Handicapping Shays/Himes

I’m excited. Lots of races, lots of fascinating match-ups including the paradoxical standoff between Congressman Christopher Shays and opponent Jim Himes that pits a Republican from Bridgeport and Democrat from Greenwich.

Shays, the last standing New England Republican in the House of Representatives, is coming off two contentious challenges from Diane Farrell. He had enjoyed easy reelection campaigns until an unpopular war hardened amenable Democrats and some unaffiliated voters against him. Shays has survived because of deep roots in the district helping people and successfully differentiating himself from Bushy.

There’s been a shift in issue dynamics, however, less about the war and more about a languishing economy such as Fairfield County’s highest gas prices in the country. Shays, unlike his candidate for president John McCain, is best when he talks about domestic issues. He has a long and proud history as a budget hawk and delivering moolah for his district. Shays has shepherded millions for transportation projects, energy assistance and social service funding, and a lot of little things that never get reported. He also has a history of going against his party, including the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

Himes has what he needs: strong fundraising and Barack Obama at the top of the ticket to juice an unmotivated urban vote, particularly in Bridgeport. Barack’s turnout impact was evidenced during Connecticut’s presidential primary several months ago, dwarfing the primary turnout of last September’s mayoral race between Bill Finch and Chris Caruso. People came out, not because some district leader asked, but because they wanted to vote.

I spent a couple of hours with Himes several weeks ago. He came across thoughtful and impressive. Raised in Peru and Colombia for his first 10 years, and fluent in Spanish, his father worked for the Ford Foundation and UNICEF. The Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar spent his early years in finance with Goldman Sachs & Co., before running the northeast operations for Enterprise Community Partners on poverty issues and construction of affordable housing units.

Himes received a psychological boost the other day when the Cook Report, hosted by Washington prognosticator Charlie Cook, characterized the race as a tossup. Of course, a lot of folks, including Cook, had Shays barbecued two years ago when Farrell ran a spirited race against the incumbent based largely on the public’s distaste for Bush’s war. It seemed like Shays was in huge trouble then a turning point came a few months before the election when Farrell was filleted by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hard Ball, on her war position. Farrell was supposed to be the anti-war candidate. Matthews is strongly anti war. But Farrell tried to be cute, claiming she was against the war, but refusing to call for immediate troop withdrawal, a lame attempt to appeal to moderates unsure about an immediate pullout. Matthews hates phony pols. By the time Matthews was done with Farrell it was like watching the wings pulled from a fly. Matthews trapped Westport’s former chief executive in a variety of inconsistencies, stammering all over the place. If you’re going to be anti-war, be anti-war and not wishy-washy about your core conviction against it. Farrell’s gaffe provided Shays an opening. Will the real Diane please stand up? It enabled Shays to survive a few verbal gaffes of his own during their 20 debates.

This is where Barack, so far, as succeeded with his party. He’s saying when I’m president we’ll bring them home. No wavering.

The Shays/Himes race, by virtue of Shays’ standing as the lone New England Republican in the House of Representatives, will have national significance. Shays has stood up and survived intense media scrutiny. What about Himes? We’ll see.

Himes’ shot at winning is a massive Democratic turnout in Bridgeport in the general election. Stay tuned.



  1. Gossip Of The Rialto!

    Who Gives A Hoot?

    Himes endorsed by Mike and The Mad Dog.

    Shays endorsed by The Owl and The Pussycat.

    Himes is aggressive passive and Shays is passive aggressive.

  2. Up on Bridgeport is Down on Shays.

    My Pick.

    Himes by a Nose!

    Good Bye Jim McKay. “Spanning The Globe! The Thrill of Victory And The Agony of Defeat,” You were always a winner.

  3. Easy Choice for me. Chris Shays has a 20-year history of working for Bridgeport. Himes? Who knows what he’ll do. I don’t always agree with Chris Shays. Sometimes he drives me crazy. But, he is clearly the best choice for Bridgeport and Connecticut.

  4. I’m voting for Himes and so is all of Bridgeport…and Len you got that right, a big turn-out in Bridgeport, the reason for that will be Obama and that’s what’s going to make Himes win…well who is going to the Black Rock Day parade??? Himes is going to be there on Shays’ territory; but we all know that Shays will lose his home precinct of Black Rock school.

  5. I agree City Official. I don’t really see what Himes brings to the table. It’s easy to say you’re against the war, so I need something more than that.

    Also, I’ve seen people on this blog bash Shays about his trips to Iraq, and I don’t get it. That’s one of the things I admire about Shays. He voted the war, and things have gone wrong, but he’s going over there and doing all he can to make sure the troops have what they need. After each of these trips he makes a speech in Congress detailing his observations and sharing requests from the troops about what they need. Everybody gets caught up in this McCain-Obama battle about whether to keep the troops there or pull them out, while the troops are still over there risking their lives! Clearly it’s appropriate to discuss the future of the war, but while this debate is going on there should be just as much attention towards keeping our troops safe until we make our decision. Many will lose their lives between now and November. It’s easy for someone to choose the side against a very unpopular war, but it takes work to do what you can now to ensure our troops are safe. Shays may have made the wrong decision about the war, but at least he’s doing what he can to help the situation, instead of just arguing about it.

  6. Between you and me…It’s got to be Shays for the simple reason Himes doesn’t know enough.

    But, it’s no secret that Shays is job hunting all over the place. If it’s McCain then it’s Ambassador Shays.

    Actually if Hubler doesn’t get busy, I wouldn’t mind the good Congressman straightening out a few goombahs as mayor.

  7. Shays has been to Iraq more times than he has been to downtown Bridgeport; a real “war zone”. I have also heard Shays has some kind of condo development in Baghdad and has to go there to collect the rent; I don’t know if this is true.

  8. It will be a cold day in Hell before Shays wins in Bridgeport.

    The definition of crazy is doing the same things and expecting different results. Shays is and has been wrong on the war. Wait for his October flip-flop like he did last election cycle. Even Mr. “T” won’t be able to bail him out this time in Bridgeport. Twenty-one years in Congress and no major leadership position in the House. Shays is like Finch. A greenie, a leanie, a meanie (ask the Capitol Cop) and a weenie. Watch for Shays to do a suck-up to Finch like he did with Ganim and Fabrizi.

    Shays It Ain’t So Chris!

  9. I’m with you “Former City Official”. I don’t always agree with Chris, e.g. war in Iraq and Medicare D, but he’s a known commodity. And should Obama become president we had better have a representative to stop any and all radical left wing proposals, e.g. upping the Capital Gains tax, changing the Estate Tax, and keeping the Alternate Minimum Tax. We’re being killed with taxes now. God knows what Obama has up his sleeve.

  10. I went to the convention held in Batalla school and the first thing that happened was we were approached by Himes people wanting us to sign a petition for gay marriage. Once inside 1 Bridgeport person was named to his committee and the rest were from the rich areas.
    At least with Shays I have someone living in Bpt and paying taxes. Does anyone think that Himes really gives a damn about Bpt? I don’t think so.

  11. Oh by all means keep Shays look how the City of Bridgeport is thriving — NOT. How much Federal Aid has he produced this year? Aid to education has been reduced and Shays supports the enormous unfunded mandate of “No Child Left Behind.”

    Perhaps Shays is holding out for a pre-election handout; how transparent would that be? Let’s see… is the Congress Street bridge open? Has the I-95 corridor, one of the worst traffic nightmares in the country, improved in 20 years, or gotten worse. Why hasn’t Shays stepped up? Are we any better prepared for flooding that so frequently harms the City? Are we really satisfied with the status quo? Himes brings successful business experience to the job. That’s a quality that many bloggers hold in high esteem, since Bruce Hubler’s name is always being thrown around. Successful businessman is all I seem to hear. So now you have an energetic, successful businessman with an understanding of poverty and inner city needs, the needs of single parents and education. Why would we want this energetic, qualified person over someone who is has been hanging around for 20 years, supporting Bush’s war, driving up oil prices and supports no child left behind, and kisses George Bush. Heck if I know?

  12. MCAT

    Fact is that the part of I-95 most used by Bridgeporters was reconstructed and improved a couple of years ago, with a substantial part of the funding coming as a part of Shays’ work.

    2006 should have taught us a clear lesson. Changing control of Congress doesn’t change the direction of the war. If you want to stop war you need to change the President, not your Congressman.

  13. Well, what about the rest of Fairfield County. If Democrats controlled Congress at the start of the war, we wouldn’t have gone to war in the first place.

  14. MCAT

    Don’t count on it. Remember a lot of Democrats — including a lot of high-profile Democrats — voted for the war.

    By the way, one of the other lesssons of 2006 was that once the war became an issue in the race a lot of conservative Republicans voted for Shays even though they hated his positions on social issues.

  15. Himes will win and it will be a record turnout in Bpt. Everybody come to the Black Rock Day parade and show your support for Himes and Obama ’08.

  16. Chris Shays is one of the most succesful Chameleons in Congress. He has an abillity to change colors and has a sharp projectile for a tongue.

  17. MCAT,

    Making a difference in the lives of others requires passion as much as it requires talent/experience in getting the RIGHT things done. Too many people bring one, but not the other to the challenges of public service.

    I don’t know Himes but I do know Shays. And as far as I’m concerned, Chris brings the right mix of experience and passion to his job as Congressman representing my interests as a life-long resident of Bridgeport. That said, I never believed in the war in Iraq and I still don’t to this day. Election year 2008? It’ll be interesting, to say the least.

    Incidentally, oil prices are determined in the global market NOT the local market. Neither Shays (nor Himes) can control what you and I pay at the pump.

  18. FORMER CITY OFFICIAL your comment made me choke on my hotdog when I read, “1000 hits and 21 comments.”
    This is part of the point I tried to make this morning. People just come to read and not comment on the blog while hiding behind a handle and Lennie is ready to go to them for audio interviews. I hope they are seeing the ads.

  19. Lennie a big turnout in Bridgeport for a Himes victory?
    Keep in mind that Chris Shays has a loyal Democratic base. The Bridgeport Democratic Machine has a big decision to make. They know that a Shays defeat will not mean a Shays retreat. If Shays was to lose, Shays will be home in Bridgeport and I’m sure Chris Shays will not just retire and live in seclusion somewhere in Black Rock.
    Chris Shays will most likely run for Mayor of Bridgeport in the event that Himes gets lucky with NOBAMAS’ coat tail.

  20. Gossip Of The Rialto!

    Larry Locke announces his next mockumentary to be premiered at the Cans Film Festival in Uranus.

    “Saddam And Gomorrah”
    Chris Shays and Joe Lieberman co-starring with John McCain in this 100 year war epic.

    Cheney and Conde to host pre-screening dinner party featuring “Duck Over Rice” as the main entree.

  21. Chris Shays will most likely run for Mayor of Bridgeport in the event that Himes gets lucky with NOBAMAS’ coat tail.

    First Selectman of Darien, more like. Why would he run again in the one city responsible for handing him his walking papers?

    However, the highlight of a Shays mayoral term would surely be the invasion of Milford, followed by monthly reports on the state of the occupation delivered from the local Applebees.

    Intelligence confirms that radical cleric Al-Amann was hoarding pointy sticks in his tool shed, and the smoking gun could be a poke in the eye. The time for resolutions is over — now it’s time for action! Shays for Mayor!

  22. Dear Lennie and OIB readers,

    An interesting update from curbside in the 130th today…I started out this morning with some errands around the East Side and a few attempts at door to door knocking, but the general response was lackluster…I think most people headed for the beach or the mall because it was getting too hot…after lunchtime I decided to accept Joel Gonzalez’ kind and thoughtful suggestion of going to Marina Village because “people there don’t move away as often, the units are close to each other and I can/could always use his name or say that I know the finger guy if the situation turned dicey…and I would be left alone.”

    Before taking on the Marina Village complex, I veered off to the right off of Iranistan Avenue and rediscovered Seaside Village, a “bucolic” little village one would never imagine exists in Bridgeport’s South End (there are 100+ registered Democrats there)…as I begin to look for parking, I see Ezequiel Santiago and Paul Boucher across the street with clipboards in hand. I wonder to myself, why are they canvassing the neighborhood, Ezequiel doesn’t need signatures??? So I decide to give them some distance and park on the opposite side of the complex.

    As I get out of my car and begin my door knocking effort on Burnham Street, guess who’s walking down the street towards me? Daddy-Amerigo Santiago. We exchange pleasantries and I asked Amerigo, that IF, and it’s a big IF as of today, that I manage to get my qualifying signatures by Tuesday at 4pm, will his candidate/son be willing to set up a few debates on the issues affecting the 130th with Chico, assuming that Chico also gets his signatures?

    To my great surprise and maybe I should not be so naive politically “only in Bridgeport” that Amerigo responded that there was no need for any debate. “We have been here for 30 years. You just got here.” Hmmm? What does that mean from someone who is Mr. Democracy Works?…but my friends, it gets better…

    I part company with Amerigo body language-wise, I turned away and walk up to the top of the front steps of 18 Burnham Street while I think he’s walking away from me…after I ring the door bell, the occupant and Democratic registered voter, Ms. Helen Lesley comes to the door with great effort and I make my presentation, “Good Afternoon, Ms. Lesley…I’m Sylvester Salcedo. I’m a Democrat and I’d like to be your new State Rep, etc.” Ms. Lesley who is elderly and walks with a walker asked me if I knew how to obtain an absentee ballot because she feels that she cannot walk to the polls. I explained to her that I don’t know how to get absentee ballots yet because I’m only trying to collect signatures to get on the August 12 primary ballot today, but I will ask the Registrar of Voters on Monday…and BOOM! All of a sudden, Amerigo is standing shoulder to shoulder with me on the porch handing Ms. Lesley an absentee ballot saying that he’s a neighbor and will be back on Monday to pick up the ballot from her after she fills it out.

    My initial reaction was to deck this guy across the head for rudely interrupting my contact with this voter…he can lamely eavesdrop on my presentation… I don’t mind that, but there’s no excuse for trying to weasel in on my presentation…secondly, how does he get absentee ballots to hand out when the other potential Democratic primary candidates have not been established yet…this is a question I have on Monday for Santa Ayala and the Secretary of State and the SEEC (State Election Enforcement Commission)…as an aspiring candidate for the 130th, I was never informed that I could be issued absentee ballots and I don’t see how that would be fair to Chico or to me that the party nominated candidate is already running around the district with absentee ballots being distributed by his Daddy, considering that (for Chico and me) our candidacy has not yet been established whether or not we will qualify. Only in Bridgeport???!!!

    As an aside, I fortuitously ran into Chico Rivera’s pizza party at 376 East Washington Avenue, the Harborview Towers (about 200 Democratic registered voters), next door to my condo complex last week enroute to see a client who lives there, but I didn’t “weasel in” on those assembled seniors for their signatures. Charlie Coviello was there and Barry Piesner was playing the piano…but I confess that I asked Barry what was the pizza slices to signature ratio, so that I can prepare my pizza attack plan for the August 12 primaries and see if I can raise the ante on a pizza slice by slice war to votes or better yet, absentee votes…just joking, of course…I don’t think Chico will think this is funny…pizza is serious stuff.

    I neglected to see if it was Famous Pizza, down the block from Chico’s house on Park Avenue…excellent choice.

    Signature count: Seaside Village: 12 after two hours, and Marina Village: 12 after two and a half hours…I cannot figure out how one determines the proper address of residents there, neither can the residents themselves…Only in Bridgeport.

    See you’all at the Black Rock Day parade at noon.

  23. Mr. Salcedo,

    It was most likely an application to receive an absentee ballot that Mr. Santiago had.

    Nobody can be “issued” absentee ballots. Especially before the candidates are even certified.

    …and don’t bother complaining to Santa Ayala. The last thing she is capable of is an untainted election in Bpt.

  24. Black Rock Day parade is today come out…Jim Himes will be there and also Chris Shays will be there so it will be a interesting day to see who Black Rock supports.

  25. donald bpt,

    Good to know…I knew I could always get good advice and info from the politically wise and knowledgeable from the OIB group.

    For Joel Gonzalez,

    Oops, I forgot to mentioned your comment about the Democratic Party to the residents of Marina and Seaside Villages yesterday, but you and I can do that together after August 12 when you’re pitching McCain/Shays/Gonzalez and I’ll be asking them to support Obama/Himes/Salcedo ticket. Black Rock parade in 3.5 hours. Should be fun.

  26. MCAT

    Welcome back. Now go back to sleep. Your democrat bias is showing.

    To people like you, it doesn’t matter who the candidate is, as long as they’re registered democrats, they’re the saviors.

    We need Shays in Congress or in the birdman’s chair, Period.

    Otherwise we will be stuck with your people.

  27. I’m heading to Black Rock day later myself, but I’ll skip the parade part. I’ll bet a lot of politicians will be there. Sylvester, candidates always go knocking on doors to introduce themselves to the voters. Sounds like you are having a very hard time getting signatures, but I give you and the others a lot of credit, it’s way too hot to be walking around doing that.

  28. donj

    The Shays banner is a paid political ad. Himes will be coming in with an MTV type ad to the tune of “Let The Good Himes Roll!”

    Sign wars going on in Black Rock with Auden and Bob.
    Keeley has 3 different type signs. One targeting the Greek vote. Keeley “Cut Taxes!” Audie has a one-horse theme of “Tax Relief”. It sounds like another political hand job from the Bill Finch school of bait and switch. Audie is endorsed by Bill.

  29. Sunday update from curbside in the 130th…hiding at the office from the surprise rainstorm for a cool drink and pit stop…boy, it’s coming down pretty hard!…not an afternoon to be at Marina or Seaside Village.

    Signature count steady, and gaining ground until the sky opened up with this downpour…Black Rock parade was fun as always…and got my annual curbside, bipartisan hugs from Chris and Betsi Shays, handshakes from Mayor Finch and Rep. Bob Keeley (Bob, when are we putting up my signs in the 130th?)…didn’t see Jim Himes, I think he was on the other side of Harborview Ave., but said “hello” to Maura Keaney and the Himes team in front of Matty’s.

    Okay, downpour is over/break is over, back to the streets and front porches of the 130th…next report from steps of Sandy Ayala’s office building tomorrow.

  30. Gossip Of The Rialto!

    This just in.

    Report of a little verbal skirmish on Beacon Street when Joel was caught in the Crossin hairs of Pat and Auden.
    I heard that Joel, always the beacon of hope, gave Pat the Hawaiian Peace sign and told Grogins, in no uncertain terms “C’monIwanalaya”. Looking for confirmation. Paging Joel!

  31. Forgot for City Kitty…you’re 100% correct…every one of my signatures has been collected by me personally…I want every 130th voter to see me, hear my introduction and presentation, to hear my voice, see my face and get to know who I am, and to hear what I am offering as a new Democratic leader of change…warmest regards.

  32. Tom Kelly, you stole my thunder. Yep, I’ve been looking at those lawn signs of Grogins and Keeley and thinking, how many times do they think the people will buy that one. Grogins’ signs read “tax relief” and Keeley’s signs read “cut taxes”. What has either one of them done in the past to indicate that he or she is inclined to cut taxes??? You’re right, it’s the proverbial hand job and without a kiss.

  33. Harry Neigher:

    It’s been reported that the verbal exchange between Joel and Pat contained words that William F. Buckley would never have recognized!

    A great day for Black Rock Day. But then, all days are great in Black Rock!

  34. Yahooy, yes I am definitely a Democrat and very proud of it. I aligned myself with Democrats because generally they hold the same values and ideology as I do. There is something positive to be said for loyalty to your cause. It is better than being paid off by the other side. FCO you are dead wrong regarding the war, more than 70% of the people have had enough. Why would I want a person who has been in lockstep with the administration on this issue?

    Someone said there is a reason why the word change is sweeping through our vernacular like wildfire. It is because change is the new word for hope. I don’t want one more minute of this administration or anyone who has supported it. I don’t believe in the deterioration of civil rights, I don’t want a government that deceives and lies to the Congress and the entire nation. It is time for change. I believe Himes is the right person to bring a voice to what matters to me. He will be better for Bridgeport, and will do more for this area than Shays has done recently.

    The Bush administration tried to tie Iraq into 911 just 9 hours after that terrible day, even though the CIA told them it was Osama Bin Laden and that we needed to focus on Afghanistan. Remember Bush saying I don’t care about Bin Laden; guess not because he is still at large. We are a few years after the “mission accomplished,” line uttered by Bush and what has been accomplished?

    Also, I don’t know if you ever have talked with Mr. Himes, but if you did you would see his passion. Mr. Huebler anyone taking economics 101 can see how this Bush/Cheney war affects oil prices. Sadly, a war usually has a positive effect on the economy; however nothing positive has come from this war and anyone who supported it, especially after the biggest fraud in our nation’s history was exposed.

  35. Ok Black Rock parade was good I said hi to Shays…and remember I’ve been bashing Shays on this blog but he seems nice in person…I did not see Himes but I did see his supporters at the parade and to tell the truth they turned me off it was like they were scared of a black man so yeah I am mad at the Himes people.

  36. M Cat I think you are wrong about the oil prices and the iraq War. It’s an easy scapegoat but it really is not the cause of the high prices. SPECULATION is the cause of the higher prices. People are allowed to speculate with oil with no oversight. The people in Washington need to close the Enron Loophole that allows for this speculation.
    We have had a democratic congress for a few years and they have made no attempt to curb these oil prices. It seems that both parties are part of this problem.
    Himes if he wins will not accomplish much as a freshman in congress and so far I haven’t seen much that would make me vote for him even though I am not a real supporter of Shays either.
    BTW just to widen the discussion what has Obama accomplished during his stay in Washington? Let me give you a hint he has not sponsored ONE piece of legislation. It’s to bad Hillary lost.

  37. Bruce

    William F. probably would have used some copulative verbs in his sentence structure. Pat Crossin has always had a problem with his dangling participles. Auden has a history of being partial to dipthongs.

    A Tip Of The Top Hat to all those who work hard every year in putting on the race, parade and the Day. Ellsworth Field was all Funked Up with that great band.

  38. Voyages In English

    Bob Keeley when asked if he was a Great Conjugator quickly answered: ” I am. I was. I will be.” When I went to press him on his grammar policy he politely responded that he was in a “state of declension.”

  39. DonJ: “and also do you guys know the lady’s name who was getting signatures so she could run against Russo”

    Probably Marilyn Moore, unless there’s another Republican jumping in for a primary.

  40. The band What Up at BR Day was awesome, but it sure was a hot day. Saw Keely and he sure gained a lot of weight. Also saw some “tax” signs from both him and Audin, they both need to come up with something else besides that. Made a mad dash to the car just before the storm started. Harry – what is a state of declension?

  41. donj – the lady you saw is actually another democrat looking to run in a primary against Musto who got the endorsment. She also approached me to sign for her. Have no clue who she is.

  42. thanks everybody for telling me…the reason I asked was because she wanted me to sign that thing for her but I didn’t…but anyways thanks for telling me and also I only went to the parade I did not get a chance to go around Black Rock…does anybody know if there were any Jim Himes signs or Chris Shays signs around?

  43. Cut Taxes??? From Bob Keely? The man has NEVER met a tax he didn’t like. If you added up all of the times that he voted to RAISE taxes and compared it to the number of times he voted to cut taxes, it would be a very lopsided result. Good thing for Bob that the truth in advertising laws don’t apply to candidates. Alas, his primary opponent’s record on taxes and spending isn’t much better. Too bad there isn’t another Democratic candidate or a viable Republican.

  44. Former – it’s really a shame isn’t it that there is nobody else to run against them. Bob hasn’t done much of anything in all those years and he pats himself on the back for doing nothing. Audin has nothing to offer and her track record on the BOE is pretty scary. I still can’t get over how she is defending those murderers either. Some folks will say she’s just doing her job as a lawyer, but it bothers the hell out of me. We have real slim pickings with these 2 candidates.

  45. So Harry, was there really some kind of argument with Joel-Audin-Crossin today for real? What happened…I could just imagine what was said because Joel uses foul language on here so I’m sure he’d be the same way in people’s faces. Just so vulgar. The hot weather doesn’t help with people’s tempers either.

  46. donj – to tell you the truth, I saw a couple for Shays but that was about it, didn’t notice any for Himes, but maybe they were on streets that I wasn’t on. Himes really needs to get out there, I’m not a Shays fan although I used to be, but he is well known and Himes isn’t.

  47. By the way, I heard today that there is going to be a huge rally at Aquaculture school tomorrow at 5pm coming out against Ramos and the BOE! I was told that people are coming from other cities on buses.

  48. city cat thanks and you are correct Himes does need to get out there because the people who worked for him are horrible they didn’t do anything today all they did there was stand up at the same place like idiots.

  49. The entire Editorial Board at Local Eyes recently held a meeting after receiving SO MANY INQUIRIES about OIB bloggers. They were unanimous in their conclusions. After a while, cetain demographics emerge. For example:

    did you know that 91% of OIB bloggers think kitty cats know more than Bridgeport pols. We all have moods but cats have the claws and get results!

    did you know that 95% of OIB bloggers think Joel Gonzalez is an unheard voice of logic and wisdom and should post more often ?

    did you know only 4% of OIB bloggers have ever received a parking ticket but 97% think an O.P.I.C. is a one-person internet company ?

    did you know that 37% of OIB bloggers have political aspirations that involve beating-the-pulp out of their opponent, regardless of gender ?

    did you know that 71% of OIB bloggers are bright, sharp, intelligent people ? The other 29% changes minute by minute and day by day.

    Stats don’t lie. Did you know that 100% of OIB bloggers
    are doing their part to reduce pollution, advance progress and make the world a better place ? It’s true.

  50. City Kitty

    A declension can be an act or incident of declining.


    Grogins has kissed more political ass than a toilet seat in a sorority house.

    Your Boy, Chris Shays 4 years ago wanted the Republicans to cross-endorse Keeley. Believe me it wasn’t for altruistic reasons.

  51. Mr. Salcedo:

    As a Puerto Rican I extend an apology for the rude unprofessional behavior of Americo Santiago and the Robles clan. We had a meeting and I was very sincere about my personal experience with these people. I even told you about the race situation in the Democratic Party and in particular Mitch Robles’ view of Blacks and Races other than Puerto Ricans. I have a bi-racial family make-up. My grandmother from mom’s side (Spaniard); From dad’s side (Taino and African American). A sister has a son (half Jamaican). A brother has 2 children from a white woman (Polish). My ex and mother of my late son has a daughter (My son’s sister) that is half Jewish.
    I’d like Americo to run that 30-year bullshit on me. I was born and raised here, at 43 years old, I take it that Americo will make sure that his boy has a Debate with me.
    I’ll even deduct the 5 years I lived in Puerto Rico and make it 38 years. That will never happen, but I promise the folks at OIB that In the near future, I’ll tell you why they won’t dare debate me. Like Lennie said, “Pry Open the Juicy Stuff.”
    As for the Absentee Ballot stuff, I also warned you about that. But, as a point of clarification and in fairness to Santa Ayala, the person responsible for Absentee Ballots is Alma Maya at the town clerk’s office. The Absentee Ballot applications have serial numbers and that application should be looked at and traced. Remember that Americo Santiago was once the Deputy Secretary of State and has contacts there and he should know better than to break the rules. Chris Caruso was right about the election irregularities and there is strong evidence that there was election fraud. The Santiago and Robles clan must be watched as they are known to cheat and they will even bring people from out of the district to vote in the 130th. As you can see by now, a lot of people move and don’t change their address. Salcedo keep your head up and move forward and remember, there is always the Republican Party.

  52. Harry,

    Like I said, there are times when Chris drives me cazy. But, is he still the best choice? No question about it.

    BTW, did Himes ever show up in Black Rock?

  53. Local eyes, no offense but your postings confuse me almost every time. I’m also wondering why Bruce Hubler doesn’t run for state rep, is he a republican from Black Rock? Why doesn’t he give it a shot, he seems like a very intelligent man from what I read on here and people seem to like him.

  54. If Bruce is a republican (I think he is) then why doesn’t the republican party approach him to run? He might just be the man for the job and most likely better than the other 2 candidates. Mr. Hubler – are you out there? You should think about this.

  55. I am puzzled why the Congressman from Black Rock (who I support) can’t come up with a VIABLE Republican candidate for State Representative from Black Rock. I can’t believe that he likes being represented by the likes of Bob Keeley!

    What about it Congressman?

  56. Harry Neigher:

    I skipped the Puerto Rican Day Parade, to spend time with Chris Shays. I attended the Black Rock Day Parade and someone had to Rain on it. Before the parade, I parked on Beacon Street to see the trophy award ceremony. As I was walking back to my vehicle, I noticed a gentlemen, a lady and someone driving a black SUV. The lady got off to help the man placing an Auden Grogins lawn sign in front of a house. As I got closer I noticed the lady was Grogins and she was just getting back in the SUV when I was passing right by the passenger side. I waved to Auden and she asked if I was going to the parade and I answered, “yes I’m heading there now.” Pat Cussing (Crossin) was driving and he didn’t even look at me. I walked another 20 feet when Pat drives off slow and when he was about to pass me on the sidewalk, he yells, “Go Fuck Yourself” and drives off. One thing for sure Pat Cussing has been reading my postings here at OIB this week. Pat Cussing, I know you will be reading this. There is no need for me or anyone in Bridgeport to go and fuck themselves. You recently posted that “For the last 19 years the Bridgeport Budget was Ugly.” For all of those 19 years you have been part of the group who produced those ugly budgets and you were the Chairman of the City of Bridgeport Budget and Appropriations Committee for a good period during those 19 years. So in reality you have been “Fucking” us all for all this time and there is no need for anyone in Bridgeport to do so to ourselves as the Democrats continue to do the same.

  57. I’m voting for Himes even though I don’t know what the hell they were doing today…well like I said Keeley is horrible and so is his opponent I am not voting for nine of them… this year is about change and I’m voting for Obama Himes…and I’m sticking with Russo I think Russo is a good guy and that would be the only republican that gets my vote.

  58. Grogins has a Triple Threat Endorsement.

    Bill Finch, Paul Timpanelli and Pat “Kissin’ Cussin'” Crossin.
    What a Menage-a -Trois that is going to be.

  59. Himes was there, but didn’t march or make too big a show of it. Memories of Farrell’s ill-advised 2006 march still linger, I think. (Who made that call, I wonder?)

  60. marlys

    The people who made that call for Farrell were none other than Auden Grogins, Bonnie Roach and Adam Wood.

    Himes handled it the right way by soft selling himself and not making the parade a political event. Unlike Farrell’s ill-advised consigliaris in ’06.

  61. Charter Oak

    I think Shays supported Keeley as an execrise in political expediency.

    Rob Russo has eloquently spoken about the Keeley phenomena. It’s basically that how do you vote against a guy who knows you, went to school with your brother or sister, can remember how many points you had in a game for St. Ann’s. Attended the wake or funeral mass of a loved one. Knows your parents and grandparents and still has the ability to laugh with you or at himself. For the most part sans Russo and Shays, Republicans are an endangered species in Bridgeport. No offense to RightofRush who is trying to get the party off life support.

  62. A one-legged Warrior trying to get to Coney Island has a better shot at beating Chris Shays than Jim Himes. He has no charisma and is nothing but hot air and empty promises.

    Jim is going to go real far as long as he is attached at the hip with Paul “Dripping in Snake Oil” Ganim.

    The only thing I can say Shays is doing incorrectly is hanging with that dreg of the 130th State Rep District Joel Gonzalez.

    Joel with quotes like “Go Fuck Yourself” and “Fucking us all,” I am sure the Republican Leadership is elated with joy and glee to have you on board. Mitt Romney might even throw you a fund raiser and Donna Curran can be your campaign manager.

    “Nadie puede tapar el cielo, con un dedo.” Words from my mother! Joel if you can’t cover the sun with a finger can you at least cover a few clouds with half of one?? That’s a quote from me.

  63. City Kitty: thanks for the compliment – I only understand a fraction of what I read here…

    Tip of the hat to Bruce Hubler who believes Black Rock is the center of the universe and thinks — get this — William F. Buckley’s vocabulary was a few words shy of a dictionary.

  64. The entire Editorial Board at Eddie Palmieri for Shays Campaign HQ has conducted a poll of OIB bloggers. They were unanimous in their conclusions. After a while, certain demographics emerge. For example:

    did you know 5% of OIB bloggers think Joel Gonzalez is an Asshole and 95% know he is an asshole!

    100% of politicians prefer Asti Spumante over any other champagne after a victory.

    did you know 95% of OIB bloggers think Sylvester Salcedo is wet behind the ears when it comes to campaigning and the other 5% are voting for Sylvester because he reminds them of that guy from the Village People.

    did you know there is nothing Really BLACK about Black Rock? Seriously, there is no soul food restaurant or even a place to get braided up.

    did you know 100% of Bridgeporters know if he is elected, Jim Himes will do nothing for Bridgeport and that’s a fact.

    did you know 75% of Bridgeporters do not know who his/her councilman/woman is???

  65. Eddie Palmieri,
    I’ll take my 5% voters to date based on any reason they’re voting for me … we have a saying in the Navy … the difficult is our daily routine, the impossible takes a little longer. I’ll be working on the impossible in the next 9 weeks to August 12 and on the other 95% of OIB bloggers who are Democratic voters in the 130th.

    Yes, I’m a political newbie, but I’m learning OJT quickly and mostly from OIB fans like you. Not shy about it, just trying to navigate through the political landmines which requires a bit of an adjustment for a Navy guy like me … by the way, remind me again exactly who was the Filipino Navy guy in the Village People? I love that crew … YMCA! They sing this song at Harbor Yard during the ball games, the kids and families love it … In the Navy!!! Disco lives forever, Eddie Palmieri!

    For Joel, thanks for your continuing special insight and priceless advice. Bad manners doesn’t set me off, though it is annoying. But political dishonesty? In Bridgeport? Never! Let’s see what Sandy Ayala determines about my signature collection effort from this weekend … 290+ yet???

  66. 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.

  67. It looks like Trojan Llegua has changed her name to Eddie Palmieri. Eddie, read (that is if you have a reading comprehension level of at least 60%) what my posting is about. If a long-time Democratic figure Pat Cussing (Crossin) from Black Rock or anywhere for that matter makes a derogatory or offensive remark because of facts and opinions I post here, I should not quote the remark or post it at all? You come here as if you have virgin ears and you write the very same words I quoted. Maybe you should put your real name and picture, post factual negative opinions or views about Pat Cussing (Crossin) and then hang around Black Rock until you run into him alone. I wasn’t that surprised or offended, I served six years with Pat Cussing (Crossin) and trust me, the guy has issues with minorities and he made his feelings known in Committee Meetings for many years. To me, the incident at Beacon Street with Pat Cussing (Crossin) was kind of funny.
    I’ve heard of Drive-by Shootings in Bridgeport. But I had never heard of a Drive-by Fuck Yourself. For the record, Auden Grogins was very polite and respectful and when Pat shot his mouth off, she had a shocked look on her face and I’m sure she was upset at Pat. I saw Paul Ganim and I’m sure Paul reads or knows about my opinion of Joe Ganim’s dilemma, we shook hands and he wasn’t visibly angry. I know he is not happy when he reads the negative truth (at least in my part) about his brother. Paul Ganim has always been a gentleman. I saw Mike Marella who served with me in the City Council, we had disagreements, but Mike and I had agreed to disagree a long time ago and he has always been a gentleman. Mike is a band member of Bridgeport Pride and plays the trumpet, Good Job Mike and Bpt. Pride. I also saw Bob Keeley at the Black Rock Day Parade and he didn’t try starting an Irish fist fight with me because I posted I think the “Cut Taxes” line on his lawn sign is bullshit. Bob Keeley has always been a gentlemen. Eddie, I’ll speak to you like you speak to me, I’ll write to you like you write to me, I’ll treat you like you treat me, I’ll fight you like you fight me, I’ll help you without expecting anything in return. There are lines I won’t let anyone cross, lines I won’t cross and lines I will dare to cross, I don’t beat around the bush, I don’t wait long for things to happen and If I can make it happen sooner, I’ll at least try. Anyone can label me what they want, they’ll be wasting their time. I have been trying to label and define myself and I’ve had no luck. Public definitions and labels currently being accepted.

  68. Joel,

    Pardon my directness. You are are disgrace to yourself and the people who nominated you.

    MEMO TO MARK: I don’t generally agree with a party not nominating candidates for any office. But, nobody would have been better than nominating this guy. You don’t build a party on the backs of slimeballs, especially when they are just using you for a place on the ballot.

    MEMO TO RUSSO AND SHAYS: My mother used to tell me that you are judged by the company that you keep.

  69. No need to criticize Joel any longer. He is doing a wonderful job on his own demonstrating just how unworthy he truly is to enter into a leadership role.

    As to MCAT’s blind loyalty to the party line I suggest this scenario:

    In the next mayoral go round the choices are Bruce or Moonbeam. How do you choose, loyalist?

  70. Tom Kelly,

    The “Keeley phenomena” as you described it is the reason why Bridgeport has such a lousy legislative delegation. We send people to Hartford to reward them for past service or (Chris Caruso is a good example of this) to get them out of Bridgedport, not because they will make good legislators. Until we start to worry about the quality and qualifications of the people that we elect nothing is going to change.

  71. Former City Official: I seldom agree with Joel Gonzalez but I thought that his “comment” concerning Obama was well thought out whether one would agree with it or not. I don’t think it serves OIB well to simply put him down the way you have and I, for one, am offended by your words of condescension.

  72. Yahooy, I never said anything about blind loyalty. In fact if someone breaks their word to me or others then I will not remain loyal to that person. I couldn’t vote for Finch or Hubler because I don’t live in Bridgeport, but I have worked there and have tried to help it. As to Bruce Hubler, I have only met him once and have nothing against him; however actions speak louder than words. I also submit that a person can not be fully vetted on a blog; what do we really know about his positions, or his experience? There are many people out there who want to give advice, but don’t want to put themselves on the line, work for a candidate, or lobby the legislature with calls and mail.

    If people are unwilling to put themselves out there or to work for good candidates then we get what we deserve. I will say that the climate for politicans is pretty bad right now, and many good people think hard and long before subjecting themselves to what we call the Democratic process.

    Wondering I do agree that speculators are part of the problem. Too bad we couldn’t open the oil reserves, flood the market and blow them out of the water. However, they are not the only problem. No action exists in a vacuum and in the economy there is so much cause and effect, that is symbiotic in nature. But very simply put, since this war most things have gotten a lot worse (energy cost, food cost, the stock market, education, health of our cities, real estate, and gas prices). All those happy with their situation are welcome to vote for more of the same. I want change.

  73. Joel, when you blog in the middle of the night instead of sleeping, you go way over the deep end. Remember–everything you print here is saved for every campaign to use for or against you. Save it until you really mean it.

    As for Caruso and Keeley, it is time for new blood to emerge who will be true leaders, true statespersons, true coalition builders, and true to what is the very best about Bridgeport.

    It is also time for the Bridgeport Democratic district committees and Town Committee to rid itself of city employees and their immediate families. There are 130,000+ folks in this City. I am sure there are more people who would get involved if they thought it wasn’t a lock for City employees and the insider club. City Employees are not bad folks. They are great folks. They just need to distance themselves from the politics so the reforms they want can actually happen. Tough times require tough decisions.

  74. I found the following comment from a column in the New London Day interesting:

    “The strange thing is, when it comes time to vote people seem quite happy with the status quo. Incumbents keep getting returned to the legislature and dominance by the Democratic Party threatens to turn Connecticut into a one-party state. The Democrats have veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate.
    Republicans, it seems, could make inroads with a unified reduce government and cut taxes platform. But the party appears in disarray and demoralized. A Republican, by title at least, sits in the govenor’s seat. But Gov. M. Jodi Rell is the most pragmatic of politicians, often shaping her policies to the situation and frequently siding with the Democratic majority on major issues — including the recently-approved budget. Republicans in the legislature wanted to cut spending and taxes.

    “It’s not enough to complain that politicians are all the same and nothing changes. This is a republic, after all. New state leaders can be elected, perhaps even ones who can be trusted to cut gas taxes and fix highways if they bring back tolls”.

  75. FCO

    Thank you as you just proved my argument right.

    So your former comrades in arms or former bosses served this city well? It’s about electability and having a consituency. Mitt Romney is no nitwit and because he is a Mormon did not mean he was a Moron. The smartest people do not equate to the best candidates. Shays has been in Congress for 21 years and what do we have to sbow for it? Oh yeah some grants to buy off the Democratic Bridgeport Politicos to take a dive for him. Shays is the Mac Daddy for Charlie Tisdale and pimps his agency off for votes. Maybe if Caruso had won you would not be a Former City Official.

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Furthermore the urban centers many times get short-changed because suburban legislators hold the gold with their sheer strength in voting numbers compared to urban blocks.

  76. FCO – Bill Finch endorses Grogins, is she going to help make good on his $600.00 tax relief promise? I also wonder if the birdman and the banshee frequent the same nest. Grogins may be educated but she has no common sense, push on her nose and her head would deflate. Keeley may not be perfect, but I would take him over a Finch/Wood puppet any day.

  77. FCO

    Remember my post summarized Rob Russo’s take on why Keeley wins. Rob is a relationship builder that’s why he won and I hope wins again.

    I wish Donna Curran would become a Democrat. (Sorry Rush)

  78. MCAT and Charter – good points on voters and politicans. CT democrats had a veto-proof majority in the Senate until Finch left at the most harmful time he could pick.

  79. MCAT:

    I’ll be glad to show you my resume if you’ll show me yours. Same goes for contributions (not just political) past and present, local, statewide and national.

    So pick a “neutral corner”, and let’s meet. I’m really not half as bad as it appears you seem to think.

  80. Mr. Huebler anyone taking economics 101 can see how this Bush/Cheney war affects oil prices. Sadly, a war usually has a positive effect on the economy; however nothing positive has come from this war and anyone who supported it, especially after the biggest fraud in our nation’s history was exposed.

    MCAT is or was there a war in Europe? $10.00 a gallon of gasoline and now I can say that there is Revolution in the air in Europe. This weekend I saw the new footage of the rioting people mad at the high price of gasoline. In fact they are using Gasoline to make bombs and burn down vehicles and buildings. In 2001 I went to El Salvador and I was shocked to see that in a third-world country the gas was twice as expensive as in the U.S. I told my now wife that those prices were coming to America soon. About a year or so later it began its journey to the U.S. I’m sick and tired of hearing, “It’s Supply and Demand,” It’s a bullshit concept that for now we must live with. One can buy a new bicylce for $100.00 and I’m sure if Americans start buying bicycles to avoid paying higher gas prices, the price of bicycles will triple because of “Supply and Demand.” The people investing in oil should (I’m sure they are already) start investing in the bicycle businesses and reap even greater profits. Keep in mind MCAT the loyal Democrat that it is the Democratic controlled Senate and not so much the congress who have the power to create change. Go and Read the Rolling Stone Magazine article about your Democrats in the Senate and keep in mind that Senator NObama, Hill C., Dodd and others spent over a year and a half concentrating on the Presidential Race and neglected their responsibility. Go and Buy this past week’s Rolling Stone Magazine and I hope you laugh at the Cartoon of your great Democratic leaders in the Seanate. P.S. Tell Bill Clinton that Rolling Stone is not about the kind of “Rolling or Stone” he has in mind.


    Pardon my directness. You are are disgrace to yourself and the people who nominated you.

    MEMO TO MARK: I don’t generally agree with a party not nominating candidates for any office. But, nobody would have been better than nominating this guy. You don’t build a party on the backs of slimeballs, especially when they are just using you for a place on the ballot.

    MEMO TO RUSSO AND SHAYS: My mother used to tell me that you are judged by the company that you keep.

    There is no greater disgrace than People who sell out, protect and support a massive criminal enterprise like the Bridgeport Democratic Party. Remaining silent is a clear form of demonstrating that disgrace wich you don’t know the meaning of. What greater “slimeballs” than those that you support and protect by your silence and poorly thought-out (If one can call it thoughts) views. You are still hiding your name, behind a handle even after being a Former City Offical. While on the other hand, I stand here as a current City Employee and a Former City Councilman who knows the Democratic machine very well, writing the facts and I’m a “Disgrace”. Is that the best label you can come up with? The Bridgeport Republican Party Knows who the Real “slimeballs” are and as a member I will not be shy to point out anyone that they may have missed. I’m 100% sure that not a single Republican agrees with you. I’m still accepting Labels, so OIB readers, bring it!

  82. It is an interesting fact that our President’s family 5 generations back have made their fortune in the oil business. AND our Vice President was the CEO of Haliburton the biggest supplier of war materials and support in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    How come?

    Don’t bother, Joel. I’m sure you’re an “expert” on this topic too. Blowhard!!


    I’m not letting you off the hook just yet. You are a disgrace to your mother. You should have listened to her advice. My mother, like many other people’s mothers gave me the same advice. I paid a price for not listening and the times that I ignored her advice, those words would play over and over in my head. Six months into my Service as City Councilman, those words started to play in my head. I made sure that I did not let my mother down that time and refused to take part of in anything that I believed was wrong or illegal in doing. Trust me when I tell you that I could have gotten a good paying (50G to 70G) job with the City if I had asked and agreed to their terms. What the Democrats won’t give me if only I approached them and made a deal today. I don’t have pot to piss in, but my conscience is Clear and I’m proud of the dedicated service and the job I did. Win or lose, people will hear me. Did you hear me Loud and Clear?


    It is an interesting fact that our President’s family 5 generations back have made their fortune in the oil business. AND our Vice President was the CEO of Haliburton the biggest supplier of war materials and support in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    How come?

    Don’t bother, Joel. I’m sure you’re an “expert” on this topic too. Blowhard!!
    Yahooy I agree with you and I feel it’s a conflict of interest. I have in the past stated my view on this issue.
    Since we both agree, that makes you a “Blowhard” too.


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