Generation Now’s Court Pickle Raises Questions About Veracity

Testimony by one of the backers challenging the results of the September 10 primary asserted in court Thursday that 156 absentee ballots were recorded 18 days after the primary. Not true.

If Callie Heilmann, founder of Bridgeport Generation Now whose leadership supports State Senator Marilyn Moore for mayor, had reviewed (or maybe she did) the absentee ballot report she received from the Town Clerk’s Office September 12 she would have noticed a coded error of September 28, instead of August 28.

OIB, on an ongoing basis, receives the absentee ballot reports issued by the Town Clerk’s Office. On September 10th (see above) OIB received this report that in the right column coded the ballots received on September 28 when they were actually received August 28. It was, as we call in journalism, a typographical error. Nothing sinister about it.

The attorney for the plaintiffs Jonathan Shapiro asserted in court. “It goes to the totality of our case. The 156 votes should not have been counted.”

Did Shapiro examine the report in real time? Of course not. He became a hired gun well after the fact. It’s all court spin.

Did Heilmann review the report that Deputy City Attorney John Bohannan asserts she received September 12?

Heilmann hides under “I reserve my first amendment rights” that her organization isn’t affiliated with any candidate for mayor, but the facts assert otherwise: she contributed $1,000 to Moore’s campaign and hosted a fundraiser for her at her house.

Why? She’s worried about violating the organization’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status under the IRS code. (Oh, we created an affiliate organization to make us whole.)

Many others in Generation Now contributed to Moore as well. One of its leaders Gemeem Davis has taken a “leave of absence” to manage Moore’s race. Moore was honored at the group’s first annual fundraising event in May.

(Full disclosure: I was a guest speaker at the event and happy to do it.)

Why won’t they just stand up and declare from the mountain tops: WE SUPPORT MARILYN MOORE! Nothing wrong with that, right? Gen Now has put itself in a pickle.

Because, if they do that, the IRS comes calling. Instead, they do a tap dance, just like everyone else in politics.

Welcome to the political party!

An organization can start out well-intentioned, but backslide from a myopic viewpoint. Generation Now has provided a positive community forum on several fronts from engaging issues, galvanizing new faces, holding elected officials accountable. Once you get in the political game–which the organization has done–unexpected things can happen like evidence presented in court turning against Moore.

Joe Ganim, as reported on OIB numerous times, hasn’t been a boy scout in his life, but you know what–what’s going on with Generation Now and Moore’s campaign should raise red flags.

Campaigns are a reflection of what a mayoral administration can be.

Don’t ever assume “true reformers” are reformers.

Not in this case, anyway.

And, by the way, none of this would be playing out in court if Moore’s campaign had completed the simple task of securing a few hundred signatures to appear on the Working Families Party line in November. Oh gee, what do we do now? Run into court.



  1. On a related note…
    (Maybe Bridgeport’s development prerogatives are being overwhelmed because of our accommodation of Trumbull’s, per our hosting of their sanitary-sewage, development needs?!… Something stinks here — and has for almost 60 years…)

    What has been lacking in almost every Bridgeport mayoral campaign for the past 25+ years have been real issues. “Corruption” is the one constant issue in essentially every political race, but it usually doesn’t take center stage when there is at least one pragmatic candidate in the race. In Bridgeport, we rarely have pragmatic candidates dedicated to addressing bread-and-butter issues with real visions and ideas to progress toward the vision. In Bridgeport, “the corruption!” is almost always the stupidly-played, one-note tune of mayoral campaigns, as it has been this year… We are now seeing the fruits of that…

    Every government entity in the world has some element(s) of corruption. Bridgeport has its share, but so do all of the other municipalities in our state. Stamford was notorious for very serious corruption all during their economic ascendance, during the early part of which a police department drug-dealing operation was in operation… Yet, investors weren’t hesitant to pour money into concrete ideas for Stamford development. But political operatives in Bridgeport — short on vision and creative solutions to our socioeconomic dilemma — will always blame “the corruption” /”the mafia” for our failure to thrive, and run one-issue — non-issue — campaigns about the corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption, …, while other cities with just as much “corruption” (e.g., Fairfield, STAMFORD, Westport, Greenwich…) thrive, and laugh at us as we chase our tails blaming our internal “corruption!” for our failure to thrive, even as the wealthy towns of the region rig the development deck against us in Hartford/D.C. making sure that we are denied significant development (e.g., a casino) that might divert their affordable-labor/ (“paid-for”) commuting labor force, which they don’t have to host/provide housing and services for even as they accumulate and maintain huge tax bases and low tax rates (while Bridgeport must pay to host the “regional” labor force…).

    So: Let the court put this latest, ill-conceived mayoral campaign out of its misery, rule “insufficient evidence” for election rigging, and allow a real campaign, with real, relevant, bread-and-butter issues to take place before November 5…

    1. Jeff, very good comments. I agree with a lot of it. I know that you will be running. I think based on what I have read from you on here that you are a decent man with real values.

  2. These people should be ashamed of themselves for all the mess they have started. They should be fined or suffer consequences for the harm they have caused our community. All over their candidate not winning. This is ridiculous! Shame on them!

  3. Thank you for the positive words, Stephanie.
    It would be wonderful if we could have a real campaign, with the real Bridgeport issues being discussed before November 5. And it would also be nice if the news media would do a better job at covering and bringing the real issues — that must be addressed before Bridgeport can thrive (not just “the corruption!, corruption, corruption, corruption…”) — before another election-year is put to rest.

  4. I have been in court every single day and have witnessed the testimony of every single witness.

    The very first thing I noticed was that when Ms. Heilamann took the stand her attorney asked her about her education. Ms. Heilamann went on to talk about her two Master’s Degrees and attending NYU and more. It was so white, elitist and liberalesque that I couldn’t help but sit there and think the plaintiff’s attorney NEVER asked any other witness that ordered or voted by AB about their educational background. That privelege was reserved solely for Ms. Heilimann.

    Ms. Heilimann admitted that all seven canvassers that were hired to knock on doors of AB voters had worked for the WFP on Marilyn Moore’s campaign. Conflict?

    There over 1,300 ABs returned to the Town Clerk’s office and the canvassers knocked on only 70 doors and had contact with 55 of the residents on those 70 doors.

    As someone who has now been canvassing for 10 years, that is an unusually high percentage of successful door knocking. These canvassers had voter contact on 79% of doors.

    Ms. Heilimann stated that a gentleman by the name Josue was an employee of Bridgeport Generation Votes Now, there new spinoff which is a 501(c)4.

    Josue was also paid by the Marilyn Moore campaign as a “consultant.”

    Josue served as the notary on every field statement taken regarding allegations of AB fraud. Conflict?

    If Ms. Heillimann was not associated with the Marilyn Moore campaign and simply reserved her right to support her candidate by donating and voting for Moore how did Bridgeport Generation Now Votes coordinate with WFP canvassers?


    I believe Bridgeport Generation Now has seriously damaged their credibility in this community.

    1. Maria
      We may not agree on many things. Generation Now has done more damage than Good Ms.Heillimann people who live Glass Houses should never throw Stones. The SEEC will have a field day on this one!

    2. Maria, I’m curious as to how many of the “Canvassers” spoke the languages of those “Canvassed”. I’m sure some of the ABer’s spoke Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese etc or another language . Are the Canvassers being identified for the Court?

  5. Has this become ‘personal’ with you?
    It seems like there is a lot of nitpicking with this post.
    Either she’s a highly place political hit man or a political neophyte. Can’t be both.

  6. Let me see if I’ve got this right. There are different sets a rules for petitions versus AB’s?
    In one case the Registrar may throw out signatures because the name is not exactly the way it appears on the voting list but the Town Clerk may accept an absentee ballot if it’s close?
    Is that right???


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