Herrmann’s Long Nose For Money, Dick’s Dollars, SuBy’s Depo (Ouch) You Gotta Watch It

Ah, the money battle. My buck’s bigger than your buck. Easton First Selectman Tom Herrmann, candidate for Congress, kicked out this statement the other day crowing about being the top GOP fundraiser, with $365,000 on hand, to blunt Democrat Jim Himes’ reelection.

The numbers don’t lie. I have a financial and statistical advantage on my fellow Republican candidates, and the delegates to the party’s Convention in May and the voters in the subsequent primary will undoubtedly be attracted to the candidate that has the best chance of beating Jim Himes in November.

Really, Tom? Maybe you should double-check the numbers. The National Republican Campaign Committee reports that Shelton State Senator Dan Debicella has more dough than Herrmann who plopped a lot of his own dough into his campaign account. Debicella and Herrmann are the leading GOP contenders in a crowded field for an expected August primary.

Debicella Fundraising tops $440,000

Raises $206,000 in Q1, with $415,000 cash-on-hand

State Senator Dan Debicella reported today that he has raised $440,094 in his campaign for Congress in Connecticut’s Fourth District, with $414,890 in cash-on-hand as of March 31.

“Washington is leading us in the wrong direction, with a record of failure on the economy, enormous deficits, and out-of-control spending,” said Debicella. “Fairfield County needs a Congressman with ideas to get our country moving in the right direction again—not a rubber-stamp for Nancy Pelosi like Jim Himes has been.”

Debicella noted that he has raised more than any other Republican candidate, with over 1,000 people donating to his campaign. The campaign received $206,639 in donations in the first quarter, and spent less than $12,000.

“People are frustrated with the direction Washington is taking our country,” said Debicella. “Instead, they are excited about my proposals to create jobs by replacing the stimulus package with a payroll tax cut, eliminate the budget deficit through a new federal spending cap, and developing true healthcare reform by reducing costs rather than expanding government control.”

Debicella’s fundraising numbers come on top of over 100 endorsements he has received from nearly every town in the district. Mayors, First Selectmen, state legislators, and Republican Party officials have all endorsed his candidacy. Additionally, Debicella has received the endorsement of three Republican town committees.

Debicella is a second-term Republican State Senator representing the eastern part of Fairfield County, including Shelton, Stratford, Monroe, and Seymour. He is a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, and grew up in Bridgeport where his father was a police officer. He was the first in his family to go to college, attending the Wharton School and receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School. He has spent most of his career in business, having worked for management consulting firm McKinsey in Stamford, as Director of Strategy at PepsiCo in Purchase, NY, and as Assistant Vice President of Marketing at The Hartford Financial Services.

Debicella is one of approximately forty “Young Gun” candidates for the GOP nationwide. These are the candidates that the national GOP believes are the most likely to defeat incumbent Democratic Congressman.

“As an incumbent, Jim Himes will undoubtedly campaign using millions of dollars from Washington special interest groups. Republicans will need to be unified to defeat Jim Himes in November,” Debicella said. “Our strong fundraising has made me one of the top challengers nationwide, and reinforces that I am the most credible Republican candidate against Jim Himes.”

The Fourth Congressional District comprises most of Fairfield County, including seventeen towns from Greenwich in the west, to Shelton in the east, and Ridgefield in the north. The seat was held by Congressman Christopher Shays from 1987-2009.

Captain Fantastic Morgan Kaolian shared this aerial of Harding High School complex on the East Side. The neglected school needs a new facility. One option is building a new school on the athletic field. Will construction happen in our lifetime? At least city and ed officials are now discussing it.

Dazed And Confused

Leading Dem guber candidates Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy are cranking up their campaign heading into the party convention next month. Both seek union support, the traditional foundation of Dem primary campaigns. Dan says Ned is confused about paid sick days. From The New Haven Independent:

They don’t agree with Ned Lamont on paid sick days, but they like his campaign war chest.

That was the sentiment Wednesday, as a leading gubernatorial hopeful snagged a major endorsement from a key Democratic constituency. The leadership of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371 of Westport threw its support behind Lamont as he seeks the Democratic nomination for governor.

Brian Petronella, president of UFCW Local 371, announced the endorsement at Lamont’s downtown New Haven headquarters. He stressed Lamont’s newly released plan for job creation. Lamont has said job creation is his top priority.

“We’re both fighting for the same thing—jobs for the people of Connecticut,” said Petronella.

The two allies split when the topic turned to paid sick days. Lamont took heat from unions when he came out against a state bill that would require businesses to offer employees paid sick days.

Wednesday, the candidate clarified his position.

First Lamont said it’s up to unions to secure benefits for their workers, including paid sick days—”that’s why these guys are so important.”

He said he would support a federal paid sick day bill, but not a statewide bill.

Malloy Statement:

Malloy: Lamont Still Doesn’t Get It

Democratic candidate for Governor and former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy today responded to a “confusing” news report regarding Ned Lamont’s position on paid sick leave legislation. Malloy has been a consistent and strong supporter of paid sick leave in Connecticut. Said Malloy:

“It’s one thing for Ned to be against paid sick leave before he was for it – but trying to play both sides of the fence is the worst kind of political maneuvering. Does Connecticut really need another Governor afraid to take clear stances on tough issues? Another Governor who’s fine with the status quo?

“Ned says it’s ‘up to unions to secure benefits for their workers.’ I think that’s wrong. I think it’s up to the next Governor to work with labor and business to do what’s right when it comes to public health and public policy. It should be a no-brainer, but Ned just doesn’t get it. Still.”

Dick’s Dollars, news release:


Majority of donations come from CT residents, and more than half of all contributions under $200

In his first fundraising quarter since entering the U.S. Senate race on January 6th, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal raised more than $1.87 million from over 2,300 donors, his campaign announced today. Blumenthal’s numbers were buoyed by a “strong, statewide grassroots fundraising effort,” according to Mike Cacace, Blumenthal’s Campaign Chairman.

Demonstrating broad-based support throughout Connecticut, a solid majority of donations were from Connecticut voters. And, over 56% of the total contributions came from individuals who gave $200 or less.

“We are pleased and gratified with the tremendous support for Dick’s candidacy. By all traditional fundraising measures, $1.87 million raised in less than a full quarter, is a remarkable success,” said Cacace. “Dick has devoted his life to serving the people of Connecticut, fighting for their needs and protecting their interests, and this showing sends a strong, clear message that the people of Connecticut want him to continue his fierce advocacy in the U.S. Senate. In these tough economic times, it’s humbling to see this outpouring of grassroots support from the people of Connecticut.”

“We are potentially facing a self-funded opponent who intends to spend $50 million of her own money on this race,” Cacace continued. “We’re taking nothing for granted, and Dick will continue to work as tirelessly as he always has to earn the support of Connecticut’s voters in November.”

The Blumenthal campaign has nearly $1.6 million cash on hand. Final figures will not be available until the April 15th FEC filing deadline.

SuBy’s Depo

This is painful to watch, depending on your point of view. She’s a freaking lawyer, or so she says!

From the Hartford Courant:

The latest in a series of extraordinary episodes emerged Thursday from Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz’s lawsuit seeking to have herself declared eligible to run for attorney general – with the release of hours of videotape showing Bysiewicz under questioning from the state Republican Party’s attorney, admitting that she has rarely been in a courthouse and never tried a case.



  1. *** Just because a candidate for any office seat becomes the top political “$” cookie seller, it does not make them anymore qualified or will assure them being the top vote-getter during the actual election. If the economy turns for the better & Himes continues doing (so far) a good job, no one will beat him come next election. *** Suby decided to make her own legal bed out of “?” political wannabe greed, so now she has to lay in it! Maybe seeing her true colors will be a good thing for Conn. voters for future elections? Suby darling, you’re not qualified to be SAG, case closed. ***

  2. It’s kind of sad watching SuBy self destruct. To see a person destroy a well-crafted political career because of blind ambition is not pretty. She could have been the governor.

  3. Susan Bysiewicz is a highly skilled and capable public servant who aspires to higher office in order to contribute more greatly to the betterment of her state. She has no personal agenda nor does she have a legacy that would indicate otherwise.

    Clearly, she was hand-picked by Blumenthal who shared his intentions with her before making his senatorial announcement. When her status as a valid candidate needed clarification, Blumenthal once again took the high road referring the matter to the courts. He made no attempt to circumvent. She should have agreed she did not meet the requirements and continued with her gubernatorial quest.

    I am saddened by her implosion resulting from this deposition. My politics tend to be conservative, but if I could, I would have voted for her for SAG and certainly endorsed her gubernatorial bid.

    I believe in integrity and competency. I do not believe in the way politics in Connecticut prevail. Both Blumenthal and SuBy are atypical of the Connecticut politician.

    It’s too bad. She would have continued her successes in a manner I would have admired. But I truly believe she has ruined any hopes for any political future.

  4. Stone: In SuBy’s case she got greedy. She was the leading Democratic candidate for governor. She knows the financial problems the state has and she did not want to get the blame for the hard solutions that are coming.
    SuBy got greedy and started looking ahead at Lieberman’s seat. What better vehicle than the AG’s job? No controversy and only positive press unless you are an idiot which she is not.
    I don’t believe she was hand-picked by Blumenthal. Why would he do that knowing she was not qualified? When a ruling was needed on SuBy’s eligibility Blumenthal did what he does best, he did a CYA.
    It’s too bad because I liked her, she spent a lot of time in Bridgeport. I wonder if she can make a comeback down the road?

  5. She was a very capable Secretary of State. She could have stayed in that position until she retired; just like our Comptroller Nancy Wyman has done. Too bad. Pick a direction and stick with it.

  6. Ripped from the pages of the CT Post:

    NEW HAVEN — A proposal to transport dredged material from Bridgeport Harbor to be buried in waters off New Haven’s Morris Cove neighborhood sparked opposition Thursday even before a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could finish his presentation on the plan.

    It is bad enough when the wealthy ‘burbs step all over us but even New Haven has a NIMBY attitude to B-port.
    What up with THAT???

  7. *** Oh my “Suby” is so nice & really qualifies ’cause she’s so smart, why did “R.B.” lead her astray? Please, the man tried to let her down gently, knowing how politically greedy & headstrong she is! But “sorry no, you’re not legally qualified” are words she was not going to accept in private, nor “it’s up to the courts” in public either! So now, maybe the grim experience of going nowhere fast might serve up to be a blessing in disguise for her & Conn? *** Time will Tell ***

  8. Ouch! That SuBy video was painful. I agree she should have stuck with Sec of State where she was highly respected and a shoe-in for another 4 years. Who is advising her? Adam Wood?

  9. Wow, I didn’t realize how little experience she really has … painful to watch … why would she take this so far? She is destroying her credibility. Who is advising her?–I think CHS might be right …

    1. I agree, tc. I much prefer our local politics. Has anyone had a chance to scrutinize the budget? Finch is asking for more union concessions. I’m interested to see if he made any cuts himself or if he plans to balance the budget on the backs of the employees again.

  10. The union gave concessions last time and then got it shoved in their face with all of the hiring Finch and Company did. He claimed it was necessary hiring which is total bullshit. If he did not fire Jacobs and did not fire Riccio we would have saved over $300K in buyout money. I don’t know what Abate and Minopoli are going to cost.
    It is also true the department heads did not monitor OT and people and I mean certain people were making a ton. You have 2 tradesmen that made over $300K in OT and salary. You had a Deputy Chief in the PD make in the area of $160K management should not be making OT. You also have the hiring of certain people during these tough times to unnecessary jobs like at the airport, CitiStat, civil service and the list goes on.
    It’s easy for me to say stick the givebacks because it does not affect me. The union members need to take a long hard look before they decide on no givebacks. From what I have seen the leadership of most unions is pathetic at best so I would not trust their judgment. In these hard economic times there are not a lot of jobs out there.
    Somewhere the unions need to take a stand but the time has to be right and the union solid. The givebacks would be a lot easier to swallow if the city leadership showed the way by taking a 10% pay cut, so they make $80 or $90K instead of $90 or $100K, big deal. Most are under-qualified and overpaid anyway.

  11. While I was coming from Fairfield today 2 teabaggers approached me trying to tell me Obama is a socialist. I said screw you and your hateful group, Obama 2012!!! And the guy behind me was like yeah brooo Obama 2012!!!

  12. A little budget talk … city management (mayor and council cronies) will demand employee givebacks. TC is right … think before you agree. Union leadership is not very different than management. The city screws the public, the unions bosses screw the workers. Pity a city worker living in the city … a double screw job.

  13. I read with interest the article in today’s post, Bridgeport Pays Out Big When Sued by Fired Employees $187,095 to Jacobs; $67,846 to Joe Riccio; $67,682 to Andy Abate; $401,000 to Dr. Evans for unused Vacation. Wow. That’s a lot of money to get rid of employees.
    Councilmen Curwen seems to be the administration point man on this issue. He talked about lack of employee accountability and review procedures for municipal employees. What bullshit all of that is covered by union contracts. Somewhere along the line we have to hold these people accountable said Curwen more bullshit. The best they could do with Jacobs was a loyalty failure more bullshit.
    If you are going to set standards of management make sure that EVERYONE is subject to these standards. Hey Bob was Nunn held accountable for his failures over at the Health Department? No he was not you all tried to nail Dr. Evans with that one.
    You can call this whatever you want but it was nothing more than a witch hunt so friends of the administration could be put in these jobs.
    Standards of Management? Bob you guys would not know what these are if they bit you all in the ass.
    Here is a management standard. How is one employee allowed to accumulate $401,000 in unused vacation time? Nowhere in private industry is anyone allowed to carry over that much vacation time. So let’s fire the administration person who should have been monitoring this and I don’t mean Dr. Evans.
    Bob I am disappointed in every comment you made in this article.

    1. *** I’m sure you would be doing much better if you were elected & were now co-chair of Budgets? It’s always much easier to coach from outside the box or after the fact without really knowing “all” details & legal dos & don’ts. However your points on the workers union & just exactly how politically weak & useless they have gotten is obvious to many in city gov. and the average working citizen in Bpt. However I see very little input from city workers & city taxpayers @ these budget meetings! The public most of the time is not permitted to talk however sometimes just a few small signs & just showing up can speak volumes to the council members & newspaper personnel covering. But again, this is Bpt. & that’s not going to happen ’til the public hearing, so it’s much easier to either just complain to one another or do nothing @ all! Oh, & “continue” to vote for candidates who are not the best qualified, simply because they have the “major party’s endorsment.” *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

      1. Mojo: We were not talking about the budget but that’s okay. I was talking about all the firings like Jacobs and the others and the amount of the payout it has cost us. Could I have stopped the vote on this? No but I could speak against it.
        Let’s talk about the budget. If memory serves not one department was cut from their original request, could I do better than that? Yes I could. The wholesale firing of managers who said no to this administration is wrong. When you look at the budget you will see a bunch of raises for the favored few. So who is biting the bullet here? The lower-tiered workers that’s who.
        A city employee who spoke out or held a sign against the budget would be signing his own termination notice.

        1. *** Firing & hiring during a supposed “freeze” has quite a lot to do with the budget. And if council members are also condoning it & voting yes on out-of-court suit payoffs just to go along with the administration, also affects the city’s budget. However you always seem to single out Mr. Curwen for many admin blunders, etc., he’s not alone on the city council you know! And most of the time, @ least 2/3rds of the votes go with the admin’s request. Besides the T/C you’re a member of endorsed him as well? Why always the Hard On for the man? ***

    1. Anna, Bob Curwen has been trying to get a city job since the beginning of Fabrizi’s administration.

      Thanks, Bpt Guy for correcting TC. Dr. Evans only received payout for a few unused vacation days. Now when she settles her lawsuit it may be $401,000 but let’s not jump the gun!

      John Gomes is up to something. It’s not like him to be so quiet. Look for him to either file a lawsuit or announce he’s a candidate for mayor. He knows most depts inside out including specifically where the inefficiencies and political waste are. Even though Finch ordered all CitiStat reports be shredded after the firing of Gomes and Carol Curry, John still has the knowledge in his head. He’s just waiting for the right time to speak out.

  14. Check out the Environmental Health budget proposed for 2010-11. Interesting that Warren Blunt received an increase in excess of $13,000+. Went from $68,000 to $82,000. His reward for throwing Marian Evans under the bus. Nice salary for a no-show.

    Iris and Veronica are requesting $64,084 to cover their salaries. This will make up for the shortfall caused by the grants they lost. Their explanation is “The increase in the salary line is to cover the full salaries of two employees, Director and Supervisor/Financial Manager. This increase is predicated on the potential loss of grant contracts that are set to expire 9/30/10.”

    Let me get this right: you lose an entire dept (WIC), you are not punished at all (in fact, you allow someone else to take the blame) and then the city finds over $64,000 to cover the salary of the very two supervisors who are responsible for losing the grants in the first place. If the city council approves this, it proves this was the plan all along.


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