Press Releases

CT Dems Statement On The Sixth Anniversary Of The Affordable Care Act

Hartford, Ct. – Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto released the following statement on the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

“The Affordable Care Act is working. More than 20 million Americans now have access to quality, affordable health care. Hundreds of millions of people with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied the care they need, and millions of young people can now remain on their parents’ plans until the age of 26. In Connecticut, our uninsured rate has dropped to a historically low rate, below four percent.

“Despite this success, Republicans will stop at nothing to take health insurance from millions of Americans. Without a backup plan, House Republicans have voted to repeal the ACA more than 60 times.  Endless lawsuits have aimed to gut the law – without success. And GOP governors across the country have refused to expand care to low-income residents.

“I am extraordinarily proud that – from our entire congressional delegation voting to pass the law to the leadership of Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman in implementing Access Health CT – Connecticut Democrats have been at the forefront of the passage and successful implementation of the ACA.

“Now, six years and nearly 15 million private sector jobs later, it’s time for Republicans in Connecticut to move on.”

CT Dems Statement on Super Tuesday

Hartford, Ct. – Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell released the following statement on tonight’s Super Tuesday results:
Tonight, Donald Trump insulted his way from being the Republican standard-bearer to being the party’s presumptive nominee. Despite claiming that Mexicans are rapists and proposing to ban all Muslims from entering our country, Trump’s message of bigotry and hatred has found its place at the center of the Republican Party.

“The choice this November will be clear. If we want to continue moving our country forward, we will need to elect a Democratic president and Democrats up and down the ticket.

With Connecticut’s primary just a few short weeks away, the big question now is whether Chairman J.R. Romano and his Connecticut Republican party will formally embrace Donald Trump. Over the past several months, the state GOP has taken all of the benefits of the Trump candidacy – from straw polls to party fundraising through Trump book auctions. Can we now expect a formal endorsement from Chairman Romano?”

CT Dems Chairman: Repeal ‘party loyalty laws’

Hartford, Ct. – Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto today submitted written testimony to the Government Administration and Elections Committee in support of SB 257, Secretary of State Denise Merrill’s legislation to repeal Connecticut’s party loyalty law. The law recently came under fire after a Brookfield couple was expelled from the Republican Party – and barred from voting in the GOP presidential primary for crossing party lines and voting for Democratic candidates.

At the time, Balletto wrote to the couple, Larry and Jane Miller, inviting them to join the Democratic Party, and he has spoken out against party loyalty laws ever since.

“While I understand using party loyalty as a litmus test for serving on town committees or party leadership positions, voters – not party leaders – should be able to choose the party to which they want to belong and in which primary they want to vote,” Balletto wrote in his testimony. “That should be their right as citizens. This is not a competition amongst baseball teams preparing for a series – this is about citizens participating in our democracy.”

The Connecticut Democratic Party is also calling on the Connecticut Republican Party to join Democrats in supporting efforts to repeal this outdated law.

“We were disappointed to learn than the Connecticut Republican Party came out in support of Connecticut’s party loyalty law,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell. “There are many areas on which our two political parties vehemently disagree, but surely we should be able to agree that open and free discussion should be a foundation of our political system. I hope that Chairman Romano will recognize that these laws undermine the ability of people to disagree with members of their own party and are a great disservice to our democracy.”

The full text of Chairman Balletto’s testimony is below:

Good afternoon, Senator Cassano, Representative Jutila , Senator McLachlan, Representative Smith and distinguished members of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. My name is Nick Balletto, and I am the Chairman of the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee, having previously served as the Democratic Town Chair of New Haven. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify in support of SB 257, Secretary of State Denise Merrill’s proposal to repeal Connecticut’s “Party Loyalty” Laws.

As Chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party, it is my job to promote and strengthen the Democratic brand and aid in the election of Democratic officials on the local, state, and federal levels. This includes engaging and maintaining the membership of our party before, during, and after elections – it means building the bench of our local town committees and encouraging new members to join and take part in our process.

The reality is that the Democratic Party is a big tent and we continue to grow. We pride ourselves on our ability to represent many constituencies and individuals – black, white, gay, straight, male, or female – because we truly believe that is what is great about America: we have always been a melting pot that brings together people from all different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities for a greater cause. And our cause is to elect leaders who embody our goals of lifting our communities up and carrying on our Democratic values.

To assume our party is monolithic in its policy and political views is also a mistake. We are a family. We have our arguments and agreements. Feelings are hurt. Votes are lost – but at the end of the day I truly believe that what strengthens our party is our openness and our inclusion. I believe that those discussions have strengthened us as a party by challenging our preconceptions and forcing us to defend our positions. Voting rights, human rights, and workers’ rights, all came as a break with the past. Debate is a cornerstone of our political life as a society, and nowhere is that clearer than in the debates we hold with those with whom we disagree.

Here in Connecticut I watched with dismay as the Republican Party in the Town of Brookfield callously expelled one of their own for the crime of crossing party lines to occasionally support Democratic candidates. I reached out to those individuals to offer them a spot in the Democratic Party – because, after all, we welcome individuals who are willing to participate in our political process. Particularly in a state – like so many others – in which voter turnout during our local, state, and federal primaries is often less than 20 percent, I cannot fathom why we would discourage people from participating in the process of electing our leaders.

This is behavior that I would have expected at a different time and in a different place, but it should not be legal here in Connecticut in 2016.  While I understand using party loyalty as a litmus test for serving on town committees or party leadership positions, voters – not party leaders – should be able to choose the party to which they want to belong and in which primary they want to vote. That should be their right as citizens. This is not a competition amongst baseball teams preparing for a series – this is about citizens participating in our democracy.

I recognize that no one political party has a monopoly on good ideas, and people may not always vote the party line. Indeed I have personally – albeit rarely – voted for candidates not endorsed by the Democratic Party. But I don’t believe any of you think that should impact my standing as a member of the Democratic Party or should discredit my service and commitment to the values we hold as a party.

The bottom line is that this law flies in the face of one of the cornerstones of our democracy: free and open discussion. I thank Secretary Merrill for proposing this legislation and hope you support SB 257 and do away with this outdated, unnecessary law.  

Thank you for this opportunity to testify.

CT Dems announce delegate application

Hartford, Ct. – The Connecticut Democratic Party today launched an online Democratic National Convention delegate application. All registered Democrats in Connecticut who wish to serve as delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 25-28 in Philadelphia are required to apply. Delegates will play a key role as the Democratic Party comes together to nominate candidates for President and Vice President.

The application is available at http://ctdems.org/about/2016-delegate/
“Our party is strongest when the voices of all communities are heard, so it is my goal to have a Convention delegation that is as diverse as our state,” said Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto. “I encourage Democrats from all corners of the state and across the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic spectrum to apply. A strong delegation will represent our state well as we nominate our national candidates, set a party platform, and pave the way for a robust grassroots effort to achieve our electoral goals in 2016.”
The deadline for online applications is May 2, 2016 for district-level delegates.
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