By Lisa Capobianco
Former Governor John Rowland joined local politicians, business owners, and other guests at the annual Celebrity Breakfast last week, hosted by the Southington Chamber of Commerce, shedding light on the current partial shutdown of the federal government.
Curtis Robinson, the operator and president of C&R Development, a construction management company, sponsored the event. He also serves as the cofounder and chairman of the Curtis D. Robinson Men’s Health Institute at St. Frances Hospital.
“John is a dear friend,” Robinson said. “You have to judge John not by what comes out of his mouth, but what comes out of his heart.”
Rowland, who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives at the age of 23, assured the town that it will not be affected by the situation in Washington.
“It is 100 percent political theater—it does not mean anything, it is a game,” said the former governor, who served Connecticut for three terms from 1995 until 2004, leaving amidst scandal. “In essence, it is the Republicans and Democrats squaring off and trying to build public support.”
Three years ago, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, passed the House of Representatives and the Senate. Rowland said Republicans in Washington promised to defund, delay or repeal the new legislation to support their conservative “fan base.”
“They are playing to their conservative supporters,” Rowland said during his speech, assuring the public that the government shutdown is temporary. “The fallout is going to be really bad—the civility, whatever was left, is really gone.”
Despite commenting on the current situation in Washington, Rowland reminded the public that the United States continues to be a nation filled with opportunities, and Americans should take advantage of them.
“We are exceptional because our great grandfathers, our grandfathers, and our fathers made some incredible risks to be here,” said Rowland, who hosts his own radio show on WTIC NewsTalk 1080. “As individuals, what we should fight for more than anything is making sure we are a country, a state and a city or town of opportunity.”