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“Top secret” email shows coordination between Lamont administration and toll supporters to hold town meeting

Gov. Ned Lamont poses with pro-toll activists on Dec. 18

Gov. Ned Lamont and his team coordinated with a pro-tolls group to hold a public town hall meeting in Westport where the governor will pitch his CT2030 plan, according to an email labeled “top secret.”

According to the email, the Lamont administration is trying to keep the meeting quiet to avoid members of No Tolls CT from attending.

“Do NOT share any of this information on social media,” the email reads. “We have advance notice of this event, thanks to Senator Will Haskell and Gov. Lamont’s office, and we want to keep that advantage over the plan’s ‘No Tolls’ opponents as long as possible.”

According to sources, the email was sent to members of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, but town officials were not aware of any scheduled meeting.

The governor’s office put out a statement shortly a day after the email was made public saying the governor had been in contact with Haskell and “multiple advocacy groups” about a “possible town hall for this Tuesday.”

“There appears to have been a miscommunication from one of these groups as to the Governor’s commitment to this event, as it is always difficult to make the date and time of the town hall work with the Governor’s schedule,” said Max Reiss, Lamont’s communications director.

The email links to an event page hosted by Angela Liptack, a Ridgefield resident and member of the ReSisters, a progressive political action group, and subset of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, that was founded in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election.

The ReSisters were part of a pro-tolls group that appeared at the Legislative Office Building on December 18 wearing matching “Pro Tolls” t-shirts to support Lamont’s transportation goals. The group says they want tolls on all vehicles to support road and highway repair and speeding up rail and bus travel.

The group was greeted by Lamont and Senators Alexandra Bergstein, D-Greenwich, and Will Haskell, D-Westport.

“Gov. Lamont needs supporters of CT2030 to show up in force in Westport,” the email says. “And that’s where you come in, because Governor Lamont is counting on ReSisters!” 

The writer of the email said they hope to have 100 supporters at Bedford Middle School on Tuesday, January 7 at 7 p.m. when Lamont delivers his pitch. Since the email was released to the public, the event page was changed to “closed.”

Following release of the CT2030 plan, the governor told reporters at a press conference that he would hold town hall meetings across the state to pitch the plan, which, at the time, included 14 tolling gantries on bridges in select locations throughout Connecticut.

The plan quickly changed when Senate Democrats indicated they would not support tolling all vehicles. 

The governor, along with Democrat leaders in the legislature, is now pushing a plan to toll only trucks at 12 locations throughout the state, but there were never any town hall meetings scheduled. 

Lamont is pushing to hold a special session during January to pass this latest transportation proposal along with a bonding package that will give grant money to municipalities for road repair. 

The governor has held off approving the Town Aid Road grant as he waited for a transportation plan to be passed, leading Republican leaders to say Lamont is holding towns “hostage” in order to push his tolling agenda.

No special session has been scheduled yet and, thus far, Democratic senators and representatives have appeared wary of supporting tolls as they come into the 2020 election year.

The email says Lamont will be “joined by local Democratic legislators who are also putting their careers on the line with this plan.” 

**This article was updated to include the statement released by Max Reiss**

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(8) Comments

  1. Ron Page

    January 7, 2020 9:10 am

    Creating the illusion of support for fundamental transformations is a longstanding democrat practice. Only occasionally does the public have the opportunity to see, especially in such spectacular fashion, the effort.

    During the height of the “gun-debate”, Elizabeth Esty scheduled a top-secret meeting in Simsbury that one hero leaked to another hero with predictable results. The evening of the meeting, a couple firearm-rights supporters drove to Simsbury believing the meeting to be open to the public; that’s the story they were told.

    On arrival, they were met at the door by a staffer who informed them the meeting was not open to them, that it was a private meeting and there had been a miscommunication from another legislator’s office. The two men, dressed in “working-class” attire, were judged by their cover as “gun-people” who would challenge the narrative. They were asked to leave and complied.

    As they were walking to their car, a clean-shaven man in a suit parked his BMW, got out, and called out to them. They did not recognize him in business attire. He, too, was in Simsbury for the meeting.

    After a brief exchange they parted company. The man in the suit was judged by his cover and welcomed at the door. He was shown to the meeting room, provided with the hand-outs for the evening, and asked to join in conversation while waiting for the Representative to arrive. He witnessed the full effect of the anti-gun leftist rhetoric. And he took notes.

    A few lessons could be learned from that experience, but the primary point now is that this is a regular practice that takes place under our noses. We have to listen to be informed. And we have to play the role.

    Be diligent.

  2. Wilfred LeBlancIII

    January 6, 2020 10:26 pm

    Stupid Dems every hear of the saying for the people by the people what is this a dictatorship? I’m glad to say I never vote for any of these Democrats who are in office NO TOLLS

    • Tom capaldo

      January 7, 2020 1:33 pm

      No tolls. Period!!!!!

  3. George

    January 6, 2020 7:38 pm

    Such Arrogance. Such Greed. Such Distain. Such Failure.

  4. Chuck

    January 6, 2020 4:30 am

    #KAGA

  5. Stephen Mannetti

    January 5, 2020 8:14 pm

    CT’S own Deep State.
    So sick of thwe’re democrats and their uneducated, unaware supporters who blindly vote Democrat every election.

  6. John

    January 5, 2020 3:26 pm

    I Don’t have a problem with tolls ,I have a problem with tolling ct residents ,as our tax money that is already paid is not being used properly by incompatent state leaders this to me will be the demise of the Democratic party in this state the more you take from us the more you spend improperly

  7. Peter Szymonik

    January 5, 2020 12:23 pm

    Only the latest example of state government censorship and violations of the First Amendment. There are many more.

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