Dodd’s Looking For Friends, Plus: Zoo Tix For You

Four years ago at this time when Ned Lamont was a dot on the public radar screen, Joe Lieberman seemed like a lock to be the Democratic standard bearer for U.S senate.

But when you scratched the surface, the seething serial Democratic primary voters wanted to rip out Joe’s throat. I’m talking about anti-war advocates, ultra-liberals, union leaders, teachers, college professors, new young voters. Joe had contracted mad GOP disease. Translation: I’m smart and you’re stupid. Even Joe’s closest friends had wondered if Carl Rove had slipped him an inoperable mickey.

Lowell Weicker, former U.S. senator, former governor, announced if no one steps up against Joe, I will. Ned stepped up with his pocketbook, and with a bunch of pissed-off Dems (paging friends at launched shoeless Joe into retirement, or so we thought.

But then the entire state GOP political establishment (paging Jodi Rell, paging Chris Shays, paging Rob Simmons and a whole bunch more) performed a historic tank job on the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Alan Schlesinger in favor of Dem-turned-indie Lieberman who won the general election and promptly jammed his middle finger into the face of Connecticut’s electorate. I love George Bush, I love John McCain, yadda, yadda. (Now that George is gone and McCain got croaked, Joe’s spewing, in a fit of DC whiplash, I love Barack.)

I’m not yet prepared to say that Chris Dodd is vulnerable in a Democratic primary because I don’t know anyone than can finance a $10 million campaign, but he’s in bad enough shape–mostly through his own doing–that an unknown Dem from Mystic Merrick Alpert who’s worked on a variety of state and national campaigns, started a medical software company, served in the Air Force in Bosnia–has stepped up to challenge Dodd. I won’t get into Alpert’s background, plenty enough at

Connecticut’s senior senator’s historic relationship with progressives is far better than Lieberman’s, but is Dodd as strong as Lieberman’s general election appeal? If not, how to correct that?

That’s what Dodd’s young-gun campaign manager Jay Howser is trying to figure out. How to blow through a primary challenge strong enough to survive a GOP ambush from either Rob Simmons, cranky former three-term congressman from eastern Connecticut or Sam Caligiuri, state senator from Waterbury.

I don’t know either GOP candidate, but my Republican operative friends in Fairfield County say Sam’s a stronger general election candidate. Sam’s unencumbered by the ways of Washington, he’s homegrown and he’s not thinking about moving to Iowa to run for president.

So it’s a long way off, but maybe we’ll see both a Dem and GOP primary come summer 2010. Wouldn’t that be fun? If I’m Sam, I’d be saying “We need to reel in Washington (Dodd) while getting away from Washington (Simmons).”

Now, how does all of this impact the state’s largest city? Dodd is looking for friends. If he’s going to do anything for Bridgeport now is the time. As Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa pounds his veal every morning for the lunch and dinner crowd at his restaurant I gotta think he’s thinking about this. And, oh yeah, Mayor Bill Finch might be saying, “Mario put the pasta on for the macaroni. We need to talk!!!”

Zoo For You

The advance forecast for Memorial Day weekend looks sterling so you know what I say? Bring the kids to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo right here in the magic kingdom of the Park City. Bring the grandchildren to the zoo, hey, the great-great kids if you want. (I think Andy Fardy aka Town Committee may have great-great-great grandchildren.)

At OIB we aim to please so I have some complimentary guest passes for you which allows a family of four free admission. Just email me at and I’ll make sure the passes get in your hands. And if you cannot use them this weekend, no sweat they’re good through the end of the year.

Take advantage of this because you never know who you’ll run into at the zoo. Maybe your favorite local Dem schmoozing a donkey, maybe a Republican living vicariously through the tigers (the party needs a new tiger in its tank), maybe even Anna and Yahooy making peace in the gator pit. Get the red meat ready. Whatever your reason the zoo is a spectacular place managed by Zoo Director Gregg Dancho and company.



  1. Dodd has practically ruined, unilaterally, the nation’s economic security through his management of the financial committees for which he is the chair. There is no way this man should be allowed to remain in federal service. I don’t think he will be reelected.

    Dodd will certainly gain a great deal of recognition for his initiatives to control the predator practices of the credit card issuers. This legislation, initiated by Obama, will certainly be seen as a kudo. But it will not be sufficient to ensure any prospect of reelection. Whoever challenges Dodd will, most certainly, reveal all of the bad decisions Dodd made that caused the global economy to crash.

    It always amazes me when people continue to support politicians even when the politicians have hurt them with unethical and illegal acts. For example, OIB deep thinkers donj and anna stated in the last post they would support Ganim no matter what.

  2. Tuesday May 19 on “Bridgeport Now” LIVE at 8pm Ch 77
    No cable TV? On the internet:

    We continue our discussion of Crime in Bridgeport. More than 50 GPS have been stolen in a “rash of thefts”, according to CT Post front-page article today.

    Today: Crime. Is there a link with Illicit drug use?

    According to the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration, “Heroin and cocaine in powder and crack form are the greatest drug threats in Connecticut. Located in close proximity to NYC, Connecticut is an important transit and destination area for drugs. Interstate 95, the major north-south route on the East Coast, extends along Connecticut’s southern shore through Stamford and Bridgeport”.

    A special guest, an attorney will be on the program to discuss issues and clinics in the city.


  3. Dodd, my God. What does it take to rid Connecticut of greedy, self-interested and/or incompetent political hacks? Silver bullets?! There are a lot of greedy self-interested types in the non-profit field as well. Take, for example, many of the agencies that claim to provide “help” and “assistance” to those in need, namely the homeless and downtrodden. A few of them, specifically the shelters operated by churches, offer no more and no less than they promise: food and shelter, a prayer in the morning and a prayer in the evening, asking the Holy Trinity to look after the tired and poor and huddled masses during the day and thanking God for returning them safely to the shelter. The Bridgeport Rescue Mission is one such organization. They take in the ones that even the social service agencies have written off. Someone has to give a damn or two, especially if the state of Connecticut gives up.

    U.S. Representative Jim Himes paid a visit to Operation Hope(less) yesterday. He took the fifty-cent tour, was duly impressed that the organization is doing all it can to end homelessness in Fairfield County. Fact of business: nothing could be further from the truth. Oh sure, a few of the staff members actually have their hearts in the right place, doing what they can to help the clients out with the meager resources at their disposal (and the wee bit of latitude allowed by the egomaniacs that occupy managerial positions. All of the grant money, all of the cash donations, etc., hey, where’s it all going to? No one there is doing jack shit to help the inmates find affordable long-term housing. They talk the talk, but walking the walk is not a prerogative. “Oh, the waiting lists are a year long.” So there’s none available, no? How ’bout helping the hobos find gainful employment? Money is the necessary building block, not a bunch of noncommittal affirmatives.

  4. To comment on the last post that seems to have carried over, Ganim has had many years to take it in his pie hole without covering it up with a gorgeous paid-off wife and inseminated kids to figure out how to bilk the city without getting caught this time. To those who would vote for him I say you are the dumbest of the dumb.

  5. *** Time for Dodd to take a long vacation permanently away from the U.S Senate and open up the seat for a younger hungry capable politician; Dem or Republican, etc. that’s up to the task! *** Same goes for Joe Lieberman, it’s time “Joe”! *** And in time, when the CT State Senate seats are up for election again, those too should really be considered for a major political makeover. Also let’s not forget to include of course in the political makeover, our 6 State Reps. where a 50% change is in order in my opinion. *** Himes is still on his political honeymoon, which leaves *** The local city elections that will be coming up soon in Bpt. need at least a 60% change, regardless of political party if it’s going to really make some type of difference on the council. That’s 12 new council-members; male or female; black, brown, red, yellow, pecan-tan or white; Republican, Dem. or independent, etc. does not matter, as long as it’s change! *** Time will tell! ***


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