Submit questions to ask Michael Casey at the Milford Patch Debate at City Hall, Tuesday, October 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
How has the campaign been going so far?
Very well. I've been out meeting people. A lot of people are happy when you come to their doorstep, they're very appreciative that you're speaking to them about the issues.
Some people obviously they are going to vote for my opponent, and that's fine, but I'm happy to go out and meet the people and connect with them.
When it comes down to local politics in Milford, what do you think are some real differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party?
Traditionally, the Republican Party is going to be more fiscally responsible, do the best they can to balance the needs of the community with the needs of the taxpayers and try to keep taxes under control as best they can.
Sometimes people argue that Democrats can be a little bit more inclined to spend more and increase spending. That's not always the case, but sometimes that is the case, and that's traditionally how people often times perceive it, I believe.
You look at the actual numbers of Democrats and Republicans in Milford, it doesn't seem like an insurmountable number, yet so often, this district has been predominantly a Democratic district. How do you address that issue?
I think that the last time it was a Republican, that was twenty-two years ago, and that was with T.J. Casey. Jim Amann gained the seat, and he had it for a while. He used to be Speaker of the House, so obviously he was a strong force and a strong leader in both Milford and up at the Capitol.
His leader as a Democrat probably also attributes to people identifying with that particular party. You have a large group of unaffiliated, which both parties can try to address and try to get their vote.
I think that's always a good thing in Milford--at the end of the day, if you're going to win an election, you have to convince the unaffiliated to vote for you.
What are the important Milford issues that you think you can address better than the current rep, Kim Rose?
I think the biggest issue in Milford is also the biggest issue in our state, and nationally too, is unemployment. I was outside the primaries polling place and somebody walked up to me and said, "The biggest issue is jobs."
I think she was in her 40's and she said, "I don't have a job, my husband doesn't have a job, the only person who's been able to find work is our 17-year-old child."
That's a big issue. I think I appreciate more than my opponent that it's really about this State being competitive. That's the best chance we're going to have to not only survive this recession, but also move forward. It's a big issue when you have the biggest tax increase historically in 2011.
And even though Kim Rose didn't vote for that, she did vote for an increase in 2012 and she rejected all of the Republicans' amendments and proposals that I think were reasonable proposals, we would have had a balanced budget, it would not have laid a burden on people when they could least afford it.
Milford itself has risen in unemployment to 8% in August. We're not moving forward in the right direction. Unemployment's a big issue. As a state, we have to be competitive with other states.
We have to be a signal to other businesses and people that this is a place that you can live and it's going to be an affordable place to live.
We're not projecting that image when we have a huge tax increase and we have a huge spending increase. Unfortunately, Connecticut has one of the highest costs of living, behind Hawaii and Alaska.
That's a real burden for people who are on fixed incomes and people who are in the middle class. That's something that makes it harder for them to get by. And when you couple that with an increased tax burden, it's really hard.