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Pereira Wins Soured-Relationship Battle, Case Dismissed By State, Hosts First Fundraiser For Legislative Run

April 29th, 2016 · 31 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Pereira handout

The 2014 handout in question

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has dismissed a 2014 complaint against school board member Maria Pereira alleging that during the March 4, 2014 Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Primary she “impermissibly utilized and/or failed to attribute flyers that she passed out at the Thomas Hooker School polling place” and campaigned within 75 feet of the precinct against state law. The issue stems from a falling-out Pereira had with Andy Fardy, husband of a slate mate, who criticized her on OIB.

Parziale, Pereira, Guman

Maria Pereira, flanked by former City Council President Lisa Parziale and former Dem Party Vice Chair Dottie Guman, Thursday night.

Pereira, who is challenging incumbent State Rep. Charlie Stallworth in an August Democratic primary, was then chair of the Bridgeport Working Families Party, but a registered Democrat. She handed out cut cards to her voter contacts in front of Hooker School precinct crossing out the names of town committee candidates she had supported including Pat Fardy and Ann Barney in the Upper East Side 138th District. Pereira was upset about critical comments Pat’s husband Andy wrote about her on OIB. The political divorce apparently cost Fardy and Barney at the polls. Since that time Pereira and the Fardys have had an on-and-off give-and-take in the OIB comments section.

Pereira hosted her first fundraiser Thursday night and says she’s well on her way to qualifying for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races.

Excerpt from SEEC decision:

“The complainant alleges that Respondent Maria Pereira appropriated some of the flyers, drew X marks across the faces and ballot lines of the candidates Ann Barney, Pat Fardy (the Complainant), and Noel Sepulveda, cut off the proper attribution, and passed these altered flyers out at the Thomas Hooker School polling place.

“The Complainant, who asserts that the Respondent’s actions were ‘offensive,’ alleges further that the Respondent’s action were not that of a private citizen, but that of the Chair of the Bridgeport Working Families Party and that somehow this behavior was impermissible at law.

“As an initial matter, the Commission finds that the Respondent’s use of the Row C slate’s mailers was not violative per se. There is no allegation or evidence submitted that these mailers were taken impermissibly, only that the mailers were utilized to advocate for or against certain candidates on the slate.

“The only issue to decide here is whether the Respondent was required to include an attribution under General Statutes 9-621 on the mailers and, if so, whether she failed to do so ….

“Indeed, the investigation revealed that the Respondent and the Complainant had originally been allied and that the Respondent had been involved in recruiting the Complaintant’s slate of challenge candidates in the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Primary and creating the mailers at issue in this case.

“However, while the reports varied on the reasons, at some point after the mailers had been designed and printed, the personal relationships soured between the Respondent and the Complainant, the Complainant’s husband Andy Fardy, as well as candidates Ann Barney and Noel Sepulveda. The investigation here revealed evidence that the Respondent decided to take her personal frustrations out on the Fardys, Ms. Barney, and Mr. Sepulveda by altering and distributing some mailers in the manner alleged …

“Here, the evidence supports a finding that this was an intra-party squabble that spilled out into the Respondent taking her personal frustrations out on a few mailers on behalf of no one person or group other than herself … As such Count One should be dismissed.

The commission also dismissed the allegation that Pereira campaigned within 75 feet of the polling place.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Pereira

    I want to thank every single person who donated to my campaign whether they were able to attend my fundraiser last night or not.

    We filed our paperwork on April 6th, were approved on the 10th, and have only several hundred left to raise to reach $5,000.

    The food, DJ, and those who attended were all wonderful. It was an absolute blast!

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Andy C Fardy enjoys talking shit here. How about a comment on this? I heard Maria Pereira was seen feeding the papers used as evidence and the complaint forms to the goat I left on Andy’s front lawn. Maria, next time can you also provide some water for my goat? Lennie, what’s going on with the Ayala complaint and all the others filed after? The last one I filed was against the Absentee Ballot Queen and her entire gang. The violations took place during the 2015 Bridgeport mayoral primary. They did over 1,700 AB applications. Over 700 ABs returned. About eight people signed out the AB applications totaling about 1700. The documents they filed the day before the primary, shows one person signed all the documents (same handwriting) and the printed list of distributed AB applications were all printed with the same printer. Lennie, you have both complaints in pdf form.
      Maria Pereira, good timing! I don’t think I will have the time to examine your campaign reports or anyone else’s this year. Then again, I have three years to do it if I wish. I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t contribute to your campaign and did so to your TC challenger’s slate. I’m a city employee who should not be allowed on TC’s or run for city council. I shouldn’t be donating money or volunteering either, right?

      • Maria Pereira

        Joel, I had no idea you donated to an opposition slate in the 138th, however it is your right to donate to whomever you choose.

        I am going to stand firm on my position no city employees or city council members should ever sit on their DTC.

        • Follow the Money

          It’s okay for Bored of Members?

          • Maria Pereira

            Yes. Citywide candidates need broad support across the entire city and must obtain 46 votes to be endorsed.

            City Council members only need 5 of 9 of their district TC to gain the endorsement. Clearly, City Council members who sit on their own TC will vote for themselves.

            By the way, I was of one of several people who was totally against Joe Ganim seeking the endorsement.

            In 10 straight elections, I have never been, nor supported a Democratic-endorsed candidate. And we won all 10 primaries/elections.

            In fact, I have absolutely no interest in obtaining the Democratic endorsement for state rep.

            I will go around the DTC directly to the voters, which is what I have done successfully for almost seven years.

    • Maria Pereira

      UPDATE: The Pereira for Progress campaign hit $5,000 today, and we did it in 25 days!

      We just need to raise 35-40 $5 contributions which includes the 15% cushion the SEEC recommends.

      Thank you to all those who helped raise money and contributed to my campaign.

    • Pat Fardy

      State Elections Enforcement Commission
      Dear Commissioner Brandi:

      I am asking you to investigate some irregular activities that took place at the polls during the recent election for Democratic Town Committee in Bridgeport, Ct. on March 4, 2014. The polling site in question is Thomas Hooker School, Roger Williams Road, Bridgeport, Ct. 06610.
      First, there was no 75 foot mark sign designated on the property. The sign was available and remained inside the polling facility. Maria Pereira, Chairperson for the Working Family Party in Bridgeport, CT was at the polls. She continually crossed the traditional 75 foot mark to harass voters.

      Secondly, Ms. Pereira, Working Family Party Chairperson, took literature that was paid for and approved by the challenge slate and altered it. She defaced three of the challenge slate candidates faces and crossed them off on the demo ballot. Samples has been included for purposes of review.
      The candidates on this ballot line C who were crossed off are Patricia Fardy, Ann Barney and Noel Sepulveda.

      Pat Fardy and Ann Barney were at the polls most of that day and were witnesses to the offensive behavior that Ms. Pereira exhibited as were other candidates from Line B, the opposition party, who just shock there heads in disbelief to Maria’s actions and comments.

      Maria Pereira strategically cut off “approved and paid for by” off the original flier. My question to you is; can that legally be done? She was not there as a private citizen, but was acting in the capacity of Chairperson for the Working Family Party.

      Another issue I have is in the contact Maria had with applicants for absentee ballots. Maria secured roughly 40 absentee ballot applications for voters in the district. Once the voters received the actual ballot, Maria placed phone calls to these voters and told them not to vote for specific candidates.

      Again my question is this legal?

      By her making those phone calls and disgracing Pat, Ann and Noel we lost by only 30 votes at THS compared to the other 6 candidates on this same ballot.

      I firmly believe without Maria crossing the 75 foot line, defacing literature approved and paid for by another organization and specifically telling voters how to fill out the absentee ballots, the election results would have been different.

      I thank you for your time and insight to the activities that took place during the election on March 4, 2014 at Thomas Hooker School. If any of the actions Maria Pereira took were illegal, I would like to formally have them investigated.

      I look forward to hearing back from you regarding the situation.
      Sincerely, Patricia Fardy

      COPY OF MY LETTER AND THE FACT THAT THEY DID NOT ADDRESS THE ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES ABOUT THE ABSENTEE BALLOTS.
      PAT

      • Joel Gonzalez

        “First, there was no 75 foot mark sign designated on the property. The sign was available and remained inside the polling facility. Maria Pereira, Chairperson for the Working Family Party in Bridgeport, CT was at the polls. She continually crossed the traditional 75 foot mark to harass voters.”

        Very interesting, Pat Fardy. Pereira has her spin on the event. In situations like this, take a picture assuming you didn’t. Years ago when I was still a councilmen in the 131st, I was driving my VW down State Street at the start of and near the Bodine parking lot. There was a cop car conducting a speed trap. He stopped me, I asked why he stopped me and produce all documents, I didn’t show my council badge, didn’t say a word other than the question. After taking the ticket for speeding, I went home to 759 State Street. On the upper floor Felix Echevaria a Park Police Officer lived there and he was there getting his dinner. I told him his buddy fucked up. On tickets there is a box that asks: Was there a speed limit sign posted: Yes, No. Stupid-ass cop checked the yes box. The only speed sign posted was way down State Street, a one-way street. I had him by the balls. Felix went down and asked him why he ticketed me. The cop told him I gave him some attitude, that was a lie. He asked Felix why I didn’t say anything about being a City Councilmen. Felix then pointed out what I said about the Speed sign posting question. Days after that I confronted Fabrizi and told him about the situation. I told him I was going to sue the City of Bridgeport. He begged me not to do that and I then asked him what about the other 30 people he did the same to? He didn’t care about them. A day later I gave Fabrizi the ticket without having to beg so much. As for the other people, I don’t know if any one of them were as intelligent as I am. That’s their problem and I still feel the same today. Pat, perhaps SEEC felt the same way, if the sign is not posted, then they can’t charge anyone who breaks the rule. Pat Fardy, I think you should kick Andy Fardy off the computer and do the blogging. If I’ve offended you in any way, it’s not my intention and I apologize for the offenses.

  • Angel Figueroa

    A lot of people attended, support was clearly strong, great food, great music, we had a blast, looking forward to a successful run, with a new direction and leadership, a dose of DCP, Dedication, Commitment and Pride, to exceed expectation levels and achieve a refreshing new angle in politics.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Hmmm, you don’t sound like Angel Figueroa at all. I’m still waiting for an answer to my question. Are you not the same Angel Figueroa who filed a lawsuit against his former employer? Did you make sure the meatballs Maria mentioned below were sanitarily handled?

  • Maria Pereira

    Angel, it was an absolute ’80s freestyle throwback. I was so busy greeting people and talking I never even had a meatball.

    I had so much fun! My family and friends had a blast, too.

    • Jimfox

      Maria, thank you for inviting me to your fabulous fundraiser, the music and food were great.
      As you know I was sitting at Lisa Parziale’s table with Ben Walker, Charlie Coviello and four other lovely ladies.
      I’m sorry you didn’t have a chance to try one of your own meatballs, they were out of this world.
      Our table was the first to sit down to eat, when suddenly without warning Lisa Parziale sat down with two large plates, one with a pyramid of meatballs that would choke a horse, the other plate was loaded with ribs, ziti, and chicken. It was a back up the flucking truck moment!
      Lisa had more food on those plates than our entire table, she wasn’t eating meatballs, she was inhaling them. Charlie and I looked at each other, and then Ben whispered does she have a hollow leg?
      Under the table Lisa starts pulling out these flucking Stop & Shop bags from her pocketbook and loading meatballs for the ride home. So Maria if you can get over to Lisa’s house fast enough I’m sure she’ll let you have a meatball or two! Damn, she only weights 82 lbs.!

      • Lisa Parziale

        I love you, Jim. You are the funniest man in the world. Years ago, not now, I said I would only remarry if I met a man who made me laugh. Aren’t you glad you didn’t know me then? Oh BTW, I weigh 135 lbs and I really could eat the way you described, I just wasn’t that hungry.

      • Maria Pereira

        Jim Fox, are you sure it was Lisa? I could have sworn I saw Dottie’s handbag bulging with meatballs as she headed out. You need to launch a thorough investigation! :)

  • Angel Figueroa

    Yes Maria, from music to food it was a great Atmosphere, genuine fun, people were commenting on the ambiance in the room, I personally had a great time, kudos on a well organized fundraiser, congrats again, you outdid yourself.

  • Angel Figueroa

    Hey Joel, it’s me alright, I’m just going about things a little differently, I can’t have people like you kill my mojo, and as far as your question, well my answer is mind your own business, lol.

  • Angel Figueroa

    Joel, you seem to have a real interest in balls. I don’t know buddy, it seems kinda funny, and think what you want, say what you want, you’re in for a rude awakening, lol.

  • Bob Walsh

    Marilyn Moore keeps fighting for those who need her help the most despite efforts of Republicans to sidestep real issues. From the CT Post:
    www .ctpost.com/local/article/Senate-gets-legislation-to-raise-min-wage-to-12-7382342.php

    Thank you, Marilyn. Keep up the good job and don’t take no for an answer like most legislators do. Tom McCarthy would say ‘I support all side of this issue!’

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Bob, I attended Moore’s fundraiser last Friday. I kicked up a $100 contribution. Parisi is her Treasurer and I said this to her. I’m no big fan of Marilyn Moore, but I’m no fan of Tom McCarthy. Republicans are not sidestepping. Too much government intrusion. Forcing businesses (like McDonald’s) to pay employees $15 dollars is not right. I make $17.77 an hour working for the City and it took me 17 years to get there. The mayor (Ganim) is asking people to take pay cuts and furloughs. We’ve done that time and time again. Where are the elected officials when we are being asked to take and make less money, pay more for our health cost, agree to five years of ZERO raises, etc? Will Moore and all candidates running for state office with FREE money (Citizen’s Campaign Fund) pay ALL campaign workers $15 or $20 an hour and guarantee 40 hours or more? No family members allowed to be hired. McCarthy doesn’t even know any of the present or past issues. He has been busy watching basketball and baseball (he’s a Mets fan) games. Not a single incumbent running for re-election has bothered to take the time to post comments or answer question here on OIB. Look at all of them suddenly sending out press releases to OIB so we can read about the great job they’re doing. It’s a fucking joke and I would appreciate if more readers step out of the OIB shadow and call out these perpetrators of the biggest blog fraud in history.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Not for nothing but Tom McCarthy has listened to the mantra of OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST for years now. There is no Bridgeport citizen who has spent more personal time, practical interest and paper and toner to address the City Council on City issues and their own ability to handle them during the past five years. But Tom has never asked a question, reached out to criticize or question, but rather does his work behind closed doors.
    His brand of representation has greased the slide of decrease in financial strength so both Operating Budget and balance sheet are in the red today. Why reward the legislative leader of that effort in the State’s largest City with a seat in the State Senate?
    Tom, as Council leader you have budgeted and failed to spend Other Services funds for eight years for the most part. Oops, you and 14 others did spend nearly $30,000 in 2013 secretly before a primary and election run. Wow! Giving City taxpayer funds to local charities? And now the ECD&E and B&A approve of taxpayers borrowing $2 Million to “invest” in a PRIVATE affordable housing second phase that will produce taxes (shouldn’t any private project?) but cost the City 20 years of bond repayments PLUS Fire, Police, Education, Social services, etc. which factors were not provided as data to understand whether the project itself should be called DEVELOPMENT.
    And updating ordinances on Stipends, Purchasing, and more? And how do your constituents feel about education funding? Time will tell.

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