Ganim’s Second-Chance Connecticut Challenge–Work Horse Or Show Horse?

Joe Ganim returned to office in 2015 on a second-chance message that he hopes resonates on the gubernatorial campaign trial among urban voters across Connecticut. On Wednesday he spoke at the first re-entry reform day at the state capitol with several references to “Hartford mayor” Luke Bronin who recently dropped out of the race for governor, a nod to Bronin’s supporters Ganim must embrace to gain traction in his statewide run.

Once a disquieting notion, a public appeal to assimilate felons back into the economic work force is now a pragmatic outreach for Democrats in a blue state. Ganim’s doing so from experience having been convicted on federal corruption charges in 2003.

In Connecticut former offenders may vote provided they have satisfied court ordered fines and restitution. It provides a bloc of votes to candidates unafraid to appeal on a second-chance message. In 2015 the Ganim campaign registered hundreds of felons who didn’t even know they could vote under Connecticut state law. Overwhelmingly they voted for Ganim in his close primary win over incumbent Bill Finch on his way to a general election victory.

Unclear if Ganim can bring that calling to other urban areas of the state. It’s a difficult balance. If it’s going to work he must marry his past with what he’ll do for them in the future because most electors vote on the future.

Ganim’s call for a new Connecticut economy centered on cities must resonate with new ideas that capture an electorate nonplussed with the current state of affairs. He must become a work horse, versus show horse, with ideas.

Will he?



  1. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, the only felon that Mayor Joe Ganim hooked up was himself. Joe Ganim, party of one.

    Connecticut dont be fooled by Mayor Ganim’s hyperbole and bullshit because the only person that he’s trying to lookout for is Mayor Ganim. Joe Ganim, party of one.

  2. Other urban areas of the state just need to look at Bridgeport and they will find that Joe Ganim is nothing but a show horse who has turned his back on those urban Bridgeport voters who put Joe Ganim back in as mayor, just look and ask the black community what has he done for them. This is a do nothing major who is two faced.

  3. Rumor Mill:

    The ghost of Machiavelli called me on his cell phone (he loves American gadgets) and said use The Annex steps to announce your candidacy for Mayor of Bridgeport when he’s out of town, campaigning for Governor. Maybe that OIB blog will tip you off. Either way, let him decide.(gasp) He wants to be king twice. He might have a castle (stand on it) but no one has made him a crown and his throne has a limited time frame just like any hotel room.

    1. Did we cut Police Department stables from the budget yet to free funds for education? Or would that limit the Crown and Throne themes above? Time will tell.

      1. This is getting overly complex but The Prince wants me to have the castle and crown but he can only help me capture the throne. Leaving town leaves the throne unprotected. The rest is up to me.

  4. Don’t disagree with most of the posts above as I understand them. (Whatever astral projections are hitting The Prince at this moment are beyond me.)

    Folks who were targeted for drug crimes, youths of color in the cities, and who received penalties of 100X more than suburban youth, primarily not of color who were doing coke rather than crack and the differences in pursuit, charging, criminalizing and prison journey, were not what faced Joe Ganim.

    Father, mother, siblings and immediate family present at the time of the crimes, with lots of legal representation available to defend himself. Lost his case and went to jail just like those urban males of color, but when he got out, his support network was mainly intact. How does that compare to those who went in without a vocation, investments, a house, and likely retirement benefits??

    So, Joe, went to the most likely place in the community where his sharing his request for a “second chance” might be understood without explanation, a black community of Christians. And he made his statement (while enjoying life in the suburbs) and he has campaigned since. He won he Mayor’s race…..somebody tell him as he is really ignoring many who voted for him….and as Mayor is responsible for all things, finance, safety, steward of youth in the community…..but he returns to showtime and entertainment and projects with big lead times and higher rates of non-completion in this City.
    Jobs (for other than political henchmen at high rates and no job quality evaluations???of course they can afford $3500 contributions with well paid less than full time efforts on behalf of the taxpayers, can’t they?)
    Fiscal secrecy about “nondisclosed capital accounts”, supplemental and supportive contributions paid by the taxpayer without any say?
    Fundamental and willful ignorance of what is going on in the schools with decreased rate of revenues while the Police are back at full or close to full capacity, but Overtime is not decreasing? Management issues ignored?? Who cares in the current cabinet?

    Finally, Bridgeport, think about succession to Ganim2 the way the cards are currently shuffled? Tell me who would be Mayor if Ganim2 is not around? And what priorities and policy will be followed? Just asking? Be prepared, as the Boy Scouts used to say. Time will tell.

  5. This whole “second-chance” movement is just a fig-leaf for certain Bridgeport political figures. I wonder if we can examine the “second-chance” efforts of The State Of Connecticut Judicial and Correctional systems. These programs are probably not suited for white-collar criminals like Joe Ganim and others in Bridgeport.

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