Musto Steps Into Pol Pod, Plus: Shays Talks City Development

Democratic State Senate candidate Anthony Musto is in the Pol Pod.

Musto won a close primary over a feisty Marilyn Moore of Bridgeport on Tsunami Tuesday. His hometown Trumbull, where he serves as the elected town treasurer, produced a staggering majority for him. In Bridgeport, however, where he must perform well to defeat incumbent Republican Rob Russo, a city resident, he secured just 40 percent of the vote as the endorsed candidate.

Connecticut’s 22nd State Senate District is the most eclectic legislative region in the state. It features Trumbull, and part of Monroe and Bridgeport including the North End, West Side, Black Rock and Upper East Side. Russo won the seat formerly held by Mayor Bill Finch in a special election in March.

Trumbull and Monroe have a long history voting Republican in presidential cycles. The good news for Musto is the expected high Democratic turnout in the city fanned by the mega-popularity of Barack Obama.

Musto chats about his background, primary win over Moore and what we can look forward to in the general election. {running time: 8:31}

Shays Talks City Development

We have some high-profile elections to cover so no need to wait until the last minute to check in with candidates. I chatted with Congressman Christopher Shays this morning. Later today I’ll do the same with his Democratic opponent Jim Himes. Both will be Pol Pod features for your long-weekend enjoyment. Hey, have a Pol Pod with your burger and beer!

Some highlights from Shays’ chat: the congressman will be meeting with developers of key city projects soon to gauge status and see where he can be of assistance. In particular, he pointed out projects such as Steelpointe (Rex Midtown, RCI Marine) and Citytrust building (Urban Green Builders). The $4.5 million the city plugged in for this year’s budget for Steelpointe revenues appear in jeopardy. The city is two months into the budget year that began July 1. Every month that goes buy without that mooolah assured creates a budgetary nightmare trying to close the revenue gap.

As a resident of the city, Shays said he has lots of incentive, beyond his congressional responsibilities, to see that the Steelpointe project progresses. “My taxes have gone up three fold…I have a particular personal interest as well in seeing Bridgeport develop.”

Shays also rattled off a series of energy initiatives the current Democrat-controlled Congress has failed to act on. “They’ve gotten less done than any Congress.” He also criticized George Bush’s lack of energy leadership.

We’ll have the full Pol Pod interviews with Shays and Himes loaded for Friday.

Chinese Water Torture

Keith Cougar Rodgerson, composer Loy Fankbonner and punk rock legend Malcolm Tent are jamming tonight at 9 p.m. at Two Boots on Fairfield Avenue downtown, for a rare homecoming appearance of the avant garage rock supergroup The Chinese Restaurants. Don’t ask me why Cougar calls it that, you can ask him tonight. But, before you do that, don’t forget:

Downtown Community Council Thursday Night BBQ
Free outdoor reggae concert on Baldwin Plaza, Downtown, Fairfield and Broad at 6:30pm.



  1. NOel McGonzalez- You are honored to be with Chris Shays? I think Betsy Shays is voting for Himes this year.

    Your neighbors need to call Anti-Blight on you because you are the TRASH that’s messing up your “Hood”.

    I did a little research and I took a little trip over to your website. Where do I begin?

    This from you website and I quote! “How can a City expected others to invest and build, when they can’t even take care of the sidewalks? The sidewalks are property of the City of Bridgeport”.

    NOel being that you are a Former City Councilman I would have thought that you were aware that there is a City ORDINANCE that says that Sidewalks are the responsibility of the homeowner?

    Now on to the Middletown/Norwalk Project-”The high voltage cable project has caused severe damage to the roads in Bridgeport from Fairfield to Statford. You would think that with all this damage at least one of City Councilmen/woman would notice this and put a stop to it.”

    You mean put a stop to a project that is going to pay the city millions of Dollars in taxes? Great job NOel.

    I hope that instead of voting for NOel Gonzalez people in the south end call the State Department of mental Retardation. NOel you have clearly run off of the reservation.

    State of Connecticut
    Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
    410 Capitol Avenue
    P.O. Box 341431
    Hartford, CT 06134
    (860) 418-7000
    Toll Free: (800) 446-7348
    TDD: (860) 418-6707
    Toll Free: (888) 621-3551

  2. McCain’s Table – Joel was never on the reservation. It was really low (even for a republican) the way he referred to Osama & BinBiden in his posting last night. I’ll bet Shays is real happy and proud to have Joel for a running mate, that should bring in lots of votes–NOT!!!

  3. In listening to Bill Clinton last night at the convention I was struck by the fact that he referred to the democratic party as the friend of labor unions.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Mayor Finch at the convention and isn’t he a democrat? So isn’t it ironic that the party that courts labor unions has a local member who wants union members to work a week without pay to cover the fiscal mess they (local dems) caused in the first place? Is this about asking your friends to bail you out or playing them for fools?

  4. Do you, Wondering? Really?? The man publicly executed his own finger with a homemade guillotine. I don’t think a mental health professional would be out of order here.

  5. My biggest worry last time with the Kerry v Bush debacle was that one of those 2 jerks could win. It’s a lot like Bridgeport elections; the voters always have to look at the bottom of the barrel and pick the least smelly.

    Well, things are certainly different in this presidential election. I’m fully supporting the Obama/Biden ticket for one simple but very important reason, they are both completely qualified to lead our nation up from the mire of the Bush legacy. One has the roll-up-your-sleeves experience and the other has the vision and the brains to know who to bring in to advise.

    The first time I voted in a presidential election, I voted for Nixon. A coin toss. Nixon wanted to end Viet Nam with dignity and restore our global presence. Wasn’t sure he was the right guy but I thought he was better than the other guy. Wished I had better choices. Never really though we had super great candidates until last night.

    These two make a strong showing for restoration.

    I’m voting for Shays too.

  6. I’ll be voting in Bridgeport. As far as Shays goes. Sauseech his own. I’m not willing to give up years of dedicated hard work and a huge record of accomplishment for an altruist. Nobody has taken the time to actually learn about all of the good things Shays has done for this town, this state, this country and this world. Shays is a republican and Himes is a democrat. Too many Philistines pick people because of party designation.

    Bridgeporters vote the party line. How’s that been working out?

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t both Joe Biden & Hillary Clinton say that Obama was unqualified to lead this country? Didn’t they say he was too inexperienced to be commander-in-Chief? What has happened to change their opinion of Obama? Really where did Biden get his roll-up-your-sleeves designation? He has not held a job, run a company or worked since he first became a senator at the age of 28.

  8. Yahooy

    Himes is going to turn Shays into a Sauseech and Peppers grinder. You and Anna can wrap it up in tinfoil and heat it up over your bedside lamp at the Liberty Rock.
    Mangia Mia!

  9. Kudos to Anthony Musto – what a gentleman! I hope he is tough enough to stomach the bpt politics. He is a great candidate, has a beautiful family and will make a superb State Senator . . . he will get elected if the Bpt boys back him and do not play their silly games. Come on Bpt – Russo is not going to do anything for us.

  10. Can’t believe that for once I agree with Yahooy. Obama and Biden represent the right amount of change and knowledge of the system to actually do something good for the people. Shays may lose because of the narrow-minded lemming-like attitude of our voters when told by the holy hierarchy who to vote for. Shays’ record of caring for his district is a testament to his independence. You may hate some of his votes but his list of good deeds for this city and his district outweigh the negatives.

    How many local dem “leaders” are banking on Obama/Himes to get jobs for themselves and family? I know Dan Malloy in Stamford will be looking for something and bet that we have some leeches here who will be lining up.

  11. I hope Yahooy introduces himself to Anna at Two Boots tonight. I’m always up for a good fight. I figure Yahooy will last half a minute up against Anna’s petite 5-foot-nothing frame.

    Oh…and Yahooy should take his tail out from behind his Caruso-worshipping legs and introduce himself to me before Anna gets to him.

  12. I cannot believe that people still buy into the Shays rhetoric.
    “The congressman will be meeting with developers of key city projects soon to gauge status and see where he can be of assistance”? The congressman, the Bridgeport resident, just realized that Steel Point might need some federal assistance? I am shocked that he is clueless about what is not happening on the site or clueless of how much pie-in-the-sky this project has been since the get-go. Or is this merely a gratuitous election-year promise that he has no intention of following up on. Maybe the congressman just doesn’t drive west of Black Rock.
    I can understand his comments about the Citytrust building and downtown development. The other day when he crashed the Jim Himes press conference was probably the first time he was ever downtown that didn’t include a trip to the City Hall Annex or an event at the Holiday Inn sponsored by the BRBC.
    Chris Shays, no thanks. This is definitely too little, too late.

  13. Good afternoon. I have been reading this blog religiously for the past few months and I have not felt compelled to post until now. Can someone please clarify if Joel Gonzalez who posts here is in fact the same individual who is running for State Rep? Because his immaturity, unprofessionalism and lack of judgement is extremely appalling.

  14. Bob Walsh #22:

    FYI Steel Point is EAST of Black Rock not west. Maybe if YOU had a better sense of direction, your role on the council would be beneficial to the city. And to think you represent me! Hopefully not for long!

  15. I want to get back to this budget crisis issue. Whatever happened to the municipal automobiles? The only employees who need cars are the mayor and police and fire chiefs. All others should be recalled. Does anyone have the total # of municipal vehicles assigned to municipal employees on a 24/7 basis? Everyone should drive their own personal vehicles to work and home. What is this anyway – a free “used car” dealership? I bet some pretty steep bucks can be saved with just this simple cutback. Why isn’t it happening? Can someone expound on this issue?

  16. Independent Soul,
    I may get confused between east and west but I know the difference between up and down and there is nothing going up at Steel Point. I was one of the council members who voted against the Steel Point plan and I believe I was proven right. I had a plethora of issues with the plan.
    I had problems with the affordable housing component, the lack of prevailing wage language but most importantly I felt that it did not make financials sense for the city and that the developer had failed to prove its financial viability.
    Fortunately, I kept all of that paperwork because it is now headed back to the council. The mayor and developer cannot now go about and rewrite the plan like they are planning without the council’s involvement. Maybe I can help them get it right this time.

  17. KUDOS to Bob Walsh for his Steel Point post — he does not need a compass to understand vertical development (wink) and his map shows nothing new at Steel Point. I am skeptical of Midtown Equities – the current housing / credit problems are not working in Bridgeport’s or Midtown’s favor.

  18. Bob Walsh on #22:

    I cannot believe that people still buy into the Shays rhetoric.
    “The congressman will be meeting with developers of key city projects soon to gauge status and see where he can be of assistance”? The congressman, the Bridgeport resident, just realized that Steel Point might need some federal assistance? I am shocked that he is clueless about what is not happening on the site or clueless of how much pie-in-the-sky this project has been since the get-go.

    Bob the rhetoric over Steel Point has always been produced by the Democratic Administration. You confirmed that when you voted against the Steel Point contract last year. Did you or any one in the present or past administration contact Chris Shays regarding federal assistance? Did anyone in the present administration meet with Developers (Dinardo excluded) of key City project to gauge status to see how the City can help?

    Clueless? Isn’t this the reason you were asking questions at last Monday night emergency meeting?
    Did you not complain about the Fabrizi administration keeping the council in the dark regarding the Steel Point contract status and receiving the final draft of the contract with only days to vote on it?

    On the Congress Street Bridge issue, when we were in the Council together we approved a $10 million dollar bonding package for the bridge at a time when the cost was 1/3 of what it is today. Why did Joe Ganim not follow through? Because the Lenocis and Casper Group where not in the bridge building business and the State would have been involved. Joe’s plan was to run for Governor (he would have won) have Paul Ganim become mayor and then the Bridge would be built and we all know (Use your Democratic cinical minds) what the rest of the story would have been like.

    The Democratic strategy is to blame Chris Shays for all their wrong-doings, help Himes and continue with their crimes. I hope this comment prevents people from believing the Democratic rhetoric.

    I’m Joel Gonzalez and I approve this comment!

  19. Bob Walsh on #27:

    The mayor and developer cannot now go about and rewrite the plan like they are planning without the council’s involvement. Maybe I can help them get it right this time.

    Bob did you not hear when the Mayor’s staffer said that the Developer and the City have been talking and that they had shared drafts of changes that the Developer wants in a revised contract that they need in order for them to spend their own money until the bonds can be sold? No one knew (clueless) about this!
    Did that sound like there was Council involvement?

  20. I am watching the convention tonight; I can’t wait to see Obama give his speech. It is time for a change and I can’t wait ’til November for when we vote for change; yes we can.
    Joel Gonzalez you are a disgrace I suggest you work on your campaign rather than bashing others because the way I see it is you have no chance on earth of winning. I have a better chance of winning the lotto than you do winning your state rep race.

  21. Cougar

    I thought the mayor ordered you not to post anymore. He doesn’t want the voters to see what a real asshole you are. Then he would have to answer questions as to why he put you on the “consultants payroll”.

    Try to stay sober tonight.

  22. donj: (ahem) the way I see it, Joel Gonzalez has a better chance of winning his state rep race than you have of passing a fifth-grade English exam. Furthermore, Obama would chastise you for your closed-mindedness.

    I hope Joel wins tomorrow’s lotto.

  23. yahooy: comments here are moderated and you’ve just failed the test. As yahooy moves closer to the sewer, it’s easier for him to see his one-celled friends and even easier for his detractors to shake their heads and say: “same species, lower primate”.

  24. Lennie:
    If destiny allows me to be at the Cove on the 25th of September, I will be there. Maybe I will get to spot Concerned looking appalled with the mouth wide open with flies from the nearby sewage plant flying in and out of the mouth. Maybe donj can put me in a headlock and say “Talk shit about NObama now” while City Kitty tries to cut my hair with a pair of scissors being fully aware (half-empty aware to her) that I am bald.
    We could get Cougar and yahooy (wearing a mask) to have that mudwrestling match no one wants to take on and have donj be the ref while wearing a Don King hair wig courtesy of City Kitty Hairstylist. Wondering will be sitting at the Bar Wondering if I know who she is. I will keep an eye on Local Eyes’ drink (especially if Charlie Coviello is there) just in case anyone tries to slip a pill in his drink to take him to Liberty Rock after.

  25. McCain’s Kitchen Table on #1:

    Yes indeed there is an ordinance that covers sidewalks. The sidewalks are the responsibility of the homeowners. What does “responsibility” mean? It does not mean ownership. Responsibility means the homeowners are responsible for snow removal for example. If you were to fall after tripping on the cracked sidewalk in front of City Kitty’s cardboard house and you broke a table leg, you would have to sue the City of Bridgeport not City Kitty. Technically you would be suing City Kitty in part and all the taxpayers because the City pays up with tax dollars and the City Attorney represents the city in the suit adding to the cost.
    If City Kitty wanted a new sidewalk, she would have to pay for it herself. If City Kitty decided to sell her cardboard house to donj, her real estate agent would come over to do an estimate on the value of her cardboard house and the broken sidewalk would drop the value of her cardboard house despite the fact the sidewalk is not her property.
    Now if City Kitty lived in a district represented by Joel Gonzalez, things would be different. Joel knows City Kitty and her fellow taxpayers deserve to have new sidewalks without having to pay for it. Joel knows there are 19,000 inmates in the Connecticut Correction System and the city of Bridgeport spends over $40 million in police protection due to the acts of many of those 19,000 inmates. Joel believes crime does pay and it should pay all those who pay for the cost of combating crime. Therefore, I would work with the Republican Governor to institute a sidewalk project using inmates as laborers to keep the costs down and at the same time train and provide work ethics to inmates. If our inmates can pick up garbage on Route 8, it is only fair for us to demand some change of policy and fix our neighborhoods using those who helped destroy them.
    Americo Santiago is my opponent’s father who served as our State Representative. He managed to acquire funds to fix some sidewalks in the district. One street was Lee Avenue where both sides of the street got new sidewalks.
    Americo Santiago and his Family lived on Lee Avenue. The other street was State Street (both sides) between Wordin Avenue and Norman Street. Who live there? Mitch Robles with his wife (Americo’s ex) and stepson Ezequiel Santiago. And I’m the “baldheaded clown.”

  26. Re: Himes HQ, shouldn’t this tell us something about the kind of Congressman Jim Himes would be? I abhor the idea of attacking decent people running for office (Himes seems like a good enough guy), but if he can’t get his house in order, how will he provide basic services to constituents at the district level? He’s having obvious trouble triaging the coalitions that he needs to win: local Democratic leaders, his own staff/organization, and Washington Democrats. If he can’t placate these groups, how will he successfully navigate across the numerous interests opposing him in DC?

    Shays’ record speaks for itself. Millions of dollars for Bridgeport redevelopment. Leadership on major international issues. Deficit hawk. Government reformer. He’s delivered for us time and again. Let’s get behind him for another two years.

  27. Well Yahooy, I agree with your statement that most Bpt. voters cast their votes simply along Dem. party lines without any concerns about the actual candidate running! That’s why I too will be voting for Shays & in my district, officer Johnson an independant for state senate. Also if memory serves me correctly, I believe there was language already in the Steel Point contract concerning the possibility of Midtown using their own money (temp.) in the begining should a problem or slow-down arise in the sale of the bonds to prevent any setbacks & $ rises in cost? Back to politics again, if Russo was in my district, I would be voting for him too! Vote for the right candidate for the job, not the party!


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