Office of Military Affairs Head Resigns

Justin Bernier, the head of the state’s Office of Military Affairs, resigned yesterday after testifying about a bill that could potentially eliminate his office. He said the resignation was not connected to the bill, however, and hasn’t really explained his reasons.

There has been no word on whether he’ll be replaced. Southeastern Connecticut lawmakers, however, feel that the state does need a military advocate, especially if another round of base closures were to threaten the Groton Sub Base, as in 2005. Bernier, as an aide to Rep. Rob Simmons, played a vital role in the effort to save the base that year.

The other problem is that Connecticut is not seen as a military-friendly state, and the elimination of a military affairs office (even one that employs just one person) would reinforce that point of view.

As for what’s next for Bernier (bio here), I heard a few rumblings about his political future yesterday, and poked around. I found this interesting WHOIS record for It’s heavily protected, there’s no useful registration information. But it’s very recent. The rumors are suggesting that Bernier might soon announce a run against Chris Murphy: you can take that for what it’s worth.

Could be nothing. We’ll see. Again, these are just rumors, Bernier himself hasn’t said anything about his plans.

In the meantime, expect the wrangling over the OMA to continue.


17 responses to “Office of Military Affairs Head Resigns

  1. Good catch Genghis, especially the WHOIS find, looks like there is a potential challenger coming forward. I still have not seen much else in the media other then a few stories about him leaving his position.

    As for Bernier, I’ve never heard of him before but I read his bio very interesting background. Would have to know more about him but I think based on his background he could make a formidable challenger to Murphy and also someone who is not a career politician elected to some office for years looking to move up.

  2. wtfdnucsailor

    Justin was an aide to Rob Simmons and did a good job during the BRAC process. I suspect that he will have a recognition problem in the 5th district since Simmons was in the 2nd and, as a staffer, Justin did not get much exposure.

  3. Weicker Liker

    Given his prior work in Rob Simmons district, Bernier’s candidacy would make more sense in CT-2.

    Problem is he lives in Plainville.

    Of course, Chris Murphy moved INTO CT-5 (Cheshire) to run in 2006!!

  4. AndersonScooper

    Bernier is being smart.

    Chances are Justin does better than expectations, (it’d be hard to perform as poorly as Crappiello in an Obama cycle), and if and when he does, he’ll establishes himself as the GOP front-runner in the battle for Murphy’s House seat in 2012. (That’s when Dems send the young’un to the United States Senate. — sorry little Dick, you had your chances.)

  5. AndersonScooper

    This is rich. Mike Fedele’s designated driver makes $142,000/year!


  6. Problem is he lives in Plainville.

    You made a big mess out of the 5th last cycle – stay out of it.

  7. Weicker Liker


    First, I was only making an observation about where I personally felt Justin Bernier has more strength

    Second, it’s a real stretch to say that I somehow made a “mess” out of the Fifth during the last cycle.

    True, I did blog – on this site – frequently in support of David Cappiello.

    As I recall, it was Cappiello and his staff who did all the work, got nominated and raised over $1 Million.

    Do you still think that I somehow had influence in getting the NRCC / RNC to support Cappiello?

    Unfortunately, I don’t have that much power

  8. Weicker Liker

    On by the way, everyone mark your calendars…

    Chris Murphy ‘s Campaign has a fundraising breakfast on March 24th at 8 AM

    The event will be at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in DC.

    Suggested contributions: Event Chair $5,000 (PACS) ; Hosts $2,500

  9. Do you still think that I somehow had influence in getting the NRCC / RNC to support Cappiello?

    I’m sure of it.
    The NRCC was pretty screwed up; and some dimwit trainee actually took you seriously.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have that much power

    Rather clearly you impressed some kid assigned to CT by the NRCC last year.

    We *could* have run a Republican for the seat instead of a moron with a D rating from the NRA .

    Win lose or draw, it would have been more honorable than dignifying the horrific political track record (not to mention personal conduct towards other Republicans) of the candidate we fielded.

    Our candidate had no sense of honor what-so-ever and was an embarrassment to authentic Republicans from coast to coast.

  10. Weicker Liker


    From what I understand, David Cappiello’s campaign was dialed in with the NRCC long before my interest.

    As I remember, Cappiello and Bruce McEver were the first two serious candidates who attended a Candidate school in DC.

    What impressed the NRCC, was Cappiello’s first fundraising effort.

    Nancy Johnson also worked to raise a BOATLOAD of cash for him!!

    Truthfully, I had mentioned his candidacy to a Senior Staffer in the NRCC Communications Department. This guy came to the Committee from Bush-Cheney 2004. He’s far from a trainee.

    I also shared news clips about Sean Sullivan with the same person.

    You can say what ever you want to about Cappiello’s honor record, ect. That’s your right.

    But don’t put false blame on me.

  11. AndersonScooper

    Hey, Murphy would have wiped the floor with whomever you guys put forward. (he beat 24yr incumbent Nancy Johnson by a whopping 12% in 2006. Maybe that should have suggested something to you?)

    Anyway, the bar is set. Better than 42% of the vote will be an “outstanding” performance for Bernier.

    I want to know, will anyone get in his way?

  12. Weicker Liker

    Anderson Scooper….

    In the way of Bernier??? I don’t know.

  13. Weicker Liker

    Oh by the way, the NRA gave David Cappiello a B Rating last cycle.
    Not what ACR indicated

  14. It seems like all anyone knows of Bernier is from the NL Day or his official bio. For a guy who’s spent the last several years focused on southeastern CT, a run against Murphy on the other side of the state seems like a bold – if not unrealistic – move.

    Most in that neck of the woods won’t care one bit about his supposed success working with Rob Simmons…which begs the question: what does Justin Bernier offer the voters of CT-5? Not much, it seems.

    Bernier is nothing nut another ambitious Republican wanna-be.

  15. Bernier is nothing nut another ambitious Republican wanna-be.

    Who do you think Murphy was before?

  16. Who do you think Murphy was before?

    Murphy was probably not an ambitious republican wanna-be.

  17. no, Murphy was a carpetbagger.

    Came into Southington, ran for PZC claiming he “lived” here (indeed he rented a room but no one can recall him ever spending the night) and won.

    Then he “rented” a condo on Darling Street (the only street here where *everyone* locks their cars) but once again, no one can recall ever seeing his car late, or in the morning – ever.

    Then he bought a house in Cheshire; and rumor has it he’s actually there once in a while as it’s within the 5th district (residing w/in the district is not a requirement BTW)

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