Update: Union Activists Storm Markley HQ

State Senate candidate Joe Markley and his staff were surprised this morning when two union activists stormed their Southington headquarters shouting at volunteers readying to work for the day. “They came in, tried to pick a fight with Tom Scott, then take our signs,” says campaign manager, Peter Bowman. Volunteers successfully removed the two men before police arrived. As of 1 pm, about a dozen activists from SEIU protested outside the North Main St. office.

Bowman further stated that the men had literature that purported to be from Markley but contained false information about him. It is unclear if the activists were connected with Markley’s opponent, John Barry.

To date, the race for the 16th Senatorial District which includes Wolcott, Waterbury, Cheshire and Southington has been civil and largely confined to Southington where both men reside, although allegations of political propaganda being distributed to students at Southington Schools has also been alleged. Both candidates took part in the Junior Women’s Club forum on Wednesday evening where both had five minutes to talk about their candidacy. Barry is a member of Southington Town Council and is employed as a bill clerk in the state’s General Assembly. The General Assembly is in session for a few months early in the year, adjourning in May or early June. Markley supporters questioned why Barry was spotted campaigning during normal working hours around Hitchcock Lake and at a function at the Cheshire prison earlier this month. Barry reportedly earns a salary of about $80,000 and it is unclear what his job function is for the remaining months of the year. Sources say that he was using vacation days on the days he was seen campaigning, however.

Markley has stood by a record of cutting the state’s budget while a state senator in the 1980s, and being an anti- tax advocate by rallying thousands to the state Capitol in 1991. Two weeks ago, Markley sued the state’s Department of Public Utility Control over a proposed electric bill tax. He is also credited with playing key roles in Connecticut’s Tea Party movement over the last two years, often hosting forums himself to educate and introduce average voters to various candidates.

Barry says that his job in Hartford has enabled him to understand the legislative process and this will be an asset to residents if he is elected.

The race really hasn’t spread to Wolcott except an early appearance of blue and white Barry signs littering the beautiful scenery of County Rd. Most of the signs along this heavily travelled route have since disappeared since their original placement over a month ago, but some appeared in areas where the fine for littering is clearly posted as $219.

What do you think of the State Senate campaign in Wolcott?


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