Ernie Newton’s Political Sea

Ernie Newton
What will Moses do?

Ernie Newton, the Moses of his peeps, has a decision to make. Get involved in the special election to fill Chris Caruso’s state rep seat, or sit it out? City politics is in a big swirl these days with a special election Feb. 22, and in a mayoral cycle to boot. Don’t think one has anything to do with the other? They do. Because of the configuration of the political personalities.

On one side there’s Mayor Bill Finch who wants another four-year contract from voters and doesn’t want to get his ass kicked by a coalition force that doesn’t like him. Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa are supporting Rev. Charlie Stallworth aided by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a clergy group unafraid to weigh in on city elections. The opposition coalition includes Caruso, State Senator Ed Gomes, City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh, former City Council President Lisa “Honey” Parziale and political activists Marilyn Moore and Jeffrey Tisdale, and a boatload of campaign workers. They’re supporting city police officer Verna Kearney. If they win, they’ll smell blood.

OIB polling shows Newton is still popular in his former State Senate district and most of this state rep area falls within that. Is it better for him to weigh in or sit it out? The ministers would like his help and Ernie their help when he seeks public office again. And he will. But why should Ernie help Finch and Mario? What’s in it for him? Especially if he has mayoral ambitions. And if he decides to help how much will Mario and Bill embrace Ernie? Or will they run from him?

Ain’t politics great? Stay tuned.

Other special election candidates: James Keyser, Joe Giaquinto, Mark Trojanowski, Carlos Silva, Robert Keeley and Tom Lombard.



  1. *** If indeed Newton is thinking of running for a political seat in the future, he should stay out of this little power-play in the 126th. Damned if you do & damned if you don’t, no? Just keep them guessing ’til you’ve made up your mind because smiling faces tell lies. *** Remember the O.G. code, solo lo hago, solo lo pago. ***

  2. Will Ernie run won’t Ernie run, I personally don’t give a damn even though his former seat is in my neighborhood. Christ Lennie a whole column on this guy? Must be a slow news day.
    Ernie is part of the past in Bridgeport along with Parziale, Gomes, Walsh, Robles, Ford and all the rest. It’s time to put these old farts where they belong and that’s in a museum. We have had these and others screwing up Bridgeport for decades. They all have eaten at the public table for years. Time for all of them to step aside and let new blood govern this city.

    1. I was not going to say anything but tc you have a lot of nerve you and your family lived well on the backs of taxpayers in our city. None of my family members worked for the city. Ron, you forgot Former Senator Marg Morton. tc, you are as useless as tits on a bull.

      1. Yeah Ernie I worked for the city 14 years on Squad 5 and 9 years in arson. I had jobs you had to show up at. Can you say the same? NO.
        You may not like it Ernie but you are part of the past and past machines. What did you actually do for Bridgeport when you were in office? Bupkus. What have you done up here in my district? Bupkus.

        1. tc, you may have been a fireman in this city but I bet you didn’t do a damn thing to help the black and brown Fireman in their lawsuit again the city. So you cost the city millions.

          1. Here we go, Ernie. Lose an argument and it’s the race card. Sorry Ernie I did not think the city was wrong.

          2. How To Create A Formal Logical Fallacy 101:

            1) If Bill Gates is rich, then he owns Fort Knox.
            2) Bill Gates is rich.
            3) Therefore, Bill Gates owns Fort Knox.

            That would be just dandy, except it is wrong.

  3. TC may be onto something here, just eliminate the personalities from the discussion, whether it be Ernie or the incomplete list of other names.

    Most of the folks involved in some sort of leadership of city politics on the Democratic side, have some connection with or opposed to the Mandanici administration. They are all over the age of about 50.

    Even Mayor Finch was an agitator for neighborhood revitalization during the day. (Misspent youth, Bill?) Those people had a very uneasy interaction with the city under Mandy even though the goal to fix the city up was shared.

    The collapse of the Mandanici machine in 1981 opened up a tremendous vacuum that was more than willingly filled by people in their 20s and 30s at the time. All the old farts were largely tossed in a couple of years.

    These survivors who emerged after Tom Bucci was elected mayor in 1985 shared one thing in common: They were largely beyond any BS over race. In fact there is more BS about black and white on this board than there was in city politics in the late 1980s and ’90s once the issues that defined conflict in the 1970s were settled. They became the new political organization. Even Chris Caruso is part of it as sort of the mad brother who is always disturbing the conversation at Sunday dinner.

    Now THESE people are becoming the old farts. From observation, it seems younger people are filling voids much more sensibly along age groups (few in their 20s, many more in their 30s and 40s.)

    Some sort of change in attitudes and ideas is coming. Seems sensible. No idea what.

    Even an election of a John Gomes or Mary-Jane Foster is not as radical as the 1980s. At that time, all power-sharing in the Democratic Party in the black-brown-white community was redefined from white control to coalitions defined by the personality of the people involved. That’s pretty much where it is at now.

  4. Jim Callahan, I notice in your reply to TC that you spoke of the past history, you wrote, “These survivors who emerged after Tom Bucci was elected mayor in 1985 shared one thing in common: They were largely beyond any BS over race.” What was that BS over race?

    One of the most important players you omitted was Charlie Tisdale and it was Charlie Tisdale who was the leader of getting blacks involve in the election process citywide, people like Dr. Ralph Ford, Ernie Newton and Ed Gomes.

    1. Ernie you still can’t tell the truth can you. The DTC had nothing to do with my being a firefighter and you know it. I was not a member of the party for most of my time on the job. The FD is a tested position, maybe that’s why you never applied.
      Ernie try telling the truth. I know that’s foreign to you but try, you will feel better.

    1. Ernie I could give a shit whether you run or not. It means bupkus to us up here in the 138th. You did nothing the last time you served and you will do nothing this time either. I am sure you would win if you ran. I can only hope you will give us a break and not run.

  5. Ron:

    The short answer is: “Yup, you are right.”

    The longer answer is there were others besides Charlie Tisdale who got people involved, specifically Margaret Morton. We could get a good list and a long list. (Clergy, activists, a few ordinary folks.)

    BS over race in Bridgeport has to be carefully stated in context with the Mandanici machine. If you were against Mandy, you were an enemy to be clobbered, black or white. Mandy managed to ratchet up the tension of the time. When I was younger I was pretty certain Mandy didn’t care if it started a political war or not. Now that I’m older, I’ll entertain–some–disagreement on that. But political war is what the town got. It was a heckuva civics lesson.

    If “winning” means electing a mayor, the black community lost when Bucci beat Tisdale in ’85.

    If “winning” means getting an agenda recognized, about the same pile of chips in the community political game, and respect, the black community won in ’85 even if Tisdale lost.

    Ron, I think it is safe to say that everybody in Bridgeport today gets screwed about the same by city government despite race, religion, income, neighborhood or national origin.

    We can all quibble about the details.

    1. Given your OIB moniker, you’re either incredibly timid, Sicilian, or flat-out very ballsy. In any of those three cases, I like you infinitely more than I did before I read your moniker.

  6. Jim, I agree with your comments, I only mention Ford, Newton and Gomes because their names were thrown out there, who could ever forget Margaret Morton or my friend Mary Bruce.

    You said, “BS over race in Bridgeport has to be carefully stated in context with the Mandanici machine. If you were against Mandy, you were an enemy to be clobbered, black or white.” That is the old “Southern Strategy” that Mandanici played. Mandy fought the hiring of blacks as firefighters and police officers even after Judge T.F. Gilroy Daly ruled against the City, it was Mandanici who thought Judge Daly was an enemy to be clobbered. In doing so Mandanici ended up costing the taxpayers of Bridgeport millions of dollars. He also played the race card by saying he wouldn’t hire those blacks and portray himself as a fighter against a new enemy.

  7. Jim, I’m trying to understand what you are saying about RACE. If I remember the Movement started with Marg Morton. She was a state Rep at the time and Sal Depino said he was not running again. Mandy didn’t want Marg because she was a black woman who paid her dues. Charlie was in Washington working for President Jimmy Carter at the time and it was a group of people who told Marg to run. One being the late George Pipkin. That was the start of blacks wanting a greater voice in politics.

  8. Thanks Ron, you know Jim makes it sound like everything blacks and browns gained came easy. Blacks had to fight on our Police Dept, fire dept. and the list goes on and on. Joe Lugo first state rep. not until the late ’80s. So race has always played a role in the history of this city. I was President of the city council when we ended the fire dept. lawsuit.

  9. Re: New Folks on the Scene

    I’m 23, striding across Bridgeport’s political landscape taking in the views.

    But I’m not Turkish. Half-Irish, Half-Sicilian, 93 percent Catholic, and 110 percent anti-anybody who has been bringing our city down for the past several decades.

  10. All I have to say is Mr. Newton’s lack of typing, spelling and grammatical skills is seriously disturbing from someone seeking elected office. And I say typing because I assume he knows you should use an apostrophe in a contraction and not quotation marks. But maybe he doesn’t. Seriously disturbing.

  11. Ernie knows how to win, Ernie knows how to steal. Ernie knows how to cheat. Ernie knows how to go straight to jail and not pass go. Hey Ernie, the only people who are going to vote for you are people who couldn’t read that you stole from the taxpayers and got jailed for it.

  12. No tc, you said what I did not do. You had a chance to do something and did nothing and it cost the city millions of dollars, but one thing I did do was settle that lawsuit as president of the city council.

  13. People!

    Can we please stop wasting time here fighting with a gentleman who has NO chance of helping the City of Bridgeport?

    Can we get back to the important things on here please?

    Mr. Caruso’s vacant position?
    The fact that it is starting to seem unanimous that change is needed?

    The seemingly unanimous conclusion that John M. Gomes and Mary-Jane Foster are the two best candidates for mayor the city has seen since the PRE-Ganim-gone-bad days? Doesn’t anybody else find it encouraging that the two were together at a function last week?

    Mr. Newton has more than proved on here that he should seek employment in the private sector and this childish back and forth is getting nowhere.

  14. I’ve made a reputation as somebody who always has something to say, and is generally quite reasonable and logical in those statements.

    This posting has actually transcended that. I’m literally speechless.

  15. Ron:

    Yup again, mostly. I never reasoned “Southern Strategy” into my thinking as a reporter, but Mandy running over everybody who did not agree with him would be fair. The Civil Service stuff stands on it own (de)merits.

    Changing that was not easy, Ernie; I never wanted to imply that. It was tough work. And Ernie, you of all people know Margaret Morton was elected state representative before she was elected state senator if we are talking about “minority” firsts.

    After a year or two covering this stuff in the early ’80s, I threw “minority” overboard to describe the goings-on for the rest of my time. It was a fight of interests–black, brown and white–many of them noble, some not so. I guess that’s the way things usually are.

    If the status quo–the white community–had more money going into the fight, the “minority” communities made it up with willpower and votes.

    I’ve always admired how the whole community ended up politically after that nasty fight. Many times it was not a pretty fight, but even before it ended you could see respect being built among adversaries.

    The system worked. That’s not to say it wasn’t tested. The politicians who came out of this–all of them–learned to work together and respect each other and the worries and concerns of others.

    Do you realize a guy like Mario Testa would be considered a LIBERAL in a lot of places? Yes, he is conservative by Bridgeport standards, but being respectful to all residents (I’m not saying all pols) would be a wonder in some corners of the United States.

    Some of the stuff on this board recently is irritating. It brings up political disputes that were settled 20 or more years ago.

    PS Ron: I hope none of the people on the Common Council from the 1980s get this far in my rant. I tried to get along with all of them, and I hope I had and have their respect. I liked them, too. But I have a real soft spot in my heart for Mary Bruce. A secret revealed.

  16. Hey Ernie … Did they have English classes in the pen? You could’ve completed a Masters Degree with the time you put in. Instead you have the nerve to show your ignorance off in public.

    I thought you wanted to run for office and save your people. Your posts aren’t helping you with the literate demographic.

    Since you refuse to do us all a favor and go away, I would like to give you a few tips.

    1. Stop writing!!! It’s proof of how ignorant you are and a source of entertainment for the readers.

    2. Your pimp game works better in person. Stick to the yacht club and churches.

    3. Stop with the race stuff. Race has become your default response anytime someone challenges you. If you’re going to be a spokesman for our people, you might want to focus more on what we have achieved rather than playing the victim card.

    Now Ernie, every time someone challenges you on this site you go to “you can’t stop me,” “jail didn’t break me” and ” people of color.” This time I want you to sit down and a develop a well-thought response with facts, proper syntax and grammar.

  17. No one should fault Ernie Newton for doing what he does so well. He has style, popularity, resilience and the ability to get elected.

    Fact is, it’s up to the voters to judge if the person they might have elected in the past is the candidate MOST qualified to manage the challenges and opportunities facing the city … someone who’ll do the job ethically and better than it’s ever been done before.

    And while personality and popularity count, in today’s world experience and accomplishments should count even more … especially in the city’s upcoming elections.

  18. In many ways, I feel I really don’t have a vested interest in this particular debate: I wasn’t of voting age when former Sen. Newton was in office, and I do not live in the district he once represented. However as a Bridgeport resident and somebody who wants to see honest, open and progressive elected officials and government, Mr. Newton’s future political aspirations weigh on my mind.

    First and foremost, I would like to laud Mr. Newton for having his voting rights reinstated. One of the truly fundamental values of our country is that we allow those who have fairly and fully served their debt to society to have their voting rights reinstated and rejoin their fellow citizens in participating in democracy. In fact, those felons who had their voting rights revoked should look to Mr. Newton’s actions for inspiration. Far too often in our society, felons are left without options and opportunities after they supposedly “pay their debt to society.” For taking measures to become a regularized citizen again, I give Mr. Newton a tremendous amount of credit.

    However I do take issue with idea that Mr. Newton might run for this former seat–for several reasons. I realize Mr. Newton was popular in his district. However if the residents of his former senate district re-elect Mr. Newton, they are essentially making a formal public declaration: “This man is the best our constituency has to offer.” If the voters TRULY feel Mr. Newton is the best, brightest, most honest and most worthy person to place their collective trust, tax dollars and general well-being with, so be it. If his constituents assess Mr. Newton’s worthiness with rigorous self-honesty and find him to be the best, it is not for any of us to judge them otherwise–and I am very adamant about this point.

    However I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe there isn’t a single person in the entire district whose moral compass, trustworthiness and care for fellow citizens surpasses former Sen. Newton. For me to even suggest such a resident doesn’t exist is almost going too far; I am hesitant to use these words because I KNOW there are scores of intelligent, morally unflinching and politically savvy constituents in the district.

    I went out on a limb, and sometimes you fall way out there on the thin branches. Fellow political observers, FIRE AWAY!

  19. As an aside, Re: “The Moses of His People.”

    According to Christian doctrine, isn’t one of the hallmarks of true sainthood the consideration that they themselves might be quite ordinary and not specially chosen by God?

    In other words, those who go on to become beatified almost always conducted their lives holding the belief that they were not in any way holy or any different than any other human.

  20. Lennie,

    I object to Ray editing these posts. He corrects spelling errors, syntax and punctuation. The posts should stand as they are posted. The readers cannot gain a proper perspective of a poster if the originals are consistently put into proper grammatical format.

    For example, Newton’s posts are filled with errors. They show him to lack written communications skills.

    He purports to be a candidate for mayor. I think the readers should be allowed to see him as he presents himself, not as Ray amends his communication. Some of us may not want a mayor that demonstrates a complete lack of written skill.

    Furthermore, who the hell does Ray think he is correcting these posts the way he thinks they should appear? His pedantically pontificating manner is annoying.

      1. There can be no balance. Leave the posts as they appear. We are in an election year. The voters need to be able to accurately assess the worthiness of any candidate. Articulation is an important quality of a municipal leader especially at a time when we may have a shot to retard the calamarian influence and elect someone who can create an inviting image of this city so that true economic development can occur.

        I’d like to hear from my fellow OIB contributors as to how they feel about Ray editing grammar.

  21. Yahooyboy and parkcity believer: I do it to piss you off, and I will continue to do it and I’ll bring race into it anytime I feel like it so if you don’t like how I write, too damn baddd!

  22. The fact is Ernest T. Newton is a relic. He is insignificant and irrelevant trying desperately to regain a position of significance and relevance in city politics. Even prior to his corruption charges and time in prison, he was and he still is an embarrassment to the African American community as a whole.

    Ernest T. Newton is not the leader, speaker or the Moses of Black people in Bridgeport.

    Ernest T. Newton, his style of politics and his wardrobe are extinct.

    1. Who are “your people?” All we hear from is you. In case you haven’t (notice the proper use of an apostrophe) noticed, the Ernest “T” fan club isn’t exactly busting the posting numbers on your behalf. Maybe they’re (apostrophe again) all out hiding their wallets since you have emerged.

    2. Yeah right … a dozen or so people. Maybe two dozen, if you include your relatives. You are an arrogant fool, Ernie. Please get on a ballot so you can find out exactly what voters think of you. I can’t wait! See you at the polls.

  23. Does that include people from Mountain Grove who Moses will miraculously rise from the grave to vote in the election?

    It’s happened before in Bridgeport.

  24. Goodbye OIB, I’m leaving! So your ratings will hit an all-time low. I’ll see you all on the Victory Tour. Lennie, please don’t post anything about me until the Victory Tour. Peace out.

      1. Lennie: There is very little chance of that happening. According to Ernie he has enough Peeps willing to elect him that walking a district would be a waste of time. In fact his knocking on my door would be a waste of my time.

  25. Sharp contrasts often bring clarity and focus to important decisions; and that includes elections.

    A continuum of candidates from which to choose (from world class to third rate), vetted through dialogue and debate, will increase the chances of electing the best.

    Ernie Newton’s candidacy, and that of others, could provide valuable lessons in decision making and in civics.

    1. You are naive. This so-called dialogue and debate will turn into nothing more than a campaign-long deposition putting Newton on the firing line each and every time he attempts to espouse his suitability for office. All opposing candidates will openly challenge him in a most vitriolic manner. The man has brought disgrace upon himself, his family, his colleagues and our city. Instead of a righteous examination of candidate platforms, philosophies, plans and thorough vetting of demonstrated personal qualities and characteristics we will be subordinated to the Linda McMahon style of political rhetoric … “Blumenthal is a bum; elect me.” Few really understood what McMahon really stood for. That message was lost in deference to her relentless attacks on her opponent. I would hope that we learned a little something after this past election.

      A Newton candidacy will be much of the same. I want better.

  26. Better, eh?

    I want to see a spirited debate amongst the candidates focusing on individual strategic plans and objectives to restore this city to prominence and prosperity.

    I would like to see Gomes or Foster state clearly that they have given the matter of municipal remediation considerable thought and this is what each has decided is needed to restore us to the thriving community we deserve illustrating plan points one after the other.

    I am concerned if Newton enters the race, he will suffer consistent humiliation paid for with campaign advertising dollars that could have been spent by opposing candidates telling the public why they should be elected.

  27. *** Ray, please continue correcting grammar & typing mistakes because no one’s perfect. However in the true meaning of opinions of rhyme & reason on OIB, it’s always better to refrain from your Wesleyan ways, no? *** HERE WE GO! ***

      1. *** Once again you’ve proven to be an “ASS” hiding in the shadows without class, in dear need of a swift kick in the derby so all can hear you squeal like the true shrew you are, no? *** D-CON ***


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