Dick, Linda Cat Fight, Caruso Ponders Guber Choice, GE Demo, And Development Forum

Oh baby, the U.S. Senate race is gonna get ugly. Terrifyingly ugly. Body-slam, turnbuckle-bashing, head-butt, groin-kicking, hair-pulling, razor-blades-to-the-forehead ugly.

I’m not quite sure what prompted this–other than Dick Blumenthal feeling the electoral squeeze from his military service gaffe–but if you’re gonna counter a babe opponent’s salt-in-the-eyes declarations, might as well use a babe to fire back on your behalf. Why do I get the feeling we’ll be hearing a lot of this over the next six months? Dick’s campaign manager Mindy Myers launched this karate thumb thrust into GOP-endorsed Linda McMahon’s throat: peddling steroid-fueled violence to our kids, exploiting her workers, and obstructing investigations into possible crimes under her watch.

What gives? Did Mindy learn from the Bridgeport school of inflammatory politics? And by the way, what’s the deal with Rob Simmons saying he’s out of the U.S. Senate race but wants to keep his name on the ballot in honor of his delegate supporters? Translation: if Linda McMahon implodes I can get back in.

From Dick’s campaign:

The following is a statement from Mindy Myers, Blumenthal for Connecticut Campaign Manager:

“The people of Connecticut face a clear, stark choice between Dick Blumenthal, who will continue standing up for them against powerful interests on issues that matter, like their jobs and health care, and Linda McMahon’s self interest that’s gained her multi-million dollar profits peddling steroid-fueled violence to our kids, exploiting her workers, and obstructing investigations into possible crimes under her watch.”

Big Wave’s Candidate Surf

Chatted with State Rep. Chris Caruso about his preference for governor. He’s not made a decision. He likes Ned Lamont but I sense he’s not crazy that most of the city’s party operatives are supporting Ned. If the establishment goes this way Big Wave likes to go that way. That doesn’t mean he’s a lock to support endorsed guber Dem Dan Malloy although he’s pleased Malloy has adopted Caruso’s legislative legacy: public financing of campaigns. Caruso plans to talk to both Lamont and Malloy and make a decision to endorse or sit this one out. One thing’s for sure, I’ve run lots of races in the city through the years. My candidates always performed better when Caruso was on board.

Gee, No GE

What’s your take on GE demolishing more than one million square feet of industrial history on the East Side, 13 interconnected buildings that produced two-thirds of the arms and munitions for the allied cause during WWI when the building was occupied by Remington Arms? Demolish an antiquated monster for new use? Or save its legacy of winning the War To End All Wars by incorporating a new use?

 Downtown Think Tank

A forum by the Bridgeport Downtown Task Force will take place Thursday morning from 8-11 at the Golden Hill United Methodist Church. One of the forum organizers former city development director Nancy Hadley says speakers will address professional organizations that relate to the real estate development community such as land use attorneys, architects, developers, property owners, investors, and banks. The event is $20 at the door. For more info hadleygroupllc.com/?page_id=6

Bridgeport’s downtown task force and six co-sponsors present:

Opportunities for Development with Bridgeport’s New Master Plan

AGENDA: May 27, 2010 8-11am

8:00 Welcome Honorable Mayor Bill Finch

8:05 Introductions and Historical Overview Harlan S. Sexton

8:15 Bridgeport’s Vision Davis M. Kooris

Bridgeport’s place in the region

The goals of the New Master Plan

Bridgeport’s Sustainability Initiatives.

8:40 Ready to Go Edmund F. Schmidt

The new zoning articles: Downtown Village Districts; Parking and

Transportation Management; Historic Overlay; Adaptive Reuse; Storm

Water Management Manual; E-GIS; and new one-stop permitting process.

9:00 Form Based Zoning Paul Antinozzi

Focus on the Downtown form based code.

9:15 Panel Introductions and

Introductory Comments Anne Pappas Phillips

9:25 Panel Discussion – reaction from:

Developer Caroline E. Vary

Land Use Attorney Michael J. Cacace

Architect/Urban Design Alan J. Plattus

Commercial Broker Jeffrey R. Dunne

10:00 Questions from the Audience

10:45 Concluding Remarks

From Jodi Rell:

Governor Rell Vetoes Energy Bill; Citing Concerns Of Transparency, Costs to Ratepayers

Governor Says Legislation Likely to Increase Utility Bills

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has vetoed energy legislation, crafted and passed in the final days of the session, citing deep concerns that the measure would raise utility rates for consumers, not reduce them as bill sponsors claim.

The Governor said Bill 493, An Act Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy, “is not in the best interests of the ratepayers or taxpayers of our state.” The Governor said it “fails to deliver the very benefit its title promises.”

“The legislation, as well-intentioned as it is, would likely result in higher utility bills for consumers and, at time when taxpayers simply cannot afford bigger government, creates another state bureaucracy,” the Governor said. “In the midst of both this great recession and our well-known state budget challenges I cannot ask our already over-burdened and over-taxed residents and businesses to bear the additional burden of costs associated with this bill.”

The Governor said the bill is “eerily reminiscent” of the claims made by supporters of the landmark deregulation bill in 1998, which promised a panacea to the state’s rising energy rates. Since then, rates have skyrocketed.

“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. I cannot approve the sweeping changes in this bill without fully knowing the effect they will have on the energy market, our state’s economy and ratepayer bills,” the Governor said. “Further, by creating a new state agency, the Connecticut Energy and Technology Authority, this bill increases the size and scope of state government at a time when we are striving to cut expenses and streamline government.”

Governor Rell said she was also deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and critical public input leading up to the passage of the bill, crafted in the final days of the legislative session. There was no public hearing held on the complete package nor was there an opportunity for testimony or consideration from the public and industry representatives. Legislators were denied a chance to offer meaningful input. Instead they were directed in a memo from the Legislature’s Energy Committee staff that any submitted comments were to relate solely to whether the language of the bill carried out the drafters’ intent and not to major policy issues.

The process, the Governor said, “was disrespectful to those who honestly desired to read and deliberate the bill’s provisions and unfair to the people of Connecticut whose electric bills and taxes would surely be affected.

“I believe in the legislative process. As disjointed as the legislative process can sometimes appear, public comment and open analysis and debate are critical to producing well-crafted, workable laws,” the Governor said. “The proponents of this bill would have been well served by following that process.”

Debate on the 52-page bill reached the House of Representatives after 3 a.m., 16 hours after the session had started. The vote came just after 6 a.m.

“Tired legislators debating a bill as complex and important as this under cloak of night is untenable and unacceptable,” the Governor said.

The Governor noted that since the 1998 deregulation act, Connecticut has increased its renewable electric generation and significantly increased energy efficiency across also customer bases. She acknowledged that there are provisions of this legislation that make “good, economic sense.”

Specifically, Governor Rell praised the following provisions:

· Enhancement of current renewable energy incentive programs, primarily in solar photovoltaic technology

· Discounted electric rates for low-income ratepayers.

“While funding for existing low-income programs could be reprogrammed to finance a portion of the program contemplated in this bill, the details are lacking as to how the goal could be achieved without substantial, additional costs being borne by other ratepayers,” the Governor added,

“The best way to improve our generation, delivery and regulation of energy is through a transparent process within the normal legislative process, one that includes input from all critical stakeholders,” the Governor said. “I urge lawmakers to begin publicly meeting now to determine how the goals of this bill can be achieved without increasing rates and diminishing the progress we have made.”

From Dan Malloy:

MALLOY CALLS RELL’S VETO ‘A MISTAKE’

Dan Malloy, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Governor, today released the following statement in response to Governor Rell’s veto of Senate Bill 493, An Act Reducing Electricity Costs and Promoting Renewable Energy:

“This is a mistake, plain and simple. At a time when Connecticut is already facing the highest electricity costs in the country, when families and small businesses across the state are already strained by unprecedented economic problems, this veto makes no sense.

“The current situation hurts our state’s economic competitiveness. The rates paid by Connecticut industries are nearly double the national average. Is it any wonder then that manufacturing and other jobs continue to flee Connecticut? The math is simple – Connecticut needs to add jobs, and our exorbitant energy costs are driving them away. We need to give our residents and our businesses the break they deserve.

“This bill would be a big step in that direction. It’s my sincere hope that the Legislature can override this misguided veto.”

From Ned Lamont:

Lamont: Rell’s Energy Bill Veto “Shortsighted”

Businessman and Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont today released the following statement after Governor Rell vetoed sweeping energy legislation:

“This was more than an energy bill, it was a jobs bill. The Governor’s decision to veto it was shortsighted, and it comes shortly after her gimmick-laden budget raided the Connecticut energy conservation fund. In less than a month, our Governor has twice thwarted Connecticut’s ability to compete in the fast-growing green energy economy.

“We need a governor who is focused on Connecticut’s future, seizing every opportunity to create jobs that will sustain our families for generations.”

From the Bridgeport Regional Business Council:

Leadership Greater Bridgeport Seeks Candidates for 2010/2011 Class

BRIDGEPORT – Leadership Greater Bridgeport (LGB), the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s community leadership development program, is seeking applicants for its 2010/2011 class. LGB is a personal and professional development program that helps participants understand local issues that impact the community and business environment through direct involvement with those who are at the center of these issues.

Leadership Greater Bridgeport was founded in 1990 to increase the civic health of the region, to provide professional development for employees of BRBC members, to assist in the development of well-prepared public servants, to identify a talent pool for referral to community leadership work opportunities, and to create synergy through the development of a network of active graduates. The LGB mission statement states that “Leadership Greater Bridgeport enhances the regional community through a process of leadership development and community engagement that inspires individuals to serve with passion, skills and knowledge.”

Applications will be accepted through August 15, 2010. This year’s program will start with a Welcome Reception in early September followed by monthly day-long class sessions September through June.

For more information about applying for the class, call 203-335-3800 or visit www.brbc.org.

The Bridgeport Regional Business Council is a 1,000-member voluntary organization of businesses within the Bridgeport region working together to create an environment for business expansion, retention and recruitment that will result in jobs and tax base growth. The BRBC includes six affiliates – the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, the Stratford Chamber of Commerce, the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce, the Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation, Leadership Greater Bridgeport and the Women’s Leadership Council.

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15 comments

  1. *** Overall Richie B has a lot more to offer CT voters than the queen of wrestling. Regardless of his Vietnam storytelling, it’s not enough ammunition to dump Richie B & vote for Linda M. *** Don’t really know the inside terms of this vetoed energy bill so I will “pass” comment. *** I believe Caruso will wait ’til after the primary to pick whom he likes for Gov. as to not step on any toes! *** Hey Lennie, yeah “YOU!” On this LGB-class & program, is there an age limit & can they use a few good men of character? *** “Inquiring minds would like to know” ***

  2. From today’s CT Post:
    “When advised of Ganim’s latest filing, Grimaldi said the former mayor is doing this to build a platform for a political comeback.

    ‘He has a good family, a good wife and great kids,’ Grimaldi said. ‘He should be focusing on them.'”

    Lennie, not a word on the blog???

    1. Well Grin, if you have a specific question fire away. Joe was convicted in 2003 and how many twisting-turning appeals has he filed? Each time he files one the Post thinks it’s newsworthy. His latest fantasy claims I had some sort of hidden, secretive sweetheart deal with the government. That’s chicken droppings. Some deal. I lost my house, business, bank account and liberty. I’ve moved on and for me life’s never been better. Had Joe the guts to take his medicine what occurred 10 years ago would be far behind him. So now he’s stubbornly stuck in appeal wilderness as his time winds down. He must feel he has nothing to lose by doing this. Someday, I don’t think next year, he may want to get back into the political game. It’s going to be tough because the only place he can do that is in Bridgeport.

  3. My company is hiring a new CEO, which one should we choose, the guy with the huge trust fund, and a 0 handicap … or the one with 15 years’ experience running a company? I am so confused …

  4. On the subject of GE. In some of the cities I’ve visited, they have converted similar complexes (although not as BIG) into creative/artistic “high end” shopping/wholesale/entertainment malls. Maybe a developer with a vision can see the benefits of such a project. It would be wise to include some sort of indoor park/recreation/socializing area and a befitting memorial/museum that would honor Bridgeport’s illustrious history in manufacturing etc.They could probably find a “Dave and Buster”-type business along with some other anchors for each section.

  5. Most people are motivated by need and greed. If you really want to develop Bridgeport, approach every realtor in the country and tell them to bring their deals to Bridgeport. You offer the realtors residuals to their commissions tied into tax revenue. Similar to an insurance salesperson’s commission structure.

  6. The unvarnished truth is there is no value in those GE buildings. Tear them down, remediate the property and develop.

    I am the first to want to incorporate history into the present but this makes no sense.

  7. *** Before getting into future la-la-land development, it’s best for GE to knock down & clear & clean these properties first! Then the city can give them some tax credit for this work & “hopefully” collect the land deed? Ten years later, then OIB bloggers can dream of what should go there? *** FORGETABOUTIT *** (Can you say slow-motion development?) ***

  8. The following is a statement from Mindy Myers, Blumenthal for Connecticut Campaign Manager:

    “The people of Connecticut face a clear, stark choice between Dick Blumenthal, who will continue standing up for them against powerful interests on issues that matter, like their jobs and health care, and Linda McMahon’s self interest that’s gained her multi-million dollar profits peddling steroid-fueled violence to our kids, exploiting her workers, and obstructing investigations into possible crimes under her watch.”

    Can the Democrats at least make an attempt to talk about the real issues defining this campaign? Connecticut families are not talking about the latest WWE storylines or steroids when they gather around their kitchen tables. Instead, the conversations revolve around how they are going to pay their bills, the rising unemployment rate and ways in which they can cut their own spending in order to better afford the necessities needed in their own lives. As this election season moves forward, please watch the way business is conducted in the Democratic party. The personal attacks against Linda McMahon will do nothing except try to turn the senate race into a federal trial against WWE.

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