Government Letters to the Editor Politics Reader Contributed

Letter: Yes, Town GOP Needs to Get Its Act Together, and Respect Zydanowicz and Cortes

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To the Editor:

The header on a recent reader letter seemed encouraging: “Town GOP Needs to Get Its Act Together.” Instead, it was a plea to embrace the dysfunctional Trumpian politics of Mary Fay and reject efforts by Republican Minority Leader Mark Zydanowicz and Councilor Alberto Cortez to be responsible conservative voices doing the hard work of governing.

During my years in local and state government, I valued two-party vitality and Republican participation in decision-making. Even as a Democrat, I believe we are all better off when there is a loyal opposition. That’s what Councilors Zydanowicz and Cortes are doing. I may not agree with them, but certainly respect them. It is especially telling that Mary Fay did not have the support of her Republican Town Council colleagues or the local Republican party to continue as Minority Leader. (After the previous election, Fay simply parked herself in that spot without ever even asking Zydanowicz and Cortes to support her.)

When Mary Fay first sought public office (initially as Democrat), she appeared to be a positive voice for our community. Instead, she is far more interested in running unsuccessfully for higher office, being AWOL for much of the business of the Town Council and becoming a Trump-like rabblerouser. (Let’s never forget her on-line cheerleading for the violent attack on our national Capitol.)

Contrary to the letter writer’s advice, following Mary Fay down a divisive, extremist rabbit hole is no prescription for Republican success in our town.

Kevin B. Sullivan
West Hartford, CT

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1 Comment

  • This letter to the editor, in response to mine, published on May 6th reeks of arrogance, in my opinion. The author, who is arguably one of the most successful and established Democratic party politicians over the past 40 years, thinks he can control a party that he is not a part of. From my viewpoint that is like Col. Sanders trying to dictate terms to a convention of vegetarians. As a conservative, I might long for the days of my grandfather’s Democratic party, or the party under JFK, or even the party of Bill Clinton (who was quite conservative by today’s standards on issues like immigration and welfare reform). However, I would not tell them how to run their party and I don’t think any leading Republican has the right to do that either.
    I want to make it clear that Mary Fay did not write my editorial for me, nor did she ask me to write it. Like any dedicated local elected official, Mary regularly meets with her constituents. My interactions with Mary this year started with my concerns over criminal incidents in this town, especially the “Webster bank – blood paint” incident on January 21. I met with Mary and a small group of other concerned citizens twice for coffee in a public place over the past 3 months. Not everyone at these meetups was a registered Republican, nor was everyone a Trump supporter. We were simply concerned about things going on in town and generally believed Mary was our best advocate.

    Mary encouraged us to get involved in the political process in our town and make our voice known. She did not dictate how we should get involved or what we should say. She talked about some ways that people get involved like speaking at Council meetings, writing letters, FOIA requests, running for office or volunteering on campaigns. This is all pretty standard stuff that any election official would tell constituents.

    Over the course of the past few months, I have made my own choices and found a few ways to get involved. I reached out to a couple of our State Representatives and our State Senator about the “street takeover bills” pending before the legislature. I received a commitment from one of them to co-sponsor one of the bills. That was some progress, I thought. However, once a I started talking about another bill with our state legislators ( on which we were likely politically opposed), I found them less excited to engage in conversation with me.

    My letter to the editor last week was written with the aim to suggest that we need a unified opposition to the majority in our town, united behind Mary Fay because I had witnessed her leadership first hand. I felt like I had been ignored by one of the other GOP councilors in an attempt to arrange a meeting. He has since acknowledged that and expressed a willingness to talk. Again, I think that is progress. I am not sure that Mr. Sullivan was aware of that.

    Ultimately, Mr. Sullivan’s editorial makes me less likely to want to ever be involved in the political process in this town or anywhere. It reinforces the view (or what others would call a conspiracy) that many Republicans and Democrats are actually working together against the people (and against mavericks like Mary Fay) in a Uni-Party. I was pretty happy before all of this focused on being a professional geek, a wrist watch collector, and my signature advocacy issue – anti-vaccine activism. I think I will return to those passions. They seem a lot safer to me.

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