To the Editor:
Following the League of Women Voters candidate debate, Darien Democrats took a photo of a Republican Board of Education member touching their fingertip to their thumb in a resting position and posted it to their official social media accounts, and falsely claimed they were making a supposed white supremacy signal with their hand. The slanderous post was reshared by State Senator Bob Duff and other Connecticut Democrats. To be clear, they were not intentionally making any symbol. It was an innocent hand gesture speakers often make while talking and has been seen in photographs of Bob Duff himself as well as national Democrat figures such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortes, former President Barack Obama, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Without letting truth — or morals — get in the way, Democrats pounced to slander this parent and public servant as a white supremacist in the name of winning a local election. They have spread this fabricated lie to our teachers and students. As if our educators don’t have it hard enough right now, they have now been misled to think one of the BoE members belongs to the most despicable group in the country.
Through Bob Duff and other Connecticut Democrats, the lies have spread statewide, likely tarnishing the image of Darien with potential new residents and businesses. Why unjustly destroy the reputation of this person and this town just to win a local election?
The contrast between the way Republicans have been describing Darien in our videos and messaging and the way Democrats have is shocking. Which Darien do you want to live in: a happy, beautiful town with great schools and beaches or a town supposedly full of racist school students, racist housing policies, and racist board of education members? It is no wonder that with such a vision of Darien, Democrats are eager to outsource our local decision making to Hartford bureaucrats. Democrats are continuing to paint a false picture of the reality of Darien. We want residents of Darien to be proud of their town and Democrats want to shame them into being embarrassed to live here. All in the name of winning an election.
It is likely that this machiavellian win-at-all-costs strategy has been brought to town with the nomination of a lifelong Democratic political operative as candidate for First Selectman. This is right out of the national Democratic playbook, and Tara Ochman has made a career as an operative, which is why she is able to attract national politicians to town for fundraisers. Democrats want this election so they can implement the policies of Hartford and national progressives: school regionalization and the abolishment of local zoning laws.
The tactics by Darien Democrats are disgusting.
Supporting Tara Ochman and the Darien Democrats with yard signs and votes is VALIDATING this kind of politics. Do you want this town to be torn apart like this every election going forward? Do you want good public servants to decide it’s not worth serving because they don’t want to be falsely accused or labeled? Let your vote in this election indicate whether you choose civility and measured discourse or victory by any means possible.
This kind of politics has no place in Darien. Kindness matters. If you are wondering how I recognize these tactics and how I know we don’t want to elect an operative to serve as First Selectman, it’s because I used to be an operative myself.