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Torres Attacks Merkle Voting Record

Rick Torres says Rob Merkle's voting record, or alleged lack thereof, should disqualify him from running. Merkle responds that since Torres cannot attack his policies, he is turning to personal attacks.

GOP candidate Rick Torres of Bridgeport said his opponent Republican Rob Merkle should be prohibited from running for Congress.

Torres said Merkle's voting record, or lack thereof, means he doesn't deserve to hold elected office. He maintains that Merkle has only voted twice in his life. Torres also said he plans to alert his supporters to this news later in the week.

Both Torres and Merkle are seeking the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Congressman Jim Himes in November. Dan Debicella, who is also running, couldn't be reached for comment.

According to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters, Merkle registered October 25, 2008, just before the presidential election. Records also indicated that Merkle voted in municipal elections in 2009. But that doesn't tell the whole story, said Stuart Wells, Norwalk's Democratic Registrar.

"Sometimes earlier records aren't in the computer system and if someone moved around their voting records can be lost," Wells said, adding that just because it's not on the computer doesn't mean a registered voter didn't previously vote. Typical voter records go back about 10 years.

In addition, Merkle lived in Florida between 1998 and 2002. According to the Secretary of State's office in Tallahassee, Florida, he registered to vote in February 25, 2001. However, there is no record of Merkle having voted.

Still, Torres said the lack of involvement is a red flag.

"I think that is a disqualification notice as far as I'm concerned," said Torres. "I'm almost 51 and since I was 18 I've not missed a vote except three times. Those who don't vote are basically thumbing their noses at this country."

Torres said he was out of the country on one occasion and out of state on the other two. He didn't get an absentee ballot.

Merkle makes no apologies for his record.

"Rick Torres can't approach me on my issues, so he is attacking me personally," Merkle said.

Merkle said he moved to New Canaan in 1992. In 1998 he moved to Florida before returning to Connecticut in 2002. He then moved to Georgia for a year and came back to Connecticut in 2004 at which time he was setting up his business, and, by his own admission, "was not every engaged" in politics.

Then came the 2006 race between Republican Christopher Shays versus Democratic Diane Farrell, which "as far as I'm concerned were both liberals. Then in 2008 I became re-engaged like the rest of the nation and registered."

"He doesn't have all the facts," Merkle said of his opponent. "He's a spoiler and he's angry."

Lisa Richards August 04, 2010 at 10:43 PM
I'm campaigning for Rick Torres, because I watched him from afar for years fighting locally and saw a guy who fought corruption on th elocal level and had the guts to stand up for what is right. I also know for a fact that Rick is not trying to or fighting to legalize pot or any drug. He wants to decriminalize. That is completely different than making pot legal. We have pot smokers serving time while pedophiles are living among us. Would you rather send someone to prison for pot smoking or decriminalize the sentence and fine the pot smoker? Wouldn't we be better off doing that and putting rapists and other violent thugs behind bars than a pot smoker? Rob Merkle and his campagin have come out on this issue and lied, when they know full well Rick does not seek to legalize any drug. And Rick is spending a lot of time on what the dems are doing wrong. Go to the town meetings, go to his house on thursdays and ask him, watch the videos of the debates, the town hall meets. Don't go by what you read by reporters who are really liberal Himes lovers and will never tell you the truth about any campaign. I have not bothered to get out and campaign for anyone since Reagan ran, but when Rick announced he would run, I called his store and asked if I could help get him on the team, because he truly has a great record. If you want to know the truth, go to a meet and hear for yourself. That is how I decided, as well as others on the team.
Lisa Richards August 04, 2010 at 10:51 PM
I would add to all that if you want ot know the candidates, go meet them. I met Rick years-ago and asked him questions about his stance. This was after his mayoral run, which would have been a win had ACORN not bought off people in the projects. That bit of info is public knowledge; $20 dollars and cigarretts to vote for Rick's opponent, who never did anything but take the city of Bridgeport down further in tax hikes. Rick is the only person who truly understands how tax hikes kill jobs and government spending keeps people poor and in projects, because he grew up in them and had to work his way out or remain there and become a generational slave to government as so many are thanks to the Dems of this state who need poor people for votes, but then ignore them, leave them in the hood until the next election. Rick knows this first hand. I've asked Rob Merkel questions and he does not seem to be able to answer anything without his campaign manager doing the talking for him, plus he never gives a straight answer. Ask Rick a question and he answers it straight up without beating around the bush. Rick will be at a Norwalk Tea Party Saturday, go, ask. Go to his home tomorrow and meet him and ask him where he stands on anything and he will tell you honestly. Go to his store and talk to him, he does not hide from anyone or any question. I don't say this because I'm on the team, I say it because I asked and I got answers from Rick, but not the others, who just talk.
Lisa Richards August 04, 2010 at 10:55 PM
As for Peter Schiff, I met him at a meet and asked hard questions and he answered truthfully and the guy is definately smart on economics and the Constitution, jobs, taxes, Homeland Security, supports Israel as Rick does. Schiff is definately the guy we need in the Senate. Again, go meet these guys and ask questions and stop listening to the papers or childish mud-slingers who have nothing better to do than trash Rick and Peter because Rick and Peter are what CT need. But only you can figure that out and decide for yourself by not sitting home and getting up and going to a town meet.
Alex Torres August 05, 2010 at 06:46 PM
Again, to be open and honest, I'm Rick's son...and again, I'm still just another concerned citizen. I was asked to post a video of my father's words.  Check out this video. It shows Mr. Debicella to be exactly what we know him to be and what he eventually proclaims himself to be, a MODERATE. It also shows what happens when we elect RINO Republicans and Rick's pledge to fight against it.  Vote Torres! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZkm2WtbqOI
CTPati August 09, 2010 at 09:22 PM
I have been registered as a Republican ALL of my adult life, which comprises four decades now of adulthood and *voting history*. I am proud of that record, and to be a responsible American citizen, fulfilling my civic duty. I don't believe I've ever missed voting in an election. Hmmmm---I have no desire to be a politician, but maybe I am more qualified to serve in Congress than Rob Merkle. ;-0 Just joking! RICK TORRES is the man we need in congress for the 4th District, and the only one who can *beat HIMES!!!*

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