Finding The Right Message

I can sense that political operatives–judging the banter from my Shays/Himes commentary–are beginning to sharpen their teeth as we head into the hot election cycle. It was so hot on Black Rock Day I understand that Auden Grogins offered State Rep. Bob Keeley a snow cone. “Thanks for the tax pledge on your sign, Bob.”

I don’t understand what Keeley’s thinking with a promise to cut taxes on his lawn signs. After 20 years in the state legislature he doesn’t have a strong record on taxes. In fact, legislative incumbents are super vulnerable on tax issues, particularly Connecticut’s highest-in the-nation gasoline taxes. That’s why legislators are tripping over each other on their way to a special session Wednesday to address voter anger over the pumps.

When Keeley talks taxes, he’s not playing to his seniority strength. As a challenger Grogins can talk taxes, provided it’s not the kind of reckless campaign pledge that has Bill Finch in hot water with city voters. Finch is a hot-button topic for door-to-door campaigners. You could fry an egg on voters’ heads about Finch and it would have nothing to do with the weather.

Keeley will attempt to wrap Finch around Grogins. Keeley and Finch, once friends, are no longer. Keeley supported State Rep. Chris Caruso for mayor and now Finch is on a jihad to defeat him. But Grogins has a few cards to play. Keeley loves talking about his history running against the system. Well, Democratic Town Chairman Mario Testa broke the tie that delivered the party endorsement for Keeley. If Keeley tries to tie Grogins at the hip with Finch here’s what I’d do: “What do Bill Finch and Bob Keeley have in common? They never met a tax hike they didn’t like.” But Keeley has a mischievous side to him, so maybe when it comes to a tax message he’s just playing with us.

Speaking of tax hikes, the Board of Education is trying to close a $10 million hole for the budget year that begins July 1. One cost-cutting item to weigh–shortening the school year by three days to save nearly $2 million–was rejected by union officials. Is the union being smart or greedy?

The Fabs Film Fest is tonight at 7 at the Barnum Museum where filmmaker Larry Locke will showcase his docudrama about John Fabrizi The Accidental Mayor. If you’re going, say hello.



  1. It really is sad that we are left to choose between Bob and Auden. And we wonder why Bridgeport’s legislative delegation has such a bad reputation. That Bard was right: “The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars but in ourselves”

  2. Is this race sad? Name me one in recent B’port history that wasn’t. The caliber of political talent is endless if this were the Last Comic Standing. It’s pathetic when you consider that lives and assets of thousands of people ride on the games that are played by the “brokers” in this city.

    On another subject, will the Accidental Mayor II (the sequel) be the Finch term? (Note the singular!)

  3. FCO

    Our reputation precedes itself with our Chief Elected Officials.

    You know I love you and think you would be a great asset to any organization.

  4. Keeley’s signs (I believe) are leftovers from previous races, i.e. his own run for mayor in the 2003 Democratic primary, when he may have come close to winning the lawn-sign primary but lost quite miserably by every other indicator… most certainly keeping the party’s nomination from Chris Caruso in the process.

    As for Shays-Himes (I was not one of the weekend readers, sorry)… I think Himes has a lot of work to do if he wants to tap into the Obama groundswell. McCain is well-liked in CT. Don’t want to give away too much here but Himes is no Diane Farrell.

    See you and the other good folks who make it to the movie tonight.

  5. the Nose knows about signs of the times. He’s now a Brooklyn Dodger. We miss him in town.

    Himes is no Diane. He doesn’t wear a scarf. He also doesn’t have any “Dead” Wood running his campaign.

    Have a good time at the movie tonight. Remember you can pick you seat but not your Nose.

  6. Bruce, you are laboring under the idea that I dislike you. I don’t, you are a very pleasant person and we have met. I just don’t always agree with your ideas. My successful business person comparison with you and Himes was a compliment. Himes is a Harvard educated, Rhodes Scholar who came from a poor, single mother family. I could like someone and disagree with them. Just ask Tom Kelly, Envoy5 and Yahooy.

    It certainly would be an unenlightened and boring world if we all thought the same. I am open to ideas from where ever they originate. Issues are not Republican or Democrat, even if candidates are. I do however, refuse to play dueling resumes with you. I am quite secure in my own accomplishments whether anyone else is impressed or unimpressed, I don’t care. And just for argument’s sake what if my resume stated that I was a wife and mother and worked as store clerk, would my arguments be less valid? I think it smacks of elitism, which is the main reason I am a Democrat, I really do think all people are created equal.

    Also, I fail to see the relevance of a political contributions contest either. I think active interest and support in elections, working for candidates and lobbying them and holding them accountable after they are elected are just as important as donating. To me a five-dollar contribution from someone who doesn’t have two nickels to rub together is greater than any millionaire giving a thousand (no personal jab intended, just making a point.) So when we disagree, nothing personal, we just disagree. Lennie, I’ll make sure to say hello at the film.

  7. I seem to have opened a can of worms.

    I asked, rhetorically, given the choice between Hubler and Finch come next mayoral election, would the electorate vote blindly along party lines or elect someone with a demonstrable record of accomplishment; someone who is by far better qualified to MANAGE the municipality back to efficiency and effectiveness.

    Given the cast of characters who aspire to public office in this town our choices limit us to the best of the worse possible.

    Unless we can attract the competent and caring to run, we will be stuck with people like Keeley, Rodgerson, Finch, and, GOD FORBID, Joel Gonzalez.

    Other communities wouldn’t allow these nincompoops to run. We laugh, but Stamford does have an anti-moron bias. They have to. The vast amounts of Corporate money that flows into that town would never be entrusted to a guy like Finch. Never in a million years.

    MCAT makes a compelling point, but blind party loyalty prevails.

    The time has come for all good people of Bridgeport to decide what they want from their community and get off their respectives and vote people into office who will get it for them.

    All it takes is one clear eyed professional. Suddenly capable caring and competent people will join up and better times will follow.

    Finch isn’t going to change. He can’t. He doesn’t know how.

  8. One more thing. In 2000, the Republicans stood by their man, loyal to the end. No self respecting republican was going to allow Gore to win. Oil was less than $24 a barrel at that time.

  9. And oil is $136.15 today with some profit taking going on.
    Talk about standing by their man to the end. Talk about “Up Yours”.

    “Holy Macro” Batman, I dare to speculate it must be an economic thing.

  10. Hey Tom– it’s tough to find nice Jewish girls in Black Rock (especially at Paddy Mac’s, not that it’s there anymore). Sorry to say. But there’s always ’11.

    As for Himes, campaign managers (as we on this site know) can be great bloggers; but bloggers don’t always make great campaign managers… which is to say, Himes’ team (unlike our boy Woody) is yet to be tested at this level. All that said, it begins and ends with the candidate, and no one can match Shays’ grasp on the district’s priorities, top to bottom.

    We gonna see you at the museum tonight, TK?

  11. Those Keeley tax signs are the same old signs he puts up every time he runs. He must save them from year to year. Cut taxes – when has he ever done that? Audin is no better, she’s got the same message he’s got. It amounts to nothing.

  12. Sorry Nose

    The only reruns I like is the ReRun from What’s Happening. Is Larry Locke going to hold us over with the sequel, The Accidental Mayor II?

    Regarding Black Rock. You’ve always been Solid as Barack and the shicksas and all us goniff miss your probescence.

    Did you know that Keeley has an ad going in The Jewish Ledger?

    It says; “Please Vote For Bob Keeley” “He’s A Very Nice Goy”

    Bob’s pandering to the Greek vote of “Cut Taxes” needs to be changed to Keeley likes Metaxa.

    Audie’s going after the Gentiles and is going to do a solo of the “Oy Vey Maria”. Auden’s been courting the Greek vote at the Circle Diner in Fairfield and has been seen gnoshing on some spanikopita and Greek Salad.

    The Greeks are really Ouzo’ing over this race.

  13. We all know where most of our candidates stand in regards to the war in Iraq. Nobama supporters, let me pick in that “O” in your Brain. NObama has all his supporters believing that he can bring peace to the world by bringing the troops home and talking with foreign World Leaders. Remember Reverend Wright? Nobama knew him for 20 years, he baptized his children and presided over his wedding. For 20 years Reverend Wright was his spiritual leader. We all saw what happened to that relationship and the scene they created. Ultimately NObama decided to drop out of Reverend Wright’s Church.

    I have a question for all you NObama supporters.

    Do you believe that a man who would not settle a disagreement with his pastor of 20 years, will be able to settle complex issues, with many far-away nations with thousands of years of different political and religious views and issues?

    NObama used God to further his political aspirations. He used the churches in Illinois to become a Senator and never failed to point out his 20 years of going to the same church. He knew of the sermon in which Reverend Wright said, “Damn America”, and when it became public he distanced himself from the church. NObama takes great pride in being the Senator who voted against the war. Does NObama really know who started this war and in who’s name 911 was carried out? This war was started by Terrorists who used God’s name. A real Christian would not think twice to eliminate anyone who uses God’s name to kill innocent people. In fact you don’t need to have any religious belief to respond to such an attack on our Democracy.
    Nobama has been successful due to the Millions of Dollars in Political Contributions. Do you think he has taken the time to look in the back of one of those bills and read the sentence printed in the back?
    One would think that a U.S. Senator from Illinois who spent 20 years in the same church, would first go to his Minister and Congregation to work together and restore prayer in our schools. I don’t need to tell you about the lack of values and respect in the part of students all over the country.
    When Reverend Wright receives the donations from his congregation, do you think he gives it back and shouts, “Damn That American Currency”? When Reverend Wright “Damned America”, he damned the principles of religion in which this nation was founded and he damned all the hard-earned U.S. curency that his congregation donated to his church. On the back of all that U.S. currency it reads: In God We Trust.

    NObama, You Have Just Been UnmaskedbyJoel.

  14. Lennie many times the right message is not enough to win an election. A candidate can simply be a smooth talker (NObama) and people will pour their votes; some people won’t fall for the bullshit (Hill supporters) and vote the other way. If a candidate has the most powerfull message and no money to deliver it, what good is that message? The country is split and it will remain split regardless of who wins. None of the candidates (presidential) have given us the right message. The message will begin to take shape when both candidates for President have selcted their Vice Presidential candidates. It looks like NObama is waiting for McCain to pick first so he can better select his in a stategic way. I would love to see Collin Powell as McCain’s Vice Presidential candidate of choice and see which way the black vote will go and how NObama will take on an expert in National Security and World Affairs.

  15. MCAT said: “I think active interest and support in elections, working for candidates and lobbying them and HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE (emphasis added) after they are elected are just as important as donating.”

    I say, those factors are MORE IMPORTANT than just donating, and I believe in acting in ways that prove it. Unfortunately, MCAT, you seem to have misinterpreted my use of the word “contributions” and suggest that what I’m referring to is…the MONEY. Let me be clear: I didn’t use it (contributions) that way and I didn’t intend that it be read that way.

    Stereotyping and elitism are dangerous companions when it comes to understanding the contributions and capabiities of others. I avoid both of them like the plague. I’m sure you try to do the same. ‘Nough said. Have a great time at the movies!

  16. Joel, first of all, huh? I am sure Obama is shaking with fright. Are you going to cut off any fingers for McCain or Shays? If so please announce it. I am sure the Republicans are so happy to have a guy willing to give a right arm (or a few fingers) to help. Will one of the long-standing Republicans tell me why you endorsed him? He clearly violates the no-moron clause.

  17. As to MCAT having loyalty without question, don’t bet on it. This cat has no problem taking the claws out with people she disagrees with. If she had been a no-thought hired gun, she’d still be working.

  18. Joel,

    It’s now official. You are either the most brilliant satirist in the world or the easiest person to satirize on the planet.
    You are Bridgeport’s Chance the Gardener. Brilliant in your stupidity and stupidly brilliant. You dig up answers where only fools dare to tread.
    Please run for President. Bridgeport cannot possibly appreciate your genius. You are destined for bigger things. Pack your political bags and head on to the big town. As soon as possible, please.

    Every day I say a silent prayer that you forget to pay your internet bill, thus bringing an end to your obessive exercise in random typing.

    Of course,the great Delman Mangrove has some relevant wisdom for you in his essential work “A Layman’s Guide To Perspicacity”.
    “You are the dictionary. All the words are there, but not in the right order”.


  19. Gossip Of The Rialto!






    Gossip Of The Rialto has learned from his high flying friends, The Piping Plovers, that Bridgeport owns part of Long Beach in Stratford. Kaolian unearthed this Stratford shoreline shudderer while looking into one of his projects.
    Bridgeport bought the property in the mid to late sixties from a company, on an inside deal, named DARO. This could end up being the best misspent money we ever spent.

    Stratford will probably try to invoke adverse possesion clause but it won’t fly. In fact this strategy will sink. This could be the bargaining chip for Bridgeport to use in telling Stratford to go fly a kite regarding proposed and much needed safety requirements.

    Also Joel is being cast to reprise the Peter Sellers role of Chance The Gardener in the movie, “Being There”, that also starred Shirley Maclaine.

  20. marlys – he’s just too weird for words and just think, the republicans endorsed him. that was the best they could do? How embarassing for them! Amazing how a former die-hard democrat changes his tune so quickly, but as I said – WEIRD!

  21. Stratford story very interesting if true.

    Bob Keeley who has been a major proponent for selling Airport to the State should feel this could be the lynchpin to get moratorium on safety zone improvements, implemented by Backer, lifted and off the ground.

  22. Hey Nose,

    How’d you like the film tonight? Wish I could have been there. Was Johnny Fabs in attendance? Did you tell him him that losing weight is all about meth…I mean math?

  23. Former City

    Funny I heard nothing from your peeps either. You can’t dispute the fact that Keeley was out in front for selling airport, safety zone improvements. Unfortunately Home Rule rule won out in Stratford with the Sound Keeper. Meanwhile one of your former guys was all upset when Derek Jeter came to the airport for the Oprah thing that they didn’t call him for the photo-op. The last time Bill Finch was involved at the airport he crashed and burned with Guenster House. Ganim bailed him out. Before Finch was flopping on the barge issue he was voting for the Juvenile Detention Center downtown. Much Hullabaloo about 144 Golden Hill ribbon cutting last week. The big story was about the poor couple on Section 8 moving into building. That’s downtown development?

    I know your boy Shays can’t or won’t get involved in the airport because he doesn’t want to get Rosa’s nose out of joint. Even though it involves a Federal Agency.

  24. Breaking News!!! Jim Himes is a stiff.

    Breaking News!!! Joel Gonzalez has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Bridgeport. They need to elect him to any election that he chooses to run for.

    Breaking News!!! Sylvester have you signed your own petition?? Speaker Donovan has already saved a parking spot for you up there in Hartford.

    Breaking News!! Joel Gonzalez has a new cooking show on the food network called Finger Foods in a snap!

  25. Hey donald — the movie was good fun. Standing ovation for Johnny Fabulous. See Lennie’s review but I think that Fabs could have a bright future as late-night TV host… if he doesn’t run for mayor again in 2011. The film is only the first step in his political rehabilitation. If things keep going the way they’re going Finch will be ripe for the picking…


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