Get to Know John Toomey

BDTC Get to Know...JohnToomeypost

What’s the farthest you’ve been from Bolton, and why were you there? 
San Francisco. Gay Pride & 25th Anniversary Of The Summer Of Love

When people come to you for help, what do they usually need help with?
Bolton History information

What’s your favorite season?
All of them
Why?
That’s what our planet offers.

Lightning round:

Dog or cat? I don’t enslave any species
Coffee or tea? Ok
Back roads or highways? Yes
Pro sports team? I don’t participate in corporate bread and circus activities
Last restaurant you went to? Mama’s
Favorite spot in Bolton? Toomey Lane before the nouveau riche McMansions. [Does that include my house, John? -Ed]

Learn more about John in his bio.

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Get to Know Marilee Manning

BDTC Get to Know...Marilee

What’s the furthest you’ve been from Bolton, and why were you there?
The Philippines in 1994 with my husband, Tom, to pick up our three adopted children

What’s the most useful thing you own?
My car as I love the freedom it gives

What’s the last book you read?
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein.  I am temporarily in India and thought it a good time to revisit this story as its very long and I suspected I missed a bit when I first read it 47 years ago.  I was right.

Lightning Round:

Dog or cat? Cat
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Back roads or highways? Backroads
Pro sports team? None
Last restaurant you went to? Rahdika’s In Ahmedabad, India
Favorite spot in Bolton? The hilltop at the Bolton Center Cemetery overlooking the eastern highlands

Learn more about Marilee in her bio.

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Get to Know Adam Teller

BDTC Get to Know... Adamheadline

What’s the farthest you’ve been from Bolton, and why were you there?
The farthest I’ve ever been from Bolton is the overnight lockup cage at the Dorchester District Court in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where I was representing indigent people accused of crimes. Most of them had been there for the weekend because they could not post a bail of a few hundred dollars.
The farthest distance I’ve been from Bolton is Santiago, Chile, where my son was living and studying at the time.

What’s the most useful thing you own?
A smart phone, unfortunately.

What weird or useless talent do you have?
I can juggle just well enough to amuse very young children.

Lightning round:

Dog or cat? Cat, of course. Dogs are Republicans.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Back roads or highways? Back roads.
Pro sports team? New York Mets.
Last restaurant you went to? Georgina’s!
Favorite spot in Bolton? Anywhere on the rail trail.

Learn more about Adam in his bio.

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Get to Know Chris Davey

BDTC Get to Know... blog Chris

What’s the farthest you’ve been from Bolton, and why were you there?
Vienna, Austria. My wife attended an international feline medicine conference, and I tagged along for the classical music.

When people come to you for help, what do they usually need help with?
Fixin there wurd’s up real good.

What’s your favorite season? Why?
Autumn. It’s when we get to elect Democrats! Seriously, though, I love autumn because it combines celebration with renewal.

Lightning Round

Dog or cat? Cat.
Coffee or tea? Either.
Back roads or highways? Depends where I’m going and how soon I need to be there.
Pro sports team? I root for England and the US at the World Cup. Does that count?
Last restaurant you went to? Filomena’s
Favorite spot in Bolton? The view from my house overlooking Fish Farm is hard to beat (at least when the leaves are off the trees!).

Learn more about Chris in his bio.

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Get to Know Sandy Pierog

Get to know... Sandy Pierog

What’s the farthest you’ve been from Bolton, and why were you there?
Portland, Oregon. I was there for a national convention for the United States Power Squadrons, an international organization promoting safe boating. At the time I was vice chairman of their national government relations committee.

What’s the most useful thing you own?
The skidsteer loader. We call it our mechanical shovel/wheelbarrow. This time of year you can find me operating it to clear the driveway of snow. In spring and summer it’s used around the yard for all sorts of things. Plus, it’s fun to drive.

What’s your favorite season? Why?
Summer for boating. We keep our boat in Groton and spend as much time there as possible in spring, summer and fall.

Lightning round:

Dog or cat? Dog
Coffee or tea? Coffee, black no sugar
Back roads or highways? Back roads as a passenger, Highway as a driver
Pro sports team? Patriots
Last restaurant you went to? Georgina’s
Favorite spot in Bolton? My backyard, close 2nd Bolton Heritage Farm

Read more about Sandy in her bio.

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Letters for Tiffany

Over the course of the campaign, all five members of the BDTC executive committee wrote letters endorsing 55th Assembly District candidate Tiffany Thiele. Most were published in either the Journal Inquirer or RiverEast newspaper. All are collected here.

First Selectman Sandra Pierog:

On November 6th, Tiffany Thiele, the Democratic candidate for District 55, will have my vote. Tiffany stands for the values that are important to me and what I think are the core Connecticut values:

  • fiscal responsibility;
  • fair distribution of municipal aid;
  • equal pay for women;
  • earned family leave;
  • common-sense gun safety legislation;
  • a strong education system with well-paid teachers, safe schools, universal pre-K, and no more unfunded mandates; and
  • a fair and timely state budget to allow municipalities to plan appropriately.

As a gun owner and shooting advocate, I understand the importance of keeping guns out of the wrong hands with strong control and legislation. We need to continue to support equal education of the younger generation, which is critical for our state’s growth and stability. And we can’t go backward with women and family rights. As a municipal official, I understand the detrimental effect that unfunded state mandates have on our local property taxes. Tiffany shares my views and will work hard in the legislature to seek equitable solutions to these issues.

Tiffany is a resident of Hebron and has been working hard since her nomination, knocking on doors, visiting voters in the four towns she hopes to serve, attending meetings, and listening to her future constituents. She is approachable and accessible. I’m proud to support Tiffany and vote for the values I believe make Connecticut strong. Please join me on November 6 in voting Thiele for the 55th!

BDTC chairman and BOE and P&Z member Christopher Davey:

On October 10, Bolton held a public forum on school safety. Tiffany Thiele showed up. Robin Green, the current 55th District representative (who sits on the House Education Committee) did not. The contrast speaks volumes.

This election, up and down the ballot, we face a clear choice: Democratic candidates who will fight to move Connecticut forward in a way that benefits all citizens; who will protect women’s rights, workers’ rights, healthcare, and the environment; who will take the threats of gun violence, climate change, and the increasing unaffordability of higher education seriously. Or Republican candidates who would enact the Trump agenda here in Connecticut: more handouts to millionaires and billionaires; fewer protections for children, workers, and the elderly; and a refusal to take seriously the threats of gun violence, inadequate healthcare, and climate change.

Through her votes, Robin Green has shown where her allegiance lies: far to the right of even her own party. (Bump stocks. Universal pre-K. Essential health benefits for women and children. Protecting seniors from predatory reverse mortgage practices. Preparing the state for the effects of climate change. On each of these issues and more, Ms. Green has voted against bipartisan legislation supported by large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans.)

In contrast, Tiffany Thiele is committed to working with legislators and local town leaders, regardless of party, to make the hard but necessary decisions needed to move Connecticut forward while ensuring that our local schools and town programs don’t suffer as a consequence.

Tiffany has shown up for Bolton, attending numerous public meetings, getting to know the local issues, talking with liberals, moderates, and conservatives alike. On November 6, I plan to show up for Tiffany and help Flip the 55th!

P&Z chairman and BDTC vice chairman Adam Teller:

I am supporting Tiffany Thiele to represent our 55th District in the State House. We need a representative in Hartford who cares about our concerns, and will fight for what is right. I haven’t seen any evidence that our current Representative, Robin Green, knows or cares about what’s important to us.

In 2017, Ms. Green voted “NO” on Senate Bill 954, which would have advanced a plan for universal preschool. She’s the owner of three for-profit preschool centers—was she voting her interest or ours?

This year, Ms. Green voted “NO” on a bill to protect essential health benefits; apparently she doesn’t value access to maternity and newborn healthcare, emergency services, and mental health/substance abuse treatment.

Most incredibly of all, Ms. Green voted NO on banning bump stocks—dangerous devices that have no real purpose but to allow a single weapon to kill more people, more quickly.

Of course, she also said “NO” to Tiffany Thiele’s invitation to debate, explain and defend her positions—because she can’t.

Tiffany Thiele would have voted “YES” on all of those issues. She supports quality education and services, but she also stands for fiscal responsibility, reducing inefficiencies, and reining in the unfunded mandates that burden town budgets inequitably.

I’m proud to be voting for Tiffany and the values that really make Connecticut great, and I’m asking the voters of the 55th District to join me.

BOE member Anne Decker:

On November 6, I’ll be supporting Tiffany Thiele, the Democratic candidate for the 55th District. One of the main reasons for my support is her stance on education issues.

Unlike our current representative, who voted for a budget that cut nearly $1.2 million in state aid to Andover, Bolton, Hebron, and Marlborough, Tiffany has pledged not to support a state budget that doesn’t provide our towns with their fair share of state education funding.

Tiffany believes we need to honor our commitments to teachers by preserving and fully funding their retirement fund, and she supports using state lottery revenue to do so. Tiffany also supports common-sense gun legislation that will keep our communities and schools safe. Our current representative, despite being a member of the Education Committee, refused earlier this year to join the vast majority of her colleagues in voting to ban bump stocks.

Tiffany is engaged and committed to our communities. She’s attended Board of Education meetings in Bolton, and both she and Senator Steve Cassano attended a recent school safety forum organized by the town and school system. Tellingly, neither our current representative nor Senator Cassano’s opponent bothered to attend.

The towns in the 55th District deserve better. Please join me on November 6 in voting for Tiffany Thiele.

BDTC secretary Mary Terhune:

As a 12-year union member of CSEA, I’m excited to support Tiffany Thiele in the race for 55th District representative. Tiffany’s endorsements by SEIU, Council 4 AFSCME, Connecticut AFL-CIO, UAW Region 9A, American Federation of Teachers and the CT State Building Trades demonstrates that she is aware of the concerns of the working class.

She is a proud CT resident who knows the importance of a skilled labor pool in our state. As our representative, Tiffany will be constituent-focused and will prioritize protecting jobs, supporting equal pay laws, and fighting for workers’ rights.

The 55th District needs a problem solver with a fresh perspective, and I am confidant Tiffany Thiele is the right person for the job. Please join me in supporting Tiffany with your VOTE on November 6!

In addition, the Journal Inquirer published letters by Bolton resident Magdalena Reyna and BDTC chair emeritus John Toomey (the latter in support of both Tiffany and Senator Steve Cassano).

Finally, check out this thoughtful piece from an unaffiliated voter on the anything-goes “Bolton Thunderdome” Facebook page.

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On False Equivalence

The next time an American visits horror upon his fellow citizens (how sad that we all know the wait is unlikely to be long and that my choice of pronoun is likely to be correct) and you hear someone offer the excuse, “There’s bad people on both sides,” point them to the ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map. It documents incidents of hate, extremism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism in the United States going back to 2002.

The following screenshots compare left-wing and right-wing extremist incidents and murders since 2008.

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 2.19.12 PM

Screenshot from ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map, showing left-wing extremist incidents, 2008–2018

Screen Shot 2018-10-27 at 2.19.49 PM

Screenshot from ADL’s H.E.A.T. Map, showing right-wing extremist incidents, 2008–2018

All such incidents are to be deplored, but we cannot pretend that there is any meaningful degree of real-world equivalence between left and right extremism. (And for every murder, shootout, or terrorist incident since 2008 there have been more than 14 anti-Semitic/white supremacist incidents.)

Those who subscribe to right-wing political ideas or support right-wing politicians who tacitly approve of or even provide quiet (or not so quiet) encouragement for the extremist ideas that today often circulate openly in right-wing circles would do well to examine why it is that the Republican platform has proven so attractive to so many who are willing to do unspeakably horrible things to their fellow citizens.

Allow yourself to be angry at today’s shooting, at this week’s mail bombs, at the demonization of desperate Central Americans seeking relief from poverty and violence, at the thousands of migrant children still locked up by our government, at the corruption of the current administration, at the chants of “Lock her up!”, at all the lies. Channel that anger toward action.

Vote.

Volunteer.

Raise your children not to fear diversity. Teach them that truth still has value.

Speak out against prejudice, hate, intolerance.

Be a light so others may see.

—Christopher Davey, chairman of the Bolton Democratic Town Committee

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