As Primary Day Approaches, Fur Flies Among Mayoral Camps, Fed By Irresponsible CT Post Reporting

John Gomes with campaign manager Christine Bartlett-Josie, former Ganim allies, trying to defeat him.

In this penultimate weekend to the September 12 mayoral primary battle between Mayor Joe Ganim and former ally, now opponent, John Gomes, things are a little testy.

City Councilman Alfredo Castillo, enraged by Gomes’ operatives fanning the flames of absentee ballot shenanigans to his constituents, stormed into Gomes’ East Main Street headquarters Thursday night to vent the tactics.

Castillo said things, they said things, Castillo left, the cops came and hey, it’s a heated political battle.

“He walked in and pointed to me: I’m gonna get you,” said Christine Bartlett-Josie, a former Ganim ally, managing Gomes race.

A police report was filed, she said, and I’m “going all the way with it. I thought my life was in danger.”

Castillo blew off steam in a heated campaign and left. Is Bartlett-Josie overreacting? Maybe making political machinations out of this?

What triggered this?



  1. So, Lennie just to be clear, that it is the CT Posts’ fault by the mere reporting of factual information (you are not questioning the facts, just the timing that it was published a month later) that caused Castillo to storm the office of the Gomes campaign after dark and start screaming at 3 women? Does he bear any personal responsibility for his actions or are we all free to storm our opponents offices at will because of a newspaper story?

    Do you support such tactics by the Ganim campaign?

    1. First of all, what factual information have they reported? If they had reported factual information they wouldn’t have misled readership that charges are imminent. That’s how they framed the story. SEEC issued the decision for referral in June, not a month ago. If they had dropped something like this on your candidate Gomes you’d be WTF! How many times in the last few weeks have people contacted me: Gomes did this, Gomes did that, Gomes is this that and other other thing! I ignore it because of the timing, beyond something concrete. It’s silly season, dude. I’m not gonna jam up John Gomes because of BS political gotcha season. Not how I roll.

      The CT Post rolls that way.

      As for Castillo screaming at three women: if he vented and left, so be it. I wasn’t there. If he did something more, that’s another story. You’re saying it would be okay if three men? I do know some of the women he screamed at and they give as good at they take. It’s campaign politics.

      By the way Joe-So, now that you opened this door, what are you and Traber doing criticizing a new school chief who had the audacity to host a convocation at The Amp, under school board regulations, because she considered the health of participants fearing a new Covid variant? That’s the problem with the recent history of the power-hungry school board: if a super spends a few extra pennies to protect the health of teachers, staff and kids let’s make this about us (because we are so much more important) As a result you, Traber and Pereira drive good people away. Now you’re all on the same team. How convenient.

      So, please tell us how much extra your candidate Gomes, should he become mayor, must invest in schools to satisfy your current support? Because it won’t happen without a mighty tax increase. Impossible.

      1. I’ve opened no such door. But since you opened the door I’ve attached a link to true meeting where you say the superintendent was criticized. Please justify one criticism (by marking the time on this thread) of the superintendent.

        The superintendent was questioned and asked if the city of Bridgeport’s Purchasing ordinances were followed. It was put forward in writing as a “qualified purchase” stating the Amphitheater was a sole source provider because it was the only place with enough seats. The 10,000+ seat total mortgage arena next store has adequate space to hold all our employees. No mention of Covid on the paperwork.

        I had two city councilors publicly criticize me for this agenda item about using the Amphitheater that gives our city council free tickets that are ripe with abuse. Are the city councilors not reviewing the amphitheater charges to the city for fear of losing these ticket?

        I as a fiduciary for the city of Bridgeport have asked questions of every superintendent, especially around expenditures. Asking questions about process is not a personal attack, it’s the responsibility of every single elected official.

        The board will shortly be presented with an RFP to audit the entire books of the Bridgeport Public Schools. A process started by my committee as well under the prior superintendent . Is that a criticism as well? No it’s a check and balance I was elected to carry out.

        If only the city council would do the same, I would not be in the position to have to question expenditures and have the board consider bundling convocation and graduation and issue an RFP hoping to get the price of both events significantly under 74k combined.

        If that fails we have a wonderful location at central that we’ve used in the past rent free, that I will ask the board to consider.

        I await either the bookmark where I or anybody criticizes Levy-David personally.

          1. Here’s what the CT Post reported, or maybe they got it wrong this time, from your perspective:

            The dispute marks the first public clash between board members and Levy-David, a former Texas-based educator who was appointed superintendent this spring after a months-long search. She suggested the comments from Sokolovic, Traber and others could undermine her by making her seem incompetent.

            “What I was tasked with doing was helping rebrand this district and that includes rebranding the board,” Levy-David said. “I made it very clear during the community forum that I would not be successful in doing that without board support. This type of meeting does not feel supportive for me.”

            Sokolovic, who said he was worried about the purchase due to what he claimed was a long history of failing to go through the correct procedure by previous superintendents, denied he was singling out Levy-David and said he was simply fulfilling his duty to taxpayers by raising the issue.

            “I’m very big on policies and procedures,” he told Levy-David. “If you’re going to play like you’re being personally attacked when I question whether policies and procedures were followed, or if the board questions whether policies and procedures are followed, we’re not going to have a good tenure.”

            Reads critical to me. Good grief, she’s a few weeks on the job and your saying: “we’re not going to have a good tenure.”

            More from the Post story:

            Marlene Siegel, the district’s chief financial officer, argued that Levy-David followed the city’s purchasing procedures, which provides an exception to the requirement to solicit competitive bids if only a single vendor is available and the costs do not exceed $25,000. She also noted the superintendent has the power to make purchases under $25,000 without board approval.

            How about letting her do her job for a while before flexing your muscles?

            Full story

      2. Go to the primary source, I only spoke of the tenure after she interrupted multiple speakers and called the legitimate questions about procedure personal attacks.

      3. Also lost in the mix is a question I did not answer, if Castillo went in screaming at 3 men would that be ok? No. It would not. But that never happened did it?

  2. Brian Leakhard and the flucking Rag the CT-Post, wants to Sucker Punch someone two weeks before the primary, nice people working there!
    It Makes me very happy that I didn’t send in my (two bits).
    But what if they took a different approach? What if journalists acknowledged that bias does exist, that it is built into the choices they make when deciding what to leave in and what to leave out? That bias is embedded in the culture and language of the society on which the journalist reports? And that “news judgment” does reflect the journalist’s background as well as the news organization’s mission and business model? This is why they want the (two Flucking Bits) and the Fiver per week, while they work on their Flucking Pulitzer.


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