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Weicker: Foster A Trusted Leader

October 2nd, 2015 · 55 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics, News and Events

Lowell Weicker

Weicker endorses Foster. Photo courtesy of Tom Dudchik.

As governor, Lowell Weicker rescued Bridgeport from financial ruin, now he’s hoping his endorsement of Mary-Jane Foster adds credibility and financial resources to her mayoral campaign.

“Mary-Jane’s life experiences: having been raised by a single mother, working her way through law school, advocating on behalf of victims of domestic violence, running a business, and working in education provides her with the type of perspective that Bridgeport needs,” said Weicker in a statement released by the Foster campaign. “I understand how important it is for any city, and especially Bridgeport, to have a leader in the Mayor’s office that partners in the private sector, labor, and government can trust. Mary-Jane Foster is a leader we can all trust and is the only person running who can secure the commitments from a diverse group of people to move Bridgeport forward. I enthusiastically endorse her candidacy.

Weicker, during the Joe Ganim mayoral years, relocated Housatonic Community College to Downtown, transferred the Troop G state police barracks from Westport to across the street from Housatonic when the city was experiencing unprecedented violent crime. He removed the ugly blight of Mount Trashmore from the East End. He also infused the city treasury with $10 million with the state purchasing Beardsley zoo and park. His gaming compact with the tribal nation casinos also distributed more than $100 million in slot money to the city the past 20-plus years. Weicker also ordered his appointed state commissioners to take an active interest in the state’s largest city.

“I am so honored to gain the support of Governor Weicker,” said Foster. “His commitment to Bridgeport saved our city, his principled independence is too often lacking in today’s politics, and his dedication to standing up to corruption is what we should strive for from all our public officials. I pledge I will do everything I can as Mayor of Bridgeport to follow his example in providing independent and honest leadership.”

Foster is embroiled in a high-profile general election battle with Democratic nominee Joe Ganim who defeated incumbent Bill Finch in a September primary. Foster will appear on the ballot as a petitioning candidate.

Weicker earned his political stripes as a maverick Republican government reformer who served 18 years in the United States Senate before his defeat by Democrat Joe Lieberman in 1988. Two years later Weicker formed his own independent party and was elected governor, serving one four-year term. He decided against reelection after implementing a personal income tax for the state.

In a CT Post interview Weicker said “The idea of electing a real felon, that’s not Bridgeport.”

 

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55 Comments so far ↓

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t he there for the big income TAX increase? I remember legislators telling me they had almost been run off the road during those debates, they were getting nasty phone calls at home. It wasn’t Grasso (she was an Angel), it wasn’t O’Neill(everybody loved him), yep had to be Weicker. Loved him as a Senator and he really is a great person outside of politics, as Guv he left much to be desired.

    • Steven Auerbach

      No Hector,
      You have had your head stuck up Ganim’s ass enough. Lowell Weicker was the Governor who saved Bridgeport by making Ganim remove the bankruptcy bid and funneling “shitloads” of money to the city while Ganim began betraying the public trust. Now this beloved independent Governor who kicked Rowland’s ass is supporting Mary-Jane Foster. Yes, now Ganim should read the writing on the wall. Weicker took Bridgeport. Hector, is that the memory you are trying to bring into your state of consciousness, while you and BPT REBEL rewrite history? I thought so. So as Ganim accrues all Finch’s obligatory endorsements the Ganim folks laughed at, Foster continues to receive support from credible and respectable individuals.

      • Steven Auerbach

        All Joe Ganim’s endorsements will be Bill Finch’s sloppy seconds and that is just about as pathetic as it gets! Isn’t that right Jim Fox, Lisa P. city hall smoker, Phantom, Lennie, BptPorter, just sad sloppy seconds.

        I just met with my Republican sparring partners. Staunch Republicans at Bagel King North Main. They support Foster, they want to meet her, they say Joe has been to every business on Main St. I said she is working her way. You have to give Ganim major points for wanting to touch physically every voter in Bridgeport. I guess some idiot told MJF a press release works. It does not! Absolutely does not. People want to meet the first female Democrat voted into office as an independent. She is a pure Democrat. As we know the ignorant opposition will paint her as a closet Republican. I was chatting with Tim Herbst supporters who attended his fundraiser last night and they are very confident Foster can win if the public could see her. Yesterday Ganim appeared on Channel 12 news every 30 minutes for 24 hours, they mentioned a press release from Foster. You can’t connect if people do not know what you look like. Time to take her show on the road. The show must go on!

      • Hector A. Diaz

        Steve lol, you are funny I’ve never used any insulting words when speaking with you and that’s because I really don’t know you well enough to do so. Let’s try to keep our comments to each other civil. As for my comments, they are true. My ex-wife worked in Weicker’s Senate office as an aide.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Look Hector, I have been kind to you rambling for months how Finch was a liar. Ganim was and is a liar promising shit he cannot deliver and you support him, he went to jail insisting he was innocent and you are talking about Finch lying to you? No offense, are you living in the real world?

      • Hector A. Diaz

        The ONLY endorsement that counts is that of the VOTERS, how’s that been working out for her, Steve?

        • Steven Auerbach

          Hector, so far not good at all. It takes a winner to come from behind or a loser to follow the same game plan. I think the best is yet to come.

          • Bob Walsh

            Steve,
            Supposedly Bill Finch lied to Hector.
            Bill Finch is supporting Mary-Jane.
            Therefore MJF lied to Hector.
            This is how Ganim supporters think.

          • Hector A. Diaz

            Bob, Mary-Jane? I guess “birds of a feather flock together” is appropriate.

  • Frank the Cabana Boy

    Go MJF.

  • Mojo

    *** Thanks for the State Income Tax and the Indian Casino slot machine monopoly in the State for a mere drop in the bucket 10% lifetime state revenue; just to name a few! ***

  • Local Eyes

    Weicker helped Ganim tremendously so his MJF endorsement carries clout.
    In a related matter, The Machine abandoned its own own candidate. Don’t let The Machine defeat Mary-Jane Foster. Be part of the current trend. Upend the status quo Joe Ganim is now part of. Go ahead, vote for MJF and make a dent in the universe!

  • city hall smoker

    At least half the voters in Bridgeport never heard of Weicker. Just sayin’.

  • Ron Mackey

    Let’s look at Lowell Weicker’s record as governor. Did his action hurt Bridgeport more or did his action help Bridgeport more?

    • Hector A. Diaz

      Ron, the biggest economic development Bridgeport would ever have, a Casino, was denied us because of his negotiations with the Mashantuckets, which assured them inclusion in any Casino and a monopoly on the slot machines.

      • Ron Mackey

        I’m not talking about would have but instead what he did to hurt Bridgeport compared to what he did to help Bridgeport. We now have casinos all around Connecticut plus there is online gambling, which was not around during that time.

        • Hector A. Diaz

          But what didn’t happen is as much if not more important than what did. If what should have happened did, we would not be the City we are.

          • Hector A. Diaz

            Or better said, in the shape we are fiscally. I love this City even with the blemishes.

  • Vale la Pena

    History will be repeated in November.
    How many local, state and federal politicians endorsed Finch, never mind unions, so on and so forth?

    May I remind everyone who won the primaries?

    Exactly. Weicker Who? IRRELEVANT.

    • David Moore

      Weicker was always loyal to Bridgeport. In fact for years he would bartend at the old Colony bar on Fairfield Ave. It was his good-luck charm and the year they shut it down he lost the election to Holy Joe. He really does care about Bridgeport.

  • Jeff Kohut

    (Sorry Dave; we share some differences on this one.)

    Lowell Weicker is just another Greenwich politician who used Bridgeport to further his own political and economic objectives. (He needed Bridgeport’s delegation to promote his legacy-agenda as governor, as well as the cooperation of the Bridgeport delegation for his regional, Gold-Coast serving agenda.)
    The perception Weicker is Bridgeport’s savior couldn’t be farther from the truth.
    Then-Governor Weicker, along with the “Greenwich Gang enforcer” (then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, also of Greenwich), held a figurative gun to newly elected Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim’s political head and forced him to sell Bridgeport’s soul (Beardsley Park and Barnum-legacy zoo) in return for “survival” in the form of a paltry $10 million and two large facilities in Bridgeport’s downtown that are still off the tax rolls and would have served Bridgeport better had they been located in upgraded facilities next to each other on the crime-ridden East Side (i.e., Housatonic Community College and the State Police barracks, the former of which was moved from the East Side in a move which profited only the Stamford-Greenwich connected D’Addario Corporation). A blighted, economic black hole still remains on the East Side where students once breathed life into the old Housatonic Community college location and the surrounding East Side.
    And truly, having to sell Beardsley Park and Zoo for an inadequate, giveaway price added insult to the previous injury inflicted on Bridgeport by the state when they confiscated the most beautiful part of the park in order to create the 25-8 Connector, successfully designed by the state, at the behest of our northern suburbs, to suck the economic life out of Bridgeport. It accomplished that and continues to draw from our economic jugular to this day.
    No. Weicker was not our savior, not by any stretch. He took advantage of us, along with Blumenthal, et al., in our hour of need.
    A real hero of this hour in Bridgeport history is the too-often-maligned Mary Moran, who found the courage to admit Bridgeport’s true condition and took steps to obtain a remedy for that condition. Joe Ganim took over the reins from the heroic but politically inept Moran, and ran the political gauntlet to secure some consideration for our politically and economically hamstrung city. He did the best job for us that anyone could have done given the Gold-Coast Gang’s designs for our city.
    Now, consider who is endorsing Mary-Jane Foster; none other than the Greenwich Gang that endorsed Finch, but with one addition, “Commodore” Lowell Weicker.
    Well, it all makes sense. Mary-Jane is the anti-Mary Moran. Educated, smooth, “well-bred” (check out the link below for a hint at the “real” Mary-Jane), Gold-Coast connected. Not about to make waves for Governor Dan Malloy and the rest of “the Gang” on behalf of Bridgeport. Not a Bridgeport “street fighter,” like Moran or Ganim. Not about to demand anything for Bridgeport or do anything to stress her down-county connections (which she’ll need for that future congressional run).
    No. Mary-Jane Foster is the Gold Coast’s girl, just like Bill Finch was their boy, but she’ll be even more useful to them, because she is truly one of them and knows how to do their bidding a lot more smoothly and subtly than Bill.
    With Mary-Jane Foster at the helm, Bridgeport will become even poorer and more the servant’s quarters for Stamford-Greenwich/the suburbs.
    If Mary-Jane gains traction, Bridgeport will really cross the point of no return.
    www .nytimes.com/1993/01/03/style/weddings-mary-jane-foster-jack-mcgregor.html

    • BPT REBEL

      Bravo Jeff, you used facts and used them well. Weiker ran for Gov with the promise of NO income tax and the day after he got in he said we will have a income tax for two years, that was how many years ago?

    • Andrew C Fardy

      The sale of the park was on paper only and it was for way more than $10 million. There was that much money in the rainy day fund. BTW where the State Police are located was at that time a very high-crime area next to the Pequonnock apartments. BTW it was your boy Ganim who did all you write about.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Jeff, what? Foster is running for Congress? Finch running for Governor? Excellent!

  • Bob Walsh

    Jeff,
    You need help with this obsession of yours; really.
    How far does this go back?
    Chester Bowles?
    Prescott Bush?
    Nathan Hale?

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Very great endorsement from a true statesman.

  • Jeff Kohut

    WEDDINGS: Mary-Jane Foster, Jack McGregor

    Published: January 3, 1993 (New York Times, Weddings/Society section)

    www .nytimes.com/1993/01/03/style/weddings-mary-jane-foster-jack-mcgregor.html

    Mary-Jane Foster, an actress in television and radio commercials in New York, was married yesterday to Jack E. McGregor, the president and chief executive of the Aquarion Company, a public water supplier and environmental testing laboratory in Bridgeport, Conn. The Rev. Thomason Newcomb, an Episcopal minister, performed the ceremony at the bridegroom’s home in Easton, Conn.

    Ms. Foster, who is keeping her name, graduated from Bennett College and is studying law at Quinnipiac College. She is the daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. John M. Foster of Denver. Her father was a surgeon and a professor emeritus of surgery at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. Her mother, Patricia Foster, founded Foster & Son, a jewelry store in Denver.

    Mr. McGregor, the founder of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, graduated from Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a son of Leah H. McGregor of Port Charlotte, Fla., and the late Russell A. McGregor.

    The bride’s previous marriage ended in divorce, as did the bridegroom’s.

    Photo: Mary-Jane Foster (Suzanne Goldberg)

    The above doesn’t sound like the Mary-Jane story we hear at debates and was partially covered in this OIB segment (above). Nothing in the Foster-McGregor wedding biographies indicates anything resembling the struggling, single-parent youth/humble origins that we hear about at debates in regard to Mary-Jane’s ability to identify with, and relate to the distressed families of Bridgeport. Perhaps Mary-Jane would like to have the opportunity at the next debate to address the discrepancies in her story vs the New York times account of her life. Is she truly the “honest voice” we deserve? I think we deserve an explanation of these discrepancies at the next debate. If she can reconcile her claims of humble, difficult circumstance as a child and young adult with the New York Times article copied above, then she truly deserves to be considered an “honest voice for change.” I’ll be listening extra hard at the next debate.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Jeff, you have turned yourself into a muck-raking lowlife. Really, her wedding announcement from over 20 years ago??? What scum you are. Why not publish Ganim’s divorce degree?
      Btw Jeff, do you have a degree in reading between the lines? You sure act it!!! Jeff, this latest column is below you or has your zeal to get a felon elected mayor overtaken you?

    • Up On Bridgeport

      Jeff–I consider you to be a public intellectual. However, you are way off base on this assassination against MJF. She was lucky her mom later in life found John Foster. Her mom wasn’t born on third base, but much like MJF hit a triple in life. When you speak to public policy I always listen. This post is something that smacks of Page 6. Stick to what you know, Public Policy!

    • Ron Mackey

      Jeff Kohut, you have gone too far.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Joe Ganim stole from the city, went to jail, got divorced, not capable of practicing law, can’t get a job except trying for a six-figure salary as the Mayor of the city he betrayed and tried to lower his child support while living comfortably in Easton not paying a dime in Bridgeport property taxes. What part of Foster’s story is reprehensible to you, Jeff??? Honestly, you are becoming desperate and out of character. It is going to be over for Joe. Democrats, unaffiliates and Republicans will be out in force. As long as Foster can meet and greet the voters and remind them she is running. Ganim has done a magnificent job treating her as an invisible entity and Foster has done an amazing job of not addressing Ganim’s shortcomings. Four weeks is a blink of the eye or can be the longest four weeks of Ganim’s life. We will see. There is more to the Ganim story than just being redundant saying he was a convicted felon. There are 16 counts worth identifying as well as what didn’t happen under his leadership.

    • Booty

      Jeff,
      After you’ve checked out Mary-Jane’s bio on her campaign website, you can come back here and apologize.

      www .fosterforbridgeport.com/herstory/

    • Come Back Bridgeport

      Jeff K–you’re certainly consistent in your total disregard for facts and commitment to the good old political smear. Just what in MJF’s online bio do you disagree with?

  • John Marshall Lee

    We are 30 days away from Election Day. Can anyone running for office, especially that of Mayor, provide better information on:
    1) Where do we stand financially today? (Someone can tell us how the Net Taxable Grand List looks relative to $7 Billion or thereabouts reported today, perhaps?) Why don’t we know the gross number today? It has been paid for twice in the past four years.
    2) What strengthening of the CC check and balance structure is necessary in the minds of the Mayoral candidates, if any? If none are in order, do they believe the current operating methods of the CC are good for the taxpayers and voters?
    3) If there are any doubts in the minds of the voting public on the ability of, trust in or concern about how any candidate for Mayor can handle public money to the tune of more than $3 Billion in the next four years, is it time for that exploration and discussion?
    4) Are these questions for real or part of WONKDOM, to be ignored at this time?
    Time will tell.

  • BPT REBEL

    Jeff Kohut is the man, can’t fuck with the facts, spinmeisters.

  • Dave Walker

    With all due respect to Governor Weicker, this type of endorsement does not matter. Finch had endorsements from all the top Democrat leaders in the state and it didn’t do him much good! Rightly or wrongly, Republican candidates do not seek or want the endorsement of Governor Weicker. This is a local election that will have a great impact on Bridgeport’s future path. It will be decided by Bridgeport voters and not outsiders.

  • The Phantom

    Just heard Foster was endorsed by Jimmy Carter. LOL. A Governor who 98 percent of the city of Bridgeport could not pick out of a police lineup endorses Foster and the sheep go wild!

  • Bob Walsh

    For what Ganim supporters are calling a meaningless endorsement, they are spending a lot of time and effort trying to bash it. LOL.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    What weight does an endorsement from Lowell Weicker really carry? Bill Finch was endorsed for a third term by two U.S. Senators, a U.S. Representative, the governor and a bunch of labor unions, for all the good it did. He was still bested by a crook. Better luck in the private sector, Mr. Bill. Too many of the people of the city of Bridgeport just don’t like you.

    Finch realized it was time to fish or cut bait so he threw his lot behind Mary-Jane Foster, the petitioning candidate who has lambasted the Finch administration for the last seven years, a dispute that will not matter to anyone in a hundred years. Foster lost the primary, polled less than 1200 votes. Couldn’t event carry Black Rock. So she dropped out. No one bought the list of miracles Ms. Foster hoped to accomplish in her first fifty days in office. Now, after Finch failed to file paperwork in a timely fashion, she’s back in. They buried the hatchet, kissed and made up, yadda-yadda-yadda. Finch has what Foster did not: a piece of the Democratic Party Machine working his campaign, including John “Rainmaker” Stafstrom. So they mended their differences, the documented pathological liar and the successful but aloof businesswoman. How nice it has all become, Mr. Bill and Mary-Jane making up and being friendly. So there’s one choice for mayor. It’s doubtful Uncle Lowell’s gold star will carry much sway with voters.

    Another is The Crook. For all Joe Ganim’s superficial admissions “I broke the law,” he has not apologized or admitted to his crimes, has not humbled himself to explain his actions and asked the entire city for forgiveness. Quite the contrary, he tried to lie his way out of it like a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Calling Ganim’s crimes “The stuff that cynicism is made of,” Judge Janet Bond Arterton sent Joe Ganim to prison for nine years. “I find by clear and convincing evidence,” she said, “Mr. Ganim’s testimony was so fundamentally and materially in dispute with that given by others, whose testimony was corroborated.” Don’t know about you but I find it impossible to trust a man who would violate a sworn oath to uphold the laws of the State of Connecticut and the United States Constitution. Go ahead, piss away your vote on a liar and a crook.
     
    Only one candidate can honestly say he has no connection to the corrupt Democratic Party Machine: Enrique Torres. More than a few of my fellow commentators have said voting for Torres is a vote for Ganim, Torres doesn’t have a chance so don’t waste your vote on him, blah-blah-blah. (The other choices are just not that appealing; a vote for Ganim, or Foster for that matter, is a vote for the corrupt political machine that has run our fair city into the ground.) Whatever. One has made the clumsiest of efforts to associate Torres, an avowed libertarian, with the myopic social policies and failed, “trickle down” economics of Reagan, Bush, Bush Lite, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Cryin’ John Boehner and the rest of the Hee Haw Gang that has been fucking things up in Washington DC for the past 30 years.

    As a City Councilman, Rick Torres has submitted resolutions to cease the predatory procedures of the Tax Collector’s Office and the WPCA, including a halt to the “boot and tow” program and foreclosing on properties. The Finch administration tried to win approval for a 35-year tax abatement, no strings attached, for a developer who was going to build a few hundred units of affordable housing on the former Father Panik Village property. Torres’ Democratic colleagues on the Common Council actually listened to him and the measure was defeated. Bill Finch’s immediate reaction was to assault an alderman who voted against it. (The developer in question made a $4000 “contribution” to Finch’s campaign war chest, a fact that bears a close resemblance to the old “pay to play” scheme that sent Smokin’ Joe Ganim to prison for nine years.)

    So far Mr. Ganim has not spoken much about the corruption that is endemic to Bridgeport politics. He’s said a lot about restoring integrity to City Hall but his words, coming from a man who was found by a unanimous Supreme Court to be lacking in integrity and morally unfit to practice law, ring more than a little hollow. Ms. Foster has addressed the issue of corruption but she just made an opportunistic deal to re-enter the mayoral race. Her integrity has been rightly called into question.

    Mr. Torres has addressed corruption and the ineptitude of the municipal government. More than that, he has offered concrete plans to lower Bridgeport’s property taxes, the highest east of the Mississippi if not the nation. He has specific plans to restore integrity and transparency to City Hall; to attract businesses to Bridgeport to create living-wage jobs for local residents; and then use the new revenue to lower taxes for existing property owners. No one else can say that.

  • Local Eyes

    Some people think the Weicker endorsement represents “political repudiation.”

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