The Greenwich Democrats (aka DTC) seem to be panicking. Yesterday the DTC sent out an email to their entire base under the headline, “It's Freak Out Time.” The DTC email promoted a slate of candidates along with a letter hosted on the DTC server from several current RTM candidates including Stephanie Cowie, Jasen Medhurst, Dan Quigley and James Waters. The DTC email seems to suggest a link between these candidates and a list of RTM candidates which the DTC recommended as being “at odds with the far-right.”
Meanwhile, another list of candidates has shown up under the moniker “Bipartisan Coalition for Good Governance.” But clad in red rather than blue, touting Local Zoning and Fiscal Responsibility.
Reached by phone the SEEC told the Centinal that candidates who elect SEEC form 1B may not collaborate with any Town Committees nor with other candidates unless all candidates agree to share in promotional costs and put a “paid for and approved by” disclaimer listing all candidates’ names. The DTC email did not include such a disclosure and neither does the list from the “Bipartisan Coalition for Good Governance.”
Centinal confirmed that Ms. Cowie and the other candidates listed in the editorial hosted by the DTC selected SEEC exemptions under SEEC form 1B.
The Centinal also reached out to several of the candidates promoted in the DTC recommended list of RTM candidates. The candidates reached preferred to remain anonymous for fear of DTC retribution, but the candidates all indicated they had never been contacted by the Greenwich Democrats nor by Ms. Cowie or the other the candidates in the DTC hosted article. They all said that they do not approve of the messaging in the email.
In the email the DTC repeats the accusations made in the article published in the Greenwich Time, which we covered (recently). The DTC mentions 100 “neophytes” who are running for the RTM, but the Centinal tally shows there are 150 new RTM candidates, including 15 members of the DTC.
The DTC piece attacks the 100 new candidates, who seem to be those not listed on the DTC’s list, labeling them “far-right” and “MAGA.” The DTC email claims “the leaders” of this group forced “Greenwich to return” a grant for Greenwich Ave sidewalk extensions.
The Centinal reached out by phone to Ms. Louisa Stone. Ms. Stone indicated she led the effort to block the Sidewalk Extensions and that this effort did not involve any “far-right” people. Ms. Stone indicated that opposition to the sidewalk extensions was a bipartisan coalition of people concerned with the environment, veterans and people interested in preserving the historic Greenwich downtown. Ms. Stone laughed about how she had been labeled “far-right” in the Democrats' email, and said she is a life-long Democrat. The RTM agreed to remove the sidewalk extensions from the budget with a bipartisan vote of 114 to 72, which included many Democrats.
One of the new RTM Members running who was not included on the slate being promoted by the DTC is Ms. Hopley and thus presumed to be a “far-right” “neophyte” by the Democrats. Centinal research indicates Ms. Hopley’s activities include support for upgrading the aging CT electrical system and membership on the boards of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy and Greenwich Land Trust. Ms. Hopley objected to being called “far-right,” a pejorative term sometimes linked with Nazis. Asked to comment, Ms. Hopley referred us to her letter which appeared in the Greenwich Time.
Centinal also talked to Mr. Michael Spilo, an RTM member since 2002 and current Chairman of the RTM Public Works and Labor Contracts Committees who has been vocal about the shortcomings and mismanagement by the Central Middle School Building Committee. Mr. Spilo denied being “far-right” and said he objected to such rhetoric. Mr. Spilo said he felt it was the DTC who was out of line and out of touch, and that they “need to settle down and stop attacking people.”
“They must feel they can’t win on the merits and so they resort to name calling and bullying,” he said. Mr. Spilo indicated that he felt the DTC must be desperate to resort to potentially illegal tactics and said he would consider filing a complaint with the SEEC against the DTC and the others involved.