Thursday, May 29, 2008

McCain plans state fundraiser

By Victor Zapana
Special to the Register

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain will attend a public fundraising event at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks on June 12, sources and Republican officials said.
Although a McCain representative said no plans have been finalized for the event, several people familiar with the event said the Arizona senator will give a speech, meet supporters and ask for additional money for his campaign.
“He’s the headliner,” said Republican State Chairman Chris Healy. “It’s his own event.”
Healy said he expects the senator will deliver a “normal speech with a mix of reform ideas” on tax cuts, strengthening national defense against terrorism and controlling earmark spending. He declined to give details on how long the event will last or how long McCain will be there, but he added there will be “plenty of time” for attendees to meet the Vietnam War veteran.
Most officials in Windsor Locks — which has twice as many Democrats as Republicans — had no idea McCain was coming to the small town of about 12,000 residents, but many who knew of the event diverted questions and refused to give many details.
Michael Speciale, executive director for the Air Museum, referred questions to Anthony Ravosa Jr., a Republican and South Glastonbury resident who rented the museum space for the fundraiser.
Ravosa, who donated $2,300 to the McCain campaign last year, did not return a call seeking comment.
Douglas Glazier, the Republican town chairman, said he supports McCain and hopes to see a large turnout. “We’re getting as many people as we can to come,” he said o event organizers.
Healy said the event has received a “good response” from people in the area and expects it to be successful.
First Selectman Steve Wawruck, who is not attending, said he had heard of the event this week. “Let’s say I wasn’t invited,” said Wawruck, a Democrat. “It’s good awareness, good publicity for the museum,” he added.
Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has been a vocal supporter of McCain’s campaign for years, but declined to comment on whether she knew or was planning to attend the event, according to a representative.
So far, McCain’s campaign has raised about $90.5 million, but has received no campaign contributions from Windsor Locks residents, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The last public event McCain attended in Connecticut was his campaign speech at Sacred Heart University in February.
Victor Zapana is a Register intern.

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