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Former Dem Party Chair: Ganim Should Receive Public Financing

May 24th, 2017 · 58 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events, State Politics

Ed Marcus

Ed Marcus

Former  chairman of Connecticut’s Democratic Party Ed Marcus writes in a commentary that “Whether you support (Joe) Ganim or not, the hard fact is that the existing law is clearly unconstitutional and the State Election Enforcement Commission should issue a declaratory ruling that Ganim has the right to participate in its Citizens Election Program just like any other candidate.” The mayor and Marcus were close when Marcus was head of the party during Ganim’s first tenure as mayor when Marcus’ daughter served as a city lobbyist.

Ganim has formed an exploratory committee for statewide office with a fundraiser planned for late June. The SEEC issued a draft ruling that Ganim is prohibited from receiving public financing because of his 2003 conviction on public corruption charges. Marcus, an attorney, asserts the law is unconstitutional in part because it enacts retroactive punishment. The SEEC is expected to issue a final ruling in a few weeks after a public comment period. Ganim will likely seek a court remedy. This editorial was written for the CT Post:

I would guess that not too many people outside of Bridgeport have followed this issue: Joseph Ganim wants the same public financing as any other candidate, should he become a candidate for governor.

The General Assembly, in 2013, passed legislation prohibiting public financing for any candidate who had committed “felonies related to their public office.” Ganim was convicted and served some seven years in prison for felonies that fit within that General Assembly’s language.

Ganim certainly won both a primary and the general election in Bridgeport and now serves as its mayor. Bridgeport with all its problems as a big city in Connecticut, actually appears to be doing well under his leadership.

Whether you support Ganim or not, the hard fact is that the existing law is clearly unconstitutional and the State Election Enforcement Commission should issue a declaratory ruling that Ganim has the right to participate in its Citizens Election Program just like any other candidate.

The entire concept of trying to avoid corruption in government is based on candidates participating in public financing. The idea is to keep candidates away from both special interests and heavy-hitting private financing. Public financing also gives a candidate the tremendous advantage of being able to concentrate on running for office and not attending one fundraiser after another.

The General Assembly was trying to make the point that someone convicted of a felony related to their public office should not ever be treated the same as any other candidate.

The first and 14th amendment make it abundantly clear that government cannot create different rules relating to different classes of people in the protection of political free speech. All candidates who qualify for public financing should be entitled to–and required to–follow the same rules.

I do believe in second chances but I also believe that once a judge’s sentence is complied with, the General Assembly cannot create a basis for further punishment or bar to seeking public office. The only bar to public office should be set by the voters. It’s whether or not you have their support that counts. So far Ganim has met that test in the city of Bridgeport and is clearly entitled to the same right to participate in state public financing as every other candidate.

I want to make it clear that this is not in any way to be construed as an endorsement of Joe Ganim. It is simply my endorsement of what I see as fair play. Ganim has paid the price to society for his previous behavior, giving up seven years of his life. If he now wants to run for any public office, he should be entitled to the same rights and privileges as any other candidate.

I do not expect my position to be a popular one, but it is the right one.

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58 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    Well there you go.
    Ed and Joe were so close he hired his daughter as the city lobbyist.
    Ed and Joe were so close that he won the bid to purchase some of the first tax liens in the city.
    Ed, go back to sleep. We’ll call you when Joe loses in court.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Oh yea Bubba, we remember that very clearly. That was the first thought I had when I read this “endorsement.” They never stop covering all bases, if a miracle happened, Marcus would be knocking on Joey G’s door with script in hand.

    • Marshall Marcus

      Bob….
      The first political campaign I ever worked in was in 1970. I helped Joe Lieberman wrest the Democratic nomination from sitting State Senator Ed Marcus in my hometown of New Haven.
      I literally went door to door campaigning, stating that I was Marshall Marcus asking Dems to vote for Lieberman in the primary.

      Back then, candidates gave out bumper stickers. Ed’s said:
      “Move with Marcus”
      My father thought it was very funny when I put it on the toilet seat in out guest bathroom.
      Ed’s time as state Dem chairman is long gone, he is no longer a ‘kingmaker’ it’s time for him to enjoy the quiet life on the Branford shore.

  • Bob Walsh

    They are not making different rules for different class of people. The fund is intended to reward good clean politics. Joe missed that boat a long time ago.
    And he can say whatever he wants. He just isn’t going to get taxpayers money to do so. We know how much respect he has for taxpayers money.

  • Tom White

    When bills wind their way through the legislature, they are reviewed to insure they are lawful before they become law.

  • Jimfox

    Does Ed Marcus know that Joe Ganim became the city’s first Bridge Mayor?

  • DC Faber

    “…and now serves as its mayor. Bridgeport with all its problems as a big city in Connecticut, actually appears to be doing well under his leadership.”
    1) He has shown leadership? At every possible place JG could have made a mark and stood for something, JG choose to stand for nothing.
    2) Bridgeport is doing well under what definition? Bridgeport is not falling into the ocean? We are in the top 5 for property taxes, our tax base is contracting and we cannot even fund our schools.
    Old Eddie ought to have an eye test based on these observations.

  • Ernie Newton

    WOWWWWW This is very interesting, NO-ONE said anything when this law was put in by Our former Senator Andres Ayala to stop me from getting funds to RUN. Now everyone comes to the AID of JOE GANIM! I was told the some battles you don’t have to Fight God will have Others fight them for YOU, Or is it WHITE PRIVILEGE.

  • Ernie Newton

    Where was ED MARCUS WHEN THIS BILL WAS PUT IN!

  • Donald Day

    C’mon Ernie, this bill was introduced to stop the Brother man not the other man.

  • Ron Mackey

    Ernie, Ernie, you know better, this is the way things are, were you looking for something different to happen?

  • Robert Teixeira

    Ernie, really, white privilege, you and Ganim are both criminals, convicted felons sent to prison. Where was Joe’s white privilege to keep him from going to jail? The only reason he’s mayor was because of the “Maria’s” dedication, work ethics and the “black” vote.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2X-qQ-uMW8

    PS. Joe is it me or does it look like your hair’s growing back? You talk to the guy about the thing?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJOcvQpMu2A

    • DC Faber

      Ganim won because

      Finch was Hillary-esq unpopular and his mishap with the board of Ed didn’t help.
      He duped the African-American population with his tale of a second chance and Mr. Stallworths church validation of it.
      He duped everyone else into thinking it would be the revival of JG1
      MJF did not have a loud enough megaphone to drown out the enthusiasm for Ganim
      The trouble is Joe played a tune you can only play once. I think as things stand today he would have a hard time getting re-elected Mayor. Then again, Only In Bridgeport…

      • Robert Teixeira

        Then we agree Maria and the black vote was the reason Ganim won.

        Not sure about MJF but she did have Finch as a megaphone when he dropped out and supported her, and why would anyone want a revival of JG1 didn’t he go to prison for the corruption and fleecing the taxpayer? Which is the essence of the blog?

      • Donald Day

        Back it up cowboy, Joe couldn’t have won without the largest majority of Bridgeport residents, Latinos. While it’s true that Blacks drove there were a multitude of willing Latino and white passengers who made his election possible.

      • Lisa Parziale

        DC Faber, those are exceptionally observant remarks, especially the one that says, “a tune you can only play once.”

  • Ernie Newton

    DON And RON you are so correct I was just making a point!I just Heard The Black Clergy will be meeting soon to find a Black Candidate for MAYOR! I will keep you POSTED!

  • Ernie Newton

    I am Sure I am on that LIST! lol

  • John Marshall Lee

    Dear Mr. Ed,
    The law has been a basic element of your economic and political life for 60 years or thereabouts. It is interesting to note that you speak against “retroactive punishment” regarding when you say “Ganim has the right to participate in its Citizens Election Program just like any other candidate.”
    Perhaps you are forgetting the Reagan era “War on Drugs” that provided an opportunity for men of color who lived in cities to receive inadequate legal defense and become felons, on one or more occasions. Perhaps you forget what Michele Alexander writes about the uphill fight of those victims of the New Jim Crow who lose voting, housing, employment and other citizen rights because of their felony convictions and those rights follow serving all of their sentences?
    Mayor Ganim has no trouble raising money. He has trouble facing all of his constituents and sharing with them his priorities that will raise the boat in which Bridgeport citizens journey today. No priorities? No accountability? No opportunity for a new trust relationship to be verified? (Remember that Ganim1 made his choice for felony because of the opportunity afforded by the office.)
    How important has his concern with Integrity or with Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest routinely? Just look at his disciple, a former FBI employee, who cannot or does not find that fulfillment of the Office of Public Integrity has importance in a “second chance term” in Bridgeport full of 10,000 “second chance aware” citizens? As a taxpayer I wonder what does Ganim2 really want? Does he know? Perhaps he can tell the people and avoid clogging up court time any further? Time will tell.

    • Donald Day

      What don’t I understand you asked JML? How about “Black and white comments are off the mark in this situation, regardless of what OIB’s guardians of colored issues have to say.”
      So you make reference of Ron and myself as the guardians of Colored Issues so may I ask just what colored issues are we guardians of, Red issues, Green issues or maybe Blue issues?

      Now I’ll know you’ll try to clean up this response with some Ivy League white jargon, but the fact is your comment reeked of bigotry and was demeaning to every black person who reads its content. As much as you think you know about black people and our condition you still haven’t learned the basics, that which is offensive to us a people and what white people can’t say under any circumstances. Joking or otherwise JML, your characterization of Ron and myself as arbiters of Colored (Black) issues offends a large segment of Black America that fought long and hard not to be called Colored and now you are a white member of the NAACP in 21st century America still referring to two black males as Colored. Shame on you and if the NAACP doesn’t reprimand you, then shame on them too.

      I just found my membership card and I’ll be at that meeting demanding an apology to all those blacks, living and dead who find being referred to as Colored offensive, in the 21st century.

      I’ve always wondered why you always came to the rescue of the hate filled racist and vitriolic speech of Andy and Tom and now I know that birds of a feather flock together.

      For you to characterize Black issues as Colored Issues is an affront to all that is decent and moral and a supposedly intelligent educated man would never do that. I am writing a letter to the National NAACP office with a copy of this post with a copy of my NAACP membership card to express my outrage at his characterization of Colored Issues.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Ron,
    Please re-read my entry. Go back and look at The New Jim Crow. The police arrested many young men of color, for substance possession that white youths in the suburbs did not bear the same life changing punishment. The point I was making, clear to many I hope was that for those arrested, convicted, and who served time, there were consequences that went beyond their re-entry into society. Ed Marcus was forgetting that, it appears, and called these post prison consequences unconstitutional.

    For the sake of a word I used above once, “colored”, you wish to push back on something written some time ago, I assume? You also perhaps have a problem with the fact that the words in the NAACP brand, includes the word, colored, that I used because in the world I see today, police bullets and bias are feared by many to include people whose specific origins do not arise from Africa, but because of the color of their skin they may become targets of injustice.

    You said a lot more that bears personal discussion but you have never reached out to have that cup of coffee as I suggested when we last met on the day Senator Moore won.

    And though this message is yours, I have not had that pleasure with Ron either though I have offered that opportunity to him on OIB on many occasions.

    When you come to a meeting of the NAACP of Greater Bridgeport, think seriously about becoming a committee member or committee chair so that your personal beliefs can get exposed and work in common for the larger community. The NAACP brand stands for the words National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and while words seem to come in and out of fashion or usage, the problems of the poor in urban areas does transcend the boundaries described by “black” or “African American”. Realizing how strongly you object to my use of the word, perhaps you will share with all of us your original letter to the NAACP informing them of your personal concern, and suggestion to change their title to eliminate “colored”?

    Be patient with NAACP HQ at this time. The organization at Director and Staff levels has recently seen some departures and changes.

    Locally: On Thursday, June 14, 2017 at 5:30 PM a meeting will be held at Batalla School, the title of which is “Males of Color”, I believe. It is not a Greater Bridgeport NAACP event as far as I know today, but perhaps an element of the Council of Great City Schools of which Bridgeport is a member. Perhaps we can meet there, if not before? Time will tell.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Day I don’t see the reference JML made about you and Ron as the guardians of Colored Issues. Maybe it’s on another post. But you’re going to find your NAACP membership card, go to a meeting and write a letter to the National NAACP office to reprimand JML, who said you and Ron are the guardians of colored issues.

    The NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of” COLORED” People, I think you should find your NAABP, the National Association for the Advancement of “BLACK” People card and go the one of their meetings and write that letter to them about how you found JML’s reference, calling you and Ron guardians of the COLORED issues and the use of the word COLORED instead of BLACKS because you found JML uses of the word COLORED offensive and bigotry.

    PS some Ivy League whites might find your use of words Ivy league whites jargon (“Now I’ll know you’ll try to clean up this response with some Ivy League white jargon, but the fact is your comment reeked of bigotry and was demeaning to every black person who reads its content.” ) offensive and bigotry.

    JML let’s not forget Bill and Hillary Clintons and what Michele Alexander writes about that fight in that uphill battle of those victims of the New Jim Crow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfUxSzv89wY

    Things that make you WTF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfUxSzv89wY

  • Donald Day

    Colored — which can be used as a noun, an adjective or a verb (transitive and intransitive) — is a word packed with history, prejudice and confusion when it’s used to describe someone’s complexion as an indication of race or ethnicity. Usually considered offensive … Colored was adopted in the United States by emancipated slaves as a term of racial pride after the end of the American Civil War. It was rapidly replaced from the late 1960s as a self-designation by black and later by African-American, although it is retained in the name of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Times change and terms change. Racial designations go through phases; at one time Negro was accepted, at an earlier time colored and so on. This organization has been in existence for 80 years and the initials NAACP are part of the American vocabulary, firmly embedded in the national consciousness, and we feel it would not be to our benefit to change our name.” But it’s also regarded as a highly offensive racial slur which recalls a time when casual racism was a part of everyday life.

    In the US, because of the country’s recent era of racial segregation, it is among the most offensive words for describing a black person. You used it to be a smart ass and your use of the word is a slap in the face of every conscience thinking Black person and a lot of us found no humor in your use of the word to describe me and Ron.

  • John Marshall Lee

    You have used several descriptions of me that indicate that you do not hold me in esteem. So be it.

    Please write your letters wherever you wish. It’s a wonderful freedom we enjoy as Americans. Once invited to participate in local NAACP activities I have thrown myself in with energy and a willingness to learn a lot that is not taught in schools, and likely should be.

    Most tasks regarding changes in Bridgeport governance, finances, structure and quality of life require people of all origins, ages, and beliefs to listen and join together in community. Perhaps the word that you accuse me of using incorrectly, that you find so personally offensive and historically out of place may be enjoying a renewal? Why else would “Males of Color” be a current title for a program for City students? Why does the pledge begin with an acknowledgment that 32% of the nation’s African American males and 39% of the nation’s Hispanic males attend school each day in one of the Great City School systems, but suffer preparation for less “successful participation in our nation”? Time will tell.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Africa is not solely black. Wouldn’t Egyptians or other nations on the continent of Africa born in American be African Americans as well? would Obama African American or Kenya-American?

  • Robert Teixeira

    Would Obama be,

  • Robert Teixeira

    And what about all the other countries that brought slaves like Jamaica. Do the ancestors of slaves in Jamaica refer themselves as African-Jamaicans or just Jamaicans?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWBrlnlKeqE

  • Robert Teixeira

    White Jews, black Jews. I still can’t figure how rape and child molestation didn’t make the top 10 covenant. Take a day off beat them out. Things that make you go WTF

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biPDp8pGqGg

    • Lisa Parziale

      Robert Teixeira you seem to gain pleasure from stoking the fires of conversation around bigotry and discrimination. Most of us are well aware of both, not only in Bridgeport but around the world. Most of us stand up to resist and fight where and when we hope to make a difference. Your remarks should be supportive of this rather than jumping in with your demeaning and taunting remarks. My friend Ron, and Donald, along with many others have history, knowledge and experience backing them up, I don’t know who writes for you because you have admitted to being limited in that area and some of your past blogs reveal that, so pass construction interpretations to your ghost writer and try to be part of the solution.

      • Lisa Parziale

        “constructive”

      • Robert Teixeira

        People see what they want to see. If you see my conversation on this thread as stoking the fires of bigotry, so be it. However JML might see it different. People who read this thread will make their own mind up about my intent and yours as well.

        Lisa you seem to take pleasure in addressing my limited knowledge in your posts against me. Maybe some blogger will read it and interpret it differently, but that is the way I interpreted t it. Can you tell me what the problems are in Bridgeport so I can be part of the solution you have been fighting in this city since the 80s? How do you think your fight for a better Bridgeport has been going in the last 30 plus year? Ron and Day do you see my conversation as stoking the fires of bigotry as Lisa suggested?

        • Ron Mackey

          Robert, HELL YES. You can’t wait for Don and myself to write something so that you can jump on it with your spin about race.

        • Ron Mackey

          Robert, Lisa spoke the truth to you and there is no need to discuss this anymore, thank you Lisa.

        • Lisa Parziale

          Robert, I would never take pleasure in even a judging though about anybody with a challenge. I believe I said you’re the one who felt the need to address, real or perceived limited knowledge. Actually, I sense you’re coy, with street smarts, you deflect that with you’re real or made-up challenge.

  • Robert Teixeira

    PS Lisa you stated you know all of Joe’s dirty secrets in your vast experience and knowledge of Bridgeport politics that sent him to prison. How hard did you fight and resist the corruption plaguing this city when you were on the CC? Maybe Joe not giving you what you wanted for your help in his reelection is
    making Bridgeport a better place. but I could be wrong with my limited experience and knowledge.

  • Ben Henson

    Good ol’ Courrupticut. Gotta love it. Is the pool really this shallow?

  • Lisa Parziale

    Robert I’m indulging you because I believe you are really ignorant of the history of Bridgeport as Ron, me and many others know it. Knock off the crap about me not getting what I want. I happen to be one of the rare ones who never did and never will want anything for my service. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have, (Thank God) a real estate career that stems well over 20 years and still going. Go back to the Post reporting in the late 80′s early 90′s and the facts will reveal how hard me and Bob Walsh fought to stop Joey G1 from himself and the City. When you’re finished doing that, ask around the 132nd district, and others outside the district, and you’ll hear what my contribution was to help make life different whenever possible. When you put in one day of public service mister, than you have earned the right to question me. In the meantime, stop stocking the fires of bigotry and discrimination.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Lisa, are you talking about the same Bob Walsh how mock a slave talking to their master? How hard did you fight Joey 1 from himself? As hard as you fought to get him reelected? What does your buddy Day and Ron think about your buddy Walsh and bigotry and discrimination? Please tell me what you found stocking the fires of bigotry and discrimination so I know what to stop, I don’t see it.

    • Donald Day

      Robert, this will be the only time that I will indulge you with a response. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Bob Walsh and that has endured for close to thirty years. What Bob said was what a large segment of the Black and thought, felt and believed and I didn’t have a problem with it then nor has my opinion changed.

      Bob Walsh as a city councilman worked tirelessly on behalf of the Black community to see that we were fairly represented just like our white counterparts. Bob Walsh is one of the best in my not so humble opinion.

      • Robert Teixeira

        I glad Bob didn’t use the word “COLORED” in his degrading, bigotry slave master monologue. Hate for you to search for your NAACP card and write a letter to the organization about how offend your were.
        Day did Bob call other counterparts council members who voted like Evette? SMH.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Ron, Bob W, Lisa and Ron have long histories (and memories) about days past and the way things worked (and perhaps continue to). For the most part youthful days are behind and the future way seems obstructed and energy reserves must be conserved. So, advice is freely extended…whether requested or not….and the cultivation of future leaders is left to chance? Especially if no one cares to work on the development of future leaders? And the first words of Dr Thomas Eliot, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” are ignored while people fail to read his second piece of advice, “It’s all small stuff.”
    And Mayor Ganim is working on what grows on his head rather than new growth within his head yet wishes to be acclaimed as Connecticut’s hope? Would that he destroy all his mirrors and work on a campaign to make the City fiscally stronger!! Heavy lifting? You bet, but wouldn’t that just be practice for the work in Hartford? Will he do what is required for public service to both constituencies? Time will tell.

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