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Carol’s Column: Just Looking Out For #1

Sitting in our family room last night, my eyes fell on a pair of upholstered chairs routinely occupied by my husband and son. The arms of both have grown frayed and a little shabby over time – but they’re like old friends; as a tiny boy, my son would jump and crawl off the sides of his chair pretending to be a superhero. Having them re-covered will mark a bittersweet milestone.

Even so, it would be a good time to have it done, I thought. The upholsterers must need the business right now. I remember so fondly the day they were delivered: A small business, run by two young brothers, proudly delivered the chairs not long after we moved into our home. One of the men had just had a baby girl; he showed me her picture after placing our son’s chair near the window. Last night, I looked at the chair and wondered: has that little family business even survived?

As too many politicians preen and posture in the Capitol today, I think of those two hardworking craftsmen. And I wonder what they think of what’s going on in Hartford. I wonder if they’re as outraged by it as I am.

Look at the agenda and ask yourself: What, exactly, does anything being done up there accomplish for regular people trying to earn a living and just get by?

Struggling with soaring electricity rates, high property taxes, and with more than half a million state residents thrown out of work through the governor’s executive orders during the pandemic, ordinary taxpayers across Connecticut have been treated with nothing but contempt by their state government (at least the feds came up with the Paycheck Protection Program). Even as state government workers – who never missed a paycheck throughout the spring — were treated to their second 5.5% pay increase in two years, all the private sector got was a break on the 10-cent charge on plastic bags. And even that was temporary.

Special session was our elected officials’ opportunity to show they understood what their constituents had been experiencing. It was their chance to make things easier for people who are hurting. But instead, the left-wing politicians seized this moment to look out for #1.

First up? Vote by mail – despite the real concerns about fraud. The boxes being planted all around the state are open invitations for vote stealing, tampering, or destruction.

Police “reform”? Again, another sop to the left’s most vocal constituencies, rushed through without meaningful public input or time for real deliberation. The package ultimately will punish good police officers – forcing them to confront the specter of baseless lawsuits for doing their jobs – while doing nothing to address the grotesque, secret backroom deals “negotiated” by our state’s dominant special interest: the government unions. It fails in important ways to protect Connecticut’s families from abusive state workers in important positions of public trust — including teachers, corrections officers, and social workers. Apparently, there are no cheap political points to be scored by taking on the tough issues even if doing so would actually do more to solve the real problems.

Cheaper insulin? Sounds good – but the most significant portions won’t even go into effect until 2022. This legislation couldn’t have waited until January – of 2021?

What a disgrace. And so it goes, to the detriment of wonderful, hardworking people all across this beautiful state.

The young upholsterers who proudly carried the chairs into our home all those years ago must be middle-aged now, and the baby girl in the picture must be in middle school, at least. But I remember them as young, ambitious, hardworking, and full of dreams for themselves and their future.

Connecticut shouldn’t be the state where dreams of a better life go to die. We deserve so much better from the people we elect to lead us.

I intend to track the upholsterers down and support their business – I will do my part. It is past time for the governor and the legislature to do theirs.

Carol Platt Liebau

Carol has worked as an attorney, author, political and policy advisor, and media commentator. In addition to practicing law, she has served as legislative assistant to Senator Christopher S. “Kit” Bond of Missouri; as a consultant to the U.S. Senate campaigns of John D. Ashcroft of Missouri (1994) and Congressman Tom Campbell of California (2000 and 2010); and as law clerk to Reagan appointee Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.


  1. Anne
    July 28, 2020 @ 11:35 pm

    Thank You… we may come from different places but we have the same spirit.

    We deserve better from our elected officials!


    • Carol Starkes
      October 28, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

      Just the name Lamont, infuriates me. Why pray tell does he need to hire outside of CT help to do his job? We have so many consultants in CT . He’s unable to run this sanctuary state. Spend, spend, spend is all he knows. HIS EXCELLENCY needs to go.
      Thanks for letting me rant on.
      Loved your column. Thank you.


  2. John Feher
    July 29, 2020 @ 4:58 am

    How true.Ct democrats are pushing retires out if the state at record numbers. It Was Sad we had to leave but had no choice. Here in SC now we our doing extremely well.about an 8,000 difference a year .met many Ct people who like us forced out because of the high taxes and cost of living.If ct democrats are doing such a great job how come us seniors are hurting?


  3. Pat MacMonagle
    July 31, 2020 @ 1:18 pm

    Excellent column Carol. We left, or should I say, were “forced out”, by the self-serving one sided governing, the blatant favoritism towards state unions, and the ever increasing tax grabbing at the state and local level. It continues to perplex me that so many of the population vote in people who take more, and more and more…from residents and businesses.


  4. dirtyjobsguy
    July 31, 2020 @ 4:17 pm

    I finally got back to my regular barber last week when he reopened. I had gone to another barber close by and marveled about how we had to lockdown a two chair shop. So I paid double to each to help “catch up”. It turned out my regular barber wasn’t out for COVID as he had two heart attacks and a stroke (with open heart surgery). He was just starting back and needed the conversation as well as the income.

    I remember the ace team of consultants to Ned Lamont originally wanted barbers to talk as little as possible with their customers! This heartless technocratic diktat showed the lack of empathy of the progressives when dealing with real people.


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