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Rubin Questions Steinberg's Leadership on Bridgewater Deal

State Rep candidate Steve Rubin challenges Jonathan Steinberg's leadership for Westport in wake of Bridgewater deal.

 

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg seemingly sat on the sidelines as Gov. Dannel Malloy held closed-door negotiations that produced a controversial, , State Representative candidate Stephen Rubin said today.

Rubin, the Republican candidate for the 136th State Legislative District representing Westport, said Steinberg’s 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.”

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Jonathan Steinberg August 23, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I'm not sure whether Mr. Rubin is simply uninformed or desperate to make his candidacy relevant. If he had any understanding of the "First Five" program in which Bridgewater participated, he'd know that all negotiations are done in private between the Administration and the company -- for obvious reasons. Furthermore, anyone paying attention to Bridgewater's quest to secure consolidated space would realize that Westport simply doesn't have that order of magnitude real estate available, or Bridgewater would have snatched it up already. Governor Malloy made a legitimate effort to retain a valued firm in the state and certainly didn’t need to consult me or the First Selectman. As Mr. Rubin should also know, since it was recently reported, the move won’t be for three to five years and many Bridgewater employees will remain in Westport. So his attempt to create a major brouhaha falls short of credible. Lastly, as Mr. Rubin certainly knows, I’m a member of the Moderates Caucus in Hartford and took issue with the Governor’s budget, which I did not support. I also favor regulatory review. He misleads the public by suggesting otherwise. If not a matter of ignorance, I'd prefer to believe that Mr. Rubin simply took bad advice from his "handlers.". Next time, he really ought to do his homework rather than making such a silly statement. I look forward to the day when he returns to discussion of real issues affecting Westporters, as he publicly vowed to do.
Ellis Wyatt August 23, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I'd love to hear more about these "remarkable achievements" from Jonathan's first term. Was it his vote to give people in prison for violent crimes paths to early release, or maybe his vote to give people with multiple DUI convictions softer landings. Wait, maybe it was his support for bills businesses universally opposed. And you're writing about net job losses...funny. Congratulations, Jonathan, you're part of a "moderates caucus." What did that "moderates caucus" do during your first term? Oh, that's right...sent a letter to the press branding yourselves "moderates." OK, you didn't like the budgets presented; did you put forward a budget? Voting "no" and bragging about it is easy. These days, "moderate" is politician-speak for "protected myself." And your use of "moderate" is disingenuous considering your voting record. How many times did you vote against Dan Malloy and your party colleagues. Sure, Mr. Moderate, let's give marijuana users a slap on the wrist...sends a great message to our kids. Get real: you voted against a tax-heavy budget for political reasons, not because you're "moderate." And, it's disturbing that you don't view Bridgewater as a "real" issue....this isn't an issue "affecting Westporters"? What "real" issues should people ask you about? Or, maybe you're right--none of the rest of us could possibly understand the "complexities" associated with what happens in Hartford.
Bart Shuldman August 23, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Mr. Steinberg--your Governor raised taxes the most in the states history and we are STILL running a budget deficit of almost $200 million. The deficit is being funded by raiding the 'rainy' day fund. I cannot remember one email, news posting or article where you, Mr. Steinberg, came out aginst raising those taxes, while protecting the unions pension plans--including the horrible use of overtime to set their pension payments. Come on Mr. Steinberg--help me understand exactly what you said and did. Mr.Steinberg--how much tax revenues will Westport lose once Bridgewater leaves Westpoprt? I find it funny how you leave that out? How much revenue will be lost to our local merchants? I will be waiting to hear, Mr. Steinberg. My tax dollars just went to pay for Bridgewater to leave Westport and go to Stamford? Is that a good use of the tax dollars? Really, Mr. Steinberg?? I would think we would use that moeny to attract new businesses to CT from another state. not moving from town to town. If we were to help them stay in CT why did we allow them to mvoe also? How does that help CT overall? Governor Malloy has now been in office (along with you) for 2 years and the state of CT recently was ranked 44th worst in the US. Down from 39. So Mr. Steinberg, what moderate things have you done to go against this Governor who is driving this state to the ditch?
Jonathan Steinberg August 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
First of all, Mr. Shuldman, Governor Malloy is OUR Governor, although you clearly don't care for him. Secondly, the rainy day fund was exhausted awhile ago, so please get your facts straight. I voted against the budget because of the heavy tax load and because it wasn't even decided at that point what concessions the Governor would make to the state workers. And I did make this point clear in town hall meetings in Westport and via my legislative communications. I'm sorry if you weren't tuned in. Lastly, the realtors now have at least three years to find new tenants for the Bridgewater lease spaces, including in the highly attractive Nyala Farms complex. With a number of Bridgewater employees staying in town, there's a good chance that the impact on Westport will be minimal at most. I agree with you that spending taxpayer dollars to move a company from one town to another is bad fiscal strategy -- if you assume that was their only plan. What if the rumors of their potential move to New Jersey are true? Who would you be excoriating if Bridgewater actually left the state? Hard to prove the hypothetical, isn't it? And the First Five program funds HAVE been used to attract businesses from other states. All in all, Mr. Shuldman, you once again seem not to know what you're talking about.
Bart Shuldman August 23, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Mr. Steinberg. This is right from the State Controllers press release. There goes our general fund reserves. COMPTROLLER LEMBO PROJECTS $197.5-MILLION DEFICIT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012 Comptroller Kevin Lembo today announced that, as previously projected, the state remains on track to end Fiscal Year 2012 with a $197.5-million deficit on a budgetary accounting basis. If this projection sustains through the end of the fiscal year, the deficit will ultimately be eliminated using $222.4 million in General Fund reserves from prior years. In a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo reported that General Fund revenue for Fiscal Year 2012 is expected to fall $243.3 million short of original budget projections and total state spending is expected to exceed appropriated levels by $35.1 million.
Charles Rosoff August 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM
There is nothing worse than the combination of an article printed with false logic, non-truths and errors of fact published online by a publisher who does not care. Bridgewater moved to consolidate its several offices into one 750,000 square foot building which does not exist in Westport due to its size. Did the journalist mean to write that Steinberg should have backed the condemnation of land and homes in Westport in order for the town to build a 750,000 square foot office building for Bridgewater? What is the motivation of this writer and publisher? Have the Westport Republican's become so desperate they have to resort to publishing lies? Also, I already wrote and submitted this and it was removed by the publisher. Now that is truly pathetic.

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