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State Senator Cathy Osten Trashes Will Of The People For Political Profiteers

February 17th, 2015 · 83 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

Cathy Osten

State Senator Cathy Osten proud to kill good government legislation.

Bridgeport voters decided at the polls they don’t want city employees serving on the City Council because taxpayers believe their money will be ripped off by political profiteers who’d vote to approve their own wages and benefits, as well as other dubious financial achievements. And, as it turns out, that’s exactly what has happened. A bunch of politicians have found a way to corrupt the will of the people in Bridgeport aided by conspirators on the state level doing their dirty work such as State Senator Cathy Osten, representing an eastern Connecticut district far away from Bridgeport, who bragged the other day about killing good government legislation advanced by the city’s legislative delegation to enforce the City Charter. One has to wonder about Osten’s motives in support of the political profiteers destroying home rule.

Osten’s State Senate biography cites service as “president of the Correction Supervisors’ Council of CSEA/SEIU Cathy worked tirelessly to directly represent more than 600 professionals in the Corrections Department.” Sounds like Osten’s slapping a political high five with bill-killer Lori Pelletier, head of the state AFL-CIO who claims “What this bill is about is making municipal employees second-class citizens.” Pelletier prefers to make Bridgeport taxpayers second-class citizens whose pockets are picked by the political profiteers she supports.

Here’s what’s really going on: Tom McCarthy, president of the City Council, works at the pleasure of Mayor Bill Finch in violation of the City Charter as deputy director of Labor Relations. Pelletier wants a cozy relationship with McCarthy because he serves a dual role approving labor contracts as head of the legislative branch that he also negotiates as a municipal employee at a six-figure salary. His office also hears labor grievances. So not only does McCarthy negotiate labor agreements, approves labor agreements, his office also hears labor grievances.

So that’s the convenient part Osten and Pelletier don’t want to share.

Also working against the bill the municipal lobbying group Connecticut Conference of Municipalities that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers dough while Bill Finch has been mayor. Finch is a past president of CCM.

Bridgeport State Rep. Jack Hennessy, in a plea for public policy sanity, issued this testimony last Friday before the legislature’s Planning and Development Committee of which Osten is a member promising to kill good government legislation.

The purpose of this legislation is to close a loophole in state statute 7-421. (e)

Statute 7-421. (e) clearly states a municipal employee cannot serve on a municipal board of finance. It states any municipal employee can serve on any governmental body of the town except any body which has responsibility for direct supervision of such employee. But since we are a ‘Home Rule’ state, there is also provision in the statute for the town to decide for themselves if they want to adhere to this restriction in their municipal charter. The state lets the town decide. But if the town does decide to restrict it, it can and, in most cases does because of the inherent conflict of interest. Contrary to what the opposition is saying, this is the current law and has been the law of the land for many decades. The debate whether this restriction infringes on municipal employees right to serve happened in the past and it was deemed necessary a long time ago. The opposition ignores the fact this ban is already in place. Nobody’s vilifying anyone.

H.B. 5886 simply extends an already existing prohibition regarding boards of finance and, logically enough, extends the ban to municipal legislative bodies that serve the same function as a board of finance. This is not an action or statement against any city employees as opponents spin it. It is a logical effort to enforce and protect the separation between the executive and legislative bodies of a municipality. This same separation exists in our state constitution prohibiting members of the legislature from being a state employee. Likewise, our US constitution prohibits members of congress from working for the federal government. This bill simply closes a loophole in state statute for municipalities that do not have a board of finance and has a provision in their city charter prohibiting city employees from serving on the city council that acts as a board of finance.

If this bill were to become law it would directly affect 24 municipalities in the state. Of these 24 municipalities Bridgeport is the only one that is in violation of their city charter. The rest of the municipalities, although they could due to the loophole in state statute, do not allow city employees to serve on their city council. So if this bill were to become law, its effects would only be felt in Bridgeport. Currently there are five city employees serving on the city council in direct violation of our city charter. The opposition to this bill says this will prevent many people from running for government. That is a lie and a complete distortion that unfortunately is being accepted at face value. This bill has got nothing to do with municipalities that have a board of finance. I would like to point out this bill would have no effect on the town of Sprague because they have a board of finance. And the 24 municipalities that do not have a board of finance and have a restriction in their city charter prohibiting city employees from serving on their legislative body, the only one it would affect is Bridgeport. Bridgeport is the only one of the 24 that violates its own city charter. Rather than the thousands the opposition claims this bill will unfairly disenfranchise, presently, this bill will only affect five people in Bridgeport that are city employees and city council members, serving in direct violation of our voted by the people of Bridgeport by referendum city charter.

The opposition says the purpose of this bill is to vilify city employees. That is ridiculous. The purpose of this bill is to allow the voice of the people of Bridgeport to be heard and have our city charter empowered and have a city council that does not have a real or perceived conflict of interest.

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83 Comments so far ↓

  • Mustang Sally

    Who the hell are you to make decisions that don’t even effect your district or town? The proud way you boasted that you were the one who killed the bill was nauseating. You are not a decent legislator, not a patriot and obviously don’t know a dentist who is worth his or her salt.

    Most of the cities that ARE effected by this unique circumstance don’t have conflict issues because THEY CHOOSE TO FOLLOW THEIR CHARTERS.

    Crest white strips work great, Cath.

  • Grin Ripper

    She’s a Screw!

  • Andmar

    So just when Bridgeport wants to turn itself around and make a shift toward cleaner governance, it is people who do not live in Bridgeport who undermine what we want. Yet it is outsiders of Bridgeport who then point the finger at Bridgeport and blame it for not improving. And yet, Bridgeport won the Governor the election. I think this can hurt her later, need to be careful to not burn bridges as an early Senator. She is only a Senator since 2012.

  • Bob Halstead

    I waited all day Friday to finally speak at the public hearing in front of this person. They were clearly enamored with Lori the union lady. This Senator Osten was so disingenuous, in fact they all seemed to be. Ostensibly they were holding up the values of elected office and the “American Way” acting like so many yahoos. Repeatedly saying what a hardship it would be on their small towns to pass this legislation but I smelled the same rat, the unions, that Lennie you point out so aptly above.
    Yes Andrew, she and the others were blaming us for our own lot by “not voting out people if we don’t like them.”

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Maybe someone can explain to me how Rep. Hennessy could be so strongly for this legislation and yet stand in support of the candidacy of a candidate for State Rep. 129 who in essence wants to do the same thing on a higher plane. When I arrived to testify at the public hearing I saw both Bob Halstead and Rick Torres, funny, the other candidate was conspicuously absent. I recently received a letter from Mary-Jane Foster in support of that same candidate and was informed Senator Moore was also in support of that same candidate. I’ve been involved and have followed politics for most my life and believe the one thing expected from effective politicians is consistency. Maybe one of the people mentioned could explain how this is different. I am not accusing anyone of anything, just interested in their logic.

    • Jeff Wright

      Mr. Diaz has raised an interesting point with regard to local support for the “Good government” bill as championed by Sen. Moore and Rep. Hennessy. The young Stafstrom from Fairfield seems to be as conflicted as one can be in this environment. On one hand the very essence of his day job involves dealings with Government officials and agencies that provide the cash for the profitable operation of his law firm.
      The so-called “Chinese Wall,” a theoretical separation between like-minded institutions, is often invoked as a hall pass for those who in reality can do no such thing. When it is applied to the Consulting/legislative arena it becomes even more so. Man can only serve but one master. The question then becomes what is one to do when confronted with such dilemmas. Do you recuse yourself from debate and deliberation, which defeats the purpose of your employment and election, or do
      you pretend no conflict exists? Logic tells us man, elected or not, will always err on the side of who is putting food on his table. Rick Torres, the other aforementioned candidate, has no such conflicts and has made the practice of accountability the centerpiece of his campaign. Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge the momentum of the past has failed and look to leaders who wish to serve for what they can do for us rather than what we can do for them.

  • Gabriel

    You mean the same Steve Stafstrom who failed to recuse himself on a City Council bond resolution that involved his employer law firm? Why would Steve show in Hartford? He has NEVER believed in the legislation to begin with. This bill CONFLICTS with EVERYTHING the backroom dealing Stafstrom’s law firm is about. Oddly enough, Tom McCarthy gave Steve the full campaign contribution allowed by law.

    Hmmm, I think we know who supports Stafstrom and who Stafstrom will support if he is elected.

  • Maria Pereira

    Hector, I just need some clarification. Are you stating you received a letter in which Marilyn Moore endorsed Steve Stafstrom for state rep.? If so, I am asking Lennie to post the letter in question on this blog for all to see.

    I have personally heard Marilyn Moore make negative comments about John Stafstrom and his ties to Mayor Finch and as former DTC Chairman. Does she think his nephew isn’t going to ask Uncle John how high he should jump?

    In all honesty, MJF endorsing Steve Stafstrom doesn’t surprise me at all. Several years ago a trusted friend told me “MJF is Bill Finch in a skirt.” I didn’t necessarily see it then because I was just getting involved, however I definitely see it today.

    I would never support or work on behalf of MJF should she seek office. Never. In fact, should she run, it might be time to bring out my black magic marker again.

    • Grin Ripper

      What are you practicing? Voodoo Politics! I know Valentine’s Day just passed us by, but I don’t understand why you have such a Heart-On against MJF.

      • Andrew C Fardy

        She is a hateful person, she gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says good morning, bit*#. She is so full of shit, it’s always someone told her this and someone told her that. How can that be when no one likes her?

    • Jimfox

      Maria, that letter will never appear on this blog, because Lennie is the Master Blaster of Bartertown.
      This site is in AD mode, until after February 24.
      So who runs Bartertown?
      www .youtube.com/watch?v=Hgq4w4dqKsU

  • Maria Pereira

    Hector, are you stating Jack Hennessy is supporting Steve Stafstrom as well? Do you have something in writing that supports this claim? If so, I am also asking Lennie to post it on this blog for all to see, too.

    • Hector A. Diaz

      Maria, Jack Hennessy shook my hand, looked me in the eye and told me he was supporting Stafstoum, as far as Sen. Moore it was a third party close to her who confirmed her support for him, he gave me the impression there was something in print but I may be mistaken, my apologies if I am. Mary-Jane’s letter I do have and will get it to you today if you’d like. I asked in my prior post maybe they could explain the logic behind their decision, could be it’s too early, but if you hear from them and get a viable explanation please post. It’s a conundrum to me.

      • Maria Pereira

        This information about Jack Hennessy is so disappointing. Jack was kind enough to walk his neighborhood with me when I ran for office in 2009. This piece of information is so troubling.

  • Jeff Kohut

    If my memory serves me correctly, the last time the GA backed a Bridgeport initiative with statewide implications was in 1998 when Rep. Caruso proposed a statewide moratorium on the siting of new asphalt plants. This was due to proposals supported by the Ganim Administration to grant permits for two new asphalt plants in Bridgeport–both adjacent to neighborhoods/parks–Seaside Village/Seaside Park and the East End waterfront neighborhood and the entrance to Pleasure Beach Bridge.

    With Governor Rowland’s assistance, the measure for the moratorium passed the GA during the 1998 session and the planned asphalt plants never materialized.

    Of course, there was a terrific amount of public pressure from many concerned Bridgeporters/good-government groups to derail the plans of the “connected” individuals to use the Ganim Administration influence to ram the necessary permits/zoning approvals through the city approval system. But in the end, the public pressure and political enmity between the Ganim Administration and Governor Rowland caused the wishes of the Ganim Administration to be derailed.

    Thus, if we had a governor who was willing to do the right thing on this municipal employee issue, the Hennessy Legislation would be well on its way to being passed.

    But alas, we have Dan Malloy, and he needs a dysfunctional Bridgeport to keep things in Stamford’s favor–and of course he doesn’t want to piss off the state employees unions–so he will allow his minions from within and without Bridgeport to make sure this legislation dies an undramatic death in committee.

    Thanks again, Dan! Where would Bridgeport be without you? (A lot better off, I suspect …)

    • Ron Mackey

      Jeff Kohut, your memory is very good on this but let me add a few things. It was Rep. Chris Caruso who led the fight to block the two new asphalt plants, Seaside Village/Seaside Park and the East End waterfront neighborhood and the entrance to Pleasure Beach Bridge, the one at Seaside Village would have been directly in my backyard. In 1998 Seaside Village was in the 130th district (before the voting district lines were redrawn, which placed us back into the 131th district) and the City Council members were Auden Grogins and Pat Crossin and the Rep. was Lee Samowitz and they said nothing and they did nothing to help block those asphalt plants. It was Rep. Caruso who helped us to organize and to picket the mayor and he brought in environmentalists, which led to a Bridgeport initiative with statewide implications with a proposed statewide moratorium on the siting of new asphalt plants. It took Caruso who didn’t even live in the district to fight for us and win and not the mayor or Grogins, Crossin or Samowitz. Thanks, Chris.

  • Local Eyes

    Here’s what’s really going on: Tom McCarthy is in full compliance with the law. Loopholes are legal–ask any accountant.

  • Dave Walker

    Senator Osten should be ashamed of herself. She is doing the will of the public-sector unions who are looking out for themselves and their members and not the public and the taxpayers. Public-sector union leadership likes conflicts that benefit them but hurt the taxpayers. Tom McCarthy has numerous conflicts and is serving in direct violation of the City Charter that was ratified by the voters of the entire City of Bridgeport. It’s time for Mayor Finch to stand up and speak out for this legislation and to oppose any efforts to grandfather McCarthy. This is litmus test on whether he will honor the City Charter, the will of the voters of Bridgeport, and basic good government principles. If he does not do so very soon, many groups will mobilize to defeat him in November. This is his last chance to do the right thing. We need leaders not lackies in public office throughout CT. We have serious challenges that need to be addressed and eliminating clear conflicts is essential to achieve sustainable success.

  • Rick Torres

    Let’s get real, Osten is just the pretty face of corruption. The body of corruption is Bridgeport. Osten’s arrogance could not exist without tacit local backup. Thank you Stafstroms, Finches, McCarthys. CT conflicts are as pervasive as Bridgeport’s.

  • Local Eyes

    Tom McCarthy might be serving in violation of the city charter but he is within statutory limits because existing state law permits it. He might be bending the rules but he’s not breaking the law–especially with so many watching!
    Loopholes are legal until legislators repeal them.

    • Dave Walker

      Local Eyes,
      The issue has not been litigated. We do not have a Board of Finance so it may not be permitted. We are in the current situation because another conflicted individual, City Attorney Mark Anastasi, said it was OK. In addition, our Mayor and City Council President do not want to honor the City Charter. All will be held accountable over time.

      • Local Eyes

        Legislation is expected. Litigation would be something new. I was unaware one city attorney could keep Bridgeport’s delegation at arm’s length for so long. He belongs in The Judicial Hall of Fame.

      • Maria Pereira

        Dave Walker, I agree with you on this. Just because Mark Anastasi says it’s so doesn’t mean it is. Mark Anastasi also felt the illegal takeover of the BBOE was legitimate. I personally believe if this were litigated, the city would lose.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Want to send the senator a message?
    www .senatedems.ct.gov/Osten.php

  • Pete Spain

    Could it be too much to write letters to/call State Senator Osten to recuse herself from voting on HB 5866?

    E-mail: Catherine.Osten@cga.ct.gov
    Office: 860-240-0543
    Home: 860-228-9280
    Snail mail:
    Capitol Office
    Legislative Office Building
    Room 2100
    Hartford, CT 06106-1591

    State Senator Osten’s Legislative Aide:
    Stephen Palmer
    860-240-0579, or
    Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

    I hope those in Bridgeport who claim a deep distrust of Finch and also claim close ties to Malloy will call their friend Gov. Malloy to come out and give strong public support to this bill and make a few calls to Ms. Osten.

  • Pete Spain

    As for Steve Stafstrom, despite his supporters including some people who claim a deep distrust of Finch and also close ties to Malloy, ask yourself this:
    Has Steve Stafstrom ever come out publicly against Mayor Finch on any issue or against Finch’s widely reported mistakes and mismanagement of the city?

    If not, why not?

    Perhaps Steve Stafstrom does not want to ruffle important people or clients’ feathers?

    Whose interest does that serve?

    There’s a huge difference between (A) Being able to work with someone and (B) having no ability, due to professional bonds, to criticize the powers-that-be for their gross mismanagement and obscurantism at the cost of the greater good.

    Remember Mayor Finch’s March 2014 state of the city speech … delivered in front of a “Pullman & Comley” banner at the Holiday Inn? The Mayor was introduced, with great praise, by none other than John Stafstrom.

    See the photos and read the CT Post article here:
    www .ctpost.com/local/article/Mayor-touts-successes-future-goals-5308364.php

    Mayor touts successes, future goals
    Brian Lockhart
    Updated 12:18 am, Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  • Local Eyes

    I sense desperation and the whining voice of defeat.

    • Pete Spain

      I sense a very odd man who can’t go by his own name and who resides outside of Bridgeport weighing in antically and egregiously on matters of real importance to Bridgeport residents.

  • Local Eyes

    www .twitter.com/door24<– this guy has a vital interest in Bridgeport and thinks he belongs here more than you do, Pete Spain.

  • Pete Spain

    Well then move on in, Paul.

  • Steve Best

    It defies logic and the basic principles of democracy, that the conflict-of-interest dynamics that are firmly entrenched in Bridgeport continue to be rationalized and supported.

    If, because of a conflict of interest, a Bridgeport City Councilman must abstain during an important vote or recuse himself/herself during significant discussion and debate, how does this serve this legislator’s constituents? It does not. These constituents have been denied representation. And this voids the democratic process. It is that simple. And in Bridgeport, this is a very slippery slope.

    • Local Eyes

      It’s not that simple. Conflicts of interest are an integral part of our political fabric. Take them away and we become communists, where everyone agrees and blogging is illegal.

      • Steve Best

        I strongly disagree with your premise. And you have taken a sensational (and ridiculous) leap by invoking communism in a debate on how to maintain the most basic rights in a democracy.

  • Hector A. Diaz

    There is a place in my campaign for anyone who believes there is no difference in what we are doing locally and what should be done in that same vein Statewide. Consistency is the sign of a true political leader, you can’t be against something then embrace it on another level!

  • Local Eyes

    Bridgeport might have a few problems, but HB 5886 won’t solve any of them. It’s a political tactic from the opposition crowd.
    On a different subject, consistency is a trait of dictators and other leaders who avoid the democratic process. This world needs fewer dictators and more conflicts of interest that can be brought to resolution.

  • Tom White

    Postings on this blog tend to follow a pattern. Pete Spain and Jennifer Buchanan are informative and helpful. Maria Pereira is informed and cunning. Jeff Kohut is philosophical. Jim Fox is humorous. There are others. Agree? There is one poster who uses the pseudonym ‘Local Eyes’ who falls into the category of ‘asshole.’ Everyone agree?

  • hope I can sell my house

    Eh–I just skip over his name as well as a few other, but NONE of those listed above! I read every word they write.

  • Local Eyes

    Maybe this is why Tom White dislikes me:
    Victory for HB 5886 would be anticlimactic and
    Defeat would mean political humiliation and reinstatement of The Einstein Rule that says repeated attempts at the same thing equals insanity. Are you listening, Jack Hennessy?
    But actions of the GA are not set in stone yet. It is still in their hands. It’s not fixed.
    But I have given the fans of HB 5886 enough “chalkboard material” to rise to victory or sink of their own weight.

  • Maria Pereira

    Andy, most people on this blog know you are personal friends with MJF and that is certainly your right. You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine.

    How does MJF consistently attack Mayor Finch but wholeheartedly support Malloy? How can she be in support of Jack’s bill and at the same time support Steve Stafstrom who is nothing but conflicted? In my opinion, MJF is a hypocrite.

    I lived in Thomas Hooker for eight months before I got the Row B BBOE slate a four-to-one victory. Just a few months later I singlehandedly delivered the WFP BBOE candidates the only school in Bridgeport where they beat both the Democrats and Republicans. You can’t get something like that done with less than a year of residency in Thomas Hooker if you are not liked and respected.

    The reality is you have lived in this neighborhood for decades and I have lived here for two years, and I have great relationships with the vast majority of those who live in the neighborhood. I know you can’t say the same.

    If I am a bitch, what does that make you?

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria Pereira, look. Andy Fardy doesn’t need me to speak for him and I’m not but what’s this all about? I’m a big supporter of MJF but her enemies are not necessarily my enemies and her friends are not necessarily my friends.

      • Maria Pereira

        Ron, in my opinion MJF is an elitist from Easton and a complete and absolute hypocrite. She attacks Finch but supports Malloy. She supports Jack’s bill but supports Stafstrom. She refused to endorse Ernie Newton for state rep. but stood in a courtroom last year with Paul Timpanelli pleading with a judge to be lenient in the sentencing of a woman who was caught fraudulently billing for medical services to the tune of over $100,000. Ernie was convicted for $10,000 but her friend was caught as part of a ring of physicians stealing hundreds of thousand of dollars. Pure hypocrisy.

        • Baffled in Bridgeport

          Why don’t you tell us how you really feel???

        • Steven Auerbach

          Maria, was that true about MJF and Paul Timpanelli?

          Ron Mackey, I agree, we can support candidates and not agree with one another. We all have different friends but somewhere along the line there is a common denominator. I think Mary-Jane FOSTER is wonderful.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Sorry Maria, I can’t do it for health reasons but I know I would beat you fair and square. You have a relationship with a few seniors in Nob Hill and translate that into a citywide love fest with you and the seniors. You think you know it all but it will take more than seniors voting to win the election and that’s where I would kick your butt.

          • Maria Pereira

            Okay, Andy. If you say so.

          • Andrew C Fardy

            Sorry Maria, I have none but we both know you do.

          • Maria Pereira

            Andy, I have never once mentioned a significant amount of support from seniors. Why do you keep referencing seniors? If I did it or said it, I will own it; however you are just making stuff up as you go along.

        • Andrew C Fardy

          Maria, your opinion means squat. You blog on here like you are the second coming when in fact you are the complete opposite of how you present yourself. You act like you have no skeletons in your closet, but I know better.

          • Maria Pereira

            Andy, you are certainly one to speak about skeletons in anyone’s closet.

        • hope I can sell my house

          Thank you Maria, agree completely. (PS MJF–it was the letter you sent out that made me see you CLEARLY.)

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Maria, you are full of it. The issue is what got people out in the 138th. Sure, you knew a few seniors but that’s it. To hear you tell it nothing was won up here until you moved here. That’s BS. BTW MJF won here without you. You are a transient in the neighborhood, have no roots here and will be gone in a short while. You post on here like you invented politics in the 138th. Maybe someday you will run for office up here and I will tell the people just what type of person you are.

  • Maria Pereira

    MJF lost Thomas Hooker. The only schools she won were Black Rock and by fewer than 60 votes, Roosevelt School where she won by about 40 votes because of the UB students she registered, and Geraldine Johnson where she won by approximately 14 votes. She LOST every other school in Bridgeport.

    Well Andy, you would think it would be you who has the relationship with the seniors, not I.

    I have a better idea, Andy. Why don’t each of us run for office this November and let’s see which one of us performs better.

  • Bob Walsh

    WHAT I FIND VERY INTERESTING IS SENATOR OSTEN IS TOTALLY DISMISSIVE OF TESTIMONY PROVIDED BY A RETIRED FBI AGENT WHO HAS PERSONALLY SUPERVISED A MUNICIPAL CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION.
    I WOULD WEIGH HEAVILY ON THE RETIRED FBI AGENT’S TESTIMONY THAN THAT OF A RETIRED PRISON GUARD OR PRISON GUARD UNION ORGANIZER.

  • Maria Pereira

    Baffled in Bridgeport, I always do. :)

  • Lisa Parziale

    Local Eyes, I don’t know who you are, but your posts are always articulate and you manage to convey appropriate points trough humor. (A compliment.) Your views on the present conflict occupying our minds would be different, I think, if as I did, you served and witnessed firsthand the damage and missed opportunities Bridgeport suffered because of conflicted and complaisant elected officials who had no idea what their responsibilities to their constituents and the City of Bridgeport were. I left after 20 years of doing the best I could to serve, without even an appearance of conflict. I left feeling defeated because I was helpless to change what the City Council had become. So while not illegal, this practice is immoral and shame on every mayor and council person who participated.

  • Local Eyes

    Wherever she goes, the piranha always leaves a red path, but I’m still king of the piranha pool.

  • Local Eyes

    HAPPINESS is knowing no matter how many mean, nasty, scandalous or even (gulp) untrue things I say about Ron Mackey or Andrew C Fardy, neither will respond to me because they promised so earlier on this page.
    It’s like immunity from response while retaining first-strike capabilities against two Titans of Foolishness. Here’s the best part: the ink has dried!

  • Jimfox

    Steve Stradivarius will never speak out in favor or against bill HB 5886 for the simple reason he’s looking for votes on both sides. He’ll play Hennessy and Moore like a fiddle until he secures this office.
    Then speaker Sharkey, Mrs. Osten and the AFL-CIO, the Governor, will find plenty of reasons for Stradivarius to vote Nay! That’s if it gets out of committee this year. After all Pullman and Comley and Finch and McCarthy need every city council/employee they can get their hands on while the Governor helps drag this bill beyond November’s elections or kill it before then.

    Bridgeport is getting bitter every day!

    Down with the Finchettes and the Roachettes!

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    101 followers on Twitter! Respect.

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    From what I can piece together, the existing bill was written by “the unions” in response to the statute that prevented teachers from being elected to the BOE if they live in the town where they teach–they are not allowed to vote on their budgets, salaries, etc. The loophole was intentional. It makes sense unions would oppose this amendment. Speaker Sharkey told Auden last year, if the majority of the Bridgeport delegation supported this bill, he would raise it for a vote. Speaker Sharkey needs to be reminded of this. I would like to see the Bridgeport delegation come together as a voting bloc and refuse to support or vote on any other piece of legislation until this bill is voted out of committee.

  • hope I can sell my house

    Keep adding comments, readers! Let’s keep bumping this “poster child for the Democrats” on the front page!

  • Jeff Kohut

    Ron; I apologize to you and Chris Caruso for not directly acknowledging his leadership role and your great efforts in the asphalt-plant fight. I should have. But the main point I’m trying to make in regard to Bridgeport’s continuing dilemma in Hartford is we have a governor who is working at cross-purposes to our best interests, and until his hand is forced, he’s gone, or his political legs are kicked out from under him, our self-improvement efforts (to the extent they don’t include an effort to attenuate the Malloy-Gold Coast gubernatorial power/tenure) will probably remain largely ineffectual.

    What powerful friends (real friends) do we have in Hartford or Washington? We get a lot of lip-service from those parts, but it’s all covering a lot of forked-tongue action.

    If we want to pass HB 5886 we need to put a lot of public pressure on Democratic leadership in Hartford–especially in regard to the governor’s office.

  • SGoldman

    It is ludicrous to say Cathy Osten is trying to kill good government. I am one of her constituents in eastern Connecticut, a district you referred to as far away from Bridgeport. I am also an employee of the municipality I reside in and would like to run for a seat on the Council (which also serves as our Board of Finance). Restricting any citizen from being involved in their government is a bad idea. I pay my taxes, volunteer and deeply care about the future of my community. As an employee, I have an understanding of government and would be an asset to the Council. Working on the inside gives one much insight as to the problems the city faces and potential solutions.

    If Bridgeport taxpayers feel they are not being well represented by certain councilmen then they should show their displeasure in November at the polls. Please do not punish those employees who have so much to offer to their communities.

    I truly believe voting FOR this bill would be an attempt to kill good government, not voting against it.

    • Booty

      Susan,
      Say you ran, and say you got elected. An issue comes up, and your boss makes it very clear they want you to vote a certain way (not the way you’d choose to vote), or there will be repercussions to your job.

      What do you do? Do you vote your conscience, represent your constituency and lose your job? Or do you sell out your constituency? (And don’t even try to tell me your bosses wouldn’t do that.)

      Or perhaps you like the idea of voting on giving yourself a raise, even if that is tied to something not in the best interests of your constituency.

      The bill blocks people who could be put in these types of situations. Sounds like good government to me, and the absence facilitates the continuation of conflicts of interest.

    • Dave Walker

      SGoldman,
      Does your City Charter allow you to run? If so, do so. Bridgeport’s does not and it is not being honored!

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