Shaban: What’s Good For A Kid In Darien Is Good For A Kid In Bridgeport

Shaban Bridgeport
Shaban, left, meeting city kids at Trumbull Gardens.

Bridgeport is generally alien territory for Republican candidates. John Shaban writes on his Bridgeport campaign web page “As the Republican candidate for US Congress in CT’s fourth district, many people reflexively ask “what is your Bridgeport strategy” … as if Bridgeport is a foreign land in need of a foreign policy.”

Shaban, who serves in the State House, is challenging four-term Democrat Jim Himes who defeated 20-year Republican Chris Shays in the Barack Obama election tsunami of 2008.

Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District runs from Bridgeport along the shore to Greenwich and takes in suburban inland towns such as Easton and Redding. While Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford serve as Himes’ Democratic base, he has also performed well in some suburban towns–appealing to blocs of unaffiliated voters–who are traditionally Republican.

Himes is well-financed for reelection while Shaban is money challenged in part because traditional Republican donors have backed away with Donald Trump leading the GOP ticket. Trump, himself, is being out-raised heavily by Hillary Clinton in key battleground states. Trump has abandoned his self-funded presidential campaign for donor support.

Lacking traditional financial resources, Shaban has been retail campaigning in areas of the city that is in fact foreign land for Republicans. And sometimes a Democratic friend is with him. Shaban, through their children’s schooling and sports activities, developed a friendship with Mayor Joe Ganim who is featured on Shaban’s Bridgeport web page. Juggling friendships and party alliances is not always easy, but Ganim does not appear to be running away from his friend.

I will meet and speak with folks in Bridgeport with the same attention, concern and frequency as I meet with and speak with folks in Darien, Norwalk and the rest of the district,” declares Shaban’s web page dedicated to Bridgeport. “In fact, I have family living in Bridgeport, and many of the neighborhoods in town resemble the neighborhood I grew up in, in Brooklyn, New York.

My message is consistent and straightforward–what’s good for a kid in Darien is good for a kid in Bridgeport, and vice-versa.

More importantly, my campaign in Bridgeport will be a continuance of the work I started in Bridgeport well over a decade ago. I am not just another “election year champion” like too many of our other federal officials.

Shaban, a lawyer by profession, lists volunteer social service work he has performed in Bridgeport, neighborhood work in the city during his days as a semi-pro football player, as well as state funding he has secured for Bridgeport programs.

Video of Shaban and Ganim news event from February:



  1. Lennie, is this a typo? Should it read Shazam!!! Like a magician?
    So “what’s good for a kid in Darien is good for a kid in Bridgeport, and vice-versa” would mean he supports equalized spending and services that would put Bridgeport Public Schools on par with the level of education the kids in Darien receive?
    Please provide us with specific bills he authored that tried to do this.

    1. Himes’ campaign fundraising is out of the same book Hillary Clinton uses, donate to me and I get what you want. Himes, the CT representative, receives more money from Goldman Sachs than any other politicians. Did I mention Himes is an ex-employee of Goldman Sachs? Additionally, he is on the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (AKA The House Banking Committee).

      1. That’s how politics works. If you don’t like it, start supporting and working for 100% public financing of political campaigns. However, you have one problem. It is a Supreme Court Decision called Citizen’s United VS FEC. Go check out that decision which practically speaking is now the law of the US.

        1. I understand how politics works. The two main ingredients are money and data and both of them work against the American people.
          And yes, I support 100% public taxpayers’ money be used for campaign financing. Additionally I support campaign finance violations to be a crime and immediately being removed from election or office if discovered after the election and campaign money being returned and repaid.

        2. Well Frank, that is another reason to support the Democrats so we can name new justices to the Supreme Court.
          Citizen’s United will not change until we have a Democratic majority in the court.

    2. Andy, these three clowns, Connecticut US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and 4th District U.S. Congressman Jim Himes have been all over MSNBC yesterday and today trying to act important, they need to get their asses back to Bridgeport and find a way to get females into the Bridgeport Fire Department with that federal money they are taking credit for, which had no females. Maybe they don’t have a problem with that because they go along Mayor Ganim who knows better.

      1. Mr. Mackey, have you tried to be an insistent voice with all the elected officials you mentioned in terms of hiring female firefighters? Reading the last few months on OIB, there have been some other “issues” with some of the hiring for the BFD, namely the head of the department and some top brass. Just FYI, thank you.

        1. Frank, let me try to answer your question without getting too deep into the weeds. The Bridgeport Fire Department has long history of costly federal lawsuits but a point came where lawsuits were no longer needed to enable blacks, females and Hispanics to be hired. Civil Service testing allowed for hiring and promotions for everyone and most of this happened during Mayor Joe Ganim(G1)’s term as mayor. The Bridgeport Fire Department became a very diverse department something to be proud of but there was still work to be done. Then Bill Finch became mayor and David Dunn was appointed the Personnel Director in charge of Civil Service. It was at this point everything changed, with the help of Chief Rooney the testing process was changed and a new system was added, Candidate Physical Ability Test Program (CPAT). Since CPAT has been in place for the past three entry-level firefighter exams NOT ONE female has been hired. The BFD has a number of female firefighters who are white, Hispanic and black who perform their duties just like the men do but not one of them had to take CPAT test and the same for the male firefighters. The question is why the change? Donald Day and myself brought this to attention of Mayor Finch and his staff with nothing from Finch. We did the same with Mayor Ganim (G2) and we met with Rev. Stallworth and Wilbur Chapman with the same results, nothing. Don and I have been saying everywhere including OIB the same results were going to happen, no females will be hired as long as CPAT is being used. What’s sad is nobody cares and the only way this will change is by a court order for discrimination in using federal funding to DISCRIMINATE against females.

        2. Frank, I didn’t mean to almost duplicate Don’s post but when I started he had not made his comment and when I came back to finish my post I never looked until after.

          1. Ron Mackey, thank you for response and the overview of the functioning, specifically the hiring practices, of the BFD over the last several decades. I would like to THANK YOU for your leadership role. Donald Day’s post and your post both gave a fuller picture of some of the issues the BFD is facing.

  2. Shaban will get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done for Bridgeport because the House Republicans will ABSOLUTELY IGNORE him. The rest of the County does not need much help because they are doing well enough and the State of Connecticut protects its suburbs. I don’t understand the Himes, Blumenthal, Murphy (and even the Malloy) bashing. Do you think we would have been better off with Linda McMahon or Tom Foley? If any of you think you can do a better job, go ahead and run for political office.

      1. Phil Smith, as you well know, officials at the FEDERAL government work with a completely different calendar than “local” officials. Tip O’Neill made the famous quip that “All Politics Is Local.” I can do research and get back to you BUT the effect of the Federal government upon local events is quite a byzantine path. Practically speaking, Federal officials such as Congresspeople, Senators etc. have an impact on local events that is hard to track. The workings of the Legislative body of the United States Government is a special and unique process.

  3. Frank, as a point of information, Ron Mackey and I met with Mayor Finch, David Dunn and a few of his other henchmen about four or five years ago and told them if their new hiring policies were implemented it would mean the end of women firefighters in Bridgeport. We met with Mayor Ganim’s henchmen, Rev. Stallworth and Director of Public Safety Wilbur Chapman right after Joe was elected and told them if they continued to use the failed hiring policies of Finch there would be no new women firefighters hired in Bridgeport.

    Both Mayors chose to ignore our warnings and the end result is three classes of new Bridgeport firefighters were hired with no women for the first time in 30 years. This could have been a coincidence had we not known that every city in America that uses this hiring standard eliminated women from their ranks. We’ve been telling city Mayors, the readers of both OIB and the CT Post this would happen to the detriment of women, the BFD and the legion of young ladies who aspire to be Bridgeport firefighters.

  4. Frank. Look at the state of the city and make note of all the areas of need that require a federal response, in terms of $, oversight and expertise. The Three Amigos are all very well apprised of Bridgeport’s needs. They are here for every photo-op excuse imaginable, especially for projects that serve the Gold Coast, such as all of the transit-oriented development crowding out tax base enhancing/job-creating development here.

    These concerned politicians have watched Bridgeport writhe in socioeconomic distress for their tenures in Congress and have given us only lip-service and Stamford-serving development that has not moved us one iota closer to socioeconomic/municipal health. They totally ignore our political dysfunction. Indeed; they just don’t ignore it, they facilitate it and even engineer it when they have to. Their agenda is to create political alliances in Bridgeport that resonate with the agendas of their Gold Coast handlers, the latter of which are their true agendas. Everything done in Bridgeport is only for propaganda purposes. Keep a high profile, look and sound concerned, but keep control of the political apparatus through political intimidation and bribery such that the Gold Coast agenda can be maintained and re-election by Bridgeport votes assured. So crow about the Dan Malloy Stamford workforce train station on the East Side. Crow about the Eco-industrial park that will soon also accommodate Gold Coast construction debris/waste and sewage waste to feed our “eco” sewage-sludge fuel plant.

    I can go on and on. They are phonies. They are at the root of our distress. Our distress serves their real base and lets them maintain political control here. A socioeconomically healthy Bridgeport would support too much political opposition and resistance and upset the Fourth District/Fairfield County balance of power.

    It might be pointed out the years of Stamford/Fairfield County suburbs’ gain have been the years of Bridgeport’s decline. Just coincidence?!

    So Frank. Do you think a change in representation in Washington could actually hurt us?! Any opportunity for political change at the state or federal level means more leverage for Bridgeport. Bridgeport cannot think of itself as Blue or Red. We can only think of ourselves as being screwed by the status quo. We need to move in all political directions as it serves the meeting of Bridgeport’s needs, by increasing the importance of our votes. And it serves the meeting of Bridgeport now to cultivate competition for the status-quo representation that has driven us farther and farther toward the point of no return.

    The last Congressional representative who actually worked to secure the means for Bridgeport to meet its needs was Stewart McKinney, a Republican, from Fairfield. Chris Shays, though not the worst, fell short of the mark. Lieberman was another Gold Coast phony. Dodd, even worse. The Three Amigos; our worst nightmare because they are more politically astute than their predecessors and know how to work an even more distressed city more efficiently than their predecessors.

    No. Republican Congressional representation couldn’t possibly be worse for Bridgeport. (A Republican POTUS? As unthinkable for 2016 Bridgeport as it was in 1980, and as unthinkable as a Hillary presidency.)

    Vote for change. Vote Green for POTUS and pot luck for Congress. The Three Amigos should not have any political security through the Bridgeport vote.

    1. Jeff, thank you for the erudite post but I will compress to one sentence. Republicans (as things stand right now) will NEVER do anything for Bridgeport. That’s the baseline fact. If you think Jill Stein will make a change for Bridgeport, so be it. GOOD LUCK.

    2. Jeff, great post. The Three Amigos/Stooges are political Kardashians. Bridgeport will be state and federal government dependents as long as the people of Bridgeport are getting by, Bridgeport will always vote for the hands that feed them. Any threat of less is always a great pushback. When those sources dry up that is when consideration of change will happen or if Bridgeport witnesses other towns and cities doing better from their change.

  5. Gary. The sad fact of the matter is Bridgeport is not even getting by. In every sector of municipal services and responsibility, Bridgeport is either failing or poised to fail. Education; a shambles. Public safety; a big question mark just waiting for the right confluence of events to bare our glaring weak spots. Economic development; everything that will stress our already inadequate resources and nothing to increase our taxable grand list of city-resident accessible living-wage jobs.

    No. Just because the flames from Bridgeport aren’t visible in Southport or Milford doesn’t mean we’re getting by. We’re going under, despite the photo-op smiles and glowing announcements of Bridgeport economic development of The Three Amigos and Malloy.

    Any political change for Bridgeport can only be for the better, if only for its value of shocking the electorate into realizing how little the region, state and federal government care about us. Republicans or Democrats. We don’t have friends and must act accordingly on our own behalf. If politicians want the Bridgeport vote, the should have to pay a very high political price for it. If the region wants access to Bridgeport services and infrastructure, they should have to pay a very high $ price for them.

    No more free ride from Bridgeport for the ‘burbs or their political bucket boys.

    1. Jeff, I agree. Bridgeport and other large cities are spoon-fed funds and resources from the state and federal. In my observation and experiences our elected local, state and federal politicians are not trying to improve Bridgeport by working on permanent and long-term fixes. Retail job creations, D&D, McDs, and their like are not going to fix the economics in Bridgeport. Yes, retail jobs look good for the unemployment rates but do ZERO for state and federal dependents.
      The original story, what’s good for Darien is good for Bridgeport, is nothing more than a political rally cry. Bridgeport and Bridgeport residents receive more funds and grants from the state and federal than any suburb. Darien could be the one yelling what is good for Bridgeport is good for Darien.

  6. Let me start by saying I’m a loyal Democrat but I am no fan of Jim Himes, he has been a big disappointment. Now about John Shaban, he’s no Stew McKinney or Chris Shays before he changed. I looked at the issues on Mr. Shaban’s website and he has all the Republican talking points. I would like to know if Mr. Shaban is supporting Donald Trump for President and what is Mr. Shaban’s view on Trump’s so-called outreach to the black community. I might have to pass on this vote.

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