I’m excited. The webzine had more than 1,000 visits in the first full day of the new site. Thanks!
Crazy times going on in the Park City. Lots of maneuvering here and there, good news for a newly elected lawmaker and a nasty court fight playing out in Waterbury. We don’t call it Only In Bridgeport for nothing.
Republican Rob Russo will receive the oath of office for state senate at 3 p.m. today with two former bosses at his side, Governor Jodi Rell and Congressman Christopher Shays. People are asking me how Russo did so well, not just in the ‘burbs, but also in Democrat-dominated Bridgeport.
Russo had a strong economic message. His Democratic opponent Tom Mulligan, a nice man, had no message. Mulligan got caught in the crossfire of a remarkable fight for control of the party in the city. Mayor Bill Finch, who was well liked in Trumbull when he served the town as state senator, pulled a boner when he called it a bucolic town with no problems, forcing him to limit his campaigning for Mulligan in the city. And even then it didn’t help because the new mayor’s standing, for a variety of reasons, is meager in Bridgeport.
Finch’s robo call in Bridgeport on behalf of Mulligan did nothing. And Trumbull First Selectman Ray Baldwin, a good guy, did a robo call on behalf of Mulligan, but Trumbull’s looking at a double-digit tax increase. No message, poor planning, ugly result. Russo clocked Mulligan in the burbs and almost beat him in Bridgeport. That would be like a Dem winning New Canaan.
Meanwhile, potential candidates are already lining up to challenge Russo in November. City Council President Tom McCarthy, a strong campaigner, is taking a hard look at it.
I expect Russo to have early success. He’s a coalition builder, lives in Bridgeport and isn’t afraid to work with Democrats.
God, the court fight in Waterbury is nasty. That’s where the venal and vain Paul Pinto is undergoing an excruciating cross-examination by defense lawyers fighting off claims by developer Alex Conroy that former Mayor Joe Ganim blowtorched his Steelpointe development in favor of Al Lenoci Sr., his son and lawyer Chuck Willinger. Lawyer Hubert Santos charged that Pinto, who likes payoffs, demanded a payoff from the Lenocis in exchange for favorable testimony. Pinto denied it.
The sleaze factor on Pinto is as deep as a sinkhole. He’ll probably spend at least another day on the stand filleted by defense lawyers.
A lot of vote counting is going to get a fix on the next Democratic town chairman. Wondering’s vote count, from his Thursday post, seems right on target based on my conversations with Dem operatives. Former chair Mario Testa seems close to the 46 votes needed to win. But, this is Bridgeport politics and you never can tell what deal will be cut to change a mind or two or three or …