Ganim Must Not Blur Government Employees With Campaign Ambition

Statewide political observers may be dismissing Joe Ganim for governor, but they’re not ignoring him. Perhaps it’s the fascination of audacity–Joe certainly does not lack for that–or maybe it’s the dearth of the field, on the Democratic side, at least. Whatever, Ganim engineered what he wanted, a lot of attention, following his announcement for governor. Yes, the roll-out would’ve been better without his hot-footed driver. Now what, for Joe?

Ganim needs a campaign spokesman. Outside of government. Wanna place pressure on the government payroll? Let them keep responding to reporters’ questions about the campaign. That’s asking for a lot of trouble.

Now that Ganim’s officially in the race for governor, whether he’s considered top-tier or not, in the current environment factoring in his history, he’s a sitting duck for scrutiny. Especially after his campaign driver, a city police officer who the mayor asserts was volunteering his time, was pulled over by a state trooper doing 87, considered reckless driving blistering most of us a mega fine. Actually, it would’ve been better had the trooper issued a ticket rather than a verbal warning to a brother-in-arms.

But none of us would have known this without Hearst Media reporter Neil Vigdor in the back seat, taking all this in. Allowing Viggy shadow access was the correct move in light of Ganim trying to rehabilitate his relationship to a statewide audience on the day of his announcement. There are risks also. Such as a police officer behind a wheel disconnected from a scribe doing his job. Viggy will give Joe the benefit of the doubt, but not when, in his view, the driver is doing 100 and was pulled over at 87. If Viggy doesn’t write about it, it’s his ass. He did the right thing.

Ganim’s chance at being governor is a super long-shot. Everything, and everything, must break right for him to get in play, irrespective of his strong retail political skills. In his 2015 comeback for mayor, I thought Ganim could take out incumbent Bill Finch given the environment, Ganim’s connection with voters and Finch’s disconnection with voters. Ganim still had a lot of goodwill out there.

Playing on a statewide level, however, is different world from where Joe must rise.

But one thing he can do clearly, to avoid  ominous headlines, is rescue government employees from high-profile positions in his campaign. That means a separate political operation paid for by campaign cash, so government employees avoid the blurry lines of Joe’s ambition.

That doesn’t mean government employees cannot volunteer for Ganim’s campaign. Just don’t put them in a position where it seems like it’s something else.



    1. If it happened once, it can happen again.
      He’s already a spokesman; he’s not a city employee and he’s not on the campaign payroll (yet).
      Go ahead, guess who I’m refeerring to.

      1. He’s not a government employee; he knows all the contacts and he just auditioned for the job.
        Here’s the best part: he’s run several campaigns for state offce where the General Assembly became conquered territory and now the Governor’s mansion has become the new battleground.
        What do Lennie Grimaldi, Mayor Ganim and Bruce Springsteen all have in common?
        Answer: they were Born to Run

          1. Reading and posting is fine but in this case I chose to be a political provocateur, because the water in my crystal ball is starting to boil.

  1. It’s more than a little galling Little Joe ould cut the BOE budget yet use a city vehicle and a BPD officer paid for by city tax payers while he campaigns for governor.

    You have a half million dollars in the bank, Joe. Stop pimping off the people of the city of Bridgeport.

  2. Well, well, well a super long shot is how Lennie describes Joe’s chances at being governor of Connecticut. All one has to do is go back two years and the same thing was said about 45. I received a call from Hartford last week from a person on the city council supporting Joe’s gubernatorial run asking what can we do to help Joe in Bridgeport win.

    Nothing was my response and I went on to explain that JG2 isn’t the same man that JG1 was, one who I admired and respected. This Joe Ganim had turned his back on the Black community after they supported his mayoral run. This Joe Ganim had done absolutely nothing to ensure that a young Black in Bridgeport can get hired in the police and fire departments. This Joe Ganim has done little or nothing to see that his department heads are reflective of the Bridgeport community, while hiring very few Blacks.

    Their is one thing that I was told that makes sense, Blacks in Hartford won’t support Bronin, the mayor from Middletown or a Republican. Bridgeport Black’s are not going to support Ganim, Malloy2 (Bronin), the Middletown guy or a Republican. I say this because this could be the perfect Trump wave that Joe rides to the State capital. The battle lines are being drawn and just voting alone will not keep Joe out of the state capital. What are you willing to do to ensure that JG2 doesn’t become JG governor, voting isn’t enough people, voting isn’t enough.

    1. Don, back when Ganim was trying to run become the Lieutenant Governor I was at the convention in Hartford and a number of the delegates from Hartford who knew me called me over to talk and to ask me what wonders did Ganim do in Bridgeport and especially for the black community. They knew that Bridgeport had a financial review board in control of the spending in the City and that it wasn’t Ganim.

      Don, as for a Democratic candidate for governor who has experience with the state and city budgets, someone who has written legislation on both the state and city level and who is not a candidate at this time but who should be the candidate ahead of those do nothing candidates is Toni Harp. Base on all of the candidates who are in the race Harp is the candidate who has the ability to get voters to vote but does she want the position? There are no black candidate running for any position on any of the top state elected positions, none.

  3. Every man or woman who accepted a City patronage job knew before going in that there would be mandatory expectations: do as they’re told, write checks when asked to for fundraisers, work during or after business hours for the “cause.” and never express a contrary opinion or comment while their paychecks are being issued by the City. (Taxpayers) Joey G is doing what most (the exception was Mayor Bucci) mayors have done. There’s no free lunch, you want a patronage job, you do as you’re being told. Some would refer to it as human bondage. While there are some with qualifications to perform their respective positions, most are losers unable to find work in the public sector for one reason or another. Others are just padding their savings accounts. Most know in two years Joey G. will be on to greener pastures so the losers are hanging in on our dime. Oops I just remembered, I have to mail in my property taxes today.

  4.  The tide is turning against politicians corrupted by greed, avarice, immorality. People are right well fed up living in a state known as “Corrupticut.” Little Joe Ganim’s past is already biting him on the ass. His contemporary behavior, being ferried  to media appearances in a city owned vehicle driven by a city employee, is galling. What plays in Bridgeport will not go over with the suburbanites and rural voters. Nor will his criminal record and shamelessness. 

    Judge Barbara Bellis ruled Ganim lacked the “good moral character” to practice law. (Before making any snide comments about attorneys remember: the law is a noble profession. Ambulance-chasing personal injury attorneys are minority.) The congregants at Reverend Charles Stallworth’s East End Baptist Tabernacle Church heard what they wanted to hear, not what Ganim did not say. 

    God bless Bob Keeley for putting his money where his mouth is, hiring an attorney to “petition the government for are dress of grievances” as allowed by the U.S. Constitution. We’re it not for his lawsuit Mario Testa’s systemic manipulation of absentee ballots would not have been exposed. As Testa is Ganim’s goombah it stands to reason the latter’ gubernatorial campaign will be tarnished by the scandal. 

  5. This is good political advice from OIB. The question is whether or not Joe Ganim will listen. Even in Ganim’s PR events,he is stand-offish and distant. He turns it on at the microphone and shuts it off while being escorted out by Ramon Garcia. Even more unusual is that Ganim leads the charge out from the venue while Garcia tries to keep up with Ganim. Evidently, Garcia can change the dynamics when Det. Garcia has his foot on the pedal.

  6. Maybe “bridge-building” of his own personal benefits between his Ganim1 years, his “Federally mandated ‘time out’, for seven years”, his reintroduction to the real world as part of his penalty, his failure to receive approval or welcome to his request for reinstatement to the CT Bar, and his vigorous campaign to acheive the title of Bridgeport Mayor, once again;
    and his current actual GANIM2 years. What was the mechanism for the request? For the approval? What was the expense of ignoring the decade when his lack of care for the public put Bridgeport behind the curve? What is the practical reason for providing Ganim2 this financial bridge? Time will tell.


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