This Game Is Serious Business–The Politics Of Absentee Ballots

Here we are, Labor Day weekend when serial primary voters begin to focus on candidate choices, except in the latest surreal chapter of Drama The Bridgeport Way, we’re headed into overtime courtesy of Judge Barbara Bellis who granted mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster’s request for an election extension. Instead of a one-week stretch run, it’s now three weeks. Mark September 27 as Democratic primary day.

My oh my is this going to be a riotous three weeks. Saturday afternoon after helping my stepdaughter move into her new digs in downtown Bridgeport (both my stepdaughters will be voting in this primary so Mayor Bill Finch and Foster better be nice to me), I segued north on Main Street when I channeled into a caravan of honking cars. At a stop light I looked right and there was candidate for city clerk Marilyn Moore leading the cheers for the Foster slate of candidates lapping neighborhoods on their way to a rally at John Gomes’ popular Red Rooster deli. Talk about cockle doodle doo, the Foster camp is on a high now that she’s officially on the ballot.

I do not sense, however, that Team Finch had taken his reelection for granted when Foster’s candidacy was in limbo courtesy of Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala. They’ve been doing their work, using the power of incumbency to advantage whether Hurricane Irene, opening a police substation in the East End and continuing the mayor’s baby-kissing tour of the city, or touching voters from campaign headquarters. On one level you can argue that a 10-day fast blast to the traditional primary date September 13 would be helpful to Foster in one key area, absentee ballots. The Finch forces, led by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa have more supporters who know how to work ABs and would have so little time to work them in that short window. In the bigger picture, however, Team Foster needed more time to tighten up its field operation and identify its voter support, as it takes on the base party apparatus.

Town Clerk Alma Maya will be printing a new absentee ballot form for the September 27 primary. The Finch forces will go to work, scouring their traditional AB voters. In the old days no one worked absentee ballots like Mario Testa. The running joke for a while, and it had the added benefit of being true, was Mario could never win a race by machine count. But then the absentee ballots were counted and lo and behold, presto, Mario wins. Was Mario an absentee ballot cheater? You bet. “Oh Mrs. Calabrese, let me help you with that.” Mario is no dummy, he’s a sly as they come. At one time he even had a mailman on his town committee. Guess who can touch as an AB? Yes, your friendly local postal man.

Is Mario still a cheater? I think Mario has behaved after the staties and federals started snooping around following Probate Judge Paul Ganim’s 2002 primary win over Kevin Boyle. Boyle won the machine count but was croaked by the absentee tally. Mario was not charged with any wrongdoing, but he got the message. Lay low for a while. (By the way, did you catch Mario preening in the Connecticut Post last week about the Foster camp’s ineptitude with election law before the judge sided with Foster? Like Mario has such respect for election laws through the years. Maybe it’s time for Mario to add some truth serum to his morning espresso.)

Former Town Clerk Hector Diaz, one of the good guys in city politics now retired in Florida, used to tell me the absentee ballot count would reflect the machine count percentage total if no cheating was done. The Finch forces, from what I’m told, want 1000 absentee ballots returned and in the bank by primary day in what they hope is a two-to-one advantage. The Foster camp needs to touch base with every AB voter to try to blunt the Finch operation.

This race is serious business for Finch. He is not a man of wealth and the $130K he makes as mayor, plus benefits, is by far the highest standard of living in his lifetime with two young children to raise. For most of his professional life Bill had trouble holding down a job. He was fortunate there were folks who looked after him. If he wins reelection and four more years he’ll be pushing 60 at the end of his second term, and a pension on the horizon when his days as mayor do end. He needs the income and future pension stability. Losing the mayoralty would place his professional life in limbo. So for Finch this race is super serious business.

There is bad blood between Finch and Foster and their respective operations. They were once friends but now spewing prehistoric noises. The Foster camp will try to trap Finch in lies. The other day at a mayoral forum Foster pulled out several photographs of take-home vehicles parked in front of city employee homes after Finch had proclaimed he had reduced the fleet of take home city vehicles to himself, the police chief and fire chief. The Finch camp will try to frame Foster as just another opportunistic politician who really didn’t make the Bluefish a success story. For Foster to win this thing she must still make the case for firing the incumbent. Part of that message is inspiring voters about job creation, consistently the number-one issue among anxious voters in a troubling economy.

The latest OIB poll, conducted more than a week ago, showed Finch with a six-point lead over Foster. Never have I received such protestations about a poll. The Finch forces called, “Lennie your poll is full of crap. We’re way ahead of her. No way she wins.” Foster supporters called, “No way, we’re doing better than your poll.”

Forget past polling. This race with three weeks left has taken on a whole new dimension as a result of court intervention. In fact (if voters can tolerate any more phone calls), the campaigns should re-identify voter support so as not to pull the other camp’s vote on primary day. Strap in. Here we go. Parting question: Does anyone really have confidence the local registrar and Connecticut Secretary of the State can guarantee a clean election?

Debates this week:

Tuesday, the Bridgeport North End Association will host a Democratic mayoral forum at 6 p.m. at the North End Library, 3455 Madison Ave.

And …

The Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce an affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, The Caribbean World Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bridgeport, and The Southern Connecticut Black Chamber of Commerce Invite YOU to the Mayoral Candidate Forum, Housatonic Community College Beacon Hall, 999 Lafayette Boulevard Bridgeport, CT 06604.

Mayoral Candidates:
Honorable Bill Finch (D)
Mary Jane Foster (D)
Jeff Kohut (I)
Rick Torres (R)

Thursday, September 8, 2011
8am – 10am

John J. DeAugustine, Moderator, Publisher, Connecticut Post / Group publisher, Hearst Media Services Connecticut

New Voter Registration Table Available

No Cost to Attend / Open to the Public / Free Parking at HCC Garage

And …

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., Black Rock Library, 130th District City Council Candidate Forum

The Black Rock Community Council and the Black Rock Branch Library invite you to meet the four candidates for City Council in the upcoming Democratic Primary.

Incumbent City Council members Susan Brannelly and Martin C. McCarthy will be joined by challengers James T. Fox and Jill Hughes for a discussion of issues important to the 130th District and to the city of Bridgeport as a whole.

The forum will be moderated by Phil Blagys of the Black Rock Community Council and audience participation will be encouraged.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Bridgeport Public Library.



  1. Mary-Jane Foster has shown no compunction about challenging the machine in court. Does anyone really believe Mario Testa will try to manipulate the absentee ballots? Too many people are watching now. His is a household name, notoriety not fame. Santa Ayala’s rejection of Foster’s petition and the subsequent lawsuit created a lot more public interest in the primary. More folks are watching now and paying closer attention to the candidates’ behavior and public statements.

    The Housatonic debate is going to make for some choppy water for the incumbent. He’ll be facing off with the other three candidates. Jeff Kohut will maintain an independent posture. Finch and Foster will be locking horns. Rick Torres would do well to just stay out of the way.

    Good morning, Mr. Finch. It’s 110 degrees outside, did you know that?

  2. This is more Park City Pirates than some drama show.

    If they insist: Just raise the black flag at McLevy Green and get rid of that stripey thing for a few weeks.

  3. Oh by the way in case anybody is interested. You really don’t need further voter registration. There are about 10,000 targets of opportunity out there from the 2008 presidential campaign.

  4. The primary race is about more than personalities. The people of the city of Bridgeport have been enslaved by a corrupt political machine for too long. Taxpayers have been subsidizing the Mario Testa Department of Employment for too long. City services have been drastically reduced in order to increase the payroll so a few more friends and friends of the friends of Mario Testa can get a job. While the people of the city of Bridgeport struggle through hard financial times and the vagaries of atmospheric changes resulting from global warming, Bill Finch and Mario’s other kept people collect fat paychecks and enjoy healthcare benefits courtesy of the taxpayers’ dime.

    The lack of jobs in Bridgeport is a direct result of the pay-to-play system that has been in place since before disgraced former mayor Joseph P. Ganim got caught with greasy palms. This system discouraged job-creating investment in the city, creating a subculture of dependence on food stamps, unemployment and other social welfare programs, and the proceeds from drug sales and other criminal activities. This cycle of government-subsidized poverty must end or at least be reduced to negligently minimal level.

    The only way the city will move forward is by installing Mary-Jane Foster in the Mayor’s Office.

  5. Keila Torres Ocasio–

    BRIDGEPORT — Although there were four mayoral candidates on the panel Thursday night, the tension between primary challengers Mayor Bill Finch and Mary-Jane Foster reached an all-time high when each candidate set aside political etiquette and flat-out called each other liars.

    Throughout the 90-minute debate, the Democrats took chuckle-worthy jabs at and from each other and fellow mayoral candidates, Republican Rick Torres and Jeff Kohut, a petitioning candidate running independent of a party.

    Minutes before the debate ended, however, the outright sparring began — with Finch accusing Foster of running the Bridgeport Bluefish into the red and Foster accusing Finch of lying about reducing the number of city take-home vehicles.

    During the debate, Foster pulled out a set of photographs, taken by her campaign staff, that show city cars — with the letters BPT clearly marked on the license plate — parked at night in front of what she said were the homes of four top city officials: City Attorney Mark Anastasi, who lives in Bridgeport; Superintendent of Schools John J. Ramos, who lives in Watertown; Thomas Sherwood, director of policy and management; and Lawrence Osborne, director of labor relations.

    The mayor has proudly boasted in the last few months about his ability to dwindle the 82 take-home cars down to three. Only the mayor, the police and fire chiefs were allowed to take their cars home, he said, and the reduction would save the city money.

    At the debate, Finch did not respond to Foster’s claim.

    Then, in response to a question about the city’s finances, Foster again said the mayor was lying, this time about his claim that the city has spent less in the last few years under his authority. She claimed the mayor was spending less by pushing aside important expenses, like pension contributions.

    “If you are putting your MasterCard bill in the drawer, then you are spending less,” she said.

    In his rebuttal, Finch questioned Foster’s truthfulness. He questioned her involvement with the baseball team she once owned.

    “You can listen to Fitch Ratings or listen to a woman who ran a baseball team into the red,” the mayor said. “Positive outlook. Failing baseball team.”

    In her rebuttal, Foster said the team she founded has pumped $60 million into the region. She rejected a statement made in a recent Finch campaign radio ad that the Bluefish received bailout money from taxpayers.

    At that, Finch, in a second and last rebuttal, claimed Foster did not win the development contract for the Arena at Harbor Yard because she wanted to spend $50 million in taxpayer funds and keep ownership of the structure.

    Jason Bartlett, Foster’s campaign manager, said Friday that Foster’s development company was poised to get the development contract until former Mayor Joseph Ganim’s “pay-to-play scheme” got in the way. “Just because she didn’t land the development deal doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get the credit,” Bartlett said.

    Meanwhile, in a statement issued Friday, Elaine Ficarra, Finch’s spokesperson, said Anastasi, Osborne and Sherwood have not been assigned take-home cars and that Osborne rides his bike to work. As for Ramos, Ficarra said he does not report to the mayor and the Board of Education chose not to implement the city’s take-home car policy.

    On Aug. 8, it appeared the head-to-head match between the two would not take place when Foster’s petition ballot was rejected.

    Despite that, Foster continued to participate in scheduled debates. On Friday, a Superior Court judge restored Foster’s place on the primary ballot and pushed back the Bridgeport primary, from Sept. 13 to Sept. 27.

    Once again Bill doesn’t know what he is talking about with the below quote.

    “At that, Finch, in a second and last rebuttal, claimed Foster did not win the development contract for the Arena at Harbor Yard because she wanted to spend $50 million in taxpayer funds and keep ownership of the structure.”

    Foster and her development group along with the Metmore were prepared to put up more than $35 million of their money to build the arena. It was the early success of the Bluefish coupled with their political capital that helped bring the Arena to the forefront. Joe Ganim and Mark Anastasi breached the agreement for the Memorandum of Understanding on this Arena deal and paid the developers a pauper’s sum of what they had in the deal. Finch was on the Council when this was going on. He was payingfully silent. Fast forward more that 11 years and Finch and Anastasi still have not settled with Klewin despite huge interest penalty payments due to Klewin. Guess Bill doesn’t understand the concept of compound interest, just his own self-interest.

      1. Oh SMACK!

        I daresay there are many more employees who still take their cars home. You need to look into the ones without the municipal license plates–even though the City Charter requires all City cars have municipal plates and the City Seal on the side. This is yet another piece of the City charter they choose to ignore.

  6. Foster should of course be diligent in her AB effort, but in the 2007 race against Caruso, absentees accounted for about 6% of the votes, and Finch got 56% of them. Neither number appears to be out of the realm of what you’d expect.

    Unless there’s a huge AB scooping operation going on (which, from evidence of 2007, the town committee is no longer capable of), an effective absentee plan is just an effective field plan.

  7. Happy to see some attention is being paid to City financial information as presented by the Mayor. He asks us to use Fitch Rating Service as our source of confidence in his four years of executive guidance and monitoring.

    Unfortunately Fitch is only looking at $600 Million of General Obligation bonds (or are there $660 Million as the audit claims) but Fitch also says these “bonds are general obligations of the city and backed by its full faith and credit and unlimited taxing power.” As a voter and taxpayer doesn’t that UNLIMITED POWER TO TAX you and me sound awesome???
    Fitch maintained its A rating. However, there appear to be some inaccuracies in the Fitch report when you get specific. For instance the 2010 audit tells us the City “unreserved and undesignated fund balance” that is part of the General Fund to “be available for unforeseen contingencies” was not $15,642,227 as often stated. Look at the DEFINITION from the City’s own presentation on accounting and budget process: “Unreserved, undesignated fund balance is the remaining balance available following the reduction for “resources not available for spending” or “legal restrictions” (reservation) and “management’s intended future use of resources” (designation).
    When the 2009 fiscal year closed, this unreserved and undesignated fund balance stood at $10,752,753. That same undesignated and unreserved for 2010 rose to $11,611,351. That’s all. But the City, Adam Wood and Fitch Rating have bought into the fact, and promoted it broadly, that the ‘fund balance’ actually rose to $15,642,227. HOW DID THEY DO THAT? They included over $4,000,000 of ‘unreserved’ but ‘DESIGNATED’ funds in the number. So progress in rebuilding has not been as BIG as Fitch claimed. Maybe they did not do the research I reference? SURPRISE, IT’S BRIDGEPORT!!!

    And he looked at the future steps to rebuild the fund balance each year, Mayor Finch decided this would be good enough at the earliest for next year? Surprised?
    And when the Fitch report came out it said, “The city estimates breakeven results for fiscal end 2011.” That was our first public comment on how the FY 2010-11 was going to finish, I believe. Two weeks later, the City reported to the public three months of budget info, March, April and May 2011 and indicated with 30 days to go they expected to report a deficit in excess of $2.3Million. What’s a few million among friends???
    There are other inaccuracies and errors in this report. We’ll get to them and point them out. This is more than opinion …
    If you want to be a fiscal sleuth, test your knowledge, raise your questions on your own. Here is the reference to the Fitch letter:
    Fitch Affirms Bridgeport, CT’s GOs at ‘A’; Outlook Stable, published by Business Wire on August 11, 2011.

    And finally, if you go to the City site, you will see Judge Bellis’ decision on Friday has not been changed from September 13, 2011 yet. Wonder where the movers and shakers were at that time last Friday. Getting ready for the looong weekend, probably.

  8. How about where will the ballots be made available? Check with the senior residences around the city to make sure all the seniors have their pre-voted-for ab’s. It’s the entry to these places for people who have no idea for whom they’ve voted.

  9. The primary for the two contested council districts is September 13th. Absentee ballots were already printed up for that primary.

    The Judge’s order pushed the primary for the Mayor, Town and City Clerk and sheriffs to Sept 27th. Art Laske asked the Judge whether the Court gave guidance on that confusion. The Judge told him he could request clarification from the Court if the ruling wasn’t sufficient on that point.

    Strong editorial in the CT Post today! And I quote from the last paragraph:

    “Noteworthy, too, in the Foster saga is the zeal with which the city of Bridgeport enforces certain parts of its charter while ignoring other parts.

    “Consider that the same city charter that limits the number of candidates that can be nominated also says, ‘No member of the city council shall, during the time in which he/she serves as a member of the city council, be appointed to or hold any office, the emoluments of which are to be paid from the city treasury.'”


    1. Based on countdown’s comments on ballot printing, per Judge Bellis order, do we have one primary for all candidates (except BOE petition names) on September 27, or is there a Council primary on September 13 in those few districts posted with petition slate and then other offices including Mayor on September 27?
      Sounds stupid to be asking but that is how we have gotten to be the butt of ridicule here in Bridgeport.
      Anyone got what is an easy answer probably?

  10. Unless the town clerk plays games, which I think she would be very foolish to do, those absentee ballots should be made available immediately. The town clerk should have called it in to the printer on Friday at 3:05 p.m. so they would be ready for distribution on Tuesday. There are NO EXCUSES. Keep a watch MJF–keep a watch on all of them.

      1. TUE, SEPT. 6 — The Bridgeport North End Association will host a Democratic mayoral forum at 6 p.m. at the North End Library, 3455 Madison Ave. Only incumbent Bill Finch and mayoral hopeful Mary-Jane Foster, both Democrats, are expected to attend. Although Foster’s nominating petition to get on the Sept. 13 primary ballot was rejected this week, Tom Errichetti, association president, said he will not cancel the forum until a judge strikes down Foster’s appeal, filed in Superior Court on Wednesday.

  11. The real majority doesn’t care about debates nor will read the papers to find out what was said at the debate.
    The real Bpt majority has to be riled up into going to a primary poll and vote with what are you doing for me, how are you getting me a job and are my kids going to be educated.
    Go to the streets and talk to the people, and make sure the people residing at Mt. Grove aren’t voting by AB.

  12. Dear Friends,
    This is a copy of a draft letter I am hoping to be distributing to the Beardsley Park residents and more specifically Eastwood, Nob Hill and Huntington Condominiums and local businesses.

    We must remember we had the support of our Councilmen Richard Paoletto and Bob Curwen, as well as Senator Musto and State Rep. Chris Caruso. Unified, we fought the potential degeneration of the Beardsley Park and Treeland neighborhoods. “NOB HILL ACADEMY,” a fancy name for a jail facility in our residential neighborhood.

    We must remember Mayor Bill Finch had known of this proposal a year in advance and decided to jump on the bandwagon months after we, the residents, made it clear this was a totally inappropriate form of Economic Development. Ironically, the BRBC remained silent as though this kind of facility could enhance Bridgeport’s already poor image to developers, not to mention affect all property values in an already depressed market.

    Mayor Finch displayed his lack of leadership and concern for our neighborhood. Imagine, a jail with park views in a lovely Bridgeport residential neighborhood across the street from the only Zoo in the state of Connecticut.

    I am asking you to join me in supporting Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor this September 27th. Please note the change of the Primary date due to the lawsuit against the city. The City lost its attempt to keep Mary-Jane Foster from running for Mayor. An abuse of power and a gross waste of taxpayer dollars.

    I am supporting Mary-Jane Foster because Bridgeport deserves better. A leader with vision and determination. I will be supporting Richard Paoletto and Bob Curwen. I believe with them, along with a new Mayor, Bridgeport will enter a new era without the corruption that has plagued this city for decades.

    Steven L. Auerbach

    The City Of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has so much potential. With the right leadership, an individual with vision, charisma and the ability to excite developers, Bridgeport has the ability to outshine its major competitors Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut. All three urban centers are located in Fairfield county, the wealthiest county in the United States. I believe Mary-Jane Foster is that individual who can bring Bridgeport into a new era.

    During the best of times, while Norwalk and Stamford have been focused on economic development, Bridgeport was content to be the dumping ground of all social ills, leaving the burden of support on the taxpayers of the city while businesses were quick to relocate. While Stamford proceeds full speed ahead with its Harborpointe development (ironically a name once used by Bridgeport’s project now known as Steelepointe), Bridgeport still has dreams of getting that first shovel in the ground to start the touted 1 billion dollar project, Steelepointe.

    Mayor Finch, in a recent Connecticut post article had given himself a grade of A for his performance on economic development in the city. I would not agree.

    For the past 4 years Mayor Finch had the perfect opportunity to market Bridgeport to nearly 500,000 vehicles passing on I-95 weekly. A simple billboard on the vacant Steelepointe site touting the future of the city starts here. People would be abuzz with excitement. Maybe plant a few thousand flowering bulbs, after all we are the Park City. The sad reality is even with a highly paid Development Director, Donald Eversley, the basic marketing skills were never applied and Bridgeport missed an opportunity that can never be regained after 4 years.

    While time moves on as it stops for no one, Bridgeport still hopes to become a major destination. Mayors and business leadership continue to pat themselves on the back as though the project, expected to take 20 years to complete, has already been started. The rumor of a big box retailer eg. Walmart on the waterfront property is painful to imagine. Creating nothing more than minimum-wage jobs not to mention all the families that had to be relocated. Is this the best Bridgeport can do? Not even a quality supermarket can be attracted to that neighborhood?

    Perhaps the most important element in making Bridgeport’s dream of Steelepointe a reality is an improvement of colossal proportions to the education in the Bridgeport Public Schools. Improved schools will be an incentive for young families to move here. Now it just becomes another burden on the overtaxed resident to send their children to a private school to get the education they need to succeed in life. So now we have a high-priced Superintendent of Bridgeport schools relying on a state-appointed school board.

    The arts and entertainment are yet another key component to attract developers. The long-vacant Poli Majestic theaters in the downtown area remain a constant memory to what Bridgeport’s glorious past used to be. In the past 40 years there have been hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on study after study to see if it was viable to rehabilitate the theaters. So there they stand vacant, dark and dilapidated as one enters a downtown that has been seeing an upswing in development (most notable being the Bijou Square Project). Developer Phil Kuchma has done a great job in creating an arts theater that outshines most theaters from New York to Hartford.

    Finally, one must remain optimistic in the future of Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut and the wealthiest county in the United States. The question is who will lead us into the future, reduce the taxes and create a quality of life for the working middle class and create the incentive to want to live here, work here and play here. I believe Mary-Jane Foster is that individual. She is thoughtful, charismatic, determined and honest. This September 27th we have a choice.

  14. “… one must remain optimistic in the future of Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut and the wealthiest county in the United States. The question is who will lead us into the future, reduce the taxes and create a quality of life for the working middle class and create the incentive to want to live here, work here and play here. I believe Mary-Jane Foster is that individual. She is thoughtful, charismatic, determined and honest. This September 27th we have a choice.”


  15. Deputy city attorney Laske raised the two primary date confusion in court, the judge referred him to her ruling. It says the primary is moved to September 27th without clarifying the two council district primary contests. My guess is Laske and Maya need Tuesday to figure it out before they change the date on the city’s website.

  16. I think what is going on in Bridgeport is a microcosm of our political system. Most political jokes, whether true or not, speak volumes about the people who they are about, people who write them and people who complain about them.
    For instance … here we have Barack Hussein Obama.
    Obama is a charismatic man with little substance and a lot of baggage for such a short-term politician. He is NOT a leader I want representing me. The biggest obstacle is over 90% of blacks will vote for him strictly because of his color. He has little black experience as he was raised by his white grandparents after being brought up in 2 diversified negative cultures overseas with a dysfunctional mother who died young and left him with her parents. He has played the race card too often to be considered legitimate for my good. I just hope the Democrats wake up in time and the Republicans find someone worthy of such an exalted position.

    I reiterated my feeling below in that earlier email with the cattle guards … as follows:
    I have been feeling for several years now that the US is in decline. All civilizations pass. The US will be no exception. We are well on our way to becoming a second-class power.
    What’s going on in Washington these days seems little more than a squabble over where to place the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    1. Okay Bob, you can check in with Rush and Shawn tomorrow and get some more talking points but right now let’s talk about Bridgeport. And while you are at it tell us what President McCain and Vice-president Palin would have done if they were in office or what suggestions are they talking about?

      1. Ron, what you miss is the fact Bridgeport is a microcosm of the national malaise brought about by career politicians and their minions. Finch is no better as he has never worked in the private sector and certainly has no administrative abilities as he delegates to the person who is actually running Bridgeport … Adam Wood.
        As to your statement on Rush the blowhard or Hannity, this has little to do with them. It’s about the thievery, cronyism, nepotism, and business as usual in this once-vibrant city. As for McCain and Palin, between them and Obama/Biden it was both the lesser of 2 evils and the evil of 2 lessers.

  17. There is enough blame to go around for what is happening in this country. Obama can assume some of the blame as he tied the country up for 1-1/2 years with his health care plan. In the meantime nothing else was done to get us out of the problems we are facing.
    In fairness to Obama, we have a congress that is more interested in sticking it to each other (Republicans & Democrats) than they are in fixing the problems in this country.
    The politicians we keep sending to Washington have no idea what the people are going through as they live in a privileged society, they want for nothing. Why do we keep sending the same assholes to Washington? I guess it’s the same reason we keep electing the same assholes to the common council and that is we are lazy and never vote for the best candidate but vote for the party.
    We need to have term limits for these parasites. We have term limits for president, why not congress?
    I have been watching the Republican debates and find Herman Cain and Ron Paul have the best message. Will either get the nomination? NO! The Republicans will nominate the one with the most lobbyist money.
    Here in Bridgeport we have a chance to make history and once and for all break the hold of the power brokers, the blood suckers and the DTC. Will we do it? I hope so!!! Will the people come out and vote? The people on this blog both the bloggers and readers need to get 10 of their friends to vote in this primary and we will then prevail.

  18. I don’t understand the mayor’s logic in holding off on civic improvements until three months before a general election. There are sidewalks going in on the stretch of Gilman Street leading to Saint Mary’s. Why are they going in just now? It would’ve been just as much of a vote-getter if they’d gone in last year. Why are RFPs for city-owned properties north of downtown going out only now? Is that supposed to impress the voters? If the RFPs went out a year or two ago and the properties were sold and in the process of rehabilitation it would look more impressive to the voters.

  19. “I don’t understand the mayor’s logic in holding off on civic improvements …”

    TBK, I believe it has something to do with short memory spans and how long it takes to plan. Sidewalks in some areas come from HUD-CDBG funds but not on Gilman because the census track is not eligible for those Federal funds.

    More interesting is the question of which budget year will get charged with the expense. Here I am only speculating, but if the project was approved two years ago from Capital budget funds, will it go in that year, or would it be 2011 when the first shovel might have been sunk, or in 2012 as the work will be completed? I do not know, but someone in the City does.

    And wouldn’t you like a Master List for the City of plans for the Capital Budget that have been approved, have found funds, are partially or fully complete, or have not been started even though approval was made several years ago? Where is that list? Council members have asked for same, but the taxpaying public does not have access, and apparently troublesome Council members are looked at in similar fashion.

    How much can we generate, talk about and pack into a short time to give the impression of movement, direction, action and achievement? That is the question, I guess, here, there and everywhere.

  20. If Mario Testa runs the Democrats in Bridgeport and is as “dirty” as everyone says–it speaks volumes about both Finch and Foster, and us–in that we would support and vote into office this party ticket. The questionable reputation of Testa should be enough to make anyone running for office distance themselves from his name–and to remove him from his base of power once elected.

    Sunday morning there was a community clean-up of the beach down the street from me–about 20 people with rakes, leaf blowers and garbage bags worked to clean and bag the garbage left on the beach by Irene. When I mentioned to someone this was going on–their immediate response was–That’s the job for the town of Bridgeport–why should we have to clean up this mess …

    Which brings me to the belief Bridgeport gets exactly what they deserve–as in everyone wants to point fingers at how bad our leaders are–rather than roll up their sleeves and take care of our town.

    We let organized crime operate on every other block in Black Rock. We all know which clubs are a front for prostitution and drug dealing. We turn our heads and shrug our shoulders because they are clean and quiet. We allow and ignore known illegal activity to operate and prosper under our noses and want to be indignant when our elected officials are corrupt. The ladies of the night have even marched in our Black Rock Day Parade passing out their club business cards.

    If you want corruption out of our local government, I suggest we find ways to first get it our of our local communities. Form a committee to sit and film for 24 hours–7 days a week for 2 months every person going into and leaving The Spas and Health Clubs. Six months if that is what it takes. Force them to lose their customers and leave our neighborhood.

    My daughter’s car was broken into and her purse with her cell phone stolen. Her Find My Phone App tracked her cell phone to “The Projects.” After many calls to the police and their lack of ability to come with us–I drove to the address with my daughter at 2:30am in my Prius and Polo Shirt to get her phone back. I got it back the next day–I am no fool and left at 2:35am–but was able with help to flag down the police early the next morning and walk into the apartment and retrieve the phone, iPad–and were able to find where the keys were tossed, and recovered the purse and contents. I know of a middle-aged woman who drove in by herself and retrieved her stolen bike. If we all did this, rather than point and blame the lack of help from the police, the word might get out we will come in and find our stolen possessions and we will not be easy petty theft targets.

    If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem–and asking our elected officials and the police to clean up the mess we have allowed to sit and fester under our noses is being part of the problem.

    1. Jennifer Buchanan, you said, “We all know which clubs are a front for prostitution and drug dealing. We turn our heads and shrug our shoulders because they are clean and quiet. We allow and ignore known illegal activity to operate and prosper under our noses and want to be indignant when our elected officials are corrupt. The ladies of the night have even marched in our Black Rock Day Parade passing out their club business cards,” may I ask, what did you do concerning the problems you listed?

      1. I drove into the projects at 2:30am to get back my stolen property–am putting up a web site with photos of visitors to the clubs, picked up trash in my street, and posted this comment–just made the connection of how absolutely full of blame we all are for ignoring the issues that are basic to why we are in the mess we are in …

    2. When a politician is elected, he/she takes an oath of “PUBLIC TRUST” to make decisions on our behalf using our money. We have the right to believe they are honest and not deceiving.
      Private sector business is just that, PRIVATE. You don’t have to patronize them and you can call the law if you see drugs being dealt openly. Two different animals.

  21. Jennifer Buchanan, I know it must have been a trying experience. I am asking you about something else; you wrote “We all know which clubs are a front for prostitution and drug dealing. We turn our heads and shrug our shoulders because they are clean and quiet. We allow and ignore known illegal activity to operate and prosper under our noses and want to be indignant when our elected officials are corrupt. The ladies of the night have even marched in our Black Rock Day Parade passing out their club business cards,” may I ask, what did you do concerning these particular problems you listed?

  22. town committee, everything Obama does the Republicans block it. If you think this country is going to see much progress between now and Nov 2012 you’re nuts, these Republicans do not want to see anything good come out of this administration and it is very sad. Republicans cannot win in 2012 … No candidate on the Republican side has any appeal and once again in 2012 I will be proud to vote for Barack Obama once again at Black Rock school … I do agree on a point you made though, that we spent too much time on health care. As for now I’m focused on getting MJF and her slate elected. Best of luck tc Sept 27 you have my vote even though I do not agree with some of the things you say. Did you vote for Obama in 2008?

    1. donj; The first 2 years of the Obama presidency the house of representatives and the senate were controlled by Democrats. What got done? Now the Republicans control the house and the Dems the senate and what has gotten done? Nothing.
      donj; Re-read my post. I blame both sides and call for term limits.
      Based on the latest poll numbers Obama is a one-term president but there is a lot of time left between now and next November.

  23. The national landscape is changing and Republicans have not yet gotten a grip on it. Latinos are more and more voting for Dems in huge numbers. As the white population who votes go down meaning other races are voting more than ever before, Republicans have to come up with a better message and appeal to a broader crowd. Obama 2012 and MJF 2011 … BUT HEY what’s up with MJF supporting the nutcase Palin? The only candidate I would even consider voting for on the Republican side is R Paul.

    1. There is not one Republican who can possibly win, even with Obama’s sad approval ratings. I just cannot even imagine any Republican winning in a general election. They are all holy rollers and they scare me. I do respect all people of all faiths but let’s face it these people are sick and offensive. Michele Bachmann is a moron and Rick Perry is a bad clone of George Bush. Mitt Romney is falling into 3rd place, Newt Gingrich is wasting time and Ron Paul is too libertarian for the masses. Sarah Palin. Well, she will set the women’s movement back 20 years. She doesn’t believe in evolution, global warming or that the earth is over 6000 years old. These people are scary, ignorant, judgmental and ridiculous. If I had to vote for a Republican, which these days would be the equivalent to sticking needles in my eyes, I’d have to say I really like New Jersey Governor Christie. But I do like Obama, although I originally liked Clinton. Obama needs to grow a pair and get busy! If not Obama I think next time around Cuomo is the man to beat. Love that guy.

      1. Even that is not true. Jack is a Republican at heart, and has contributed to some doozies over the years, but has no contributions to Palin in his donor history. He maxed out to McCain in 2008 months before the GOP convention. He appears to favor Mitt Romney.


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