The Risk Of Changing Spots, Plus: Willard And Ben

Congressman Jim Himes will not be easy to knock off in 2010. The first-term Democrat will have several million to dump in his reelection effort and the support of Barack to juice an urban turnout.

That’s not stopping Republicans from lining up to try to reclaim Connecticut’s Fourth Congressional District that the GOP held for nearly 30 years before Himes knocked off Chris Shays in 2008, the beneficiary of a dramatic turnout for Barack among new and young voters.

Shelton State Senator Dan Debicella who has roots in Bridgeport (his father was a city police officer) announced his candidacy the other day. Debicella, 34 years old, brings a Harvard MBA to the table as one of the more conservative members of the state legislature both fiscally and socially. I’ve only met Dan once and my friends who know him say he’s bright with a command of the issues.

Yet in his announcement he spoke about the need for a moderate voice in Congress, appealing to the historic Republican taste of the district such as Lowell Weicker, Stewart McKinney and Shays. In doing so he’s breaking from his core values and when you do that you’re open for a phony tag, particularly among Republican operatives looking for a conservative candidate to embrace.

How can Debicella recast himself as a moderate when he’s run as a conservative? Well, candidates do that when convenient. Young congressional candidate John Rowland took a pro-life position on his way to election in the Ronald Reagan landslide in 1984 and then when he ran for governor (oops) he found a new (pro-choice) position.

Debicella also told the Connecticut Post in his announcement that it’s an advantage for him to run at this point of his young career because he doesn’t have children. Who in freaking creation gave him that idiotic advice? The Fourth Congressional District is loaded with folks that meet the profile of Jim Himes: they’re in their forties, have kids, are saving for college, care about a whole host of issues. And young Dan tells them I can run because I don’t have kids. Good grief.

The first thing you need to do as a candidate (this is what they don’t teach at Harvard) is to connect with voters: I understand your problems, we care about the same things and this is what I’ll do about it. You talk about the things you have in common. You don’t say you have kids, I don’t but I know we can relate. Dan, you getting any of this?

Dan’s gonna have some Republican company including his friend, former State Senator Rob Russo. See Russo announcement below:

Russo drops bid for Bridgeport Board of Education to focus on Congressional run

Former State Senator Rob Russo announced today that he withdrew from the race for Bridgeport Board of Education in order to focus on a Congressional run. A formal announcement of Russo’s Congressional candidacy will come after Labor Day.

“Our country is facing great challenges, but this Congress and Jim Himes keep making the wrong choices,” said Rob Russo. “They raise our taxes in a recession. Explode spending. Borrow against our children and grandchildren’s future to bail out the banks and the automobile companies. Now they want the government to take over our health care. I will not sit idly by as Congress and Jim Himes mortgage our future.”

Since State Senator John McKinney announced he would not run for Congress, Russo has received strong encouragement from leading Republicans, top fundraisers and political activists to bring his ideas, energy and fiscally conservative philosophy to Washington.


This is not an image the city needs. A great issue, however,  for Carmen Lopez. From the CT Post:

Rats may find less to feast on at the P.T. Barnum Housing Complex due to stepped up sanitation efforts, but they won’t disappear without the city’s help, tenants said Tuesday.

With members of the state Department of Environmental Protection, statewide Environmental Justice Network and city Health Department representatives in their midst, more than 30 residents met at the Garry Crooks Community Center to discussed a rat situation they say has grown worse since ground broke this spring on an addition to the nearby Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Center.

“When you’re outside with your grandchild and a rat runs between you, it’s time to do something. It’s time to talk,” said Donna Fewell, president of the P.T. Barnum Tenant Association.

Fewell, with the help of Carmen Lopez, a retired superior court judge and Black Rock resident, has been talking to just about everybody, including the city health department, parks department and housing authority.

Wardell Moore, director of asset management for the Bridgeport Housing Authority, told residents extermination is a part of the normal operating process at the complex and efforts have been stepped up to make sure trash is covered and apartments are clean.

Warren Blunt, director of the city Health Department’s Environmental Health Division, said orders went out to the city, housing authority and Captain’s Cove Seaport, to clean the area.

 Pleasure Beach Cleanup

Be advised: The Pleasure Beach Boat Lift this weekend is coming fast–we need volunteers to hit the beach, drive the boats and haul the trash. If you’d like to join CCB and Save the Sound as we descend on the Pleasure Beach garbage with extreme prejudice–join us at 10AM by the old Remington property on the East End of the Park–we also need volunteers at 8AM and 2PM to help deliver and return the boats–call 203-382-3661 or respond to this email to RSVP or go to our Facebook Events Page and sign up! See you Saturday!

The Staff
Connecticut Community Boating, Inc.

News release from Mayor Finch

Join Mayor Finch for a Walk Along St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea

Monthly ‘Walk in the Parks’ Program Continues in Black Rock

The public is invited to join Mayor Bill Finch for a walk along St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea on Thursday, Aug. 13. Registration is required and begins at 5:30 p.m. at the foot of Gilman Street . The walk begins promptly at 6 p.m.

“I urge everyone to join me by taking a brisk walk by the water at St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea,” said Mayor Finch. “Walking is a great way to exercise and our beautiful shoreline park at St. Mary’s is a wonderful place to enjoy the fresh air.”

Participants are urged to wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing. For more information call 576-7680. The City recently signed on to Dr. Ian Smith’s 50-Million Pound Challenge, a free national health initiative that aims to rally Americans to come together to “Give up the pounds, not the fight” against obesity. Walk participants who wish to sign up for the Bridgeport Challenge may do so that evening, and the first 25 to register for the walk will receive a free Team Bridgeport T-shirt.

St. Mary’s By-the-Sea is a nine-acre passive city park fronting on Ash Creek and Black Rock Harbor with views of Long Island Sound and the historic Fayerweather Island Lighthouse. From the intersection of Gilman Street and Sailors Lane, along Grovers Avenue to the Black Rock Yacht Club, there is a 3,637-foot (0.7 mile) pedestrian walkway.

Mark your calendars now for the next Walk in the Park on Thursday, Sept. 17 at Beardsley Park.

Please note: You should always consult your physician or health care professional before performing this or any exercise activity or program particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly or if you have any chronic, reoccurring or pre-existing conditions.



  1. *** Sell Pleasure Beach already & let the Feds clean it up! *** Yeah, lets volunteer to clean P/B that’s not in use by the daily public & do nothing about the neighborhoods people actually live in! *** That small piece of land that was bought for a million by the B.O.E. for an extension to Aquaculture School has a lot more contamination than rats? I wonder what the B.O.E. is going to end up paying to cleanup all the other shit found @ the site 3+ years ago which is why they’ve taken this long? That little piece of land is exactly where the old P.T. Barnum Apts had their garbage-burning incinerators for the housing project! But Hush, Hush sweet Charlotte it’s okay ’cause they’re just going to dump good soil on the bad & everything’s going to be alright in 100 yrs.! Looking for a story Lennie? *** Forget about it! ***

        1. If ***mofo*** is successful in his independent bid for a seat on the City Council the maintenance staff at city hall will have to add an extra chair (and provide him with a class in ethnic sensitivity).

  2. Russo

    Does not support Obama health care plan I see? That simply means he won’t get my vote and this to me shows his true Republican conservative values. I always said I liked Russo but with a statement like that he makes me sick to my stomach. Health Care should be a God-damned right for every American no matter what, skin color, income or anything. Obama Health Care plan will impact the people of Bridgeport greatly love to have it. Russo is part of the extreme right who cares nothing about the poor and working class. You will see what happens to Russo if he runs against Himes because he will get a beating in Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk. Don’t you know Mr. Russo that the majority of CT residents like Obama Health Care plan? You belong in Darien because that’s like the only place you can sell that crap because it won’t work In Bridgeport! Tired of these right-wing nuts trying to stop health care. I am very passionate about this issue because I have family members who cannot get health care at all and that statement by Russo just sealed the deal for me he is not a man we need for any office!

    1. donj: “I have family members who cannot get health care at all …”
      I have read your several entries in favor of providing an Obama solution to your problem. May I assume that if all of your family members had 100% employer-paid comprehensive health insurance plan with no deductibles, no maximums, no limits, no copays and no coinsurance that you would be less passionate about the issue? Less concerned with the citizens of Darien, how they live and what opinions they hold?
      #1. When you said family members who cannot get health care at all, can I assume that you mean that they cannot get health care insurance, perhaps because of past medical history or current medical condition? If that is so, did they ever have health insurance? If so, why did they let it drop? Was it because the cost of the coverage relative to its value when you are young, healthy and immortal seemed excessive? Welcome to the human race.
      #2. Or do you seriously mean that no hospital, physician, clinic, or other health care setting is willing to serve one or more of your family members regarding their health care issues? Now that would be something to get passionate about and I would join that fight on your side. And I would advocate that you approach certain individuals and employ certain strategies to overcome that problem.
      #3. However, if you are talking about tackling such a complex and important subject and casting your vote for one specific health care plan choice at this moment, without understanding and being able to explain to our fellow readers the major outline of details including patient rights and responsibilities, without understanding the costs and tax effects on consumers and providers, and without having a clear idea of who will pay for them, how much and in what manner, I am unwilling to support your passion at this time.
      #4. I assume that you understand that Americans over age 65 have a form of universal health care under Medicare and that this plan despite specific targeted tax payments from earned incomes and premiums from the covered, will use up all its reserves and become unstable in just a few years? So I will guess that the family you describe are people between age of majority and 65 and part of the working public where in many cases health care plans are part of the benefit structure and/or can often be made part of the structure where two or more people employed have an interest without worrying about pre-existing conditions.

      I am a hard-working man and respect hard-working women and men. My experience provides many examples of hard-working people who become smart-working as well by digging out solutions to their personal situations, evaluating options and making choices they can live with. I believe that my comments are accurate. I extend them to be helpful to you. I assume you shared your family info in order to indicate why you are so supportive of a change. Absent the change you desire, it may be helpful to have a Plan B up your sleeve.

    2. Donj,

      I’m in favor of the Obama healthcare plan. Health care is nationalized in every nation in Europe. By nationalized it is not what the government provides and nothing else. There are other options, but the governments of the European Union provide basic health care services for the people–a healthy population makes for a stronger work force and a better national psyche.

      I don’t quite agree with you that the extreme right wing of the American political spectrum doesn’t give a damn about the poor and working classes. It would be more accurate that the conservative wing of the GOP has antipathy toward those of us that rely on government-subsidized healthcare, housing, and food stamps. As if poverty (and the lousy economy that makes it all the more difficult to obtain a job that pays well enough for us to get ahead) is all our fault.

      I have no fear of the GOP regaining control of either or both chambers of Congress; the party’s ideologically based policies have proved to be unrealistic favors.

    3. *** Of course he’s against it, he comes from a family of Dr.’s & Radiologists making big money! He supports the rich staying rich & the poor, forget about it! *** His potential is strictly local or state government, that’s it. ***

    4. donj, the reason Obama moved the vote on the his Health Care-less bill was because he did not have enough Democrats willing to vote for it. You do know that he has 60 senators supposedly on his side? Obama will sign any bill that reads “Health Care” on it. If the Obama bill were so great, why doesn’t he present it alongside the Republican alternative so that the public can decide?

  3. What about the kids in Bridgeport that don’t go to college and yes there are a lot of them??? Guess what; their health care is over once they leave high school. So it’s fair that kids still have health care in Darien just because their parents are rich and can afford to send their kids to college? You anti-health care Republicans are unbelievable with your scare tactics!!!

    1. I don’t think that the students in the Bridgeport schools give much thought to their medical insurance needs. If they do as you imply, why do many of them drop out of school? Gee, maybe they are leaving school so they can go to work to pay for their medical insurance!

  4. What about the hard-working mother who works at a small business but they don’t offer health Insurance? Is she different from the Woman in Darien? NOOOOOOOOO she is not; give these people health care. We are human and deserve equal treatment!

    1. The Republican Party thought it was the deal of the century when Dick Cheney’s former employer, Haliburton Corporation (and its subsidiary Kellog Brown & Root) received contracts from the U.S. government worth literally billions of dollars.

  5. Who will be the first member of Congress to state that they will offer an amendment to the health care bill that would force members of Congress to join the people’s plan? My hunch is none of them!!!

    I am in full support of having e-quality health care for all and that includes having members of Congress pay for the extra perks their plan gives them that ours doesn’t.

  6. Looks like Carmen Lopez is now interested in educating city officials in how to do their jobs.
    After getting the rats out of PT Barnum maybe she will focus on getting the rats out of City Hall!
    You go girl!

  7. I agree with Grin that Carmen should set her sights on an office in City Hall. Labels don’t matter (unless you’re a die-hard Calamarian) so Carmen should consider a run against Finch as a Republican. I would think the GOP would love to have her and I think she just might be the person to send the birdman in flight.

    A smart Latina with a lot of cojones would send a strong signal to the Calamarians that they need to straighten out or go out with the tide.

  8. Len, can you find out what’s up with the ticket blitz in Black Rock? Out of the blue, the cops are writing people up at a furious pace for violating the alternate side of the street parking rules.

    One patrol cop told a neighbor who asked about the sudden crackdown to “blame it on the mayor. Do you think I really want to be out here doing this?”

    Moonbeam ordered ticket quotas to beef up revenue? Are other neighborhoods being hit? Hey Danny, what’s going on? This the best use of Blue 15’s time?

  9. In the 138th we are being targeted when it’s time to sweep the streets. WE are not being heavily hit but hit just the same.
    One would think that with only 21 street cops on duty there would be a better use of their time.
    Finch and crew just don’t get it. People are under so much strain and stress worrying about their jobs, their kids, their mortgages and now they have to play move the car.
    If he is trying to raise money I have a better idea. Lay off some of your do-nothing cronies that heavily populate the payroll.
    If CitiStat is no longer in use get rid of those three and save $225K.
    Damn it leave the people alone, they are under enough pressure.

    1. I think we could take a page from “The Wicker Man,” the classic 1974 suspense thriller starring Christopher Lee. The premise of the story is this: the residents of a Scottish isle are dismayed by the failure of the previous year’s apple crop. To insure a bountiful harvest at the end of the season the islanders offer a human sacrifice to the solar deity.

      The most recent crop of pols has failed; perhaps one of them should be sacrificed.

  10. Let’s ask the mayor in person. I say Black Rock residents and anyone else with an interest should show up Thursday afternoon at St. Mary’s while the mayor’s enjoying the fresh air. Perhaps he’ll explain the wisdom of his new crackdown on taxpayers.

  11. Two points:

    “They raise our taxes in a recession. Explode spending. Borrow against our children and grandchildren’s future to bail out the banks and the automobile companies. Now they want the government to take over our health care. I will not sit idly by as Congress and Jim Himes mortgage our future.”

    This is typical GOP obfuscation: oversimplify and grotesquely distort the facts in order to appeal to the dittoheads that have 99% of their news diet catered by Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. The Republican Party has been shackled by ideologically-driven fiscal policies that have been shown to not work. How many failed GOP administrations does it take before the party’s leadership gets the message?

    “I understand your problems, we care about the same things and this is what I’ll do about it.” All of the incumbents and challengers elected to Bridgeport’s legislative delegation made statements on the campaign trail that echo the one above. We’ve heard more than enough about tenures on the City Council and the Board Of Education, but there has been precious little action to improve the quality of education in Bridgeport’s public schools. When Hartford’s public schools were circling the bowl no one objected when the Connecticut Department Of Education stepped in to take over administrative duties. It’s about time for the CTDOE to take control of Bridgeport’s school system. The BOE can’t do the job, and it ain’t for lack of trying. What with Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee chairman Mario Testa and Mayor Bill Finch trying (and most likely succeeding) to pack the Board Of Education with a crew of professional rubber-stampers, nothing will be done for the sake of the children. Nothing will be done to improve mastery test scores that are lower than the tits on a rattlesnake. Nothing will be done to lower a dropout rate that has gone up to 70%. All that matters to Messrs. Testa and Finch is CONTROL, the ability to say “I’m in charge and what I say goes, no ifs, ands or buts.” What is in the best interests of Bridgeport’s school-age children (and, by extension, the city’s future) is not in the personal or professional interests of either of these men.

  12. Law of Unintended Consequences Activity (LUCA) in Bridgeport!! Don’t you love the signs that sprouted on so many City streets a few years ago at what expense? Essentially they tell you that you may not park on one side of the street during certain daylight hours on certain days during certain 10-day periods of a month.
    My guess is that this was one way for public works to assure a clean gutter path for their sweepers to travel in order to accomplish their clean sweep duties!!! For many months of more than one year it has seemed like no cleaning was done. However the Ordinance still does its job, even if the sweeper doesn’t, allowing tickets to be placed on vehicles whose drivers have ignored or forgotten to read the sign and figure out whether the day of the month, the day of the week, and the hours of the day that are parking prohibited are today. Too bad!!! You lost!!! Especially if you went on vacation and left the car on the street for that whole period. You may be eligible to harvest 5 tickets, I guess, within a ten day period. Imagine how good that will feel, especially if no sweeping were done.
    Now, if you are looking for the bright side of these signs, just ask one of my neighbors who dog walks. With trees dying or cut down regularly in the ‘hood and not being replaced, from a dog’s eye viewpoint I’ll bet the placements of these signs has come as a welcome relief (alternative) to the canine set.
    LUCA In Summary: P – – -ed off voters! P – – -ed on signs! Money in City coffers! Anger? Relief? Happiness? Really depends on how you respond to the sign, doesn’t it?

  13. It is now past the deadline for potential candidates collecting signatures to submit their paperwork. Andy and I were qualified last week. Even though we are finished getting the signatures we are continually walking the neighborhoods and talking to people. We have accomplished a lot in the short 5 weeks.

    Some of the things we have done are:

    1. We have had a large pile of debris removed from Virginia Ave.

    2. We have had the Blight Officer out to the SIXX nightclub on two different occasions and had trash removed.

    3. We attended a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting in regards to SIXX and contacted the appropriate agencies.

    4. We have contacted the appropriate parties regarding an abandoned house on the corner of Hooker Road and Kensington Street. The owner has been fined $500 to date.

    5. We have addressed the issue of two freezers left on the curb of 14 Glen Place.

    6. We have contacted the Department of Environmental Protection regarding issues at the site of the former Kennedy Center. Inspectors will be visiting the site and taking the necessary action.

    For more info please remember to visit our website at:

    It does not take much to get our quality of life issues resolved. We are dedicated to all our neighbors. We will work on any and all issues that involve our neighbors. We will make all of our lives a little easier in these hard times. Look what we have done in a span of 5 weeks. Imagine what we will accomplish once we are elected!

    1. Didn’t catch the little man. Did he give out the employee plaques? I was too busy puking while watching Mr. Carroll and his girlfriend walking hand and hand. What the fuck is that anyway? Let’s have a “take your girlfriend/wife to work day” and we can all walk around holding hands instead of working. Gimme a break. How old are they: 15? I didn’t see Mrs Finch. Was she there?

    1. Willard is a social misfit with a strange affinity for rats. He lives in a large mansion, accompanied only by his cranky and decrepit mother. His best companion is a white rat he finds and later names Socrates for his wisdom; numerous other rats come to him, one of which is a giant specimen he names Ben.

      1. *** You seem to know quite a lot about social misfits & old movie plots, etc. Must have lots of time on your hands in general to have become such an expert on politics, social problems, basic government economic strategy & a host of other subjects as well. Ben & Socrates, as well the folks @ the Rescue Mission should be very pleased @ your overall success in blogging all this information. ***

  14. *** They’ve been ticketing at Seaside Village & put no-parking signs on one side of the streets, yet no one seem to complain nor blogged any opinions on it! So tit for tat, now it’s Black Rock’s turn, no crying foul please! ***

    1. No one is complaining that the streets are being cleaned. The signs are posted. If you don’t want the ticket don’t park your vehicle on the side of the street that needs cleaning.

  15. “Russo drops bid for Bridgeport Board of Education to focus on Congressional run.”

    There you have it, donj!
    Debicella and Russo are in. But I understand those are not all the candidates we will be hearing from. There is another Bridgeport Republican contemplating entering the race for the 4th Congressional seat. Joseph J. Borges, one of our Republican Registrar of Voters is seriously considering entering the race. I’m waiting to hear as to whether or not Sauda Baraka qualified to force a primary. I saw Sauda at the Gary Crook Center yesterday and she looked very relaxed for someone petitioning close to a deadline.
    Carmen Lopez did a good job chairing the “Rat Committee” at the Crook center yesterday. What I found to be not so interesting was that the City seems to have paid more attention to the “Rat” in the Port Authority bill than the rat infestation on city property. I guess that the “Rat” in the PA bill would have eaten away more at their cheese than the “Rats” at P.T. Barnum housing could.

  16. This ticketing that is going on should be stopped or at least looked at. Thinking you can increase the monies to the city treasury in this manner is pure bull.
    You have people worrying about a million things during these tough economic times and you have too many cars for too few spaces and now you add these ticket fees to people’s list of problems. Wrong timing.
    The street sweeping that takes place on my street is a waste of time. It moves dirt from point A to point B. Sweeping once after the winter is fine then stop. You want to clean the streets use the small vacuum vehicles to pick up papers and trash. They can maneuver around vehicles and there will be no need for this wholesale ticketing.

    1. I think Sauda Baraka should answer your first question or perhaps Lennie Grimaldi should do his job!

      No, I will not be running in the 130th in November. I’ll run in November only if Mojo agrees to be my Press Secretary.

  17. You may have noticed that the Philistine Phart Phinch has done absolutely nothing to bring “NEW” revenue into the city because he doesn’t know how and he never will. So, he gets his revenue the old-fashioned way … tax the people and whack their vehicles. An amazing man he is. Remember all of you pollyannas touting what a great job Phinch was going to do? Lots of lively blogalog. Mostly Calamarian bullshit. How do you feel now?


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