Chico Rivera, SuBy’s Suit, And Himes High On Recovery

Afternoon Update: Sad to hear the news today about the passing of José “Chico” Rivera, a prince in city politics. Chico was a gentleman, stylish dresser, great sense of humor. Chico and his charm graced OIB parties. His last run for public office in 2008 was for state representative in the 130th State Assembly District. Despite his health Chico was a warrior in that primary won by Ezequiel Santiago. Blessings to Chico and his family.

Chico Rivera
Chico Rivera

From Susan Bysiewicz

(Hartford) – Seeking official confirmation of her eligibility as a candidate, Secretary of the State and candidate for Attorney General Susan Bysiewicz today filed suit in Hartford Superior Court for a Declaratory Ruling on the state’s legal requirements for the Office of Attorney General.

“I am happy to have this opportunity to confirm my eligibility for the office of Attorney General for the State of Connecticut,” said Bysiewicz. “It is clear that I more than meet the requirements to serve as Attorney General and this effort will confirm that once and for all.”

Connecticut State Law currently requires that the Attorney General be “an attorney of at least ten years’ active practice at the bar of this state…” (CGS 3-124) Through the suit, Bysiewicz argues that she meets this requirement through her service in private practice and in public service as Secretary of the State for more than a decade. Furthermore, Bysiewicz indicates that the very requirement itself is unconstitutional under the Connecticut and U.S. Constitutions.

The suit seeks injunctive relief in order to prevent any harm to the Democratic Party and the voters of Connecticut, who face uncertainty as to the status of a declared candidate for statewide office. The suit includes all required parties that have authority over placement of candidates on the primary ballot this August, including the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party Chair, Nancy DiNardo.

Bysiewicz, who filed the suit as a private individual, is represented by Attorney Wesley Horton, a renowned authority on Connecticut constitutional law. Bysiewicz was also joined by Connecticut Democratic Party Chair Nancy DiNardo.

“I am proud to stand with Susan as she takes this important step to resolving a critical issue not just for this election, but for all future elections for Attorney General,” said DiNardo. “Connecticut voters deserve clarity on who is legally eligible to seek this office so they can focus on the more important issue of who is the best choice to serve.”

Reaction from SuBy opponent George Jepsen:

Today’s announcement acknowledges what should have been clear all along, that only in court can Bysiewicz clear up questions of her legal qualifications to serve as Attorney General.

Perhaps she finally got around to reading Attorney General Blumenthal’s opinion. The fact that she has to go to court at all underscores how paper thin her actual, real world experience is as a practicing attorney.

Win or lose in court, the issue of her qualifications will not go away. Republicans can be expected to appeal any favorable decision to the State Supreme Court.

The Democratic Party cannot afford a nominee whose legal fitness to serve remains in doubt.


Okay kids, it’s been one year since Barack signed the recovery act. Is your life better? Would it have been worse had he not signed it? Is it a workhorse? Or a show horse? Did Dems inflate expectations of the recovery act?

Bridgeport resident David Walker, the nation’s high-profile former chief auditor who forewarned of this mess, told OIB a few weeks ago the problem with Barack’s recovery plan was that it was only one-third stimulus, meaning two-thirds went into non-sustainable economic parts such as government and health care. It did little for small business.

So, what say you? Barack’s initial spin focused on how it would reinvigorate the economy. His spin now is it saved the country from another depression. Hey, in the spin world of politics you go with what you got, right? News release from Congressman Jim Himes:

One Year In, the Recovery Act is Creating and Saving Jobs in Fairfield County

Recovery Act an essential component of Himes’ efforts to put economy back on track

WASHINGTON, DC – One year ago today, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, the first of many essential steps Congress has taken to start turning around the economy. In one of his first and most important votes, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) proudly supported the Recovery Act, which gave a tax cut to over 218,000 workers in the 4th District and is estimated to have created or saved over 26,000 jobs in Connecticut. Additionally, statewide 620,000 seniors, SSI recipients, and disabled veterans received $250 economic recovery payments.

At the time of its enactment, economists across the political spectrum agreed that a stimulus would be a necessary component to realizing economic recovery. And now, at the macro level, standard market indications all point to an improving economy. In early 2009, job losses reached a rate of 700,000 per month, but January 2010 marked the first drop in unemployment since the recession began. Over the past year, the GDP has swung over 10 points from -5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 5.4% in the last quarter of 2009.

“We are certainly on stronger footing than we were one year ago today when the country faced an economy in free fall, but much work remains, especially in terms of creating jobs,” said Congressman Himes. “Working in tandem with financial reform and our efforts to mitigate the housing crisis, the Recovery Act has helped put Connecticut on the path toward economic recovery.”

The Recovery Act has already invested nearly $575 million in Connecticut’s 4th District, and we are only half-way through the two-year program. Information about all of the projects in the district is available at The Recovery Act has made hundreds of local projects possible, but key investments include:

· $1.8 million completing funding necessary to demolish Congress Street Bridge.

· $4 million to the WorkPlace, Inc. to train and place 700 workers into in-demand “green” jobs.

· $4.8 million to put 20 new police officers on the streets in Bridgeport.

· $46 million to schools throughout the district to keep teachers in the classroom.

· $2.7 million for the Stamford Urban Transitway.

· $1.3 million to expand the Norwalk Community Health Center.

Jodi, Follow Your Own Advice


Cutting it all, from beach sand to opera

By Keith M. Phaneuf

One of the incumbents’ perks in a legislative election year, bragging on state funds won for pet projects in the district, is getting turned on its head this year.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell is asking legislators not only to hold off on new earmarks, but also to cancel projects that they have touted–but not yet delivered–to their communities.

The nearly $390 million in targeted projects largely avoids the highest priorities of Rell and the legislature, such as school construction, building programs at public colleges and universities, and highway and bridge repairs.

Hey, here’s a novel idea for the governor since the state is hurting … don’t build another prison in Bridgeport. Ain’t it great, six years on the job and Jodi Rell’s Bridgeport legacy is another joint. Oh I forgot, she vetoed joints for medicinal purposes.



  1. Yesterday’s post by CHS re Finch’s diversity in hiring makes a great point. All those white guy appointments put money in the Finch account. Minorities got jobs too! Granted lower-paying and not as powerful but they got paid off for pulling the lever for Finch as good soldiers do.

    Don’t fault the Mayor and his power brokers for their strategy. Develop one to counteract it! Either educate people to know who they’re voting for or build your own machine. Finch & Co. are doing a great job to secure their own nest eggs and throw scraps to the workerbees.

    How much longer before the state steps in to look at the city and BOE organizations? We need new blood in this city and not a transfusion à la Ganim, Fabrizi, or other retreads.

  2. The stimulus package is pure and utter bullshit. Sure we are getting money for 20 police officers. What happens to those 20 police officers when the government money runs out? Their salaries get added to the city budget.
    There is no way they know how many jobs were allegedly saved by stimulus money those are pie in the sky numbers.
    Green Jobs what are those green jobs? Are those green jobs the ones where you give someone a caulking gun and have them reinsulate windows? Give me a break.
    $575 Million in the 4th district what a waste.
    I can only go by those I know who are collecting unemployment my 2 kids who are in the construction unions one here and one in NYC both have been out of work since November with no prospects for the near future. Friends who have been out of work for almost a year with no prospects.
    Drive around the state and you see very little if any construction going on. Drive by united rentals in Bridgeport their yard is full of unleased construction cranes.
    Until the real job creator SMALL BUSINESSES is able to get bank loans the economy is going nowhere. Until small businesses know the cost of the health care package and such we are just throwing borrowed money into a deep pit.

  3. It’s all politics to me …

    The current stimulus is woefully insufficient.

    However, good news has arrived: Thanks to a massive switch to “savings mode,” America can now finance its own deficit–whoopee! Almost immediately, China sold USA bonds with little fanfare or detriment. Again, more good news.

    Best Kept Secret: USA’s increased savings masquerades the solid recovery underway. (The good news continues …) Most of Wall Street’s “numbers” are bad because they reflect a consumer-driven economy which is the antithesis of a decent recovery.

    We never lost our appetite for manufactured goods; we just lost our ability to make them because of our Neanderthal fiscal policies. Available technology will prompt manufacturing’s return t these shores. Don’t be surprised if outsourcing to China becomes a pathway to wealth for your neighbors. It’s all made possible by producing more than you consume which provides protection from the economy’s uncertainties. Remember, the savers of yesterday become the investors of tomorrow and the special training session has just begun.

    The implications are more pain followed by huge gain.

  4. This is for ALL those let’s blame Obama fans.

    Washington Post
    It’s past time for President Obama to show some leadership

    By Steven Pearlstein
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010;

    It’s a rotten time in Washington, and I’m not just talking about the snow. Health-care reform, financial regulation, the jobs bill, the long-term budget deficit, energy and climate change — everywhere you turn, there’s political stalemate. Poll numbers are plummeting, and many good people either have been reduced to shameless pandering (John McCain) or are simply giving up and going home (Byron Dorgan, Evan Bayh, Billy Tauzin).

    While we’re passing out the blame, however, let’s not forget a heaping helping for the public. I can genuflect with the best of them before “the basic decency and wisdom of the American people,” but the truth is that on many issues these days, the American people are badly confused.

    They want Wall Street to be reined in, but they’re dead set against more regulation.

    They want everyone to have access to affordable health insurance, but they’re wary of expanding the role of government.

    They want the government to do something to create jobs, but not if it involves spending more money.

    They want the federal deficit brought under control, but not if it means cutting entitlement spending or raising taxes.

    They want to do something about global warming, but not if it raises energy prices.

    We think we know how the public feels about these issues because of the number of e-mails that arrive on Capitol Hill, the temperature of the comments on cable television or talk radio, and the results of recent polls. But in reality, these are not the definitive political judgments of the American people, nor will they dictate voting behavior in November.

    Believe it or not, outside Washington, Americans don’t spend much time debating whether there ought to be a public option in the health insurance market, or whether consumer protection should be separated from bank supervision, or whether terrorists ought to be tried in criminal courts or by military tribunals. They expect that such issues will be decided by elected officials who understand their sometimes conflicting values and desires and use good judgment in resolving them.

  5. TC sounds like Himes could have showered the city in gold and you would still say he didn’t do anything. For a freshman congressman the amount of money he got for Bridgeport, job growth and economic stimulus is a big credit to him.

    Even if the economy is great if you go by personal experience and not what is statistically proven you may get the same result as you may have an unfortunate group of friends that are an anomaly. I am not saying I don’t have empathy, but you can’t dispute facts with your perception. No offense but you tend to be the glass is half-empty type. You blame Himes because you don’t know what green jobs are. Go look it up or ask the workplace if they think green jobs aren’t important.

    $4.8 million will keep 20 police officers on the job for many years. Why don’t you at least acknowledge there has been positive growth? Or are you happy making assumptions, sticking your head in the sand and complaining?

  6. We all need to hear more success stories, right?

    HOW ABOUT A COMPANY so successful they closed and re-opened twice! <–

    That’s right, this SMALL BUSINESS has temporarily closed but will re-open soon in South Norwalk & Fairfield, two top-notch retail locations, thanks to robust sales.

    Comfort Food is thriving in today’s climate. Grab a napkin. <– find updates here

  7. Dems in Washington are trying to act like this recession is over. That we’re out of it and all we have to do now is solve the jobs problem. If you think we’re out of it, look at Europe. Greece is about to collapse under out-of-control spending that has its debt to GDP ratio at a crazy 125%. Spain and Portugal are next. Our own debt to GDP ratio is approaching 90%.

    No jobs. No flow of credit for small businesses. You see any cranes moving in Bridgeport?

  8. John what you write is strictly from the left side of the aisle. Tell me where and what the green jobs are other than weatherization and other one-time things. Green jobs for every green job provided it will cost 2 other jobs in another industry and these are not my words. John where are the jobs?
    You say my friends who are unemployed are an anomaly, to that I say BS look around the country 9.7% unemployment and in some areas higher that’s millions of people; an anomaly my tuchus.
    Those 20 police officers you talk about will cost about $90K per man per year that’s with benefits and I am probably low. So let’s see 20 police officers X $90K = 1.8 million per year a little less than 3 years. That means in 3 years or less the city starts picking up their salary and benefits.
    John as you can see from my many posts I don’t stick my head in the sand. Just don’t pee on my shoes and tell me its raining. I am not dazzled by all the BS coming out of Washington. Do I want Obama to do good bet your ass I do because it benefits everyone when that happens. Is he doing good not up to this point.
    He needs to take charge and explain to the people exactly what is going on. Ask anyone what’s in the health bill and they can’t tell you. Ask about green jobs, ask about the stimulus package which BTW has another $500 Billion that has not been given out.
    The green jobs btw are wind power, solar power less dependence on foreign oil etc. all things that will take a lot of time to get going.

  9. We highlighted on “Bridgeport Now” stimulus money results. Connecticut was projected to gain 40,000 jobs and lost approx 37,000 jobs, for 2009.

    You want to know how to really stimulate the economy? Make some room for innovation: break up some monopolies. History has shown that technology leads us out of a bad economy.

    For example, a recent NYT article from an ex-Microsoft top manager says that company is not innovative at all. Bridgeport used to have innovators, inventors and visionaries, as mentioned in Eric Lehman’s book BRIDGEPORT, TALES FROM THE PARK CITY. It’s packed full of stories of entrepreneurs, who in today’s environment would be restricted or bought out.

    We need to press our leaders who don’t have the courage to make the good and tough decisions despite lobbyist pressure. We don’t just talk, we are pressing our leaders weekly on our TV show. We seek sensible change. As for Greece and sovereign risk, the AAA rating on U.S. treasuries is on downgrade watch from ratings service Moody’s. That would mean higher interest rates and double dip.

    As for Obama, he campaigned on change, however has failed. We oppose Obama (though voted for him) and will campaign against him. Why have a Democrat when he has kept mostly a Republican agenda, apart from health care. Republican, wouldn’t allow US Taxpayers to finance nuclear power, for example.

    As for Himes, he seems really busy trying to meet people and spread stimulus money. Gets “A” for effort. I just wonder if he has the courage to make the tough decisions, too, which we need now, even if it’s against Obama. Is it true like Russo says he just follows the party line? I predict he will not be voted back in unless he takes a stand.

    Look, all the money, even that the Bridgeport’s Workplace got, $4mm, for green collar jobs … that’s great. Carbone is doing a great job there, great person too. Here’s the problem, we need fundamental change in energy development, much more money, creativity, innovation and require that giant companies don’t buy them out.

    China is just now about to take the lead in Green Technology. There would be a Nasdaq bull market if we had this going on. But what does Obama do? He says let’s go Nuclear again, after 30 years of no new plants being built. Has there been one Democrat standing up against this? At least we have a Democrat that stands up to politics locally, in the city council. I won’t mention any names, since you know who I am talking about. He is guest on next Tuesday’s “Bridgeport Now.”

    1. It’s interesting to see how many OIB people are getting ready to address jobs, compensation and benefits, stimulus funds, and a range of financial issues. That’s healthy. It indicates that money issues are personal on both the income/revenue side as well as cost of living/expense/tax payment sides.

      Along these lines, who can tell me what Representative Jim Himes has proposed regarding reform of the financial marketplace? You see, trust in financial instruments and willingness to invest in financial assets has a lot to do with whether sufficient information is open to the public in a form where values can be verified. Is that possible with derivatives? Has anything changed in that marketplace?
      You all have read about “bank bailouts” because these companies were supposedly too big too fail? Do you believe that bank failures are all over? Do you know a handful of community banks still fail every Friday with new owners getting guarantees and other financial support from the Fed? Some of the ‘new owners’ seem to be brand-new institutions (some with alumni of Goldman Sachs, hedge funds, etc.) with no bank track record and whose terms provide a profit to them at your expense as a taxpayer? (Look up Indy Mac.)
      And today our legislators are looking at financial reforms, something that Jim Himes with a Goldman Sachs background should know about. Instead of the Federal Reserve supervising banks (as we used to know them) the new businesses they will supervise are described as “systematically important financial companies”. I recognize that AIG (insurance), GM (auto lending through GMAC) and GE (equipment financing through GECAP) are probably covered by that new title, but do you want to stand behind them as a taxpayer? Are you getting a chance to be heard?
      Where is George Bailey, small town banker of “It’s A Wonderful Life” fame, when we seem to need him?
      Rather than looking for jobs or cash from Washington, why aren’t we demanding wisdom and a common-sense explanation of what the problem was, what the most efficient solution is, and get the voting done and the regulations in place. In the meantime the players in the marketplace are too scared to function well. And do you wonder where the toxic assets that destabilized the markets are out there and still hidden today?

      1. “You all have read about “bank bailouts” because these companies were supposedly too big too fail? Do you believe that bank failures are all over? Do you know a handful of community banks still fail every Friday with new owners getting guarantees and other financial support from the Fed?”

        BEACON2, I doubt they have read about failing banks.
        Open yOIB eyes and read this:


  10. Just for starts, green jobs are renewable energy jobs, hydrogen, wind, solar, fuels cells, bio mass and recycling. Construction of energy-efficient new buildings, and retrofitting old buildings for better efficiency and no not just caulking, but architects, contractors, carpenters, plumbers, cement makers etc. … Sorry about the ostrich comment. The fact of the matter is I am not coming from the left but this country thinks Obama can wave a wand and cure the ills the past administration took 8 years to do. He said he took responsibility for the portion of debt incurred on his watch but that is a small portion compared with the previous 8 years. We are a fickle, fast-food country, that does not understand the complexity of economics, defense or health care. In fact very educated people don’t understand or don’t take the time to understand leaving us to believe only what news propaganda we here on right and left. 70% fall somewhere in the middle, the other two ends are loud and motivated. I am saying it doesn’t do any good to say “hey you suck,” without seeing the improvements too.

  11. I’m a fairly moderate R. I know you guys are mostly Dems. But I was kinda hoping your party would ram something more through the Congress. That way we would have something more fun to argue about.
    Instead, your guys have mostly done squat. My R’s have hidden behind rocks and trees picking off Dems like they were English soldiers on the road to Lexington.
    What gives? You had the votes. You’re acting wimpy like Jimmy Carter was president.

  12. EVERYBODY wants to cut the deficit (EWTCTD) but NOBODY wants to give up the goodies it provides (NWTGUTGIP).

    We need more acronyms to curb idiots like Local Eyes (WNMATCILLE).


    bonus: with few exceptions, GREEN is an upscale term for things we’ve been doing for years, like recycling, saving energy and insulating our homes.

  13. Enlightened: I agree. Do you recall an R president who appointed so many Dems and was bent on seeking bi-partisanship? I mean we give him Dems in all three branches of Gov and he says, no, I want to seek R’s for office and keep the current Bush ones in there.

  14. I also agree with Ron. Himes has done a good job being a freshman congressman. And yes we have a lot of those blame Obama fans. Republicans are the biggest set of hypocrites I have ever seen. They were blasting Obama for going to Hawaii some even called it a foreign place to Americans. Last time I checked it was a part of the United states and has 4 electoral votes. But here is why they are hypocrites because a month later they held their big Republican meeting in Hawaii. I can’t wait to see the the meeting Feb 25 with Obama and the Republicans let’s see what they have to offer.

  15. My condolences to the family of Chico Rivera. I have known him for over 50 years. Chico was a great guy, a Marine Corps veteran. I will miss Chico. Rest In Peace MY FRIEND.

  16. I am working on a story regarding the BOE and trying save the city $500k/year. It deals with school facilities. Can someone please email me the list of organizations which don’t pay up when they “rent” school facilities for events and programs? Thanks. I won’t mention your name.

  17. I went to visit Chico’s wife and two sons, Mrs. Rivera told me last night Chico was in good spirits and they had talked about going to Florida this week to get away from the cold. In the morning she went up to his room to wake him and she noticed that he was pale and his head was turned to the side. After trying to wake him and getting no response, she called the ambulance and was told that he had passed about two (2) hours before.
    The wake will be this Sunday at Luz De Paz from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. On Monday, mass will be at St. George on Park Avenue at 10 a.m.
    Rest in Peace!

  18. *** Sorry to hear about CHICO passing, I was hoping he would get stronger & healthier as time passed. *** Well another ex-cop top dog bites the freedom dust. Four years for employing an illegal (without papers) nanny & accepting free apartment renovations by some family members of the mob & lying about it. Really, 2 no big deals but who knows what else he’s gotten away with & lied about? *** I voted for Obama & also feel that he’s lost touch with some of the promises & concerns that Americans really have. He’s trying to do too much, too soon instead of focusing on a few major hurdles & working bipartisan politically to get good sound bills passed. However at the same time, it seems as though the GOP has also “forgotten” what changes they really want to do to focus on the American people. They have become “political obstructionist” by trying to stalemate or block anything Obama’s Admin. tries to push! Instead of doing what they were elected for by their voters; it’s a miracle anything positive gets done @ the nation’s capital with that type of political B/S! American voters in general really need to clean house in D/C in both major parties to really change the direction this country seems to be going. *** FORGETABOUTIT ***


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