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Paging The Payroll: Ganim Big-Ticket Reelection Fundraiser Set For Testo’s

March 4th, 2017 · 37 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics

Ganim fundraiser

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Hold on to your wallets. (Or maybe not.) Four months after a fundraiser at Testo’s Restaurant hauled in more than $40,000 for the local party, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa and Mayor Joe Ganim hope they can reprise that (and more) for hizzoner’s Ganim for Bridgeport 2019 campaign committee event March 23. The suggested contribution is $500 minimum and the $1,000 maximum personal contribution allowed by state law. Mario will expect the political payroll to step up.

Ganim Testa fundraiser

Ganim and Testa, a formidable fundraising duo. CT Mirror photo.

The power of incumbency in a four-year term brings many advantages and getting off to a fast fundraising start is one of them. Ganim is about 16 months into the mayoralty he reclaimed in 2015, defeating incumbent Democrat Bill Finch in a close primary on his way to a big general election win.

Many Ganim discretionary appointees, as well as lawyers and developers who contributed to the party event in November will be likely faces at this higher-ticket event.

It’s a key year for Ganim who comes off a scratchy budget cycle from 2016. He wants to hold the line on taxes this year to both quiet the neighborhood noise from a mil rate increase and rebuild confidence in the investment community. He’ll submit his budget proposal to the City Council the first week of April.

Mario declared there was no arm-twisting for the November party fundraiser that reasserted his historic fundraising strength, but make no mistake, Mario keeps score. He has (in his own head) contribution thresholds based according to a city employee’s paycheck. He does not do this alone. Mario harnesses a fundraising team that includes city employees, longtime developers and other contacts to raise campaign cash.

He will do so on behalf of a mayor with whom he has a strong alliance. Ganim is also a mighty fundraiser. His fundraising prowess in 2015 surprised many in his comeback to office following his conviction on public corruption charges in 2003. He started by raising more than $50,000 in one night in an exploratory committee. And that was before Testa, despite Ganim schmoozing him, weighed in heavily for Ganim in 2015. That did not come until after the July party endorsement for mayor captured by Finch in a close vote.

Testa and Finch were never close. Mario is a political deal cutter who never gelled with Finch’s highfalutin wonkism. Testa was coy about throwing Finch under the bus until he was confident Ganim could take out Finch in a primary. As Mario told several operatives, “I don’t a-wanna slice my throat.” So although Finch won the endorsement, Testa, as party chair, backed Ganim only when he thought Finch was vulnerable.

Now Ganim and Testa are back together like the old days raising money. And in this cycle they can raise money from the business community that heavily backed Finch in 2015.

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37 Comments so far ↓

  • Steven Auerbach

    I just got my invitation. $500 min–$1000 max. I guess today it sucks to be an appointee. Would love to write a check, but …

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Steven, I received one too. The letter had three pages, one was the one pictured above, a letter from Joe Ganim starting with “Dear Friend,” and the Individual Contribution Certification Form. On the forms there are only three contribution methods and maximum allowed. Any contribution made with cash or money order cannot total more than $100. The suggested $500 does not appear on the form. It does show a maximum $1000 for personal check contributions. My reaction and reply to the suggested amount: What fucking nerve! I highly doubt my name and that of other previous contributor/volunteers was suggested when the transition team members were being picked. Suggest to all those who where picked to serve on your transition team/administration contribute $1,000.

      It’s too early to be raising money for a mayoral race and too close to the race for Governor. Joe Ganim has given some indication he is interested in running for state or federal office and hasn’t stated he is going to stay as mayor and not run for any other office.

      As a city employee, I lost my union-negotiated raise after our stupid union (NAGE) President caved in to strong-arm tactics and pressure from the administration. He was fired and re-hired after fixing the union vote in favor of giving back our raise as part of the concession. I would have sent $1000 had our union president not been re-hired.

      My chances of getting overtime was 75% better under Bill Finch.

      If anyone feels as I do, here’s my suggestion: Go to the fundraiser and have a $25 check with the contribution form filled out. Do not mail and save the cost of a stamp. If everyone does this, at the end of the evening, there will be some serious head scratching and demand for some explanation. Joe: “Two hundred people and all we raised was $8,000?” Mario: “Not really, I have a $5,200 food bill for you.”

  • Andrew C Fardy

    The fumigated gall of these two to have another fund raiser with tickets at $500. All you ass-kissers and family members who sold out for a job, line up. I have been a defender of Testa on this blog for years but this is just too much greed. Fuck the both of you.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      You, a defender of Testa on this blog? That’s what I call a lying ass-kisser.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        Joel, you are so clueless. I was taught not to make fun of the sick and Joel you are really out there. Read the blog, dumb ass.

        • Joel Gonzalez

          Your comment would have been more believable if instead you stated:
          I have been a defender of Joe Ganim on this blog for years but this is just too much greed. Fuck the both of you.

          Instead of making constant trips to the beer in your garage, you can go to the OIB Archives and copy and paste all the nice things in defense of Mario you claim to have posted. I am sick of your lies and there no cure or medication for that.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Hey Joel, Fuck You. I have never defended Ganim2 on this or any other blog. I have on the other hand defended Mario on this blog. Let’s straighten this out asshole; I have no garage and I don’t drink. Keep writing and let the people see how dumb you are. Now grab your broom and mop and get to work.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Let’s see if we have this right.
    Steve Auerbach, historically a loyal supporter of incumbent mayors who is also a taxpayer on one or more properties as well as a sometime substitute teacher in our public schools, and ‘watchdog’ Andy Fardy, fire department retiree and former Park Committee member looking at the price and the frequency and determining it is not for them. If not them than who???
    Will supporters be the contractors for the public schools developed in recent years? Or other projects hither and yon? Come to the unveiling of the Capital Budget for 2018 this week and see how many cars, trucks and other administration-determined items will be presented for authorization.

    Between 2014 and now, what departmental areas have shown the greatest percentage increases in spending budgets? Well, you will learn what Open Bridgeport Online Portal indicates on March 11-12 at Civic 101 if you are interested in seeing how such info can lead you to understand trends. However, among the top five is the City Attorney budget. Surprised? How many cases are presented to the City for suits? How many get settled for how much? How many get to trial? How much expense? And how much does it cost the City budget in “outside counsel” each year (for instance to oppose ultimately unsuccessfully the complaint by Wheelabrator et al. for unfair valuation over a ten-year period)?

    Ganim2 gave himself a B+ earlier this year on his 2016 activity. He never said anything about the number of positions on Boards and Commissions that require appointments, training and evaluations, did he? Did he provide a commentary on the recommendations of the Transition Team where he picked the people? Take a look at how much of that effort ended up on the cutting room floor rather than being put into action.
    Whatever happened to the funds directed from Capital budget out of OPED and to Port Authority to pay off debt? Story, please? And Port Authority that has not met since last August with no financial reporting from the City since December 2008? What about the agreement to place a new store in the food desert? Have things changed? How do things change when quasi-governmental groups do not meet or cancel vital meetings at the last moment?

    Why pay $500 to “listen to Joseph O. Ganim share” info on what subjects? How about getting the Civil Service director “qualified” after all these years? And the plan for the Police Department Chief to move from “acting”? And once and for all it would be interesting to hear the Mayor talk specifics about how long and how expensive it is going to be before the Police Department comes up to full force, net of annual retirees so that overtime drops? Perhaps he would like to listen to an idea that might save several million dollars annually? Time will tell.

    • Steven Auerbach

      John Marshall Lee. Just so you do have this right. I am not disappointed with Joe Ganim and as the incumbent Mayor, I do support him. He represents my city. My property taxes went down, you? I am happy about that, you? My post was simple. $500–$1000 minimum. Over my pay grade. I said it sucks to be an appointee as they will be required to pay 1000. As well they should. :-) It is a no-brainer. I was made a Justice of the Peace with about 500 other people. Should I feel obligated to write a check just because I am making money left and right performing marriages at $100 a performance? NOT! Of all the things I would have wanted to do in the City of Bridgeport, a “Justice of the Peace” is a little silly, no? I have done many things in my life and hope to do many more. Marry people is not at the top of my list.

      Back to the Fundraiser, they are always fun and I like schmoozing with political friends and foes. $500 is a tad too steep for me. Besides, what happens if Joe Ganim does not run? Do we get a refund? :-)

      I cannot wait to see the attendee list. I will say this, if somebody wants to buy me a ticket, I would definitely be honored to attend. I know the food will be excellent and I am certain Joe will make an excellent speech.

      John Marshall Lee, I love it when you mention me in your posts. It makes me feel important. :-)

      • Joel Gonzalez

        I’m with you, Steve. “I was made a Justice of the Peace with about 500 other people.” Very interesting, Steve. If I do some JML math, that means the suggested $500 minimum was most likely calculated by Mario Testa by charging $1 for each Justice of the Peace appointee. At least you got something out of it. The Marry her or him the better, I’d say.

        “I cannot wait to see the attendee list.” Here you go again with your alternative truth. You know you wanna be on that list. I’ll tell you what, I’ll loan you $12.50 or half of my minimum of choice. We both go and each make a $12.50 cash contribution. According to the invitation we received, the mayor is our friend. Will he let us in for $25? DEAL?

        • Steven Auerbach

          Yes Joel, I would like to be on the attendee list as a $1000 contributor. :-) Someone can buy me a ticket and I will happily fill out the paperwork and piss off the people on the blog.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        “John Marshall Lee, I love when you mention me in your posts. It makes me feel important. :-)

        You have a little of Maria Pereira in you, eh?

      • John Marshall Lee

        Steve,
        The linkage of Andy Fardy and you was not to celebrate you in any particular way. Happy that it floats your boat.

        Regarding comments on ‘pocketbook issues’ a/k/a property taxes, mine went up about $2,000 (about 15%) even after an appeal-review of comparable land assessment reduced the valuation amount. If I remember previous statements by you, you had been the owner of multiple properties but the number has reduced in the past couple years? Is that a correct statement of your property situation in Bridgeport? So, if you say your taxes went down, was it because you have fewer taxable properties on which to be taxed? Or was it because your values dropped by such an amount that the mil rate increase still left you with a lower tax outlay? If the latter was the case, then your “past loyalty” to the administration of Bill Finch was certainly misplaced in terms of what the Tax Assessor’s office was doing to you.

        I am not trying to say in any fashion your loyalty can be purchased. Rather I am suggesting loyalty that causes you to lose wealth and (in the past, at least) spend too much of your income on property taxes, is foolish. Of course, just one man’s opinion. How many people have become more aware of Ganim2′s fiscal limitations? How many know, or care, that he turned down free consultation with experienced world-class local talent on City financial matters? But now he believes he needs a campaign war chest. To pursue what office? Another “second chance?” Can Ganim2 count the money? Didn’t he count the days for years? How do those “days” lead to bridging of his two periods as Mayor? Time will tell.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Haha, this is great! Like I said a couple weeks ago in the DTC fundraiser thread. Mario and Joe have found a new way to make money. Have “fundraisers” at Mario’s place, see how many suckers they can get to come, see how much $$ they can rake in, then determine how much the “food and drink” tab is. Take that expense out, split it, and wait for the next “fundraiser.” How in hell do these two have the balls to try this scam so soon after the DTC fundraiser??? Joe, word of advice, greed got you a prison sentence last time around, learn from it.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      The previous mayor was greedy and started raising campaign money very early, too. Bill Finch is no jailbird yet. You raised a point I’m sure most readers will miss. There are two different committees. One is the DTC committee and this Ganim for Bridgeport ’19 is another committee. The contributions are different and they are kept in different bank accounts. By doing it this way, I’d be able to contribute $1000 maximum to each committee for a total of $2000. Chaching! It’s also safe to do it this way. What if Ganim and Testa have a fallout?

  • DougDavidoff

    The politics of exclusion lead to the politics of defeat.

    As a Democrat, I yearn for a local Democratic organization that encourages a big tent with enough room for Democrats of all means to participate.

    A fundraiser for the incumbent mayor is an appropriate function for a local Democratic Party. (The party can make a choice; it can be Switzerland or it can advocate for the incumbent.) But why not have a local party that would use this event not just to raise money but also to lift the party by involving more people? Such an event would increase the corps of people who will later be motivated to hit the streets as volunteers to re-elect the mayor. Why not permit entrance to the event for $50 or even for $25? A donor at that level might not be invited to a post-reception sit-down dinner with the mayor or have their picture taken with the mayor. But the small-dollar donor would be in the audience to hear the mayor’s remarks, shake the mayor’s hand, enjoy some hors d’oeuvres, take selfies to post on social media, and kibitz with friends, neighbors, and elected officials in the room.

    Yes, such people would contribute relatively little revenue to the bottom line of the fund-raiser. That’s not the point. They also would increase party unity and strength. In financial terms, by engaging volunteers now, they can be counted on later for their earnest contributions to winning at zero cost against the thousands of dollars normally spent by local Democrats toward hiring paid workers to go door to door on the streets of the city. Where does such money come from? Not a mystery. It comes from the fundraisers like the one we’re discussing in which the people who could save the party from expending money are excluded, forcing the party to raise money. This system is severely myopic.

    A party that wanted to grow and expand, especially important when its national profile is shrinking and its statewide dominance is in danger, would, for example, find a role for the nascent Young Democrats. They would be offered special pricing including the option to participate for free if they volunteered by handling online registration, decorations, cleanup, setup, publicity, website, social media, and other chores before, during, and after the event. The Young Democrats might even be invited to co-sponsor the event.

    Instead, we have a practice of fund-raising for local Democrats on a frequency and a pattern of exclusion of the lower and middle economic households that would put many a local and statewide Republican organizations to shame. This is a Democratic Party that concentrates power at the apex of financial and political might and shows little effort to devolve power to Democrats who would participate if only provided with opportunities to do so. It is a party that builds a war chest to hire campaign street workers when it could save itself the expense by inviting in volunteers whose valuable presence would reduce the need for fundraising and allow lower amounts of contributions to still be valuable.

    The system in which we find ourselves is “Democratic” in name, but it is un-democratic in practice. Stuck in this elitist system, we as Democrats are trapped into inability to use funds raised in our name or the names of our elected leaders to creatively apply elsewhere to serve the Democratic Party. We do not have tools to ensure victory such as a permanent party staff, a website, and a headquarters providing an enduring physical party home, a hall for official party meetings, news conferences, and informal gatherings, volunteer work space, and simply the rooms inside which Democrats could encounter each other and elected officials as equals.

    I make no brief for whether this reality is the result of deliberate intention in the here and now or the product of habit and expectation built up over the decades. I speak only of the outcome, not of our party leaders nor their motivations. I do not mean to imply bad faith or ill will. I simply describe a system with which I disagree and consider unwise–financially, organizationaly, and symbolically–as the choice of Democrats to build success for the long term.

    I am a Connecticut kid who is glad to now be a Connecticut adult in its largest municipality. But during four decades in the middle of my life, I lived in four other states (NC, IN, IL, and MA) and became intimately familiar with a fifth state (VT). It was for three years my honor to serve as communications director for the Indiana Democratic Party under a man named Robin Winston. Robin was the first African American to chair a major political party in Indiana. A former U.S. Navy officer, the son of a Western Pennsylvania union coal miner father and a mother who was a longtime county elections manager, Robin brought military precision, a passion for coalition building that began with labor unions and African American institutions, and a faith in the electoral process to his work as the state Democratic chair. He added his brilliant strategic mind and managed a Democratic organization in paid central staff and leagues of volunteers which elected a record number of Democratic mayors, increased the number of Democrats in Congress, and built local organizations which then helped to elect and re-elect a governor despite opposition from two Republicans who even today are regarded by Republicans and the media (and by Democrats who know them) for their smarts and dedication to limited government.

    Robin taught me the power of a party built to involve as many people and coalitions as possible. During the mid-1990s, Robin created a mantra describing why political organizations and campaigns should be broad rather than narrow. His mantra points the way to winning because it states how to lose. I quoted this mantra at the outset, and I’ll close with it, too:

    The politics of exclusion lead to the politics of defeat.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Good points, Doug. The goal of this fund raiser strategically is to show big dollar numbers for his first fundraising event. It shows the state party he is a viable candidate. Mario has already proved he is a viable King Maker to the state with his numbers from the first event this year. Technically no one can be turned away from a political fund raiser, the amount is a suggested donation. I am certain the small-donor events are in the pipeline. After the big money announcement from this event, the next piece is showing voter support by individual donations, which will be the big tent small-donor events. However Doug, you have moved from a state where you were working with the minority party, building it one person at a time. You’re now in a state where your party is the majority and the concern is not big tent inclusion as the party in Bridgeport does not have to do much of anything to have their citizens vote for the Democrats. It’s all about the money in your new city.

    • DougDavidoff

      [Dear readers, we take you now--well, "hijack you now" might be more truthful--to a twilight-zone spinoff of your favorite blog, as Jennifer Buchanan (R) and Doug Davidoff (D) rob your eyeballs and your electrons for an installment of "Only In Bridgeport Could You Find These Two God-Damned Hoosiers." SPOILER ALERT: You will miss nothing if you skip to the next comment.]

      Jennifer, you have moved from Connecticut back to a Hoosier State that has trended back Republican after a decade or two truly being razor-thin competitive at every level–except for the Indiana Senate, where Republicans are so strong their maps will keep them in power in perpetuity.

      During the 1990s and the 2000s, Indiana had a record high of 64 Democratic mayors, a great slate of Democrats in Congress, lots of Democratic county sheriffs (an office Connecticut barely remembers, but crucial to local politics in Indiana and many other states), and a majority in the state House. The state nearly went for Barack Obama in 2008, which would have been the first time its Electoral College votes were Democratic since going for LBJ in 1964. To bring it full circle, the 2008 Obama campaign in Indiana was run out of the third-floor attic office suite of Robin Winston’s Queen Anne styled house-turned-office on Pennsylvania Street north of Downtown Indy.

      Living in Rushville, it’s easy to see the GOP all around you. Rush County is in the heart of the Indiana 6th Congressional District, which borders are nearly the same as the 6th District that Vice President Mike Pence represented in Congress before his successful campaign to become governor of Indiana.

      But in Marion County (where the “Unigov” consolidation of 1968 took Indianapolis’ borders to the county’s borders), the mayor of Indianapolis is Joe Hogsett, a former U.S. attorney whose announcement for mayor effectively forced his Republican predecessor, Greg Ballard, out of the running. The City-County Council is under Democratic control. This would have been unthinkable 20 years earlier until Bart Peterson ended three decades of Republican mayors.

      I’m thinking you might know Joe Hogsett as the 60-year-old mayor who grew up in your town, Rushville.

      Our Democratic modern heyday was 1999, when we elected Democrats to 64 mayoral offices and each of the five largest cities in the state: Indy, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend, and Gary. It is telling–and a warning to Bridgeport about presuming its status as largest city in the state is immutable–that Gary has dropped to ninth-largest. Two Indy suburbs, Carmel and Fishers, both full of smart biz-savvy Republicans, are larger than Gary, as is the university town of Bloomington and even Gary’s supposed little sister on Chicago’s doorstep, Hammond, which is now larger than its big sister even though both lose population steadily. The list of largest Indiana cities is here, from 2013 census estimates:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Indiana

      … and the same list for Connecticut is here, except based on 2015 census estimates, with Bridgeport the largest and #3 Stamford growing the fastest among large cities:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_municipalities_of_Connecticut_by_population

      The same list for all of New England, based on the 2010 census:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_population_in_New_England

      It’s interesting that only Indianapolis (843K people) and Fort Wayne (256K) people are larger than Bridgeport. Every other Indiana city, including #3 Evansville (120K people) and #4 South Bend (101K people) are smaller than Bridgeport.

      I make this point as the mayor of #4 South Bend (101K people), 35-year-old Pete Buttigieg made quite the impression in recent weeks running for Democratic National Committee chair on a campaign of inclusive party organizing of the type Democrats practice in Indiana, where the two parties fight tooth and nail. Pete Buttigieg’s rise to national prominence shows a mayor of Bridgeport can also aspire to national prominence within his or her on a policy issue, as a candidate for higher office, as an officer in the national party, as a speaker before anything from a Congressional committee to a national party convention, or as a leader in the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference or Mayors, or other organizations. Buttigieg’s story is compelling: raised in South Bend, educated at Harvard, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer serving in Afghanistan and still commissioned in the reserves as a Navy lieutenant, and the first openly gay mayor in Indiana history. As you well know, Mayor Joe Ganim’s story is different. But it is also compelling in news value.

      As you know, Democrats now hold just two of Indiana’s nine U.S. House seats, but it was five of the nine seats in my day. Then as now, Democrats and Republicans each hold one Senate seat.

      (We ran poor David Lawther Johnson, a whip-smart man, talented lawyer from Indianapolis with Harvard B.A. and Harvard Law degrees, and a former Senate congressional committee staffer against Dick Lugar for U.S. Senate in 2000. David’s campaign was over the day Lugar was nominated with Sam Nunn for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on US-Russian nuclear disarmament. Poor David and the rest of us wandered around party headquarters muttering, “How the hell do you run a campaign against a guy like Dick Lugar after he’s been nominated for a Nobel Prize?” Lugar didn’t win the prize, but he won re-election and went on to serve longer in the Senate (and probably more ably) than any of the other 45 men who have served Indiana as senator since the 19th State was admitted to the union in 1816. No woman has yet served as senator from Indiana.

      [Dear readers, thus endeth this installment of "Only In Bridgeport Could You Find These Two Freakin' Hoosiers." We now return you to your regular blog, already in progress.]

      • LennieGrimaldi

        Doug, thanks for the perspective. Obama won Indiana in 2008.

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Ha! I know the mayor’s ex wife–lovely lady. As you affirm, your time in Indiana was to build a stronger Democrat party. Big tent and inclusion are two key building blocks. I know more liberal Democrats in Indiana (add like and respect) than right-wing Republicans (God love them, because they open their mouths and my hair hurts and my ears bleed.) My cousin Jean Ann was a major Pence supporter and fund raiser–I’ve forgiven her. She’s an example of why no women senators to D.C.–Pence is a respected and honorable guy–regardless of his religious right-leaning legislation. Both sides will attest he’s a man of his word and a gentleman. And very electable. Moderate women in Indiana are just not welcome in either party. The state motto–everything has changed and nothing is different. And you did get Indiana Obama in ’08–this Republican also voted for him in ’08. I completely understand your frustration watching honorable, qualified candidates suffer defeat to a lesser candidate. Elections haven’t been about merit for a very long time. Glad to see your “feets” are working again! Look out–I’ll be in CT soon for a visit–look through your peephole before you open your door.

      • Frank Gyure

        This will take some time to digest.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Jennifer Buchanan (R), can I have my ‘left’ eyeball back now? It’s bad enough having a missing digit.

  • Lisa Parziale

    I was introduced to politics by the best. I was young, interested, and worked in the campaigns of John Mandanici and Margaret Morton. Mayor Mandanici had a philosophy; “Everyone should eat.” Meaning, involve everyone, award jobs and positions that carry lower salaries so they could be spread around to include more of those who helped him, this is politics, like it or not. Without these incentives, few would be willing to do the work necessary to elect an individual. Today, a salary of $100,000, assuming that amount is unwarranted for the position, would provide jobs for three people. The same philosophy applies to Harvey’s assessment, and to a degree Jennifer’s. Joe’s reached back to those days when he called on Tom Gill to come back, just an example, I respect Tom Gill and he deserves what he’s earning, but many are not. I repeat again, and this is not in defense of G2, Mario Testa is the culprit. It serves him in two ways, he appears relevant, and makes mucho money for his business. Mayor Mandanici had a simple, commonsense approach to the necessary business of raising money and distributing patronage. There are some who remember that approach, the others are victims of Mario Testa, and as AF said, greed and perception.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Considering the number of Mario-placed BOE food service workers at $20k or so per year in reward for their GOTV abilities, I think it’s fair to say he’s covered the everyone eats portion of politics. Granted, the BOE employees get watered-down gravy, but it’s better than just wet noodles.

    • Gage Frank

      “Everyone should eat,” yet we still have neighborhoods that don’t have grocery stores and fully funded schools. Time to take our city back.

      PS I’m sure you remember back in the mid-1990s when Joe was eyeing a Lieutenant Governor bid whilst running for Mayor. When asked what he would do if he won both races, he said it “wouldn’t be a conflict of interest.”

      • Lisa Parziale

        Of course you’re right, Gage. I was trying to point out the generalized thinking of those I learned from and worked with. There was an attempt to improve the lot of more rather than just a choice few. Testa learned from the same leaders as I, he just chose to write his own playbook, one that puts money in his pocket via his business. He’s a political predator!

    • Frank Gyure

      The ONLY thing I have heard of that Tom Gill is working on is trying to ease O&G from their Seaview site to Howard Avenue. Otherwise nothing is coming out of Tom Gill and OPED.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Jennifer and Doug,
    Thank you for the detour through Indiana land, perhaps known to OIB most prominently for the Memorial Day 500 Race, but offering a lot more including a vibrant Indianapolis downtown, an in-state college football team with an international fan base, and a wonderful museum of the Native American peoples.
    Happy to have Doug return to the lineup on OIB, and also looking forward to a return of Jennifer. Could we benefit as a community from ideas from other cities? So why don’t the members of the City Council (when they visit national or regional gatherings of municipal elected) spending their taxpayer-funded stipends writing up what they have learned on a Council website? President Tom is used to working ‘in the dark’ and that keeps the rest of us handicapped, doesn’t it? Time will tell.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Go figure. Indiana has a property tax cap and still an almost 2 Billion dollar surplus. Perhaps studying the policies of states without crushing debt would be a prudent course of action.

  • Frank Gyure

    Very nice comments. This year (2017) we have City Council Elections and next year we have DTC elections. Bridgeporters need to get their act together. It is NOT too early.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Speaking of money, does anyone find it ironic the City wants to charge out-of-town students tuition, and the Bridgeport Board of Education wants to charge other entities that use public buildings that were paid by taxpayers?

    (Without getting too involved in the city, asking non-Bridgeport students to pay more than Bridgeport students who attend our interdistrict schools even though the state pays for education per student.

    [I would think the state has paid the city for them to attend on an equal base as Bridgeport students, if not disregard this.]

    Other than the total expanse for their transportation by the student’s home town, it’s kinda unfair since the schools were built and the education is paid for by taxpayers from the state and federal government. I don’t know the extra cost to the city and to the BBoE for the out-of-town students, but Im sure there might be some cost to the city and to the BBoE, but you would have thought that extra cost would have been factored in per student.)

    BBoE is an elected entity to manage the government’s assets and their educational system.

    They are given a budget by the government and asked to manage their buildings and school system. Now the BBoE wants to become a private entity by charging money from other entities to use public buildings owned by the government.

    However, a “true” public school and BoE will not charge entities but request more funding from the government. Maria, you and the BBoE are going to set prices on the use of government assets and services the government budgeted to the BBoE in their managerial capacity? I just find it odd for an elected BBoE body that was set up by the government to manage its assets and services, trying to make money on government assets and services. If the BBoE were granted the power to set prices to generate income it seems like a quasi-government entity.

    In my opinion, if the funding is not provided within the BBoE budget then the use of the assets and services are not offered, or the entities should pay the government for the use of its assets and services that is managed by the BBoE, and they should set the charge to the outside entities for the use of its assets. Then add the expenses to the budget they give to the BBoE. It should not be up to elected BBoE. Once the board starts charging and collecting money independently for the government, it becomes a quasi-government/private entity.

    I can’t see BBoE attack Charter Schools or Vouchers programs as they’re quasi-government/private entities.

    I would believe the charter schools would fall in that category, Vouchers I believe in choice. If anything the BBoE should ask the government for funding for the cost of the extra services provided, if the government doesn’t fund it, then the service should stop. Anything other than that, the BBoE is privatizing the BBoE and its role as manager and I see no different than charter schools. Again this is just my opinion.

    Personally I think the Government should create a formula to educate K through 12 based on the state and region on the amount to educate a student per year and with a separated fund for extra-curricular activities for the schools such as sports etc. (If the cities and towns want more they should fund it.) Then provide the school that takes that student with that set amount, be it government, elected boards, private charter, parochial religion, of course voucher of Parochial school needs to be based on income. But the parents who pay for parochial school should get some tax break on the money they spend on school (not home school) as long as they provide achievements in a standard and quality of education.

    How much money would the government and taxpayers save on school construction if private entities built their own or and teacher’s pensions and health care liabilities , strike that how much would the taxpayers save (Let’s face it, that’s where a lot of the money is going, unfunded liabilities, that have to be paid by taxes, not to the students education). I can only assume some of the appeal to the State about charter schools or at least to Republicans, is to get away from the taxpayers’ retirement for teachers by way of Charter school and move to a pay as you go teacher retirement plan that would be based on the world markets like 401k or any other private, pay as you go, retirement plans, government pension are on the on backs of government and taxpayers, strike that on the backs of taxpayers, it takes away from the actually educating the students because it strains state budgets and if more funding is needed they have to raise taxes.

    It’s always nice to hear the Bernie Sanders of the world say the rich have to pay their fair share, and they have to in the form of means, not unfunded liabilities bloated pensions and wasteful spending that have no direct contact in educating the students.

    Like when the BBoE voted to have the state take over, how much taxpayer money was wasted and the students deprived of, over that, just to watch it play out again with Maria, Bradley and Fran, bullying and packets.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsSrAFDxAyw

    Or how Joe had to buy out the police chief. How much did that cost the city, I mean taxpayers?

    One of the main reasons Maria and Joe were up in Hartford was to voice your concerns about government funding or lack of. How the city government and schools are not funded properly. Partly because of unfunded liabilities in the form of pensions and health care, stuff like I aforementioned, and because of diminishing tax revenues.

    Has anyone noticed the Stock Market has tripled in the last eight years, and the US debt has doubled in the last eight years, to 20 trillion and that’s not funding any wars either?

    Have you ever hear the phrase money makes money? In capitalism, if capitalists want to make money they have to make money, meaning people need money so they can make money. Government doesn’t make money, they take money. Government is not a business it’s a management entity that ensures the citizens, in times of need they will be there. They can’t create the needs, needs don’t make a stronger country but a weaker one. A safety net is needed to be in place like Social Security, health care, FEMA.

    These unfunded liabilities by the government create a weaker government. Like health care. What I don’t understand other than Health Care is a major drain on businesses and government by unfunded liabilities that have to be paid by taxpayers. Take this whole debate about Heath Care. Minus the access to health, everybody NEEDS to be able to have access to health care when they are sick (and treated like a human being when they see a doctor) that’s all the Democrats are really saying about Obama Care. We provide health care to millions who didn’t have it. At the end of the day it’s the cost of health care not the access to it. Is it the insurance companies or the health care industry driving the high cost of health care?

    On one hand the Republicans are saying if we give people more choices and access to insurance companies, so when they purchase health insurance the competition will drive down the cost; if that’s true then the insurance companies are ripping people off. Yet on the other hand, they’re saying prices of prescription drugs and other cost-related health care treatments are driving the health care costs up, and they have to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals to drive down the cost of health care. If that’s also true and I believe it to be, based on the price of drugs and treatment in Canada compared to the US, then the drug companies and hospitals are ripping people off. Then it doesn’t matter how many insurance companies there are, because the cost is based on the bill to the insurance company.

    Both are probably true in many ways. So the best way to deal with Health Care is to reduce the cost of health care in the system, and the cost out of the insurance companies vice insurance company profits.

    The major of cost in Heath care is the revolving door where ailments are not cured but treated and people are living in suffrage. A multiple trillion dollar economy has been built on the suffrage of people in this revolving door. Surely we can close that revolving door and find ways to use those trillions of dollars spent on people’s suffrage to something more enjoyable for them.

    Everyone agrees, everyone needs access to health care, and the cost has to come down. If you believe people or other entities were able to join together and purchasing insurance in a competitive market to drive down the health care cost and health has to pay into the system. Well, the greatest common factor is everybody has it and everybody pays for it. Vice tax on income for business, payroll tax for individuals.

    Here’s the problem with Republican’s free market insurance companies and the choice to choose a policy that’s right for them. They want people to have choice to make a decision on what types of policies are right for them. The thought of someone picking an insurance policy then going to the doctors and the doctor says we can treat your ailment but you chose the wrong policy. It’s almost inhumane to expect average people, considering our education system, to understand the complexity of heath care. Even the most educated can’t understand sickness and disease. For Christ’s Sake, the Obama Care bill was 20,000 pages. It’s not like someone buying a car to their liking, based on style, color, activities, options. There are no options in someone’s health insurance plan, when I get sick, I want to get better, not suffer or die. End of policy.

    Since Health Care is a NEED, and the government manages the NEEDS, to drive down the cost to health care by elimination any profits by insurance companies thus a single payer insurance system.
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=gsSrAFDxAyw

    www .youtube.com/watch?v=_yF69KVbUaQ&t=7s

    Single payer differs from the NEED of government education because education varies were competition thrives and as a result it creates improvements, there’s only one way to pay a bill. That’s really all that insurance companies do. They pay a bills based on the policies.

    Single payer is not government takeover of the heath care but the takeover of the health care insurance companies as the apparatus of the collection, billing, and paying healthcare bills, and working hand-in-glove with the doctor, hospitals etc.

    PS I don’t understand the arm-twisting either. Why would Mario have to twist anyone’s arm to come to a fundraiser for Joe? Joe raised over $500,000 in his reelection bid, and at that point in time he was just an ex-criminal, not the Mayor, you would think those who gave money to his reelection bid would still be there, and those who were against him would join him in the hopes of some special favor, STEVE. But either way, those who took the risk and donated $500,000 would go or any city employees to protect their job or their status would go. It’s not like they didn’t give before, if Mario is taking count on city employees with Joe then he had to have been taking count with Finch. Unless this is a new policy, I can only assume this is just standard Bridgeport political procedure, regardless of who’s mayor. So either way I don’t understand all the hoopla.

    Maria I apologize if I’m wrong, I’m going off of something I read about the BBoE charging rent to some after school program, and my simple mind. I just didn’t know the BBoE was in the real estate business in rentals, and the city asking non-Bridgeport students for extra tuition fees to go to a school built and education funded by taxpayers. It was a pleasure.
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=6J8__fWphE0

    PPS Seriously people some of your posts are getting kinda long. :) Bam I’m out.

  • Maria Pereira

    Robert, you are wrong on a variety of fronts.

    • Robert Teixeira

      Never claim to be right, legally, just my opinion. If I’m wrong it’s based on someone’s rules, regulations or laws set by the government. The same government that said blacks were considered 3/5 of a human being and considered property that could be sold, killed, and their children taken away from their mother etc. The “Irish” were slaves as well. My opinion against those laws, regulations and rules, wouldn’t have conformed to those either. Was I wrong on those too? More importantly if the laws, regulations and rules changed would I be right? Andy, I did shorten it up. :)

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