Matt DeRienzo photo
NEW BRITAIN — The Connecticut chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses has endorsed Republican Mark Greenberg in his race against first-term 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty.

Greenberg has run a commercial real estate development business for years, and has an NFIB bumper sticker on his car.

“We look at it through the lens of who is pro-small business,” said Andrew Markowski, NFIB’s state director. “Mark knows what it’s like to make a payroll, deal with regulations and taxes.”

Esty voted the way NFIB wanted on only two of 10 matters that came before her in the U.S. House of Representatives over the past two years. That was better than the rest of the Connecticut House delegation, which received a 0 percent rating from NFIB.

In addition to Greenberg, the Connecticut chapter of NFIB has endorsed Republican Dan Debicella‘s bid to unseat incumbent 4th District Congressman Jim Himes, and Republican Tom Foley‘s campaign against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Maria Bernacki, who hosted an announcement of the endorsement at the Sir Speedy Printing business she owns on Main Street in New Britain, said that it keeps getting tougher for small businesspeople in Connecticut. She said Greenberg would be “a stronger voice for small business.”

In accepting the endorsement, Greenberg said he would fight to relieve businesses of the “burdens of Obamacare” and work to reform regulations and a tax code that have businesses fleeing the state.

“We can’t deal with a crazy tax code that changes every year or every two years,” he said. “We need stability.”

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ENDORSES GREENBERG: The Republican-American newspaper of Waterbury, which has wide circulation in the 5th District, endorsed Mark Greenberg on Sunday. The newspaper said that Greenberg’s long experience as a businessman would put him in the best position to help improve the nation’s economy. It complimented his support for overhauling the tax code, offshore drilling, “clean coal” and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and his opposition to Obamacare. The endorsement criticized Greenberg’s recent “flip-flopping” on certain issues and his “reluctance to speak with reporters,” but said that he would be a better congressman than the “far-left” Elizabeth Esty, who is “out of step with most residents of her moderate district.” The newspaper also said that “Rep. Esty’s integrity is questionable.” “She has run a television advertisement that distorts Mr. Greenberg’s views on Social Security by cutting and pasting video clips,” it said.

COURANT ENDORSES ESTY: The Hartford Courant endorsed Elizabeth Esty’s re-election bid on Friday, calling her “a bright and hardworking representative who is learning to use her office to help the district.” It praised her for being a “stickler for constituent services” and a “pragmatist” who isn’t afraid to split from her Democratic colleagues on key votes. The newspaper called Esty’s attacks on Greenberg over Social Security this year an “uncharacteristic and unfortunate misstep.”

In passing over Greenberg, the Courant said his “views are too close to those of the obstructionist wing of the GOP.”

GREENBERG WRITES ANOTHER CHECK: Mark Greenberg has loaned his campaign another $350,000, the CT Mirror reports. It brings his total campaign account to $1.8 million, about $1 million less than Elizabeth Esty has raised. All but $300,000 of Greenberg’s funding was loaned by him to the campaign.

CORPORATE TAXES: Greenberg is calling for a reduction in the federal corporate tax rate, saying it would be a key step in preventing U.S. companies from moving overseas.

Greenberg said the current rate of 30 percent should be reduced to “the high teens or low 20s.”

Elizabeth Esty’s campaign spokeswoman, Laura Maloney, said that Esty would be open to considering a reduction in the corporate tax rate as long as it was part of a “comprehensive” reform package that “overhauls our tax code.”

GREENBERG WORRIES ABOUT EBOLA: Greenberg, who previously called for a travel ban from affected West African countries, and then the resignation of Center for Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden, continues to make Ebola an issue in his campaign for the 5th Congressional District seat.

He said that a case of Ebola diagnosed Thursday in New York City should concern the 5th District because of residents who commute from Danbury.

“I am concerned by this first case in our nation’s largest city, as well as its potential impact on the 5th District: many residents of Danbury, Brookfield, Newtown and the surrounding area commute to New York City every day for work,” he said. “I have consistently outpaced my opponent in demanding accountability from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and calling for tough measures like a temporary travel ban. Today I reiterate that call. I also call on the CDC to establish a 21-day quarantine period for any health workers coming from the afflicted region, as “numerous” local and state officials have done. And I ask Elizabeth Esty to stand up for the 5th District and do the same.”

COURANT RAPS ATTACK ON ESTY: The Hartford Courant’s Matt Kauffman has rated Greenberg’s latest TV ad as “somewhat misleading.” In the ad Greenberg, accuses Esty of supporting “higher Social Security taxes.” Kauffman says that leads voters to believe that she supports an increase in the Social Security tax rate of 6.2 percent. That’s not what Esty is proposing. She’s supporting an increase in the $117,000 cap on income subject to Social Security taxes.

The ad, incidentally, started airing on Connecticut television on Tuesday, the same day Greenberg said in a Waterbury debate that he would support the same income cap increase for which his ad attacks her.

Matt DeRienzo is the editor of the Center for Public Integrity.

The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of or any of the author's other employers.