Tag Archives: Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)

Archives: On the Street Interview with Elizabeth Esty

May 5, 2013

Kent, CT – Elizabeth Esty is asked about controversial campaign donations and her views on the second amendment.

Ameriborn News Exclusive Interview with U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty

Written by Juliana Simone

 

Kent, CT – Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) who took over this formerly held seat by her fellow party member Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy after the 2012 elections, was speaking to a small circle of constituents in Litchfield County about some of the issues that came up this Saturday afternoon on her “Congress in Your Corner” tour. A beautiful May afternoon allowed the United States Representative to stay and mingle with a handful of interested constituents who reside in one of the districts forty-one towns.

“I was delighted to see so many people show up today,” she told the group. Congresswoman Esty was pleased there were a variety of topics that were a mix of local, state, federal and environmental issues, among them Bulls Bridge and the Appalachian Trail which are pertinent to the area. In regards to the Appalachian Trail which runs 2,181 miles from Maine to Georgia, concerns about unsupervised swimming where there was a recent fatality, parking, safety and trash were discussed.

The Appalachian Trail is mostly maintained by the National Park Service one Esty and a member of the circle concluded but Esty asserted if the parking spaces were on a state road then this would be a state issue.  A man told the Congresswoman the newly created parking spaces were for CL&P so she wondered if this then was deeded land or an easement and concluded that state, local, federal and non-profits will have to figure this out.

Before departing the group, she was asked about Statico, and whether this had been resolved, and U.S. Representative Esty replied she would have to get them an update and reminded them a couple of people had asked about this today in her appearance at the Kent Memorial Library.

With time constraints where the Congresswoman had scheduled to look at local artist paintings before leaving Kent, she excused herself and then gave Ameriborn News Network some of her time. Here is a transcription of the two questions asked of Representative Esty and her responses along with the accompanying video of the interview:

Juliana Simone: Congresswoman, can I ask you a couple of questions?

Rep. Esty: Well, it depends…

Juliana Simone: Well, they’re different subjects but I was just wondering…

Rep. Esty: I’m sorry. You’re with whom?

Juliana Simone: Ameriborn News.

Rep. Esty: Okay.

Juliana Simone: We endorsed you over Donovan in Campaign 2012…(Esty laughs)

Earlier this week, you had to return some campaign donations from Northeast Utilities involving you and your husband (because of him) being the DEEP commissioner in CT…Are you going to return the rest of the individual donations that Jon Lender mentioned in the Courant?

{A toddler rides his scooter between the interviewer and Esty and Esty asks him, “are you going through?”  She says, “He’s enjoying his scooter,}

Rep. Esty: Um, No. The NU made a decision it was an (obstruction) but I have worked in the field of energy and environmental issues for a long time. I served well before my husband’s appointment. I served on the Energy and Technology Committee and the folks are aware of my work there…

Juliana Simone: At the House?

Rep. Esty:  In the House of Representatives here in the state of Connecticut…and that’s firm support from people over the years in communities and around the country…and a lot of those folks are people elsewhere around the country who are very concerned about having knowledgeable people in Congress who are making national – {ed.: indiscernible} to address these national, and frankly, international concerns.

Juliana Simone: Okay. Thank you. (Rep. Esty nods.)

And, about the death penalty…I know that you’re against the death penalty, so I was wondering, you know, unfortunately, the Fifth Congressional district in Connecticut had two of our most heinous national stories about murder – with Cheshire and the home invasion, and then our Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy…Now, I know you voted against the death penalty when you were a state representative and that included the Cheshire home invasion gentlemen, and now, if the Sandy Hook shooter…

Rep. Esty: I’m not answering any hypothetical about that, you know?

Juliana Simone: But I was wondering if he didn’t commit suicide, and he was found and convicted would you have voted for the death penalty against him?

Rep. Esty:  “I gotta tell you I don’t answer any hypotheticals about that, you know…my job is focused at this point on representing Newtown and all of the citizens of (that) district…and trying to make sensible gun control laws and gun safety laws so that we minimize the risk of any other communities going through what happened in their communities…

and today we had a number of gun owners who came to speak to me and we also had a very good conversation – because there is so much misinformation.  Part of the problem right now is there’s a lot of heat but not a lot of light about what’s happening…about we need to have real information about what the safety laws are and what those proposals would do…and I think if people look at them they’ll see how sensible they are and how important it is to get this done, to save the lives of children every day…

and police officers every day are just making sure that all of the law abiding gun owners are going through background checks, too…and so does everybody else…so they can’t choose to avoid going through a background check…which is what allow right now…and that’s just bullsh*t…”

The press liaison for Congresswoman Esty interjected there was no more time as she had to go view the paintings of the local artists.

The follow up question to Rep. Esty given more time would have asked about all of the gun owners who aren’t law abiding and do not go through background checks to acquire their weapons but hopefully both our state and federal legislators will include this issue in their future discussions, proposals and legislation.

 

 

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Archives: Donovan’s Dilemma Changes Race for Republican Candidates if Esty Wins

July 27, 2012

Written by Juliana Simone

The bad news keeps coming for Congressional Fifth District Democrat candidate state House Speaker Christopher Donovan.  With more federal arrests yesterday taking in six other people for illegal campaign fundraising, after the initial arrest of Donovan’s former campaign finance director, Robert Braddock, Jr. in May, now charged a second time, the FBI is still continuing its investigation. Though some political pundits and rival candidates made statements after Braddock’s arrest that Donovan should drop out of the race, Donovan held fast and said he would be continuing his bid for Congress. He even hired someone to investigate Braddock’s activities to show he knew nothing about them.

Thursday afternoon after the news broke, Donovan briefly appeared before press at the Capitol reading a statement that proclaimed his innocence but he refused to take questions when finished. With Thursday’s arrests, the party endorsed candidate becomes even less likely to be the right choice on August 14th’s primary day, for both voters and Democrat leaders.

This is both good news and bad news for the four Republican candidates competing for the spot on the November ballot. It’s good news if the perceived front runner has to drop out due to scandal, but its bad news because there go all those easy talking points in debates and television ads. Files with anti-Donovan material in them have been sitting in rival campaign computers for months, and with the possibility of his departure, all of that good stuff will have to be tossed. Pre-printed campaign literature will have to head for dumpsters.

Donovan, known for his union ties was an easy target for more fiscal and business oriented Republicans. Connecticut’s stagnant economy has made more and more voters take notice of the effect the untouchable unions have in our state and how it affects them as taxpayers. Add corruption to Donovan, and he is a very flawed candidate in November if he remains on the ballot, which is clearly beneficial for whichever Republican becomes his challenger.

What’s bad for Republicans, is if Elizabeth Esty wins the nomination on Primary Day. Her being the congressional candidate in November would make this a very different race. She will be much harder to beat for many reasons. She is a moderate Democrat, something more difficult to find these days in Washington and more so in Connecticut, as the states’ democrat majority continues to push them out. If Connecticut does have to remain “blue” she would be a refreshing addition to the five democrat held congressional seats in Washington, as a second female who couldn’t be more in contrast with the only woman serving Connecticut in congress right now, Rosa DeLauro, who is extremely left wing.

Elizabeth Esty served in the state legislature as a state representative and therefore is familiar with the legislative process and has been elected by voters before. She earned a reputation in the Connecticut General Assembly as a deficit hawk, voting against the budget and holding her party leaders accountable for over spending. She even took a 10% pay cut to help save taxpayers money. She also fought hard on education bills.

 An attorney, she is well educated and holds two degrees – one from Harvard and a law degree from Yale.  As a mother of three, the Cheshire resident, has always been active in her church, schools and many other community organizations. She has likeability and political connections that help get legislation passed.

If I were a democrat voting on August 14th, I would vote for Elizabeth Esty. I’m saying this before the Donovan campaign arrests. Donovan is someone I could never even fathom voting for nor could ever envision serving in Washington. A third democrat candidate, Dan Roberti, is new to voters but has connections through his father, a lobbyist in Washington who has helped him raise special interest money. He needs to do more before seeking high office.

Esty’s main goals as a congressional candidate are to help small business, bring back manufacturing and to create jobs. This is a democrat? These goals sound like the objectives listed on all the Republican mailers and promised during their campaign commercials. That’s what a moderate or blue dog democrat is – and why they are badly missed in both our state and in Washington. They are needed legislators who don’t vote 97% of the time with their caucus but vote across the aisle when it is the best plan proposed and will serve their constituents for the better good.

Not a social conservative, she is pro-choice and does support gay marriage. But the last female Republican and fifth district congresswoman Nancy Johnson and Governor Rell supported these personal choices, as well, as do many other Republicans and unaffiliated. It’s tough to say the majority of Connecticut voters feel differently. Even the women who agree abortion is bad, still believe there need to be pro-choice laws in place for a variety of reasons.

Many candidates and elected officials who support these views legislatively, often live very conservative lives themselves – going to church every Sunday, remaining married to their original spouse for decades, raising children, going to their kids school games, PTO meetings and town budget hearings. As a writer for Ameriborn News whose covered candidates and campaigns over the years, it’s interesting that those who oppose these things and are running as conservatives, or profess to be conservative, do not themselves engage in these traditional conservative actions or haven’t always.

Lastly, another big factor in political campaigns today, Esty’s campaign has money. A million and a half dollars – and most importantly, almost all of it is from individual donations at 96.09%. Just under $25, 000. is from PAC money compared to Donovan who has around $260, 000. in PAC money according to filings shown www.fec.gov . His campaign filing shows just over a million dollars raised, with 76.07% from individuals, but his donations are part of the FBI investigation under way.

Republican fifth congressional candidate Justin Bernier, with around $700,000. is comparable to Esty with about $27,000. in PAC money. State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-30), the party endorsed candidate, has raised over a half million dollars almost solely from individual contributions at the highest percentage of all fifth congressional candidates at 99.52%. He has received only $2,600. in PAC money. The republican candidate with the most campaign money that is equal to Esty’s, Mark Greenberg, is mostly self-funded with 84.04% in personal income invested.  Roberti and Republican Lisa Wilson-Foley each have just over a million like Donovan, with Roberti showing 96.89% and Wilson Foley, another self-funded candidate, at 47.07% in individual donations.

For political insiders, reporters and enthusiasts who regularly read the FEC. GOV quarterly filings, one of the most impressive things about Esty’s contributions is she has 111 pages of them. Donovan has 79 shown. Roberti 44. Republican’s list between a dozen and just over three dozen (Bernier).

With state legislative experience, a remarkable education and career, conservative home life, and the ability to raise an impressive amount of money from individual contributions, Esty will be a much more formidable candidate for whomever Republican’s choose to be their candidate on August 14th come Election Day. Donovan’s on-going campaign finance dilemma leaves him open for constant criticism by the press and the Republican Party, making a loss in November more likely and a win a possible embarrassment down the line for the Connecticut Democrats and constituents. Esty’s win on Primary Day gives Republicans a real challenge and a win on Election Day the best it can be if it is to be a democrat held seat once again.