Conflicted Dark Money Group Casts Cloud Over Marilyn Moore For Mayor, Nearly $100K Wired For Campaign And Allies – Who’s Financing It?

Callie Heilmann and Gemeem Davis of Gen Now Votes. Photo courtesy of NPR.

State Senator Marilyn Moore’s candidate committee for mayor had a poor fundraising quarter, according to the latest finance report, but that could be for a very specific non-motivational reason. Moore advocate Bridgeport Generation Now Votes plans to make a dark-money independent campaign expenditure of $95,998 to benefit Moore and candidate allies executed by a Los Angeles-based advocacy organization Wearerally, aka Rally, with offices also in New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

By state law Gen Now Votes filed a campaign finance report for the second quarter ending June 30. See BPT GEN NOW VOTES Form 26 long July 10th

The $95,998 expenditure was obligated but not paid as of June 30 wired to benefit Moore for the presumed September 12 Democratic primary for mayor.

Activist group Rally, according to the report, will be the beneficiary of the investment to carry out voter outreach on behalf of Moore and candidates for City Council and school board. The report does not show how the expenditure will be financed, be it a number of donors or one gigantic pocketbook.

By state law this expenditure cannot be coordinated with the Moore campaign, or other candidates, but that seems like a giant leap considering Gen Now Votes organized and financed a public endorsement of Moore with the candidate present last month, has already invested thousands of dollars on canvassers benefiting Moore, and her 2019 campaign manager Gemeem Davis is a Gen Now leader.

Moore addresses crowd last month at Gen Now endorsement.

Gen Now Votes, and sister organization Bridgeport Generation Now, raises money claiming to be a non-partisan organization, then directs that money on behalf of candidates its supports or opposes. So much for non-partisanship. They bang the drum of transparency then flouts the declaration by not revealing the source of the money.

And once again that certainly is the case, according to the latest campaign finance report.

Moore, too, preaches “honesty and integrity” claiming to be an independent-minded voice but will now be beholden to Gen Now Votes pocketbook. It also undercuts her pontification as a reform-minded advocate. They all sermonize transparency but then don’t do the same.

Finance report showing financial obligation on behalf of Moore

So many questions:

Who is funding this?

Is there illegal coordination?

When will the funding sources be revealed?

How much will actually go to direct voter contact?

What fee is Rally receiving for executing the campaign?

An example of an illegal coordination would be a representative and/or subordinates of Gen Now Votes discussing strategy, game plan and voter outreach with Moore or an operative of the campaign.

Affluent Black Rocker Niels Heilmann is treasurer of Gen Vow Votes. His wife Callie Heilmann co-founded the organization with Davis.

Callie Heilmann and Davis have already been paid thousands of dollars to benefit Moore, according to the campaign finance report.

Some of those wage expenses have been utilized to work against Mayor Joe Ganim.

A majority of the $95,998 will be allocated toward direct mail pieces, design, digital ads, communication outreach, lawn signs on behalf of Moore and affiliated candidates.

Four years ago Moore scared Ganim in a 2019 Democratic primary. Her campaign was lanced by a number of organizational and messaging gaffes that cost her votes. Moore, who complained ad nauseum about absentee ballots, hired to lead the campaign’s likewise effort a woman who had pled guilty to multiple absentee ballot felonies in conjunction with a Stratford municipal race a year prior.

A number of disenchanted operatives who had backed Moore in 2019 have gravitated to other campaign camps be it Ganim, Lamond Daniels, or John Gomes.

This latest campaign report, swimming in dark money, certainly adds a new wrinkle to the election season.





  1. “This latest campaign report, swimming in dark money, certainly adds a new wrinkle to the election season.”

    Lennie, where else should anyone expect new wrinkles to be added? Marilyn Moore doesn’t need any more wrinkles than Joe Ganim needs hair.

  2. None of the candidates has, thus far, presented any sort of substantive mayoral campaign platform. Everybody is going to reform Bridgeport government, end corruption, make government transparent, cut taxes for homeowners by hundreds of dollars a year, rebuild the BPD, create excellence in the Bridgeport school system,… But no-one is presenting any sort of detailed plan, with time-frames and benchmarks for the accomplishments of any of these “promises” (I wouldn’t even call them goals…) And the Moore-Gen Now “Campaign” is the most vague in terms of what they would employ in pursuit of a better Bridgeport…

    Irrespective of funding; I have to call of the challenger campaigns a collective joke. At least the Ganim Campaign has an Academy Award winning propaganda presentation to snow the tax-paying public — complete with special effects that would be the envy of Spielberg(!)… Even a taxpayer, holding their tax bill, in the middle of a noisy, disorderly, garbage-strewn SHU-student street would think that they were coming in for a landing at a private airstrip in Darien when they view the selective shots of Steal Point, et al., in the new Ganim propaganda videos… Amazing! (But tragic…)

    1. Good points Jeff, I’ve got to agree with you on several of them. None of the candidates have presented any sort of substantive campaign platform and the challenger campaigns in general have been collectively weak. The recent economic plan of John Gomes and the campaign platform of Lamond Daniels are both pure boilerplate. I haven’t read Ganim’s platform because I’m not really interested in what he has to say but we are all still waiting with “bated breath” for Mairlyn Moore to speak to us. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s really hard to get good candidates to run for office in Bridgeport because good candidates don’t want to deal with the crap that goes on here, in the political sphere.

      1. John I disagree. Let me clear I am supporting John Gomes and he is the only candidate who has offered well researched details plans and vision on various important issues that impact all of us.

        You obviously did not read Gomes Economic Development plan which is 4 pages long on 12 key points to revitalize this city, highlighted with goals and objectives, and a vision for growing the tax base.

        Lamond Daniels website has “ONE Paragraph” on economic development. I won’t even bring up more and economic development because that’s a topic she doesn’t comprehend well and yes i agree, anything she has posted is boilerplate.

        I can see that you care and you are disappointed with the quality of candidates. That is fair as there is not perfect candidate, but only John Gomes has made the actual effort the campaign and is scaring the Ganim’s camp. He he has an army of support city wide from all demographics, has out raised Marilyn and Lamond combined. It’s obvious he is the only one poised to give Joe a run here. Joe G., is excited every time he here’s a bogus endorsement for Marilyn and Lamond because it keeps them in the race and the both don’t have the will to step down and unite with another candidate. That is the only way we win. If either Moore or Daniels steps down and unites camps with John Gomes, GAME OVER. Joe G and does administration falls. The longer Marilyn and Lamond stay in it, JOE G Wins. It’s CheckMate.

        But make no mistake, John Gomes is as good a candidate as anyone, his flaw was thinking he can work within this administration to make change. Now he has been vilified for it.

        1. Kelvin, I have a feeling that you and your organization helped him write that economic development plan because I know that he didn’t write it himself. Also, his “flaw” was working with known liars, thieves and convicted felons like Ganim. You can’t pawn it off on “trying to make change”. That’s ridiculous.

    2. Let’s be fair, NOONE, not even GOD can give the kind of timelines you seek. A thorough financial audit would have to be done to really know what liabilities the city has and how quickly any timeline around policies can be done. Any candidate that would put for such an effort would be simply lying and that does none of us any good.

    3. Jeff, I’ll just add. I’m not sure if you follow Gomes Campaign social media pages or website but there are a over 10 well produced videos on topics of interest. Sadly the incumbent gets to spend city dollars promoting the city which in turn promotes his candidacy but don’t confuse that with other candidates are not producing great content. Well at least I know Gomes is. I advise anyone who is still looking for the right candidate to support, do your research. Plenty of video here:

      1. Kelvin: Intending no disrespect to you, John Gomes, or anybody else in the Gomes campaign; having read the four main areas of the Gomes Platform, on the very-well constructed website, having paid particular attention to the Economic Development section, I have to say that it is it offers only a boilerplate set of polices with hardly a semblance of a “plan.” Nothing original or beyond the obvious…

        For instance, regarding the economic development plank, the reference to “Economic Gardening” might be perceived as nothing but an irritating “tease” — to the extent that the term, while not yet well-worn, is presented with no reference to any specific industry with operations presently located in Bridgeport, that might be “cultivated” and expanded as part of the city jobs/tax-base… And how might a given industry be cultivated in this manner anyway?! — by “Partnering with the state DECD”?! The latter has moved mountains, under its own initiative, to work with (especially) Stamford (on a multi-front, hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars basis), Stratford (Sikorsky), East Hartford (Pratt and Whitney), Hartford (multi-front, hundreds-of-million$), et al., even while it has seen fit to let Bridgeport teeter as a beggar-city with an empty palm turned upward as People’s Bank was being acquired and still moves toward relocation, and with the scant remnants of our manufacturing base being allowed to languish and shrink even further. How will the Gomes Administration deal with a State of Connecticut determined to maintain Bridgeport as the “barefoot and pregnant” “housing hub” (to quote Jim Himes and the state/regional plan for Bridgeport — “One Coast One Future”) that exists solely to service the residential and tax-base needs of (especially) the Gold Coast and surrounding suburbs?!

        There is simply no “meat” to the boilerplate Gomes plan/agenda for Bridgeport. It’s a map without clear destinations or coordinates. There are only allusions to goals, sans the necessary “ways and means” for attainment…

        And just how does a Gomes Administration see its political assets and political prerogatives?! And its political liabilities?! (Let’s not forget that we’re talking about “Bridgeport” here!…)

  3. Dry juice? That’s no way to run a campaign. Questions exceed answers.
    Hoist the sail, set a course for friendlier waters. >
    Aye, aye, skipper.

    In a related matter,
    Who’s the better go-to guy?
    When it comes to Bridgeport, I’d rather be an unpaid public asset than a non-working public liability.


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