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Herbst Bashes Dems’ Hypocritical Treatment Of Moore In State Senate Race

July 16th, 2016 · 39 Comments · City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Republican First Selectman of Trumbull Tim Herbst, in a commentary, takes aim at local and state Democrats accusing them of not practicing what they preach when it comes to political inclusion asserting “watching this Democratic primary unfold in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe is a case of absolute hypocrisy on the part of Connecticut Democrats.”

In the commentary, Herbst points out his support for Republican Elaine Hammers as the August 9 primary plays out between incumbent State Senator Marilyn Moore and party-endorsed Tom McCarthy, president of the City Council. But he levels Democratic party insiders for abandoning Moore, the only African American woman in the Connecticut State Senate. From Herbst:

In July of last year, the Connecticut State Democratic Party overwhelmingly supported a resolution changing the name of their annual statewide fundraising dinner, previously called the Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey Dinner. In the resolution, Connecticut Democrats unanimously declared that, “as members of the Democratic Party, we are proud of our history as the party of inclusion. Democrats have led the way on civil rights, LGBT equality and equal rights for women … it is only fitting that the name of the party’s most visible annual event reflects our dedication to diversity.” Despite their claims, two months ago, Democrats denied re-nomination to Marilyn Moore, instead nominating Bridgeport City Council President Thomas McCarthy to run for the State Senate. Senator Moore is an African American woman who was elected in 2014, defeating a three-term Democratic incumbent. Her election symbolized every constituency that the Connecticut Democratic Party claims they support and protect.

Make no mistake. I am a Republican supporting the Republican candidate, Elaine Hammers. But watching this Democratic primary unfold in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe is a case of absolute hypocrisy on the part of Connecticut Democrats.

Senator Moore has been a reliable vote on core Democratic principles and by her own admission, she is a passionate advocate for paid sick leave, increasing the minimum wage and being a strong supporter of organized labor. Her voting record indicates that she has been a strong and consistent voice for the Democratic majority in Hartford. In 2006, when Senator Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination to Ned Lamont, Senator Lieberman’s stance on the Iraq War did not comport to the values of traditional Democratic voters. To the contrary, Moore has done nothing to alienate core Democratic principles or core Democratic voters. This has nothing to do with Senator Moore’s record and everything to do with who she happens to be.

It is understandable that Moore and McCarthy would split delegate votes in Bridgeport. This is their hometown and both have constituencies within the Park City. The bigger question is why the Trumbull delegation almost entirely voted for McCarthy and did not support Moore. Two of the people leading the charge against Senator Moore are two of my predecessors, Paul Timpanelli, the current President of the Greater Bridgeport Regional Business Council and Raymond Baldwin, Jr, a Vice President at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Recently, Mr. Timpanelli said he was supporting Tom McCarthy because he viewed Senator Moore as “anti-business.” If that is the case, then how can Mr. Timpanelli support Governor Malloy, whose policies Senator Moore has in large measure supported? And how can you claim a person is anti-business when over a two-year period you have never even met with that person one on one to discuss differences in an effort to find common ground? When the most recent hospital cuts were proposed, Senator Moore was responsive to requests for help from St. Vincent’s Hospital. So why would one of their vice presidents lead the charge at a nominating convention to oust someone who just helped their employer?

Governor Malloy makes it a point to talk about those that practice bigotry in the opposing political party but says nothing when members of his own party deny an incumbent, African American woman re-nomination after being duly elected by the people in a primary and a general election. Another organization that has shown a lack of consistency is the Connecticut Chapter of the NAACP. If the Republican Party had done something like this, we would rightfully be called to task. To date, you haven’t heard a word from them. Sometimes you have to stand up and do what is right, even if it means calling out those that you usually support.

There are some in the Connecticut Democratic Party that should read again the resolution they passed last July. Instead of Governor Malloy being so quick to call Republicans bigots, perhaps he and members of his party can engage in some self-reflection and start practicing what they preach.

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39 Comments so far ↓

  • Jeff Kohut

    Wow! Slick! How does a Republican First Selectman from a town with a history of disdaining and exploiting their neighbor find a way to get on the right side of the Democratic candidate from that neighboring town who they believe is going to win the Democratic Primary against her Democratic rival as well as the State Senate race in their shared GA district in the general election in November?

    It’s not so easy. The First Selectman has to find a way to find merit in that candidate that can’t be interpreted as recognition of that candidate’s superiority to the Republican candidate fielded from the First Selectman’s town, while at the same time, that merit has be valid and a true indictment of the party and thereby of the rival candidate endorsed by the party (thereby undermining the perception of the rival candidate in voter’s minds).

    So the First Selectman finds a weak spot(s) in the manner in which the assumed winner was denied the endorsement of the assumed winner’s party in that party’s selection process.

    In this regard, the First Selectman takes the D’s to task for not endorsing a candidate with a decent track record in her first term as state senator and then insinuates the “party of inclusion” failed to consider the nomination process in terms of their party’s stated philosophy of inclusiveness with respect to race/ethnicity and gender. Good move. Very valid point(s). The Senator should indeed get a passing grade for her first term. If graded on the curve in terms of the average scores of all GA members, she would have indeed gotten an above-average grade (much higher than any grade her predecessor would have been given in any of his three terms). Indeed, there really doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why the party should have endorsed her present primary rival over her at the district convention.

    So: The First Selectman would appear to be right on target with his criticism of the Democratic Party selection process in this regard and has indeed found a valid weak spot(s) in the party’s fidelity to its credo of inclusiveness.

    Rarely has opportunism ever been conducted so brilliantly in Bridgeport regional politics as the aforementioned situation involving Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst. In one fell swoop, he has managed to “knee” his Trumbull Democratic Party antagonists in their collective party groin, while he has also managed to forecast and endorse the probable winner in the upcoming Democratic Primary and the November general election, without even having to slight his own party/town candidate in the process.

    Very slick! Slicker even than Democrat Slick Willie Clinton.

    And he has also managed to say thanks for support from Bridgeport in the Trumbull sewer deal with Bridgeport while also cultivating an ally for the upcoming push for a regional sewer system with Bridgeport infrastructure serving Trumbull’s growth/tax base needs.

    Very, very slick. But this ploy to curry favor toward the fulfillment of the aforementioned Trumbull infrastructure-access goals could backfire if Bridgeporters’ perceptions of the motives of “Slick Timmie” cause them to tilt toward the direction of the other D. (That probably won’t happen, but it could.)

    Senator Moore is certainly, per her GA record and personal background, an attractive candidate with few negatives, so Slick Timmie is making a very logical, educated bet. But he might have done better to keep his cards closer to his vest and maybe just send money. Because now he has tipped his hand and could have scared off some Bridgeport D’s who take exception to Trumbull’s relationship/history with Bridgeport and the whole sewer regionalization issue. And he has, in the meantime, probably p-o’d the region’s powerful D hierarchy as well as his own Republican Party.

    Maybe slick, sure looks it. But maybe not. Let’s see how Marilyn reacts to this. It could be telling.

  • Ron Mackey

    Mr. Herbst, okay those are very good points you listed and you lead the readers to a certain point but then you stop, why? Tell us what does all this mean from your point of view? I would ask you Mr. Herbst to tell me what is your Republican Patty doing about the practice of bigotry because I must have missed that letter you wrote to the media telling us of all of the wonderful things the Republicans are doing to correct the ills you list of the Democratic Party.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Jeff and Ron, I don’t need to remind both of you of the respect and admiration I have for you. But let’s not split hairs or worry about semantics or whom is saying what. The bottom line is the point of the First Selectman (despite his agenda if there is one) is correct. It sickened me to hear Reverend Lee, a Democratic black woman, is working vigorously against Senator Moore. Why??? Is it because she has misguided loyalty to McCarthy, did the Senator do a bad job, or is she simply following the orders of Mario Testa or Joe Ganim??? Could they possibly be offering to support her for Council President if McCarthy wins? I embraced Reverend Lee as a friend, but with no respect for her I can never call her friend again.

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa, thank you for your well thought out opinion and for telling us about Councilwoman Mary Lee. I had asked before who along with Ralph Ford met with Senator Ed Gomes to try to get him not to run. Well Lisa, the same is true for Senator Moore, who else besides Lee is working against her? We know all of this starts with Mario Testa and with Mayor Joe Ganim who hides behind Mario and doesn’t say anything but he can run to black churches to get their votes but can’t stand up and support Senator Moore. They can’t be supporting McCarthy on his merit compared to Senator Moore so what are their reasons? Is it because of McCarthy’s leadership with the $20 million in red ink he guided Bridgeport into or was it his leadership in violating the City Charter for holding a paid City job while being a elected council member because I’m sure Ganim and Mario are not supporting Senator Moore because she’s a woman and black so why are Ganim and Mario and Lee supporting Tom McCarthy? Lisa, I think we can do both at the same time, talk about Herbst’s statement and we need to out those who are turning their backs on Senator Moore and Senator Gomes. Lisa, we need names and positions so we know the enemy from within.

      • Lisa Parziale

        Ron, I assure you I will out every single one of our friends or associates who work against the Senator. During the Ganim campaign, when it was thought McCarthy would leave the Council rather than give up his job, Mary Lee confided in me she would be interested in the position of Council President and asked me if I would share with her what the title really means and advise and guide her. I was more than willing to do what I could, and I was also impressed she was willing to ask for help. Although I was sure McCarthy would give up his job before relinquishing the title of CC, I kept my thoughts to myself since that’s all they were at that time. I will bet the ranch Testa and Ganim are playing her, they don’t mind giving it to her for a year if it gets to that, then they’ll bounce her before she even realizes she was played. Again, this is a conversation I personally had with Mary Lee. No secondhand info here. I will expose every one of them, I’m intimidated by no one, and it’s a good way to get rid of hypocrites. I believe the Senator will prevail without the support of these sellouts, and rest assured the Mayor and Mario Testa are orchestrating all of this. I will have more to share with anyone who cares, very shortly.

  • Phil Smith

    So much for the theory Joe Ganim is supporting McCarthy.

    • Frank Underwood

      You mean Mario, Joe’s sugar daddy.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Phil, Herbst knows exactly what he’s doing. Don’t take his comments seriously, he has aspirations for higher office and maybe he thinks Ganim has political worth. It’s all a game! None of that matters to me, I’m so angry right now, I have to go before I say something prematurely.

      • Ron Mackey

        Lisa, I know all this is hurting you, you had thought Joe Ganim had truly understood the error of his ways and he would be the mayor you and others had hoped he would be. You worked hard and you supported him but you know now he’s not the person you thought he would be and that hurts. As you said, Finch kept Mario on the outside looking in and didn’t share power with him. Ganim2 is allowing Mario back in and giving him the power to do almost anything he wants and all he does is say nothing while Mario is taking power. Lisa, let it go, Joe has shown you he truly is not the person you and others had hoped for.

  • Phil Smith

    I don’t know about Mario, but I think it’s a safe bet Tim Herbst wouldn’t be criticizing, directly or indirectly, a candidate supported by his buddy Joe Ganim.

  • Jimfox

    One poop pump station for Slick Timmy’s front lawn (unconnected).
    One poop pump station for Tippy’s front lawn (unconnected).

  • Marshall Marcus

    Tim Herbst being disingenuous as usual.

    Questions for Tim. It’s fine for you to run against the only African American Female holding statewide office, but no one can challenge the only one in the State Senate?

    How Diverse is the TRTC? NOT.
    The Trumbull Democrats ran two Indian Americans for office last election, the fastest-growing and maybe largest minority in Trumbull. How many minorities did the Trumbull Repubs run? Zero.

    This is just Tim campaigning for Moore again. His hatred of Anthony Musto knows no bounds.

    And how does he feel about supporting Trump for president? After all, Trump called for banning Syrian refugees from the USA and Herbst’s mom has called her own parents Syrian refugees.

    Herbst has lost his coattails in Christie’s downfall and is grasping at straws. HYPOCRITE.

  • TKelly

    It’s always great to be lectured about racial diversity by a white Republican male.

    We think Mr. Herbst should be looking at his own party first and asking questions about this topic before casting stones at Democrats. But Mr. Herbst loves to stir the pot.

    Just last month on June 23, Tim Herbst was quoted in an article in the CT Post in a story about Trumbull residents at odds over a request for a zoning change for a proposed medical building just over the Bridgeport border on Main Street south of the mall. Here is Mr. Herbst’s quote from the CT Post article. These are his own words, not mine:
    “They need to sit down and work it out because taking an adversarial position is not going to work out for either party,” Herbst said in a phone interview Thursday. “I’ve seen this before and it doesn’t end well. They’ll get something there that they don’t want.”

    Herbst said if the state decides the site is appropriate for affordable housing it will be unlikely that the decision can be overturned.

    “Once the state weighs in–we have never been able to deny them. I can guarantee the residents of the area would not want 20 to 30 units of affordable housing on that corner,” he said.

    Needless to say, we do not agree with using the threat of “affordable housing” as leverage on a zoning issue. We also think if Mr. Herbst has statewide election ambitions in 2018, these kinds of comments may not be received very well in some of the areas from which he will need to get some votes. Regardless, we do not agree with Mr. Herbst’s stance on affordable housing.

    It is also ironic these aspersions come from the same person who was First Selectman when the State Legislature redrew the boundary between Bridgeport and Trumbull, putting 48 acres of Trumbull in Bridgeport. Therefore, the new Fairchild-Wheeler Multi-Magnet School is officially in Bridgeport, and not Trumbull.

    We would also love to talk to Mr. Herbst about his hiring and appointing (or lack thereof) of African Americans in his administration.

    Finally, if Mr. Herbst wants to become a leader in his party, perhaps he should look at his own party’s record before attacking Democrats. This is a timely discussion because this week we will see the National Republican Party Convention in Cleveland. According to Gallup, nationwide, 89% of registered Republicans are white. Only 2% of registered Republicans are African American. Two %. That is a disgrace. In 2012, the GOP did not even keep track of the minority representation of their delegates. In 2012, 27% of Democratic delegates to the National Convention were African American, and 13% were Hispanic. Perhaps it would behoove Mr. Herbst to work on increasing diversity within his own party. Actions speak louder than words.

    • Godiva2011

      TKelly–excellent and informative commentary. You certainly do have good insight to the character of Little Tim Herbst.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Indeed, when Torres ran for mayor of Bridgeport, where was Herbst’s strong endorsement for the Hispanic Republican? Must have accidentally tossed the napkin he wrote it on into the trash at Testo’s.

  • Tom White

    OIB readers take note. You have seen how politicians in Trumbull argue. Democrats versus Republicans. You can be sure though, if there were a proposal for Section 8 housing or a homeless shelter in Trumbull, they would quickly put aside their political differences for the good of their town.

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    This is kind of funny. There are many, many folks who despise Anthony Musto, btw. It’s not just confined to Trumbull or Republicans. This is an equal opportunity hatred.

    The GA needs to be able to transcend these town squabbles and work with whomever the City or Town leadership is. That is the bottom line, like it or not. How will McCarthy work out with Herbst? Not so well, I venture to guess. In the past Trumbull posters have accused Marilyn Moore of being Bridgeport-centric. Okay. Did Trumbull get the memo McCarthy is City Council President in Bridgeport? Does not seem like an intuitive though process. So what are we left with? You got it, race.

    • TKelly

      There are not many, many people who despise Anthony Musto in Trumbull. He just beat the six-year incumbent Republican running for re-election for Town Treasurer on the top of the Herbst ticket last November. Anthony Musto is very well respected in Trumbull and he deserves to be.

      I am not going to say anything negative about Marilyn Moore. If I do that, then Herbst will get just what he wants, which is Democrats beating each other up ahead of the November election. If Marilyn wins the primary, I will be walking door-to-door for her in Trumbull again this year just as I did in 2014. I also enjoyed going to St. Ann’s in Block Rock on election day with Bridgeport native Andy Palo and holding up signs for her and State Treasurer Denise Nappier.

  • Jeff Kohut

    This is just an Aikido move by a very slick politician who is trying to secure continued support for Trumbull’s abuse/exploitation of Bridgeport. Marilyn Moore would do well to say (publicly) “Thanks, Slick Timmie, but I don’t need your tainted support.” (She really doesn’t. It’s going to hurt her.)

    • Godiva2011

      Jeff Kohut–you’re on the money and I completely agree. He will want her support for his future endeavors in return for his support of her senatorial candidacy. I hope she realizes what she’s dealing with.

  • Mary Filo

    Calling it like I see it. Tim Herbst will soon be looking to run for higher office. No chance at all being a white Republican out of little ole Trumbull. Needs to start getting those of color to support him. Stay in Trumbull, Tim!

  • Godiva2011

    Oh my. Little Tim rears his arrogant head again. He must have something in mind for himself if he is crossing the party lines to seemingly support Ms. Moore. My guess would be he plans to run for a higher office and of course has no support from minorities, so he’s attempting to endear himself to Ms. Moore for his future endeavors. I truly hope she is smart enough to see this. Also, he must have a short memory because he ran against a black woman (Denise Nappier) for State Treasurer and had no qualms about challenging the only African American female on the gubernatorial ticket. Now he is criticizing Ms. Moore’s opponent for doing the same thing he did. This cocky little wiseass needs a comeuppance from the Trumbull RTC. He’s cut from the same cloth as Joe Ganim (a closet Republican in my opinion), always has a hidden personal agenda and is untrustworthy and devious. By the way, the Herbst & Ganim families are close friends, not surprising.

    • Marshall Marcus

      Tim Herbst will not get a comeuppance from the Trumbull RTC, which he controls. With mommy also a member.
      Back in September when Tim attended Ganim’s victory party at Testo’s I called him out on it. Mommy Dearest—Deborah Herbst (then Chairman of the Trumbull BOE) answered for sonny boy saying the Herbst and Ganim families are extremely close and Tim was attending in place of Deb’s father who was too ill to be there. Grandpa and JG2′s dad are lifelong friends and Poppa Ganim brought the Herbsts into the Bridgeport Republican Party. Ganim jumped ship, the Herbsts stayed Republicans and moved to Trumbull.
      When questioned about his (Tim’s) attendance at the party by the CT Post, Tim said he wasn’t at the party, but was down the hall dining in another room at Testo’s that night.
      So either Tim or mommy is lying about his attending the Ganim celebration.
      You’d think a former R candidate for statewide office with future such aspirations would have been at the party for the Republican nominee.
      Now he’s on his way to Cleveland to be part of the Trumvention. Maybe he can get a campaign job and get the hell out of Trumbull.

  • Mojo

    *** IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHOM THE DEM. PARTY CAN CONTROL IN GENERAL; THAT’S WHERE TOM AND DENNIS COME INTO THE POLITICAL PICTURE. LET’S HOPE BPT VOTERS HAVE DONE SOME POLITICAL HOMEWORK AND CAN RECOGNIZE THE PEOPLE’S BEST CHOICES FROM THE USUAL PRETENDERS! ***

  • Gabriel

    Perhaps the Chair of the Trumbull Democratic Party can explain why he is supporting Sen. Moore’s primary opponent. Again.

    Why?

    • Marshall Marcus

      Actually, many of us are supporting the OFFICIAL party nominee who won the vote at the convention. BUT we will also support the winner of the August 9th Primary.
      ANYONE BUT HAMMERS. Don’t let D22 get stuck with the current Trumbull Republican Chair of our Board of Finance.

  • Gabriel

    One last thought about Tom Kelly. What exactly was the purpose of his statement “I was in Black Rock … holding signs for her and Denise Nappier.”?

    Please.

  • TKelly

    Gabriel, in my opinion you should ask that question to the Trumbull Republicans for a far more interesting answer. In my opinion, it doesn’t take a political genius to see through this smoke screen. I have talked to several Trumbull Republican insiders who have told me they feel the only chance they have in November is if McCarthy wins the primary.

    • Zena Lu

      What does that even mean? It appears as though Republicans would rather see Moore win the Primary, if one gives weight to Herbst’s actions and statements.

      It also appears taking the aforementioned statement into account: “I have talked to several Trumbull Republican insiders who have told me they feel the only chance they have in November is if McCarthy wins the primary.” Then the strategic, pragmatic approach to getting a Democrat elected would be to support Moore.

      However, the two above stated scenarios are at odds with each other. So the answer to the question posed by Gabriel is?

    • Gabriel

      Seriously though, why are you not supporting Sen. Moore?

      Again.

  • Marshall Marcus

    Hypocrite Tim Herbst is on his way to Cleveland for the Trumvention. He is going by car and has TC Chairman Carl Massaro with him.

    Tim did not appoint Town Treasurer Anthony Musto as acting Chief executive (as provided for in our Town Charter), so great is Tim’s hatred for all things Democrat.

    Earlier in the term Tim illegally appointed Massaro when Tim went to Washington DC for a few days. Claiming Musto had no official training on emergency procedures, something not in the Charter and Tim’s suck-up town atty concurred with the emperor’s reasoning. Now Musto has been trained and Herbst leaves Trumbull exposed to no chief exec in dangerous times. Police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge in the terrorist act of the day.

    Tim isn’t out for Trumbull. Don’t be fooled, Tim is ONLY out for himself.

  • Donald Day

    Lisa, while I concur with almost all of your observations, Tim Herbst is putting truth to words. I don’t think, feel or believe his future endeavors nor his motivation are any reasons for his making these statements are anything other than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    I don’t think there is a reason to question ones motivation when the truth is the light and the way. I defy anyone to shed the light on anything he said as being untruthful or anything he said most of us don’t know about this senatorial election. I think Mr. Herbst is absolutely correct about the hypocrisy of the City and State Democratic party and well as that of Mayor Malloy, Timpanelli and the others referenced in his post. Like Tim, I don’t think truth has a party affiliation.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Donald, I focused only on the comments that were made about Senator Moore. Right now all the verbiage is just that, I care about an experienced, humanitarian who happens to be a woman. I say to you with the utmost respect, I don’t care about the rest of the commentary, I’ve been out since 8:30 this morning taking care of votes I promised to bring to the Senator. I walk the walk even in 90 degree weather. I really don’t even remember all of what Herbst said and quite frankly don’t care. I have a job to do in the next few weeks. While some are betraying the Senator, I’m trying to make up for it by working harder. If something goes wrong, I want to be able to live with myself knowing I did all I could do.

  • Donald Day

    Lisa, I commend your efforts and determination in helping Senator Moore to be reelected. I too find the actions of Bridgeport’s black politicians not supporting Senator Moore reprehensible, not because she’s black, but because if they want what’s best for Bridgeport which in turn is best for their black constituency, then why would they support a known liar and thief? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, “you can’t buy blacks anymore, you can still rent one.”

    • Lisa Parziale

      Thank you Donald for acknowledging my commitment and determination. If you had suggested I’d still be fighting for good candidates at my age, I would have thought you and I were crazy. Every time I swear this is my last one, it isn’t.

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