Melissa Schlag Life Celebration

Sunday at 2 PM EDT – 3 PM EDT48–63°F Partly CloudyEagle Landing State ParkPublic · Hosted by Tanja Buzzi Moriarty We will celebrate Melissa Jean Schlag’s ambitious, passionate life as public servant, tireless environmental advocate and loving friend at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam on Sunday, October 18th from 2 to 3 p.m. Eagle Landing State Park was near and dear to Melissa as she lead others in a protest to save it from being swapped for a lesser parcel to a private developer.People are welcome to sign the memory book and sit in their own lawn chairs to listen or to share memories of Melissa. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we have a permit from the State DEEP to use this park for this event. We can gather up to 150 people, but we must keep proper social distance and wear a mask if we are less than 6 feet away from people in our own household. Please bring and use your own pen to sign the memory book. If you would like to sit, please bring your own lawn chair and keep six feet away from people who are not in your own family or household. We will provide a microphone that will remain on its stand if you would like to share a few words. Thank you. Thank you for creating this heartfelt and heart-wrenching tribute, Sharon. You truly captured how so many of us knew and loved M.

Highlights: Sean Moriarty wins a Board of Selectmen’s seat, Marge DeBold was elected to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Peter Baird will serve on the Board of Finance due to minority representation rules.

Democratic Party Brenda Buzzi1,07937.61%
Republican Party Robert McGarry1,79062.39%
Democratic Party Joe Rizzo1,11523.72%
Democratic Party Sean Moriarty1,15724.62%
Republican Party Kate Anderson1,74737.17%
Petitioning Candidate Mark P. Lundgren68114.49%
Republican Party Kristin Battistoni2,286100.00%
Democratic Party Melissa Schlag1,06913.08%
Democratic Party Sean Moriarty1,18914.55%
Democratic Party David Carini1,14514.01%
Republican Party Wayne Rutty1,62519.88%
Republican Party Marc Adelberg1,58619.40%
Republican Party David Challenger1,56019.08%
Democratic Party Tim Teran1,643100.00%
Democratic Party Robin Spencer-Klimaszewski1,655100.00%
Democratic Party Peter Baird1,10740.58%
Republican Party Prem Aithal1,62159.42%
Democratic Party Michelle Burr Caron1,04138.53%
Republican Party Audrey Brookes1,66161.47%
Democratic Party Jo Ann Woickelman1,29247.27%
Republican Party David Beckman1,44152.73%
Democratic Party Liz Bazazi1,19114.73%
Democratic Party Peter Baird1,24915.45%
Democratic Party Garin C Greenholt97912.11%
Republican Party Steve Bull1,63620.24%
Republican Party Jamin Laurenza1,54319.09%
Republican Party Dan Luisi1,48518.37%
Democratic Party Marie Lippincott1,09140.56%
Republican Party Alan Chadwick1,59959.44%
Democratic Party Patrick Reardon1,18544.17%
Republican Party Larry Maggi1,49855.83%
Democratic Party Marge DeBold1,45718.10%
Democratic Party Erik Hesselberg1,10613.74%
Democratic Party Susan DeCarli1,29716.11%
Republican Party Margo Chase-Wells1,31716.36%
Republican Party Ken Wendt1,49918.62%
Republican Party Joe Laurenza1,37417.07%
Democratic Party Rachel Greenholt1,15643.74%
Republican Party Anthony Matterazzo1,48756.26%
Democratic Party Katie Packtor1,25315.55%
Democratic Party Edith Hanson Pawlicki1,00312.45%
Democratic Party Jane Baird1,15714.36%
Republican Party Peter Sonski1,46018.12%
Republican Party Jennifer Favalora1,65820.58%
Republican Party Shawna Goldfarb1,52518.93%

Click here to see Democratic Candidates to Vote For on Nov. 5th

The Nov. 5th Municipal Ballot for Haddam

See the ballot before you go to vote on Tuesday, November 5.

Where Do You Vote?

Don’t Miss this Opportunity to be Heard! What are Your Thoughts on Higganum Center?

Wednesday, October 30th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM

& Saturday, November 2nd, 9:00 AM till Noon

Not just another Public Hearing or Town Meeting !!

Unique format –
Professional facilitator and a team of planners and designers. Refreshments, Engaging Conversations

What to do with HES now that we own it?
How to proceed without a $12 million sewer plant?

Do we need affordable apartments?
How to connect the Center to the cove and the river?

Potential for the rail right of way to bring visitors

Should the Town buy Rossi Property?
Should the town acquire old State garage (Scovil Hoe)?

Should the Town Garage be in the Center?

Everything is on the table to be discussed!

Not sure where you’re supposed to vote? Check here!

About First Selectman Candidate Brenda Buzzi and the Whole Slate


I have what it takes to be your next First Selectmen. As a fourth-generation Haddam resident, I truly love this town. I graduated from Haddam- Killingworth High School, as did my two daughters, and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I will bring a transparent government back to Had- dam—one that will listen to all residents. I know we don’t always agree, but we all want similar things. I believe working together is imperative for our small town and I want to unite Haddam for the good of our community.

I bring strong leadership skills to Haddam as a long-time business owner and manager. I founded and managed a preschool program in town. I have generated and worked with budgets, accounts payables and receivables, and taxes and payroll—all while complying with the many local, state, and federal laws. I also maintained effective communication with parents, staff, and the community. I worked closely with state agencies to offer help to families when needed, acted as liaison with the Department of Children and Families, school staff, and other professionals.

Volunteering is also very important to me. Currently I serve as Haddam’s voice on the board of education. During my tenure on the board, I helped with contract writing, led union negotiations, worked with the $42,000,000 budget, helped save the district money, reviewed auditing reports, researched businesses for a superintendent search, participated in expulsion hearings, and tried to bridge the gap in communication between the board and the community. I currently serve on the Bereavement Team at Middlesex Hospice, the Haddam Elderly Housing Committee as vice president, and am a Justice of the Peace. Previous volunteering includes Sunday school teacher, Chairman of the Church Council at Higganum Methodist Church, Chairman of the Pastor-Staff Relation Committee, Girl Scout leader, PTO president, school/parent volunteer, and Mason Youth Corrections Facility Chaplain Intern.

Question 1: The current first selectman
has cut the frequency of regular board of selectmen meetings from one meeting every two weeks to one meeting per month. Do you plan to continue this policy, or will you revert to the traditional BOS schedule?

Now more than ever, our town needs a platform where their ideas and con- cerns will be heard. As first selectman, I plan to revert to the traditional BOS schedule of meeting twice a month. (Read all of Brenda’s answers and learn more about all of the candidates here. )

See Candidates at these town events

DEBATE! Brainerd Memorial Library is sponsoring a Haddam selectmen candidates forum on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Haddam-Killingworth High School from 7 to 9 p.m. The public is encouraged to come hear their positions on timely issues facing the town.

Haddam River Days This Sat., Sept. 7th, 4-8:30 at Haddam Meadows: Meet Our Candidates, Enjoy Freshly-Spun Cotton Candy, Delicious Dogs & Fabulous Fireworks!

Dem Candidates at Haddam Neck Fair!

First Selectman candidate Brenda Buzzi, Representative Christine Palm, and Selectman candidate Sean Moriarty at our Dem booth at the Haddam Neck Fair. See information on the slate!

The Haddam Democratic Town Committee nominated a dynamic and diverse group of candidates for this November 5, 2019 municipal election that spans generations and political affiliations. The group of 13 women and 8 men are eager to serve with honesty and transparency to create a vibrant future for all residents of our great community.

TONIGHT! Our next DTC meeting will be replaced with a joint one with Nancy Wyman as featured guest speaker on Tuesday, August 27 at 7pm at the Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty Street, Chester. Christine and Norm will be there as well. Guests are welcome.

Nancy Wyman will speak at Joint DTC Meeting on Tuesday, August 27 in Chester.

Nancy will be addressing the new initiatives along with resources CT Dems have for our towns, as well as Democratic messaging on the local, state and national level. 

Don’t miss an exhilarating night of trivia & music by What trivia?, prizes to the top 2 teams, and teacup auction chances to win great baskets!

Warm up your trivia prowess by answering these video questions!

Rules of the Game

Our format will be General knowledge TRIVIA. This is very popular around the country, bringing families and friends and individuals together for an entertaining game to challenge your mind and wit, and have chance to win some great prizes.  Bring a Team up to 8, or form a team there, or smaller groups also welcomed. Just come to have a good time. 

The game is designed so that everyone has an equal chance. In the final question, you can wager it all or none, allowing anyone to “come from behind”.   

The event will be conducted by the famous WHAT TRIVIA  emcees. They will challenge us with lots of general knowledge trivia questions (music, movies, geography, sports, science and pop culture) for example. They will entertain you with great music and repartee.  

We will provide soft drinks and snacks. You can BYOB if you like and are legal. 

It promises to be a fun event for all. The price of admission will be $20 per person, which you can pay at the door or at

  • Teams of Eight – Find the smartest friends you have, or hire someone to help you. It doesn’t matter who they are, if you call them you’re team, we won’t judge you. You’re more than welcome to play by yourself, just be sure your table has no more than 8 people.
  • No Cheaters! – There are no lifelines. Absolutely no cell phones, no internet enabled devices, no wicked smart uncle who isn’t included on your team, can help you with the answers. Watch out, people get competitive and aren’t afraid to tell on you.
  • Don’t Yell Out Answers – Having fun is allowed, being obnoxious is not. Yell out an answer when a question is asked, right or wrong, and you’ll be asked to leave.
  • Don’t Forget to Wager – If you forget to write a wager on your answer sheet, your host will wager for you. They will most likely give you the lowest available number if you’re right, or highest available number if you’re wrong, so like we said, don’t forget!
  • Need more information: Call Sean Moriarty, 860-614-4924

run for office

The Haddam Democratic Town Committee is seeking good candidates to run for a number of commissions and boards on Nov. 5, 2019.

Do you see yourself running and serving as:

    • First Selectman (2 yr term), need 1 candidate
    • Board of Selectmen (2 year term), up to two candidates
    • Tax Collector (4 year term), need 1
    • Board of Finance (6 year term), need 4 full members
    • Board of Finance Alternates, (6 year term), need 2
    • Planning & Zoning Commission (4 year term), need 3
    • Planning & Zoning Alternate (4 year term), need 1
    • Board of Assessment Appeals (4 year term), need 1
    • Zoning Board of Appeals, (4 year term), 3 full members
    • Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate (4 year term), need 1 
    • Board of Education (4 year term), need 3 See BOE minutes at Volunteer position.

Whether or not you decide to run, come to the

Haddam Democratic Town Committee meeting on Wed., April 17th at the Community Center, 7 Candlewood Hill Road, Higganum, at 7 p.m.

 Learn about running, campaigning and being part of the team!

Sign up that night if you’re interested in running or contact Tanja Moriarty, HDTC Secretary at 860-614-5158 before the meeting. Our Nominations Committee will interview prospective candidates this spring and make a recommendation of the 2019 Slate of Candidates to the Haddam Democratic Town Committee. The HDTC will then vote on the slate, file it with the State and campaign to get good folks like you elected on November 5, 2019! You need not be a member of the HDTC to check it all out!

So Many Dems Who Work on Haddam’s Behalf Were Elected on Nov. 6, 2018

Restoring our Hope and Sanity at the Regional, State and National Levels!

All, please read this Hartford Courant article reflecting the realization of “the other side” after this election.

Soul Searching Begins For Connecticut Republicans After Election Rout

“‘It’s a tough time to be a Republican in Connecticut’ Stewart said.”—-Hartford Courant reporter Neil Vigdor.

 That’s music to OUR ears! Let’s keep the volume cranked up!

(Go ahead and Cheer Out Loud!)

Official results from the Secretary of the State’s office as of 2 pm. Norm Needleman wins the 33rd senate district and Christine Palm wins the 36th house district.
Congratulations to all who ran.
Total registered: 6,142
Voted: 4,371
Turnout: 71%


Women in State Surf Blue Wave!

palm npr

Christine Palm elected to State Representative






Know where to Vote on November 6th? Just follow this link and fill in the blanks! It’ll tell you where to go!


Do you know Your Democratic Candidates who want to serve Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck at the Senate, Congressional, and State levels? Get out and vote for them on Nov. 6th, 2018!


Haddam Dems at Youth and Family Services annual Pumpkin Run provided candidate information, and a chance for people to meet candidates. Here is Christine Palm for State Representative.  Norm Needleman also came by.

HDTC Recommends Sean Moriarty to Fill Board of Finance Vacancy: Board of Selectmen Unanimously Approve!

smaller sean

The Haddam Democratic Town Committee recommended Sean Moriarty to the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 22, 2018 to fill the full Board of Finance seat recently vacated by  Christopher Alexy, who recently resigned. The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to accept Sean for the remainder of the term which ends November of 2019. See more at Sean Moriarty for Haddam.

debate pin

NEXT NORM DEBATE: Thursday, Oct. 25 at Old Saybrook High School, 1111 Boston Post Road.  The Day‘s 33rd district debate between Norm Needleman for State Senate and Melissa Ziobron. Hope you can make it!

Norm smiling

The hour-long debates begin at 7 p.m. and will be live-streamed on
The Day and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut are sponsoring the debates with help from the League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut.

See the Debate between our well-informed, qualified and highly-endorsed Democratic candidate Christine Palm and incumbent Bob Seigrist (R) on Oct. 17th, at Valley Regional High School. (Unedited footage so start viewing at 10:12 to where debate begins)

Christine Palm

Instead of our regular Oct. Haddam Democratic Town Committee meeting, we will meet Wednesday, October 17 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River at 6:30 for Candidate Christine Palm’s Debate! All of the community are welcome!

Essex & Haddam Libraries to Sponsor Debates Between Candidates for State Rep. & Senate Oct. 17 and 22nd.

The Essex and Brainerd (Haddam) Libraries will jointly sponsor two debates in October.  Moderators will be Essex Library Director Richard Conroy and Brainerd Library Director Tom Piezzo.

The first debate will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.  It will feature incumbent 36th District State Representative Bob Siegrist (R) and challenger Christine Palm (D) who will square off beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

Democrat Norm Needleman and Republican Melissa Ziobron, candidates for the open 36th State Senate seat, will debate at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 also at Valley Regional High School.  Conroy and Piezzo will once again serve as moderators.

District residents are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates in writing by mailing or dropping them off at either the Essex Library (33 West Ave, Essex, CT, 06426) or Brainerd Library (920 Saybrook Road, Haddam, CT 06438) or by sending them via email to or  In order to be considered for inclusion questions must be relevant to issues facing our state, particularly at the district level, and not constructed in such a way as to favor a particular candidate.


Highlights from the Chilliest! About 35 people met Norm Needleman for State Senate, and Christine Palm for Representative (see more about the candidates here). We learned highlights of their campaigns and encouraged each other to keep going! There were 10 different kinds of chili to sample and vote for the favorite with real beans! Tanja Moriarty won the most votes with her beef chili!




We need to make big changes on Nov. 6th! Vote for our Democratic candidates. Need info on registering to vote? How to get an Absentee Ballot? Click here. 


Do you know Your Democratic Candidates who want to serve Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck at the Senate, Congressional, and State levels? Get out and vote for them on Nov. 6th, 2018!

Come Meet Candidates & Sample and Vote for the Best Chili in Haddam on Oct. 14th!




Regular HDTC Meeting, Wed., Sept. 19th 7 p.m. at Community Center, 7 Candlewood Hill Road, Higganum.

 Planning Oktoberfest fundraiser and a friendraiser for Norm Needleman and Christine Palm. 
Norm (middle) for State Senate
Christine Palm, (left) for State Representative

Joint Democratic Town Committee Meeting Sept. 11th

Democratic Town Committees from Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex are continuing to meet, having joined forces this earlier this year as Joint Democratic Town Committee meetings. The next one takes place at the Chester Meeting House, Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty Street, Chester on Tuesday, Sept. 11th at 7 p.m. Come experience the strength in numbers as we share ideas and make plans.

Members of the Haddam Democratic Town Committee at Haddam Neck Fair and Haddam River Days This Fall!

Posts below from a very interesting summer…

Susan Campbell gets it.…/hc-op-campbell-schlag-kneeling-ple…

‘Do that on your own time’: Official’s decision to kneel during pledge divides her small town- Washington Post 8/2/18

Haddam official, vilified for kneeling during Pledge, apologizes, pleads for constructive dialogue -Middletown Press 8/2/18


Kneeling as an Act of Protest, The Collin McEnroe Show on WNPR, 8/1/18.

Supporters of All Backgrounds Protest

protest 1

Click here for Melissa Joins Silent Protest Video–Cassandra Day

pic kneel

Political war persists as Haddam selectwoman continues to kneel-CT Mirror

Haddam selectman faces harsh criticism, condemnation for taking knee during Pledge of Allegiance–Middletown Press

Haddam Board Of Selectmen Meeting Draws Supporters, Critics Of Official Who Knelt During Pledge- Hartford Courant

‘Taking A Knee’ Causes Firestorm in Haddam- News Junkie

united for the first

Haddam and Killingworth Officials Exercise First Amendment Rights—They Kneel Disheartened With Our Country’s Leadership. Two Republicans Go Unscathed; Our Democrat Deals with Politically- Charged Bullying!

being bulliedSelectman, Democrat Melissa J. Schlag Takes A Knee and Takes the Heat Exercising First Amendment Rights

For about a year, two members of the Haddam -Killingworth Board of Education began  taking a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance in school meetings. Maura Wallin, a Haddam Republican, admits she is no fan of President Trump, said she takes a knee in protest of our criminal justice system.  She believes it singles out minorities. Eric Couture of Killingworth kneels because he feels “..we are not living living up to what we say we stand for, and we should call attention to that.”(see Middletown Press link)

They kneel. That is their constitutional right! No one in Haddam or Killingworth, nor anyone with any political affiliation has ever said one word about it—for over a year!

Yet, on Monday, July 16th, Selectman Melissa Schlag, Democrat, knelt during the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the Board of Selectmen meeting in protest of Trump’s visit with Putin that day. She also knelt “in sorrow” for a number of issues she felt our country is facing (see her letter on our website).

The meeting continued after the Pledge as usual for about 35 minutes, then adjourned. That seemed to be that.  But later, the video of her kneeling was handed over to the mass-media by people who wanted to agitate and to promote the unprecedented division in our town, state and nation.

It wasn’t us.

A firestorm of controversy spread globally. Though well within her Constitutional rights, Melissa Schlag in her silent protest, has endured a backlash of hatred and unbeliebable name-calling and threats. First Selectman Lizz Milardo called Melissa’s refusal to stand during the Pledge a “selfish act of attention.” (see Middletown Press link) Melissa was even hassled by  Republican Art Linares on this video clip who said she should resign! (Linares is currently hot on his campaign trail, facing a primary soon as he runs for Treasurer.)

Fortunately, Melissa has received some powerful validation and support from reasonable people who understand our sacred freedoms. We must not lose them to warped or uninformed “lock-step” regimes or bullies. We must protect our rights and those who take the heat for exercising our American freedoms.

The links below follow some of news stories and articles of the past few weeks. A non-violent vigil, Support The First,  has been organized to take place at 5 p.m. before the next Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, July 30th at the Haddam Volunteer Fire Company. Please attend.

choice salute

Melissa’s “Dear America” Letter

Four days later after the Board of Selectmen meeting, Melissa Schlag issued a letter, “Dear America” that circulated on social media and was picked up by television stations.

July 20, 2018
Dear America,
Before I was old enough to walk, I attended Memorial Day parades and Veteran’s Day ceremonies with my parents and my little sister (my father is an Air Force veteran); a few years later I marched as a Girl Scout for nearly two decades; I wrote essays on what patriotism means to me; and I marched with my high school band and learned to play every patriotic song by heart on my clarinet.
I have devoted every day to my fellow citizen, whether it was helping someone less fortunate, donating my time and skills, or attending nearly every town meeting for over a decade and filming them to hold local government accountable and to keep fellow citizens informed. I proudly ran for state senator in the 33rd district, speaking to over 8,000 people in person across twelve towns. I proudly ran for first selectman in 2013 and was honored to serve the citizens of Haddam for two years with honesty and integrity. I’ve dedicated my time on other boards throughout the years and now serve as selectman. I consider myself a Haddam patriot as well as an American patriot.
I have the utmost respect for our service members, and I have also served my country in many ways; I believe serving your country and being a patriot does not automatically mean carrying a gun overseas. Patriotism comes in many forms.
On Monday, July 16, 2018, for the first time in my life, I knelt for the pledge of allegiance.
I knelt out of extreme sorrow for our country, because earlier that day, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, sat down with a murderous dictator, Vladimir Putin, our enemy and someone who is working hard to undermine the most patriotic of our rights, the right to our democracy.
I knelt out of extreme sorrow for our country, that the leader of our great nation, rejected the advice and findings of all American intelligence agencies and would rather support the lies of a murderous dictator.
I knelt out of extreme sorrow that immigrant children are being kept in cages, separated from their families for so long they don’t even recognize their parents when and if reunited.
I knelt out of extreme sorrow for the bullying, lies, and attack on human rights that comes from the leader of our great nation every single day.
I knelt because there are people who are cold, sick, and hungry in this country, while the present administration says humans are not worthy of things like universal health care and must chose every day between the medication needed to stay alive and paying their electric or grocery bill.
I knelt out of extreme sorrow that women’s rights are being stripped from us by the leader of our nation who thinks it is okay to grab women by the genitals.
I could go on.
I have reached a point in my life where I feel I need to send the message by kneeling, that none of this is okay and all of this is as unpatriotic as it can get and the antithesis of what America stands for.
Therefore, as long as Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States, I will kneel. I will kneel for all the people, regardless of party affiliation, and continue to fight for their rights. This is not the America I grew up in, or the country we should be, but I will work every day to get us back to that place.
If you wish to lecture about being unpatriotic, that is your right, but your attention should start with your president.
If people are not offended and worried by what the president of the United States did this week (multiple times), we have no hope. America should be alarmed by these disgusting displays of not only unpatriotic acts, but also treason. He continuously breaks all the rules and his actions have opened the door for us all to exercise our first amendment rights in protest.
My question to all those who take offense to my choice to kneel, who are you to decide what I should or should not do, and under what authority do you decided what is sacred and what is not?
Finally, if you are unfamiliar with the history of the pledge of allegiance and where it came from, I urge you to read about it.
It’s quite fascinating actually. In a nutshell, it wasn’t even written by a patriot, it was written by a socialist minister in 1892 in a marketing campaign to make money by selling flags to schools for a Catholic boys magazine. He and his business partner used the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in 1492 as their hook. Kind of symbolic and ironic that people stand to recite a sentence written entirely for capitalistic reasons to celebrate the 400th anniversary of a rapist and genocidal murderer who didn’t even set foot on American soil.
The original words of the pledge of allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
See that word “liberty”? That’s a powerful word. I urge anyone to show me where in the United States Constitution it says we are obligated to stand for a “pledge.” In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”
For America, I kneel.
Very truly yours,
Melissa Schlag
Haddam, Connecticut United States of America “

Nationwide and Worldwide Reactions

People from throughout Connecticut, the country, and the world have reacted in a variety of ways to this controversy. You will see a spectrum of those who don’t seem to understand or fully embrace our freedoms, to those who vehemently defend our freedoms—both home and abroad. There’s been a lot of heated discussion on our Facebook page, some educated, some uninformed and crass. We ask that people try to discuss opinions respectfully and resort from name calling, insults and threats.

Our goal is to promote open and informed (Haddam) government. We will keep adding to this website as things unfold.

News stories

Haddam selectman blasted for electing to kneel for Pledge of Allegiance

Haddam feeling fallout from Pledge of Allegiance kneeling controversy

From the Daily Mail, United Kingdom


Read this Editorial from the Hartford Courant on July 26, 2018


From Kate Hamilton Moser, USAF Veteran July 2018 to Melissa Schlag:

“I separated from the Air Force in 1998. Very rarely did anyone thank me for my service or offer to buy me a drink. Most of the time people reacted with suspicion and incredulity when they learned that I was a veteran. There were a fair amount of people that questioned if I was in the “real” Air Force or assumed that I was a secretary for an important man.

When I was on active duty it was strongly recommended that I not wear my uniform in public as it tended to upset the local population and could bring verbal or physical harm to my person. Shady and unethical business surrounded every military base I visited with predators ready to pounce on poor, uneducated young service members with more than $20 in their pockets for the first time in their lives. Laws and policies existed solely to harm active duty military members in nearly all financial aspects of our lives. Auto insurance rates, predatory lending rates, rental rates and laws all designed to penalize us for being active duty military members.

Then 9/11 occured. I saw an immediate resurgence in what I call “faux patriotism”. American flags adorned nearly every home, business, truck, t-shirt, beach towel, swim trunk, bikini, and beer koozie. Companies started touting their patriotic bonafides with “We Hire Vets” in job ads and showing wholesome, all-American veterans grilling in their perfectly manicured backyards to sell bbq grills, lawnmowers, tires, and NFL tickets.

Thousands of people flocked to join the armed forces after 9/11 and most were trained and deployed to a country on the other side of the world to fight a never-ending battle against a nebulous, yet undefined enemy of American values. The T word. Terrorism.

But terrorism didn’t start on 9/11. Khobar Towers. USS Cole. The first World Trade Center bombings. Those terrorist attacks occured long before 9/11 but there was little to no interest from anyone stateside. Can anyone in this room explain Khobar Towers and how many died that day?

What about the Murrah Building? Who orchestrated and executed that act of terrorism? The mass murders at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville? Benjamin Colton Barnes? Ivan Lopez? Wade Michael Page? Are you familiar with the significant numbers of women and children that are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and murder in the areas surrounding Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Carson, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and Camp LeJeune?

Is there a national dialogue and concern for the now grown children and families of Vietnam Era veterans? Why did it take my father in law over 20 years for the VA to take his claims seriously and award him a disability rating? During that time he experienced homelessness, alcoholism, divorce, family estrangement, multiple job losses, poverty, drug abuse, diabetes, and then death. All of this stemmed from his time as a very young man in Vietnam after being sprayed with Agent Orange and left under-equipped, under-trained, and unsupported after the Marines no longer had any use for him. Just one more poor kid that they could use, abuse, and discard when his usefulness ended.

Agent Orange. We’ve all seen the photos of the children and grandchildren of Agent Orange victims still living in Vietnam. But what about the children and grandchildren of American Vietnam vets? Is there any support or concern for them? Does anyone care that my spouse and I were both raised in homes with troubled and unstable veterans? Does anyone care that my young child lost both of his grandfathers in their 50’s due to the long term impacts of the Vietnam War? Who is going to be his grandpa now?

Perhaps that’s all part of the larger plan. The children of veterans that never receive the medical and emotional support they need create troubled and unstable homes for their children. More meat for Uncle Sam’s grinder. Is it any surprise that 2 of 3 of the children in my spouses family joined the military and 3 of the 5 children in my family joined the military? Recruiting offices aren’t located in wealthy neighborhoods. It’s the poor kids that have to put their lives on the line for job skills training or an education to become an X-ray technician or communications operator.

What does this have to do with Melissa Schlag and kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance? Nothing and everything. Nothing if countless people didn’t attempt to frame the kneeling discussion around support for veterans for their own political gain. Everything if people want to wrap themselves in the flag and then preach from on high about “VETERANS!” when they see someone kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance.

But what are these politicians doing for veterans? Are they concerned with military pay and benefits? 1 in 4 students enrolled at a DOD school qualify for free meals. In 2016, $67,000,000 of SNAP benefits were spent at military commissaries. Food pantries and charities are ubiquitous around military bases.

We all know about PTSD, but what about Military Sexual Trauma (MST)? Are the politicians so concerned about the flag and “VETERANS!” working to raise awareness around MST and to adequately fund and support the VA to treat and assist victims of MST and their families? Are they passing legislation to prevent the assaults while on active duty and hold perpetrators responsible? Or are they doing everything they can to privatize the VA to award lucrative contracts to political cronies and future employers while ignoring a significant problem that is growing every year?

Most importantly, are the people screaming about “VETERANS!” every time they see someone kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance doing all they can to end armed conflict and promote peace? Because the most important work we can do for veterans and our families is to end armed conflict. We need to do all we can to not create another generation of Americans that suffer from PTSD, MST, emotional trauma, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide rates that are more than double the rest of the population. Double. For every single person that commits suicide in the US, two active duty members or veterans also commit suicide.

Until all of those issues are adequately addressed, researched, funded, and resolved, anyone using “VETERANS!” as a political tool or wedge to influence or throw stones at a political opponent is just as guilty terrorism as Timothy McVeigh, Osama Bin Laden, and the countless other people that have used and abused veterans for their own political and financial gain.

So kneel. Kneel today, tomorrow, and next week. Kneeling in protest during the Pledge of Allegiance brings awareness to a significant number of issues facing many Americans. Scream about “VETERANS!” as well. But only after you have done the long, hard work of supporting active duty military and veterans with policy, legislation, and funding to positively impact their lives and to prevent another generation of service members from suffering like I do, like my family did, and countless other families across the country.

Kate Hamilton Moser
USAF Veteran
July 2018″

From Christine Palm for State Representative

In Defense of the First Amendment

Statement by Christine Palm concerning Art Linares’ attack on the First Amendment. July 27, 2018

“We in the Constitution State need to defend the Constitution. This bedrock of our democracy is broad, deep and elegant as written; no one should pick and choose which of the 27 ratified amendments to support and which to deem insignificant. Patriotic people across this nation see the first 10 amendments, which constitute the Bill of Rights, as most directly governing our lives.

While I understand being upset by any action that disrespects the flag, “taking a knee” is not such an action. Rather, it is an act of supplication — an earnest and humble request. Those who kneel in non-violent protest do so out of love for our country because they are moved by a fervent desire to see the rights of all people respected and restored.

Therefore, despite the anti-democratic narrative and political opportunism of Senator Art Linares and others, at the center of the controversy in Haddam is the First Amendment itself.
This Amendment specifically protects five freedoms, three of which Selectwoman Schlag has invoked: the freedom of speech, the freedom to peaceably assemble, and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Put simply, these three freedoms mean that if you disagree with your government, you have a right to express your opinion, as long as it doesn’t create a riot or harm others.

The GOP outcry is nothing more than political posturing. Linares chose to attack a Democrat but has been completely silent for more than a year regarding a Republican who has also shown her independence by taking a knee at Haddam town meetings to protest the injustices of the current administration.

Linares would better spend his time addressing what is critical to our district – enhancing economic security for working families, creating jobs that pay a living wage, and protecting the elderly, the environment, veterans, teachers’ pensions and women’s rights.

People of all political persuasions and parties — including the GOP – should stand up for our Constitution in all its glory. It’s time to honor all the U.S. soldiers who have died defending what our flag stands for, those who currently serve our country to defend our Constitutional rights, and all who invoke the First Amendment as they challenge our nation to become “a more perfect union.”


(Before the 7/30/18 Board of Selectmen Meeting!)

for the first flagSupport the First!  Monday, July 30th, 5 PM at Haddam Volunteer Fire Company 439 Saybrook Rd, Higganum, Connecticut 06441

Please join us in solidarity in a PEACEFUL, NON-VIOLENT, SILENT VIGIL supporting the values of the United States Constitution. We oppose Senator Art Linares’ attack on the First Amendment rights afforded to us under the United States Constitution. We do not condone bullying or intimidation. Our Mission is NOT to incite, but to bear witness in silence. We are NOT protesting our Country, we are Defending the Right to Free Speech! Flags welcome and encouraged!
Thank you for your support.

Watch These Short Videos to Refresh Yourself about Our Constitution and First Amendment Rights

school house rock


Learn more about our current Fundraiser for the Haddam Democratic Town Committee


1 headerDemocracyBlue Wave Festival Celebrates the Rising Tide of Democracy on Sunday,

June 24, 2018 in Chester, CT

FREE-To-the-Public Event — Speakers, Musicians, Advocates, and Child-Friendly Activities

Chester, CT – June 1, 2018 – The Chester Democratic Town Committee (DTC) in cooperation with 14 Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline DTCs announced today they will host a Blue Wave Festival on Sunday, June 24, 2018, from 3pm – 6pm at the Chester Fairgrounds, Rt 154 and Kirtland Terrace, in Chester, CT.  The family-friendly Blue Wave Fest will feature local musicians, 20+ guest speakers, legislators, office-seekers and 35+ information tables offering valuable insight into how citizens, communities and organizations are taking action to face the most pressing challenges affecting our democracy today. This one-of-a-kind event will also celebrate the power of the individual vote. The Blue Wave Fest coalition of DTCs in the lower Connecticut River Valley includes Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Killingworth, Haddam, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. There is no admission fee.  For the very latest updates to the event program, regularly visit the Blue Wave Fest website at, Facebook: Blue Wave Fest, and Twitter:@BlueWaveFest or Instagram.

“We are very, very excited about our democracy festival,” states Marta Daniels, Blue Wave Fest Chair. “This is a wonderful platform where citizens can come together for a constructive political dialogue across various views, ages, and gender. The Blue Wave Fest is a big tent event for exploring the issues impacting our democracy, and emphasizing the necessity of voting for every single Connecticut citizen.  Our diverse festival program includes political, musical, creative, and social voices and champions from every walk of life and age.  Our aim is to engage the vibrant citizenry in the Lower Connecticut River Valley with compelling conversations about democracy, equality, tolerance, and bettering our communities for everyone along the economic ladder.”

For more information about the Blue Wave Fest, please call 860-343-3191 or visit the website at

voting tips
Vote on the Town Budget, Wed., May 30, 2018, 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire Station #1,
439 Saybrook Road, Higganum.  Full details here.
Endorsing Candidates,Conventions, May HDTC Meeting
From Chair Melissa Schlag:As predicted, the crowded field for Governor is starting to thin at an accelerated pace.  Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and former State Senator and Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris have both withdrawn their candidacies for the Democratic nomination.  Harris has joined outgoing Attorney General George Jepsen in formally endorsing the Gubernatorial candidacy of Ned Lamont.  On the Republican side of the race, Toni Boucher announced that she was ending her campaign for Governor to focus on reelection to her State Senate seat, while New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced Greenwich Mayor Peter Tesei as her running mate as she continues to seek the Republican nomination.The race for attorney General has also narrowed somewhat, as Democratic Representative Michael D’Agostino has ended his campaign and endorsed his fellow House member William Tong for the position.Meanwhile, the future composition of the General Assembly has seen additional changes for the class of 2018 as Representatives Kevin Skulczyck (R – Griswold, Lisbon, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown) and Lonnie Reed (D – Branford) announced their retirement, and liberal political activist Kennard Ray announced his candidacy for the vacant House seat left by the resignation of Hartford Democratic Representative Angel Arce.The updated list of legislators who have decided to retire from the General Assembly include:
  • Rep. Jeff Berger (D)
  • Rep. Linda Gentile (D)
  • Rep. Lonnie Reed (D)
  • Rep. Danny Rovero (D)
  • Rep. Kevin Skulczyck (R)
  • Rep. Diana Urban (D)
  • Sen. Tony Guglielmo (R)
  • Sen. Ed Gomes (D)
  • Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D)
  • Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D)

The following Representatives have declared their intention to seek a State Senate Seat:

  • Tony Guerrera (D) – replacing Paul Doyle (D) in the 9th District
  • Rob Sampson (R) – replacing Joseph Markley (R) in the 16th District
  • Pam Staneski (R) – replacing Gayle Slossberg (D) in the  14th District
  • Mark Tweedie (R) – challenging Steve Cassano (D) in the 4th District
  • Melissa Ziobron (R) – replacing Art Linares (R) in the 33rd District

The following legislators are running for statewide office:

  • Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R) (Governor)
  • Sen. Joseph Markley (R) (Lieutenant Governor)
  • Rep. William Tong (D) (Attorney General)
  • Rep. Michael D’Agostino (D)  (Attorney General) -ended campaign
  • Sen. Toni Boucher (R) – ended campaign
  • Sen. Paul Doyle (D) (Attorney General)
  • Sen. Art Linares (R) (State Treasurer)

Our next Haddam Democratic Town Committee meeting is Thursday, May 10, at the Community Center,  7 Candlewood Hill Road, so we can endorse candidates for the various offices in advance of the conventions.

Don’t forget to go to the Town Budget Meeting where we’ll vote on the upcoming Town Budget, Wednesday, May 30 at Firehouse 1 at 7 p.m.

Joint DTC was April 30 @ 7 p.m in Chester

The next Joint DTC meeting of area Democratic Town Committees is Monday, April 30th at the Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., Chester at 7 p.m. We will hear from more candidates planning to run for various offices on the State and regional level this fall.

solar-walk-up-jmc-2013-9960-350x265Update on the meeting below: The first proposal to rescind the ordinance waiving solar fees was carried by a hand-vote of 31 for to 22 opposed.The Sidewalk Ordinance proposal was denied by unanimous vote because it needed work on the verbiage to clarify the meaning of “maintenance”. A homeowner whose property abuts the sidewalk would NOT be responsible for the “maintenance” of the sidewalk. The revised ordinance with this clarification will be presented soon.From Selectman Melissa Schlag,Important request: Please come out to the town meeting and VOTE this TONIGHT: April 11 at 6:00 p.m. Firehouse, 439 Saybrook Rd Higganum

Two proposals

1. Solar Fees
Selectmen Milardo and Maggi want to undo an ordinance we passed four years ago that waives solar building fees. As our federal government (thanks to polluting Pruitt) rolls back environmental protections every day in this country, we should be making it easier and cheaper for people to install solar panels not more difficult and more expensive.
Haddam was on the cutting edge of solar installations in Connecticut during the Solarize CT campaign and should be proud of our accomplishments.

The permit fees are astronomical in relation to the type of inspection solar panels need–the inspection is very quick compared to other building projects worth $25-30K and does not justify the fees charged. Furthermore, it’s the principle that Haddam stands for clean air and a clean environment. Haddam won awards, grants, and free solar panels for a town building because of our efforts. These efforts should not be undone.

2. Sidewalks
Selectmen Milardo and Maggi also want to institute an ordinance that the folks along any sidewalk or path on a street/highway/etc have to remove snow AND maintain the sidewalk, as well as hold all the legal responsibility if someone falls etc.

There are lots of older folks along the sidewalks in Haddam center and they won’t be able to shovel snow off the sidewalks, nonetheless repair them. And along the main highway, the state trucks throw snow and ice onto the sidewalk that would sometimes be impossible to remove.

So please come out to the town meeting and VOTE this TONIGHT:  April 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Firehouse, 439 Saybrook Rd Higganum
Selectman Melissa Schlag

Submitted by Sean Moriarty:

There will be a public hearing at the Haddam Volunteer Fire Company Community Hall on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:00 pm followed by a Town Meeting at the same location to discuss and vote on two important topics. There is a proposal to repeal the Town Ordinance that waives the building permit fees for the installation of renewable energy sources on our properties. The waiver of the fees is an incentive for people to try to install renewable energy generators such as solar to help them reduce their personal energy costs and help reduce the environmental impact of non- renewable energy producing plants that we rely on.
The repeal is a short-sighted money grab by the first selectman. The town has not suffered in the four years since the ordinance has been enacted and in fact has become a better place to live as people are trying to make a difference in how we treat our environment.

If the ordinance is repealed your taxes will not go down in any measurable manner but it may very well deter some people from trying to install a renewable energy generation source on their property.

I am asking you to join me at the hearing and meeting on Wednesday, April 11 to stop this repeal from going through.

There is a second item on the agendas that deals with sidewalk maintenance after a winter weather event. The Town is going to require residents who have property the abuts a town owned sidewalk remove snow and ice from the sidewalk within 12 hours of the end of the weather event. While this is not a new idea in municipalities, I feel the twelve hours is not enough time, especially if those property owners have a lot of clearing to do other than the sidewalks. Many municipalities give property owners 24 hours to clear the sidewalks. This time frame is more than reasonable.

Joint Dem Town Committees Meeting Updates:

We had great Turn Out at the Joint DTC meeting we hosted on March 28th at Fire House 1.  The hall was filled and we heard from candidates Eva Bermudez Zimmerman for Secretary. Guy Smith, Mark Stewart Greenstein, and Joe Ganim for governor. The next joint meeting is Monday, April 30th at the Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty St., Chester at 7 p.m.

IMG_4906Double the Turn-Out at 2nd Joint Meeting with Area Towns! Haddam hosts next one Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire House 1.

Over 130 Democrats from area town committees met on Wed., Feb. 28 in Essex to hear from 12 candidates for governor, treasurer, attorney general at Essex’s town office building. This number from Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex, Lyme, Old Lyme and Portland is double the amount that met last month in Deep River to share ideas and collaborate on how to restore sanity and good sense in our local, state, and national government. The four chairs of the local committees, Lori Ann Clymas, (Chester), Lisa Bibbiani (Deep River), Brian Cournoyer (Essex), and Melissa Schlag (Haddam) began this collaboration in the new year. The purpose of these gatherings is to stand strong together to take back our towns, state, and nation by campaigning together, instead of as individual town committees. Right now we are receiving reports from local political dignitaries and pitches from future candidates.

Each Democratic Town Committee plans to host a joint meeting in the coming months. The next one is Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Haddam Fire House 1.  State-wide Candidate Presentations will be from:

  • Eva Bermudez Zimmerman (Sec)
  • Guy Smith (Gov)
  • Clare Kindall (AG)
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein (Gov
  • Joe Ganim (Gov)

Please take the time now to click and like the Chester, Deep River, and Essex Democratic Town Committees on line or visit their websites so you can stay informed at this crucial time!

Highlights from the First Joint Meeting

joint ds

Over 65 Democrats from Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex (with a few from Portland and Middletown) assembled at the Deep River Town Hall on January 24th to share ideas and collaborate on how to restore sanity and good sense in our local, state and national government. The four chairs of the local committees Lori Ann Clymas, (Chester), Lisa Bibbiani (Deep River), Brian Cournoyer (Essex) and Melissa Schlag (Haddam) lead the organizational meeting and encouraged reports from local political dignitaries and future candidates. Each Democratic Town Committee plans to host a joint meeting in the coming months. The next one is Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall.  Please take the time now to click and like the Chester, Deep River and Essex Democratic Town Committees on line or visit their websites so you can stay informed at this crucial time!

Deep River

dem map

Democratic Town Committees from Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam are joining forces this new year with a series of Joint Democratic Town Committee meetings. The first takes place at the Deep River Town Hall on Wednesday, January 24 at 7 p.m. Come experience the strength in numbers as we share ideas and hear from:

  • Gubernatorial candidate Joe Ganim (Bridgeport Mayor)
  • AG Candidate Mike D’Agostino (State Rep. Hamden)
  • First Selectman Norm Needleman
  • Judge of Probate-elect Jeannine Lewis

The next joint meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall . We’ll host one in March, date to be announced.

Let us know if you can make it, if you need directions, or are interested in carpooling.

Nine New Members Added at Caucus

Congratulations to nine new and returning members!
We had a great caucus and now have 39 members on our committee. What a dynamic group! We will see third Wednesday of each month. After our February 7 meeting which will be at the Town Hall, we will be meeting at the Community Center, 7 Candlewood Hill Road, Higganum. Since we can get cell service at the community center, we will be able to offer live Facebook or Skype meetings for folks who are not able to make it.

Who We Are and Why You Should Join Haddam Democrats

We are a hybrid of Haddam, Higganum and Haddam Neck neighbors who embrace progressive values such as:

  • employment and economic opportunity
  • a healthy environment
  • quality, affordable health care
  • civil rights
  • affordable housing
  • access to good public education
  • and fair taxation

We insist on open and fair town government here at home. Read more.