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Ethan Throws Book At Republican Candidate Selection Process

October 18th, 2017 · 41 Comments · City Council, City Politics, News and Events

Republican Town Committee member Ethan Book who often addresses the City Council on issues, brought to the attention of the legislative body Monday night, as well as his fellow GOP committee members, concerns regarding the selection process of candidates for citywide office. He declares “Contrary to what various in the community perceive, the Republican Party in Bridgeport is not dead.”

Among various known election issues during this election season, there’s also one of the Republican Party. At a Republican Town Committee meeting of July 20th, there were various nominations for city-wide offices, specifically for City Sheriff and Board of Education. There was a vote. However, there wasn’t a legal quorum to approve the nominations, a violation of our party By-Laws. This does not pertain to Republican candidates for City Council, those nominations which were made through the Party Districts, a different process. Also, this doesn’t mean that those presumed candidates for city-wide offices are not good people or good candidates. Rather, this means that the nominating and approval process for the city-wide candidates was defective, thereby raising a state issue and a constitutional issue.

There are six key points of explanation for this matter.

At the Town Committee meeting of March 2016, there were various nominations of reappointment of members who had been members during the prior two-year term. However, various of those had not attended at least 50% of the meetings in the prior term. Our By-Laws are specific that those who have not attended 50% of the meetings of the prior term cannot be reappointed. On this point, there was deviation from our By-Laws. Even with that action, there were about 25 vacancies in the 70 district seats.

At the September 2016 meeting, member E. Joseph McLaine made nominations for about 13 of the pending vacant seats. However, our Town Committee Chairman Michael Garrett did not allow those nominations to go forward. Then the regular meetings of October, November and December were curiously cancelled.

Joe McLaine presented a formal complaint to the Republican Central Committee. There was no response.

At the January 2017 meeting, Chairman Garrett again ignored the pending nominations of Joe McLaine (a violation of Robert’s Rules of Order) and he proceeded to make his own nominations to fill all the vacant seats. He thereupon declared his nominations to be approved, that without a full vote of the Town Committee as is required in our By-Laws. Thus, the added members are invalid.

Based on the minutes of the recent July 20th meeting, considering the factors discussed above of the invalid members, there could not have been a quorum to allow for a vote to approve the nominations for candidates for city-wide offices.

I promptly filed a formal complaint with the Republican Central Committee. There was no response.

So I filed a lawsuit against Republican Registrar of Voters and Town Clerk Charles Clemens seeking an injunction to keep the names of the Republican candidates from appearing on the ballot for the November general election. A Court hearing is scheduled for this coming Thursday.

Two weeks ago, I received notice that the City Attorney was considering retaining Attorney Jonathan Klein to represent Linda Grace. However, Attorney Klein is a member of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee. He is one of those who was reappointed in March of 2016 in deviation of the 50% attendance rule. Then at the May 2016 meeting, Attorney Klein nominated Linda Grace to be re-elected as Republican Registrar of Voters.

In addition, he has refused to entertain out-of-court dialogue with me. My experience is that attorneys who decline out-of-court dialogue with an opposing party are normally seeking unfair advantage, often by way of surprise tactics. This raises both ethical and constitutional issues for both Attorney Klein and the City Attorney. The Preamble to the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct begins as follows:

“A lawyer is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.”

Thus, there can be both ethical and constitutional considerations here.

What I share here leads up to an important concluding point. Contrary to what various in the community perceive, the Republican Party in Bridgeport is not dead.

Stay tuned.

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41 Comments so far ↓

  • Steven Auerbach

    Yes it is.

    • Ethan Book

      The Bridgeport Republican party is not dead. We have two current members on the Board of Education and several good candidates for City Council. We have some good political policies (some of which are made stronger with the problems of the single-party Democrat political machine such as pertains to high levels of spending and taxation which are reducing availability of good jobs and are causing businesses and workers to leave the state). Voting results almost always reflect much larger percentages of votes for Republicans than there is the percentage of registered Republicans. Plus, we are now doing some important house-cleaning which should make us stronger and more vibrant.

  • DC Faber

    Okay, not dead, alive, like Terri Schiavo was. One would think the Republicans could have a decent presence in Bridgeport given the ethically challenged DTC lead by Mario and Joe.

  • Ron Mackey

    I don’t see what Attorney Jonathan Klein has done wrong?

    • Ethan Book

      It could be said that what Attorney Klein has done is legally correct with respect to Court procedures. What I raise are ethical and constitutional considerations.

  • Frank Gyure

    To paraphrase Former Fourth District Congressperson,Christopher Shays, who said,”I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.” If you look at the primary results in Alabama,Roy Moore won that primary. Does anyone think that people in Bridgeport will have any affinity with Roy Moore? That is one main reason causing the ineffectiveness of the Republican Party in Bridgeport. We had Republican Mayors eg; Nicholas Panuzio,Leonard Paoletta,Mary Moran. The National Republican Party went right wing and lost relevance in Bridgeport. I had a FB debate with the last Republican candidate for Mayor in BPT. They tried to divorce the national Republican Party with the Bridgeport Republican Party. It does not work. And,according to Ethan Book,the BPT Republican Town Committee has some ethical problems as well.

    • Ron Mackey

      Please, Shays started following and supporting Newt Gingrich after Newt became Speaker of the House of Representatives and he changed from being a North East moderate.

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Ron, Shays voted to not impeach Clinton – he was not following Gingrich- and lost a lot of CT support because of that vote.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, Shays backed Newt and the war, Shays made 16 trip to Iraq. Shays like Newt were chicken hawks.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            As did Hillary and many others. I’ll give you this much, Gingrich started the bipartisan divide in this country, he absolutely went after any Republicans who even tried to reach across the aisle. That is when he Republican Party left Shays.

          • Frank Gyure

            Shays lost because he was swept out in the first Obama election wave. Had Shays won,he very well might still be a Congressperson as the Obama mid-year and even re-election years were not kind to Democratic undertickets. During the off year elections,Republicans were able to gain control of the House of Representatives,The U.S. Senate,most state governorships and state legislatures.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Wekcome to Bridgeport, have a nice fucking day…

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    This sounds like an internal RTC problem.

    • Ethan Book

      It’s an internal problem with statutory and constitutional implications. The implications for the public is that the public is deprived of assurance for the best candidates for the positions.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    This is just so much bullshit. If the GOP can’t hoist a flag in Bridgeport whose fault is that? Defeat the machine politics and maybe the Republican Party would have more than a rat’s ass of a chance at inning one or two City Council seats. Dog catcher at the least…

    • Ron Mackey

      Where’s the leadership from David Walker a Republican candidate for governor and who was also a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the Republican primary four years ago?

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Ron,
        Mr. Walker has gubernatorial campaign to work. You just don’t like the man, keep denanding why he didn’t this, that the other thing. What’s next, you gonna wonder aloud why he isn’t passing out free turkeys for Thanksgiving?

      • Frank Gyure

        Ron Mackey is right. As far as I know,Dave Walker has not done much work with the Bridgeport Republican Party. As far as Bridgeport has been concerned, Dave Walker has been a “free-agent.” He was involved in requesting an Independent Financial Review Board(I have misgivings about that). He also came out to meetings to support the No To O&G group and I was involved with that as well and I certainly appreciated Dave Walker’s presence and voice in that situation.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          David Walker has been working with the Republican Central Committee. The Bridgeport RTC is useless as a political organization. Registered Republicans are outnumbered 10-1 by registered Democrats. They are also outflanked by a corrupt and unethical DTC that will stop an no low to ensure control of the mayor’s office and the City Council.

          By the way, Walker is running for governor, not mayor of Bridgeport.

  • DC Faber

    The thing is, most Connecticut Republican are still more New England Republican than the current national crop. Fiscal conservatives, small government, and socially liberal if not libertarian. Dave Walker is a great example of this and why he could be the next Governor of this state.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      I agree, DC. Walker may have been born in Alabama but he is a northeastern moderate Republican.

      • Frank Gyure

        Dave Walker is not a moderate Northeast Republican. Dave Walker’s support of Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court nominee puts him out of that virtually extinct cxategory. Anyway,the definition of a “Northeast Republican” has changed as well.today’s Norteast republicans are closer to Northern Ohio Republicans or Orange County CA Republicans.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Why do you think Gorsuch is a bad choice for the Supreme Court?

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          Gorsuchis a little conservative for many but he is only one of nine sitting justices on the SCOTUS. John Roberts is the grand poobah.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Thanks Kid, I was in hopes Frank would also answer since he has mentioned Dave supported the Justice in a negative light, but has never stated why he opposed his nomination. That being said, this conservative Court has upheld many progressive programs, including Obama Care.

      • Ron Mackey

        David Walker is from Birmingham Alabama, and he is a typical southern political politician, he is no different than Wisconsin’s governor Scott Walker,just waiting for the chance to tear down unions.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, what exactly is a typical southern politician?

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, there are more southern U.S. Senators in 2017 than in other section of America but more importantly just look at their voting record on health care. They are totally against unions, civil rights, voting rights, funding public schools and those are just a few items. It seems that David Walker has no problem with those items because if he did he sure hasn’t made it known. My point is Walker has not shown any leadership in rebuilding the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee and the Republican Party.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Oh where to start. He’s a proponent of open primaries, CT is one of 14 closed primary states, that’s true voter suppression. Walker, as the head of a government agency stayed neutral when his employees considered joining a union and supported their decision. And his department was rated the second Best in employee satisfaction in all the Federal departments. So how is he a union buster? He’s been highly critical of state funding for schools, especially in poor districts. He has a plan to fix that. Like you, he believes parents should have school choice in failing schools, but only if the alternative schools meet and exceed standards. I was a member of the RTC briefly. The last thing they need is to be fixed. They’re happy with having delegates to the state conventions, they’re excellent at raising money for the state party. They also understand how the DTC has loaded the city and schools with jobs, union protected jobs – one of the best examples is the school with 5 head custodians. People get all upset with school funding and lack of materials and support staff for classrooms. And they should. They should also be aware almost 65% of every dollar sent to the schools in Bridgeport goes towards employees pay and benefits. They get theirs, and the schools fail the students.

            Essentially when the mob left Bridgeport, the DTC stepped in and created public sector jobs. You’ve said the DTC should be giving jobs. I disagree. I believe it’s the governments job to get out of the way and let businesses creat jobs.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, you never address what I ask, “Where’s the leadership from David Walker a Republican candidate for governor and who was also a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the Republican primary four years ago?”

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, don’t under your leadership question, he’s leading a lot of democrats state wide to his events and they’re both donating and bringing their fellow democrats on board. More than a few are proudly hosting events. He’s leading a lot of republicans to do the same. Every major newspaper endorsed him in his LT Governor race. He lead the GOA into solvency, for the first time giving a return to taxpayers, making the department a leader in efficiency while creating a positive work environment. He will do the same for CT when he’s elected Governor.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, yesterday two former American Presidents, Barack Obama and George W Bush, gave separate uplifting speeches but it was George W Bush’s speech that I want to focus on. This the second speech from Bush that I have found so uplifting for all Americans, the first was right after 9/11 when President Bush paid a visit to a Muslim Mosque down the street from the World Trade buildings where 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States and where two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and Bush showed America and the world that America did not hate all Muslim.

            Jennifer, this is the type of leadership that David Walker has never shown on the city and state level, the ability to bring all people together.

          • Ron Mackey

            By the way Jennifer would you please post on OIB when and where Dave Walker will meet with the black community here in Walker’s home city of Bridgeport.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Sure Ron, right after you post when the black community will all be together in one place in Bridgeport, since this seems to be what you are looking for.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, you are starting to get a little off track and upset when you say “when the black community will all be together in one place in Bridgeport,” really Jennifer, all of the black community in one place, I find your comment very condescending. I’ve said before IF Dave Walker wanted to meet and talk to blacks that he can find them EVERY Sunday in church. Walker can run around the state arranging meeting with other people but he can’t find the time and place in his own city. Jennifer, the message is very clear that Walker has no intention of meeting with blacks.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, I feel my response was no more or less condescending than your question. No offense taken or meant. I’m sure when the time is right, that would be when the campaign is not raising funds – Walker will reach out. I have very mixed feelings about politicians attending churches for support, however I’ll take your opinion that black churches welcome candidates and look forward to engaging with candidates. It’s a culture thing for sure. When I was about 8, my father ran for county commissioner. I do remember going to the local black church with my family for a meal, I don’t remember attending the service. Thanks – I appreciate your input.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, as to Walker not wanting to meet blacks, based on the number of times he’s responded to you, asked for meetings, And you refuse, I’d have to conclude you don’t seem to want Blacks to meet Walker. Walker is one of the most open to meet anyone and goes anywhere he’s invited.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, why the hell should I set up a meeting for Dave Walker to meet and talk with blacks in the city that he resides in? I’m not running for office or seeking a position it’s David Walker who is running to be the governor but he can’t find the time to meet with blacks on his own? Jennifer, I don’t speak for the black community but you can trust me on this one and that’s the black community won’t support any candidate and especially a Republican who doesn’t respect their vote enough to sit down and listen to their issues and concerns. Dave Walker is doing what 45 did when he was a candidate for president and what he is still doing to blacks and that is to totally ignore these American voters.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, I take your word and advice to the bank. I’m confident once the first of the year rolls around- when the campaign is funded you’ll start to hear the buzz. Right now it’s a balancing issue- raising funds, getting primary votes. Ramping up the general election voters is on the horizon. As to why should you, should is a terrible word. Either do or don’t. You’re more influential than you humbly submit. Thanks for the posts – always interesting and educational.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, I love the fact that you are so loyal but only Dave Walker can make the change and show the black community that he values their vote and that he wants their vote. Jennifer, look how long David Walker has been in Bridgeport and still can’t find a way to sit down with black voters, who the hell in the black community would ever vote for someone like David Walker for anything. Jennifer, Dave Walker can’t even post something dealing with issues that concerns blacks.

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