East Side AB-racadabra, Plus: Merrick’s Time To Bloom

Get ready for Tuesday’s tussle.

You know what they say about East Side politics? I went to a Democratic town committee meeting there the other day and a hockey game broke out. Well, the East Side is known for high sticking, body checks and oh baby, absentee ballots. Do you believe in magic? A couple of hundred absentee ballot applications are circulating among voters in the 137th District. We’ll see how many actual absentee ballots are returned by Tuesday, or should I say dumped at the last minute.

Bridgeport Dem politics has 10 town committee districts with 9 members per district. The 90-member town committee conducts party business, elects a chair to a two-year term and endorses candidates for public office. These folks make up what I refer to as the party regulars. Sometimes they smooch, sometimes they fight and sometimes they smooch and fight at the same time. That can be said for the 18 candidates listed below running on separate slates. Here’s the good part. Roughly 6000 Dem voters in the 137th District are not limited to voting for one slate over the another. They can vote for any configuration of nine, which opens the door for sinister electors. Ooooooh! How tasty it would be to place votes for this bunch on line one who hate these guys on line two? Yeah, I love evil voters.

The slates: City Council members Lydia Martinez and Manny Ayala, and Gil Hernandez, Brigita Diaz, Vidal Agosto, James M. Brown, Brendaliz Fontanez, former State Rep. Edna Garcia and Maria Rivera.

Opposition: Former City Council members Maria Valle and Danny Martinez, and Joyce Bowens, Carlos Guzman and wife Lydia Guzman, Angel DePara Sr., whose son Angel is a council member in the 136th District, Raul Ruiz and DTC member Tito Ayala and his daughter Christina Ayala.

The 9 that emerge victorious will join 81 other Dem members to choose a town chair Thursday night at Testo’s Restaurant. Incumbent town chair Mario Testa, proprietor of the restaurant, so far is running unopposed for reelection so looks like Mario will be reappointed by acclamation.

Miles For Merrick

Merrick Alpert is the other Democrat running for Chris Dodd’s U.S. Senate seat. Merrick announced his candidacy long before Richard Blumenthal who got in the race when Dodd opted out after 30 years. It had to be a kick in the crotch for Merrick, a bright guy who had campaigned all over the state with little money, then Dick shows up and all the establishment Dems want to show Merrick the door. But tonight at 7 on Fox 61 Merrick has an opportunity to elevate his stature in a debate heads up against Dick. Blumenthal has nothing to gain by doing this debate but Dick being Dick why pass up some television face time? I’m thinking of sending Dick into this debate with a bowl of rigatoni bolognese. Have you seen Dick in person lately? I saw him a week ago at the annual Chinese New Year’s bash thrown by the genial Republican-Democrat team Jack McGregor and Mary-Jane Foster in Black Rock. Jesus, Dick is so thin you don’t need x-ray vision to see the bones. Dick needs lots of pasta. Maybe Merrick should challenge Dick to an arm wrestling match. Oh, I forgot, that’s Linda McMahon’s offer.

News release from Blumenthal:


Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today called for legislation requiring greater disclosure, investigative authority and increased civil penalties for medical errors at hospitals.

Blumenthal and Connecticut Center for Patient Safety Executive Director Jean Rexford testified along with people who lost spouses or experienced a medical error that will mark them and their families for a lifetime.

Senate Bill 248, An Act Concerning Adverse Events at Hospitals and Outpatient Surgical Centers, would require that the Department of Public Health (DPH) produce annual reports on adverse events in hospitals and surgical centers, including identifying the hospitals and centers where such events occur.

The bill would also require DPH to conduct random audits of health care facilities to determine compliance with the reporting requirements and to examine more closely reported adverse events.

The proposal would also protect employees and others from retaliation for reporting hospital failures to comply with the law.

“The current law is a deadly and disgraceful failure, shielding hospitals and surgical centers from scrutiny and accountability and leaving patients in the dark,” Blumenthal said. “Medical mistakes causing death and serious illness may go unreported, undisclosed and uninvestigated, undermining patient protection.

“Gaping legal loopholes keeping most hospital medical errors secret — including more than 116 that resulted in death between 2004 and present — are unconscionable and unacceptable.

“A prescription of public disclosure provides both cure and prevention from medical mistakes and a powerful incentive to hospitals and surgical centers to take the necessary, often simple and common-sense steps to forestall sometimes fatal errors.”

Rexford said, This bill provides simple solutions that will help the health care consumer. Transparency and accountability are key components of this legislation.”

Currently, five states have passed laws requiring specific disclosure of adverse events — Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington.



  1. Perhaps a not-so-odd coincidence. There were about 200 to 300 ABs out for the aldermanic primary last fall.
    Anybody who knows who the Juanito Appleseed was spreading the absentees around?

  2. Hmmm I can’t wait to see these number from the East Side. Joel or Billy can you guys give us updates from Marin on the numbers of votes cast throughout the day? Joel did last time and I thank him for that. I say about 300 – 350 votes at Marin.

  3. Residence is relative.
    It’s usually a question of “with it” or “without it.”
    Finding the dumbest, most brain-dead person to sign over a ballot is key.
    A brother-in-law with chronic encephalitis, for example, is a prize worthy of prayer for continued incapacitation.

  4. Speaking of incest, it would be pretty interesting (and probably funny) to run down the family connections and political connections of all the folks running on the East Side.

    Sometimes I think these guys get into snits because someone accused someone at a Christmas party of serving rum from Cuba instead of Puerto Rico.

  5. Let’s see, it’s Monday isn’t it? And yesterday UCONN men turned the ball over about 25 times and lost the game in the second half and then the US Olympic hockey team played the Canadians pretty even for three periods to go into overtime sudden death and lose (3-2) though they ended up with a Silver Medal.
    And today, there was betting about the appearance of TC, or not! But who took the action? No word yet. I already miss TC’s mixture of facts, experience, and elder statesman wisdom. Hope he gets tired of the National action and remembers that “all politics is local.”

  6. “… Crime rates are the lowest they’ve been in more than 30 years, and these officers will enhance the department’s community policing and overall crime prevention efforts.”

    I am not sure what the exact cost is for training an officer, I’ve heard the figure of $60,000 per officer. The training lasts 6 months. The fed $ pays their salary for the 1st three years, then the city pays after that.
    If they give a written test this May, the officers won’t hit the road ’til January or even later. I understand that during the first six months a rookie officer must have a partner ridding shotgun. The 20 new officers won’t cause an increase in number of the force until all officers can patrol independently. There are approx. 100 officers eligible to retire by May 2010. If 20 leave, and we hire 20, it’s a wash. If just 25% retire the first year, we will be down 25 officers before the 20 new ones even go on. We have approx 426 officers now. There are NOT sufficient cars right now; basically they have to double up in some cars because there aren’t enough cars. The new police car fleet was purchased by the Fabrizi administration 3 years ago. Thanks to the globalization of crime, more and more Bridgeporters are committing crimes in other parts of the state and the world. If it weren’t for the Federal authorities, crime would have not been down as much.

  7. BEACON2, don’t worry Town Committee will be on OIB. He loves a challenge and will speak his mind all the time in fact I’m kind of glad his comments and dialog are online and not face to face, that could be an ugly sight, lol.


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