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What If Finch Left The Democratic Party? Dreaming Political Freedom

November 30th, 2012 · 23 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics

Finch pointing

Channeling Finch's independent streak.

Mayor Bill Finch has been mumbling the past few days about some of his political appointments derailing city progress. Yes, what if Finch bolted the ranks of the donkeys? Ciao. Sayonara. Adiós. See ya. You’re on your own. Bye bye. I’ve changed my registration to unaffiliated. He has three full years left in his second term. After the screaming headlines settle it would be a chance for him to make his own mark without the shackles of the political operatives who put him in office and remind him how he got there (not that most of them did anything for him anyway). Free at last, baby!

There’s an independent streak in Finch’s body screaming for freedom: from the gypsies, tramps and thieves in the party; from district leaders wanting jobs for their peeps; from town committee members on the political payroll coveting pay raises; from all 20 Democrats on the City Council meowing about this and that; to all the other Democrats who need fundraising support for their races; from his own political necessity to suck up to pols he’d rather avoid. Ah, he’s too far in, you claim, a slave to the process?

One of Finch’s mayoral pals, New York’s Mike Bloomberg, has been just about everything–a Democrat turned Republican to run for mayor, turned independent several years ago because, he said, it was more in line with how he governed. Shoot, Joe Lieberman, another Finch pal, lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont in 2006 and then won the general election on an independent line. After a career of public service Lieberman officially retires come January, his seat filled by Chris Murphy.

Ironically it was Democrat Lieberman who defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker in 1988. Lowell turned around two years later and became governor on an independent line.

From 1933-57 Socialist Jasper McLevy ran Bridgeport. He had no problem working with Democrats and Republicans, but only on his terms. Think about it, if Finch itched to switch he could govern almost always on his own terms, such as they’d be. (Careful what you wish for.)

He wouldn’t have to suck up to the party politicians. He could keep the effective pols on the payroll he wants to keep on the payroll. The rest can go pound. No concern for a district leader threatening to bolt over this or that, no endorsement concerns (not that he’d have that problem) and no September primary to consider. He petitions his way onto the ballot if he seeks reelection in 2015 and takes his case to all the voters as an independent. He would have all the campaign moolah he’d need.

The prehistoric noises you just heard came from Finch’s political operatives (Lennie, stop being a jerk), but given Finch’s capricious spirit perhaps over a beverage or two by the toasty fire on Crown Street his impulses might bellow, “Yahoo baby, let’s do this!”

Will he switch? Of course not. But think about the possibilities, a mayor governing without the shackles of party regulars. In this season of peace, love and generosity, a little dreaming isn’t such a bad thing.


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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Joel Gonzalez

    The only way he’ll switch is if at least 15 council members switch with him. Knowing him and how predictable he can be, he would switch over back to the Democratic party and leave the 15 behind, bring in 15 new Democrats to take the independent council members out. If he were to get charged with 50 counts of violating the RICO Act on October 30, 2013, he would refuse to step down and wait it out until the very end. Lennie, have you heard anything lately about Tom McCarthy leaving the Council?

  • Joel Gonzalez

    “… But think about the possibilities, a mayor governing without the shackles of party regulars.”

    Anything is possible, Lennie. We had two mayors governing without the shackles of the federal authorities.

  • Grin Ripper

    Bill’s no Bloomberg!

  • yahooy

    Give me a break!!!

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Lennie, are you sure you have not been testing the new product scheduled to be grown in Bridgeport?
    Bill Finch will never leave the Democratic party for one simple reason. He is looking to the future. Bill Finch is looking for bigger and better things such as a state position or a federal position where he doesn’t have to think.

  • Local Eyes

    Boom, lacka, lacka, lacka, BOOM!


  • Local Eyes

    I’ve been phished!

  • Phil Smith

    Lennie, I didn’t know you had taken up comedy!

  • Jim Callahan

    I’m with Andy and Phil.

    If you are that hard up for copy I think the 30th anniversary of rebuilding Christmas Village is coming up. Why not get Len Paoletta to write something that makes sense?

  • Zena Lu

    I’ll have what Lennie’s having …

  • BlackRockGuy

    Whatever he does he will continue to take orders from the sleazebags at the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.

  • Grin Reaper

    The Top Reasons Billy won’t Switch
    5 He already owes too many people. They won’t let him get away with it
    4 Without the party he has no organization
    3 With an independent Finch, Fabrizi would be very attractive to the party regulars
    2 He has no accomplishments to run on
    And the number one reason Bill Finch will not run as an independent is
    1 He has no BALLS!!! Although he acts like he does

  • John Marshall Lee

    I am not sure we are working in the world of facts or fancy today, as I see few common traits between Lieberman/Bloomberg and Mayor Finch. If independence is what the Mayor desires, why doesn’t he live up to the Charter for all of the people and through sharing his vision (and employing capable people to flesh it out and manage it), then make himself available to listen to ALL of the people and respond? There is a path in that regard, and it would feature OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT behavior by the Mayor and his administrative cabinet. Not the secrecy and skulking around behind the scenes that seem to characterize his method of operating. Any likelihood of that being a comfortable fit for any member of the Wood, Nunn, Kabel and Sherwood “family?” So we are probably in the land of fancy, aren’t we?

    However, with the Brian Lockhart article on the Mayor’s “chilly relationship with University of Bridgeport” last weekend (that shows him as very INDEPENDENT of a major City stakeholder), I was intrigued by some of the copy, especially comments attributed to Attorney Stratton who waged war on UB with Bill Finch 15-20 years ago. “If Bill wasn’t doing this (keeping an eye on the school), what would they try to get away with down there? Now we have sort of our ‘top cop’ as mayor of Bridgeport and it keeps us all safe. It gives us check and balance.” Top Cop? Check and balance? Keeps us all safe? I came away wondering how much fact and how much fancy, and therefore began looking for more direct information on the whole subject.

    In the past week I have found print material as well as multiple conversations that indicate some $110 Million or more has been placed with University of Bridgeport by organizations under the Moon banner. These ‘debts’ have been forgiven, unlike the original debts in the ’90s from financial institutions that would have closed UB. (In a way, UB seems to have found a donor and supporter for their survival and renewed growth, the way Mayor Finch has used Federal programs to receive monies for Bridgeport that do not need repayment to be used for survival and growth of the City.)

    My research has not led me to lurid stories or regular reports about religious cults operating on campus or in the broader City. It has not provided any grist for seeing members of the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA) as practitioners of ideas or behaviors unusual on US campuses of higher education. Yet Attorney Stratton may be suggesting a secret movement is being held in check by Mayor Finch?? What is the full story here? What are the facts Stratton would present to a jury to convince them of wrongdoing?

    And that leads me to the last ‘curiosity’ my research uncovered. It’s on the third page of an article written in 1997 theness.com/index.php/the-cultiversity-of-bridgeport/. The author, now deceased, after providing history of UB challenges to that time introduces our current mayor into the story line: “William Finch, a Bridgeport City Councilman, former Unification Church member, and now vocal critic of the PWPA’s paws on UB, says the opening of the new Naturopathy school … is a strategic move for the cult.” This is from a publication of the New England Skeptic Society fifteen years ago.

    Whoever heard Bill Finch at one time may have been a follower of Reverend Moon’s religion? Fact or fancy? I would love to know, because you know, if true, it might explain the long standing personal separation, civic division, and difficulty in directly explaining his position these days with UB.

    Religious beliefs can be very deep and when betrayed for any reason may create an antagonism or force to be fought in the future. So Finch fact or fanciful Finch? Ask Attorney Stratton, ask Elaine Ficarra or even Mayor Bill. Let’s see how deep an independent streak resides in him. Time will tell.

  • Mojo

    *** If he did it would be just for political P/R and the media attention it may bring; also an excuse to renege on any past or future promises made. Bottom line is it’s about him, so becoming red, white or blue will not change the spots on this leopard! In the greatest show on earth, a circus “clown” can become a lion tamer, trapeze artist or even a ringmaster during one of the shows. But after it’s all over, he’s still a circus clown, no? *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  • Bridgeporteur

    He used people to get to the top, with all his self-righteous ranting. Once he gets there he blows everybody up and pretends he never bought into their culture in the first place. Once he blows this one up, where does he have to go?

  • Ron Mackey

    Bridgeporteur, Paul Timpanelli will find him a job again, then he can blow smoke up Timpanelli’s ass to keep that job.

  • Bob

    Bill Finch as state senator stood up at the Embassy Towers to introduce Diane Farrell in 2004, and stated “I’m proud to call myself a tax and spend Democrat.” I was there and almost fell off the chair I was sitting on.
    If Finch thinks becoming an independent will give him more power it will signal the end of the only full-time job he has kept for more than two years.

  • Grin Reaper

    Can we get back to Paul Pimpanelli for a moment and his JMLesque rant?
    Lennie can you ask Paul to submit to OIB in plain English the five most important things that need to happen in order to spur economic development in the city? And if we is going to talk financial assistance put it in terms of dollars and cents.
    Then we know once and for all how much hot air emanates from this pompous ass.

  • Grin Reaper

    Getting back to Finch and his zoning rant about the pot cram in B’port, does this mean he would support building a McDonald’s or Burger King next to his house on Crown St. if it pays more taxes and creates some jobs?

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