October 2023

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Every week brings news of the latest Republican schemes to retain their grip on power in the face of eroding electoral support. It would be charming if we could describe the GOP’s machinations as “shenanigans” -- as if they were English schoolboys pulling pranks on their schoolmates and teachers in a period-piece novel or BBC TV series. Tragically, the Republican actions are neither charming nor benign. Their actions are an assault on our democracy, devised by some of the smartest operatives in conservative politics. And the assaults keep coming in state after state at all levels of government. And they won’t stop. Anyone who cares about the future of our democracy should join efforts to fight back in this forever war for democracy. If this sounds unduly alarmist, please don’t miss our story below “Alert! Wisconsin Republicans Seek to Nullify Election” on how the GOP is poised to impeach a recently-elected state Supreme Court justice. This effort has huge implications for fair elections in that heavily-gerrymandered state.  

If news like this fills you with outrage – as it should – then stand up and take action. From here in Salisbury, you can join your friends and neighbors in various activities to provide critical help in the states where it is needed. Please read “Postcarding This Month With Saving Democracy” below for a few easy but effective ways to take action that can make a difference.

Don't forget to read all the way down for important community news, events, and announcements as well as for our ever-popular list of some good things that are happening in the midst of our challenging times.

Meanwhile, take a moment to enjoy the beauty of fall around us,

Your faithful editor


Our municipal elections are just one month away, on Tuesday, November 7. If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, you probably already know that every election matters and that voting isn’t just a right; it’s our duty if we value democracy, no matter how insignificant any election may seem.  

Our municipal elections are important because they are our opportunity to recognize and affirm the work that our citizen-officer holders do for us. In Salisbury, we are fortunate to have a great group of Democrats working as unpaid volunteers on our behalf. They have achieved the following, among other goals, on our behalf:

  • Managed and modernized infrastructure, including the firehouse, transfer station, Town Grove, Senior Center, Salisbury Central School building, roads, and bridges

  • Supported planning for much-needed affordable housing projects in conjunction with local non-profit organizations

  • Worked with the Board of Education, Region 1, and the private schools to ensure great education for Salisbury’s youth

  • Undertook and enforced policies to support conservation, including lake management and land protection

  • Kept the mill rate low while addressing the town’s current and future financial needs

Please mark your calendar and vote on November 7. If you are voting with an absentee ballot, make sure to return it by the close of business on Election day to count. Every vote matters!


October 29 at the Senior Center at the

Town Grove from 4-7pm

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet our slate of impressive Democratic candidates for a variety of municipal positions, including First and Second Selectmen, Board of Finance, Planning & Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, School Board, and Region 1 School Board, and Board of Assessment Appeals. In addition to our many incumbent public servants, there are many new faces to meet!

All voters and families are welcome for a free BBQ.


The Republicans seem to never run out of ingenious ways to undermine democracy in order to cling to power. Last month we told the cautionary tale of how Ohio Republicans sought to sneak in a special election in the midst of summer to permanently change the Ohio constitution to make it nearly impossible to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. Fortunately, that tale ended happily when Ohioans learned of the GOP scheme, got organized, and defeated the GOP’s proposed constitutional change. 

Now the Republicans in Wisconsin have come up with a scheme to undo the recent election that tipped the balance of power in the state Supreme Court in favor of progressives. They are trying to impeach Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who won election by a resounding 11-point margin and was just sworn in, giving progressives a 5-4 edge over conservatives. If they succeed in having her impeached in the GOP-controlled State Assembly she would automatically be suspended from the bench. The GOP-controlled State Senate could then take its time in holding a trial or even delay a trial until her term expires. It’s an outrageous, anti-democratic move that would essentially nullify the votes of over one million Wisconsinites.  

Justice Protasiewicz has yet to rule on a single case, so it’s hard to know on what basis she would be impeached. Nevertheless, the GOP effort is gaining steam. And it’s important to Republicans that they take her out of action because the court’s docket includes two cases challenging Wisconsin’s partisan gerrymandering that has enabled Republicans to maintain their hold on the state legislature. For more on this alarming situation, read “The Wisconsin G.O.P’s Looming Judicial Attack” in The New Yorker.

While there are some legal options for opponents to pursue, the most important actions appear to be public demonstrations of opposition. Citizens are beginning to organize. The Wisconsin Democratic Party is running a media campaign to raise the alarm and is organizing voters to contact their state legislators and let them know that impeachment is not acceptable.

As we noted in the recent Ohio election, we can stand up for democracy when we organize and get to work. Some of your neighbors here in Salisbury have already participated in phonebanking to ask Wisconsin voters to call their state legislators. If you want to help, please sign up here.


Twice a week, 15 to 25 members of the local grassroots group Saving Democracy meet at the White Hart Inn to write postcards in support of a range of candidates, campaigns, and issues. Wondering if you’d like to join? Here’s how it works: Just walk in and the organizers will greet you with a packet containing 25-30 postcards, a script, and addresses. Join your friends and neighbors at a table and begin to write. In good weather, there is always a group or two sitting outside and always lots of conversation flowing. The group meets at the White Hart Inn every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 2:30-4:30pm through October 31.

Saving Democracy is a friendly and welcoming group, and you are invited to join in whatever way works for your schedule – come once, join every now and again, or attend every session. If you’d like to help, but can’t make it to the White Hart, email [email protected] for information on pick-up and delivery. 

This month, Saving Democracy will be writing postcards to voters in Virginia and North Carolina, encouraging them to vote in November. In Virginia, every seat in the state legislature will be decided in this election. The Democrats have an opportunity to regain the majority in the State Senate and to maintain or increase their slight majority in the House of Delegates. The stakes are very high. Virginia is the last state in the South where it is still possible to get an abortion -- the GOP will change that if they have the opportunity. Pro-democracy activist David Pepper does a great job of explaining the state of play in Virginia in his Substack newsletter, Pepperspectives.

Saving Democracy is also writing postcards to support the promising work of All in for North Carolina (AINC). There is an energetic and active new guard in the North Carolina State Democratic Committee with a plan for taking back the state legislature. They need help reaching voters in Mecklenburg County, home of Charlotte. Mecklenburg County has more registered Democrats than any other county in the state and more than the 53 smallest counties combined, yet its Democratic turnout has only been 45%. The statewide average is 51%. That 6% gap means everything in this battleground state. This is a critical opportunity to help these committed young leaders succeed with their first project and to lay the groundwork for 2024 and 2026. 

In addition to postcarding, Saving Democracy is raising money through the States Project to champion Democratic candidates in Virginia who, with support, can win their races. Learn more about the States Project’s work and meet one of the candidates they endorse here. Help by donating to Saving Democracy’s States Project Giving Circle. For more about the organization, read the recent New York Times article "How a Little-Known Group Helped Resurgent Democrats Wield Power."

For more information about Saving Democracy or to be put on the mailing list for updates and activities, contact [email protected]


October 4: “Truth in Journalism” - Sponsored by the Salisbury Forum in partnership with the Lakeville Journal and the Sharon Playhouse. The event takes place at the Sharon Playhouse. Cash bar opens at 6pm and the program begins at 7pm.

Brian Ross, who has had an illustrious 40-year career as an investigative journalist, most notably as the Chief Investigative Correspondent for ABC News from 1994 to 2018, will facilitate a panel including Kurt Andersen, author of novels and nonfiction as well as television and theater, and John Coston, editor of the Lakeville Journal, who will discuss the importance of maintaining the truth in all news media platforms. Playwrights Jeremy Kareken and David Murrell will explain how facts become twisted into fiction in their critically acclaimed Broadway play "The Lifespan of a Fact" about the high-stakes world of publishing, on stage at the Sharon Playhouse through October 15. This event is free, but seating is limited so please register here.

October 17 from 4-7pm: Sustainable CT 2023 Awards Celebration. Sustainable CT, a statewide, voluntary certification program that supports sustainability best practices in Connecticut municipalities, will hold its 2023 Awards Celebration at the site of the American Mural Project in Winsted (Winchester). The largest indoor collaborative piece of artwork in the world, the American Mural Project is a three-dimensional mural spanning 120 feet in length and five stories in height. Serving as a pictorial chronicle, the mural portrays a diverse spectrum of laborers who have enriched American society and culture over the past century, and is a celebration of ingenuity, productivity, and inclusiveness. For more information and to register (free), click here.

October 17 at 7pm: Salisbury Democratic Town Committee. This regular monthly SDTC meeting will be held at Town Hall and via Zoom. The SDTC is committed to promoting good government and democratic principles at every level of our civic life. The SDTC recruits candidates for local elective and appointed offices and supports the most qualified Democrats to run in municipal, state, and national elections. Meetings are usually on the third Tuesday of every month. Contact Al Ginouves to receive a copy of the agenda and the link to the meeting.

October 27 at 7:30pm: The Future of Books in the Age of AI with Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild. Presented by the Salisbury Forum, this event will be at the Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Artificial intelligence is designed to perform tasks faster and more efficiently than humans, including generating ideas and text for plotlines and stories. Mary Rasenberger, Chief Executive Officer of the Authors Guild, will discuss how generative AI is impacting and will impact the writing profession and the future creation of literary works. What will the writing life look like in 2030? Will there be one? How will AI change publishing and what gets published? Prior to joining the Authors Guild, Mary was an attorney specializing in intellectual property, media, and technology with special expertise in copyright law. She counseled authors and artists, as well as publishing, media, entertainment, and internet companies in digital rights, infringement, licensing, litigation, and enforcement.


Watch This: Maria Horn Interview on Nutmeg TV. Our thoughtful and hardworking state representative, Maria Horn, appeared recently on Up Close and Personal, a program on Nutmeg TV. The interview is available on the channel’s YouTube page

President Biden Blocks Oil Drilling in Part of Alaska’s Wild Lands. In a reversal of federal policy, the President canceled leases for oil exploration in over 10 million acres of Alaska’s North slope in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge that were awarded under the Trump administration. This move covers over 10 million acres of Alaska’s North Slope, nearly half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the nation’s largest expanse of public land. However, the moves leave in place the Willow Development, a large Alaskan drilling project approved by President Biden in March. Read the story in Politico.

IRS Audits at Top End Pay Off. While some Republicans want to reduce funding for the IRS, a recent paper by economists from Harvard, the Treasury Department, and the University of Sydney finds that for every dollar the Internal Revenue Service spends auditing members of the top 0.1% (that’s one-tenth of one percent) income group, it brings back more than $6 in collections. By comparison, the researchers found that every dollar spent auditing the bottom half of income earners, returned just 96 cents. Read the full research paper here.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion in Federal Facilities. Over 70% of women in Mexico will have access to legal abortion, including everyone who uses the federal health system, following the court’s recent ruling. It does make one’s head spin wondering why Mexican women are gaining reproductive rights while women in the US are losing theirs. Read more in The Washington Post.

Mexico Stands to Elect its First Female President. Following the recent victories of two women in primary elections of the two leading political parties, Mexico is poised to elect a woman as President next year. Meanwhile, north of the border, the US is still among the few industrialized nations that has yet to have a woman as its chief executive. Read more from Reuters.


On October 2, all CT residents will be eligible to receive savings on certain prescription drugs, thanks to a program established by a provision of the health care affordability bill (Public Act 23-171), which was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law in June. To launch the program, CT has entered into the multi-state consortium known as ArrayRx, which also operates in Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

All CT residents will be eligible to sign up for an ArrayRx discount card at no cost to them nor the state. When purchasing prescription drugs, consumers present the card at their pharmacy and they can receive savings of up to 80% on certain medications. All FDA-approved drugs are eligible for a discount. It is anticipated that the card can be used at approximately 98% of pharmacies in CT.


For more information on how the ArrayRx discount card works, including a list of frequently asked questions and a drug price lookup tool, visit


The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is now accepting applications for state homeowners and renters needing help with the costs of heating their homes this winter. Basic benefits toward heating bills range from $180 to $530, depending on income, size of household, and need. Benefits are available for households with incomes up to 60% of the state median income, which equates to roughly $79,910 for a family of four. If you or someone you know is interested, there are several ways to apply. For more information, visit


Here's our monthly dose of good news to remind us that while the struggle to make the world better can be hard and frustrating, we are making positive steps forward. Our thanks again goes to Jessica Craven and her Chop Wood, Carry Water newsletter for these bits of good news and encouragement:

  • A Florida state judge ruled that the redistricting plan pushed by Ron DeSantis violates the state constitution and is prohibited from being used for any future US congressional elections.

  • In a win for voters, a federal judge struck down parts of Arizona voter suppression law House Bill 2492 that created strict proof of citizenship requirements to vote. Other provisions of the law will be challenged at trial in November.

  • A panel of three federal judges rejected Alabama’s latest version of its congressional map, saying the state’s Republican-led legislature did not follow a court order to comply with the Voting Rights Act when it last redrew districts in July. A court-appointed special master will draw new districts for 2024.

  • Texas is the latest state to eliminate its sales tax on menstrual products and baby items like diapers, bottles, and wipes.

  • The US is rapidly approaching a milestone in the electricity sector’s energy transition: By the end of 2026, it will have closed half of its coal generation capacity.

  • The US dollar extended its gains, sending the currency toward its longest rally in years.

  • The UK government eased a de facto ban on onshore wind in England, after growing pressure from environmental campaigners and some ruling Conservative lawmakers.

  • The Senate confirmed Anna Gomez to the Federal Communications Commission, filling the fifth and final seat for the first time since the election of President Joe Biden. Democrats now have a one-seat majority on the FCC panel.

  • The California legislature passed a law that would provide legal protections for California health care practitioners who provide or dispense medication or other services for abortion, contraception, or gender-affirming care, regardless of their patient’s geographic location.

  • A nonprofit aligned with House Democrats announced the start of a $20 million voter registration drive ahead of the 2024 elections, prioritizing outreach to communities targeted by suppressive voting policies.


Please send us any news or announcements that you would like us to share with our community. We publish on the first of each month, so please send us any submissions at least one week earlier. Please submit to the editor at [email protected].


If you've read this far, it's probably because you like this newsletter. Please help us reach more people by sending it along to your friends and recommending that they join our free mailing list at the top. We are delighted to have readers from anywhere -- Salisbury or elsewhere in the world.

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Paid for by the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee,

PO Box 465, Salisbury CT 06068, Pamela Kelley, Treasurer

Editor: Lee Greenhouse, [email protected]

Associate Editor: Sally Andre


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