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Guerrilla Warfare, Absentee Ballot Push In Town Committee Primaries

March 1st, 2018 · 14 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

More than 1,000 requests for absentee ballots and counting. Just days from Tuesday’s Democratic Town Committee primaries in six districts, candidates and political operatives are placing a premium on absentee ballots. Where’s the majority of the action?

Absentee ballot activity is intensifying in the Upper East Side 138th District, Black Rock/West End 130th District and West Side 132nd District. Those three districts account for roughly 800 among the approximately 1,100 requests as of Thursday.

What drives this? Location and trying to keep pace with the competition. Absentee ballot voters tend to come from pockets that include public housing projects and senior centers. In these sleepy low-turnout town committee primaries absentee ballots can be a game changer.

Slates on both sides are working it, including attempts to persuade voters who’ve already cast an absentee ballot to switch their vote by going directly to the polls primary day. They voted absentee because they’re supposed to be unavailable to vote March 6, right? That’s the rule, anyway, that governs excuse-only absentee voting via illness, travel and a few other means. But an elector can cancel out an absentee vote by voting on primary day. This is Bridgeport’s version of guerrilla warfare. Let the games begin.

Town committee members are the so-called party insiders who endorse candidates for public office and choose officers. Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa seeks another two-year term.

District candidates follow listed by Slate B and C. No Slate A because no party endorsements in this process. Democratic electors in the respective districts are eligible to vote.

130th District, Black Rock/West End:
Slate B: Eric M. Amado Jr., Scott Burns, Joy A. Cline, Anne H. Larcheveque, JoAnn Manzo, Michael S. Meehan, Thomas A. Mulligan Jr., Daniel S. Roach, Shaquana Shaw.

Slate C: Shaurice Bacon, Gregory Blake, Lynda Bluestein, Donna M. Curran, Dione T. Dwyer, JoAnn R. Kennedy, Michael R. Raleigh, Jenny Valencia, Diane M. Vulcano.

131st District, South End/Downtown/West End:
Slate B: Jack O. Banta, Paul R. Boucher, Tommika Leak, Genoveva Miranda-Torres, Jose A. Negron Sr., Glenn Pettway, Mitchell Robles, Eric M. Simmons, Denese Taylor-Moye.

Slate C: Mdsufian Ahmed, Mary L. Bruce, Jorge Cruz Sr., Shavonne Davis, Frances Demery, Travis M. Harden, Scott Hughes, Omari O. McPherson, Melody Thergood.

132nd District, West Side:
Slate B: Carolyn D. Askew, M. Evette Brantley, Julian T. Brown, Michael D. Freddino Jr., Anthony J. Lancia Sr., John W. Olson, Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith, Reginald F. Walker.

Slate C: Lillian M. Alves, Marcus A. Brown, Rosie A. Clarke-Jones, Robert F. Distasi, Braxton T. Gardner, Antoinette Giles, Robert Halstead, Eva J. McLeod, Lisa Parziale.

133rd District, North End:
Slate B: Albertina Baptista, Michael A. DeFilippo, Patrick Gorrell, Jeanette Herron, Hernan F. Illingworth, Sabrine Kuczo, Thomas C. McCarthy, Samantha R. Nelson, Wayne Rodriguez.

Slate C: Jessica R. Allen, Sandra J. Carolina, Vincent DiPalma, Joseph Goldberg, Gail Janensch, Robert T. Keeley, Claire Mastromonaco, Anne Pappas-Phillips, Leighton O. Reynolds.

135th District: Whiskey Hill/North End:
Slate B: Robert A. Anderson Sr., Harry A. Bell, Darrett Evans Moss, Linda G. Jones, Wilfred E. Murphy, Doris R. Nelson, Stephen M. Nelson, Carmen D. Roman-Hatton, Arnold L. Whitaker Sr.

Slate C: Lisa Anderson, Audrey M. Barr, Keisha Burks, Tomeekha Gee, Warren Godbolt, Mary McBride-Lee, Waith K. Mitchell, Charlie L. Stallworth, Ruth M. Vines.

138th District, Upper East Side:
Slate B: Jacqueline Abrams, Timothy L. Bassey, Daniel C. Faber, Charles E. Hare, Sarah Lewis (not this Sarah Lewis), Helen Olga Losak, Maria H. Pereira, Michele L. Small, Samia G. Suliman.

Slate C: Tony Barr, Tyreke Bird, Abraham Duque, Dolores Fonseca, Rafael Fonseca Jr., Kevin Monks, Anthony Robert Paoletto, Martha Santiago, Nessah Smith.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    Hey! Black Rock the UI keeps cutting down 200 year old trees, our Taxes are though the Roof, our Roads look like Dresden after WW2 and Danny Roach and the Roachettes say Flucking nothing!
    Not a word!
    Joe Ganim Sidewalk Program in Black Rock is a joke, just like his run for Governor!
    After 25 years of  Danny Roach, JoAnn Manzo, Michael S. Meehan, Thomas A. Mulligan Jr. on the DTC it’s Time!.
    It’s Time for a change Black Rock, have you had enough of Danny Roach, Mario Testa, and Joe Ginim Oligarchy?

    Vote Row C !

  • Frank Gyure

    Lennie…how about an investigative piece on the information that the “Better Bridgeport ” group found???? First of all,they had to go through FOIA process because OUR City Attorney’s Office would not divulge the information to the people of Bridgeport. Recently the City Attorney’s Office has been very busy explaining their role in legal matter(what legal powers the City Counci has,the stink from the WPCA foreclosure mess). Now we find out that they spent at least $40,000 defending Mario Testa and his gang of crooks in the 133 absentee ballot scam.

    • Frank Gyure

      I forgot to add in my above comment. TheCity Attorney’s Office has been busy in determining who they are responsible to. The City’s Attorney’s Office is ultimately responsible to defend the People/Taxpayers of the City of Bridgeport. They need to be reminded of that.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The devil is in the ABs.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Why do we have to go to the polls why not just mail every registered vote an absentee ballot. The absentees rule the election anyway

  • John Marshall Lee

    Here is the essay I penned last evening and sent to OIB for publication on February 28, 2018 at 8:14 PM:

    A SICK CITY: GETTING SICKER?
    Or: Finding a Way to Better Health?

    A Town Committee election is scheduled next week, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The political activity seems as lively as if a President or Mayor was being elected. But it’s March, and Joe Ganim may be running, but it’s for Governor later in the year. He already is our Mayor, a “second chance” Mayor, who has provided little or no chance for property owner taxpayers or school age youth to breathe, while continuing to favor public safety employees financially and power wise. He’s a pre-occupied Mayor, interested in him, his agenda, not community priorities.

    Cities that are sick may have citizenry who are registered to vote. But often people ignore that critical right, for a variety of reasons. And that works for a dominant party that has found a way to win elections with low voter turnout and some corrupt practices? Quite often the route to low turnout wins is through the cultivation of “absentee ballots” (ABS) with a populace that can be approached before election day to perform a five step dance to request, receive, complete and return their ballot privately, voting away from the polling place. A little help from a friend….a full brown bag for distribution?

    CT allows active duty Armed Forces members, citizens who will be out of town on Election Day, those with an illness or physical disability preventing them from poll voting on Election Day, citizens with religious beliefs preventing their performance on Election Day, as well as those working at the polls on Election Day eligibility to vote ABS. Who monitors those rules of eligibility? Are there private rewards for ABS voting?

    We have ten districts in the City but only 6 districts with challenge slates this year. So why are there already over 1,000 ABS requests in play? Religious revival? Out of town travel? Maybe there is a real epidemic abroad on the land called “chronic ABS disease”? Might a compensated political activist from another District have self-interest in pushing the use of ABS?

    Bridgeport may have “chronic ABS disease” when a low vote event already has ABS requests greater than previous Town Committee election totals. And this sickness has serious expenses for taxpayers also. A Freedom of Information request this week reveals that the City had to find funds to pay expenses for ABS irregularities and court activity subsequently since November 2017 of over $40,000. And the 133d District will vote for Town Committee before they exercise a court ordered “third chance” to elect Council members. What will be the expense per ballot cast to Bridgeport in the DTC Chair’s neighborhood this year?

    Local races have requested Court or State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) personnel to provide oversight but reports are that this has not been granted. So, campaigning will continue through Tuesday and Democratic Town Committee current slates will be fighting to be there for Joe Ganim for Governor, supporting their DTC Chair Mario Testa, a North End restaurateur. He does not comment on issues with any frequency but he delivered some pies to a housing project in Black Rock today, one week in advance of Election Day. But is he there during the year to help reform Housing Authority practices? Does he care about the productivity of the education system for the youth at PT? What does he have to say about jobs, or economic development for the people at the bottom in the City fenced away from the DTC enjoyed “quality of life” 24/7/365?
    Time will tell.

  • Frank Gyure

    Once again I asked Congressman Jim Himes……Frank Gyure Congressman Jim Himes,why will you not address the issue of why you are supporting political corruption,cronyism and possibly even criminal political activity in The City of Bridgeport? You came out and supported a Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee member/slate who has been fully supportive of BPT Democratic Chair Mario Testa who is under investigation by the CT SEEC(State Election Enforcement Commision) due to a direct order from Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis and Judge Bellis’ decision was supported by the State of Connecticut Supreme Court. Congessman Jim Himes,you are available almost daily for interviews by CNN,MSNBC,FOX and others. Can you please take an interview from a CT TV station,maybe Cable News 12 Connecticut and answer questions about why you support political corruption in Bridgeport? SO FAR,ABSOLUTELY NO ANSWER FROM YOU.

  • Jimfox

    Black Rock please have Danny Roach or Mario Testa or Joe Ganim explain this before you go to the polls next Tuesday!

    EXPENSES PAID BY THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT
    TO DEFEND VOTER FRAUD IN THE 133RD DISTICT

    Total does not include City Attorney department resources that were also used.

    Zeldes Needle & Cooper $19,378.00

    Transcript services: $126.00

    State Marshall Heather Goulet $119.00

    (subpoena) $41.80

    State Marshall Heather Goulet

    (subpoena) $51.64

    Transcript Services $671.50

    Transcript Services $612.50

    Transcript Services $262.55

    Cowdery & Murphy LLC: $22523.30

    YOUR TAX DOLLARS ——–> $43,786.49

    It is *urgent* that you read this before going to the polls next Tuesday. Advocates for good governance at Better Bridgeport got a response from their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding expenses paid by the city to defend voter fraud in the 133rd district primary, corrupted by the current Chair of the DTC (for over 25 years), Mario Testa.
    You can VOTE OUT CORRUPTION by voting ROW C on March 6th. We will not stand for this, and neither should you. You have a voice — on March 6th, use it!
    #Enough Is Enough #VOTE #Challenge Slate 130th Row C

  • DC Faber

    In any district with a challenge slate or fighting a Testo slate, get out the vote. AB’s can be beat if people can be motivated to the polls. Heck if people cared enough to vote in larger numbers we might not be in the mess we are in.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The Testa machine has a documented history of AB manipulation. Judge Bellis forwarded her findings to the SEEC. They have an obligation to observe.

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