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Ganim Feels The Love, Raises $50K In Comeback Battle Against Finch’s Mighty Campaign Warchest

April 24th, 2015 · 117 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Feliciano, Ganim, Hernandez

Joe Ganim flanked by City Councilwoman Milta Feliciano and East Side District Leader Gil Hernandez.

Update: $50K raised. To chants of “run Joe, run” by roughly 300 supporters in a packed Vazzy’s Four Seasons in Stratford, former Mayor Joe Ganim Thursday night edged closer to an official entry to try to reclaim the position he was forced out of 12 years ago following his conviction on federal corruption charges, promising to build a “better Bridgeport for everyone” at a fundraiser that campaign organizers say hauled in more than $50,000 in an exploratory phase for mayor. Ganim is expected to form a full-blown candidate committee in the coming weeks.

Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign operation that has already raised more than $400,000 will have a lot to say about that in what is shaping up as a potentially wild Democratic primary in September that is expected to include Finch’s 2011 primary opponent Mary-Jane Foster, co-founder of the Bridgeport Bluefish and an executive at the University of Bridgeport. Board of Education member Howard Gardner and multi-mayoral candidate Charlie Coviello are also in the race.

Ganim, Santiago

Ganim schmoozes with Americo Santiago. Sue Katz photo.

An eclectic configuration of city politicians, professionals, activists and even outcasts showed their support for Ganim. On some level there was a surreality to the atmosphere. An interested attendant was retired FBI agent Ed Adams who led the investigation that toppled Ganim’s mayoralty. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Adams, now a private investigator.

“We’re gonna take back our city,” said longtime political player Raul Laffitte, chief of the transportation department of city schools.

Coble, Pereira

City political activist Tom Coble and former school board member Maria Pereira were there supporting Ganim.

Former Democratic Town Committee Vice Chair Dottie Guman, Finch’s political godmother, was on hand to support Ganim. Guman had a falling-out with Finch several years ago.

City Clerk Fleeta Hudson who was first elected with Ganim in 1991 was on hand. This is expected to be her last term. Other pols there to support Ganim were former City Council President Lisa Parziale, East End District Leader Ralph Ford, City Council members Bob Halstead, Richard Salter, Mary McBride-Lee. East Side City Councilwoman Milta Feliciano, who’s also on the city payroll as director of Veteran Affairs, was also in attendance.

Several people in the room had supported Foster in 2011 including Parziale. Former political activist Sylvester Salcedo wrote a check for Ganim saying he wanted to support Foster “but she waited too long.”

Land-use attorney Ray Rizio, an active financial supporter of the city establishment, said he was there to support a friend. “If he was running for dog catcher I’d support him.”

crowd at Vazzano's

The crowd at Vazzano’s. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

Ganim operatives say they were forced to move the fundraiser to a larger venue in Stratford after having planned one for Vazzy’s Bridgeport location. Dozens of people showed up at the door unannounced to attend the fundraiser.

Former West Haven Mayor Richard Borer served as emcee for the speaking portion. He spoke of receiving a call from Ganim about attending a New Year’s Day church ceremony in the East End where Ganim issued his first public apology after a decade asserting he did nothing wrong. It was the first time Ganim admitted he broke the public trust. He spent a couple of months on a media tour reasserting that apology while reaching out to former political and financial supporters.

Charlie Stallworth

Charlie Stallworth addresses crowd. Sue Katz photo.

The pastor of that church, State Rep. Charlie Stallworth spoke about wanting to spend time with his ill sister in Alabama. Stallworth, a deft public speaker, told the crowd his sister told him to “Stay there and help the little white guy.”

Stallworth then spoke about the progress that took place during Ganim’s mayoralty and his broad base of support.

Former State Rep. Americo Santiago also addressed the crowd, saying, “He’s going to be our candidate” adding “we all need each other” to bring Ganim back as mayor. Santiago also recently had a political falling-out with Finch after Finch removed him from the Bridgeport Housing Authority.

Ganim said some people will want this campaign to be about the past. He then segued into higher taxes, low police staffing levels and the disenfranchised under Finch’s mayoralty. Ganim asserted voters want a mayor with optimism and vision.

Ganim addresses crowd

Ganim greets crowd. Sue Katz photo.

Irrespective of the “run Joe, run chants” Ganim had to couch some of his language from an official full-blown candidacy because he’s in an exploratory phase that allows him to raise a maximum personal contribution of $375. Ganim is leveraging this process to raise money, perhaps conduct a public-opinion poll and bring together the various pieces for an expected citywide challenge of Finch. He can then form a candidate committee that allows him to go back to his exploratory donors for a maximum $1000 personal contribution.

Waiting in the wings is a well-financed Mayor Finch and a political operation that knows how to take advantage of the power of incumbency. This campaign will certainly be about the past, present and future. It’s gonna be noisy

CT Post scribe Brian Lockhart’s take here.

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117 Comments so far ↓

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Oh boy, I guess it’s safe to say Finch will ignore Ms. Feliciano from here on in, like a spoiled kid?

    • city hall smoker

      Two possible scenarios: 1. Milta was there as a double agent, reporting back to Finch on who was there. 2. Milta was sincere about her support for Ganim in which case she was called today by either Finch or McCarthy (or perhaps a tag team) and was promised a promotion/salary increase. If #2 is correct, then it’s a true test of Milta’s integrity. I hope she passes the test.

      • city hall smoker

        A district leader in the North End reneged on his support of Ganim when his City-employed girlfriend received a promotion. He was one of the many seen coming out of the mayor’s office. So was his best bud Fabrizi.

  • Maria Pereira

    I must say I was stunned by the number of people who attended. The podium was all set up in the center of the empty dance floor when I arrived at 5:15 pm. By 6:00 pm the podium was pushed into a corner to make room for five more tables. Then an adjacent overflow room was opened. At the height of the evening there were up to 15/20 people waiting in line to sign in or make their donation.

    I saw quite a few local politically active people, however I met many new people from Milford, Stratford, New Haven, Greenwich, etc. I had an absolute blast. You could feel the energy and the excitement in the room.

    • Jimfox

      A day in the life of Mayor Finch

      MF: Honey, how did it go?

      Mrs. F: I’ll never do that again!

      MF: Did anybody recognize you?

      Mrs. F: I don’t think so! I was the only one there with a pair of cat’s eyes sunglasses and a fondue wig, I’m sure I looked like Mrs. Wiggins on the old Carol Burnett show! I will never do that again, next time let flucking McCarthy dress up like Mrs. Sue Wiggins!

      MF: Tom said he was tired of playing Mrs. Wiggins, he needed a rest this time. So start from the beginning honey, and don’t leave out anything!

      Mrs. F: I walk in and they had a large desk where you check in. So this thin chick ask me if I donated on line and I said no! “I’m a walk-in!” She asked me to fill out this form, and I said, “I have small little people who fill out forms for me,” and that I’ll mail it back to you, “and I just wanted to look around!”
      She then said, you can’t come in unless you donate to Joe Ganim’s campaign and fill out the form! So I fill out the form and gave the whore 50 bucks!

      MF: Honey, whose name did you put on the form?

      Mrs. F: Maria Pereira.

      MF: And you gave them cash, right?

      Mrs. F: No, it was a check.

      MF: With our flucking names on it?

      Mrs. F: Honey, don’t be silly! It was one of those PEIG checks.

      MF: What’s a flucking PEIG check?

      Mrs. F: You know, The People for Excellence in Government checks.

      MF: Are you shitting me? I closed that PAC account down and kissed everyone’s ass in Hartford, that’s how close I came to going to jail! No thanks to MJF! Honey, how the fluck did you get your hands on one of those checks?

      Mrs. F: Woody’s wife and I have a box each, no one told us we can’t use them.

      MF: Oh shit! This election is over for me, I’m flucked! So how many people do you think were there, honey?

      Mrs. F: I would say about four hundred to five hundred people.

      MF: Did you recognize anyone from my Easton Fundraiser?

      Mrs. F: Honey, you didn’t have that many people at your donut-raiser!

      MF: Okay! Okay! What did you do next?

      Mrs. F: The next thing I did was to write down everyone’s name on a napkin. Like Hector Diaz, Joel Gonzalez, Bob Halstead, some biker chick named Dolly, Lisa Parziale, Brian Lockhart, the guy who always misquotes you honey, Charlie Stallworth, Tito Ayala, John Gomes, Americo Santiago, Maria Pereira, Paul Ganim, Geo Ganim Sr. and Jr. And someone said Richard Blumenthal was running late from a turtle painting convention? Then I ran out of lipstick! I’m very tired and I’m going to bed.

      MF: Honey! Just one more thing, where the hell did you get 300 flucking Swedish meatballs??? Honey! Honey!

      Mrs. F: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz ZZZZZZzzzzzz

  • Maria Pereira

    The highlight of the evening for me was meeting Joe Ganim’s mom and dad. His father was just so kind and generous when we spoke. His mom is very pretty and we had a nice chat as well. When I asked Joe’s dad how long he had been married he said “fifty-seven or fifty-eight years.” I looked at his wife and said “he needs to be put on punishment for that.” We both chuckled.

  • Maria Pereira

    I just heard Bill Finch was seen hiding in the bushes outside the Four Seasons wearing a Bass Pro baseball cap with a Chipotle snack in one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other. I was told he appeared dazed and confused.

    This same informant told me Adam Wood was seen driving through the parking lot snapping photos of license plates while apparently crying profusely and repeatedly mumbling “please don’t run Joe, please don’t run.”

    Just rumors, guys. Pure rumors. :) :) :)

  • Steven Auerbach

    It looked like a fun gathering. $30,000 is a great start! I can understand a number of the attendees. Telling is the comment by a former Foster supporter. She waited too long. I know Ganim supporters would like this election to be about the future and not about the past. Well it will most likely be the press that makes the past the most important issue. I do not think Finch needs to address it. I still think this election will be a yawn. I will say there were certain individuals there I found very curious. The Rev. Stallworth alone is just plain embarrassing, just love his commercials a la Bob’s furniture, come on down to his church, another way to get votes and name recognition. Always get nauseous when politics and religion mix. Ray Rizio, no-brainer there. He is used to having all of his projects pass zoning. Most of the locals have their hands out, Americo Santiago. Good luck to all. Just gonna be noise. There are so many young voters who know only Finch and were in elementary school here in Bridgeport when Ganim left office. They most likely will be shocked and intrigued when they are educated.

    • Steven Auerbach

      I did count four African Americans including Stallworth, Hudson and Coble. I was actually expecting a huge black turnout unless they are waiting for the second fundraiser. Usually, it is at the first party you get the biggest bang, no? Maybe Charlie Coviello is looking for a deal with Ganim in exchange for his six votes.

      • Steve Miller

        Buy poor Charlie a drink. The poor guy is delusional. He absolutely believes in his staff to get him elected. Poor Charlie is the real village idiot. He should have a cone hat and a kazoo to lead his staff down Main Street. The people will line up every day to watch Charlie and his Kazoo march all the way to St. V’s. He could get a little therapy to remedy his delusion of being the mayor.

        Only Bill and Joe are left to be mayor. I see social agencies everywhere in Bridgeport. We had the biggest companies on the NYSE in Bridgeport but now there are social agencies everywhere and the GE plant disappeared with the taxes GE paid. Move Harding to Boston Ave for what? Just for something to waste money on.

        Millions of dollars drive past but nobody notices. This has become a horror show. Barnum could have this freak show in the circus. Steel Point is coming and Pleasure beach is thriving again. Bring in another merry-go-round.

      • Ron Mackey

        Steve Auerbach, you said your count was you saw four blacks but Lennie lists six names of blacks plus you said, “I was actually expecting a huge black turnout unless they are waiting for the second fundraiser,” why would you think there would be a huge turnout of blacks?

        • Steven Auerbach

          Ron Mackey, uhhhhhh geeeeee duhhhhhh, I guess I was expecting a large number of blacks because the propaganda out there is the black community is supporting Ganim. Mackey, you think maybe that’s why I could possibly expect a large black turnout? Now maybe you will tell me they will vote and I will not mention Ganim is not Obama and as Stallworth said, he’s the little white guy.

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, there were significantly more than four black people there. There were a good amount of Hispanics there also. I had five at my table.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria, when you count Hispanics do you count them as black? I did see white people. I did see a fun, hopeful crowd of the typical crowd that likes handouts. Btw Maria, where does Ganim stand on the Hennessy bill?

          • Lifelong Bpt

            Quote “I saw quite a few local politically active people, however I met many new people from Milford, Stratford, New Haven, Greenwich, etc. I had an absolute blast. You could feel the energy and the excitement in the room.”

            So Maria, have you waived your “Input from Bridgeport people only” rule for Ganim? When Wade from Wade’s dairy offered his opinion here on OIB, you basically told him to shut up and stay in the suburbs.

            Steven–if Ganim gets elected, where does this put BPT on the “Marion Barry, I can’t believe they re-elected this guy” scale? To a lot of outsiders who don’t understand the anti-Finch dynamics of this, Ganim winning again will prompt more “Only in Bridgeport” jokes (sorry Lennie, I may owe some type of royalty fee for using the name). LOL.

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, there were plenty of black and Hispanic attendees. Five tables were added onto the dance floor, and four of those were exclusively black attendees. I was pointing out there were ALSO quite a few Hispanics. There was a significant minority representation.

          • Maria Pereira

            Lifelong Bridgeport, many of the out-of-towners I met were raised in Bridgeport and now live in the suburbs. If they want to support Ganim by attending his fundraiser and donating to his campaign, I am all for it.

            You have “input from Bridgeport only” in quotes as if that is a specific statement I made. I don’t believe that is a specific quote I made.

  • Steve Miller

    Society is a perversion of liars and morons. The way black people are being murdered by cops but all white people want the cops to never go to trial. It’s not the police force, it’s individual cops and prosecutors. Nobody notices the simple front when the media keeps saying cops risk their lives for us.

    That has nothing to do with five specific cops who murdered Eric Garner for standing on the sidewalk, or firing eight bullets into Michael Brown instead of arresting the unarmed kid.

    To believe Brown hit the cop or struggled to take the gun is absurd and stupid. Brown fell 20 feet in front of Wilson’s car.

    What is one thing good Joe has planned for Bridgeport? Not a peep. There are only two people in the city of Bridgeport who are known thieves who white people want to elect.

    I would bring in two huge industries that are perfect for Bridgeport. The money drives right by Bridgeport.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      This is a bullshit post with no facts. I am surprised you did not say hands up don’t shoot, which is another lie perpetuated by the press relating to the Ferguson shooting. It was proven that Brown struck Wilson while he was sitting in his car. Brown walked away and then charged Wilson. At least get your facts right. Garner died more because of health issues than anything else.

      • Steve Miller

        No facts if you live on the moon. The fact is Garner was standing alone. The fact is five cops jumped him and he died. That fact is murder. The fact is nobody ever mentioned those facts. The fact is all the absurd lies from the media were accepted by this entire country because this entire country is in a deep trance from relentless media witch-hunt propaganda. The fact is the NYPD didn’t murder Garner, it was five specific cops who murdered Garner. The fact is the entire event was on a four-minute video. The fact is the prosecutor took nine weeks to find probable cause in the secret grand jury looking at a four-minute video. American society is in a hypocritical trance so deep nobody knows each person is a liar and a hypocrite. Those are the facts Mr. Fardy never heard about and proves he is in a deep trance. The fact is cops murder innocent black people and they are NEVER prosecuted. This is a sick society.

        The people of Bridgeport would be smart to quit being in deranged denial and find a decent candidate who actually presents a plan for Bridgeport to profit from its spectacular location on the Sound with excellent transportation and a massive amount of vacant space for new industry to build the most efficient factories in the world.

        I have three industries in mind. They would generate a huge tax base to lower taxes for everybody.

        Speaking of taxes, how much taxes was GE paying, and how much does GE pay on the factory that disappeared? Is Finch dumb or did Finch take a bribe from GE? If I were mayor I would have those details and Finch would be doing time in Cheshire, not some Fed camp. The CT State’s Attorney John Smriga could wake up and earn the money he’s paid for law enforcement.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Eric Garner died because he was over 350 pounds and refused to obey a lawful order from a police officer. He knew the drill, he had been arrested over 30 times. The police did not pick him out of a crowd. There was a complaint from a store owner about him sell loosies. Get your facts straight.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Hi Jim Fox, it was great talking with you last night. I still say you missed your calling–comedic writing.

  • carolanne curry

    There WAS a huge black turnout. Where were you?

  • carolanne curry

    Oh that’s right Steven, you were merely observing.

    • Steven Auerbach

      And you, Carolanne? Are you a Ganim supporter?

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Steve, you’re full of packed shit. Had you really attended this event, you wouldn’t be asking Carolanne Curry the above question. Curry was leading the collection of contributions at the front entrance and it wasn’t hard to notice her. Tell us who’s anatomy you were really watching.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Joel Gonzalez, of all of the posts you you could be responding to I am not surprised a mentally challenged individual as yourself would respond to mine. Carolanne Curry working on Ganim’s campaign again is no surprise. Another anti-Finch supporter with their hand out. Joel, you are good for Ganim, you bring what, three votes?

          I have said this before but I must state again. I was talking with MJF who told me in a campaign your support comes from anti-incumbent individuals. That was the biggest issue I had working on her campaign. I was never anti-Finch. I was pro-Foster. Most of her supporters were anti-Finch, fired by Finch etc. Now it seems all her supporters are continuing their anti-Finch battle by supporting Ganim. I urge Mary-Jane Foster as a past passionate supporter to sit this election out. Wait four years. A message must be sent to Ganim that the city of Bridgeport is not playing an extra in the life and redemption of Joe Ganim. He FUCKED the city and does not deserve the opportunity to do that again because he needs a job and cannot practice law.

          So Joel Gonzales, the question is not whose anatomy I was watching. The question is why do you think you are relevant. I was just watching the ad Finch had regarding you and MJF supporters with you and Tito, etc. It was on the money.

          Again, Mary-Jane Foster, please do not run, it is apparent most of your supporters went to the Ganim camp, when he decides not to run these losers will find you. They will still be anti-Finch not passionate for Foster. I suggest this out of friendship and respect. Joe already got his bang with an exploratory committee. That is all.

          • Steve Miller

            Did you go to school in Bridgeport? Did you graduate? Is English your second language?

          • Steven Auerbach

            Syria, why?

          • Wicca

            Why? Why should MJF not run? Do you think she takes votes from Finch and may be the catalyst for a Ganim win? It’s not about her friends and supporters it seems, as you are not one of them.

            What do the Ganim folks think? Do they think MJF’s presence could be the catalyst for a Finch win? Yup, I am sure they do.

            What if she is the catalyst for an MJF win? What then?

            Maybe the Hare Krishnas win? WTF will we do then?

            It is what it is and the primary will tell its own tale. Then we will see.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Wicca, why? Why? Why? I think she and Ganim will split the anti-Finch vote. I just do not believe this is her time.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Wicca, because I do not know who you are, I do not want to give a long-winded response. I am a Finch supporter this time around and as far as being friends, well, I guess if you do not know a friend is running for Mayor and you haven’t spoken more than three times in three years then I guess we aren’t friends. Thank you for helping me smell the coffee.

          • Joel Gonzalez

            Steve, there is one important fact everyone seems to ignore. Before MJF decided to run for mayor four years ago, I had made it clear I was waiting for Joe Ganim to make a decision and there were many others doing the same. I spoke with Joe Ganim before MJF made up her mind and he made it clear he would not be entering the race. I asked him what he thought about MJF and he spoke well of her. I then went full steam ahead for MJF. Joe Ganim left her an open door four years ago only to have Bill Finch and his Democratic Machine slam it shut on everyone’s faces and on my finger in my case as you’ve pointed out with the YouTube video.

          • Steven Auerbach

            See Joel, I had no idea you wanted Ganim four years ago. Well there you have it, everyone wanted Ganim. I guess Finch will have to get busy and Mary-Jane would be wise to listen to this man who supported her passionately. Do not run! Wait four years. The city will be ready for change. Finch will attempt to follow Ganim’s career path and run for Governor and Ganim will be banned from running for public office. Looks like we all win.

  • Bob Walsh

    If the crowd were any bigger they would have had to hold it at Jurassic Park!

  • Bob Walsh

    I was playing the Park City angle. You’re the one who brought up dinosaurs. But if the shoe fits …

  • Bob Walsh

    I guess I could have used the Back To The Future angle. That was funny rather than scary.

  • Bob Walsh

    Did you like this quote, Lennie? “I’m totally convinced this young man … never did the things they accused him of,” said George Ganim, reiterating his long-held position about his son. WTF!!!
    So Joe will run around and apologize for nothing specific as dad continues to proclaim his innocence. Is that the game plan for dealing with his past?
    Back To The Future II.

    • John Marshall Lee

      I saw the quote Bob, and agree with you. If Dad is in denial then Joe will not exhibit words and statements to secure votes he might otherwise have. And that means Dad might have to retract his words or retrace his steps. As a father you can understand George, just the way I understood how John Fabrizi was attempting to help his son by going to court to be a character witness for a sexual abuser.
      Does Dad understand Joe’s shot at redemption may be for real and/or imagined excesses by the Ganim family over the years?
      Time will tell.

      • Steven Auerbach

        I was shocked Mr. Ganim believes his son was innocent. Maybe that is why it was so difficult for Joe Ganim to apologize after all these very very very long years. This is shocking. Maybe that is going to be the Ganim Narrative–I was innocent. Innocent, I tell ya!!!

  • Bob Walsh

    If I were asked for my advise I would have suggested to city employees they should wait until the new budget is passed before coming out of the closet.
    Right now the council can start eliminating positions in the budget while telling the voters “we heard your pleas for tax relief.”

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Let’s start a pool to see how long Santiago will stay with Ganim before he switches to Finch.

  • Lisa Parziale

    STOP IT!!! The attendees at last night’s event represented the makeup of Bridgeport’s diversity. Shame on you fools actually admitting you were racially counting. The energy in that room was almost palpable. Joe Ganim will be good for Bridgeport, he will be an even better Mayor than he was, and he will make the progress we’ve waiting for. Seven years people, are some of you blaming Joe for that also?

    • John from Black Rock

      Why yes Lisa, to a large degree I am blaming Ganim. His pay-to-play philosophy retarded economic development in Bridgeport during the boom of the 1990s, putting us in a hole we are just now beginning to dig ourselves out of–not to mention the black eye his felony convictions gave the city as a whole.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Maria, I don’t include you in my prior post. I’m astounded, bloggers who were not even in attendance are basing their remarks on pictures.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Andy Fardy, I agree with you. Start a pool!

  • Bob Walsh

    One nanosecond after he gets a better offer. A better offer defined by more guaranteed money.

  • Bob Walsh

    Here is the problem.
    Ganim said some people will want this campaign to be about the past.
    One of those people is JOE GANIM. He wants it to be all about the good things from the past and none of the bad. And please excuse me if I have a few of the events mismatched but how do you talk about the good of Harbor Yard and Harbor Arena and ignore the corrupt acts involved in building them such as allowing the hauling of other contaminated soil mixed in with Bridgeport’s at the expense of Bridgeport taxpayers? Or the expense to redo parts of the arena’s HVAC system because unqualified contractors were selected for politics’ sake?
    How do you talk about how Joe made Steal Point development-ready and ignore the cost and the time of the Conroy lawsuit? How do you avoid the rigged inflated cost of asbestos removal and demolition?
    How can Joe tell us what you will do with Downtown North and forget to mention how you screwed it up and made it the disaster it is today?
    Some people will want this campaign to be about the past and some people will say bring it on.

  • Bob Walsh

    It keeps getting Bitter
    blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2015/04/24/paoletto-lands-on-feet-in-private-sector/
    Richie Paoletto gets a job with a City of Bridgeport contractor and financial contributor to the mayor’s causes.
    And Bill and Brett say Good for him!!!

    • city hall smoker

      Richie was heard only two weeks ago boasting about his support for Joe Ganim. I guess he changed his tune given the recent job offer. His son was at Vazzy’s last night taping the whole thing. Look for other members of the Paoletto/Marella family to get jobs or increases in the coming weeks. Unless of course it has already happened. City Hall moves pretty fast when votes are on the line.

  • Bob Walsh

    Let’s add revolving door policy to the missing ethical standards in the Pork City.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    What I am afraid of is if Ganim becomes the mayor he will bring back the same people who were with him when he got in trouble. Many of them were at last night’s fundraiser.

    • Wicca

      Yes, that’s the word on the street, many, many of the past. I am hoping this is a new day for Joe Ganim, and he puts forth a campaign that emphasizes that fact and follows up by surrounding himself with those of known and proven integrity if he wins. Known and proven.

      It’s a new day and it should be for all our sakes. Aren’t we all familiar with the definition of insanity at this point?

    • Donald Day

      Andy, Grimaldi, paging Lennie Grimaldi.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Andy, I didn’t see Bill Finch at the Ganim fundraiser. Bill Finch was the key councilmen who got Joe Ganim in trouble. Bill Finch as chairman of the Contracts and Appointments Committee got council approval for just about all contracts or contractors targeted by the FBI. Anyone know if the FIB agent who led the probe contributed anything, as Lennie reported he was there?

  • Wicca

    There are other alternatives in this race, but the only alternative I see who can offer what we need and is worth serious consideration is Mary-Jane Foster.

    No matter what folks might think about her timing for a run in this primary, she is worth checking out. She brings none of the assorted baggage the other two do, and she is qualified.

    For those of use who are not Finch fans, she is worth a very serious look for sure. Voters make the game change. Just putting it out there.

    • Steve Miller

      Are Finch, Ganim and Foster the only possibilities for mayor of Bpt? An invitation for candidates to be given an opportunity to convey their message on the public-access channel to have a video that can be reviewed and really considered could surprise citizens who want good jobs, good entertainment, good education, lower taxes, to benefit from the perfect location we have.

      Not using the public-access channel for this critical purpose indicates poor judgement. Each candidate could have a full hour instead of having hours for preachers blabbing nonsense.

      The media should report a schedule of candidates for people to know to tune in to make an informed judgment based on specifics or total lack of specifics.

  • Bob Walsh

    Think about the irony of it all. What was Joe Ganim’s downfall? Money. Specifically campaign funds. So what is his big splash about? Money. Campaign money.
    And what are the lessons learned? Start with an exploratory committee. It allows you to raise more money. This does not sound like a man who has changed. This does not sound like a man who has learned any lessons. This sounds like Joe Ganim all over again.

  • Maria Pereira

    Bob, was Ganim convicted of using campaign funds for his personal use? I don’t recall that.

    Filing an Exploratory Committee is both legal and smart. It will allow me, my family and close friends to contribute $1375.00 to his campaign instead of just $1,000.

    This event was much more than just raising money. It was about bringing people together who represented diversity in culture, ethnicity, economic status, etc.for one common cause. Elect Joe Ganim and get rid of Finch the Grinch.

    Bob, it appears as if you are a bit green with envy. I honestly don’t believe MJF will be able to draw over 300 people from all walks of life to her first fundraiser. Just my opinion.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria Pereira, 300 people showing up at a fundraiser doesn’t equal victory in any election.

      • Maria Pereira

        Ron, I don’t believe I stated the incredible turnout at Joe’s first fundraiser equated to an election-day victory.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Ron, as you stated 300 people do not mean you will raise $300K, I have been to fundraisers where a few invited guests were there and the funds raised were astronomical. Unless they have changed their ways, many of the people I saw in the photos were freeloaders. Nothing changes.

    • Steve Miller

      Using the public-access channel eliminates the bribes to candidates. Each prospect should have the same time allocated to remove payoffs giving more time for the bribes used to pay for media ads. Then the media covers the candidates who paid for the ads. The public is screwing themselves with this bribe payoff system that has convinced you only three people in Bpt should be considered for mayor.

  • Donald Day

    Maria, I can assure you when and if Mary-Jane Foster runs she will indeed have people from all walks of life. I’ll be there with my checkbook and a strong work ethic to see that she is elected and the new Mayor of Bridgeport. Team MJF.

    • Maria Pereira

      Donald Day, do you believe MJF will draw over 300 attendees to her first fundraiser?

      We are all entitled to support whomever we choose. I have chosen to support Joe Ganim, and you have chosen to support MJF. To each his/her own.

  • Bob Walsh

    Maria,
    Take the blinders off or start reading the history of Joe Ganim.
    I did not say Joe took money but please if you have no idea as to what you are talking about, please be quiet.

  • Maria Pereira

    Bob, no, you be quiet. You clearly implied Joe Ganim was involved in some impropriety taht involved campaign funds. I simply asked you a question regarding your statement, and stated I do not recall his being charged or convicted of any type of misappropriation of campaign funds.

    • Maria Pereira

      Bob, Donald and Ron, I would like to propose a wager. I would like to wager $100 each that Joe Ganim will garner more votes than MJF in the September 16, 2015 primary.

      I already have the same wager with Steve Auerbach for the primary regarding Ganim and Finch.

      Talk is cheap, fellas. Maria Pereira, the Portuguese Piranha is willing to put her money where here mouth/keyboard is.

      What do you say? Do we have a bet?

      • Steven Auerbach

        Maria, your defense of Ganim is equivalent to Ms. Balock, the character in the OMEN sent to protect Damian the anti-christ. The more you defend Ganim to Bob Walsh, the more naive you sound. The money involved in Ganim’s corruption was outrageous, you are making it out to be a minor insignificant blip in Ganim’s political campaign. It is great you are passionate about Ganim. I expect I will win my bet with you. I do believe your passion will translate into votes. Carolanne Curry, Lisa Parziale, Tito Ayala, Joel, Hector not so much.

        As for Mary-Jane Foster, who I am hoping will sit this race out, should have no problem getting 300 people to her fundraiser. The difference between her and Ganim is black and white. She is respected and a contributor to the city. She is ethical and doesn’t need a job. Her running will not cast a black shadow over this city and she unlike Ganim will not be surrounded by individuals looking for their old jobs and commissions.

        I am supporting Finch because there is no candidate who deserves to take all of his efforts that have finally come to fruition and cross the finish line. You would never hear a negative word about Foster or Howard Gardner or David Daniels from these lips. Finch should have challengers.

        Maria, before Ganim made a deal for a $500,000 contribution to his gubernatorial campaign, he made a video regarding Steelepointe. The lawsuit cost the city more than you can imagine. Watching this commercial reminds all of us how the city was paralyzed during the Ganim administration. All of the lost projects. We can never know how badly Joe Ganim retarded the growth of this city in his 10 years of pay to play. Run Joe, Run.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria Pereira, you seem to be getting upset, why is that? I’ve never seen you this upset on OIB behind what, you are being challenged about people attending a fundraiser. What is it you are defending?

    • Maria Pereira

      Ron, I’m not upset. I am having fun with this election. My comments about the wager were written not mean-spirited. I am definitely open to the wager, though. :)

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron, I don’t get the vibe Maria is upset, she’s a person who has passion. I always did, and always will say the same about Bubba (Bob Walsh). I’ve known and served with Bob long enough to know him. When he truly believes in what he’s doing or saying he’s passionate in the way he delivers his message. There were people who thought he was being anti-whatever, but they all realized they were wrong in the end. Sorry for the tirade Ron, I just want to make a point.

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa Parziale, no problem. I understand passion but Maria is showing a lot of passion over just being questioned about a fundraiser to the point she said, “I would like to wager $100 each that Joe Ganim will garner more votes than MJF in the September 16, 2015 primary.” What makes her think September 16, 2015 is the magic date, yes for a primary but the real date is Nov. 3, 2015 and who knows what names will be on the ballot then?

  • Donald Day

    Maria, first of all I don’t bet on anything other than Donald Day. I was in the American Legion Post 140 this afternoon with about 15 to 20 people and Bridgeport politics was a topic of conversation. The consensus was most had no allegiance to either Joe or MJF, what was definitive is everyone said, anyone except Mayor Finch.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron, I get it!

  • Maria Pereira

    Can someone please post when was the last election for Mayor in which the Democratic Primary winner did not go on to win the election in November?

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria Pereira, when Charlie Tisdale ran.

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria Pereira, also Tom Bucci.

  • Maria Pereira

    Ron, based on your answers I believe Bucci was more recent than Tisdale. So for the last 13 mayoral elections the winner in the Democratic Primary went on to become the Mayor. Am I correct?

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria Pereira, NO, Tisdale in 1983 where he won the primary then lost in Nov. where he had over 13,000 votes but he lost by 1,000 votes because Mandy ran as the third candidate and he got over 10,000 votes and the Republicans won. Then Bucci who lost to a Republican.

      • Ron Mackey

        Maria Pereira, what makes you think Finch, Foster or Ganim would sit on the sidelines if they lost the Democratic primary and not run in the general election on Nov. 3, 2015?

        • Maria Pereira

          Ron, I am not saying they won’t run on an independent line, however I am fairly confident the WFP will not endorse Mayor Finch. If WFP endorses MJF they will lose total credibility. MJF is a millionaire, has never done anything of real significance for the poor, minorities, the working class or labor. This is what the WFP claims they stand for.

          It will also cause conflict with those who were most involved in introducing and promoting the WFP when they first arrived in Bridgeport. That is not hearsay, I have heard that directly from those first involved with the WFP in Bridgeport.

          In addition, I raised more money for the WFP candidates in the 2013 BBOE elections than all the candidates did combined. I have no intention of doing so in the upcoming election. I would like to help elect WFP BBOE candidates, however I could not do that if MJF were on the line.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Maria, you don’t know a God-damned thing about Mary-Jane Foster. You know MJF is a millionaire, HOW? Did someone tell you, which is the usual part of your diatribes. “Someone called me” or “Someone e-mailed me”. You see Maria, you don’t know shit. You know MJF never did anything for the poor, blacks or labor. You know this how? You are a vicious bullshit artist who would not know the truth if it bit you on the ass.

          • Ron Mackey

            Maria, please tell us what Joe Ganim and Bill Finch have done, anything of real significance, for the poor, minorities, the working class or labor when they were in the private sector.

          • Ron Mackey

            Andy, boy you are so right, Maria doesn’t know anything abut MJF.

          • Joel Gonzalez

            Ron Mackey, what did Obama do for minorities when he was employed in the private sector? I’ll even throw in his years with ACORN.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Good, stay in your apartment.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Maria, Tom Bucci as incumbent mayor won the Democratic primary in 1989. He lost the general election to Republican Mary Moran. In 1991, Ganim won the Dem primary then defeated Moran in general election. Ganim did not have a primary as incumbent mayor for years 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999. Four-year term for mayor, approved by voters, started in 1999. John Fabrizi replaced Ganim as mayor in April 2003, won the Democratic primary in close race, then won the general election. With open seat in 2007 Finch defeated Chris Caruso in a close primary. Finch won the general. Finch defeated Mary-Jane Foster in 2011 primary, then won the general.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Lennie, you’ve hit on the nerve that makes others contemplating a mayoral run from now a good reason to worry. If Joe Ganim wins it will be nearly impossible to defeat him. He will prove his critics wrong. He won’t screw things up or allow one or a few to taint the new opportunity provided to him.

  • Maria Pereira

    Lennie, thank you. But am I correct in stating it has been approximately 32 years since the Democratic candidate for Mayor, elected in the Primary, was not elected as Mayor in the November election?

  • Local Eyes

    I will never miss The Big Time because blogging here on OIB is all The Big Time I will ever need! (wink)

  • Ron Mackey

    Joel Gonzalez, as for what Obama did in the private sector, just Google it.

    • Ron Mackey

      Joel Gonzalez, Obama helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

      April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois’ Project Vote, a voter registration campaign with ten staffers and seven hundred volunteer registrars; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be.

  • Maria Pereira

    Andy, if anyone is “vicious” and a “bullshit artist” it would be you. Quite frankly, you are all bark with no bite. You’re just a crotchety, miserable person.

    I recommend you look at the assessed value of her home on Sailor’s Lane and Google her husband. Unless she signed a prenuptial, she is a millionaire.

    I spent five hours walking in Thomas Hooker today. I repeatedly asked residents if you had a choice to vote for Joe Ganim, Bill Finch or MJF for Mayor who would you vote for? You know what every single person asked me? Who is MJF? Not a single person knew who she was.

    Joe Ganim joined me for about an hour. Several residents asked me to take pictures of them with Joe Ganim so they could post the pictures on Facebook. In five hours only one voter told me they planned on voting for Finch. No one told me they would vote for MJF, and everyone else said they were leaning towards Joe, or they would absolutely and unequivocally vote for him.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, people were being kind to to you. Thomas Hooker is not Ganim territory. Besides, walking with Joe, who would be mean enough to say they are not voting for him. He is a very likeable guy. But you have your work cut out for you. He is a man with very heavy baggage.

      Maria, I thought it was Joe Ganim who lived on Sailors Lane, not MJF. What is the difference if she and her husband are wealthy? Ganim is wealthy. The difference is Foster put her celebrity to work supporting many local enterprises. Foster lives in Bridgeport, Ganim lives in Easton and only recently moved to the city just to have an address. People may well remember good times under Ganim but they will most likely remember the negatives and as the months go by his support will dwindle based on educating the voters and new registrations. Young voters will be disgusted with Ganim’s hubris. Good luck to Mary-Jane Foster and Bill Finch.

      • Maria Pereira

        Steve, please stop speaking about the Thomas Hooker neighborhood voters and who they will or will not support. I have spent hundreds of hours walking this neighborhood since Spring 2013. How many hours have you spent knocking on doors and talking to voters in Thomas Hooker in the last three years?

        You truly damage your credibility when you make baseless assertions.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Ahhhhhh Maria, I do not spend my free time knocking on doors as I do not want to be as annoying as a Jehovah’s Witness or yourself, listening to you on the blog you seem to forever be knocking on doors. All I can say for myself is everyone who knows me knows I have a passion for this city. I do not have a personal agenda. I do not rip off the faces of those who support charter schools and I do not blow smoke up my ass to make anyone believe I am a kingmaker.
          Not only have I lived in the Thomas Hooker Beardsley Park area for 20 years, I still hang there at least three times a week. I’ve owned property there and was never an absentee landlord. I knocked on doors while fighting the Nob Hill Academy as well as for Melanie Jackson and Scott Hughes. I generally respect all candidates and have friends who support many different candidates from myself. Makes conversation fascinating.

          One thing I am certain of is Mayor Finch is well-liked in the Thomas Hooker School area and Mary-Jane Foster was also well-liked. Joe Ganim is reviled and most who support him are people who have lost their ethics or have their hand out or just plain hate Bill Finch! People will tell you what you want to hear because they want to close the door and get back to Game of Thrones on demand. It is the nature of knocking on doors. When Ralph Ford’s delightful daughter came to my door supporting Marilyn Moore, I enjoyed her so much and she was telling me how much she loved Bill Finch and I understand her father wants Ganim. Lolol, that should be interesting because I thought Ralph Ford’s daughter was a delightful breath of fresh air and it really was a pleasure talking to her. Even when I told her I was supporting Musto, lololol but I did tell her I’d support Marilyn Moore if she won the primary. And I did and had her sign on my lawn. People give you poker faces when you knock on their door and you should know that. The only people who are generally rude to you when you knock on their doors are the individuals who are staunch supporters of another candidate, otherwise it’s always a poker face and a smile :-) . To be honest I cannot imagine Mike Marella, Chris Rosario, Richie Paoletto or Andres Ayala not supporting Finch. I think Ayala is extremely popular at Hooker School and unlike Gomes supporting Foster, I do not believe Ayala is fearing his job. They love him at Hooker. I could be wrong. But I am not!

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Steve, Marella will support Finch as he needs to protect his wife’s $104,000 salary from the Lighthouse program.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Maria, you still are the same horse’s ass you were yesterday. You looked up the assessed value of the house MJF and her husband live in and then assumed they were millionaires. I looked you up in the assessments and could not find anything. YOU MUST HAVE HOUSE ENVY.
      Maria, so what if MJF and her husband are well off, they earned it. What do you think, your candidate Joe Ganim is penniless? Please BTW you forgot the neighbor who told you under no circumstance would he or his wife vote for Ganim.

      • Maria Pereira

        Andy, well you are just an “ass.” Really, what neighbor told me neither he nor his wife would vote for Ganim under “no circumstance?”

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Maria, you know damned well who told you they would never vote for Ganim and it was said in Joe’s presence. They live on my street. Maria, you have spent a lot of time walking the streets but 100s of hours, really.

  • Tom White

    Did I miss something?

    Has Joe Ganim admitted guilt for the felony crimes he was convicted of or is he still just saying he made mistakes?

  • Maria Pereira

    Andy, yes, hundreds of hours. No, I don’t know who you are speaking of who made the remarks you quoted.

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