Editor’s note: This article originally ran on The Cool Justice blog at http://www.cooljustice.blogspot.com.
Republican Tony Nania is considering a run for Congress in the 5th Congressional District, a seat which is currently held by Democrat Chris Murphy, who unseated Republican Nancy Johnson in one of the tightest races last year.
Nania, a lawyer and businessman from the Falls Village section of Canaan, was a state representative for three terms in the 1980s. He has talked to a couple dozen folks and has drafted a fundraising letter.
He poses a serious challenge to the declared Republican candidate, state Sen. David Cappiello of Danbury, who has already won the support of the National Republican Congressional Committee. But Nania is no slouch. In 1984 underdog Nania knocked off an incumbent Democratic Majority Leader, John Groppo, to win office.
Click here to read Monday’s story on the potential primary in The Hill or keep reading this story for excerpts from Nania’s pitch to funders and friends.
Following are some excerpts from Nania’s pitch to friends:
Too many of our elected representatives think that they were elected to advance their own personal agendas, political parties, and/or favorite “public interest groups”. They don’t understand that their only mission is the best interests of all Americans and their constituents in that order. They don’t understand the difference between constructive and destructive partisanship; and none of them seem capable of cooperative and responsible leadership. After a year in session, the entire government of the United States continues to be run on a series of temporary resolutions because they can’t even agree on a budget.
But the truth is that the country is as divided as the Congress. We are more thoroughly polarized than any time since the Civil War. And we don’t just disagree. Even families are bitterly divided. Is the Congress simply following our example?
How many of us are so committed to our own political ideology that we regard one of two opposing candidates for public office as not simply wrong but ignorant, corrupt, or even evil? How many of us know that “our” politics is morally superior to “theirs”. How many of us even believe that the other side is conspiring to deprive us of our liberties?
… I first ran for State legislative office in 1984 as a then lawyer and Judge of Probate, my opponent was the Democratic Majority Leader and Dean of the Connecticut House. The pundits said he couldn’t be beaten. But after sixteen years in office it was hard for him to see things from the bottom up. I praised him for his service, treated him with the honor and respect he deserved, worked hard to explain to voters why it was time for a change, and left the rest to them. I served three terms before imposing my own term limits to return to my work and family.
In the course of the next twenty years (at times simultaneously) I led a NASDAQ-traded public bank (“NewMil”) and a private, non-profit healthcare company (“Geer”) with combined budgets of $30 plus million and 300-400 employees.
As Chairman and CEO of NewMil, I returned the company to sustained profitability and growth after losses that averaged more than $53,000 per day, saving 93 jobs and boosting the stock from less than $2 to more than $ 10. In 1995 Financial World magazine named me a Bronze Award Winner in their “CEO of the Year” competition.
As President and CEO of Geer, I envisioned a new and innovative kind of regional community center, raised more than $25 million in loans and gifts, expanded an existing 11 acre nursing home into a five-corporation, 66-acre health care campus, creating more than 75 new jobs.
I didn’t do any of that all by myself. At NewMil and Geer I had the co-operation of two great boards and many great employees. We shared a vision, worked hard together, resolved our differences, and accomplished the mission.
I can bring that same collegial and dynamic leadership to Congress, but I can’t do that without your determination, commitment, and support …