Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Senator Kane Appointed To Governor’s Municipal Advisory Panel
Sees Role As A Voice For Small Towns & A Supporter Of Mandate Relief
State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) is among the legislators and municipal leaders appointed to Governor M. Jodi Rell’s bipartisan panel charged with recommending ways to cut local government costs and provide mandate relief as part of her plan to abolish the projected $466.5 million state budget deficit. Senator Kane was appointed to the panel by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.
Senator Kane is opposed to cutting aid to municipalities and is working with Republican legislative leaders to develop alternatives. However, he said the General Assembly must reduce the burden of state mandates on municipalities even if legislators adopt a deficit mitigation plan that does not call for reducing state aid to towns and cities.
“As someone who began his political life as an elected municipal official, I know firsthand the impact state mandates have on local governments. Clearly, providing relief from state mandates is among the most important things we must do to help towns and cities control costs. According to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, we now have more than 1,200 state mandates on the books, and all too often we either fail to pay for them or do not pay enough. Obviously, that drives up the cost of local government, a cost that is passed on to families and businesses,” said Senator Kane.
Governor Rell will call the General Assembly into special session on December 15th to consider her deficit mitigation plan, which includes a proposed $84 million reduction in state aid to municipalities. Her bipartisan municipal advisory panel met for the first time on December 3rd.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to help make the difficult decisions necessary to resolve the state’s ongoing budget problems. I see a big part of my role as ensuring that any reductions in state aid to municipalities do not fall disproportionately on small towns, including the 10 communities I represent. If the General Assembly does vote to cut state aid to municipalities, then all towns and cities - not just small communities – must share the pain. Residents of the small towns in my district already send far more to Hartford in taxes than they get back. The state budget deficit belongs to all of us, and it would not be fair or reasonable to expect the small towns to shoulder a disproportionately large share of the burden for abolishing it,” said Senator Kane.
Senator Kane urged state residents to contact him regarding their concerns about the state’s ongoing budget problems and suggestions for abolishing the deficit. He can be reached at his legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421, or via e-mail to Rob.Kane@cga.ct.gov.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

72 Hour push

The past few days, other than being exhausting, have been a whirlwind of support from the voters of our district. We recently spent time in Southbury, Oxford, Roxbury and Middlebury, meeting and greeting voters. Additionally, our phone banks have been filled every night in our effort to talk to voters and remind them of the election, and the response has been incredibly positive.

So....the final push is here! On Saturday and Sunday we will be campaigning all weekend and could use your help, so please contact our campaign HQ or email us if you would like to help. On Saturday at 2 pm we will have a campaign wrap up rally at our HQ with Lt. Governor Mike Fedele and Congressman Chris Shays (followed by more campaigning). Sunday will undoubtedly bring more campaigning, and then we will have a big victory on Election Day.

It is incredibly important for you to remind your friends, neighbors and family to go to the polls on Tuesday so that we can ensure victory. And of course, if you have time, please come to our HQ to help turn out our vote.

Thank you to everyone who helped out so far, and we look forward to a great day on Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Meeting and greeting voters

Taking nothing for granted, we have been aggressively hitting the campaign trail, meeting voters through an aggressive door knocking campaign. The response has been great, and many of the voters we spoke to were enthusiastic about our message.

Furthermore, our phone lines have been filled up and busy every night for the past few weeks and we will continue to get our message out to as many voters as possible in the coming days.

A quick look at the last week:

Thursday is our debate, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, at Southbury Town Hall at 7 pm.

Saturday at 2 pm we will be having a rally at our campaign HQ in Watertown, and our keynote speakers will be Lt. Governor Mike Fedele and Congressman Chris Shays.

Tuesday is Election Day! Polls will be open from 6 am - 8 pm.

Only 7 days left until victory....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Kudos to Tom Gormley

Special kudos go out this morning to our friend, newly minted Middlebury First Selectman Tom Gormley who is featured in today's Voices article titled "New First Selectman Keeps Taxpayers' Concerns in Mind."

It isn't easy running a municipal government these days because of all of the unfunded mandates handed down from Hartford. However, easing the local tax burden is a top priority of Tom's, and I appreciate his concern for the taxpayers. Here is the article:

New First Selectman Keeps Taxpayers' Concerns in Mind
By: Jaimie Cura

Email to a friendPost a CommentPrinter-friendly
Buy Photo

MIDDLEBURY - The white board in First Selectman Thomas Gormley's office has four phrases written under the topic "Four Major Taxpayer Concerns."

"I see it every day," said Mr. Gormley.

While visiting homes during his campaign and during the first three weeks in office, Mr. Gormley said he learned that the top concerns of taxpayers are overdevelopment, taxes, Region 15 costs and Oxford Airport growth concerns, noise and safety.

Mr. Gormley said his first month in office has been busy due to the number of people who visited to discuss their concerns during the first few weeks and, now, the typical first selectman duties and responsibilities as liaison to the town's commissions.

The Board of Selectmen members, at the Tuesday, December 4, special meeting, each became liaisons to the commissions and committees in town, as part of an effort to become more involved.

The first item on the list, overdevelopment, is a concern to residents who want to maintain Middlebury's small town feel, said Mr. Gormley.

He said he already spoke to Planning and Zoning Chairman Terry Smith on looking over land use regulations, to see what needs to be done to protect Middlebury.

The burden of taxes may be somewhat alleviated by placing the burden on the town to educate residents, said Mr. Gormley. "I think we have to, in my own mind, do a better job of selling the services we give to the taxpayer so they know what they're getting," he said.

Mr. Gormley discussed the breakdown of a tax dollar, with 65 cents going toward the Region 15 school system, leaving the remaining 35 cents to run an entire town. He cited the importance of police protection and the Public Works Department.

"People have to realize they're getting bang for their buck - we're not hiding anything," he said.
Mr. Gormley said every town is facing an energy crisis, with rising fuel and heating costs. He said the town is trying to cut costs where it can, citing the decision made during the previous administration to lessen hours of operation at the Middlebury Public Library.
"I don't want to cut any more people," he said.

The third taxpayer concern, Region 15 costs, has the status of being both a blessing and a curse - Mr. Gormley said property values are based on a good school system, but residents have concerns that Middlebury is not paying a fair share to the region, which consists of Middlebury and Southbury.

"We started an Equity Analysis Committee to take a look at the equity issue," said Mr. Gormley. He said the issue is not the per pupil cost, but rather how large Southbury's population is in comparison to Middlebury's population.

According to the Region 15 website, Southbury's population is approximately 18,500 people, while Middlebury's population is approximately 6,450 people. "There's got to be something to address the size issue," said Mr. Gormley.

The fourth item on the board has been a concern of Mr. Gormley's throughout his campaign - Oxford Airport's growth and the subsequent noise and safety issues that arise.

"Yeah, the airport has been here a long time, but the intensification has increased," he said.
Mr. Gormley pulled out the Waterbury-Oxford Airport noise study packet given to him from the Department of Transportation at a Friday, December 7, presentation and pointed out the proximity of the runway to the Triangle Hills neighborhood in Middlebury.

"God forbid, if something happens, there's nothing but 81 homes there," he said, saying that if something went wrong with a plane on the runway, the homes in the neighborhood are the closest structures around.

Triangle Hills residents who spoke with Mr. Gormley said they are concerned with noise, safety and obtaining fair market value for their homes. One resident said that is all they want and if they receive it, they are moving out of the neighborhood.

Mr. Gormley also cited the possibility of the power plant being built in Oxford, and wondered how the stacks on the building that emit smoke will impact the airport and flying patterns of planes.

Mr. Gormley said he spoke with Christopher Murphy, D-5, who said he will try and help find a solution. Mr. Gormley said he hopes to schedule a meeting with Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
One item that is not on the white board but on Mr. Gormley's mind is, in the future, avoiding a specific part of Middlebury's past - the demeanor during the 2005 municipal election.
"A lot of people expressed concerns, saying "please don't let things go ahead as they did in the 2005 election," said Mr. Gormley.

He said the election was an ugly one and the town is in the midst of a healing process.
He acknowledged there are tough times ahead, with energy and housing crises, and the town residents and officials will need to work together to get through the trying times.
"There are people on tight incomes; we want to see those people stay in Middlebury," he said.
Mr. Gormley said the town has a responsibility to make every dollar count and do everything that can be done to lessen the burden.

"I just wish peace and prosperity for all our citizens," he said.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You're known by the company you keep...

This morning's Republican-American has a good story about our newly-assembled campaign team. Yesterday we announced that four prominent Republicans in our district have agreed to be co-chairs of our campaign. State Representative Arthur O'Neill, Bethlehem First Selectman Jeff Hamel, Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry and former Oxford Selectman Dave Haversat have agreed to serve as co-chairs of our campaign. I am very honored that these well-respected leaders have agreed to serve on my campaign team.

Kane picks former foe to lead campaign


WATERTOWN — Republi­can Town Councilman Robert J. Kane selected a former oppo­nent in the race for the 32nd District to work on his cam­paign Wednesday. Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R­Southbury, has agreed to serve as a campaign co-chairman for Kane in the upcoming special election on Jan. 15. In a statement, O’Neill said he was honored to be offered the leadership position. “Rob understands the needs of this district and stands for the values we all cherish,” O’Neill said. “I look forward to working with him as the next senator from the 32nd District.” Earlier this month, Kane edged out O’Neill 34-30 at a Re­publican convention to receive his party’s endorsement. Kane is running against De­mocrat Kenny Curran, chair­man of the Democratic Town Committee, for the seat vacated by former Sen. Louis C. DeLu­ca, who retired in November. Curran is the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee in Bethlehem and has worked on political campaigns for Hart­ford Mayor Eddie Perez, U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and former Democratic congress­man James Maloney. Three other area Republi­cans — Bethlehem First Select­man Jeffrey Hamel, Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry and former Oxford Selectmen Dave Haversat — were also ap­pointed as cochairmen of Kane’s campaign. Henry said Kane will give a voice to small towns at the state capitol. “He will win because small­town voters are behind him and know he will work tirelessly on our behalf,” Henry said.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The most important meal of the day

During the past week, we have been making the early morning rounds to local diners and coffee shops in the 32nd District talking to voters about the important issues of this campaign. Last week we visited Patti's in Thomaston and joined George Seabourne and company for cup of coffee and ran into, among others, former Thomaston First Selectman Eugene McMahon (D). As luck would have it, Eugene and I are distantly related. Small world!

We also visited Fritz's in Oxford with former Oxford Selectman Dave Haversat, a popular public figure in Oxford who opted not to seek re-election to the Board of Selectmen this year. And our most well known stop was to Nick's in Bethlehem where First Selectman Jeff Hamel organized a group of voters to talk about the issues with me. The Waterbury Republican-American covered our visit in their "Brass Tacks" section on Monday:

Not his hometown

Republican State Senate can­didate Robert J. Kane ventured into his opponent’s hometown Friday, seeking to learn more about the people he hopes to represent. Kane, a 40-year-old Water­town councilman, met with about 15 Bethlehem residents during breakfast at Nick’s Country Kitchen on Flanders Road, discussing taxes, con­cerns about the regional school district and the need for leaders to provide small-town repre­sentation in Hartford. “I’m not a career politician,” Kane told the group in the restaurant’s barroom. “I’ve been out there with a real job making something. I think peo­ple are receptive to that.” First Selectman Jeffrey Hamel introduced Kane, who will face off against Democratic candidate Kenny Curran of Bethlehem in a Jan. 15 special election for the right to fill Louis C. DeLuca’s vacated seat. “When you get to Hartford, remember where you are from,” Hamel told Kane. “We’ll be supporting you, and we’ll be watching you. We need you.”

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone! Take the time to enjoy the company of family and friends, and to rest up for the next few weeks of the campaign!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Making history

Yesterday our campaign became the first State Senate campaign in state history to qualify for the Citizens' Election Fund under the new campaign finance reform law. While I am opposed to the use of taxpayers' money to finance, special interest money has been removed from State Senate campaigns - and that's a good thing.

Below is the press release that we sent out yesterday:

Kane Qualifies for Public Financing

Watertown, CT – Rob Kane, Republican candidate for state Senate in the 32nd District, today became the first state Senate candidate to qualify for public campaign financing when the Elections Enforcement Commission certified that he has met the threshold for private campaign donations. Under new campaign finance laws, a candidate for state Senate in a special election must raise at least $11,250 and receive donations from 225 district residents in order to qualify for public financing.

Kane won the Republican nomination on December 4th and in less than two weeks raised a total of $14,200 – most of it ($11,495) from 362 residents of the 32nd District. As a result, he will receive $63,750 dollars from the Citizens Election Fund to communicate with voters during the 32nd District special election.

“Reaching this milestone puts my campaign on good footing for the race ahead,” said Kane. “I’m grateful for the groundswell of support my campaign is receiving. The fact that we met this milestone in spite of the approaching holidays and difficult weather is testament to the hard work and dedication of our grass roots organization.”

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney complimented Kane on his accomplishment.

“The fact that Rob Kane was able to qualify in such a short period of time is telling of just how committed 32nd District Republicans are to getting him elected,” said Senator McKinney. “Rob has put together a strong leadership team. He is focused on the right issues –fiscal prudence, public safety and education. And he has demonstrated he has the grass roots support necessary to win his race.”

Kane said that while he is fundamentally opposed to financing political campaigns with taxpayer dollars, he is pleased the new campaign finance laws have taken special interest money out of our elections, allowing candidates more time to communicate with voters.

The Elections Enforcement Commission certified that 393 donors have contributed a total of $14,200 to Rob Kane’s campaign. Of that total, $11,495 were contributed by 32nd District residents.

The 32nd District special election will be held January 15.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The most important meal of the day

The last few mornings have been very exciting as we have hit the road to speak with voters and listen to their concerns. Earlier this week we visited Patti's Place in Thomaston with local attorney and Republican Town Chairman George Seabourne and had a cup of coffee with a few Thomaston residents who were getting ready to start their day.

Also this week we traveled to Oxford and stopped in at Bobby Fritz's Snack Bar with former Selectman Dave Haversat, who is also one of our campaign Co-Chairs.

This morning we visited Nick's in Bethlehem with our good friend, Bethlehem First Selectman Jeff Hamel. Jeff introduced us to a number of local residents and we had a great discussion about the issues facing working families, seniors and small businesses.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fundraising success

I am VERY happy to report that today our treasurer will be delivering our campaign finance filing to the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). As I posted earlier, we needed to raise $11,250 from 225 in-district contributors in order to qualify for public financing. The report we file today will show that we raised approximately $14,000 from close to 400 contributors (approximately 360 of whom live in the 32nd District). We were incredibly successful in raising our qualifying funds in a very short amount of time and I can't thank you all enough for your early support.

This is going to be a very short campaign and the fact the Christmas and New Year's are right in the middle of it makes things even tougher, but we have a great team in place to ensure a victory on Election night (more on our campaign team to come later today).

Remember to remind your friends, family and co-workers to vote in the Special Election on January 15th.