To the Editor:

Last week, the Trumbull Times ran a story about recent State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) decisions regarding the Trumbull Republican Town Committee (TRTC) and the principal and his wife of a local construction company. The TRTC was ordered to forfeit $2,410 in prohibited campaign contributions to the State of Connecticut, and the principal of the construction company and his wife were fined $1,250 for making these contributions. Although in his campaign Mr. Herbst promised not to allow political contributions from town contractors to prevent conflicts of interest, not only did he award the company town work, he did it with a $200,000 contract with a no-bid waiver signed by Mr. Herbst himself.

Instead of responding to the substance of the story, First Selectman Herbst attacked us personally. Herbst said, “It is truly unfortunate and sad that Trumbull Democrats are all hatred, all the time.”  

It appears that when Mr. Herbst can't defend the facts of a particular issue, he instead lashes out personally in attempt to make the issue appear to be illegitimate.  

As Chairman of the Trumbull Democratic Party, I will not let Mr. Herbst's statement regarding "hate" go unchallenged. His statement is factually untrue and outside of the bounds of decency.

Our Trumbull Democratic Town Committee is full of long-time Trumbull residents.  

Our Town Committee includes former First Selectman Paul Timpanelli, Dave Wilson, and Ray Baldwin, who together led our town for 26 years.

Trumbull Democrats are not career politicians who have their sights set on higher office.

We are community volunteers who give our time to an array of civic organizations, and we are active in a vast number of community service activities which go far beyond local politics. We participate in blood drives, drives for the food pantry, feeding the less fortunate, civic organizations, helping those in need and those with illnesses, and many other activities. As an organization, we sponsor one community service each month.  

In April, we will have a team of volunteers participating in Tidy Up Trumbull Day. In June, we will participate in the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society at Trumbull High School.  

Last year, Trumbull Democrats raised the third highest total to fight cancer.

We invite any Trumbull residents who wish to participate side-by-side with us in these community service activities to contact us.

Beyond this, I have felt first-hand the support of these wonderful people. My wife recently had a stroke at the age of 50, and we received a tidal wave of love and kindness from Trumbull Democrats.

Over the past year, members of our organization have had to deal with incredible hardships and tragedies. One family lost their only child to a senseless murder on a subway in Washington, D.C. Several members have had health struggles with cancer, or lost a spouse or loved one.  Each time, the outstanding people in our organization have poured love and kindness from their hearts to support one another. I am so proud to be affiliated with these incredible folks.

Mr. Herbst's words are hurtful and divisive. Words do matter. Mr. Herbst should engage in a respectful dialogue on all issues. Trumbull Democrats may disagree with Mr. Herbst on the issues, but we are his neighbors, not his enemy.
Tom Kelly
Trumbull Democrats Chairman