Quick, you wanna be a delegate to the state Democratic Party convention in May? Better call Dem Party Chair Mario Testa.
On Wednesday the Democratic Town Committee will finalize the list of 74 delegates to the party convention in May. What the hell are delegates? They’re the folks, made up of party regulars, who will endorse candidates for state constitutional offices: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state comptroller, state treasurer, secretary of state. Mario wants a united front so he can leverage a deal with one of the two leading gubernatorial candidates Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy. Translation: Mario wants to get his pound of flesh. We endorse you in exchange for doing this for my city and my peeps. Just what that is is unclear. Depends on the meaning of is.
Mario has been meeting with Dem mayors and party officials to assess who’s likely to be the strongest Dem guber candidate in the general election. Mario’s not in love, for a variety of reasons, with either Lamont or Malloy, but if they are your choices you do the best you can. Lamont will have loads of his own money to spend. He can win a primary, but can he win a a general election? Malloy doesn’t have Lamont dough, but as the former mayor of Stamford is he more sensitive to the plight of cities and cut better for a general election?
Mario’s never had a great working relationship with Stamford pols. He has a long memory and still blames them for torpedoing a casino for Bridgeport in 1995. Too much highway traffic, they claimed, yadda, yadda, yadda. Mario also is not a fan of former Town Chair John Stafstrom and his spouse Dennis Murphy, a city labor/management consultant and former city chief administrative officer. Both Stafstrom, as bond counsel, and Murphy worked for Mayor Malloy.
It appears Malloy has a delegate lead heading into the May convention, but he also won the endorsement in 2006 for governor only to lose in a close primary vote to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano who got smoked by Rell in the general election. What will Mario do? Who’s willing to cut the best deal?
On the GOP side Republican Town Chair Marc Delmonico doesn’t have nearly the delegate numbers as Mario, but Marc’s still a player. His guber choices are well-funded former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley and everyone else. Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele has some political support but no name recognition and no money.
Did you check out the screaming placard captured by the Connecticut Post? “70% of our children attend 18 failing schools.” Parents protested on the steps of City Hall, venting about all sorts of stuff. Not a happy time to be a Board of Education member or administrator.
Bawk Bawk Bawk
Last week, long shot Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Merrick Alpert sent out rubber chickens to reporters to highlight Dick Blumenthal’s reluctance to debate him again. Nice to kick back, be state attorney general, and enjoy mega pol numbers. Merrick isn’t giving up just yet. His latest letter to Dick:
MERRICK ALPERT REITERATES CALL FOR SECOND DEBATE
Richard Blumenthal for U.S. Senate via facsimile: 860-560-1522
330 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Hartford, CT 06106
March 22, 2010
Dear Mr. Blumenthal,
It is my belief that Connecticut Democrats deserve to have the two candidates competing for the Party’s nomination for the United States Senate stand before them to explain their positions on the serious issues they might be asked to vote on in the Senate. Accordingly, I believe that Democratic voters in this state deserve a rigorous primary, so that they can make an informed decision as to which candidate is best suited to face the Republicans in the fall. It is our responsibility as candidates – both to Democratic voters and to the Democratic Party – to engage in another debate prior to the Democratic State Convention in May.
When you and I spoke at the candidate forum in Stonington on March 13, you told me to call someone on your staff to discuss the possibility. Such a brush-off is an irresponsible disregard of the interests of Connecticut Democrats. This matter should be addressed between the two of us directly, and without delay.
The Norwich Bulletin’s James Mosher reported on March 10 that you claimed to be too busy in your capacity as Attorney General to have time to debate. And your spokesperson was quoted as saying that you will not debate until after the State Convention. However, it is clear that you have consistently been attending Democratic Town Committee meetings and other public campaign events. Your very public schedule suggests that you have plenty of time for further public debates.
I would be pleased to explore with you other formats for an interchange of our views. Perhaps, for instance, we might incorporate a town hall style format and conduct a debate in front of a Democratic Town Committee.
In any event, I respectfully ask that you reverse your position and agree to debate again so that the people of Connecticut may hear from both Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate.
From the Fairfield County Community Foundation:
Bridgeport nonprofits awarded more than $190,000 in grants
NORWALK, MARCH 22, 2010— Grants totaling $193,544 to more than 30 Bridgeport nonprofits were approved by the board of directors of the Fairfield County Community Foundation at its March meeting.
Among the organizations supported were: the Bridgeport YMCA, Burroughs Community Center, Cardinal Sheehan Center, Music & Arts Center for Humanity, Original Works, Inc. and RYASAP.
In total, more than $3.2 million in grants were made from donor advised funds and competitive grant funds at the Foundation to nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County and across the country.
“While the recession is technically over, local nonprofits continue to struggle with increased need for services while donations remain down,” said Susan Ross, president and CEO. “These organizations provide services that are critical to the health of our neighbors and communities, and they need funding.”
Among the grants the Foundation board approved in March, nonprofits in cities and towns in Fairfield County received the following:
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish their own charitable funds or contribute to existing funds focused on specific areas of need or communities in Fairfield County. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit /www.fccfoundation.org.