Senator Joseph Markley believes Southington-area voters should return him to the legislature because he has fulfilled his promises. Former Representative Corky Mazurek, however, thinks its time for a change.
"I've resisted tax increases, identified waste, and delivered millions (in funding), especially in education," Markley said about his stint as senator in the 16th district.
Mazurek believes in the short time, the senator has cultivated an adversarial relationship with Governor Dannel Malloy and Democrats that undermines his ability to serve effectively. The challenger cites three lawsuits Markley has filed against the state.
"He doesn't have a seat at the table," Mazurek concludes.
The candidates disagree on a vast array of issues. Incumbent Markley, for example, strongly favors the devolution of as much authority as possible from Hartford to municipal governments. According to the senator, there has been a "steady movement upward" of power from the local to the state to the federal government in recent years, and "the pendulum needs to swing back" toward local control.
Mazurek defends the state's role in providing a "safety net." He stipulates, though, that state programs should function to "provide a hand-up, not a hand-out."
The candidates divergent views on government color their perspectives on the issue of regulation.
"We have too much of it," Markley declares. "I rarely visit a business where I don't hear some horror story about over-regulation." He qualifies that "many regulations are necessary, however."
Mazurek contends that the purpose of state regulations is to "make sure everyone is on equal footing" and "protect the consumer." He acknowledges the need for balance, however.
"There comes a time when government needs to regulate less", he admits and acknowledges that regulatory policy "shouldn't be anti-business or anti-competitive, but rather pro-business and business-friendly."
If re-elected, Markley vows to continue to work to hold down the size of government. But, Mazurek maintains that cuts proposed by the senator and his fellow Republicans are attempts to "balance the budget on the back of seniors and school children."
"Their budget cut $800 million from Medicaid and $1.5 billion from programs for senior citizens - programs like Meals on Wheels," Mazurek said.
Markley on the other hand, has publicly criticized his opponent for backing Malloy's "corporate welfare" program of extending state assistance to certain businesses to keep them in the state and help them hire people.
"We need to use the full economic might of the state of Connecticut" to create jobs," Mazurek argues. "We should make money available to businesses if they hire people."
Senator Joseph Markley (R) and Corky Mazurek (D) will face-off on Election Day to become the 16th district's state senator for the next term. Every vote counts!
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