Thirty years ago this week, tens of thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol to protest the newly passed state income tax. It was one of the biggest demonstrations ever in Hartford.
The man who signed the income tax into law, Governor Lowell Weicker, was the target of the protestors and was hanged in effigy. He stood by his decision and never wavered.
Weicker was an Independent. Before the 1990 election, he left the Republican party, calling them too conservative, and created his own party: “A Connecticut Party.”
Four years later, he was too unpopular to run for re-election, so his Lt. Governor Eunice Groark carried the A Connecticut Party banner into the ’94 election. Groark made Connecticut history by selecting the first African American to be a running mate on a party ticket.
Groak and Audrey Rowe lost, and the party vanished, until this year.
A group of moderate Republicans from West Hartford resurrected the A Connecticut Party but had never met the creator of the party until recently.