Connecticut Democratic Congresswoman Jahana Hayes –She Stands Strong Against Right-Wing and Wacko GOP Opponents January 23, 2020
On the impeachment front, the news gets “curiouser and curiouser.” As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) picked her House impeachment managers to argue that case in the Senate and sent the Articles of Impeachment to that chamber, more bombshell evidence incriminating “Donald and Friends” has been released by the House Intelligence Committee. Handwritten notes by Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, indicate that the only reason Trump wanted Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to be investigated by Ukraine was not to fight corruption, but to get “dirt” on Biden. Such “dirt” would help re-elect Donald in 2020. This evidence from Parnas indicated that Trump was in the “loop” and “fully aware of the efforts to dig up this damaging (anti-Biden) information on his behalf (See nytimes.com, Vogel & Protess, 1/16/20, The Hill, Bolton, A., 1/15/20, motherjones.com, Corn).” In addition, Parnas revealed that there had been a strong attempt to put former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, under surveillance, read, heavy stalking, by a wacky fellow named Robert F. Hyde. The police in Ukraine have just opened a criminal investigation into whether Trump’s allies were actually conducting a surveillance of Yovanovitch, whom the Trump administration wanted removed. Yovanovitch was later recalled from that post because the Trump camp believed she was hindering the Biden “investigation (See Troianovski & Perez-Pena, nytimes.com, 1/16/20, nytimes.com, Rothfeld, Rashbaum, & Protess, 1/16/20).”
No matter what additional evidence ties Trump to these impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors, the wholly Trump owned GOP Senate majority will acquit him. Bet on it. Remember, 2/3 of the Senate must convict Trump to remove him from office. Even if all 47 Democrats vote to remove Trump, 20 GOP Senators would have to join them for conviction (latimes.com, McManus, 1/15/20). Anyone who believes that’s possible is living in an “alternate universe with alternative facts.” The GOP will do everything and anything under its obstructionist Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to make this trial a quickly run sham that will get Donald off the hook. “Team Red” members don’t seem to be very bothered by Robert Hyde’s awful actions in going after Ms. Yovanovitch. And Hyde himself, despite all denials, is a GOP player. He is one of several Republicans running to unseat incumbent U.S. House Connecticut Democrat Jahana Hayes, running for her second term in 2020. Hyde has given $25, 000 to Trump’s inaugural committee and more than $30,000 to Trump’s campaign and other GOP groups, according to records from Open Secrets and the Federal Election Commission (cnn.com, Stracqualursi & Morales, 1/16/20). Hyde met Parnas at the D.C. Trump Hotel. Parnas and Hyde attended GOP FL Gov. Ron De Santis’ 2019 inauguration. Hyde contributed money to IN GOP Cong. Greg Pence’s successful 2018 run for the House. Greg Pence is VP Pence’s brother (nytimes.com, Rothfeld et al, 1/16/20). Hyde’s Facebook, Instagram, and website pages shows pictures of him with Donald, Donald Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, as well as VP Pence, FL Gov. De Santis, GOP OH Cong. Jim Jordan, and convicted felon Roger Stone. In 11/2019, Hyde texted a reporter for “CT Insider” pictures that show him with Giuliani as well as Parnas and another indicted Giuliani aide Igor Fruman (CT Insider, motherjones.com, Corn). Let’s look at Cong. Hayes and the political race she’s facing.
First-term Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (46) currently represents CT’s 5th Congressional District, CD. The CT 5th is located in the Constitution State’s northwestern part. It includes parts of Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties. The CT 5th is a mixture of gritty industrial cities and weekend country-homes for ultra-rich New Yorkers. The wealthy CT 5th areas include old Yankee towns like Litchfield County’s Washington and Kent. Other areas with new money include Hartford County’s Avon and Simsbury, comfortable bedroom communities near the capital city of Hartford. The 5th’s grittier urban areas include New Britain, America’s ball-bearing capital for years and the hometown of jailed Paul Manafort, Donald’s 2016 campaign manager. Meriden formerly made ivory combs, clocks, and cutlery, but now produces electrical signaling equipment, biotech filters, and nuclear instruments. Waterbury was once the nation’s largest producer of brass and was known as “Brass City.” Danbury, formerly the nation’s top hat producer has become a clean energy technology center. East of Danbury is the small town of Newtown, site of the 12/14/2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School gun massacre (Cohen & Cook 2020 Political Almanac).
Historically GOP, the CT 5th has been trending Democratic since 2004, but Republicans remain competitive. The Meriden area is Democratic while GOPers have an edge in the Hartford suburbs. In 2012, Obama won the 5th by 9 points, but Hillary only won it in 2016 by a 4% margin. The latest Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) gives the CT 5th a weak D+2 score (Cohen & Cook 2020 Almanac).
First-term Congresswoman Jahana Hayes has beaten both political and personal odds throughout her life. Waterbury native Hayes grew up in public housing facing poverty. According to her campaign biography, “Her family struggled with addiction, relied on public assistance and at one point lost their apartment.” Hayes became pregnant at 17 and a single mother. Friends encouraged her to enroll in community college. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University and graduate degrees from the University of St. Joseph and the University of Bridgeport. She married a local police detective and had four children. She taught history and government at Waterbury’s JFK High School. At Kennedy High, she also taught gifted students and advised a student-service club. For her teaching abilities, Hayes won the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Award and met President Obama at the White House when she received it (Cohen & Cook 2020, Geary, news.bridgeport.ed).
After incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty decided not to run in 2018 following criticism of the way she handled sex-abuse charges against her top aide, Hayes decided to run for that open seat. Most local Democrats rallied around a former Simsbury town official Mary Glassman. Hayes was told she had no chance to win. Hayes, however, backed by teachers’ unions, supporters of Bernie Sanders, and CT Dem. Senator Chris Murphy, who previously held this House seat, encouraged her. Hayes managed to receive strong financial backing and ran ads featuring her with Obama and praise from her high school students. Hayes talked of her background where she said she “knew what it was like going to bed to gunshots in Waterbury’s Berkeley Heights housing project and what it’s like to wake up to a dead body in the hallway (Mahnken, 74million.org, jahanahayes.com).” In one of 2018’s biggest upsets, Hayes won her primary 62%-38%. In the 11/2018 general election, Hayes clobbered her GOP opponent, Portuguese immigrant, marine veteran, and former Meriden mayor Manny Santos by 12 points. Hayes became the first African-American woman and African-American Democrat to win a CT House seat. African-American GOPer Gary Franks, also a Waterbury native, had previously represented this district (Cohen & Cook 2020).
In the House, Cong. Hayes sits on the Agriculture and Education & Labor Committees (Cook & Cohen 2020). She has a strong progressive record and has voted with Demagogue Donald just 4.8% of the time (projectsfivethirtyeight.com). She voted to impeach Donald on both counts put before the House (cnn.com, 12/18/19). She is strongly pro-choice, has top labor ratings, and is 88% socially liberal (Vote Smart). She still independently considers each issue and has voted with moderate freshman Democratic Utica, NY Congressman Anthony Brindisi 89% of the time in the present 116th Congress (projectspropublica.com).
First-term Congressmembers running for re-election are most vulnerable. As was previously noted, Cong. Hayes has already attracted several GOP challengers. They are Peter Robert Barresi, Robert Hyde, Ryan Meehan, Ruben Rodriguez, and David Sullivan (ballotpedia.org, 5th CT CD). Meehan, a director of Operations for Unison Energy, a mid-size sustainable energy firm and a veteran of the Afghanistan war, is a fiscal conservative who backs Trump’s top 1% agenda. Although he supports expanding background checks for firearms, he is wary of banning individual weapon types, read, assault weapons. He calls impeachment “an incredible distraction” and backs Donald’s re-election (middletownpress.com). Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ruben Rodriguez was a former Waterbury city planning commissioner who unsuccessfully ran for the CT General Assembly in 2014. He opposes Cong. Hayes’ progressive environmental policies. Rodriguez currently works for the City of New Britain as a meter technician (ctmirror.org, Radelat). David Sullivan, a former assistant U.S. Attorney, retired from the Justice Department after 30 years of service. He was a former assistant U.S. Attorney from New Fairfield, CT (ctmirror.org, Middletownpress.com).
And let’s further discuss Lev Parnas’ “goon,” Ct. congressional candidate Robert Hyde’s (40) wacko plus record. Even before being tied to the Trump/Ukraine impeachment scandal, Hyde was generally known for being brash, foul-mouthed, and for hitching his candidacy against Cong. Hayes to his fervent support for Demagogue Donald. Hyde was a former landscaper in Simsbury, CT (See npr.com, Allyn, 1/18/20). In addition to attempting to stalk then U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch, and sending tweets and videos to Parnas in 3/2019 that seemed to threaten her with a mob-like hit, Hyde had called House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) “Adam Bull Schiff” and “liddle Adam Schitt.” In 12/2019, fellow GOPers criticized Hyde for a vulgar tweet he made against U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) when she dropped out of the presidential race. Harris is of both black and Indian ancestry (See nytimes.com, 1/15/20, Rothfeld et a, motherjones.com, Corn). On 5/16/2019, two months after sending Parnas these mob hit-sounding tweets, a police officer was dispatched to the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami, FL to deal with a “male in distress fearing for his life,” Hyde. Hyde told the officer that “a hit man was out to get him and that emails he sent may have placed his life in jeopardy.” Hyde explained several times that he “was paranoid that someone was out to get him.” Hyde stated that the Secret Service “had hacked his files (Corn, motherjones.com).” The police took Hyde into custody and he was later transferred to a mental health facility (nytimes.com, Rothfeld et al, 1/16/20). Hyde has turned over to law enforcememt six weapons, including a flare launcher and 800 pounds of ammunition (npr.com, Allyn, 1/18/20). You get the idea.
With such horrendous and wacko publicity about one of their congressional candidates that even Hollywood couldn’t make up, GOPers, both nationally and in CT, are telling Hyde to get out of the race against Cong. Hayes. CT GOP Chairman J.R. Romano stated “his (Hyde’s) campaign is a distraction for the Democrats to raise money and falsely label all Republicans with his antics. In my view he is not helping other Republican candidates or @realDonaldTrump win (politico.com, Zanona, 1/15/20).” Hyde fired back attacking Romano and saying he will not get out of the race “because he loves what Trump stands for (politico.com, 1/15/20 & npr.com, 1/18/20).” Yes, Hyde’s candidacy is probably a long shot. Hyde has no endorsements, no staff, and has not raised significant money (cnn.com, Stracqualursi & Morales, 1/16/20), but tars all the other Trump-loving GOPers in this race and a party that has been heavily co-opted by Demagogue Donald. True, Cong. Hayes handily won her first race, but in this D+2 area where GOPers held Congressional seats for many years, Hayes winning a second term against any Trump GOP loyalist is no “slam dunk.” Cong. Hayes will need CT Democratic voters to turn out in droves plus to win on 11/03/2020. This race can’t be taken for granted.