Pain In The Pump, Plus: CT Post Patting (Good Grief)

So, I’m at the recycling center on Saturday when I run into a friend.

“I’m quitting my job,” he says.

“Why would you do a thing like that?” I ask.

“Because I cannot afford the gas to get there.”

He was joking but this gas thing is leading to empty pockets and warped humor. I like my short commute to work. I fall out of bed and crawl five feet to my keyboard. Looks like the gas that’s giving us all gas will get worse before it gets better. I checked in with Larry Merriam from Key Auto because I noticed on his website resources that help motorists save on fuel. Clicking “Fuel Savings Tips” under the Perfect Pearls header at left will give you a page that features management skills for better mileage, meaningful savings, and a cost calculator for comparison shoppers seeking a vehicle offering superior mileage.

I’m getting the feeling that what we’re paying at the pumps will impact voter mood at the polls. People are pissed. State pols beware, if you voted for gas tax increases in recent years.

I remember back in 1980, working for The Bridgeport Telegram, predecessor to the Connecticut Post, when a Monroe gas station became the first to charge $1 per gallon in this area. I contacted station owner Lou Anthony to ask why he chose to be the first to charge $1. His reply:

“You like to eat hamburger. I like to eat steak.”

Stew Leonard has a special this week for porterhouse — $5.95 per pound. We may be paying that for a gallon of gas. And that’s no special.

Speaking of The Post I see State Rep. Chris Caruso’s still meowing about having the Democratic mayoral election “stolen” from him last September. Humility has never been Caruso’s strength. The fact that there was a discrepancy between voter check-off sheets and actual votes counted is nothing new. (The Post story, by the way, was a BFD. Don’t hurt yourself, boys, patting your butts.) It happens when human element is involved. It’s amazing how Caruso whines when he loses to the corrupt political machine citywide, but says nothing when he blows out opponents in his legislative district. I guess they only know how to rig elections during citywide races.

If City Councilman Carlos Silva goes through with his primary challenge to Caruso, the big man will croak Carlos. Caruso enjoys a potent following in his legislative district. Caruso lost the mayoral primary because of Caruso’s flawed campaign message. No one else. Every day I asked Caruso and campaign messengers for positions on education, taxes and economic development. “It’s coming, it’s coming.” I’m still waiting. Maybe three years from now?

Harding and Central students graduate today, Bassick on Tuesday. Congrats kids!



  1. “Caruso was my first interest,” Locke said. “You know, the perennial outsider.” Caruso, he said, agreed to the proposal, but then never returned phone calls. From Mike Daly’s piece on Locke’s Fabrizi film.

    This is so typical of Caruso. Completely unable to recognize the enormous (pardon the pun) benefit that could have come from such badly needed publicity.

  2. Caruso is the guy who claims to fight for the people. While we are on the subject, how much fighting is he doing in Hartford to bring down our gas prices? We are paying the highest in the whole country, why isn’t he trying to do something about it?

  3. Please tell me what is Auden Grogins billing the Ct. taxpayer per hour to defend the two home invaders who killed those people upstate.
    I heard she voluntered for the job. Does she need the money?

  4. She gets the same for this case as any court appointed lawyer. I think she has no business aspiring to represent the populace, but she should not be demeaned for taking this case. Of course she needs the money. She’s no Johnnie Cochran.

  5. Thanks Yahooy
    I was wondering what she charges or what the state pays per hour for her to defend these accused killers and is it a smart move for an attorney who wants to be a judge to do this sort of thing, would that make her a judge who is forgiving of killers at a price?
    I also wonder if she wins does she get points in some kind of attorney/judical world view of difficult cases.
    I guess she is for taxes as well, becuse they are killing me.

  6. She probably got the case because nobody else wanted it or it was her turn to be assigned. The defendants are truly despicable, but our Constitution provides an adequate defense. She will provide that defense. Lawyers have to put aside their own personal feelings and ensure that a defendants day in court is fair and just and that their rights are preserved.

    We shouldn’t judge her because she is representing despicable clients. If it wasn’t who got the appointment, it would have been someone else.

  7. Yahooy, I agree with your point regarding the constitutional right to a defense. However, this type of representation and politics don’t mix. Grogins had the choice as to whether she would take the case or not and she gets paid the same rate that other public defenders who can do capital cases get. The average voter is not going to not going to understand why she chose to defend this defendant at this time. It was part of the reason she lost the board of education election. She appears cold and mercenary, further capital cases take an enormous amount of time and could go on for years, especially if the death penalty is given. I see it as a conflict of interest really. The time dedicated to the case will interfere with her ability to be a representative. If she is the middle of her case and there is a bill to get rid of the death penalty, how does she vote? I say she should pick one or the other.

  8. It’s all about money. Except for Caruso, most reps need to generate a salary other than the stipend received for serving in the legislature.

    This case will afford her a considerable fee. It is how she earns a living, representing people who need legal representation.

    I don’t see her as so wealthy that she can pick and choose whom she will take on as clients. If she is wealthy, it’s not likely coming from her law practice.

  9. I am confused. Just because Yahooy thinks he is judge and jury for whatever is posted on the website, do people actually think he works for the court system? If he did, he would answer the question. Otherwise you get his nonspecific answers since he is constitutionally incapable of saying “I don’t know!”

  10. “If she is the middle of her case and there is a bill to get rid of the death penalty, how does she vote? I say she should pick one or the other.”

    That’s like saying that legislators can’t vote on the sales tax if they own a business, on highways and trains if they commute, on zoning laws if they are realtors, and so on.

    If you’ll have an opportunity to vote in that primary, you should challenge the candidates to make their biases and policy preferences clear. If Grogins would abolish the death penalty, she should say so, and then people can vote for or against her!

    But your formula would prevent anyone with any real-world expertise from being able to use that experience to write better laws. Only geriatrics and raised-from-the-cradle political hacks would ever serve in the legislature, and that would be to everyone’s loss.

  11. Why should we believe CT Post? They cut off Caruso’s balls for waging an expensive litigation against Finch, so now they fondle themselves over this non story? Were they working off of original sheets or copies? Maybe they counted incorrectly. And maybe they’re just awful.

  12. I’m voting for Keeley, at least he is a man with character … I was shocked when I heard Auden took up this case. So point blank she will lose and lose big … she will also lose her home precinct.

  13. I wouldn’t vote for Auden either because I think she is bad for us. But, I don’t think that people should not vote for her because she has taken on the defense of the bums who killed those people. Lawyers have to do a lot of things they would prefer not to. Sure, she could have declined the court appointment. Why should she. She is licensed to practice law and she can provide these guys with competent representation. Her taking the case does not mean in any way shape or form that she condones what they are ALLEGED to have done. If they claim innocence and are convicted, she must ensure that the jury hears all evidence that could prove their innocence. If they are convicted, it was her job to make sure that their rights to a fair trial were upheld. PERIOD.

    Don’t vote for her, like me, if you feel she doesn’t belong in representative government. But, please don’t decide not to vote for her simply because she accepted a court-appointed case. Ask every lawyer you know if they, at one time in their career, accepted a court appointment.

    What about all of these lawyers who are reaping court-appointed fees for handling foreclosures.

  14. Lennie,
    With the old voting machines, it would not be unusual to see more people with their names checked off than who actually voted. People would get confused, they’d walk out without pulling the lever, etc and if that were the case with the new machines, I could even understand it. But, I do not see how you can nonchalantly brush aside the claim that more people actually voted than were checked off.
    If we are to accept this as an everyday occurrence, why do we even bother to ask to see some form of identification?
    And at Park City it is almost 12.5% more voted than were checked off. And this is one of the precincts in the 135th District in which one of Caruso’s city council candidates lost by one or two votes!
    Shame on the CT Post for taking so long to look into the story but even more shame on the fact that they did not pick up on the implications on the city council seat.
    I heard in some precincts in the presidential primary, voters would go to one line to get their names checked off on the Democratic Primary list and to another for the Republican list. Then they were sent off to the same line to get their ballot where they were asked, are you voting for the Democratic or Republican.
    We need either a new registrar of voters or a new level of oversight and control from the Secretary of State / Elections Enforcement. This is a disgrace.
    Or maybe Jimmy Carter will come into Bridgeport to oversee elections as he has in other third-world nations.

  15. Bob Keeley a man of character? The same Bob Keeley with the no-show political job, funded by the taxpayers while he plays all day and laughs all the way to the bank? The same Bob Keeley who during the first 12 years as state rep, never even lived in the district he was supposed to represent? Is this the same man of character with the “pay me to write you a grant and I’ll make sure you get the money that I put into the budget” shakedown he pulled on some of the non-profits in Bridgeport? The same man of character who had to resign his committee chairmanship when the speaker started getting complaints and his little scam was discovered?

    Man of character…No, I don’t think so.

  16. Keeley over Auden any day, look at who she is representing in her case. But like I said I don’t like Keeley but he is the better of the two running … Keeley will win every precinct.

  17. Pat Crossin.

    I read your last post about Bob Keeley with considerable interest. Can you point out any differences, therefore, between Bob Keeley and Ernie Newton?

  18. Grin Reaper..

    I have difficulty getting through some of your…rhetoric. Are you trying to JUSTIFY the fact that more people cast votes than were logged in at the polling places? According to you…”It happens all the time.” Just maybe it shouldn’t happen any time. Ya think???

  19. Is this the same Crossin who shepherded the insurance annuities through the council for Ganim? He was like Mr. Machine. All Ganim had to do was wind him up and he would perform. And along with Grogins didn’t say squat about Ganim’s sewers on Sailor’s Lane. Then went into political seclusion for seven years. Talk about hear, see and speak no evil. Don’t forget his and Grogins’ close association with Finch. Listen we all know Keeley’s foibles. He’s in with leadership and Grogins ( if ever elected) will be at the bottom of the pissing trough. Attorney Grogins has a right to defend anybody she wants. The question is if she is involved in a high-profile case can she serve her client and her constituency at the same time if the House is in session? The only Tax Relief Grogins is concerned about is her own. Keeley was a big hit a couple of weeks ago at the Greek Festival with his cut taxes message.

  20. donj,
    This is for you and all of you Obama fans …

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.

    The old rancher said, “Well, ya know, Obama is a ‘post turtle.'”

    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was.

    The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a ‘post turtle.'”

    The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there in the first place.”

  21. Keeley and Audin…the choice is slim pickings! But I’m betting Keeley will win again. Just heard something on TV about the trial of those two monsters that Audin is defending. Seems like they are trying their cases seperately. Like it or not, people won’t vote for her because of that. She should have refused to take that case, even more so because she’s a woman and those two guys raped, tortured and murdered a mother and two daughters. I know about their rights to a fair trial and all that legal b.s., but they showed no mercy to those poor women. And a woman is going to defend them, that’s just terrible. If I was her, I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirrior, she could have refused that case. I know some of you guys on here will defend her, but before you criticize me, just think of what if those women/kids were your family members or friends?

  22. Every campaign it’s the same old story from no dealy Keeley except when it comes to Speaker “I can’t-take-the-heat-so-I’m resigning” Amann. (I say Amann to that.) Keeley promises to cut taxes, then votes to raise them, doesn’t show up to work, pockets $70k, plus all the other stuff he earns from nonprofits, the state legislature and his pal Ernie Newton, and all I can say is…as Auden Grogins says, Fuckin’ A!!! (okay, I got it out of my system.)

  23. Summer Wind: You’re right and you can say all you want about Keeley but he’ll win hands down. He seems to be made of teflon. – Everything rolls off and nothing sticks (except the fat around his belly). He’s the best campaigner around. He’ll promise you the world and won’t produce didley-squat.

  24. Con Filardi – none of our state reps do didley-squat if you really think about it. I need someone to tell me what Hennessy, Caruso, Keely, etc. have done for b-port? Nothing that I can think of. Not that Audin would be any better, but it’s really a joke to look at the whole bunch of them and how they all do plenty of nothing.

  25. yahooy > Can you point out any differences, therefore, between Bob Keeley and Ernie Newton?

    Yes, Newton is a better dresser. That’s about it.

  26. yahooy…your posting is priceless, love your sense of humor.
    Summer wind…is that you Anna?

    Gas prices aren’t going anywhere, unless you’re a soccer mom buy a hybrid and get over it.

  27. yahooy you seem like a McCain supporter, oh well too bad he ain’t gonna win the election and he sure damn won’t win Bridgeport. Let’s just say Shays and McCain will be lucky if they even get 20% of the vote.

  28. Pat Crossin, yes, I agree it’s time for a change, but Audin isn’t the answer in my opinion. If you read my earlier posting, I said how I feel about her and my opinion isn’t gonna change. I know you disagree, but put yourself in that poor doctor’s place after his family got murdered and his house burned down. He has to live every day remembering that. I have no respect for Audin for defending those animals. That will be her downfall in the election.

  29. Pat – also Newton weighs about 90 lbs. and Keeley probably weights about 290 lbs. I couldn’t believe how huge he got when I saw him at Black Rock day.

  30. marlys, the point is if Grogins is for the death penalty, and she voted to keep it while still representing her client, it is a conflict of interest and for attorneys doing anything against your client’s interest is not allowed unless imminent danger is involved. It is hard to serve two masters. The example about the businessman and taxes is not relevant there is no client and no fiduciary duty to that client. Perhaps she used the same advisors as Finch when deciding if taking this case and running for office makes sense.

    Yahooy, regardless of your view on her representation you have to admit it was a bad political move, especially in light of the fact that she lost the Board of Education seat.

    I disagree completely with you about Obama, he has had more political experience than Abraham Lincoln. Back then people thought Lincoln was too inexperienced, it just goes to prove it is the man that makes the President. To quote Al Gore’s statement made five minutes ago, “our nation needs change.”

  31. I am amazed that some of you would actually vote for a “do-nothing” incumbent candidate with a no-show job over a smart, legally trained individual. Auden doesn’t rely on the City of Bridgeport to pay her bills like so many people who not only work for the City, but represent constituents. Auden is independent from reliance on a City Job to pay her bills. There is alot of unfair characterization of Auden from some of you obvious “Keeley Henchmen”. I am only seeking the best candidate. As a hard-working individual, the do-nothing, no-show Keeley is not an attractive choice to me.

  32. “smart, legally trained individual.” Your description of Grogins is an Oxymoron. She does depend on the Cty of Bridgeport not to pay her bills. She pays her bills off the State of Connecticut defense funds. When she was on the BOE she needed mapquest to find the schools. I would rather be “hanging” around as a “Keeley Henchperson” than an “Entitled Elitist” like Grogins.

  33. Grogins has no character Keeley will beat her big time and I’m sure if more people knew who she was representing in court she would get no support. Don’t get me wrong Keeley is horrible I don’t like him but he is the better person of the two.

  34. My good friend Pat Crossin wants “Change”. Instead of telling me to go and fuck myself on the day of the Black Rock Parade, you should have asked me for “Change” as I had about 39 cents to spare.

  35. It really is a shame that our only choice is either Keeley or Grogins. Both are ineffective parasites. Especially Keeley. No-show jobs. $70,000 paid to him for nothing, plus the stipend from the state, plus, I hear, other income from non-profits. Are we crazy? Why do we allow him to remain in office doing nothing and therefore costing us a fortune in lost opportunity. What a mess.

    The same thing is true for Joel. He is a complete train wreck. The only reason he has any chance at all at winning is because no one worthy and skillful enough will step up and run.

    Bridgeport has no future if we continue to allow people like Keeley, Rodgerson, Joel, Fabrizi and Finch to assume public office all which do so virtually by default.

  36. yahooy–Keeley would get himself hired as a “fundraising consultant” to area non-profits with a wink and a nod and return to Hartford in his position as chair of the committee which oversees such grants (forgive me I’ve forgotten its name) and see they received new income.
    It is truly a shame we have such a dearth of good candidates from which to select.


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