A Month Remains To Election–Is There An October Surpise?

Four weeks left to this historic, bizarre, wacky, surreal, twisty yo-yo of a mayoral election. And we’re not done yet. Time to take inventory how we got to this point and the fascination of the general election.

Ganim comeback
Ganim danced on a table primary night. Sue Katz photo.

Joe Ganim
On January 1 of this year Joe Ganim entered the East End church of Pastor Charlie Stallworth, who also serves in the State House, and set in motion a dynamic for a once-improbable comeback to regain the office he lost following his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2003. In the devised sanctuary of church, Ganim issued his first public apology for violating the public trust after declaring for 14 years time and again and over and over he did nothing wrong. Stripped of his law license and diminished economic potential, divorced and owing child support, Ganim weighed the odds: who’d pay him a salary and benefits package accorded the mayor of Connecticut’s largest city? Sure, redemption is a mighty fine thing, but redemption with a payday even better. That’s how the brain of Ganim works.

So Ganim issued an apology that he called mistakes, but in doing so also revealed something unspoken. Apologizing was also a de facto admission he had lied under oath during his 2003 trial. In fact, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton announced in court in assessing Ganim’s enhanced nine-year sentence, Ganim had lied under oath before a jury.

“I find by clear and convincing evidence,” the judge announced, “Mr. Ganim’s testimony was so fundamentally and materially in dispute with that given by others, whose testimony was corroborated.”

Three state judges also agreed in denying Ganim’s law license, he showed no contrition in a preponderance of evidence leading to his conviction. Joe Ganim, however, is no ordinary politician. He’s a tireless, persuasive campaigner undeterred about the odds if he sees a realistic path to victory. It was a leap of faith that required a few breaks along the way.

Ganim, Adams, Myer
Ganim received support from former FBI agent Ed Adams, center, who investigated him. At right, Ganim confidante attorney Christopher Meyer.

He received that break from Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation. Even before Ganim was in the race for mayor, Finch and political operatives pounded Ganim in news releases, public statements, in the corridors of the state capitol to anyone willing to listen, he was a pond-scum charlatan unfit for office. And in fact, Finch pressed for a state law to prevent Ganim from running for public office in a direct message to city voters they were incapable of making up their own minds about Ganim’s fitness for office. Increasingly urban voters, many of whom know someone who went astray, screwed up or went to prison, began asking why is the mayor afraid of Joe Ganim? Maybe we should give Ganim a second look. Rather than being dismissive of Ganim and focusing on his own record, Finch had handed Ganim a gift, according him relevance before Ganim was even in the race. It also reinforced a frostiness that existed between Finch and Ganim when Ganim was mayor and Finch served on the City Council and then State Senate.

Ganim went to work building political support, working around the clock appealing to voters with a second-chance message. Finch’s political team was convinced all they had to do was follow the campaign playbook against former Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Buddy Cianci who was defeated last year in a comeback bid following his conviction on corruption charges more than a decade prior. The comparison was misplaced. Cianci ran as an independent in an open seat. As a result Cianci’s Democratic opponent could turn the race into a referendum on Cianci’s corruption. Ganim decided to run in a Democratic primary against an incumbent who had to defend his record.

Ganim drew a contrast with Finch in three key areas: taxes, public safety and quality of life. Little things mean a lot, Ganim argued, such as paved streets, new sidewalks and listening to concerns. He persuaded voters, particularly African Americans, Finch’s word could not be trusted. When Trumbull Gardens was hit by violent crime, Ganim opened a campaign headquarters he asserted doubled as a police substation. Finch called it a cheap political trick and then lo and behold announced his own police substation. Ganim announced he’d hire 100 new cops. Finch said me too. Some voters wondered, does Finch have any of his own ideas for addressing public safety? There was a hole in the fence at Trumbull Gardens. Ganim went to Home Depot, bought supplies and fixed the fence. Who cared the fixed fence was destroyed a few days later? At least Ganim is trying to do something, residents reasoned.

Ganim is more than just a candidate, he’s also a strategist. What’s better cover than persuading the FBI agent who investigated you to support a comeback? Ed Adams, now a private investigator, did just that. The police union too whose majority membership did not like Finch endorsed Ganim. Ganim goes door to door telling voters if you’re concerned about my past the FBI agent who investigated me and the police union both support my candidacy. Surreal, under normal circumstances, but true.

Testa, numbers
Mario Testa, center, reviews results. He popped bubbly shortly after.

Ganim was gaining traction. Meanwhile he worked the political establishment to win over nearly 50 percent of the Democratic Town Committee at the July endorsement including party chair Mario Testa. Finch, an eight-year incumbent, found himself in the embarrassing position of leveraging the government candy store in the weekend before to win the endorsement. Finch barely won the endorsement over a guy who did seven years in the joint.

Meanwhile, Ganim brought new voters to his side and registered folks who had not participated in the process, some of them felons. Hey, I’m one of you! Welcome to the club. African American voters in particular gravitated to Ganim.

While Finch’s political operation had messaging breakdowns that bolstered Ganim, Finch’s field operation did turn out to be a strength. It managed to produce 5,800 votes in the primary. Problem was Ganim produced 6,200 in the highest primary turnout in 30 years. Finch, in becoming the first incumbent mayor in city history to lose a primary, actually built upon his primary total from 2011 when he defeated Mary-Jane Foster by roughly 5,400 to 3,800 votes. Ganim out-hustled and out-messaged him.

Mary-Jane Foster
Foster had a working relationship with Ganim when he was mayor. Foster and her husband Jack McGregor were the visionaries behind the ballpark and arena at Harbor Yard, including their initial ownership in the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team. Foster and Ganim fell apart when Ganim lost his way. Foster also had a working relationship with Finch when he served in the State Senate. She also supported him for mayor in 2007. The relationship started coming apart with Finch’s myopic treatment of the University of Bridgeport, the anchor of the city’s South End. An arm of the Unification Church had rescued the university from financial ruin in the early 1990s. Irrespective of the fact the university was on the comeback without intrusion from the church, Finch made unfounded inflammatory public claims calling it a criminal enterprise shortly after Foster was named a vice president. The business community urged Finch to reel it in, his own staff tried to find ways to bring Finch closer to the university. Finch, stubbornly, would have none of it.

Mary-Jane Foster, sandwich by Joe Ganim and Bill Finch, urges "the boys" to stop bickering at Thursday debate.
Mary-Jane Foster, sandwiched by Joe Ganim and Bill Finch, held her own with “the boys” during debates.

In the spring of 2011, Foster made a public entry as Finch’s Democratic primary challenger. Despite being largely unknown throughout the city, Foster managed to crack 40 percent of the vote against Finch having been outspent two to one. It was a respectable showing for Foster that also illustrated the cracks in Finch’s relationship with the African American community. Foster ran almost even with Finch in the East End, an African American stronghold. During the July 4th weekend, Finch and the elected Board of Education threw in the towel and announced they wanted the state to takeover the troubled school system. It was replaced by an appointed body eventually overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court as illegal. But it was an example of Finch’s surreptitious administration that had blindsided some voters, particularly African Americans who did not trust Finch to appoint school board members.

One year later Finch tried to persuade voters to give him the power to appoint school board members. The city charter reform message failed at the polls. One year after that all endorsed school board members backed by Finch were shellacked in a primary, producing more storm warnings for Finch.

Foster hq rally
Backed by Finch, Foster addresses supporters at Downtown headquarters.

Foster stayed active in some city issues, but largely did not take advantage of her first run. You stay active by attending City Council and school board meetings and issuing alternative policy information and staying close to your core support. Foster’s 2011 supporters urged her to remain active. Her reticence, however, created openings for both Ganim and Finch to poach supporters both financially and politically.

As spring progressed, Foster had trouble with a mayoralty of Finch or Ganim. She entered the race late, had difficulty raising money, but showed in forum performances she could hold her own against the more seasoned government officials. Foster finished third in the Democratic primary won by Ganim. She announced she would not be a candidate in the general election irrespective of having petitioned onto the November ballot. On that very day OIB disclosed, based on information from the office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State, Finch political operatives had botched a backup plan for November ballot placement if he lost the primary. This provided new life for Foster as a viable alternative to Ganim. Without a ballot spot, Finch pondered his options. He could launch a long-shot write-in campaign, sit out the general election or back Foster.

Foster, Colon
Foster with political and social activist Carmen Colon. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

Finch determined it was best to make peace with Foster to stop Ganim. They met and according to both Foster and Finch there was no deal. Finch would throw his support behind her. He was willing to put his prestige on the line for Foster to block Ganim. Foster’s challenge is maintaining a majority of Finch’s core support, coupled with her own, while appealing to unaffiliated voters in the general election.

Enrique Torres
Torres fancies himself an outspoken Republican maverick alternative to the political establishment. Once a Democrat, he became a Republican and made a credible showing as the GOP candidate for mayor against John Fabrizi who succeeded Ganim in the 2003 general election in the aftermath of the Ganim corruption probe. Torres who tends to travel to the beat of his own drum made an unprecedented decision in the summer of 2007 when as the Republican town chairman he endorsed Democratic party outsider Chris Caruso for mayor over Finch in the Democratic primary. Republican party leaders recoiled and removed Torres as town chair.

Torres makes pitch for mayor.
Torres, the storekeeper, makes pitch for mayor.

Four years later Torres reemerged as the Republican candidate for mayor against Finch who enjoyed a 10 to 1 voter registration advantage. With limited funds and relying largely on a Finch anti-vote, Torres lost 8,435 to 3,344. Torres’ one strong showing came in his home precinct in Black Rock, the bastion of Republican politics, where he owns the popular Harborview Market. Bridgeport elections features 10 voting districts. Torres secured 25 percent of his vote in the 130th District. He was pummeled in all other areas of the city.

Two years later Torres smartly identified a winnable elected position, City Council in Black Rock. He became the lone Republican on the City Council challenging Finch on taxes, the budget and tax giveaways to developers. Last winter he came up short in a special election to Democrat Steve Stafstrom to fill the State House seat of Auden Grogins who was appointed to the state bench by Governor Dan Malloy.

Torres is once again the Republican candidate for mayor with limited funds and limited ground operation. Things got so bad for Finch without a ballot spot, he urged Torres to cede his placement to him offering Torres policy goodies such as minority party representation on the City Council. Torres thought about it, said no, then said to Finch why don’t you support me instead? Finch said no.

Torres in PT
Torres hopes to expand base in P.T. Barnum Apartments.

Torres approached Foster about supporting him. Foster approached Torres about supporting her. No common ground.

Ganim also reached out to Foster publicly for support.

For Torres the essential questions still exist. Without serious financing in the face of a dramatic voter registration disadvantage, what’s the path to victory? Four years ago, beyond his home precinct Black Rock, he had no traction. What’s changed?

Charlie Coviello, David Daniels, Chris Taylor, Tony Barr, largely unknown and lacking finances are also on the November ballot.



  1. Other than Mary-Jane Foster walking the entire city every day for the next four weeks with an entourage and Joe Ganim celebrating his 56th birthday. I do not expect any major incidents, though I am most likely wrong. 🙂

    1. You’ve been wrong before, you’ll be wrong again. You’re very consistent that way, Steven. That’s why we keep you around, your predictability.

  2. Very nice photo of Enrique “Rick” Torres. The fact Torres was willing to support Caruso, to break the machine, says a lot about his character. He could do more stumping around the city in off-election year times, but says, “I need to make a living.”

    While not wanting to personally diminish anyone, if this city is willing to re-elect someone convicted of public corruption in government, I think it shows a serious lack of ideas. Ganim has held a semi-mythical position in Bridgeport since he left, many lips sound his praises, he did some nice work. He also enjoyed an economy that allowed for the nice work to be done. He was in line for Governor, city boy made good. He blew it. He is not your brother-in-law, or best friend, or savior of Bridgeport. He needs to get a job, but it should not be as mayor of the City of Bridgeport again. Bridgeporters are known for being stubborn, strong-willed, and if you take the pulse from here to New York, criminal. Whether he is a nice guy, capable, has good ideas and creativity for the city, he also knows he is asking the people of the city to take a long ride with him in restoring the image and true value of the city people love to hate, on his coattails. It is either genius, or a selfish thing to ask.

  3. If ever there were a time for Torres to step aside, it would be now. He will not have the funds or citywide support. It is true no matter how you slice it. He will take a handful of votes from Foster but given the nature of this election, I do not think enough to change the outcome of a Foster win. Unless Foster does not get out to meet the people and makes calls all day while Ganim is pounding the pavement and pressing the flesh as well as getting press and air time. This is the last comment I will make criticizing any campaign. I start tomorrow, I’ve made my points, it would be wise to follow the advice.

    1. Endorsed candidates for the other party should step down? If Torres were also a Democrat, your idea one of the two non-endorsed candidates should graciously bow out of course would be valid.

    2. SA. why in the name of God would you want a second-party candidate to step down? It’s bad enough we don’t have a greater R population to ensure checks and balances and offer differing choices and opinions. I applaud Rick Torres for carrying the banner despite the odds. When I served, 1983, 12-D’s, 8-R’s. 1989–10-D’s, 10 R’s. After that, Tom White and Tony Minutolo hung in for a couple of terms. Then it all went black, 22 years, all D’s, then Rick the lone R. Tom White, check my facts, I think I’m right but I’m going on memory.

      1. Memory is precious, but trying to verify whether you are right or not, do you remember the previous Republican Council person from the 130th? Donna Curran listened to all the voters in the District as well as was ready to share the questions that caused her concern about City finances. She attended lots of meetings, learned a good deal about City governance and made friends of all, or at least attempted to do so.
        A quiet month upcoming in Bridgeport? Time will tell.

        1. JML, you’re right. She was incredible, smart, and interacted with all members of the council. I was so sorry when she decided not to run again. Sorry I forgot her.

      2. Lisa, Republicans having any power in Bridgeport is long gone. Black and Hispanic voters will never become Republicans and the best they can hope for is win the two city council seats in 130th district and maybe two seats in the North End, maybe. After Rick Torres giving up his council seat and after his defeat in November 2015 it will be back to zero.

        1. Things are so bad for the local Republican Party, Rick Torres is not only running for mayor but he is also running to be the City Council member from the 130th district. He will be a loser twice in the same election.

        2. Ron, I know you’re right. My experiences working with D’s and R’s created an environment of differing views, and cohesive debate surrounding issues we faced at that time. No fear of following the “leader” just because. I know I’ll never see that again in my lifetime, but then it is the responsibility of the Republican party to revive its population, not ours.

      3. Lisa, the Republican party in Bridgeport died with Mary Moran. The New Republican Voice took Moran to the finish line. The Republican Town committee was as sad as they are now. Imagine having 25 years and 16 years of Republican rule and Bridgeport couldn’t expand their Republican base. Look. Torres is a nice man. I am not diminishing his right to vote or the hope of his supporters Bridgeport Kid and others. I do not believe Torres will hurt Foster or help Ganim. Voters know the game and every vote will count. Run Rick, Run. Don’t hold back!

        1. You are highly inconsistent. Yesterday you mused Rick was a spoiler, in the same post in which you say he won’t detract much from Foster. Get a fact checker on your thoughts.

          1. Sorry. You have been an elected official. Yet, you endorse someone who covertly abused his office and then lied about it to a Federal jury. The whole country heard about it and you think he should be put back in office. He can be sorry, now, finally, but that is not a reason to give him a shot at the Mayor’s office again. For a long time, felons could not vote, yet you and others want to put one back in office. I am not one for labeling people for life by any means, however this label is public, it concerns the lives of people in the largest city in CT, as people like to say, and it will follow him and the city whether he was your friend previously, or not.

  4. Well, perhaps if ever there were a time for Foster to step aside, it was during the primary, where a very small 1000 or so votes were cast for her campaign. Ganim won by around 400, a lot of which were the ever-useful absentee ballot foil. In this logic, no one should run for mayor but Ganim and one other person who may beat him. That could limit the voters’ choices even further for several election cycles as Ganim continues to try to take back the candy store.

  5. I wouldn’t mind if Ms. Foster would actually start campaigning now. I realize she just got back into the race, but I have no idea how she plans on solving the crime, tax, jobs, etc. issues. Even when she was running to win the primary, you hardly heard from her. She needs to be out there, more aggressive imo.

    1. Harvey, you don’t hear publicly from her for four years, only time you hear from her is during a failed run for mayor, but at least this time she has teamed with a failed mayor who has to be hiding his goodies that will land him and his whole cabinet into the federal prison where Ganim once resided.

      1. Ms. Foster has a short list of miracles to be performed during her first 50 days in office. They appeared in tablet form after God spoke to her through a burning desire and instructed her where to find them. John Stafstrom will heal the sick and raise the dead and lead them to the polling places on November 3rd. Mary-Jane will then part the Housatonic River.

  6. If MJF had gotten Finch’s support BEFORE announcing she’s dropping out of the race, I think she would’ve won EASILY.

    BUT the fact she dropped from the race and dangled around and jumped back in at the sign of a Finch weakness is going to kill her chances of winning.

    I don’t care how many people “support” MJF. People are afraid to vote for her based on her decision making. The general population doesn’t read papers or listen to the news like WE do, they’re going to vote for whom they and what they see most. Ganim will win easily. MJF a distant second, she was barely known then and very much liked by those who knew her, but then dropped and lost progress of most of what she accomplished. Realistically. If I’m wrong, hey, I’m wrong, but I truly believe this election is like watching the HATED Yankees (Ganim) play the Bluefish (MJF).

    I’ll state it here first, MJF will NOT be the next mayor of Bridgeport and I want MY steak dinner to be given to Steven A. when I win, because the votes will be 61% Ganim, 22% Foster, 9% Torres and 8% all others.

    See Steven, I care about you, I just gave you a free steak dinner (if Lennie offers for the winner). I just gave you the final results.

    1. Bpt Punisher,
      I want to thank you. It is always nice when the opposition shows an act of kindness.

      Much to your chagrin I am sure, I would agree with you if the Foster campaign stayed on the same path. Lightning does not strike twice. When you have bad advice repeatedly and you see the results, you make big changes or you get the same results. You can make suggestions to the wrong people and have the same people making the same bad decisions.

      I only agree with what I have agreed with repeatedly. I absolutely love how Ganim has run his campaign. Everything he has done I have recommended over and over again, always sharing with the wrong people.

      The voters do not read the papers, you are correct. Ganim is in your face on News 12 every day. He works 24/7 like myself, except his tenacity will land him a $132,000 a year job. I absolutely respect his tenacity. People will vote for the person the see every day. He touches people, his Facebook is updated 10 times a day. He takes selfies all day long and totally connects with the voters.

      Now that I have blown enough smoke up his ass, I believe Mary-Jane Foster will have an epiphany. She is an amazing woman. I do believe because I have to believe, somewhere along the line the reality of an election is happening in four weeks. I am still getting over my trauma of Finch’s defeat, which had nothing to do with Joe Ganim. I do believe Finch’s support of Foster was brilliant! Though unplanned and the result of incompetence, I believe Mayor Finch has emerged wiser and respected. Mary-Jane Foster now has the opportunity to be the first Democratic woman Mayor in Bridgeport. Okay, so big deal. But I supported Fosterfour years ago. I believe this woman will take this city to a new level. From the Governor down as well as every city in the state is looking at Bridgeport. The second-chance story is tired. I expect visibility of Foster to increase 100-fold because it has to. This is going to be a very exciting four weeks. Foster needs to meet, touch and embrace 50,000 people, whether commercials or in person, it is the ticket. The show must go on.

      So Bpt Punisher, thank you for the free steak dinner. 🙂

      I am hopeful and believe Mary-Jane Foster is not going to let me down as I will not let her down! This city will come out for Foster. There is no second chance with this race.

      1. Please. Why don’t you go for the true change in this election and support Torres? Foster cost Finch his primary, by the pitiful 1000 votes she gained. Nobody cares about her candidacy, it is only the circumstances of the moment that have her even being spoken about. Torres is the maverick in this race, you want to maintain the same old thing with a presence of newness, can’t get beyond party boundaries that really mean nothing in a city like Bridgeport. The vote has been status quo vs. change for several elections now. This time change = Torres.

  7. Lennie, when you said Joe persuaded voters, particularly African Americans, Finch’s word could not be trusted is not entirely true. Black voters already knew Finch was a liar and couldn’t be trusted long before Joe Ganim decided to run for Mayor. Black voters demonstrated their contempt for Finch during the election of 2011 when in large numbers they voted for Mary-Jane. Joe didn’t turn black voters against Finch, Finch did that all by himself.

    1. Good point DD, but Ganim persuaded more voters to come to the polls, in part against Finch and in part because of himself. On primary day key precincts with African American voters such as Dunbar, JFK, Hooker and Wilbur Cross all eclipsed 800-vote turnouts. That hasn’t happened in 30 years in a mayoral primary. Now that Finch is not on the ballot, will turnout in those areas be as high in November? Could voter complacency be Ganim’s biggest challenge in those precincts?

  8. Lennie has written the definitive field guide to this election for any outsider (read that as: “national journalist”) coming to Bridgeport this month as Election Day draws near.

    I’ve never been involved in an election that so sorely tests my religious values because of the issues of forgiveness and redemption raised by the Ganim candidacy. I just posted an exploration in an essay on Medium.com titled “Imagine The Second-Chance Bridgeport of Joe Ganim,” available here:

    1. Thank you, Doug. I agree with MJF, redemption is earned and not an entitlement freely given after a half-hearted apology; and for Joe to say he’s humbled is silly. If he truly were humbled, in the past five-plus years since his release from prison, he would have been selflessly involved in the community using his talents to humbly redeem himself. His “knocking on every door” campaign approach could have happened years ago, with the question, “how can I help?” rather than “I need your vote.” If someone says they’re humbled often enough, then they’re bragging about being humble which is, what is the best word? Grandiosity, dishonesty? Certainly not humble. You can fake that you care, but you can’t fake not being there.

    2. Doug, I think that’s the first time I heard a person dig deeper into him/herself when faced with a practical and moral decision. You’re a man who respects the responsibility of choosing. I was raised from the age of four years until completing my schooling in a religious environment. My teachings have left me with a different view of redemption, my heart and beliefs differ a bit from yours and many others. However I admire you, and hope you stay involved now that you’re back. I hung onto every word you wrote, and for the most part they were heartfelt. P.S. I’m not talking about the part when you went into the political opinions. Work on the 20% that has you in doubt, your answers are there.

      1. Lisa, I’m so glad to receive this thoughtful response from you. You really got what I meant, even with your disagreement. Sometime down the road, I hope to encounter all the good folks in the OIB community, either socially or in civic life. Looking forward to meeting you when the occasion arises.–DTD

    3. Doug Davidoff, that was a most eloquently executed commentary. Like yourself I am supporting Mary-Jane Foster.

      I forgive Joe Ganim. I cannot even imagine what goes through his mind when dealing with voters who do not fall all over him. I think Joe has gone to prison and served his time. He has a son and I thought it was a mistake to put his son through the painful commentaries. I would like to believe a judge will restore Joe Ganim’s ability to practice law. Someday, that is my wish for him. However, I do not believe any man who has been convicted of 16 felonies, who betrayed the city of Bridgeport should ever have the ability to serve the largest city in the state as its most powerful leader. Ganim had 12 years, enough of the redemption story. This election must be about the future of this city and the individual who has the best chance to keep the ball rolling with respect and support from the State and local businesses. That person is Mary-Jane Foster. The support of Mayor Finch is just icing on the cake. The Republicans, unaffiliated and Democrats will support Mary-Jane Foster!

  9. Pillow talk with Mary-Jane Foster

    The last time we left Mary-Jane, she was jumping in bed with Mayor Finch, Paul (Tippy) Timpanelli, Johnny Stafstrom and Governor Lowell Weicker.

    MJF: Hey, thanks for coming over so quickly. Governor Weicker, you know Mayor Bill Finch, Tippy and Johnny S.

    LW: “Oh sure, of course! Sorry to hear about your loss to Joe Ganim, Bill, but I remember my ass kicking from Joe Lieberman. Hhe kept calling me the sleeping bear of the Senate and he put me in hibernation for a while. That prick!!! Boy this bed is huge. Mary-Jane, push over Tippy and Johnny, so what’s on TV tonight?

    MJF: Oh! We can’t find the remote. Stafstrom wants to watch New York Housewives, Finch wants to watch Gold Rush and Tippy wants The Voice! So Lowell, what did you bring to my sleep-over party!

    LW: Scotch!

    MJF: Did you say Scott?

    LW: No! That SOB really gave me the flucking business back in the ’90s when I was Governor. Hey Finch! we both have something in common now! You raised Bridgeport taxes and the voters came after you with a blowtorch! I gave them the state income tax, and every politician in the state fried my fluckin’ nuts on that move! I’m more than happy to give you my endorsement, Mary-Jane, but you can have all the money in the world and it’s not going to get you elected, just look what happened when I endorsed Linda McMahon!

    MJF: Oh shit!!! I forgot about that!

    LW: (Weicker whispers) Now jumping in bed with these clowns and your running without a slate doesn’t look good to the voters! Cutting a deal with Finch, Stafstrom and Tippy, just to garner Finch support and money, just remember, if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas!

    JS: Hey Governor, stop whispering down there!!!

    LW: Well you know Mary-Jane, it all comes down to open, accountable, transparent and honest government, jumping in bed with these three flucking mutts, and this tells me they have something, very big to hide!

    Tippy: Hey Finch, can you hear what Weicker is whispering about?

    MF: (Finch whispers) I can just about make it out, it sounds like they’re talking about flucking John Marshall Lee.

  10. Also to Doug Davidoff: the UU-stated spiritual idea–to respect the worth and dignity of every human being is exactly the way Rick Torres leads his life on a daily basis, for many, many years, not just during election cycles. By not mentioning the Republican candidate, perhaps you feel many R candidates aren’t worth your time to explore. I get that, based on my feelings of the insanity of Republicans on the national stage, and being a Democrat. But you should visit Rick at his store and have coffee with him, you may not be as indifferent. You may see Rick is truly the only choice for Bridgeport, and the MJF/Finch coalition will continue to make Bridgeport: the city the economic recovery passed by.

    1. George, I wasn’t trying to cover the waterfront in the same way, say, Lennie was in the excellent post to which all this commentary is attached. But you’re right about Rick. I’ve met him and I’ve visited his store. (Harborview Market is one of the most hospitable places I know in Bridgeport. The first time I visited, the staff did something so nice I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.) Politically and policy-wise, I think Rick is credible and likable and has a lot going for him. I met him at the FaithActs for Education forum in September at Cathedral of Praise Church on Gregory Street and I was impressed with his passion that night; he was very much on fire. I’d like to work with him in the future on a non-partisan or bipartisan reform of some sort. But when it comes to the mayoral election, my orientation as a newcomer especially to downtown is to preserve the development momentum that’s adding residential and retail to the city core, keep Steelpointe on track or moving even faster, keep neighborhoods developing, keep transit moving (ahem, policy-wise, not literally!) and keep developing the green technologies. My support of Bill Finch began not as anti-Ganim but as pro-“stay the course.” I’m also a mighty strong Democratic partisan; you have to work hard to peel me away from that. But as they say, some of my best friends are Republicans. I just see MJF delivering on my goals and values better, and I see her being stronger to defeat Joe Ganim.–DTD

  11. If the people of the city of Bridgeport elect re-elect a man convicted of public corruption then it shows just how easily manipulated the electoral process in Bridgeport has become. Joseph P. Ganim has acknowledged “I broke the law.” he has not atoned for his sins, has not asked the people of the city of Bridgeport to forgive him his debts and trespasses.  His guile, unscrupulousness and insincerity is a matter of public record, as is his dishonesty:

    “I find by clear and convincing evidence,” Judge Janet Bond Arterton of U.S. District Court said at his sentencing, “Mr. Ganim’s testimony was so fundamentally and materially in dispute with that given by others, whose testimony was corroborated, she went on to cite 22 occasions over two days of testimony that the disgraced mayor had lied on the witness stand.

    Upon successful completion of the bar examination, attorneys are required to swear the following oath before receiving a license to practice law:
    “You solemnly swear or solemnly and sincerely affirm, as the case may be, that you will do nothing dishonest, and will not knowingly allow anything dishonest to be done in court, and that you will inform the court of any dishonesty of which you have knowledge; that you will not knowingly maintain or assist in maintaining any cause of action that is false or unlawful; that you will not obstruct any cause of action for personal gain or malice; but that you will exercise the office of attorney, in any court in which you may practice, according to the best of your learning and judgment, faithfully, to both your client and the court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.”

    Joseph P. Ganim violated the above when he committed perjury. He wasn’t charged with that crime, which would have added a considerable amount of time to his eventual sentence. Judge Arterton did consider it when she sent him to prison for nine years.

    Only the confessor hears the confession. The rest of us have yet to hear a detailed admission of guilt. Mr. Ganim’s lust for an opulent lifestyle he couldn’t afford by honest means brought dishonor to himself and the people of the city of Bridgeport.

    According to the Catholic Dictionary

    “Avarice (from Latin avarus, ‘greedy’; ‘to crave’) is the inordinate love for riches. Its special malice, broadly speaking, lies in that it makes the getting and keeping of money, possessions, and the like, a purpose in itself to live for. It does not see that these things are valuable only as instruments for the conduct of a rational and harmonious life, due regard being paid of course to the special social condition in which one is placed. It is called a capital vice because it has as its object that for the gaining or holding of which many other sins are committed. It is more to be dreaded in that it often cloaks itself as a virtue, or insinuates itself under the pretext of making a decent provision for the future. In so far as avarice is an incentive to injustice in acquiring and retaining of wealth, it is frequently a grievous sin. In itself, however, and in so far as it implies simply an excessive desire of, or pleasure in, riches, it is commonly not a mortal sin.”

    But it is a sin.

  12. It would be wonderful if this election were decided by the people of the city of Bridgeport directly. Bridgeport being Bridgeport, that’s unlikely to happen, not with people like Lydia Martinez, Wanda Jeter, John Stafstrom and Danny Roach hiding in the woodpile.

  13. *** Insanity of the GOP on the national stage goes without saying! Every day they seem to step in it, one way or another. Whether it’s attacking Trump or giving their personal opinions on national hot political issues. Example: Pro-life/Pro-choice or regardless of the subject at hand, when has J. Bush sounded excited about anything let alone fire up a political group there to hear him speak? ZZzzZZzz? And Rand Paul always appears to be a day late and a dollar short for some reason. *** GO FIGURE, GOP! ***

  14. I am astounded by what I read here. Most of the people who call themselves Dems state amazing reasons why they won’t vote for Ganim or Mary-Jane!!! The very same people speak on how wonderful a person Torres is, yet in the same breath chastise him because of the (R) after his name!!! What I get from reading all your posts is you really don’t give a DAMN about Bridgeport!!! You only care about the STATUS QUO and the party YOU belong to, that has brought this once great city to her knees!!! If saving Bridgeport is TRULY in your best interest, then you vote your CONVICTION and not the PARTY!!! What you all forget is TORRES is the ONLY successful businessman in the bunch!!! Not Ganim and not Mary-Jane. Oh by the way, where is the FOR SALE sign Mary-Jane had in front of her house??? And Joe, renting for convenience???


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