Wood Steps Up For Ned, Plus: Didn’t Jodi Say We Were Broke?

Mayor Bill Finch’s Chief of Staff Adam Wood is taking a leave of absence to serve as a campaign strategist to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont. Wood’s official leave comes at the end of the week.

Wood, the mayor’s chief political adviser, is a seasoned campaign operative who’s managed races for both mayor and congress on behalf of Democratic candidates. Wood’s assistance will reach far outside of Bridgeport as he helps shape the message, strategy and voter turnout for the Aug. 10 primary against Democratic-endorsed Dan Malloy. Lamont campaign headquarters is located in New Haven, but look for a satellite office in Bridgeport soon. Ned has plenty of dough to finance a city turnout operation.

Mayoral aide Ruben Felipe will become chief of staff in Wood’s absence. When will Adam return? He’s committed to Lamont through the primary. If Ned wins Adam may stay on for the general election in November. Wood’s assistance to the Lamont campaign shows that Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa are serious about furthering Lamont’s chances. Bridgeport and New Haven delivered the largest voting bloc of delegates to Lamont at the state party convention last month.

As for Felipe he’ll be at the center of some key union negotiations with a new budget year starting one week away. The mayor’s budget, approved by the City Council, relies on millions in union concessions. If unions don’t come forth, look for layoff notices to go out before July 1.

This will be some week in the Park City and city police are on alert to keep the peace. Why? Brazil plays former colonial master Portugal in a World Cup match Friday morning. Things should get quite juicy and competitive in the Hollow and on Madison Avenue. Okay, kids, it’s just a game. Really?

State Surplus, Give The Money To Bridgeport! From Chris Keating, Hartford Courant:

State Announces Surprising Surplus Of Nearly $243 Million For Current Fiscal Year; Economy Improving Slowly

With the economy improving since the depths of the recession, the state is now expecting a surplus of nearly $243 million – up sharply in the past month.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced the new projections Tuesday, noting that the latest estimates are $76 million above the numbers last month. The improvements caught some by surprise because Connecticut residents have been hearing mostly bad economic news since the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank and the major Wall Street downturn that started in September 2008.

“As our economy slowly recovers, the news continues to get better for our state budget and our taxpayers,” Rell said in a statement. “We have three straight months of surplus and have added jobs in Connecticut in each of the last five months. People are going back to work, consumers are spending more and our revenues have begun to climb.”

Rell added, “Our state is now in a much stronger position to cut down borrowing. If these projections hold, we will be able to apply more than $100 million of that surplus to pay down our securitization debt. I have been adamant throughout budget negotiations that any and all surplus must be applied to debt payments.”

From Ned Lamont:

Lamont Accepts Endorsement of Largest Teachers’ Organization

CEA President: “Ned understands that teachers’ insights are invaluable in school improvement efforts.”

New Haven, CT – Today, The Connecticut Education Association announced their support for Democrat Ned Lamont’s candidacy for governor. At more than 40,000 members, CEA is one of the largest unions in Connecticut.

“I am honored to have the support of the hard-working educators of the CEA. During my time as a volunteer teacher at Harding High and a professor at CCSU, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the crucial role our teachers play in strengthening our schools,” Lamont said.

“As governor, I will work with educators across the state to give every child the opportunity for a world-class education that will prepare them to compete in the 21st century economy.”

CEA’s statement announcing their endorsement of Lamont is available here: www.nedlamont.com/news/articles?id=0015



  1. Is this the same campaign strategist, Adam Wood, who ran Stephanie Sanchez’ unsuccessful second campaign for Congress and then twice managed to get Dianne Farrell unelected for congress before Jim Himes ran and won without any Wood DNA on his campaign?
    And Adam Wood will take a two-month leave of absence from the city and Ruben Felipe gets a two-month promotion???
    Then someone will get Ruben’s job for two months. These people have no pride. Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.

  2. Hey Lennie
    Lamont, a Greenwich cable television entrepreneur, leads former Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy by 17 points–the exact margin that he led in last month’s poll. Best known for defeating U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the August 2006 primary before losing in the general election, Lamont has maintained his lead over Malloy in the past five Quinnipiac polls that date back to November 2009.

    Malloy won the Democratic Party’s convention endorsement last month but has received no political “bounce” from that victory in the same way that he did not receive a bounce after winning the 2006 convention endorsement, according to Quinnipiac pollster Douglas Schwartz. Malloy later lost the 2006 primary to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano after raising and spending $4 million.

    So Lennie, we’re still waiting …
    No bounce; not an ounce.
    What’s up with THAT, Lennie?
    As I have said all along, you need to win a primary before you can start worrying about a winning message in the general.
    Maybe Malloy is saving some of his fresh new money for the fall. Then again, the fall may be a double-edged sword for big Dan.
    Gotta go. That Malloy TV ad is on again. I am still trying to figure out what he is supposed to be about.

    1. Grin, you can’t save money from the primary and bring it into the fall–if you have any money in the bank on 8/11, they just cut down your general election grant by that amount.

      I like Malloy’s TV ad. Fourteen years as mayor and this is what he has to show for it.

  3. The city is at a crossroads with a deficit budget and layoffs looming and the engineer of this bullshit is taking a leave of absence???
    To me it is a betrayal and also shows the lack of seriousness by this administration. I know it can be said it’s not Finch’s fault Wood left but in effect it is. He could have told Wood if you leave you’re gone forever but that would have taken balls.
    Could this mean Finch is also looking to get out of here and sees the value of Wood temporarily leaving?
    We are dealing with people’s lives with these negotiations and the person who helped engineer this policy is leaving before things are finished.
    I think the word is carpetbagger.
    While Ruben is a nice guy he is in over his head.

  4. From the CT Post
    BRIDGEPORT — A federal jury awarded a city man $300,000 after finding he was beaten and blinded in his left eye by a city police officer following a 2004 motor vehicle stop.

    Another major victory for the City Attorney’s office!!!

    “Obviously, the City of Bridgeport is extremely disappointed by the verdict entered in this case. We remain adamant that both police officers involved adhered to their consistently high level of professionalism as they apprehended this suspect,” City Attorney Mark Anastasi said in a prepared statement. “The evidence does not support this verdict and we intend to file an appeal to correct what we believe to be a miscarriage of justice.”

    “The key to the case was the testimony of our expert witness, Dr. Zachary Klett, who is the eye surgeon who performed the operation on our client,” said Williams. “He testified that the injuries, which were confined to the area surrounding the eye, were consistent with someone being struck by a police radio and absolutely inconsistent with someone who presumably jumped out of a moving car and struck his face on a curb.”

    I guess Mark and the doctor don’t see eye to eye on this one.

  5. I feel so much better Wood went to work for Lamont. Malloy is sure to win now. Wood’s only real success was a 270-vote win over Caruso when Finch outspent him 3 to 1 and Caruso sounded like a broken record stuck on corruption. Wood worked for Hillary too. Wood’s track record of losing is strong, I believe in that track record. Remember this is the guy who has been giving political advice to Finch for 3 years now and he has been such a success at that. Malloy clearly won the debate last night. If Lamont hasn’t been able to increase his lead for several months after spending millions he isn’t going to do it now. This is the first week of commercials for Malloy and a debate where Lamont looked like a nervous, beady eyed deer caught in headlights. Basically he said vote for me because I have no political experience. That’s a reassuring message. If he said I taught at Harding High one more time I thought I was going to lose my dinner, what a phony.

  6. It is also interesting how the Finch family is so opportunistic and blows in the wind. Chris Finch, Bill’s son, who used to work for Joe Lieberman, and who Finch supported is now working for Lamont. They went from criticizing Lamont and working against him to now being his biggest fans. I am sure Finch and his cohorts and family were all promised jobs by Lamont. So much for having people believe in you when you can just buy them.

  7. It’s curious that Wood would (sic) assist in Malloy’s campaign. Malloy cannot muster support from Stamford because he is widely regarded as an ineffective puppet whom the business community considers as harmless. While he takes abundant credit for all of the continued growth our prosperous city has seen, the business community makes it clear they want and need little to do with him as mega plans are conceived and developed. In other words Stamford needs to have a mayor, but the mayor is not a necessity to ensure economic growth. It’s a powerful force that arises when that much money is at stake. Pitiful politicians like Malloy are truly persona non grata in those circles. He’s great at cutting ribbons but useless in cutting credible deals.

  8. Wood is on Lamont’s campaign. Malloy has strong support in Stamford and you have no idea what you are talking about. It sounds like you are describing Finch. If you think mayors don’t have anything to do with economic growth, you don’t know anything about economic development.

  9. I urge my Bpt residents when you cast your vote also cast your vote for Jarjura. He has what it takes and I like some of his stand on certain issues. He is a pro-life Democrat just like me. What people might not know in Bpt is we might vote for Democrats but there are a lot of moral-based Democrats who are pro life in Bridgeport. All my friends are pro life but we vote Democrat. So it is good when you can find a Pro-life Democrat running statewide vote Jarjura for Comptroller!!!
    www .mikejarjura.com/accomplishments.php

  10. Adam Wood is nothing more than a crass opportunist. As previous poster noted he managed several failed political campaigns before he struck paydirt with Bill Finch. Now he is off on another Quixotic quest hoping to find more riches in a success with Ned Lamont. If Lamont wins in November Adam Wood would be out of here pronto. Maybe we should hope for that.

  11. I have to disagree with Lennie and TC as to what is or should be Adam Wood’s role in running the city. The Chief of Staff is not an administrator. He is not directly involved in the running of the city. The mayor has a CAO, an OPM Director, a Finance Director and a Labor Relations Director. These are the professionals who advise the mayor on policy matters.
    Wood’s role is much more of confidant and adviser. He helps sort out differing opinions and helps the mayor work through the political aspect of the decision-making process. And by this I mean the political ramifications of building a budget based on union givebacks. Policymakers may be advising him to face a tax increase now and get it over with. Others may be arguing for a stable budget now and deal with the ramifications next year. Wood is there to sort this out. Wood is there to figure out which unions might be more willing to come to the table first.
    Lennie, who was Joe Ganim’s Chief of Staff and how critical would he have been in a situation like this? Ruben is just picking up some walking-around money and not doing anything different than what he would be doing.

    1. Troll, great points about the role of the chief of staff. The chief of staff has as much power as the mayor wants to give him. I had the job for six months transitionally under Ganim, late 1991 early 1992, but my role was to set up the office staff, recommend department heads and get the hell out because I was never crazy about government. I love the politics, not the government work. Pat Coyne, Joe’s college bud, followed me and Pat was like the dragon protecting the castle. Pat had no role in policy. He was the guy who said no when the mayor didn’t want to. Dan Shamas, who had years of administrative experience in the city school system, followed Pat. Dan supervised the inner office staff, made sure the paperwork got done and served as a bridge between the mayor and department heads.

  12. Bob what have you been smoking? Adam Wood was running all aspects of this administration contrary to what you have posted. What you wrote is what his role should have been not actually what it is or was.
    While I am at it how did you vote on this deficit budget?
    If Ruben is doing nothing more than what he was doing why pay him more? After all contrary to the administration and council opinion this is not a charity.

  13. Well if Adam Wood is running everything then there are a lot of positives to come out of a two-month leave of absence.

    Adam is not negotiating with the unions, the city brought in an outside attorney. You don’t need Adam to run the numbers on any concessions so now is a wonderful time for a two-month vacation.

  14. Thank you Bob Walsh for getting the knife’s edge closer to the grindstone.

    The reporter in me wants to know the direct consequence of Wood’s appointment to the Lamont campaign. Will he help the mayor and Mario bolt together a Lamont machine in Bridgeport or just (just!) be in charge of the fuel (money) from New Haven?

    Lennie, you are being coy about where the players are lining up (OK, it’s a long summer).

    What you have mentioned about Malloy supporters so far is fascinating.
    Black Rock with Danny Roach and the East End with Ralph Ford are Malloy. District leaders usually come with followers. Most district leaders get that way by following their constituents by getting to the head of the line.

    You threw Lisa’s name out there from the West Side.
    Where is Mother Goose?

    The makings of a fine Malloy machine are shaping up with John Stafstrom as gasoline station manager.

    How many payroll and aldermanic arms can the mayor break?

    The mayoral dissenters have something of a track record in organizational politics. They aren’t necessarily going to shrink from a fight because of the mayor’s payroll.

    Unless TV ads can blow this open, this is a committeeperson’s primary. They’re split. The two factions have competent organizers.

    We need a little more oil for the grindstone.

  15. As to Ruben, TC. There is nothing the council can do if the mayor decides to temporarily appoint him CAO.

    If you recall one other time Ruben took a leave of absence and Fabrizi replaced him him for a couple of months with someone who wasn’t even a city employee.

    Now that takes balls.


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