Freedom Foundation’s Holiday Swing – Day 6

Freedom Foundation’s Holiday Swing – Day 6

Freedom Foundation’s Holiday Swing – Day 6

On Day 6 of the Inaugural Freedom Foundation East Coast Tour, Santa’s little helpers ventured into Hartford, Conn., where they were met, as always, with smiles and waves.

They finally found the first state capitol building that was open to the public, no appointment required, where they were greeted by a very gracious and helpful security team, including a law enforcement officer who was happy to snap a picture with them. 

He said he was tickled by their festive garb, adding, “You two brightened my day!” and, “Christmas is my season of the year.”

As Santa’s elves admired the capitol’s beautiful (and truly historic) marble halls, they were approached by a large group of special-needs adults who asked if they could get a group photo with Santa’s little helpers. 

The Freedom Foundation’s elves were touched by their enthusiasm and holiday spirit. After the group photos were taken, there were many hugs and holiday wishes exchanged between all.

Being that Connecticut’s legislative branch is not unionized, (Oregon is trying, but that’s a topic for another day) our little elves made their way to the Department of Policy and Management building to drop off a few cards for the employees who work there. 

They were met at the door by security and a senior human resources manager who were a little worried that our little friends were “from the union.”

Both women were polite, and each took an Opt-Out Christmas Bonus card (or two) for themselves but were unable to bring more into the building to the employees. 

They explained that the unions are not allowed to leave any information, either. Neither woman seemed fond of the unions when mentioned.

Our little helpers still managed to bring little cheer, hand out some candy canes and leave a little bit of literature behind.

The next stop was Hartford City Hall, where they finally found a community info board to leave Christmas bonus postcard information for workers.

Immediately to the left of the already busy community board was the AFSCME 1716 bulletin. It was mostly empty, like their promises to workers. 

The community board was soon peppered with opportunities for the public employees to ditch their union and save their hard-earned money.

The University of Connecticut (UConn) was right around the corner and, being a state college, there came an opportunity to strategically place our Christmas bonus postcards in common areas, and in a nearby Barnes & Noble. 

Our little helpers thought the professors, staff and potential future public staff should have the opportunity to learn that the Freedom Foundation is here to help.

We wonder how long it will take for the unions in the Hartford City Hall to recognize that we were right in their backyard.

Vice President of Communication and Federal Affairs
Ashley Varner brings a variety of public affairs experience and a tough skin to the Freedom Foundation team. Prior to joining the Freedom Foundation, Ashley spent many exciting, turbulent and wonderful years as a media spokesperson and state government liaison at the National Rifle Association. Following her tenure at the NRA, Ashley joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where she worked with state and local lawmakers across the country on a diverse set of policy and communications issues. A grassroots activist from a young age, Ashley joined her first of many political campaigns before graduating high school and organized protests across the street from her own professors at the University of Missouri. When not rabble-rousing against Big Government, Ashley enjoys cooking, mafia movies, and has seen most of the 1970s and 80s classic rock bands still on tour. She loves the Chiefs, hopes someday she can love her Mizzou Tigers again, and she was a Kansas City Royals fan and Patriot Act opponent before either was cool.