Editor's note: Democrat Terry Masters is running for the 120th District seat currently held by Republican Laura Hoydick
What's the real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans?
The sound bites are pretty stale: Republicans are "fiscally conservative" and Democrats are "tax and spend."
The truth is so much different.
Republicans, from Romney on down to my opponent, all tout cutting taxes and cutting waste; but not one of them will admit to what they want to cut -- besides taxes for the wealthy.
If you cut taxes, you will also have to cut expenditures. Again, we hear sound bites about "cutting waste" but nothing concrete. If their plans are good and have value, what's the problem with bringing them out into the open? Or are they unwilling to show how their plans add to the deficit?
In Stratford, my opponent Laura Hoydick states she has worked on legislation to grow Connecticut’s economy. And in fact she, along with all but four members of the House, voted for Democrat Chris Donovan's economic stimulus package (HB 6801).
She then voted against another bill proposed in the Senate and sponsored in the House by Donovan (SB 1152). This bill will have created 3,000 construction jobs each year between 2012-18 and an additional 16,400 jobs with $4.6 billion in personal income by 2037.
Even if no one from Stratford gets hired at the construction site or at the Biosciences Center, the state coffers will be growing and we have a better chance of funding our programs.
Are Democrats the "tax and spend" party? Actually, I think we're the real business-friendly and business-like party. We know that to grow something -- whether a company, an economy or a society -- you need to invest in it.
Public education is an investment that we've forgotten. It's not a coincidence that our kids are missing basic skills sets. Our transportation system is another investment that has not been nurtured. How many lost work hours and lowered productivity were incurred because the Metro-North rail cars couldn't run in either the snow or the heat?
The same types of programs that are under attack in Washington are under attack in Stratford:
- The same party that wants to privatize Social Security wants to privatize Stratford's water treatment facility.
- The same party that voted against funding the Violence Against Women Act in Washington voted against adding a $20 fee to a Connecticut marriage license to provide services for domestic abuse victims.
- The same party that wants to dismantle Medicare and Social Security for everyone under 55 voted against helping Stratford residents who are under-insured or un-insured get healthcare coverage.
- The same party that fought campaign finance reform in Washington voted against greater campaign transparency in Connecticut.
Neither party is all bad nor all good; we and our institutions are not that simple. But the differences are stark between the parties -- and their candidates -- at all levels.
There is a real difference between me and my opponent. I have fought for equal rights, animal welfare, health care, and environmental issues. I have been a union member, I am a small business owner, and I have fought for an equal playing field for over forty years.
I am, as of this writing, endorsed by:
Connecticut Citizens Action Group
Sierra Club, CT Chapter
Working Families Party
I'm asking for your support and your vote in November. I won't make false promises or make snappy sound bites. I will do everything I can to work productively with my peers in Hartford and to help Stratford.
Like Rosa, I'm a fighter and I will fight for you.