Lotsa Beans For Bridgeport, Plus: Dodd’s Water Torture

I’m in search of beans. Not just any beans. Fava beans. That’s right, because today is St. Joseph’s Day, my middle namesake.

Who cares about St. Joseph’s Day? C’mon, good Joseph did a mighty fine job fathering Jesus considering it was a heavenly stimulus that juiced his boy’s arrival. And what about the beans? Joseph is the patron saint of Sicily where my father was raised. Sicily had suffered unspeakable drought. The masses prayed to Joseph for rains. The rains came and then an unimaginable crop of fava.

So fava will be on the menu through the weekend. (Hold the flatulence.) And for dessert, lots of zeppole, orgasmic puff pastry filled with Bavarian cream. My oh my.

Ironically, Joe Ganim was convicted in federal court on St. Joseph’s Day six years ago today. The former mayor has been in the joint for five and a half years. That’s a lot of time. If Joe had taken his medicine and the plea deal the government was willing to make he’d have been out a few years ago, and very much part of the political action, and maybe the fundraiser that Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is throwing for Mayor Bill Finch tonight at his restaurant would’ve been for Joe. Mario misses Joe.

If Mario has $500 worth of zeppole tonight, I’ll show up. That’s how much I love zeppole. But if not, it’s still gonna be a fun night because we’re headed for the Art Garfunkel concert at the Klein. Still some seats left. Grab a ticket and join us. Simply click their banner ad, or here: www.fairfieldtheatre.org.

This looks like a pretty good week for the mayor. (A lot better than for Action-In-Greed AIG and Chris Dodd.) Nice St. Patrick’s Day, a St. Joseph’s day loaded with reelection money, and as a celebration to finish the week the mayor is saluting the unions that helped to close a $20 million budget gap. I don’t know how close the city is to closing that gap with one quarter left in the budget year, but the union rank and file has done its part in a gut-wrenching economy.

Finch will say thank you to the city’s unions at a ceremony Friday morning at Fire Headquarters.

According to hizzoner, the Bridgeport City Supervisors Union and the Firefighters Union Local 834 are the last of the unions to come to agreement on concessions, which together with layoffs and the freezing of positions total nearly $6.9 million in this fiscal year.

The new budget year that starts July 1 is (gulp) another story. So, on this St. Joseph’s Day here’s hoping there’s plenty of beans to go around next year. How about a friggin’ beanstalk!

Dodd Dung

This is Chinese water torture time for Chris Dodd. He doesn’t want to go out like his father Tom who served Connecticut in the Senate, had a string of success and then was censured for personal use of campaign funds and then banished by voters.

Dodd is trying to eat soup with chopsticks. Good luck. Looks like the Senate Banking chairman played a nice game of winking with financial titans that larded his campaign war chest. And now he’s under siege both in DC and home. His latest statement below:

I’m the one who has led the fight against excessive executive compensation, often over the objections of many. I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment but I did so at the request of Administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG. Let me be clear – I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.

Reports that I changed my position on this issue are simply untrue. I answered a question by CNN last night regarding whether or not a specific date was aimed at protecting AIG.  When I saw that my comments had been misconstrued, I felt it was important to set the record straight – that this had nothing to do with AIG.

Fortunately, we wrote this amendment in a way that allows the Treasury Department to go back and review these bonus contracts and seek to recover the money for taxpayers. Again, I have led the fight to curb excessive executive compensation, and will continue to do so.



  1. Are the unions getting free tickets for tonight along with the council jerks?

    Don’t mean to rain on Mario’s parade but I have a update on the elderly man from the Eisenhower Senior facility who was thrown to the ground, arrested and thrown in jail for the weekend because Rosemarie Hoyt’s aide said he pushed her. She later recanted her story but the damage to the elderly man is irreparable. He is pursuing his case with the help of the NAACP. Now there is another case. An Arab man (dark skin) had an altercation with the same aide at the Eisenhower building. Some research uncovered that the aide is paid through federal HUD money which has a very strict clause on discrimination in the provision of services. Now the court case is expanding because HUD is being sued as well. And if that’s not enough!!! My sources tell me that Rosemarie should be under the supervision of Dr. Marian Evans at the Health Dept. But she refuses to report to her because … you guessed it … Dr. Evans is African-American. Hope Mario has a nice party tonight.

    1. *** As usual, a one-way “personal” opinion blog on 3 different stories. Yet putting the same person at fault for all. Imagine B.L. being on a jury pool? *** Forget about it! ***

    1. Ah, we have enough gas coming out of the Bridgeport political scene also. The big difference is that, after eating a plate of beans, the resultant methane expulsion is immediately repulsive to the olfactory senses. The gas coming out of Bridgeport City Hall, and the Legislative office building in Hartford, and the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., takes some analysis to determine its foulness.

      Or something like that …

  2. There’s never too much about beans, the musical fruit. One of the best things you can do with a fava bean is make falafel. Sorry, Lennie, I know this is not a Sicilian dish, but they do serve them in Palermo, even if those marauding Arabs brought it to the island.

    Fava beans rule!!!

    The Bridgeport Kid’s favorite falafel recipe


    • 1 cup dried fava beans or 16 oz. can of fava beans.
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon coriander
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Oil for frying

    Place dried fava beans in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.

    Drain fava beans, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.

    Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour.

    Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

    Combine fava beans, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.

    Mash fava beans, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.

    Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.

    Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).

    Serve hot.

    Serving Suggestion:
    Falafel can be served as an appetizer with hummus and tahini, or as a main course. Stuff pita bread with falafel, lettuce, tomatoes, tahini, salt and pepper. As an alternative, falafel can be formed into patties and served like a burger.

  3. a la Lennie …

    “If Joe had taken his medicine and the plea deal the government was willing to make he’d have been out a few years ago, and very much part of the political action, and maybe the fundraiser that Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is throwing for Mayor Bill Finch tonight at his restaurant would’ve been for Joe. Mario misses Joe.”


    1. The Kid needs to agree here.

      “If Joe had taken his medicine and the plea deal the government was willing to make he’d have been out a few years ago, and very much part of the political action …” What the hell?! He’s out of the political action now, and he would’ve been even after taking a plea from the Feds; the plea would’ve kept him out of the soup for a much shorter period.

      What is it you know that we don’t?

  4. Wondering … maybe you should either get more sleep or read 8 newspapers instead of the 6 you already claim. Obama’s ratings are sliding. That I’ll give you. But this guy is doing more to turn the Bush Lite legacy around than I had anticipated. He’s in office 2 months. People expected a significant turnaround immediately. That’s not going to happen until all of his initiatives have had time to percolate. But one significant factor to economic stability involves defense spending and energy costs. When both are out of control, we have recession. Energy costs have alleviated and OB has announced a significant reduction in defense spending. A good start … a damn good start! I keep my own rating barometer … OB is still hangin’ in there real high.

  5. The Oracle of Omaha Steaks!

    I will be having my favorite dish at Viale’s this noon. Escarole and Beans with some well-done sausage.

    Art’s, who put the Funk in Garfunkel, opening act tonight in deference to San Giuseppe will be the legendary Italian rock band, … “Led Zeppole”!!!

  6. Re: Monkey Suit

    Autopsy has revealed that the chimp was suffering from halitosis.

    Willinger has claimed that he will not allow this to become “another Scope’s Monkey Trial!”

  7. Lennie, your knowledge of zeppole is atrocious! There is nothing “Bavarian” in a zeppole. If you get one with Bavarian cream you didn’t get it from an Italian bakery. Zeppole can be made with either cannoli cream (made from ricotta) or a vanilla custard. I hope no one confuses this delicacy with a plain old cream puff. My favorite place in B’port for these treats is Del Prete. If anyone remembers the old Roma Bakery on Main Street near Charles, they were the absolute best.

    Enough of food, when are we going to learn the identity of the thief who made off with the $20K from the tax office? Or is this crime too small compared to a fundraiser for Finch? Wouldn’t it be a hoot if the money turned up at Testo’s tonight?!?!?!

  8. Yahooy: What you say about energy costs is partially true. The gas and home heating oil prices have dropped but not because of anything Obama has done.
    In fact when they start updating the electrical grid across the country you will see your electric rates skyrocket because the costs will be passed on to the consumer.

  9. Evolve or perish. I’m a self-styled expert on electrical grid upgrading and here’s my prediction:

    COSTS will be borne by the government and the benefits to consumers phenomenal. Consequently, our power bills will remain steady while inflation skyrockets. Utilities will face insurmountable pressure to keep rates the same. When the dust settles, the renewed power grid will be seen as our new strength, underpinning economic advancement while prompting countries around the world to duplicate our efforts and upgrade theirs!

    New power grids will do to our economy what computers did to the internet.


  10. From what I am reading here is it safe to assume that Mr. Testa would not back an Andres Ayala mayoral bid??? If Mr. Ayala were to want the state’s largest city’s highest office it would be a shame that his Latino heritage would stop anyone from backing him!!!

  11. I don’t think it’s his Latino heritage that could stop his run for mayor. If anything it would be the Latinos that stop him. There seems at times to be a love-hate relationship there. An example could be the primary for town committee seats where his team lost all 9 seats. Then he runs for reelection and walks away with the election. So I guess it comes down to if the Latinos are mad at him come election time. Don’t forget there could be other Latinos looking for the mayor’s job i.e. Carlos Silva; or maybe Mitch Robles wants to be mayor through his stepson. Time will tell.

    1. Actually if we go to the video tape of that DTC election … I heard through unconfirmed sources that a lot of dead people cast a lot of absentee ballots for the people running against Ayala … but again how could that possibly be in an ultra-clean political city like Bridgeport???

  12. Lennie, you seem to miss Joe. You were so very close. Have you ever visited him or corresponded with him over these past years? It is a shame for such a friendship to sour. Sometimes one just has to reach out. I bet he misses you too.

  13. What really burns my ass about Bridgeport is the stupid lemmings who would vote for a thief like Ganim or a druggy like Fabrizi. How can anyone even think about these people ever running the city again or talk about it? I see in a prior posting about absentee ballots and I also heard that many people were turned away during that vote so they couldn’t vote for Ayala. Aren’t the people of Bpt sick and tired of the crooks running the city? Guess not when I read Ganim’s name and Fabrizi’s name and Testa’s name on this blog all the time. What a stupid city.

  14. Bpt Consigliere: One of the problems with the city are people like you that post bullshit about things you don’t know about. First off on the town committee vote Ayala was not a candidate but his people were. Second his people were well represented at the polls so anyone that may have been turned away was turned away with his representatives there. You did not hear a damn thing, you made that crap up and by the way absentee ballots had no role in the outcome. BTW he took that loss like a gentlemen and moved on and won the state rep race.

    1. It is you Wondering who has no clue on what you are talking about. Ayala won 8 of the 9 machines and lost by the absentee ballots. And he most certainly was part of that slate as one of the 9 who ran. And furthermore Luis Marin closed voting at 7:38 that evening and Ayala lost by two votes and a recount was ordered. Check the facts, it’s public record non-know-it-all. Just as Caruso cried foul due to Santa Ayala’s tactics; Andres could have also but he is a gentleman and not a whiner like Caruso is.

      1. If my memory serves me correctly Consigliere … you hit the nail on the head … I do know for sure that Ayala ran that race and lost by two votes.

  15. Mojo, can you hear me or is your head stuck up Mario’s butt? If you have another side to the Mrs. Hoyt story then tell it. I know, Rosemarie knows, her staff knows and her seniors (what few of them are there) know that she does not like people of color OR people who prefer to speak in their native Spanish. There have been several incidents of discriminatory behavior at the Eisenhower building. The difference now is that people are actually documenting them and speaking up.

  16. Seems like the majority of bloggers feel that there is some element of corruption in the Bridgeport voting process, be it on the committee level or city level.

    Perhaps it’s time to ask Jimmy Carter and a team of watchers from the UN to swing by and monitor things.

    After all, is there much difference between partisan politics in B’port and politics in Venezuela or Cuba?

  17. Lennie, look at the nerve of this one–She is on vacation and would like us to go out and do some volunteering …

    Fairfield County for Obama:
    March Madness Continues
    News from the Grassroots
    March 19th, 2009

    Hello all –

    I’m on vacation this week, but there are a few things happening this weekend (and next) that I wanted to tell you about, so please do look below.

    Look forward to connecting again soon…

    4th District Grassroots Coordinator
    Organizing for America

    As I mentioned last week, OFA will sponsor a major pledge drive this Saturday, March 21st.

    Across the country, Obama supporters will dust off their campaign skills and head to Main Streets and grocery stores to ask people to sign a pledge in support of President Obama’s economic agenda, which aims to rebuild and renew America by investing in the three areas most critical to our future:

    Energy – Transforming America’s economy to run on clean and renewable energy in order to create new American jobs and industries
    Health care – Comprehensively reforming health care so that families, businesses, and government are relieved from the crushing costs that impede economic growth and prosperity
    Education – Reforming and investing in America’s education system so that ALL citizens are prepared to compete in a global economy

    Just as in the campaign, we’ll give you the forms and the talking points and you can spend a couple of hours making a difference. If you can join in on Saturday, please contact Laura Stewart (Laurastewart7@aol.com; 203-202-9405) or Jere Eaton (jereceaton@sbcglobal.net; 203-561-1250) directly for time and location.

    If you aren’t available Saturday, please do take a moment to sign the pledge yourself by clicking on this link: http://my.barackobama.com/pledgeproject. Then please forward the link to as many people as possible in your personal network. This kind of person-to-person outreach was one of the most underestimated tools of the campaign…and will be all the more necessary now to cut through the noise of the media and opposition in Congress.

    Our Congressman

    Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) has just announced that he will hold a Town Hall Meeting on the Economy this Sunday, March 22nd from 3-5 pm at the Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton. There, he will present a summary of federal action to help create jobs and address the foreclosure crisis and hear from constituents about their ideas to spur economic growth.

    For questions regarding event logistics, please call the Congressman’s office at 866.453.0028.

    Grassroots Action

    Wilton Area and Committees: The following committees will meet to continue their work next Saturday, March 28th:

    Community Service: organizing meeting from 2-3 pm at the offices of the Women@Work Network in Wilton Center (directions below)
    Healthcare: meeting from 10-11 am at the Women@Work Network, to include presentations on healthcare options and a universal healthcare proposal by SustiNET that is currently working its way through the CT Legislature.
    Housing: meeting from 1-2 pm at the Women@Work Network

    (Directions: Women@Work is located at 44 Old Ridgefield Rd, in the Piersall Building, Suite 235, in Wilton Center – this is a large brick building, close to the Village Market and Route 33, with storefronts and a Wachovia Bank downstairs and offices upstairs; the entrance is next to Good Morning nail salon.)

    Also, members of the Education Committee will attend the next visitor’s day at Amistad Academy in New Haven on Friday, April 3rd from 7:45 am to about 10:15 am, to learn more about this charter school that is successfully closing the achievement gap for low-income urban students.

  18. Since the last time we touched base?

    We have never touched base! Hey Lennie, I think it’s time you start hitting these wannabe goobers for some OIB political advertising.

    Dear Joel:

    Since the last time we touched base, I’ve spent time in different communities across the state, visiting local businesses and speaking at meetings as I explore a run for Governor in 2010. In every corner of the state, there has been a consistent and overriding sentiment among the people I’ve spoken with: Connecticut residents believe our state can succeed, but they know we won’t without real leadership.

    At a recent forum, a question about encouraging the growth of small businesses shed light on a multitude of important issues. Our outdated property tax laws combined with a stalled state-wide transportation system and sky high health care costs discourage economic growth at a time when we should be doing our best to nurture economic development in our state, not create roadblocks. The people of Connecticut believe as I do that the role of state leadership is to grow the economy and build jobs. We know that the global economic crisis won’t last forever, and that it’s crucial that we position our state to be ready to thrive when the nation begins to recover.

    These issues need to be addressed right away, by a leader who “gets it.” A leader who is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo; someone with a vision for the future and the experience and background necessary to make that vision a reality. A proven leader who knows how to cut waste, balance a budget and grow jobs, who understands health care needs for working families and who comes to work every single day to fight on behalf of the people of Connecticut. Click here for video footage from the forum.

    I invite you to join a growing movement of people who believe we need more vision, more professional-grade management and more focus in the Governor’s office.

    Please contribute as much as you can right now to my exploratory committee, up to $375, and encourage others to do the same, by going to www .danmalloy.com. There you can also sign up to host house parties and to volunteer. I am grateful for your support and look forward to working alongside you.

    All the best,


    Paid for by Dan Malloy for CT, Len Miller, Treasurer
    Change email address / Leave mailing list
    Hosting by YourMailingListProvider

  19. “at the Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton. There, he [Jim Himes] will present a summary of federal action to help create jobs and address the foreclosure crisis and hear from constituents about their ideas to spur economic growth.”

    Really??? In Wilton? Foreclosure crisis federal action for job growth in Wilton; don’t most Wilton people work in New York? Are people from Bridgeport invited to Wilton, since Bridgeport has the highest foreclosure rate in the State? Isn’t his District Director from Wilton? Shouldn’t someone tell her she should be focusing on Bridgeport? Contrary to what anyone in his group thinks, Bridgeport did win it for Himes, not the suburbs. He needs to give that presentation 10x more in Bridgeport, neighborhood by neighborhood, since the population of Wilton probably doesn’t equal one of the many neighborhoods here.

  20. Here is the scenario for 2011 …

    Finch Announces Re-Election, but is hated by the electorate.

    Caruso decides, I think I can beat Finch … So he runs …

    Then Johnny Fabs thinks to himself, DTC don’t think I can do it, But I think I can, I think I can …

    So Mario is stuck between crazy Finch or possible loser Fabrizi … Then Mario thinks about his move and decides to try to talk to Andres Ayala … Of course using Dottie Guman as his mouthpiece, ’cause everybody loves Dottie … Except Stafstrom …

  21. Celia, The whole city political machine is scared of Ayala because he can win in 2011 and there goes the lily-white rule over the city. Imagine a honest politician in Bpt who owes no one and can clean out the grime and corruption.

    ps Wondering, where are you? You comment on here 24/7. Your silence is deafening, you must have checked the facts and realized you don’t know shit about the DTC election a few years ago, and the truth is the corruption in Bpt that Caruso cries about is fact and it took the election away from Ayala.

  22. Bpt Consigliere: Here I am just to set you straight–the election for town committee seat was last year not a few years ago. BTW not one Ayala candidate for town committee seats was elected. Here you are just like Caruso crying about corruption. Where is the corruption? What kind of corruption? That’s what beat Caruso, crying corruption without being able to cite any. If you know there is corruption go to the Feds.

    1. The corruption is everywhere. I heard something at the St. Patrick’s Day parade that even shocked me. Someone overheard Tom Sherwood making a loud threat to blow up a city building and everyone in it. The person wrote an anonymous letter asking for this to be investigated. In these times, no threat should be ignored. The administration laughed it off and instead they’re trying to find out who wrote the letter so that the person can be disciplined. God help us if Sherwood snaps under pressure one day and does hurt someone. City Hall Annex employees beware. The mayor was warned about this and did nothing. Your safety is not important. The Sherwood cover-up continues. I’ll try to find out more today. Gotta get to work or I’ll get written up.

  23. Mojo, my brother, you should face the facts. Mario and his crew don’t like my people and they don’t like yours either. We need to get together and back a candidate for mayor who represents the majority of this city not just the good old boy white network. I like Andres but I also like Marilyn Moore. Think about it.

    1. *** What are you talking about, Andres? I didn’t blog shit about Andres & I’ve said it here before, Andres could make a good Councilman, State Rep. & even State Senator but as Mayor of Bpt. like Finch, he doesn’t have what it takes! *** My blog was about one-sided stories! ***

  24. “Wondering // Mar 20, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Bpt Consigliere: Here I am just to set you straight …”

    An absolute self-proclaimed seer of all topics. I think a lot of people think he’s a BLOWHARD.

  25. yahooy is it upsetting to you that someone can comment on more than one topic at a time? I know you have difficulty doing so but that’s okay. Other than blasting the cougar and pushing for Bruce Hubler (good choice btw) what actual opinion have you shared with this blog? Gee I thought Bpt Consigliere was exchanging ideas but you are welcome to join if you can get past the name calling. Do you find it difficult to understand that a person can have an opinion on more than one subject at a time? In either case it was nice hearing from you.

  26. I didn’t say your opinions are bad. I just said you have an opinion about absolutely everything.

    I read and follow the pundits too. You have no depth beyond what is espoused by someone else. Show some juice and come up with something original.

    Yes, Virginia … there is a Santa Claus and Rodgerson has no business in a position of municipal leadership in any role and Bruce Hubler would use his executive skills to create a Bridgeport that embraces prosperity pro bono publico making machinists a cliche like you.


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