Another one bites the dust

“The Republican minority leader of the town council, Joseph Verrengia, switched his party affiliation Thursday and said he will seek a nomination to run for re-election in November as a Democrat.” – From today’s Hartford Courant

It says all you need to know about the terrible state of West Hartford’s Republicans that two of the three who serve on the town council have defected. Better hang on to that last one, Donatelli!

There’s a lot to say about this, but I haven’t got time. I’ll leave it in the capable hands of those readers who want to lash out at one another, or even offer calm perspective.

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33 Comments

Filed under Donatelli, GOP, Joseph Verrengia, News, Politics, Republicans, town council, West Hartford

33 responses to “Another one bites the dust

  1. No surprise – Verrengia was always a Union Democrat. He never came to Town Committee meetings. But stay tuned.. the real reason why he left will be exposed, and it isn’t his aspiration to run for higher office.

  2. Joe Visconti

    Go get em Judy!

  3. EJ

    Given the way he’s voted on the board why should I be surprised.

  4. turtle

    You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  5. JTS

    You’ve got to hand it to Carl and Co. They’ve even got a left leaning Indy like me wishing for the days when Turco, Kevin Connors and Bouvier were on the scene. Looks like the future of the democratic majority is secure for another several years. For better or worse.

  6. Art Halloran

    Ms. Aron, a cheap form of character assassination.

    The real reason will be “exposed” as if there is something sinister. You’ve used these tactics before and you should be ashamed. If you have something to say just say it. Otherwise please refrain from the cheap shots.

    And Mr. Visconti, “Benedict Verrengia”? When someone lacks actual insight they resort to name calling.

  7. EJ

    Actually when someone lacks vision they jump parties

  8. Rick Liftig

    Do you really consider the Republican party in town being visionary? From my point of view, their platform can be summed up as “Citizens Against Virtually Everything”.

  9. EJ

    Lots of vision on the council now.
    Business as usual:
    blame all problems on reval
    continue uncontrolled budget growth
    no concern for the tax payers
    complain about mandates and binding arbitration, with no attempt to correct the problem.
    No attempt to fight for ECS funds.
    No attempt to try to decrease layers of administration at the Brd of ED

  10. Rick Liftig

    Nope – you’re changing the subject.

    If the only vision that the Republican party of West Hartford can muster is that they are not Democrats, that doesn’t cut it with me.

    If the Republicans expect to make any headway back into the mainstream in this town, they need to give us townfolk a clear positive vision of what they feel the town can achieve and how they will achieve it.

    And realistically, in order to achieve anything, they will have to cooperate with both the Town Staff and the other party. Is the Republican Party ready to admit this is a necessary path to achieving a goal?

  11. Joe Visconti

    Art
    I Love the fact that you use your real name, really I do. You own your words and that my friend is a good thing.

    Joe Verrengia was quoted in today’s Hartford Fishwrap as saying things were not as divisive or Partisan when he got into politics, so Joe by partisan you mean 2 parties or more? Come on Joe, you gave it away, you let the cat out of the bag and confirmed we have had only a one party system in this town for years now.

    JTS
    Bouvier picked Carpenter and Verrengia so much for his insight. Hey Bob, you should have waited to vote on Blue Back like Kevin before you got homesick. Al, you still on Richard’s payroll or did the silver run out?
    The good news is we don’t have to look for the Union label anymore it’s right where it belongs, stiched to West Hartford Democrat clothing. God Bless America!!!!

  12. EJ

    I said he jumped parties because he lacked vision and was content to join the status quo. No change of subject there.
    If he had any ideas on improving the situation in this town, he certainly wasn’t making them known.

  13. Art Halloran – Oh please …where in what I said is there character assassination? how is what I said sinister? How is what I said a cheap shot? Please Art, grow up. If you despise me… fine.. I am sure I’ll get over it. (yup I just did).

    I didn’t say anything further because a press release will be going out to explain some things that the Courant did not tell everyone. you’ll only see it on WHTA website and I am sure.. the Hartford Courant most likely will not report on it even though they will be getting a copy.

    Art .. do me a favor.. ignore my posts o.k.? I’ll be sure to ignore yours in return.

  14. Switching parties after gaining the trust of your constituents tells you a lot about the character of Joe Verrengia. Look, you stand on sets principles and follow them through – you don’t wait for the opening to jump sides, as he planned to all along.

    Verrengia is a traitor. What a joke. I’m sure the clowns at the Courant will brag about “how he’s grown and matured.”

    Just another day in West Hartford G.O.P. politics…
    The town lost when Turco, Bouvier and Donatelli and friends lost the majority. But that was due to poor campaigning, not poor policy.

    The West Hartford G.O.P. needs REAL leadership that can present a solid platform to run on. They need to stop recruiting meele-mouthed, spineless, ddishonest creatures like Verrengia. C’mon Carl, recruit someone principled, someone who gets it. The town lacks business-minded, common-sense leadership!

  15. Chuck Coursey

    Time out.

    I totally respect one’s right to express their disdain for positions Joe may have taken or for his switching parties.

    But to anonymously attack his character?

    Give me a break.

    As a cop who puts his life on the line each day for West Hartford and then volunteers on the Council, Joe is a man of tremendous character.

    West Hartford is lucky to have his service, no matter what initial follows his name.

  16. Kevin Sullivan

    When Joe Verrengia was a Republican, he was a good guy. Now he’s a Democrat and he’s still a good guy.

    As a Democrat, the disfunctionality of Republican Party insiders is a political blessing. But as citizen, it’s a shame when a once grand local Republican party that helped lead our town has become a captive grab-bag of disaffiliation, discontent and distortion. Time for an intervention?

    Anyone who doubts how bad it is — for Republicans, our town and civic values — has only to read the ranting, raving, mean-spiritedness and political cheap shots of those who react on this blog by hanging Joe in virtual effigy. Partisan is fine, but these folks are just downright scary.

  17. Joe Visconti

    Time out?
    Go ahead take one if you need to.
    This place doesn’t have a 3 minute time limit like in the OK (taxes) Coral at Town Hall. People are allowed to express their opinions as they see fit. Anyway Joe’s a big boy he can defend himself, he doesn’t need his new political allies to step in to protect him, or does he?

  18. Joe Visconti

    By the way sports, your Democratic Voter Registra sent me the email below on thursday thinking I was Joe Verrengia.
    Joe Visconti, Joe Verrengia, easy to confuse, right? The email has a nice attachment with many of your players contacts on it. I am Posting the email just in case the Public doesn’t believe Joe Verrengia has not had a warm welcome from your gang. It’s nice to see political betrayal in the works. Maureen, isn’t that the lady that works on the MDC also with Joe Verrengia, so civic minded? Small world huh. Look out MDC your in the spotlight next!

    JOE:
    THOUGHT THAT YOU MIGHT WANT A COPY OF THE TOWN COMMITTEE LIST
    MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO DROP THE MEMBERS A NOTE TO SAY HI AND BLAH BLAH BLAH
    DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE NOMINATING MEETING IS IN JULY….AND OUR CANDIDATES ARE NOMINATED BY TOWN COMMITTEE. JUST A THOUGHT I’M SURE THAT MAUREEN HAS TONS OF SUGGESTIONS.
    MARCIA

  19. I don’t have any disdain for Joe switching parties.. I am glad he did already. He was always a union Democrat and now he made it official. At least now he is being honest with the public. I respect him as a police officer and he’s personally a nice guy .. but he was never a practicing Republican.

    You know Kevin I find it funny how you try to make everyone think that the Dems are such a fine happy family when there have been obvious divisions in your own ranks. So lets not go there ..okay?

  20. Steve Adler

    Why don’t we spend less time on launching these political attacks and more time on addressing the issues of this town.

    After reading these replies, I’ve realized (2) things: #1 – Some people are living unhappy lives and #2 – I just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading this e-mail thread

    Be Well

    Steve
    steveniadler@hotmail.com.

  21. Rick Liftig

    Steve –

    Thanks for the breath of fresh air!

  22. EJ

    “Why don’t we spend less time on launching these political attacks and more time on addressing the issues of this town.”

    What political attacks? You elect someone to represent you and support your political ideas, he doesn’t, then when convenient for him he jumps parties to secure reelection rather than face the party/electors that put him in office. His former part members and those who voted for him are then supposed withhold comment on what they think of him. Frankly, the comments would appear to be rather mild and controlled considering his betrayal of those who supported him.

  23. Rick Liftig

    Pardon me –

    If you are a member of the Town Council (or any other town body) I expect you to represent the town and not just the people who supported you. A town is too small a unit to constantly be divided by issues created for the sake of differentiation. A party may espouse a narrow platform during an election, but that view is often a minority position meant to make your views differ from the opposing party. After the election, it is time to work together to make the town better.

    The narrow viewpoint of the Republican Party in this town over the last four to six years has damaged it greatly and driven away many moderate and electable candidates.

    If the party was headed in the right direction, you wouldn’t have seen two very electable candidates jump ship and the rest of the slate go down in flames. Only two Republicans were elected to the Town Council in the last election. Neither one of them had more votes than the Independent candidate. Both were at the bottom in vote totals. What does this tell you about how the election and platform was handled?

    And don’t use the old excuse that there are more Democrats than Republicans in this town. That is a slap at the intelligence of our voters. The voters are perfectly willing to split a ticket for the candidates they feel will best represent and run the town.

    Just so you know, I was a Republican for ten years and left the party for precisely this reason.

    -BTW I would encourage all on this blog to use their full names. If you feel strongly about an issue you should own your words.

  24. Joe Visconti

    Unhappy live’s, real issue’s? Hey Steve, waste some more time by reading this. Thousands of West Hartford residents are now living unhappy lives because of Guys like Joe Verrengia not standing against the Budget and forcing them out of their homes with higher taxes that support his Paycheck.What do you say to them? What’s your concensus building plan bud?
    Political attacks? This is Politic’s boy’s want to play nice in the sandbox like Barbara Carpenter go back to grade school.
    Oh and Rick, is it time to work together to make the town better? Then let’s all join hands this week and get right down to the State Capitol to demand our fair share of ECS funding! Nope? can’t do that can we, Then we would look like malcontents and appear poor, lets just swallow another 35 million dollar underfunded State Educational Mandate.

    Newsflash, in 5 years the average home in West Hartford will carry a Property tax bill of close to $10,000 as the schools grow much more diverse and need more $’s and get less from the Veto wielding Democratic Lawmakers.
    What’s out 10 year tax plan David Jones? Your a guy in financial planning, can you lend a hand to the Republican party to layout where we are heading as a Town? The real issue facing West Hartford is : No one is looking down the road 10 years at Taxation except the damn Unions and AFSCME Crowd and what it means to them and theirs.
    Opposing view- We couldn’t look down the road that far, we couldn’t plan ahead that far, we don’t know how much the State is going to shortchange us or what new laws the State will Mandate.

    My friends all politics is local, it is up to us to make Government responsible, and do it now.

    What do we want? Tax relief, when do we want it? NOW!

  25. David Jones

    The voting record of Joe Verrengia since the last election is precisely what one would have expected if they know Joe or if they have followed him on the council. You may agree or disagree with his votes, but I don’t think he’s betrayed the voters, he’s been who we thought he would be.

    He finds himself in the position of being in disagreement on many issues with the party leadership, and thus chose a different path. It seems to me it’s a win-win. The party leadership should be pleased, and I think they are, that they can now put Republicans on the council with whom they agree. And Joe has extracted himself from a very contentious situation which should make life better for him. No reason for anyone to feel betrayed or disappointed. Everyone wins.

    I believe Joe to be a good, honorable person and a man of great character. I also believe in the right of the party leadership to support anyone of their choosing. It’s widely known that the Republican leadership has been at odds with both Verrengia and Carpenter for the last 2 or 3 years. Now the deck has been cleared for the Republican leadership to elect the kind of Republicans they prefer.

    This is both an opportunity and a challenge for the Republican leadership to show what it’s made of. Share your vision for the town of West Hartford with the electorate, and in November we’ll see if the Republican Town Committee vision for our future is embraced or rejected.

    I’ve given some thought to the question of posting comments in anonymity vs. using your real name and I come down on the side of using your real name. I agree with Rick Liftig that you should own your comments and if you feel uncomfortable saying something with your name attached to it, perhaps you should reconsider whether it should be said.

  26. Joe Visconti

    David
    Betrayal is win win now? He didn’t betray voters? Now that’s a Perfect reuse of the Board of Ed mentality at it’s best.

    Joe Verrengia- This is not personal, it’s politics, you know that. Now let’s start defending the real victims, the Voters of West Hartford that thought they were voting Republican when voting for you, that was the ticket you were on right?
    Oh, tickets don’t mean anything, right, I forgot, no partisanship anymore, what’s wrong with me?
    To Russia with love!

  27. Obviously, a few people writing here simply don’t get it. I love people who visit blogs and then attack people for providing an opinion they don’t like. Everyone is allowed their own opinion – even those of you who think raising taxes each year and not doing the hard work of reducing spending are entitled to your opinion.

    Fact are facts. Joe committed to represent certain ideas and positions. I know because unlike MOST of you, I actually helped with the campaign last time around, so don’t insinuate that Joe kept his commitments as an elected GOP candidate.

    Let’s get something clear. He’s a fraud. The minute he got elected, he began to work with the Dems to raise taxes and collaborate away the Republican position (and yes, we are allowed in West Hartford to permit opposition to be elected to speak out against the majority – which has raised taxes consistently nearly to the highest in the region).

    As for him being a police officer. Who cares? Horray for him! We are specifically addressing his character as a nominated Republican and elected official of the Town. And his character is tarnished. He should have resigned.

    Republicans have their own troubles – clearly there is some work do with finding loyal, and honest candidates that will represent the people who work, contribute, and vote for them to represent their interests. Not get in there and hose their supporters for some hidden agenda.

    Joe is a fraud. Period. From his comments in the current, it seems like he’d rather be part of a one party system. Talk about someone unwilling to do the hard work… simply amazing!

  28. MP

    These actions typify the mentality of elected officials acting in the best interest of their political career versus the people they claim to serve. In reality, I’m not upset to see a mole and traitor leave the party. He can’t be trusted and I hope The Democrats welcome him with open arms. An untrustworthy, self serving, and PRO Big Government politicians does not belong serving The Republican party in any capacity.

  29. Joe Visconti

    King and MP

    Although I concur on your above stance’s, I must in all fairness to those I oppose to ask you and all bloggers to Identify yourselves.
    Rick Liftig, Kevin Sullivan, David Jones, Chuck Coursey and many others whom I respect although differ on certain/many issue’s show the courage of their convictions by identifying themselves. One does a diservice to oneself and the community by not revealing oneself.
    So please, all who feel inclined to post, come out come out whoever you are.

  30. Joe V:

    I appreciate your comment however, I must decline your request – you must understand that for career reasons (and not being a career politician) anonomous postings are necessary.

    Unfortunately and without going into too much detail I can tell you that there are folks that cannot contain themselves to a jib and a jab here without taking manner of disgreement much further than necessary – either into the workplace or making harrassing phone calls to family. You have to experience it to understand it. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in – where people cannot behave themselves or act in a rational manner.

    I applaud all of the above individuals you’ve mentioned, pro or con any issue, who are willing to put expose their careers or family by using their real names.

    Let me also say that in the past on other issues, I have used my real name for non-political letters to the editor in the Courant and elsewhere.

    And lastly as a historian, notably Jefferson, Adams, Revere, Franklin, Hutchinson and others used names such as “Publius” and “Noble Lord” and other such names when making political commentary in published newspapers. While I know its not the trend today, the reasons for why they did this, and why I’m using such a name are similiar.

    I hope you can understand, and I hope this doesn’t detract from the content of my opinion or the courage of my convictions – should our discourse continue.

    And if Joe Visconti is your true name (and I assume it is), I will promise to introduce myself should we get the opportunity to meet (or Judy or anyone else). I’ve done this with a large number of folks who are online.

  31. Rick Liftig

    King –

    So you can call Joe Verrengia a fraud and hide behind a pseudonym.

    I am not impressed.

  32. Joe is an elected official, I am not.

    I didn’t make commitments and then turn on my constituents.

    Thanks for bringing us back to the original issue, Rick. I guess I’m not impressed either.

  33. For what it’s worth, I can sympathize with the need to use an online handle, to use an old CB radio term. Not all of us can use our real names, for lots of different reasons.

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