Thursday, January 26, 2017

State Senate Petitioning Effort a Success!

I'm pleased to announce that on Thursday, January 26, 2017, I received written confirmation from the Office of the Secretary of the State giving me notice that my efforts to petition onto the ballot were successful. To quote the letter, "Dear Mr. Lynch: Congratulations. The nominating petition filed with this office on behalf of the following candidate for the office listed below, as a Petitioning Candidate, has been examined as required by law and is hereby approved." The letter lists my name, Daniel M. Lynch, as candidate for State Senate, District 32.

My most sincere thanks to all who supported me in so many different ways, from here in the towns of the 32nd district, all across North America, and as far away as Australia and New Zealand. It is truly amazing to see so many people this excited about a local special election! 

In the days and weeks ahead, I will share more details about what I learned during the petitioning process, as well as thoughts and observations from the campaign trail.

Will an Injunction be needed to ensure an open Special Election?

Before I declared my candidacy for the Connecticut State Senate, just about everyone I spoke with told me what we've all been hearing for years — that politics is a dirty business. As an unaffiliated voter, the process of petitioning for the honor of appearing on the ballot is a daunting one, but I understand the importance of what that process represents, so I focused on the task at hand and set about meeting people in the district to ask for their support.

Many hundreds of people have expressed their excitement for my efforts. Not because they knew me, but because they too were/are an unaffiliated voter from within the 32nd Senatorial District. In fact, it appears I'm in good company because nearly 45% of all registered voters in this district are registered as unaffiliated. That is, by far, the dominant group represented, outpacing Republicans (29%) and Democrats (25%) by a significant margin.

Late yesterday, I was beyond disappointed to learn that at least five of my original nominating petition sheets from the Town of Southbury have somehow gone missing. That represents nearly 130 individuals from Southbury who have signed in support of my candidacy, but now cannot be accounted for. After carefully double and triple checking my records and copies of all petitions filed, and having two others also check my work, I'm now confident my records reflect more than enough signatures to have met the legal requirement of 502 electors. What I do know for certain is that 32 original nominating petition forms were hand delivered to the Office of the Secretary of the State ("SOTS") well before the 4:00 p.m. deadline this past Monday, January 23, 2017. In addition to those 32 sheets, I personally hand delivered 7 more originals to the clerks in Southbury, Watertown, and Woodbury. In all, there were 39 original nominating petitions received by either the Secretary of the State or a Town Clerk, as allowed by the rules.

For those petitions received by the SOTS, they then have the responsibility to coordinate confirmation of the original signatures on each petition with the respective towns to ensure the signatures and names appearing on the original Nominating Petitions do indeed correspond with electors in the town (meaning they are registered voters, living within the district).

The SOTS reports sending 6 sheets to Southbury, yet the office of the Town Clerk in Southbury reports having receiving just 1 such petition. Early this morning (Thursday, Jan. 26th), I alerted Connecticut Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, by email to the possibility that either clerical error or interference in the election may result in the need for court action to ensure an open and fair election for ALL candidates, not just those affiliated with a major political party. We shall see how the Secretary responds to this urgent and important matter. Stay tuned.

UPDATE (Jan. 30th): While I was pleased to learn I had been confirmed and am on the ballot, it is still concerning that the process for Petitioning Candidates appears to have flaws, negatively impacting both the candidate and the Town Clerks who have to verify nominating petitions under very tight deadlines. In all, there were 12 original petitions that were unaccounted for as of close of business last Thursday, impacting nearly all towns in the district. I've been in close contact with all Town Clerks and will continue to watch this issue until all 39 petitions have been accounted for.

My special thanks to Connecticut's former Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz, for her willingness to assist me, an unaffiliated petitioning candidate . . . even though she and I had never met or spoken before. Her immediate attentiveness and follow-up regarding this matter speak well of her sincere desire to ensure the integrity of our election process.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Republican-American Letter to the Editor

I submitted a Letter to the Editor earlier today, but didn't realize they have an understandable policy of not running such letters submitted by candidates for public office. My sentiments were important enough that I thought I'd share them on this post. Feel free to share a link with others so they can also receive my thanks.

25 January 2017 

Republican American 
Letter to the Editor 
389 Meadow Street 
Waterbury, CT 06712 

To the Editor: 

I am writing to thank you for your coverage, past and future, of the upcoming Special Election for the State Senate, 32nd District seat which impacts readers in Greater Waterbury and beyond, but also to thank the many residents in this area. 

Since the moment I publicly declared my intent to pursue the Connecticut State Senate seat as a petitioning candidate, I have been overwhelmed by the show of public support for my efforts, specifically because I am running as an unaffiliated voter. That support came from many who already knew of my efforts by reading the article which first appeared on your Web site on January 17, 2017, and then in your newspaper the following morning. 

The process to secure a spot on the ballot is a daunting one, especially for a special election which has such a tight calendar. In this day and age of identity theft and fraud virtually everywhere we turn, to be asking individuals to sign my petition, providing me with their signature, full name, date of birth and street address was no short order. The fact that so many trusted me, based on little more than eye-contact and a 30-second conversation – and a copy of your newspaper article in hand – means more to me than any of those signers will realize. 

I especially appreciate the fact that some openly shared that they would be voting for my opponents, and in one case had donated to support an opponent in this very special election, but yet they still believed in the open process and that I should have a chance to be considered by voters throughout the district. This speaks volumes for those individuals, and the amazing process we have to truly impact change in our country. 

I’m mindful of your rules which only allow me to submit one Letter to the Editor every 30 days, but have decided to send this today. As I type, it is before noon on Wednesday, and I still do not have confirmation from the Secretary of the State as to whether the names submitted on my nominating petition sheets will yield a sufficient number of valid, confirmed names of registered voters from within the district. My thanks, therefore, is to all those who I met during the last week, regardless of the outcome of my petitioning efforts. 

It was a humbling experience, and I extend my most sincere thanks to all those who supported my efforts – those who signed; those who took time to listen even if they refused to sign; the business owners who allowed me to share their space and their loyal customers; the friends who helped as petition circulators, as well as those who offered support through social media and otherwise. 

My willingness to participate in our political process, as an unaffiliated voter, has already rewarded me with an experience of a lifetime. 

Regards, 
Daniel M. Lynch

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Unaffiliated Voters Deserve a Color Too!

I've learned a lot since Rob Kane resigned his 32nd District State Senate seat on January 4, 2017. One thing I never knew was how or why the colors red and blue had come to visually define the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, on the various maps reporting election results. As you might expect a professional genealogists to do, I researched the topic and created a short page (with interesting video). Use this link to learn about why red and blue colors are used.

What about us UNAFFILIATED VOTERS? Don't we deserve a color too? SURE we do . . . we make up the dominant portion of registered voters in this district (more than 44%), far outpacing the red (28%) or blue (25%). So, with that in mind, I've decided to declare GOLD (ok, well, yellow) as our color from this point forward. At least as far as this 2017 Connecticut Special Election is concerned. It's easily distinguished from red or blue, it's highly visible (which is why yellow and black are chosen for most school buses), and the fact that Dan's college alma mater, Bryant College — now Bryant University — is black and gold didn't hurt either.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why is a Senior Auditing Role a Political Appointment?

It was with great interest I read yet another fine article written by Connecticut Mirror reporter Mark Pazniokas. This time, the topic was the confirmation hearing of former State Senator Rob Kane (R) before the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, seeking to fill a high-profile and high-paying job as Republican auditor of public accounts. 

Since I was busy meeting people in the 32nd District, asking for their show of support for me as a petitioning candidate, I was unable to attend the hearing in Hartford or watch it live on CT-N. If you'd like to watch a political dog-and-pony show, one which seeks to put on a good show for the taxpayers and voters of Connecticut, then you must watch the hearing now stored for on-demand viewing in the CT-N archive.

Many questions come to mind:
  • Why is an auditors role a political appointment?
  • How could someone with no auditing or management experience be considered to lead such a large team of auditors, and for such an important financial role?
  • Why was there not one single question, from anyone — Democrat or Republican — about the abrupt and carefully coordinated circumstances of Kane's resignation? 
Then there's the very name of the legislative committee itself, the "Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee." What happens in the event that a member of our state government or a member of the public learns of misuse of public funds by employees within our third branch of government, namely our Judicial Branch. Does our Judicial Branch get a free pass on violating the public trust, merely because they run our courts and can control anything and everything that happens therein, from the most trivial small claims matter, right up to and including final disposition of matters before our Supreme Court, the so-called 'Court of last resort,' in the words of our current Chief Justice, Chase T. Rogers.

Well, this is precisely the issue that came to a head on May 21, 2015 when I personally hand-delivered a detailed complaint to both of our state auditors of public accounts. I'm not a Democrat or Republican, I'm just a concerned citizen and taxpayer, having watched the corrupt business-as-usual attitude in our state for far too long. Both the Democratic state auditor, John C. Geragosian, and his balancing counterpart, Republican Robert M. Ward, received copies of my complaint made under sworn declaration. Even though their Web site touts a bold red stamp "Government Waste - Fraud - Abuse | REPORT IT," the silence from their offices since filing that complaint has been deafening.

It was Ward's resignation that set in motion the Senate resignation of Kane and my own decision to run as a petitioning candidate. Perhaps, one new voice at a time, we can take back our state government from those who seem to think it's an entitlement for continued employment and a lifetime pension. 

What do you think? Watch the CT-N confirmation hearing, read the CT Mirror article, and if you're really interested in the questions posed, take a look at the 2015 complaint I field . . . and then decide for yourself if something needs to be done about this.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Petitioning Candidate - Basics (Why, How, When, etc.)

If you're wondering what a 'Petitioning Candidate' is, you're in good company. It's been the top question I've fielded so far, so read on and I'll try to fill in some helpful details. If you're really curious and want the full legal discussion about candidates running in a special election (petitioning or otherwise), there is a great detailed document on the website for the Secretary of the State.

I've been humbled by the great press and overwhelming show of support in less than 24 hours since announcing my candidacy for Connecticut State Senate, 32nd Senatorial District. Two wonderful newspaper articles have already appeared and the calls to me and my family have been amazing. Glad to know that people are really interested, evening though it's not a general election cycle.

Petitioning Candidate
Basically and simply put, there are a few ways to run as a candidate for office. One can align with a particular political party and seek the endorsement of that party, either a 'Major Party Candidate' or a 'Minor Party Candidate.' In my case, I'm an unaffiliated voter and have been so my entire adult life. My understanding is that the 'Unaffiliated' category is the largest of all voter classifications in Connecticut, but I've not been able to find exact statistics for this post. If I do find them later, I'll update this post to reflect whatever the data shows, as long as it's published from a reliable source.

If an individual doesn't get the endorsement of their political party, they can still run, but they would either have to align with a different party or would have to follow the route that I've chosen.

As a Petitioning Candidate, I need to demonstrate that there is sufficient support in my district (in my case, Senatorial District 32) to have my name placed on the ballot. The mechanism to do so is for me to collect signatures on forms provided by the Office of the Secretary of the State. Our state statutes define how many signatures need to be collect. In my case, the number is equal to 1% of the total votes cast in the most recent General Election for the office I'm seeking — State Senate, 32nd District.

To be eligible to sign petitions supporting my candidacy, one needs to meet the following criteria:
  • Live in the district (See town names at top of page or view page for 32nd District)
  • Be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote in your town

If you are unsure which district your home address is in, use this link to Find Your Legislator in Connecticut. This is especially important for residents of Middlebury and Seymour which are split across two senatorial districts. You can also click those town name links to verify with the clerk that you are still registered to vote. The reason some towns are split is to ensure equal representation at the state level. Each of our 36 Senators represents just shy of 100,000 people. That's not an arbitrary number, but rather a calculation based on census figures. Since Connecticut has nearly 3.6 million residents, it calculates to approximately 100,000 people per Senator . . . so they've got to draw the lines somewhere.

Have you ever heard the phrase - Time is of the essence? Well, in layman's terms, it means GOTTA GET MOVING. My deadline to submit completed petitions to each of the ten town clerks is no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday, January 23, 2017.

I've loved all the support offered from all over the world (yes, in just 24 hours, comments from all over the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand . . . all fun to read, but no, you can't sign the petition. Well - you could, but the signature wouldn't count. Our local town clerks have enough other work to do, so no, let's not make them cross you off my list.). I've even had an offer to help me campaign from a friend living in the district, but she's Swiss . . . and while we all love the Swiss, she can't help me collect signatures because she doesn't qualify under the rules as a 'Circulator' and rules are rules. Even my own parents, who live just minutes away in the City of Waterbury cannot sign to support my candidacy, because they live in a different senatorial district.

An article in one regional edition of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper, 18 Jan 2017.


Lastly, if any Petitioning Candidate fails to collect the required signatures within the prescribed time limits, their name will not appear on the ballot. They can always continue to run as a 'Write In Candidate,' but that is a significant challenge, even for a person with a name as simple as Dan Lynch.

UPDATE: I'm pleased to announce that on Thursday, January 26, 2017, I received written confirmation from the Office of the Secretary of the State giving notice that my efforts to petition onto the ballot were successful. To quote the letter, "Dear Mr. Lynch: Congratulations. The nominating petition filed with this office on behalf of the following candidate for the office listed below, as a Petitioning Candidate, has been examined as required by law and is hereby approved." The letter lists my name, Daniel M. Lynch, as candidate for State Senate, District 32.

In the days and weeks ahead, I will share more details about what I learned during the petitioning process, as well as thoughts and observations from the campaign trail.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WATERBURY NATIVE DAN LYNCH ANNOUNCES SENATE RUN

HARTFORD, CT (January 17, 2017) – In a continuation of the historic 2016 election season and now just days before the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C., things appear to be heating up in the world of Connecticut politics.
On January 4, 2017, Republican Senator Rob Kane stunned his constituents in Connecticut’s 32nd Senatorial District with his abrupt resignation, just minutes before he was scheduled to be sworn in for another two-year term. With nearly 100,000 residents across ten towns now left without a voice in Hartford, Waterbury native Dan Lynch decided now is the perfect time to leverage his personal and professional experience, as well as his energy and advocacy for the benefit of his family, friends and neighbors living in this district just west of the city that his family has lived in since the 1870s.

“In many ways, the timing couldn’t be better,” noted 54-year-old Daniel M. Lynch.
“While watching the opening day and signing-in ceremonies on CT-N, I found it amazing to learn this was the first time in 125 years our State Senate would open a session with an equal number of seats occupied by members from  the two major political parties.”

 Kane, a Republican, was just one of two Senate resignations that day. The other, equally surprising to many, was the announcement from long-time Democratic Senator Eric D. Coleman, 2nd District, who had served since 1995 and was head of the Joint Committee on Judiciary. The pair of resignations, one from each party, kept the historic balance in place, but now 17-17, with two seats to be filled following a Special Election scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Republicans and Democrats have already announced candidates who plan to campaign for Kane’s vacated seat, but Lynch believes his unique qualifications and the current political climate present an opportunity for real choice to the constituents in the 32nd District.
To view the entire release, visit the link below (links to a PDF stored on GoogleDrive > 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Governor Issues Writ of Special Election

On the last day allowed by Connecticut General Statutes, the Governor today issued a Writ of Special Election, announcing a total of three seats which need to be filled in the General Assembly, two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

The announcement came on the 10th day, including Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, when Senators Rob Kane and Eric Coleman resigned in tandem with one another.

Statutes also define parameters for when the Special Election will be held and that date is now set for Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Voters in towns impacted by these elections will be receiving more detailed updates at the local level in the coming weeks and days.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Joint Senate Resignations Evidence of Politics as Usual

As the Connecticut Mirror and other  media have reported, two long-time Connecticut State Senators have resigned their seat, just minutes before the swearing in ceremony for the new legislative session, and only 57 days after each had won re-election in their Senatorial District.

Rob Kane from the 32nd District is a Republican, and Eric Coleman from the 2nd District is a Democrat. Their joint resignations were reportedly worked out by agreement the night before, thereby preserving the evenly balanced makeup of our State Senate, something that hasn't happened in 125 years.

If you're thinking something doesn't smell quite right, you're not alone. We'll have to watch in the days ahead to learn what story will be fed to the public, but in this writers opinion, it's politics as usual. Likely some back room deal and promises to each of the two for being long-time loyal soldiers for their respective political party. 

The most insulting thing to voters of our state, in my opinion, is the fact that our elected officials can play games like this, assuming we are blind to what is going on and that they will merely retain the seats that they apparently believe already belong to them. Even the CT Mirror seemed to echo this sentimenet, "The seats are almost certain to be retained by their current parties in special elections."

Well, news flash to all those in Hartford, we are watching, we are aware, and we are not happy.

After all, the term UNAFFILIATED means just that.
It does NOT mean Uninformed.
It does NOT mean Uninterested.
It does NOT mean Uneducated.

THE 36 SENATE SEATS BELONG TO THE PEOPLE, NOT TO ANY POLITICAL PARTY.

The PEOPLE will now decide who they want to fill that seat for the balance of this term now underway.