In Bridgeport politics it doesn’t matter your shape, size, color, ethnicity … everyone’s gotta get their pound of flesh. And sometimes a public opinion poll can make you a player.
The state’s largest city has never had an African American mayor, and some city pols have decided to find out who might be a leading contender to make history. Or maybe get some respect?
Could it be State Rep. Don Clemons? City Councilmen Jim Holloway or Andre Baker? Marilyn Moore who came within an eyelash of defeating Anthony Musto in a state senate primary in 2008? OMG, former State Senator Ernie Newton who’ll be out of the can soon? Heck, have any suggestions, fire away.
I received a call from a city pol on Tuesday in search of a reputable public opinion pollster to help gauge candidate popularity for a possible entry in the 2011 mayoral election. Basically, a coalition of local Dems want to find out what black candidate would match up best against Mayor Bill Finch. OIB conducted a public opinion poll a few months back to measure the mayor’s standing upon two years in office. It was administered by the Merriman River Group www.merrimanriver.com. We tested State Rep. Chris Caruso, former mayors John Fabrizi and Joe Ganim, retired Judge Carmen Lopez, Probate Judge Paul Ganim and State Rep. Andres Ayala in head-to-head matches against Finch. The results showed Caruso, Finch and Fabs bunched, with Joe Ganim in shouting distance.
I did not include an African American in the sampling because I went with pols whose names come up the most in mayoral ambition. But one thing’s for sure, whenever this poll is conducted it will help sort out the mayoral field next year. Or maybe set off a frenzy.
The city hasn’t had a potent African American mayoral candidate since Charlie Tisdale–who currently heads the city’s anti-poverty agency Advancement for Bridgeport Community Development–came close in 1983 and 1985. Charlie, in his day, was a mighty campaign organizer.
Mayor Finch met with the city’s state legislative delegation today to kick around alternate sites to the Governor’s proposed juvenile detention center for girls on the Upper East Side. I’m skunking out the meeting and will have a morning report.
A slammin’ new webzine www.ctmirror.org is a must read. Lots of first-rate journalists are associated. This site will definitely give pols something to think about. Check it out.
News release from Dan Malloy
MALLOY: ZOGBY POLL IS ‘A WARNING TO CONNECTICUT POLITICIANS’
Says poll should serve as proof of how strongly Connecticut voters feel about public financing
January 27, 2010 – Potential candidate for Governor Dan Malloy, the former Mayor of Stamford, responded today to a Zogby International poll which found that Connecticut voters overwhelmingly support public financing, with 79 percent of respondents supporting the Citizens’ Elections Program as described. Said Malloy:
“This poll should serve as proof of just how strongly Connecticut voters feel about campaign finance reform, and as a warning for those candidates who think they can brush aside the Citizens’ Election Program in order to try and buy a nomination.
“No candidate in Connecticut this year – Democrat or Republican – should take for granted the undeniable fact that the people of Connecticut are tired of special interests and big money, and the influence they’ve had on Connecticut elections. It’s clear that what this state wants is for its elections to be about something more meaningful than who has the deepest pockets and who can saturate the airwaves with the most 30-second TV spots.
“People get the connection between the way campaigns have been financed and the mess we’re in.”
SuBy’s BS Practice
From Jon Lender, Hartford Courant
Bysiewicz Sends Check, Amends Statement That ‘I Do Not Engage In The Practice Of Law’; But Controversy Endures
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, currently a candidate for state attorney general, has submitted a personal check for $55 to the state’s judicial department to rectify an error she says she made in 2006 – when she obtained a 50-percent exemption from a $110-a-year professional fee by filing a form saying that she didn’t practice law as an occupation.
But Bysiewicz’s effort this week to shed that political embarassment has left her with additional issues to explain:
–Newly surfaced judicial department records show that she didn’t just file for the exemption in 2006, but also did it in 2007 and 2008 by signing identical statements that she didn’t practice law “as an occupation” in those years, either. However, she wrote a letter to the judicial department Monday – which was released to The Courant Tuesday – in which she asked that all three filings be disregarded.
–Meanwhile, criticism is mounting over the fact that Bysiewicz uses taxpayer money to have her office pay the annual $110 professional fees not only for her, but for seven or eight staff lawyers in the executive-branch agency. Her office policy contrasts from that of the state’s current attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who is not seeking re-election as he runs for U.S. Senate. He requires his 200 or so staff lawyers to pay their fees out of their own pockets.
The issue of Bysiewicz’s exemption filings has arisen at a sensitive time for her, because some critics and opponents have been questioning whether she has enough active experience as a lawyer to serve as attorney general.
I Want To Live This Long
Zoo Family Mourns Death of Oldest Living Andean Condor in Captivity
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s Andean Condor dies at a remarkable 80 years of age
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – January 26, 2010 – Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo announced today that Thaao (pronounced TAY-OH), the oldest living Andean condor in captivity, has died at nearly 80 years of age. Thaao came to the Zoo in 1993, after living most of his life at the Pittsburgh Zoo. He was the only endangered animal at the Zoo that was actually born in the wild. An autopsy was conducted and has proved inconclusive.
“We were extremely lucky to have had Thaao with us for as long as we did,” shared Gregg Dancho, Zoo Director. “He was not a cuddly, lovable guy but we were happy to give him a good home for his twilight years. He will be missed.”
When Thaao was born in 1930, Herbert Hoover was president of the United States. As such, he was the oldest living condor in captivity and most likely the oldest condor in the world. The average lifespan of an Andean condor is approximately 50 years of age. With a stud book number of four, it is believed that Thaao was one of the original animals to have been tracked using the system. A stud book, also called a breed registry, is a list of all of the known individual animals in a breed.
Because Andean condors are an endangered species, the Zoo worked closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA’s) Species Survival Program (SSP) to ensure that the proper autopsy protocols were followed, enabling valuable scientific information to be collected and recorded. Biologists estimate that there are only a few thousand of these birds left in the wild. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo also has been supporting the wild population of Andean Condors through the Zoo Conservation Outreach Group of which Dancho is Vice Chair.
“Thaao was one of the first animals our visitors saw upon entering our zoo and he was a great ambassador for both conservation and the Zoo,” explained Dancho. “We are hopeful that we will be able to work through the AZA’s Species Survival Program to bring other Andean condors to Connecticut’s only zoo.”
Anyone wishing to support efforts to bring another Andean condor to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo may send a tax deductible donation to the Zoo at 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport CT, 06610. Please make checks payable to “Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.”
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Adult admission (ages 12 & older) is $11.00, children (ages 3 -11) and senior admission (62 and older) is just $9.00, and children under 3 years old and Zoo members are admitted free. Parking at the Zoo is free of charge.
It Starts With The Arts
News release from MainState Ventures
MainStateVentures Announces Competition for Bridgeport Artists
Local developer sponsors public art competition with $1,250 cash prizes;
Distinguished jury to select Grand Prize winner;
Public to select People’s Choice winner
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – January 26, 2010 – Bridgeport artists are encouraged to submit entries for the inaugural MainStateVentures Art Competition. Six (6) finalists will be chosen to install and display their art throughout the year in a rotating public art exhibition. The art will be prominently displayed on an eight foot by eight foot wall on the Broad Street side of 211 State Street with each artist’s work on display for two (2) months. The year-long exhibition will culminate in the selection of a Grand Prize winner, who will receive a $1,000 cash award and a “People’s Choice” winner, who will be awarded a $250 cash prize. The competition is open only to artists who either reside or work in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
“Public art helps to create a vibrant downtown for everyone who works, lives and visits Bridgeport,” explained Brandon P. Hall, principal, MainStateVentures. “This art competition not only gives the incredibly talented artists in Bridgeport a public venue in which to display their work, but it creates a visual representation of our commitment to making art accessible to everyone.”
Submissions will be judged by a distinguished jury consisting of Robert Curcio, co-founder of the Scope International Art Fairs and Gallerist, New York City; MaryAnn Fahey, Curator and Gallerist, Umbrella Arts, New York City; Emily Larned, Professor, Graphic Design, University of Bridgeport; John Favret, Director, Housatonic Community College Art Department; and Penny Harrison, Executive Director, Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council.
Once installed, the public will be invited to vote on their favorite, using ballots available at various downtown Bridgeport restaurants and businesses. Specific locations will be announced in February.
The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2010. Artists are asked to submit a sampling of their work using a maximum of five (5) .jpeg images and one (1) square-format .jpeg image of their proposed piece. It is preferred that artists work directly on the site to create their piece by hand. However, artists may choose to have a banner of their work produced. Artists are asked to indicate at the time of submission whether they will create their work on site or reproduce their work on a banner. All reasonable production costs, up to a maximum of $175, will be reimbursed courtesy of MainStateVentures. Finalists will be notified by February 18, 2010 via e-mail. Submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding submission, contact Margaret Bodell, (203) 727-7280. Once chosen, each artist will work with the sponsor to determine an appropriate timeline to produce their artwork and host an official unveiling event.
MainStateVentures (MSV) is a joint venture between Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, LLC and Forstone Capital, LLC. MSV acquired the People’s United Bank downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut portfolio, which represents two prime city blocks including seven buildings totaling 255,000+ sf with 2.8 adjacent acres of developable land.