Collins' attack on Somers was a smear

Columnist David Collins’ latest attack on Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, (“Somers seeks $10 million in state money," May 18) is an irresponsible attempt to smear the name of someone who has worked hard to advocate for her constituents, both individuals and businesses, and bring the needs of her community to Hartford.

The false insinuations made by Collins about Sen. Somers are far beneath the quality of reporting, even from an opinion writer, that I would expect from The Day and that its readers deserve.

The senator has been fully transparent. Collins has not.

Collins suggests that Somers somehow made a “secret” request for state bonding to go to the town of Stonington. That is an outright lie. Somers filed a bill earlier this year, co-sponsored by Rep. Kate Rotella, D-Stonington, through the fully transparent and public legislative process that would have allowed for the town to secure bonding to make needed improvements along the Mystic River to address coastal resiliency and rising water levels and allow for potential economic development. That bill died in committee.

Rep. Rotella and Sen. Somers then together filed an official request with the governor’s office to request this bonding, following the process that is the job of legislators and that all legislators follow every year to request bonding support. There is nothing secret or dubious about these standard requests.

Collins inaccurately characterizes these public actions as secret to try to create a false narrative in a blatant yet ineffective attempt to discredit Somers.

He suggests Somers is acting to support a developer who donated to her campaign, yet this was a bipartisan effort. Conveniently, Collins leaves out the fact that those same developers have also contributed to Democrats for years, donating at least $1,450 to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and $1,000 to Gov. Ned Lamont and also made contributions in the past to Democratic state Senator Andy Maynard, who held the seat before Somers.

Collins criticizes Somers for not requesting bonding for Pawcatuck sidewalks, even though she has requested this funding not only this year, but also in past years — each time being denied by former Gov. Malloy.

Collins falsely accuses all Republicans of wanting to take bonding power away from the governor. If he actually cared enough about the facts to do some reporting, he would have discovered that it was a Democrat who proposed and strongly advocated for the bill stripping bonding power from the governor.

Collins has never been shy about voicing his dislike of Republicans. But to outright mislead and inflame the public is not only disappointing but leads me and others to question if there is a political agenda at play.

Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven, is the Senate minority leader.

 

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