Baker, Hughes Await Confirmation Of Public Grants For Primaries

As the Friday deadline looms to get on the State Elections Enforcement Commission agenda, it appears State House candidate Andre Baker has enough dough to qualify for public financing in his quest to defeat party endorsed Ernie Newton in an August 12 Democratic primary, according to his report filing. Last week, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey lent his name and contacts at a fundraiser on Baker’s behalf. City Librarian Scott Hughes, challenging State Senator Andres Ayala, also reports reaching the threshold to qualify for public financing.

Baker’s campaign finance reports show donations from State Senator Andres Ayala, State House members Jack Hennessy, Ezequiel Santiago and Charlies Stallworth. Baker is awaiting confirmation he’ll receive a $28,000 public grant to challenge Newton. Baker must raise $5,000 in donations between $5 and $100, including 150 donations within Bridgeport, to qualify for the public cash.

Sharkey endorsed Baker last week in a campaign stop, declaring public trust is paramount in Baker’s challenge of Newton who’s barred from participating in the state’s public financing program as a result of a bill supported by Sharkey. Newton refutes state charges he falsified $500 in donations to receive an $80,000 public grant for his State Senate run in 2012. Newton is raising money outside of the voluntary public financing program.

Newton and Baker, an elected member of the Board of Education, both bring East End voter bases to the table. Newton is trying to reclaim the State House seat he occupied for more than a decade. Baker also served the East End as a member of the City Council.

Hughes, who’s challenging Ayala in a primary, also awaits word on his public grant application. His campaign filing is here.

Hughes needed to raise $15,000 in small donations to secure an $83,000 primary grant.



  1. In reviewing the attached campaign filing for Andre Baker, it is quite clear Mayor Finch is behind Andre Baker’s support. None of these people would contribute to Andre without the Malloy/Finch administration’s blessing.

    Jeff Greenfield  Legis. Staff(Malloy)  $100
    Ed Maley, Jr.     Attorney (Finch)     $100
    Maureen Magnan   Chief of Staff(Malloy)$100
    Christy Scott    State Attorney(Malloy)$100
    Brian O'Connor   Dir of Policy(Malloy) $100
    Jeff Greenfield  Legis.  Staff(Malloy)  $50
    Gabe Rosenberg   Comms Staff(Malloy)    $50
    Richard Baltimore State Attorney(Malloy)$25
    Jack Banta       City Council(Finch)    $15
    Andres Ayala     Senator (Finch)       $100
    Charlie Stallworth State Rep (Finch)    $30
    Brendon Sharkey  Speaker of the House   $50
    Ezequiel Santiago State Rep (Finch)     $50
    Auden Grogins    State Rep (Finch)      $15
    Jorge Cabrera   Excel Bridgeport (Finch)$50
    Kenneth Jackson   RYASAP (Finch)        $20

    Anyone who claims otherwise is living in a fantasy land.

  2. I just reviewed Andre Baker’s initial campaign filing. The following only further supports Andre Baker is being supported by Finch/Malloy.

    Carl Horton BOD Excel Bridgeport(Finch)$100
    Jack Banta City Council(Finch)          $20
    Richard Bonney Fmr City Council(Finch)  $25
    Charles Clemons, Jr. State Rep.(Finch)  $50
    William Marshall Charter Comm.(Finch)   $25
    Lillian Wade East End NRZ (Finch)        $5
    Wilfred Murphy Director of Bpt.(Finch)  $50
    Deborah Sims Director of Bpt.(Finch)     $5
    Lissette Colon Chief/Staff BOE(Finch)  $100
    David Bosco SIEU Rep(Finch)            $100
    Virginia Bosco Related to Above(Finch) $100

    In addition, approximately 20 $5 contributions have come from students. How many 17-21-year-old students would be interested in contributing to a political candidate? This is highly unusual.

    1. I understand you have a deeply ingrained issue with Baker for whatever reason. That is abundantly clear. But for the most part you are a one-man show on this blog with this perspective. It appears the majority of folks do not take issue with it like you do. Just putting it out there.

      1. Bond Girl, since I posted this information on OIB, I have received three phone calls thanking me for the information. I also attended a forum at Dunbar School this evening, which is located in the East End. Four additional people thanked me for posting the information as well. Only two could vote in the district’s upcoming primary. All seven told me they were completely disappointed with Andre. One person told me they felt used by him, another told me it didn’t take long for Andre to sell out and the general consensus was they all felt betrayed by him. I am just posting factual information from his own campaign filings. Each person can read the information and then has to form their own opinion of Andre Baker.

  3. And Maria, I could go through the contributors to Marilyn Moore’s campaign and pick off 15 – 20 people who work for the city or sit on the council or serve as a state rep and then you can say Bill Finch is supporting Marilyn Moore.
    And I’d bet Anthony Musto would be shocked by that assessment. Just goes to show not everyone is as close-minded as you.

    1. Bob, I did not list every city employee, city council person or state rep. who contributed to Andre Baker. I only listed those who have a reputation for being closely aligned with Mayor Finch/Malloy. The only contributor who is both on Andre Baker’s list above and Marilyn Moore’s campaign filings is Kenneth Jackson for $20 and Jack Banta for $5. I am not even sure Kenny Jackson is one and the same because Andre Baker’s Kenny Jackson is listed as a RYASAP employee and the Kenneth Jackson on Marilyn Moore’s filing has no employment listing.

      1. Sorry, I forgot State Rep. Charles Stallworth also donated $30. I found an additional six different contributors I would consider Finch loyalists who contributed a total of $55. The most troubling contribution I found was from Attorney Ed Farrow who currently serves on the Police Commission and was recently selected as member of the Board of Directors for Great Oaks Charter School, which is heavily supported by Mayor Finch. And of course we have a $100 contribution from none other than Andre Baker.

  4. Finch’s support adds up to $1600 dollars. With that kind of financial powerhouse behind him, how could he lose? For everything Baker has done for education I would expect to see at least a dozen students who contributed.

    1. BOE SPY, Andre Baker only has to raise $5,000 to trigger the state grant for over $20,000. These contributions add up to about a third of his contributions. That is a significant percentage. Please name “everything Baker has done for education.” 15-20 students donating $5 to a senate race is highly unusual. Marilyn Moore, Scott Hughes, Anthony Musto have nowhere near that amount.

      1. Forgive my ignorance, can anyone tell me why Baker only had to raise $5000 to get $20,000 and Hughes had to raise $15,000 to get $83,000? Never understood that. Never really focused on that aspect for a primary.

        1. State representative districts are significantly smaller than senatorial districts, therefore state reps have to raise $5,000 in donations between $5-$100 and senate candidates are required to raise $15,000 in donations between $5-$100. State rep candidates receive over $20,000 and senate candidates receive over $80,000. I hope that answers your questions.

      2. He brought the charter schools. Charter school students would know who Baker is but not Marilyn Moore, Scott Hughes or Anthony Musto. I wonder how many students donated to Hennessey. He was a teacher. Students would know who he is. Parents of a student in the charters could have donated in the kid’s name to be cute.

        1. SPY, what information do you have to support the student donors are charter school students? A parent cannot donate on behalf of a child/student. It is illegal.

  5. Andre Baker is an excellent candidate. He should win handily. The fact Finch and Malloy support him is just icing on the cake. It’s called teamwork. It’s called bringing home the bacon. It’s called raising the RESPECT of our city. I think the people in his district are fortunate to have a choice.

    I think Andre Baker is a respectable individual and fortunate to have the support he has. His opposition has done great things for Bridgeport?
    Maria P. I do not agree with you but appreciate your sharing that information. I honestly did not know it was readily available.

      1. You can’t search Newton’s info because he did not have to file. Newton is still the DTC (Finch) candidate. That does not make sense if Baker is Finch’s boy. Those donations could be plants to push votes toward Newton. Newton’s entire election could be financed by the Koch brothers in order to get one more charter supporter in BPT.
        I do not believe Finch will be re-elected. That would be another reason why your theory would be irrelevant. What difference would it make if Finch’s boy is elected and there is no Finch?
        Then you have the fact there are only two candidates. One way or another, one of those two guys will win. You say you would not vote for either as that would be picking the better of two evils. If you voted, you would still be picking the BEST candidate even if you see both candidates as bad. If people take your advice not to vote and Baker is Finch’s boy, Baker will win. I am sure Finch would get his minions to vote for his boy. That is, if you believe Baker is Finch’s boy. If he is not Finch’s boy, not voting will clinch the election for Newton as no one will vote except Finch minions. As far as we know, you are starting this hype to support Finch’s real boy, Newton, by turning people away from Baker or you are being manipulated into supporting Newton, much to Finch and the DTC’s delight. Truth is stranger than fiction.

        1. Newton does have to file campaign reports, however he cannot qualify for the state grant. The rest of your commentary is absurd drivel that is not worthy of a response.

          1. But it is still possible and we would not know who is paying for Newton’s campaign. It will be interesting to see how much he has to spend even though he does not get this lucrative grant. Not being able to get the grant would mean Ernie is for sale even though he is the DT-backed candidate.
            You should have argued the DTC knew Ernie could not get the grant and would not throw money at him. This would mean he would have little to no chance at the polls. After the BOE ‘change’ vote and in order to throw the Finch haters off balance the DTC backed him, leaving Baker as the ‘change’ anti-incumbent choice. One crazy conspiracy theory deserves another.

        1. Here it is:

          Ernie has a lot of interesting donors as well.

          Bruce R. Goldson, Sr., (R) police commissioner, Ansonia
          Easton Police Commission Vice Chairman Raymond Martin Jr., a Republican
          Joseph Regensburger, Dahill Donofrio, Gus Curcio, Vincent Curcio Jr and Julia Kish–Google them
          Christine M MoussaVian misspelled her name as Christine M MoussaWian
          Harry O Leaphart spelled his name wrong Harry O Leaphat
          Eneida Martinez-Walker lives at city hall annex
          James Holloway (D) 139th District

          1. SPY, besides Eneida Martinez-Walker and James Holloway, I could not find another contributor who could be considered a Finch loyalist. If Mr. Newton is being backed by Finch/Malloy, where are the contributions that support your claim?

          2. There are people worse than Finch loyalists. Although many of the things he has done have not been good for BPT, some have. The Charter schools would be an example of a positive change in BPT. Google these guys: Joseph Regensburger, Dahill Donofrio, Gus Curcio, Vincent Curcio Jr and Julia Kish and see if you would prefer them or a Finch loyalist. Together, these people donated $1250. Another funny thing is many of Newton’s contributors do not live in BPT.
            Here, just read this:
            They are all mentioned in that article. Pay special attention to the organized criminal history part. Besides, doesn’t the DTC endorsement come with funding attached? You say they are not all Finch supporters but how anti ‘our guy’ could they be? I am not necessarily anti-Finch. I am just against him when he does stupid things. Unfortunately, that seems to be more often than not.

          3. SPY, I am not challenging your comments with the donations made by the Curcios and their acquaintances. They are questionable donors. However, every single Malloy donor is not from Bridgeport either. There are also many other donors on Baker’s filings who do not reside in Bridgeport. They could well be friends and family who want to support him. That is understandable for both Andre Baker and Ernie Newton.

        2. SPY, please do substantiate your claim charter schools are a “positive change” for Bridgeport. Please do not list subjective claims. Please support your claims with factual data.

          1. I have already done that. If you weren’t listening, it is not my fault. The charter schools have been in town for a couple of years (maybe). The BOE have been here for a couple of centuries (maybe) and the charters are just as good as the BOE’s best schools.

          2. Maybe these people you identify as Finch/Malloy donors are people who worked with Ernie when he last served and just want him to lose. If he wins it will make all the elected reps look bad and BPT look really bad. We can hardly complain about corrupt officials and lackluster representation when we elect crooks. Especially when his major contributors are shady.

          3. SPY, no one can “listen” because there is no audio on this blog. Are you affiliated, related or associated with Jennifer Buchanan? The reason I ask is because your statement “charters are just as good as the BOE’s best schools” is completely and utterly false. Every single Bridgeport magnet school outperforms every single state charter school located in Bridgeport. That can easily be verified through the Connecticut State Department of Education website. What can’t be verified is both your and Ms. Buchanan’s completely false claims and accusations.

          4. The CT website only gives test scores. I thought test scores do not mean anything. You can’t discount test scores when it suits you and throw them up at a later date. I was talking about overall satisfaction. Black Rock school is close to the charters but the charters are still better. Here is an article for you to show what I mean:
            BTW–I was not using the word ‘listen’ in a literal way. It was used metaphorically to mean ‘read and understand in your own head.’

  6. Andy, where is Andy Nunn, Adam Wood, Alanna Kabel, David Kooris, Tom McCarthy and dare I suggest Mayor Finch? Your conspiracy theory leaves a lot to be desired.

    1. You wouldn’t want to create a conspiracy or be too obvious. If you wanted that, Finch himself would have donated. What would have screamed louder than seeing Finch’s name on those forms, but too obvious. You just let it be known whom to donate to in a small setting and then the people who ‘want to do the right thing’ do the work. Then you put a bug in the right person’s ear and sit back.

  7. Bob, so Governor Malloy and Brendon Sharkey just arbitrarily decided to support Andre Baker without Mayor Finch requesting they do so??? It’s an interesting theory but not a very plausible one.

    1. It would be just as plausible as Finch arbitrarily deciding to support Andre Baker without the DTC requesting he do so or Finch arbitrarily deciding to support Andre Baker when the DTC backs someone else.

      1. SPY, I already explained the entire DTC does not get to cast a vote for every state rep. seat. Only the DTC members who reside in the District get to cast a vote. Mayor Finch only controls one DTC vote in the East End and that is Debbie Sims. Scott Hughes’ district DTC members who reside in JFK voted for Ernie Newton. None of these people are Mayor Finch loyalists.

    2. Maria Pereira, it would be real easy for Governor Malloy and Brendon Sharkey to just arbitrarily decided to support Andre Baker without Mayor Finch requesting it because they have had their own dealings with Newton and Sharkey worked with Newton in the House of Rep.

      1. Ron, do you have any information that demonstrates either Malloy or Sharkey have personally supported an unendorsed Democrat for either state rep. or senator in all of Connecticut? Has Malloy repeatedly appeared with any other unendorsed Democrat running for state rep or senate in Connecticut? Has Malloy’s employees or Brendan Sharkey made financial contributions to any other unendorsed Democrat in Connecticut? What “dealings” did Malloy ever have with Ernie Newton? Do you have any specifics? Sharkey was a freshman member of the legislature when Ernie Newton served, that is true, however did they have a conflict with each other?


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