Nancy Johnson faced protesters outside her New Britain office today, a group of volunteers who will also be door knocking her district in the coming weeks. If the congresswoman thought she could catch a breath before Election Day 2006, she was wrong.
First, it was the state Elections Enforcement Commission complaints, filed against Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R-5th) by the chairman of the Torrington Democratic Town Committee, Daniel Pulliam. He accused Johnson’s campaign of improperly sending her federal money to local party organizations.Then, Pulliam criticized Johnson for skipping Connecticut’s presentation in front of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission last week in Boston.Today, twenty eight protesters led by the Connecticut Citizens Action Group chanted outside the congresswoman’s office beside Route 72 in New Britain. Though CCAG executive director Tom Swan emphasized he had no connection to the EEC complaints and other Pulliam activities, that his group targeted Johnson this summer is just one more indication that the congresswoman’s opposition is not taking any time off.“Nancy Johnson Is Missing,” read the signs held by protesters, referring to Johnson’s apparent refusal to attend various forums on Social Security privatization held in the district. “She’s clearly missing, and that’s our message- where’s Nancy?” said Phil Sherwood, a CCAG staffer, adding that his group’s corps of summer interns hope to knock on 1,000 doors a night throughout Johnson’s district. Johnson spokesman Brian Schubert did not return a call for comment. Johnson, a 12-term House veteran, holds an influential post on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. She chairs that group’s Health Subcommittee, with broad influence over Medicare policy. Johnson consistently ranks at the top of her Congressional colleagues in terms of lobbyist contributions.That makes any potential challenge daunting, and might explain why Johnson’s opponents are laying as much groundwork as early as possible. Pulliam is a state Senate Democratic staffer, where state Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Southington) has already declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to run against Johnson in 2006. Though CCAG has yet to endorse a candidate in the race, Swan also has ties to the Senate Democrats- he ran state Sen. Edward Meyer’s (D-Guilford) successful upset against William Aniskovich last fall.