State Sen. Witkos asks Democrats to ‘Tell the Truth’ [Register Citizen]

July 16, 2013

Article as it appeared in the Torrington Register Citizen on July 16, 2013

HARTFORD — State Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) launched a campaign dubbed “Tell the Truth” on Monday in an effort to “combat misleading and distorted claims currently circulating in news coverage,” according to a news release.

Witkos made the announcement in Hartford and according to the release it “is intended to push back on a series of statements from the Governor’s office, the legislative majority office and other agencies/associations that do not tell the whole story. It will also provide members of the public with a more complete understanding of complex issues facing the state of Connecticut.”

Witkos said in a statement, ““Time after time, I have come across news articles, television reports and other sources of information that simply do not tell the whole truth. In response, I decided to launch the ‘Tell the Truth’ initiative to provide Connecticut residents with a fuller understanding of current news coverage. In the coming weeks and months, I will be updating this resource on my website and speaking with members of the public to set the record straight.”

He continued, ““Let the truth be told. It is my hope that this new initiative will serve as an informative and balanced resource for interested Connecticut residents. The days of deceit, half-truths and misnomers at the State Capitol simply must come to an end.”

The senator, who formerly served as a Canton police officer and now owns and operates Wilson’s Pub in that same town, represents the 8th District, which includes Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington.

Witkos highlights three examples of misinformation: the changes to the state’s contribution for the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund, the claim of inheriting budget deficits from previous Republican administrations and the gas tax increase.

In the release, Witkos said the Connecticut Education Association circulated an email after the 2013 legislative session calling on its members to thank legislators that voted for the budget even though it included a reduction in the state’s contribution to the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund from 33 percent to 25 percent. But Republican senators introduced an amendment that would have fully funded the contribution. According to Witkos, the teachers should be aware that Republicans made an effort to “keep the state’s promise to our retired teachers.”

Secondly, Witkos highlighted Malloy’s criticism of his Republican predecessors as an untruth. Witkos said Malloy should take full responsibility for the budget situation, rather than blaming the Republicans for the deficits he inherited. “While the state is currently enjoying a budget surplus, the budget is projected to have a $1.3 billion deficit over the next two years. In addition, while previous administrations were in power, the Democratic-led legislature proposed and passed a series of irresponsible budgets that led to the large budget deficits,” according to the statement.

Finally, Witkos spotlighted the statements made by Malloy and Democratic legislators blaming Republicans for the gas tax increase. “While many legislators supported the increase in 2005 to fund a major transportation initiative, this year’s increase could have been postponed or eliminated. In fact, Republican legislators introduced an amendment (LCO# 8651) on the budget that was unfortunately defeated along party lines. In 1980, the gas tax was first instituted by Democratic Governor Ella Grasso in an effort to reduce the high profit margin of oil companies. Since then, the tax has simply been passed through to Connecticut motorists, who have seen the gas tax increase from 2 percent to now 8.1 percent. In 2008, the legislature eliminated a 0.5 percent scheduled increase in the gas tax, which serves as an example that the governor and majority party could have avoided the latest gas tax increase,” the release stated.

Witkos plans to travel around the state and speak with community groups, chambers of commerce and other organizations who want to hear “the full story behind current policy debates.”

As part of the initiative, Senator Witkos will also be available to travel around the state and speak with community groups, chambers of commerce and other organizations that are interested in hearing the full story behind current policy debates.

More information can be found at