Trump's support for coal was a theme of the Republican National Convention in 2016. mark pazniokas /
Trump's call to roll back environment regs are among the concerns of Bush appointees.
Trump’s call to roll back environment regulations are among the concerns of Bush appointees. mark pazniokas /
Trump’s call to roll back environment regulations are among the concerns of Bush appointees. mark pazniokas /

Emil Frankel, a former Connecticut transportation commissioner, is among the former transportation and environmental appointees of President George W. Bush to sign a letter opposing the election of Donald J. Trump, calling him an affront to Republican values and a threat to environmental and transportation safety.

“It is not good government, and it does not serve the public, simply to call for eliminating regulation without regard to the circumstances, as Mr. Trump has done,” the letter says. “As Republicans, we have designed and implemented careful and balanced governmental regulation that has brought us clean water and clean air, protection of the ozone layer, safety in transportation, and more efficient use of energy.”

Frankel, who lived in Westport before moving to Washington, D.C., was the assistant secretary of transportation during Bush’s first term as president. He was one of 13 signatories, who included Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor who was the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

He said many of the former Bush appointees remain in touch.

“We’re all Republicans,” Frankel said. “In the conversations that led to this, there was a very very strong antipathy to Donald Trump’s candidacy and concern, a kind of universal feeling we needed to say something. I certainly don’t have any great illusions this is going to affect lots of people. It was just important to speak out.”

Frankel, a transportation commissioner under Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and the interim commissioner under Gov. M. Jodi Rell, said the group of Bush political appointees were moved by a similar statement issued by a larger group of Republicans who served in foreign policy and national security roles.

“As our foreign policy colleagues concluded in their statement, ‘As committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head.’ We agree,” Frankel and the others wrote. “What is true for our national security is also true for our most difficult domestic challenges.”

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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