Ganim No Political Pariah

Sharkey, Ganim, Hennessy
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey with Joe Ganim and State Rep. Jack Hennessy.

For all the hand-wringing that took place during the campaign and after Joe Ganim’s comeback election from outside the city, high profile pols are not afraid to talk to Joe, meet with Joe, take pictures with Joe, issue press releases with him: U.S. Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Congressman Jim Himes, the city’s legislative delegation much of which did not support Ganim. Heck, even Governor Dan Malloy historically not buds with Joe has loosened up a bit. What gives? Pragmatic politicians who understand there’s no sense battling with leadership of the state’s largest city. And a mayor who knows how to work relationships.

Look, it’s early in JG2, and way too soon to judge how it will shake out, but Ganim understands the way to maximize revenues and keep taxes down is through relationships with the state legislature that decides how much moolah comes to the state’s largest city. Ganim’s predecessor Bill Finch spent seven years in the State Senate before his election as mayor in 2007, but everyone who toils in the state capitol will tell you they’ve seen way more of Ganim than Finch in the early months of their likewise positions.

Moore, Ganim, Looney, Duff, Gomes
State Senator Marilyn Moore, left, with Ganim, Senate President Marty Looney, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and State Senator Ed Gomes.

Ganim spent most of the day Tuesday in Hartford schmoozing legislators and working his urban agenda, meeting with House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, Senate President Marty Looney and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff. And photo ops with the two Bridgeport state senators who did not support him. What gives?

Translation: “I need money for my first budget!” And it’s a tricky budget loaded with questions as reval kicks in.

In about six weeks Ganim will submit his first budget of JG2 to the City Council. What happens in Hartford has huge impact in Bridgeport. If the legislature tinkers with this and tinkers with that, millions can be deferred one way or another. Ganim’s relationship with the city’s eight-member legislative delegation–all up for reelection this year–to shepherd through city needs is key, as well as getting on the phone with Sharkey, Looney and Duff.



  1. This is not a surprise. All Democratic elected officials, either directly or indirectly, depend upon the proven track record of garnering a significant amount of Democratic votes from Bridgeport. All state legislators are up for election. Congressman Jim Himes and Senator Richard Blumenthal are up for re-election. Blumenthal and especially Himes need Democratic votes from Bridgeport. This phenomenon as described in the main article on OIB was discussed by Macchiavelli, some years ago.

  2. Plain and simple, they all witnessed what Team Ganim is capable of when it comes down to a political war in Bridgeport. It’s simply wise to get along and work with Joe Ganim–especially the two State Senators.

  3. BTW Lennie, Ray Fusci may have the perfect answer to your question.

    RayFusci // Feb 17, 2016 at 2:06 am
    Joel, perhaps you should look at Matthew 7:3-5 before you get too riled up.

    1. Matt.7:1-5
      [1] Judge not, that ye be not judged.
      [2] For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
      [3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
      [4] Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
      [5] Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  4. “If the legislature tinkers with this and tinkers with that, millions can be deferred one way or another.”

    Who among readers of OIB know the full extent of our City obligations to fund pensions including Plan A, Plan B Police and Fire, and various other arrangements consigned to the State? Did we ever really understand what Finch wrought in that area, ever have a simple explanation from Sherwood, Wood, McCarthy, Labor Relations, etc.? It is likely we shall find out because of Government Accounting Standards Boards Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.
    The City management reporting in the CAFR 2015, page 4 under Financial Highlights: On a government wide basis, the assets of the City were slightly less than its liabilities, resulting in total net position at the close of the fiscal year of $(50.3) million. That says we are below water balancing our assets and liabilities as Government Accounting Standards Board calls for.

    So if our legislators ask the State to defer City payments to assist the Operating Budget in coming years, does that mean we will look richer or poorer? Will we be required to do more in the future and will that be more expensive? The CAFR is a big report and one that is not studied by City Council, taxpayers or other citizens. Is it about time for that to happen? Time will tell.

      1. The state coffers are beyond empty, Moody’s just downgraded Bridgeport to negative. One might view this city’s financial needs rated from no pariah to parasite.

  5. File bankruptcy. Has been the city’s only beacon of hope for the last decade and a half. Go Joe, go. Get us out of these hanging noose union pension contracts and solid gold retirements and a luxury life ensured by a 16-year service with Bpo.


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