Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Colapietro Wants to Hear From Businesses

Here's something unexpected from this morning's chamber of commerce legislative breakfast. I wrote about it for Wednesday's edition of The Bristol Press (http://www.bristolpress.com/) but you can read it here first. And please leave the hateful Colapietro bashing and the requisite nasty backlash for the Bristol Blog. This is a different kind of blog and I'm not having that here.

BRISTOL – State Sen. Tom Colapietro reached out to the business community Tuesday, inviting conversation.
“I’m not known to schmooze,” Colapietro told the audience of about 115 people at the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce legislative breakfast.
Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat, joined his fellow lawmakers in talking about the economy, the budget, bloated government and other troubles.
The proudly pro-union Colapietro has at times clashed with the business lobby. He hadn’t initially planned to attend the breakfast Tuesday, but when he did, he came bearing an olive branch.
“We’re not your enemy. We’re your friend,” Colapietro said.
Colapietro invited the business owners and others at the breakfast to call him or visit to talk about issues.
“You want to yell at me, I’m going to yell right back at you,” he warned, adding that it is just the way he was raised.
But he said he’s willing to calmly talk business with anyone.
Colapietro acknowledged the economic mess Connecticut faces, but said it isn’t the fault of anyone around here.
“We didn’t do it and you didn’t do it and Wall Street did do it,” said Colapietro.
Colapietro said he wouldn’t tell a business owner how to trim his budget.
“It’s not easy to cut some of your favorite things,” he said.
But Colapietro said he knows that everyone has a job to do.
In cutting the state budget, he said he wants state lawmakers to work carefully, to inflict the least amount of pain.

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