The 2015 legislative session began last week. This means “game on” for us, particularly since we anticipate another battle on assisted suicide. Now is a good time to remind Connecticut citizens — and those who would serve them in our Assembly — what tactics we could expect from opponents in the coming months.

The assisted suicide advocacy group Compassion & Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society), as we know well, has aggressively astroturfed our state with sometimes laughable results, like 30 or so form letters addressed “Dear Testimony”; mysteriously knows hearing dates before anyone else; and has a record of playing fast and loose with facts if it makes good advertising.

This, however, is a real doozy: right on the heels of a very successful, first-ever East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide, Iowa pro-lifer Katie Buck revealed that her name was added without her knowledge to a petition to legalize assisted suicide when she signed an online “sympathy card” for Brittany Maynard — and she could prove it. See her video here.

I recall, when I first read Time Magazine’s interview of Brittany, I also clicked a link that presented me with a pop-up option of signing this card. Given my experience, I had my guard up already, so perhaps it’s easy for me to forget that many people have never heard of C&C. Had I been in the position of one of those people I would quickly have realized that, as the screenshots clearly show, there was no statement of disclosure.

It was, as Ms. Buck says, “a nationwide thing.” How many caring Connecticut residents may have been duped into signing away protection for vulnerable people?

Whether or not this is technically legal, it certainly is a shady practice. I wonder how it would make AG Jepsen feel now (watch him testify in favor of H.B. 5326 starting at 7:21).

The deceptive petition may also have affected New Jersey, where calls and e-mails are still needed. Find more information about how you can help our friends here or visit New Jersey Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide. They have their own petition, but they tell you what you are signing, because honesty and transparency matter!

Brittany Maynard is the young woman with glioblastoma who’s video announcing her decision to take her life on November 1st has gone viral, becoming a cause célèbre for advocates for the legalization of assisted suicide. More recently, Brittany says she may not end her life on Nov. 1st.

Working with an ideologically diverse coalition, Family Institute of Connecticut and our allies have defeated the assisted suicide bill at our state Capitol for the last two years and we expect to fight it again in 2015. Brittany Maynard is, as she says, “a strong woman,” but laws against assisted suicide exist to protect the weak and vulnerable among us. That is why we have to maintain them.

FIC has been in contact with Maggie Karner, a Connecticut woman who also has glioblastoma, since her response to Brittany also went viral. In this FIC video, Maggie reads an open letter she has written to Brittany, pleading with her never to take her life. Please click on the photo below to see the video and please share the video with everyone you can.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 7.07.19 AM




FIC PAC 2014 Endorsements: Second Round

[New names are being added to this list as those endorsements are made. Check back regularly. ~ NS]

[In an Oct. 29th email, FIC Action Committee listed these as our “Hot Picks”: Len Suzio, Art Linares, Michael Molgano, Rob Sampson, Philip Tripp, Dennis Mahoney and Paul Formica. In targeted emails the day before the election, Linares and Formica were upgraded to “hottest of our hot picks.” ~ NS]

Below is Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee’s second round of endorsements in the 2014 Connecticut elections. We encourage you to disseminate this list as widely as possible. There are thousands of voters wanting to know who the pro-family candidates for our state offices are.

This second list includes seventeen new endorsements. If you do not see your candidate’s name on this list, either your candidate has been determined by FIC PAC to be anti-family or he or she has not yet contacted us to clear up some ambiguities.

More endorsements may be made. If you think your candidate should be endorsed by us, have your candidate email Nicole Stacy at (There is an underscore (” _”) after “nms” that may not be visible on some computer screens.) Please email Nicole if you are available to volunteer for our endorsed candidates.

For now, we ask Connecticut’s pro-family voters to focus their energy on FIC PAC’s endorsed candidates. You will receive another email from us soon: FIC PAC Hot Picks. These are the handful of races where pro-family volunteers can make the most difference in electing a pro-family legislature.


The following is the second round of endorsements made by the FIC Action Committee. More endorsements may be made. Many factors went into our endorsements, including candidate questionnaires, voting record, viability, and leadership on key pro-family issues. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE DISTRIBUTE THIS LIST TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4TH!

Tom Foley (R)

Attorney General
Kie Westby (R)

Secretary of State
Peter Lumaj (R)
State Senate
Sen. Tony Guglielmo (R-35) – Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington, Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock
Sen. Rob Kane (R-32) Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Thomaston, Roxbury, Watertown, Woodbury
Sen. John Kissel (R-7) – East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, Windsor Locks
Sen. Art Linares (R-33) – Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook
Eva Maldonado (R-27) – Darien, Stamford
Sen. Joe Markley (R-16) – Cheshire, Southington, Waterbury, Wolcott
Sen. Michael McLachlan – (R-24) Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman
Len Suzio (R-13) – Cheshire, Middlefield, Middletown, Meriden
Philip Tripp (R-17) – Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck, Woodbridge
Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8) – Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington

State House of Representatives
Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) – Columbia, Coventry, Vernon
Rep. Al Adinolfi (R-103) – Cheshire, Southington, Wallingford
Ethan Book (R-128) – Bridgeport
Elbert Burr (R-37) – Salem, East Lyme
Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151) – Greenwich
Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-86) – East Haven, North Branford, Wallingford
Rep. Dan Carter (R-2) – Bethel, Danbury, Redding
Matthew Corcoran (R-88) – Hamden
Rep. Anthony D’Amelio (R-71) – Middlebury, Waterbury
Rep. John Frey (R-111) – Ridgefield.
Rep. Mary Fritz (D-90) – Cheshire, Wallingford

Rep. Janice Giegler (R-138) – Danbury, New Fairfield, Ridgefield
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (D-3) – Hartford
Rob Kwasnicki (R-59, I-59) – Enfield, East Windsor
Rep. David Labriola (R-58) – Naugatuck, Oxford, Southbury

Dennis Mahoney (R-147) – Stamford

Kathleen McCarty (R-38) – Montville, Waterford
James McGovern (R-15) – Bloomfield, Windsor
Rep. Michael Molgano (R-144) – Stamford

Steven Mullins (R-116) – West Haven, New Haven
Rep. Selim Noujaim (R-74) – Waterbury
Rep. Jason Perillo (R-113) – Shelton
Rep. John Piscopo (R-76) – Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield, Thomaston
Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) – Naugatuck
Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) – Trumbull
Rep. Rob Sampson (R-80) – Southington, Wolcott
Rep. Bill Simanski (R-62) – Barkhamsted, Granby, Hartland, New Hartford
Pablo Soto (R-83) ­- Berlin, Meriden
Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) – Prospect
JP Sredzinski (R-112) – Monroe, Newtown
Robert Willis (R-105) – Beacon Falls, Derby, Seymour

Paid for and approved by FIC Action Committee, Lawrence Taffner, Treasurer


Family Institute of Connecticut is pleased to announce that Stephen Mendelsohn, of Second Thoughts Connecticut, will be FIC’s 2014 Charles Stetson Awardee at our October 2nd 25th Anniversary Banquet. The award is given each year at our annual banquet to whomever has shown the most courage in pro-family battles over the previous 12 months.

It was Second Thoughts Connecticut, the disability rights group, that played a key role in the defeat of bills that would have legalized assisted suicide in Connecticut in 2013 and again in 2014. In honoring Stephen Mendelsohn, FIC intends to honor all people with disabilities who helped us defeat assisted suicide.

It was Stephen Mendelsohn who made such a powerful speech at the Second Thoughts press conference that FIC promoted last Spring. Click here to see Stephen’s speech, here to see highlights of the press conference and, most of all, here to see Stephen’s face-off with pro-assisted suicide Sen. Gary Holder-Winfield. Stephen is pictured in the photograph above, testifying against the 2014 assisted suicide bill.


From our friends at Impact Connecticut:

Greetings in Jesus’ Name,

The 10 Days of Prayer! begins at Wellspring Church tonight at 7pm. A total of 19 gatherings will be happening all across Connecticut from Thursday, September 25th through Saturday, October 4th. A complete schedule of gatherings is available here. Plan to attend as many gatherings as you can!

The Connecticut United Night of Worship (CTUNOW) will be our final gathering of the 10 Days of Prayer! It will be held at 7pm on Saturday, October 4th, at The First Cathedral in Bloomfield. Over 100 worship leaders from across Connecticut are linking arms for an evening of extravagant worship. The agenda is simple: unite across cultural, denominational, and social lines to worship Jesus and declare his Lordship over our state.

A Special Appeal: We are asking for pastors and ministry leaders throughout Connecticut to help spread the word about the CTUNOW statewide gathering on October 4th. Please announce this gathering to your congregations this Sunday. Click here for a CTUNOW promotional slide that you can show during your weekend services.

Thanks so much for spreading the word and for attending these important gatherings throughout Connecticut!

Rick McKinniss

Abedini Prayer Vigil Sept. 26th

Saeed Poster Time to Save

Recipients of FIC’s email alerts know that I spoke last week at a Vigil for Persecuted Christians and other religious minorities. It is the first of many such events, and we invite all FIC members to join us at them.

The Christian Genocide Rescue Alliance of CT is sponsoring another prayer rally outside the CT State Capitol on the North Steps on Friday at Noon, 9/26, to join in thousands across the USA praying for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini and persecuted Christians. The public website for info on this unified effort is here. Scroll down on the link to see list of locations World Wide.

Two of Connecticut’s Voice of the Martyrs Representatives will be attending the rally with insights and information on behalf of persecuted Christians.


Wesleyan University is, if you’re of a particular ideological persuasion, a cutting-edge campus. It’s where this reportedly lives:


(Note: I haven’t personally verified this photo, but I believe the source.)

Now, in the wake of what looks like an out-of-control situation with fraternities and sexual assault, Wesleyan’s decision is — get this — to force coed integration upon their residences. Presumably, a young, drunken womanizer’s target, who once had to be lured with the promise of fun and social acceptance, will now have sleeping quarters down the hall.

Does this seem…ahem…bass-ackward to anybody else? At least a half dozen sarcastic quips making use of the phrase “easy access” come quickly to mind. Also, the subplot from National Lampoon’s Animal House in which Otter exploits a young woman’s death to get into the fictitious Emily Dickinson College to seduce her friends? Obsolete. Quaint, even.

This isn’t a joking matter, though. Unfortunately it’s very serious. If you thought the Bathroom Bill was a safety issue, call this change in campus policy the Bathroom Bill on steroids. In The Hartford Courant’s article, one finds quotes like this which are near-inexplicable in the light of common sense:

The move to co-education is really all about inclusion. It’s all about equity and very much in keeping with Wesleyan’s tradition of equity and progressive leadership on gender equity and issues like this. [Kate Carlisle, Wesleyan spokeswoman]

A really good way to facilitate not committing ourselves to gender roles is to create these shared spaces. [Denisse Reyes, senior]

Is this an indication of the kind of education students receive at Wesleyan, or the kind of students and professionals attracted to Wesleyan? Or both? Either way, would it increase your confidence in sending your children there?

Once upon a time, I lived on a coed floor of a dormitory. I remember the awkwardness when I headed out one morning in my bathrobe and encountered a male janitor cleaning the women’s showers (again, it seems almost quaint today), which basically anyone in the building could walk into. Our RA would claim based on anecdotal evidence that our floor — which happened to be populated by a number of serious musicians with little time or patience for shenanigans — was better behaved than many of the single-sex floors. Actual research does not back up that assertion, finding instead that students in coed dorms are more likely to binge drink, have multiple sexual partners, and use porn. Also mentioned are the fact that a whopping 90% of dorms in the U.S. are coed and, astonishingly, colleges expect the student to opt out. This came as a shock to Karin Morin and her daughter, then a student at Stanford, who was unknowingly placed in a room assignment that included two unfamiliar men and ended up dressing herself in the bathroom for privacy’s sake.

Getting back to Wesleyan, some fraternity members appear to have possibly legitimate concerns that the break from their traditional mission will cause their national charters to be revoked and the innocent to be punished with the guilty. Would I volunteer to be one of the first women to enter into an environment where the university has set me up to be an obvious scapegoat for resentment that might arise over this? Who would be more likely to suffer the brunt of such resentment: the distant, somewhat intimidating university administration, or the vulnerable person who’s suddenly in close quarters all the time? I think I’d pass.

Furthermore, are male students not being provided with enough other academic and social opportunities to learn that women are human beings and deserve to be treated accordingly (and vice-versa)? Whose fault is that in the end; where does that buck stop? Can men and women be trusted to do anything — anything — separately, much less together?

This is all kinds of messed-up, and I hope the whole Wesleyan community comes to its senses.

Today is Family Day


The Archdiocese of Hartford wants you…to have dinner with your kids tonight.

Family Day is an initiative of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University that highlights the importance of parental engagement for giving children the best chance to flourish in life — specifically, to reject the abuse of drugs and alcohol. We would only add to this, of course, the unique and irreplaceable contributions that both a mom and a dad bring to the table (so to speak).

So many things can pose a challenge to families’ spending time together, from job pressures to schoolwork to the seduction of technology. It was a shock to me to encounter situations where three or four people, though closely related, would sit and eat separately like strangers under the same roof with a palpable tension, almost an entity of its own, between them. I say this not to be condescending, but only as a reminder to some of us who have been greatly blessed of how much we may take for granted.

While it would be pretty flippant to suggest that a single meal can change all of this overnight, Family Day is more about establishing any of those small daily rituals that give us insight into one another and make children feel loved and secure — even when they don’t appear to be paying any attention. Indeed, the Family Day information page takes care to note that “there are no silver bullets.” However, CASA provides a wealth of resources for parents who might be looking for a first step to take but are unsure where to start, or those who already have a good relationship with their children but would like to make it even better.

From CASAColumbia founder Joseph A. Califano, Jr.:

America’s drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families.

Hear, hear. Long live the family dinner, and may the love and goodwill shown today continue to bear fruit year-round.


Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee endorses Tom Foley for Governor. This is the first time since our founding that we have ever endorsed a candidate for the state’s highest office.

Tom Foley came to FIC Action Committee on June 12th and sat with us for an hour and a half, discussing pro-family issues. We are convinced based on this meeting–and an August 26th phone conversation initiated by Mr. Foley–that the pro-family cause will do better under a Governor Foley than it has these last three and a half years under Gov. Dan Malloy.

It was Gov. Malloy who forced the Bathroom Bill–the transgender law–through the state legislature. It was Gov. Malloy who flew the Rainbow Flag over the Governor’s mansion to show his support for same-sex “marriage.” (Indeed, it is the Malloy Administration that describes itself as the “gayest administration ever.”)

Governor Malloy is pro-abortion. He is hostile to religious liberty, calling the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which protects the right of small businesses not to be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, “an affront.” He insulted Catholics in particular by placing Andrew McDonald, who introduced the infamous 2009 Bishop-Removal Bill, on the State Supreme Court.

Many of the issues above are not going to be revisited in the next four years, regardless of who is Governor. But Tom Foley has clarified to us that he opposes assisted suicide and would veto the assisted suicide bill. Governor Malloy’s position on assisted suicide is ambiguous.

Governor Malloy is likely to do still more harm to family values in Connecticut if given another four years, while a Governor Foley would cease the downward spiral and work with people of good will to repair the damage.

We encourage all our members this November to vote for Tom Foley for Governor.

Paid for and approved by FIC Action Committee, Lawrence Taffner, Treasurer.

August 12th Republican Primary


Family Institute of Connecticut Action Committee is receiving numerous inquiries asking who are the pro-life/pro-family candidates in the Republican primaries happening tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Here is what we know.

Only one of the candidates is 100% pro-family and he is the only one endorsed by FIC Action Committee in tomorrow’s primaries. In the race for Comptroller we encourage all our members to vote for and volunteer for Angel Cadena, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan whose research as a legislative intern helped defeat assisted suicide. Angel Cadena’s website can be viewed here.

FIC Action Committee is not endorsing a candidate in the 2014 Republican primary for Governor but our members should know that both candidates recently spoke their minds on the effort to legalize assisted suicide in Connecticut. John McKinney would veto an assisted suicide bill while Tom Foley is more ambiguous.

None of the three candidates for Lieutenant Governor returned FIC Action Committee’s candidate questionnaire. David Walker sent an email to a pro-life activist today implying that he supports the right to life once the unborn child is viable and said he supports parental notification.

Please share the above information, vote for and volunteer for Angel Cadena for Comptroller tomorrow, and make whatever decision you think best in the other races.

[9/3/14 Update: As FIC Action Committee members who received today’s email know, Tom Foley has clarified to us that he is opposed to assisted suicide and will veto the assisted suicide bill. ~ NS]

Paid for and approved by FIC Action Committee, Lawrence Taffner, Treasurer.

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