Trumbull GOP: Dems Using Negative Push Polling

Testani: “Democrats continue with their onslaught of personal attacks.”

Trumbull Republicans on Friday condemned the latest negative campaign tactics utilized by the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee -- attacks that the Republicans say have resorted to name calling and personal attacks on the first selectman.

“Tim Herbst wants to talk about the record, he wants to focus on what’s important to Trumbull voters.” stated Chairman Testani. “Mary Beth Thornton doesn’t want to talk about her record of supporting tax increases that averaged 6 percent per year for the last 10 years. During the six years she was a member of the Town Council and Mr. Baldwin was the First Selectman, Mrs. Thornton voted to increase the budget $28.5 million. During that same six-year period, Mrs. Thornton voted to increase Town debt by 92 percent. If that was my record, I wouldn’t talk about it either,” stated Testani.

“This is yet another desperate attempt by a campaign that is behind in the polls to say anything and do anything to try and win an election, even if it means resorting to personal attacks,” continued Testani. “Mary Beth Thornton’s campaign slogan is ‘people before politics’, yet her campaign strategy lacks civility and integrity. She states in a mailer she won’t resort to name calling then goes on the attack with character assassinations.”

Republicans became aware of the push poll last night from voters, as the Republicans were making telephone calls from their headquarters. “Residents expressed frustration with the negative and slanted tenor of the questions asked and actually called our headquarters to make us aware of the telephone calls.”

A “push poll” is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumor mongering, masquerading as a poll. An example of a question would be something like this: 

Do you think Mary Beth Thorton lies?

A) All the Time

B) Most of the Time 

C) Some of the time.

(*This example is purposely outrageous to prove our point.*)

“This latest piece of negativity has Nancy DiNardo’s fingerprints all over it,” said Testani. “You really learn a lot about people by the way they campaign and Nancy DiNardo and Mary Beth Thornton have certainly proven that they don’t care who they attack or step on to win an election.”

Testani said the recent email that Republicans came into possession of is proof positive that DiNardo’s email was an attempt to glean questions for the push poll. The following email was sent by DiNardo: 

"Subject: request

 If you had 1 minute to tell a voter why they should not vote for Tim, what would you say? Please let me know asap and you can ask others as well.



“To date, Trumbull Democrats have avoided a discussion of the issues and instead have resorted to negative, personal attacks. Mrs. Thornton is avoiding public appearances and debates with the First Selectman, is not providing a vision of where she hopes to lead the Town, but instead is engaging in character assassinations. Trumbull voters deserve better conduct from our elected leaders,” concluded Testani.

Tiredof October 16, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Tom there is a big difference between testing question to try and find a weekness in an opponent and yourself as a canidate....and a push poll . A push poll is designed to force the voter to draw one conclusion...as the question above demonstrates...some states have even made them illegal.
M Shapiro October 16, 2011 at 02:33 PM
So why did Herbst lie to the editor of the Trumbull Times if it wasn't a push poll?
Tom Kelly October 16, 2011 at 02:33 PM
So, basically what you are saying is that the Trumbull Dems are evil and bad, and the Trumbull GOP would never do such a thing and are above reproach? That's what you're selling?
Stargazer October 16, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Mr Kelly I agree with Tiredof and think you should make a decision about supporting a party and being loyal to that decision. From what I've read and what my husband told me, you were involved in the Trumbull Republican Party and now for some reason, you're not. You stated you didn't agree with the negative campaign tactics from the Democrats, now you waiver. Not sure if you're a loyal person or not Mr Kelly, maybe you should search your soul and decide if you should maintain the "Republican" status and if you do, be that, live it and act it, if not be a "Democrat", be that and act like that. It's clear that Nancy DiNardo made this a very personal push poll and the entire emphasis of this campaign is to try to make Tim Herbst and his family into something other than the human beings they are, my husband has met Tim and his family and found them to be caring, compassionate and wonderful people. Why not discredit the Democratic Party Mr Kelly for the worst kind of political message? Stargazer
Tom Kelly October 16, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Marty, the reason why, in my opinion, Mr. Herbst was not forthcoming about the poll in January is because Don Eng asked the question after the first night of a two day poll. If Mr. Herbst confirmed that the GOP was taking a poll, it could have skewed the results. He should have just refused comment or said nothing, rather than saying he didn't know anything about it. The bottom line is that both parties take polls. Big deal. The voters don't care about this nonsense.
Kathleen McGannon October 16, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Stargazer, Don't you and your husband travel in the same social circles? He has met the Testanis, the Herbsts, knows them well enough for you to trust his high opinions of them, and yet YOU have never had the occasion to interact? Maybe your husband is a bad judge of people. The Testanis should be happy to have someone who has nebver met them be so incredibly supportive! ;) At any rate, I miss your posts of similar style and content on TChat. Won't you come back?
Tom Kelly October 16, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Stargazer, as you know, I'm a Red Sox fan, as I know you are. That right there shows something about loyalty. Let me tell you what, Stargazer. I am tired of bantering with you folks. I recently spoke to Mrs. Crooks and told her that Heaven was now a happier place now that Jerry and Lenny and Bill are all together again. Life's too short for this nonsense. All this in the name of politics. So you folks can continue to call me names, question my loyalty, issue press releases calling me a hypocrite, try to block me when I register with your party and whatever else makes you feel better about yourselves. I am going to continue to do the best I can on the Board of Education, and I will advocate to maintain the quality of our public schools and the Good Lord-willing, you only have to put up with me for two more years. My best to your wife and your boys. Tom
Afreedman2011 October 16, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Funny, Stargazer says she has a husband but Tom Kelley says he has a wife and sons. Who do you think is telling the truth? I have never known Tom to lie.
Tiredof October 16, 2011 at 03:26 PM
because in wasn't a push poll....
Tiredof October 16, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Tom the Trumbull GOP didn't do any push polls...
Tiredof October 16, 2011 at 04:29 PM
This wasn't a poll...to gather information it was a poll to chartacter assistant Tim Herbst big difference Tom...it is a robo call that is trying to decive the public.
Tiredof October 16, 2011 at 04:33 PM
No one is calling Tom a liar, but i think Tom is stuck between a rock and hard place....the democrats campaign tactics have become childish and negative...so Tom is stuck having to defend them...i don;t think if he was in charge he woudl be making these bad stragtegy decisions. The point is Tom is normally a guy of integrity and we on this tread, because of Mary Beth Thortons poor campaign desicions, have him painted in a corner....Mary Beth really hasn;t shown any leadership...she is taking bad advice from high priced constultants....isn't that why Louis left....?
Patty Sheehan October 16, 2011 at 10:12 PM
You might not want to start bringing up people who left a poltical party or campaign...there's a pretty long list of "former Republicans?....
M Shapiro October 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Tom Kelly, I was personally called twice in January by that Herbst poll and it was most definitely a "push-poll". My wife took the Herbst poll a couple of weeks ago and from what she's told me it was a push-poll too. Having heard the poll twice I find it inconcevable that the results could have been skewed in January. I have talked to a few friends and nobody that any of us know has received the call Testani refers to. I'm beginning to think that Testani has made it up to deflect from what they have done or, more likely, what they plan to do soon. These guys live their lives…do as I say not as I do. I further think Testani wrote this opinion piece just so he could post comments anonymously to make it seem people really care what he writes. He's done that on TrumbullChat.
CTPati October 17, 2011 at 04:56 AM
You are ridiculous to not believe DiNardo did the push poll, when she has not denied it, or her e-mail: "If you had 1 minute to tell a voter why they should not vote for Tim, what would you say? Please let me know asap and you can ask others as well. Thanks, Nancy" The nasty push polling is perfectly in character for someone who would act in such a sleazy--and DESPERATE--campaign style.
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 06:34 AM
If someone has received a push poll from the Democratic party, let's hear about it. What were the questions? What was the negative impressions that were being planted by these questions. I haven't heard any of that. No, instead I read a push op/ed from Mr Testani trying to plant the idea that Ms. Thornton is a lier. This is all right out of Karl Rove's play book: tell a big lie and tell it often enough and people will believe it. It is the Republican's that have been notorious for their use of push polling. George Bush won the Republican nomination by push-polling the idea that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child when actually he and his wife had adopted a Cambodian girl. Rove was the master of this: tell a lie, the more despicable the better. Well Karl Rove's tactics are alive and well in the Trumbull GOP.
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 06:36 AM
Mr. Herbst bullying and intimidation are well know although perhaps not so well publicized. Reminds me of Richard Nixon - a very insecure person who viewed every dissenting opinion as a personal affront. Thank God we live in a democracy where we are free to speak our mind without fear of intimidation. Tim obviously doesn't understand how our democracy works. he thinks he can silence people by calling their boss and trying to scare them into submission. Well it won't work. people are telling their stories (see CTPost last Sunday) and the truth is coming out. Telling the truth about somebody's actions is not negative campaigning - it is truth telling and at the end of the day, the truth will win out. Obviously Mr. Herbst and Mr. Testani are starting to worry about their chances in November otherwise they would not be trotting out this lame scheme about fictitious push-polling. The other Republicans on this thread should be ashamed to play along with their game of lies and deception. Shame on all of you. Talk about a sleazy, desperate campaign style.
Tiredof October 17, 2011 at 02:57 PM
fictitious? hhahaha TP...when ever Jack has critized MBT or nancy with in hours there is a response on patch....so how come no response by the Dems? Could it be that they were doing this 100% and now that it has become a public issue they can't deny it....Even Tom admits the dems were probably doing this....apparently in the world of a progressive it is better to stay ignorgant to facts...how about you ask Nancy?...How about the email she sent...why not send out an email asking supports if you had one minute to convince peopel to support MTB what woudl you say...her email is clearly in prepartation for the Push poll....just admit it....
Afreedman2011 October 17, 2011 at 03:20 PM
TP you are so right. It's been three days since the Testani post and not one person has come forward with the contents of the alleged push poll. Thisis just another lie being pushed by the Nixon/Atwater/Rove/Testani big lie playbook.
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Ha ha ha,Tiredof, your arguments make us so tired of you. Jack is the one making the accusations, the burden of proof is on him. This is so clearly a Rovian political game. No Dems are responding because the accusation is just so stupid. Tom Kelly is not on the Democratic campaign team, so he has no knowledge about this issue whatsoever. You however are clearly on the inside because your posts are filled with inside knowledge of the Republican spin and what the TRTC is doing or not doing. As for Nancy's email. Me thinks you protest too much. Are you really trying to make the argument that the public should be shocked to hear that a political leader might be spending some time thinking about what their opponents weaknesses are. Are you kidding me? Campaigning 101 is all about determining what your candidates strengths are and what your opponents weaknesses are and how to get that message out. Nancy DiNardo would not be doing her job if she were not asking questions like the one in the email - and how do you know she has not sent out emails soliciting one minute comments in support of MBT? Please, don't try to tell us that Jack Testani is all sweetness and light and that he hasn't been working overtime trying to think of what people can say about MBT to tear her down. His LTEs are filled with nothing but negative comments about her.
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 03:53 PM
I've never met anyone that truly knows and has worked with MBT that doesn't hold her in the highest esteem. Yet, all I hear from the Herbst campaign is what a terrible mean person she is. You can agree or disagree with her policies, but Mary Beth Thornton is one of the nicest, most mild mannered, open minded people I've ever met. She knows how to listen and she welcomes opposing viewpoints. She knows that a collaborative effort works best to solve hard problems. Her interest IS in solving problems - NOT scoring political points. Mr. Herbst is another matter. There are many people in town who have run afoul of the Herbst political machine. Several made their stories public in Ms. Singh's article a couple of Sunday's ago. Others just don't want to go public with the abuse they have suffered. The Thornton Team counts many former Herbst team members among their supporters this year. In less than two years, he has alienated many of his most ardent backers. That speaks volumes about his character and his way of doing business. Your enemies may always be your enemies, but when your friends start turning on you, perhaps it is time to look in the mirror! Trumbull is tired of this political bickering. It wasn't always this way. We used to work together to solve towns problems. We will not return to that civil time by returning this First Selectman to another two year term. It is clearly time to elect someone who will listen instead of someone that thinks he has all the answers.
trumbulite09 October 17, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Mr. Testani - you wrote this whole letter on how the democrats are attacking and Mary Beth is only saying negative things. You want to talk about the records? Isn't this letter exactly what you are against? Instead can you supply Tim's record. I didn't think so. Mr. Testani - this is a double standard and the voters are not stupid. In addition to all of the other failures people have posted under Mr. Herbst's tenure, can I add, the Bridgeport Magnet School, pitting seniors against families, a Finance Committee that for the first time in many years could not agree on a budget. Mr. Herbst vetoeing a budget to give his HR director a raise. Flip flopping about pay for supports only after he receives negative feedback from his constituents, promising seniors a tax reduction that is illegal and not feasible, etc... Can you please list what record you would like us to consider? Finally - tireof, don't bother posting under me, you have absolutely no facts and just spit out falsehoods hoping there are still a few idiots in town that might believe them. I have news for you, there aren't!
Thomas Tesoro October 17, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Once again, and I know you will be shocked by this, Mr. Testani is, to be kind, making things up. He writes, " Mrs. Thornton is avoiding public appearances and debates with the Forst Selectman..and is not providing a vision of where she hopes to take the Town..." If Mr. Testani were Pinocchio his nose would be growing. Remember, I still have challenged Mr. Testani to provide any evidence for his statement that "Ms. Thornton made promises to unions.." To date, all I have received is silence. That whopper probably added a good ten inches to the nose. I will say this, when Mr. Testani speaks about avoiding public appearances, we should pay attention since this is one subject on which he is an expert. Two years ago in the last election Mr. Testani refused to allow his BOE candidate to debate. Now remember, the Republican candidate was willing and able to debate as was the Democart and both sides had no dispute over the formate, location sponsor etc. Still Mr. Testani refused. Similarly, he refused a BOF debate because he said it was unfair and promptly demanded rules that would put the Democrats at a disadvantage. Well, the Republican candidate was more than willing and able to debate and in fact wanted to debate as did the Democrats. Mr. Testani refused and said wait two years when the Republicans are running 3 candidates and the Democrats run 2..watch what the Democrats do then. That just happened and the Democrats participated without conditions.. Who hides?
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 07:52 PM
By the way Jack, it is clear that your campaign hired-hand, JR, is writing all this stuff for you. Really low stuff. Karl Rove must be JR's hero because he seems to be trotting out all his old dirty tricks. Very sad, but Trumbull voters are not stupid. We see through this garbage.
Thomas Tesoro October 17, 2011 at 08:00 PM
My advice is to read Mr. Testani's missives for entertainment value and focus discussion on the issues Trumbull is facing. Does anybody really care about push polls etc?
TrumbullProgressive October 17, 2011 at 08:42 PM
If anyone did receive a push poll, let's hear from them. Where are they? And when the next financial statement comes out, see if there is any expense for phone polling on the Democratic side. Then we will know who is telling the truth and who is making things up (i.e. lying).
Thomas Tesoro October 17, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Are you referring to my post? Here is what I am talking about: Mr. Testani said: Ms. Thornton made promises to unions. Is this true if so let's see the evidence. Mr. Testani said ms, Thornton is avoiding debates with the FS (two and maybe three are scheduled I believe). Let's see the proof. Not to hard to do if there is evidence. Otherwise, he is making it up. I have no comment on the rest because I know nothing about push polls.
Tiredof October 17, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Tom it is an issue because Mary Beth Thorton is campaigning with a message of People over politics....except these tactics are nothing but politics.
Afreedman2011 October 17, 2011 at 10:09 PM
I'm still waiting to hear from one voter who received a push poll from the Democrats and what the contents of that push poll were. Otehrwise I'll just chalk it up to more Testani fantasy.
sebastian dangerfield October 18, 2011 at 05:57 AM
haha YOu? Asking for an explanation? Are you kidding? You are the worst offender to that concept.


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