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Torres Claims He’s Not For Sale, Time To Debate

October 1st, 2015 · 83 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

After asking Mary-Jane Foster to support him, and she in turn represented the same (Joe Ganim presented an olive branch to Foster too), Republican mayoral candidate Enrique Torres weighs in on Mayor Bill Finch’s endorsement of Mary-Jane Foster. Torres also asked Finch to support him. And so it goes in city politics.

While the names on the ballot have changed, Bridgeport citizens can expect more of the same with the newly anointed member of the Bridgeport Political Machine.

Nothing says change like surrounding yourself with more of the same. What will the endorsement of Bill Finch bring to Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign? Political Orphans, the political appointees, city attorneys, city vendors, the connected business associates and let’s not forget Paul Timpanelli and John Stafstrom who all have been feeding at the City trough since Bill Finch was elected and are now worried they might miss a meal.

What else does this endorsement bring? A record of mismanaged government, highest in the nation taxes, unbalanced budgets, conflicts of interest, cronyism with city contractors, state takeover of Bridgeport BOE, unplowed roads during nor’easters, paving roads during an election year, and of course the outright misuse of city funds with the Moutinho Driveway. These sad accomplishments are now embraced by the Foster campaign.

Bill Finch tried to negotiate with me one week prior to his “heartfelt and sincere” ringing endorsement of Ms. Foster and I refused. I am not for sale. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for Mary-Jane Foster.

Now that the game of “Deal or No Deal” is over, it’s time to schedule a series of debates.

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83 Comments so far ↓

  • Come Back Bridgeport

    Mary-Jane is for sale? Shame on you.

  • Donald Day

    Ricky, the fact is you couldn’t have negotiated with Finch about placing his name on the ballot as a Republican. All you could do is what you did, listen and report. The fact is, whomever the person is on the ballot as the Republican nominee is decided by the local Republican party and not you.

    Quit holding yourself up as some kind of martyred individual who is beyond reproach because you never went beyond north of Ellsworth St except to get on route 95.

  • Ron Mackey

    Rick, why did you sit down to talk to Mayor Finch about the possibility of you giving up your place to run? You are a martyr individual and you are in the Republican Party now. How do you plan to get black and Hispanic voters to vote for you in November 2015 when they have never supported you in any election?

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Do you really think for one minute Rick knew what Finch wanted? And with 41% of the city voting for him against Fabrizi, I would say there were a few blacks and Hispanics and whites voting for him in the past.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Shouldn’t the failures of the previous administrations be enough to get blacks and Hispanics to vote for him? Isn’t that what Rick is saying? It’s time to debate on real issues, policy and substance.
    Also, don’t confuse Rick’s passion with this so-called “martyrdom.” Maybe it’s just the sick feeling in the pit of his and our stomachs from what this city has become.

  • Quentin Dreher

    CBB, MJF’s actions speak louder than words.
    Why did she need Finch’s endorsement anyway, a man whom she dislikes? Why didn’t she run on her own substance? If she did it for free votes then she put party and her politics above the people.
    Self-interest ahead of principles.

    • Ron Mackey

      Please, Donald Trump would love to have the endorsement of any of the other Republican candidates running for president and any of the other Republican candidates would love to have Trump’s endorsement, including Jeb Bush. But why did Torres sit down with Finch to listen to Finch? Why didn’t Torres just get up and walk out and tell Finch where to go and what he could kiss?

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        It is one thing to say gosh, thanks for the endorsement–here is my platform–and push the opponent aside, but the photos show a very solid Finch/Foster alliance. Far cry from a simple endorsement.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, so you are into understanding and reading the meaning of people in pictures? Would Rick accept the endorsement of Finch to support Rick as mayor?

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            No Democrat in their right mind would support a Republican in this city. Of course we are talking about Finch. I highly doubt Rick would accept that endorsement. Recall, Rick was tossed from the Republican leadership for endorsing Caruso when he ran for mayor. And the Republicans just cross-endorsed Lyons for city council. Would Rick welcome any Democrat elected or otherwise quietly spreading the word they were voting for Rick? Most likely. We have a history in this city of supporting good and qualified Democrats, not so much the other way around.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, are you really saying Mary-Jane Foster is not a good and qualified Democrat?

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            I would say she is a typical qualified Bridgeport Democrat. I will also say she would never endorse publicly a Republican. She is too tied into Malloy, Wyman, Stafstrom, Moore and Gomes to risk tainting the partisan politics of this city. And that does not make her a bad person, it simply makes her a typical Bridgeport qualified Democrat candidate. Except she does share a home with a Republican. So that is the exception to typical. And, she now has machine taint on her with regard to the Finch/Foster alliance.

      • Park City too

        Ron,
        Actually, Trump seems to have a pretty high batting average when it comes to telling people to go jump in a lake, while swearing and belittling them. Any Republican’s endorsement would probably be a chance for Trump to insult them. Why are you so vehemently against Torres? One of his major ideas is to alleviate housing taxes in the South and East Sides, because they are taxed at higher comparable rates than in wealthier neighborhoods, when evenly compared. That is a concern for regular, black, Hispanic, white, Asian, other folks. I would like a straight answer as to why you seem to dislike Torres so much, because that has been your tone with him for well over a year since I noticed it. Give me substance, not just whether he goes past Ellsworth street. I saw him in Seaside village last week by himself, that is past Ellsworth, so give us another reason, please.

  • Local Eyes

    Maybe what he meant to say was: I’m not for sale but I went, I listened and ultimately refused the terms.

    • Ron Mackey

      Maybe he didn’t, maybe he wanted to see what was the best deal he could get for Rick. What did Rick want? It had to be something, if not then why even listen to Finch but Torres did sit there and we don’t know what was said.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        Hey Ron,
        Take a pill and lay down on the sofa. Adam Wood approached Rick about meeting with Finch. The two of them offered Rick Torres the sun, the moon and a few stars if he would only give up his place on the ballot. Only thing is, it made Wood and Finch look like a couple of dumb asses. The nomination is not the candidate’s to give, only the Town Committee can make that decision.

        So Rick didn’t want anything. You really need to read.

        • Ron Mackey

          Rick looks like a dumb ass, once he heard what Finch and Wood were saying, why didn’t he stop the meeting and tell that I need someone from the Republican Town Committee leadership to be in the meeting?

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Rick had a Republican attorney at the meeting. And Adam Wood leaked the story. That is the only reason it was made public. What a gift to Joe!

        • Pilsbury Doughboy

          Because that is what they are!!!

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Rick wants the charter adhered to. Rick wants public schools fully funded. Rick wants WPA foreclosures stopped. Rick wants the booting stopped. Rick wants the coal plant shut down. Rick wants the city departments to have control over their own budgets. Rick wants minority party representation on city council and BOE, including WFP. Rick has pledged his first year’s salary as mayor into a 50 – 2500 grant program for Bridgeport small businesses. Rick wants to implement programs to train our citizens, especially the youth for real jobs that pay a living wage. This is the short list.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, so how is Rick going to do his wish list? Does he or will he have the votes on the City Council to get things passed? Rick is not the easiest person to get along with but the items you have listed are some of the same things MJF and Ganim have suggested.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            So elect him and watch. Think of this: our state reps are all Democrats, they lobby in Hartford their party–Torres is backed by the state Republicans and well known and liked–for once both sides of the aisle would have a strong lobby for Bridgeport. The Republicans are cross-endorsing more than once city council member, and the record shows in city council Rick was very successful in convincing a majority of the council to back many of his initiatives.

          • George Boland

            Everyone will eventually get along with him; people’s true nature comes out when they are treated honestly and openly without hidden agendas. When people feel respected and not bought, and they know you aren’t going to sell your soul for a quick fix, when they know you’re principled, they’ll want to be principled too. When they feel that with Rick, then they’ll be on board, Rick knows that. He believes in the good in people.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, come on now, put him in office and then take a chance? Please, I was born at night but not last night. The State Republican Party has its own problems in getting things passed on the State level. Rick doesn’t know how to win friends and influence people, just like Donald Trump. I never hear anything or anybody else in the local Republican Party.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Gosh darn it Ron, for a moment I thought I had convinced you! And I am of course not being serious. Always a pleasure to hear your thoughts and ideas. Respect you greatly.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Ron, actually it was Wood who approached Rick.

    • Ron Mackey

      It was Finch who met with Torres, why did he meet with Finch? Did Rick inform the Republican Party about the meeting with Finch, maybe Rick was hoping Finch was going to endorse him, would Rick accept that endorsement and what did Finch really offer Rick? But what was Rick doing meeting with Finch, why didn’t Rick tell Finch to kiss his ass?

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Finch is the sitting mayor. Rick is an elected councilman. Meetings are called and held all the time. Why would he not listen? And as you said, we do not know that Rick did not tell him to plant that kiss. :-)

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, as soon as Finch and Adam Wood started talking the Republican Party and giving up his place on the ballot, Rick should have said this meeting is over now and got up and left. No, Rick sat there and engaged them in a conversation on what it would take to get Rick to give up his place on the Republican line. Why did Rick keep talking, was he trying to see what was the best deal he could make? Who knows but one thing we know and that is Rick didn’t get up and say you have gone too far and tell them I’m out of here.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Again, you make me smile! I am sure you have sat in on union management meetings as the cards are laid on the table. You wait until the deck is dealt, and you got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. Rick had an attorney sit in on the meeting, my guess is he knew something was up, but I do not think anyone saw this one. He refused and walked out. So what is your real issue with this situation?

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Ron,
            Do you actually have a point to make? Only three people know the content of the conversation and you are not one of them. You’re arguing for the sake of arguing, which does not accomplish anything. Try to be positive.

          • Ron Mackey

            DB, why don’t you try to be positive about Mary-Jane Foster?

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, the only point I’ve been trying to make was you and others feel Mary-Jane Foster made a backroom deal for Bill Finch in his supporting her but you guys have no problem with Torres talking to Finch. You have nothing to prove that point but because some of you guys don’t like and trust Finch now you want to say MJF made a deal.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            I see your point. I think MJF made the deal of supporting Finch initiatives she was on board with, BGreen and develop Steal Point for example. I also believe in order for Finch to bow out, a deal was cut with Malloy, via Stafstrom to appease Finch. He offered Torres and Coveillo pretty much whatever they wanted for their place on the ballot. Finch was ready to go to court. Suddenly he is out. MJF really had nothing to offer him politically, he could not take her petition line, and it is pretty clear he burned his UB bridge. Been around the block enough to know deals are cut all the time, on both sides of the aisle. And since MJF is not the endorsed candidate, for such an endorsement, and for MJF to literally embrace, kiss and have Finch at her announcement after all the published comments by her, she did kind of open that door and window herself. With the Testa and Stafstrom very public infighting for the most influence on the DTC, Testa publicly behind Joe, the dots connected to Stafstrom and Malloy seems pretty obvious to non MJF voters. I cannot imagine she was thrilled to stand there sharing the spotlight with Finch.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            And, most importantly, Torres did not take the deal.

      • George Boland

        Ron, if Rick decided to not sit in a meeting with the sitting mayor, while you’re in the process of running for mayor, well that’s not a logical or rational way to do business, besides being rude, and Rick’s relatively rational, and usually not rude. He can be frustrated, pissed off and determined, but still considerate of the sitting mayor.

  • Quentin Dreher

    OIB,
    Let me try to clear up some misinformation.
    The nomination for mayor was not Rick’s to give away. It is the Bridgeport RTC’s responsibility and authority to nominate and endorse our candidate for mayor. The Bridgeport RTC not only nominated and endorsed Rick Torres but we back him 100%. We believe Rick Torres is, by far, the best choice for mayor the City of Bridgeport has.
    As I’ve said many times before, what our party lacks in numbers we more than make up with in quality individuals.

    • Ron Mackey

      Then where are these quality individuals and how many elected positions do they hold, you have one out of 20 on the City Council, so where are they?

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Ahem, BOE.

        • Ron Mackey

          Yes and City Sheriffs, great but they have NO input into running City services or voting for anything except the BOE and they don’t control the BOE. The Republican Party in Bridgeport is mostly a white party in a City that has a large black and Hispanic voting bloc.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            So we should all become Democrats? Or will you switch parties? I know at the national level we have more than our share of candidates from the clown cars (no offense to clowns), but at the local level I think Rick is an example of the machine in Bridgeport telling him we will never let you run for office, because you cannot be bought or controlled, thus he had to switch parties.

      • Pilsbury Doughboy

        Ron, like ALL the QUALITY democRATS that have RUINED this city for 50 of the last 58 years!!!

        • David Moore

          Rick wants this. Rick wants this. That has been his mantra for decades. That is how toddlers operate.

        • David Moore

          Any more brilliant commentary? By the way, during Len Paoletta’s time as Mayor, the city was mired in needless and expensive lawsuits such as his failed attempt to fire the Police Superintendent Joe Walsh. And how can we forget Mary Moran? She had an opportunity to showcase the city on 60 Minutes, what does she do? She shows off burned-out neighborhoods that made the whole world think the Park City was a mirror image of Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. And how can we forget her illadvised attempt to have the city declare bankruptcy, which hurt the city’s image probably to this day. Yes, let’s talk about who ruined Bridgeport.

    • David Moore

      Is that why you once dumped him as your Town Chairman when he endorsed Chris Caruso?

  • Quentin Dreher

    Ron, I’m one of those quality individuals. I have run several times for council, once for state rep and this Feb for state senate. I make no excuses but it is very difficult to run against “the machine” for reasons that are obvious and some that are not. The shame is how quickly, and you see it here in this string of posts, we are dismissed. I have the experience and knowledge of working with multi-million dollar assets and to work within a budget and would be a great asset to the residents of this city. But I would like to think my greatest asset is my integrity and my humility. I’ve been around the block a few times.

    • Ron Mackey

      Quentin Dreher, so what are you doing to increase the membership in the local Republican Party? The Republican Party in Bridgeport will never have more members than Democrats. They will always be on the outside looking in. Blacks and Hispanics together are the largest voting group in the City and Republicans cannot/will not get those two groups to change to Republicans. Michael Steele and Colin Powell have spoken out against the Republican Party for their fighting voter registration to include people of color their voting rights and the fact the Republican Party will not reach out to blacks to bring them into the Republican Party.

  • Mojo

    *** GOOD LUCK! ***

  • Steven Auerbach

    This is my take on Rick Torres. A helluva nice guy!

    He will lose the Mayoral election by a landslide. It was silly for my candidate to even imagine going on the Republican ticket. Whoever suggested the Mayor not get 125 signatures should be ashamed. Not only has it ruined Mayor Finch, for at least four years anyway, it affected tremendously those people who worked 24/7 on his behalf. Seriously, many of us traumatized. But alas, we move forward.

    Had a very exciting late afternoon cocktails and dinner at Testo’s. It was good to see some old friends and political heavy hitters. Highly recommend the Gorgonzola salad, potato and leek soup, clams on the half shell and seafood over linguini. That’s why I am getting porky. I was with Ganim, Finch and Foster supporters … separately! That is the truth! I wish I smoked cigars!

    Back to the politics, focusing on Black Rock only, I am afraid Rick will be replaced on the common council. I believe the entire Ganim ticket will lose Black Rock to Foster and John Marshall Lee and Tyisha Toms will be new council members.

    Black Rock supported Finch in the primary. These are the most educated voters in the city and the strongest community. I believe they will go strong for Foster though she needs aggressive campaigners in PT Barnum housing.

    • Pilsbury Doughboy

      Steve, why should anyone listen to you??? You have MORE sides than a Rubic’s cube!!!

      • Steven Auerbach

        I am a Democrat in Bridgeport, Doughboy, and although I am going to start refraining from acknowledging alias posters, this is all you need to know about me. I am honest and sincere and Bridgeport’s prosperity is my strongest desire. I have always believed in this city and its future. I may have more sides than a Rubic’s cube, but I always think outside the box. I see things the way they are and sugarcoat things that bother me.

        People do not have to listen to me. But they do! I am not black or white. I am gray! I can easily debate on behalf of any candidate. I can tell you why Finch should have had four more years, I can tell you why we need Mary-Jane Foster. But truth be told, I can tell you why Joe Ganim can be successful. It may not be a personality contest, however Ganim is a most likable guy. Then Doughboy, you have Rick Torres, a very nice man, an asset to the community, a successful businessman, handsome and eloquent. The problem is Rick Torres does not have a chance. Individually, Rick would not stand a chance against Finch, not a chance against Ganim and not a chance against Foster.

        So Pilsbury Doughboy, you do not need to listen to me. But people do.

        Foster has a real shot and it is going to be extremely tough for her coming out of a lackluster campaign. She is fortunate to have aligned with Finch, he could have and would have won this city if he were not given bad advice. The “fusion” of Finch and Foster is brilliant unless you are a Ganim supporter. Honestly Doughboy, Torres doesn’t even figure in the mix. This is a Foster-Ganim showdown. For six months Foster has accepted Ganim’s ability to treat her as an invisible entity and it was brilliant. Now, she has five weeks to take Joe down and show she is a winning candidate! I think she is, will her message get out or will Ganim every day have a new proposal and Channel 12 exposure? She needs to be everywhere at the same time Joe is. It is just that simple. Let the party begin!

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      May your general election prediction be as accurate as your primary prediction is my wish for you. Hey, I am back in town, we have a date to keep.

      • Steven Auerbach

        :-) You know Jennifer, on a campaign I am a team player. I can assure you Bill Finch should have won the election. I, like many, was used as a workhorse while consistent bad advice was given. It is painful. Foster’s campaign four years ago was awful, it didn’t stop my effort. I am older and wiser. I know if Foster cannot slam Ganim in a week it will be tough. Jennifer, you can bank on Black Rock, Rick is loved, Ganim is despised but Finch was chosen and now he is fused to a Black Rock celebrity, Mary-Jane Foster.

        Finch and Foster need to be visually connected on literature up until November. She needs all the Finch votes, she can and will win.

        I cannot wait for Ganim to start getting all the typical Democratic endorsements. I will copy and paste every negative comment from the Ganim camp diminishing it.

        You know comments from Jim Fox, a slew of anonymous posters, ad nauseam. How worthless they are. We will address Lisa Parziale’s comments. Every endorsement Ganim gets we will copy and paste every negative comment Finch received. Then we will address most do not live in Bridgeport and acknowledge how worthless the endorsements are. I expect the Foster campaign will have an agenda daily to combat these issues during the same news cycle. That’s how you stay one step ahead.

    • George Boland

      I agree on Testo’s, Gorgonzola salad and just about everything on the menu is an A+. Steven, if Rick Torres wins about 40% of the vote he could win, how shocked would you be?

      • Steven Auerbach

        George, I was shocked Ganim won the primary. At Winthrop School Finch lost by 35 votes. I personally know 18 Finch supporters who did not vote. Most of his supporters just thought it was in the bag. They will not waste their vote.

        How shocked would I be if Torres won? There would be no words and this will be the last campaign I work on until I am a member of the Democratic town committee.

        George Boland, to be clear, it is not my goal to see Torres lose or any of the other candidates. I am neither mean-spirited nor vindictive by nature. I am certainly passionate. My goal is to get Foster elected. I am only one person on a team of many.

        If Torres were to win, I would congratulate him, support him, and still go to Harborview for a rare Sunday breakfast.

        I unlike most bloggers would not spend the next four years posting vitriolic comments. We are a city of many neighborhoods I personally embrace. We are all in this together. I am not the guy who holds grudges.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      There’s that “landslide.” Keep saying it, Steven. Rick will probably win. You predicted Finch would win the primary by a landslide and he lost by 405 votes. You predicted he would win a write-off candidacy by a landslide and he chickened out.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Ron, unfortunately I do not have all the answers, but I’ll try.

    I’m not really sure what you are referring to as far as voting rights. If you are referring to voter ID I believe that is a non issue. The right to vote in this country is sacred and should be treated that way. This is the 21st century and everybody has the ability to get a voter ID. Even the most rural parts of the country have access and in most cases it is free. My aunt lives in rural North Carolina and they have a custom motor home that goes all throughout the state, five days a week, year ’round to get to those who cannot get to the local DMV.

    Why Bridgeport’s RTC does not have more minorities may not be an exactly true statement. Our total numbers are low but if you look at our percentages we are around 30+%. Which is close to average for cities like us. Our Hispanic membership is relatively high.

    As I mentioned before, I believe part of our difficulty in increasing our membership regardless of race and/or ethnicity is how we are so easily dismissed. Lies and half-truths are spread and that is very difficult to overcome. Our policy and message many times gets drowned out by having to defend baseless accusations.

    I actually have trouble understanding why more blacks and Hispanics don’t relate to the Republican brand. We are all about freedom, personal choice, limited government, free market, personal responsibility, all those things that bring ALL people out of poverty. We are by far more Christian than the Democrat party and besides the lies we are more inclusive. I can fill pages with history that shows the Democrat Party as the party of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination. I can fill pages of civil rights legislation passed by Republican Congresses against the will of their Democrat counterparts.

    I can show you how Obama and the Democrats have failed the black community:
    - According to CNN Money, under Obama, black unemployment is double that of whites.
    - The Chicago Sun Times says the black middle class has been “decimated” on Obama’s watch.
    - Black male unemployment under this administration has hit its highest level since 1972.
    - According to USA Today, black teen unemployment stands staggeringly above 40%, ensuring nearly half of an entire generation of young people won’t have any work experience to add to their resumes when searching for a job.
    - The St. Louis Federal Reserve, according to the Washington Post, revealed black households are having the toughest time recovering in this administration’s economy.

    These facts all come from “left-leaning” Democrat publications and these facts alone should be enough to search out alternatives.

    That’s what confuses me so much about the difficulty of getting out the message. I would love to meet with you one day and discuss how I can better serve. I’ll take any advice you can give me because I do feel I have a lot to offer this city and I’m too easily dismissed.

    • Ron Mackey

      Just read what Lee Atwater had for Ronald Reagan campaign to get elected President. The main portion was all about race and code words and dog whistle against blacks. Atwater on his death bed said he was sorry for what he designed about the horse southern strategy which was designed to keep blacks down. That policy is still being used by the Republican Party, just look and listen to the Republican candidates for President and you will see blacks are not wanted.

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Well Ron, based on some of the extreme Republican leaders’ ridiculous statements, I suppose I could also fall into the Republicans don’t want me, or at least don’t respect me as a mature thinking woman. I believe in their basic principles, outlined by QD, and prefer to join to fight for the necessary changes from within. Slow and steady wins the race, I hope, I hope. We all chose which battles we will fight, why we fight them, and that is the beauty of the American way.

  • Pilsbury Doughboy

    It is real sad about the political NATURE of Bridgeport!!! More than half the voters are either too IGNORANT or don’t give a DAMN, while many of the city workers live out of town!!! Many vote because of the little “d” after their name.
    When people do NOT care how high their taxes are, or how poorly educated their children are, it doesn’t matter any more!!!
    You can’t change things for the better when you keep voting for the same losers over and over again!!! I am glad I moved out of Bridgeport years ago. I can see nothing has really changed!!! The DemocRAT political class fighting over the big salaries, while the citizens get screwed!!! And if you read all the comments, you will see I am RIGHT!!!

  • Quentin Dreher

    Jennifer, I’ll be at Rick’s tomorrow about 1:00. How about lunch? I’m looking forward to one of his Cubans (sandwiches).

  • Quentin Dreher

    Ron, I was unaware of that so I did a little research and it seem that is not true. The research, one article in particular, is very long, however this ending paragraph sums that statement up:
    “This last statement is key, but is never quoted by liberals. Atwater has already said several times during the interview that race is no longer a significant element in Southern politics. Here, he specifically disclaims agreement with the proposition that Reagan’s policy positions contained a subconscious appeal to racial prejudice. That was Professor Lamis’s suggestion, not his. But he goes on to make the argument that even if some voters draw a subconscious connection between, say, cutting the food stamp program and race, the absence of any specifically racial appeal shows what a minor factor race has become in Southern politics.

    “But Reagan did not have to do a southern strategy for two reasons. Number one, race was not a dominant issue. And number two, the mainstream issues in this campaign had been, quote, southern issues since way back in the sixties. So Reagan goes out and campaigns on the issues of economics and of national defense. The whole campaign was devoid of any kind of racism, any kind of reference.”

    So the central point that Atwater made in the interview was the exact opposite of the proposition for which liberals have endlessly quoted him.

  • Ron Mackey

    “The Truth About Republican Racism and the Southern Strategy” by Allen Clifton

    Over the next decade, more and more Democrats began to embrace equality, passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And while more African Americans began to vote for Democrats, in the late-1960′s a new Republican strategy was put into place—the “Southern strategy.”

    This was a plan that was first popularized by Richard Nixon.

    What the “Southern strategy” essentially does is it identified the fact that African Americans were voting for Democrats, therefore Republicans decided they would make white voters more aware of this fact in hopes of driving the “white vote” towards the Republican party.

    Doubt me? Let’s look at a comment from a 1970s interview in the New York Times with Richard Nixon’s political strategist:
    “From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that … but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

    Essentially it was the Republican party saying, “Look, blacks are voting for Democrats so you white people need to vote for Republicans–the party that will represent whites and oppose the blacks.”

    With this strategy, you saw the official shift of the Republican party from the “party of Lincoln” to the party that embraced white racism towards African Americans to solidify the white vote in the South.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      As you have pointed to some of my sources in the past as being one-party biased, I also point to Clifton as being a far-left idealist. It was actually a Nixon strategist who promoted the idea you quote. Nixon signed and extended the voting rights act while president.
      www .nytimes.com/2015/07/29/magazine/voting-rights-act-dream-undone.html
      You are correct, the national Republican Party must get their message clear and promote candidates who adhere to their founding principles.

      • Ron Mackey

        Jennifer, in Bridgeport the majority of the voters are black and Hispanic, so why doesn’t the Republican Party go where the votes are? A while back I strongly suggested you and John Marshall Lee become Democrats, the reason is the Democrats are the only game in town and the best Republicans can do is maybe win a few city council seats at best. If you want to change the machine you are better off changing from the inside than the same old way Republicans have been doing. It should be about the issues and policies instead of the party. Run a slate for the Democratic Town Committee because that’s where the real power is but you won’t so you will still be on the outside looking in and hoping Rick Torres will be the savior.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          I remember, Ron. Much like you, I cannot abandon my belief in the platform of my party, the true core platform, not the right-wing hijackers of my party. John Lee is a registered Democrat. The way this city has been run in the 16 years I have been here, well while I understand your very good strategy, I am just not able to stomach having that D next to my name just yet. Perhaps I suffer from pride goeth before the fall.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, you have a chance to be a part of the solution but you choose to not help solve the problem. Let’s say the Democrats decide to use your core platform and you are telling me you wouldn’t change parties?

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, if the Democrats changed to the Republican core values and statements, then I just might. I did change affiliation once when I first moved here to vote in a primary, and then changed back. Remember, Torres was a very active Democrat from 20 to 40, helping many good Democrats get elected, but the machine would never let him run. He even lost once to a dead man who was a machine candidate. He took time off to raise his family and grow his business and become very involved in the community, building baseball dugouts, additions to St. Ann’s Church and School, hosting free community music events at his store. For example, after the fall from grace by your current endorsed mayoral candidate, Rick got back into politics, approached the Democrats, they once again said happy for your help to get people elected, but you will never be a candidate, because he was and is outside the machine. Thus he switched to the R side. So there are those of us who will switch parties, and write checks to the opposite party candidates who we feel are the best choice, so yes, I and more than a few members of our party do pay attention to the local and national party platforms and elected officials actions and vote and work accordingly.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, that’s great but the Republican Party will never be in power in Bridgeport, blacks and Hispanics will change over and join plus the Republican Party really doesn’t want them. It seems to be more important to be a member of a party than to try to make changes from the inside of those in power. Rick Torres is just one person, he’s not the savior. You people, you need members but you will never be in power but you seem to be happy throwing stones at those in power instead of trying to make real change.

        • Jennifer Buchanan

          Ron, I really do not recall saying Torres is a savior, but I do believe he is the most vested, invested and qualified to keep this city moving forward towards a better future for every citizen. I know you feel the same about your candidate. I will most certainly be aware of stones I am about to throw and drop it before I launch.

    • Pilsbury Doughboy

      It was Republicans who passed the voting rights and civil rights acts!!!

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