Log in Register

 

Mohegan Sun Housatonic Community College Elle Sera OIB the book
Bridgeport Public Library OIB Classifieds
OIB TV

Mohegan Sun


Stevens Lincoln

The Plastic Factory

Greater Bridgeport Transit

Connecticut Characters




Trattoria ’A vucchella




Town Committee Primaries Key To Ganim-Testa Coalition

December 8th, 2017 · 39 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, State Politics

Ganim, Mario convention

Ganim and Testa at 2016 Dem national convention.

A-hunting we will go. That will be the battle cry for Mayor Joe Ganim and other gubernatorial candidates forging a Democratic primary against the endorsed candidate at the party’s May convention. For challengers, 15 percent delegate support is required to cement a ballot spot in August. The state party this week released its town-by-town delegate count totaling 1,927 statewide. New Haven at 97 delegates and Bridgeport at 90 lead the list. So about 290 delegates required. See the town breakdowns here.

The delegate allocation comes from two factors, according to party rules: the number of registered Democrats in the town and the votes cast for the Democratic candidate in the most recent presidential election.

Delegates will be selected in the spring, the list furnished by the respective town chairs to state party officials. Translation: Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa selects the delegates with input from some district leaders. Prior to that, however, primaries in Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee districts will take place in March. The results of those races determines whether Testa receives two more years as Democratic leader. The town committee members select the local chairman.

City political activists are already discussing potential slates for the early March primaries.

So if Ganim pushes ahead with a run for governor he must pay attention to the town committee primaries to advance another term for his ally. Ganim is looking at a bloc of delegates from Bridgeport and New Haven as his base at the state convention. But he’ll need support in other towns to cement the 15 percent. That process has already begun via party insiders who serve as serial delegates to the state convention. State primaries will take place August 2018.

If Ganim fails to achieve 15 percent support at the convention he can qualify for the primary ballot by securing certified signatures from two percent of registered Democrats in the state; a long, hard haul.

The Democratic field for governor still lacks a dominant front runner.

If Ganim decides to pursue a statewide run, he’ll likely pivot next month from an exploratory committee with a maximum personal contribution of $375 to a full-blown committee allowing up to $3,500. He must dial for dollars  the old-fashioned way because he’s blocked from participating in the state’s public financing program.

So while he has an eye on a statewide run what happens close to home in the town committee primaries is key for candidate viability.

Share

Tags: ·

39 Comments so far ↓

  • Joel Gonzalez

    This one is going to be a wild one. Ned Lamont will soon decide whether to enter the Governor’s race, Hartford’s (I haven’t done crap yet) mayor Bronin has thrown his hat into the race. The results of Bridgeport DYC race is not the only one that the key Gubernatorial candidates has to watch. Bridgeport DTC needs to as well keep an eye out for what happens with the DTC races in New Haven, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, Hartford, etc.

  • Jimfox

    From Shakespeare’s tragedy, The Ides of March are upon you Don Mario!
    The warning is uttered by a soothsayer (Sonny Fox)who is letting  DTC leader Don Mario  know that his chairmanship is in danger, and he should probably stay home and be careful when March rolls around.
    March just may produce, two birds with one stone.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The DTC elections could be very colorful. There are several forces in play rallying candidates and votes to change the regime.

  • Ron Mackey

    Remember, the chairman of the Democratic Town Committee DOES NOT have to be a member of the DTC in order to run for DTC Chairman position.

  • Jimfox

    But he should live in Bridgeport, and not under some sink in a kitchen!

  • Bob Walsh

    Remember, if everyone sits on the blog and predicts change there will be none because no one is out doing the work.

    • Frank Gyure

      Bob Walsh is right. The BPT DTC elections in March will require hard work and street canvassing etc etc etc. I don’t feel that there is an organized effort in place for the BPT DEM DTC elections in March.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Frank my friend, someone’s keeping you out of the loop.

  • Bob Walsh

    And furthermore, don’t sit around waiting to be asked because that is all you will do; sit around.
    If no one approaches you, approach someone. Anyone. The more the merrier.

  • Marshall Marcus

    OIB readers know I live in Trumbull, but work ion Bridgeport and Mrs. M owns and pays property tax in Bpt.

    I am the current Rules Committee Chairman of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee and as such am familiar with how the process is required to work:

    The system for choosing delegates to the state party convention as described in this article is neither correct or in compliance with the State Democratic Party Rules.

    The Town Chairman in consultation with district leader does NOT get to choose the delegates.

    I have cited sections of the controlling state party rules plus the inaccurate section from the article.

    For those posters who have complained they cannot get a copy of the BDTC Rules, request them from the State Party and Secretary of State. If they are not on file, The BDTC MUST follow the State Party Rules see below). If they don’t selections may be invalid, delegates can be refused credentials at the State Convention and a complaint filed with the SEEC.

    From the article above:
    “Delegates will be selected in the spring the list furnished by the respective town chairs to state party officials. Translation: Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa selects the delegates with input from some district leaders”

    NO!!!! The TC Chair notifies the State Central Committee who the delegates are, but the Town Chair does not get to pick the delegates.
    State Party Rules: “Section 4: Delegate List

    It shall be the duty of the Chair of each town committee to send to the Secretary of the State Central Committee, on forms furnished by the State Central Committee, a list of the delegates to each convention duly chosen from his or her town, properly attested….”

    Duly chosen means by voting members of the Town Committee, subject to challenge and primary by party members.

    Requirements for a Primary Challenge: ” ARTICLE VI PRIMARY LAW

    The nominations of the Democratic Party to all public offices and the election to a town committee and delegates to conventions shall be made in all respects in accordance with the State Party Rules, as may be amended from time to time, provided that no person may contest in a primary for any State or District office unless such person has received at least fifteen percent (15%) of the votes of the convention delegates present and voting in at least one roll call vote at a duly called and conducted convention for the endorsement of candidates for such offices, in accordance with the provisions of Article III of these rules, or such person has received two percent (2%) of the valid signatures of registered Democrats in the State or congressional district, or five percent (5%) of the valid signatures of registered Democrats in the State Senatorial, Assembly or Judge of Probate district.”

    How a Town Committee selects delegates:”Section 6: Slate Endorsement

    At any caucus or town committee meeting duly called for the election of delegates to any convention, nominations for said delegates may be made (1) by presentation to the caucus or town committee of a slate composed of a number of persons not exceeding the number of such delegates to which the town is entitled under the state rules of the Democratic Party or (2) by nomination of individual candidates. Voting by slate is only permissible when the election is between two or more full slates.
    In the selection of such delegates, each member of the caucus or town committee member present and voting shall vote for a number of delegates not to exceed the number of a full slate as defined above.
    The voting for delegates to each convention shall be done by individual convention.”

    Town Committee Rules MUST be filed with the State Party!!!!!
    “Section 10: Filing of Local Rules and List of Officers and Members

    Within one week after swearing in a new town committee and the election of Officers for any given term, the Chair of the town committee shall file a copy of the town committee’s Local Rules, as well as a list of the names and addresses and other pertinent contact information of the officers and members of the town committee (in a format designated by the Democratic State Central Committee) with the Secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee.”

    When a Town Committee does NOT file their rules with the State Democratic Party as required Article VIII kicks in!

    “ARTICLE VIII

    RULES GOVERNING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN TOWNS NOT HAVING LOCAL PARTY RULES

    The following rules shall govern the activities of the Democratic Party in each town of the state in which no rules have been adopted by the local Democratic Party or have not been filed in accordance with Article VIII. …”

    Seven Day Rule for filing copy of Town Committee Rules with party and Secretary of State>>>>

    “ARTICLE IX FILING OF LOCAL RULES

    Within seven (7) days after party rules or any amendments to party rules are adopted by the Democratic Party in any town, a copy of the same shall be filed with the Secretary of the State Central Committee and the Secretary of the State and as otherwise required by law. Any amendments so filed shall set forth in full the section to be amended. Matter to be omitted or repealed shall be surrounded by brackets, and new matter shall be indicated by capitalization. Adopted party rules or amendments shall not be effective until sixty (60) days after the filing with the Secretary of the State Central Committee.”

    Towns Committees are BOUND by the State Party Rules and MUST adopt and file rules that are consistent with them. Otherwise the Town Committee must operate under the State Party Rules as published on the State Party Website!

    “ARTICLE IX FILING OF LOCAL RULES

    Within seven (7) days after party rules or any amendments to party rules are adopted by the Democratic Party in any town, a copy of the same shall be filed with the Secretary of the State Central Committee and the Secretary of the State and as otherwise required by law. Any amendments so filed shall set forth in full the section to be amended. Matter to be omitted or repealed shall be surrounded by brackets, and new matter shall be indicated by capitalization. Adopted party rules or amendments shall not be effective until sixty (60) days after the filing with the Secretary of the State Central Committee.”

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Marshall, I provided a link to the state party rules. I merely pointed out how it works in Bridgeport under the current chairman who names dozens of DTC members as delegates, as a result it becomes a formality for his choices. By the way, a whole bunch of pols in this state do it the same way. In the old days when it was totally an insiders game, before direct primaries were ordered by the federal court, delegate primaries were the way to settle matters if anyone wanted to challenge it.

      • Marshall Marcus

        @Lennie

        I deliberately pointed out the rules and methods so ANY registered Bridgeport Dem can challenge the delegates if the rules are NOT followed.

        Messrs. Ganim and Testa would be horrified to arrive in Hartford and have their handpicked delegation denied credentials for not following the state party rules.

        Imagine, if Ganim’s name was placed in nomination and there was not a single accredited Bridgeport delegate to cast a vote for him…..

  • DougDavidoff

    Political pros on OIB already know the wisdom of what I’m about to write. But it may surprise less-involved readers to learn that this 15% delegate-vote requiurement can become a very high hurdle, especially in a crowded field like this one.

    This will be my first giubernatorial convention fight since returning to Connecticut three years ago. A year earlier, I was a delegate to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in support of Jennifer Kayyem’s campaign for governor to succeed Deval Patrick.

    Kayyem had great credentials and great media presence and tons of smarts. We worked hard, but she was a lesser candidate in a crowded field. It dawned on her supporters all too slowly that the task of winning 15% of the state convention delegates’ votes was not to be taken for granted. The call to actrion for a convention battle arrived too late. At the convention, we narrowly missed the 15% mark.

    I guess there is no provision in Massachusetts for a candidate who loses at the convention to clamber onto the ballot via petition, as there is in Connecticut. So Kayyem’s campaign was finished. And I learned never to take a 15% threshhold for granted.

    Let’s say there are two leading candidates each taking 35% of the delegate votes. That’s a total of 70%, with only 30% of the delegates to split among perhaps four remaining candidates. If one of the four takes 15%, it becomes impossible for any of the final three candidates to achieve 15%. This is the sort of existential question lesser candidates wind up facing, often by surprise.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Marshall thank you for that information. It’s very difficult to get any information from the present Town Chair, he hoards it to keep TC members uninformed. It’s good to know how knowledgeable you are in this area.

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa you are so right and hopefully those new council members and those who want change will follow up with Marshall’s information to get the Party’s rules and policy.

    • Marshall Marcus

      @Liza
      As long as I’ve been reading OIB, I have seen Bridgeport Dems complain that they cannot get a copy of the BDTC rules. The fact remains that since it is apparent that the TC doesn’t file the rules with the State Party and Secretary of State they are open to challenge when attempting to seat delegates and complaints to the SEEC.
      Rules exist for a reason. The ONLY way to change the way the BDTC works is to make the rules work for those seeking change.
      Disaffected Dems must run for seats on the Town Committee. Complaints must be made to the State Party and SEEC.

      2018 is a Statewide Election Year. The party doesn’t want its name dragged through the mud because the Town Committee in its largest City refuses to follow the rules. This tact will adversely affect Ganim’s attempt for the nomination. It is the bad press he cannot afford within the party.
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      NEXT……………..
      In Trumbull we reinvigorated our Town Committee and party by exercising the right of ALL Registered Democrats to attend EVERY meeting of the Town Committee. That’s in the State Party Rules. Get people involved. Let them see how sausage is made and they will affect change. Let Mario Testa, Joe Ganim and their see hundred of watchful eyes and open ears taking notes at the meetings. They have no legal way to exclude any Registered Bpt Dem from any meeting. If they try to pull an ‘Executive Session’ stunt, challenge it. The State Party says Roberts Rules apply.

  • Jeff Kohut

    With all candidates coming into this race personal and party baggage, this governor’s race is a wide-open, handicapper’s nightmare… It would seem that in both parties, a “Bridgeport” back-up plan is indicated… Any candidate that is truly intent upon becoming governor should create the ability to use a back-door independent/third-party option as well as a front-door, party-nominee option… The best-case scenario, of course, would be to have multiple lines on the ballot… (With a brass-cojones-band campaign strategy designed to wake-up our stodgy, jaded state electorate and focus their attention…)

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    This has been a highly informative thread. I will support challenging Mario’s choices for delegates.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Lid if the number of slates in the planning stage materialize, it will be easy to wage a challenge. It’s difficult when Testo owns the majority. Case in point: a few years ago I nominated a woman to the BOE, I won’t mentioned her name, but I can assure you she was as perfect for that job on the BOE as anyone I know of. Needless to say Testo didn’t approve, but there was a sense of satisfaction when we came too close for comfort for him. I asked if she could take a minute to thank the brave TC members who supported her, and that little tyrant refused to allow her to speak: his minions didn’t say a word.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Connecticut’s nickname, “Corrupticut,” is well earned. The state Democratic Party leadership only cares about “democracy” in Bridgeport is when they need to elect a governor or a Senator. (That worked out really well with Dannell Malloy, eh?)

    It would be advisable to have an attorney on board to challenge Mario Testa’s delegate selections.

Leave a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.