What Will Judge Bellis Do?

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who has a relatively long history sorting out elections issues in the city, ordered a redo of the September 12 Democratic primary for City Council in the 133rd District. Will she order a redo of the redo? From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday said she has serious concerns about the way absentee ballots were handled for the special primary for the city’s North End council seat.

But Judge Barbara Bellis said she doesn’t expect to rule on whether to overturn the results and possible order a third primary for the seat until Friday.

Robert Keeley, who lost the primary on Nov. 14 by 18 votes for the seat in the 133rd district against a Democratic Party-endorsed candidate, is again seeking to have the judge over turn the results.

Full story here.



  1. 1.The first thing Judge Bellis should do is to split the 133rd up with 134th and the 132nd. Districts.

    2.The Judge should then order a new primary for the 133rd sometime early January with a special election to follow late January.

    3.Order SEEC to Monitor both Elections and over see the Registrar and Town Clerk office for the entire primary and special election.

    4. Hold off any City Council vote for President, until after the full council is seated.

  2. It’s has more to do with what Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis failed to do–issue orders to appear.

    I’m puzzled as to why Bellis passed on issuing a court order requesting the appearance of both Testo and DeFelippo.
    “But the judge warned the lawyer for challenger Robert Keeley that he better be ready with specific allegations when the hearing begins Monday morning.”
    Bellis expected Keeley’s lawyer to be ready with specific allegations but, she failed to help in clearing up any allegations by failing to order the two key witnesses to be in court. Max Medina was told that 12 ABs were delivered by the post office. Did Medina go to the Post Master to confirm this? Why not? Maybe he did and got the same answer I got when I inquired about two ABs stolen from my ex in-laws mailbox–Go to the USPS web site and file a complaint.

    “Caine is basing his case for a new, third primary, on the incident involving Nikola, the fact that 12 absentee ballots that appeared in the city hall mailroom had no post marks despite the claim they came from the post office and the fact that no one voted in the primary from the Northbridge Health Care Facility on Main Street where mandated supervised balloting by the registrar’s office was supposed to be held.”

    The Post Mark or lack thereof question is very interesting. I’ve asked myself that question. I have a ton of mail that does not show any post marks. As for Northbridge, supervised balloting was indeed held as witnessed by Max Medina. Bellis needs to understand that people don’t have to vote and it’s the peoples responsibility to pay attention (if they chose to) as to when there is going to be an election or primary. I assume that there was a lot more questions and details of what took place in the court than what we are reading in the CtPost. I’m assuming that there must have been 20 or more AB applications from Northbridge in order to trigger supervised balloting. Question, Lennie: How would the Judge or anyone know who the people who voted by AB voted for? Is there a way for Max Medina or Judge Bellis to know for sure that the 12 ballot’s votes were for Herron and DeFilippo? I can take photos of my mail to show that there are no post marks.

    1. It is the people’s right to vote, Joel. The government is obligated to announce when elections are held, and where to vote:

      “Keeley’s lawyer, M. Leonard Caine III, is basing his case for a new, third primary, on the incident involving Nikola, the fact that 12 absentee ballots that appeared in the city hall mailroom had no post marks despite the claim they came from the post office and the fact that no one voted in the primary from the Northbridge Health Care Facility on Main Street where mandated supervised balloting by the registrar’s office was supposed to be held.

      “Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala testified Monday that voters at Northbridge refused to cast ballots.

      “Local lawyer Maximino Medina Jr., who had been appointed to monitor the primary by the judge, testified at the hearing that he went to Northbridge on the day of the primary and did not see any signs specifically about the primary vote. He said two members of the registrars’ office were in a community room at the center but were not approached by any residents.

      “’ I am just trying to figure out that if I was in the facility how would I know to vote and who would be responsible for that,’ the judge said.”

      1. Asshole, voting is a privilege NOT a right. If the judge wanted to know that, she could have asked. The registrars’ office sends notices to anyone who submits an AB application. They are told of the date, time and location where the supervised balloting shall take place. Did anyone tell the judge of the ‘No Soliciting’ policy in most buildings and institutions? Keeley could have spent more money and hired more workers and I bet it would have cost him less than what he has to pay his attorney.

          1. Actually guys, each of you are correct in your word use. Relative to a country where elections are held not at all, or infrequently and where only one person runs, our system of voting for candidates is a privilege. Like “white privilege” or “black privilege” it is hard for the person to see what is being called privilege because we just take it for granted. The fact that this “privilege” has been enshrined in law, regulation and statute provides an opportunity to call it a “right”. Right??

            So why do so many folks ignore this privilege and right and fail to vote even though they are registered?? Is failing to vote anti-American? What can we do to raise the right to vote as a critical element of good citizenry in the eyes of adults in the largest City in the State? Ideas? Time will tell.

          2. I don’t drink Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Joel, you little nine-fingered toad. Go crawl under a rock.

  3. It’s pretty obvious that what’s going on here is flagrantly wrong
    There’s a legal case to be made here too!
    Two free throws and possession at half court!
    SHU makes the free throws

    1. This is the case:

      “…or (3) if no such person consents or is available, then a police officer, registrar of voters, deputy registrar of voters or assistant registrar of voters in the municipality in which the applicant resides.”

      Bellis must keep order in the court. Notice the order of the statute where “a police officer” goes before all others. If Judge Bellis orders a re-do again, expect an appeal.

  4. Here is Juge Bellis’s dilemma.
    If she orders another election, then what?
    Mario and gang when again. There is again rumors if the election being stolen. Especially if a complaint is filed with the SEEC.
    Keeley wins and the election is taken away from the voters. And the attorney for Herron and DiFilippo appeal.
    What will Juge Bellis do???

    1. When Testa order a Police officer from Chief AJ Perez, to pick up Abs ballots.
      .That officer was instructed by Mike Defilippo where to pick up Ab’s by text, that officer became Defilippo’s exclusive surrogate.
      It wasn’t the voters calling for a ballot pick-up! It was Defilippo, by text!
      The officer was never instructed by the registrar office at any time, only by candidate Defilippo and Testa..
      That made the Police officer an unknowing aid to Difilippo’s campaign.

  5. And perhaps there is a direct and simple explanation for a FINAL DO-OVER with encouragement for ALL REGISTERED VOTERS to vote.

    Sorry but I know nothing about why the top vote getter wants to be a Council person. And also have heard nothing about his experience that lends itself to the matters facing the Council in the next two years.
    I have watched Herron, Keeley and Pappas-Phillips work in public service activities in the past dozen years and have some sense of how they may respond to challenges, but Mike DeFilippo, nothing. What attracted the high number of votes in the District? Charisma maybe?
    Low turnouts favor the machine, don’t they? The kind of Bridgeport governance that will not show up on any listing of “best practices” by a municipality, unfortunately. To a large extent the ABs come from the elderly and disabled who have limited opportunity to be out and around. They take their NEWS where they can and unfortunately some City employees who around them as part of their employment duties have also been politically active for years. Do they connect the dots in their story telling? Are threats made? Are fears of the vulnerable preyed upon? Are some of your less able neighbors starving for some honest reporting and sincere conversation? Time will tell.

  6. JML: Thanks! You are the first to ask why Defilippo wants to be a council member. All anyone knows is that he is, as the CT. Post calls him, “Mario’s bartender”. What we DO know is that he opened a liquor store (via a variance through Zoning) where one is not allowed, was challenged in Superior Court on that fact, and Judge Radcliffe ordered his store closed. What we also know is that he defied the Judges order but then closed when he was about to be slapped with a contempt charge. What we know is that he and his lawyer- Willinger have been waging a 2 year old scheme to re-open the store but were then denied at at the Zoning Board level. What we know is that by using their “political influence” they have enlisted the Office of Planning and Economic Developement (OPED) to change the law so that they can get what THEY want, everyone else be damned. What we know is that they continue this quest despite strong opposition from the entire School Board, thousands of signed petitions opposed, The Cathedral Parish, the many citizens who appeared in front of the numerous Zoning Board hearings over 2 years, learned scholars submitting evidence against, real estate planning experts and paralegals offering evidence against, and a coalition of more than 2/3 of Bridgeport package store members-(who I am apart of)-all who are against this attempt to change the law that protects neighborhoods that do not need any more liquor stores. We also know that OPED has gone so far as to propose language in their amendment that is ABSOLUTELY illegal and violates State law. We also know that even the City attorney who sits to advise the Zoning Board has not uttered a word to OPED’s presenters advising them that they are violating the law with their proposal.This entire episode goes deep.
    So What are Defilippos views on what Bridgeport needs in his attempt at Common Council? Does he have a view? What are his qualifications? What is his educational history? What else is in his background!!?? Another primary WILL be held, lets see if he speaks up. Lets see what the State has to say in their investigation of OPED’s attempt at severe over-reach of it’s authority.
    It appears that this prospective common council candidate is OK with allowing up to 14 more liquor stores to open and to eliminate the law that requires these stores to be 1500 feet away from “sensitive uses” such as school, Churches, Day cares, etc. as is in the law today. He seeks to have no requirements whatsoever!! I guess it’s up to the voters……AGAIN.!!!!!!!!!
    JML: Time will tell!!!!!!


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