In an editorial published in the Connecticut Post retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, a frequent critic of Mayor Bill Finch, charges local “Republicans holding public office have been reliable, loyal and dependable allies of the Finch machine.” See Lopez commentary here. Bridgeport Republican Town Chair John Slater fired off a response asserting Lopez “did not mention a single program or policy change which would benefit Bridgeport students.” Slater’s statement:
Throughout this campaign the Republican candidates for the Board of Education have continuously refused to join Democratic and Working Families Party (A different group of Democrats) Board members and candidates in the power games that have paralyzed Bridgeport’s school system over the last four years. Instead, we made it clear that Republicans will put kids first and focus on the students who have been victimized by the Board of Education’s political games.
It’s interesting that Ms. Lopez’s extensive commentary did not mention a single program or policy change which would benefit Bridgeport students. Instead, she engaged in baseless speculation about who the Republican candidates would support for Board of Education chairman if they were elected. In her fictional world, the mayor, who we have consistently criticized, would support Republican candidates in exchange for them voting for his candidate for board chair. The notion is laughable.
First, it assumes that the Democratic organization can deliver votes to any candidate, on any line, that they choose to support. You don’t need to look beyond the results of the last Democratic primary to know that’s not true.
Second, while we have consistently refused to engage in these power games, it’s clear that new leadership is required, leadership which doesn’t include those who played a principle role in the chaos of the last four years.
There are a couple of weeks left in this campaign and the future of Bridgeport’s schools is at stake. We should be focusing on the real issues which confront the city, the school system and the students, not speculating on which wing of the Democratic Party will be in power when the dust settles.