Legal briefs have been filed with Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens who is weighing a challenge to the September 10 Democratic primary to determine if a mistake in the count of the votes cast had occurred.
Lawyers Prerna Rao and Jonathan Shapiro on behalf of the plaintiffs assert that’s the case while Deputy City Attorney John Bohannan and John Droney declare on behalf of the defendants that “This is about the complete lack of evidence to prove the sole issue before this Court–a “mistake in the count of the votes cast” under Section 9-329a(a)(2).”
Some of this depends on how broadly the judge interprets a mistake in the count of the votes cast. Does he need 270 reasons? That’s the certified victory for Mayor Joe Ganim over State Senator Marilyn Moore whose supporters brought the lawsuit.
Plaintiffs are asking for a new Democratic primary for all candidates on the September 10 ballot as well as a delay in the Nov. 5 general election.
Plaintiffs’ brief here.
Defendants’ brief here.
Excerpt of plaintiffs’ brief:
“As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it?” This is a poignant quote from a cartoon depiction of Boss Tweed from 1871, which also depicted a ballot box on which the words “In Counting There is Strength” were inscribed. 2 Former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza expressed a similar sentiment when addressing an opponent who accused him of rigging an election, stating: “Indeed, you won the elections, but I won the count.” 3 Here and now in Connecticut, it appears that Mayor Ganim and other Line A candidates lost the election at the polls but won the count with absentee ballots.
For all these reasons, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court set aside the results of the Democratic Primary; order a new Special Primary Election for all candidates, including but not limited to the mayoral primary; order supervision of locations with a large percentage of voters voting by absentee ballot; order that the Democratic Primary absentee voting tabulators be unlocked, any ballot boxes, if any, be opened for inspection, and any application materials and/or affidavits relevant to absentee voting be made available for inspection; order that applicable statutory deadlines be stayed, including deadlines affecting the general election, be stayed in order to hold a new Special Primary Election; and order all additional relief in law or equity as the court may find just and equitable.
Excerpt from defendants:
This is an applications case masquerading as a vote-counting case. Lost in the bluster and grandstanding within the plaintiffs’ post-trial brief is that there is no evidence to prove a “mistake in the count of the votes cast” in the primary. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-329a(a)(2). That is the only issue that is before this Court. And the inquiry under subsection (a)(2) is limited solely to whether there was any error in the tabulation of the votes. See Argument, section I. That subsection does not deal with applications, or compliance with any other statutes, but solely with the count of actual votes. The plaintiffs’ overly expansive view of subsection (a)(2) would transform a “mistake in the count of the votes” into any conceivable misapplication or misapprehension of any of the numerous election statutes on the books. Such a bizarre construction would conflict with the plain language of the statute, violate cardinal rules of statutory construction, and contradict every single judicial decision that has ever analyzed the operative language. See section I.
Although the plaintiffs’ trial presentation and briefing has quixotically tried to challenge applications, not votes, and speculated about alleged irregularities pertaining to the casting or collection of any absentee ballots, Section 9-329a(a)(2) does not allow the non-aggrieved plaintiffs to do so. See section II. Although the Court let the plaintiffs to put on their case, that does not mean the evidence proved any mistake in the count of the votes. To the contrary, the plaintiffs’ repeated references to applications, absent any further foundation or evidence about the counting of the votes, amounts to nothing more than untethered speculation and conjecture. Challenges to the acceptance of a ballot or compliance with the absentee ballot laws–the real crux of the plaintiffs’ case–can only be litigated by an aggrieved elector or candidate challenging a ruling of an election official under subsection (a)(1), or by an aggrieved candidate alleging violations of one of the absentee ballot laws pursuant to subsection (a)(3). As this Court has ruled, the plaintiffs are not “aggrieved” within the meaning of Section 9-329a, and thus lack standing to litigate any such allegations. Because the plaintiffs’ claims are expressly limited by the statute, and there is no evidence that there was any error in tabulating the votes, the plaintiffs’ case fails.
Moreover, even if there had been any mistake in the count of the votes, the evidence in this case does not come anywhere close to establishing any substantial mistake, much less one that puts the result of the primary seriously in doubt, which our law requires before any new election could be ordered. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-329a(c); Argument, section III. The voters in Bridgeport decided this primary by a margin of 270 votes.1 Since the plaintiffs’ evidence pertaining to individual votes cannot approach the significant margin that decided this election, the result of the primary cannot be disturbed.
1 This is the exact same margin as in Caruso v. City of Bridgeport, 285 Conn. 618, 622 (2008), where a request for a new election was denied.
Contrary to the plaintiffs’ ad hominem and irrelevant rhetoric, this case is not about Boss Tweed or a brutal Nicaraguan dictator. See Pl. Br. at 1. This is about the complete lack of evidence to prove the sole issue before this Court–a “mistake in the count of the votes cast” under Section 9-329a(a)(2). Principles of statutory interpretation and controlling case law instruct that this inquiry is limited to whether there was any error in tallying the votes. The plaintiffs’ attempt to litigate whether election officials properly accepted applications or ballots entails an entirely different inquiry, which requires aggrievement under subsections (a)(1) or (a)(3). If any nonaggrieved voter can use (a)(2) as a back-door trick to litigate rulings of election officials, then the statutory limits are entirely meaningless, and seriatim election contests will dominate our courthouses every fall. Even beyond the defects in the plaintiffs’ claims and evidence, because nothing in this case approaches any actual mistake in the count of any actual votes, much less the sheer number of votes that would be necessary to call into question the result of a 270-vote primary, judgment should enter for the defendants.
Lennie, if the judge orders a new trial would the time to raise the necessary signatures to get on the ballot as the WFP candidate also start over again?
DD, great question. When does the clock start? Depending how the judge rules, state election officials will be involved to set the statutory election calendar time line which presumably includes all ballot access options for the general election. This is uncharted territory. Looks like the judge will issue a decision less than two weeks from the general election that throws many questions into the mix. If he rules for the plaintiffs, the city will seek an expedited appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Theoretically, if he rules for defendants, the plaintiffs could do the same. If plaintiffs prevail a primary date would be set with the general election likely bleeding into January 2020.
11Benefits paid to or for members…………….11
12Salaries, other compensation, and employee benefits…………….12112,004
13Professional fees and other payments to independent contractors…………132,084
14Occupancy, rent, utilities, and maintenance……………….146,143
15Printing, publications, postage, and shipping…………..15
16Other expenses (describe in Schedule O)…………..1620,817
17Total expenses. Add lines 10 through 16………….. Bullet17141,048
$112.004 for employee, salary & compensation. Care to tell us how much Moore pays herself?
On line 14 for Occupancy, rent, utilities. $6,143
The Witness Project has been Inactive for about 2 years. However, Marilyn Moore still has the office there. How has the rent been getting paid, if they are paying rent? Why is it that Marilyn Moore gives NO EXPLANATION on reason for compensation?
The answer is: Hell NO Bozo. The Petitions were not challenged let alone mentioned at no time during the trial. It was wise for the City not to raise the Petition fraud for obvious reasons. Besides, SEEC is already investigating.
Hey Pendejote, by the way, take a look at Page 4, I believe it’s question #46. Has the non-profit participated, directly or indirectly in Political activities?
She answered: NO
Donald Day aka Pendejote, here’s another one for you. In 2017 WPOCI filed 990-EZ Short Form. On Part I, under Expenses: Salaries, other compensation, and Employee Benefits, it shows: $112,004
Part IV, under: List of officers, Directors, Trustees and Key Employees, it shows:
All 7 members of Board including Director Marilyn Moore. No one but Moore is listed as working 40 hrs per week. She nor anyone else is listed as having received any payments at that time. This begs the question: Who received the $112,004 listed in Part I, for Salaries, other compensation, and employee Benefits? Marilyn Moore is the only one who was on the payroll. All payments received must be reported on W-2 or 1099. If Marilyn Moore was not paid at that time, then she was paid later and she had to file 990-EZ for the non-profit and W-2 or 1099 for the year 2018. Witness Project of Connecticut Inc. did not file 990-EZ in 2018 and I doubt she filed her W-2 or 1099.
One thing I do KNOW is Joel Gonzalez is a liar.
Running around with his conspiracy theories and fake complaints
Marilyn Moore’s Non profit is legitimate!!
Business Name: THE WITNESS PROJECT OF CONNECTICUT, INC. Citizenship/State Inc: Domestic/CT
Business ID: 0695313 Last Report Filed Year: 2019
Business Address: 666 CLEVELAND AVENUE, BURROUGHS COMMUNITY CENTER, BRIDGEPORT, CT, 06604 Business Type: Non-Stock
Mailing Address: 2470 FAIRFIELD AVENUE, BURROUGHS COMMUNITY CENTER, BRIDGEPORT, CT, 06605
Business Status: Active
Date Inc/Registration: Feb 07, 2002
Annual Report Due Date: 02/07/2020
Only now you’re realizing Joel Gonzalez is full of shit? He works for the city, Wanda. Joel is a janitor at the Bridgeport Police Department. He cleans toilets and empties trash cans for a living. Filing complaints with the SEEC and spreads falsehoods about Marilyn Moore is a desperate effort to elevate his job title.
I knew he was LYING. I just wanted to have the FACTS.
LIES have fueled hate and division amongst many and its going to take some time to heal the wounds.
That’s what makes me ANGRY.
Things got really LOW. Hope the community of Bridgeport recovers.
A Better Bridgeport for ALL that’s what we WANT.
See ya at the POLLS NOV 5 2019
You’re a total fool Wanda. Did you not read Moore’s response to the CtPost. She denies being the one who used her Facebook page to solicit donations for Witness Project. She went on to say that she hasn’t done any fundraising for the Witness Project since 2017. In addition, Witness Project has no official board. On Moore’s Facebook page, she posted in 2018 a request for applications for anyone interested in joining the Witness Project Board. You just messed it up for Moore. This calls for FBI/IRS probe. Let them figure it all out.
Where did you find this bull shit info Wanda Bread? This is for you and the three pricks who follow you so blindly.
This is the link to Pro Publica. Here anyone can view 990 ez and other federal tax filings by any non profit:
Wanda Bread, on 2016 WPOCI filed 990-EZ Short Form for 2015. See Part IV List of Officers, Directors, Trustees and Key Employees. There were 7 people listed counting Marily Moore who was the only one receiving compensation of $44,567 for 24 hrs average per week.
SEE Part I under Expenses.
Line 12 Salaries, other compensation, and Employee Benefits: $95,917. How is this possible?
OH WOW!!!!! Call the FBI somebody and call the New York Times and the Washington Post because Bridgeport has a Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein in Joel Gonzalez, this crime is worse than Joe Ganim’s. Wanda, according to Joel Marilyn Moore committed a crime worse than Joe Ganim. This is from the New York Times July 2, 2003. Judge Arterton was largely unsympathetic.
In sentencing Mr. Ganim, she said she was influenced by the former mayor’s leadership in the scheme and her belief that he lied to the jury when he denied any knowledge of fee-splitting deals and other incriminating evidence. ”I find by clear and convincing evidence,” she said, ”Mr. Ganim’s testimony was so fundamentally and materially in dispute with that given by others, whose testimony was corroborated.”
She mentioned the 22 times he answered questions on the second day of trial by saying ”absolutely not” as evidence that he was not operating under any confusion or faulty memory. As part of his sentence, Mr. Ganim was also ordered to pay about $300,000 in fines and restitution, in addition to $175,000 that he had previously stipulated that he owed.
Wake up you dumb asshole. It’s been almost 19 years since Ganim committed the offense 99.9% people know about. He paid for his the crimes financially and 8 years on top. There’s one major difference between Ganim and Moore–she hasn’t been busted YET. You sure are one poor sucker. You’re doing your best to convince others to be suckers like you, Day, Wanda Bread, Dodoo Brown, and anyone who wants to add their name here. Moore would be the worst person to trust as our mayor. The pattern of behavior of Marilyn Moore, as evidenced by supporting documents raises serious questions as for character and her ability to manage the City of Bridgeport. I’m sure that one day a serious and qualified Black person will become mayor of Bridgeport. We need to wait a little more. Marilyn Moore is not that person.
Joel, it doesn’t matter when it happen, Joe Ganim lied to the judge, to the voters and taxpayers of Bridgeport about stealing taxpayers money, think about that, stealing taxpayers hard earn money Ganim stole from them. Joel we all understand that you must kiss Joe Ganim and Mario Testa and that you can’t have a independent viewpoint that’s different plus you need your city job so can’t go against your boss can you?
Get over it, Joel. Ganim was disbarred. Judge Bellis declined to reinstate his license because he “does not possess the moral character to practice law.” If Joseph P. Ganim does not possess the moral character to practice law he does not possess the moral character to hold public office.
You’re endorsing a convicted felon.
The people who deny any FRAUD took place in this Primary are a big PART of WHY the process in BRIDGEPORT will ALWAYS be questioned.
I have NO FAITH in democracy in Bridgeport.
Wanda, you have to understand Joel, he thinks that he’s a true player in Bridgeport politics, he’s also kissing Ganim’s and Mario ass. He’s also trying to just scare people about their support for Marilyn Moore.
Karma is a B!$@# hope he’s READY.
You dumb ass, here you are denying the fact that Marilyn Moore on two occasions committed FRAUD on two separate petitions she claims to have circulated. If I’m lying about Moore receiving and soliciting contributions for the Witness Project of Connecticut Inc. Explain her Facebook posts of 2018 where it’s clear what she was up to. If it’s true that someone else entered those Facebook post as she told the Ctpost, why hasn’t she filed a police report? If I’m lying, SUE ME!
Wanda, I thought you knew Joel is a stooge for whomever the mayor is, Mario and the DTC. That move was straight out of the play book of 45, tell a lie and see who the lie sticks to. Further out of the playbook of Maria, file a complaint even though you know it’s much ado about nothing just so you can dirty the other person.
The AB process is a much needed venue for voting that benefits those who can’t vote at the polls, What wasn’t considered is the individual’s that that facilitates this process and the lack of character, integrity and honesty of those individuals. Those individuals that cheat the system will never do what’s right because they figured that they can make a few dollars and/or get a promise to be held in abeyance until it’s needed.
Case closed. Ruling in favor of the plaintiffs. New election schedule to be forthcoming.
Let’s face it. For too long Bridgeport’s election results have been miscounted.
Now we have a black female candidate win on the machine but lose overwhelmingly on AB’s.
Time to slay the dragon.
Time to rid city politics of the criminal mentality that has been pervasive for too long. The Democratic Town Committee in Bridgeport does not in any way, shape or form represent the ideals of the Democratic Party.
Anyone says “I didn’t vote” for whatever lame excuse DOES NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE STATE OF THE CITY’S AFFAIRS.
Time to slay the Roach!
Black Rock needs a new restaurant on the northeast corner of Brewster Street and Fairfield Avenue. The old one is tainted by political dysfunction.
Quote by Carl Sandburg
“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell”
Jimfox, that was right on time, let we add one other point to go along what you post. Deputy City Attorney John Bohannan is the lead attorney for the city knows that he’s losing so he using wit, grit and bullshit.
Sonny, were you smoking those cornhuskers with Sanburg?
What possible basis does this horrible organization Beidgeport Generation Now/ Generation Now Votes have to throw out Maria Zambrano’s and Alfredo Castillo’s, and my and Samia’s primary victories?
We won on the machines and we also won on ABs in our respective districts.
Does everyone remember Ex$ell Bridgeport? They were a so called “public school” non-profit primarily funded by the same billionaire from Greenwich that was involved in the illegal takeover of the Bridgeport Public Schools.
Judge Lopez wrote a brilliant editorial about Ex$ell Bridgeport exposing what they truly stood for. It was all downhill for Ex$ell Bridgeport after that.
They had such a poor reputation in the community that they eventually folded.
I would like to do everything in my power to ensure Bridgeport Generation Now/Votes follows in the footsteps of Ex$ell Bridgeport.
I am already working to expose them. I created a flier in English and Spanish and am circulating it in the 138th District as I go door to door.
It details information about its founders, their use of three vulnerable Bridgeport residents as plaintiffs, their attempt to overturn the entire Primary because the candidate of their choice lost, and encourages residents that they should not attend, participate or listen to anyone or any information disseminated by this organization.
I verbally share that although there are MANY voters like you that are severely disabled, have ALS, MS, COPD,,severe arthritis, and more that need to vote by absentee ballot, this organization wants to throw out an entire primary because of some operatives and voters that perpetuated AB fraud.
They are listening and appalled.
I absolutely despise Joe Ganim and we completely stood out of the Mayors race in the Primary, however if the Primary election is thrown out my team is going to deliver at least 300 additional votes to Joe Ganim.
That is an absolute promise.
Oh Maria please, you are a bloviating fool. Get off that high horse and go ahead and support Mayor Ganim like you’re paid to do, but understand even doing so it will not endear him to you because like me, Mayor Ganim knows that you are a bloviating fool.
Don, Maria is using OIB as a sounding board for her audition to be a comedian, just look at her brand new comedy routine where is said, “I absolutely despise Joe Ganim” now that’s some funny shit then she said, “we completely stood out of the Mayors race in the Primary,” Don, this is really funny, Maria hates Marilyn Moore and now she claim she that she absolutely despise Joe Ganim but everybody on OIB has seen for their self that only dogs Marilyn Moore. “We completely stood out of the Mayors race in the Primary,” Maria and her group didn’t care who became mayor, against that’s some funny shit, Maria didn’t care who would be in charge of funding the BBOE and who would be the leader of Bridgeport and that’s why is didn’t support any candidate for mayor, that’s funny. Don, it has to be comedy because if it’s not comedy then Maria is a liar, a liar or a comedian.
Ron, Bingo!!!! as a sounding board for sure! So annoying its like she is talking to herself on here with these long post! I just usually skip right over them.
Donj, again you are right, what ever elected position Maria might get elected to she will have NO influence on the BBOE or on the City Council because she can’t win friends and influence people, it’s always her way or the highway. Mario is totally unable to form a coalition to have power to get things pass.
Ron, this is so poorly written that I did a double-take just to make sure it wasn’t written by Albert Benejan AKA “Fluffy.”
The difference between you and I is that you don’t have 25 votes that you can deliver to a particular candidate. I, however, have proven over and over that I do have significant influence over hundreds of voters.
I read all your posts because I find your naivete, especially your political naivete, quite entertaining. 🙂