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Watchdog Group Endorses Foster, Bashes ‘Corrupt Political Machine’

July 23rd, 2015 · 17 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Calling Tuesday night’s Democratic Town Committee endorsement a “boys’ mud wrestling contest,” the advocacy organization Connecticut Citizen Action Group that assisted the State Senate wins of Marilyn Moore and Ed Gomes the past year is backing Mary-Jane Foster’s candidacy for mayor.

“We are proud to have been part of numerous successful efforts by Bridgeport residents to stand up to the corrupt political machine that was on full display Tuesday night at the boys’ mud wrestling contest called a convention,” said CCAG Executive Director Tom Swan, in a news release, referencing the endorsement of Mayor Bill Finch. Former Mayor Joe Ganim finished a close second. Foster did not attend the endorsement session.

Swan served as an adviser to the winning State Senate campaigns of Moore and Gomes. He knows his way around primaries building alliances among liberal constituencies such as labor unions in the cause of issues such as health care, the environment and wage equality. Max Medina, 2003 mayoral candidate who also served for many years as president of the Board of Education, is a CCAG board member. Moore and Gomes also support Foster.

Foster who entered to race for mayor late has ground to make up in both fundraising and organizational strength. Swan’s comments signal the kind of race Foster will wage in the eight weeks leading to the primary, framing herself an alternative to Finch and Ganim.

“We are confident the voters in September will agree with us that whether it is paying a friend hundreds of thousands of dollars to pave his own driveway, or conspiring to take away Bridgeporters’ right to vote, or taking kickbacks from contractors that Bridgeport deserves better and will choose Mary-Jane in September,” says Swan.

Swan says CCAG will provide strategic assistance and communicate with its members on the importance of this election. Foster has started the signature process to secure a spot on the September 16 primary ballot.

“I am gratified that my fellow board members have unanimously agreed that the residents of Bridgeport deserve better and are joining with me to endorse Mary-Jane Foster’s bid to become Mayor of Bridgeport,” said Medina. “Bridgeport needs Mary-Jane’s principled dedication to public service and cannot afford to waste the next four years on incompetent or corrupt government.”

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17 Comments so far ↓

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Aha, this may make a difference.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Bill Finch is going to be looking for a job after November. He’s weak on too many issues. Here’s a short list:

    • Job creation. Bridgeport’s unemployment rate is 8.7%, 3.1% higher than the state. He claims to have created “thousands” of jobs. That’s a laugh.

    • Public Safety. Finch’s responses to calamitous events such as hurricanes, blizzards, mass shootings and drug trafficking leave more than a little bit to be desired. If the Bridgeport Police Department had effective leadership the rank and file uniformed officers wouldn’t have endorsed Finch’s opponent, a convicted felon, for mayor

    • Finch has raised taxes at least three times by my count. He also continues a “boot and tow” program that penalizes the working poor by confiscating their vehicles for as little as $100.00. The boot adds $95.00 to the debt, another $150.00 or so is added by the tow truck and then there are storage fees. If the vehicle is unclaimed it is sold at auction by judicial marshals. Does the city of Bridgeport see much of that money? No. Bridgeport Tax Collector Veronica Jones stated “proceeds from tax tows and tax auctions rarely return to the city because storage fees usually outweigh the value of the vehicle.” So why are you making life difficult for the working poor of this city?

    • Handing out tax abatements to developers in exchange for campaign contributions. Shame on you, Bill Finch.

    I am not endorsing any particular candidate for mayor. What I AM saying is, get rid of the clown currently occupying the mayor’s office. He hasn’t done a damned thing to improve the quality of life of the people of the city of Bridgeport. Bill Finch is not even very good at blaming Joe Ganim or “a bunch of yahoos” for his shortcomings.

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    This is great news!

  • Pete Spain

    Congratulations, Mary-Jane Foster!

    You’re in good company with State Senators Moore and Gomes.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Anyone but Finch.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bridgeport Kid, anyone but Finch? Hmmm, certainly looks like you cannot find a candidate to your liking.

      • Frank the Cabana Boy

        Finch will raise your taxes for a fifth time next year, tell me when the Steelpointe hullabaloo gets old.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        There are a few, Mr. Auerbach. The primary is not over. We’ll see who will be the last candidate standing after the dust clears. Your dedication to the Finch “cause” is admirable but misguided and short on reality. Bill Finch has had two terms to deal with the city’s chronic socioeconomic problems–crime, poverty, unemployment, high taxes. His method of dealing with high taxes has been to raise them again, and again, and again. His crime policies have been the same as the corrupt mayors of Newark and Camden, New Jersey: “It only happens in minority neighborhoods so fuck ‘em. They didn’t vote for me.” It must be noted the police response to the Trumbull Gardens shooting lasted about 48 hours and then they were gone. It wasn’t until a convicted felon (endorsed by the union representing rank and file uniformed police officers) opened an unofficial police substation that City Hall slapped together one of their very own.

        And what about that business of trying to dismantle the Board of Education? He would have appointed flunkies and campaign contributors to a BOE that is hamstrung by his budgetary stinginess. Bridgeport’s public schools have a 48% dropout rate. FORTY-EIGHT PERCENT. Half the students entering Bassick and Central and the other high schools do not graduate, preferring the futures and careers offered by street gangs. What has your silver-haired devil of a mayor and his beaming Pepsodent smile done to correct that? NOTHING, not a fucking thing.

        • Steven Auerbach

          The Bridgeport Kid,
          First, please call me Steven. I appreciate the Mr. Auerbach, but really…. Second, your posts do give me and JML a run for our money.

          Let me first say we can agree to disagree. I appreciate your loathing of Mayor Finch and his Pepsodent smile. :-) My silver-haired devil as you put it is not the second coming of Christ. He is not the resurrection of Joe Ganim and he is not Mary-Jane Foster.

          The Bridgeport school system is broken. I support charter schools so the essence of Foster’s campaign does not resonate with me. The teachers union in my opinion should be dissolved, that is my opinion of course. What Mayor Finch has definitely gotten right is Steelpointe. Second phase breaking ground just this afternoon. Puglio Park to be opened and dedicated this weekend, stop down. Bridgeport Kid, do you celebrate anything in the city? Do you appreciate the diverse communities?

          I appreciate we are in campaign season. I can tell you the many great things Ganim had done when he was Mayor. I voted for him twice. He separated me from the city and I voted for him twice. Mary-Jane Foster represented to me a great candidate four years ago. I know a few people, a few thousand people. They may have a mixed opinion of me. One thing is undeniable. My love for the city transcends politics. Eight years ago I supported Bill Finch, I had known the Mayor since he was a councilman and I was working in the Mayor’s office during the Moran administration. Four years later, after his first term, I felt Foster would have had Steelpointe in the fast track. When the primary ended I was back in the Finch corner. In these past four years there have been dramatic changes in the city. In every neighborhood there has been more activity than in the past few decades. Yes downtown and the three developers working simultaneously and autonomously are transforming a downtown that has been decaying since Ganim’s administration, five terms mind you, and now blocks are being transformed and 20-somethings are moving downtown in record numbers. Steelpointe is huge. You can belittle it and say it was Ganim who started it and we do not need to give the real facts here.

          We give Mayor John Fabrizi and his administration, Michael Nidoh and Ed Lavernoich credit for putting together many of the contracts.

          The Finch administration and no other is responsible for shovels in the ground and cranes in the air. Hundreds of construction workers will be earning very good wages. Some of the thousands of jobs being created will be temporary, others permanent, 100s of retail jobs will be for young people with middle and upper mobility for educated professionals. Hotel management jobs, landscaping jobs, residential management jobs, janitorial jobs, retail management jobs etc. A new train station opening an area for new economic development.

          Bridgeport Kid, you can insult and malign Mayor Finch. You can insist the city is no better than when Ganim left office. You would not just be insulting Mayors Finch and Fabrizi, you would be demeaning the many people who have spent thousands of hours over many years to reach this moment in Mayor Finch’s second administration. Pleasure Beach, The Vibes concerts, new parks, waterparks, new schools and the first new High School in 40 years. These minor accomplishments are huge. Developers for 100 miles are looking at Bridgeport. A shooting or a stabbing or other tragic situations does not change the narrative. It just gives other candidates something to focus on because they cannot talk about the downtown energy and Steelpointe. Those successes belong to Mayor Finch and the many people who worked countless hours to bring to fruition. Many of the Ganim and Foster supporters never thought any of these projects would start; well they did.

          Bridgeport Kid,
          You cannot get votes by criticizing an administration. You have to excite voters with a vision and platform based in reality. Talking about taxes is just cliché. We get it, you are not gushing at Finch’s Pepsodent smile and silver hair. But it is for you to sell us on your candidate. You may be anonymous, but it is not fair to demean the Mayor without offering solutions or a candidate with a better vision.

          I think.the voters will see Mayor Finch as the only candidate to continue downtown, Steelpointe and all other developments. People are feeling good and they are not going to listen to any campaign that is a buzz kill

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            I’ve been living in Bridgeport for more than 15 years. I love it here, this city by the sea. It’s a classic American melting pot, multicultural in the best possible way. Bill Finch cannot take credit for The Gathering of the Vibes–the festival has been going strong for 20 years, much longer than Finch has been mayor.

            I’m happy the parks of “Park City” are being refurbished. Why did it take Hizzoner so long to do that? Oh, right, he was waiting until election season so he could say “Look what I did for you.” There’s nothing at Pleasure Beach, just sand and insects. It used to be an amusement park. It’s not very amusing at present.

            As far as creating “thousands” of jobs, how many are benefiting Bridgeport residents? How many of the construction workers rebuilding the downtown area are Bridgeport residents? Job creation is all fine and good but it should benefit city residents FIRST.

            The Finch administration is blaming all its failures on Joe Ganim. And if he can’t be blamed then responsibility is deflected by pointing out Joe Ganim is a felon (a felon who has been endorsed by the union representing rank-and-file uniformed police officers, by the way). The current occupants of City Hall are not practicing transparency even though it was promised four years ago. Why it is Mr. Finch only announces the fabulous things he is doing for the city of Bridgeport when it is necessary to curry favor with the voting public? For Mr. Finch’s representatives to continue harping on the fact one of his opponents is a convicted felon, well …. That does little to advance the incumbent’s cause. There are three other petitioning candidates; why is the Finch re-election campaign so obsessed with Joe Ganim’s criminal record? He’s not the only viable candidate. Mary-Jane Foster is running and has been endorsed by CCAG. She may well be the next mayor.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            By the way, the current developments (downtown, Steel Point, etc.) will continue regardless of who is elected to the mayor’s office in November.

  • charlie

    MJF, get your endorsements, file the paperwork and tell the public about Laurel and Hardy.

  • Quentin Dreher

    Bpt Kid, right again! All Finch is good for is building “feel-good” parks that create no revenue, no return on investment and only lines the pockets of crony construction buddies.
    Unemployment has risen 41% in the city while Finch has been in office.

  • Bob Walsh

    But it hasn’t hit 50%. Isn’t that getting better?

  • Quentin Dreher

    Actually I was being kind and using numbers not from the previous administrations so not to over exaggerate.
    In 2007 at the beginning of Finch’s term unemployment was 4.8%. In 2008 it rose to 6% and in 2011 it peaked at 15.2%. The available numbers for this year (2015) are as follows; January 10.2%, February 10.6%, March 10% and April 9.2%.
    Bob, using those numbers actually puts us in the mid-50s.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    I’m sick and tired of idiots with agendas of their own using the word “Corruption” to convince voters they are the clean and pure choice to lead us to the promised land. They can’t possibly be so clean and pure as they’d like you to believe. The more educated they are, the wealthier they are, regardless of their professional field of expertise, from the private or government sector. The chances are they have committed or participated in corrupt acts at some point or another. There is a gray area between Corruption and Logrolling. Which one have you been guilty of? Perhaps both? You just haven’t been caught yet!
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logrolling

    • David Moore

      Joel, you can’t get any more corrupt than Ganim. Nine years in the big house and he still thought he deserved to get a license back to be an officer of the court.

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