Where Have You Gone Lowell Weicker? Does Chris Dodd Give A Crap About Bridgeport? Plus: Fab Radio

Lowell Weicker, now there’s a guy who did something for Bridgeport.

Check that, not something but a lot. Check that, not a lot but more than any pol on the planet. Weicker was elected governor in 1990, served one term and arguably is known as the governor that blasted the personal income tax through the state legislature. That revenue is just one thing he did for the state’s largest city. His slot compact with the Mashantucket Pequots wired more than $10 million to the city in the initial state distribution formula in 1993 and tens of millions more since. In addition, look at the things he did specifically for the city:

— A new Housatonic Community College downtown. Housy is now the highest trafficked community college in the state.

— Weicker relocated the regional state police barracks from Westport to downtown Bridgeport to create a sense of security at a time it was urgently needed.

— Weicker found $10 million to purchase from the city Beardsley Park and the state’s only zoo, now operated by the Connecticut Zoological Society.

— Weicker made maintenance of the city’s railroad station a state function, saving additional dollars.

Why does this matter? Now you may think Weicker’s a blowhard, a this and a that but for me the guy went out of his way to make sure the state’s largest city was well cared for by the state mother ship. He understood that a strong Bridgeport means a stronger Connecticut. He cared.

Good grief, what has Chris Dodd done for Bridgeport in 30 years in the U.S. Senate? Oh, I can hear my Dodd friends now, there goes whiny Lennie complaining about Dodd again. Well, I’m still waiting to hear about all the wonderful things he initiated on behalf of the city that weren’t started by someone else. Dodd should have a monument in his name by now. But hey, the senior senator can win me over. All he has to do is wire something for the city (well, it would be a start at least) like he has in the story below. C’mon Christopher, make me eat crow!!!

From The Hartford Courant

WASHINGTON — A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.

The legislation leaves it up to the Health and Human Services Department to decide where the money should be spent, although spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said Dodd hopes to claim it for the University of Connecticut.

The UConn Health Center has been trying for years to expand and upgrade a facility that hospital officials consider too small and outdated to be economically viable.

The latest proposal, a merger with Hartford Hospital, was scrapped in November.

The provision in the Senate legislation is included in a 383-page series of changes to the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., outlined Saturday. Scattered throughout are numerous items sought by individual lawmakers, many of them directing money explicitly to programs or projects in their home states.

Fab Radio

This should be fun. I’ll be joining Johnny Fabs today around 4:30 when the former mayor guest hosts Jim Buchanan’s time slot on WICC. We have a whole bunch of stuff to talk about so call in and feel free to harass us. The City Council showdown between Evette Brantley and Bob Walsh is starting to crater political relationships. The council Monday night referred the phone message blow-up to a full council committee for action in early 2010. Former Council President Lisa Parziale weighed in on behalf of Walsh during the speaking portion of the council meeting triggering a wide-open rift with Brantley whom Parziale promoted for her old West Side district seat. Yes indeed, smash-mouth OIB politics.

Good School Stuff

Check out OIB friend Jonathan Kantrowitz’s column regarding city school performance.


More From The Courant

House and Senate Vote To Delay Estate-Tax Cut; No Cuts in Stem Cell Research or Aid To Cities, Towns

The state House of Representatives and the Senate both voted Monday to postpone cuts in the estate tax that had been strongly favored by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Republican legislators.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 97 to 39 to postpone two key changes for two years as seven moderate Democrats joined with Republicans to oppose the changes. The bill did not pass by a veto-proof margin, but 15 lawmakers were absent during the pre-Christmas special session.

The vote came on a day when legislators were trying to close a deficit that is projected at $337 million by the governor’s budget office and the legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal office.

Early Monday evening, the state Senate voted 22 to 12 – mainly along party lines – to postpone the estate tax changes. Sen. Andrew McDonald, who represents many affluent residents in Stamford and Darien, broke with the party and voted with the Republicans on the estate tax.

In addition, Democrats are rejecting Rell’s plans for reducing aid to cities and towns by $84 million, which has become highly controversial among municipal leaders. Republican legislators, too, have offered a separate plan with no cuts to municipalities.



  1. My favorite politician, Chris Dodd. This guy has done absolutely nothing for Bridgeport. That’s 30-plus years in office and NOTHING. Wait a minute I forgot he did do something for Bridgeport. He along with Barney Frank helped lower the rules on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and put a lot of our residents in financial problems and thus a lot of foreclosures.
    Recently our esteemed senator from Iowa oops I forgot he moved back to Connecticut, helped pass the health care bill. A health care bill with no public option, reducing medicare coverage and best of all this bill he helped engineer provides 30 million more customers for the health insurance industry. Lest I forget it also helps big pharmaceutical companies because it outlaws purchasing prescription drugs from Canada. My prescription here costs $212.00 in Canada it costs $69.00 go figure.
    In addition to all this Dodd sold his vote for $100 million for a new University of Connecticut Hospital.
    Not one damn thing for Bridgeport or Fairfield county all he got was for Hartford County. You can bet your ass he will be here in a few months looking for support from Bridgeport. The shame of it is the Democratic machine here will support him. This guy can’t even spell Bridgeport.

  2. Thanks Lennie, for mentioning Weicker’s contribution to the Bridgeport of today. He went “Independent” for a reason …

    Senator Dodd has a lot of ‘splaining to do, right?

    Maybe anna thinks that BEACON2 is a Deacon. Either way, can you have religion without any sin? (laughing) We all make mistakes. Fortunately, mine are harmless.

    1. O ye of ‘harmless’ mistakes!
      I did not understand that you were an emotional animal lover when I asked you to follow through on some words you wrote last week. No matter. To be able to identify a weasel so many times suggests that you have spent too much time at the Zoo. And being so ready to address someone with such name-calling methinks you are actually projecting your own inner landscape? Is turning on questioners and attempting to bite them part of your regular routine?
      I thought I understood the rules, so at your admonition I went back to review them. I genuinely do not see what ‘rule(s)’ you suggest I have crossed. (Lennie, you can laugh now?)
      Anna, if you care to know, I am not a Deacon, but I do care deeply about my religious tradition. The way that several appointed leaders in Bridgeport were revealed to care more about personal embarrassment, about institutional assets, and about fellow clergymen reputations (those ordained who were sexual predators on young people) than on helping heal the wounded victims has been outrageous! Religious men in Bridgeport have made mistakes which compounded the harm done by other religious men.
      And yes, I believe that you can live your life in a religious sense one day at a time without sin so harmful to others.

  3. Go back to picking potatoes??? Tom McCarthy??? Brantley doesn’t know that Tom does not do nor has he ever done manual labor.
    This thing is really turning into an embarrassment for the city of Bridgeport. Here we have a city in financial trouble, people losing their homes, people not working and a school dropout rate of 68% and we have our elected officials bouncing a politically incorrect and offensive remark around like they have nothing better to do.
    Now we have other politicians stating that Brantley made an offensive remark directed at Tom McCarthy. Enough of this bullshit already.
    Walsh apologized, Brantley rejected the apology. Let her file a lawsuit and be done with it. The council should issue a reprimand or whatever you want to call it against Walsh and move on.
    This is nothing more than a witch hunt.
    To Brantley your comment Liar-Liar pants on Fire. Really? Grow up! Move On.

  4. *** Weicker was a go-getter who didn’t like “no” for an answer & even though he never should have agreed to a cap on the incoming slots “$”, next to Gov. Grasso he was a good governor! *** Last night’s council meeting was fast, even with the executive meeting called by Mr. Baker on where “exactly” $60,000. was going to come from concerning 1 of many city suits? Some folks in the chambers like me came to support Walsh & see if anything was going to be voted on concerning this debacle, maybe next year? *** Looking forward to hearing both Lennie & Fabs tonight on WICC radio. Fabs should be Buchanan’s autopilot all the time when Jim can’t make it or takes some time off, etc. *** Happy Holidays! ***

  5. The Question … where can … a city employee punch another employee … then get caught stealing on tape hundreds of dollars of metals in a city van, but keep his job??? Same place as a supervisor can choke a woman employee and keep his job … and get a promotion to boot … same place as an employee can get caught on tape buying heroin in a city vehicle and keep his job … answer to the question … ONLY IN BRIDGEPORT of course.

    This city wouldn’t know a good thing if it landed in their behinds … A seashore community … yeah we’d build a boardwalk and stores and a casino … sure … A women to run operations in a SCHOOL system … hahaha … yeah … that would be too good publicity … A downtown alive with people and good food and things to do on a Saturday night … not here … luxury condos and night life … hell no … fuggetaboutit … this city is rotting in hell and the people in charge want to milk the cow and get their fannies kissed and then move to Boca.

  6. Bpts Finest: With this group of nasty people running the city nothing is a surprise. If you are with the in crowd or the friend of a district leader you have nothing to worry about. Next to murder you can do just about anything you want and still keep your job and not get arrested.
    HOWEVER: If you are on the city’s hit list don’t stumble because you will be gone. The list of those that they wanted to get and did get is quite long. Maybe someday we will get someone in office who has a compassionate staff that really does care about Bridgeport and its citizens, at best that is 2 years away and even then the chances are slim.



  8. Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce to you the new BOE bossman.

    starting off the new year

    Mr. John “Bucky” Marsilio

    Please be gentle with them, the poor babies have been beaten down and through the wars already.

  9. Hmmm seeing a pattern here. CC in PF, Bucky in BOE. Can little Joe be far behind? CHS must be doing cartwheels. Mario is the man. Oh John Fabrizi our city turns its lonely eyes to you!!!


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