I want to congratulate the Connecticut GOP on conducting their straw poll (it took place Friday 1/15, in case you missed it). Bringing together supporters of the various candidates in a polite, social setting is something that serves to recommit ourselves to the community that is best served when a great variety of political opinions is represented peacefully. Listening to the candidates, it is easy to imagine those who with whom we disagree are both intellectually and morally deficient. Listening to our neighbors, it is impossible to be so mislead.
That being said, there are some differences between the Connecticut GOP's straw poll and the Middletown Straw Poll (to be held on Sunday 1/31/2016 between 4 and 8 PM):
A) The Middletown Straw Poll is bipartisan. Supporters of any candidate seeking office are welcome. The Clinton and Sanders campaigns are sending speakers and bringing many people. GOP, Green and Libertarians are all welcome.
B) The beneficiary of the 2016 Middletown Straw Poll is the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial. (versus the GOP National Slush Fund). This is a non-profit, apolitical group that is responsible for the new memorial in Middletown's Veteran's Park – a worthy recipient of our donations.
C) It will convene as the inaugural event in the Loft of the newly opened Camp's Restaurant at 412 Main Street – a venue that inherits the ambiance and acoustics of the old Cameron Gallery, in the middle of Middletown's thriving downtown, a popular destination day and night (versus some back room of an old warehouse in a closed aircraft factory that you have to drive thru a harrowing bleak brownfield for a mile to get to, parking your car in the dark and wondering how many times Whitey Bulger might have used this place to discretely off his disloyal lieutenants if he grew up in Southington instead of Southie).
D) We will have music and live entertainment. (versus no music and no entertainment).
E) Our emcee is Cassandra Day, an editor of the Middletown Press. (versus no emcee)
F) We will (allow) all people to speak – Speeches from the floor begin at 5 PM. (versus not encouraging guests to say too much). At Six the credentialed speakers will begin, including a former Secretary of State speaking on behalf of a former Secretary of State.
G) Gourmet food will be available. Yaz is promising to showcase Camp's cuisine throughout the evening. (Versus cookies and pizza – not that I am complaining, just that we are raising the bar on the food selection at our event) Also, alcohol will be served, early and often.
H) To vote in the poll, the minimum contribution is $10 (versus $15 for the GOP). Cash and checks made out to the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial are accepted (no need to fill out any campaign finance forms)
Please contact John Kilian at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860)918-1903 for more information.