Rhetoric vs. performance is a simple measure of character and commitment when we review the effort, priorities and dedication of an elected official. Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill is revealing her true priorities and dedication as a politician putting her politics and party before her elected responsibilities.
Ms. Merrill a former State Legislator represented Mansfield, home of our beloved UConn Huskies and thousands of students. While in her home community it may be widely and generally accepted for a student to blow off their responsibility and skip a class in favor of a party it is not what you would expect of a responsible elected official.
In the position of Secretary of State Ms. Merrill has stepped outside the sheltered world of academia and into the real world of responsibility. It is time for her to abandon the priorities of a college co-ed elevating the priorities of a party above her sworn duties and former declarations of dedication to the service of her constituents.
Ms. Merrill ran for office touting her dedication to serving the people of Connecticut, her dedication to service was a cornerstone of her campaign. Now when the election is over and the office is won, we must look at her performance and compare it to the rhetoric.
The Secretary of State in Connecticut serves as our Commissioner of Elections, charged to administer, interpret and implement election laws and ensure fair and impartial elections. One need only to look at recent elections in Bridgeport, or a Connecticut primary in which a single lost ballot was an issue in determining a winner to know the importance of responsibility to the training and educating of election officials. Madam Secretary has the ultimate responsibility to oversee the elections and the actions of the local Registrars of Voters and their training.
This past June Governor Malloy signed into law a new voting rights act that dramatically changed voter registration laws and procedures. House Bill 5024 was 11 pages long and contained over 4700 words of legalize amending how the registrars will be doing their jobs in the future. We have 169 towns and each has at least two Registrars of Voters. The Registrars gather twice per year for the opportunity to enhance their skills, and gain information to ensure their top performance on the job. Naturally some will be absent from one of these meetings so it is IMPORTANT to use every opportunity to meet with them.
This year the Connecticut Registrars of Voters will be meeting during the same time as the Democratic National Convention so, Secretary of State Denise Merrill had to make a decision on her priorities. She chose to put party politics above the service to her constituents. Denise Merrill announced she will not attend the convention for the Connecticut Registrar. Apparently, she will be too busy attending to party politics at the Democratic National Convention to be bothered with the responsibilities as our Commissioner of Elections.
Ms. Merrill needs to remember she is not a college co-ed from Mansfield blowing off her responsibilities; she is an elected State Officer with a sworn duty to the citizens of Connecticut. The Democratic National Convention’s outcome will be no surprise; Barack Obama will be the nominee for President. While attending the Democratic National Convention may be a great time to party with your political peers it is no sign of character, dedication or adult decision making by our Secretary of State, Denise Merrill.
If you run for an office and promise to serve your constituents it should be a priority over personal politics, party and self. In the world of academia Denise Merrill would fail this test of her commitment to the citizens of Connecticut.