Do You Have A House To Spare?

Caroline delivered a message from Camelot. Teddy cranked up the crowd. Michelle Obama reached out to Hillary. If you’re a Democrat, irrespective of a Hillary or Barack fan, Monday’s kickoff to the Democratic National Convention had a little for everyone.

Tonight is Hillary’s night. Somewhere out there, Republican operatives are sticking needles in Democratic voodoo dolls hoping for a burp to continue this media-fanned divide between Hill and Barry. The production wizards are churning out television spots with every minor gaffe to try to widen the divide. Remember those Biblical words, paraphrased by Abe Lincoln, a house divided cannot stand, or something like that; well, John McCain has so many of them he cannot recall how to divide them. Nice problem to have. Methinks we’ll see a television spot on that too.

I couldn’t help think about the good time Mayor Bill Finch was having at the convention. Bird Man’s love for Kennedy politics inspired his first run for public office more than 30 years ago. Mention Kennedy politics to hizzoner, and you better pull up a chair for a romp through Camelot Country.

Interesting that the two combatants in one of the highest-profile congressional races in the country, Republican Christopher Shays and his Democratic opponent Jim Himes, have both decided to bag their respective party conventions to squeeze in extra campaign time at home.

Talk about fun. The two had a spontaneous debate Monday morning when the congressman decided to interlope Himes’ press conference denouncing lack of action on the long-dormant Congress Street Bridge connecting the East Side to downtown. Two ways to look at this from a strategic perspective: Shays wanted to get in his two cents because he felt his position on the bridge was being distorted. The potential downside is his appearance could turn a so-so story into something much larger while boosting the stature of his opponent.

Speaking of crashing parties, Shays is hosting a fundraiser today for Republican State Senate candidate Milton Johnson at the congressman’s home in Black Rock, 37 Beacon Street at 5:30 p.m. Milton says all OIB readers are welcome. What you want to donate is up to you. I wonder if Jim Himes will crash? It’s a great view of Black Rock Harbor.

Hey, what gives with the mayor calling a special meeting of the City Council–with the mayor, Chief of Staff Adam Wood and City Council President Tom McCarthy all at the convention in Denver–to talk about the boot-finder program to aid collection of motor vehicle taxes? The council wasn’t even asked to do anything. So Councilman Bob Walsh decided to give city bean counters the boot on Steelpointe. With the $4.5 million the city plugged into the budget from Steelpointe revenues now in jeopardy, Walsh wants to throw out the current developer and restart a selection process. That’s not going to happen; not any time soon, at least. But the short-term question remains: how does the city close the budget gap if the Steelpointe moolah doesn’t come in?

Answer: light a few candles, say a few prayers and boot a whole lot of vehicles!



  1. I’d like to comment on a trend I’m starting to see the past couple of days. It’s disturbing to me people would just switch their vote for the sake of party unity. It seems all a candidate needs to do in order to earn some people’s vote is win the party nomination. I haven’t decided who I am going to vote for in the Shays-Himes race yet. I want to hear both candidates discuss their positions. But just because Himes says he is against the war doesn’t mean he’s getting my vote. On his site he says he wants to pull troops out immediately and then have a sit-down conversation with the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds to solve Iraq’s problems. Really? You think a sit-down conversation between groups who have been fighting since the death of Mohammed is going to resolve the situation? If so, we should have a nice sit-down with the Israelis and the Palestinians and then maybe us and al-Qaeda. I don’t know if Himes is the Messiah, but I’ll be interested to hear how he intends to prevent the complete collapse of Iraq after we pull out our troops immediately with a sit-down conversation.

    Also, after Musto showed absolutely no presence in Bridgeport on primary day, has he all of a sudden developed some amazing familiarity and concern for Bridgeport? Did he reveal some sort of Bridgeport-specific plan? I’ve seen donj switch his vote like that simply for the sake of party unity. Candidates should earn your vote, not get them by default. So far, I’m voting for Obama, undecided on Shays/Himes, and voting for Russo. It’s subject to change over the next few months, but I don’t give my vote away to anybody. We have real problems and I want to hear real solutions before I decide who gets my vote.

  2. It looks like Shays hates Bridgeport; look what he said on News 12 about the city. Himes ’08. Democrats are for the middle class. I know many people on the East Side who are mad at Shays.

  3. I understand that DiNardo paid for the hospitality suite in Denver where Finch called his minions in to discuss ramping up the boot program to collect back taxes on motor vehicles.

  4. Enough of the Shays/Himes chatter over the congress street bridge. A nice ploy by Himes to link the debacle to Shays but I’m not convinced. Think back to when the bridge got stuck. Who was running the city, the council, and the general assembly? Shays was elected to serve our needs on a federal level not to connect downtown and the east side. The fact that our local and state “leaders” couldn’t get the project moving is not Shays’ fault. There is a federal bridge program administered by the state based on recommendations from the city. Don’t blame the guy on the top when the base is disorganized.

    Typical of our current dem-controlled city to look for blame outside of their own backyard. I for one am not fooled by this bull.

  5. There are a bunch of city employees who went with Finch to the convention. Who paid for all of them? And are they also on paid vacation? Is this what my overtaxed dollars are paying for?

  6. Chris Shays will not be attending the Republican Convention in Minny next week.

    Instead he will receive an endorsement from Joe Lieberman during Lieberman’s keynote speech.

    Shays, who will be the victim of his own circumcision, will be touring the district in his gas-guzzling RV under his new election theme of “Leave No Foreskin Behind!”

  7. I think the reason “donj” and “City Kitty” are so anti-Shays is because Shays sports the “BIG R” on his T-Shirt.

    Myopic. Uninformed and truly dangerous and actually responsible for the continuation, in Bridgeport, of the Democrat way.

  8. More like a broken Spike Jones record. Have you done a comparative analysis of the issues assessing Shays’ record against Himes’ promises? I think not. You are for Himes only because he is a democrat. That’s myopic. I’m voting for Obama and I am voting for Shays.

  9. Chris Russo is exempt from Philistine status until Xmas ’08. A true enlightened citizen choosing an elected official based upon ability to do the job and not by party loyalty.

    Dyed-in-the-wool Bridgeport Democrat loyalists … how’s that worked out for ya?

  10. “Shays showed up to say if it’s a priority for the mayor’s office and City Council, it should be placed on top of the list by local officials such as the Seaview Avenue corridor project and intermodel transportation center downtown, projects Shays has helped on a federal level.”
    I would like to know what list Chris Shays is talking about? I know the City Council never approved such a list. This is Paul Timpanelli, BRBC, Nick Panuzio, John Fabrizi and Bill Finch all trying to bail out businesses along Seaview Avenue. The Congress Street Bridge has always been a priority among members of the council. Obviously, living in Bridgeport doesn’t necessarily lead to understanding its problems.

  11. Bob as far as I know there are not that many businesses on Seaview Ave. You have:
    1. Mimamogue Yacht club
    2. A manufacturing business
    3. Lou’s Boat basin
    4. Dolphin’s Cove
    5. The Cilco Docks
    6. Director Ship Yards
    7. O&G Rock Crushing
    8. A few construction-type firms
    9. Illegal Construction storage
    10. A bodega
    11. A Towing Co.
    I think there are a few more small businesses.

    I thought The Seaview Ave Corridor was for the duty-free items coming into the USA and these products were supposed to be assembled in the Remington Woods complex that still is not built.
    How do any of the people you mention benefit by bailing out the businesses I have listed?

  12. Wondering,
    You are at the wrong end of Seaview Avenue. The money is to acquire and clean properties between Seaview and the river running up towards GE, gee.
    The plan then is to build a road parallel to Seaview Avenue to run trucks up to Remington Woods. The problem is that there are railroad tracks in between. So the solution is to raise this roadway high enough to go over the raised tracks or to raise the tracks so that the road can be widened and trucks will be able to travel under the RR.
    Neither will ever get completed but businesses will get taken off of the hook once the properties are acquired.

  13. I thought the area ran from the docks to Remington Woods and that these properties were on the south side of Seaview Ave. Many of these building that run from Grant St to Boston Ave are vacant. The railroad bridge as of 3 years ago would cost $55 million to reconfigure.

  14. I’m with Big City, this is ridiculous. That you are “entitled” to someone’s support because you share a party affiliation is ridiculous. Finch was useless in Hartford (unless you were looking to get into a fistfight) and will be useless in the mayor’s office. Thank God at least Russo is working for us up there, if this city is going to get fixed and refuses to vote off the blue side, I say we offer Bill Finch and a player to be named later to Stamford for Ed Malloy.

  15. Well, it’s amazing what old dusty undone projects come out during election times. And if memory serves me right, I believe there was a resolution or attempt one time during the Fabrizi admin. to put money aside for a study on the Remington Woods & G.E roadway, Seaview Ave. corridor project? I don’t recall if it was ever done & its outcome? Anyway, food for thought; Mayor Finch as I recall, apparently made a comment to Don Clemens one day, refering to an Obama button that Don was wearing that Hillary Clinton would win the Dem. nomination because America was not ready for a Black President. Yet now, he seems to be having a wonderful time in Denver celebrating the Dem. nomination of a black candidate! Go figure!


Leave a Reply