House: 47th District

CANDIDATES

Brian Sear, Democrat

Occupation

Legislator

Town

Canterbury

Incumbent

Yes

Contact

Phone: 860-377-4262

Email: brian@sear2014.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

59

Family

Wife, Connie, and two daughters, Alexandra and Victoria

Education

A.B. English and English Education, Syracuse University

Civic Involvement

Past President, Canterbury Historical Society; Member, Board of Directors of Governor Samuel Huntington Trust.

Elected/appointed offices held

State Representative, 47th House District First Selectman, Town of Canterbury Member, and Chairman of Canterbury Board of Assessment Appeals

Other government service

Member, MORE (Municipal Opportunities Regional Efficiencies) Commission Past Member, Board of Directors of COST (Council of Small Towns)

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

My six year experience as First Selectman in Canterbury during a very difficult economic time has proven extremely valuable in my serving the nine towns in the 47th District, eight of which have very similar concerns, demographics and landscape as Canterbury. Most of the areas covered by the Legislature have a direct effect on local residents. I have shared those experiences and concerns with town officials as well as individual residents. I work extremely well with representatives of both political parties and have a proven track record of getting things accomplished in a productive manner. I understand the needs of the district and how to serve effectively.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

Historically, an accepted part of employment with the state included the defined benefit pension plan model. I support fulfilling the current obligations in good faith, while researching what would most likely be a hybrid system that would be less vulnerable to market shifts while offering stability to both employees and the state.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

The bill we passed following Newtown was a comprehensive effort to reduce violence and increase safety in Connecticut. I can't state how I would vote on a concept of "amendment" without being presented with language. All legislation should be subject to review and possible adjustment. I support responsible gun ownership and think that the ammunition component of the safety bill can be improved to respect responsible gun owners and to prevent gun violence. This bill has pushed Connecticut to analyze how we provide mental health services, and that aspect of the legislation can also be analyzed to increase the reach and effectiveness of these services throughout our population, with a specific emphasis on our youth.

Doug Dubitsky, Republican/Independent

Occupation

Attorney

Town

Chaplin

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-933-9495

Email: doug.dubitsky@mail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

51

Family

Fabulous wife and two wonderful daughters.

Education

Juris Doctor, University of Utah College of Law Executive Editor and article contributor, Utah Law Forum President, University of Utah student body Representative, Utah Council of Studentbody Presidents American College of Trial Lawyers - National Trial Competition, Semi-finalist CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Outstanding Achievement in Trial Advocacy Representative, Student Bar Association Board of Governors, University of Utah Bachelor of Fine Arts, State University of New York at Purchase Lighting Design & Theatrical Technology Major, Theater Arts & Film Division

Civic Involvement

Associations (past and present) Grassroots East Connecticut Veterans & Military Coalition Connecticut Bar Association Hartford County Bar Association Connecticut Farm Bureau Windham County Farm Bureau Connecticut Horse Council Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies American Agricultural Law Association Oliver Ellsworth Inns of Court National Rifle Association Second Amendment Foundation American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers Int. Assoc. of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors IATSE Local No. 1 (Stagehands, NYC)

Elected/appointed offices held

Chaplin Board of Finance Chaplin Planning & Zoning Commission - Vice-Chair Connecticut Teachers Retirement Board, by appointment of Governor M. Jodi Rell

Other government service

Law Clerk/Legislative Aide, Office of the General Counsel, State of Utah University of Utah Board of Trustees member State Board of Regents, Missions and Roles Committee member, Utah Olympic Advisory Board member, 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

Experience, integrity and perspective. Before my wife and I decided to improve ourselves by going to law school, I worked for many years waiting tables, moving furniture, working construction and landscaping jobs, and working as a stagehand and lighting designer. My family and I live and work every day to keep our small farm running and our animals strong and healthy. So I know what hard working people go through to make ends meet, to raise a family and try to get ahead, while working paycheck to paycheck. I know what it's like to be laid off and to wonder where the money for the next car payment will come from. Too many politicians these days are completely out of touch with the people they represent; they have no idea how most people really live. Often, they don't even care. I understand the people of this district and care deeply about helping them succeed. Many of the people in our small towns are really hurting due to the bad economy, lack of good jobs and oppressive taxes and regulations. Having worked hard, dirty jobs for much of my life, I understand their frustration with the policies forced on them by their elected officials. Having worked my way through law school, and now working as an attorney, I have developed the skills and fortitude to pursue policies in that will actually get results for the people of this district. Knee-jerk, feel-good reactions to tragedies, and never-ending borrowing, taxing and spending as Brian Sear supports, are the very reasons we still suffer through the recession while the rest of the country is recovering and growing. By working together with a focus on results instead of good intentions, we can pull ourselves out of this recession. I can help.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

Firstly, the state made promises to retired teachers and state employees that it absolutely must honor. Retirees worked for years and often structured their lives and finances around the promises the state made to them. The state must not and cannot break the promises it has already made to our retirees. However, when you have dug yourself into a deep hole, the first thing you must do to start filling the hole is to stop digging the hole deeper. Continuing to offer the same unaffordable defined benefit plans that helped create the billions in unfunded liabilities and gave Connecticut the highest debt per capita of any state in the nation, is simply not sustainable or smart. While the state must honor its prior commitments to current employee and retirees under the existing defined benefit plans – and must start putting more money into funding existing pension obligations – it simply cannot continue offering defined benefit plans to new hires. Whether it is a 401K, Roth IRA, defined contribution plan, or some combination of state and private market solution, we need stop digging the state deeper into the hole, while standing firmly behind the state's promises to our retirees.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

Absolutely. If the "gun bill" is not overturned in the courts, it must at least be fixed to prevent legal gun owners who are legitimately trying to comply with the law from becoming unintentional felons. As written, the gun bill is incomprehensible. It was clearly written by people who didn't understand the basic functioning of firearms and was passed without any public hearing. If the legislature had allowed a public hearing, the public would have undoubtedly educated the legislators on the bill's many inaccuracies, inconsistencies and conflicts. Representative Brian Sear traveled the district, holding Town Hall meetings, promising to vote against the gun bill. He promised the people of this district that even if a bill came up that he supported, he would absolutely not vote for any bill unless the people had an opportunity to address their elected officials at a public hearing on the bill. Despite his promise not to do so, Brian Sear voted to prevent the people of this district from having their public hearing. Brian Sear then voted for the gun bill after promising us that he would not. Despite Brian Sear's promises, the gun bill was passed the same day it was introduced, without any public hearing. Clearly, Brian Sear didn't even read the gun bill before he voted for it. If he had read it, he would have seen that it has multiple conflicting definitions for the same thing; it incorporates definitions from old superseded statutes without stating what those definitions are; and it makes the possession of perfectly legal firearms a crime if the parts of those firearms can be combined in undefined ways to create a newly banned firearm – even if the owner doesn't know the guns have interchangeable parts. The gun bill must be fixed. I know how.

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