Ned’s Mr. Green Jeans

Mr. Green Jeans

If you heard that ear-splitting spew Sunday morning that was me spitting up my coffee when I read Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa proclaim in the Connecticut Post that he’s supporting Ned Lamont for governor because people are tired of politicians and want to give a businessman a shot. Oh my, what could happen next? Mario issuing an executive order barring pols from serving on the town committee? Yes, business people only! Mario qualifies. He runs a successful restaurant.

What’s wrong with saying I like Ned Lamont, I think he’ll be good for Bridgeport (he’s promised me he’ll do nice things for us). Nothing wrong with that. Mario’s trying to sound a little less insider for his “outsider” candidate. Harder to persuade folks you’re an outsider when the most locked-in-step Democratic organization in the state delivers 100 percent of votes at the convention. We’ll see just what Mario can deliver on Aug. 10 primary day.

If I’m Democratic-endorsed guber candidate Dan Malloy I don’t give up on the city. Bridgeport DTC members work the hardest during municipal cycles when there’s something in it for them. Not so hard during guber cycles. Lamont will have plenty of his own dough to spend in the August primary against Malloy who’ll also have plenty of public money to spend as the first guber candidate in history to qualify for the state’s clean-money legislation. Barring something kooky this will be a competitive primary. Elections are all about MOM–money, organization and message. The fact that Mario has had–will have–frank conversations with Ned about what he expects should Ned win goes with the territory. That’s what you get when you accept Mario’s support.

Mario doesn’t give a crap if you’re a businessman, a professional pol or a leper–are you professional enough to cut a deal? Nothing public of course, but just wink with me a little bit about state commissionerships, judgeships, things for my city, live up to your word and we’ll be just fine. (And if Ned doesn’t win the primary Mario will say okay, let’s make peace with Malloy.)

One of those things Mario wants, should Ned win, is a commissionership for Mayor Bill Finch. How does chief of Department of Environmental Protection sound? Have they had that conversation? If they haven’t it’s coming. Bill loves talking about air, land and water stuff, natural resources, pollution prevention, open spaces, forests and parks. John Kennedy is Bill’s political hero. Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, Beardsley Park and Seaside Park, his architectural icon. DEP is a fit for Bill’s interest areas. Bill would be a walking, living, thriving Mr. Green Jeans of Connecticut. Ask the parties about a deal and they’ll duck. They have to. Hey Ned, what about Bill for state DEP?

“Well, Bill is a good man and we’ll need strong, qualified professionals in government. But I’ve got a couple of elections to win and that’s my entire focus. Nothing else.”

I come from the (OIB friend) Marlys school of promotion. If you like Bill encourage the promotion, if you don’t like Bill encourage the promotion. Mario has an eye on the 2011 mayoral primary and what looks to be a tough challenge from State Rep. Chris Caruso. Mario wonders whether Bill can survive a primary against The Big Wave. Why not find something for Bill and find a new candidate for mayor? Paging City Council President Tom McCarthy. That’s Mario’s thinking today. It can change. Depends on what happens.

Black Rock Garden Party

Check this out. Cool stuff:

Vines and Vignettes
Vines and Vignettes

Vines & Vignettes: A Garden Fantasy Tour to debut in Black Rock June 5

Fundraiser for school a feast for garden enthusiasts 

Vines & Vignettes: A Garden Fantasy Tour, a unique garden experience and fundraiser on the grounds of the historic Rose Cottage (62 Old Battery Rd) in the heart of Black Rock will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5.  Rain date is Sunday, June 6. 

Some of Fairfield County’s finest landscape architects, nurseries and garden antiques dealers will create more than a dozen vignettes using the tranquil garden spaces, ponds and walkways of this three-acre property, once part of the stunning George Hotel on the waterfront at St. Mary’s-By-the-Sea.  

Presenting sponsor Oliver Nurseries invites visitors to spend the day perusing the grounds, taking home innovative ideas for their own gardens, listening to expert lecturers, and purchasing that special ornament at the boutique.  Enjoy a wine-tasting while listening to live jazz with Steve Clarke and the Chris Morrison Trio or purchase some light refreshments that will be available poolside throughout the day.  

The vignettes include an herb garden designed by Michel Nischan, owner of the acclaimed Dressing Room restaurant in Westport and president of the Wholesome Wave Foundation, dedicated to nourishing neighborhoods by supporting production and access to healthy, fresh and affordable locally grown food. His new cookbook, Sustainably Delicious: Making the World a Better Place, One Recipe at a Time, will be available for purchase at the event.

Other spectacular vendors include: Austin Ganim Landscape Architects, Beau Maas Antiques, “blackrosegallery,” Bungalow Basics, Cargo Bay, Carol Brewer Interiors, Chad’s Landscaping & Design, Dietter’s Water Gardens, Elizabeth Belliveau Fine Art Photography, Enduring, Epicure of Design, Evocateur, Jeffrey Gall of Design Loft, Gilbertie’s Herbs, Art by Mary and Buddy Gumpper, Happy Tails at Ash Creek, Harborview Market, Lindquist Landscape Design, Nest of Southport, Oliver Nurseries, Katy O’Connor, The Royal Tea Company, Runk Douglas Antiques, and Thomas Del Spina Fine Frames.

All proceeds from the day –  including a preview gala on June 3 – will benefit St. Ann School, a private Catholic school that has been serving the historic and culturally rich neighborhood of Black Rock for more than 70 years. St. Ann School is proud to provide outstanding education to an ethnically and economically diverse population with a strong alumni base that is committed to the school’s high academic standards and inclusive nature.

Donations made to Vines & Vignettes will help expand school programs and resources, support student and teacher education and allow St. Ann School to continue its mission of providing quality, affordable education to our community. 

In addition to presenting sponsor Oliver Nurseries and media sponsor, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, St. Ann School wishes to thank a host of sponsors who are making this special day a reality. They include: Abbey Tent and Rental, Ashcreek Enterprises, Bartlett Tree Service, Bigelow Tea, Candee Construction, Cascade Services, Chad’s Landscaping & Design, Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education & Allied Professions, Ganim’s Garden Center and Florist, Bruce and Michele Hubler, Karyn Leito Photography, Marcia Selden Catering, Margo Designs, MAT Holdings, Nestle Waters North America, Penquin’s Best Housekeeping, Nelson and Sharon Rising, Royal Restrooms, and Santa Energy. 

Tickets for Vines & Vignettes are $20 in advance, $25 at the event. Tickets are on sale now at: 

• Cargo Bay, 1561 Post Rd., Fairfield
• Fairfield Stationers, 1215 Post Rd., Fairfield
• Ganim’s Garden Center, 320 Kings Hwy Cutoff, Fairfield
• Happy Tail at Ash Creek, 3008 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport
• Harborview Market, 218 Harborview Ave., Bridgeport
• Nest of Southport, 3548 Post Rd, Southport 
• Oliver Nurseries, 1159 Bronson Rd, Fairfield
• Runk Douglas Antiques, 362 Pequot Ave, Southport
• Thomas Del Spina Fine Frames, 1869 Post Rd E., Westport

For more information, please e-mail or visit



    1. As long as Malloy uses the Stamford Strategy. Locate along the state border. Pray for financial problems for America’s largest city. Grab the fallout as it heads for the border. Get the state of CT to throw millions upon millions of tax breaks to big businesses even though the big businesses won’t hold up their end of the bargain.
      Sounds like an excellent change in CT’s urban strategy.
      Oh and all of the suburban towns that MCAT claims will deliver the election to Danny Boy. They could care less about Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury and so on and so forth.

  1. Lamont is a one-trick pony who had his fifteen minutes of fame against Lieberman. If you buy the argument what’s needed is a business guy who knows how to bring in business and jobs then you vote for Republican Foley not Lamont.

    All in all, a pretty bleak group of candidates. Blumenthal the spineless wonder (Elliot Spitzer in training–when’s the media going to play up the small business owner’s lawsuit against him where she won an $18 million judgment?) versus the wrestling diva. Empty suit Himes (I’ll do whatever Nancy Pelosi tells me) versus who?

    May not be perfect but you have to go with Malloy … so of course that’s why the Bridgeport delegation voted en masse for Lamont.

    You ever consider just about every struggling city in CT and the US has one-party dominance and that party is Democrat?

  2. Hopeful or is it really hopeless.
    Just keep telling yourself the above but the bottom line is between Lamont and Malloy. Who is the only candidate who has won a state-wide election? Ned Lamont.

  3. Seriously … do you really consider Lamont’s statewide primary win over Lieberman all that compelling?

    Lamont does not sit well with most of the state as witnessed by the delegate count. Bridgeport and the other cities will not have an overwhelming turnout because Obama is not on the ticket. Consequently Malloy will win and Bpt will not have even one chip in the game … Perfect!

  4. This is starting to remind me of the summer the “CATS” were born. Just for the record. I will make arguments and refute arguments for my candidates, with facts and logic. I will not get personal with attacks on any blogger. I hope everyone will try to do the same. I hope people do that for the candidates as well. To Hopeful’s point, I agree for Democrats, the public financing (of the people) goes with the basic planks of the Democratic Platform. I think money is necessary but it is not enough to win. John Kerry, John Larson (v. Curry), Ross Perot, Al Gore to name just a few all had money. It is about campaigning and the people in your organization. To add an M to your MOM Lennie, it is also about Media and how it is used. So there will be much to discuss in the next few months, let’s just keep it about the issues. There are many people in the suburbs who care deeply about the cities. Sometimes people in the City make their job harder by attacking the people who are trying to help. In the end I will support all Democratic candidates as they are the candidates who best represent my basic ideology.

    If we are placing bets: Blumenthal, Himes, Malloy/Wyamn, Merrill, Lembo, Jepson, Nappier, Musto and I am not sure about Monroe State Rep, yet. 😉

  5. Grin, this primary will be different–I see Malloy coming out of it unless something game-changing happens. Lamont had the anti-war issues as wind behind his sails against Lieberman. I don’t see the same dynamic. There is no defining issue that separates Lamont from Malloy to the degree where the base will come out with a vengeance against the party-endorsed candidate. I think Lamont’s money and loyal following can certainly make the primary competitive and interesting but I don’t see enough momentum this time.
    I also think putting Wyman on the ticket was brilliant. Many are very loyal to her and Malloy gets this added benefit.

    We will see … you have to admit we are living in interesting times … anything can happen …

  6. It has certainly been an entertaining week for all of the OIB heat-seekers in the Bridgeport region, what with the ‘Monday night fights’ and the two political conventions in Hartford. A spectacle, lots of speculation and then discussion for the skeptical!!!
    So what will be the defining issue as we come into the fall? It’s the economy … oh great ones!!! And how does the Federal Government turn the financial Ship of State around, and how the State of CT deals with hundreds of millions in expenses and promises not covered by current revenues or assets, and “trickling down” to our fair City: how will Bridgeport operate for the next year, what necessary services will be cut in favor of others, who will be blamed, where will blame stick, while a few, favored by position if not by accomplishment, received raises in the current 2011 scheme while austerity of various types is in order for the majority of workers??? (Does a Mayor’s willingness to forgo his personal raise eliminate the initial unfairness of a small group of top earners being awarded raises by the handful of budgeters in the Mayor’s office?) Does that playing field seem ‘fair?’ Let’s see how ‘fairness’ plays in community discussion in these economic times!

  7. OIB Rumor Mill:

    All over Bridgeport people are talking about the same things:

    donj has become a fantastic contrary indicator. If he’s on your side, you’re doomed.

    Sure, blogging is all about hunches and guesses but today’s post is 100% pure conjecture. Around the watercooler, people are calling Mr Grimaldi an extreme dreamer.

    But things aren’t all grim: Folks say Mojo is a nonstop winner whose future seems bright. However,

    MCAT dreams of a day where personality and politics are separated. That hasn’t happened since the world began and this comes from a lobbying lawyer who’s wishfully describing a blog? Good luck in Hartford.

    My search for sanity has hit a roadblock but the quest-for-wisdom continues.

  8. Grin you are right Lamont all the way the little towns could care less about Bridgeport. The way I see this primary going is suburbs against city. Suburbs might have higher turnout percentage-wise but many more voters still will cast their ballots in the inner city than suburbs. Musto will lose huge in Bridgeport but can it be enough to hold down the Monroe and Trumbull vote? I’m pretty sure this year it will be because more voters will turn out than they did in the summer of ’08. Lamont and Moore will win easily in the Big City.

  9. Looks like the out-of-town people on here are supporting Malloy and Musto and all the real Bridgeport people are supporting Lamont and Moore!!! That should tell you whole lot about the suburbs and the city but come August 10th Bridgeport and New Haven will vote for team Lamont and we will win in the thousands and the suburban vote won’t overcome that margin at all in a close race. Few hundred votes won’t cut it in the suburbs when we win by thousands in the city.

  10. donj: Don’t place a bet on Moore. For some reason she has pissed off a lot of her supporters from the last primary she ran. Support from the likes of Ed Gomes and a few others has dropped off. I don/t know what she has done but it must be a big deal as there is no forgive and forget out there.

  11. Local Eyes, thank goodness there is one of us. People may not agree with what I say, but they can trust I mean it and won’t pander. I said issues of personal attacks. You are wrong about personality and politics. My meaning of personal includes slurs on family, blanket statements that all people in the suburbs don’t care about cities. The best way to solve some of the State’s problems is to regionalize and consolidate services. Don’t use words like stupid and insane, instead use words that can be backed up by the facts. Concentrate on the issues. donj, your posts are a lot of bluster, use some facts to back up what you say and then I will listen. Tell me why I should vote for Lamont other than he has money, because that is the same thing that can be said of Linda McMahon.

    1. MCAT–Why should I have to tell you whom to vote for??? Everybody has a reason why they like their candidate just like how you like Malloy. Plain and simple Malloy will not put Bridgeport on his agenda. Lamont will be better for the city. I really feel Malloy could care less about the city and will just be another typical politician candidate looking out for the suburbs. That is what makes city voters different from suburban voters. NED LAMONT has my vote in the city of Bridgeport.

  12. Well if Mario is into his new fantasy of valuing an approach to government from a business person’s direction, then it would seem businessman John M. Gomes would be just the right candidate for Bridgeport’s Mayor in 2011.
    John has ten years in the corporate world with Nestle U.S.A. and Nestle Foreign Trade Division. Also on the local level, he has developed on-going business interests in Bridgeport since 2000.
    So much for fantasy …

  13. Grin Reaper said it best!!! Anyhow this will be an interesting primary. I also urge my fellow Democrats in Bridgeport to vote for Jarjura for Comptroller. Lembo is not our type of candidate. It’s a fact when Democrats hear candidates come from Waterbury like Jarjura Bridgeport NEW HAVEN they tend not to want anything to do with them. I also urge Bridgeport residents to vote for Merrill, also vote for anybody else besides Jepson who I feel is just like Malloy, a Stamford pol who could care less about Bpt. I sure know STATESMAN TC still remembers how they fought Bpt on a casino. Even though TC says his vote will be private I have a strong feeling he will vote for Lamont. Remember Bridgeport residents might forgive but we do not forget!!! Say no to anti-Bridgeport candidates!

  14. I think Malloy has done the best he could or can do and that’s get the nomination. He could not get enough delegates to keep Lamont from the primary fight.
    I think in a few days you will see a poll that was taken just before the convention showing Lamont with a 20-plus point lead amongst Connecticut voters.
    Bridgeport had nothing to lose by endorsing Lamont over Malloy. Lamont will owe Bridgeport big time if he wins in August.
    Malloy was not going to help Bridgeport one iota either way. When Malloy was endorsed by Bridgeport 4 years ago it was at the behest of then TC Stafstrom whose companion worked for Malloy.
    What has changed from 4 years ago when Malloy lost the primary to DeStefano of New Haven? Nothing has changed. What has Malloy done in the past 4 years that now makes him the frontrunner among Connecticut voters? Nothing. Should be interesting.
    donj keep guessing on my vote.

  15. Did I miss something here???
    The last poll I saw still had Lamont beating Malloy or do we totally ignore the polls and just pay attention to the pols???


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