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Finch Wins Endorsement For Mayor–Ganim, Other Challengers Press On, Torres Endorsed By GOP

July 22nd, 2015 · 138 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Finch supporters convention

Finch supporters at Testo’s. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

Former Mayor Joe Ganim hoped for a winning strategy that landed him 45 votes at the Democratic Town Committee endorsement with a tie broken by Town Chairman Mario Testa. Ganim came up four votes short to Mayor Bill Finch who was endorsed for a third four-year term at Testo’s Restaurant by a tally of 49-41. The ultimate battle comes in September. Ganim and other mayoral challengers will try to petition their way onto the ballot for a September 16 primary. The endorsement provides Finch an automatic top-line ballot spot.

Mary-Jane Foster, Howard Gardner and Charlie Coviello are also in the race. They will need roughly 1900 certified signatures of Democratic voters to make the primary ballot. They’ll have three weeks to make that happen.

Finch Ganim endorsement

Finch supporters at Testo’s. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

The mayoral endorsement was a noisy affair with hundreds in attendance in addition to the 90-member town committee. At times it was difficult to hear the roll call votes for the endorsement with shouts from the audience.

Statement from Finch:

“As the father of four kids, and as mayor, I remain focused on making Bridgeport a place where our kids and grandkids will choose to live, work, and raise their families, too.

“We still have work to do, but our vision Bridgeport’s future is already taking shape–thousands of jobs coming to Steelpointe Harbor, tens of thousands of people visiting Pleasure Beach, hundreds of apartments and jobs coming to downtown, and hundreds of future jobs coming to East Bridgeport with the building of a second train station.

“Bridgeporters have a clear choice in this election–we can either continue down the path of strong leadership, making smart investments in the future that result in more jobs, OR, we can go back to the failed policies of greed, corruption, and lies that held our city back for too long.

“We’re confident that Bridgeporters are seeing the progress and will draw the same conclusion in September and November. Together, we’ll continue building a Bridgeport that works for everyone.”

Ganim told the Connecticut Post, “This campaign was always predicated on taking it to the people of Bridgeport. It was not one that was going to be decided by three or four people at a convention.”

The majority of Finch’s support came from the 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 and 136 Districts; Ganim’s support from the 135, 137, 138 and 139 Districts.

By 6 pm Testo’s Restaurant ballroom was jammed with politicians and members of the public filing in for Democratic endorsement session for mayor and other municipal offices. All public seating occupied. Competing Joe Ganim and Bill Finch chants from supporters were ear-splitting at times. Ganim and Finch entered the room at 6:25 pm.

At 7 pm Town Committee member Tony Lancia placed Finch’s name into nomination saying he’s a leader who will continue the momentum for another four years. It was met with cheers and jeers and seconded by City Councilman Mike Marella  and former city councilor John Olson who said Ganim should not be forgiven for misdeeds.

State Rep. Charlie Stallworth placed Ganim’s name into nomination. It was seconded by former State Rep. Americo Santiago who said he was forced out of retirement to support Ganim. District Leader Steve Nelson said “I pray that we are all here for the right reasons … to improve the city of Bridgeport.” He emphasized need for second chances. “I’m tired for taxes going up.” East End District Leader Ralph Ford said things are not better for his neighborhood under Finch.

City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez was endorsed for city clerk, former State Rep. Don Clemons for town clerk. Kadisha Coates, Hernan Illingworth and Faith Villegas were endorsed for school board.

Ganim will run with a slate that includes incumbent Town Clerk Alma Maya, incumbent City Clerk Fleeta Hudson and school board candidates Maria Pereira, Dennis Bradley and Ben Walker.

City Republicans also conducted an endorsement session for mayor, tapping City Councilman Enrique Torres for a third time. He challenged Finch four years ago in the general election and John Fabrizi in 2003.

Democratic Town committee members

DISTRICT 130
Danny Roach, Joann Manzo, Michael Meehan, Tom Mulligan, Eric Amado, Joy Cline, Melissa Henton, John McCarthy, Anne Larcheveque.

DISTRICT 131
Mitch Robles, Nereyda Robles, Americo Santiago, Jose Negron, Jack Banta, Denese Taylor-Moye, Mary Bruce, Glen Pettway, Paul Bouchard.

DISTRICT 132
Mike Freddino, Tony Lancia, Carol Cocco, John Olson, Lisa Parziale, Joan Thornton, Elaine Pivirotto, Reggie Walker, Evette Brantley.

DISTRICT 133
Tom McCarthy, Vincent DiPalma, Abel Chaparro, Howard Austin, Joseph Hatrick, Albertina Baptista, Joseph Moura, Jeanette Herron, Peretz Robinson.

DISTRICT 134
Dennis Scinto, Matty Cuminotto, Johann Dorgan, John Fabrizi, Peter Minaya, Patricia Nolan, Tom Lyons, Gene O’Neill, Marilyn Santacroce.

DISTRICT 135
Charlie Stallworth, Warren Blunt, Carmen Hatton, Crag Jones, Waith Mitchell, Mary Lee, Darrett Moss, Steve Nelson, Doris Roman Nelson.

DISTRICT 136
Chris Rosario, Wanda Geter Pataky, Cruz Cotto, Mark Trojanowski, Larry Osborne, Antonio Felipe, Dennis Bradley, Jose Casco, Fabio Mazo.

DISTRICT 137
Lydia Martinez, Maria Rivera, Gil Hernandez, Aidee Nieves, Banjed Labrador, Guillermo Marin, Joel Rosario, Maria Valle, Juan Hernandez.

DISTRICT 138
Scott Hughes, Melanie Jackson, Twana Johnson, Jame Morton, Nadia Pearce, Pearlye Sams-Allen, Martha Santiago, Anthony Paoletto, Michael Marella.

DISTRICT 139
Ralph Ford, Charlie Coviello, Cynthia Maignan, James Holloway, Ernie Newton, Deborah Sims, Willeen Gibson, Keith Williams, Eneida Martinez-Walker.

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138 Comments so far ↓

  • CaptainDavidHawley

    Did anyone just see Finch on WTNH 8? He had the balls say there were only a “few minor tax increases” during his tenure. He said this with a straight face. All this while Bridgeport had Reval at the height of the market and then begged the state to put off Reval and finally got it. This fool is so out of touch. I can’t tell you who should or will the next mayor but I damned well know for sure who it should not be. Oh I forgotm add all the tax abatements to the developers that just add to the tax burden of those “minor increases.” It is all other people’s money to this phoney Bill.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The suspense is killing me. I could just shit.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Tony Lancis is looking for something. Marella is a natural kiss-ass and the Rev Olson is a sham if God can forgive who the hell are you AH. Please don’t run again, you were useless.

    • Wicca

      No worries. Lisa is going to kick Olson’s ass. Poor guy.

      • Lisa Parziale

        Wicca, you are right as usual. When I start my campaign, my constituents will be reminded he and Evette Brantley voted for tax increases, and let’s not forget the two fiascos she created while on the Council. It’s all on video as well as in newspaper articles. She can’t refute the truth, and the truth will get rid of Evette Brantley and John Olson for good.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Just a P.S., at a recent TC meeting of the 132nd district, Mary Evette Brantley called all the people living on Brooklawn Avenue racists. I must add I was not present at that meeting, but the remaining eight members were present. They can’t all be lying!

    • Lisa Parziale

      Andy, Joe Ganim was in office for maybe three years when Tony Lancia, recently retired, decided he needed something to do so he decided he wanted to run for Mayor. He challenged Joe, trying to get support for his endeavor and couldn’t. He’s been holding a grudge, not only against Joe, who by the way did nothing to warrant Tony Lancia’s folly, but against all that wouldn’t go along with him. He’s a vindictive man who lives by the code of his heritage. He’ll be history as soon as this TC cycle is over.

  • Bob Walsh

    Is there no honor among thieves???

    • BOE SPY

      Bob–you could ask Ganim. He would know.

      • Pete Spain

        Hi BOE SPY, glad to know you’re still alive and continuing your cowardly nom de plume as you dump on people you don’t know by employing half-truths and unsubstantiated claims. How about the issues that matter to Bridgeporters? Oh, that’s right, you’d reported some time last year here you’d moved out of town and wouldn’t look back.

        The only candidates I’m actively volunteering for are John Marshall Lee and Tyisha Toms for City Council in the 130th. If time permits, I will also gather signatures for two mayoral candidates I like and respect, Foster and Gardner, and for BOE Walker. I’m just a volunteer citizen taxpayer trying to be an informed volunteer citizen taxpayer. You?

  • BptPorter

    Finch thinks his balls are botoxed. That’s the only way to explain the fact he thinks the fuckin’ taxes aren’t hurting Bridgeport families. Finch is out of touch with real Bridgeport living. You tell him your taxes are high and he says it ain’t. You tell him your son got shot and he says Bridgeport’s getting better every day.

  • BptPorter

    The fact Ganim can get almost the same votes from the Democratic committee in two months while Finch has been in office for four years goes to show anything Finch does Ganin can do better.

  • Ron Mackey

    Lennie, can you provide us with the names of those who voted for the mayor?

    • Steven Auerbach

      Ron Mackey, you should have been there. You would have seen the Finch supporters you are so curious about. You want Lennie to give you the roll call? Finch won the endorsement, does it really matter?

      • Ron Mackey

        Steve, if and only if four voters changed their vote there would had been a Ganim victory. Four votes, this was not a landslide. Steve, how many DTC voters were threatened to vote for Finch?

  • Bob Walsh

    Say it isn’t so, Joe!!!

  • donj

    I thought everybody said Ganim would win, lmaoooooo.

  • Grin Ripper

    Waiting for Steve’s Happy Recap?

    • John from Black Rock

      Hey Grin, for now I guess you’ll have to settle for my Happy Recap–see below.

      • donj

        JfBR supporting finch 0_o who would have known? Honestly, that’s a shocker. Weren’t you like the anti-Finch guy four years ago?

        • John from Black Rock

          Hey donj, that was then and this is now. Finch will beat Ganim and that is what’s best for Bridgeport.

          • donj

            Okay, I’m undecided by the way but I’m curious. Do you think Finch has done a good job? You are one of those bloggers who I respect from way back in 2007 when I first starting following this blog.

        • John from Black Rock

          donj, yes I do think Finch has done a good job. Here a few of the reasons I feel that way: Downtown is much improved, Steelpointe Harbor is finally moving ahead and new schools have been built. The Finch administration has also worked closely with the Library Board and due to that help the BPL will be opening three new branch libraries in the near future–including the former Newfield Branch in the East End which will be completely refurbished and expanded.

          … and even though in the past I worked very hard for both Mary-Jane Foster and Chris Caruso, Finch has never once held that against me or tried to exact any retribution. Over the years our relationship has always been cordial despite our political differences and he has always made himself available when I wished to speak with him.
          Have we always agreed? Of course not. But our occasional disagreements have been over policy and have never gotten personal or nasty. I honestly believe the citizens of Bridgeport will be best served by reelecting Bill Finch.

          • donj

            Okay, you gave very valid points and I can agree with downtown, way more things to do there than eight years ago.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Grin Ripper, all I will say is I had a great time. Spoke to a lot of people on all sides of the fence and I am proud Finch got the nod.

      I would be remiss if I did not mention the dozens of Ganim supporters, staunch Gamin supporters (and I am not referring to Maria P.) who went out of their way to congratulate me. I kid you not. That is class!

      To me it is over. I am proud Finch got the endorsement and I guess Mario will have a hard time living this down. Ganim, always a class act supported by his brothers was standing by me and always respectful, given I am not very kind to him on this blog. He should know as I have mentioned before, I save my attacks for the blog and never take it to the streets.

      I focus on all the positives of Bill Finch.

      Tonight, one of Ganim’s staunch supporters went for my jugular, we ended friends. I love a good yelling match!

      I wish all the candidates the best of luck! I thank the majority of the DTC for supporting Mayor Finch so Bridgeport can rise like the Phoenix. I am excited for all the Finch supporters. His sons looked very proud and understandably so.

      I did find it ironic the opposition had some mean posters depicting the Mayor. I am happy none of the Finch supporters stooped to that level and I did not see any cruel posters depicting Joe.

      Jim Fox, city hall smoker, BptPorter, Ron Mackey and Donald Day, Maria P., etc.
      I have nothing mean to say. I will be supporting the entire Finch slate. But have a lot of respect for many candidates running a primary like Carolyn Vermont, Tyisha Toms, John Marshall Lee, Maria P., etc.

      Hello to Wanda Geter, you made my day!

      To all my usual blog attackers, I have nothing mean or sarcastic to say, but by all means you may continue to kill me. I live for it!

      Remember, we are all in this together.

      • Steven Auerbach

        Lisa Parziale, how could anyone not love you? You will always be my second favorite redhead!

        • Lisa Parziale

          Steve, I never put your face to your blogging. When I saw you last night I was pleasantly surprised because now I remember you from the MJ campaign. I remember liking you, and from now on you are the man I liked and I really mean this, I still do. Now that I remember you.

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, Finch supporters had signs that read “Joe Ganim is a crook” and “Pay the money back, Joe.” If you looked at most of Finch’s supporters in the public area, the majority were paid young canvassers, on the city payroll, and out-of-town electricians and carpenters.

        The cheers and chants for Joe were deafening. No one was paid to be there in Joe Ganim t-shirts, hold signs or cheer for Joe. That was definitely not the case regarding Mayor Finch.

      • Jimfox

        I would like to congratulate Mayor Finch on his plurality.

        • John Marshall Lee

          Jim,
          Your posting is so short, the ‘humor’ almost escaped me. By plurality are you referring to the additional truths that must be added to most statements made by or for him? Or the multiple storylines possible for what he claims as City successes? Example: Yes it is good that there is movement on Steel Point in that property is moving from City hands to developer lands that are taxable (even though that will not significantly reach our City pocket for years) but where are the new numbers being shown? Where are the price tags, the expense tags, the borrowing tags and the revenue tags when projects are discussed? Show us the money Mayor Finch. Or do you have to have someone else articulate the fiscal story? Who if not you? Is it the number of people we have to reference to get a full story that constitutes the ‘plurality?’ Time will tell.

  • Quentin Dreher

    If the primary doesn’t go his way, I bet Ganim runs third party in the general election. 45% at the DTC is a pretty good showing.

  • John from Black Rock

    This was local politics at its best. Passionate, raucous and rowdy. I was there and had a thoroughly good time, especially trading good-natured barbs with old friends backing other candidates.

    We’ve all been around long enough to know we should take these things seriously but not personally.

    The fact Mayor Finch won was the (very delicious) icing on the cake. Tonight I celebrate. Tomorrow I’m back to work helping the Finch campaign build on the momentum from tonight’s win and continue its roll to victory in September. Good night to all and to all a good night.

    • Grin Ripper

      JfBR–Thanks!

      • John from Black Rock

        You’re very welcome. Now I’m off to Pepe’s for my victory pizza!

        • Steven Auerbach

          Omg. Pepe’s whole belly clam pizza and an ice cold beer!

          • John Marshall Lee

            So you celebrate at a Fairfield pizza place? I went to the Beverly for pepperoni and mushrooms. Great offering. As to all the comments from the many conversations, thank you for your support. Better than endorsements to hear the Watchdog comments of the past five years are meaningful to many people in diverse districts. With your encouragement we begin door knocking. Time will tell.

  • BptPorter

    Not much momentum. DTC is easier to control and manipulate than a general primary or election. Ganim was so close and this is the election Finch will have the most control over. Tells you something.

  • John from Black Rock

    Let the spinning begin. Can’t really blame them, but the anti-Finch brigade will now start to define their defeat as a victory, even though most of them had predicted a Ganim victory tonight that would bring about the political demise of Bill Finch.

    Fair enough, however the bottom line is Finch won and Ganim lost. So tonight’s win along with the recent Finch endorsements means all momentum is now with Mayor Bill Finch.

    • Pete Spain

      “Momentum? Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.”–Earl Weaver

    • BOE SPY

      BPT politics are always a party in a box. It will be fun to see Maria and Pete explain how Ganim’s humiliating defeat was a stunning victory. Too bad there was not a fist fight.

      • Maria Pereira

        BOE SPY, Joe lost by four votes while Finch was holding the keys to the candy store. He utilized taxpayer funds to bribe DTC members with raises, promotions, and to contribute to organizations DTC members are affiliated with. He has called city employees to his office to discuss his nomination during their work time which is completely illegal. His staff is working on his campaign during their work hours which is illegal.

        Finch should never refer to himself as “honest.” I can’t state enough how many of my neighbors have told me Finch is as guilty as Joe Ganim when it comes to corruption. They repeatedly state he just hasn’t gotten caught.

    • Steven Auerbach

      John from Black Rock, is it possible I do not know you? Tonight was great. I worked the room and it would have been nice to meet you.

      Great posts. It was a great night!

    • Lisa Parziale

      Hey John, do you have any idea what those four votes cost us? Do your research before you continue to gloat. You’re not a savvy politician so I can understand your naiveté in political matters, but settle down boy, it won’t be long before you get the shaft.

      • John from Black Rock

        Hey Lisa, when I’m not JfBR I sometimes use the name John Soltis and as you know, I have been around Bpt politics since the Mandanici years. So while you can probably come up with thing or two to accuse me of, I do not believe “naiveté in political matters” would be among them.

        But you are correct. I do not know what you feel those “four votes” cost us. However, I do know what Joe Ganim has already “cost us” and I do not want to see Bridgeport go down that road again.

        It was good to see you last night and best of luck in your race. John S.

  • Grin Ripper

    This Chess Match will end in November. A lot of moves, checks and maybe an En Passant thrown in for good measure, before there will be a Check Mate!

  • Bob Walsh

    Joe Ganim yelled “we was robbed!!!” And the taxpayers responded “yes, we was.”

  • city hall smoker

    It’s sad when someone sacrifices their integrity for a $5,000 raise or a $1,500 donation to a baseball league.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Quentin. It is over!

  • BridgeportBooster

    The silence from Ganim supporters on this post is DEAFENING! Haha! Where’s your big bad Joe now? Licking his wounds and getting his clipboard ready. Bring it on. Just don’t knock on my door. I ain’t signing.

  • Quentin Dreher

    I don’t know, Steve. He’s not raising 100s of thousands of dollars to go quietly.

    • Steven Auerbach

      The endorsements are over. The endorsements for Finch will come like a tidal wave. Out-of-towners believed Joe had momentum. Now reality will set in. It all comes down to Steelpointe, and every project coming down the pike. Being a Republican, you are hopeful the Ganim supporters will break for Rick Torres. That isn’t going to happen.

      I expect Foster to go after Ganim. He has the anti-Finch votes. If the campaign insists on remaining silent on Ganim, her numbers will remain a far distant third. That would be very disappointing. But to be honest, from this point I am not interested who comes in second or third. As long as Mayor Finch stays focused on this point and not acknowledge the background noise, it will make it easier for those stumping to carry the message of bringing back Bridgeport’s glorious past with ultra modern 21st century green jobs and development to be the catalyst for even greater investments that are not dependent on large abatements or State handouts. Mayor Finch has started the process and planted the seeds and developers are watching our city. The entire city.
      We should embrace the entire city. Any project that improves any neighborhood is good for all of us!

  • Sunshine96

    I went to the meeting tonight hoping to decide on a candidate. Unfortunately, I left disliking all the candidates. Nothing but arrogance and overly inflated egos. I’d like to see a candidate who actually cares about the city and its people. A candidate who spends time talking to the constituents, and more importantly, listening to them. Until then, this voter will not vote for anyone.

  • Bob Halstead

    The public section was overwhelmingly Pro Joe. The morale in the Ganim camp remains high and with good reason.

    • John from Black Rock

      Hey Bob, I know we were at the same meeting as I was standing right next to you. I certainly did not see or hear any overwhelming Pro Joe support. If anything the Pro Finch “four more years” crowd had the edge. But let’s not quibble. Truth be told, both sides had many very vocal supporters but neither side overwhelmed the other.

      • Hector A. Diaz

        John, the difference is one group of supporters were paid, forced or enticed in some way or another. The other group was there to support their candidate without any of the other influences.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bob, you cannot be serious, could you? If Ganim got tonight’s endorsement, it could have really been the catalyst for money and endorsements. Mario supporting Ganim and breaking the tie would have been front-page news.

      It didn’t happen that way. I think it was clear there were supporters having a great time on both sides. I think Joe is a very smart guy and should read the writing on the wall. The money will dry up. Expect the Mayor to receive more endorsements and serious fundraisers.

      Bob, I respect you and have always acknowledged the good things you do for the city. I do have a problem with your incessant anti-Finch rhetoric.

      I think it is commendable you believe Ganim spirits are high. The problem is you are deadpan. No enthusiasm for your candidate as much as loathing for mine.

      I think the tenacity of Joe Ganim will continue. Just coming in second place will be an amazing feat. I know people do love Joe. But even those who like him are still voting for Finch. They know our future depends on this.

      I wouldn’t mind an exciting election but I still believe it will be a sleeper as everyone knows. I will admit this is the first election where I was in the opposite camp of so many people I enjoy. So let the games begin, let’s all agree to disagree. Let’s take it to the streets! May the best man for this moment in time win. I really do admire Ganim’s tenacity. I wonder if things would have been different if I supported Ganim in 1991 over Moran. I wonder but do not regret.

      • Bob Halstead

        Hmmm. “incessant anti-Finch rhetoric,” “deadpan,” “loathing.” I suppose that’s the way you want to spin it. Fact is the public attendance was overwhelmingly anti-Finch and pro-Ganim last night and so are most of the voters I speak to. Who are those highly paid Finch staff going around twisting arms and pulling out all the stops on the taxpayers’ dime, Steve? Too bad they haven’t spent their eight years doing something other than a parking lot and a mall for $700 million with no taxes being paid. That’s the sad truth, man. All they could win by was four votes?

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Hey Steve,
        The fat lady ain’t sung her last aria.

  • Maria Pereira

    This was my very first DTC convention. It was very interesting.

    I am so thrilled and relieved Finch won the nomination. I and others were opposed to taking this route. Several key players just wanted to focus on petitioning onto the ballot all along.

    We are well prepared to hit the ground running tomorrow. I love to petition and I am ready to go. If Joe received the nomination quite a few of the volunteers scheduled for tomorrow would have taken the next few days off. Now everyone is fired up and ready to work. This will drive donors to write more checks, too.

    I will not be supporting Melanie Jackson and James Morton for City Council in the 138th. I have already secured two challengers to run against them. When politicians lie and fail to keep their word, they must be held accountable at the polls. After they both committed to run with Joe, they betrayed us all to run on Finch’s line. I don’t know why they are bothering because they cannot win in the 138th without Scott’s, Martha’s and my support. They have lost before they have even started. By the way, neither of them work to get out votes.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, just out of curiosity, why will you not be supporting Melanie Jackson, what was the lie?

      No fear, I will be supporting Melanie and she will be on Finch’s ticket. I need to hear the lie that made her fall from your grace.

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, both agreed if Joe won the endorsement they would run on Joe’s line as endorsed candidates. If Finch won they would decline the Democratic endorsement and petition with Joe onto the ballot. They did not decline the nomination and signed the consent forms to run with Finch. It was an idiotic decision because they cannot win on Finch’s line in the 138th. All those who can deliver their victory are backing Joe, therefore they just lost every single one of our support. They simply cannot win.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Am I missing something here? Are you saying Jackson and Morton are running on Finch’s ticket for the council? What happened to Marella?

          • Hector A. Diaz

            Marella is going to be either a department head or happily retired, depending on the outcome.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Oh Maria, you need sleep. Melanie Jackson is a woman of substance. She will get out the votes and she will have help. Me. That is enough said. She may like Ganim but she also has respect for Finch. Were you imagining another defector from the Finch team? Melanie is not a stupid woman. I expect her and Finch to easily carry your area. Scott Hughes does not get votes either. I do. So Maria, you might really want to focus on your BOE ticket. Finch will win and everyone on his ticket will win. Not many people split tickets during a sleeper election cycle.

      Maria, do you want to rip my lungs out yet? I think you know by now my tenacity is equal to yours and Joe’s. I am known as a one-man autonomous army. I am not bound by districts. When I campaign people are caught up in my enthusiasm because it is legit. I need not talk about Ganim. However if they ask, I am obliged to give my rap.

      • Maria Pereira

        Okay, Steve. If you say so. Would you like to make another $100 wager?

        • Maria Pereira

          Steve, why don’t you ask Melanie and James Morton how many signatures they obtained for the DTC elections? Why don’t you ask them how many hours they spent canvassing and door knocking for the DTC elections?

          • Steven Auerbach

            Why don’t you ask me how many calls I made for Melanie? Melanie served on the Board of Directors at Nob Hill. I have many friends and I am not talking acquaintances. Everyone who knows Melanie Jackson loves her. I have known her for over 20 years, omg. She will not lose, besides, she will have the support of Marella and Paoletto, two individuals I respect. I do not think they will not be doing their job as party faithful to get her elected. Even when I supported Mary-Jane Foster, I supported Richie Paoletto, Bob Curwen and Mike Marella. Do I have to educate you over breakfast how much they are respected by their constituents?

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, Richie and Anthony Paoletto are with Joe. In fact, Anthony Paoletto took his father’s position on the 138th Town Committee and he voted for Joe last night. Marella is not seeking reelection and is moving back to Shelton, but not until Finch gave Judith Marella a $10,000 raise just a few weeks ago. I am sure that raise had absolutely nothing to do with the nomination.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria–taking $100 from you and Howard is enough for me. I am not a gambler–but we can do a ’50s diner thing. Write it down. You forget I am friends with Melanie, the fact she supported Ganim does not change my desire to see her succeed. She is on the Finch ticket. Do not delude yourself, this is where the endorsement of the DTC carries weight. Finch will take your area and Foster hasn’t even started yet. Mary-Jane Foster is very well respected in your area and remember the drama over the past few weeks hit the apex this evening. I expect Foster to make noise

    • Andrew C Fardy

      You just mentioned two out of three people who don’t do squat.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      You and some of the key players who just wanted a petition drive over the party nomination are clearly new to politics and are clueless. The nomination gives you the top line. It also gives you access to money and a lot of people especially the old vote for the top line. Dummy.

  • Maria Pereira

    All four DTC members who spoke in support of Mayor Finch were elderly white men. Those who spoke in favor of Joe were black and Hispanic. I couldn’t help but notice a clear racial divide.

    There are ten district leaders and not a single one is a woman. That definitely needs to be changed. Are you with me, Lisa Parziale?

    • Frank the Cabana Boy

      Can’t wait for Bill Finch to lose.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, you have a problem with the two white men who have been involved in city politics forever? Nothing worse than a white woman citing racism. Were you embracing your inner blackness? Is this the losing formula you are using to get Ganim elected? Is the goal to portray Ganim as the first black Mayor while alienating white people who do not understand your comments?

      You want to talk about speeches of endorsements? You know Rev Stallworth is one of my favorite people. Only second to Americo Santiago. Not! What, there are dozens of more respectable Hispanics who are supporting Ganim? Maria Valle? It doesn’t matter. Bill Finch was endorsed. Front page news!

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, I absolutely expect and want our elected officials and appointees to reflect the diversity of our city which is 78% minority.

        The six most powerful people in this city are Mayor Finch, Tom McCarthy, Fran Connelly Rabinowitz, Dave Hennessey, Chief Gaudett and Chief Rooney. Do you know what they all have in common? They are all white and Irish. According to the 2010 Census, only 5% of Bridgeport residents were Irish. My beloved boyfriend is Irish, however I find it completely unacceptable those controlling this city in no way reflect the beautiful diversity of its residents.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria, cut the shit Ms. Diverse America.

          Let me ask you one question. You are notorious for castrating every man and destroying every woman who fails you on some level. You have announced you will mot support Melanie because she did not vote the way you wanted. I believe you criticized Finch for that. You are a proponent of second chances but you do not give second chances. You as a white woman talk about more minorities in power and yet Melanie Jackson, a strong black woman and personal friend of mine does not get a second chance? Joe Ganim does?

          Note to Joe Ganim: Remember the Cathy Bates character in Misery. Save yourself before it is too late! :-)

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, I am not supporting Melanie because she did not keep her word. As you know, I do not tolerate politicians who do not keep their word to me or the coalition I work with.

            I was opposed to both Melanie and Morton being endorsed for City Council in the first place. I made it clear our representatives should reflect the diversity of the 138th.

            Don’t worry, Steve. Nessah Smith is a “strong black woman,” and she will be running with Anthony Paoletto. They have already signed the consent forms.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Well Maria, I am disappointed in Anthony Paoletto, I do not know Ms. Smith. I will work for the Finch ticket and Melanie will of course prevail. It is shocking to me Anthony is supporting Joe as Finch was horribly criticized by the Ganim camp for not firing his father! In fact Maria, if I am not mistaken you were also very vocal. I am very disappointed! Shocked! And as for Scott Hughes, he will not support Melanie? Did she not work her little butt off for his campaign? Wasn’t she his treasurer? Didn’t Melanie get the most votes for the DTC–thank you!

        • BridgeportBooster

          Cut the crap, Maria. If you really cared about diversity among city leaders and elected officials, you would withdraw from the BOE race and encourage a Hispanic to run instead. There are nine people on the BOE and right now only one is a Hispanic, which is a travesty for a school system that is 50% Hispanic. If you are elected you are contributing to the so-called imbalance you are decrying. But you could care less so spare us your diversity speeches.

        • Grin Ripper

          Maria,
          Fran’s maiden name is Murray. I always thought Gaudett is a French name. You must have some Italian in you, because it’s always I, I, I, I! There is no I in TEAM!

          • Maria Pereira

            BridgeportBooster/Finch Employee, our slate has two white candidates and a Hispanic/black candidate. Finch has one Hispanic with the last name Illingworth, who has no following in the Spanish community, and two black candidates. Where is Finch’s white candidate? By the way, my daughter is half Puerto Rican.

            The slate I worked for months to put together is knowledgeable, articulate and passionate about public education.

            Finch’s slate is no match for our BBOE slate, and he knows it.

          • Maria Pereira

            Grin Ripper, “I” am absolutely loyal and dedicated to those I support, however “I” will not tolerate liars and betrayal by those “I” choose to support.

            The former superintendent Jim Connelly is Fran Rabinowitz’s cousin, therefore she is clearly Irish.

            I will have to research Gaudett. I was informed by several long-term political operatives Chief Gaudett is Irish.

            “I” will be working with the TEAM this evening to put 100 paid and volunteer petition circulaters tonight. The TEAM will obtain 2,500 Joe’s signatures within seven days by working together.

            We are excited and ready to go. Win Joe, Win!

          • Grin Ripper

            Maria, I have no doubt you will.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Maria you are full of it. We had two minority Superintendents of schools, how did that work out? We had a black police chief who left for greener pastures.
          McCarthy and Finch were elected by all people in Bridgeport, not just whites. Maria, you are an out-and-out racist with a Hitler complex.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Gee, now the kingmaker (Maria) has Rich Paoletto’s son on the TC and running for the council. Does that mean Rich will govern by proxy? Rich’s kid is still wet between the ears, what does he know? When Marella moves back to Shelton (wink, wink), do not forget to take him off the town committee.
          If you knew the district and the players you would have known Morton has been a Finch person for years.

        • BOE SPY

          78% minority??? As of the 2010 census, there were 144,229 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city residents was 39.6% White; 34.6% Black or African American; 3.4% Asian; and 4.3% from two or more races. A total of 18.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeport,_Connecticut#Demographics

          Where did you get 78% from?

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Out of the 78% how many are taxpayers or contributors to the welfare of Bridgeport. As a matter of fact you are running around sounding like you are in charge of the city, do you pay any taxes in Bridgeport and I don’t mean what your boyfriend might pay on his cars.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Maria, I think women must claim their worth and lead when circumstances allow. I was district leader for many years in the 132nd district. My responsibilities, both personal and as Council President took up all my waking time so I passed the title to John S. When I reclaimed my involvement on the TC, Mike Freddino was district leader and I saw no reason to change that. But change happens whether we like it or not, and I believe my district deserves better representation. As JML would say, “we’ll see.”

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Maria, you are an out-and-out racist. BTW why wasn’t a women made the district leader in the 138th? Oh yeah you had a women and replaced her. You are such a phony.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      You and your people replaced the only female district leader, dumb ass.

  • Godiva2011

    A friend of mine was at this event tonight and told me Ganim hosted a happy hour prior to the meeting and was providing free drinks for all the delegates. I guess he was hoping alcohol would impair judgement. It appears as if that ploy didn’t work out too well for him.

  • Maria Pereira

    Godiva2011, the Hospitality Suite was for all his supporters, not exclusively delegates.

    • Steven Auerbach

      That was paid with his personal money or campaign donations???

      • BridgeportBooster

        Isn’t Ganim unemployed? If he didn’t pay for this with his campaign funds then does he have the money to buy 100+ people drinks at $5-$10 a pop? Does his family give him an allowance/living stipend? Sad way to live for a man who’s close to 50. No wonder he wants this job so bad. Kinda feel bad for him now. Not!

        • Maria Pereira

          BridgeportBooster, Joe Ganim held a fundraiser in the Hospitality Suite right after the convention. Everyone was writing checks, including me.

          I thought it was a smart move.

  • Local Eyes

    In 2007, he asked Bill Finch to run for mayor. In 2015, he disrespected the Mayor in favor of a challenger. Conclusion: Mario Testa has made Mayor Bill Finch the incumbent underdog. That has caught someone’s notice.
    Rumor Mill: the ghost of Machiavelli is doing cartwheels! He’s always been a fan of America and Frank Sinatra. But now he’s adding Mayor Bill Finch to the list because he’s partial to the guy who re-opened the beach where Sinatra once had a gig. Besides, he likes his policies.

  • Gabrielle Anna Parisi

    It’s a nice day to start petitioning. The humidity gods are smiling on us. Time to lay out my route and walk the Brooklawn grid. :) BTW Maria, thanks for that information last night.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria Pereira, did Ms. Jackson and Mr. Morton agreed to vote for Joe Ganim at the DTC meeting?

    • Lisa Parziale

      Ron, I believe they did. I heard, I don’t know if it’s true, Morton convinced Ms. Jackson to take the nomination that put them on Finch’s line. I also heard Scott was so angry he left the convention and threatened to quit. I wasn’t in their area so I can’t swear that’s what happened, but it came from reliable sources.

  • Bob Halstead

    This is an open invitation. I am willing to give a tour of Bridgeport to anyone on this blog who thinks the world begins and ends with a parking lot and a chain store for $700 million dollars at Steelpointe. I submit anyone would be hard-pressed to think things are all that rosy after seeing what I see every day.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      I travel by bus or train or the hoof. I see a lot of this city. A bunch of green signs proclaiming Bill Finch’s “virtues” do not qualify as accomplishments. For more than seven years (eleven if you add in the nonstarting Fabrizi period), we’ve been told City Hall is “laying the groundwork” for Bridgeport’s revival. (“People can you feel it, love is in the air …”) All Bill Finch’s blunders have morphed into a giant set of teeth that is going to bite him on the ass:
      • Remember the blizzard and all the “yahoos” who left their cars on the street because they were buried in snow? 90% of those “yahoos” were first responders, Mr. Mayor, police officers and firefighters and EMTs trying to get to work in a time of crisis. I’m sure the rank and file appreciated the disrespect.
      • The mayor and the chief of police opened a substation in an unused community room at Trumbull Gardens, more than three weeks after eight people were shot and one was killed by a few street thugs. (It was only opened after political pressure from a serious challenger to the office of mayor.)
      • The “boot and tow” program to recoup unpaid property taxes, that makes money for the judicial marshals administering the program, the company that boots the cars and the tow truck operators. The percentage of money going back to the city is minimal. The working poor are being victimized by this program, their cars legally stolen and resold or scrapped for salvage.
      • A Starbucks and a Chipotle in an area where most people buy their morning coffee from the bodega on the corner and their Mexican food from the authentic establishments dotting the city. An upscale movie theater? Gee, thanks. That’s great. Most of us go to Bow Tie Cinemas in Trumbull on Tuesday nights for the discounted tickets.
      • A supposedly scenic bike trail. Scenic if you don’t mind riding through economically depressed areas strewn with litter, syringes and empty liquor bottles.

  • DougDavidoff

    Hi, everyone. I’m new to this site … and new to Bridgeport. This is my first comment.

    My perspective is a Connecticut kid (Westport, Staples HS Class of ’75) returning to Fairfield County after decades living away … in North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts. I’m back in Bridgeport because I have work here and family here.

    I’m glad Mayor Finch won the DTC endorsement. As a newcomer (more precisely, a returnee), I’m impressed with the downtown redevelopment and the huge promise beginning to be realized at Steelpointe. The clean energy initiatives are impressive; I don’t think I’ve begun to understand their magnitude. Re-opening Pleasure Beach is icing on the cake.

    In short, to me, this is a “stay the course” election. I’ve only begun to get to know Mayor Finch at all personally. My decision to get involved isn’t based on friendship or past history. It’s based on what I see around the city, i.e., the record. And it’s based on seeing a mayor with understanding, with good communication skills (Twitter @MayorBillFinch’s feed means much to me), and with political and policy skills. Gets. Things. Done.

    I’ve worked on Democratic campaigns in lots of states. In Indiana, I was on staff at the state party during a time when we elected a record number of Democratic mayors statewide. (Yes, in Indiana!) I worked personally with many of those mayors and their campaigns. Bill Finch, the person and the record, is the sort of incumbent worth fighting hard to re-elect.

    Again, I’m glad he won the DTC endorsement. “Only In Bridgeport” can a candidate leak word before an endorsement convention that he’s got more than enough votes to win, then lose, then complain the whole process doesn’t matter anyway (which, if you think about it, ought to irritate the supporters who stood by him for this allegedly irrelevant process). And “Only in Bridgeport” can a party chair preside over a vote in which the majority went one way and then spin it that the majority went the other way. The political term for this is “Chutzpah.”

  • Lisa Parziale

    Doug, you are now in Bridgeport. If you have been involved in as many campaigns as you claim, you should know this is politics, and practices of politics are understood for those of us involved for decades. It’s the same in the entire country. I’m surprised you are surprised if, as you claim, you’ve been involved before. Do yourself a favor, get a heads-up on the Bridgeport political community. You’re not going to get it right away, but when you do, your opinions might have some validity. It’s in the hands of the voters now, so watch and wait as we are all doing.

    • DougDavidoff

      Lisa, I’m learning! You are right, much is the same all over. Yes, the “OIB” reference may be a bit of prose license. On the other hand, name another major city this year with Bridgeport’s dynamics and cast of characters. For this year, “OIB” may be quite accurate.

  • DougDavidoff

    Grin, my daddy … I’m very proud to say … was Jerry Davidoff (1926-2009) who worked hard in a solo law practice (and a few years in small partnerships) in Westport. He brought me to Bridgeport to join him in the courthouse law library at the county courthouse. He also introduced me to lifelong friends in Bridgeport. That’s my dad.

  • Grin Ripper

    God Bless him! I think this election will have a Hoosiers theme. I don’t see Bill, Breaking Away, in this election cycle.

  • Local Eyes

    Recently, Mario Testa implied the DTC will support whoever wins the endorsement. But that was before he promised Ganim a tiebreaker and before Finch won the nod. I wonder if Mayor Finch will have the DTC’s full support now that Mr. Testa has clearly sided with Ganim.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Finch will lose the primary. There are too many candidates, for one thing. For another, three of them will siphon votes away from him. Ganim is on a roll. Cousin Joe is an old-fashioned politician who knows the importance of listening to the people vis-à-vis. Finch is out of touch with the electorate.

  • Local Eyes

    As of today, Mayor Finch is the only person on the ballot and is running uncontested. No other parties have qualified. Conclusion: they are not candidates yet. Backstory: OIB has made me a political know-it-all.

  • Local Eyes

    Let’s make a day of it. Streets of Fire aka curbside investigative reporting:
    Much of Reservoir Avenue in Bridgeport has been repaved resulting in smooth blacktop. It ends at the corner of Trumbull Street and Reservoir Ave. That’s where you will find Ganim’s phony Police substation disguised as a self-serving billboard.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Local Eyes, you can see that far from your perch on the telephone line in Trumbull? How are the other gadflies and magpies?

  • Local Eyes

    Uh, no, I have a car. Streets of Fire, remember?
    In an unrelated matter, last night Joe Ganim had a hospitality suite while Mayor Finch had a winner’s circle.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Finch’s “victory” is hollow. Four votes is hardly a resounding endorsement. Bill Finch has been “laying the groundwork” for Bridgeport to rise, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of a corrupt political culture that goes back decades. Supposedly he’s been laying this “groundwork” for seven years. Time to communicate with the people of the city of Bridgeport what it is he has in mind for us. So far he hasn’t told us much. He did become angry with a few City Council members who did not vote to hand a no-strings-attached tax abatement to a developer who was going to build apartments on the East Side. The state and city of New York hands out multi-year tax abatements to developers but they come with some cost, something that will benefit the commonwealth. Job creation, investment in the community, etc. The 35-year tax abatement wouldn’t have created employment opportunities for city residents.

    And the “boot and tow” program to collect delinquent taxes? That was a no-bid contract that went out for the judicial marshals, the towing companies and the booting company to steal the cars of working poor people. The city of Bridgeport doesn’t get much out of that deal. How has that program improved the city’s economy and created well-paying jobs?

    Bass Pro, Chipotle, Starbucks and an upscale movie theater are moving in to Steelpointe. Hallelujah! Those retailers will be adding many Bridgeport residents to their payrolls and pay them slave wages that are not enough to pay rent and utilities and buy groceries without public assistance. Way to go, Mayor Finch.

    And the bicycle trail. Great ride around Saint Mary’s and Black Rock. It goes down Railroad Avenue as well. Last time I looked Railroad Avenue is not a “scenic” area. Thanks, Mr. Mayor. That created a lot of jobs.

  • just the facts

    The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Joe Ganim’s corrupt administration greatly hindered Bpt’s ability to grow its tax base during one of the best economies (the Clinton years). Ganim only recently admitted he was guilty as charged–and it appears so he could stage a comeback. Given the few who step forward, obviously being Mayor is no picnic or we would have some really good choices. I personally would not want the job–but why doesn’t one of the posters here run for the job and fix what you say Finch can’t? All the corporate/commercial development that should have been here along the Rte 25/8 connector went to Shelton–it started with Mandanici and kept going. Did you know there were supposed to be three towers on Middle St? Do you remember the office building where Food Bazaar is now? Did you know Frouge wanted to build a shopping mall downtown before he built Trumbull Shopping Park? Ganim had his chance to make lemonade and failed. I’ll offer Finch hasn’t done much better but had a lousy economy. If you want new blood, I get it–but not the recycled blood of Joe Ganim.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Bob Halstead; you inadvertently added an extra 0 to the value of the Bass Pro development–it is worth about $70 million, not $700. If the latter were the correct number, I might even think it was a good thing for Steal Point.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Welcome to Doug Davidoff. First impressions, of whatever kind, may change when you look at the financial realities that are ongoing in the City. But most people do not look at the money. Perhaps you can tell me why they do in other states you passed through, but not here in Bridgeport (or in CT either as our Democratic party has allowed long-term obligations of all kinds to expand much faster than the means to pay for them. With 20% of registered voters showing up at the polls (or less), with no Board of Finance as Westport and most communities enjoy with experienced and talented membership, and with the City Internal Auditor removed seven years ago, and the only legislative staff member of the City Council removed by the City Council President three years ago, checks and balance structure is in a very weak state in Bridgeport. Happy to sit with you and provide a short course in City fiscal detail and indicate available sources of info in print (or not as the City deems). Andy Fardy and I started Budget Oversight Bridgeport five or six years ago. Perhaps you can help. That is if you think looking at the money is a prudent way to look at governance. Time will tell.

    • Ron Mackey

      John Marshall Lee, please take this in the spirit it’s being given. You are now a candidate running for elected office and I feel you backed off some of your comments on OIB. I’m not saying you stop but be much more selective with your comments, thanks.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Ron, and Quentin as well,
        Let’s start with meeting perhaps over coffee. Daytime #203-259-9642.
        Ron, I sent my latest comments to the CC on July 6 to OIB but perhaps they are not news. I am not as invested as many are in much of the past two week’s activities as others. Selective comments, what variety and how would you like them served? You are welcome. Coffee? Time will tell.

    • Quentin Dreher

      JML, I would like to help on the BOB, I have budget experience. What do I need to do?

  • Just Amazed

    I’m sorry, as I don’t usually comment much, but I went last night to that event, stood and watched. I never share who I voted for unless the one I voted for in the elections wins. Lol. That being said, in other words, I don’t get involved in he said she said who is right who is wrong of politics because it’s a matter of what someone finds or interprets as appropriate and/or acceptable. Therefore, regardless of who was voted for or against, I must admit I was surprised at the amount of support for Mr. Ganim. I will not comment if I consider it good or bad but I will say considering he did supposedly do what he was convicted of and all I have heard the current mayor’s camp spitting out is about his criminal acts, He is clearly a threat to the current mayor retaining his seat. I have to say I was extremely discouraged at this so-called DTC. These individuals are suppose to be leaders who are supposed to ask the people in their district who they would prefer and provide info and then go back and vote for whomever the people in their district want them to, they are supposed to be a voice and representatives for the citizens. I don’t at any point recall anyone asking us who we wanted and last night was clearly full of people whom either work in positions the current administration can threaten or retain, need favors, have had favors done, etc. etc. etc. I am not judging I just know a lot although I don’t comment. It’s truly sad, though. They are NOT the voice of the identified districts. I won’t get involved with who should or shouldn’t win, but I don’t like dictatorships, I don’t like to hear if you’re not endorsed by the DTC then you won’t win, etc. etc. etc. That is what they said about Lieberman, they didn’t support him, he ran without them and won. Maybe that needs to happen to prove the so-called powerhouse of DTC doesn’t have the influence they believe they have. I just don’t appreciate the usual. I want someone daring, someone who will dare to do what others think won’t work and just may. It makes them someone to watch. Good luck to all but I do know I hope the negativity stops because I for one am turned off by negative campaigning. I will sign petitions for anyone who wants to run. Doesn’t mean I support them, I just sign because I believe they have the right to be on the ballot. and they do, as Americans they do. I hope this circus is over sooner than later though.

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