Friday, March 09, 2012

Guest Column: Janelli On Lumaj

An Unexpected Glimmer of Hope

By Chris P. Janelli, Chairman, Salisbury Republican Town Committee

Sometimes when you least expect it, something happens to restore your faith in a struggling Republican Party in deep blue Connecticut. Such an event happened the night of February 28th at the Salisbury Republican Town Committee meeting. Mike Clark, candidate for the Congressional 5th district and Rep. Clark Chapin seeking to fill Senator Roraback’s 30th district seat were scheduled to address the SRTC. What wasn’t expected was the tall stranger in a dark pinstripe suit who entered with two young associates. I introduced myself and asked who he was and he replied, “I’m Peter Lumaj from Fairfield, I’m running for the U.S. Senate and I would like to address your committee.”

My initial reaction was tinged with incredulity as I replied, “I haven’t even heard of you and we have a heavy schedule this evening, but I’ll give you 5 minutes,” for which he thanked me. After a few minutes of thinking about this unexpected visitor, I went back and said, “On second thought, I’ve made it a point for my committee to have the opportunity to meet and listen to all candidates. So you will have the floor for as long as you need to tell us about yourself and your campaign, and as long as my members have questions.” He politely thanked me.

The Salisbury Republican Town Committee has quite a diversified membership, but overall we are considered by many in our extremely liberal town to be quite right and radical. In the 2011 municipal election when we would not support the incumbent Republican Selectman and overwhelmingly endorsed retired state trooper Mark Lauretano—who won—an ex-SRTC Chairman attacked us in a Letter to the Editor as pursuing “ultra-conservative national party politics” and having a “hard right philosophy and policy.” Well, if the shoe fits, wear it. In fact, I like to think that the SRTC is living up to Salisbury’s historic American Revolution designation as the “Arsenal of the Revolution,” attributed to the town’s early iron industry that produced cannons, balls and other armaments that helped gain our independence from monarchal tyranny. Those leanings are perhaps the reason my first question to candidate Lumaj was, “Where have you been hiding?”

After listening and questioning Lumaj fairly extensively, if the SRTC had had prior knowledge and vetting of the candidate, which is going on now, of the members present (meeting the requirements for a quorum) we would have unanimously endorsed Peter Lumaj as our candidate for the U.S. Senate. Here’s why.

Peter Lumaj understands better than most natural born Americans that with the support of radical progressives, such as Pelosi, Reid, Frank and Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy, our current Affirmative Action president is leading our country down the road to social and economic disaster. The same is happening in Connecticut under Governor Malloy supported by a vast majority of state senators and representatives who for over 30 years have controlled the state’s legislature.

As Ronald Reagan said over a half century ago, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me.” The CT State GOP best heed that statement when wondering why Republican voter registration hovers around a dismal 22% and the ranks of the unaffiliated have swelled to over 45%. The CT Republican Party might consider that perhaps ex-Republicans aren’t leaving the Republican Party, but that the Republican Party has left them.

In a nutshell, here is what Lumaj told the Salisbury RTC. He is the married father of three children. 23 years ago he and his brothers fled the Communist regime of Albania, his Balkan homeland. A refugee, Peter eventually became a permanent U.S. resident and within five years gained his U.S. citizenship. He worked as a porter and a doorman to support his family and pay for his education at the City University of New York, where he graduated cum laude with a degree in political science. He then attended the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in Manhattan and while enrolled there worked as a fraud investigator.

Today, Peter characterizes himself as a strict constitutionalist and fiscal conservative. Having lived under repressive communism, he adamantly believes the USA is exceptional because “we have founding documents—the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution—which guarantee us [Americans] freedom from government, and therefore, freedom from men.” Lumaj further states, “America’s best days are still ahead of us as long as the government is kept within its constitutional limits . . . We in turn can easily outdistance any country should we remain the freest, law abiding, and economically open society as in our past.”

Lumaj warned the Salisbury RTC that Americans won’t really know what they had until they lose it. And one of the reasons we are on the path to losing it is because of RINOs that, in Lumaj’s opinion, are worse than liberals. “RINO’s are to be blamed as much as the liberals for the current mess in Washington, D.C. We know what to expect from the liberals: more government, more entitlements, more debt, more taxes, more regulations, less freedom, and less capitalism. Our [Republican] party is supposed to stand up to the liberals and stop them from implementing these insane policies. However, instead of standing up and defending their conservative convictions, too many Republicans are negotiating, compromising and appeasing the liberals.”

And this my friends is what happens when we send RINO politicians to Washington who, in the name of collegial progress and getting government working again for the people, compromise on crap; that’s right—CRAP legislation like Obamacare and Crap & Trade. When you compromise on crap you still end up with crap; and if that’s working for the American people leave me out. I agree with Lumaj. You don’t compromise with the liberal progressives who are leading us down the path to more big government and less individual freedom, which makes it increasingly difficult to regain national prosperity that historically time and again is generated by creative, energetic independent business people and entrepreneurs with the help of equally hard working employees.

We must send people to Washington who are committed to STOPPING the liberal agenda being foisted on America by our Affirmative Action president who beguiled Americans into believing in his Hope & Change vision of veiled socialism.

How could anyone vote for this record? During the first 3 years of a 4-year presidential administration the national debt has been increased by more than one hundred percent of all the national debt accumulated under all other presidents starting with George Washington; this administration has significantly grown big government that must be fed with increased taxes—at least from the 50% of Americans that pay them; Obama promised open government, but passed constitutionally questionable Obamacare (and other legislation) behind closed doors; his czar dominated administration, with a compliant Congress that includes RINOs, stifles small business that creates over 80% of all jobs in this country; he has created a White House open door policy for Unions; he facilitated unqualified biased politicians to play venture capitalist with public funds resulting in massive corporate failures like Solyndra (with more to come); he has failed to reduce American dependence on foreign oil; he has sided with the Mexican government against Arizona and its citizens fighting Mexican drug cartels; he treats himself, his family and their friends like princes as he paupers a nation; he allowed the federally instigated gun running operation “Fast and Furious” to be forced upon gun store owners, which resulted in American guns killing American border agents . . . . need I go on?!
Yes, there is one other failure by this president about which his administration lies as they attempt to portray employment recovery. On top of the 8 million jobs lost during this economic crisis, only 1 million jobs were created during 2008, 2009 and 2010. For America to sustain its economy it must achieve a job creation “maintenance rate’ of 125,000 new permanent jobs each month, or 4,500,000 versus the 1 million created.

When you factor in that the U.S. population has grown by 25 million people since 2000 while the actual number of employed Americans has stayed at roughly the same level as 2002 – 2004, and not counting those who have given up looking and are no longer counted as unemployed, under Obama’s leadership America is facing unemployment not seen since the Great Depression. Unless he is stopped, America’s national debt and unemployment will destroy America capitalism with government dependency on a scale exceeding that seen in failed European socialist countries. If you believe this can’t happen in America, think again.

That any American can even consider 4 more years of Obama is unbelievable. It is equally frightening to think that CT Republicans believe sending a RINO to Washington is the solution to progressive madness and irresponsibility. Perhaps there is more common sense hiding amongst the unaffiliated than CT’s Republicans.

Whatever Peter Lumaj turns out to be—just an unknown candidate who came out of the dark, or America’s first Albanian born U.S. Senator—he has my attention. And while he may not have the Salisbury RTC endorsement (yet), he has my vote.

Chris Janelli
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