Opinion by Rep. Rob Sampson – January Column


Lately, following the news out of our state and federal governments has been more challenging than ever. It seems that name calling and maligning one’s political opponent’s character and intent has nearly fully replaced any type of respectful dialogue or difference of opinion.

Worse, much of the national press seems to have lost its way, assuming “its way” ever involved reporting news in a factual and objective way.

I entered politics because I care about the future of my country. I love history, especially American history, and even more, what America represents as an idea and a set of ideals – a place for full citizens to experience life in a land of opportunity and potential, willing to recognize that success requires effort, and even willing to take risks if they might mean reward. I chose the Republican Party because in today’s world, I felt it more closely represents those founding core American principles and ideas, promoting opportunity and freedom, requiring individual responsibility, and recognizing that government is necessary, but imperfect, and therefore should be as limited as possible.

Today, our country seems more divided than ever and what I have noticed that is most concerning is that the divisions seem to be based rhetoric, e.g. “tax cuts for the rich,” rather than a truthful breakdown of what each side is trying to accomplish by their policy offerings.

If my service as our State Representative has taught me anything, it’s that, generally speaking, politicians have much better hindsight than they do foresight.

Take this recent budget debate we had here in our state. If you have been following me, then you know I voted against the deal, primarily because I could see clearly that it would not even begin to solve our problems. We are already in another deficit! Also, as a policy document that highlights priorities, it makes little sense.

The day of the vote I spoke on the House floor and asked how and why we continue to spend money on bailing out our broken larger cities because of their failed policies at the expense of small, and better-managed, towns like Wolcott. Increasing taxes and spending will only exacerbate our problems. What we need instead is to send a legitimate and convincing message to citizens, businesses, and retirees that Connecticut is going to take a new and better path and it will pay off to be here.

Sadly, business as usual won the day and only 26 courageous souls out of 187 voted to stop the madness.

I predicted then that this budget would look worse every day that goes by. It wasn’t long after that the full impact of the cuts to the Medicare Savings Plan began to come into focus.

I went on the radio shortly after and pointed out the foolishness of wasting $40 million on renovating the XL center in Hartford at the same time we are driving business out of state, people from their homes, and seniors on fixed incomes into the poor house!

Thankfully in recent weeks, many of my fellow legislators have seen the light and realize that this needs to be corrected and the funding for the Medicare Savings Program must be restored.

Although the cuts have now been pushed from the first of the year to March 1, 2018, this is still a small amount of time to correct a growing problem. Ever since the vote, I have been pushing for a special session to do so and have been encouraging everyone who contacts me to make their voice heard in local papers, social media, etc.

Now, it seems to be working and there is a lot of talk about a potential special session to address this issue. It is my sincere hope that by the time you read this, the MSP will either have already been restored or is at least in the works.

This is just one of many issues to be addressed but if there is success, it will give me hope that the voice of the people still reigns supreme. Without that, we are certainly doomed.

Even with legislative action, we will still have to make it past the Governor, who seems determined to penalize small towns for their ability to manage themselves much more successfully than their larger city counterparts.

As always, I promise to be a persistent voice at the Capitol for common sense, fiscal sanity, and those American core values I mentioned earlier.

I encourage you to contact me anytime at