Big Mac’s Mile High Report, Plus: We’re Having A Party!

Hillary Clinton knocked her convention speech into the mile-high night. A big-game performer is right. She did what Barack needed and more. Best speech she ever delivered.

What’s it like to attend a presidential political convention? A half dozen or so Bridgeport pols, including Mayor Bill Finch and his wife Sonya (a Hillary Clinton delegate), sojourned to Denver to take in the light air, intrigue and anticipation leading to Barack Obama’s formal nomination.

I imposed on Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy to share a flavor for the convention atmosphere. His report, from the convention floor, follows:

Writing to you live from day 2 of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. I am currently listening to Rahm Emanual, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He worked closely with Diane Farrell and currently with Jim Himes in their runs for Congress in the 4th district. This is my second Democratic Convention. I went to Boston 4 years ago. It is incredibly exciting to be here. You have a feeling of being part of history. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak tonight and there is a huge buzz in the Pepsi Center. She has a lot of support among the Democrats here. I think the press has blown the division in the party issue out of proportion. The large majority of Clinton supporters (of which I am one) that I have talked to are completely behind Obama. I think Hillary’s speech will go a long way to unifying the party.

A few impressions of the convention:

1) Security: the level of protection for the convention is impressive. There are multiple layers and perimeters one has to go through before you get into the arena. They check your credentials mutlpile times and even have a check for counterfeit credentials. It is like getting on an airplane multiplied by 10.

2) Denver: this is my first time in the Mile High City. It is a very welcoming place. Friendly, clean and very new. The downtown looks like it was all built in the last few years. There seems to be a very active downtown. The most interesting thing from a City Council perspective is the light rail system. It is a very impressive, yet simple system to get people in and out of downtown. What is most interesting is that the rail runs a distance in Denver that is similar to the distance between Bridgeport and Stamford. That has led to a few interesting conversations among myself, Mayor Finch and Mayor Malloy of Stamford.

3) Taking advantage of opportunities: Mayor Finch grabbed me last night and pulled me into a conversation with a well dressed gentleman. Finch introduced him to me as a high ranking official in the US Department of Transportation. Well, Finch and I proceeded to lobby hard for federal money for the Congress Street bridge. Will it lead to any money, who knows, but being at the convention leads to opportunities to talk to people who make decisions important to Bridgeport.

I am going to sign off now. While writing this there have been many great speakers. I am excited and deeply honored to be here at the Democratic Convention. I, also, am more sure than ever that we need to elect a president that cares about issues that affect cities like Bridgeport. That is why I am voting for Barack Obama.

Tom McCarthy

Party Time

Hey, everyone, mark your calendars. The next OIB party will be September 25, 5:30 p.m. at Captain’s Cove Seaport. I’m inviting all candidates so we can torture them a little. No speeches. Just fun and a chance to schmooze the candidates. First drink is on OIB. We’ll also have munchies.

And one more thing, it’s the first day of school. Good luck to the kids, teachers, administrators and Superintendent of Schools John Ramos.



  1. I did listen to Hillary’s speech. I thought it was outstanding. However it only reinforced my feelings that she should have been the VP nominee. She did cover all the common ground between her and Obama. She also gave a nice comment as it relates to McCain.
    Knowing the Clintons she knows that the only shot she will ever have to be president is in 4 years and if Obama wins this year her dream of becoming president is gone.
    The problem is Hillary overshadowed all of yeterday’s speakers. Mark Warner gave the keynote speech and no one is talking about it.
    Tonight’s speech by Bill Clinton will overshadow anything that takes place today.
    I am waiting to hear Obama’s platform and that will come Thursday. Until then Hillary did a great job and covered herself with glory.

  2. Mark Warner’s speech: it was fantastic!

    He showed the kind of enthusiasm that made him a worthy keynote speaker. It was the first time I ever heard him. He knew how to fire up a crowd. Hillary had a good opening act.

  3. I heard an interesting comment last night. The city is to be served today with some form of legal process regarding charges of harassment by a coworker. It seems the object of POLITICAL ADDICT’s threats found some cojones and contacted an attorney.

  4. Local Eyes I cannot disagree with you more. I thought Mark Warner’s speech was horrible and boring. It was a speech for Mark Warner’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. It was just terrible. If Hillary had not done such a fantastic job – Day 2 would have gone down as a zero, just as Day 1 did. What a horrible terrible mistake Obama made by not naming Hillary his VP. You know, when I want to win, I do whatever it takes to win. And, if it means joining with someone I am not particularly fond of, I do it. I do it for the end result. Obviously, Sen. Obama was more concerned about his own personal comfort than winning the White House for the Democrats.
    And, please don’t start with Pres. Clinton. I am so tired of excuses for why he didn’t choose her. He made a very serious bad judgement and I’m afraid one that will more than likely cost us in November. I have to stop before I say something I will regret.

  5. Mark Warner was so boring in his content and delivery I fell asleep and missed Hillary! Warner did not fire up the crowd except for the Virginny clan. His monotone delivery makes him perfect for the senate or the b’port city council!

  6. I care very little for the kind of political posturing that goes on at conventions. That said, anything that has the City Council President talking about the possibility of light rail service is wonderful. Bridgeport needs new transportation alternatives, not new developments serviced by sad roads. People moaning about gas prices should be using their energies to lobby for better public transportation. There was a time when a person could hop on a trolley and get from the beach in Woodmont (Milford) to downtown Bridgeport for a day of shopping. Today that person would need to get a bus to the train, or would need to navigate their car on one of America’s most dangerous highways (Rt. 95). What Bridgeport needs, among other things, is the kind of transportation that makes it possible for people who don’t earn enough money to fill the tank (a growing population) to get from place to place easily. And I don’t mean the bus.

  7. Oh that snarks byte is right. Take it to the max and bring jobs to Bridgeport with a moratorium on state-sponsored tax credits to lower Fairfield County companies and relieve transportation crunch by our well positioned situs.

    I know the Bluefish are biting but it’s time for Bridgeport to cut the bait-and-switch bullshit with Steal Point. Another misnomer is the fact that this is not a 1.5 billion dollar project. The LDA calls for a minimum of $300 million. Now the city wants to scale back even further. Walsh is correct in saying to the developer to put up or shut up and re-bid the whole deal in a quadrant auction.

  8. snarkus maximus:

    Light rail only works when you have a street network that is wide enough to share. Years ago the trolleys dominated the roads and there were fewer cars.

    Light rail in B’port can be a catalyst for development (not a bad word) in 2 cases that immediately come to mind: one from the transportation center (ha!) along Housatonic Ave to the junction with US1. It might spur some waterfront development where the old brass is and would be better than industrial riverfront development. (Hear that mr. tax cheat?) The second could be along the rarely used railroad ave corridor from the station/arena to fairfield ave and open up areas of the west side to mixed development.

    A line up main street or north ave would drive the bus line out of business and clog traffic more than it already is.

  9. donj,
    Add Lieberman in there and it is quite a foursome. Talk about some bogey men. I’m just waiting for the Golf Pro to tee off on this one. Too bad he’ll be hitting into the Summer Wind.

  10. I would be interested to know what the advantage of a Light Rail System would be compared to the present Metro North Commuter rail system that we presently have. Do we need a smaller, slower, almost trolley-like system to get between Bpt and Stamford? Why not add more locals to the MNCRR schedule then? If you are trying to get more people moving locally between the towns in order to help the local economy, I would think that a project like a Light Rail would be very expensive and cause a lot of political issues in determining the route and taking the land needed for the rails and stations, etc.

  11. I have spent my entire career working in New York City. I get on the train in Fairfield and get off at Grand Central Station. From Grand Central, I have many many options to get me to anywhere in NYC as well as each of the boroughs. The options are called intra-city urban transportation better know as buses and subways. No cars necessary except for the drive to the local RR station. That’s the solution. Urban intra-city transportation. Imagine a commuter getting off the train in Bridgeport and going across the street to the bus station where shuttles or buses await to take this commuter anywhere he or she needs to go.

    I dropped my wife off at 6am the other day at the New Haven RR station. I was surprised to see a dozen or so small buses waiting for the commuters to arrive. These buses and vans were clearly marked by downtown districts. The commuter gets off the train and gets on a shuttle right to work or shopping and back. I have no idea what the cost would be but it sure would be a lot less than supporting an automobile.

    Once the major cities invest in intra-city modes of transport that are as comprehensive as NYC I think auto utilization will drop way down. That’s the way of the future. We must have it.

  12. Yes, the fundraiser was a success, too bad Mr. Johnson doesn’t have a chance against, “I was a union rep. for carpenter steel”, Ed “stuttering” Gomes, the Dem. party’s choice. Let’s help bring those mustang Dems. home there, Conn. Dem. Party endorsed candidates! Let’s get one for the gipper! Oops, the gipper was a Republican! Oh well, one for the road J/D! Hey while the cats are away, you think the mice are @ play?

  13. I agree that Metro North is excellent. I would like to see, for instance, better connections and incentives for commuters to ride on the line that runs to Waterbury (which stops in Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia, Derby & Shelton). You don’t need a degree in transportation to see that the volume of traffic up there (particularly during rush hours on Route 8) is a result of commuters who travel south to jobs in the lower Fairfield County region. There is train service, but it is infrequent, and the schedules don’t seem to work for commuters. In Europe, the ease of using public transportation makes it an obvious and usually cheaper alternative than driving. I’m not suggesting that we bring back the trolley or even invest in light rail (one need only watch the Simpsons episode about the monorail to see the ways this plan can head south quickly; or visit Miami, Florida, home of the world’s dumbest downtown monorail). I’m just suggesting we work to support and invest in the transportation we already have, and make the kind of bus/rail connections aboost talks about so easy to use that people would be stupid not to use them. For that matter, I’d like to see employers & the state create incentives for people to use public transportation to get to work. As many of you know, it is an option, but some mornings getting in the car is so much more appealing. Picking your nose is only truly comfortable in the car…perhaps this is another argument for public transportation?

  14. Chris Shays is co-hosting a fish fry with Ed Gomes. He is going to be the soloist singing the ILGWA’s theme song.

    Would this make him the Godfather of Sole?

    I also heard he is trying to get a position with Xavier Cougar’s Bridgeport First Party line. Shays will be crashing the party this Thursday in Downtown like he did Himes’ event this past week.

    He is such a pandering bear that he is doing a commercial based on Rubén Blades’ “Crossover Dreams” movie. He’s going to do a Forest Gump drop-in for Hillary’s new movie “The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants Suit!” trailer.

    Shays wants to be all for everyone and is going to become a nothing to everyone.

  15. OK, let’s see if I’ve got this right. Fabrizi gets a promotion but not a raise. I guess that makes it official he was overpaid for the job that was created for him.
    Fabrizi’s former duties will be handled by Fabrizi and “other” administrators. That makes it official. Fabrizi did nothing on his old job.
    Fabriz looks forward to expanding family literacy programs. Again, too bad he didn’t do his old job.
    The board met in executive session to interview him. The appointment was approved without discussion. The Fabulous one could have waived executive session but did not do so. So the gutless ex-mayor and the gutless Board of Ed chose the coward’s way out and kept any questioning away from the public.
    And the capper to the story is that the Board of Ed voted to layoff 24 full- and part-time employees. Fire the bastard and get rid of his no-show $120K job and see how many of these layoffs could have been avoided.

  16. It appears that after decades of combined political experience, Finch and McCarthy apparently never heard of the U.S. Department of Transportation and it took a trip to Denver to find out that such a department exists and that elected officials can approach them for funding of transportation projects. If only they contacted Congressman Chris Shays’ office, they would have been put in contact with the U.S. Department of Transportation officials. If you guys are so sure that NObama will bring the “change” Bridgeport needs, then why not lobby NObama directly for a Bridge?

    Want to learn something valuable on your trip to Denver? Want to meet someone who knows something about dealing with a financial crisis? Don’t go any further! Go to City Hall in Denver and ask for Mayor John (No, not Fabrizi) Hickenlooper.

    Here is a little of his Bio:
    A small businessman who had never previously run for political office, John Hickenlooper was elected Mayor of Denver in 2003 and reelected in 2007. Since taking office, Mayor Hickenlooper passed a citywide charter reform initiative to modernize Denver’s personnel system, overcame a $70 million deficit (yes, $70 million) to balance the City budget while averting major cuts in services and massive layoffs (you read correctly), reached deals with United, Frontier and Southwest Airlines enabling all carriers to grow at Denver International Airport (Sikorsky?), implemented the most sweeping set of police reforms in Denver’s history (No vote of no confidence), built an unprecedented partnership with Denver Public Schools (a long shot in Bpt.), launched efforts to create a more business-friendly environment in city government (keyword: Friendly), initiated a citywide campaign to end homelessness (Confronting the “Burden”), created Denver’s sustainable development initiative, and ushered in a new era of bipartisan (Bipartisanship?) regional cooperation culminating in passage of the largest regional transit initiative in the history of the United States.

    Here is a link to article on how Hickenlooper approaches his challenges. Keep in mind that he started by Partnering with Colorado’s Republican Governor.


  17. Pretty interesting stuff Joel, you sure did your homework. I watched Hillary’s speech at the convention last night and she was awesome plus she looked really good. She threw all her support to Obama. She definitely has class!!! It was nice that her daughter introduced her too. Time to kick those republicans out of the White House…GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!!

  18. Joel–There is no way on god’s beautiful green earth that you have the mental capability to write that last post. Thank Mr. Delmonico or Rob Russo for writing that for you via email so that you could post.

    Instead of worrying about “NOBAMA” why don’t you worry about what’s going around in your neighborhood?

    Have you set up block watches NOel Gonzalez?

    Have you worked with Law Enforcement to curtail crime NOel Gonzalez?

    Have you worked with City Officials to keep your part of town clean and safe NOel Gonzalez?

    You can be our Local version of Chris Shays.

    Chris takes trips to Iraq to see shit hit the wall.

    If elected are you going to take trips to the Southside of Chicago to see some gang action???

    Let’s see what’s happening in Arizona you waste of Skin and Bones.




  19. McCain’s Kitchen Tables:

    Nice to have you join us on McCain’s Kitchen Table. The food for thought we will serve you is much better than NObama’s Bananas. If only my so-called Councilmen took care of business in this district, we would not have to watch our own block and pick up after other pigs. Work with City Officials to keep my “hood” clean? Sure and it’s a waste of time. Ask Paoletto how long it’s been since I asked him to come over and see the houses (3) next to where I live. Four (4) months and they are still in the same condition. So much for the City’s anti-blight program and holding property owners responsible. Go to Maplewood Avenue across the street from Bryant School and see the condition of the lot. If you’ve been paying attention to my past activities and comments you would have seen the video of the lot and the Streets way back in February. So much for the party of “Change”. I’d be honored to to be in the likes of Chris Shays, it’s a heck of an improvement from being the likes of the party you represent while hiding (you can come out now) under McCain’s table. Shays doesn’t have to go to Iraq to “see shit hit the walls.” A trip to Bridgeport’s City Hall will do the job and at the same time see your gang members pillage the City with the stroke of a ballpoint pen.
    Thanks for the NOel. Merry Christmas to you! As a token of appreciation for your participation on OIB, I place on McCain’s Kitchen Table a can of Turkey from USDA (No bones or skin) just for you.

    I’m Joel Gonzalez and I approve this comment!

    copyrights j. gonzalez not Chris Shays or Rob Russo

  20. donj wrote:
    “Joel I find you to be a very hateful person. You won’t even get 2% of the vote.”

    Do you mean hateful like the Terrorists NObama wants to leave alone? That explains why you are trying to make sure the Osama/BinBiden ticket gets at least 51% of the vote.

  21. Joel Gonzalez please, you are 1 of the 10% in the city who likes McSame; you are a complete dummy who has no chance of winning. You are a big loser who can’t win. I wonder if you will even get 10 votes at your home precinct. I don’t know how someone can vote for Shays; if the Republicans can endorse someone like Joel it says a lot about their candidates. Joel don’t you have anything better to do you dumb ass than insult people?

  22. No Joel, I MEANT GO OBAMA/BIDEN! I’m watching Biden speak now, he’s a good man and he had a lot of hard knocks in his life. He can relate better to us ordinary people a helluva lot more than MCSAME. I can’t figure how anyone would vote for him, it’s like getting 4 more years of Bush, he will continue to ruin this country, how do you like it so far? You talk all the time about poverty and poor neighborhoods, yet you are voting for a man who owns 7 houses. What do you think you have in common with him? What are you thinking??? Whatever it is, you need to think again.

  23. donj and City Kitty:
    Read the article in the link below. Rezko did not buy or sell any of his seven properties to or from Rezko. Obama is a slick, jive, smooth-talking hustler with a Harvard degree. You would think a Harvard grad with political aspirations would stay away from a crook like Rezko. Obama is simply lucky Rezko is not Paul Pinto or Lennie Grimaldi and will not “snitch” on his friends like he has publicly stated.

    Rezko has or had hundreds of apartments and he supported NObama’s campaigns. Why? Pay to play the Chicago way! NObama has lied and misled the Chicago Sun Times reporters and they have found too many inconsistencies in his explanations. Explanations by the way that NObama left to his campaign managers. His own writings (books) refute his explanation to the media.

    You think NObama cared Rezko left many families (poor ones) to freeze in his buildings for months at a time? I don’t care what you both say, a vote for NObama is a vote for Osama. A guy who would not settle his differences with his minister of 20 years is capable of making deals with infidels.


  24. Oh please Joel, who’s doing the writing for you? Now you insult Lennie, but you post on his blog??? Who in your district will vote for you or MCSAME – nobody!!! You have a better chance of moving into one of MCSAME’S 7 houses than you do getting anywhere even close to the House of Reps.

  25. City Kitty,
    I had a good laugh at what you said when you said he had a better chance at moving into one of McSame’s houses than winning; oh man that was funny. Gonzalez is a clown; Joel, just drop out now so you won’t have to go through another election getting 10% of the vote. Excuse me you won’t even get 5% this year you stupid bald-headed clown.


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