Salisbury Gets Over On Mr. Rand

When Curtis Rand first took over as First Selectman, and Mark Lauretano was still Resident Trooper in Salisbury, they had a casual conversation about codes of ethics. Mr. Rand told then Tpr. Lauretano that as long as he is the First Selectman in Salisbury, there would never be a Code of Ethics for the town.

We have seen the complete lack of cooperation by Messrs. Rand and Dresser, and all the machinations and maneuverings of the SDTC and a not-too-subtle group of town employees and officials hysterically opposed to a Code of Ethics. The desperation even led to the offering of an alternative COE this spring in the hope of successfully dividing pro-COE voters while coaching a large block of people to vote No on all the ordinance questions at the referendum.

It was an impressive effort that included the martialing of a massive group of sheep to follow their voting orders. Unfortunately for Curtis Rand and company, it backfired. The townspeople managed to swing enough votes to the alternate Vail-Morrill code – meant only to be a diversion – and enacted it as the first COE in Salisbury history.

Reportedly after the Referendum, the First Selectman’s consternation was extreme and to some degree aimed at Messrs. Vail and Morrill for having talked Mr. Rand into allowing them to put forward an alternate COE. Goodness knows Mr. Rand is not about to accept his own responsibility for being silly enough to go along with the proposal. Mr. Rand does not like to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong under his watch, least of all any decisions on his part.

Coincidentally, when I first heard about the Vail-Morrill Code, it gave me every confidence that one way or another there was going to be a Code of Ethics in Salisbury, despite Mr. Rand’s best efforts to prevent it. And that conclusion has been proven correct.

So, congratulations to the people of Salisbury for getting over on their First Selectmen, who had sworn there would never be a Code of Ethics in Salisbury as long as he was in charge. Everyone in town should be very pleased about it. Except, of course, some town employees and many of our officials who have been turning themselves into pretzels in opposition to a Code of Ethics for eighteen months.

Need it be pointed out that I have spent the weekend chuckling over this triumph by Salisbury? No, I think the folks can figure that out for themselves, and will enjoy their own chuckles for days to come. Friday was a very good day in the Town of Salisbury, indeed.


Rep. Roberta Willis Cries Wolf Against Law-Abiding Gun Owners

A few weeks ago I heard a news story claiming that 64th District Rep. Roberta Willis had been threatened in an email from a constituent who supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and who had taken exception to Willis’s anti-gun rights vote on recent anti-gun rights legislation in Hartford. Rep. Willis had made a report of the threatening to the Capitol Police who were investigating. The report also stated that Rep. Willis had commented that she had considered the constituent “a friend.”

My radar was instantly activated because whenever Roberta Willis claims that she “considered someone her friend,” she really means the exact opposite. I was on the receiving end of that claim in 2010 and have observed her using it on others since then. She also has the predictable Liberal propensity for wanting to appear the sweet, helpless, vulnerable victim. What better moment in time, after the Sandy Hook tragedy and our General Assembly and Gov. Malloy railroading through new laws trampling on what our rights to keep and bear arms, than to allege that some crazed Right-wing extremist Second Amendment proponent and gun owner has threatened Rep Willis.

I waited to hear the result of the investigation, and as I suspected there was nothing to it. Turns out the email read like some of mine to various Democratic Reps and Senators over the years with whom I was not happy after they made some hair-brained vote in favor of new over-bearing government intrusion on our lives. I told them in writing that I would do everything possible to make sure they were not re-elected. That, of course, is what most disgruntled citizens say when annoyed by their Senators and Representatives voting contrary to what the particular constituent wanted. It is commonly understood to mean energetic political action to oppose their re-election, and gets ignored if the constituent is from the opposition party.

Not so on this occasion. I recently learned who the constituent was – a person as I have known for about 35 years, or so. A person who never harmed the hair of anyone’s head and never would do so. Someone who has been an honest, hard-working, conscientious citizen, generous supporter and advocate for various local non-profit organizations that help the poor and elderly, the ambulance squad and fire department, as well as area animal rescues. Rep. Willis’ phony posturing and sympathy play (just wondering – did she and Curtie Rand go to the same political acting school?), designed to malign the law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in CT, and her district in particular, was about as low as anyone could possibly go.

The gun owners, gun clubs and Second Amendment supporters in the 64th District need to wake up about Roberta Willis. Her high score on the NRA questionnaire and their assessment of her voting record is a fraud – completely meaningless. I have no doubt that Roberta Willis despises guns, has little to no knowledge or understanding of firearms, nor does she wish to be educated about them. Furthermore, she has no liking or respect for her constituents that exercise their right to bear arms, or their legitimate concern for having their rights stolen from them by a power-grabbing, dictatorial government.

She is a Left-wing politician who represents a very rural district with sportsmen and women and others who value their right to self-defense and the Second Amendment. She wants to be re-elected regularly. She pretends to support gun owner rights. She has the permission of her party, in order to protect her 64th District seat, to vote to protect gun owner rights during the normal legislative session. And of course she answers the NRA questionnaire correctly, if not honestly, as well.

It does not matter how she votes in a normal year because the Democrats have a super majority in the General assembly and the other Democrats will carry the day on any legislation to suppress Second Amendment rights. Roberta’s pro-gun vote looks good to the NRA, earns her a high score in their candidate ratings every election year, and her rural Second Amendment constituents naively keep voting for her.

This year she has shown her true colors. She had to be on the Sandy Hook tragedy bandwagon to obliterate the rights of law-abiding gun owners to keep and bear the arms they not only already legally own, but also may choose to own in the future. She has to placate and reassure her Liberal Progressive constituents, who are in a state of hysterical and irrational frenzy over the Sandy Hook disaster, convinced that banning everything under the sun in the way of legally owned firearms and ammunition, as well as making weapon permits all but impossible to obtain, will solve all the problems of the world with the wave of a magic legislative wand.

But that was not enough. After voting across the board with the anti-gun lobby and Gov. Malloy, she needed to grab a bit of sympathy as well as send a message of intimidation to Second Amendment supporters. She had to pretend that she had been threatened by one of those crazy pro-gun rights people and sic the police on the individual. Just to make sure that “those people” understand she has power as a Representative and on any flimsy excuse will send the cops after them if they dare express their displeasure with her anti-Second Amendment rights vote.

Lest anyone thinks I do not care about the horror that occurred in Sandy Hook, I was and still am appalled by the whole thing, and have made my own recommendations to Sen. Chapin and Rep. Willis on ways to improve school security statewide. Persecuting law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights was not one of them, nor will it do anything to prevent more such tragedies.

It is time to wake-up, NRA and Second Amendment proponents in the 64th District, as well as across the whole State of Connecticut. You must look beyond the surface at the voting records of your senators and representatives, and examine the demographics and geography of your district. The Democratic Party can afford to give their rural senators and reps permission to vote opposite the party line when it will keep their rural gun-owner constituents in line for elections.

But when it really matters for a major gun control grab, as in this year’s spring session, they will vote with their party and pass every measure possible to steal your rights and intimidate you with not-so-subtle police intimidation. Rep. Roberta Willis is not and never was friend of her Second Amendment constituents. She is not and never has been a friend of law-abiding gun owners in the 64th District or across the state.

Stop voting for these con-artists and start voting for candidates who are members of the CCDL, the NRA, the NAGR, are or have been members of gun clubs, who know which end of the gun is which, who understand that a magazine is not a bullet, and who can cite the Founding Fathers chapter and verse on the purpose of the Second Amendment.

A Job Well Done

Well, congratulations Salisbury! You have voted into effect the first Code of Ethics Ordinance in town history. It is a uniform standard of conduct not only applicable to town employees, but every official of the town. And although some undesirable loopholes have weakened certain provisions of Val Bernadoni’s original COE, the Revision still maintains many of the worthwhile characteristics of his original.

The townspeople who managed to wade through all the confusion and smokescreens stirred up over the past eighteen months, and who had the common sense to vote for the compromise between what can be characterized as the two extremes, did well for the town.

There is no denying that the revised Bernadoni COE was easier for people to understand than the Lauretano COE, no matter how much he tried to include everyone and incorporate suggestions. And the Commission was also too complicated and intimidating a step for the town to take, especially considering we have never had a COE for everyone before. That was, in fact, why it was turned into a separate ordinance, so that folks would have the choice of supporting the Lauretano COE but turning down the Commission if they wanted to do so.

On the other hand, the townspeople obviously recognized that the time had come for some sort of formalized Code of Ethics. Enough of them refused to play the nihilistic SDTC game of voting “No” on all the ballot questions and instead threw their support to the less intimidating Code of Ethics. The status quo was no longer acceptable to the people.

And best of all, so many people turned out to participate in this important decision. That was the purpose of the Referendum, to give more voters the time to fit it into their schedules and provide a more neutral, safe atmosphere for the balloting to take place. It worked.

This is a beginning for which the people of Salisbury are to be congratulated. Job well done.

Sheep, Shenanigans and The Game Plan


KKieferAll3 002

So now we sit back and see what unfolds in the Referendum Friday. The Democratic sheep (Kitty Kiefer refers to them in her email above as her “little flock”) have their orders to vote “No” on all three ordinance questions, while their overseers chuckle to themselves about Curtis Rand’s and their cleverness getting over on the rest of the town and Mark Lauretano. But they cannot delude themselves that no one knows what they have done. We have exposed them for who they are – obstructionists and political manipulators of the worst ilk. Afraid to forthrightly compete on the issue and let the chips fall where they may. Welcome to Chicago politics on the Housatonic.

The funny thing is that they transfer their own obsession with political manipulation and gamesmanship to the local Republicans, expecting some last minute ploy to overturn the referendum apple cart. Kitty Kiefer reveals those seemingly paranoid suspicions in the emails above that she sent to Democratic Registrar Margie Vail.

It never occurs to her that anyone would not be trying to pull a fast one, because that is the only way the SDTC and its Liberal Progressive Unaffiliated voter allies operate. The fact that it was the Republicans who just wanted a referendum in the first place, and who would gain nothing by trying to stop or interfere with it now, never enters her seemingly conniving mind.

By the way, if anyone wants to make a case that Unaffiliated voters are more virtuous, honorable, trust worthy and unbiased politically than Republicans or Democrats, take it elsewhere. It is not going to sell here. The façade that one is an unbiased or Independent thinker and voter simply by putting that moniker on one’s voter registration form does not fool anyone.

Here’s the game being played. By forcing the Vail-Morrill COE onto the Referendum ballot, in spite of the petitioned purpose of the referendum to have a straightforward up or down vote on the Lauretano Coe and Commission ordinances, Curtis Rand and Jim Dresser have abused their power by unnecessarily interfering with the petition process for the first time in Salisbury history. They did it to confuse the voters and split the votes of those people in favor of some type of Code of Ethics.

On top of that, they have been able to manipulate the ballots designed by Democrat Town Clerk Patty Williams to include the choice of “No” on all three questions. Plus, the Town Clerk has apparently refused to cooperate with Selectman Lauretano’s request that the Ethics Commission ordinance question be on a ballot separate from the two Codes of Ethics, because it is NOT a Code of Ethics and was always intended to be on a ballot separate from the Lauretano COE. Just like the two separate and different ordinance questions at the Town Meeting where we voted to change the way we elect our BOS were on two completely separate ballots, that was all Selectman Lauretano asked. But the Town Clerk predictably succumbed to the relentless pressure from Curtis Rand, who appeared to have taken up residence in the Town Clerk’s Office last week.

For all intents and purposes, that adds to the ballot the question as to whether or not the public wants any COE or Ethics Commission at all. And that specific question is at best improper and at worst illegal because it was not on the referendum petition, nor was it passed by the BOS as an addition to the ballot – which perhaps they should have done at the time just to be perfectly upfront and honest about it.

Instead of simply having a ballot with the two COEs and a box next to each for people to check off their preference between the two (the way candidate ballots are set up), there is a second box for “No.” Presenting it this way, without actually spelling it out, makes it nonetheless possible for those opposed to any COE for Salisbury – like Curtis Rand, his cronies, the SDTC and their “flock” of mindless sheep – to vote “No” in a large block of votes on all three questions, counting on the pro-COE voters to split their votes between the two COE ordinances.

The end result will probably be that even if more voters want a Code of Ethics, neither of the two COEs on the ballot will prevail because there will be more “No” votes than the number of votes for either COE. Especially since we have Mr. Dresser sending out emails (see above) to business people and others outside Rand’s herd of sheep, encouraging them to vote for Vail-Morrill. Anything to divide that COE vote so the “No” votes win the day!

Are we impressed by your cleverness, Curtis, Jim, Kitty and Company? No, we are not. Just disgusted that you seem compelled to con the public this way. Sickened that the Town Clerk appears to be complicit in the ploy. Sickened that such a large number of our so-called friends and neighbors actively participate in these underhanded shenanigans, believing it is a wonderful thing and that they are somehow superior beings by stooping so low.

Oh, and since you appear concerned, Kitty, we have never and do not plan to sabotage the vote during the referendum or at any other election or referendum. So your services to keep an eye on things, although no doubt welcome to Registrar Vail, are not urgently needed by her. Both Registrars, their assistants and all the Moderators, have managed quite nicely for years without any abrasive, apparently paranoid help looking for trouble.

No, Kitty and your herd of sheep, we had no plan to pull a fast one at the COE Town Meeting. No interest in manipulating the referendum that we originally requested. Just wanted a fair vote without distractions, confusions or back door insertion of questions onto the ballot. We just wanted the simple, honest and straightforward two original referendum petition questions, and more than lip service paid to a reasonable date for absentee voters living at great distance from Salisbury.

The approximately two hundred twenty-six (226) signers of the petition wanted the same to be offered to the townspeople, but Curtis Rand could not allow it to happen. He could not take any risk that he and his cronies might actually be held to a uniformly applied standard of professional behavior for the first time in the history of Salisbury. It is truly astounding to see the level of panic and obstruction this possibility has raised among so many people who are involved in the governance of Salisbury. Absolutely astounding.

I nonetheless have hope that the many people in Salisbury who actually use their brains constructively, and who have paid attention to what has been going on with the Codes of Ethics and Ethics Commission, will be wise enough to cast their “Yes” vote for the Lauretano COE and the Lauretano Commission, and leave all “No” boxes empty. Or you can always just vote “Yes” on all three questions to totally offset the block of “No” votes Mr. Rand’s sheep herd will be casting and that would really make this an interesting referendum.

As Worthwhile As Watching Shrimp Jogging On A Treadmill

So, who is the melodramatic fool that panicked and wasted tax dollars paying police overtime during the Town Meeting? What lily-livered coward thought that was necessary? There’s no one on the Right in Salisbury that would lower themselves to cause a problem at a Town Meeting or any place else for that matter, least of all Selectman Mark Lauretano.

The people in this town start hyperventilating because someone has a booming voice? Carl Williams’ voice was shattering 24/7/ 365 days a year and no one in this town fainted over it. Sometimes it was worse when he was agitated – if worse was possible, God bless his soul. Yes, Mark Lauretano has a booming voice and, God forbid, has been trained to project his voice during public speaking because often there was no sound system where he has given presentations. Too bad, folks. Untwist your drawers, grow up and get over it.

The Town Hall sound system was turned up full blast for the April 16th Special BOS meeting, and the drama queen seated next to a loud speaker could not figure out that she should move to one of the open seats across the room, turn the speaker down or raise her hand and ask for the mics to be turned down. Instead, she puts fingers in her ears and complains for days afterwards that Mark Lauretano was too loud and “threatening.” It is obvious the woman doesn’t know the meaning of the word and neither do an astounding number of other Salisbury residents.

So, did some of the helpless, patty-cake playing, passive-aggressive folks in Salisbury get palpitations and claim they are scared because Mark Lauretano and Mike Flint scolded Curtis Rand, Jim Dresser, Charlie Vail and Bill Morrill last week? Or was it that Curtis’ was spoiled as a child, never scolded during his youth, so he got frightened, and his feelings were hurt? Oh, boo-hoo.

What a self-important, melodramatic cry-baby. He cannot resist an opportunity to “make a statement” so people will feel sorry for him. That’s his favorite song-and-dance-routine, making a phony, manipulative play for sympathy. Last time it was the Pledge of Allegiance keeping him awake worrying every night for a month, or so he claimed. Pathetic. The Pledge of Allegiance wouldn’t keep us up at night. What would keep us awake would be military orders to deploy to Afghanistan. This time his sympathy ploy cost the taxpayers their money.

After being so silly as to waste money on police protection for last night’s Special Town Meeting, Curtis Rand better not complain about the cost of any town expenditures suggested in the future by anyone. This thoughtless squandering of tax dollars was right up there with the Obama administration paying someone to study shrimp jogging on a treadmill.

Please Note: In case anyone is wondering how I know that the police presence at Tuesday’s meeting was a direct result of Curtis Rand’s request for protection after the dressing down he received by Mark and Mike at the Special BOS Mtg on April 16th, I straight out asked Tpr. Sorrell that night why he and Mike Brenner were there, and he told me why.

This was not a routine matter but a theatrical sympathy play by Curtis Rand and an attempt to intimidate vocal dissent against him, his sidekicks and their partisan shenanigans.

The Rand-Vail-Morrill Code of Ethics Meeting Redux

It was an interesting public meeting this morning on the Rand-Vail-Morrill Code of Ethics. The event was held at St. John’s Church in Salisbury and had been publicly noticed on the town website as a public meeting, with an invitation for the interested public to phone 1st Selectman Curtis Rand’s office for information on the meeting. I read it myself twice. That St. John’s was willing to entertain the use of the church for such an obviously partisan event is amazing. Vail and Morrill, both prominent, powerful Democrats, presenting the Democrat-backed Rand-Vail-Morrill Code of Ethics in a supposedly public meeting during which they specifically stated that they would be only addressing their COE, and no one could discuss the Lauretano COE or Commission. Then they openly advocated for the public to vote for the Rand-Vail-Morrill COE. A partisan meeting if we ever saw one. And no need for it with empty meeting rooms available at Town Hall.

From what I have heard, the purpose of having the meeting at St. John’s instead of a meeting room at Town Hall, was to put it at some distance from Mr. Rand so that folks won’t connect it with him. After all, he claims to have had nothing to do with it. Why anyone should call him then for information about it if he has nothing to do with it and knows nothing about how it was written, is puzzling to me. But I will just politely move on from there.

Mr. Vail began the morning operating in his usual aggressive mode by accosting all 120lbs of Mr. Michael Flint, who was setting up his erstwhile video-cam. The fascinating exchange, which includes a claim by Mr. Vail that the meeting WAS NOT a public meeting, can be seen at: . Mr. Flint did in fact stay and video the meeting after Mr. Vail so-less-than-graciously invited him to do so. If it was not a public meeting and had no official town purpose simply because Messrs. Vail and Morrill are not official town agencies, then their meetings in future have no place on the town website, nor should they be advertised as being public.

Once the meeting got started, Mr. Vail made everyone feel welcome by announcing that no one would be allowed to discuss the Rand-Vail-Morrill Code of Ethics, but only allowed to ask questions during the Q&A after Mr. Vail and Mr. Morrill were finished with their over-view of the document.

After the so-called authors of the Rand-Vail-Morrill COE were done speaking forty minutes later, and opened the meeting up to questions, I raised my hand to ask a couple of questions. I then had the distinct pleasure of being told by Mr. Vail that he was not going to call on me until the end after everyone else with questions had asked theirs as they had not attended any of the prior meetings. I could only suppose he meant the Lauretano Workshops on the Lauretano COE and Commission, and/or BOS meetings in which the Rand-Vail-Morrill COE had been briefly mentioned. Most peculiar.

What attendance at any meetings had to do with this one was beyond me since this was the first on the Rand-Vail-Morrill COE in which the public was invited to be informed and to ask questions. I was at as much disadvantage as the next person since the two gentlemen had made no effort to include the public in the development, suggestions and planning of the document.

While waiting with my hand raised for fear Charlie might inadvertently forget me at the end, I could not help but notice the intelligent questions asked by the audience, many of which, unfortunately, never received a straight answer. Messrs Vail and Morrill were either singularly ignorant of their own document and its content or misunderstood the questions, rambling widely over the tangential landscape. Not really surprising when all they really did was re-type the red-lined copy of the old Bernadoni COE that selectmen Rand, Dresser and Oliver added language to so long ago. No need to actually study the document and do their own work since it had already been done for them. For those who would like to know what the changes (virtually all additions gutting the effectiveness of the document) were to the original Bernadoni 2005 COE, you can find them underlined and annotated at: . The original Bernadoni text is also available at: for comparison purposes.

By gosh, Charlie Vail remembered to finally call on me and I first asked about the gift value limits, which had been left at the 2005 levels, without consideration of either the gross inflation since then or the current employee limit at Town Hall of $75.00. The Rand-Vail-Morrill document would significantly reduce that amount. Mr. Vail confirmed my suspicion that it was not something they had thought about (of course not because they simply used the old red-lined copy of the 2005 COE) and they were unaware of the current employee gift value limit of $75.00. Mr. Vail suggested that the document could be amended sometime down the road if it was passed at the referendum.

My second question was that on examining the document I noticed that not one single issue of the approximately ten raised on the Rand-Vail-Morrill COE by Selectman Lauretano at a BOS meeting months ago – not even one had been incorporated into the document. Could Mr. Vail explain why? Mr. Vail explained that they had concluded none of the suggested changes were necessary. That is an interesting and cavalier conclusion because almost every change is the addition of specific, equivocating language making it acceptable for cronyism and corruption to continue in the business of the town. It is also amusing in light of the incessant whining by certain Town Hall employees that Selectman Lauretano only used most of their suggestions, instead of every single one of them.

So, we have a document before the town for a vote, and it is the product of Curtis Rand and his two yes-men, Vail and Morrill. No one else has had an opportunity to comment on it or volunteer suggestions that might be used to improve the document. Nor have any outside suggestions been used to change or improve the document. They have never even been solicited from the public. And on this occasion the attendees were summarily warned from the beginning that there would be no discussion on the subject, only questions about it being allowed.

Anyone with a functioning, logical brain would have to conclude that this is a less than honorable, dictatorial document, the formerly red-lined work of Curtis Rand, fronted by Messrs. Vail and Morrill. It is being foisted upon the townspeople without them having a chance to vet it, critique it or make any suggestions towards its development and improvement. The Statist Dictator knows what is best for the people.

Now THAT’S Reporting! Hats Off to the Lady!

Well, Kathryn Boughton of the Litchfield County Times has not lost her conscientious, accurate reporting talent. She used to work several decades ago for the Lakeville Journal and was one of the only three excellent reporters they ever had. Of course the newspaper failed to keep her on, just as they lost the other two good ones.

We are thankful she is still writing for one of the papers in Litchfield County, however, because she was predictably the only one that did her job reporting on the Special BOS Meeting at 2:00PM on Tuesday, April 16th at Town Hall in Salisbury. If you were not fortunate enough to get your hands on one of the limited number of LCT copies to be had in town, you can read her well-balanced and in-depth, detailed report at the following link:

Kudos to Kathryn Boughton for maintaining the highest journalistic standards throughout her career. She remains a beam of bright sunshine and breath of fresh air in a bleak media landscape in the Northwest Corner of CT.

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