by Jennifer Swift
Feb 20, 2014
10:53 AMConnecticut Politics
Tea Party Activist Walter Reddy Has Eyes on Toni Boucher's Senate Seat
State Sen. Toni Boucher’s decision on whether to run for the governor’s mansion or hold on to her Senate seat may have just gotten a little more complicated.
Boucher said this week she only has eyes for the governor’s mansion or senate chamber — and no position in-between, such as lieutenant governor.
But a factor in her decision to go for governor is whether her home district is well represented.
So far, only one candidate from either party has stepped forward as a candidate: Tea Party pioneer Walter Reddy, whose proposals include setting up a statewide militia.
Reddy filed paperwork to run for the seat on Valentine’s Day the third anniversary of the day he says a SWAT team raided his house in Weston.
Online reports say Reddy was a person of interest in a “domestic terrorism” investigation which led police to search his home. No officials could confirm the report, though Reddy confirmed he was investigated in a joint SWAT operation by Homeland Security and local police.
According to Reddy, police confiscated a legally owned shotgun. He was never charged, he says, and got his gun back after the case went to the appellate court.
Reddy says he's seeking the Republican nomination for the seat because of Boucher’s possible gubernatorial candidacy, and because of her vote on SB1160, Connecticut’s gun safety bill.
Reddy is a lifelong Connecticut resident, who used to work as a contractor, but has since retired. He’s never run for office before — but has helped with other campaigns, including Ron Paul’s presidential run.
“One of the reasons I’m running is I’m a strong second amendment supporter, and she voted anti-guns with that bill,” he said. “If I’m elected I’ll be looking to try to repeal it in the legislature. There is nothing in that bill that will prevent a Sandy Hook tragedy. I’m concerned about the children’s safety in school—but that bill doesn’t address it.”
Reddy said he would instead seek to harden school’s security and provide help for mental health issues.
Gun owners have promised to challenge Assembly members who voted for the gun safety bill, but Reddy’s interpretation of the second amendment takes his views a little further.
“I believe in completely restoring the second amendment— we don’t have properly functioning second amendment constitutional rights today,” Reddy said. That, in part, means re-instituting a militia.
Reddy is the founder of Committees of Safety—which during the Colonial era were placed in charge of the safety and security of the people. Reddy says he would like to see such an organization come back.
If elected, Reddy would seek to create a Committee of Safety Advisory Board, and have them implemented at the state and town level. He likened the advisory board to a library board on which people are elected and set policies.
Reddy says a militia by the people in each state is guaranteed in the Constitution — and is different from the modern day National Guard.
“I’d create a board to restore the state militia structure—not a private militia, but what we’re guaranteed in the first 13 words of the second amendment. The objective of the second amendment isn’t just about firearms—it’s about a free state. This institution here, in the state institution, a state militia structure is necessary,” he said.
He would like to see the militia restored wherein all members of society are armed and are active participants, as was done during the colonial era, when all men were armed and served in a capacity to protect their state.
“All able bodied citizens, 16 to 60 would participate in some function, not necessarily all active militia, but they would have other skills, like medicine or other things, that they could contribute. It would bring people together,” Reddy said, describing the militia. “People can get an exemption, if they really are afraid of guns — but it would be their duty. It would unite people. That was always their duty, to have a secure state.”
Reddy stresses it wouldn’t be what you typically think of when you hear the world “militia." It would be an organized structure where citizens in each state use their skills in a way to serve that state.
Boucher says she welcomes others to enter the election.
“I fully expect there to be individuals that come forward and want to be a part of the process and challenge—it’s good for our democracy,” she said.“My whole focus has been on either going for the run for governor or making sure that my senate district is well served and well represented, and those have been the only two focuses’ I’ve had since day one.”