Bridgeport’s Pelto Factor In Governor’s Race

Former state legislator turned blogger Jonathan Pelto, a critic of Democratic Governor Dan Malloy’s education policies, is awaiting word if he has secured enough certified signatures to qualify for the November ballot as a petitioning candidate poised to poach votes from Malloy. Pelto and his Bridgeport supporters say it’s all for a good cause. From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

A city teacher for 24 years, Kathy Silver is one of the public school educators who helped Jonathan Pelto collect the thousands of signatures needed to get his name onto November’s gubernatorial ballot.

“It’s almost as if it’s a sleeping giant that’s waking up,” Silver said of the Pelto movement, much of it borne out of frustration with Gov. Dannel Malloy’s education reforms and a perceived favoritism of anti-union privatization.

“I think people are realizing that their vote has some power and they’re beginning to push back,” Silver said.

Pelto, a left-leaning Democrat and ex-legislator from Storrs, and a second petitioning candidate, tea party Republican Joe Visconti, had until 4 p.m. Wednesday to submit 7,500 valid signatures to town clerks.

Full story here.

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17 comments

  1. Everything you need to know is right here: “Pelto said that if he costs Malloy the election, his candidacy would still serve a purpose, and Democrats would still run the Legislature.”

    “If Malloy loses it will be a very strong signal for the Democratic Party in Connecticut and elsewhere–you can’t walk away from these constituencies and keep on assuming they’ll vote for you,” Pelto said. “If that’s the outcome … then I think I’ve made a pretty positive impact.”

  2. I know Kathy Silver from Bassick. She is a very respected and involved teacher. I think her support of Pelto is ill-advised and of course self-serving as part of the teachers unions which is something I believe needs to be dissolved. The union is half the problem with the students in Bridgeport. You just can’t get rid of the slugs in the school system and there are way too many. A wasted vote.

    1. Steven Auerbach, so let’s do away with the unions and let Mayor Finch determine how much they get paid and what their benefits and health care and pension should be.

      1. Sorry Ron, maybe I wasn’t clear. I think we get rid of unions, then pay into social security like everyone else. They get five-week vacations and are required to work on the other days off working on their classroom training ability and treat the schools like any other business. Three write-ups for nonperformance and out the door. And with the dissolution of the Unions, let the City and state deal with the money the city gets for education. I am not suggesting people already vested in pensions lose them. I am suggesting new hires get the job like everyone else. Teachers get more than 10 weeks off a year. Teachers are more concerned with unions than the job. This has nothing to do with Finch, this has to do with the obvious. Unions are getting wiped out and it is not going to be a Democrat/Republican thing. Remember the last few union endorsements for Mayor. Did it help? No. And people not in a union, we could care less. That is all I have to say on this matter.

        1. Steven Auerbach, you are telling me what you don’t like, I’m asking in the world of Steven Auerbach what pay and benefits and workers’ rights they should have after unions are gone.

          1. Ron, I am not certain what the question is. Pay, like any job should be based on performance. They are on City payroll. The city should have a competitive package. Principals should evaluate and raises given accordingly. I know Ron, when you have been in a career that is union driven, it is difficult to understand how the real world works. I see the bigger picture. I see Unions flooding their clout across the country. Personally, it is not my battle. It is however, becoming a Republican issue as well as the younger voters just aren’t going to support unions. I am not looking to personally dismantle unions. But truth be told, they are self-serving and teachers in particular, tenure needs to go and performance should dictate their success.

    2. Steve, the American Federation of Teachers endorsed your candidate, Malloy, not Pelto. The Connecticut Education Association has not officially endorsed any gubernatorial candidate, however I think it is safe to say they will probable endorse Malloy. Doesn’t this contradict your position as to why Ms. Silver is supporting Pelto?

  3. After yesterday’s events, if Foley wins does Gomes run for Mayor as a Republican or more scary an Independent?
    Foley is either a great actor or he really enjoyed his time with Gomes.
    Have to admit it was interesting watching Foley, a Gazillionaire, walking the streets of our city, but like Malloy if he wins he will need a GPS to find BPT again.

  4. Myself and some colleagues recently published a national study that examines violence directed at teachers. It is an area that has not been studied. In other words we know a lot about violence among students, but very little among teachers and school staff.

    Our findings were unanticipated; 80% of teachers reported they experienced at least one form of violence in the past two years. Another 44% reported some form of physical attack such as having a weapon pulled on them, a direct physical attack, or having an object thrown at them. I am working on a series of additional studies that are also sobering. For example, qualitative data shows many teachers who are pregnant and report having been physically attacked. The findings also show the violence is not only from students, but parents and colleagues as well, although to a lesser extent.

    In general, teachers face serious challenges in the area of safety among other things. I am not fully sure of the meaning of this research in relation to unions, but I do see the need for teacher safety and it is possible removing unions may remove a level of workplace protection or accountability that is needed. I am curious to hear wgat people think. Please, thoughtful responses only, I always like to hear both sides of issues.

    Here is a link:
    onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pits.21777/abstract

    1. Andmar, violence in the workplace is a horrible thing. There are security guards, there are police and there is suspension, juvenile detention and of course lawyers. I do not think unions are an issue here and I do not think even in the worst schools teacher assaults are prevalent. Security, room 302 please.

    2. You can do all the surveys you want but the real problem at least here in Bridgeport is the mainstreaming of all the kids. When you put mentally challenged and discipline problems together with kids trying to learn you are going to have problems. I recognize under the current laws everyone is entitled to an education but there is nothing that says all kids should be mainstreamed. Ask any teacher what takes up the majority of their time and they will tell you it’s dealing with the mentally challenged and the discipline problems. Ask any teacher after dealing with these problem kids how much time is spent actually teaching.

  5. When Democrats are putting illegal immigrants ahead of Americans, there will be a price to pay and as a Democrat voter I sure as hell will not vote Democrat period this year.

    1. Andmar,
      Thank you for surfacing the issue. When I was in the first grade more than 60 years ago, my mother had re-entered the job market as a primary grade teacher. She was assigned to a ‘tough neighborhood’ and found her car was targeted on two occasions for sugar in the gas tank. Never remembered her talking about physical intimidation, nor about representation by the CEA. Her problem. Her expense. Fast forward to today where my wife has served in neighborhood schools with significant diversity, no physical or property problems. Much appreciation for her dedication by most parents and children in the primary schools she has worked in. Lots of factors at work including what I will call a decline in the “automatic respect” paid to many public-service employees. Please keep us up on the research findings. Time will tell.

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