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Himes Disputes Debicella's Claims About Bridgeport Shipyard

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses accusations from his opponent Dan Debicella that he is to blame for the closing of Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport.
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses accusations from his opponent Dan Debicella that he is to blame for the closing of Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa

NORWALK, Conn. – U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) said that it is a lie when his Republican opponent Dan Debicella blames him for the closing of Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport.

In a recent press conference and in his latest television ad, Debicella said Himes voted to grant $3 million of taxpayer money to Derecktor in 2009. Derecktor, a luxury yacht-builder, had gone bankrupt in 2008, and after receiving money, went bankrupt again in 2012. Debicella said that it cost the Bridgeport area 300 jobs.

In a recent interview with the Daily Voice in his Norwalk campaign office, Himes said, “When that ad came out, I thought, ‘Gosh, did I really vote to give money to Derecktos?’ I didn’t remember doing that, but I looked up the vote and it was, in fact, the stimulus.”

Himes said the stimulus program included a competitive grant program, which Derecktor applied for and won.

“It was competitive, it wasn’t an earmark. Months later, Derecktor applied for that grant. I didn’t write a letter of support,” Himes said.

He said Debicella turned that into a headline that Himes gave millions to Derecktor.

“I might have supported them, because I am in the business of trying to support private sector jobs in my district, so I might have. And, in fact, I have supported other similar grants, in this case it just happens to be that I did not.”

“The best part of this is that he, in a bonding vote, voted for a bill that did send money to Derecktor. And there was a line item in there. So he did exactly what he accused me of doing, which I did not do, which was a lack of truthfulness and just mind-boggling hypocrisy,” Himes said of Debicella's tenure as a state senator.

He said that when Debicella ran against Himes in 2010, Debicella criticized the federal stimulus, while celebrating stimulus projects in his district.

Read the Daily Voice story about Debicella's claims here .

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