Should Barack Campaign For Himes In Bridgeport?

Himes and Barack

I stopped into Jim Himes’ campaign headquarters in Bridgeport this afternoon to harass campaign workers. It’s down to crunch time; in just five weeks we’ll know if the first-term congressman receives another two-year contract from voters in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District that includes the state’s largest city and heavy Republican suburbs.

What a difference a cycle makes. Two years ago a 50-year electoral tsunami hit Bridgeport led by Barack that lifted Himes over 20-year Republican incumbent Christopher Shays, the last serving New England member in the House of Representatives. Two years ago Republicans were pariahs. Now it’s pretty good to be a Republican as crabby unaffiliated voters have grown weary of spending in Washington.

Himes hopes he can make the case that some of that spending was necessary to provide health care, stop the economic bleeding and save jobs. On a local level taking down the stuck-open Congress Street bridge, moolah for job training and adding cops from stimulus funding. In what appears to be a tight race, Republican Dan Debicella, who was raised in Bridgeport, is trying to frame Barack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Himes as a three-headed monster picking taxpayer pockets. Himes is trying to frame himself as his own man, drifting from the president and Democratic leaders who want the Bush tax cuts to expire for higher wage earners. Himes represents arguably the wealthiest district in the country loaded with down-county Dems and unaffiliated voters making more than the $200K (individuals) and $250K (families) who could see the tax cut expiration at the end of the year.

Republicans want to glue Himes to Barack’s hip. Is the president an asset or a drag? Do you bring him in for a campaign rally?

If you bring in Barack it’s for two reasons, to raise campaign money and crank up a lethargic city vote Himes must have to win. Doesn’t this play into the GOP hands, a presidential visit in the region infuriating anti-Washington sentiment?

Seems to me the folks who are going to punish Himes for supporting the president have already made up their mind. Himes needs a big Bridgeport push, one that’s not likely to come without a presidential visit. Can the local party apparatus push the city turnout to 40 percent? I doubt it.

So how about a rally at the arena at Harbor Yard? If Barack wants to come, bring him in baby! What say you?

Speaking of Himes he has this media hit planned for Monday:

Himes, Finch to announce federal funding for Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority

BRIDGEPORT, CT— On Monday, October 4, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch will announce a $1,167,945 grant award to the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBT) under the Federal Transit Administration’s State of Good Repair Program. Funding will be used to repair and replace GBT’s bus storage facility roof. This project is the first phase in a long term plan to increase the services offered by Greater Bridgeport Transit throughout Bridgeport and the surrounding region.

WHO: Congressman Jim Himes; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; Greater Bridgeport Transit Board Chairperson Laurie Goodsell

WHERE: Bridgeport Bus Terminal, 710 Water Street, Bridgeport, CT, 06604

WHEN: Monday, October 4, 3:00 p.m.



  1. Bridgeporters with family in Sen. Musto/Con. Himes’ district should be touching base with them (family) to let them know the importance of bringing these guys back to their respective seats. Both along with our own Auden Grogins have done an exemplary job as freshmen. I spoke to the Senator recently and confirmed my support of the Democratic ticket as a whole. Auden shouldn’t have a problem but let’s get her back in with a strong plurality so the next Republican who wants to challenge her will think twice. The day of election will be upon us before we know it.

  2. I understand somewhat that as a freshmen congressmen Himes has to learn the ropes and vote the way he was told to vote on such major issues as Health Care and the stimulus. I dislike both bills. I have not made up my mind yet if I will vote for Himes.
    Obama has recently been in Connecticut; this month he was in Greenwich for a large Democratic fundraiser. Not sure how many votes he swung over but Obama raised a ton of cash.
    He can come here and I am sure he will fill the arena but that will not translate to people coming out on election day.
    Look, Himes got money to take down the bridge (no money to rebuild the bridge). He now has money to repair the transit building roof, that’s also fine.
    My question is what has been done for the average workingman? What has been done to put people back to work? Unemployment is around 9.7 and still no light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. Hector, Hector, Hector, come on now, I understand being loyal to the Democratic Party but you have gone too far with the last candidate. I hope there is a payback to you in the future for your kind words to her.

  4. *** Obama’s presence in Bpt for Himes would help the Dems in general for the Nov. election regardless of the so-called GOP’s anti-political views towards Dems. But I’m still not voting period, this time around! *** Question, what exactly has Grogins done for Bpt lately? What has any of the state legislation done for that matter? *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  5. Ron I don’t know what kool-aid hector is drinking but I don’t want any of it.
    Hector I live in Musto’s area and I remember his stand on the women’s prison on Virginia Ave. He raved about it coming to Bridgeport until he saw the neighborhood opposition then he did a 180-degree turnaround.
    Hector I challenge you to tell me what Musto & Grogins, for that matter what has the entire delegation brought back to Bridgeport.
    Property tax relief: NO
    Increase in Pilot program payouts to the city: NO
    Increased funding for the BOE: NO
    Increased revenue to Bridgeport: NO

    1. In Sen. Musto’s defense, any dollars brought to your district is a win (in your freshman year). You don’t always realize the ramifications associated with those monies. Once he was aware it wasn’t in the district’s best interest he stood with those opposed. I respect a person who’s willing to admit they made a mistake. Auden in her freshman year has been able to hit the ground running. Many if not all of the improvements in her/my district can be directly attributed to her work and the dollars she’s been able to get from Hartford. I believe, like you, that the city has come up short as a whole. Still considering the fact that both the State legislators in my district are freshman. They have done fine for Black Rock. In order to get citywide relief our delegation must be on the same page and our Mayor needs to be respected as a Mayor who will get re-elected.

  6. The least they could do is rent the Arena and do a rally with Obama with a video feed hookup.

    I can hear Mark from the Himes campaign “snickering” and saying, “That’s above his pay grade!”

  7. Hector, you understand the process for freshman in Hartford, they are to listen and vote the way the Party leaderships tells them. Like I said, I hope there is a payback to you in the future for all the bull … I mean spin you are giving Musto & Grogins.

  8. Hector are you kidding me or what? Musto thought another prison in Bridgeport was a good thing??? Being a freshman is no excuse. He became aware it was not in the district’s best interest when the people up here started raising hell.
    The entire delegation from the most experienced to the freshmen did very little for the city.
    Property tax relief: NO
    Increase in Pilot program pay outs to the city: NO
    Increased funding for the BOE: NO
    Increased revenue to Bridgeport: NO

  9. *** Time will tell about Himes’ return to congress. *** Also very few of the CT state legislators have done anything of real importance to benefit their district or city! Half don’t show up for meetings or vote on bills. And when they do they’re running late with some lame excuse. *** Forgetaboutit ***

  10. Hey Hector,
    If Musto is doing great things in Black Rock please fill me in because I don’t see where he is doing anything in my part of the district.
    Streetscape work all compliments of former State Rep Keeley.
    Improvements to Elsworth Field, again kudos to Keeley.
    New and improved Black Rock Library, all city money. The Fabulous One, even though Keeley had bonding, had to buy votes in the BR so he dipped into city money.
    So please Hector, fill me in on what it is Musto has done.

  11. You can throw out the scorecard on our Hartford delegation. Hated rivals cut deals and do not primary and get two more years of doing nothing for us. The only group more dysfunctional is our BOE who no matter what the options may be they vote 6 to 3.
    Bodine is a tragedy for the taxpayers but will still go 6 to 3 in favor even if the EPA shuts it down. I saw a post by eyedoctor which hit the nail on the head, with all the burned-out buildings in the city you can build a building and save millions of our hard-earned dollars and at the end of ten years still have a home unlike the Bodine lease.
    Where is the mayor on this, just because it is BOE does not mean he should not take a interest in 10 million dollars of our money. I saw in the Conn Post picture candidate for mayor John Gomes was at the Bodine walk-through, I hear he has 4 children in Bridgeport schools which must mean he cares where the dollars are going.
    Between our elected officials and the deals in place to give cushy jobs to the unqualified friends and relatives, the city we live in is going down a spiral staircase to the abyss.

  12. Bpt 1 I am glad you brought up the Bodine Building. I did some research on the LLC that owns it. The 2 front men are brothers. One has a business at the foot of Hawley Ave and the other lives in Illinois.
    On the LLC paperwork it states there are other unlisted people or words to that effect.
    The big question here is who are the power players behind the LLC? There has to be someone well known and with power who is getting the BOE to roll over like a $2 hooker (no insult to hookers meant).
    After the last election I thought Pat Crossin would stand up for the kids and for the taxpayer. I should have known better he is as bad or worse than the rest of them.
    I challenge them to tell me why it is not in the taxpayers’ interest to build our own building that would last for 50 years or more and save us money.
    I challenge them to tell me why converting the old Barnum school to the new site for the BOE is wrong.
    I challenge them to tell me why spending $1.3 million in renovations and $6 million in rent over 10 years is a good idea. It’s pure politics and they don’t give a shit.

  13. All great questions TC. To add, who is behind the deal on both fronts? Is Sal DiNardo really a silent partner? Who found this building and wanted to push forward after looking at such a disaster?
    Has the BOE already paid for plans to be drawn up and has furniture been bought? Who pays for the moving of the whole BOE to this building?

    The list of questions go on and on, and the real total of dollars being spent over the ten-year period will be close to double what has been said.

  14. What type of question is that??? Answer is duh!!!!!!!!! Obama would boost turnout to an extent in Bridgeport!!! I’ve been so busy of late but I’m finally back!!! ELECTION time and I’m voting Democrat!!!

  15. Lennie is on the only people who are anti-Obama already are going to come out regardless. Bridgeport seems dead this election cycle and Obama would wake it up!!! I must admit for the last month and a half I have not been up to date and sleepy just like the rest of Bpt.

  16. *** Now that you’re awake, go back to sleep! You haven’t missed anything positive that’s happened in Bpt, just more political P/R & the same old B/S. The Dem Party is alive & well in Bpt so keep up the great support, things are sure to get worse! *** FORGETABOUTIT ***


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