Malloy-Lamont Race, Big Difference; Malloy Camp Awarded $2 Million

In 1994 I was campaign manager to Joe Ganim’s Democratic gubernatorial bid. Joe ended up as the lieutenant governor candidate with party-endorsed John Larson, now a congressman. A funny thing happened on the way to the general election. Larson got his butt kicked by State Comptroller Bill Curry in the primary. Not without a lot of teeth gnashing from us.

Larson had the support of Hartford party insiders, the we’re-smart-and-you’re-stupid crowd. Curry had the support of serial Democratic primary voters. Larson had a message that appealed to a general election. Curry had a message that appealed to Dem primary voters. Just about every public opinion poll had Larson leading handily. The party insider geniuses said it was a cakewalk. Joe and I responded that it’s a cakewalk for Larson in Bridgeport; he has the support of a popular mayor, Larson supports a casino for the city, Curry does not. It’s not a cakewalk for the rest of the state, we argued.

What’s Larson’s field operation? Any money for that? Have we identified Larson’s votes? Don’t worry, they said, it’s a lock. Better to look ahead to the general election and Republican John Rowland. But, but, but, but I whined. “Get away from me, boy, you bother me.” Come primary night the party geniuses were filleted.

Low-turnout primaries are different animals than general elections. Curry wins the primary, loses the general to Rowland. In 2006, Ned Lamont wins a Dem U.S. Senate primary against Joe Lieberman, but loses to Joe, who runs as an independent, in the general. That same year Malloy squeaks the convention endorsement over New Haven Mayor John DeStefano but DeStefano squeaks a primary win only to be croaked by Jodi Rell in the general election.

Does the primary between party-endorsed Dan Malloy and Lamont feature similarities to 1994 and 2006? Roy Occhiogrosso, a former Curry strategist now a Malloy strategist, says they’re completely different, and I agree. See Roy’s explanation below. And all you NedHeads are free to write in to tell me why I’m full of crap. Writes Occhiogrosso:

There are big differences between this race, and the Democratic gubernatorial primaries of 2006 and 1994.

In 2006, you had two people with very similar backgrounds and experiences: successful mayors, known as policy wonks, both from middle-class backgrounds. Very little separation in terms of experience, positions on key issues, and ideology. So it really came down to who was better known (DeStefano, by a lot – because he spent years being on TV in the New Haven/Hartford media market, whereas Dan had spent all that time locked down in Stamford, in the NYC media market) and who had more labor support (DeStefano, by a lot – largely because he’d spent years courting them and Dan hadn’t). Despite the edge in name recognition, labor support, and money, Malloy’s innate strength as a candidate allowed him to win a Convention he had no business winning, and take what should have been a comfortable win for DeStefano in the primary, and turn it into a nail biter (Dan lost by a little more than 1%).

In 1994, there was a perceived ideological split between Curry and Larson (I actually think they weren’t as far apart on the issues as many people thought). Curry was perceived to be the candidate of the progressive wing of the party, Larson the more moderate and conservative wings of the party. Labor lined up with Curry, the political machine lined up with Larson. Having labor and the progressive wing of the party on his side gave Curry a huge advantage in a primary because it gave him a real ground game. Though it was viewed as an upset when Curry won by 10 points, it really wasn’t. The notion that the old political machine could by itself deliver a win in primary in which only 25% of registered Democrats voted was just wrong. Interestingly, John Larson came back 4 years later, put together an impressive field organization, and won a primary for Congress. Lesson learned.

The 2010 race between Malloy and Lamont presents probably the sharpest contrast and the clearest choice Democratic primary voters have faced in many years. Malloy comes from a middle-class background, worked his way through college and law school, went on to become a successful prosecutor in NYC, and then a successful mayor in one of Connecticut’s largest cities. Malloy says his values and experience are what makes him qualified to be Governor. Ned comes from a very privileged background, and the main experience he points to that he says qualifies him to be Governor is that he founded and owns a cable company. Ned says he’s the better candidate because he has the ability to spend his own money against the Republicans, and that he’d run the state like a business if he wins. Malloy’s campaign is the first gubernatorial campaign to qualify for the state’s Clean Elections Program, giving him close to $9 million to spend in 23 weeks (close to $3M in the primary, up to $6M in the general). None of his own money, no special interest money. Lamont’s campaign is largely funded from his family’s wealth, though he’s also raising large contributions from individual donors.

The differences in 2010 are based on values, experience, and the way the campaigns are being funded.

Malloy Leads In Rasmussen Poll

Democrat Dan Malloy has extended his advantage over Republican Thomas Foley in Connecticut’s gubernatorial contest, according to the first Rasmussen Reports survey following the state conventions in which both candidates received their party’s endorsement.

Malloy earns 44% of Likely Voters in the state, while Foley picks up 35% support. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and 17% are undecided.

Support for Foley is unchanged from last month, but support for Malloy is up six points.

At this point, despite their convention endorsements, both Malloy and Foley still face primary challenges. Voters from both parties will pick their nominees on August 10.

Malloy picks up 42% in a match-up with Foley’s challenger, Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele, who gets 28% of the vote. This race has changed little over the past two months.

Foley now posts a more modest 38% to 36% lead over the other Democratic hopeful, businessman Ned Lamont who unsuccessfully challenged Joe Lieberman for the U.S. Senate in 2006. In early May, Lamont led Foley 42% to 35%.

Lamont now leads Fedele 43% to 34%. From April to May, support for Fedele dropped 10 points, but his support is back up from 28% last month. Support for Lamont hasn’t dipped below 40% since our first look at this election in early February.

In all these match-ups, nearly one-quarter of the state’s voters are either undecided or prefer some other candidate.

From State Elections Enforcement Commission


HARTFORD, CT—June 3, 2010 – Today the State Elections Enforcement Commission awarded the first-ever grant to a publicly financed candidate vying for statewide office.

Meeting in a regular session to review 15 grant applications, the Commission unanimously voted that “Dan Malloy for Governor,” candidate committee for the former Stamford mayor, had satisfied the legal requirements to qualify for a grant of $1.25 million for the primary election.

Notably, this is the first grant from the Citizens’ Election Program that has been awarded to a candidate for statewide office. In 2008, the Commission awarded 235 grants to General Assembly candidates. The 2010 elections are the first regular elections in which public campaign financing is available to candidates for statewide office.

“This is a historical day for Connecticut, as we continue to remove the influence of special interest in our political process,” said Albert P. Lenge, Executive Director and General Counsel, “I am extremely proud of the Commission’s staff, especially our audit unit who undertook a monumental task and reviewed more than $270,000 worth of small contributions between $5 and $100 to ensure that Mr. Malloy’s campaign met the required thresholds to qualify for public funds. These same staffers also gave the same level of scrutiny to the other 14 applications that needed to be reviewed during the shortened holiday week for this Commission meeting.”

Malloy faces Ned Lamont, who has opted not to participate in the public financing program and will finance his campaign privately, largely through his personal resources.

Last week the Lamont campaign notified the Commission that it had already spent $2.27 million, which exceeds the applicable primary election expenditure limit by almost 70%.

As a result, the Commission authorized payment of an additional $937,500, to match his opponent’s spending. In total the Malloy campaign will receive almost $2.2 million immediately and could receive an additional $312,500 for the primary election in matching funds based on spending in the race.

“Meeting the required thresholds to receive a grant isn’t easy,” said Beth Rotman, Director of the Citizens’ Election Program “but the fact that the Malloy campaign was able to achieve these thresholds and qualify for a grant proves that it can be done at the statewide level.”

Rotman noted that the Malloy campaign can now focus on communicating with voters on issues of importance, absent the influence of special interests and without the stress of perpetual fundraising.

Help The Burroughs

From Burroughs Community Center:

A Big June for Burroughs?

If the folks at the Burroughs Community Center have their way, visitors to the Fairfield Avenue facility will be treated to a “refreshed” community center by September. For the month of June people from all around the country can vote to bring $250,000 to Burroughs as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project.

“About 60,000 people walk in our doors every year” says Development Associate Laura Magnotta. With that amount of traffic it is no wonder that the 13-year-old Center could use some improvements like a fresh coat of paint, new carpeting and floor repairs throughout the 24,000 square foot facility, new carpeting and floor repairs. The most expensive part of the hoped-for renovations will be the replacement of 10 HVAC units. “They were installed in 1997 and have a life expectancy of 15 years” says Assistant Director Jason Macchia of the need to replace the units before they stop working.

With eight other non-profits located under the Burroughs roof and another 40 groups that use the building each year the improvements will be greatly appreciated by everyone. “If we are successful in securing the funding needed for these improvements, combined with the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club that is being built next to our building, the Burroughs campus will be such a wonderful place for thousands of families to visit each month. With the help of the public we can make this all happen” says Executive Director Kevin Simmons.

People can vote for the Burroughs project each day throughout June by visiting For more information on how else you can help Burroughs win this award email



  1. Almost took the whole week off but this has me fired up and Malloy will not do anything for the cities with the exception of Stamford. I will vote for Lamont come August!!! I will also cast my vote for Moore!!!

  2. Remember in 2008 when the Musto campaign was a no-show on primary day in Bridgeport and they were banking on the Trumbull vote to win? I’m sure JFBR remembers, Moore campaign people worked their butts off on primary day. 9:30 am at Black Rock polling station and there was not even one Musto person there that day; I could have spotted Moore supporters a mile away. This is one race I really want to see a change in and I feel Moore has the dedication to win it.

  3. Even though the Moore camp won every precinct in Bpt they will need better results out of Black Rock. She only won by 20 votes, 243 to 223 that margin will not cut it if Musto does great in the ‘burbs. There will be more votes this time around and they need to put up larger margins in areas they did decently in such as Black Rock. 466 votes will not cut it at a high-voting precinct area they need a 600-voter turnout which they will get this time around at Black Rock. Moore for state sen!!! The Machine will not give Musto a victory in Bridgeport.

    1. Right now I will support Caruso for mayor based on the potential list of candidates who have been mentioned.
      If Caruso comes back with that corruption BS as the main theme of his candidacy and offers no other plan for the city I will not vote for him.
      I am leaning towards Lamont because he will take Finch with him if he wins.
      I think both candidates for governor SUCK.

  4. Malloy and Wyman–double-barreled experience
    Lamont–rich, no experience. Glassman–very savvy but Lamont’s silver-spoon ego is too huge to listen to her.

    Choice: No brainer: Malloy and Wyman.

    1. All so true. I have not heard from Glassman whose website has evolved into happy pictures only–devoid of news; same with Ned. What’s up with that? He has been silent lately. I guess his campaign ads will soon be out. So will Malloy’s. They need a true one-on-one debate. I’ll tell you this much Dan and Nancy are doing something right.

  5. The Gossip of The Rialto!

    Happy Fifth Anniversary to Mo and Lennie!

    What three local pols were seen eating sushi and drinking sake recently at a Hibachi-style restaurant? I hear they had a happy ending.

  6. Bridgeport Now next Tuesday June 8 – BOEE in focus.

    You asked for transparency and accountability, but if you don’t know how to read the budget docs, what use is it?

    So let’s get an expert … Dr. Armand A. Fusco (author of School Corruption: Betrayal of Children and the Public Trust), will tell us stuff we need to know when looking at the Board of Ed. Fasten your seat belts.

    Bridgeport Now next Tuesday June 15 GE BUILDING DEMOLITION, only got approx 2 months left!

    Nils Wiesenmuller from will discuss what was the biggest factory in the United States at one time, formerly Remington Arms. Says in Germany it’s against the law to take down historic buildings. Also see Mary Witkowski article in CT Post today.

    Master Plan update: thank you Nancy for defending the Master Plan and the Stratfield Historic District against the proposed transitional living facility there. Why are more people not upset about this?

    “If this petition is approved it will set a precedence that is not in accordance with the goals of the Master Plan. The PZC needs to abide by the zoning, housing code and building regulations … It has taken Bridgeport five years to fix Bridgeport’s land-use system. Now, the human element, Bridgeport’s voluntary land-use board members, must be strong and stay the course” and say no to the proposed what I call group home. Don’t we have enough of that in the city? It doesn’t help our tax base or neighborhoods. We are looking to film the historic houses in this area and show on program.

    1. I think you are right on that. He seems to talk issues and comes out with his stance on issues without hesitation. I think he is in a fighting mode. This doesn’t bode well for Ned now that the two candidates can compete in the media.

        1. I saw many Lamont ads during May. I live in a hick town but used to live in BPT. Well Ned just put a lot of $$$ in for something. I suspect both will have ads starting mid July.

  7. marlys – I think the suburban out-of-towners are supporting Malloy, and the real Bridgeport folks are supporting Ned!!! Marlys are you from the big city Bpt??? You always seem to know a lot and I always pay great attention to your posts you and I go way back to the Auden Keeley primary on OIB. Hope you will get reports from the field all across the city on August 10.

    1. Thanks, donj! By the way, if you have some time available this weekend, I think Marilyn is looking for some help rounding up her petitions–I know you were enthusiastic about her campaign.

  8. *** Malloy/Wyman is the experienced ticket, Lamont/Glassman is the “?” ticket so far. Let’s see & hear what they have to say during good political debates before making a wise voter’s decision! *** Seems to me any worthy old building or home that has some type of history about it can be a historical site! Where does the old blight end & new development begin in Bpt. if we are going to try & preserve every other nostalgic piece of old property? *** Caruso seems to be the man to beat for Mayor should he decide to run so far. Time will tell! ***

  9. Malloy is the smart money, Lamont just the money.
    This is no time to be backing a deal-making, shady character like Lamont. Even the delegates from here didn’t back him even though they HAD to. Mario Spaghetti backs him, isn’t that enough said?

  10. Today’s Belmont Stakes! Windows are now open at Winner’s Shoreline. “It’s the Shore Thing!”

    Here’s the call!

    Down the stretch they come. Stitch in Time by a thread. Hoosier Daddy in the slop proving she’s a real mudder. Bubble Gum sticking to the rail. Toilet Seat, put all you can on him. You must be Irish because me dick is Dublin. And Please Don’t Squeeze the Charmin wiping up the rear.

  11. Not sure who will be the Dem. candidate for Gov. in Nov. But I’m positive Nancy Wyman will be the Lt. Gov. candidate. Sorry to say but I think our next Governor will be Foley. The Dems take the S.O.S., treasurer, and comptroller seats. Blumenthal takes Senate seat.

  12. Interesting article in today’s CT Post about Pleasure Beach and why it is still closed to the public. There has been a grant of $1.9 million for a water taxi. So far no taxi and the administration states they are studying what to do with the island and the safety of the docks. Jesus you have had a year get the island open and accessible to the public then figure out any future plans you may have for the island.
    You can bet your ass if this waere in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport this problem would have been handled and the island open. Why is that? Well the people in Black Rock are active as a group. They vote and they make noise. Plus they have money.
    On the East Side we have poor hard-working people who are consumed by trying to survive day to day. So where are their representatives from city council members to state legislature? Let me guess, it’s not an election year and they don’t give a shit.
    One other question how long is Andy Nunn going to wait before something is done to make us a deep-water harbor city again? Wait let me guess, we are studying the problem.

  13. TC,
    A road is being built from Stratford to Pleasure Beach to get the big equipment necessary to knock down the remaining houses and cart the debris away. That road is being funded with federal stimulus money but it is a temporary road. Now I really don’t see why they can’t just leave that road so people can get to the island this summer. Unless Stratford doesn’t want ‘those Bridgeport people.’ It makes no sense to me.

    1. The road was finished on March 15th. You can walk it THIS summer but you can’t park your car at the Stratford end after Memorial Day without a Stratford beach sticker. Pleasure Beach by that time is chock full of mosquitoes, deer ticks, and green-headed biting flies and it is just about covered with poison ivy. Stick with Seaside!

  14. Startford has not wanted Bridgeport people to have a way into Pleasure beach for years, that’s why their residents of those dwellings needed to come across the bridge. When they complete the demolition you can bet that road will disappear. Stratford in their own way are a bunch of anti-Bridgeport people, just look at the airport.


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