Bidening Time As Knives Sharpen, Plus: New Dodd Poll

The state’s largest city will have a mighty say in the next governor, the next (or current) U.S. senator and a bunch of other offices in 2010.

Vice President Joe Biden parachutes into the state on Friday to raise moolah for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd who’s in the battle royal of his life. Things have become clearer for Dodd the past few weeks after Governor Jodi Rell decided to bag reelection, setting off a game of candidate musical chairs including Republican Tom Foley, former ambassador to Ireland under George Bush, switching his U.S. senate candidacy to that of governor. That leaves former Congressman Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon, former WWE titan, as the leading candidates for the GOP nomination to face Dodd. Looks like an August GOP primary is on the horizon to determine Dodd’s general election opponent assuming he survives a potential primary from Merrick Alpert.

This allows Dodd operatives the luxury to sharpen their opposition-research stilettos against Simmons and McMahon. By the time next summer comes around they’ll hope to have voters believing that the Republican opponent contracted the same disease as Tiger Woods. Fore!

So fasten your seat belts ’cause it’s gonna get ugly. Meanwhile, Dodd must have a nice turnout from Connecticut’s cities. Right now, based on the latest municipal cycle results and impatience with Barack’s agenda, the pendulum among unaffiliated voters has swung back. They’re not sure what to make of what’s going on in Washington. Midterms tend not to be gracious to the party in charge. Biden’s coming to Connecticut for one reason and one reason only. Dodd is in trouble and Dems need to do a better job of explaining how the federal stimulus dough is helping Connecticut.

As this 2010 cycle inches closer to election day Bridgeport will have its days in the look-what-we-did-for-you sun. Except Barack will not be on the ballot to juice turnout. Remember that press conference candidate Jim Himes had on the Congress Street Bridge more than one year ago to highlight the problems plaguing the city’s infrastructure? Well, where’s the federal dough to fix it? Maybe we’ll hear about it in 2010? Meanwhile, check out the new poll from, one of the country’s most accurate pollsters.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Connecticut now finds Dodd attracting just 35% to 40% of the vote against three possible Republican challengers.

Former GOP Congressman Rob Simmons is still his toughest opponent, leading Dodd 48% to 35%. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate in this contest, and 11% are undecided. Those figures are a slight improvement for Simmons since September.

The newest Republican in the race, Linda McMahon, the ex-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, earns 44% of the vote to Dodd’s 38%. Eight percent (8%) opt for another candidate, with nine percent (9%) are not sure.

Long-shot candidate Peter Schiff, the widely known president of Euro Pacific Capital, is essentially even with Dodd and holds a one-point edge, 40% to 39%. In their race, eight percent (8%) like some other candidate, and 14% are undecided.

An incumbent who polls below 50% is generally viewed as vulnerable, and the fact that even Shiff is now moving up on Dodd suggests that next year’s election continues to be a referendum on the longtime senator.

Announcement from Peter Schiff

In the midst of your holiday preparations, we wanted to share with you the early Christmas present delivered today to the Peter Schiff for US Senate campaign.

A new Rasmussen poll has anti-tax candidate Peter Schiff AHEAD of Chris Dodd. This is an early Christmas gift for the Peter Schiff campaign. Before we could email our campaign pollster for his analysis, he had already emailed us, “Rasmussen Poll: EXCELLENT NUMBERS!” “These numbers are striking considering the campaign is still in our initial stages, and we are still beating Dodd,” he explained.

Our campaign is energized by these numbers, especially when you put them in context:

1. Dodd’s a five-term US Senator.

2. Our campaign hasn’t even started yet. (We launch our campaign headquarters next week.)

3. Most Connecticut voters don’t yet know Peter and haven’t heard his story.

In 2006, people ignored Peter when he warned about the impending financial crisis. He was about the only person in the country to speak up and speak out against Wall Street’s unsound financial practices. Most importantly, he spoke out when it was the right thing to do, not when it was politically expedient. Now that irresponsible spending has moved from Wall Street to Washington, we need Peter Schiff’s insight and principles in the US Senate.

Connecticut Republicans know that Washington’s spending binges have consequences. Nearly 95% of Connecticut Republicans are worried that Obama’s socialized medicine will lead to bigger deficits. Well over 85% of Republicans are worried that the federal government’s spending binge will lead to middle-class tax increases.

And they’re right! That’s why we need a proven tax fighter like Peter Schiff in the Senate. No one doubts that Peter will be the most vocal tax fighter in Connecticut history. When Connecticut Republicans start to hear about Peter’s record–when they learn that he is the only candidate who can be trusted to fight government spending and tax increases, they will be committed Schiff voters.

One final note: there is a lot of talk out of Washington about the need for “a million-dollar advertising campaign” like the one we are seeing from one of Peter’s opponents. If these poll numbers prove one thing, it’s that: Throwing money at a problem won’t move your poll numbers any more than it will solve the financial crisis.

From Daniela Altimari, The Hartford Courant

It’s a classic strategy employed by Republicans and Democrats alike: Fly in a marque name for a fundraiser, but piggy-back some official business onto the schedule so that the taxpayers can pick up part of the tab.

George Bush did it, Barack Obama did it and Vice President Joe Biden will do it when he comes to Hartford for a fundraiser for Sen. Chris Dodd on Friday.

In addition to the luncheon at the Connecticut Science Center, Biden will visit a fire station in East Hartford to discuss how federal stimulus spending is “creating jobs and improving communities in Connecticut.”

Biden took a similar approach when he visited the state in October, stopping in Fairfield to highlight stimulus jobs after attending a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes. At the time, this newspaper asked Biden’s office for an accounting of how much the taxpayers paid for the stop, but we have yet to hear back.

News release from the Fedele guber campaign

Fedele for Governor Announces Second Round of Endorsements

31 Endorsements Announced Today Brings Total to 53 Just One Week After Fedele Announces Run For Governor

Lt. Governor Michael Fedele today announced a second round of endorsements from 31 government, community and business leaders. The endorsements announced today bring his total to 53, just one week after announcing his campaign for Governor.

“I am proud and gratified that so many leaders from across Connecticut have expressed their support of my candidacy for Governor in 2010,” Lt. Governor Fedele said. “These individuals are leaders in their communities and they see first-hand that their neighbors continue to struggle in this economy. They understand that the next election will define the future not only for them, but also for their children. They understand that we have an opportunity to create a strong economic future by creating jobs.”

This second round of endorsements includes State Senator L. Scott Frantz of Greenwich and Stamford Republican Town Chairman Chris Munger, along with other municipal leaders, business leaders and members of both the Republican State Central Committee and local Republican town committees.

“The Lt. Governor is not only uniquely qualified to address the challenges Connecticut faces in creating the jobs that will restore our state’s prosperity, he is one terrific person with the highest level of ethics, devotion to public service and concern for our state’s residents,” Senator L. Scott Frantz of Greenwich said. “His blend of solid government and business experience will serve the state very well during these difficult economic times.”

“I am pleased that the Stamford RTC has unanimously endorsed Lt. Governor Fedele for Governor in 2010,” Stamford RTC Chair Chris Munger said. “Mike has the vision, the energy and the right ideas to lead this state back to prosperity. He will have our support and hard work behind him every step of the way.”

The following list includes today’s second round of endorsements:

· State Senator L. Scott Frantz
· Bethlehem First Selectman Jeffrey Hammel
· Bolton First Selectman Bob Morra
· Burlington First Selectman Catherine Bergstrom
· Greenwich Selectman David Theis
· Greenwich Town Clerk Carmen Budkins
· Haddam First Selectman Paul DeStefano
· Lisbon First Selectman Thomas Sparkman
· Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul
· Middlebury First Selectman Thomas Gormley
· Middlefield First Selectman John Brayshaw
· New Canaan Selectman Robert Mallozzi
· New Hartford First Selectman Daniel Jerram
· North Canaan First Selectman Douglas Humes
· Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold
· Orange First Selectman James Zeoli
· Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield
· Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry
· Somers First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini
· Southbury First Selectman William Davis
· Stamford Town Clerk Donna Loglisci
· Trumbull Town Council Vice Chair Suzanne Testani
· Waterford First Selectman Daniel Steward
· Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop
· Woodstock First Selectman Allan Walker, Jr
· The Stamford Republican Town Committee
· Mr. Ed Greenberg, Republican State Central Member
· Mr. Mike Jachimczyk, Republican State Central Member
· Mr. Chris Meek, Founder and Chairman of OurCTGOP and SoldierSocks
· Mr. Tom Devine, Devine Brothers / Devine Bioheat
· Atty. Gerald Farrell, Sr., CT Bar Association Criminal Law Executive Committee



  1. Man it’s early. I have the old guy syndrome of getting up early. Look I am not in favor of pork-barrel spending but it’s a way of life in Washington. No matter how I feel about it or how Americans feel about it, it’s here.
    We have 2 senators with a combined seniority of over 60 years’ experience and what does this state get in pork-barrel money? Bupkus.
    Mary Landrau the senator from Louisiana gets $300 million for Medicaid for one of her votes. Senators from around the country are bringing home millions. What do our 2 senators bring home. Nada, nothing, bupkus.
    These are 2 worthless self-centered senators who should be replaced.
    Friday when the VP is here raising money for Dodd the usual line of Democratic ass-kissers will be there. Not one will have the guts to ask where is the help for Connecticut. Can anyone tell me how many stimulus jobs have been realized in CT?

  2. Frankly the electorate is to blame for not holding our Senators and Congressmen to blame. It is time for Dodd to go for a whole host of reasons.

    Hopefully that will happen and either Foley or Simmons will represent CT after the next election. Can’t stomach WWE McMahon, the CT version of Sarah Palin.

    If that does not happen, then TC is on the money.

  3. DENIS: Just could not resist taking a shot at Palin could you? Comparing McMahon to Palin is really reaching. Have you been comparing Palin notes with Lennie?
    Lieberman is a key vote on the health care debacle oops I mean bill and what has he got for it? Nothing. I know Dodd has brought back nothing but a lovely set of photos showing him with the president and other powers in the democratic party. Last time I checked you can’t cash those photos in for stimulus money if there is such an animal.

  4. TC … You infer incorrectly. I like Sarah Palin. She’s got a dynamite story–blue collar husband, five kids, son in Afghanistan, took on entrenched Repub machine, won, and then took out leadership on ethics charges. She’s got a real life, not some inside the beltway crap like Dodd.

    However between the McCain administration running a terrible campaign and the major media and all the “oh so clever” folks, she was marginalized.

    The same will happen with McMahon because of all the WWE crap … As it should.

    1. Dodd is actually beholden to the Democratic Party machine that has controlled the Massachusetts legislature and the Boston City Council since before Joe Kennedy sired his brood of history-changing sons.

  5. Seeing that the blog is quiet this morning I would like to go off subject for a minute.
    I have received 2 calls in 2 days from city union people about how Panuzio’s victory was won with the support of the PD & FD unions. There seems to be an interest by the unions to get into the political spectrum.
    To the union members that live out of town I suggest you take a step back and think about the following: Most out-of-town city employees feel I don’t live there (Bpt) so why should I care? My answer to them is you may not pay taxes here and may not deal directly with Bridgeport’s problems but they do affect you directly. You may say how or better yet you are full of it. Think about this:
    Your contracts and the assault on your benefits come directly from the city administration. The work atmosphere you presently work under comes directly from this administration. Can you do anything about this? Yes you can.
    If you are from one of the unions in bed with the administration and who are selling you out a little at a time, come election time (union) put in new union officers.
    You think because you live outside of Bpt you can’t effect an election? That’s pure BS. Every one of your union brothers and sisters that live out of town have relatives and your friends that live in Bpt. Working the election in an orderly way and getting these people out to vote can control an election especially a primary election. A coordinated effort by the city unions can and will control a primary and thus a general election. Remember in the last mayoral election the difference was 270 votes. There are more than 270 unions members alone living in the city, count friends and relatives and you can have YOUR candidate win.
    Having political power allows for fairness and respect during hard times. To the union heads think about it, meet with each other and start now. There will be a mayoral primary in 2011, be ready.

    1. Is the purpose of a City to provide jobs (that logically provide salaries, current benefits and post retirement compensation) or to provide services to its citizens at a cost they are willing to afford?
      Naturally those holding jobs today, or who have done so in the past want to see their contracts/expectations fulfilled. So they should be interested in the satisfaction of resident property taxpayers with level of services relative to the property taxes paid. They might also want to look at the ability of the City to fund the promises made by City Hall and agreed to by City Council but with little understanding by the general public because of the small time allowed for public view, questioning and participation in the annual budget charade. Does anyone know, can anyone tell us what the unrestricted fund balance was for the City of Bridgeport on June 30, 2009? Or better yet, what it is today? Have the 20 Council members who reportedly received these numbers monthly in the past any concern about this subject?
      Could the City actually be broke today in terms of the current budget year? When it comes to jobs and money to pay for services, are there any presents in Santa’s bag this year that will banish all fears and anxieties and allow the elected officials to smile and continue to act as if there were no problem?


    By Keila Torres
    Updated: 12/09/2009 11:10:42 PM EST

    Expulsion is among the options likely to be reviewed by the City Council as possible discipline for a member of the legislative body accused of leaving a racist message on the voicemail of a colleague.

    A draft version of a report on what actions, if any, the council may take against member Bob Walsh, D-132, for leaving the message on the voicemail of M. Evette Brantley, who also represents the 132nd District, is expected to be submitted at the next council meeting by the City Attorney’s Office.

    In October, Mayor Bill Finch, in a press statement, said City Attorney Mark Anastasi would conduct an investigation into a “tremendously offensive racist comment” that Walsh allegedly left on Brantley’s phone.

    In the message, Walsh, who is white, allegedly used the word “slave” in admonishing Brantley, who is black, for casting her vote in favor of the Steel Point land disposition agreement and that he allegedly chided her for saying, “Yes, master,” to council leaders.

    Walsh, who has not admitted that he used such language in the message, said Tuesday that he had tried to apologize to Brantley twice for the voicemail message before the mayor’s office released a statement about the incident.

    Walsh said he was in Europe when the mayor made his statement, although council President Thomas McCarthy, D-133, did alert him about the council’s intentions to make the issue public. When he returned, Walsh said he tried once more to apologize to Brantley, but she would not discuss the issue.

    “As far as I’m concerned the matter is closed,” Walsh said.

    McCarthy said the City Attorney’s Office has completed the report detailing “what abilities, rights and powers does the council have in dealing with a council member.”

    Although McCarthy said he has seen a draft version, he said the city attorneys did not make the deadline to submit the report at Monday’s council meeting. The council president said he had an option to request that the document be reviewed, but did not want to rush the report through.

    “I don’t want people to think we are delaying this,” McCarthy said. “It will be referred to committee on December 21,” the date of the next council meeting.

    McCarthy said he hopes to schedule a special meeting so the entire council can review the report because he doesn’t think it is proper for a small group of council members to discuss the document in committee. “This is something that is very serious, so I didn’t feel comfortable doing that,” he said.

    Although he wouldn’t discuss the report’s specifics, McCarthy did say the draft version includes options that include expelling or censuring a council member.

    Asked if he is worried about the report’s findings, Walsh replied: “Not at all.”

    “We had a mayor that was under indictment for stealing taxpayer money and if no one tried to kick him off, then I want to see them try to kick me off,” he said.

  7. Own a house in Black Rock? Worried about prices dropping further? Some fear the local park expansion might do just that. They also say that maintaining historic districts is good for real estate values.

    Type three words into Google “ellsworth park bathroom”

    CT Post article Tue Dec 8:
    BRIDGEPORT — Members of the Board of Park Commissioners gave Black Rock residents an earful on Tuesday, after several residents of the eastern Brewster Street area voiced concerns about proposed changes to Ellsworth Park.

    The plan to change the park, used regularly by Little Leaguers, is prompting controversy among area residents, some of whom support adding a 400-square-feet building to hold a concession stand and restrooms while others oppose it, some fearing that it could lower their property values.

    “To me, it looks like a rest stop on I-95 with a cupola on top,” said Kathryn van Renesse, a Brewster Street homeowner who said she wants to maintain the character of the historic district, referring to a photograph simulation of what the building will look like in place.

    Others at the packed board meeting at the North Branch Library expressed similar opinions, and several complained about chronic parking problems during games, when children dart out from between cars and the volume of parkers narrow Brewster Street to one lane.

    “The concerns of taxpaying owners have to be taken into consideration,” said Ann-Marie Klein, zoning director of the Black Rock Homeowners Association, listing concerns that included the location, size and appearance of the building, which will include storage for Little League teams and which some fear may block the views from their homes.

  8. The City Attorney’s office is going to investigate what? Maybe Marky Maypo can ask for Walsh’s cellphone records under FOI. Oh yeah, I forgot Mark has been there and thwarted that under his former boss’s rule. Wasn’t TMac Council Prez when someone ripped the shirt off another council person’s back?

  9. Connecticut Post, “COUNCIL MEMBER COULD FACE EXPULSION OVER ALLEGEDLY RACIST MESSAGE” By Keila Torres. I would like to go on record and say that Robert “Bob” Walsh is a friend and also a friend to the black community, all one has to do is to look at his record as a City Councilman.

    I would think that council President Thomas McCarthy, who also works in the Labor Relation Office would know that he should have sat down with Bob and had a coaching and counseling session and let him know the seriousness of of his words to Evette Brantley and to have Bob apologize. I wish that Mr. McCarthy had done the same type of investigation in the fire department when the “N” word was used.

  10. Has anyone noticed the newspaper story from yesterday about the closing of the downtown Chase Bank branch? Thankfully, no jobs will be lost. Employees will be relocated to another branch. But what does the closure do for a struggling downtown? What did the city do to prevent this?

    And the question (below) posed by Beacon2 was right on target.

    “Is the purpose of a City to provide jobs (that logically provide salaries, current benefits and post retirement compensation) or to provide services to its citizens at a cost they are willing to afford?”

    Unfortunately, the answer is that city employment (a.k.a. political employment) has become a growth industry in this burg. Credentials are not measured by work experience and educational standards. Credentials are measured by the number of absentee ballots and primary day votes you can deliver to the polling booths.

    Instead of examining things in China, how about looking at what’s working in the middle of New Jersey? Central Ohio? Upstate New York?

    Those are my thoughts, have a good day all …

  11. I live a stone’s throw from Ellsworth Field, just across Burr Creek, and think the park improvements are a great idea. My kids’ Little League years have come and gone, so there’s no real vested interest. I think it’s good for the neighborhood to have our own little park with the same amenities that are common in surrounding communities. The parking is an ongoing, serious issue the powers that be have decided not to confront, for whatever reason. But that’ll be an issue whether this project goes forward or not. Now if only they’d replace the basketball courts that mysteriously vanished a dozen or so years ago. I wonder why that was?

  12. In Black Rock it must be a fine feeling in the good weather to open your front door and be faced with a “Crapper” as in Sir Thomas Crapper.
    This is city planning at it best; considering it’s Bridgeport.
    I would like to suggest a statue of Patrick (Paul) Timpanelli, in Bronze at the intersection of Brewster and Ellsworth, taking a dump where the roads go left or right; can you just see him with his pants bundled around his ankles, smiling I hope, for all eternity, for what he has done for Bridgeport? Good job on the BOE audit Timpanelli, although I think you’ve been sitting down on the job.
    Class act zoning board! And you have added some royalty to it, Sir Crapper and you are descendants of him.

  13. *** Amazing how the city insists on putting a bathroom @ the Ellsworth Park, even with some of the nearby neighborhood residents opposition; yet it took years after the fixer upper @ Wentfield Park to get a bathroom with so many neighborhood residents in favor of it since the park is used by so many! ***

  14. Question for the Black Rock little leaguers. If there are no facilities there now, just where exactly do the little darlings pee? I would venture to say that they pee in the bushes and behind the trees. Isn’t a proper bathroom a more sanitary solution?

    If Chase is moving out, what is the City going to do with that building? They need to move everyone in there or move everyone out of there. The few depts on the 2nd floor (with spacious, newly renovated offices) do not warrant keeping that building. What’s the plan? Is there one?

  15. *** Since it has a safe, the Chase side of the building can become the new city V/S site. Seems much larger than the present one @ McLevy Hall which is in dire straits you might say. *** And as far as Dodd is concerned, it’s time for a change from the same old Dem. song & dance. *** The council leadership seems to be taking its marching orders from the Finch Admin. concerning the Walsh phone dilemma? This can get pretty ugly if not handled privately between the two district alderpersons & the council leadership come the new year! ***

  16. How about moving the Burroughs Library to the City Hall Annex? Make it a library/technology center.

    Keep the current building as a book repository, historical research center and meeting location.


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