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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, May 08, 2004 - 2:51 pm: Edit Post

Candidate Diane Farrell says Chris Shays is out of touch with his constituents

Candidate Diane Farrell says Chris Shays is out of touch with his constituents

Candidate Diane Farrell says Chris Shays is out of touch with his constituents

Shays, Farrell trade barbs early

By:Bonnie Adler , Staff Writer


The two presumptive candidates for the Fourth District congressional seat spoke out this week as they each honed in on issues critical to voters in the district.

Incumbent Republican Congressman Christopher Shays sent out a report summarizing 25,000 constituent responses to a questionnaire mailed out to every voter in the district several months ago, and his Democratic challenger Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell, issued a statement charging Shays with being out of touch with the very constituents whose opinions he sought in the questionaire.

In a telephone interview with the Minuteman, Shays defended his practice of sending out mailings, saying that it is crucial to understand the positions of the 600,000 people he is elected to represent. "It is very important to stay in touch with my constituents," he said. "I do it in my community meetings, my group meetings, my public forums, and in the more than 1,000 communications we receive and respond to each week. The questionnaire is a vital tool to get people's thoughts."

Farrell said the 2004 Questionnaire Results simply highlight "the discrepancies between Shays' voting record on key issues facing our region and the wishes of his constituents." Specifically, Farrell attacked Shays on issues related to budgets, health care and transportation.

Farrell said 73 percent of respondents to the questionnaire think that the government spends too much, but that Shays, as Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee, has voted for "some of the largest spending increases in the history of this country." Farrell said that while Shays has been in office, the nation's deficit "soared to a record-breaking $500 billion and our debt to a record-breaking seven trillion dollars and counting."

Shays countered this accusation by saying that Farrell is inconsistent because in the past she has criticized him for not spending more. "In every one of the amendments considered, not only did she want me to spend more, but she wanted me to tax more," Shays said.

"I believe the government does spend too much," the incumbent said. "These things will be sorted out this fall when I begin campaigning. I haven't responded to these comments, because frankly, I'm eager to have Farrell commit herself."

Farrell also went on the offensive on the subject of prescription drugs, saying that Shays' questionnaire elicited an 83 percent approval rating for importing less expensive FDA-approved drugs from Canada, but that Shays voted for a law which "explicitly prohibits the federal government from importing these prescription drugs."

Shays countered, "Diane has a reputation for honesty; she needs to keep it. That is not an accurate representation. I am a strong advocate of free trade. I am not for controlling drug prices. If FDA drugs are available at lower prices overseas, they should be available in this country.

"I voted for an amendment that would allow for the reimportation of FDA approved drugs so that we can take advantage of lower prices. I also support a Medicare prescription bill," Shays said.

On transportation, Farrell accused Shays of failing to provide solutions to transportation problems, or voting to cut federal funding to our district.

Shays said, "I have been voting to cut taxes, for which she is been very critical."

Shays recently called for a small increase in the gasoline tax to fund solutions for transportation problems. "I don't believe that you can rebuild our roads, our rail lines, build high speed ferries, and put the freight on the Long Island sound without putting more money into transportation," Shays said. "It's logical to do that through a related fee - a gasoline tax. For a car that gets 20 miles per gallon and goes 20,000 miles in a year for every penny of increase in gas, this would cost literally $10 a year. I've yet to hear what Diane Farrell would do."

Farrell called Shays' support of a gas tax "a defeatist response" and said, "He hasn't done enough in Washington to bring in federal dollars for transportation." She said that the Second Congressional District in New London had received $45 million from the federal government earmarked for transportation, while Shays' Fourth District had only received $14 million.

"That suggests to me that Chris hasn't been working hard enough for transportation users," Farrell said.

In response to Farrell's repeated comments that Shays is out of touch with his constituents, Shays said, "I donít live in Washington as Farrell is saying. I live in Connecticut. We have a 1,200 square- foot place, so that when I am down in Washington voting and working I spend the night in Washington. I am back in the district as much as I am in Washington. I work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I love my job. My wife loves that I do what is important work. It is almost silly for my opponent to talk about how she is up in the district while I am in Washington."

©Westport Minuteman 2004

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Story Source: Westport Minuteman

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Fiji; Congress; Iraq



By Sandra Mally ( - on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 8:49 am: Edit Post

to: Diane Farrell,

I sincerely hope that you can put medicaid and medicare, especially the spend down section of all of this, which is killing the people's pockets, who are on disability and social security, please make this a top issue so that the spend down will be terminated,as of 2007.
You will have my vote. I voted for you last time. I feel that my vote really doesn't count, because I have written congress so many letters and get the same routine letters , as if they aren't even paying attention to what I am saying. Thank you for listening, and I hope that you can make a difference in this area of healthcare.
Sandra Mally
Consumer and Voter
651 State Street #310
Bridgeport, CT 06604

By PAUL ( - on Thursday, March 08, 2007 - 11:37 am: Edit Post



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