A Troll Samples Big Mac’s Future

Former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh gazes into his crystal ball to divine Council President Tom McCarthy’s political future. “After the rough year he had this year in the State Senate Primary, next year will be no walk in the park.”

First he may have a tough council year just trying to position himself for a potential primary in the fall. With lingering questions over how the mayor is handling issues like public safety, education, city finances and economic development, trying to serve again as the mayor’s bucket boy may continue to damage his public standing. But if he turns on the mayor he may face a primary challenge from someone deep inside the Democratic Party.

If he plays nice with the mayor, someone might look at Marilyn Moore’s Primary road map and decide a primary challenge is very doable. An African American with strong roots in the community especially in the education system would make life very difficult for Tommy Boy. Attack him on his rudderless leadership, his conflicts of interest and self-serving history and he could be very beatable. It would take a strong candidate whose strength is where Tom is weak but Moore showed he definitely can be beaten in his own backyard.

And if he could get by the election cycle he would still need to win the internal fistfight dealmaking of the Council President election. If two or three districts flip, a coalition could be formed to upset his plans. There are a lot of ifs in play but for someone who just demonstrated how poor his political instincts can be, it is definitely doable.

And then the biggest question of all will be if he is not elected Council Prez, would he even bother serving out his term. A lot of ifs and question marks are in Tom McCarthy’s future. And along with them some potential detours and roadblocks that could waylay his political path. Does Tom have the guts to simply drop off the council and attack them and the mayor from the sidelines? Only time and Tom will tell.



  1. Bubba, my crystal ball is more efficient than yours, I laid out the exact scenario right after the primary. With more political savvy he could have avoided his now-tenuous political career.

  2. If Tommy Mac called me today for advice, I would tell him to not even consider running for the council again.
    Stake out his territory and the issues important to him.
    Be very vocal and visible with his time left on the council.
    And then sit on the sidelines demanding action when the mayor and council do not act.

    But then again what do I know? Tommy Mac never called me and never sought my advice.

  3. Tom’s political path in his way of thinking rests solely on two individuals; Bill Seres and John Fabrizi.
    The only two City Council Presidents who assumed the office of mayor when the sitting mayor did not fulfill his term.
    Not much of a history to go on.

    1. You’re right. He doesn’t seem to be open to suggestions. I tried on two occasions, face-to-face, in a sincere way; not only did he ignore my suggestions, but he worked against me in my TC primary.

  4. McCarthy’s relevance in politics has been his ability to provide rewards. He has arranged employment for city council members and family; as well, I assume, members and family of the DTC as directed.
    In the study of Management, there are several recognized forms of power identified by French and Raven. McCarthy used ‘reward power.’ He rewarded city council members with unnecessary stipend funds with little accountability and what they feel is celebrity status with little knowledge of their role.
    What will be McCarthy’s source of power without his City Labor Relations job or his reward power as council president? Will he be hired by a government employee union?
    Will time tell?

  5. Tom,
    Since you worked inside the council’s office you may know more than I, but I do not believe McCarthy had the power you suggest.
    I believe if he wanted to hire someone, he got to go to the head of the line but still it was the mayor or Mario who made the decision.

    1. Bubba, you’re most likely right, but perception is powerful, and that’s what he generated. If he runs again, what a surprise he’s in for when suddenly his perceived loyal colleagues throw a couple of names in against him. Remember, no more 11 votes needed to win, just a plurality.

    2. Bob.
      Yes, “as directed” by Testa, Finch and perhaps others. Every individual council member has their price, most as the result of needs. The ‘minority caucus’ members are no different.
      He also facilitated punishment as in your ‘massa’ case. He also interceded in deflecting court punishment as in the assault of Cecil Young. He did it all with a giggle.

  6. I still cannot believe the Minority Caucus can’t put together 11 votes to elect one of their members.
    It shouldn’t be that difficult coming together for a common cause. Especially with issues like public safety and education being of such importance in the city today.

    1. Your disbelief may result from a refusal to look at the number of City Council members who may appear to be representing all their constituents, but who in reality have a known Achilles heel. They may not have a City job, but perhaps one or more family members do. When it comes to voting on an issue like public safety or education, how are they informed, educated, or prepared with a cover story?

      When you refer to the Minority Caucus, just which groups among the 20 can you identify that relate to each other over personal conflicted interest? If you break the Council into three common categories like Black, Hispanic and White that are often used, we may discover (give or take) each category has about 1/3 of the total. If you are suggesting blacks and Hispanics, traditional minorities that have caucused under different circumstances, why would anyone act against their own personal interest, a family member with a job? You likely see it in another way. Just asking. Time will tell.

  7. Bob, have they elected any black or Latino independent thinker who doesn’t toe the line or would one expect blacks and Latinos to work together for the betterment of Bridgeport?

    To dream the impossible dream
    To fight the unbeatable foe
    To bear with unbearable sorrow
    And to run where
    The brave dare not go.

    Well you know the rest.

    1. Donald, as I mentally go around the council seats, I don’t recall any closeness or mutual goals among any of the ethnic members. Unfortunately, in the past they all clustered around McCarthy as if he were the second coming. I could never understand why they didn’t close ranks when it came to issues concerning mutual constituency matters. That’s how we rolled. If a member of a district came to me, I rallied the troops, we all took an interest and supported the district problem. No quid pro quo, we just knew what we had to do. I don’t see that kind of brotherhood/sisterhood on this council. If McCarthy runs for another term on the Council, and wins, because they’ve been brainwashed for so long, they may just elect him again as CC president. Nothing surprises me anymore.

  8. All good things must come to an end.

    Let’s hope the Kentucky Police Department throws the book at Mr. Green, that little bastard! Not only did he steal the Mayor’s car, but he put my new business in jeopardy!

    Just about the same time Joe Ganim became Mayor I was at City Hall Annex, getting something from the registrars’ office, when I clicked my car key (transponder) by mistake, I then heard a very faint horn sound coming from the basement parking garage of the City Hall Annex. So I click it again and I heard the same thing! A car horn beep! Then I click it again! Same thing happens.
    I then went down the elevator into the parking garage clicking my transponder car key. There it was, this Beautiful black SUV with tinted windows, a cop radio, CD’s, small cooler, and Joe’s diary, just sitting and waiting for someone to take it for a spin around the block.
    When I got back after about an hour I hit the garage door opener button and I was back in. Home Depot has the code numbers for all the door openers, so for last six months I was Black Rock’s flucking Uber driver! The tips sucked, but the taxpayers from Black Rock rode free!

    I’ll take my meds now, Lennie.

    1. I simply can’t believe this whole story of the MAYOR’S TAHOE, which happens to be a HUGE SUV. Never missed, and Bridgeport officials only found out about it after getting a call from Kentucky police. Simply unbelievable.

  9. I defer my opinion to those here who have much more experience, but what choice does Thomas McCarthy have? He never has seemed to be the type to go out on the limb and take a risk. His State Senatorial bid was supported by the powers-that-be in the DTC. He lost big-time. My prediction. He will play it safe. Seek re-election, hold on to his council leadership and do the bidding of ganim and Testa, and maybe he will re-evaluate in 2019 and assess the political landscape at that time. The only issue is income/pocket change for him?

  10. I don’t know Frank, has he outlived his usefulness to Joe and Mario and is there someone on the CC who is more amenable to the wishes of the cartel and is there someone else on the CC who is more easily controlled? HMMM.

      1. I’ve had some experience with Councilwoman “Rev.” Mary Lee. I see one person in CC chambers and I see another person outside CC chambers. She keeps on waving around some type of CC ID giving her “significant power.”


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