Mar 07

Formal Announcement of Candidacy

FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF CANDIDACY 

United States Senate as a Representative of Connecticut

Given at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2010
At the Azul Restaurant, 1691 Main Street in Bridgeport, CT

 

Ladies and gentlemen, friends & supporters:

I am pleased and honored to formally introduce my candidacy for the United States Senate, this as a life-long Republican, to replace the seat soon to be vacated by long-term Senator Christopher Dodd.

You as listeners to this kind of presentation may be accustomed to or perhaps even expect a candidate to begin to tell you what he will do for you.I’m going to do it differently. I’m going to begin to tell you what I won’t do. Our federal government is dysfunctional with a prominent disregard for the Constitution, the separation of powers among the three main Departments and of the separation of powers between the federal government and the states. To begin to correct this situation, there is first an administrative task of defining respective rights and responsibilities of the various players. For this topic, I have identified four primary players:

First, there is the citizen. The citizen has a set of rights and responsibilities. Most people have some conscious awareness of such citizens rights and responsibilities.

Second, there is the state government, that factor which also includes local governments that fall under the umbrella of state government. There is a separate set of powers and responsibilities for state governments, powers and responsibilities which is some ways overlap the rights and responsibilities of the citizen and yet are also distinct from those.

Third, there is the federal government. The federal government has yet a separate set of powers and responsibilities, powers and responsibilities which to some limited degree overlap with the powers and responsibilities of state government yet in some real ways are distinct from those of state government. However, for reasons which may include the impacts of vested interests, of a desire to be reelected or other unarticulated motives, there has been a tendency for our federally elected officials to stretch beyond what is their allowed authority particularly as is defined in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to thereby elevate themselves to a position nearly of gods to attempt to serve the desires of the public beyond what our Founding Fathers ever intended or provided for or for matters which are convenient and useful of public interest. And to add insult to injury, they tax the citizen in order to do this!

The respected author Mike Murdock has made an important statement: “People never change what they believe until their belief system cannot produce something they want.” With that statement in mind, it is through habitual and expansive overreaching of its programs that the federal government is actually suppressing individual, personal development and the individual need and motive for good education, development, investment, entrepreneurship, and invention, those factors which normally cannot effectively be mandated but rather can merely be allowed through a constructive and supportive environment which affords a climate where development, entrepreneurship and invention can best flourish.

This brings us to the fourth factor for complete functional government; God! I believe that God is an integral and necessary factor of good government. Our founding fathers also believed this considering their specific reference in the Declaration of Independence to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”. This is also understood from their known multiple references to scripture in the preparation of the Constitution. This does not mean that I would exclude from the governmental process or its protection someone who does not believe the way that I do. Nor does it mean that I would use government to impose religion. Rather, it means that I believe that God is an integral factor of the governmental process.

An important means, therefore, of beginning to revert to adherence to such a distinct four-legged structural governmental foundation is more careful and strict adherence by Congress (which includes the Senate when the term is used generically) to the limitations of Congress which are found in Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution. Article I, Section 8 includes eighteen subsections which detail the powers of Congress. Some of those include the following:

  • The power to borrow money
  • The power to regulate international commerce
  • The power to establish a “uniform Rule of Naturalization”
  • The power to coin money
  • The power to provide for punishment for counterfeiting
  • The power to establish post offices and post roads
  • The power to constitute courts inferior to the Supreme Court
  • The power to declare war
  • The powers to raise an army and navy (Clearly there was no concept of an air force at the time that the Constitution was written.)
  • Then there is provision in the last sub-section for power to make laws “which shall be necessary and proper” (Unfortunately, this sub-section has been the one which has been stretched to encompass just about anything that Congress might want to do, that in a manner that was not explicitly or impliedly contemplated by our Founding Fathers).

Such a set of designated and limited powers also overlays with the 10th Amendment which provides for those powers which are reserved for the States.

With that brief introduction, I would now like to take a few minutes to tell you about me.

On my mother’s side of my family, I am a direct descendant of Irish immigrants who settled in the Colony of Connecticut in the 1600’s. They were of the O’Cannon Clan. After settling in the Colony of Connecticut, one of the family, Joseph Cannon II, moved to Delaware County in New York (about 30 miles East of Binghamton and just West of the Catskill Mountains). He settled in a small community. He became politically active in the community and eventually was so popular that the town was named after him: “Cannonsville”. Some time later, officials of New York City came to the community for the purpose of developing a reservoir which would supply the City of New York with drinking water. They entered an agreement to purchase the entire town and constructed the Cannonsville Dam and Reservoir as is listed on maps today. The Cannonsville Reservoir continues to supply drinking water for the City of New York.

Another of the O’Cannon Clan went to Illinois. From that family line, in 1873 Joseph Cannon was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a member of Appropriations Committee for 22 years. From 1903 to 1911, he was Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was largely responsible for the low rate on second-class mail and for the admission of packages to the mail.

Various of the O’Cannon family line fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and the two World Wars.

On my father’s side, Michael Buch immigrated from Wittenburg, Germany to the Colony of Pennsylvania in 1769. He was of the German Mennonites. Many of this family line from him became in America farmers and ministers. My grandfather Monroe Book settled with his wife Elizabeth in Abilene, KA where my father was born and reared. My grandfather Monroe worked as a farmer during the week and as a minister of a small country church on Sundays. The church group was a small denomination, then called the River Brethren, later renamed as the Brethren in Christ Church. It is a sister church to the Mennonites. Abilene, KA is additionally the hometown to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower who was also affiliated with the River Brethren Church.

My father left Kansas for schooling and eventually went to study at Messiah College located just south of Harrisburg, PA. There he met and married Helen Collins who was from Chicago. They had three children. I was the youngest being born at the Waynesboro Hospital of Waynesboro, PA just before midnight on July 2, 1948, the same year that Israel was reestablished as a sovereign nation. In 1952, my family moved to Frederick, MD where I entered school and grew and developed. As there was no Brethren in Christ Church in Frederick, our family attended the Southern Baptist Church in Dill Avenue, there where my father and mother were actively involved in the church music programs. As a teenager, I was a rather accomplished water skier mainly for practice on the Potomac River about 30 miles north of Washington, DC and I was a Boy Scout of Eagle rank. In 1966, after serving the year as student body president, I graduated from Frederick High School in the top 5% of the academic ranking of my class. Although I actively participated in athletic programs, I must acknowledge that I was more athletic than I was an athlete. Read between the lines. Enthusiasm can go a long way! There is a relevant interjection here that with Maryland being below the Mason-Dixon state line, it was part of the southern confederacy during the Civil War. It is curious that I did not learn until after I moved to Connecticut that my hometown of Frederick had been active in the Underground Railroad. I wonder why I didn’t learn that when I was there growing up!

In the fall after my high school graduation, I entered Houghton College, a Wesleyan Methodist College located in the small western New York town of Houghton, NY. There I studied pre-medical courses. After 2 ½ years, although I was on the Dean’s List which likely would have made me eligible for medical school, I began to realize that medicine was not the right profession for me. Even then I was feeling the call to the political arena. I transferred from Houghton College and studied for a semester at Drexel University in Philadelphia. At the beginning of the summer of 1969, I bought a Honda 350cc motorcycle and over a trip of two months and 8,000 miles, I rode the motorcycle from Philadelphia to San Francisco. It was a great trip! On the first day, I drove from Philadelphia to Montpelier, VT, then to Houghton, NY, then to Flint, MI, to New Orleans, to Oklahoma City, to Abilene, KA, up Pikes Peak in Colorado, to Las Vegas, to Death Valley in Southern California, to the Los Angeles area and then to San Francisco where I stayed for several months working as a short order cook at the International House of Pancakes in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco. That motorcycle trip was one of the best decisions of my life.

I was out of college for a year and then in the fall of 1970, I entered Azusa University, a non-denominational Christian college in Azusa, CA, located about 20 miles east of Los Angeles. While studying at Azusa University in the mornings and teaching science in the afternoons at a Christian Junior High School in Fontana, CA, I completed the requirements for a business degree in two years to graduate with honors in August of 1972.

At that point, I was considering what to do next for my professional career. I was considering the typical career progression in business administration. But I was also toying with the idea of doing something different, of obtaining broader intercultural and international experience while doing something for humanity. I was considering the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is an agency of the federal government, related to the State Department but separate from the State Department. I remember that after I had graduated from Azusa, I had an interview for an entry level career position with Xerox. The interview was going well but even as the interview progressed, I realized in my heart what I really wanted to do. I explained my situation to the interviewors and respectfully declined where the interview process was headed. I left the interview and I completed the application process for the Peace Corps.

I had requested an assignment in Africa. After several months of waiting, I was advised that there was no position then available in Africa and I was offered an assignment in Colombia, SA. I took it! I began a three-month language training period in Bogota, Colombia in June of 1973. I was then given an assignment to work in Bucaramanga, Colombia as a business consultant with small businesses and cooperatives. Bucaramanga is a moderately sized city in the mountain area north of Bogota and approaching the border with Venezuela. The city is on a plateau in a mountain area at an elevation of about 3,500 feet which means that it did not have the more intense heat of the lower areas. One of my favorite projects was to serve to approve and coordinate disbursements of a school partnership project in Surata, Colombia. Surata is a small agricultural community located north of Bucaramanga. While the distance was only 19 miles, it took about 2 hours to take the bus ride on a dirt road which occasionally passed through streams. The agriculture of Surata included coffee, corn and dairy cattle. When I made my first trips to Surata, the only school for the community of about 2,000 people was a small one-room classroom which was part of a farm house. In the small single room, eight grades were taught concurrently. The floor was dirt and chickens and piglets would walk into and through the classroom while it was in session. I loved my periodic trips to Surata to check the progress of the new construction. At times I would stay at the only small hotel where I paid $2 to sleep on a straw mattress or I would stay with a family which had a dairy cattle operation. After the completion of the construction of the new schoolhouse, which was a project of collective adult and student labor, the community had a schoolhouse of two large rooms of a concrete floor and good roof, all on a dedicated site. I completed the two-year term of Peace Corps service in August of 1985.

During my Peace Corps work, I heard a lot about a specialty graduate school in Arizona. In January of 1977, I entered the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, AZ. I served as student body president and graduated with honors in May of 1977. As I was completing my masters degree at Thunderbird, I was hired by Bank of America to work in the Latin American Division. I worked for 2 ½ years at the Central America and Caribbean Area Office which was then located in Guatemala City. My primary assignment was to administer correspondent bank relations. That was during the time period of the Central American Crisis, which was the Nicaraguan War. In January of 1980, I was transferred to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I was the credit manager for the country branch system.

I was transferred by Bank of America to the New York Corporate Office in 1983. That was when I moved to Fairfield, CT. At the New York Corporate Office, I worked in the regulated industries section. That section dealt mainly with loans to electric utility companies and also alternative energy. One of the financing projects in which I was actively involved was the $55 million commercial paper placement for the financing of the Vermont portion of the electrical transmission interconnection between Hydro-Quebec Power Company and the New England Power Pool.

In part for the extensive commuting and travel associated with that work which came just after a major family relocation, in early 1985, I accepted a position as vice president in the Bridgeport Commercial Office of Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. (CBT). For me, the change was good professionally. Although I enjoyed the money center banking, I believe that my personality is more suited for community banking and middle market corporate. When I accepted that position, the State of Connecticut was at early stages of developing several large resource recovery, or garbage-to-energy projects (with garbage-to-energy projects being classified as alternative energy). I was asked by my superiors to review what the state was doing related to activities of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA). Over a period of several months, I did such a review and I observed various warning signals. I reasonably brought my observations to the attention of my superiors and I was quickly and harshly fired. In essence, I stumbled upon a political sacred cow and I became a whistleblower.

It was shortly after that event that I was elected to the Fairfield Representative Town Meeting. In that two-year term, I made other curious observations about the functioning of government. However, with the unresolved state issues pertaining to the resource recovery as it pertained to my CBT experience, I was unable to get another job in banking. I began a small limousine service business while I continued to pursue legal remedies in state and federal courts. Through Freedom of Information processes, I obtained some information which revealed substantive public issues including mail fraud, bond fraud and bid-rigging, among others. It is also curious that state courts have blocked my access to the bids which were given to the CRRA in 1983 for the redevelopment of the $300 million Greater Bridgeport Resource Recovery Project. One focal point of that proceeding was a published decision by the Appellate Court of CRRA v. Freedom of Information Commission, 19 Conn.App. 489. My legal journey has resulted in nearly two decades of direct dealings with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and of those who work under his direct supervision. This experience has also afforded me good understanding of our state and federal governments and of our legal systems.

On January 7thof this year, Senator Dodd announced that he would not run for re-election. At the same time, Mr. Blumenthal announced his intention to seek the Democrat Party nomination to be U.S. Senator. In a public statement, Mr. Blumenthal said that “I will make a priority of the people of the state of Connecticut and I will fight for them. . . . I will be reaching out to citizens, regardless of political party, all around the state who have a stake in someone who will fight for them and put them first, and stand strong against special interests and scams”. When I read that statement as it was quoted in the Connecticut Post, I thought “but what about me who has been vigorously struggling against a glaring, unresolved governmental scam?” How hypocritical, I thought! On January 9th, I prepared and sent to Mr. Blumenthal a 4-page letter (plus attachments). It was after I sent that letter that I began to feel like a candidate for the United States Senate and I began to discuss such a possibly with friends and acquaintances. The matter has developed positively to the point that I now take this important step to make this formal announcement of my candidacy.

There is a good book entitled Restoring the Lost Constitution – The Presumption of Liberty by Randy E. Barnett, Professor at Princeton University. On page 1 of his Introduction, Prof. Barnett makes a very important statement:

The Constitution that was actually enacted and formally amended creates islands of governmental powers in a sea of liberty. The judicially redacted constitution creates islands of liberty rights in a sea of governmental powers.

In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower addressed the National Conference on the Spiritual Foundation of American Democracy in Washington, DC. In his comments, he stated:

And no matter what Democracy tries to do in terms of individual liberty . . . when you come back to it, there is just one thing . . . man is worthwhile because he was born in the image of God.

I believe that at the time of the founding of our great nation, God selected this nation for a special purpose. However, I believe that such a special purpose is presently in jeopardy and there are needed various citizens who have the conviction, vision and courage to take the right kinds of steps to get our great nation back on track.

This announcement of my candidacy is being made in a sector of Bridgeport which is known as “the Hollow” The Hollow is not known to be your typical luxury residential area. The Hollow is sometimes regarded as being an area of high crime rate. But it is also a sector of a broad cultural mix where many good people are found. The City of Bridgeport presently is not the same City that it was when I moved to this area in 1983 or when I was involved here in middle market commercial banking in 1985. It has experienced some of the economic adjustments and stresses which have been common to most industrial cities in our nation. In saying this, I must also acknowledge the positive investment and influence that has been effected in Bridgeport by Peoples United Bank such as in its center office complex and its center branch. What Peoples United Bank is doing is what I consider to be an early initial step of a broader revitalization such as was done several decades ago with the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD. I must also acknowledge the positive steps and impacts of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council of which I have been an active member for about 18 years. Further, there are others who deserve recognition for their efforts such as the Cardinal Sheehan Center and those of the City who develop programs for improving people’s lives. In addition, there are churches that are making an important contribution. Then there is our fine State, the Constitutional State, which is now struggling with a weakened economy and government budget deficits. Further, our nation is suffering economic and political crises.

The graduate school which I attended in Arizona is located in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, the state capital. The name “phoenix” comes from Egyptian mythology. According to the myth, it was a bird which lived for 500 years and then consumed itself in fire, after which it rose renewed from the ashes. It is a figurative symbol of immortality. Might it be appropriate that we reference the phoenix as a symbol of the renewal which we are making here for this community, for the state, for our nation and ultimately for our world. I ask that you give me your support for restoring the vision for our state and our nation. It is only with limited federal action where it is suited and appropriate and disciplined restraint by your elected leaders when it is required that the renewal and the flourishing of the phoenix will be allowed.

In addition, I am very pleased to introduce to you Lyle Wahlberg, the campaign treasurer. Lyle is a Viet Nam veteran having earned a silver star. He presently has a security business and as an ordained minister, he also has a Bible study program in New Haven.

Further, I am pleased to announce that as of this date, there is a campaign website which can be found as www.ethanbookforussenate.org.

Finally, may God bless our community, our state and our nation!

I will now entertain your questions!

Author: administrator
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