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Malloy Endorses Finch, ‘A Person We Can Trust’

July 28th, 2015 · 52 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Malloy, Finch Bass Pro

Malloy with Finch at Bass Pro announcement 2012.

Calling Mayor Bill Finch “A person we can trust,” Governor Dan Malloy Tuesday afternoon endorsed him for a third, four-year term at the Black Horse Garage where the governor also announced a state grant to expand the workshop of the luxury car restorer in the East End, a pivotal battle ground area where former mayor Joe Ganim has political strength.

Finch, Lyons, Malloy, Brantley at Black Horse

Finch and Malloy outside Black Horse Garage. At center City Councilor Michelle Lyons, at right, former council member Evette Brantley, once again a candidate.

Malloy was not bashful in his endorsement of Finch, drawing a contrast with the troubled past of Ganim seeking a comeback following his 2003 conviction on federal corruptions charges. Finch was flanked by dozens of political supporters who chanted, “Four more years” inside the Black Horse workshop on Union Avenue.

Finch opened the remarks before introducing Malloy. “He’s a person who helped us with Steel Point and jobs at Steel Point,” said Finch referring to the redevelopment of the East Side that will be home to anchoring tenant Bass Pro Shops now under construction. Malloy spoke of the need to revitalize the East Side and East End neighborhoods, highlighting Steel Point and a second train station for the city on Barnum Avenue, blocks away, that he called a city “game changer.”

“The rail station has to be built,” Malloy said to cheers. “Working with Bill Finch is a pleasure … He’s a person we can trust. I am here to endorse a partnership … Why change direction with things moving in the right direction.”

Malloy and Finch have renewed political alliances after Finch endorsed Ned Lamont for governor over Malloy in 2010. The relationship was scratchy for a few years. Malloy did not make an endorsement for mayor in the 2011 primary season with his friend Mary-Jane Foster in the race. Foster is again a candidate for mayor.

When Malloy was mayor of Stamford and Ganim chief executive of Bridgeport they were not the best of buds as the two major Connecticut cities experienced political rivalries. Ganim was a rising statewide star in the Democratic Party. When Ganim was forced from office, Malloy filled the void of a city mayor aspiring to the governor’s office. He ran for governor in 2006 and closed the deal with his statewide win in 2010, followed by reelection last year in a second close contest with Republican Tom Foley.

Key to helping repair the relationship between Finch and Malloy was former Democratic Town Chair John Stafstrom, an early Malloy supporter for governor. Staftrom, the city’s bond counsel in his employ with Bridgeport-based law firm Pullman and Comley, served as a relationship bridge between Finch and the governor’s office. Stafstrom attended the governor’s endorsement of the mayor.

In the past two years Finch mayoral operatives reached out as well with the governor’s office, leveraging the Malloy-Finch policy-wonk persona as a common denominator for an improved relationship. Last year Malloy supported a two-year delay implementing state-mandated revaluation of taxable property that avoided a major tax hit for the city in Malloy’s election cycle and Finch’s this year.

Throw Ganim into the mix for a possible comeback and it furthered Malloy’s endorsement for Finch, albeit not until Finch secured the endorsement, following a hotly contested vote, of the Democratic Town Committee last week.

Malloy cautioned Finch supporters not to take anything for granted signaling Ganim as a real threat.

“If you see someone who voted for me, tell them to vote for Bill Finch,” Malloy emphasized.

As one political operative noted at the event, “If Joe wasn’t in the race, this election would be a real sleeper.”

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52 Comments so far ↓

  • BptPorter

    Ummm, serious? This garage gets a free handout to expand their business? This is bullshit. I am sick of government using tax dollars for stuff like this. How about relief to taxpayers and homeowners? Last time Malloy gave a handout for a supermarket in downtown Bridgeport, you know what? It closed six months later.

  • BptPorter

    By the way, Sal DiNardo owns a bunch of Starbucks in the area. Guess who is behind Starbucks at Steelpointe? Take a big guess. Jobs for Bridgeport?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Starbucks in Bridgeport. Most locals drink the Green Mountain coffee served by 99% of the bodegas and convenience stores in town. Fancy pastries? Little Debbie’s Snack Cakes ought to open a bakery here. Sal DiNardo’s current employees will benefit from the new outlet. Some of them will transfer (after passing the state exam for carrying a concealed weapon).

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    Who cares, they’re both unpopular.

  • Maria Pereira

    I have knocked on doors for weeks. You know how many voters have brought up the endorsement of Blumenthal, Murphy and Jepsen? ZERO.

    • Frank the Cabana Boy

      Our Governor Dannel Malloney.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria, do you know why? NOBODY CARES, NOBODY.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, did you expect one voter to mention the endorsements? These endorsements hold weight with the mailings.

      Congratulations to Mayor Finch,
      It is important that voters understand the importance of having a working relationship with Hartford and Washington. The endorsement by Governor Malloy and two United States Senators means a lot. I suppose it couldn’t hurt for fundraising either.

      A business expanding in the East End is a great thing! Four more years!

      That is my councilwoman, Michelle Lyons from the 134th. She and AmyMarie Paniccia do a great job!
      Good luck to the Black Horse Garage and their business expansion.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        It seems your two alderpersons are bought and paid for by Finch and company. Let me ask you, what have these two done to really help Bridgeport other than be Finch yes votes?

      • Ron Mackey

        Steve, what are the City Council members from the 134th doing in the East End instead of the City Council members from the East End?

        • Steven Auerbach

          You have a problem with two strong white women supporting an East End business? They think like me. We support all Bridgeport successes. We are not confined by districts. You have a problem with me supporting the East End. You are very negative. People who live there actually enjoy their neighborhood and parks. You should stop down with Mary-Jane sometime.

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, answer the question. Where were the City Council members from that district? It would have been nice if they came there without being told to come to the East End by Mayor Finch.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Ron, what are you insinuating? Finch “ordered” them to come and they thought gee let’s not go for a photo op? I do not understand your problem, this is an East End business and all the leadership should have been there to celebrate a small victory.

            So speaking about the East End, a group of friends of mine were having dinner when a local celebrity came in. Ernie Newton joined us for 45 minutes and we all thoroughly enjoyed Ernie. I would not have posted this without Ernie’s approval. And I will not say where we were. I enjoy not only the diversity of the city but I love engaging in conversation with individuals in different camps. I respect Ernie being a Ganim supporter as I am sure Ernie appreciates my position. We will live to see another day.

            Ernie, you may run into me tomorrow. If you are into Caribbean food.

            Ron Mackey, you need to get out more and be more supportive of all Bridgeport’s neighborhoods. I claim them all as my own and I am happy my councilwoman supports the Mayor. How novel is that?

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, for the third time where were the City Council members from the East End? Steve, of course the 134th City Council members were told to be there, if they want to support the East End or any other district they need to make sure they are not interfering in another district’s plans, I’m sure they wouldn’t want the City Council members from the East End messing in their district with a project they didn’t want.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Ron Mackey, I hardly think my council woman would have a problem with the entire council showing up at every North End event. You are territorial, you see Bridgeport as a divided fiefdom. Ron, you are a ridiculous man. Selfish and self-centered. Evette Brantley was there and she is running for office. Maybe the East End council women were having lunch? Maybe they were admiring the new roads in the neighborhoods with their constituents. Maybe they were fashionably late and missed the press conference. Maybe they were at a Ganim barbeque. Ron, who cares? If I had known I would have loved to have been there. I am glad Michelle and AmyMarie were there and I do not care if they felt obligated. I like my councilwomen having familiarity in other districts. We are one city with one vision and the East End is lucky all Bridgeporters have not forsaken them and find a reason to stop down and support local business establishments. Ron, one day I will meet you and ask you to your face, do you support any enterprise or success in Bridgeport?

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, I’m sure your council women will have no problem with an asphalt plant or a legal dump placed in the 134th agreed upon by the City Council.

  • Wicca

    What a gas! A person WHO can trust? Certainly not you, Dan. Between the lines is the correct message: Fear. And justified fear I might add.

    But if you decided today you do trust him for five minutes, take him off our hands and hire him for a do-nothing, affect nothing, ruin nothing, alienate no one, raise no taxes, issue no no-bid contracts, buy no one off, pave no roads, blame no police for your mismanagement, hide no money, underfund no schools, raise no taxes, finance no personal driveways, reward no one for their fine work in the sector of voter fraud, desk job. He’s yours.

    • Lisa Parziale

      I really, really like you, Wicca. Please tell me who you are.

    • John Marshall Lee

      It’s a funny thing when incumbents (or those who have been) ask for trust. A wise public has learned to ask for verification. In that department, Bill ‘call me accountable’ Finch trips and falls. He is not able to talk about the finances of the City. He has left that to others who have created documents, monthly reports and annual Capital budgets that are replete with errors routinely, are too full of purposeful confusion (like rolldown Police and Fire Department budgets), or devoid of transparency (one page Capital budget to spend $42 Million next year on +30 projects without details? And what about the Grant funds that come in to the City each year, employ workers from the City and produce services? But do they? If the grants are never shown on the City website, if the number of employees performing the services for which the grants are written are not identified, and if there is no one present to perform oversight, how do you verify? And if City departments, like Lighthouse-Youth Services can fail to report fees for youth in programs annually (like City Clerk reports fee income for document copies) but they report $850,000 in fee income in a limited circulation report, where is that money spent? And the State grant money from Governor Malloy … where is it spent? Isn’t it fair for taxpayers to ask this question and get an answer? Time will tell.

  • Maria Pereira

    Great post, Wicca.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Great, now we are giving our tax money to a body shop and repair facility. What is next, a dumpster company? This is total bullshit by two professional bullshit artists.

  • Come Back Bridgeport

    So the highest-taxes-ever Governor endorses the highest-taxes-ever Mayor. Surprise?

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    An endorsement from an unpopular governor doesn’t mean shit.

    • Lisa Parziale

      I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but The Bridgeport Kid is right on the money! I think the residents of Bridgeport are madder at Malloy than they are with Finch. OOPS, another nail in the coffin!

  • charlie

    The FBI should start in Hartford and stop in Bridgeport on the way down to Greenwich to get Blumenthief and Slimes.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Lisa Parziale and the other members of the pro-Ganim and pro-Foster crew. A simple congratulations to Mayor Finch and the East End business would suffice. It seems like all the endorsements with more to come can only elevate the Mayor while reducing his opponents’ rhetoric to muffled noise.

    I understand Joe wanting to get more signatures than necessary. He believes voters will believe he has a ground well of support. Most of those signatures are not Ganim supporters. They are just nice individuals who believe in the democratic process.

    Ganim supporters should be very grateful to the Foster supporters for helping him climb the mountain that seems to be getting steeper and steeper. There is still plenty of time and more endorsements. I say they’ll go to Finch.

    • Frank the Cabana Boy

      An unpopular incumbent endorsing an unpopular incumbent. Oh, and they both like to raise taxes.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      An endorsement from Dannel Malloy, an unpopular governor, is about as valuable as sand in a desert.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Ganim supporters ought to be grateful for Finch supporters. They provide much-needed comic relief.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Steve, at this point we’re all just hoping for the outcome we would like to have. No right, no wrong!

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      All of this simply means you are unable to recognize Joe Ganim is running a strong grass-roots campaign that could well topple the unpopular incumbent. A convicted felon who has been endorsed by rank and file police officers toppling a complacent mayor who cares more about his privilege than serving the people who elected him to represent ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT, not just the fat cats who make $4000 campaign contributions in exchange for 35-year tax abatements.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    At this point, a Malloy endorsement actually hurts a candidate. If Malloy “trusts” Finch so much, he should take him to Hartford and give him a job, maybe as “Director of Nepotism.”

  • Jeff Kohut

    (Dick Nixon endorses Spiro Agnew?)

    So the Snake Oil Salesman-in-Chief wants to sell us some more snake oil.

    Sure; he cares about the East Side of Bridgeport.

    “Build those servants tenements! Build that train station! Ship that cheap Bridgeport labor down county to get it done for us–then ship them back to Bridgeport! No fuss, no muss. Good for us!

    “And thanks, Bill! You’re doing a great job for Stamford. And thanks for giving my clueless councilman a job. Yes, indeed. Stamford needs you for four more years!”

    Why did he wait so long? I guess he needed some pressure–and of course cover–from Blumenthal-Himes-Murphy.

    Now there can be no doubt Bill needs to be transitioned to a new career and Dan, Richard, Chris and Jim need to be sent a message Bridgeport is no longer there for their political pleasure. They’ll just have to transition to new careers too.

  • Bob Walsh

    From the governor no one trusts or believes. That’s a great endorsement, wouldn’t you say?
    And Finch and Steve Auerbach think this is great news.
    Who’s next, Bill?
    Linda McMahon?
    At least that would be a step up from Dan MALLOY.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bob Walsh,
      Mary-Jane Foster has single-digit support. I have had my 15 minutes of fame years ago. Better you start promoting her. What in hell is wrong with the Foster campaign, Bob. Are you all brain dead or just throwing in the towel? You think those endorsements do not mean anything? You really want to spend your energy telling the voters why they should not care about Blumenthal, Murphy, Jepsen, Malloy? Maybe Obama will stop down!

  • Bob Walsh

    MALLOY, is he the one who lied about the state of finances when he was running and then couldn’t even be bothered with submitting a balanced budget to the legislature?
    Now he is telling us to trust Finch? You cannot make this shit up. Or maybe you can if you are Tax Bill.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Anyone take a ride on Metro North lately? Between here and Stamford there are two bridges and uncounted catenary towers that are more than 113 years old. The state’s highways are a mess. Malloy is in the driver’s seat of a legislature dominated by his party. One would think he would do something more than turn away when it comes to infrastructural improvements.

    Finch is no different. Potholes in Black Rock? Fuck ‘em, they vote for Torres or Foster. Shootings in The Hollow? Fuck ‘em, those people don’t know what a vote is, for me or anyone else.

  • Maria Pereira

    Channel 12 just showed a clip of the press event. Attendees included Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr, Reverend Carl McCluster, Reverend McCullough, who are all serving on Dr. Perry’s charter school board, BBOE candidate and charter school parent Kadisha Coates, and city council candidate Evette Brantley, a relative of Gwen Brantley who is also serving on Dr. Perry’s school board. In addition, Tom McCarthy, Lydia Martinez, Willie Murphy, Mike Marella, etc. were in attendance. As far as I could see, there were fewer than five attendees who actually live in the East End.

    This group of attendees does not bode well for Mayor Finch. The vast majority are on the payroll or looking for future handouts.

  • barry soitera

    Remember what National Review said about our dear leader: The worst Governor in the Unites States.

  • Quentin Dreher

    All the problems Bridgeport has can be explained in one word, Democrats! They have no one else to blame but themselves. There’s been one-party rule in this city for 30+ years!

  • Local Eyes

    Confucius say: He who opens unofficial police substation, longs to be Bridgeport’s unofficial mayor.
    He got that idea from me.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Trusting a career politician is like believing in the tooth fairy.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    NO ONE can make this shit up. Here we have a Stamford Clown who as Governor stuck us all with the highest tax increase in state history after getting elected the first time and the second biggest tax increase the second time around, coming to Bridgeport to endorse a Bridgeport Clown who has increased taxes and fees, delayed revaluation (readers add more) with the help of the Stamford Clown, who expects us to tell people we see who voted for him to vote for the Bridgeport Clown.

    “If you see someone who voted for me, tell them to vote for Bill Finch,” Malloy emphasized.

    Perhaps Clown one or Clown two can tell us how one can be sure a person voted for him by just seeing them.

  • Come Back Bridgeport

    Finch in 2007 said owering Bpt property taxes is one of his top priorities. Since then, he’s raised them four times. And now the highest-taxes-ever Governor tells us he endorses Finch because he’s someone we can trust? Not only Only in Bpt, but Only in CT can elected leaders spew out this stuff.

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