U.S. Sen. Scott Brown from Massachusetts, who made history in January by being the first to ride a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment to office, told several hundred people gathered on the lawn outside Milford City Hall on Saturday that they can make history as well by voting for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Linda McMahon.
“The state of Connecticut has a chance to be part of history,“ Brown said. “Sending number one the first female United States Senator. Number two to send a very powerful message to the White House and the majority party that you know what, ‘Hey, we can do it better’.”
Brown, who has been in office about seven months, said even on his trips to the Middle East from the kings and business leaders all the way down to the farmers talk about jobs. He said while he’s been in Washington they’ve spent about 10 days talking about jobs.
“They just don’t get it,” Brown said. “You want somebody who is going to look out for your interests, not the special interests and here she is Linda McMahon.”
Brown spoke for about five minutes before introducing McMahon. He refused to take questions from the media afterward because he said he was going home to mow his lawn and ride his motorcycle.
McMahon also disappeared after her approximately seven minute speech at the rally and did not take questions from the media.
In her prepared remarks, McMahon told the crowd that when she started this race more than a year ago she had no political recognition at all. She said after her Democratic opponent Richard Blumenthal entered the race in January the same day U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd announced his retirement, everyone thought he was a “shoo-in.”
“Nobody even gave the state of Connecticut a second thought,” McMahon said. “Well look what’s happened.” The crowd burst into applause.
“Connecticut is on the map,” McMahon said. “Connecticut is being looked at now much like Senator Brown’s race was last year as one of the deciding races in the country.“
“You can have a political insider, and an incumbent who has spent his life in government and in politics, or a total outsider, a businesswoman whose created about 600 jobs in this state and I know how to create jobs,” McMahon said.
“I think the people of Connecticut also want a Senator who will tell them the truth,” McMahon said. “And someone whose going to fight for them in Washington because I connect with the people of Connecticut. I’ve walked in your shoes.”
But at least one McMahon opponent who mingled with supporters outside Milford City Hall Saturday disagreed with how McMahon has tried to paint herself.
Edward Anderson of New Haven said McMahon has received favorable tax treatment, has taken millions in tax subsidies from the state of Connecticut, then cut 10 percent of her workforce in the middle of a recession “cause she could,” She then proceeded to take home $46 million in dividends taxed at just 15 percent.
“That’s not leadership. That’s just selfishness,” Anderson said.
But McMahon supporters like John and June Vitiello of Wolcott said she embraces more of the policies they believe are important than Blumenthal. John Vitiello said Blumenthal is nothing but a clone of Dodd and will be a “rubberstamp” for the Democratic party.
Vitiello added that as a Vietnam era veteran he doesn’t understand how someone can forget where they were during that period.
Blumenthal has been criticized for his misstatements of his service in the Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam ear.
Meanwhile, Blumenthal supporters like Glen Marshall, president of Carpenters Local 210 said they came to the rally to send a message.
“We want to send a message and get it out there to people. A lot of people don’t understand and haven’t figured out why Linda’s in this race and to me it’s very clear…it’s all about protecting her own personal fortune,” Marshall said.
“The last time Mrs. McMahon accepted an endorsement, she said she would look at lowering the minimum wage,” Blumenthal’s campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement. “The last time Linda McMahon went to a Tea Party rally, she told them she’d never spent any money on Washington lobbyists – she’s spent more than $1 million—and said she would consider eliminating the Departments of Education, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. We can’t wait to see what she says today.”
But McMahon left immediately after her remarks leaving no room for error.
Milford Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. admitted business owners in the heart of the city were upset about the rally because they believed the proposed street closures would cut down on their business.
“We heard that,” Richetelli said. “Linda was the first one to call and say by all means so what you can to make sure that retail is not hurt and any of the down shops and restaurants are not hurt.”
Richetelli, a Republican, said the issues were worked out between the campaign and the police department.
Asked if he was expecting more people, Richetelli said, “Well, the police department likes to error on the side of caution.” He said they did close one street where there were no shops or restaurants.
Asked if he had any estimates at how much the event would costs, Richetelli said he didn’t know.
Brown Visits Manchester with Tom Foley
Following a rally in Glastonbury, Republican gubernatorial nominee, Tom Foley, and Brown stopped at the Shady Glen diner in Manchester to meet supporters before Brown continued on to Milford to attend a rally for Republican Senate nominee Linda McMahon.
After he and Foley shook hands with supporters outside the restaurant and some of the patrons eating inside, Brown briefly described why he thought Foley would be a good choice for the people of Connecticut.
“He’s an outsider, an independent voter and thinker. He’s going to focus on the issues that are important to getting this state moving again,” Brown said as he was leaving for Milford, adding that lowering taxes in Connecticut will be an essential element in kick-starting the state’s ailing economy.
Before Foley’s campaign bus arrived, retired lawyer Jon Mercier of Manchester was among a group of supporters waiting to shake the candidate’s hand. Mercier echoed Brown’s concerns about the state’s tax levels and said it’s the reason he’s supporting Foley.
“This state is broken. We have one of the highest tax rates in the country and our budget is out of control. The only question in my mind is ‘who can fix that?’” Mercier said. “[Connecticut] has been a lousy place for business growth for the last 10 years. Until we get taxes under control, it’s going to continue to be a lousy place for business.”
“Tom Foley’s plan to increase property taxes, take away people’s health care, and allow police officers, firefighters and teachers to strike won’t be fixed by a visit from Scott Brown,” Dan Kelly, Dannel Malloy’s campaign manager said.
Malloy is running against Foley on the Democratic ticket.
“As Governor Dan Malloy will hold the line on taxes, create jobs, and fix our budget problems by downsizing government in a smart way. He did it in Stamford, and he can do it for Connecticut.”