Letter: Majority leader, Republicans trying to deceive the public
To the Editor:
Is there any integrity left among the Trumbull Republican leadership? After the election we were treated to commitments for a new era of civility and bipartisanship. Instead, the GOP showed last week by acting in a blatantly partisan manner and then trying to deceive the public about the underlying motivations that political victory is more important than what’s best for Trumbull.
Town Council Majority Leader Rick Costantini wrote to the Trumbull Times expressing indignation about criticism that the election of “unaffiliated” Ted Chase as an alternate to the Board of Finance was partisan. After all, he reasoned, how could the Republican controlled council voting for someone that’s unaffiliated be partisan? Quite simply, it’s when the vote excludes a superior candidate for political reasons. The minutes of the vetting session show that Mr. Chase cited his involvement in Trumbull Youth Lacrosse as his primary qualification. The alternative to Mr. Chase was Vicki Tesoro, a 20-year town education and government volunteer and elected official that just two months ago was the choice of 49% of voters to be our town’s leader. There can be no doubt that Ms. Tesoro was the superior candidate and even Mr. Costantini’s letter made no attempt to claim that Mr. Chase was the best available. There’s just one problem – she’s a Democrat – and the hyper-partisan Republican leadership and caucus have consistently rejected Democratic candidates for key appointed positions.
What Mr. Costantini also neglected to tell the public is that Mr. Chase was on the GOP ticket as a Board of Education candidate coming out of last July’s convention. He was subsequently replaced on the ballot, but, at a minimum, Mr. Chase was politically aligned with the Republicans long before he was nominated for the BoF and told the Town Council Rules and Research Committee at the Dec. 29 vetting session that he was "unaffiliated."
It gets worse.
On Tuesday, just one day after being appointed by the TC as an “unaffiliated” alternate to the BoF and less than a week after he testified that he had no party affiliation, Ted Chase legally changed his registration to Republican – two days before the on-line publication of Mr. Costantini’s letter. So much for the fiction that the selection of Chase was a non-partisan nod to unaffiliated voters. If the GOP is going to deliberately mislead the public, they should at least learn to keep their story consistent for more than a few days. Better yet, how about just being honest?