Torres Tells Finch To Get Lost, ‘All Of A Sudden They Found Jesus’–Coviello Holds Firm As Well

Finch reelection on thin ice.
Finch reelection on thin ice.

With limited options in desperation mode, Mayor Bill Finch Monday evening met with Republican candidate for mayor Enrique Torres urging him to vacate his line so that Finch could run on the GOP line in the general election against Democratic nominee Joe Ganim. Torres rejected Finch’s offer that included several good government initiatives that Torres wants such as no city employees on the city council and minority party representation that Finch has not publicly supported in his eight years as mayor.

“Finch made concessions that are relevant to talk about,” says Torres. “Minority party representation, no city employees on the City Council, all of these things they agreed to. What worries me is that they did not do this in office. All of a sudden they found Jesus and good government. I don’t think any of this would work anyway. I am quite certain I could not live with myself if I ever did agree to it. I told them I could not do this deal. I left the door open if they want to help me defeat Ganim I am amenable.”

The Bridgeport City Charter prohibits city employees from serving on the City Council, but a dubious loophole in state law cited by City Attorney Mark Anastasi has given mayors cover to protect political sacred cows who receive a city paycheck while serving on the city’s legislative and budgetmaking authority. Finch has not enforced the city charter largely to protect City Council President Tom McCarthy, deputy director of Labor Relations who serves at the pleasure of the mayor. All other major party mayoral candidates, including Ganim, say they will uphold the charter and not allow city employees councilors.

And in another ironic twist to this bizarre election season, it was McCarthy’s public declaration to the CT Post that Finch petitioning onto the ballot as an individual would show weakness that caused Finch operatives to surreptitiously create a minor party as a backup to a primary loss. How does the mayor look now? Rather than Finch announcing publicly this is the single most important election in city history and wanting every single possible voter participating in the process, he now has a political case of Keystone Cops. Both Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster petitioned onto the general election ballot. Ganim will not have an individual petitioning ballot spot by virtue of being the Democratic nominee. Foster still has the option to run in November.

Meanwhile, Charlie Coviello, mayoral candidate of the New Movement Party, says he has not heard directly from Finch but even if he does he will not cede his seat to the mayor. “Finch has lied to me,” says Coviello. “You lie once, you’ve lost your word. I keep my word in politics.”

On Monday a spokesman for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office announced that a minor party created on behalf of Finch if he failed to win the primary did not qualify for a ballot spot due to a paperwork snafu. It has left Finch and political operatives scrambling to remain relevant in the general election. Finch will challenge the Job Creation Party ballot spot in court, but several legal analysts doubt it will hold up based on the clarity of law that requires notification of endorsed candidates to be submitted no later that September 2.

From state statute:

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Secretary of the State shall approve every nominating petition which contains sufficient signatures counted and certified on approved pages by the town clerks. In the case of a candidate who petitions under a reserved party designation the Secretary shall approve the petition only if it meets the signature requirement and if a statement endorsing such candidate is filed with the Secretary by the party designation committee not later than four o’clock p.m. on the sixty-second day before the election. In the case of a candidate who petitions under a party designation which is the same as the name of a minor party the Secretary shall approve the petition only if it meets the signature requirement and if a statement endorsing such candidate is filed in the office of the Secretary by the chairman or secretary of such minor party not later than four o’clock p.m. on the sixty-second day before the election. No candidate shall be qualified to appear on any ballot by nominating petition unless the candidate’s petition is approved by the Secretary pursuant to this subsection.
(c) The Secretary of the State may approve a nominating petition received under section 9-453k at any time except such approval shall be withdrawn if sufficient signatures are withdrawn under section 9-453h.
Cite as Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-453o

Finch statement today:

“We’re confident that the Job Creation Party line will appear on the November ballot. This election is too important for Bridgeport and its future to be decided by red tape in the Secretary of State’s Office. We’re taking this issue to court, and we’re confident that this matter will receive a fair and just hearing.”

Statement from Mary-Jane Foster supporter Tom Swan, head of the Connecticut Citizens Action Group:

“I realize that the Pope is visiting, but this lawsuit is nothing more than Bill Finch throwing more Hail Marys than one recites doing a rosary to try to cling to power. He needs to realize that voters like politicians who argue that they are exempt from the rules maybe even less than those that steal from them and withdraw this lawsuit–it is embarrassing.”

Petitioning candidates cannot give up their ballot placement to an individual. It must come from a candidate with a party designation.

Finch could wage a race as a write-in candidate, but that is a super high mountain to climb for reelection.



    1. If you read between the lines on this article my thinking is Finch and McCarthy are no longer on good terms. Finch is not in the heat and he is willing to throw McCarthy under the bus by supporting the city charter. Dirty.

      1. Finch only cares about himself. What a loser. He asked Torres, a Republican to give him his slot. My dad always told me if you are going to go, go with dignity. Finch looks bad and is dragging himself through the mud. Either have people put your name on the ballot at election time or quit. But stop the bullshit. You were never a Republican, stop stooping to new lows. Have some damned pride.

  1. Torres said there was no point in Finch asking to run on the Republican line. “He couldn’t win in his own party, so how could he win outside of his party?” Torres said. “Bill Finch has no chance… He obviously doesn’t live in the real world.”

    According to Torres, he now has a chance to put together a coalition of anti-Ganim Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. “I think there are enough good people in Bridgeport who don’t want to have that kind of person running the city,” Torres said.

  2. Regarding the long-discussed conflict-of-interest situation that smells to high heaven in Bridgeport:
    Let’s go to the videotape of the 8/26/15 Democratic mayoral debate, minute mark 31:

    Finch strongly stated at that debate he supports a union member’s “Constitutional right” to hold public office, and therefore he did not support following the City Charter or any legislation or action aimed at prohibiting city employees from serving on the City Council, because “it’s a constitutional right to run for office … They [the labor unions] support me because I support their constitutional right to run for office.”

    As Professor Greenberg pointed out to the CT Post, there is no such right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

    Second, the current City Council President is a city employee but not a union member. So what about that?

    Third, we read today the Mayor is now offering to go back on his emphatic word for public employee union members’ “constitutional rights” … in order to try to make a deal for himself?

    Which is it?

    And what do the public employee unions and their lobbyists in Hartford who blocked the unanimously-passed-by-the-Senate conflicts-of-interest bill from a vote in the lower chamber, think about this?

    Maybe they can get a refund on their donations to the Finch campaign.

    1. Pete,
      I am sure if you asked his honor he would tell you, just like democracies, sometimes constitutions don’t work!
      And Steve Auerbach always thought when Finch was talking about bringing a Banana Republic to Bridgeport he was talking about another retain chain.

  3. What a piece of crap Finch is. He is now willing to toss aside those employed by the city and on the council. What are those folks in those positions thinking about Finch and Wood at this moment? He is willing to walk you over the plank to save himself. Just leave, you pompous, narcissistic pile of crap. The voters have spoken and you lost. Get over it. Take Steve with you.

  4. Finch might not have been in this position if he had made some concessions regarding his policies before the primary, in order to more accurately represent his constituents.

  5. Torres should have demanded Finch terminate city employees who are on the council before any further discussions took place.
    You can be sure Finch would have agreed to this and then turned around after the election if he wins and state the city attorney just informed him he couldn’t do so.

  6. Was this supposed to be a confidential conversation or did Mayor Wood honestly think it wouldn’t make the paper? How does Tom McCarthy feel to be thrown under the bus like a human sacrifice!

      1. I don’t think so. It’s black-letter law. This isn’t Chicago; judges are not for sale in Connecticut. If money and political connections bought judicial rulings, Joe Ganim would have had his law license restored and he wouldn’t need the paycheck.

  7. Haven’t each of these people discussed above put themselves in their current position by what they have said and by what they have done? Should any of them point a finger and blame another for a blunder, albeit a most expensive one?

    During the past three years as I have reviewed many of the fiscal reports coming from the City, I have found and written about numerous errors in such papers and documents and wondered aloud whether anyone was proofreading them before they were released to the public.The CAFR released in January 2015 had more than 20 errors and it is the official annual document of the City. Report was made to City Council and letter was posted on OIB. This infallible administration took no public note of any of this. Is that a habit?

    Mistakes happen. We are human. So redundancy is due where matters are fragile or delicate. (As rookies running for office, we made sure our petitions for the General Election had enough signatures that were legible and represented registered voters.) We check our paperwork on campaign finance by reading and consulting the State where questions remained. Still and all, anyone can make a mistake.

    The 2015 mayoral campaign will go down in the books for the number of candidates pursuing the office in a variety of ways, for the funds raised, and for the unusual twists and turns provided to the public very dramatically. Where is the movement towards better structured governance, increased financial strength and a voice for the people, before and after the election? Time will tell.

  8. According to the CT Post, it is no secret the Finch administration has considered Torres an obstructionist and a blowhard.

    Now it defies credulity he would think, feel or believe Rick would acquiesce his place on the ballot to a man who showed him little to no respect in his elected position as a representative of his district. What makes him think you can blatantly disrespect a person and then when you need them, forget what I did to you? This is poetic justice at its best.

  9. I’m sure Dan Malloy is scrambling to find just the right Superior Court judge to rule it is “the intent to file in a timely way” by the Finch Campaign that counts and Bridgeport City Attorney Mark Anastasi convinced him/her there was, indeed, convincing testimony from City Hall they intended to “file in a timely way” but were prevented from doing so by the distraction of having to divert attention to the completion of so many splash pads in so many city parks and school grounds with the September 16, Election Day deadline closing in on them. “Hanging chad” or “missed filing deadline?” Maybe the Connecticut Post has a favorable editorial opinion for the Finch Campaign in this regard.

    1. To your point.
      An e-mail HOT OFF THE PRESS. Just got it now, 4:22pm

      I’m fighting for the future …
      Bill Finch ( 4:19 PM

      Dear Friend,

      There’s a lot of talk out there, but I want you to know the truth: I’m still in this.

      As your mayor, I’m focused on making smart investments in the long run.

      I’m focused on ensuring Bridgeport becomes a place where our kids will choose to live, work, and raise their families, too.

      Together, we’re building a city that works for everyone.

      And, I remain confident that I’ll be on the ballot as the Job Creation Party candidate in the future.

      But we need your help — can you donate $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can afford today to help us get across the finish line?

      Bridgeport’s future hangs in the balance. Let’s work together to continue the progress.

      Best Wishes,
      Bill Finch
      Mayor of Bridgeport, Conn

      1. Dear Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport, I truly want to help you across the finish line. You must help me first and it should be easy. Will you explain to me why more funds are needed by you today? What was done with the $500,000? It has not trickled down into our local economy as far as I can see. You undoubtedly can set me straight. What is the expense to pick up a vote in this climate? And what’s in it for me other than getting a shocking valuation letter the second week of November, or thereabouts? Is that too crass?
        I have been asking questions of you without full, timely or sufficient answer for many years now, and Bridgeport’s future has been hanging in the balance for all those years … too much time, too little progress and so expensive, right?

        Hope you can afford the time to provide an answer so I can help you finish. Isn’t that your wish? Time will tell.

  10. Just when i thought it couldn’t get worse, Mayor Finch asking to run as a Republican and on top of that asking Rick Torres who is a good honest person to step aside! All the issues Finch said he would not concede to such as city employees serving as council members are no longer a problem as long as he is still mayor. Everyone else he threw under the bus. What are they hiding at city hall? There is more to this election than meets the eye.

  11. So glad Rick told Finch no. Through the years Finch has shown his dislike for Rick. During the CC meetings Finch doesn’t even look at him, sighs as Rick is talking, shows him no respect at all. Now, because he desperate, he goes to Rick and begs him to let him run on his line?? As a Republican?? And he’s willing to do whatever Rick wants to make it happen?? He’ll get rid of McCarthy in a second, if that’s what Rick wants. Real nice Bill, some friend you turned out to be. What’s next, admitting you knew about Moutinho’s driveway? What a piece of crap Finch is, throw the women and children overboard to save himself. Glad everyone is seeing this unfold now. Bill, you lost, just go away now.

  12. 1. Why does “the voters have spoken” seem to apply to everyone but Finch?

    2. Why is this “red tape” for Finch and would be a “major ineptitude” for anyone else?

    3. Which word in the phrase “You’re fired” is so hard to comprehend?

    4. Why are Finch supporters (in the minority) trying to shove this mayor down our throats?

    5. See #3.

    Gather what is left of your dignity and quit trying to steal this election. You lost. Go home, have a drink, update your resume and make some productive calls for a job instead of calling everyone under the sun to help you hang onto a job the electorate does not want you in anymore.

  13. BPT REBEL, you have no idea what the Tea Party stands for, do you. The Tea Party stands with regular people like us and against big government, high taxes, crushing regulations and the destruction of our freedoms. People need to stop listening to the lies of the mainstream media and those elitist politicians in both parties who fear the common citizens like us. The Tea Party is the only thing standing in between us and tyranny.

  14. And as far as the Bridgeport Republican Party is concerned; we are more than just a candidate filling a spot. We are about a policy, of beliefs, an idea of small government, low taxes, working within a budget and freedoms of choice. Bill Finch fits none of those!
    One thing I can assure you is not only will Rick Torres bring his intelligence and his experience to the office of mayor; but will bring a much needed dose of integrity and honor so sorely missing in this 30+ years of Democrat control in this city!

  15. *** Panic in Urban Park, how low can you go, promises/promises, for a spot today I would gladly repay you Tuesday or someday, ’cause Bpt is getting better every day! If any of these “still in the race” Mayoral candidates have any pride or an axe to grind against Finch, now is certainly the time to “laugh last and laugh best, no?” *** INTEGRITY/PRINCIPLE ***

  16. The rats will all jump off the sinking ship and into the Ganim camp by the weekend.
    I said the fake party wasn’t gonna hold up, I said Finch would try to be a Republican, I say all his peeps will be with Ganim by the weekend.
    GAME, SET, MATCH to Joe Ganim.


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