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Keeley Bails On Running Partner, But Phillips Not Quitting

April 9th, 2018 · 22 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, City Politics, News and Events

Phillips, Keeley

Anne Pappas Phillips and Bob Keeley haven’t spoken in a month.

UPDATE:  Keeley bails. Former State Rep. Bob Keeley may have thrown his so-called running partner under the bus by “mailing my candidacy in” but Anne Pappas Phillips says she’s not quitting on Tuesday’s primary for City Council in the North End 133rd District. Talk about cutting and running. Keeley left a voice message for his running mate that he left for the west coast and won’t be around for the primary. Whether this is real or a joke by Keeley, known to be a prankster, he hasn’t requested an absentee ballot from the Town Clerk’s Office.

“I’m not quitting, I am not a quitter,” she says. “The question of absentee ballots has to be addressed. This is not the right time to quit.”

What about Keeley’s comments?

“I have no comment about my running partner,” Phillips, a city zoning commissioner, adds. “It’s hard to campaign all by yourself.”

On Tuesday district Democrats will go to the polls for a third time after Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis on two occasions invalidated results for absentee ballot irregularities. Keeley and Phillips are challenging party endorsed Michael DeFilippo and Jeanette Herron.

Political operatives in the district confirm that Keeley has mailed it in. In fact, they say Keeley and Phillips haven’t talked in a month.

Keeley’s acting like a candidate who’s resigned himself to a loss under the fallacy he cannot win a fair election. It raises questions about Keeley’s veracity for running in the first place. Does he really want to expose “corruption” as he puts it or is he simply a little kid with matches and gasoline in it for a narcissistic boost? Keeley’s interest in running for City Council centered on becoming president of the legislative body that would have placed him next in line in case of a mayoral vacancy. That option is no longer available to him.

Challenging the primary results has been financially costly on several levels and time consuming for the court system.

On some level, to those who know Keeley’s history, there’s a chuckle effect to his drawing back in mock horror over those dastardly politicians. While a state representative Keeley was often accused of living outside the district he represented. In addition (just like Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa he now accuses of absentee ballot abuses) Keeley was among several city pols under federal investigation 15 years ago. Testa and Keeley were not charged during those separate federal probes.

Here’s the part Keeley’s not sharing. When Keeley was defeated in a 2008 primary by Auden Grogins he was the longest serving legislator in city history having been endorsed many times by the very politicians he now rails against. In fact, in 2008 it was Testa who broke the tie that won Keeley the endorsement.

Since that time Keeley has waged two other races for State House and was shellacked on the machines both times. He’s run two races for City Council and last month was on a losing Democratic Town Committee slate. In the past decade he’s won on the machines zero times in six races. He’s also been a candidate for mayor three times without sniffing a primary win. Is he losing because all those elections were rigged? How about the machine totals he fails to win? Were the machine counts rigged as well? Or is he simply not winning because he fails to put in the work required?

Most people in the district just want this race over with so the two top vote producers can move on to the general election.

Herron, a council incumbent, continues to represent the district while the district drama plays out.

For his part regarding the alleged absentee ballot abuses DeFilippo says “I know Bridgeport has years and years of history … But I’m not part of that history.

To those who argue that Keeley’s doing the right thing bringing absentee abuses to light, Phillips, an attorney, quietly behind the scenes helped engineer the legal maneuvering in the case.

So if Keeley wins on Tuesday, he’s doing so in spite of himself. Or maybe he’ll continue to challenge the results in court until he’s awarded a win. Meanwhile, the legal bills mount.

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Bob Keeley is a bonafide coward and a piece of shit. I can tell you for a fact that when he ran against incumbent Gabe Biafore . Keeley lived on Dexter Drive which is not in the district. Keeley claimed an address at his mothers travel agency on North Ave,.
    A private investigator was hired and documented with video that Keeley lived out of the district. Statement were taken from the tenants in his mothers building and it showed he did not live there.
    THERE IS NO GUESSING THIS SLUG lived out of the district when he was first elected.
    To basically quit the campaign at this point shows what a shit head he is. Bob go away

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Lennie, you need to get your facts together. Anne Pappas Phillips is not running alone. While it’s true that Bob Keeley threw the towel in, the vacant spot has been filled with Pink Pig. Pink Pig appears on the above photo behind Phillips.

  • John from Black Rock

    Anne Phillips is a class act who deserved much much better.

  • Bob Halstead

    Lennie, you say “most people” in this district just want this race over. Who are the “most people in this district”?
    Again, what we are up against here is a thug culture. You vote you get a job. you vote you keep your job. Or heres the money just go get fifty ABs from elderly in homes where they don’t even know what they are signing.
    You like the status quo. I do not.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Bob, here’s a novel idea, how about Keeley winning on the machines? You whine, complain, moan, groan and drone over and over. Bob, you’re upset because you supported Joe Ganim and didn’t get a job. If you were on the payroll would you be as enthusiastic about the “thug culture?” I suggest you jump on your bicycle Tuesday to drag people out because Keeley needs the help.

      • Bob Halstead

        Lennie here’s a novel idea: I did not help Ganim to get myself a job

        Why did Keeley lose on the machines? Fraud and corruption. If you want to do some research see the Supreme Court and Judge Bellis

        This is Machine politics and it has hurt my city. A novel outlook I have. People voted their jobs Lennie..and you know it!

        Again Who are most of the people in the 133rd who want this over with? Are you operating under gross delusions?

  • Bob Halstead

    I think the judge was acting on the entire political culture which is my motivation- not a job- as well
    So still waiting on your explanation on who you think “most of the people” in that district are. You spin it as if it was a mom and apple pie God Bless America Democratic election.
    Get on a bike ride the district and get an idea of what “most of the people” really think
    Then again this is just my opinion

  • Bob Halstead

    Contrary to what you say, the majority of voters are not clamoring for all this to end. By design, they don’t even know that this election is going on.

    On a positive note, the corruption with the ABs and other issues were brought to light by Keeley as per the court record. In addition, recent revelations in the media that the DTC’s Chairman’s bartender, also the endorsed Council candidate, Mike DeFilippo received special treatment from ZBA to get a variance to open a liquor store across from Testos, (that was thrown out in court by Judge Radcliffe) and that he obviously has special connections with the City Planning Department to change the zoning regulations to allow him to establish his liquor store reveal obvious systemic corruption.

    AB abuse proven in court including the outrageous and illegal behavior of the DTC boss ordering the City’s police chief to deliver absentee ballots for his candidate, the obvious insertion of last minute ABs into an open box that were hand delivered by party operatives, in an unattended City car, etc., all add up to a battering of the voters morale to the point that they don’t even want to vote-that is exactly what the machine wants!

    That the reformers, the “youth movement” and the progressives in the party did not take this and run with this is in effect, throwing Keeley under the bus.

    I haven’t seen a lot of support from his running partner in working on this campaign nor from his DTC slate, many of whom were appointed by Ann in consultation with other politicians. Who is throwing who under the bus?

    For tomorrow’s election, as usual, the DTC operation is out in force. The patronage and finances of the political machine have only targeted a select audience-those who are voting their jobs who work to get all their people out. Money and special interest talks.

    From my conversations with voters, I think that if the word was put out better by workers and the media to the voters of the 133rd, they would have come out in better numbers.
    The less people know what is going on, the more the DTC wins. That is the plan.

    The election was driven by jobs and political strong arming. It is not a “We the People” have “spoken” as is what you are putting out there.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Did it occur to you the reform movements do not want to represent Keeley? As a candidate he’s a weak suck, not one to be championed. He’s out of state and the election’s tomorrow. Where is he, down in Miami Beach playing shuffle board with the rest of the geriatric mafia?

      • Bob Halstead

        It transcends Keely, Kid. It’s the issue here of what they found and no group acted on the issue. If the reason you give is true then they and you are acting myopic and petty
        And “the people have spoken” statement is a fairy tale.

        • The Bridgeport Kid

          Myopic and petty? You must be in glue. Keeley is a noncandidate, left town and will not be returning until AFTER the election.

          Looks to me that Bridgeport Generation Now! and Bridgeport United Against Corruption are capitalizing on the electoral fraud exposed by Keeley’s lawsuit. Both produced the following resolution which has been presented to the City council for proposal:

          PROPOSED
          *DRAFT* RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT,
          ANTI-CORRUPTION POSITION
          WHEREAS, we define public corruption as “the abuse of the public trust for personal gain;” and,
          WHEREAS, The City of Bridgeport has a well-established history of public corruption, which has led to mistrust among and between citizens, residents, civic and community leaders, and elected and appointed officials; and,
          WHEREAS, we are deeply committed to upholding our state Clean Elections Program and our local Ethics Ordinance; and
          WHEREAS, we know that within the public lies the true power and future of our city; and therefore, whatever trust the public places in its officials must be respected; and,
          WHEREAS, an elected individual legislator casts his or her vote as “a trustee of the public, not as a prerogative of personal or partisan power;” and,
          WHEREAS, we are ready to chart a new course for our city, grounded in a vision to re-establish trust and mutual respect with the people of Bridgeport to foster healthy community and diverse civic engagement; and,
          WHEREAS, we define good governance as the process for making and implementing decisions on behalf of the public trust; that is accountable, transparent, follows the rule of law, responsive, equitable and inclusive, efficient and effective, and participatory; that restores and builds trust, honesty, and a collective vision for a people united by common law; and,
          WHEREAS, the operation of good government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial, and accountable to the people; that the City of Bridgeport conducts open and fair elections, free from partisan influence; that government decisions and policy be made in the best interests of the community and the government; that public office not be used for personal gain; that officials and employees not be unduly or inappropriately influenced by those they regulate or by those who seek special benefits from the City of Bridgeport; and that the public have confidence in the integrity and transparency of its government; and,
          WHEREAS, we desire to establish as a position of the City of Bridgeport that tough, new electoral reforms and anti-corruption laws for politicians, lobbyists, and outside groups such as Super PACs, are necessary in order to protect and promote the First Amendment free speech rights of all citizens, regardless of political party, wealth, business or labor affiliations, and to foster ordinary Americans as the most important stakeholders in government instead of major donors or organizations; and,
          WHEREAS, limits on contributions to political candidates at the federal level are justified by the need to reduce the potential for undue influence and the appearance of impropriety; and,
          WHEREAS, contributions to candidates, and political spending on their behalf, from
          lobbyists, PACs, organizations, businesses, etc. present a potential risk of the appearance of
          impropriety; and,
          WHEREAS, precedent suggests that restrictions on official actions taken by legislators in situations in which there may be conflicts of interest do not constitute restrictions on the First Amendment free speech rights of legislators; and,
          WHEREAS, closing “the revolving door,” where elected representatives and administrative staff accept jobs that give the appearance of impropriety, whether through a political party or through a lobbying firm, which further deteriorates the public’s trust; and,
          WHEREAS, substantial sums of money are spent in elections; and,
          WHEREAS, the City of Bridgeport joins with other communities in the United States in seeking limits on and full transparency of political money and influence as necessary for the growth of an educated, engaged, and informed electorate.
          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that it is the position of the City of Bridgeport that we denounce public corruption in all its forms in all levels of our government, commit to the values of good governance and to upholding clean elections and our Ethics Ordinance, and that tough, new electoral reforms and anti-corruption laws must be passed by the State of Connecticut and U.S. Congress, including to the extent permitted by law to enact legislation that allows municipalities to hold nonpartisan, open primaries; prohibits candidates from taking campaign money from interests they regulate and from lobbyists; put limits on PACs and other groups; increase transparency for campaign funding; stop elected representatives and senior staff from negotiating jobs while in office and bar them from all lobbying activity for five years once they leave office; and strengthen federal agencies to enforce the rules against candidates and identified groups defined in such legislation from violating the proposed laws.

          • Bob Halstead

            Kid, if the issue was capitalized on, the activist young ones would have gotten behind the candidates of the challenge slates and perhaps the challenge slates would have one, riding this issue- a real achievement. Time will tell about the effectiveness of the aforementioned resolution. Will it make a difference or is it just window dressing?

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    It would appear the voters of the 133rd have spoken, twice. Keeley IS mailing it in, unenthusiastically. So, if he wasn’t really interested in a seat on the Bridgeport City Council, what was he enthusiastic about? He accomplished something:

    “DeFilippo and Herron won the first primary last September after an absentee or mail-in ballot appeared during a recount, breaking the tie for second-place between Herron and  Kelley.

    “Keeley and Pappas Phillips questioned the results in court, and Judge Barbara Bellis ordered a do-over for Nov. 14.

    “DeFilippo and Herron again prevailed, this time by a wider margin. And Keeley and Herron again headed to court, where legitimate questions were raised about their opponents’ absentee ballot operation.

    “It came out in court, for example, that Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa asked Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez, a friend of Testa’s close ally, Mayor Joe Ganim, to dispatch an officer to pick up ballots from addresses supplied by DeFilippo, who bartends at Testa’s restaurant.
    Critics argued the Town Clerk is in charge of absentee ballots, already has a cop assigned to that office to retrieve ballots, and that Testa and DeFilippo should have butted out…”

    The critics are correct, Testa and DeFilippo should have butted out. Absentee ballot fraud has been standard operating procedure in Bridgeport politics for too long, way way too long. Bob  Keeley  gave Anne Papas Phillips the bum’s rush. Now he looks like a shmuck. he should have stayed the distance, campaigned for the seat. It would have looked like a hard won victory, if he prevailed. 

    Only in Bridgeport. Whiskey-tango-foxtrot…

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Derek, some good points. Keeley’s sole interest in running for City Council was to become council president so he could be next in line in case of a mayoral vacancy. That option is now gone.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Maybe Keeley’s been skipping his Geritol regimen…

      • John Marshall Lee

        Lennie, at the end of yesterday, we could see that everything “transcended” candidate Keeley, and he wrote his own epitaph. Bob, where will you find audiences willing to listen to how you did it in Hartford on the Bond Commission after walking out at just that moment? I have listened to the “history” lesson but your learning was not adequate to a new day……there were more than a few who essayed a moment of your valuable time to assist with campaigning. You were as effective as a tired vacuum cleaner in raising small opportunities into something that can work. Having worked for a time on your The Movement project, it is interesting to see Howard Gardner winning office and then exiting with a good record, David Daniels, working on Community issues for a Police Department with serious need for the same, John Gomes and Charlie Coviello working for City Hall, and you? Perhaps time for the memoirs? Time will tell.

  • Lisa Parziale

    I have been following this travesty as closely as the rest of those concerned. The Kid summed it up most accurately in a recent post. I have nothing to add but that Anne Phillips worked tirelessly since the onset with little or no help from well-intended supporters who meant well, but heck, this is hard work. Since her running mate is out of the State until the weekend, she will be alone tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10th. Perhaps this is an opportunity for good-government minded individuals to show up at Madison or Blackham School for a show of support for her. She will be there alone, let’s see who cares!!!!!

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Keeley was and always will be a piece of shit. Bob you are out of the state do us all a favor stay out of the state
    Ann Phillips is a good person and would do an excellent job. DeFilipo is Marios lawn jockey and will do as he is told. No balls at all.

  • Black Rockin

    There is something, probably a lot more to this story, time will tell, to quote JML

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Bob Keeley could’ve made a difference on the City Council but nooooooo… Couldn’t get the fourth ball for a walk so he threw down the bat and walked off. What an asshole, what a shameless asshole. 

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