The Politics Of Prayer–Ministers Unleash Big Dogs For Development Bite

UI smokestack
Political smoke blows in South End.

PSEG’s conversion of the state’s last coal plant to a gas-fired facility in the South End includes a $500 million investment, mega tax dollars to the city as well as a job apprenticeship training program as part of a community benefits agreement. City ministers have meowed to City Council members that the company isn’t doing enough for the community. They want a faith-based organization from Georgia involved in the apprenticeship program rather than the local construction trade unions enlisted by the city. See community benefits agreement here.

The two City Council members representing the district Denese Taylor-Moye and Jack Banta say PSEG is a good corporate citizen doing its part. Ministers have taken their case to higher-profile pols to force a sit-down. Skeptics of the pressure applied by the ministers wonder if its about the neighborhood, or really all about what they can extract for themselves, as noted in the comments section of OIB. Legit concern for jobs? Or a stickup?

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more:

They may have God on their side, but the pastors at war with PSEG, a South End power plant owner, also know when to replace the power of prayer with that of political pressure.

At the request of U.S. sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, PSEG will meet Monday with religious leaders who have accused the energy provider of breaking a deal to hire locally.

“We have been contacted by community leaders who have approached us with concerns regarding PSEG’s minority business outreach and community engagement,” the four elected officials wrote the company recently. “We encourage all parties to come to the table to have an open dialogue about their concerns.”

im Gilroy, a PSEG spokesman, confirmed the company has since “had meetings and conversations with each signatory” and executives will sit down with concerned religious leaders Monday for a private discussion.

Full story here.

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29 comments

  1. McClister is the sort of “community activist” that makes a lot of noise until the defensive oarty throws money at him to go away. This is blackmail, plain and simple.

  2. I just read the agreement. Did McCluster and the other ‘reverends’ read it?

    PSEG is clearly focused on agreeing to do whatever it takes to get CT DEEP permit approvals.

    McCluster and the other ‘reverends’ must be communicating directly with God because they are not a party to the community involvement mentioned in the agreement.

    Let’s see if Blumenthal, Murphy and Himes pander to them.

    1. When I was back there in seminary school
      There was a person there
      Who put forth the proposition
      That you can petition the Lord with prayer
      Petition the lord with prayer
      Petition the lord with prayer
      You cannot petition the lord with prayer!

  3. I grew up in Union County, New Jersey. Hugh Addonozzio, a Democrat, was mayor of Newark at the time. He learned from Frank Hague, the longtime mayor of Jersey City, that politics is a personality game. During the winter months Addonozzio would provide coal to heat the homes of the elderly. All those little old ladies thought Addonozzio was the bee’s knees for heating their homes. Little did they know: in 1970 he was he was charged with consipracy to receive $1.4 million in kickbacks from city contractors. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

    “Reverend” McCluster knows that politics is a personality game. He also knows the blind faith of his congregation will allow his personal transgressions to be viewed as moments of “weakness.” It works for Donald Trump:

    “Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star,” Robert Jeffress told Fox News on Thursday. “However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him.”

  4. No play on words but this is Blackmail at its finest. What PSE&G should have done is told these black reverends to go piss up a rope.
    There will be no apprentice programs there will be no candidates that want to travel to school 2 nights a week plus work a full week. this is about pay me up front and I will go away. Men of god my ass

  5. Andy you’re a fool. How would you know that no candidates that would make that sacrifice, your son is and if he is why wouldn’t someone else? What makes you think that there aren’t young Black’s that are looking for just an opportunity to better their lives just like your son? What are you trying to say, that only white people would make a sacrifice for a better life with a great paying job or just your son would?

    You haven’t changed in over over thirty five years and more sadly your all Black people are lazy and looking for a handout mentality hasn’t changed one damn bit and that’s really sad.

    1. The clergymen are looking for a handout, Donald. The Green Forest program is a rip off. No apprenticeships, no certifications, no union membership. Green Forest still makes money at any rate.

      Andy is wrong. There are many young men nd women that will jump at the chance to learn a skilled trade and a decent oay check. Work five days a week, two nights of school? Sounds like an opportunity many would jump at.

  6. Day first off I know you and you are lazy if not for Judge Daly you would still be hanging with the dopers at Newfield Park. I have 2 sons in the trade unions and I have asked them both why there are not an over abundance of apprentices and they stated that apply regardless of color do not want to do the schooling that requires 2 nights a week for 5 years.It also requires that a person is able to travel to work at different sites around the state. The article leads one to believe that you apply in Bridgeport and you stay in Bridgeport

    1. That’s bullshit, Andy. Retread all the OIB coverage. Qualified apprentices will recieve hands on training, multiple state and national certifications and union membership so they will be able to ork within Connecticut and the northeastern states.

      You’re making rampant generalizations that are uninformed, unrealistic. And plain racist.

  7. They will not get these so called certificates from the unions. How do you get these certificates when the apprentice programs are 5 years of twice a week schooling. Where are they going to get hands on training say in Iron work or electrical. Dont forget the contractors bid these jobs based on time and other considerations they did not base them on training programs and they certaily did not want to pay apprentice wages . my numbers are facts and not some racist bullshit put out by the blackmailing revs and dumb asses like you. Let me ask you this what do you tell an apprentice in his 4th year about these so called employees that dont have to do the proper amount of time to become a journeyman. Let me tell you something else these people hired in Bridgeport will never get another construction job because they are not going to be properly trained. Race carries you only so far then you need to produce.

    1. That’s right, you know everything. I nominate you Commisioner of Sex & Music. When we want any of your fucking advice we’ll blow a dog whistle.

    1. McCluster, et al, don’t want “good faith efforts with the community.” They want hundred-dollar bills, lots and lots of them. Barry hit the nail on the head. This is an old fashioned shakedown. The faith healers want money and control.

          1. The Bridgeport Kid // Mar 11, 2018 at 10:34 am

            McCluster, et al, don’t want “good faith efforts with the community.” They want hundred-dollar bills, lots and lots of them. Barry hit the nail on the head. This is an old fashioned shakedown. The faith healers want money and control.

            Derek, you are talking about black ministers.

          2. No, YOU are talking bout black ministers. I’m talking about ravenous wolves clothed as sheep.

          3. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

            The Book of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 17-20

          4. McCluster and the rest of ’em are hucksters, snake oil salesmen exploiting the ignorance of their flocks. This plays well with the congregations before the offering plates are passed around on Sunday morning.

  8. These good Reverends need to engineer a virtual (if not virtuous…) connection with the late Reverend Hendrix and put on an “electric church” service in Seaside Park that will force PSE&G to fire-up the coal plant to meet local energy demand!…

  9. Beware false prophets:

    Jim Jones of the notorious People’s Temple was ordained in the Disciples of Christ. He used to hire little old ladies to pose as cripples in wheelchairs. He would “heal” them and they would stand, walk and dance miraculously. Other occasions Jones would “cure” cancer by removing the growth from a person’s body and holding it up for the congregation to see. It was a handful of doctored chicken guts.

    Jones was not the first huckster dressed in sheep’s clothing, nor will he be the last. As long as there are people that put their faith above awareness there will be men nd women to take advantage of them.

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