Collins column was maligning, misleading

Opinion writer David Collins attacked my character in a manner that was dishonest and demeaning - a vague and unbalanced tirade of criticisms. ("Fringe-hugger Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh was the best the GOP could do?" July 30.)

My being an outspoken critic of corruption and special interest politics makes me unpopular in those circles. I am not alone.

Collins originally had no problem reporting that I uncovered the illegal taking and holding of deeds at Fort Trumbull. That $100 million taxpayer boondoggle is hardly "sour grapes," and my dedication to preserving and protecting property rights is not a "fringe" issue. It just doesn't get a liberty lover friends in the aforementioned circles.

As a candidate for Congress, I offer a clear contrast to four-term incumbent Joe Courtney. Yes, I'm guilty of protesting the use of executive orders that circumvent our legislative process and disenfranchise voters. My opponent supports replacing Congress with the president's executive pen.

My grassroots campaign won the Republican convention by 70 percent - significantly more than a "fringe" number. The outliers on the far left and far right will see the light by embracing the two, all-American principles we stand for: liberty and opportunity. The Constitution is not a partisan or a "fringe" document.

Collins' column is mostly maligning and misleading; however, he accurately points out that I'm not a rich politician. My opponent had close to a million dollars in his war chest before I entered the race. The Day headlines that as "jumping" ahead. My contributors are not wealthy union bosses or recipients of corporate welfare. I'm in the trenches hugging unemployed workers, debt-laden college students, neglected veterans and middle-class families, whose economic prospects are bleak. These must be the "fringe" voters Collins refers to.

Our district trails the entire country in economic growth and unprivileged folks can't make ends meet. Yet my opponent supports an amnesty plan that will further hurt workers in the Second District, burden our municipalities and destabilize our emergency and care providers.

My opponent gutted Medicare by $700 billion and added a trillion dollars more than expected to the national debt during the next decade. Hospitals in Connecticut are laying off care workers and facing critical nursing and doctor shortages. Premiums are rising, along with the cost of gasoline, food and energy. Median income is declining.

The Second District is missing any semblance of housing recovery. As a real estate broker who has dedicated countless unpaid hours to help people through the agony of losing their homes, I know why the housing market has flatlined. The economics of part-time employees and under-employed skilled workers is not conducive to recovery. Our district witnessed record foreclosures in 2013.

Small businesses here have been driven to near extinction. Recently, Fusion Paperboard in Sprague announced it was closing its doors.

The outliers on the far-left and far-right will see the light by embracing millions in taxpayer subsidies that didn't save the jobs of 140 workers. As a consultant, I was hired by more than 600 companies from small mom-and-pops to multi-national corporations to help them grow and prosper. I may not have served time on the City Council, as Collins criticizes, but as a congressman I will use my professional expertise to rebuild the economy in the Second District, create jobs and foster opportunity.

I support a strong national defense and protecting all workers at Electric Boat. Innovative boatbuilding is what we do best in southeastern Connecticut. There's a global market for high-speed vessels. These crafts are capable of carrying more passengers than Acela, as well as, cars and freight. Supplementing highway and rail travel along the congested I-95 corridor is imperative. We should always be working to expand our prospects above and beyond EB, my opponent's one trick pony, if we are to restore a vibrant future in the district. Mocking innovation keeps the status quo entrenched. How's that working?

Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh is the Republican candidate for Congress in eastern Connecticut's Second District.

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