Ganim Campaign Finance Report Thick With Donors, Cops Host Pig Roast

Ganim pig roast
Several members of Bridgeport’s finest at a pig roast for Joe Ganim on Saturday. From Ganim Facebook page.

Retired and active city police officers, contractors, lawyers and family members are among the major donors to Joe Ganim’s comeback bid for mayor, according to his monstrous 700-page campaign finance report filing at the Town Clerk’s Office for the period ending June 30 in which he raised more than $200k in a two-month stretch.

Ganim received more than 600 donations with over 50 percent of the contributions from Bridgeport residents, according to the campaign.

The maximum personal contribution allowed by state law is $1,000. Those donors include land use attorney Ray Rizio, Police Captain A.J. Perez, John Chaves of the Bridgeport-based Chaves Bakery, Bill Onkey, owner of The Pawnbroker Downtown, developer Phil Digennaro, Val Sorrentino, retired Deputy Director of Human Services, retired Sikorsky Memorial Airport Manager John Ricci, attorney Dennis Bradley, a candidate for Board of Education, retired FBI agent, now private investigator, Ed Adams, one of the lead agents in the federal investigation that forced Ganim from office in 2003, who’s supporting Ganim’s quest for a second chance.

The report includes donations from many retired and active city police officers. The Bridgeport Police Union endorsed Ganim last week. Ganim also had a police officer-backed pig roast fundraiser Saturday in Trumbull that took place after the filing deadline for the quarter.

Ganim’s report is hernia-risk thick because the campaign opted to list one donation entry per page rather than using the traditional State Elections Enforcement Commission form that has three entries per page. If you want a complete copy of this tome from the Town Clerk’s Office at 50 cents per page the cost is $367.50.

Other donors of various amounts include the city’s education transportation chief Raul Laffitte, attorney Sylvester Salcedo, East Side  Democratic Town Committee members Maria Valle and Gil Hernandez, school board candidates Maria Pereira and Ben Walker, City Librarian Scott Hughes, police commissioner Tom Lyons, former fire commissioner Stuart Rosenberg, retired city education chief Dan Shamas who also served as Ganim’s chief of staff, caterer and restaurant owner John Vazzano,  East End District Leader Ralph Ford, Fairfield steak house owner Michael Musto, brother of former State Senator Anthony Musto, city staff attorney Russel Liskov.

Ganim’s report shows the campaign had $167,307 on hand at the close of the quarter June 30.

The majority of campaign spending was for campaign headquarters, food and beverage for fundraisers, campaign literature and t-shirts and staff.

Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign report shows a total of $515,000 raised at the June 30 deadline with a balance of $388,871. Mary-Jane Foster, who entered the campaign season late has raised $70,075 with $43,512 on hand as of June 30.



    1. All 600 pages are public record and can be reviewed during normal business hours. The professional and helpful staff in the Town Clerk’s office will also provide you with the select pages a member of the public may want at a cost of 50 cents per page.

  1. Wicca // Jul 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    To your post
    Well we know money is no object to Mayor Finch-Wood, after all he has saved with his city-paid green campaign signs on 450 city streets.
    And at this point Wicca, we can safely guess Howard or Charlie or Mary-Jane aren’t really that interested in these contributors.
    Would you agree?

  2. Then Carol, can we assume Joe would have no qualms or objection to posting his entire financial report on his campaign website?
    In the interest of full disclosure. In interest of good government. In the interest of open and transparent campaign finance.

    1. Bob Walsh // Jul 11, 2015 at 11:42 pm
      To your post
      interesting how you re-frame the burden of justifying City-paid campaign signs all over the City touting Mayor Finch-wood.
      That is the point I was making to assure everyone the incumbent certainly has enough money to pay the required fees.

  3. Interestingly enough, I just reviewed the MJF for Mayor Facebook page and I was unable to find a copy of her SEEC filing.

    Hypocrisy? Possibly.

  4. I have received credible reports Finch is running Hernan Illingworth, charter school parent Kadisha Coates, and possibly John Fabrizi for his BBOE slate.

    Illingworth and Coates have no significant following within their respective communities. If Fabrizi is running, it is because Finch is attempting to capitalize on Fabrizi’s name recognition/popularity, especially in the North End. Finch knows Joe is having solid success in the 133rd and 134th.

    Has an elected Bridgeport Mayor ever sought, and been elected to a lower office after serving as Mayor?

    1. Well Maria, let’s look at the list of former mayors. All but Fabrizi ran from Bridgeport the first chance they got.
      They all left town when they left office. They could only run for something else if they decided their commitment were so deep they would rent a condo to run.

  5. Can anyone answer my question? I think it would be rather odd. It would be like a former president running to serve as a state senator. Someone told me a former president had run for lower office after finishing his term(s).

    1. Maria–a person may serve no more than 8 years as President. A former president may run for any elected office he desires to run for, as long as it is not the office of President of the US. That’s basic civics.

      I’m sure any former mayor may run for any elected office he/she desires to run for. I am not aware of any former mayor running for another (different) elected office.

      1. lisawhite, I am aware of the term limits for president, and every other portion of your posting.

        Your last sentence was responsive to my inquiry. Thank you.

  6. Or it would be like a former BOE member who didn’t accomplish a thing and badmouthed most of the other BOE members who did not run again because she was going to be the town chair of a thief party who was taken out of that job who helped elect new members of the BOE but they would not do what she told them to so she decided she wanted to be back on the BOE, sorta something like that, no???

  7. Not to be remiss and ungrateful: Lennie’s party/concert at the Bijou last night was a really great time with lots of nice people and excellent music.

    Great idea–and great venue–for a summer’s Saturday-night gathering in Bridgeport! (The Bijou is looking great!)

    Thanks, Lennie!

  8. Bob Walsh hit the nail on the head. Why when they leave office they move out of Bridgeport? I doubt Ganim even spends the night in his Bridgeport condo, probably heads right back to Easton after campaigning. I like David Daniels and I also like Torres. Not saying I would not vote for Ganim because he or Foster will get my vote come September. Finch is horrible, back in February took the cops over one hour to respond to my call. Read a post today and only 379 Bridgeport cops and 30 more retiring by the end of the year.

  9. Lennie,
    It was a good party on Saturday evening. Thanks for introducing us to a new and distinctive voice.

    And Happy Birthday to you today. Praying you health and success in the year ahead. Obviously … Time will tell.

  10. Lennie, first off FELICIDADES, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I enjoyed both the music and the company at the Saturday event. Jeff Kohut, it was nice to see you, it had been a bit. Steve, finally met you and it was a pleasure (biggest Bridgeport cheerleader since Dino D), Pete Spain also a pleasure, JML and his better half, quickly becoming my favorite (political) couple (you have my support no matter what PARTY you run with). Dave D., Steve S, Mary-Jane nice to see all of you. Would have loved to see/meet donj and Vale la Pena. To those I missed please don’t take it personal (we can blame it on my old age).

  11. Will the police make this Pig Roast an annual event where they support other ex-felons and their push for gainful employment? Or does it just apply to those who are going to give them what they want at the negotiating table?


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