Dark Money Group Backing Moore For Mayor Plans To Mail 19,000 Absentee Ballot Applications

Marilyn Moore speaks during her Gen Now Votes endorsement, with Callie Heilmann and Gemeem Davis in background.

The shell game advanced by the dark money organization supporting State Senator Marilyn Moore’s mayoral run will mail 19,000 absentee ballot applications soon to registered Democrats, according to an eblast, the largest unsolicited saturation in history, says the Town Clerk’s Office that oversees processing of ballots.

Founders of Bridgeport Generation Now Votes Callie Heilmann and Gemeem Davis are leading the expensive push.

The organization is under growing scrutiny for potential illegal coordination of campaign expenses benefiting Moore who appeared with Davis and Heilmann at a public endorsement last month in which Gen Now Votes  spent thousands of dollars. Gen Now Votes is pledging to spend nearly $100,000 to further Moore’s election, but has not disclosed the source of the money, according to its latest campaign finance report. Davis served as Moore’s 2019 campaign manager for mayor. The trio have been close for years hashing out campaign machinations.

Heilmann’s wealthy husband Niels Heilmann is treasurer of the group which helped to finance a losing lawsuit to overturn results of the 2019 mayoral primary.

Connecticut law prohibits organizations such as Gen Now Votes to coordinate expenditures with candidates it supports.

For years Heilmann, Davis and Moore have complained about the proliferation of absentee ballots deciding elections. Now they’ve decided to join the party kicking up the stakes with a mass mailing to nearly half of the Democratic electorate.

Gen Now Votes communication:

Bridgeport Generation Now Votes is excited to announce that we are set to mail Bridgeport voters Connecticut’s guidelines and applications for voting by mail for those who may qualify. The letter accompanied by the application explicitly states that it is not nor intended to be in support of or against any candidate running for office and directs all further inquiries to the office of the Secretary of The State. The mailer, in English and in Spanish will go to approximately 19,000 primary voters.

Here’s the rub, the organization cites “not nor intended to be in support of or against any candidate running for office” as cover against flouting the rules. It can, however, and will certainly do so, include or in a separate mailing push Moore’s candidacy.

They must also follow these rules:

  • If any voters did receive an absentee ballot application from you, you must keep a list of those voters and file it with the Town Clerk before the election, primary or referendum.

    • Don’t forget to list the names and addresses of all voters who received an application from you!
    • You must file it with the Town Clerk of each voter’s residence ASAP.
      • This is a legal requirement so that people can receive the absentee ballot and complete it on time.
  • If you want to follow up with the applicants, you can do so. You can also check with the Town Clerk to see if someone applied for or returned an absentee ballot.

    Meanwhile, Moore is trying to make the September 12 primary ballot needing roughly 2,000 confirmed signatures of Democratic voters. Is that effort being coordinated with Gen Now Votes?




  1. Generally, I enjoy asking questions of folks when I think they likely know more than I do about a given subject, especially if I have reason to believe that they have no special reason to avoid an answer, or provide one that is inaccurate or wildly off base. Likewise I enjoy providing a response where I am able to do so with confidence. Sometimes, I am tasked with queries from someone who refuses to sit with me for conversation, or has a record of sowing more confusing seed, than productive items, and I am silent. There is always Google. I want to be careful, in this case, because Lennie provided me with a “time out” two months ago for my objection to the “hate” in his message regarding the same organization featured above. When I asked Lennie regarding the details of the probation, he did not answer the question. Time moves on.

    So, today, while the subject is focused on the number of absentee ballots being mailed to 19,000 registered Democrats and potential primary voters as well as the number of confirmed registered Democrats who must sign applications in excess of 2,000 to be listed as a candidate in the Democratic primary, let’s just indicate that there is another ongoing enrollment in the City of Bridgeport that may be of interest to readers of OIB.

    It is the opportunity for Bridgeporters who rent to indicate their rent paying and financial status on a form to be submitted to the State of CT to prove eligibility for a check as a single for up to $700 and as a couple for up to $900. Those checks are fully funded by the State of CT with the City of Bridgeport bearing no expense. Nevertheless, the politically aware in the City have used this annual application opportunity, on occasion, for the approximately 3,400 checks distributed to renters in recent years as a result of submitting applications in April-September to receive a check around election time. ABS and “renter rebates” become commingled concepts.

    “Promote a candidate”, provide an absentee ballot, and offer to assist with “renter rebate” paperwork?? Does this leave folks somewhat confused? With the City employee who was apolitically responsive retiring after 27 years helping increase the numbers of “renter rebate” checks to 3,400 and the only other authorized to work the portal when she left away on vacation for one month, the pressure seems on. Doubtless, Ganim2 will authorize others to serve but any hiccup can indicate that the important matter for many folks is not the vote or the absentee ballot, but the opportunity to receive funds from the State of CT.

    With a limited time to door knock for candidates, the provision of absentee ballots for voting for candidates , depends on the accuracy of voter registrations, and the dependability of the USPS. Hopefully the elimination of some confusion can be appreciated by election observers. Time will tell.

    1. JML….need to edit your comments.
      NO Absentee Ballots are being mailed, 19,000 Absentee Ballot APPLICATIONS are being mailed. The big question is how many will actually be filed??
      I think most will go in the trash. In person gathering of applications has far better results than a mass mailing.

  2. Gen Now seems to be becoming everything that they’ve criticized, Is it true that only founding members can vote or put items up for a vote. That a new member as no “Pull” ?

  3. Interesting tactic… It seems that Gen Now is not just hedging its bets against low voter turnout at the polls; it actually seems that they might be conducting an electoral “experiment,” per an attempt to circumvent one of the traditional pillars of election success — “door-knocking”/direct voter contact… It would appear that they might attempt a coordinated advertising/absentee blitz using the dark money flowing in from the Republicrat, monied interests supporting their efforts…

    Make no mistake Callie Heilmann and husband Neils have ambitions to be a power couple, a la the Clintons… Neils Heilmann’s self-aggrandizing op-ed in the July 13 Connecticut Post makes that clear, with his fixation on the word “power” in that piece. His claims at working to position the disenfranchised for power — especially people of color — ring as disingenuous (per his highlighting of his own political resume and social/political largess in that piece).

    The Heilmanns are not in Bridgeport to improve our lot any more than Gold-Coaster Chris Shays’ relocation here was for OUR benefit… (Where is Chris now that he no longer needs Bridgeport’s voter base to keep a Congressional seat?!…) Neils alludes, in his biographical op-ed, that their (Neils and Callie) presence here, in Bridgeport, was politically based from the beginning; he measures their tenure here in political terms. Surely, if all that he wanted to do was to improve the lot of Bridgeporters, in particular, and the downtrodden, generally, he could have done that from Greenwich via a non-profit based lobbying effort.

    No. This Greenwich power couple is looking to raise political capital in Bridgeport to use in the creation of their own political/business kingdom, a la Bill and Hillary (the latter not even having had the benefit of a Greenwich home base/background in their quest for wealth and power…).

    Bridgeport will not be rescued by Greenwich. If Greenwich had any interest in seeing a prosperous, powerful Bridgeport, we would have remained so, even as Stamford’s ascension was held in abeyance. Gen Now is just one more ruse, created for the express purpose of generating political leverage from the Bridgeport electorate for use in yet another Greenwich-based, political power-play. When Neils wins his US Senate seat and Callie displaces Jim Himes in the House, they’ll move back to Greenwich, Gemeem Davis in tow, and leave Gen Later and Bridgeport spinning in the sea breeze and in even more political/socioeconomic disarray than its present state…


  4. what’s really the big deal when Ganim gets most his money from people outside of Bridgeport. just look at the contribution logs. where is the outrage on that?


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