Is Mario Hedging Bets? What If BOE Elections Are Ordered?

When state education officials at the request of city leaders took control of city schools, elections for Board of Education seats were put on hold. Opponents to the action are asking the court to overturn the decision. The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, as a result of the state decision, decided not to endorse candidates. But hold on a minute.

Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster is running a full slate of candidates for school board seats in the hope the court sides with her position to allow a BOE election. What if a judge orders the school board election? That would leave Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa without his own candidates. Word is the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee may intervene in the court case to protect its candidate interests if local BOE elections go forward. This, presumably, would allow the DTC to endorse its own candidates (after not doing so at last month’s convention) should a judge authorize BOE elections.



  1. If Mario puts up candidates for the BOE then you can bet they will be of the same caliber we got rid of. Mario and Finch made a mistake in not naming candidates they thought the dismissal of the seated BOE members was the end of this.
    Lo and behold MJF got into this and filed papers in court and now suddenly they are in panic mode.
    In addition to the elected BOE members I believe the governor should appoint a Grand Master to oversee this board. I would hope this person had a financial background.
    On Sept 13th we will fire Finch it will be the BOE’s job to fire Ramos and most of his administrators.

  2. “Hello, Mario? This is Dithers, at Finch for mayor. How’s the pasta today? Oh, we’re fine too. Say, we need you to come up with some candidates for Board of Education.”

    “Yes, I know Mario, we told you we would not need candidates, and that we were sure.”

    “Look, Mario, we’ve tried our best. Things have changed.”

    “What do you mean things haven’t changed? Mario, that’s not a nice tone of voice. Are you being sarcastic?”

    “Mario, we just need a few candidates for Board of Education in case that judge agrees with those malcontents and disrupters who filed that lawsuit.”

    “Mario, I told you our good friend the governor couldn’t help us with the Secretary of State’s Office. Yes, I know we promised that too.”

    “Mario, what do the Puerto Ricans have to do with any of this? New Yorkers? We have nothing to do with Puerto Rican New Yorkers. What are you talking about?”

    “Now Mario, settle down. You don’t really want to take my head and use it to pound veal. Oh, you meant the mayor’s. You want to stick my head where?”

    “But, say Mario, about those Board of Ed nominees. Sure Mario, you can pick a Puerto Rican if you want. They can even come from Bridgeport.”

    “Gee, thanks Mario, thanks a lot. Hey, can we send you over one of those rain barrels for the restaurant? They’re piling up in the city yard.”

  3. Well, well, well … Bill Finch is walking around in Alfred E Newman “What, me worry?” mode while the chickens are coming home to roost. First, the backroom deal to have the state take over the BOE. That stirred up a lot of trouble with the parents of the city’s school children. Finch responded to the controversy by sticking his foot in his cake hole.

    Second, there’s a little matter concerning a political action committee. Seems Wee Willie Finchie “donated” $46,000.00 in unused funds from his 2007 mayoral campaign. This money has been paid out to cover shopping trips and the bar tabs Adam “Pecker” Wood has been running up all over town while “entertaining” individuals interested in doing business with the city of Bridgeport. (I have to wonder if the entertainees actually paid the check and Wood was reimbursed for an expense he didn’t incur.) Still more of this money was given to a dormant PAC founded by Sonya, the mayor’s wife. The treasurer of this currency wash is William Beccaro, an attorney who has been making a small fortune doing legal work for the city. Mr. Beccaro is also a contributor to Finch’s now-flagging re-election campaign. This looks suspiciously like a pay-to-play operation. Hopefully the Federal Bureau of Investigation will get it all sorted out.

    But wait, there’s more …

    The two candidates opposing Finch in the Democratic primary have formed a partnership, a united front against Finch Stafstrom Testa LLC. This was a game-changing development. Mr. Finch was probably taking it for granted the DTC ward heelers would be able to deliver the votes on 9/13/11. Along with the endorsements of some important members of the community it looks like all bets are off. (NOTE TO BILL FINCH: Stop & Shop is hiring deli clerks.)

    I have been a registered Democrat since 1976. About a year ago I re-registered as an unaffiliated voter. I do not want to have any association with the Democratic Party in the city of Bridgeport. If it were truly DEMOCRATIC the voices of the people of the city of Bridgeport would be heeded, not dismissed with racist and bigoted statements that many of the city’s parents cannot participate in the democratic process because they are living in the country illegally or have felony convictions. John Rowland signed a bill restoring voting rights to convicted felons. Rowland was later convicted of corruption. I’m sure he can vote.

  4. yahooy made a comment about education and poverty and how some people just wait for food stamps etc. I agree with this statement, this government of ours spends money on people who are just plain out lazy, there has to be a time where the government says you cannot be on government assistance after so and so period of time. I am of a immigrant family and I see how hard my people had to work without government assistance etc and they made it in America. These government programs make American people just plain out lazy. As far as education goes yes it is bad in Bridgeport but there has to be some responsibility on these kids. I can recall numerous times when I have seen friends just waste their education and you cannot blame the Bridgeport school system for that. Me being from an immigrant family makes me appreciate this county every day and sometimes I feel these kids in Bridgeport take education as a joke. If you are serious about your education you can survive in the Bpt school system and nobody can make my mind change on that. I always said if there is one thing I dislike with my party as a whole it is with government assistance, there is no way in hell the government should be helping someone over a two-year period.

  5. Social welfare programs like EBT, WIC, SAGA, etc., exist to provide assistance to the less fortunate. I was living on food stamps for a while. I’m not ashamed. Not all people accepting government assistance are deadbeats, too lazy to look for work. There are more than a few people like that, but they are not the majority.

    Flaws in the regulations have allowed families to stay on public assistance for generations, which created a culture of dependency. That’s wrong, but it cannot be corrected overnight. The best place to start is the education of our children. Teach them about the greater world, the horizon beyond the housing projects.

  6. I don’t think you are allowed to hedge your bets after the betting windows close. That would be called past-posting. Not to say that past-posting never took place on those old lever voting machines. The long and short of it is the DTC made a conscious decision not to endorse BOE candidates. They did not go to Sandi Ayala and request a “ruling,” The word “ruling” was a legal keyword in the ’07 Caruso court case.

    Sorry guys, your time has run out on this issue. It should be interesting who the DTC will pick to argue their point for intervenor status. Will it be “King” for a day?


    [Edna] Garcia and several others, including longtime activist Rosa Correa and Town Clerk Alma Maya, plan to send Coleman a letter requesting that he appoint a Latino to the board. Mayor Bill Finch has already sent Coleman a letter with the same message.

    Now the so-called leaders of the Hispanic community are going to send Coleman a letter. How lame. Where was their outrage when Finch maneuvered the state takeover of the local BOE? They had no problem with THAT. Where was their outrage when Finch referred to the parents of the students [48% of whom are Latinos] as illegals and ex-felons?
    They had no problem with THAT.
    But now Alma is afraid a board without Hispanics might become a campaign issue. Now she is going to send a letter. Too letter too late.

  8. Bob Walsh, you are correct; I posted on OIB when Lennie first posted this story. I was upset with black and Latino elected leaders not saying a word. The selections Commissioner Coleman made need to be questioned, first the mayor’s treasurer and then no Latino. Why are people not willing to up?

    1. On facebook:
      Joel Gonzalez
      It’s the failure of our hispanic leaders that got us into this. No mention of the hispanic board member who gave up on us and voted to let the state take over our schools. Most of our so called leaders work for the BOE and just don’t have the courage or the will to stand up and fight for fear of losing their jobs and or political positions.

  9. Paging Lennie Grimaldi. Lennie you have been reporting on Mary-Jane Foster and her ticket, John Gomes, Charlie Coviello, and the bottom of the barrel Bill Finch candidacies. What about the others like OIB friend Jim Fox? I understand Jim Fox and others took out petitions for City Council. What’s up with that, Lennie? Never biased?

    1. This brings to mind a question (or 2). When Gomes joined forces with Foster did he have a slate of candidates? If so, are they now part of the Foster ticket? Also, does each candidate have to get his/her own set of 2,150 signatures to qualify for the primary?

      1. Big: Any candidate running independently from the main ticket requires a percentage of the voters’ signatures in their district. When I ran in the 138th I needed 183 signatures.
        This year I am on the main ticket with MJF and we needed over 2100 signatures as a group. I hope this helps.

  10. It would be nice if the City Council were cleaned up. A few of the members think one of the perks of being an alderman is not having to pay property taxes on automobiles. Too many of them are puppets dangling from strings pulled by Mario Testa or his minions. If we can get rid of Finch we can get rid of those assholes too. Time for Bridgeport to be governed by the people, for the people.


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