Terry Backer Dinner

The Stratford Democratic Town Committee is proud to announce that they will hold the fourth annual Terry Backer Dinner on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 pm at Oronoque Country Club, 385 Oronoque Lane in Stratford.

The dinner honors our beloved long-time State Representative who served from 1992 until his untimely death in December, 2015. His good work lives on throughout our town, from our Little League Complex at Short Beach, to our community garden “The Farm at Stratford”,
to the Long Island Sound which he fought so hard to clean and maintain during his years as the Soundkeeper.

We are proud to have former Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman as our guest speaker for this special event. She has been a great friend to Stratford and we want to thank her for her continued hard work. She served in the Legislature with Terry Backer and is certain to have entertaining stories about this special man. Ms. Wyman has now stepped up to serve as Chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party. Because of all she has done, and continues to do, we are proud to announce that Nancy Wyman will be the recipient of the Terry Backer Lifetime Achievement Award.

Three SDTC members will be honored at this dinner: Monica Brill will receive the Democrat of the Year award for her hard work and inspiring campaign, Paul Tavaras will be presented the John Rich Leadership Award for his work in the South End community, and Jennifer Budai will receive the Robert Galello Award for her tireless work in coordinating volunteers.

We will also pay tribute to State Rep Phil Young, who won his seat not once but twice in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in 45 years and Max Rosenberg, who mobilized his friends and family and knocked on more doors than anyone and was rewarded by being elected Judge of Probate.

In addition, citations of appreciation will be presented to some of our hardest working volunteers, including those who came from neighboring towns to help.

A luncheon buffet will be served with a cash bar. Tickets are $60 each or $450 for a table of 8 and can be purchased here:

Get your tickets today and don’t miss this extraordinary event! Click Here To Get Your Tickets!

SDTC issues statement on Trump’s executive order

The Stratford Democratic Town Committee is an open, welcoming and affirmative organization that strongly opposes the President’s Executive Orders banning Muslims from entering the country. This policy runs counter to America’s core ideals, and its history as a refuge to people from all countries and all faiths. We stand with our Muslim friends and support their legal entry into America. We stand firm that our Muslim friends should feel safe and welcomed in the Town of Stratford regardless of their country of origin.

– Stephanie Philips, Chairperson Stratford DTC

Senate confirms judicial nominees

The Senate unanimously confirmed four of 38 pending judicial nominations Thursday evening, the first of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees to be approved since September.

The nominees—Catherine Eagles, Kimberly Mueller, John Gibney, and James Bredar—are the longest delayed district court nominees, who were each reported out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously. The nominations for Eagles, Mueller and Gibney were sent to the full Senate in May and Bredar was reported out of the committee in June.

The White House hailed the confirmations but said the Senate must continue to act.

“We’re pleased that these four nominees have been confirmed, but urge the Senate to take action on the 34 nominees who remain on the calendar – particularly the 19 who would fill judicial emergencies,” said spokesman Josh Earnest.

Regan Lachapelle, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the four confirmations Thursday are “just a start” to clearing the backlog during this session.

“We are still working through the list and are committed to confirming as many judges as we can,” said Lachapelle. “We’ll take them when we can get them.”

This week, Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have negotiated a deal that could potentially break the bottleneck of Obama’s “uncontroversial” federal court nominees during the dwindling lame duck legislative session. These included most of the nominees who had been reported out of the Judiciary Committee by unanimous votes before November elections.

Still, there are a handful of circuit court nominees — whose nominations are rarer and typically receive greater scrutiny — still waiting for votes on the Senate floor, though they had been nominated as far back as November 2009.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy praised the confirmations and called on more to be confirmed to address districts facing judicial emergencies, including vacancies and backlogged dockets, across the country.

“These confirmations are long overdue,” Leahy said. “For months, these nominations have languished before the Senate, without explanation and for no reason. I hope these are the first of many confirmations by the Senate before we adjourn.”

GOP lawmakers have flagged three other nominees, including California law professor Goodwin Liu, as too liberal and inexperienced to be parceled with the rest of the non-controversial judicial candidates set for Senate confirmation.

“We’re pleased that these four nominees have been confirmed, but urge the Senate to take action on the 34 nominees who remain on the calendar – particularly the 19 who would fill judicial emergencies.”

Cutting Risk by Disclosing Political Donations

In politics, it often pays to be ahead of the curve. That holds true for corporate governance too, even more so when politics enter the equation.

That is why a small number of the nation’s largest corporations have voluntarily agreed to report their share of trade association outlays that go to fund political activities. Together, these firms encompass a virtual who’s who in the microcosm of corporate America. In doing so, this corporate vanguard has yielded to pressure from shareholder activist groups that targeted them as prime candidates for greater accountability and transparency.

But this trend also reflects the altered political climate in Washington — a climate personified by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the liberal chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and an advocate of what he calls “shareholder democracy.”

“Some companies get it, some don’t,” said Bruce Freed, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Political Accountability, a nonprofit and non-partisan shareholder advocacy group that is playing a key behind-the-scenes role in orchestrating the recent run of voluntary disclosures. “The ones that don’t get it,” he added, “are headed for a (shareholder) proxy vote.”

Veterans’ advocates hit the Hill

A group advocating the rights of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are on the Hill this week to press lawmakers on issues ranging from disability care to high rates of unemployment.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the largest organization for veterans of the wars, will host a series of events as a part of their Storm the Hill campaign this week, culminating in Thursday’s release of their legislative agenda for 2010.

Top priorities include improving the claims processing system for disabled veterans, addressing the suicide epidemic among service members and improving the Veterans Affairs Department’s health care services for women.

This is the fifth annual trip for the group, which was founded in 2004. Starting Monday, the veterans will form teams named for the military alphabet — Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc. — and will meet with more than 100 lawmakers to discuss their issues.

The veterans were originally scheduled to meet with Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, who died Monday.