You want to go to court? It takes moolah. Just ask Mayor Bill Finch who set up a legal defense fund to cover his costs associated with Chris Caruso’s court challenge of the 2007 Democratic mayoral primary. Finch’s 2011 challenger Mary-Jane Foster charged that Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala unlawfully denied her a ballot spot. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis sided with Foster. Lawyers Alan Neigher, Michele Mount and John Kadaras have provided legal assistance associated with Foster’s court challenges. Foster has several heavy hitters associated with this effort including ex Governor Lowell Weicker and retired CEO of People’s Bank David Carson (full disclosure: I’m Carson’s biographer.) From Foster:
Democratic candidate for mayor of Bridgeport Mary-Jane Foster has filed the paperwork to create the “Foster Democracy Works Fund,” which will serve as a legal defense fund. Additionally, Foster will return to Superior Court on Friday morning to argue for the Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala to hold a lottery for appointing moderators at the city’s 23 polling places for the September 27 primary.
Spearheading the fundraising efforts for the “Foster Democracy Works Fund” legal defense fund are:
• Honorary Chairman: Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., who recently endorsed Foster for mayor;
• Chairman: David E. A. Carson, former President and CEO of People’s Bank;
• Co-Chairs: Wiley Mullins, Founder and President, Wiley’s Wellness Solutions and Uncle Wiley’s; Attorney Maximino Medina, Jr., Managing Partner at Zeldes, Needle & Cooper and former President, Bridgeport Board of Education; and Marilyn Ford, Professor of Law, Quinnipiac University School of Law;
• Treasurer: Peter Hurst, President and CEO, The Community’s Bank, and
• Deputy Treasurer: Nancy Hadley, President, The Hadley Group.
“My campaign is fighting for the democratic rights of the residents of Bridgeport on two fronts,” explained Foster. “First the mayor and superintendent orchestrated a behind the scenes takeover of our elected Board of Education. We challenged the constitutionality of the takeover and that case has worked its way to the State Supreme Court. Next the mayor and the Democratic party machine worked to keep me off the primary ballot. I sued for the right to be on the ballot and won that case on all counts.
For too long, the mayor and his political allies have steamrolled the voters to get their way. It is time to say enough is enough. I’m the person in this race who has the determination and guts to challenge them every step of the way. Bridgeport deserves better and I am honored that these individuals are joining their voices with mine to help me fight and win these battles,” Foster said.
There is no minimum or maximum contribution that may be accepted by a legal defense fund. Contributions may be made by any individual who is eligible to donate to Foster’s candidate committee. Donations may be made out to “Foster for Democracy Works Fund” and mailed to P.O. Box 1172, Bridgeport, CT 06601-1172
That is some pretty August company Foster is affiliated with in September.
Grin Ripper, you got that right. I must say I’m impressed.
Add up the unquestionably positive things Lowell Weicker and David Carson, in their past respective roles, accomplished for the City that have been recited on OIB this past week. Things like moving the State Police barracks and presence from Westport to the City. And David Carson, seeing People’s Bank through a difficult period for Connecticut and New England banks, not only had People’s employees engaged in all aspects of City life with time and People’s funds, but he lived in Bridgeport, at a time when most such business leaders resided in the suburbs.
It seems to me Bridgeport has been an incomplete activity for many who have attempted to push the boulder of progress up the hill over the years. So the legacy of current and past leaders, with historical perspective to guide us, indicates additional combined effort and support is needed to gain necessary momentum against the forces that would keep this City from achieving the potential so often mentioned. Greatness from its diversity of people, its geographic location on Long Island Sound and a solid core of residents who refuse to move to the suburbs because their vision of the future is here in the City and also refuse at this time to knuckle under to the local Wizard of Oz who won’t come out from behind “the Machine” and engage in real dialogue. We are fortunate we have men and women, not locally raised, but wise enough through their City experience to regard the forward movement of the City to still be important. August companions for sure. This is the type of open and transparent ‘out of town’ help we can use, for sure. It’s not what is in it for them that is motivating them, but what is in the future for all of us living here. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen for your past and especially your present work to bring about change in Bridgeport.
I am very very very impressed and excited. I know so many names on that list and respect every one of them. I know Mr. Carson has always been a huge supporter of the University of Bridgeport. It is a shame the city has never really taken advantage of the University to help stimulate South End development. I know MJF is in good hands with the entire group and believe as long as the campaign workers stand strong MJF will be elected and the money will flow from those who believe in the future of this great city.
This is really exciting, so many big names endorsing Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign for mayor. Not everyone has written off the Park City. A few people of accomplishment know the city’s political culture has been contaminated by a corrupt party machine that looks after its own at the expense of the greater good of the people of the city of Bridgeport. Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., David E. A. Carson and Nancy Hadley are all well-acquainted with how the city’s business has been conducted and have gathered around a candidate who is able to challenge the status quo. Mary-Jane Foster has solid, practical plans to reinvigorate the city of Bridgeport for the benefit of the people of the city of Bridgeport. Members of the DTC and their spouses who owe at least a part of their livelihood to Mario Testa’s control of City Hall are scared. As they should be. It’s all about their job, their privilege, never about the greater good. All the while the city of Bridgeport stagnates. It is high time to put an end to this.