• The Greenwich RTC Petition Lawsuit

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    By Michael DeVita

    I decided to help my party by running for the Republican Town Committee (RTC). Myself and five others on my slate won endorsement at the RTC caucus in January. We had four incumbents (2 officers and 1 member of CTGOP) that worked hard this past election cycle, and I was one of the newcomers excited and ready to invigorate the party in Greenwich. My slate of 6 soundly beat 4 challengers on caucus night by a huge margin with all of us winning at least 2/3 of the vote while the 4 challengers could not muster 1/3 of the vote present. Despite this, 3 of the candidates decided to petition to force a primary election with 3 more new candidates that hadn’t bothered to participate in the caucus.

    My slate-mates and I hit the streets of Cos Cob as we had done in October to appeal to our constituents. We were up against the Republican Selectmen we had just helped elect in the November election, and it was awkward to have to explain to constituents how they now had to turn their vote against the establishment they were happy to elect. We were also up against democrats changing party affiliation to be able to vote in our election. Just 4 months earlier I knocked on the same doors explaining how the Republican Party was now the minority party with more registered democrats in town. As a lifelong resident, I remember the times when the Republican Party greatly outnumbered democrats and we did not have to be energized to easily win elections. Those times are now over. And the current leadership of the RTC has done the work to invigorate the electorate and produced a record turnout in November that ensured Greenwich remained firmly under Republican leadership.

    The Selectmen and other members of the party disagreed with the direction. But the neighbors I talked to all over Greenwich seemed to agree with us that our traditional Republican values are what sets Greenwich apart from other towns in the area. And they agreed that a party and electorate energized to stand for those principles above anything else was the way to keep it that way. Thank you to all of my neighbors for seeing through the mailings and the emails, the calls, and the biased mainstream media coverage, and coming out to elect us. It is your energy that keeps me optimistic, and we hope to continue to energize others to get involved.

    During our campaign we were made aware of accusations of false signatures on petitions, so we reviewed the ones from our district and noticed some issues right away. One major problem was the petitioners did not appear to follow CT General Statute §9-410(c). When we brought this to the attention of the Republican Registrar, he disagreed with our interpretation and told us a judge or court would be the authority to decide the proper definition and whether to render the petitions ineligible. After contacting legal counsel, we filed a formal complaint with a judge. That decision is pending and we hope to have resolution in a few weeks. For District 8, our constituents heard our message and were energized to come out and vote for us again, this time on a nasty, cold, rainy, windy day. Our slate of 6 caucus winners retained our seats.

    This was not the outcome for our co-plaintiffs in District 2, however, where 3 caucus winners were replaced by the new petitioners.

    At this point the judge or court could actually decide whether the 3 caucus winners are seated or whether the new petitioners are seated.

    Despite this looming decision, there have been efforts by the Registrar and others on the RTC to hasten the election of officers and delegates by assuming the new petitioning primary winners in D2 are the rightfully seated candidates, knowing full well of the open litigation.

    In fact, the Registrar signed a petition to force the RTC to hold the first meeting to elect officers this Wednesday.

    What I’ve learned so far from my journey into Greenwich politics is that we have a microcosm of the national politics playing out in the DC swamp, which I guess makes sense. We have a Republican party that is made up of at least two factions. Some want to be politicians, career politicians, and appease their peers in government. Others want to serve as the voice of the people and defendants of the Constitution and our God granted Rights, and stand for principles, whether they are liked or not, defending the Rights of the People, defending law and order, doing what is right, and stating the truth all while facing attacks from the establishment, the opposition and the system.

    One problem we face in Greenwich is the structure of our offices and boards. The minority party has always been guaranteed seats at the table, and lots of them. In most cases, it only takes one dissenting Republican to allow for the Democrat minority to get their way. This to me made no sense especially back when Republicans made up a huge majority in town. I believe this part of our system has done the most damage to erode our upper hand. Now more than ever it is important to elect Republicans that will not waver or cave on their principles.

    We don’t have to always agree. I find I can never find politicians I agree with 100% on every issue. I have strived to support and campaign for elected officials I feel will best defend my values and principles. I find that even with good people in office, the largess of our government in Greenwich, in Hartford and in DC make it very difficult to disrupt the status quo. I’ve realized that for the most part, We the People are to blame. For the most part we are complacent, expecting our wills be done by our elected officials, but do we hold their feet to the fire? Do we rally behind them when they meet resistance?

    It’s going to take more of us to become energized, that is what fuels this system of government that was created for us.

    How deep and stinky does the swamp get here in Greenwich? If the past few months is any indication, I’d say we’re about to find out.

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    Michael, I appreciate you sharing your experience and opinions. I hope that your story and mine, will open some eyes and also motivate more people with strong Republican values to get involved. I'm sure there are many others with stories they could share. I agree that we have a microcosm of what is happening at the National level, going on here in our Town. It's important to make people aware.
    Thank you for stepping forward.

    Gail Lauridsen

    Well stated, Mike. For me, the past six months have been illuminating. Sadly, I can never unsee the duplicity - I’m still scratching my head…

    Peter Levy

    The best way forward is to message that we Republicans share more in common than that which separates us. We all need to speak this way. We need come together on our issues: low taxes, parents' rights, election integrity, saving our schools from a Woke agenda, reject DEI, American values, religious freedom, Local Control of Zoning, property rights, free market capitalism, preservation of our neighborhoods, viability of our business districts and the character of our historic town.

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