Despite Federal Probe, Emboldened Bradley Presses On, Promises Casino For Bridgeport

Bradley thumbs up
Dennis Bradley thumb up on primary day in 2018. What, me worry?

A defiant State Senator Dennis Bradley doesn’t sound like a pol packing in his legislative seat amid a federal probe into campaign finance violations. If anything he sounds emboldened to carry on, a shift in feelings he expressed a few weeks ago.

“This alleged investigation is a political smear and/or a misunderstanding of facts,” he shared in a text message in response to a question about his reelection bid. “But my record of a fighter speaks for itself and my accomplishment of winning big for the 23rd (district) when we bring in the first casino after over 30 years of talking about will demonstrate to the people that we are on the move.”

When is he filing reelection paperwork?

“I don’t do things small,” he said, suggesting an announcement will come soon enough.

Bradley does have a grandiose flourish about him, perhaps too showy driving a glossy Maserati among deep pockets of urban poverty while calling himself the “People’s Senator.” Drive on the edge, play on the edge, campaign on the edge–that’s Bradley, marinating in a deep dive of political plasma.

A flashy campaign announcement at an East End restaurant two years ago caught the attention of the State Elections Enforcement Commission which ruled that Bradley violated state civil law by leveraging roughly $10,000 in law firm funds to finance his election, including free drinks and food at Dolphin’s Cove. It led to the watchdog agency rejecting his application for a general election grant under the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. The complaint was brought by then Board of Education member Maria Pereira who now sits on the City Council.

The election announcement transpired as Bradley prepared to raise small-dollar donations in pursuit of close to $200,000 in public money between the primary and general election. Senate candidates must raise $15,000 in donations of $250 and less from 300 contributors to qualify for grant money.

Now the federal government has taken notice impaneling a grand jury in New Haven that is hearing from witnesses associated with his 2018 run for state office including expenses financed by his law firm, donations made and where the money leads.

Bradley asserts this is much ado about nothing, something that should reach a civil resolution and not rise to the level of a federal investigation.

Unclear how deep the investigation goes or if solely focused on campaign finance.

Meanwhile, Bradley’s gambling that his incumbency will slot kudos from constituents. He’s Senate chair of Public Safety where gaming bills originate, including one already in the works that calls for a Bridgeport casino operated by one or both of the tribal nations that enjoy a casino monopoly in the state. Easier said than done given Connecticut’s complex gaming policy and competitors threatening to file lawsuits in lieu of open markets.

For now Bradley sounds like he’s pressing on with reelection plans.

Bradley has two potential Democratic primary challengers: City Councilman Ernie Newton who once occupied Bradley’s seat and Kate Rivera, a South End social justice advocate who’s a stick-in-the-eye to the political establishment.

The party endorsement will take place in May, followed by an August primary.

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15 comments

  1. Of the casinos in New Jersey FOUR of them have closed in 2014 and another closed in 2016. One was turned into a non gambling hotel and two other opened under a different names. Trump plaza closed in 2014 because a buyer could not be found.

    Atlantic Club Casino was to be turned into a waterpark in 2014 but that fell through.

    Showboat Atlantic City is a non gambling hotel in 2016

    Taj Mahal closed in 2016

    ****From NJ Gambling Sites*****

    If casinos in New Jersey are having such difficulty, why the continous push for ONE in Bridgeport?

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  2. What did Dennis Bradley do to run for the BBOE, he’s from Massachusetts and he has no real history of being involved with Bridgeport politics? Remember it was Maria Pereira who backed and supported Dennis along with Joe Ganim for mayor, that demonstrate that Maria didn’t do her research on Bradley and Ganim and she gave her word to the voters that they should vote for Dennis Bradley and Joe Ganim. Dennis Bradley is a loser.

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  3. Just read in the CT Post about a member of Stratford’s BOE being asked to resign by the Democratic Town Chair because of personal criminal activity.
    It’s a must read for Mario Testa however he would probably just offer the guy a seat on Bridgeport’s BOE and tell him not to worry he won’t have to even move to serve in Bport.

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  4. What does the kind of car Senator Moore has to do with a casino coming to Bridgeport? That’s the bullshit that got you another four years of Mayor Ganim and Mario and that’s the bullshit that will get you higher taxes and no accountability or transparency! That’s the kind of bullshit that will ensure that Bridgeport will continue to be the laughing stock of New England and as Paul Newman said, “the armpit of Connecticut! That’s the kind of bullshit that lead people to say, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a damn fool rather than open it and remove all doubt!

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  5. This is what Guideposts website says about CCO Joseph Jaffe:
    Throughout his career, Mr. Jaffe has overseen and participated in a host of investigative and fact gathering assignments for … state, federal, and private entities related to allegations of employee dishonesty, fraud, sexual harassment, union corruption, inventory and intellectual property theft, prevailing wage violations.

    Now we know they were originally hired to look into employee dishonesty and inventory but we learned recently from Mark Anastasi that they HAVE NOT look into any of the matters related to theft of scrap metal but they have run up a bill of $150,000!

    So what the hell have they been looking into? The city NEEDS to give us answers and answers NOW!

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  6. Wait a minute, is this Maserati Dennis the Menace Bradley the State Senator who did not publicly state that he supported Joe Ganim for mayor? Payback is a bitch Dennis, something that Mario Testa knows how to do, primary time Dennis.

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