Is Hennessy Facing The Lyons Den? Hennessy Responds To Barnes

Michelle Lyons
Michelle Lyons

UPDATE, Hennessy’s Barnes Burner: It will be a mighty good fight if City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons gets in the race to unseat State Rep. Jack Hennessy who represents the city’s North End. A Democratic primary would take place in August.

Hennessy, first elected to his State House seat in 2004, became an internet favorite in 2009 when he was shown in a picture playing a computer game of solitaire during a state budget hearing. He became known as the Solitary Man. He apologized for his “bad judgment.” Hey, at least he wasn’t taking a nap. For background on Hennessy check out his House website

Lyons is popular in the North End where she represents the council’s 134th District. She has toyed with running for the legislature in the past, and her political supporters say they’re encouraging her to challenge Hennessy. Lyons was among four council members to vote against the pay raise proposal for non-classified city employees that was approved Tuesday night, a position that will go over well with the North End, a large pocketbook vote with loads of owner-occupied homes in one of the higher-turnout areas of the city.

It’s difficult to take out an incumbent in a primary although it has happened recently in the city. State Rep. Auden Grogins, the “Blonde Banshee” from Black Rock, knocked off Bob Keeley, the longest-serving legislator in the city’s history, in a 2008 primary.

Hennessy had been politically aligned with former State Rep. Chris Caruso who’s been under the radar since accepting a state job from Governor Dannel Malloy. Caruso works for the State Department of Labor.

A Lyons/Hennessy matchup could be just one among several legislative primaries in the city this year. Former State Senator Ernie Newton is expected to launch a candidacy this month to seek his old job against State Senator Ed Gomes.

Update: Hennessy responds to Bob Barnes. Former Democratic Town Committee member Bob Barnes, who considered running against Hennessy two years ago, unleashes several comments against Hennessy in this post. Hennessy has returned the fire.

“There he goes again! Old sour grapes Bob Barnes. He’s mad at me because I caught him violating his sworn, solemn oath by falsely swearing on his voter petition to get on the ballot. Now he’s lying about me to get even.”



  1. There are many politicians who take up space. Hennessy is a poster boy. His legislative background is very thin having initiated nothing that would benefit Bridgeport. He has attached his name to many bills, but was at the creation of very few. That way he gets credit. His apology for playing solitaire was weak at best. Had he done that on his full-time job with FEDEX he would have at least been fired or, if lucky, reprimanded and demoted. I had an issue with his military experience as he promoted himself as a U.S. Army Ranger. He has NO Ranger training, i.e. HALOs, weaponry training, survival training, combat training. He was assigned to a Ranger unit in the CT National Guard. A friend of mine’s son, who had done 4 tours in Afghanistan and 2 tours in Iraq, said to me when told of this … “I’d like to have a few minutes with Mr. Hennessy to correct his perception that he is a Ranger.” I don’t think Hennessy will accommodate him.
    Good luck to Michelle Lyons. She has a legislative record of good service, esp. to the survivors of the horrors of Haiti, and to the citizens of Bridgeport. Jack Hennessy should just go away and Bridgeport will be a better place without him in government.

  2. And … if Hennessy tells you it’s on his DD214, the DD214 only tells what unit to which you are assigned. It’s his MOS that tells you he is HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening parachute jumps) qualified, what awards he has received, where he took TDY to learn survival and weaponry training, and what his actual MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is.
    Lennie, I’m a Vietnam Veteran and to lie and manipulate a curriculum vitae (CV) to give a perception of service that is a falsehood like Blumenthal and Hennessy did with their CVs is an insult to anyone who has served in the military.

    1. I’m a combat vet from Viet Nam. A lot of people claim something that is not theirs to claim and I am revolted by their lies. But I don’t presume a guy is a bullshitter just because I don’t like him. I suggest you ask the man face to face about his allegations. You don’t need his 214 to verify the facts. Military records are public. Look it up yourself.

      1. I, too, am a veteran of Vietnam (Jul ’66-Jul ’67).
        I started out as a helicopter engine repairman and became company clerk for 13th CBT AVN BN, APO SF 96215. When I came back I was staff company clerk (E5) for Headquarters for Ft. Dix, NJ.
        I know records, MOSes and BS.
        Hennessy to this day insists because his DD214 shows he was assigned to a Ranger Unit that he can call himself a Ranger.
        Military records need to be requested to be public.
        And if a Marine reservist like Blumenthal says “they spit on me when I returned from Vietnam” and never went, or an Army reservist like Hennessy insists he’s a Ranger, that is public and a bell you cannot unring.

        1. All I implied was you ask the man to his face. I, personally, had extensive Ranger training in Officer Candidate School then went to the Jungle Operation Training Center in Panama for special training in “Ranger-like” jungle patrolling techniques which qualified me to lead Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols when I got to Viet Nam. These patrols are typically led by an officer who has graduated from Ranger School and has earned the right to wear the Ranger Tab. Obviously there weren’t enough Ranger graduates to cover all of the patrolling needed so regular infantry officers like me picked up the slack. I did the same thing Rangers did like helicopter rappelling, rappelling down waterfalls and the like but would never presume to call myself a ‘Ranger.’ No Ranger Tab, no actual Ranger, period.

          Thank you for your service. Clerks played an important part in the war. I still insist you contact the man face to face and ask him the direct question. Otherwise you bring more discredit upon yourself than upon Hennessy.

      2. And yes, yahooy, I did confront Hennessy when he first ran for office against Elaine Pivirotto, about his resume’ that stated he was a U.S. Army Ranger. I asked him where he took his Ranger training and he replied (and I’m paraphrasing here), “what are you talking about?” I then told him of a friend’s son who served as a U.S. Army Ranger with 4 tours in Afghanistan and 2 tours in Iraq. His next comment was (and I’m paraphrasing again) “Oh, I’m just assigned to a Ranger unit in the Connecticut National Guard.” I then told him if he didn’t remove that claim my next step was to go to the CT Post. He took it down and now what you see is the perception of his military info. And, mind you, military service is special and I thank you for your service and welcome home.
        And, by the way, I am also a disabled Vietnam Vet and carry that proof with me at all times.

          1. Only with his military experience. Other than that he just takes up air in the legislature. We need proactive and sentient representation and Michelle Lyons has the credentials. Hennessy has done little for the benefit of Bridgeport as to its economic morass.

          2. yahooy & Vigilante, let me help clear up any doubt about Jack’s military record. Jack was assigned to the 1st BN (RANGER) 75th Infantry from 1975 – 1977. This was the initial unit designation before there was a Ranger Regimental Headquarters and the Ranger battalions were reflagged as the 1st / 2nd / 3rd Ranger BN. The 1st BN (RANGER) 75th Infantry unit was initially assigned to Ft. Stewart GA and later moved to Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah GA, where they are today. Jack came into the Army with an initial MOS of 05B1P (pronounced Oh five Bravo two Papa) which designated him as a Tactical radio Operator / Morse Code and Airborne qualified. After Ranger school he was awarded the MOS 05B2V (pronounced oh five Bravo two Victor) which designated him as an NCO (E-%) and Ranger qualified. His DD-214, upon honorable discharge would only indicate his MOS’s, awards, decorations, military education and various remarks in the “remarks section.” Only his DA Form 2 would show a record of assignments but I would think you two would know this already. So here are the facts reference his Ranger credentials and assignment to the 1st BN (RANGER) 75 Infantry. Why do I know so much about Jack? I served with him at the same time … we were both assigned to Bravo Company, 1st BN (Ranger) 75th INF at the same time, same company. Jack decided to leave the Army and I decided to make a career out of it. Do your fact checking, this is neither “Stolen Valor” nor a worthless “poser” pretending to be something he isn’t. He earned his right to say “Rangers Lead The Way.” Before I close a quick shout to Lennie for giving me the opportunity to bring forth the truth … for once.

    2. There he goes again! Old sour grapes Bob Barnes.
      He’s mad at me because I caught him violating his sworn, solemn oath by falsely swearing on his voter petition to get on the ballot. Now he’s lying about me to get even.

      1. Gotta answer this one. Jack, I was always told you were a nice guy and I appreciate that. However, to use “Old sour grapes” as the reason for my blogs is just a smoke screen for your inability to create substantial legislation for the good and welfare of the City of Bridgeport. Regretfully, your record is thin in this matter. I admit I was naive in the matter of the petitions, but I wasn’t the one who berated a fellow parishioner for signing one of my petitions. That was unethical on your part. And I’m not lying about you to get even. I’m telling the truth so your constituents know about their legislator who would have been fired had he been caught playing solitaire on their computer while being paid for being at work. And what have you done to remediate the Ox Brook flooding? And what have you done to bring substantial funding to Bridgeport? I see little to brag about.

  3. Michelle Lyons would be my choice. I could get excited about supporting this candidate. Michelle Lyons Is a very popular and well-liked individual. I have walked the entire North End and I know that first hand. I would happily do what needed to be done to get Michelle elected to a higher position. She has spent a little too much time making other mayors look good. She is thoughtful and courageous. She could bring the money to Bridgeport. Lyons would have no problem convincing voters she has all the fight needed to raise the bar and bring the funds back to the city. She had the support of most of the Foster supporters as well as Mayor Finch. Count me in and let’s do it!!!!!!!!!

      1. lisawhite // Jan 6, 2012 at 6:15 am
        To your posting

        Do you think think our friend Steve was being a little over the top? Did you have a Finch/Wood sign on your lawn and Steve was being respectful of your choices unlike Finch who went up to the door of Foster sign lawns and asked for reasons why they chose Foster over Mr. Lovable … and wouldn’t back off …
        My take on Steve was he was one of the hardest working Foster VOLUNTEERS, and if he said he walked the entire North End of Bridgeport, it was so damn close a missed address or two wasn’t a point to quibble about. However if I know Steve, he could probably tell us exactly which addresses he did not get to.
        So your point is?

        1. Steve bleeds Bridgeport Blue! He’s honest and fair. I don’t always agree with him but I always respect him. I respect you too, lisawhite, and don’t agree with you on this one.

        1. Lolol of course if you had a Finch sign I wouldn’t have knocked on your door–lololol I didn’t support him until after the primary. But I had supported Michelle Lyons the entire time.

  4. Regarding Blumenthal, I was with him at the Colony Diner many years ago. I was introduced as a combat officer from Viet Nam along with a police sergeant who also served in-country. Blumenthal never suggested nor implied he served ‘in’ Viet Nam. He clearly stated he was a Marine reserve officer ‘during’ the Viet Nam era. We spoke extensively on the deplorable treatment men in uniform received at that time. Most of us, and perhaps you too, Bob, were spat upon regardless of whether we were in-country vets or reservists. A good friend spent his entire 4 years of military service in the Air Force in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He wouldn’t wear his uniform anywhere off base.

    I have had subsequent conversations with Blumenthal regarding these allegations. I had the balls to ask him directly. I am satisfied that he did not intentionally mislead anyone regarding the whereabouts of his military service. PERIOD.

      1. We have never been in a state of other than detente. I have a high level of respect for my brothers who served in-country more so now that we have to experience our current young men and women standing posts in harm’s way.

  5. Please, someone, provide a list of some of these initiatives this woman has undertaken.
    Please, someone, provide instances where she stood up to a mayor in this city and voted against one of their initiatives.

  6. Grin Reaper // Jan 6, 2012 at 10:04 am
    To your posting

    I have it on good word Dawn has initiated the best plans of anyone or any department in City Government to create the most hostile working environment for city employees.
    I also understand she has been able to secure the best purchasing price for “polishing cloths” so she can put the best shine to apples and ass polishing. I have heard this and would certainly appreciate confirmation on these initiatives.
    The last thing I heard about her ability with initiative is to attach puppet strings to herself so Sherwood and Nunn can pull her in any direction. Again, confirmation is needed regarding the initiatives of Dawn Norton.

  7. I was talking about Michelle Lyons!!!
    She has shown no initiative. Plays follow the leader on her council votes. She will simply go to Hartford and do whatever Finch tells her to do.
    And to all of the so-called reformers here …

    1. Grin Reaper // Jan 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm
      To your posting,

      Well Grin,
      Perhaps you’ve said it all …
      So which of the two choices is the worst?
      Because they sure aren’t two of the best choices, are they?
      Perhaps this is the time for us to come up with a choice who will respond to voters and taxpayers, not to the Finch/Wood duo.
      Let’s get some names to call on …

  8. Bridgeport is a mess and will remain a mess so long as Mario Testa and Paul Timpanelli endeavor successfully to maintain the status quo. The fix is simple. Motivate apathetic voters to go to the polls to effect the necessary change.

    1. The people you mentioned are trying to improve, not maintain the status quo. Your fix is a recently failed solution. Here’s why: your efforts were unable to motivate apathetic voters to go to the polls in sufficient numbers to effect the necessary change. At your insistence, The Package materialized but its impact was muted. Your fantasy is distorted by existing reality.


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