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Ganim Campaign Expenses: 10K For Legal Fees, Thousands To City For Mileage Reimbursement

January 11th, 2018 · 5 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events, State Politics

Mayor Joe Ganim’s exploratory campaign for statewide office is now concluded, roughly $100,000 rolled into his candidate committee for governor. Ganim’s biggest one-shot expense, in the final quarter filing of 2017, $10,000 to the Simsbury-based law firm Hassett & George in its losing federal lawsuit challenge of the State Elections Enforcement Commission denying Ganim participation in Connecticut’s public financing program based on his federal conviction. Joe hates spending money that fails goal. See report here.

In the report, because Ganim was still in an exploratory phase for governor, the committee was limited to $375 personal contributions. Ganim had operated on the leap of faith the court would side with his federal lawsuit, emphasizing donations of $100 and less to reach the $250,000 threshold to achieve a public financing jackpot of roughly $1.4 million for a primary. Denied by the state election watchdog and then the federal court, Ganim has now pivoted to raising funds outside of public financing that allows maximum personal contributions of $3,500. The first report of 2018 showing his fundraising strength will be available in April.

Ganim’s exploratory expenditures include thousands in payments to political consultant Ben Hyde, rental space for his Downtown campaign headquarters, reimbursements to city employees for campaign-related expenses and a December 31, $3,440 payment to the city for mileage reimbursement for using a city vehicle for campaign purposes. Ganim’s use of city police officers, and a city vehicle, driving him around the state has been called into question.

Ganim’s campaign rented a vehicle on the day of his announcement for governor, the SUV City Police Officer Ramon Garcia, who Ganim says was volunteering his time for the day, manned when he was pulled over by a state trooper doing 87 MPH. Garcia was issued a verbal warning.

The fundraising stakes are now much higher for Ganim because he must scour larger dollar donations. Ganim has hired H&P Consulting to bolster his campaign treasury. One of the luxuries of public financing is locking in your public dough after the party convention in May to devote full time to campaigning. Ganim lacks that luxury. He will be fundraising continuously throughout the process. When he’s not governing, or moving around the state schmoozing state insider support, he’ll be locked up by his fundraising adviser for “call time.”

When Ganim’s engaged he’s a relentless fundraiser. Call time for Ganim will be a major challenge because he’s tapped a major part of his Bridgeport area donor base via the $200K he raised for his 2019 mayoral reelection and another $200K for his exploratory effort. He can leverage more out of his local base, but to close in on the nearly $1 million he’ll need to wage a serviceable primary race, he must unearth new money. And that means raising about $100,000 per month if his name appears on the August primary ballot.

So get ready for a call from Joe … “Hey, we’re throwing a (expensive) party …”



5 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    Lennie, you report, “he’s tapped a major part of his Bridgeport area donor base via the $200K he raised for his 2019 mayoral reelection”

    So, he raised money to run for Mayor in 2019 in an amount around $200,000 and with expenses netting him $????in that fund? What can be done with that money while he explored the 2018 governor race? And now that he is running for governor, can the mayoral funds be tapped in any way? In other words, were Joe, without State public financing, denied already by an appeal, to get nominated, raise enough money, messaging and organizational momentum to win the next Governor’s race, I suspect he will not be in the Bridgeport mayoral race since as he has told us, he can do more for Bridgeport in Hartford? What happens to those funds at that time?

    By the way, it is the time of year when one expects the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for FY 2017 to show up courtesy of Finance Department. Remember that the report also has supplementary reporting on State and Federal revenues and how they have been used. Often these funds are ignored as to effectiveness and meeting requirements but the funds are critical to City operations. Were more attention provided to such reporting, better taxpayer understanding of City fiscal matters would likely result.

    Perhaps this is the year that the Budget and Appropriations Committee might hold a public hearing on the CAFR 2017 as preparatory for budget hearings? Maybe questions can be raised in such a hearing and receive answers that evening or be listed for later response? Ask your Council person whether such a new concept fits with their campaign promises. Time will tell.

  • Ron Mackey

    Here we have Joe Ganim running the state trying to become the governor but in the mean time here’s what the residents have to deal with a mayor who doesn’t care about the voters in Bridgeport.

    “Residents vent on Bridgeport 311 after snowstorm, trash pickup delays”

    By Cedar Attanasio Updated 7:20 am, Thursday, January 11, 2018

    RIDGEPORT—Thursday’s nor’easter continued to disrupt city services this week, delaying garbage pickup for the majority of residents cluttering parking lots and side streets with snow.

    Residents launched a flurry of complaints on Bridgeport 311, the Park City’s portal to the municipal complaint clearinghouse SeeClickFix.com.

  • John Marshall Lee

    “When Ganim’s engaged he’s a relentless fundraiser” as Lennie reports above.
    Under a different heading earlier today, I posted the following comments. I am re-posting them here because Ganim2 had certain character traits when he was Ganim1 before he was caught “going off the rails”. Whether he ever provided the people of Bridgeport (or some of them, anyway,) an genuine apology with a promise or expectation of changed practices in a SECOND CHANCE, or merely something that might be called a sign of sorrow or remorse) fundamentally, Ganim the man, has nothing substantial to show in terms of activity for the taxpayers who voted him in. And his “unrelenting” activity is for HIMSELF. Ask him not about the Congress Street Bridge but rather about the how, the why, the expense of his personal financial “bridge building”?

    Maybe “bridge-building” of his own personal benefits between his Ganim1 years, his “Federally mandated ‘time out’, for seven years”, his reintroduction to the real world as part of his penalty, his failure to receive approval or welcome to his request for reinstatement to the CT Bar, and his vigorous campaign to achieve the title of Bridgeport Mayor, once again;
    and his current actual GANIM2 years. What was the mechanism for the request? For the approval? What was the expense of ignoring the decade when his lack of care for the public put Bridgeport behind the curve? What is the practical reason for providing Ganim2 this financial bridge? Time will tell.

  • Ron Mackey

    I would like to change the topic for a moment, I’m glad to hear Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano statement. I’ve been asking Republicans to speak out on the action and comments of 45, now where are the other Republicans in Bridgeport and in the state?

    “Top Connecticut Senate Republican denounces Trump comment”

    Updated 12:00 pm, Friday, January 12, 2018

    The top Republican of the Connecticut Senate is calling on President Donald Trump to apologize for vulgar remarks he reportedly made about immigrants from Africa and Haiti.

    Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano says the comments are “beyond inappropriate and offensive” and “fly in the face of what it means to be Republican and an American.”

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    From the Post:

    … Peter Spain and some colleagues submitted a resolution calling on Ganim to reimburse the city for security while running for governor.

    The resolution is on the council’s agenda Tuesday for referral to the budget committee.

    Ganim’s security detail, its cost, and his sometime use of both a city vehicle and police driver last year while exploring a gubernatorial bid, had already come under fire locally. Then Jan. 3, Ganim’s first day as an official gubernatorial candidate, his rented campaign vehicle, driven by Garcia, was stopped by a state trooper in Southington for speeding at 87 mph.

    A Hearst reporter in the car at the time saw the speedometer needle hit 100 mph.

    Anything over 85 mph is reckless driving. Garcia received a verbal warning from the trooper and, back in Bridgeport, from Perez.

    Subsequently the council’s budget committee this week pledged to examine the costs of Ganim’s security detail in February. But Spain decided to go a step further and introduce his resolution: “Constituents want a clear statement, without delay, that demonstrates that their elected representatives are watching out for them and their interests, using the council’s authority to demand sensible safeguards.”

    Spain has six co-sponsors: Marcus Brown, Karen Jackson, Kyle Langan, Eneida Martinez, Ernie Newton & Christina Smith.

    “He (Ganim) should have protection as long as he’s doing the business of the city,” said Newton. “But not the business of running for governor. Newton added: “Especially when we have a city that’s strapped” for money.

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