Crazy, But Fun, I Swear!

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 …



  1. McCarthy vs. Russo. Free speak freak McCarthy wasted his parents money
    sending him to law (?) school somewhere, where he didn’t
    even know what was said about speech in the Constitution and
    I picture myself someday saying lawyer Mac I have something to say
    and Mac saying “No you don’t”, but then again this fits the
    Bpt. machine profile abc. Ah Russo a breath of fresh air.

  2. Anna, think how fortunate you are to receive an education from Yahooy; whenever I read his/her posts I feel I am a bit enlightened and grateful as well.

  3. Cougar Cat

    You seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time posting on this blog during normal business hours. You’re not hitting the city up for $25/hour while you tiddle away at your keyboard are you?

    I have always thought that you were a smart kid always interested in self improvement. I saw a sign in a window on Stratford Avenue a few minutes ago offering a job you might be interested in. It say $28/hour for a Jerk Cook. You meet at least one of the required skills. Plus you’ll get $3.00 more an hour. Good Luck.

  4. Yahooy.
    It’s in the details, please read. Anna called me weird, further proof there is a 68% dropout rate in Bpt. This poor creature Anna fell by the wayside, lice shampoo is in order.

  5. Black Rockin

    Shame on you! You shouldn’t call people weird. This is a nice new blog forum. I think we should all start off on the right foot and do nice things for each other.

    For example, it is well known that I think Anna is a miserable excuse for a human being. But, I intend to not be so verbal with my observations of whatever worth she thinks she contributes to political dialog. I wil endeavor to do nice things in her regard from now on. Like this … Anna, Walgreens is having a special on Lice Shampoo; buy one get one free. Have a nice day.

  6. WHAT THIS WORLD needs is a politician who can prevent and disable all robo-calls and identify and punish those responsible. Instead, we have elected officials who use the device in the name of politics and democracy.

  7. Hey Lennie!
    Maybe the Fairfield County Weekly soon to be known as the Weakly should advertise on your new site. I wonder how many page views they are down in the last two days.

    Also I would like to see their circulation numbers pre-OIB-column, during OIB-column and post-OIB-no column. Like the stock market they are probably crashing.

  8. If anyone is interested in how our mayor spent his day today I will be glad to tell you. He spent the day on the phone threatening city employees who are on the town committee with a loss of their jobs or with demotions.
    So much for democracy in action.
    This begs the question, just what does Stafstrom have on mayor moonbeam?

  9. You know, Wondering, you and I could be strong allies on this Finch is bum campaign. Tell me again, slowly, that Testa has little or no control over what the moonbeam does.

  10. I sure hope the St. Patrick’s Day parade is good this year. They must have run out of Irish people if they have Bob KKKurwen running it this year.

  11. Aboost: At the present time Testa and Finch are fighting and do not speak. Finch is actively lobbying for Stafstrom for DTC and does not want Testa. You may not like Testa and that’s alright but Finch would not be making all these dumb-ass political moves and such if he was talking to Testa. If Testa wins the DTC Finch will be talking to Testa whether he likes it or not. I can also tell you for a fact that Testa had no input in Finch’s mayoral campaign neither the primary nor the general election.

  12. I have nothing against Mr. Testa, but he brings that stigma of corruption and Ganim. I know he was not indicted and John Stafstrom brings his own baggage to the table.

    Why don’t they put someone forward that all parties can agree with.

  13. Welcome Town C.
    This is a welcome site, we all thank Lennie. I see you ascribe “voter fatigue” to our Congressman Chris Shays when, or so I have been told it’s really “travel fatigue”. The rumor is, he has a number of rental properties in Baghdad and goes there to collect the rent. This makes sense as we have not seen a decrease in the blood, the killings, nor improvement in the lives of all concerned, as a result of Shays travels and to think he was a C.O. doing a hula dance in Fiji during his war – Viet Nam!
    Tsk-Tsk how times change.

  14. Did anyone here go to the inauguration party? I know Tom Mulligan didn’t. Lennie you think things are bad for the Democrats now? Wait until the guilty verdict against the City of Bridgeport in the Alex Conroy lawsuit. Do you think the City has the money or collateral to pay up? What do you think the City was saving money for?
    The $29 Million rainy day fund will soon start to shrink.
    By how much, that remains to be seen. Before Bill Finch utters the words, “This is the fault of a previous administration”, let me remind him that he was the Chairman of the City Council’s Contracts and Appointments Committee, when all these non-bidding process contracts were flying out mayor Joe Ganim’s office, with no interference from the C&A Committee.
    As for the DTC Chairmanship, I was wondering why would anyone support a person who ran away when Caruso was only being verbally critical of the Democratic Town Committtee. Why didn’t he stay and beat out Caruso? Would Caruso have won, had Mario stayed on as DTC Chair instead of running away scared?
    Town Couchman, nice handle! Before you ever hear the spitzer girl singing at Harbor Yard, you will be able to see her (spread eagle) on the pages of Playboy or Hustler Magazine.

  15. Testa did not get a clean bill of health from the FBI. The feebees just went away. They never suggested that Testa was clean. They didn’t indict because they didn’t have enough to ensure a slam dunk in court. After all of the Ganim indictments were played out, I was told by a fairly high ranking Bridgeport policeman that there were 12 warrants ready to be served or whatever you do with a warrant. It was implied that Testa was the next target. Many years have passed since and it is possible that Testa has chosen liberty over self interest. WONDERING seems to think that we need to look at Testa in a different light. I have never been known to hold a grudge so I am rethinking my position. Actually, unless Testa is a megalomaniac, he wouldn’t touch business as usual politics with a ten-foot pole. Municipal corruption carries long sentences these days. I am encouraged with the news that Testa and Finch are enemies. What doesn’t make sense to me is why a slug like Stafstrom has so much influence in this town. I think the bond legal fees are worth anything to Stafstrom to preserve. That Pullman Comely firm of today is certainly not the Pullman Comely firm I knew of yesteryear. We really should be seeking better less involved bond counsel now that we have to watch every penny.

  16. Aboost; I think that your policemen friend is wrong and is speculating. Warrants are issued for many reasons. One reason is an arrest warrant. Warrants are issued for the gathering of certain information warrants are issued for phone taps. In all of these cases you need probable cause at the least. Warrants are not issued on gut feelings or to go on fishing expeditions. So if they were issued they would have been served.
    If the Feds were looking at Testa as part of the corruption scheme with Ganim and they came up empty they were not going to go to Testa and the CT Post and say we have cleared Testa.
    With Pinto singing his ass off prior to his conviction I am sure that if he could have given the Feds Testa he would have in a heartbeat. I believe that any of the others that were convicted in the Ganim mess would have given up Testa in a heartbeat if they could have just to get a lighter sentence. You had brother giving up step brother in this mess and you think Testa was protected.

  17. Let me try this one last time. Rightly or wrongly Mario Testa is perceived as the face of Bridgeport’s corrupt past. Putting him back in charge would be a huge mistake.

    But go ahead and do it if you must. After all, it will make the job of those of us working for non-DTC-endorsed candidates a whole lot easier.

  18. John please you’re letting your liberal soul get in the way of progress. You keep working for non-endorsed candidates and it’s a waste of good energy. This easy time has come and gone. If you could not accomplish much with Stafstrom and his inept style what do you think you will accomplish when a highly quaified and seasoned DTC takes over. The answer is Bupkis. You have to get past your personal animus.

  19. Let’s not line up to help Testa with his Eagle Scout project. He may have dodged the bullet in the last go round but he, like JBR says, is “associated” with all of the corruption that has given Bridgeport a very black eye. No one will ever convince me that Testa is squeaky clean. He’s lucky, that’s all. I’m looking for someone else to get elected. Doesn’t have to be a democrat either. If a more concerted effort was made by Torres or Caruso to get people out to vote, we would not have a jerk in office right now. We can have a bright future in this city only if Mario Testa, Stafstrom, Finch et al are not allowed to run amok. Vote people. Get out and vote.

  20. My “liberal soul” is looking forward to next summer’s primaries and beyond.The DTC and its leadership stand for nothing but maintaining their own power base. These petty potentates represent sleazy backroom politics at its worst. Bridgeport is going to hell in a handbasket and the DTC has no answer except a return to the iron-fisted rule of Mario Testa.
    People like Testa, and Stafstrom and Roach for that matter, believe in nothing. They are only interested in political power and the patronage that goes along with it. Bpt deserves and needs better. Those of us that aren’t in this for the patronage or the ego gratification will continue to work for change and little by little that change will come. Putting dinosaurs like Testa back in power just makes our job a little easier.

  21. John I understand where you are coming from and I respect it as such. However if you don’t have the right candidate and he does not have the right message all your work is for nothing.
    A perfect example was Caruso he could have won this last election but he had amateur advisors and had no message and no platform. If you don’t have savvy political people behind your candidate you can’t win.
    Let’s assume you win a race and your candidate has no political experience well you have set that person up for 1 term. A perfect example of a naive politician who lost their last election and they should have won was Donna Currin (spelling) from Black Rock The night before the election she votes against Steel Point, her vote meant squat as to the outcome. Her opposition used that vote to beat her. The politically correct thing to do when the yes votes were there was for her to abstain or vote yes. She probably would have won her election and been able to carry on her fight.

  22. Wondering – I have to admit you are right. Chris and Donna could both have benefited from more savvy and experienced political advisors and Testa certainly qualifies as savvy and experienced. I just think he has too much “baggage.” If he wants to help the party I think he should do it behind the scenes. But I’m starting to sound like a broken record, so that’s the last thing I’ll say on this subject. I enjoyed the discussion but it’s time to move on.

    BTW – Somebody please let me know where and when the meeting takes place as I really want to see the show.

  23. Wondering – We’ve been on the same page lately in more ways than one. However, I do agree with JfBR on a lot of things.

    The Caruso campaign was run by paid professionals from out of town. They couldn’t even get the mail out on time. We all know that Stafstrom had $30k in street money. They call elections contests and Chris, along with others including the city lost. Donna Curran didn’t lose because of Steal Point. She had the most votes at Black Rock School. She got creamed at Longfellow and still only lost by 27 votes. She lost because of an inept RTC and a very weak mayoral candidate. The Republicans should have told their voters just to bullet vote for Donna. The Republicans should have had their whole town committee out there making phone calls on her behalf. NADA! Yes, Donna could have taken the easy way out on Steal Point like some Democrats did with the Sal vote. She didn’t but she can sleep at night knowing she did the right thing. Now that’s a winner.

  24. Tom taking the easy way out was the way to go this time. Her vote against Steel Point meant squat. As soon as she voted no, flyers were printed up detailing her no vote and passed out at the polls. I believe that cost her the election overall. Being stubborn and voting no was wrong when the vote meant nothing. That’s why it’s called politics.
    If you want to be an idealist that’s fine but at the expense of an election that’s wrong. Just a thought. Pleasure discussing this with you.

  25. There was one very revealing statement that Paul Pinto made and hardly anyone paid any attention to the its’ importance and how this can explain, why some high level FBI targets got away.

    Paul Pinto was being questioned about a conversation he had with (I believe was) Willinger. Pinto stated that Willinger asked about who he (Pinto) had spoken with. Pinto responded, “you don’t need to know that.”
    Pinto testified that Willinger wrote, “mayor”, on a pieces of paper and showed it to him.
    This explains why it’s so hard for the feds to catch others involved. No every one is dumb enough to talk over the phone in an unsecured location or send e-mails, knowing that they are or can be incriminating. The revelation of how two people or more can communicate , by writing it and showing it to the each of the ohters is important. Imagine the feds trying to record audio when what is being said is actually being written. Even if the Feds had video recorders, the camera would have to be in the right angle and position to record what is being written or said. Lennie, don’t forget to Burn or Flush this post when done reading it.


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