Will Bridgeport’s Legislative Delegation Have Any Juice With Sharkey’s Machine? Slots On The Agenda?

Nothing like a state budget gap to throw cold water on the holiday season. Outgoing Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and incoming Speaker Brendan Sharkey have advised their legislative peeps in an email to “hold the week before Christmas open because a special session may be necessary” to deal with the “deficit mitigation.” What happens in Hartford influences the economics in the state’s largest city.

Bridgeport has an eight-member legislative delegation that will conduct the city’s bidding when the General Assembly convenes in regular session in early January. The State House members from Bridgeport: Auden Grogins, Jack Hennessy, Charlie Stallworth, Ezequiel Santiago, Don Clemons and the newest member Christina Ayala. Come January the city will be represented by two state senators, Anthony Musto (first elected in 2008) and freshman Andres Ayala who risked his safe State House seat to defeat incumbent Ed Gomes in an August primary and then easily won the general election.

For the most part all of the above Democrats have been loyal votes for the Democratic-controlled legislature. As we enter the season of thanks, good will and cheer how this group works together adds great value to the goodies the state’s largest city receives (or not) next year. A united delegation is crucial in efforts to present to legislative leadership the city’s priorities like we want more scratch for redevelopment of the East Side, or we’re on board with opening up the gaming compact for casino expansion that benefits the tribal nations and generates jobs and extra revenue for the city. Not saying this is what they’ll pitch but an example of what could happen with input from Mayor Bill Finch to craft the city’s legislative road map. It would be a miracle if one day the legislature fully funded the city’s tax-exempt properties. Fat chance in this economy.

So what should be the city’s priorities in the 2013 legislative session? And whom would you select to serve as the delegation leader?



  1. When are these eight going to tell us what their legislative agenda is? Are they going to put a package forward that includes the following:
    1. Slot machines in Bridgeport
    2. Increase in Pilot monies or doing away with tax-exempt properties
    3. Funds to help the city’s flooding problems
    4. Increase in school aid
    5. Be against legislative programs passed by the legislature that increase city taxes
    I am sure there are a lot more ideas out there.

    1. Grin: Well THAT was in poor taste! Sounds like something a failed restauranteur would say. Sluts are people too, and there is a substantial chance Bridgeport sluts are Democrats. What is a little prolific nookie if it benefits the Democrats? 🙂

  2. If politicians were businessmen(women) and were personally fiscally responsible for their actions, they would be bankrupt one and all. They make their decisions with YOUR money, not theirs. They have no exposure for their inexperience, ineptness and lack of business acumen. Whenever they make a fiscal mistake the correction comes out of new taxes, new fees, new licenses or raised versions of the same.

  3. God help us. My comment would be while all those big things are important, we don’t always have to swing for the fences. We could also win the game with base hits. I wonder what each one of these individuals will do. Some are much better than others.

  4. *** Where are they concerning the plight of the Twinkies and the workers affected in Bpt and the State? Where are they concerning anything positive as a legislative group when it comes to Bpt in general? As a city voter, I am not expecting much in terms of ideas towards web slots, etc. for extra state revenue. Out of all eight legislators, can OIB readers come up with a list of 10 pro-Bpt bills, grants or anything that’s helped this city’s districts individually or as a whole? *** TALK TO ME! ***

Leave a Reply