Tag Archives: Richard Blumenthal

Old Barn Gets New, Progressive Life

Normally, I would not post a story about a political fundraiser — even one whose goals (helping Democrats regain the Senate) I agree with.

But this has a neat little back story that makes it “06880”-worthy. (And yes, I’d do the same if there’s a similar tie-in for a Republican fundraiser.)

Steve Ruchefsky and Rondi Charleston own one of the most visible properties in Westport. Their handsome home — with gorgeous gardens and a wide lawn — sits on the corner of Evergreen and Myrtle Avenues, kitty-corner from Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

A while ago, Steve and Rondi bought an 1870 barn. It belonged to their next door neighbor Estelle Margolis, and her late husband Manny. The new owners spent nearly 2 years restoring it, then repurposing it as an office for Steve.

It’s enjoying a wonderful new life, while honoring Westport’s historic roots.


Manny Margolis was similarly known for his devotion to America’s past and present. An attorney with a lifelong devotion to civil liberties and civil rights, he brought a draft refusal case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — and won.

As a member of Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission, Manny was a strong advocate for low and moderate housing regulations.

Manny Margolis was a World War II veteran.

Manny Margolis was a World War II veteran.

He and Estelle — his wife of 52 years — spent years at peace vigils in Westport.  They began during the Vietnam War.  For 6 years they stood together on the Post Road bridge, protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (Estelle still does.)

Manny was a staunch Democrat. Estelle still is. So, Steve and Rondi say, they’re thrilled to host an event this Sunday (September 18, 4 p.m.) that would have been dear to Manny’s progressive heart.

The fundraiser is for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Senator Jon Tester of Montana — the organization’s chair — will attend; so will Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock.

Manny Margolis will be there in spirit.

(For information on Sunday’s fundraiser, email frankiel@dscc.org)

Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

So Many Tough Choices

The other day, among my many many many many mailings from political candidates, I found one that asked a reasonable question:  Who would best represent my interests in Washington?

The choices for Congress are between incumbent Jim Himes and challenger Dan Debicella.  Yet I didn’t need to read a word of the flyer to know who to vote for. 

The color photo of Debicella portrayed a handsome, smiling, obviously very competent guy.

The grainy, black-and-white shot of Himes showed a frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic.  I like the guy, but this scared the crap out of me.

A few hours later, a friend showed me a “Dear Independent Westport Voter” mailing he’d just received. 

Labed “Voter’s Guide,” it looked like one of those rational, objective League of  Women Voter’s, um, “Voter’s Guides.”  I’m always eager to learn more about the men and women seeking my vote, so I read on.

I learned that Debicella “Actually listens to people.  Sharp and personable.  He gets it.” 

Himes, on the other hand, is “Unbelievable, Elitist and Condescending.  The worst of non-representation.”

One typical politician...

I found more:  Senatorial candidate Linda McMahon is “Obviously not a politician or indebted to special interests or unions.”

Her opponent, Richard Blumenthal, though, is a “Career Politician of the type that got us into this mess….Got his name on the ballot twice!”

I’ve met State Senate candidate John Hartwell several times, and have always found him to be pleasant, reasonable and well-informed.  However, I now understand he is “Out of touch making outlandish attacks.”

Fortunately, we have 2 State Representative candidates who are on the ball.  By amazing coincidence both are Republicans, running in different districts.

...and another.

Nitzy Cohen (Dist. 136) “Gets it.”  DeeDee Brandt (Dist. 133) is even better than Nitzy.  DeeDee is “Sharp.  Gets it.  Knows her details and knows the numbers.  Knows them exceptionally well.”

So who should I thank for providing such a detailed Voter’s Guide?

The fine print said:  “This educational effort has been prepared and funded by a collection of voters (Independents, Democrats and Republicans) who share concerns for our country and state….We wanted you, the independents, to have these details available.  We ask you to review the attached, make informed decisions and vote to restore some balance.”

Thanks, anonymous mailing guys!  I saw this just in time.

There’s no telling how many reckless, uninformed, and flat-out wrong decisions I might have made today without this very informative “Voter’s Guide”!