5 replies on “LETTER [Sponsored]: Former Republican Chair says, “Vote Democratic to Protect Our Schools””

  1. Thank you for your letter, Michael. Totally spot on. Like you, I left the party as well … although I beat you by a few years. I’m at a loss to figure out where members of today’s Republican Party think they are leading us … except backward. Hopefully one of these days, they’ll get with the 20th century and energize their thinking.

  2. School regionalization will be a disaster but inevitable if local school districts like Wilton keep raising the school budget and burning through our taxpayer dollars.

    Administrator’s feet need to be held accountable and budgets balanced, if property taxes are down, cost-cutting needs to be a priority, or funding needs to be sought and supplemented from private donors, who are interested in not having those areas of the budget cut.

    Every year the school budget goes up regardless of if tax income goes down, that is unsustainable and politicians and administrators need to be accountable.


    Gian-Carlo Ochoa

  3. You can’t rewrite history. Forced and coerced regionalization of our schools was and still is part of the Democrats’ agenda in Hartford. Regionalization proposals passed the Education Committee on a party line vote. Not one Republican voted for them. Not one Democrat voted against them. Here at home the Hands Off Our Schools movement brought together neighbors of all political orientations to to oppose Hartford’s power grab. The first meeting at Trackside was convened by Bill Lalor, Chairman of the Wilton Republicans and Gail Lavielle, our representative in the General Assembly, also a Republican by the way. Will Haskell was equivocal as the HOOS movement began to grow. He is quoted in various local news outlets as saying regionalization is “not a dirty word.” To say now that he was somehow a leader of this movement rather a hesitant follower is simply disingenuous. It’s great that he now claims to be opposed to “forced regionalization.” It would have been better if he had understood our concerns in his gut rather than first see which way the wind was blowing.

  4. I totally agree with Michael Kaelin. As a Democrat and a long-time resident of Wilton, I too am offended by the tactics of the Wilton Republicans. Many Democrats and unaffiliated voters partnered with local Republicans to create a nonpartisan community-based response that changed the course of the school regionalization dialogue in Hartford. I stood next to Bill Lalor at Gail Lavielle’s news conference in Hartford which presented the case against school regionalization. Former State Senator Toni Boucher and I created workshops to help citizens deliver testimony against the proposed bills. Many Democrats played other key roles and The Hands off Our Schools Facebook page had thousands of members from across Connecticut working together, as community activists, to influence the Governor and the Connecticut State Legislature. Integral to the dialogue was the participation of our local Democratic legislators, State Senators Haskell and Kasser, and State Representative Dathan. They, along with Republican State Representatives Lavielle and O’Dea, moved early and actively to make a difference in Hartford – and collectively they had impact.

    The Republican effort to use school regionalization as a partisan wedge issue in this political campaign is an attempt to rewrite history. It destroys their credibility as potential leaders for Connecticut’s future.

  5. As a parent who watched Haskell fail is when the regionalization bills were on the table, it’s scary and disturbing to see lies printed like this. This was written with the intention to confuse voters. There are videos and articles circulating that show the truth – Will Haskell was wishy washy and did not stand firm against regionalization. And Haskell helped Lamont write a regionalization bill – schools can already regionalize if it’s in their best interest – any regionalization bill is attempting to take power away from local communities. Further, the organization Hands off Our Schools, created to stop regionalization endorses Kim Healy. Please VOTE KIM HEALY AND PRATRICIA ZUCARO to protect our schools.

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