? What have they done to elevate everyones' lot? It seems to me that that they done nothing for you specifically, they've just made matters worse because all they think is that there is an unlimited amount of cash that they can tax in order to bribe their pet constituencies. Karen, I hate to tell you this, but you are not one of them. 2.) Have you looked into a career change? I'm not talking just taking jobs here and there, but doing something different, working toward a goal, making a profession? I can tell you that the Malloy and Obama have only paid you lip service. Republicans won't sell you a line while at the same time putting your personal life in jeopardy by taxing the hell out of those who have income and causing them to flee to more friendly states - those are our neighbor, our customer, our employer.
Robert S August 27, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I am wondering (Karen French?) who dares profess against the mind of our Founding Fathers? You? "Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." - George Washington (1796) "If the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the Nation...be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a faithful exercise of its powers." - James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." - John Adams "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of government with the principles of Christianity. From the day of the Declaration...they were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rule of their conduct." - John Quincy Adams - 6th President
Walt August 27, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Joey, Karen, I'm not feeling the love...
Bill Bittar (Editor) August 28, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Please, no swearing. I had to delete a comment for that and I will suspend user accounts if anyone continues to write curse words. I'm sure you can all make your points without them.
Danny Demo II August 28, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Mitt has gone from Mr Liberal, gay rights, gun control, pro choice. to a confusing mumbo jumbo. Seems to be letting the radical right form the platform, but is hising them at the convention, and pretending to be a moderate with McCain and Rice fronting for him. TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney says he is in favor of abortion in cases of rape, incest and the health and life of the mother. The presidential candidate's addition of the health of the mother is certain to raise questions about Romney's position among conservatives. Health can be broadly defined and, in fact, running mate Paul Ryan has challenged the health exception as a major loophole. Romney commented in an interview Monday with CBS News. Romney's position on abortion rights has evolved. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, he backed abortion rights. As a presidential candidate, he has opposed abortion rights and says the Supreme Court should reverse the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. In a statement, Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Romney's position is clear — that he opposes abortion except for cases of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is threatened.
Paul Improta August 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM
The liberal press keeps acting like abortion is the GOP's top campaign issue. Since 1973 = 39 years, nothing is changing. As a hot button issue, it's only an issue for Dems who have a vested interest in extorting answers from the candidates so that thye can amplify their answers and cause the issue to rise higher so as to agitate liberals and hence the topic. With every man, women and child deep in our collective debt to the tune of $50,000 each, there is more concern about our live childrens' futures, and abortion rights ranks lower on the scale than baby-killers' worry about killing their children before they emerge from the womb.
Paul Improta August 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Such a stale issue. It just proves a Democrat Party bereft of answers that they need to change the subject, so they reach in their tattered bag and pull out the same old stale issues to distract from the failure of their ideology.

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