September 28, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Colwell’s Beliefs, Her Endorsement by Old Lyme RTC, Raise Serious Questions

Editor’s Note: Commenting on this letter is now closed. Thank you all for a lively debate on this letter.

To the Editor:

The candidates chosen by a town’s political committee to run in an election must be assumed to reflect the beliefs and platform of that committee.  For example, Old Lyme’s Republican Town Committee has endorsed Mona Colwell for election to the Board of Education.  According to her Facebook page, Mona questions what brought down the World Trade Center, regarding which she wrote, “Will we ever know the truth?  Does it even matter?”  Another example is our 2018 gubernatorial election, which Ned Lamont won by 44,372 votes.  Not so, says Mona: “I do believe the election was rigged when thousands of UConn students were bussed in and through other means.”

To illustrate Mona’s logic of thinking, she asks on Facebook: “. . . someone PLEASE explain to me . . . how is a non-vaccinated person a threat to a vaccinated person? . . . What am I missing here, other than tyranny?”  Is she unaware that unvaccinated, infected people infect others, whether vaccinated or not, and that the spread of infections throughout the country provides the breeding ground for serious mutations?

Mona should not be making decisions for our children, and the RTC’s judgment in endorsing candidates should not be trusted.
Aaron Emma,
Old Lyme.


  1. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    Thank you, Aaron. I have also been taken aback by some of Ms. (and Mr.) Colwell’s past comments. I am surprised and concerned that the RTC has endorsed this individual and her often-outlandish outlook on history and factual information.

    • John Locke says

      I wonder why a person who holds this candidates’ views has taken an interest in our community’s most precious resource – our children – especially their ability to think, reason, and learn. I also wonder why she has the endorsement of a major political party. But insight may be available. Princeton University Press has just published a book (“When bad thinking happens to good people”) that may be relevant. On the jacket, this message appears: “Something is seriously wrong: an alarming number of citizens, in America and around the world, are embracing crazy, even dangerous ideas.”

  2. This is a really cheap shot and does not deserve publication
    If the candidates past comments are an issue let it be debated in an open forum where all parties are present.

    This is dirty politics, thought Lymeline was above publishing this type of article

    • Dave Rubino says

      If this were about “past comments” that might be a valid point. But all of these posts are recent and Mona has taken an ardent anti-vaxxer stance consistently. She has dozens of posts on her Facebook page confirming this stance (which she calls “anti-murder”) as recently three hours ago. There are literally dozens of posts – all recent – making anti-vax assertions. They include equating those who support vaccinating their children to “child pedos grooming kids for sex trafficking” (direct quote). The fact is, the BoE candidates’ stance on vaccination for students is one of the key issues of this election. Those of us who have young children in the school system should know the unfiltered truth about candidates’ stances on this. Not everyone has Facebook (and Mona’s profile is hidden from public view anyway) or has the ability to attend a debate. It’s not unreasonable to point out a candidate’s extreme, consistent and current views on a pertinent voting issue. If you agree with her, vote for her. If you don’t, don’t. But taking the position that it’s somehow inappropriate to be discussing this seems pretty disingenuous.

  3. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    I hope that this isn’t cheap and dirty, but there is a suggestion in the commentary that those running for office be granted “tabula rasa” (i.e., a clean slate), wiping out any past issues or problems that might impact a voter’s decision. Why just those running for office. Shouldn’t we all have that same opportunity? Who would grant it?
    Mr. Emma’s concern, which, as already noted, I share, is that Ms. Colwell is running for a BOE position, which could have a significant impact on our children’s education. I believe that past is prologue to our present and a good predictor of the unfolding of our future. For those who are leafing through your old English notes, the concept was introduced by Shakespeare in in Act 2, Scene 1, of “The Tempest”.

  4. Liz Rubitski says

    Who on earth was responsible for vetting this candidate for endorsement?

  5. Claire Sauer says

    Lyme shares a school district with Old Lyme, but we won’t have a chance to vote against Mona Cotwell in the school board elections. Fortunately, we in Lyme are blessed with only one candidate for the school board and she, Anna James, is very well qualified.

    It is frightening that the insanity of the national Republican party has become entrenched at the local level. We are all affected by the anti-vax, anti scientific positions of the Republican party and we have to fight them at every level.

  6. Moreover, the media recently reported that Ms Colwell was amongst those protesting at the State House against those in the state assembly who have worked to achieve the high rate of vaccination we enjoy here in Connecticut. It is not just on Facebook

  7. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    Thank you, Dave. Mona’s words have inspired me to review George Orwell’s “1984”. All those alternate facts! “War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength.” And, of course, the corollary; “ignorance is bliss”. (the latter is from poet, Thomas Gray).
    I pray that Old Lyme’s voter’s have the wisdom to not elect this individual and her outlandish outlook on history and the value of factual information.

  8. Bill Folland says

    To rely on Facebook postings to express your views on a political opponent is dangerous. Haven’t we learned any lessons after social media’s misinformation in the recent national elections and on current social issues. Very disappointed in both the editor of Lymeline, for publishing these comments, and those who submit such political trash.

    • Dave Rubino says

      I’m not sure I even understand what you’re saying here. Do you not know what Facebook is? These are Mona’s own words, typed in her own hand, which she chose to broadcast on her personal page. In some cases she made preparatory statements like “Here are my thoughts on…”. Are you really taking the position that because she chose to put those thoughts on Facebook we should disregard them? That’s ludicrous. That’s like saying “the post office is inefficient, therefore don’t read letters you receive in the mail because they are untrustworthy.” If you think these ideas are worthy of your vote, go ahead and vote for Mona. But don’t pretend these aren’t her ideas. That’s not even questionable.

  9. Joe Marcoux says

    As a brand new resident of Old Lyme, I view this candidate’s positions as a challenge for people who respect science to get out the vote .

  10. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    Dave: a very thorough explanation. I’m sure that Zuckerberg did not have his hand in this, if that’s what was being suggested.
    One thing that just caught my eye: Mona’s not a registered member of the Republican Party. The endorsement might be a little bit of gamesmanship by the RTC; although I can’t begin to guess to what end.

  11. My view, don’t engage nasty people in discussion whose conclusion is already drawn. Thanks, Dave Rubino, for your help in the community, coaching kids, volunteering, substituting in our schools, making Old Lyme better. Mud bombs are easy, civic serving is hard.

  12. Mona Colwell says

    Is this a witch hunt?

    My Facebook is open, not blocked as Dave Rubino, who I have never met, claims. I post Bible quotes, prayers and links to science and facts mostly to share with my friends and family overseas. They do not live in a country like America that has rules and laws to protect free speech; everyone should have access to information.

    I used to work at 7 WTC as an Analyst and the building fell. The documentaries created are intriguing and the media reporting that the building fell before it actually fell is interesting. Why can’t I post this on my FB page? It’s interesting, it doesn’t mean anything other than I think it’s interesting.

    Did Lamont win by over 40,000 votes? College kids were bussed to the polls, that is a fact. Were they eligible to vote? Who knows but the man literally said he would raise taxes and put in tolls. Why would anyone working hard in the state vote for increased taxes and tolls?

    Yes, I did speak to a group of our Legislators. This was not a protest. We recently were given the opportunity as residents to voice concerns for the first time in 18 months. We have not had a functioning Constitutional government in our state for nearly two years. America was never designed as a dictatorship with an authoritarian in command. “We the people” run our country, they work for us and were listening to concerns from constituents. Everyone should have gone to hear the heart wrenching testimonies from people who were heroes during lockdowns and are now losing their jobs because they believe “my body, my choice” should apply to them.

    Everyone should reread 1984. Great idea.

    Who are the real conspiracy theorists? The people creating lies and trashing my character who have never met me. That’s a pretty strange way to get votes, just pick and choose whatever you want to use to denounce the person running. Why not just tell everyone how great your candidates are instead of picking on me?

    As for the commentators here and on FB, I am saddened that some of the people in Old Lyme and Lyme are so quick to be nasty when they read a political smear letter. I have fought for new tennis courts, new gym floors, fixing crumbling building structures, fiscal responsibility, transparency, environmental safety and for the teachers in our school district over the past seven years because I love the schools, the teachers and the town.

    I’ve worked with many people in many different groups in our town, politics has never been an issue with getting things done. If you have questions, call me up, send me an email. That’s how we work together and create community.

  13. Mike Bucior says

    Triggered by a Facebook page…critical thinking is not some peoples strong point.

  14. There are many more people with different opinions in town, not just organized political activists. Being louder and snarky does not make comments facts.Censorship of some attorneys,physicians and other professionals is rampant in our state.People with businesses etc. keep their opinions close to their chest for fear of being attacked in this manner. Nothing is more frightening than a self righteous mob!

  15. Thomas D. Gotowka says

    As we wind down (I hope), I want to say that I am troubled that the RTC Chairperson, J. David Kelsey, has seen fit to characterize those voicing concerns with the suitability of their endorsed BOE candidate as “nasty people” whose conclusion(s) are “already drawn”. That’s certainly one way to legitimize an unpopular decision.
    I have already commented on Ms. Colwell’s endorsement and her outlandish outlook on history and the value of factual information. However, as far as I know, “witch hunt” is a new one; at least at this local level of government. I don’t, for a second, accept that explanation. I believe that POTUS #’s 37 and 45 will always have ownership of the “witch hunt” term.
    I would also like to extend my appreciation to Dave Rubino, although I was unaware of the breadth of his community involvement. I am glad that Mr. Kelsey brought all of that to our attention.