Dan’s cartoon sorta says it all. (Bushy take note.) Yahooy hands out the philistine of the week award, maybe we should start political moron of the week. That might be a difficult call considering the lengthy line of potential maroons. (Let’s not make the moron of the week retroactive. I’d have won a few weeks myself.)
One pol that will not qualify for the award any time soon is Barack Obama. Congrats to Barack. I’m not convinced yet that Hill is the best person for the second slot, but we’ll see.
I’m cheering for Sly Salcedo to qualify for the Aug. 12 Democratic primary for state representative in the 130th Assembly District. Anyone that has the guts to proclaim that the war on drugs is a charade is okay by me. So please, everyone in the South End, West End and East Side, sign his petition for ballot entry. (Just make sure you’re registered.) We gotta give district powerbroker Mitch “The Switch” Robles’ candidate City Councilman Eze Santiago a run for his absentee ballots. Actually, I’ve heard Eze’s a nice kid. That prehistoric noise you just heard came from Chico Rivera. Okay, Chico, I want you to qualify as well, and even Cougar Rodgerson. We need a good free for all. It might juice turnout a percent or two. In a large field a couple of hundred votes could win.
Most candidates vying for the ballot will opt for the state’s public financing program. Qualifying is not easy, although it takes out much of the special interest money. State rep candidates must hustle $5,000 in small contributions to qualify for additional $25k, state senate contenders $15,000 to secure an additional $85k. Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz lauds the program in a press release below:
BYSIEWICZ CELEBRATES OFFICIAL KICKOFF OF CITIZENS ELECTION FUND PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING FOR 2008
(HARTFORD) – Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz issued the following statement to celebrate the official launch of the Citizens’ Election Fund public financing for the 2008 legislative elections in Connecticut. Candidates who raise qualifying contributions are eligible for $25,000 for a House race and $85,000 for a Senate race. Secretary Bysiewicz, Connecticut’s top elections official and a longtime advocate for clean government, said:
“I am so proud to join with my fellow public officials and advocates who helped turn the idea of public campaign financing in Connecticut into a reality. Today is a great day and we deserve to celebrate.
Those of us who have been around state government long enough remember the early battles of campaign finance reform. I have been fighting to try and limit the influence of money in politics for at least 16 years in this state. When I was the house chair of the Government, Administration and Elections Committee, we got it out of committee but sometimes couldn’t even get a vote on the floor of the house. But we kept up the good fight. And I have to say thank you to Governor Rell for also joining this cause. On many things we disagree but on the issue of integrity in government and our political process we are on the same page.
Unfortunately, it took the worst corruption scandal in our state’s history–years of illegal payments by campaign contributors and contract steering during the Rowland Administration–for our political leaders to see the light. The only way to have truly clean elections is to provide public financing. This removes the need to solicit donations from lobbyists or state contractors who often want something in return for their contributions.
Instead, rather than raising money our candidates for state office can spend time talking about the issues of most importance to the voters – education, energy prices, the environment, public safety, and more.
The candidates now have to have grass roots support – know their constituents – enough to qualify for public funds if they opt in.
Himes For Barack
Democratic Congressional candidate Jim Himes, challenging Republican Chris Shays, released this statement today regarding Barack Obama:
JIM HIMES STANDS WITH SENATOR OBAMA
STAMFORD, CT: With the last Democratic primaries ending, and Senator Barack Obama having received the commitments necessary to win the Democratic nomination, Democratic candidate for Congress Jim Himes made the following comments today:
“In Connecticut and across the nation, this campaign season has seen unprecedented turnout from voters young and old, black and white, rich and poor – all of them standing up in record numbers to say they are ready to turn the page on the failed policies of the past eight years.
“Hillary Clinton has run an historic campaign, and she and her supporters should be proud. As this process draws to a close, it is clear to me that the values that unite the Democratic Party, values that both Clinton and Obama share, are much stronger than what divides us.
“I am proud and excited to be running with Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, and I will do everything I can to make sure we both win in November. Voters across our district and the nation have made it clear they are ready for new energy in Washington, not the same old politics of the past offered by John McCain and Chris Shays. Senator Obama has the vision, the new energy, and the ability to restore America to the values that made it great. As Congressman next January, I will bring that same energy to Washington to help President Obama deliver the real change voters are hoping for – fixing our economy, standing up for the middle class, bringing our troops home from Iraq, and reclaiming our standing in the world.”
Can you have Co-Morons of the week?
So Secretary of the State Susan (“What will I run for next”) Bysiewicz wants to “celebrate the official launch of the Citizens’ Election Fund public financing for the 2008 legislative elections”. No thanks Suzy. Public financing is going to turn out to be a historic ripoff of Connecticut taxpayers. If I want to support a candidate I’ll write him or her a check. I don’t want the state doing it for me, or giving my money to candidates, like my current State Rep.(one of the authors of this nonsense) who I don’t support.
There is already one story making the rounds about a State Senate candidate (not in Bridgeport, but not far away) who is telling friends that he is running for the Senate “because it will be $100,000 of publicity for my law firm, paid for by the state”.
Now that’s reform. NOT! If I needed another reason to vote against Chris Caruso this would be more than enough.
I have a group MORON of the week award. I nominate the elected members of the Board of Education and Supt Ramos. First the board for their spendthrift ways and not really giving a damn about the kids in Bridgeport. They have not adaquately addressed the 68% dropout rate nor have they done anything to change the current educational programs that would realistically get kids ready for the real world.
Ramos for his grandiose ploy of returning his raise if the teachers and lower level employees also do so. Ramos for targeting politically active people that work for the BOE for layoffs.
You’re right about the Bored of Ed. What happens if these “politically active people” decide to sue the city under unfair labor practice laws. The Bored of Ed should have listed the positions that would be subject to layoffs and not the individuals.
Happy 4th Anniversary. “May all your Pains be Champagnes”, with that pain in the ass Lennie
I’ll second that.
You make a good point. Now we can add legal fees and damages to the list of things the Board has wasted money on.
Besides making Superintendent Ramos give back his raise, please let us know what you feel is an acceptable dropout rate for the BOE and the first five things you would do to immediately reach this goal. Just wondering …
When the state Freedom of Information commission ordered Mayor Finch and the city of Bridgeport to release the names of the employees who had received pink slips AND our crack legal department told the mayor he couldn’t, where exactly were you on this issue?
I will be shocked if you are going to suggest now that you supported Mark Anastasi’s legal opinion over that of the FOI attorneys.
And who are you suggesting is going to sue the Bored of Ed? Pray tell. If you suggest that the Fabulous one will do so, I will be the first to donate to the BOE legal defense fund. It would be worth the price of admission to hear him on a witness stand trying to explain what he does and why he thinks he should be paid the ungodly amount he is paid today. Pretty Grim.
I was and am with you on the FOI issue. However this a different issue regarding targeting specific individuals and their affiliations. Similar to what Ganim did to Bob Walsh as retribution. Also similar to Finch’s treatment of SEIU.
If a school custodian #2 position were being dumped it would follow a seniority based bumping process. If it is done fairly and equitably it all works out. Yes, you have to give notice to individuals, no problem with that. Problem is if you are on a witch hunt because some people didn’t support you in the budget process. That’s my point and I think you are a pretty pro-labor guy no matter what side of the fence you sit on. I’m being crititcal of lack of good legal thinking skills same as I would criticize City Attorney on FOI issues and mishandling of Klewin suit.
I hate when you make this grim man weep.
Obviously you are far better informed than I am as to what goes on in this city. Possibly you work for the BOE! It is my understanding that with the BOE they eliminated positions across the board (or should that be bored?); i.e. all Library Programming Assistants (or some such vague, nondescript title). And if all of these positions are politically connected, well that tells you something about waste in the system. So if the BOE eliminates positions as unnecessary because they have become hiding places for politically connected individuals this is a bad thing?
Your lame attempt to compare this to the SEIU layoffs flies in the face of logic. All of the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners all credentialed through college degreed programs and state licensing. If anything these jobs were cut because the city cannot abuse them through patronage and are therefore considered non-essential.
Perhaps Tom Kelly is nothing more than an acronym for Motley K?
Grin Reaper I am not sure I understand your post but my interpretation is as follows. There is no acceptable percentage for dropouts; 1 dropout is one too many. I know that is not realistic but it should be a goal. As far as the 5 things I would do:
1.Ensure that the children in the lower grades are proficient in the reading skills that are essential to learning any subject before they were passed to the next grade.
2. Ensure that the teachers are given the supplies and the tools to implement #1.
3. Offer real-life courses to the majority of children in high school that have no college plans. By real-life courses I mean skills that can be used when you leave (Graduate) high school to get a meaningful job.
4. Replace teachers that show no interest other than getting a paycheck; ensure that teachers are paid on performance and not because of a contract.
5. Meet with the dropouts and find the answers to why the majority dropped out and work those answers into a meaningful program that would keep kids in school.
Look, 68% of the kids dropping out is totally unacceptable. These are the future lost souls of America. They can not even enter the military without a high school diploma. Inner city schools in other areas have come up with programs to keep the kids in school why not here.
So, Mr. Ramos, you find the requests from the panel formed to study the dropout rate too demanding?
Under your flag, costs go up, but production (diplomas) goes down.
I would like you to resign.
Lennie: Thanks for the “Ray” of Sunshine. It was in fact a “bug” in WordPress and they are working on it. The discovery of the bug saves me from being the Moron of the week. Anyway, nice to be back as a poster at OIB and joining the anti-moron movement, which for many years now I’ve been training for.
Education should be the most important issue for Bridgeporters. When I was in the Council we started (1996) laying out the foundation for New School construction. Before leaving the C.C. in 2001, I made sure my views, opinions and ideas were heard and I left with great doubt that any were being seriously considered, let alone heard. For example, I requested that during the design of the Schools, future population increase is kept in mind. I suggested that the schools be design so that in the future the city can build more classrooms on top of the existing structures. I pointed out the design of the Railroad underpasses in Bridgeport and how the lack of forward thinking prevents trucks from going under the railroad tracks. Today much of the industrial sites are useless because of the inability of truck access. These past days I read some postings accusing Councilman Bob Walsh of not bringing ideas to the table and being negative all the time. Bob Walsh was one of the few Councilman who I can say was pro-active and endorsed good ideas and points of views whenever there was one. Remember that Bob Walsh is the only sitting City Councilman who introduced and pushed for a Citizens Financial Review Board which the majority of the yes/no men and women in the council voted against.
I think you have it backwards. You’re not a member of the anti-moron movement, you’re the “object”.
You’re starting to sound like the chief apologist for the Bored of Ed. You’ve always played it to the inside straight. Much of what you say I agree and there is a lot of hide and go seek in the system I have no doubt that you’re right. I would much rather have the Bored of Ed. accountable through an audit. I hope Rambo Ramos can take it to the Max and cut his fat overpaid piggies, degreed or not. Hopefully Friday night we can take your Inside Straight and play it to a Royal Flush over an Ah-Beetz!
I was wondering when Wondering was going to answer your question and he did it quite succinctly.
You have me grimming ear to ear.
That’s a good one yahooy! The only one who doesn’t see it that way is Joel himself. And yes, I would like to see Ramos and that whole BOE resign.
MEMO TO JIM HIMES,
Glad to know you picked a Presidential candidate. Why exactly did you wait until the day AFTER the nomination was decided to make a choice? That’s what I call real leadership. NOT.
Am I the only one who read the sad, sad tale of Uncle Sal DiNardo in today’s newspaper? This guy is as phony as a seven dollar bill. He is suing the city because he got drunk at a Fabrizi fundraiser, took off running and fell as photographers were taking his picture and is now suing the city of Bridgeport.
Too bad famous attorney Johnnie Cochran is no longer with us to handle Sal’s defense. I can hear him now, “If Sal can not throw, then rewards he must sow.”
By hook or by crook, Sal just keeps on ripping off the Bridgeport taxpayers.
Lennie, Did you know there is a little known “no fucking morons” clause in the Constitution, except it is written on the back in invisible ink. It says if you can read this then you are smart enough to run for political office.
FCO – Hime’s statement offers congratulations to Obama, and he is showing his solidarity with the winner. He also praises Hillary. It doesn’t say anything about picking one over the other. Moreover, Democrats should all now be standing behind Obama now. It is time to stop bickering, heal divides and unite against the candidates that only offer more of the same, war, poor economy, insane oil prices, world embarrassment and eroding civil rights. All DTC’s in Connecticut should heed that message and stop thinking it is a given that it will be a Democratic sweep. We should never underestimate the power of the Democrats to weaken themselves by civil war.
re: public financing… candidates who don’t have Mario Testa shaking the money tree for them can still run for office and compete. That’s a good thing. It isn’t always true that fundraising is corrupting, but it is true that the challenges of fundraising keep potential candidates from running. While the thresholds aren’t easy to hit, it’s easier to do that than raise the kind of money it takes to run against the party machine. So public financing should be good for competition in Bridgeport.
As for the problem of using the money to promote yourself or your business, there are enforcement measures in place to ensure candidates are running real campaigns. The state is watching… whether or not that sentiment spooks you, when it invests this kind of money in the political process you can be sure it’s watching the investment pretty closely.
As for electing fucking morons to office… this great land of ours gives us the freedom to elect fucking morons if that’s what we deserve. Uh, sorry… I mean, if that’s what we want. If that’s what we want.
Obama ’08 Jim Himes ’08…who is going to Black Rock day???
A friend of mine suggested that public financing of campaigns simply moves the corruption from after the election to before.
Without public financing, the spoils were handed out to the donors as rewards for backing the winning candidate.
With the impact of donors minimized and the majority of the money coming from the state, there will be tons of money before election to be shared with friends and family.
Is the state going to suggest I can’t hire my good friend Tom Kelly to do PR work for my campaign? Are they after the fact going to criticize his work (as he criticizes others) and tell me I paid him too much?
And if you really think about it, unless both candidates agree not to jump into the free money pool, who does it really benefit?
The lure of the money may encourage more initial participants, but if you have a solidly entrenched incumbent being challenged by someone who can not spend a penny more, there is the continuing distinct advantage going to the incumbent.
So pal up with someone you think is going to lose and when it finally dawns on them offer to take some of the cash off their hands because otherwise it all goes back to the state.
And to all of those would-be candidates, beware of new friends hanging out in the HQ. They may not be around for election day but only until payday!
Thank you for your constructive criticism.
You’re killing me today. You are right about the friends and family plan. Every race I have ever worked on has cost me money.
Money drives campaigns. Public financing may help even the field. We need to get to the old days when volunteers worked on campaigns licking envelopes, stamps, bundling mail and eating cold pizza, so that they are enrolled in the process. Look at the Caruso campaign in which the mail was bungled and all the professionals paid and union hacks in a back room circle jerk. Who turned off many volunteers with their ‘tudes. You saw it and heard it with “Mad Murphy” on a question about the number two Id’s. They chewed and screwed as soon as their payday ended. Then you get campaign paid staff who get rewarded by high paying jobs in city hall. Look at Bill Finch’s campaign reports and all the “consultants” that were paid forty dollars and maybe a 40 ouncer to pull their vote. In Bridgeport, where most democratic candidates are a shoe-in for re-election, sans the Russo-Musto race, do they need to qualify for public financing? Until then you know many people will be there saying; Keep those checks coming!
Grin Reaper: Exactly my sentiments as I read the article in today’s CT Post re DiNardo. But you have to admit he’s got balls.
Yahooy you are right. I am the “object” of your constant stupid and idiotic remarks. I take it as a compliment coming from the mother of all “Fucking Morons” who come here hiding behind a handle.
Wait a minute folks! It looks like Mother Yahooy just gave birth to another Fucking Moron. She named her, City Kitty.
City Kitty, it’s not always a good idea to agree with mommy Yaooy. You dare to call me a Fucking Moron.
Coming from a hairstylist who has spent her entire career trying to straighten PUBIC HAIR. I take that a double compliment!
Greetings, Tom Kelly. I heard through the sour-grapes vine soon there will be a news article regarding the Caruso election results. SEEC is looking into it. But don’t expect results from them; I can tell you from experience the SEEC is not what they would like many to believe.
Nasty, Nasty, Nasty.
While you may be the object of my observations of your worth to the city, you are none the less the “object” of a city wide anti-moron campaign.
You have no business considering public office. You neither have the temperament, intelligence nor vision to carry out the duties of an elected official.
Inasmuch as voter apathy prevails in Bridgeport, the unworthy often are elected. Shitheads like you who are elected keep Bridgeport from attaining success and prominence.
I, personally, don’t even want you for a neighbor, never mind my elected representative.
Mommy Yahooy you take pride in insulting people here and when one dares to throw the ball back to your court, he or she is a terrible person. Before I wrote my original comment, I knew that you could not resist the temptation to say something stupid and I also knew that City Kitty would jump in, in agreement. Ya’ll two are definitely somehow connected or related to some Democrats in Bridgeport. Just like them, you both are transparent and predictable.
My words are meant to enlighten, not to insult. For example, when I state that you are unsuitable to hold public office, you should take that to mean that you should not run for public office because Yahooy doesn’t think you can do any good in office. That’s an “enlightened” conclusion. Now, if you were running against Bruce Hubler, who do you think would win? Capice??
Another thing, and frankly, I’m doing this for your own good. You seem to have a penchant for publicly maiming yourself to make a point. Now, in order to properly shovel the monkey shit out of the cages at the zoo, you’re going to need opposing thumbs.