In a short time the president of the United States will touch down in Connecticut’s largest city to urge, implore, inspire voters to support the Democratic ticket: governor, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and so on.
Behind the scenes the Bridgeport Democratic organization has stitched together a funky configuration of supporters, some that get along, some that don’t, but all for a common cause … for now, at least. Sometimes they agree to get along for a few weeks before the fighting starts again, but that’s city politics.
What happens when they don’t get along, but are motivated to help elect Dan Malloy governor, Dick Blumenthal U.S. senator, and reelect Jim Himes to Congress? You create satellite operations. Translation: I’ll do my thing, you do yours, stay out of my way.
Think of the Bridgeport Democratic Party’s election-day turnout broken into thirds. On North Avenue, where LTL Freight used to be, former Dem party chief John Stafstrom, a veteran of numerous city elections, has been a supporter of Dan Malloy for years. Supported him in 2006 for governor and again this cycle. Stafstrom and former State Rep. Americo Santiago hold fort at the city’s mothership operation where most of the usual suspects in the party bang phones, pick up lawn signs and take marching orders for election day.
Over on Madison Avenue Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa operates his unique boiler-room operation out of his restaurant. Mario’s restaurant becomes a magnet for all the pols loyal to Mario including party Vice Chair Dottie Guman, the Mother Goose of the party, and several district leaders paying respect to the chairman. Phone calls go out to targeted city precincts such as the East Side and Mario’s home district, and food is prepared for election day workers. And oh yeah, if you want to drop off a check to the town chair for the DTC he won’t mind.
Now over on upper Main Street across from the Galaxy Diner, State Rep. Chris Caruso and his Big Wave followers operate the “coordinated” campaign. “Hey, Dan Malloy, Jim Himes (State Senator) Anthony Musto you help us with financing a get-out-the-vote effort and we’ll help you.” Caruso, ally State Rep. Jack Hennessy and a couple of dozen supporters are blitzing their respective legislative districts that include the Upper East Side and the North End with mailers, door knocking and phone calling. State Senator Ed Gomes and the spitfire Marilyn Moore, Gomes’ former legislative aide, are part of that coalition. And, who knows, maybe this coalition segues right into the mayoral cycle on the Big Wave’s behalf. Ya never know.
What’s the goal in all of this? If this odd satellite configuration can juice, along with Barack’s Saturday visit, a citywide turnout near 40 percent they feel good about their chances.
Barack’s Saturday Visit
Public Logistics Information for Bridgeport “Moving America Forward” Rally with President Obama
Bridgeport rally is one of four events happening around the country as part of final get-out-the-vote push this weekend
Bridgeport – With a “Moving America Forward” rally with President Obama set for this Saturday in Bridgeport, the following is logistical information for members of the public planning to attend the event at the Arena at Harbor Yard, 600 Main Street in Bridgeport, CT. Doors will open at 1:00 PM and the program will start at 2:00 PM.
Event attendees should use the main entrance for the arena located at 600 Main Street in Bridgeport.
Please visit www.arenaatharboryard.com/?p=directions for directions to the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Parking is available at numerous public and private parking lots in the neighborhood surrounding the Arena at Harbor Yard. Parking is available on a first-come first-served basis. Event attendees are encouraged to take public transportation and car pool.
Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. The arena is located 2 blocks from the Bridgeport Metro North Train Station which is on the New Haven Line.
ADA entrance is at the arena’s “Premium Seat Entrance” located off Water Street between the Arena and the Baseball Stadium.
The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public wishing to RSVP should visit: ct.barackobama.com/BridgeportRally
For security reasons, please avoid bringing bags to the rally if at all possible—participants should expect airport-like security. No signs, banners, or laptops are permitted.