State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg seemingly sat on the sidelines as Gov. Dannel Malloy held closed-door negotiations that produced a controversial, surprise deal to move hundreds of jobs out of the Westport community, State Representative candidate Stephen Rubin said today.
Rubin, the Republican candidate for the 136th State Legislative District representing Westport, said Steinberg’s failure to intervene in the deal to relocate the Westport-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to Stamford is yet another example of Steinberg’s failure to fight for the community he represents. Further, it’s unlikely that companies such as Bridgewater would even contemplate leaving Connecticut at all if it weren’t for the policies pushed by Steinberg’s majority party.
“I think Jonathan was simply too passive on the issue of Bridgewater,” said Rubin, a longtime Westport RTM member. “I have serious concerns about whether our state can afford to hand out millions more just to keep another company from leaving the state, and I know this relocation will hurt our town.” Bridgewater is being awarded over a $100 million dollars in taxpayer dollars as incentives by the State to relocate to Stamford.
“Considering his silence, it doesn’t seem like Jonathan is all that worried,” said Rubin, who called on incumbent Steinberg to tell constituents his position on the issue.
Steinberg hasn’t said much about Gov. Malloy’s so-called “First Five” program that’s seen Connecticut award hundreds of millions of dollars to companies already located in this state. And like the situation in Westport, some of that money will support companies simply moving from one town to another.
“I’m certain this isn’t the type of ‘economic development’ state representatives and senators had in mind when they cast votes on the governor’s flagship program,” Rubin said.
Republican State Legislators have called for greater oversight over what have been the Malloy Administration’s unilateral decisions to award forgivable loans and grants. Rubin backs the call for more oversight.
“Bridgewater’s move will have an immediate impact on Westport, making homes less attractive to employees who will look to live closer to work and avoid the commute,” he said. “Even worse, the company’s departure will impact revenues of small businesses that in part depend on Bridgewater employees.”
The governor and his Democrat majority in Hartford say “Connecticut is open for business,” yet they routinely support policies that have seen experts rank Connecticut lower and lower down the list of states considered friendly to businesses, Rubin said.
According to Rubin, Jonathan Steinberg failed to lead during his first term when presented with proposals reducing regulations and taxes in order to spur private sector growth—a more responsible path than the multi-million dollar corporate handouts favored by the governor and Democrat legislators.
“Jonathan didn’t offer solutions of his own, nor did he support any of the alternatives presented,” Rubin said. “Westport and our state just can’t afford bench players as representatives. Westport deserves an independent voice in Hartford who won’t meekly accept the Governor’s policies to the detriment of our town.”
“Fortunately, the voters can change this in November by electing me to be their voice in Hartford.”