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Democrats Criticize Koch Endorsement Of Wilton Rep. Lavielle

Keith Rodgerson
Keith Rodgerson Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- The Democratic Town Committee of Wilton is criticizing the endorsement of state Rep. Gail Lavielle by conservative lobbying group the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

The 143rd District includes parts of Norwalk, Westport and Wilton.

NFIB is a member of ALEC, a controversial right-wing lobbying organization, and states a purpose of small business advocacy and nonpartisanship. Supporters of NFIB include Koch Bros PAC Freedom Partners  and Karl Rove's PAC Crossroads GPS.

In the 2012 election cycle, it gave $670,543 to Republican candidates and $11,000 to Democratic candidates, a 98 percent to 2 percent split. Its 25 members in Congress, all Republican, include many controversial tea party-affiliates such as Rand Paul, Jeff Duncan, Paul Gosar and Kristi Noem.

Tom Dec, chairman of the Wilton Democrats, criticized Lavielle's support of NFIB-penned legislation, citing NFIB and Lavielle’s lobbying efforts against the minimum wage increase, environmental regulations, and paid sick leave.

NFIB is also a strong supporter of right-to-work legislation and the elimination of collective bargaining rights. Lavielle introduced HB5789 in 2011 and HB5093 in 2013, both attempts to curtail collective bargaining. Dec also noted that Lavielle voted for HB5431, which would have eliminated key pollution fines for businesses. 

Dec cited national surveys of small business owners showing that most of them support key provisions of healthcare reform, ending special tax breaks for the wealthy, protecting clean air, and promoting workplace safety.

“All of these issues are squarely opposite of what NFIB has been fighting for in the Connecticut General Assembly with Rep. Lavielle's help," he said. 

“As an alternative to out of state groups attempting to influence our local affairs, Keith Rodgerson will be an independent voice for Connecticut, putting everyday people in front of partisan politics,” said Dec.

"Keith knows that our economy is built from the bottom up and understands the critical importance of supporting business growth here in Connecticut. He will be a trusted advocate for Connecticut's businesses in the State Assembly."

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