Battle Of The Skunks, Plus: Skinny On Mario And Finch On The Phone

First things first, congratulations to new State Senator Rob Russo, sworn in by Gov. Jodi Rell on Friday. Russo will represent residents in Trumbull and parts of Bridgeport and Monroe. He’ll be on the ballot again in November. The campaigning never stops. Enjoy it for a few months Rob!

The skunk fight continues in Waterbury Superior Court. That’s where lawyers for developer Alex Conroy claim that development plans for Steelpointe were torpedoed by Joe Ganim for the chosen ones Al Lenoci Sr., and attorney Chuck Willinger.

It’s almost like this case is about who’s the bigger skunk, Paul Pinto, Ganim’s shakedown concierge or Willinger, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Ganim case, accused of stonewalling Conroy’s deal to wire Steelpointe to his clients.

The odious spray in the courtroom will require heavy doses of tomato juice and lemon.

Pinto characterized Willinger a liar on the stand. Willinger had likewise words for Pinto in a news statement afterwards.

Pinto will stop at just about nothing to get what he wants and it’s like he’s relishing his testimony against a bunch of players that paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars because he thinks they owe him more. Pinto has a sub-zero conscious level when it comes to greed, bribery and vindictiveness. He was the worst guy in the Ganim case. You’d think that after spending two years in the joint he’d come out, stay quiet and move on with his life. No, one of the first things he does is accuse the Lenocis of owing him money. What a soap opera. Lenoci built an eight-foot high fence on his Easton property to avoid seeing Pinto’s home that Lenoci helped him build. What a crazy trial.

Mario Factor

Mayor Bill Finch is burning up the phone lines urging Democratic Town Committee members, many of them city employees, to keep John Stafstrom in as party leader. I spoke to six DTC members that received calls. Some feel pressure, some don’t, and it appears the mayor’s calls may have swung a vote or two. But is it enough to keep Stafstrom in power? We’ll keep an eye on this. We’ve had some chatter about the prospects of Mario Testa returning as Democratic town chairman. I can shed some light on what the government thought about Mario and efforts to nail him. The FBI wanted Mario sitting at the defense table with Joe Ganim. They spent years on him. They thought he was dirty. They did not charge him.

The government asked me lots of questions about Mario. Here’s what I told them: Mario gets heavy-handed about fundraising (so do a lot of pols), he played around with absentee ballots (so did a lot in Bridgeport), but I never saw an instance where he had his hand out for himself. I never saw him use the town chair position to enrich himself. He never came to me and said–unlike a handful in the city–Grimaldi, if you want this you have to grease me personally. For the most part, he broke balls (mine too) on fundraising on behalf of his candidates and town committee accounts.

Mario’s old school, work hard and play hard politically. You work for the team, you get rewarded; you don’t work for the team, you don’t. That’s how the political system works. He does not apologize for it. Some of this stuff is on the edge. That’s the fine line you walk in this game.

Mario knows how to play power politics as well as anyone in the city. That means understanding all aspects of government from the city council to department heads. Bill Finch does not. So Finch as mayor and Mario as town chair is an interesting dynamic that Finch wants to avoid. Don’t allow Mario’s lack of command of English fool you. He’s a cunning son of a gun who knows how to exploit weaknesses. But he’s not so stubborn that he’s unwilling to compromise.

I’m not saying anything of this is good, bad or ugly. It’s just the way it is. (Now tell me, can you get this stuff in the CT Post!)

Hey, don’t forget to check out guitar slinger The Bridgeport Kid Tuesday nights at the Acoustic Cafe on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock. Starts around 9 p.m. with $3 cover, and according to the Kid they know how to make girly drinks.



  1. It’s inevitable. Mario Testa will be the chair of the DTC. Why? Because he is better at getting the vote than the others.

    I have noticed that the number of loyalist democrats have diminished at the polls of late. Finch’s mandate was not really a mandate at all. He got the loyalist vote. The loyalists do what they are told and they get to keep their jobs, their city contracts and whatever else pork goes along with supporting the celebrated goomba network. If Caruso got off his abundance and asked a few more people to vote for him, things would have been much different today. I truly think that the next candidate, if he or she were smart, would start building a voter base right now. The loyalists are confused and will probably not be out in the numbers we have seen in the past. Too soon to talk? I don’t think so. There are some great people out there right now scratching their heads thinking … “can I really pull this off and buck the machine?” The answer is a resounding yes. Stop scratching, potential candidates, start talking.

  2. Well the political threats keep coming from mayor moonbeam and his crew. City employees on the TC are receiving calls telling them they have to vote for Stafstrom or else they will be demoted (where possible) punished accordingly. So far as I can tell they have been rebuffed in all areas except for 1 person. The person that caved was threatened with demotion.
    I believe that what Moonbeam his advisors and Stafstrom are doing is illegal and against the law.
    This kind of politics is exactly why civil service was created. In many cases the employees being threatened are not protected by civil service. I think this kind of threatening is something that the Feds should be looking into at its worst this seems to be a civil rights violation.

  3. Little Billy Finch is acting like Big Bully Finch. He is trying to flex his political beer muscles but is going to end up with nothing but a big hangover.

    Wondering must be bugging Mario’s joint or has deep undercover status because he is right on all counts.
    They had the city employee in labor for hours until they extracted or should it be extorted his vote via a C-section. How about the City Councilman Finch tried to coerce and he told Finch to stick it. I guess working for the city can build character.

    Billy Boy has a political prostate problem and members of the council are going to him make lay prostrate on the floor before he gets anything passed. McCarthy’s looking stronger every day.

    Danny Roach is a Rat Finch and can’t be trusted.

    John, Dennis, Tyrone and Adam were seen gallivanting around downtown last night. Holloway gave them the finger and two boots up their asses. Brings back memories of Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. Adam don’t forget to make your bed next time you stay at Casa Brooklawn. Now lay in it.

    Mitch “The Switch” flipped his lid over two of his members telling him they were going to be independent on their vote. He made a girl cry and the Semper Fi guy stood up to “The Switch”.

    Bill who loves to pontificate about Bridgeport being the “leanest, greenest, cleanest, safest city” has left out one adjective “meanest”. He’s making Mario look like St. Francis of A’Sissy.

    When this fight is all over and Mario prevails, the little nilly Willy of a Mayor is going to look like the 90-pound weakling with sand kicked in his face and up his ass.

    Only in Bridgeport, kids. Only in Bridgeport!

  4. There is an old saying out there: never send a Boy to do a Man’s job. Moonbeam should have known that. Moonbeam and his crew thought they were dealing with a bunch of boys. I know of one city worker who stood up to them and told them he will do what is right not what they tell him to do. He then challenged them to come after his job.
    When this is all over you can bet that Boys won’t be sent to get the message back to moonbeam and his band of extortionists.

  5. Now that I’ve eliminated myself as a candidate for The DTC chair, I can devote all my political capital to the Economic Development position that remains open.

    Why search on a national basis when the resources and solutions are right here?

    No longer will the Economic Development department focus on bringing in an outside company with the lure of a tax break. Instead, local citizens will be organized into OPICs or one-person internet companies whose computers will become factories-without-smokestacks, producing a product that has strong appeal in overseas markets where English is spoken. OPICs will become agents of imported wealth and the computer will replace the tv as the appliance of choice.

  6. I heard a rumor that some people aren’t as committed to Mario as they thought.

    Why doesn’t Lennie become Town Chair anyways. He would fit right in.

  7. Come on Lennie who else know these buffoons better than you? You could probably actually have some positive changes around here.

    Anybody getting ready for St Patty’s Day? What’s the best Spot in Bridgeport for St. Patty’s Day???

    Ray Kelly’s?

  8. Unfortunately, Lennie doesn’t live in Bpt. Oh, wait a minute. Based on past practice, that’s probably not a problem.

    BTW – I still think Stafstrom/King might pull this out.

  9. I got a call from Paulie “Brother of Imprisoned Former Mayor Joe” Ganim telling me that John had dropped out of the race. It turns out to be false.

    I would have a DTC Olympics to settle the whole thing.
    You can have a sucking contest. (Advantage Stafstrom.)
    Bocce Tournament. (Advantage Testo.)
    An Art Drawing Contest. (Advantage Roach since he is right next door to BRAC.)

  10. I was thinking of a possible future scenario that could take place during the upcoming Democratic TC Meeting.
    Remember the City Council meeting in which the DiNardo tax break vote was to take place and 25% of the council did not show up for the vote? Could a similar scenario take place during the next Town Committee meeting for the vote on the T.C. Chairmanship? How many proxies will there be? Sending a proxy is like not being there. If there is someone in need of a proxy and you would like to make sure that your vote goes to Stafstrom, send the proxy letter to 909 Maplewood Avenue, Bridgeport, Ct. What is going on with the RTC Lennie? Are you declaring a one-party system for Bridgeport?

  11. Yahooy, you claim that, “it’s inevitable that Mario will be the chairman of the DTC, because he is better at getting the vote than the others”
    If Mario is so much better at getting the votes, why did he drop out and run from Caruso in the first place? Why is everyone blaming Finch and not King or Mario?

  12. Gonzalez

    Where have you been? Testa dropped out of the lime light because the feds were chasing him all over the place. A low profile was necessary or he and Joey would be playing Mahjong at Fort Dix.

  13. I could be wrong … but … didn’t Mr. Testa drop out of the spotlight app. 5 years ago so Johnny Fabs could win the Dem nom. over Caruso who was saying John was part of the DTC machine led by Mr. Testa at the time???

  14. Happy St. Patricks Day!

    Some people think F.B.I. stands for Full Blooded Irish.

    In Bridgeport it should stand For Bridgeport’s Integrity!!

    Clearly, Bill Finch and some of his ethically challenged staff
    haven’t gotten this message.


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