Sock It To Me–Dem Candidates For Governor Square Off

Guns, gaming, schools, public financing, tolls, leadership qualities and socks were among the subjects addressed Sunday night at a debate by the Democratic candidates for governor in New Haven, the city that brings the most–about 100–delegates to the state party convention on May 19. Bridgeport is number two in that category. The candidates, as part of the discussion, posed questions to each other. At one point Mayor Joe Ganim hiked up his pant leg to show off his multi-patterned sock while a nonplussed Susan Bysiewicz, the only woman on stage, looked on. Who’s buying Joe’s socks? OIB friend Paul Bass from the New Haven Independent has more on this political yarn.

debate socks
Susan Bysiewicz checks out the socks of Jonathan Harris and Joe Ganim, right. Photo by New Haven Independent.

Most of the debate featured candidates playing to the New Haven crowd, especially Mayor Harp.

At one moment, toward the end, Lamont gave an answer that didn’t fit neatly into what New Haven has been saying these days.

Lamont was answering a question posed by Ganim. Ganim spoke of how the state legislature has agreed to pay off $550 million in bonded debt on behalf of bankruptcy-teetering Hartford. Ganim and Mayor Harp originally blasted the state for doing that while leaving Bridgeport and New Haven to struggle with difficult budgets amid cutbacks in state aid. Last week Ganim altered his position after Hartford’s mayor dropped out of the race for governor; seeking support from Hartford’s newly freed delegates, he declared himself a convert to the idea of bailing out that city. But he continued to press for similar bailouts for Bridgeport and New Haven.

On the state Sunday, Ganim asked his opponents if they join him in seeking those similar bailouts.

“We need a comprehensive urban strategy in Connecticut that would support New Haven and would support Bridgeport and other situated cities with the same type of equity and support.” He challenged anyone who doesn’t “agree with that” to “take the microphone.”

Lamont took the microphone.

“I am going to be a champion for the cities,” he said. “But I would do it a different way than what I saw in Hartford. The bailout in Hartford in Hartford ended up bailing out a bunch of Wall Street bondholders. I want to make darned sure the money goes to the people in Bridgeport and New Haven Hartford.”

Looking at Mayor Harp seated in the audience–as candidates did often during the debate–Lamont said he would instead push for fulling funding the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program and increasing the amount of school aid cities get under the Educational Cost-Sharing System (ECS).

Full story here.



  1. By the way it seems that very few people are happy with party representation from “top to bottom” or “bottoms up” if that is your way of proceeding. With the large number of candidates (as well as current officeholders) some very serious, some confused and others, perhaps hallucinatory, but how do you sort the group into viable candidates with enough name recognition to be dangerous?? A primary…and there is one on August 14, 2018.

    To vote in the Democratic primary you need to be registered as a Democrat. To vote in the Republican primary, you must be registered in the Republican party on August 14, 2018 or the same date obtains for Democrats.

    What if you have heard a candidate in an other party and realize that you cannot cast a primary vote as we do not have open primaries. Think about changing, perhaps, in the more than 90 days left before August 14?? That’s it. Now you have it; that which even some candidates for Governor are unaware.

    You are a classic Republican, but for some reason are betting on Joe Ganim to be the best solution for CT Governor in this cycle to get all boats to float. You have written donations already at $3500? What is there left for you to do? Get to the ROV office before May 13, fill out a new voter registration form requesting registration as a Democrat, and 90 days later you are clear to vote for a Democrat in the primary. You can reverse the process later. Reverse the party titles if you are a Democrat,unhappy with Joe this time out. Questions? Please post. THE SMALLER THE TURNOUTS, THE MORE IMPORTANT ARE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ACTUALLY VOTING!! Time will tell.

      1. Just the facts, Ron. Nothing unfactual or fake here, is there. Your only question is to question that there can be such people? Time will tell.

  2. Lamont had the best answer for an urban policy.
    Increase the PILOT Payment and increase State assistance to education.
    And I will add, spend the increase on education and then you will receive the increase in PILOT’s. Don’t spend all of the money on education and don’t get the PILOT.

  3. Does anyone on OIB do comparison shopping? Do you get any good ideas, lower prices and deals that may make your dollars work harder? With all of Ganim2’s traveling, since it is budget time, perhaps he might pick up a budget book from another City of similar size and begin to question the disparity in public safety expenditures, City Attorney expenditures, and that spent to support legislative representation in the City, especially where a Board of Finance may be absent.

    Take a good look at New Haven for those categories as well as the extra education money they have earned through the years for working State initiatives. So Hartford beats us to the punch on a Legislature plan to share funds and oversight with fiscally distressed municipalities and Ganim2 does not go for it, because a look at our City “game” would undercut his candidacy? Maybe? Seven years in Federal care and what did he learn?? Anything worthwhile to a taxpaying public?? We’ll have more on this subject regularly. Count on it and be sure that…..time will tell.

  4. Bysiewicz is part of the problem not [art of the solution.
    She is just another Malloy in a dress.
    What always worked will continue to work until it doesn’t work anymore and then…. Well that should get me through the first term.

  5. The full report of this “debate” in the New Haven Independent could have served as the basis for a “Cheers” script…

    Contradictory statements, half-answers, and skewed logic… And the most important question; Where’s the beef!?” Some specifics?! E.g., from Harris regarding his statement that there should be casinos, but only in some places (where!?)… And from Mayor Ganim, regarding a “comprehensive plan for the cities” (including what?! — just a “such as” for debate purposes?!)… And the others, arguing over everything except the issues facing the state…

    The Republicans will surely use excerpts and sound-bites of this debates in their campaign ads in the coming months…

    On a side note: It was also interesting reading in Dan Haar’s column in the Sunday Post that “no Bridgeport casino!,” Senator Tim Larson, of East Hartford, is the Executive Director of Tweed New Haven airport and a big advocate of its expansion (naturally)… Now; we must wonder just how that affects the nascent, Bridgeport-New Haven alliance, and the future of Bridgeport airport, as well as the question lurking in the background of “exactly” where a SW Connecticut casino might be placed… Could that be one of the reasons why the Bridgeport casino initiative is stuck-in-the-mud in Hartford and why the Bridgeport-New Haven “alliance” puts the casino training operations in New Haven? Could there be a little connivance between New Haven and Gold Coast vassal, Hartford, that seeks to derail the “third” casino by playing Bridgeport and New Haven against each other (per the airport/best-casino-location issue) even as political trouble is created within and between each city and Mayors Ganim and Harp are each left “holding the bag” and looking foolish at home and statewide… [Which puts Gold Coast lackey Harris in a better position in the governor’s race and for later “service” to his Gold Coast handlers (e.g., Ned Lamont?…)]

  6. I though Joe Ganim represented Bridgeport very well. I am glad all candidates seem to support the second chance initiative unlike some on this blog. Ganim is not eligible for state funding and he is still bringing in the money and staying in the game. Those counting him out- shouldn’t. I of course am supporting Ganim for governor. For those supporting others good luck to you. Ganim took a detour year ago but clearly he is back on track. He is the poster child for second chances. He is a success story. His candidacy is a boon to Bridgeport. Whether he is your candidate or not he has taken our city out of the shadows and has put a spotlight on it. Everyday he is in front of n audience he is bragging about our city. That is a most enviable position for people like myself that believe in this city. I have always had a vision of greatness for this city, even when I take my rose colored glasses off. I have traveled around the world and have seen the best and the worst.I am not naive. Joe Ganim’s
    charisma , enthusiasm and ability to build bridges just might make the man starting with the least money grab the brass ring and make Bridgeport the center of the Connecticut Universe. That is why I am supporting him.

    1. Dear Steven,

      Bridgeport is back in the spotlight not for Joe Ganim’s leadership but for the fact that he is a cinvicted felon running for the hightpest public office in the state.why is that newsworthy? He is a felon cincpvucted of robbing the city he was elected to represent. He is a disbarred attorney. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis denied his motion to be reinstated to the bar because he expressed no remorse, no contrition for the criminal activities that landed him in a federal prison for seven years. He did a tight little dance to avoid admitting he committed perjury. It was as if his psnts were halfway down his ass, like a gangbanger.

      Everyone deserves a fresh start, to quote Benjamin Siegal. Joseph Ganim deserves a fresh start. He earned it. It the eyes if the criminal justice system he has attoned for his sins. He was forgiven the day he walked out of the halfway house. Will his felonies be forgotten? No. Should he be allowed a second chance to solicit bribes and payoffs? NO.

      His academic degrees are still intact. He qualifies for an insurance license.

  7. What Bridgeport resident’s with a felony arrest, that did time in a federal prison has been given a city job? Go ahead I’ll wait. Dont bother it was rhetorical because the only felon from Bridgeport that has been given a city job is Mayor Joe Ganim. He believes in second chances alright, just for himself so don’t be fooled Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury and Connecticut residents.

    Connecticut, don’t be blindsided by the hyperbole and bullshit which the good Mayor is somewhat of an expert. If you must,judge him by what he’s done on his second chance tour for other’s with felony arrests, NOTHING.

  8. Steve, There are ‘second chances’ and Second Chances in life. No real do-overs but for some minor, relatively inconsequential activities, especially as part of a youthful learning process, where structural opportunities were not with you, second chance opportunities can benefit from the learning from the ‘first chance failure’. However, in cases like Ganim2, where the entire community was offended but the entire community was neither confessed to, shown remorse, alerted to new learning and change in behavior patterns, the most recent candidacy of Ganim is just another example of Joe taking advantage of community naivete and low expectations.

    And then you report,”Ganim took a detour year ago but clearly he is back on track. He is the poster child for second chances. He is a success story. His candidacy is a boon to Bridgeport. Whether he is your candidate or not he has taken our city out of the shadows and has put a spotlight on it.”
    What was that detour, Steve? What did it consist of? What did it take in your book to put him “back on track”? He is a “poster child” all right, for a privileged and educated young man who though he was on a suburban second base to start did not plan to touch third base in his focused pursuit of self-wealth. He tried to steal home, got caught, denied the deeds, but did most of the time indeed and when he got out found that his legal brethren were not that open to risking his do-over professionally and denied him access to that area of his training. Whom does Joe Ganim serve? Asking that question does not make me a naysayer for the City. It causes me to be realistic about sizing up who Joe Ganim really is.

    So our City is back in the “spotlight” because of Joe? Could it be that it is because our belief in second chances has been so strong in this case, and misplaced, that folks think of us as a community of opportunity, without formal defenses against being taken advantage of….once…..twice….when do you strike out? Time will tell.

  9. Bridgeport Kid,

    Joe Ganim’s demise has been regurgitated ad nauseum. He won the election in Bridgeport. Bill Finch spent his entire campaign reminding people that Joe Ganim went to jail because the rest of us kept forgetting- NOT! Donald Day – you supported Mary Jane Foster so whether Joe Ganim hired felons or not is nothing you should comment on. Lisa Parzsiale- worked her ass for Joe. He was a convicted felon and Derek is just so cute and forgetful he gives Lisa P a free pass instead of telling her what he really thinks of her. . I supported Finch. Back to Joe Ganim- I do not recall any of my friends that voted for Ganim voting for him because they believed he was going to hire convicted felons.

    John Mareshall Lee. There are crimes and there are crimes. People go to jail. When their debt to society is paid they do get a chance to start over. Maybe not in your book and you are not alone. But, the fact is Ganim has paid a high price. It is really tiresome to be redunadant. Joe Ganim has experienced the good the bad and the ugly. His family and he has paid a high price. His debt is paid. He won the election in Bridgeport. How may different ways do you want to call Joe a convicted felon. He was a bad boy. He was punished. Publically humiliated and made a comeback. I understand that most people do not appreciate the success of others. Ganim’s story gives hope to many on different levels. Do you have a candidate you want to talk about instead of incessant condemnation of Joe Ganim. We get it. You aren’t voting for him. The good news you are not a delegate. The better news is Connecticut is a blue state. The better news is Trump is President.

    The better news for Joe Ganim is that he is going after his dream. His detour in life to not dictate his fate. For those of faith, let he who is without sin, cst the first stone.
    So Mr. Marshall Lee, as most Christian hypocrites,like those that elected Trump. Ganim is not pure and no politician is. But, he loves Bridgeport and he can improve the lives of many in higher office. If he doesn’t make it , it will nt be for a lack of effort. It is great being critical while others are out there changing the course of humanity.

    Again , I would like to remind kid that he supported a Republican for Mayor that supports Trump and his New main squeeze Lisa was a staunch Ganim supporter. I remember her coming into Foster’s campaign headquarters and yelling at Gabrialle Parisi to get all of Fosters signs down from Park Avenue. I put them up and would have told her to Fuck off, but that’s me. She wanted Ganim signs everywhere. She was supporting the convicted felon- go figure and now I am. Life is funny that way don’t you think?

    The good news for all of us. We can support the candidate of our choice. Some of us are delegates and have a louder voice up front, but in the end the people will decide. The people of Bridgeport decided. “The Machine” was split in half and Ganim won- those are the facts folk. Talking about Ganim’s conviction is just a regurgitation of a campaign that has come and gone. I did hear Joe talk about his past. He owns it.He is not hiding from it. Kid your anger after all of these years is interesting. I am glad you do not hold Lisa responsible for her actions.

    Just t ask again, was Joe’s campaign promise to the voters was to hire convicted felons ? I know that Finch supported the second chance initiative ……..well you know, for other felons.


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