The chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party has refused to reveal what evidence he has that State Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, is moving to Florida to avoid state taxes, an accusation Stillman said is not true.
Wednesday, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. released a statement saying Stillman bought a condominium in Florida and the senator was planning to move there to avoid paying federal and state taxes, according to The Day. Yet a Labriola spokeswoman today said he would not reveal the evidence he had to make such an accusation, and said he would not comment any more on the situation.
Stillman is being opposed by Republican Mike Doyle this November for her state Senate spot in the 20th District, which covers Waterford, New London, Montville, Salem, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme and East Lyme. When interviewed today, Stillman said the accusation is not true, and there is no evidence of it being true.
“There is no evidence of anything,” Stillman said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Stillman did say she and her husband bought a condominium in Florida, where she hopes to spend a couple of weeks a year, at most. Stillman said it is a place she can enjoy with her grandchildren, and said Labriola’s statement is part of politics.
“Unfortunately this is how the political machine works sometimes,” she said. “Somebody throws a dig, and then you have to respond.”
Meanwhile Doyle, when interviewed today, said he was not sure of what evidence Labriola used to back up his statement. He said Labriola is an “upstanding” person, and would not lie.
“Someone must have evidence because they sent a press release out,” Doyle said. “I don’t listen on rumors, I got on facts. And Jerry Labriola is an upstanding man, and I’m sure he’s going on facts also.”
Doyle said Labriola did not give him any of those facts. He said he was not aware of the Stillman controversy until he saw the press release Wednesday.
“He has not provided me with those facts, but then again he doesn’t have to,” Doyle said.
Doyle said Stillman “ought to truthfully come forward, as the people in the district deserve a straight answer.” Doyle said he believes the 20th District requires a senator that is a “full-time senator.”
Stillman, when asked today, did say she would live in Waterford for the length of her term. She said the candidates should be talking about the issues, and this is taking away from that.
“We should be talking about the issues,” Stillman said. “Not if I have a vacation home in Florida.”