Southbury Republicans Eliminate Caucuses, Opposition Calls Move ‘Degrading’, ‘Arrogant’

No caucuses for Southbury Republicans this summer.

There will be no caucus to endorse Republican candidates this summer in Southbury.

At a Republican Town Committee meeting last month voters changed the committee's rules to do away with all future caucuses.

Claire Dwyer, Chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said her decision to eliminate caucuses was based on observing other towns. 

“I spoke to Republican Town Committees in other towns and found out many of them never held caucuses,” said Dwyer. “I’m not setting a precedent, I’m following what other towns have felt to be beneficial.”

As far as the timing of the decision, Dwyer said there was no specific reason.

“There’s no underlying reason it was changed at this specific time,” she said. “But, we know full well our hands are tied if we had to hold a caucus every election.”

Jeff Krizan, former chairman of the Southbury Republican Town Committee and current candidate for First Selectman, strongly disagreed with the move.

“What was done was degrading and an insult to the democratic process,” he said.

Krizan said although he felt cutting the caucuses was egregious, he does not plan to change his campaign approach.

“I’m running a campaign, I have a plan and I will execute that plan,” he said.

Drew Morton, Chairman of the Southbury Democratic Town Committee said in a statement released today that this move excludes any other registered Republicans from participating in this very democratic process.

“The Southbury Democrat Town Committee chooses candidates through an open caucus, where we welcome all registered Democrats to participate,” said Morton. “One of the most important reasons for registering with a political party is to be able to participate in the candidate selection process whether it be a caucus or a primary.”

“I am shocked that the Republican Town Committee has chosen to keep the selection to a handful of insiders. I couldn't imagine the Democratic Town Committee depriving our community of the chance to have their voices heard. This action by the RTC again displays the kind of arrogance and perhaps even disdain that, as an entrenched party, it holds about fellow Republicans.”

carol renza June 17, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I have no idea if this is accurate, but someone posted on the Republican-American website under the story: "According to the secretary of state, it's not open to change. Dwyer is misleading everyone again. The Secretary of state requires rule changes to have a 60 day period until they take effect. The new rules will take effect in late July, so they will stonewall until the rule takes effect and they will endorse 2 more years of the most inept government in recent memory." Maybe Jeff Krizan can check this out as I'm headed out of town - I'm sending him a note
carol renza June 17, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Note: Jeff said the changes Dwyer made eliminating the caucus stands.
Longtime Southbury resident June 17, 2011 at 08:41 PM
When the Dems vigorously defend a Republican candidate, you sure can tell who they want to run against.
Sharon M Lieber June 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM
I have no idea what the political motives are behind the Southbury Republican Town Committee's decision to eliminate future Republican caucuses and I really don't care. The main point is that 20 members of Town Committee are deciding who is going to be on the Republican ballot this November. They are taking away the right of Southbury Republicans to participate in the process of selecting local elected candidates and that is wrong!
Stop the madness June 17, 2011 at 09:22 PM
I don't see that they're defending a candidate, I see that they're defending the democratic process. In addition, I doubt anyone is very worried about Davis as he is no threat to anything except character, professionalism and honesty.
FREE AT LAST! June 17, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Are you kidding me? This isn't about Davis or the Democrats. A handful of members of the Republican Town Committee took away the right of 4,400 republicans to pick their own candidate., what part of that doesn't Longtime Southbury Resident understand. Everything I read from Mr. Morton today was right on. The RTC is arrogant and condescending, he could not believe the RTC did this to its members and it was a sad day for Southbury republicans. Carol Renza, who is a registered republican (Check before you speak) has every right to blast the RTC, as does every other republican. It is true, however a check of facts and dates shows this was done by Dwyer the Liar at a meeting on May 11th. When Mr. Krizan, Mr. Turk and Davis had all announced they were running. So, DTL to protect her friend the admin assistant, put the wheels in motion to protect the current incompetent bozo to save her friends job. The only ones worried here are the town hall friends and family because the countdown to the end of their gravy train has begun.
FREE AT LAST! June 17, 2011 at 09:49 PM
They do stand, but they are effective after July 21st, sixty days from when they were posted as received by the secretary of state. The devious, yet unintelligent plan of the equally unintelligent RTC was to post them on May 21st with Sec. of State, forget the town clerk (so no one would know the rules were posted yesterday with the town clerk after the RTC was tipped off by the town clerk, another republican insider). They would then wait until July 22 to announce they were supporting Davis and 2 more years of the most inept and incompetent governance since Harmon Andrews in the 80's, and it would have been too late for anyone to do anything.
Greg Kuehn June 18, 2011 at 12:44 AM
"I’m following what other towns have felt to be beneficial." Did Claire Dwyer just admit that she's "following"? At a crucial point in time where we are looking for leaders in this town, you are following? Time to write a blog post about this for the Southbury Patch. I did not just join a political party for the first time in my 40 years of life to be shut out of a caucus.
Stop the madness June 18, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Greg, how about Dwyer's quote "Anytime you had to change the rules you had to go to caucus, and that was ridiculous." Ridiculous??? She thinks the democratic process is ridiculous??? Is she American? Isn't that what we do here in this country? As cumbersome as it may be at times, it is our country's glory. Maybe someone should ask to see her birth certificate.
Jon Norris June 18, 2011 at 02:23 AM
"It's O.K., because I can." Disgraceful!
Greg Kuehn June 18, 2011 at 05:27 AM
Jon - I'll be reaching out to you shortly. Stop The Madness: I had similar thoughts, as you did. She did not actually follow anyone. Her explanation is that because other towns never held caucuses, that Southbury republicans should eliminate its caucuses. This sounds like unprecedented regression. I am officially coining these practices as "regression politics". It's time to start spreading the word to the community. I don't care what party you belong to... even if you don't belong to a party. This is something I believe EVERYONE can agree, is poor governing. It's just a bad idea and doesn't belong in Southbury.
NANCY June 18, 2011 at 10:58 AM
you got it 100% right!for sure!
Jeff Krizan June 18, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Fellow Southbury residents, I have a press conference with the media scheduled for Monday, June 20th with the details below. Republican American, Heritage Villager, Danbury News Times, Litchfield County Times, Newtown Bee, Voices, Bee Intelligencer and Ameriborn News have all been notified. Place: Heritage Village, Meeting House, outside steps. Date: Monday, June 20, 2011. Time: 7:00PM, prompt. Purpose: 1) Comment on the Southbury Republican Town Committee’s dramatic rules change eliminating the 2011 Endorsement Caucus, 2) overview of the impact on the democratic process and 3) how it all affects my First Selectman campaign. Q&A: After my comments. Press conference concluding no later than 7:30PM. Cancellations: Held, rain or shine.
Sharon M Lieber June 18, 2011 at 05:29 PM
I am glad someone is taking a public stand on behalf of this arbitrary act by the Republican Town Committee. The Republican Town Committee needs to immediately reverse their actions. Southbury's Republican voters have a RIGHT to participate and be HEARD in the selection of local Republican candidates.
Here we go again June 18, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Just found this on Facebook, the Undemocratic Southbury RTC http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Undemocratic-Southbury-RTC/117858611635001
Quid Pro Quo June 19, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Count me among the "lost" republicans of southbury. They did what? The RTC finally has opponents to Davis who was at first "knighted" first selectman when Cooper left, and then ran unopposed in his first election. Davis has done so poorly that both political party chairmen decided to run against him, as well as another member of his own party. The RTC has tried to fix an election, my God, did they buy a book on election etiquette from Mayor Daley? Boy, I'll bet everyones glad they dusted the Haitian earthquake dust off of super volunteer of the year Claire Dwyer so that she could orchestrate trying to save her friend Jennifers job so the voters couldn't boot Davis out on his butt in November. Dwyer has to go, I agree with the letter calling for RTC resignations. So do the other RTC members who participated in this charade. There's a reason why the town has more unaffiliated voters than republicans, the actions of the Southbury republican party make good and decent people sick.
NANCY June 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM
carol renza June 20, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Disgrace? Incompetence? Buffoonery? Today's Rep-Am re the tornado warning Davis activated on June 9 at 5:56PM to take immediate shelter. The small tornado that touched down in Woodbury had all but passed when Davis call went out. Davis told the Rep-Am that Code Red was issued on the advice of State Dept. of Emergy Mgt. & Homeland Security but the newspaper already contacted Southbury’s emergency management director, George Slaiby under FOI. Slaiby responded by email that the bulletin came in around 4 p.m., about two hours before CodeRed went out. The email said there were threats of severe thunderstorms, and a 5 percent chance of a tornado, nothing warning of a tornado headed toward Southbury around 6 p.m. Slaiby said he called Davis’ office sometime before 6 p.m and spoke to AA Naylor. Slaiby apparently received a call from STS Fire Chief Timothy Baldwin, who told him WFSB-TV Channel 3 warned that a storm cell was headed toward Southbury... Baldwin's son saw a storm cell on radar on tv, and told his father. Baldwin said he dialed Slaiby’s number and reported the cell, but mentioned nothing about a possible tornado, much less a strong threat of one. The next call Baldwin got was the CodeRed from Davis warning of the strong tornado threat. ” As reported, Baldwin was more surprised to find out the basis for the call came NOT from an official weather bulletin like Davis told the newspaper Slaiby received, but from his son.
carol renza June 20, 2011 at 03:28 PM
This is but one example of the inept administration that the RTC, by their deceitful usurping of the democratic process, is protecting and expects you to re-elect in November, folks. This bad joke is on all of us...
Jeff Krizan June 20, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Jeff Krizan, Candidate for First Selectman- Media Press Conference today: I have a press conference for the media scheduled for Monday, June 20th. Republican American, Heritage Villager, Southbury Patch, Danbury News Times, Litchfield County Times, Newtown Bee, Voices, Bee Intelligencer, Ameriborn News and News 8 have all been notified. Place: Heritage Village, Meeting House, outside steps. Date: Monday, June 20, 2011. Time: 7:00PM, prompt. Purpose: 1) Comment on the Southbury Republican Town Committee’s dramatic rules change eliminating the 2011 Endorsement Caucus, 2) overview of the impact on the democratic process and 3) how it all affects my First Selectman campaign. Q&A: After my comments. Press conference concluding no later than 7:30PM.
Jeff Krizan June 21, 2011 at 03:45 AM
Southbury Patch, Republican American and Voices- Thank you for attending my press conference at the Meeting House, Heritage Village, where I made some statements and answered questions. I concluded the press conference by notifying the SRTC Executive Committee via email of my continuing campaign plans. I hope that all Southbury residents, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and the unaffiliated stay engaged, study the candidates, make fact-based decisions and elect me on November 8th to bring an end to partisan politics in Town Hall so that the people can finally be served. ************ To: Executive Committee, SRTC Your closed-door plotting and egregious actions to deprive Southbury Republicans the right to a caucus endorsement is harmful and does not represent the will of the people or democratic process. Because the SRTC no longer has credibility in my view, I am not seeking your Party’s endorsement. As a solemn and much deliberated protest against the SRTC, I am changing my voter registration to unaffiliated so that I can appear on the November 8th ballot to give ALL Southbury voters the professional alternative that I sought from the beginning. Sincerely yours, Jeff Krizan Candidate for Southbury First Selectman *************
Baffled and confused June 26, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Is this the same Claire Dwyer who a couple of months ago came onto the Patch and attacked posters for being stupid? Is this the same Claire Dwyer who is very good friends with Jennifer Naylor? Is this the same Claire Dwyer who paid for an Advertisement attacking the Concerned Taxpayers of Southbury? Is this the same Claire Dwyer who after Krizan resigned injected herself without discussion back into chairmanship? She actually wouldn't let Davis answer a question from a member of the RTC? Amazing protection. Naylor went to a campaign function in place of Davis so he couldn't make a fool of himself? Amazing arrogance to think Naylor is qualified. They can't hide and protect Davis through November. He has to come out and open his mouth and then WHAMMMMO! Game over.
Stop the madness June 26, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Well I see from the Weekender Voices that Maeve has sunk to a new low in reporting the news - even for her. "Henceforth under the new rules, the selection would be made by the Town Committee for later endorsement by the caucus." To copy her puerile, over-the-top reporting style - Really??!! Not so Maeve as the true 'caucus' was eliminated and your cavalier attitude towards the disenfranchisement of over 4000 republican voters only shows where your misguided loyalties are directed. Of course, real reporters at least make an attempt to be accurate and to cross check the facts. This swill is rife with inaccuracies and with barely concealed opinions throughout. The tone of the entire article is offensive and belongs in the op-ed section, if anywhere at all. I have lived in Southbury for 26 years now and I am incensed that this town hosts not only a political party that lies through its teeth in order to maintain an indefensible status quo but also a local newspaper that seems to be intent on furthering the lies. With all due respect Mr. Mazurosky, as owner of this newspaper, please put a stop to the inaccuracies and the blatant bias. A high school newspaper has stricter ethics and most can probably boast a more mature writing style.
Mark June 26, 2011 at 06:36 PM
Maeve's journalism is dreadful at best... to imagine any publication prints that cess, let alone publish it!
Quid Pro Quo June 26, 2011 at 08:18 PM
WHOA!!!!! Calling anything written by Maeve "journalism" is totally false. She is the only "reporter" who can attend a 3 hour meeting of a town board and come away with a story that reports on only a single issue that happened during the meeting, and that's only after having history rewritten the day after the meeting by her friends at town hall. Does anyone remember Crowe telling the selectmen he didn't buy state sand because of a black tint, but Maeve who was at the same meeting, talked to someone in the selectmans office in the town hall hallway and then reported the town didn't buy state sand because of pebbles and stones?
FREE AT LAST! June 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM
It's obvious the so called reporter has an agenda and needs to write her one story a week so she stays in good with the town hall crew. I just can't believe anyone would pay for those articles, I only read them because they show up in my mailbox on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and then I just consider the source.
carol renza June 27, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Slavin makes a mockery out of objective journalism and the role of the press in reporting truth, which is supposed to act as watchdog over government abuse. Instead, she acts as the administration's lapdog, taking direction from Naylor as what to post.
carol renza June 27, 2011 at 02:45 PM
to everyone who has complained about Slavin's reporting, I have sent the following e-mail to her editor which included all of the above comments: "I am enclosing some comments made by readers of Southbury Patch. I too have sat through many board meetings, to only find them distorted in Voices and slanting toward the benefit of the administration as was this past article misrepresented re the caucus. In fact, one of the members of our group sat behind her and Naylor and heard Naylor tell her what to write in her story as was this past weeks as noted. I believe I reported to you a while back about her inaccurate comments made and heard by attendees at a BOS meeting regarding state sand, following Crowe's comment that they turned it down because it was 'black tint' and that Maeve changed the facts to having been rejected due to 'pebbles and stones' after I called the state of CT DOT and found out there was no black tint sand in the state of CT. Every news outlet should strive for journalistic accuracy, integrity and attention to fact."
carol renza June 27, 2011 at 03:04 PM
I added the following in another note to he Voices Editor: "May I also add that the press is one of America's greatest tools in defending democracy by educating citizens and reporting FACTS to the people, thereby acting as government watchdog. Any distortion of fact under guise of journalism represents a distortion of the democratic process. It appears Ms. Slavin often crosses the line from reporting the news as a journalist and editorializing, injecting her own perspective and quite often mocking those citizen who raise legitimate questions. By injecting her own perspective, this only serves to distort factual and responsible journalism which is also detrimental to those who publish her inaccuracies."
Jeff Krizan June 27, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Thanks for pointing out the June 26th Voices reporting error. THERE IS NO CAUCUS and I believe everyone now understands what 20 Southbury Republican Town Committee members did to our civil rights in May. I don’t believe that Voices reported an “endorsement by the caucus” on purpose and hope that they will print a retraction. You can always write Voices Letter to the Editor emphasizing that THERE IS NO CAUCUS. Because there is no caucus, I petitioned the Secretary of the State to appear on the Nov 8th ballot. The Voices article also reported, “two ladies observing the preliminaries from the safety of their automobile turned out to be the current and past presidents of the HVRC,” frankly, they are also current members of the SRTC, the same committee who had that secret meeting to change the rules to hand First Selectman Bill Davis an uncontested endorsement. I suppose they were actually the uninvited guests at the press conference, and complaining about to Voices, but happy to welcome them of course. Until I changed my voter registration to protest their egregious SRTC actions and to appear on the ballot, I was a paid-up member of the HVRC but wonder how they told their HVRC membership what their other Republican committee did to the 4,000+ registered Southbury Republican voters. My name is Jeff Krizan, Candidate for 1st Selectman, and asking for your vote on November 8th, regardless of your party affiliation; 203-470-7373, jfkrizan@charter.net


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