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Ganim Fundraiser Rakes In Roughly $150K

March 24th, 2017 · 48 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Ganim fundraiser 3

Full house in ballroom of Testo’s restaurant.

It was like old times again Thursday night for Mayor Joe Ganim and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. A full house of more than 300 in the ballroom of Testo’s Restaurant hauled in an estimated $150,000 for the mayor’s 2019 reelection campaign. Why wait for the last minute?

Miro, Ganim

City employee Lisa Miro with Ganim.

The city payroll stepped up, as expected, as well as a pot of money Ganim did not enjoy in his 2015 comeback from representatives of the business community who had initially supported former Mayor Bill Finch in the primary and Mary-Jane Foster in the general election. In fact, a number of business community members who proclaimed two years ago they could never write a check for Ganim, pulled out their checkbooks at an event in which the chairman was recommending a $500 donation to the maximum $1,000 personal contribution allowed by law, depending upon your standing in his own eyes, be it your public employee salary or business you receive from the city. Some ponied up less than $500, but there were many $500 and $1,000 checks.

Mario, Ganim fundraiser

Mario Testa directs traffic prior to fundraiser.

The Ganim campaign report will be available for review after the filing period in early April.

Lembo, fundraiser

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo was among the high profile pols in attendance.

Testa takes pride in his fundraising ability and the septuagenarian showed he still knows how to rake it in, backed by a fundraising team that included several city employees. A number of them noted to OIB, unsolicited, they made fundraising calls on their own time.

Why start so early raising money? It’s not really so early. Ganim is now 16 months into his four-year term. If the opportunity is there, you raise it. Plus, the mayor and Mario wanted to get a big-ticket event out of the way in case an opportunity arises for Ganim in a statewide run for a constitutional office next year. A lot of this depends on how things shake out in the next several months. Will Democratic Governor Dan Malloy seek reelection?

DiNardo, fundraiser

The legendary city developer Sal DiNardo. Snapped picture while camera-shy Sal wasn’t looking.

A name often floated as a potential gubernatorial candidate is State Comptroller Kevin Lembo who attended Ganim’s fundraiser. State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. was also there.

The fundraiser featured an eclectic group of young and old, city employees, business community, labor leaders, lobbyists and veteran givers in addition to the typical political gypsies, tramps, thieves, demagogues and assassins who write a check and show their face. It’s the nature of the beast. Several “guests” of the chairman also showed up who did not write a check, Testa’s nod to some pols unhappy with Ganim in an effort to keep them on board.

Dunn, Gill

The Kiddie Korps rides again. Former Mayor John Mandanici, elected in 1975 hired a bunch of 20-somethings that took on that moniker. At left, Civil Service Personnel Director David Dunn and Economic Development Director Tom Gill, bridge Mandy to Ganim.

Paoletto, fundraiser

City Councilman Anthony Paoletto, right, takes in the crowd.

Always fun for OIB to walk into a packed political event to field the unsolicited comments about the OIB comments section.

“Oh wow,” said one, “What Lisa Parziale wrote about Mario!”

“Can’t wait to read what Fardy writes next,” said another, about OIB’s resident curmudgeon Andy Fardy.

“Day and Mackey,” declared another, shaking head, walking away, a reference to the dynamic duo retired firefighters Donald Day and Ron Mackey.

And a whole bunch of references to “Maria Piranha.” That, of course, is school board member Maria Pereira who mixes it up pretty good on OIB.

Isn’t it nice to be read!

Pols beware.

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48 Comments so far ↓

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Wow, huge crowd. So “on the record” Mario and Joe pulled in $150,000. Now figure the cost of the food and booze for 300 people, got to figure Mario charges what, $60 a head? So that’s an $18,000 tab. I’m thinking Mario and Joe each pocketed four grand or so, not a bad payday for them.

  • Maria Pereira

    I will be reviewing every nuance of the report. I will be reporting how many donations came from the payroll ,and what their total was. Then I will report how many of the donors can vote in a Bridgeport election.

    Finch raised $600,000 from wealthy donors in Greenwich and Westport. Money CAN’T buy you love. :)

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Lennie, is that David Dobbs, vice pres of the firefighters union in the fourth pic? If so, all I can say is, unbelievable, he was so outspoken against Joe during the election, now he’s attending fundraisers for him??? Laughable.

  • Maria Pereira

    Hmmm… I recognize these are just a few photos, however very few minorities are pictured.

    I know of two separate individuals who raised about $40,000 each for Ganim’s 2015 campaign. Both refused to donate, refused to raise money, and refused to attend the fundraiser.

    The vast majority of the Portuguese community refused to donate to Ganim. Ganim’s largest fundraiser during the Primary was at O’Manel’s at which $49,000 was raised.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Lennie, I am sorry I didn’t get a chance to say hello. It was a terrific turnout and it was great seeing so many old friends. It was great seeing my old sparring partners during the Finch/Ganim primary. I was so happy to be there and the food was, as always, excellent. Maria P. I think you will be very disappointed to find there were many Portuguese people there. Many of your “friends.” As far as minorities go, I think all were extremely well represented.

    The bar was open, there was not one empty seat and people had no problem schmoozing. Clearly it was an extremely successful event. Obviously, without a seat to spare it was clear it could not be evaluated any other way unless you were Donald Trump reinventing reality.

    I had a great time! :-)

    • Senior65

      I had a great time, and I am a city employee. No one force me to come. I was invited, charged too??????

      Hey Donald Day behave yourself if you don’t approve of the Mayor does that mean four years of your negative remarks? Lol. What are you accomplishing? You sound like someone else WE ALL know, please don’t go there.

      How are you otherwise, haven’t seen you in awhile?

      I had a good time, good food, cocktails and fellowship all complimentary!!! Some of everybody was there, you would be surprised. One of your own who is now a City of Bridgeport employee, under the Honorable Mayor Joseph Ganim. :)

      • Andrew C Fardy

        You spent your money to go to this fundraiser for shits and giggles, right? You were there looking for something like everyone else. Don, this writer said one of your own was there. What does that mean? You are a KA.

  • Maria Pereira

    There were not a lot of Portuguese people there. As an actual member of the Portuguese community, I think it is safe to say I would know that particular fact more than you would.

    There were lots of “fillers” who either donated nothing or donated little. I had several city employees tell me they felt obligated to go.

    I am not saying money wasn’t raised. I am saying Finch raised plenty of money from the payroll, unions and out-of-towners, however that doesn’t translate into votes at the polls.

    Linda McMahon, Bill Finch, Hillary Clinton, etc. ALL had plenty of money, but what they All didn’t have was the support of the voters.

    Ganim will never win Black Rock, the 138th District, Wilbur Cross, Blackham, Park City, Brooklawn, etc. He lost Black Rock mightily BEFORE he raised taxes. He won all the other schools by 30 or fewer votes BEFORE he raised their taxes.

    A black candidate of caliber will hurt him in all the Black communities. We already saw Ganim struggled in every white precinct but Thomas Hooker. He will clearly be decimated in my precinct in 2019.

    The Hispanics are already meeting to run a Hispanic.

    I think it will be quite interesting in 2019.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    LOL Steve, All in on Joe now. Hard to take you seriously, the way you flip-flop on people.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Harvey Weintraub, how sad it must be to be you. 50 percent of the people in that room are friends of mine. 50 percent of the people who worked for Joe Ganim are personal friends of mine. To think a person’s loyalty to a candidate is a lifelong commitment is ignorant. I was not required to go to Ganim’s fundraiser. I am not a city employee, I am not a business that is the beneficiary of crumbs thrown by the city. I was not a filler. I paid! Do any past candidates feel betrayed that I attended a great function? Well isn’t that too fucking bad. Let them tell me to my face. I will look at them like they are insane. As though anyone ever did anything for me other than take my time and money. So Harvey, you won’t see me attending a Trump fundraiser. It is my intention to support the Mayor and the success of my city. Anyone Harvey, who wants to see the Mayor and the city fail is a total asshole, no? Would you Harvey Weintraub be one of those assholes? Will you be that for three years?

      Maria Pereira, maybe the entire Portuguese community was not there but the people you know well were. You would know better than I. You speak Portuguese? You patronize Portuguese restaurants and other business in the city? The answer is NO!

  • Donald Day

    Really Lennie, a mention of Ron and myself just brought a shaking of the head and a walk away. I can’t believe after all the illuminating, insightful and relevant posts we make from a purely Afrocentric perspective all we got was a damned head-shake and a walk away. I must say I’m deeply hurt, so someone has to fill the raft of the dynamic duo for the less than enthusiastic response.

    Hell has no fury like two Brothers scorned. It’s on and popping now people, trust and believe.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Well Well Well, 300 ass-kissers all in the same room. I hope they had a proctologist there to pry the lips off Ganim’s ass.
    This guy is raising money for a run at state office and if anyone thinks differently they are clueless.
    For those of you who have forgotten, Ganim could have had the Lt. Governor slot but he refused to step down as mayor and the rest is history.
    If Dobbs from the fire union was there it’s not a surprise. The union has sold out any and all future firefighters by negotiating away many of the hard-earned benefits once enjoyed by the FF union.

  • Follow the Money

    Andy, he was the LG candidate in 1994. I guess you have forgotten.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Friends,
    I was attending the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Director’s meeting and then down to Norwalk to participate in one of the final board meetings of Voice of the Faithful in the Diocese of Bridgeport. As a member of the latter group I have been a Board member since 2003 and was President for two years 2007-08. When I listened to a few of those who had been sexually abused as youth by predatory men with collars that proclaimed their priestly vocation, I felt called to be part of a group that stood by those abused, sought integrity and worked for change.
    Just like the NAACP, seeking fairness and justice for those who were attacked while particularly vulnerable, our local VOTF does not say there is no more worry, but rather as the movie SPOTLIGHT showed it is difficult to expose and root out bad behavior when the status quo works for those in positions of protective power. It is where I first came to understand and know all institutions in a free land owe OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST Governance to those whom they would serve.
    Lennie, I am surprised my name, initials, or closing phrase was not mentioned. In the middle of the VOTF meeting, I got a call from a Bridgeport source with a new story to follow up. Was there no mention of the Print Shop question I raised? Will there be an official answer as to whether this Department takes in revenue and handles it responsibly, in which case City fiscal records are not in accord? Or, what? Time will tell.

  • Follow the Money

    Thanks to you and VOTF for all your good works. God may Delay but He does not Deny!

  • Tom White

    Lennie, did it feel like déjà vu all over again?

  • Tom White

    JML, this was not a gathering to discuss the welfare of Bridgeport. This was about Democrats who want to take care of their own needs (income from a City job or support for a potential candidacy) before the complete collapse of Bridgeport from unfundable obligations in union contracts.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Tom White, how is Donald Trump doing? Proud of the Republicans??? 64 days in and so many disappointments.

      • Ron Mackey

        Steve, come on President Donald Trump said it, “Obamacare is the law of the land and Obama is still the man. Nancy Pelosi is the woman who got Obamacare passed, something Paul Ryan couldn’t do. Imagine, a black guy not born in America and a white woman, Nancy Pelosi, who is 76, did something The Donald couldn’t do. Steve, Tom White is still drinking the kool-aid and listening to those Trump dog whistles.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Lennie,
        How is Ganim2 doing, with your full loyalty behind him, after nearly 16 months?
        OPEN–Governance issues? His own priorities shared?
        ACCOUNTABLE–which of the issues I have raised, especially those left over from Finch, has he told us the entire truth, on which to build respect? Police pensions? Number of City employees, accurate listing each month? City Attorney budgets trending increases? Ghost employees again?
        TRANSPARENT–Education funding? Lighthouse budget? Board and Commission appointments?
        HONESTLY?????? How can we tell? Loyalty to the elected is a low standard of support that should be supported by formal checks and balance. Do you substitute for any Social Studies or Civics classes? What are we teaching? Does it reflect reality or fantasy Citywide? Time will tell.

        • LennieGrimaldi

          JML, I find interesting your characterization of my “full loyalty behind him after nearly 16 months.” For how many years have I provided you a platform to serve as a government watchdog? Has the Connecticut Post provided you that platform? Am I not equally loyal to you? If you’re not satisfied here, please find another forum. OIB will go on without you.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            John, instead of writing about all the things that are wrong and/or illegal maybe going to the authorities is the way to go. Papers are notoriously biased and lazy.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Lennie, some of what John said is correct I like OIB and can live with its shortcomings. I do think some in-depth reporting could be done more on certain subjects. It is what it is.

          • John Marshall Lee

            Lennie,
            Pardon this senior moment on my part. I ask for your full pardon on this one. I am at fault. Let me explain. Sometimes I start an entry and get interrupted at other times I fail to review the message I have just completed. Both things happened in this instance. Please return to this thread and notice “the second message above mine” from Steve Auerbach. IT WAS STEVE I WAS ADDRESSING with the message although I had started to write to you on another thought.

            I am disturbed by Steve A whose “loyalty to the elected” has been a subject of his on more than one occasion. Frankly and personally if the people elected are not doing their job correctly, legally, competently, or in a way they set out while running, personal “loyalty” is not an entanglement any longer.

            My error. Hope Steve reads this and answers it because Ganim has been in so many months and Steve can find nothing to roust him on? While Trump is in 64 days and chastens Tom White for Trump’s many failings.

            In support of my personal error, notice in the final paragraph where I mention substituting in the schools? Directed at Steve, not at Bridgeport’s blogman.

            You are correct about one thing (and more). You put up whatever I write, without censorship or suggestion. The CT Post shows no current interest in my research, writing or pursuit of truth. When Mike Daly gives up tennis, no longer able to hop the net in victory, and the CT Post HQ is sold, what will remain of “local press coverage?” And will 30-second visuals on Channel 12 be a substitute for educating “citizens of the 21st Century?” Or will the example of President Trump displaying his knowledge of checks and balance and limitations of Executive, Legislative as well as Judicial powers lead to a re-awakening in the public square? Time will tell.

          • Lisa Parziale

            Lennie, my honey, be nice!!! You’re above blogging, you’re our leader.

          • Steven Auerbach

            JML–As usual, I love how special you make me feel. Why you always question me is beyond me. I respect you. I always go out of my way to greet you and accept we are politically and ideologically at odds. You sir are a broken record. Your rants sometimes are the equivalent to nails on a “blackboard.” The “white boards” are made of melamine and do not have the same effect.

            I do find it curious when it comes to the Ganim Administration you never direct your questions to Tyisha Toms, your running mate and obviously a supporter of Joe Ganim. How can anyone work for such a despicable character?

            Please do not ask me about the Bridgeport Public Schools. I support charter schools. Throwing more money at a bad situation is not the answer. That is my opinion. I am on my free time right now. The classroom I am in looks like a bomb went off. The teacher has left no direction or work. I have been booked for this class for months. This teacher makes at least $65,000 a year. The books in the class have been used as tossing objects as you can see by the condition. All these students will move to the next level. Enough on that. Charter schools. Parents deserve a choice.

            Joe Ganim? You do not like him? Keep posting. You didn’t like Bill Finch either. Is there anyone other than myself who you feel should or could be Mayor?

            Tom White and Donald Trump. Are you kidding me??? You are comparing Joe Ganim to Donald Trump? Joe Ganim has years of experience as Mayor of the largest city in the state. Donald Trump is a clown and an embarrassment. Two failed bans. After seven years of failing to repeal Obamacare, Trump said he would address on day one. He failed on day 64. He has insulted many world leaders. We pay for security on three properties. His child goes to a private school in New York and they couldn’t find a school in Washington DC. Carson and DeVos are inept. The Russian connection is outrageous. The Republicans all have had communications with Russia during the election and you are questioning my comment to Tom White regarding Donald Trump. I know many people who voted for him. Their only response is Clinton, Benghazi, Monica Lewinsky, emails. This is not about Hillary. This is about the incompetent piece of crap who is now called the President. I am thinking impeachment and treason.

            Joe Ganim–Well, when I have something to kick his ass about, I will. For now I will leave the ass-kicking to the sycophants who supported him and have now decided to do character assaults.

            As always John, thank you for mentioning my name a number of times in your post. You do make me feel special and I do love seeing my name in print. :-)

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Ron, you guys have done well under Obama. Your health care costs so much poor people and middle class people can’t afford it. How is the job market going? You dyed-in-the-wool Democrats at all cost is exactly what’s hurting Bridgeport. Only idiots would reelect a former crooked mayor once he got out of prison.

    • Ron Mackey

      Andy, if Trumpcare was so good then why didn’t it get passed by the Republican-controlled House? It’s easy to say no to everything and to throw bombs from the sidelines like Republicans do but now that they are in charge of running the government with all the power and all those promises of jobs, tax cuts, building a wall and spending more money on weapons for war and health care but never telling the voters where the money will come from to pay for everything.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Ron, I don’t know how good Trumpcare is or is not but to see Nancy Pelosi and Schumer in front of the cameras praising Obamacare makes me sick. What are they going to say when it implodes?

        • Ron Mackey

          Andy, that becomes President Trump along with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s problem to solve. Their first plan was a disaster, they have all the power to make changes. The Affordable Care Act provide health care for an additional 20 million Americans who never had health coverage before. Insurance is based on young Americans buying higher premiums in order to cover older Americans. Men are required to pay for the coverage of women getting pregnant and their health care while carrying their child, now is that fair? Yes it’s fair because as a nation we should provide health care to all Americans. When those who have no health insurance will get sick and their primary health care physician’s office is the local emergency room and the taxpayers of America pay for that service. Good health requires prevention and prevention comes from the ability to see a doctor before something serious occurs.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Ron, that is one of the biggest faults with Obamacare. The younger people are not buying it they are paying the penalty instead. JML wanted to know what kind of plan my friend bought well I don’t know but I do know that $980 per month is way too much. It’s just a matter of time before Obamacare collapses. Ask the people of Arizona how they feel with a premium increase of 120% this year.

        • John Marshall Lee

          Andy,
          You have used a premium of $980 as a healthcare premium for a 27-year-old here in CT as if it was the only plan available, or so you may have been told. But I went to one of several carriers, entered the data for a single CT resident, also assumed the person had been a smoker at some point, and began looking at premiums and plans.

          For a healthy person of that age, I found a silver high-deductible healthcare plan with a $3000 annual all-cause deductible that includes prescriptions and can be combined with contributions to a personal Health Savings Account, funds that are not spent until you decide to use them in that way, and can be used in future years for health care expenses including uninsured dental or vision for example.
          The monthly premium for this particular plan is $235 per month about 25% of the amount you continue to quote. Yes, a contribution up to HSA limits would cause more outlay, but it is a deductible outlay that remains your money to use for health expense for the rest of your life, and can be used to reimburse actual med expense that fall under the plan deductible with later funding.
          People need to do basic research and get as many facts as possible. And remember that each of us less than perfect, as I have already recited this morning. Hope this helps, Andy. Time will tell.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Just an aside, I read today that Ted Kennedy, nephew of the late president is thinking of running for higher office here in CT. He moved here from Massachusetts and became a state senator. We do not need another Kennedy in higher office. Jack and Robert and Ted were more than enough Kennedys for two centuries.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Steve,
    I am happy you feel special when I call you out for one or more comments. When we see each other publicly, I believe I am equally cordial with you, or do you sense something I do not intend?

    I did not go into national politics or issues, keeping it local occupies enough time. However, I noted your rapid send-up of Trump in terms of time in office, with no particular response about the nature of and numbers involved in his governance.

    Why do you place Tyisha Toms’ name in your letter? Yes, Tyisha and I ran for Council in the Democratic Primary and lost 46% to 54%, so we entered the election campaign, knocked on doors, raised funds, participated in two public forums with the other candidates, and the combination of the Republicans leaving Rick Torres on the City Council line while he was running for Mayor was enough to suck progressive votes from our candidacy (in my opinion). And the DTC has a certain power on election day using City employees, who live out of town perhaps, but with ties to certain communities with personal interests that ignore their longer-term interests. So? Tyisha Toms has been working for the City Attorney’s office. She is smart, and full of energy and integrity. If you have tried the revised Freedom of Information portal in the City, you will find that it works, and does so promptly, too. Why would I criticize that?

    However, in his campaign Joe promoted things like Stop Raising Taxes, that he went back on promptly. And he made some comments about school improvements. What is his record there? He likes Police, and maintaining control in his office with the contracts and benefits going their way, heedless of the ultimate cost. And then there is Steve A. who works in the schools but fails to post the necessary and critical corrective comments about our school system on OIB? Because he favors Charter Schools but does not tell why, or where his opinion is based? Have you worked in Charter Schools locally? (Personally, I believe parents should have options to choose for their kids when local public schools are not meeting parent needs.) So Steve, forget about me calling on you, and help the public know the issues around the way public services are delivered and the cost of same, please. One of these days we shall all be off the scene, but perhaps we can hope that more positive activities will be in place based on our being here at this time. Time will tell.

    • Steven Auerbach

      JML–First, to be clear. I have been singing Tyisha Tom’s praises way before you ever heard her name. Second, she is one of Ganim’s finest appointments and I am glad she is back in law where she belongs. My suggestion to you is if you want answers, go to people who are in the administration and get a straight answer. Ganim promised he wouldn’t raise taxes and you were foolish enough to swallow that crap knowing the city is bankrupt. Shame on you. You are always evasive. I asked who you imagined would be a better choice for Mayor, other than myself. Is there another town you feel has the kind of Government you approve of? It seems to me you offer very few solutions and only instigate. Me, I am glad my posts encourage you to write.

      We have already discussed your posting my name regularly makes me feel special.

      As far as being the problem-solver for the Bridgeport Public School System, that is way above my pay grade. I know I am in schools that seem to have their act together and others that are just like a mini juvenile detention. The elected officials should sit in classrooms on a regular basis. Get a feel for what is happening.

      I have always felt you were cordial when I run into you at a school or a local business and eatery. In fact, you are the only person I ever see patronizing anything in the city. Sad!

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