October 26, 2016
Connnecticut’s 2nd Congressional District, which takes up half the state, is a diverse place. From the southeastern shore to the Massachusetts border, the district includes rich and poor towns, universities and military bases, and a range of social issues. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, 63, of Vernon, has done a good job meeting the needs of his many constituencies. Most of all, this Democrat has brought home defense jobs.
Mr. Courtney has earned our endorsement for another term in office over Republican challenger Daria Novak, 59, of Madison.
Why Mr. Courtney?
Mr. Courtney’s position on the House Armed Services Committee and as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces has helped him ensure that the New London-Groton area will remain a hub of submarine building for decades.
He earned the nickname of “Two Sub Joe” for his efforts in his first term to ensure that two submarines a year would be built at Electric Boat. This past March, the Navy announced that Electric Boat would be the primary contractor for new submarines that will replace the current Ohio-class fleet. Also, some 80 percent of the construction of the Columbia-class subs will be done at Electric Boat, along with all of the design.
That will guarantee thousands of jobs and decades of work in the area. Local suppliers will feel the benefits as well. The entire region depends on it.
Also, Mr. Courtney worked with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, on legislation that would have allowed people with student loans at higher rates — some up to 7 percent — to refinance at rates below 4 percent. Despite significant support from other legislators, the bill never made it out of committee. Mr. Courtney should have the chance to try again.
He was a member of the conference committee that crafted the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, which has been felt acutely in the 2nd District cities of New London and Norwich. Republican leadership, however, wouldn’t provide the funding needed.
Why Not Daria Novak?
Ms. Novak, a conservative radio host, calls for “bold new ideas,” but her boldest idea is an old one: to return the nation to the gold standard, a financial system that pins the dollar to a fixed quantity of gold. On her website, Ms. Novak said her “first official act will be reintroducing” the Gold Standard Act of 1984, championed by the late Jack Kemp, “substantively word for word.” Bold idea, yes. Good idea, no. Under the old gold standard, America went through several financial panics.
Ms. Novak also believes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which helped rescue the nation from the grips of the Great Recession, “failed.” The consensus among economists is that it did, in fact, help save jobs and push the economy along.
Ms. Novak would lower taxes and reduce unnecessary governmental interference in business, but her platform is short on details other than to look for efficiencies by eliminating what she calls duplicative programs and cutting the Department of Education. The DOE sets course for U.S. schools, administers aid to them and enforces the law regarding them. Someone has to do this work.
It’s unfortunate that Ms. Novak has dismissed GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s lewd boasts about groping women, caught on tape, as “male locker room braggadocio” and said that everyone should “get over it.” There is no excuse for such indecency.
Joe Courtney is the better candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.
His name will also be listed on the Working Families Party line on the ballot.
Libertarian Party candidate Daniel Reale, 34, of Plainfield, and Green Party candidate Jonathan Pelto, 55, of Mansfield, are also running for the 2nd District House seat.
http://www.courant.com/opinion/editorials/hc-ed-courtney-endorsed-for-congress-again-20161025-story.htmlOctober 26th, 2016