Press Releases

LG Wyman, legislative leaders, CT Dems support Planned Parenthood

Hartford, Ct. – Recently, the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to defund Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Today, Governor Malloy will participate in an event supporting Planned Parenthood and the critical women’s health services they provide.

But it’s not just Governor Malloy. Democratic leaders across Connecticut support Planned Parenthood’s critical work. The following Democratic leaders released statements:

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “Reproductive health care is a critically important component of women’s health. From breast cancer screening, to access to contraception, Planned Parenthood provides essential services, particularly to lower-income women. I am proud that Connecticut recognizes the importance of Planned Parenthood and will continue to ensure it receives the necessary funding.”

State Senator Mae Flexer said, “Women’s health care should never be a political football. I – along with my Democratic colleagues – will stand with Connecticut women and continue to fight for Planned Parenthood and other providers of quality, affordable women’s health services.”

State Representative Toni Walker (D-New Haven), Co-Chair of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, said, “I am proud of the wonderful work Planned Parenthood of Connecticut does to help women get the care they need. By performing thousands of breast exams every year, Planned Parenthood literally saves lives. Planned Parenthood provides health services and contraceptives to thousands and thousands of Connecticut women. I will never stop fighting for women’s reproductive health.”

Connecticut Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said, “It is unconscionable that Republicans in Washington would ignore the facts as they attempt to pander to their anti-choice, right-wing base by defunding Planned Parenthood. The truth is that 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are dedicated to vital women’s health services including cancer screening, testing, and contraception. And no federal funding is ever used to fund abortion services. This is just another examply of the GOP’s anti-women agenda.

“Republicans say there is no war on women. Yet they continue to try to take away women’s health care services. For equal work, women continue to make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, yet they oppose pay equity legislation. And they oppose earned sick time, so women no longer need to chose between taking care of a sick child or going to work. Sounds like a war on women to me.”

J.R. Romano and his shaky relationship with the truth: First edition

Whether it be revisionist history, fuzzy numbers, or straight up lies, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano has a shaky relationship with the truth. Here is a selection of Romano’s untruths from his first weeks on the job.


Throughout the month of August – before the jobs numbers were released, Romano repeatedly made the claim the Connecticut had lost 1,000 jobs in July.

“Romano said Democrats are trying to distract from their abysmal record of managing the state, from the loss of 1,000 jobs during July to a preliminary discussion about using GPS for highway toll tracking. ‘They got nothing,’ Romano said. ‘So they’re going to talk about nonsense like we have Trump Republicans.’” [CT Post, 08/04/15]


Nope. Wrong. The most recent jobs report, released yesterday, showed that Connecticut gained 4,100 jobs and the unemployment dropped to 5.4% in July. [Stamford Advocate, 8/20/15] Claim:

“Reporters appreciate the ability of sources to give good, succinct, pithy quotes like that on demand. So the new chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, J.R. Romano, has good potential in replacing Jerry Labriola. But the other afternoon, when asked to comment on Malloy’s charges that Republican-run states have been making it harder for blacks and Hispanics to register to vote, Romano offered up some revisionist history. Speaking from the Republican National Committee meeting in Cleveland prior to the party’s presidential throwdown on Fox TV, he recalled that it was Republican majorities in Congress that approved 1965 act. Wrong. The 89th Congress had Democratic majorities of 68-32 in the Senate and 295 to 140 in the House. In fact, Democrats held Senate majorities from 1955 until 1981 and ran the House from 1957 until 1995. Rather than Google around for the fact check, I went all analog on Romano and looked it up in ‘The World Almanac and Book of Facts.’” [CT Post, 8/8/15]


Ken Dixon pretty much covered it.


“When he worked on New Britain Mayor Erin Stewert’s successful campaign, they got out and talked about how Democratic policies are hurting families, Romano said. ‘We were telling the story about how their property taxes were high because Democrats couldn’t get their spending in control,’ he said. ‘The gas tax is high because they raise taxes. And as long as we go out there and are honest and have a sense of integrity, it makes my job very easy, and I know when I go out across the state and I talk about the Republican Party, when you have candidates like Bob, it makes my job a lot easier.’” [New Haven Register,07/20/15]


Romano conveniently neglected to mention that as mayor, Erin Stewart raised taxes by 11%.


“Romano said the populist policies championed by DeLauro, such as paid sick leave for employees and a higher minimum wage, will harm middle-class families. ‘There’s a disconnect in how these policies are impacting the economy,’ he said. ‘We’re seeing it play out in Connecticut under Dan Malloy.’” [Hartford Courant,07/13/15]


Since the enactment of guaranteed earned sick time, the unemployment rate has dropped from 8.8% to 5.4%. Since Governor Malloy’s signature made Connecticut the first state to adopt a $10.10 minimum wage, the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.0% to 5.4%.

Nationally, studies have shown that raising the minimum wage would improve the economy and increase upward mobility.


“His command of recent Capitol history could use a little honing. He described a recently passed law, ‘An Act Concerning Excessive Use of Force,’ which encourages and sets guidelines for the use of police body cameras, as an unfunded mandate. It actually provides funding and encourages but does not require the cameras.” [CT Mirror, 07/06/15]


Mark Pazniokas pretty much covered it.

Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby said, “When the facts don’t support his argument, J.R. Romano’s tactic is to simply make up his own. It’s unfortunate that he can’t represent his party by telling the truth and sticking to the facts.”

4,100 new jobs + 5.4% unemployment rate = ZERO Republican reaction

This morning, the Connecticut Department of Labor announced that 4,100 new jobs were created in July, reducing the unemployment rate to 5.4%.

  • Our unemployment rate is now statistically on par with the national average.
  • It is Connecticut’s lowest unemployment rate since May 2008.
  • The number of new unemployment claims is at its lowest level in 15 years.
  • The state has now recovered 97% of jobs lost during the Bush recession.

The economic news is unquestionably good, so we would have expected statements from all of our statewide leaders recognizing the progress that is being made in Connecticut.

But yet again, Connecticut Republicans refused to join the Governor, Lt. Governor and the Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate in recognizing the underlying fact that today’s numbers prove: Connecticut is moving in the right direction.

Neither the Connecticut Republican Party nor any GOP elected officials had anything to say about the July jobs report. Nothing. Zip. They continued their long track record of rooting against the economic success of the state – trumpeting negative news while remaining silent on (or questioning the validity of) positive stories.
“With the pace of economic growth continuing to pick up, maybe Republicans should think about adopting a new political strategy. Clearly Connecticut’s economy is strong and getting stronger, no matter how hard the GOP roots for failure.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

Hey JR, women’s health care is not a distraction

In Neil Vigdor’s piece in today’s Connecticut Post, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano resorted to his usual tactics, downplaying a legitimate difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties as a distraction and launching a disjointed, nonsensical defense of the GOP.

J.R. Romano, who took over as state GOP chairman in late June, said Democrats are resorting to dividing the state on social issues to make up for their weak economic record as the party in power in Connecticut.

“Don’t throw stones at the Republican Party when we have people like Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln,” said Romano, who considers himself a libertarian. “Why aren’t we talking about Margaret Sanger’s quotes and her history and who she is? Hillary Clinton won the Margaret Sanger Award. Did she not? The Republican Party is a big-tent party.”

Couple things about that.

  • First of all, women’s health services are anything but a distraction. Although Mr. Romano probably doesn’t want to talk about the fact that Republicans are working hard to defund one of the leading organizations for women’s health services, an organization that dedicates 97% of its services to cancer screening and prevention, testing and treatment, contraception, and other women’s health services. Even though no federal funding is used for abortion services.By the way, we’re more than happy to talk about economic issues. Under Governor Malloy and Democratic leadership, Connecticut’s economy has created nearly 80,000 private sector jobs, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since the Bush recession.
  • Second, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass? Really? Is Mr. Romano trying to argue that Republicans are actually the party figthing for civil rights? Because if so, one would think he could come up with at least one Republican civil rights leader in the past 150 years. Oh right, he can’t do that because today’s Republican leaders are more likely to defend the Confederate flag than fight for civil rights.

    Maybe J.R. should refrain from throwing stones at the party of Barack Obama and John Lewis.

  • And third, at least J.R. is right about one thing: the GOP is a “big tent party” … unless you are a member of the LGBTQ community, a woman, a worker, a poor person, a middle class family, or an immigrant.

“I get it, J.R. Romano is in a tough spot. On one hand, the Family Institute of Connecticut and the base of his Republican party is rabidly anti-choice and anti-woman. On the other hand, the vast majority of the public supports providing access to basic women’s health care services, ensuring pay equity for women, raising the minimum wage, and guaranteeing paid sick time for workers. The bottom line is that today’s Republican Party is out of step with reality.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Leigh Appleby

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