Common Campaign Interests Of Himes And Musto, Debicella And Pia, The Surly Factor

When it comes to the vote in Bridgeport, Congressman Jim Himes and State Senator Anthony Musto sail the same boat. Will it spring a turnout leak?

Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District has 17 communities. Himes won three cities two years ago, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport led by a 50-year electoral storm. Republican Chris Shays took all the suburban towns. Himes managed to stay close in several GOP strongholds in an atmosphere of anger against Republicans. It appears the anger has shifted. Once again how close can Himes stay in the suburbs? Sometimes a win is a matter of staying close.

Musto has the same issue as Himes. Musto represents a senate district that includes all of Trumbull, half of Monroe and the higher-voting sections of Bridgeport that run from the Upper East Side, across the North End, the West Side and Black Rock. How close can Musto stay to his Republican challenger David Pia in Trumbull where Pia serves on the town council? Trumbull is Musto’s home town. Two years ago Rob Russo won Trumbull and Monroe handily but got croaked in Bridgeport as thousands of new voters came out, inspired by Barack, to vote the straight Democratic line.

Musto is a nice guy, but not an aggressive campaigner, and after two years he’s still learning the nuances of the multi-town district. He received a quick and painful lesson one year ago when he assumed Governor Jodi Rell’s proposal to shoehorn a juvenile detention center for girls on the Upper East Side would be good for his constituents. When he saw voters there freaking out he did an about-face.

So far Musto and Pia are running understated campaigns. No mudslinging, no contrast, no charges or countercharges (boring!) The Bridgeport piece of the senate district has thousands of choosy unaffiliated voters and some Reagan Democrats and it is there that Pia and Himes’ Republican opponent Dan Debicella can tap into the voter anger, whether Washington or Hartford. Voters in Black Rock, Central, Winthrop, Blackham and Hooker precincts have been described to me as “surly” by pols going door to door. Surly is not good for incumbents.

Polling in both the Himes-Debicella battle and Musto-Pia show tight races.



  1. I live in the Hooker school district and I am one of those surly voters. I challenge 1, just 1, politician to tell me what they have done for my district. I can tell you zip point nothing. The do-nothing tag also goes for our council people.
    Other than some brick sidewalks and lamp post my area has not changed in the last 50 years. We still have flooding issues, we still have poorly maintained roads, we still have very, very limited police patrols.
    Somebody please tell me why I should vote for any incumbent. Surly? Bet your ass.

  2. David Pia Endorsed by CBIA for State Senate 22nd District

    The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) today endorsed David R. Pia for election to the state Senate, representing the 22nd District.

    Connecticut is at a historic turning point. The state has lost more than 100,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession and is facing huge budget deficits. Given our state’s fiscal situation, business-as-usual at the Capitol-and throughout state gov­ernment-is no longer a viable option.

    “Much of our economic future depends on what priorities our next governor and our new state legislators bring to the Capitol after the elections this fall,” says John R. Rathgeber, CBIA president and CEO. “Con­necticut clearly needs a change in policy direction. And we need forward-thinking senators like David, who will come to the Capitol already committed to strength­ening our economy, fostering business investment and job creation, and making fundamental changes to state government and the way it spends taxpayer dollars.”

    Legislators elected to the 2011 General Assembly will be forced to deal with the state’s serious fiscal and economic challenges. Most of those running for office say jobs and the economy are their top priorities, but voters need to press candidates to explain exactly how they will revive our economy, restore fiscal responsibility, get back the jobs we’ve lost, and create sustainable jobs for the next decade.

    “David will take the steps this year and in the future to create fiscal policies that move the state in the right direction, welcome businesses, and create jobs,” says Rathgeber. “He knows our future depends on it.”

    Pia, who lives in Trumbull, is seeking election in the 22nd District, which includes the towns of Bridgeport, Monroe, and Trumbull.

    More about Pia can be found at CBIA’s Election 2010 website, The site also features a complete list of CBIA-endorsed candidates and information on key issues in the upcoming election.

    CBIA is the state’s largest business organization, with 10,000 member companies.

  3. “Pia, who lives in Trumbull, is seeking election in the 22nd District, which includes the towns of Bridgeport, Monroe, and Trumbull.”

    Pia is also Pro-Life and Anti-Gay.

    1. My name is David Pia, yes I am Pro-Life. Which word is offensive or negative? Pro or Life?

      I am absolutely NOT Anti-Gay. To claim a factual statement which is inaccurate is libelous and disparaging. Please remove the comment because it is simply not true.

  4. *** Did Columbus actually discover America & after the discovery did he use the slave trade to help fund some of his voyages? What’s the real deal on Christopher? *** Why does Brazil celebrate this Holiday? *** How do Native Americans feel about the Holiday? *** Inquiring minds would like to know! ***

  5. EXCLUSIVE: Ganim Speaks About Life In Prison
    By TOM MONAHAN Updated 2:04 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 8, 2010

    Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim is out of federal prison after serving nearly seven years and said on Friday that the federal government withheld important evidence could have changed the outcome of his trial.

    He sat down with NBC Connecticut for an exclusive interview and talked about the trial and the time he served for a corruption conviction. He also talked about his future and has not ruled out running for office again.

    While Ganim admitted that he and his administration made some mistakes, but he also said the jury was not presented all the facts in his case.

    He would not say what that information was, but he accused the prosecution of ethical violations.

    On March 19, 2003, he was found guilty of public corruption charges. In September of that year, he began serving a nine-year sentence in Fort Dix, New Jersey and later at the McKean Federal Correctional Institution in northwest Pennsylvania.

    An early release date placed him in a halfway house in Hartford in January of this year and he returned home six months later.

    Ganim said that while in prison, he tutored other inmates in things like filling out a job application, how to dress for a job interview and, in some cases, how to deal with people.

    He said he found this work fulfilling, but he worried in his private time about his wife and children, his parents and extended family, and what family members would still be alive when he was released.

    His sister died while he was incarcerated. It was, he said, a very difficult time.

    Ganim said he felt a sense of anger and betrayal when two close associates, Leonard Grimaldi and Paul Pinto, gave damaging testimony against him.

    Both pleaded guilty to helping Ganim run a scheme in which they also profited. They were given reduced sentences for their testimony.

    But Ganim also said he’s been able to put that behind him and he’s now working to regain his license to practice law.

    He’s currently doing paralegal work with his family’s law firm and said he’s doing a great deal of volunteer work for several Bridgeport agencies, including the YMCA.

    In terms of ever running for office again, he would not rule it out.

    Right now, he says, it’s not something he’s looking at, although he also said the city of Bridgeport continues to have problems that are not being addressed.

    If elective office does become an option down the road, Ganim said he’ll take a good look at it.

    1. “In terms of ever running for office again, he would not rule it out.” I guess Lennie was wrong when he said Joe Ganim’s wife would not allow him to seek office again.

    2. *** Being away from family & friends in a correctional setting is tough; however if I had to do time Ft. Dix & McKean FCI would be one of my choices. Medium to minimal security with the keep them busy working & education mindset with a low-key environment. McKean FCI is one of the most modern fed joints in the nation with minimal institutional problems in general. *** No need to complain over spilled milk, do your time & move forward with life & treat every moment as if it were your last! ***

  6. I’m voting for Jim Himes come Nov 2. I have seen no Debicella movement as of yet in Bridgeport!!! At least with Shays you could see some. Debicella will sure not have my vote!!!

  7. I feel Himes will do better than Diane did in 2006 in Bridgeport. Himes will also pick up Westport this time and he will do way better than Diane did in Stamford and Norwalk in 2006.

  8. Dan Debicella opposes all intrusive regulations. Doesn’t Dan realize it was an unregulated Wall Street that damn near killed the economy? Corporate greed and an insatiable quest for more money by the wealthiest Americans drove the economic collapse, and while nations across the world are implementing stricter controls and more regulations Dan Debicella wants Americans to trust business to grow the economy. Hey Dan, how did BP do in the Gulf?
    Debicella? Imbecilla!

  9. And now the truth comes out …
    God damn Lennie Grimaldi is responsible for all things wrong with Joe Ganim!
    Lennie can you picture Joe advising clients a.k.a. fellow prisoners on how to dress for a job interview?
    “I know this excellent tailor in Manhattan who makes great custom shirts and suits. Go ask Lennie or Paulie for some money. They make it appear out of nowhere. Or go talk to some developers in Bridgeport. They are always willing to buy clothes for someone even if they can’t afford it!” OIB

  10. Why the surprise since Bridgeport loves to elect criminals? It’s rather interesting that Ganim and Newton’s names comes up but nobody mentions Maria Pereira, the board of education’s darling the Post hailed as a new breath when she was elected.

    Seems like Firebomb Pereira has a bit of a criminal past herself.



    Since we have criminals in charge of teaching our kids, we might as well put them back in charge of running our city.

  11. It was sad listening and watching Joe Ganim do that interview. He seem so bitter, he’s still fighting a case the public has NO interest in, he needs to move forward with his life and learn from HIS mistakes. I like Joe, I have had my ups and downs with him but he is smart and he does have a political future just like Ernie Newton has a political future, there are people who still will vote for them in large numbers.


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