It wasn’t politics as usual in East Haven this time around with the special election. I was very pleased to actually see a well-run campaign on both sides. However, two factors pulled this one out for Albis: the family name Albis and a small unknown third-line party.
Interestingly, the growing Working Families Party line has contributed to the victory in East Haven. By the unofficial total Linda Monaco, Republican got 1,331votes and actually defeated James Albis, who got 1,195 votes on the Democratic Party line but the 228 from the Working Families line helped Albis defeat Monaco by just 82 votes in a very disappointing 20 percent town-wide voter turnout.
For those people who are unfamiliar with the Working Families Party, it is a growing minority party that generally backs candidates who fully supports state and private industry unions. Their platform also bends towards the progressive left in politics or better known as a socialist agenda. Their purpose is to give the voter an opportunity to decline voting Democrat or Republican if they cross-endorse a specific candidate. In this election, James Albis was crossed endorsed by the Working Families Party.
When I ran for state representative in 2006 against Mike Lawlor, I knew that the Working Families line was a threat to any candidate on the Republican ticket and that a candidate’s name twice on a ballot was a definite advantage. I even attempted to grab the nod away from Mike Lawlor by writing several letters to the Working Families Party giving them my credentials. I told them I was a member in good standing with UFCW Local 464A, UFCW 1500 and CWA 1298, but in the end it was the amount of work Mike Lawlor did on the behalf of unions that secured his place on their line even though Mike never held a union position. I was defeated by 1,707 votes -- 570 of them coming from the Working Families line. While those 570 votes didn’t determine the outcome of my election, the Working Families Party certainly has had an effect on this special election.
It also seems that history has repeated itself. James Albis has done very little with unions while Linda Monaco was a union laborer. It’s a shame that the Working Families Party doesn’t take into account work experience over whom they can lobby better. That is Hartford politics as usual as this state is continually gravitating towards progressive leftist agendas.
When I was involved with East Haven party politics, I tried to advocate for a Republican third line but there wasn’t one to be found. I couldn’t convince the powers to be in the East Haven Republican Party that the Working Families Party was a line we needed to take seriously and possibly help create a third line for those people disenchanted with the Republican Party.
Now, maybe the East Haven Republican Party should take notice. It looks like the third line, minority party has cost Monaco a seat in Hartford and that is a shame.
Congratulations to our new state representative, Mr. James Albis. Please remember all of the people of East Haven regardless of party affiliation.