Our View: Osten: A strong, independent voice
Norwich, Conn. —
In the 19th Senatorial District contest to replace retiring state Sen.
Edith Prague, D-Columbia, we endorse Sprague Democratic First Selectman
As first selectman, Osten has demonstrated the sound fiscal judgment
needed to hold the line on property taxes during difficult economic
times while at the same time continuing to invest in her community’s
As a regional leader, Osten was selected to serve on the governor’s Two
Storm Panel that investigated and recommended changes in response to
the two storms that knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of
Connecticut residents last year.
And she has been, and continues to be an outspoken advocate for the
young and old, working families and the poor. She is determined,
dedicated and independent.
Her opponent, state Rep. Christopher Coutu, R-Norwich, cast the single
No vote against a jobs bill, a $600 million bipartisan effort last year
to jump start a sluggish economic recovery. Coutu says it was an act of
It wasn’t, but it epitomizes an unwillingness to compromise and the
kind of political posturing that he has exhibited many times in his four
years in the House, such as suing the governor and Democratic
leadership alleging a violation of the State Constitution in enacting an
unbalanced budget, having himself several weeks earlier done the exact
same thing in voting for an unbalanced budget.
We also find his disdain that he has shown for his opponent unbecoming
and unnecessary, and in particular his criticism of her state pension —
which she earned as a Correctional Department officer.
Two yearsago in a similar match-up, we endorsed Coutu over Osten while
expressing our concern regarding her unwavering support of state
employee unions in an even more difficult economic climate that required
state unions to make major concessions.
Osten’s strong declaration that she owes no apologies to anyone for
sticking up for working men and women is, in our opinion, admirable, and
we are confident today that if elected she will serve the best
interests of all Connecticut’s citizens.
Voters in the 19th Senatorial District will be well represented with the election of Catherine Osten.
Read more: Our View: Osten: A strong, independent voice - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin http://www.norwichbulletin.com/editorials/x255956359/Our-View-Osten-A-strong-independent-voice#ixzz2AAksMVgN
Article published Oct 20,
rematch in 19th Senate race
Two years ago Rep. Christopher Coutu and Sprague First Selectwoman Catherine
Ann Osten faced each other in the race for the 47th House District seat, with
the Republican Coutu winning a second term.
Now the two are going at it again, but much has changed.
Rep. Coutu decided to leave his House seat for a bid at higher office,
originally campaigning for the U.S. congressional seat held by Rep. Joe
Courtney. In May, Rep. Coutu pivoted away from that long-shot challenge when
Sen. Edith Prague, who had held the 19th District state Senate seat since 1994,
announced she was retiring.
Rep. Coutu seized this more realistic opportunity to move up the political
ladder. In Ms. Osten he faces a formidable challenger, a candidate who has the
strong backing of the fellow Democrat she seeks to replace - retiring Sen.
Prague. The strength of that single endorsement, and Ms. Osten's own skill as a
candidate, became evident when she defeated Rep. Tom Reynolds of Ledyard, a
popular and respected lawmaker, in the Democratic primary.
Rep. Coutu, 36, and Ms. Osten, 57, now find themselves competing across the
large state Senate district that begins in Ledyard and northeastern Montville
and runs north through Norwich, Franklin, Sprague, Lisbon, Marlborough, Hebron,
Columbia and Lebanon. Both are driven individuals, ready to fight for what they
believe, which helps explain why this has been a particularly feisty
Two years ago Rep. Coutu won this newspaper's endorsement. But things have
changed in that regard as well. As an incumbent, Rep. Coutu got some benefit of
the doubt as to whether he deserved rehiring. There is no incumbent in this
Both candidates have records that are two years longer. Rep. Coutu's knock on
his opponent, a retired Department of Corrections lieutenant and a union leader,
is that she will blindly back the demands of state labor unions to the detriment
of taxpayers. In simple terms, he seeks to paint her as a tax-and-spend
But Ms. Osten's performance as a first selectwoman says otherwise. Under her
leadership, taxpayers have seen only a small tax increase. By all accounts, she
seeks to stretch tax dollars with a frugal Yankee temperament. While she has a
deep-seated belief that workers deserve fair treatment and a living wage, she
does not strike us as someone who will spend recklessly.
Rep. Coutu, on the other hand, has shown slavishness to his ideology of
fiscal austerity. In October 2011 Democrats and Republicans joined in passing a
massive $626 million jobs bill. In the best tradition of political compromise,
both parties got some of what they wanted and settled for much that they didn't.
The bill included tax credits for small and large businesses, the streamlining
of permit processes, state financial inducements to attract new businesses and
expand existing ones, along with funds for job training and critical
The bill passed the House 147-1, with Rep. Coutu casting the lone no vote.
Rep. Coutu characterizes it as a courageous vote. The bill, he said, was too
expensive and unfairly makes government the arbiter of which businesses deserve
help to succeed and which do not. But if Rep. Coutu could not bend his ideology
to compromise on this, a jobs bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, on what
legislation will he compromise for the good of his district?
And now that the bill is law, who will be best suited to fight to make sure
the region gets its fair share of this stimulus help? Ms. Osten, a member of the
likely Democratic majority who believes the state should play an active role in
stimulating economic growth, or Rep. Coutu, who believes the government should
cut taxes and regulations and leave matters up to the free market? The answer
At this time, in this district, The Day believes Catherine Ann
Osten is the better choice and endorses her for state Senate.
State senate candidates spar over jobs, finances
Chris Coutu, Cathy Osten debate the issues
19th State Senate Candidates
Serving: Columbia, Lebanon, Norwich, Franklin, Sprague, Montville, Ledyard, Hebron, and Marlborough.
Cathy Osten, Sprague's First Selectman
Chris Coutu, State Representative (47th)...
See the video here: http://ctv14.pegcentral.com/index.php?search_f=subject&search_v=19th%20State%20Senate%20Candidates
Malloy dedicates center at QVCC
Businesses support new training program
Danielson, Conn. —
Calling the program “an important part of Connecticut’s future,” Gov.
Dannel P. Malloy joined education and political leaders Wednesday to
dedicate the new Advanced Manufacturing Center at Quinebaug Valley
The center, which is educating 51 students this semester at the college
and at nearby Harvard H. Ellis Technical School, awaits construction of
its own classroom and shop facilities at the college.
Norwich, Conn. —
What a fight is going on in the 19th Senatorial District. Cathy Osten
and Chris Coutu both want the seat opened by Edith Prague’s retirement.
Mr. Coutu seems to think that any publicity is good publicity for his
campaign. In Sprague, where Mr. Coutu’s face is hardly seen except
around elections — and then only on his campaign signs — he recently
appeared at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting to help a constituent who was
upset over what might be, as Mr. Coutu put it, a “frightening abuse of
executive power.” In case you didn’t know, that’s what Coutu calls it
when a town’s chief of police, who just happens to be First Selectman
Osten, his opponent in this race, installs a stop sign for public
safety. Yes, a stop sign.
Politicizing petty issues for political gain. It’s what Mr. Coutu does
best. That’s the sign voters should stop and think about.
Read more: Letter: Coutu should stop the petty politics - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin http://www.norwichbulletin.com/Opinion/x1931749779/Letter-Coutu-should-stop-the-petty-politics#ixzz27VeRJjmy
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Democratic
candidate Cathy Osten in the 19th District state Senate race and James
Crawford in the 33rd District state Senate race.
those who requested endorsement from CTLCV this year and turned in
surveys in a timely manner, only 25 percent of all Republicans and 25
percent of all Democrats were endorsed.
endorsed candidates must be committed to protecting Connecticut's land,
water, air and wildlife, and to working for sustainable solutions to
pressing state issues like transportation, energy, and waste management,
the group said in a press release.
current Sprague first selectman, is running against Republican 47th
District state Rep. Christopher Coutu in the 19th District race that
covers Norwich, Ledyard, northeastern Montville, Franklin, Sprague,
Lisbon, Marlborough, Hebron, Columbia and Lebanon.
Sprague first selectman) Cathy has shown commitment to environmental
protection. Some of her accomplishments include saving over 280 acres of
open space, working to establish a greenway from Lisbon through
Windham, cleaning up local brownfields, creating a smart growth council,
and creating community gardens.
a current state Representative from Westbrook, is running for the 33rd
state Senate seat against Republican Art Linares and Green Party
candidate Melissa Schlag in the district that covers Chester, Clinton,
Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme,
Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.
a freshman legislator, Jim worked to promote water conservation, the
preservation and protection of Long Island Sound and the development of
mass transit," the endorsement press release said. "As a member of both
the Shoreline Preservation Task Force and the (Genetically Modified
Organisms) Task Force, Jim has shown willingness to devote time and
energy to the environment."
Read more: http://www.theday.com/article/20120920/NWS01/120919599/-1/NWS
Cathy Osten has proven her political abilities as Sprague’s first
selectman. She has made more improvements to the town than anyone in
memory, and she did it while keeping taxes down. Her repeated
re-election by huge majorities proves that the people who know her best
are pleased with her service.
Do voters of the 19th Senatorial District need to know more? Let’s elect her to the state senate.
Read more: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/opinions/letters/x1606944965/Letter-Osten-s-proven-her-abilities-to-govern#axzz26qDlxeFd
By: Paul Choiniere
The New London Day
How voters in the state's 19th Senate District perceive Rep. Chris
Coutu's lone vote against the massive jobs bill approved by the General
Assembly last October could go a long way in determining whether Coutu
or his opponent, Sprague First Selectwoman Cathy Osten, will be
representing that district come next year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
made it a point in reaching out to the General Assembly's Republican
minority in getting the bill approved. It was not because he needed them
- the Democrats had the votes to pass anything they wanted - but
because he desired the legitimacy a bipartisan vote would provide. It
was an astute political move.
In return for joining hands with the
Democratic governor, Republicans got things they wanted - more
assistance programs for small businesses, making the Business Entity Tax
payable every other year rather than annually, and expanding use of tax
credits to encourage investment in businesses.
Thus the $626
million jobs bill became everyone's bill, its success or failure owned
collectively, the ability to criticize it muted because all signed on.
Everyone, that is, except Rep. Coutu from the 47th District,
encompassing Norwich and towns to the north. When the bill passed the
House of Representatives, the vote was 147-1, and Coutu was the 1.
(There was also one no vote in the Senate, Sen. Kevin Witkos, Republican
Coutu, the only Republican lawmaker from
southeastern Connecticut and now a candidate for a Senate seat, wears
this lone vote as a badge of courage. He argues that while there were
some good things in the bill, the idea of the state borrowing more money
to pay for tax credits and government investment in selected private
businesses made no sense to him. The better option, he argues, is to cut
government, lower taxes and make Connecticut more attractive to all
His Democratic opponent, Osten, contends that lone
vote makes the case for why voters should reject Coutu's bid to move
from the House to the Senate. As Osten sees it, casting the no vote was
not an act of courage, but the act of an ideological extremist who does
not recognize politics is the art of compromise. At every opportunity
she tries to make the case that Coutu was too busy railing against the
size of government and taxes to do the basic task of bringing funding
back to the district and assisting its small businesses.
depiction the majority of the voters in the politically and culturally
diverse district find most revealing and appealing could very well
determine the outcome of the race. The sprawling district includes all
or parts of Norwich, Ledyard, Montville, Franklin, Lebanon, Columbia,
Hebron and Malborough. The seat became vacant with the retirement of
popular Democratic Sen. Edith Prague, elected to nine straight terms.
There may be no other race in Connecticut that offers a clearer choice between such strong candidates.
Osten has shown she can control a budget as first selectwoman of
Sprague, she is at heart an unapologetic progressive. Osten is a former
president of the supervisors' union for state prison guards and a strong
defender of labor rights. She supports the Prevailing Wage Law, which
requires the state, towns and cities to pay union-scale wages on most
every construction project, but which she argues assures quality
construction and living-wage paychecks. Osten backs the move to provide
personnel care-givers the authority to unionize as a way of raising
their compensation and benefits. She sees a significant role for the
state government in providing seed money, loans and other forms of
assistance to encourage business growth and development.
opposes all these things. He contends the hand of the unions is too
strong, particularly in government, at great cost to taxpayers and
businesses and to the benefit of the Democratic Party. Coutu decries
that care-givers who don't want to be part of a union may be forced into
one. He does not see it as the role of government to select which
businesses to underwrite. He argues that Malloy is using the grants and
loans provided by the jobs bill as a slush fund to boost his own
standing and play favorites. One example, notes Coutu, is the $115
million in incentives the state will provide to a hedge fund,
Bridgewater Associates of Westport, to convince it to build a $750
million headquarters in Stamford, where Malloy long served as mayor.
woman who says she will go to Hartford to cooperate for the betterment
of her district or the man who says he will fight the growth of
government at every opportunity, even if it means casting the one lone
no vote. That is the choice in the 19th Senate District.
Paul Choiniere is the editorial page editor.
Link to article: http://www.theday.com/article/20120916/OP04/309169957/-1/OP