Bob “Troll” Walsh, who served for years as the resident curmudgeon on the City Council, writes in a commentary he’s supporting Working Families Party candidates John Bagley and Barbara Pouchet for school board in Tuesday’s special election to fill four seats. He says he’ll also be voting for petitioning candidate Karen Jackson. City electors may vote for any three of the nine candidates. Four will get in, with one spot guaranteed for minority-party representation. The Troll sharpens his teeth below:
I do not recall ever publicly calling on friends and supporters to turn their backs on my Democratic Party but that is what I have found myself doing as it concerns the upcoming Special Election for the Board of Education.
As far as I am concerned the whole process is a fraud and by default many of the candidates are fraudulent in nature. The Democratic Party chose not to endorse and support candidates who have shown a commitment to the party and to the electoral process but instead endorsed three candidates who only sought appointment to the board and never were willing to take on the process of campaigning. And unless the voters decide otherwise in November this is still an elected and not selected Board of Ed.
That is why I am supporting the Working Family Party candidate for the BOE. I have know Barbara Pouchet for years and have always found her to be a fierce advocate for a quality school system and more importantly for the children who attend our schools.
Although I have not personally known John Bagley as long from what I have heard he too has the best interest of the children at heart.
And although many people on this blog are talking about supporting one of the Republican candidates, I would urge people to consider Karen Jackson. I have met Ms. Jackson on occasion from my years on the City Council and found her to be staunchly independent and willing to question the status quo. And I found her willingness to openly challenge the ethical behavior of one of the Democratic candidate’s private business gain through his seat on the board courageous and quite refreshing.
But there is another reason to support these three independent individuals especially over individuals long involved in the Bridgeport political process. These candidates have no loyalties to anyone other than the voters.
If they are asked to vote on new members in the near future, they will have no loyalty to party bosses from either party and feel no obligation to cut deals. The next few months will present unique challenges to the newly constituted board and strong independent leadership is what is needed.
People, who have played the game or been around Bridgeport politics for too long, are always quick to compromise. Just look at how the Republicans acted and voted on the Charter Revision Committee. They were too quick to please and too quick to compromise on critical questions.
All elections are a numbers game. In this election spreading your vote around may have unintended consequences and end up hurting the Working Families Party candidates. If you feel a strong commitment to these two candidates then you should consider voting only for two. By diluting your vote and casting your third choice in the direction of a candidate from either major party you may unintentionally harm one of these two individuals.