The Primary Season, Ballot Qualification, Plus: Council Agenda

C’mon in. Everyone else is. The seat being vacated by State Rep. Felipe Reinoso appears headed for a free for all.

City Council member Eze Santiago, backed by district leader Mitch Robles, is the favorite for the Democratic Party endorsement. But others are in play such as veteran pol Chico Rivera and newcomer Sly Salcedo. And what about former state representative Hector Diaz? He no longer lives in the district that he knows so well, but could always move in. And now I’m hearing that Keith Cougar Rodgerson, who moved into the district a few months ago, may be sharpening his teeth for a primary run. The heavily Latino district covers the South End, downtown, and portions of the East Side and West Side.

Voter turnouts in city elections have reached a pathetic low. So in a crowded field with 6,000 registered Democrats, the Aug. 12 primary winner could pull it out with just a few hundred votes. Yes, a nice, hot primary season.

Two other Democratic legislative incumbents appear headed for primaries. Former City Council member Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock, is poised to challenge State Rep. Rapid Robert Keeley, the longest serving legislator in city history. The endorsement looks tight with one vote perhaps swinging the party choice. The legislative district includes Black Rock, and portions of the West End, West Side and lower North End. Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach, a Grogins supporter, is not a happy man. Seems like the commitment, he believes he had from delegate Hector Diaz, is now in jeopardy. Hector, according to Roach, had pleged his proxy, but now Roach can’t find him. Hector’s support for Keeley would swing the endorsement to Keeley. Hector, my friend, come out, come out wherever you are!

State Rep. Andres Ayala, whose district covers the East Side, is looking at a stare-down from former state rep Lydia Martinez.

Trumbull Town Treasurer Anthony Musto was endorsed by acclamation for state senate by Democrats Monday night. Marilyn Moore, who served as a legislative aide to State Sen. Ed Gomes, is threatening to run a primary. The winner will face Republican State Sen. Rob Russo in November.

Challenge candidates can qualify for the ballot, according to Adam Joseph, spokeperson with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Office, one of two ways. Support from fifteen percent of the delegates secured at the endorsement session or securing validated signtures from five percent of registered Democrats within the assembly district. Petitioning candidates will have until June 10 to return petition signatures. All of them can take advantage of the state’s public financing system that will level the field for campaign spending. Did I miss anyone? Legislative delegate endorsements for Bridgeport state house seats will take place Tuesday night.

News brief from Mayor Bill Finch:

Over the weekend the Mayor, his wife, and their two children participated in the Alpha Walk to End Homelessness. The group walked from Captain’s Cove to St. Mary’s By the Sea and back to raise funds and awareness for homelessness. There were many, many supporters walking as well as a raffle and silent auction. The Mayor congratulates Alpha Community Services on a very successful fundraising event to support a worthy cause in Bridgeport.

City Council Agenda

Monday, May 19, 2008

7:00 p.m.
city council chambers, city hall – 45 lyon terrace
Bridgeport, Connecticut


Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call

City Council Citation: Recognition of Unitarian Church of Westport for their support of Beardsley School Students.

Approval of City Council Minutes: April 21, 2008


Communication from Airport re Proposed Agreement with the State for Airport Improvement Projects at Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport, referred to Contracts Committee.

Communication from Engineering re First Supplemental to the Original Agreement dated November 1, 2004 with the State for the development of contract plans, specifications and estimates for traffic signal modernization at various locations, referred to Public Safety and Transportation Committee.

Communication from Finance Department re Proposed Professional Services Agreement with Blum, Shapiro & Company, P.C. for the purpose of conducting an examination of the City’s annual financial statements, referred to Contracts Committee.

Communication from Finance Department re Lease Agreement with G.J.S. Properties LLC, regarding Parking Facilities for police and city vehicles located at 205-245 Congress Street, referred to Contracts Committee.

Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission Re: 2008 – 2009 State Department of Public Health LHD/Youth Violence/Suicide Prevention Grant, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.

Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission Re: 2008 – 2009 YSB Enhancement Grant with the State Department of Education “Positive Choices” Program, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.

Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission Re: 2008 – 2009 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) with the State Department of Social Services, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.

Communication from Finance Department re Approval of General Obligation Tax Anticipation Notes to Pay Current Expenses and Obligations of the City ($95,000,000), referred to Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission Re: 2008 – 2009 Per Capita Grant with State Department of Public Health, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.

Communication from Human Services re Grant Submission Re: 2008 – 2009 DPH Childhood Asthma Initiative – “Easy Breathing” Program with State Department of Public Health, referred to Economic and Community Development and Environment Committee.


Budget and Appropriations Committee report re Approval of General Obligation Bonds – Five Year Capital Plan for Fiscal Year 2009 – 2013 ($44,929,643).


Budget and Appropriations Committee report re Amending Five – Year Capital Plan for Fiscal Year 2009 – 2013.



  1. Councilman Silva should run. After his strong showing in the Council President Race. He said that Ed Gomes and Rich Paoletto are supporting his candidacy along with Town Chairman Maro Testa.

  2. “He (Silva) said that Ed Gomes and Rich Paoletto are supporting his candidacy along with Town Chairman Maro Testa.” ala Trojan Horse.

    Sort of kicks the stuffing out of Joel’s imaginary deal between Testa and Caruso.

    “Claude Balls // May 19, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Joel Gonzales is…how you say in America….retard, no?”

    Retard…oui !!!

  3. I don’t know about Ed Gomes and Rich but I strongly believe that Mario is genuinely trying to discourage primaries. I do know that any interference by the Chair will be in the breaking of a tie vote at the nominating convention. Promises were made with certain candidates in return of their suppport of Mario. No backroom deal. The same promises that were made if John Stafstrom had won the vice chair position with his supporters. Testa, Mother Goose et al are trying to heal and unify a previously fractionalized party. That doesn’t mean that people still won’t disagree but you will be able to agree to disagree.

  4. Hello friends and foes AUDEN is still a waste she won’t win !! SANTIAGO will get endorsment and will win!!! MARTINEZ will win it will be a shady win but she’ll win !! SILVA won’t even get nomination !! He’s out there telling everyone those folks are behind him !! He’s full of shit !! I heard PAOLETTO told SILVA off few council meetings ago and isn’t supporting him at all !!! I’d like to see it come to a vote cause I heard SILVA wouldnt get any voted from PAOLETTOS district !!! It will be fun to watch tomorrow night !! One question though ??? Is MITCH sending anyone to the hospital tomorrow night ??????? If you doubt any of my predictions ask LENNIE ive only been wrong once since LENNIE started his blog !!just a quick hello to friends TOM KELLY and WONDERING and JOHN from BLACK ROCK and of course LENNIE !!!

  5. Lennie you forgot me. I’m still a Democrat (in Limbo) and I still deserve an opportunity to be considered. The Republican Party has promised me a consideration and fair shot at the Republican nomination for State Rep. in the 130th. One would think that after many years of helping their apponents, they would just shut the door on me. I don’t expect to be even considerd for the Democratic nomination as minds are already made up and other pro-active Democrats Like Chico Rivera and Sly Salcedo are not being seriously considered. One must be married or some way related to Mitch Robles, in order to be atleast mentioned as a potential candidate. If 18 years of good service and loyalty don’t mean a thing to Mitch Robles, other district leaders and T.C. members, then I did the right thing in switching Republican. If Mitch can switch, why can’t I?

  6. Claude Balls you sound like you have been doing too many 8 balls with yahooy. when you use a quote try correcting the typos. It’s Mario not Maro and It’s really Testo not Testa. When he (Mario) arrived at Elis Island,
    there was a typo made on his records and he ended being Testa, when It should have been Testo. One would think that with all the gold and cash, he would at least correct his name.

  7. If Mario REALLY didn’t want any primaries this wouldn’t be happening. I think it’s a crock. Mario is clearly going after folks who didn’t support him in the town committee races and friends of the Mayor. The writing is on the wall.

    I will be having drinks with Jose “Chico” Rivera tonight @ Testo’s for Old Timers night. See you there.

  8. I had the pleasure of walking with the Mayor for a while during the Alpha Walk to End Homelessness. He reports that he doesn’t read OIB, or any blogs, because bloggers are “uninformed.”

  9. Jon Kantrowitz the bird insults you and you say it was a pleasure. Let him make that statement to me, I’ll remind him that he used to blog in his Finch for Senate website. This may explain why he is, “uninformed”. Besides how would he know we are uninformed, if he doesn’t read what we are blogging about. The guy is a real jerk and every time he opens his mouth, he confirms it.

  10. Uninformed, eh. Let’s see now, Finchy was the genius that promised to cut taxes $600, picked idiotic political fights he couldn’t win, sold his soul to John Stafstrom, tried to double dip two public positions, got his head handed to him in the town chair race, told his political godmother Dottie Guman to go sit on a rattlesnake, lies when confronted with the truth, promotes global warming and world hunger over economic development. Well, now how would Finchy know bloggers are uniformed if he doesn’t read them. Yup, another lie.

  11. Jon

    Once again Bill shows he can’t walk his talk. Or he must heave been stepping in shit in front of Chris Shays house. That’s why his website www has a blog section. Maybe he or his staff would be better off reading (and they do) this blog because clearly many of the people here are more informed than Bill.

    C’mon Bill, get off your high horse or your’e going to end up in the political glue factory in 3 1/2 years. We all want Bridgeport and you to succeed.

  12. well, the joel hater has spoken, so i’m dropping out……,
    Trojen, i’ll meet u at the bar; just a note of what’s happening, no one showed friday to take me up on those drinks, tanks, i saved a lot of money; any i had to do the Alpha house walk with the Mayor sat., and i didn’t want to disappoint him, i forgot how long four miles was; than I had to prepare for the Armed Forces Day ceremony at the Bluefish Stadium on Sat. nite, the dble header messed us up but the Vets Coucil and the Marines took care of bussiness. Should support Bluefish, ticket holder from day one, yes,,,,than to the gujabera dance at the Cuban club after, great time, seen some new and old politicos there. got to shorten my commitment calander if i’m going pursue this race and WIN, WIN, WIN, contrary to the hater, nice handle, didn’t know anyone with a handle like that had friends, Hey, Brian Heriskavich passed away. and George (HNH) Pipken’s son also passed away; I was one of the original members of HNH back in the early fify’s, Ray Laracuente, Willie Matos, Cesar Batalla, Uly Batalla, and so many other proment citizen’s of this great Bpt Hispanic (Puertorican) Community, opps, brake is over, got to work, ??? talk later.

  13. Jon,

    So the Mayor doesn’t read OIB, or any blogs, because he thinks bloggers are “uninformed.”

    Looks like Yahooy has a shoe-in for Philistine of the Week after that one!

  14. So this looks like the Summer Lineup

    Diaz Vs. Rivera Vs. Salcedo Vs. Santiago Vs. Rodgerson
    Grogins Vs. Keeley
    Martinez Vs. Ayala
    Caruso Vs. Silva
    Musto Vs. Moore
    Am I missing anyone??

    Is anyone running against Senator Gomes?
    Is McCarthy gonna play double dutch and jump?
    Is Michelle Lyons going to jump in?
    Is Joel Gonzalez going to enter a finger pointing contest?
    Is anybody going to run against Santa Ayala for Registrar?
    Is Bill Stewart going to Run against Don Clemons?

  15. On May 7th I asked Hector who he was supporting – Keeley or Grogins. This was his response.

    Hector A. Diaz // May 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    John, I will be actively supporting Bob. It makes no sense to replace a legislator with so much seniority. He was my colleague and in my opinion, he always fought for funding and programs that would benefit Bridgeport. Why doesn’t Auden go for that senate seat we gave up to the GOP.

    Today Lennie posts –

    “Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach, a Grogins supporter, is not a happy man. Seems like the commitment, he believes he had from delegate Hector Diaz, is now in jeopardy. Hector, according to Roach, had pleged his proxy, but now Roach can’t find him. Hector’s support for Keeley would swing the endorsement to Keeley. Hector, my friend, come out, come out wherever you are!

    Why does Danny think he has Hector’s support for Grogins? Seems to me me Hector has made it crystal clear that he will be supporting Keeley. Am I missing something here? Also, when and where does the endorsement vote take place?

  16. Joel Hater thanks for the mention. There will be votes from the 138th for Silva, at least 5. There are 2 in the 136th and I believe at least 4 in the 135th. That’s 11 and I believe that 9 is the number needed for the nomination.

  17. Carlos is going to trounce Chris Caruso. Rich Paoletto and Bob Curwen are going to work really hard for him.

    I WONDER if Angel DePara will work hard just to get him off the council.

  18. To John from Black Rock:

    John, I’ve seen cases where someone provides a proxy commitment, then goes off and works for the other candidate, and that’s probably what’s at play here. But it sounds like Hector may be rethinking his proxy. We’ll see.

  19. Lennie – I’m going to assume that when Hector says “I will be actively supporting Bob.” he means what he says. To say you are supporting one candidate while giving your proxy to a supporter of another candidate smacks of sleezy back room politics and I am sure that my friend Hector would never do such a thing.

    Now, that’s true isn’t it Hector?

  20. Joel: let me correct you again. Mario’s legal name is TESTA not TESTO. Please start getting your facts straight. His name is fine and it was good enough to get him in the Army and Good enough to serve in Nam.

  21. Is Chief Apologist for the DTC an elected position or an appointed one and when was Tom Kelly bestowed the honor?
    Mario is in Lydia’s corner all of the way. So what does that say about no primary rules?
    Mario was supposedly 100% behind Chico because Chico was 100% with him but now it sounds like Chico’s not the man and Mitch is King of the South End.
    If Wondering is right about Carlos, Mario is supposed to have enough juice in the 135th to squeeze, so why would there be at least 4 votes for Silva in that district.
    It seems that Mario doesn’t want a primary unless he feels he can win it. Otherwise let the blood letting begin!

  22. Mario knows that Ayala has to go and with Reynoso choosing not to run, Mario is in Chico’s corner. Mitch for now is the King of the South End only because he has a bunch of sheep on his town committee. Seems that Mitch is a one way street, he wants his stepson on the council, he gets his son a job in public facilities, his wife works for the city, his daughter just got a job and he wants the 3 Justice of the Peace positions for himself, his wife and a family member. You talk about a greedy asshole. The ppeole of his district should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. Oh yeah don’t forget that Mitch is also a city Sheriff. I guess the only position he has not gone for is mayor, but why go for that when you have moonbeam doing everything you want and you don’t have to take any heat.

  23. John from BR. It seems that Roach still has a sore ass about the DTC vote. He is also upset that he can’t get his wife a better job with the city. Danny is playing a dangerous game. Keep backing losers and soon you become a loser. Time will tell.

  24. Grim Weeper

    Thanks for the honorable mention. You forgot to mention the deal with Mario and my friend Keeley who will be reaping havoc on Auden and Danny. Thought that would put a grin on your face.


    You really know your geography. Mitch lives on State Street. ONE WAY!

  25. I have just learned that one of the nicest gentlemen in Bridgeport has passed away. Steve Sedensky who had served our city in many capacities and was always a man of honor and great integrity.


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