Hooking A Bluefish–Campaign Attack–Finch Versus Foster

Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign has launched its first direct air strike against challenger Mary-Jane Foster contrasting the Bridgeport Bluefish co-founder’s business record with what he claims as his own successes as mayor.

Incumbents tend not to lash out at opponents in paid media unless something in polling data suggests the challenger is gaining traction. Foster has spent plenty of her own campaign dough drilling Finch for promises made as a candidate including a pledge for a $600 tax cut. She has also unloaded on Finch in the free media for his relationship with a political action committee. Now Finch is returning fire in a radio spot centered on her ownership in the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team.

Foster and her husband Jack McGregor led an investment team that co-founded the Bridgeport Bluefish in 1998. The first two seasons produced a lot of city excitement with attendance averaging about 4500 per game, far more than what the Bluefish is averaging under current ownership. Mickey Herbert purchased majority control of the team in 2000 and in the years that followed attendance figures followed the same downward spiral as the economy. Foster regained control of the team for a couple of years until selling it to current owner Frank Boulton, founder of the Atlantic League in which the Bluefish play their games.

The Finch campaign ad features two women bantering about the campaign, Foster’s record as Bluefish owner and Finch’s business record as mayor, although the commercial does not specifically identify the new business Finch has brought downtown. Let’s see how Foster responds to the ad. See below:

Hey, have you been following the Mayor’s race?

Um, Not really, the summer has been busy. 

Well, it’s a no brainer, vote for Mayor Finch.

OK … Who’s running against him?

Mary-Jane Foster. She telling people she’s a successful business woman. 

Really? What has she done?

Well, as CEO and part owner of the Bluefish, she lost money nine years in a row.

That’s not good.

Things got so bad, she even took a million dollar taxpayer bailout.

So wait. Mary-Jane’s only business lost money and she took a taxpayer bailout? That’s not going to get my vote.

Especially when you compare Mary-Jane’s failure, with Bill Finch’s record of success.

Like that new development downtown, what’s it been, 25 years?

I know, with so many new businesses opening, we actually enjoy going down there again.

You’re right, it’s a no brainer. I’ll tell everyone I know to vote for Bill Finch on September 13.



  1. No! It’s a bird-brainer and a woodpecker of a piece. Wasn’t Bill on the council that helped approve the deal with the city? Didn’t Mary-Jane co-chair his transition team in late ’07-’08? Didn’t Mary-Jane host the fundraiser for Bill to retire his $20k debt to Bohannon and then Bill bagged the surplus into People for Excellence in Government? Didn’t Bill turn BEDCO into DEADCO? Hasn’t Bill blown just about every job he has ever had only to be bailed out by Dottie Guman, a great lady, his Mother Goose who has laid his Golden Political Eggs? Didn’t Joe Ganim bail Bill out of debtors’ prison when his Air Show at the airport, for Guenster House, Crashed and Burned? Didn’t Bill become a cult unto himself in his anti-cult rants and raves about UB? His professional vitae is a joke and he has never risked a dime of his own money as evidenced by his PAC money.

    Bill had better be careful when the Feds come a-knocking because he has a truth problem. And now she is so bad and he is so good!

    1. Wow–that’s impressive. It seems there are an awful lot of Foster supporters here. Let’s hope it all translate into votes. Mary-Jane Foster has at least showed she not only believes in Bridgeport but invested her money here. Finch has been fortunate to always have positions handed to him and then for some strange reason–loses them!!! What the hell is that about? I am sure the BRBC will find a position to give Finch when he is through.

  2. Okay Lennie, stop playing jokes like that; you know Mayor Finch would never put an ad like that out because the public would laugh at it. Now, for real, what’s in the ad?

  3. As was pointed out on a radio show this morning, candidates can say anything they want. Even if it’s all a pack of lies. This next month should get interesting …

  4. Oh ouch. That’s the best Finch’s handlers can come up with? Attacking an opponent’s credibility is usually the strategy of the losing party. In a word, Bill Finch’s campaign for re-election is fucked.

    1. I’ve seen 10 mayors come and go … and Finch needs to be next. He’s a guy who couldn’t hold a job more than a year or two. He’s a guy who has backed out on Bridgeport too many times to count. He’s lied about rebuilding Bridgeport. And when something comes to Bridgeport he takes full credit regardless of his involvement. And he heads for the hills when he’s at fault. He’s a fly and a leech. He’s sucked at the public teat too long and done nothing of substance.
      I pity you North 45 because you don’t get it. Finch is about Finch. He’s not about the good and welfare of Bridgeport …

  5. *** Credit for projects that have been on the table for years, safer streets because of election year visibility, P/D overtime, credit of roads that were already deemed to be paved, etc.? How about jobs, community developments besides downtown, school violence & attendance, BOE, taxes, city overspending, city suits, expired city committees & boards, continued zoning violations, etc.? Seems for every new business that opens, two close including more & more homes up for sale! *** Political B/S @ its best! ***

  6. NORTH45, I’m sure it was an oversight on your part but would you tell us why Bill Finch said the residents of Bridgeport would get a $600 rebate but then he quit? Oh, I known, the check is in the mail, right NORTH45?

  7. Finch has balls the size of Remington Woods! Seriously? These two ads are beyond ridiculous. He built five new schools? Paging John Fabrizi. Finch just showed up for the ribbon cuttings and mugged for the camera. Right on Lake Forest Guy–Finch didn’t break ground on 323 … or the Arcade … Fabs did. Tiago’s and Gum Drop Swap? It’s well documented why Tiago’s is still standing–it sure ain’t because of their food or great service … and Gum Drop Swap is scraping by … with all due respect, I love that they’re downtown, but they’re hardly a thriving success story. Giving away free smoke alarms? Fabs. Initiating the bootfinder program? Fabs again. Creating the small and minority business office? Fabs again.

    Check out Finch’s bio on the city website and he takes credit for being on the City Council when the Bluefish and Arena were built:

    As a councilman Bill also worked hard to enhance Bridgeport’s infrastructure, helping to negotiate the construction of the Bluefish Baseball Stadium, the Arena at Harbor Yard, Steel Point, and other key projects …

    He negotiated construction at Steel Point? Really? I must have missed that when I drive by the still-vacant 50 acres screaming for Don Eversleep to wake up and do something with.

    COME ON. Finch cannot be serious and he can’t have it both ways.

    Please. Someone. Tell me what Finch has done besides line his pockets with PAC money … lie about it … brag to city employees about how much he loves his job because it’s the first time he’s making 6 figures … the guy has no brains and no class. It is time for him to GO.

    1. I know when John Fabrizi had my street paved in the North End there were no signs and posters praising himself! What the hell are all of those signs doing all over the city??? It is so embarrassing and sign pollution. Marketing himself during a primary. Wasn’t that funded by Obama’s stimulus?

  8. I just want to say once again, I realized Finch was not a man of his word and he would do anything to get elected was when he used that property tax promise. I and others told him the city could not afford to do it. (It was give a $25,000 homestead exemption on someone’s assessed property value. A $25,000 exemption would lower the average BPT home’s property tax. HOWEVER, enabling legislation would be needed at the State General Assembly. Finch knew the City couldn’t afford the revenue loss, never introduced legislation during his double duty as Senator and Mayor. And I was ordered not to lobby for any bill that would give such an exemption.) Yes, I was fooled by Finch, and I am trying my best to rectify that mistake.

  9. Mary-Jane Foster needs to run a Mac Attack ad. Remember 38 months ago when Lennie did the first Pol pod interview with Tom McCarthy and all the OIB readers and listeners had their ears full of wax until I took care of that problem. Mary-Jane Foster must hear this one interview and seriously think about running a Mac Attack ad using the words of McCarthy as he reveals Finch knew coming into the ’07 race the city was in a dire financial situation but still went on to promise a $600 tax refund to homeowners.

    Here is my response back then (38 months ago):

    Joel Gonzalez // Jun 25, 2008 at 2:46 am
    Before you do another pod interview, you should send some Q-tips cotton swabs to some of your readers and now listeners here. By the postings of some here, it is obvious they need to clear the wax out of their ears.
    Remember when the feds read you your rights Lennie?
    “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” This also applies in politics and since we had the first frog jump out of the pond, I shall dissect him.
    When you asked McCarthy about the positives and negatives of being Council President, he responds by saying, “The problem is you (meaning himself and the Council members) are always making bad choices.” Bingo!
    He then goes on and states, “We (the City) have all the burdens. We have the poor population, the hospitals and sewage treatment plants.” I am poor and I’m very sorry I and the majority of the city is such a “burden” on McCarthy. Had McCarthy paid any attention to the City’s spending, we the poor would not be getting hit with higher rents (landlords passing the buck) and more taxes for supermarkets that will also pass the buck to consumers. The Town of Trumbull is the only town that is hooked up to our treatment plant and they pay for the service. The police does not protect the hospitals, the guards do that. The Police go to the hospitals to take statements from victims of crime or accidents. He points out cutting nurses, library staff and raising taxes as some of the “bad choices” he had to make. McCarthy fails to point out his bad choices are what led to the tax increase and the $16 million deficit that lead to it. Listen to what he said, when Lennie asked about the BOE targeting his people. He did not correct Lennie on his choice of the word “targeted.” “Nobody for any reason whatsoever, should feel their livelihood (there’s that hood again) could be in jeopardy for making a decision as an elected official.”
    I’ll bet my remaining nine digits not a single elected official will lose their job. Ezequiel Santiago got a $20,000 raise and a promotion. He says nothing about non-elected officials who are critics of the administration or the Democratic Party and the fact they are the ones being targeted. The dumbest posting is the one that suggests McCarthy would make a good mayor. Here is a guy (a lawyer) who runs for City Council and doesn’t even know what a soft sheet is. Lennie, is that how you trained them? Lennie, next time you interview McCarthy ask him about “The Flats” in Cleveland.

    Mary-Jane doesn’t have to listen to the whole interview. Here is my short ‘cut’ to the audio:

    Joel Gonzalez // Jun 26, 2008 at 1:29 am
    Lennie thanks for sending all your listeners a pair of Q-Tip swabs. Folks here haven’t realized (Lennie included) the important revelation given by Council President McCarthy in his Pod cast interview with Lennie Grimaldi.

    For all you poor listeners, I ask you to listen to the most revealing 16 seconds in the interview. Start listening at 11 minutes and 40 seconds into the interview up to 11 minutes and 56 seconds. I quote Tom McCarthy as follows.

    Start 11:40
    “I mean it is a different mind-set from Hartford and he (Finch) has been in Hartford for a while and it is a different mind-set than coming back and running a City.
    But, what I like is the fact–and this is what a lot of people don’t like, is he (Finch) was willing to come in and make some very tough decisions in an awful financial environment and I give him credit for that.”
    End 11:56

    This 16 seconds of the recording reveals Finch knew coming into the Mayoral race the City was “in an awful financial environment” as you heard it. Why is Bill Finch blaming Fabrizi for what he knew he had to face coming in? This revelation proves Bill Finch intentionally lied about the $600 tax refund as he knew the City was in an awful financial environment. Now Lennie you have the smoking gun and I hope you show some journalistic principles and build on the statement of Tom McCarthy. If you let this opportunity pass you by, we shall all be disappointed.

    Now is the time for OIB readers to call Mary-Jane Foster’s headquarters (203)908-3684 and tell her she must listen to this revealing interview and just like Bill Finch used my “Bastard” comment against her, she too shall use this against Finch–consider it a set precedent. Call (203)908-3684 NOW!

  10. power to the people
    Bravo! You are absolutely correct! 323 Fairfield (Kuchma’s new construction deal on the corner of Fairfield and Lafayette) had its tax agreement negotiated and construction start during Fabrizi’s administration. The $25 million of preferred financing through a GE Capital investment was secured during the Fabrizi Administration. That financing helped 323 Fairfield and 333 State close their financing gap.

    As for the five new schools and the NRZ’s that put the plans together to improve the neighborhoods surrounding those new schools: again all done during the Fabrizi administration. Yes Finch was there when the doors opened but the heavy lifting was not done by Finch

    As for the new regional high school and middle school, the state financing was secured during the Fabrizi administration. Finch can take credit for the groundbreaking and opening of Discovery Middle but he totally screwed up the negotiations with Trumbull on the regional high school. That school should be open next month but it’s not.

    As for Steelpointe, don’t get me started. When Fabrizi took office the city did not have title to over one third of the land. Yup, a developer was selected without the city owning the land. In the four years Fabrizi was in charge all of the property became city owned by very complicated court and DPUC actions; the new zoning was enacted and a strong Land disposition agreement was put in place. Fast forward to today: where are the retail store announcements? Stratford Avenue’s reconstruction will be done thanks to the TIGER II grant. Finch can take credit for that given the heavy lifting by our congressional delegation but what is going to go on the site and when? Please don’t tell me it’s a super WalMart or other such big box! I can go to Stratford or Milford for those stores. Steelpointe was to be a major destination; something very unique with the boardwalk, big boat marina and all kinds of specialty mixed uses. Hello, is anyone home? How many times do they need to go to the Las Vegas shopping center conference. It must be five years by now. Still no announcement of substance.

    As for Downtown, well I just don’t see anything Finch can take credit for in the downtown except the mill and fill paving project to put a temporary layer of asphalt on a couple of the streets. The financing to separate the storm and sewer is not secured! The parking meters still take quarters only; the railroad underpass on water street is still not upgraded; the crosswalk signs don’t work; the signage is terrible; the traffic congestion around Harbor Yard at peak events is still awful; the signals are not timed correctly so you have to stop at every block. I can go on and on. Finch’s performance to grow Bridgeport’s tax base has been abysmal in my opinion.

    1. Finch can take credit for the “Take back the night” street walks with Chief Gaudett. Good for him. Finch is such a pussy he skipped taking a walk in Black Rock. Must be all those “FOSTER FOR MAYOR” signs dotting the landscape.

  11. Somebody just said “not only does MJF love this city (do people really love a city?) but she invested her own money into it.”

    Volumes. That speaks volumes.

    I’m voting for MJF because she is the right choice. She is the only choice.

  12. MJF is going to turn around and eat calamari if she has the opportunity. She is lucky candidates like Charlie and John backed out so they can take scraps from her camp. Danny Roach has Black Rock under control. Susan Brannelly will eat MJF alive in Black Rock. Why doesn’t Susan run for mayor?

  13. Steven–Chris Caruso is waaay more qualified to be mayor than MJF. Why should he support her? Chris Caruso is the Susan Lucci of Bridgeport politics. Strong leaders like Fabrizi and Finch have been his only obstacle.


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