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Bloomberg Donated $20K To PAC Financing Yes Vote On Ballot Question

November 2nd, 2012 · 29 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Education, News and Events

Mike Bloomberg

Mike Bloomberg

Update, includes coverage from Pelto: Mike Bloomberg who enjoys mayoral control of New York City schools donated $20,000 to Residents For A Better Bridgeport, the political action committee driving the voter outreach in support of a yes vote for Tuesday’s ballot question that would give Mayor Bill Finch the power to appoint school board members if approved by voters.

The PAC is expected to spend about $300K in its effort led by numerous corporate contributions as well as $20K from Bloomberg. Supporters of a yes vote are also receiving the backing of independent expenditures from Excel Bridgeport, founded more than a year ago financed heavily by regional business interests and Students First, the school reform organization founded by Michelle Rhee.

The opposition Protect Our Voting Rights isn’t doing too shabby in its own right financed by Connecticut Education Association, Bridgeport Education Association, Connecticut Citizen Action Group and Connecticut Working Families Party. Supporters of a no vote project they will spend roughly $150,000.

All this spending on both sides is shattering records for a local vote dwarfing money spent for any mayoral election. The money pushing this effort combined is now approaching $1 million.

No vote supporters conducted a rally in front of the Margaret Morton Government Center on Thursday. Lillian Wade, treasurer of Residents For A Better Bridgeport, issued this statement in response:

“The opponents of progress who held an event tonight are funded 100% from special interests who profit from the status quo–not a single resident of Bridgeport has supported their cause with a single dollar. These special interests refused to give concessions during our nation’s worst economic crisis in two generations–choosing pay raises over layoffs and damaging cuts to resources in our children’s classrooms. Our effort to improve outcomes for our children by building new schools, offering free college courses and engaging parents is supported by thousands of city residents and funded by local businesses, residents and many individuals such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who stand behind our progress and increased accountability. Our opponents continue to offer no solutions, simply advocating the status quo. We find the status quo unacceptable.”

For more on corporate donors see item from Jonathan Pelto here.

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29 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    Letter: Protect your right to vote
    One of our most basic and fundamental rights is our right to vote.
    By: Duane John Baker, Glenwood, West Central Tribune
    One of our most basic and fundamental rights is our right to vote.
    The modern day so-called Progressive Movement is trying to convince us to give up that right and hand it to them so they can make choices for us as to who they feel could best represent the people “i.e.: appoint or hire” our county officials.
    Your right to vote is your only voice you have in government.
    When it comes to America, freedom is everything, and it is the only thing. Freedom to vote and have your voice heard in government is what American government is all about. It should not be altered or changed due to the personal likes or dislikes of you or your neighbors. Under our constitution, freedom and your right to vote is not debatable and is never up for a vote.
    Freedom is not served cafeteria style. We do not have the prerogative to move through the line and pick and choose which freedom entrees we want and which ones we don’t. Freedom and rights cannot be reduced to a pick and choose process.
    Approaching freedom with such an ignorant and arrogant attitude will advance one result and one result only: the cafeteria will eventually close altogether, and all we will be left with is the soup line.
    We will be forced to live with choices others will make for us.
    Sound familiar?
    History has shown us that the catastrophic results when we trust politicians with our personal choices and rights.
    “Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss” quote Patrick Henry in a speech to the Virginia Convention in Richmond, Va., March 23, 1775.
    Never, never give up that basic and fundamental right, your right to vote, and by doing so you will be passing on this right to future generations as our ancestors before us did for us.
    Duane John Baker

  • BridgeportBooster

    I find it funny how the “opponents of progress” aka no vote supporters criticize the “outside money interests” on the yes side and yet they are 100% funded by labor unions who are ALSO “outside money interests.” This no “coalition” is trying to make themselves out to be a poor little rag-tag community group but they are dealing with serious money ($150,000!!!) from the two biggest labor unions in the ENTIRE United States AND a political party that is also entirely funded by national labor unions!!! Gee, I wonder what unions have to gain from putting so much money into this race??? … a stop to TRUE REFORM in public schools and a loss of their POWER, that’s what! It’s never about the children with these people!!!

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Booster, it’s never been about the kids with the yes group. Let’s look at it! Bill Finch has flat-funded the education budget for five years. That means he has not raised the education budget by $1.00 in five years.
      I have attended every budget hearing for the past two years and have researched the education budget for the past five years and have never seen anyone from the Excel group or any other person or group agreeing with a yes vote.
      You sound a little self righteous. Why aren’t you wondering what the yes people are going to get out of this? If you don’t know, let’s list a few. Control of a $300 million education budget, private charter schools run by one of the groups backing the yes vote. Do you thing M. Rhee was here because she cares? Many new political jobs, plus control of the education contracts that are awarded to vendors. Here is one more thing, they will be taking the poorest performing kids and putting them in charter schools. When state tests are given the BOE scores will be higher and the test of kids in charter schools do not count against Bridgeport. Do you need to know more?

      • BridgeportBooster

        Right! He should just keep funding a broken system that has failed and failed to educate students in this city and is dead last in the state when it come to student performance.

        Right! Just throw money at the system without pursuing REAL REFORM first. Liberalism at its worst. By golly!!!

        And get your facts straight on what charter schools are. You have no clue and it’s embarrassing to read your misinformed posts. Quick lesson: Charter schools are public schools with increased measures of accountability. But according to your earlier arguments, it makes sense you would support giving money to public institutions year after year WITHOUT any accountability in return. And you say this way of doing things makes sense for students? Hogwash!

        • Andrew C Fardy

          You are wrong about charter schools and you know it. You keep posting this utter bullshit in hopes people will believe you. Won’t happen. BTW I know I am right!!!

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Booster, you mean you really believe nine stooges picked by mayor Finch are really going to look after the kids? Yeah right!!! He did nothing for the kids in five years even when he controlled the BOE vote. You are wrong again!!!

        • BlackRockGuy

          I bet Booster is one of Finch’s PR staff. They always seem to pop up under new names. Charter Schools are nothing but private schools using public money but NO accountability to the voters.

  • Up On Bridgeport

    And it’s about the kids for Bill Finch? His two older sons went through the Magnet system. His two other kids have been shipped over to Black Rock School! The Vallas money machine is using Bridgeport like his personal ATM.
    It’s always about the money. Ask Stafstrom!
    Remember, Bill started this by saying “his people don’t vote for Board of Education because they are illegal and criminals!”

    I live here and I vote! I will be voting NO!

    Peace and Power to the People!

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Welcome to OIB, BB Queen. Union money comes from the membership. Union leaders are elected by the membership. No voting by absentee ballots in union elections … Get the picture?

  • Up On Bridgeport

    So let’s give more power to the Mayor! He should be careful of what he wishes for. He screwed up from the beginning on this issue and could have offered a blended board as a solution. He can’t even replace expired commissioners and he will do the same with this issue.

  • BridgeportBooster

    Up On Bridgeport: Guess what! Bridgeport magnet schools are PUBLIC SCHOOLS! And Finch’s two little kids also go to neighborhood public schools. Get the facts right on the demographics of Black Rock School before you verbalize your ignorance. My cousin sends his kids to BRS and I’ve been there for family night. That school is at least 80% Hispanic. Look at the racial breakdown and the tests scores of that school before you comment. It’s not the bastion of white privilege you think it is.

    AND finally, at least this mayor is sending his kids to a Bridgeport public school!! He has a personal stake in the success of these schools! Do you? Name the last mayor who sent his kids to the city’s public schools? Fabrizi was a Bridgeport teacher and sent his kid to St. Joe’s. Ganim, private schools for his kids. The list goes on.

    • Grin Reaper

      Booster keeps on boosting Finch.
      The point is the Black Rock is NOT Finch’s neighborhood, get it?
      That is how neighborhood schools work. You live in an area, you go to that school.
      So the Booster says it is perfectly fine to have one set of rules for all of the children in the Bridgeport Schools and another set for the mayor’s kids.
      It’s all about the kids. Yeah, the mayor’s kids.

      • BridgeportBooster

        Grin Reaper, it looks like it’s you who doesn’t get it, my friend. There is such a thing called a controlled transfer, which you might know if you had kids in Bridgeport public schools. Every family has a right through the No Child Left Behind law to transfer their kid OUT of a failing school and into another school. Not sure what Finch’s situation is with his kids but if they are going to a public school that is not in their neighborhood then this could be a possibility. The point is Finch is a parent with kids currently in the Bridgeport public school system!!! He didn’t send them to a private school (though he could have like the mayors before him). Yet you still have the audacity to criticize him and say there is a different set of rules for his kids??? Don’t you think if he really wanted to game the system his kids would be in the magnet schools already? Get real!

        • Joel Gonzalez

          BB, maybe you just don’t get it. You sound like you know the mayor’s kids personally. You haven’t mentioned what school they transferred from. Was the school they transferred from “a failing school?” Define a failing school to us.
          What were the grades of Finch’s kid?s A’s and B’s? F’s and D’s? If the mayor’s kids had A’s and B’s while attending the school they transferred from, does that mean the school is a failing school? Schools don’t fail, students do. If a school has a 50% failing rate, does that mean all the students are failures? Of course not! I’d like to see Vallas put the 50% who fail through college. Heck, I’d like to see Vallas sending the 50% who succeed to college. You give us answers to my questions and I’ll tell you if there is a different set of rules for his kids. Yes, I’m a parent of two public school kids, before you ask!

    • Up On Bridgeport

      BB,
      I’ve forgotten more than you will ever know about Bridgeport. Magnet Schools are a lottery that people clamor for and are sometimes fixed. Bill’s younger children are going out of their neighborhood school? BRS has always done very well no matter what the demo. I never brought race into this equation but you proved my point about it being a better school with your point about BRS and Family Night! Flipflop Finch has also been an advocate for a voucher system.

      • BridgeportBooster

        Haha! You people are utterly clueless on these issues and are annoyed someone’s fact-checking you. If it makes you feel better, just keep believing the same old status quo lies but the facts are what they are. Charter schools are private schools? Oh really? Is that why they don’t charge families anything for going there? And they have no accountability to voters? Haha! I think you might have them confused with the traditional public school system that gets funded by taxpayers year after year even when they fail again and again to educate kids, don’t ever have to show results and have ZERO accountability to students and their families. Get real!

        And it was UP ON BRIDGEPORT who said Finch’s kids were not at their neighborhood school. And it’s utter BS because a school has a family night they are not a failing school. Are you serious? Every school in the city has that! Stop avoiding the facts. Look up Black Rock School’s test scores on the State Dept. of Education’s website. They have NOT “done well.” It is so OBVIOUS none of you characters have kids in the schools now or have ever.

        And Joel, a failing school has nothing to do with actual student’s grades. It means the school is failing to properly educate the vast majority of its student population. The fact is 80% of the kids in Bridgeport schools can’t read on grade level and only half even graduate high school!!! If your kids are in Bridgeport public schools, those are the stats facing them and their classmates. I’m sure there is an exact definition of “failing” you can dig up. Point is schools suck and kids are getting screwed over.

        The fact remains Finch has his kids in the public school system NOW and he has proposed a solution for our horrible schools NOW. None of you will acknowledge those facts because you know they shoot down all your weak arguments. Tired of all the bellyachin’ on this blog? By golly, you folks should do something productive like devise your own agenda for the schools and fight for that plan instead of shooting down every new idea that is proposed. What’s your plan besides saying “no” to every new solution proposed? I think I hear the sound of crickets …

        • Andrew C Fardy

          If you hear the sound of crickets it must be coming from the swamp you call a mind.

          • BridgeportBooster

            Yet again, no answers to the hard questions. No rebuttal on BRS school’s achievement levels? Status of failing schools in Bridgeport? The lack of accountability in traditional public schools? What’s your plan for the schools, Fardy? Ain’t got one. I rest my case YET AGAIN.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Booster still won’t use your name, coward. I never said I had a plan but here are a few items. Make sure all the money gets funneled to the classrooms and make sure money is not wasted on retired BOE managers who are hired on a per diem basis.
            Make sure the kids who are falling behind are given extra attention. Buy books that can be used immediately and not 13 weeks into the school year like we now have done.
            Set up a management review of teacher performance and base raises on performance and not tenure. I know this last one has to go through the union but it can be done.
            Provide programs for high school students who are not going to college. We already have programs for the college bound but they also can be improved. Getting back to the kids not going to college, offer programs in nursing, the trades, computers and computer repairs; real-life programs that will allow these kids to look to the future.
            How’s that for a start?
            BTW I did discuss this with Mr. Vallas. What would you do other than blog?

  • donj

    Lennie will polling places still be consolidated? Most people I know in the city have power now including me. I know tons of people who voted absentee at town hall Wed and Thursday, can you get a update on how many absentee ballots have been handed in already?

  • Grin Reaper

    More from Mayor Asshole Finch:
    Frustration boiled over into anger Thursday as Bridgeport residents pelted at least one United Illuminating crew with eggs and hurled insults and threats at others as the effort to restore electricity in the Park City entered its fourth day.

    The incidents led United Illuminating officials to demand police protection for all their crews working in the city.

    The incidents come just 24 hours after Finch repeatedly chastised UI officials for what he believed was a lack of response to the city leaving a majority of schools, two fire stations, two sewage treatment plants and nearly half of the residential customers without power.

    And some people want to ask what is the problem with giving the buffoon control over the public schools? He is a f’n embarrassment to the city.

    Read more:
    www .ctpost.com/news/article/On-the-Fourth-Day-No-Power-4001888.php

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The angry ratepayers really ought to be pelting the executive officers of CL & P and UI. The linemen are doing their job; it’s not their fault a hurricane blew through the area and knocked out power.

    • Up On Bridgeport

      There have also been reports of looting and cops being shot at in the Hollow. Swat teams have been seen around the city with heavily armed ammo and in camouflage flack jackets.

      I will say how great our drivers have been, for the most part, in stopping at intersections.

    • BlackRockGuy

      Actually one of the people who deserves to be pelted is Bill himself. As a state senator Finch was one of the biggest boosters of deregulation of electric utilities. As a result the UI and CL & P were able to reduce the number of linemen in their employ … a major reason why so many people are without electricity. They have far fewer repair personnel than they did during Hurricane Gloria.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    I see mayor moneybags from New York was forced to cancel the marathon scheduled for this weekend. To much public uproar, the people of New York have spoken. That’s one right decision and one wrong decision for moneybags.

  • Mojo

    *** It does not surprise me, Finch wishes one day when he grows up to be just like Mayor Bloomberg. He sends him a holiday greeting card with two free tickets to the Beardsley Zoo and Parade of Champions at Kennedy Stadium every year before Hanukkah, along with a PAC donation envelope no doubt! *** THINKING OF YOU? ***

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Last Tuesday night and morning I spent a good four hours videotaping UI, and checking up on the family and their property. I had already received a tip Bill Finch and his family were staying at the Holiday Inn in downtown. City vehicles were in the garage. As we struggled with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the blackout, Bill Finch and his crew partied at the Holiday Inn. What I didn’t know was Mary-Jane Foster was staying there too. Here is a Facebook posting from Mary-Jane Foster:
    Mary-Jane Foster
    Wednesday near Bridgeport.
    We’re here at the Holiday Inn with three dogs (the hotel has been great)–day 4 of Hurricane Sandy–and no power and much destruction to us and in Black Rock. No UI trucks in sight. Went to Ralph and Rich’s for dinner in time to see (and hear) the Mayor come in and work the bar and then returned to the hotel where we saw him with an entourage including his Siamese twin, Paul Vallas, at a table in the bar. Thank heavens he has better things to do than restore power to Black Rock and the rest of the city.

  • Follow the Money

    Adam Wood’s fingerprints are all over the Pelto reporting of the PAC.
    A shakedown on the Ferry Company and other companies. Shame on our hospitals giving money to this issue. Next time Susan David comes a-knocking I’m telling her to take it out of her own million-dollar-plus pocketbook.

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