Afternoon update: This is too funny. Keith Cougar Rodgerson, former City Council member, had his day in court today for crashing conservative crow Ann Coulter’s downtown Tea Party in September.
Cougar was charged with this …
Sec. 53a-181a. Creating a public disturbance: Infraction. (a) A person is guilty of creating a public disturbance when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he (1) engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or (2) annoys or interferes with another person by offensive conduct; or (3) makes unreasonable noise.
… because of this
Cougar noted in court today that his actions are protected speech under the 1st Amendment. He would not accept a plea offer and a trial is set for January 28, 2010. Thanks to Bob Adams (Connecticut Bob), the man behind the camera.
City’s Ethnic and Racial Slur Policy
Below is Bridgeport’s government employee policy covering racial, ethnic and sexist slurs. But does this policy cover City Council members? That would be a stretch, wouldn’t it? … seeing as council members receive stipends in lieu of actual compensation, no health coverage, yadda yadda. There’s no specificity below about council members.
Councilman Bob Walsh’s rant against his council partner Evette Brantley has taken on a life of its own because Evette chose to turn over Walsh’s recorded message to her peers rather than deal with him directly. Walsh can be an insensitive pain in the ass, but he’s no racist. If the city pushes too hard on this issue the words of all elected officials will be scrutinized to the extreme. Now why do I say phone messages can take on a life of their own?
Two years ago former Democratic Town Chair John Stafstrom, a bright attorney and cunning political operative, left a sexist F Bomb on the answering unit of Dottie Guman, current vice chair of the party. Stafstrom was upset that Dottie dare consider support of Mario Testa for party leadership. Understand that Dottie’s way of cursing is calling someone “full of prunes.” She’s also the political godmother of Mayor Bill Finch. When Bill was unemployed in the 1990s, and that was often, it was Dottie who helped him find work. Dottie had hoped Stafstrom would apologize. Too much pride for John. So instead of expressing sympathy for Dottie, what did Bill do? He went out and worked his ass off to try to keep Stafstrom in charge of the party. That made Dottie’s job a lot easier.
She, in fact, supported Testa for town chair, and Mario won. What’s the point? Walsh, at least, has apologized for his rant. And guess who authored the policy you’re about to read? Former labor relations chief/CAO Dennis Murphy, the life partner of John Stafstrom. Ain’t politics fun?
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines prohibiting racial, ethnic or sexist slurs by employees of the City of Bridgeport.
This policy shall apply to all City of Bridgeport employees in all locations. This policy shall also apply to members of the general public having business with any City Department and employee.
It is the policy of the City of Bridgeport that no employee shall engage in any racial, ethnic, or sexist slur. Any employee of the City of Bridgeport who violates the foregoing shall be subject to disciplinary action. Any supervisor who is aware of any violation of this policy shall also be subject to disciplinary action, if the supervisor fails to take appropriate action pursuant to this policy. Furthermore, it is the policy of the City of Bridgeport, that its employees should not be subjected to racial, ethnic, or sexist slurs by any individual conducting business with any City department or employee.
Slur – for purposes of this policy a “slur” shall include any statement (oral or written), including graffiti, or any gesture or reference which is in itself or in its context derogatory of a racial or ethnic group or gender, or of a person as a member of such a group or gender, or of one’s sexual orientation, including alleged jokes or statements which suggest that a group or gender is criminal, unintelligent, or has habits or attributes generally held in low regard.
Effective immediately the following procedure will be utilized in enforcing this policy:
1. Any employee who becomes aware of, observes, or has knowledge of any violation of this policy by a City employee shall report it immediately, or as soon as reasonably possible, to their immediate supervisor and/or Department Head and the Office of Labor Relations.
2. Department Heads and supervisors must report employee violations of this policy to the Office of Labor Relations.
3. The Office of Labor Relations will commence an investigation and file a full and complete written report(s) of the status and/or outcome of the investigation.
4. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the Mayor, Chief Administrative Officer, Department Head and Director of Labor Relations.
5. Supervisors must communicate this policy to their staff.
INDIVIDUALS, BUSINESSES, CONTRACTORS, OR AGENCIES CONDUCTING BUSINESS WITH THE CITY OF BRIDEPORT
1. Any Department Head or supervisor who becomes aware of, observes or has knowledge of any violation of this policy by any member of the general public, agency, or business entity, who is conducting business with the City, shall communicate the City’s policy to said person, agency or business.
2. Any employee, who is subjected to racial, ethnic, or sexist slurs by any member of the general public, agency, or business entity, who is conducting business with the City, shall advise the individual(s) of this policy and if such behavior continues the employee may cease the business transaction with the individual(s). The employee shall notify their supervisor and/or Department Head prior to concluding the business transaction or if not possible, as soon as reasonably possible following the incident.
3. The preceding provision does not authorize an employee to leave their work site or post, when doing so could endanger the health and safety of the public, or cease other essential activities of the City, or hinder the effective enforcement of any laws.
4. Violations of this policy by individuals, consultants, businesses or agencies who are under contract with the City, shall be reported to the Director of Labor Relations, and the Chief Administrative Officer.
Any employee who is found to have violated this policy, shall be subject to a suspension and/or termination.* Any supervisor who fails to investigate and/or report a violation of this policy to their Department Head and the Office of Labor Relations, shall also be subject to disciplinary action.*
* Any disciplinary action taken pursuant to this policy shall be in accordance with any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
Video Release From Rob Russo
Himes Wrong on Congress Street Bridge
Russo Releases Unique Video Press Release to Make Case
Rob Russo released the following video press release on the Congress Street Bridge demolition and attempts to rebuild it by Congressman Jim Himes. Rob Russo filmed his release at the foot of the Congress Street Bridge in downtown Bridgeport.
Rob Russo supports tearing the bridge down, but opposes rebuilding the bridge on the grounds that it will be a waste of over 40 million dollars of taxpayer money. Full quotes from Rob are available in the video release.
Rob Russo is a resident of Bridgeport, CT and is a former State Senator who represented Bridgeport, Trumbull, and Monroe who is now running for Congress in Connecticut’s Fourth District.