Okay, now we’re talking. Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez is taking an interest in the case of the Bridgeport Civil Service Commission canning of Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs for something called breach of city loyalty.
Why is this issue important? It’s the first time the non-political personnel director has been fired–for a dubious charge at that–and it’s sending shivers through a number of city employees. If they can do that to him, what about us?
Jacobs has filed a legal complaint against the city claiming he was dumped essentially because he wouldn’t play ball with Mayor Bill Finch’s desire for Jacobs to accommodate him on some political hires. Lopez has asked City Attorney Mark Anastasi for a bunch of information including minutes of the meeting that led to Jacobs’ termination.
Lopez believes the commission action violated several state laws including a job execution against freedom of information regulations. She also wants to know how much this legal action is costing the city. The city has hired not one but two law firms in conjunction with the termination. I guess no one is qualified in the City Attorney’s Office to handle it.
A sidebar to the commission action includes the residency of Commission President Eleanor Guedes. The City Charter states members of boards and commissions must be residents and voters of the city. Guedes, as OIB reported on Monday, is using her business address as her place of voter registration and claims to have a number of residences, including a home on Teller Road in Trumbull.
I called Anastasi one week ago to ask about the Guedes residency issue. He did not return the call. When Lopez asked the Civil Service office for the information request she was directed to Anastasi. Lopez wanted to send the FOI request via email. Oh, no, she was told, that’s not acceptable. So all the email correspondence that races through city government is not official?
Anastasi sees himself as the dragon protecting the castle, the guy who barricades himself in front of the chief executive of the city. He has an interesting interpretation of law and has repeatedly gotten his ass kicked for it. Mark was the public lawyer who acted as Joe Ganim’s de facto criminal defense attorney, on the taxpayers’ dime, when Joe refused to turn over cell phone records to the Connecticut Post. The Post eventually got the records.
He’s the chief city lawyer who has pursued dubious legal actions costing taxpayers millions of dollars in outside attorney fees. His job, he believes, is to protect the mayor irrespective of who holds the office, irrespective of the oath he has taken to serve in the position. He is by charter the city attorney not the mayor’s attorney.
So Lopez, the first Latina appointed to the state bench, is not letting the issue drop. The Black Rock resident will pursue the FOI action and she’s expected to address the City Council next month about the roadblocks to city transparency. See update on this Monday.
One Banana, Two Banana …
What a hoot.
Here’s what Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Caligiuri’s spokesperson shared when Sam learned yet another GOP hopeful has jumped into the replace-Dodd sweepstakes.
As with Linda McMahon’s decision to enter the U.S. Senate race yesterday, State Senator Sam Caligiuri welcomes Peter Schiff to the competition. Sam believes that giving the people of Connecticut the chance to select the best candidate through a spirited primary is good for voters.
Translation: what’s good for Sam is as many Republicans as possible! Yes, jump in, the water is welcome. All you fat-pocketed Republicans should make the biggest splash possible.
Of all the candidates challenging Dodd–former Congressman Rob Simmons, former ambassador Tom Foley, WWE marketing maven Linda McMahon and the latest entry Peter Schiff–Sam is the only one in an elected capacity. He occupies a state senate district that includes Waterbury and neighbors. The patch slants conservative and provides Caligiuri with a homeboy base of support.
The other candidates are bulging with bucks. All of them will spend millions in the next 11 months that will include a party convention next summer and likely an August primary. I can’t wait! Sam has a tall task here because he’ll be financially outgunned. His hope is for the others to split up the GOP vote and his senate base helps lead the way. His senate base will not be enough, but it’s something to build on.
Simmons has a base in eastern Connecticut from his years in Congress. But most of the state’s GOP votes are in the 4th and 5th Congressional districts. Caligiuri must find a way to peel off GOP operatives in Fairfield County to keep him in play otherwise see ya Sam. The other guys have too much loot.
Now, if I’m Chris Dodd, don’t ya think at some point these Republicans are going to carve up one another to break away from the pack? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing’s for sure, they will direct a whole bunch of thunder at Dodd over the next six months, trying to keep his negatives up. It seems like Dodd has brought back Democrats than ran for cover following his mortgage mess, at least the latest Q poll shows that.
Dodd’s Democratic opponent Merrick Alpert hopes that’s not the case. But Merrick must unearth buried treasure to persuade Dems he’s the alternative. Dodd will have five, six million to spend, maybe more.
The trick for Dodd is to make Connecticut’s majority independent voters feel safe. I’m wondering what OIB friend Marlys, an indomitable Dodd supporter, thinks about all of this. Marlys … please?
Come November 2010 little ol’ Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, will be a major GOTV target for Dodd. Why do I get the feeling Dodd and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa will be sharing more than a few cups of espresso in the coming months?
From The NRCC
Jim Himes Silenced as Connecticut Unemployment Skyrockets to 8.1%
August Unemployment Numbers Confirm Jobless Recovery, Connecticut Families Strapped for Cash and Jobs
Washington- As unemployment in Connecticut continues to climb to 8.1% for August, Democrats’ promise seven months ago to revitalize the economy seems to be a fading memory. Connecticut taxpayers are only left to wonder why Jim Himes voted for a massive $787 billion “stimulus” plan which seems to have done nothing for their ailing state.
Democrats failed economic policies and empty promises have only brought to light that members like Jim Himes are out of touch with the needs of their districts. Yet Democrat leaders continue to make excuses:
“Rising joblessness underscores Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s judgment that it’s “too early” to start exiting from the unprecedented stimulus measures helping stabilize the economy. AMR Corp. and Whirlpool Corp. are among the companies continuing to cut staff to lower costs and revive profits in the aftermath of the deepest recession since the 1930s.” (Timothy Homan, “U.S. Economy: Payroll Losses Slow, Jobless Rate Up,” Bloomberg, 9/04/2009)
“Jim Himes made a promise of economic recovery when he voted for the Democrats $787 billion ‘stimulus’ plan,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “But the stimulus has yet to yield real results, leaving Connecticut families having to once again stretch their next pay checks while wondering: where are the jobs? Himes’ careless use of taxpayer money is indication enough that he is incapable of leading Connecticut out of this jobless recovery.”
With 216,000 jobs lost nationally in August alone, the uphill battle towards economic recovery has left middle-class families doubting that Democrats and their failed policies will be able to lead America out of financial turmoil:
“A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found 57% of adults say the stimulus package is having no impact on the economy or making it worse. Even more–60%–doubt that the stimulus plan will help the economy in the years ahead, and only 18% say it has done anything to help improve their personal situation.” (Brad Heath, “Poll: 57% Don’t See Stimulus Working,” USA Today, 8/17/09)
Support The Fish, Final Weekend
Come join the Bluefish at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard during their final homestand of the 2009 regular season. Tickets for all games are available by visiting the Harbor Yard box office, calling 203-345-4800, or by visiting www.bridgeportbluefish.com and clicking the tickets icon. Here is the fun and excitement the Bluefish have in store:
Friday, September 18 – 7:05 p.m. vs. Newark- buy tickets
– “Freebie Friday” is always a fun night at the ballpark. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Bluefish Logo Baseball. Friday will also be “Unused Ticket Day.” Any fans holding unused tickets from this season will have the opportunity to exchange those tickets for a ticket of equal or lesser value at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard Box Office.
Saturday, September 19 – 6:05 p.m. vs. Newark- buy tickets
– The Bluefish and Bears will play game three of their four-game series. Come out and enjoy a nice Saturday evening at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard and following the contest all fans will be treated to a special fireworks extravaganza!
Sunday, September 20 – 2:05 p.m. vs. Newark- buy tickets
– Help the ‘Fish go out with a bang this year as they tangle with the Newark Bears. As a thank you to all of the fans, the Bluefish have announced that a limited amount of tickets for Sunday, September 20 that are located on the lower level (field box, loge and reserved) will be available for only $5. The fun and excitement doesn’t stop their as the Bluefish have also announced that September 20 will be “Fan Appreciation Day.” All fans in attendance will have the opportunity to win great Bluefish prizes throughout the game.As always, Sunday is Family Fun Day and all B.B.’s Baseball Bunch members receive free admission to the game. All fans will be treated to a pre-game autograph session starting at 1:20 p.m. and following the contest, all kids will be able to run the bases like their favorite Bluefish players.