FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following responses are from Chris DeSanctis, a Republican running for State Representative from Fairfield’s 133rd District.
Professionally, DeSanctis is currently the principal of Stamford’s Grace Christian School and an adjunct professor at both Sacred Heart University and Norwalk Community College. His previous experience in government includes a stint in Fairfield’s local legislature, the Representative Town Meeting, in 2011, and appointments to the Metro North-New Haven Rail Council and Connecticut’s Property Tax Cap Commission. He and his wife, Deneen, have three children.
DeSanctis is running against three-term incumbent Kim Fawcett. His district covers Fairfield’s eastern portions, running along the Bridgeport line from Ash Creek to Valley Road, and extending as far west as Fairfield University in some areas. (To see a complete map of Fairfield’s districts, click here.)
1) What are the biggest issues facing your district?
I wish I could tell you that everything is fine, that we don’t have to worry about our ability to maintain our quality of life, or about affordability, or about property values. Unfortunately, by numerous objective measures, we live in one of the worst managed, highest taxed, least business-friendly, most indebted states in the nation. Following the recent financial crisis and recession, governments in neighboring states recognized the need for spending and tax restraint; here in Connecticut, our one-party government, under a false banner of “shared sacrifice,” responded with higher spending, increased fees and the biggest tax increase in the state’s history. Fiscal irresponsibility like this will continue to drive out more and more seniors, young people, families and job-creating businesses. The primary reason we are in trouble is irresponsible leadership in Hartford, which is the direct result of one-party legislative control for 36 of the last 40 years.
2) What would you do differently than the previous office-holder?
I will: focus on the critical issues; exercise independent judgment; and provide responsible leadership. “Critical Issues” means the very serious fiscal and competitive problems we must solve before a crisis severely limits our options; it does not mean, for example, limiting the use of plastic bags. “Independent Judgment” means that issues should be decided on their merits in the best interests of the state; it does not mean voting along party lines a vast majority of the time. “Responsible Leadership” means strong advocacy for spending cuts to address our near-term budget problems, and for strong private-sector economic growth that will allow us to fulfill our intermediate and long-term goals; it does not mean casting symbolic votes against the budget, complaining only timidly about too much spending, and then reverting to “business as usual.”
3) Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
Consider some recent headlines: “Worst managed state in the nation.” “Worst state in which to retire.” “One of the seven worst states for doing business.” “One of the three highest combined state and local tax rates in the nation.” “Tax Freedom Day later than in any other state.” “Biggest per capita state debt.” “Biggest per capita combined state debt and unfunded liabilities for pensions and other retirement benefits.” “Highest gasoline prices and second highest cost of electricity in the continental U.S.” “Unemployment rate of 9 percent, well above the national average of 8.1 percent.” “Another budget deficit in fiscal 2012 after the biggest tax increase in the state’s history, and even bigger deficits projected for 2013 and 2014.” “Only one-quarter of the 117,500 jobs that were lost during the recession regained.” “Bond rating cut by Moody’s.” “Housing prices continue to decline.” “Foreclosures rising.” Connecticut is clearly going in the wrong direction.
4) What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
I will work hard to keep constituents informed and engaged, not just in the months before the next election, but year round. I will do so: by providing regular updates through local newspapers, through e-mails and through social media; by including in my updates explanations of how I voted on various bills and why; by holding regular, quarterly district meetings to exchange ideas, views and perspectives; by publishing “position papers,” as I have during my campaign (and even at times while I was not a candidate) that objectively address critical issues (like affordable housing and unfunded mandates) and propose common sense solutions; by being very responsive to constituent inquiries; and by demonstrating that I am willing to listen, to learn, and to consider all sides of any issues before I vote.
5) Why should people vote for you?
All my life, I've been passionate about helping others improve their lives. This is why I have gravitated to the fields of education and public service. When it comes to improving lives, I’ve learned that government can often do more harm than good, especially when the decisions of some elected officials are guided by political motives rather than acting responsibly. Responsible leaders will work to reduce spending and lessen the tax burden on Connecticut citizens as part of a broader effort to make our state more competitive and attract and retain more families, businesses and jobs. With responsible leadership in Hartford, we can put Connecticut back on a positive course.
Check back with the Fairfield Daily Voice in the weeks leading up to the election for more candidate interviews.