Letter: Rep. Walko 'Is a Smart Fish (with) Teeth'

By Joe Kaliko


Letter to the Editor:

Steve Walko may be a “small fish” in Hartford; but the fish is smart and has teeth!

Steve’s solid financial experience will bring valuable budget management ideas to Hartford; ideas pinioned on years of budgetary experience in a town noted for its financial prowess. 

He's already elected; so why go there?  

To remind Mr. Horton that Steve demonstrated as BET Chair his ability to communicate and compromise with the Democrats he worked with on that politically split board.  The BET was (and remains) collegial; and Walko was instrumental in keeping it that way.

Walko is man enough to have opinions that reflect, surprise Mr. Horton, the will of people who elected him. The Harbor Master for Steve is about local control of this important position, independent of who controls the executive branch.  So much for the Harbor Master dribble!

Mr. Horton says Democrats “rule” with super majorities. However, he myopic in his assessment that Republican legislators' votes “…rarely matter and Republican Party or individual member initiatives are safely ignored…”.  

Democrats are not that stupid!  

The Republican minority is smart and articulate. Not to listen and vet ideas coming from Republicans who have the courage to articulate their convictions would be foolish; Democrats are not fools.  

Horton asserts, “In Hartford, he [Walko] is a freshman and a Republican...the least influential of a powerless lot”.  

What a sad proposition.  

Walko holds enormous power. The power to speak his mind. The power, coupled with courage, to articulate a point of view. The power to persuade people holding differing views with reason and logic. 

Representative Walko and his minority colleagues are powerful indeed; and those in the majority (including me as a Democrat), best never forget it.

I’ll take a good idea anytime from wherever it comes!

At the end of the day “power” is a commodity earned. It requires winning people’s respect; so that they at least consider your ideas on their merits.  Having the mindset to work with all people, regardless of party,  is a well honed skill possessed by Walko.

He indeed has the power to make a difference.

Far from the negative connotation Mr. Horton would ascribe to "freshman idealism", it is a high value card. The state needs all the help it can get to continue to build on Governor Malloy’s initiatives to get our financial house in order. Steve has the idealism, experience and just plain common sense to be a great asset on that journey. So say those who elected him.

Finally, Mr. Horton’s assertion that:

“…Walko could have chosen the path taken by ...Fred Camillo [who]…has introduced 13 bills for 2013; six [that] involve domestic pets and one [that] covers calves and pigs. I bet that is a group the Democrats will gladly leave to the GOP.”;

demeans everyone he mentions.

Indeed, this is one of the saddest propositions I have ever read.

Fred Camillo is above all else a gentleman and a gentle man. That he is a voice for those without voices is not to be mocked!  It should be applauded.

Mr. Camillo has not sought shelter from criticism; but rather has stepped up to the plate exposing and dealing with horrific acts of violence visited on animals, be they abused pets, factory farmed animals, dog, cats, pigs or calves.

Examining the facts, Fred Camillo has stood with the administration regarding jobs, the “First Five Project”, he has introduced bills that expanded recycling, promoted commerce, protect volunteer first responders and so much more. Fred even crossed the aisle and voted for administration’s Jackson Laboratories project, proving he is not only a gentleman, but principled and fearless when it comes to voting his convictions.

Mr. Walko couldn’t have a better mentor or role model then Fred Camillo; for working with the majority without abandoning principal in order to get things done for the people!


Respectfully submitted,

Joseph J. Kaliko


FF January 28, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Three cheers to Joe Kaliko! Joe understands that our mutual friend, Governor Malloy, needs Democrats to unquestionably support their Republican local representatives. In fact, I am sure that the Governor is, at least in Mr. Kaliko's mind, fully supportive of his invocation of his name to support the actions and policies of the Republicans! In fact, I bet you that Governor Malloy sleeps better at night knowing that Joe uses the digital signature of the Patch on a regular basis to endorse and promote Republicans who regularly villify the very basis of his program for moving Connecticut through tough times. Our all-Republican delegation is doing what they feel they were elected to do in advancing the cause of Greenwich in Hartford. I just don't agree with them on many items because, well, they are Republicans and I am a committed Democrat. Mr. Kaliko, however, believes that somehow it is possible to "say" you are a Democrat and promote policies of the Democratic Governor and, simultaneously, his Republican opponents - as well as endorse ALL Republicans for election at the expense of those Democrats who stood against them. Our party has had enough Zell Millers and Joe Liebermans for one lifetime. Joe, thanks for all your good works with Witherall and the Fire Police, but its time to stop selling "Democrat" in your portfolio. Somebody's getting used in that relationship, either your new Republican allies or you. Just keep the rest of us out of it. Frank Farricker


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