Grab A Hanky (And Your Checkbook), Vinnie Roberti’s Kid Runs For Congress

Pelosi, Roberti, Cernera
Nancy Pelosi, left, Vinnie Roberti, center, and at right former Scared Heart University President Anthony Cernera at a SHU function a few years ago. Cernera has left SHU, but Nancy and Vinnie are still around.

If you’re new to OIB, Vinnie Roberti is something of a legend in Bridgeport politics. There are survivors in politics and life. Then there’s Vinnie’s life, former state representative and mayoral candidate. When you’re around Vinnie you want to take notes because the stories abound. That’s another story, or stories! State representative, real estate tycoon, restaurateur, movie mogul, federal lobbyist. Vinnie’s made a fortune, lost a fortune and then remade it. He knows how to make high-powered friends, be it donkey or elephant, lavishing enough moolah on Washington insiders that would make a comfy retirement for the average Joe. His son Dan is running for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District that includes a portion of Fairfield County and Litchfield County. The Ragin’ Cajun James Carville penned an e-blast letter on behalf of Vinnie’s young son, a Democrat, who worked for the political consultant extraordinaire. Pull out the hankies and grab a cup of joe:

Dear Friend,

I’m writing to ask you to support my friend Dan Roberti, who is preparing to run for Congress in Connecticut’s open 5th district. The Republicans have already named this open seat a priority and Dan needs your help to make sure it stays Democratic.

I first met Dan in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. After spending a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working in a homeless shelter, Dan had moved to New Orleans to get a graduate degree in pastoral studies. Dan evacuated just before the storm hit. Like many of us, that storm changed Dan’s life, and he spent the next year and a half helping me with hurricane relief and other progressive causes across the country. I can tell you he is a compassionate, hardworking Democrat who will bring a breath of fresh air to Washington.

Dan grew up the son of a single mom in Connecticut. His mother was a teacher who raised Dan and his brother in a modest two-family house, where Dan learned early that he would have to work hard. He worked his way through Loyola University New Orleans with the help of scholarships, financial aid and Pell grants.

After graduating from college, Dan dedicated himself to service, joining the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where he worked at a homeless shelter in Spokane, Washington. When his term in the volunteer corps was up, he returned to Loyola for grad school before being displaced by Katrina. That’s when Dan came to my office looking to help in any way he could. And I saw, first hand, that Dan was a leader who is constantly looking for solutions and to make a difference.

Dan eventually returned to New Orleans to finish his master’s degree and was heading off to Chicago for law school when he faced another ordeal, closer to home, that would again send his life in an unplanned direction. His mother was diagnosed with stage four melanoma. She was given three months to live. Foregoing law school, Dan did not hesitate to return home to help his mother navigate the healthcare system.

Today, more than four years later and against all odds, Dan’s mother continues to win her battle with cancer. She’s lived to see the birth of Dan’s nephew–her first grandchild–and has watched him grow into a toddler.

While helping his mother get the care she needed, Dan brought his passion to help others into the world of public affairs. For the last several years, Dan has worked closely with film maker Ken Burns and public television to raise awareness of America’s national parks and the challenges facing America’s crumbling infrastructure, including the need to develop high speed and light rail for the future. Dan has also worked with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and with Mercy Corps to launch the Action Center to End World Hunger.

In Congress, Dan could be a leading voice for progressive change–fighting to preserve our new health care law and stopping devastating Republican cuts to Medicare, Social Security and job training. Dan understands that we have to rein in federal spending, but he is determined that it not be at the expense of working families and the most vulnerable in our society. Most importantly, I’ve seen first-hand how Dan will see a problem and bring people together to solve it. He is a truly remarkable young man that I am proud to know and call my friend.

Dan will be an outstanding member of Congress, but he needs your support now. Contribute online today and show your support for Dan Roberti. Whether it’s $25, $250 or $2500, every little bit counts. Please join me in supporting Dan and helping ensure that his message has the necessary resources to reach all the voters in the 5th district.



P.S. We are now 3 days away from Dan’s first critical filing deadline–March 31st. We need all the help we can get, big and small. Please consider making a contribution to Dan’s campaign and click here to contribute now! I have just done so myself and I hope that you too will show your support by going online now and making a contribution.



  1. I’m happy his mother is doing well. That has nothing to do with his ability to serve as a Congressman, however. It’s easy enough for a candidate running for the United States House of Representatives to say “I’m going to change the way Washington does business!” as if it can be accomplished single-handedly. The reality of the situation is there are 434 other individuals who earned their positions by saying more or less the same thing. John Boehner has had a hard go of it, dealing with the maverick GOP freshmen elected last November, many of whom had the support of the “tea party” movement. They have a collective agenda that does not include maintaining the status quo.


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