Mayer Master Baiter, Plus: Rick, Dick, And SuBy On Hot Seat

Lots of stuff I couldn’t fit in on Friday … like we should run John Mayer for public office. I’m just trying to figure out what office. Mayer for Mayor sorta has a nice ring, but after reading John’s new take in Rolling Stone, one thing’s clear … he’s a master baiter.

What do you expect … John spent his early years in Bridgeport. Says Mayer …

I have masturbated myself out of serious problems in my life. The phone doesn’t pick up because I’m masturbating. And I have excused myself at the oddest times so as to not make mistakes. If Tiger Woods only knew when to jerk off. It has a true market value, like gold bullion. First of all, I don’t jerk off because I’m horny. I’m sort of half-chick. It’s like District 9. I can fire alien weapons. I can insert a tampon. No, I do it because I want to take a brain bath. It’s like a hot whirlpool for my brain, in a brain space that is 100 percent agreeable with itself.

See link to Mayer’s website under my favorites. John’s not sure, after reading the Rolling Stone interview, if he wants to hang out with himself.

Now, on to more mundane matters …

The Board of Education Thursday night approved Ben Barnes, most recently director of operations for the City of Stamford, as director of Building Operations and Facilities. This is the hire that became an eraser fight among split divisions of the BOE. Well, now they have their hire and hopefully Ben is a fit.

My oh my Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, Dem candidate for attorney general, has some explaining to do. Is she reinventing history? From Jon Lender, Hartford Courant:

AG Candidate Bysiewicz Took Exemption From Lawyer Fee, On The Basis That ‘I Do Not Engage In The Practice Of Law’

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz — shown in a new Quinnipiac University poll as the front-running candidate for attorney general — obtained a 50-percent exemption from a state lawyers’ fee in 2006 on the basis that she didn’t “engage in the practice of law as an occupation,” records show.

“I do not engage in the practice of law as an occupation,” says the official state form that Bysiewicz signed. The form also says: “I hereby certify that the information provided herein is true and correct.”

That exemption form, dated May 22, 2006, meant Bysiewicz paid only half of the normal $110 fee that lawyers and judges must pay each year into the state judicial department’s “Client Security Fund,” which compensates people for losses due to lawyers’ misconduct or mistakes.

But that small savings of $55 may have political significance. Although this was the only year out of 11 that she claimed the partial exemption — and her campaign spokeswoman said Friday that Bysiewicz will correct what she described as a mistake in filling out the wrong form in 2006 — it may undercut Bysiewicz’s argument that her 11 years in office should count as the “active practice” of law.

It is a key argument for Bysiewicz. State statutes require that Connecticut’s attorney general have “at least 10 years’ active practice at the bar of this state,” but a few critics have said that she does not meet that “active practice” requirement even though she has been registered as an attorney here for 23 years.

It’s time to take positions and Congressional candidate Rick Torres of Black Rock has never been afraid to express himself.

News release from Torres

Congressional Candidate, Rick Torres, blasts Banking Reform as Diversionary Tactic

Bridgeport, CT – Rick Torres, candidate in Connecticut’s 4th congressional district, today urged the president to resist further regulation of the banking industry. In a statement issued today, Torres said, “Lack of regulation was not the cause of our present financial crisis. The exact opposite is true.”

Torres pointed to the creation of the now bankrupt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to President Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, to President Clinton’s 1999 forcing of banks to lower their lending standards to increase the number of loans to ‘distressed inner city areas’, and to the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates artificially low for the few years leading to the crisis.

“Banks never gave out risky loans prior to these government initiatives,” Torres continued. “But when the government started to use the free market for social engineering, banks no longer acted prudently. This caused our financial crisis.”

According to Torres, President Obama’s push for banking regulation is nothing more than a populist move to distract voters from the public rejection of his other policies in the face of the voter backlash in Massachusetts’ election on January 19th.

“Not only is his push for more banking reform dangerous, but the timing is suspicious. I suspect this is merely a ploy to distract voters from Tuesday’s election in Massachusetts, where the public soundly defeated his other attempts to regulate our economy,” Torres noted.

“Allow banks to act in their own self interest, without government manipulation, they won’t give risky loans. It’s that simple.”

News release from Dick Blumenthal


Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, today announced that he opposes the confirmation of Ben Bernanke to a second term as the Chair of the Federal Reserve:

“While I have great respect for Chairman Bernanke, now is the time for new leadership at the Federal Reserve to do more for economic recovery on Main Street not just Wall Street. I oppose Chairman Bernanke’s confirmation to a second term as Chair of the Federal Reserve.

“As Attorney General, I have written to Chairman Bernanke repeatedly, asking him to take action against unconscionable bonuses to failed financial executives, spiraling credit card fees and interest rates, and other abuses and excesses requiring reform. Despite the intent of Congress, such increasing fees and interest rates have been widely imposed, even on many consumers who pay in full and on time.

“Chairman Bernanke’s responses have been inadequate, consisting of broad generalities and platitudes, failing to fully acknowledge the severity of issues I and others have raised or the need for real reform. He has failed to support common sense reforms to safeguard investors and consumers and prevent Wall Street from engaging in risky practices that precipitated our nation’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

“I respect Chairman Bernanke’s dedicated service, but I see firsthand as I’ve traveled the state how our economic recovery is failing to reach our citizens and small businesses.

“Our country and financial system needs someone as knowledgeable as Chairman Bernanke – but with vision and commitment to bring economic recovery to everyday Americans.”

Congressman Himes, Mayor Finch announcement

WorkPlace, Finch, Himes to Hold Roundtable with Key Partners to Put Recovery Act Grant into Action

Organizations to discuss first steps for Green-up Bridgeport initiative

BRIDGEPORT, CT—Less than two weeks after announcing a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund its Green-Up Bridgeport program, The WorkPlace, Inc. along with Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch will hold a meeting with key partners to discuss the first steps for moving forward with the project.

This Pathways Out of Poverty grant will provide resources for local services and educational organizations, led by The WorkPlace, Inc., and the City of Bridgeport’s B-Green 2020 initiative to partner in training disenfranchised workers for in-demand “green” occupations. The program will focus on high-poverty neighborhoods in Bridgeport. Over the next two years it will directly place 350 participants into jobs in the clean-energy economy and will provide training for twice that number.

Who: Congressman Jim Himes
Mayor Bill Finch
Joe Carbone, President & CEO of The WorkPlace, Inc.
Representatives from more than 15 partnering organizations including: Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Environmental Management Consultants, FSW, GroundWorks Bridgeport, Family ReEntry, Mount Aery Development Corp, Bridgeport Social Services, 5 Million Green Jobs, The Green Team, Connecticut Department of Labor, Eastern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, Housatonic Community College, Bullard-Havens Technical High School, and CT Retail Merchants Association.

What: Planning meeting to establish first-steps for Green-Up Bridgeport, a project recently funded by a $4 million Recovery Act grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

When: Monday, January 25th

Where: City Hall Annex
Conference Room A&B (1st floor)
999 Broad Street, Bridgeport

News release from Auden Grogins


State Rep. Auden Grogins (D-Bridgeport)has been named by House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) and House Majority Leader Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield) Vice-Chair of the State Grants to Municipalities and Mandate Relief sub-committee of a new a commission that will seek to identify opportunities for more regional collaborations designed to create efficiencies and save money for municipalities.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Municipal Opportunities and Regional Efficiencies (MORE) began its work this week with the goal of recommending legislation during the 2010 session.

“Regionalism is critical to encourage cities and towns to work together to decrease costs and promote economic growth. That will be a key to real property tax reform,” Rep. Grogins said. “Finding efficiencies and new ways of doing business through regional cooperation will jumpstart that process. I am proud to participate in a leadership role in this important initiative, and I look forward to the positive change that our efforts will generate.”

The sub-committee is charged with, among other things, identifying areas for mandate relief, determining the costs and cost effectiveness associated with identified mandates and evaluating alternatives.

The MORE Commission is comprised of 45 Democratic members of the House of Representatives and representatives of municipalities, regional organizations, education, business, unions and non-profits.

The Commission will look at a wide spectrum of issues and opportunities facing municipalities: multi-town collaboratives, Board of Education functions, regionally-based organizations, collective bargaining, mandates, revenue sources, health care, and state grants. In each of these areas, commission subcommittees will investigate costs, benefits, resources, legal obstacles and opportunities, potential savings, consolidation, and results-based accountability (RBA) methods for tracking performance.

Rep. Grogins represents the 129th district and serves on the Education, Government Administration and Elections, and Public Health Committees.

Black Rock Library Events

The Black Rock Branch Library Announces Four Premier Events in Celebration of Black History Month

Tuesday February 2nd 6:30 – 8:00 PM
RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope
Black History Month Celebration
Kickoff Event

RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope explores the impact of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to South Africa in 1966 during the worst years of Apartheid. This penetrating documentary makes connections between the Anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa and the American Civil Rights Movement.

Filmmaker Larry Shore will be present to introduce the film and answer questions. (2009, 56min.)

Thursday February 11th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Civil Rights in America – A Historical Perspective
with Dr. Derrick D. McKisick

Join us for the second event in our Black History Month Celebration:
Civil Rights in America – A Historical Perspective with Dr. Derrick D. McKisick, Fairfield University Professor of History.
Thursday February 18th 6:30 – 8:00 PM

“Little Liberia”
Connecticut’s Oldest Surviving African American Settlement

Please join us for the third event in our Black History Month Celebration: “Little Liberia” A look at this important part of Bridgeport history.

Presented by:
Maisa Tisdale, President of the Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community
Charles Brilvitch, author and noted authority on Bridgeport history
Thursday February 25th 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Community Forum
“Race in 21st Century America – Have We Arrived?”

Don’t miss this final event of our Black History Month Celebration – A community discussion featuring distinguished guest panelists: artist, poet and playwright Iyaba Mandingo, Witness Project of CT Executive Director Marilyn Moore, Greater Bridgeport NAACP President Carolyn Vermont, Bridgeport City Librarian Scott Hughes and several others.

When: Tuesday February 2nd 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thursday February 11th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thursday February 18th 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thursday February 25th 6:30 – 8:00 PM

2705 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 337-9676

A Gathering Place for the Entire Community



      1. It is estimated that 7 million properties will be in foreclosure this year alone. I’m sure that “colored people” will not be a majority of those who will join
        this year’s foreclosure list.

  1. Blue Ribbon commission on regionalization is made up of 45 Democrats. Are there any Republicans on this commission? Do they expect to get cooperation from the many towns in Fairfield county that are governed by Republicans? Are we paying for the exercise in futility? May I be so bold as to suggest that the Dems & Republicans spend their time in figuring out how to handle Connecticut’s budget deficit? May I be so bold as to say why not spend your time figuring out how to keep businesses from fleeing Connecticut? May I be so bold as to suggest they spend their time trying to figure out how to attract businesses to Connecticut? Regionalization is not going to work no matter what these 45 do.

  2. Thanks for posting the Black History Month events at the Black Rock Branch Library. We’re making a real effort to provide quality programming at the library and with our February events we believe we have succeeded.

    Also, thanks for posting our web site

    We have a couple of interesting events coming up next week: Chinese Cultural History on Tuesday and Wines of the World on Thursday.

    OIBers take note, check out our web site for more details and stop by next week.

    John Soltis – Community Librarian

    (AKA – John from Black Rock)

  3. City Hall: I am by no means a fan of Torres but the loans you are talking about are loans that helped get us in the financial trouble we are in. I believe that everyone should have a shot at homeownership if they qualify.
    You can’t give people 100-plus% mortgages and expect them to be able to make those payments. Right now in my immediate neighborhood there are 5 houses in foreclosure all owned at one time by minorities and young white couples.
    I sold a home here in Bridgeport that I owned, it was a 1-family home. The purchaser was given 108% mortgage. They are still in the home thank god.
    There is nothing worse than offering the American dream to people knowing that they cannot afford it. When they lose that home it has to be a shock and a kick in one’s pride. People that this is happening to have to think “another failure.”
    Everyone involved in mortgages from banks to the Feds made a ton of money off these loans and the only ones that got screwed were the poor that were roped into the American dream of homeownership.
    CHS Torres is full of sh – – his statements are incorrect and opportunistic. Lack of regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused many of the banking problems we have today. Torres has always been out of step with what’s going on.

    1. TC, I too know people who were foreclosed on but I also know people who were given a chance (that they wouldn’t otherwise have had) to purchase a nice home in a nice neighborhood and they are still in that house. It all depends on the individuals and how much discipline they have to handle their finances. Rick Torres is arrogant and ignorant. Remember the letter he wrote to the Post awhile back that talked about the movie “Precious” and why blacks are destined to remain on welfare? And this guy wants to run for public office? Forgetaboutit.

  4. On behalf of Congressman Jim Himes I would like to thank Rick Torres for his farthest to the right stance on the banking and financial institutions of America.
    “Allow banks to act in their own self interest, without government manipulation, they won’t give risky loans. It’s that simple.”
    Has Rick Torres read anything about the bogus bonuses that the banks and financial institutions hand out? How they cried at the mere suggestion that there should be some control? And AIG tried to make a killing with every step away from regulations the Bush administrations pushed through.
    Now let’s see where the other Republican wannabes come out on this issue.
    The banks and financial institutions (and I have to laugh when people immediately call insurance companies a financial institution) made the worst loans possible in an effort to continue to increase mortgages and make their balance sheets look better. Rick Torres somehow believes the banks that were lending 110% for McMansions in Westport were doing so “to increase the number of loans to ‘distressed inner city areas’.”
    Keep it up Rick. Let’s see how many times you will end up putting your foot in your mouth before this silly campaign comes to a speedy close.
    Banks did force the economic collapse.
    Greedy bankers did.

  5. Here’s hoping Mr. Barnes is a good hire for the BOE, seems to have been rushed through the process after reading the CT Post article but qualified none the less so it seems.
    Al Hinds was very good on the building end and had a doctorate. Mr. Barnes sounds as if he has the white-collar aspect down and will need the troops to help him with the building end.

    good luck

    1. Bill Gates dropped out of college to form Microsoft. I understand your point, the paper said that he (Barnes) had been going around looking at the Bridgeport schools. I wonder if the Board of Education members went to Stamford to check out the schools Mr. Barnes was responsible for.

  6. We saw a lot of blogging about the BOE recently. All those who thought some woman had a lock on the job and those who said Marsilio was the guy. Well, looks like you were all blowing smoke. This Barnes got a good write up but does he have what it takes to deal with a very political board, let alone the politics of B’port? Who’s his backer? Malloy? What does he know about the BOE? My insiders say that Garcia did a pretty decent job and should have been given more time. Barnes knows nothing about Education … I heard they privatized a lot of the maintenance … maybe Barnes will try it here?

  7. Garcia tried his best and did do a good job, but if the crap hit the fan and the media came calling the powers that be would have to explain his lack of qualifications which in my opinion a sheepskin shouldn’t mean squat if the job is getting done, period. Management experience and budget experience and being able to listen to the people under you and make proper decisions are the key to that job and having great knowledge of the buildings and their quirks and potential problems. A perfect combination of the woman’s touch, Marsilio’s BPT experience and Mr. Barnes’ white-collar exp. in a perfect world.

  8. By the way, has anyone noticed in the last two years there has been no mention of kickbacks, drugs, payoffs or white-collar corruption with this mayor?
    Just giving credit where it’s due is all.

  9. Joel,
    I hope you are right. There are just too many games being played with the budget by Sherwood and his posse. We NEED a lot of oversight and control from an outside source to rein in this loosey-goosey budget attitude.

    1. I’ll tell you this Grin, I’ll wait to see what happens after everyone receives their W-2 and get their tax refunds. (If they get one) many will use their refunds to pay their tax bill. It’s just a matter of when and If they pay it. The suggestion that the city doesn’t have to worry because they can sell the delinquent properties is absurd. The homeowner can make payment arrangements with the buyer of the lien, but at what cost to the original property owner?

  10. This was in the CT Post:
    If a property is sold by the city, Kelly-Lenz said it’s not all bad for the previous owner; third-party buyers that purchase the property can either work on the properties to get them back on the tax rolls or set up a contract where the taxpayer is put on a payment plan.

    “These liens give the taxpayer an option to set up a payment plan with the new owners of the property,” said Kelly-Lenz. “There’s a contract that puts a hold on the foreclosure of the property so the taxpayer can pay the amount owed that the city can’t afford to pay.”

    What she didn’t say was that SHE can set up a payment plan with the taxpayer. The city does not have to sell the lien to do so. The city chooses to take the cash upfront, let the company who buys the lien charge 18% interest and then if the taxpayer defaults it is not technically the city that forecloses. It may be a necessity due to the poor way the city is run but please do not make it sound as if the city is giving the taxpayer a break. Give me a break Ms. Kelly-Lenz.

  11. Also what Ms. Kelly-Lenz did not mention was that the ULI study characterized the sale of tax liens as one of the worst policies that the city can institute when it comes to Economic Development because it discourages long-term development especially when a city like B-port sells liens on the same property to different companies which makes it that much more difficult to untangle the property ownership if an opportunity arises.

  12. *** Glad to see Joe’s home with family; it’s possible that if Joe would have taken it on the chin through a deal “not” pointing fingers @ anyone but himself, he would have been home 4 years ago. *** Susan “B” apparently wants to have her cake & eat it too now with this AG interest! Why, being CT’s possible next governor is not good enough, or not as good a ticket to D.C.? Seems all personal & politics rather than wanting to be a good state citizen leader looking to make good positive changes for our state! In other words, just another politician looking out for her best interests “first”! *** Mr. Torres is a nice person & seems to want more conservative changes in CT politics in general but sometimes he seems out of touch with the world of the poor & lower-income people. Also the sudden moves towards running for different political offices or backing of non-traditional Republican candidates, as well as being so vocal to the media concerning issues can’t be bad for business either? (wink) *** Now that the cat’s out the bag about the Finch Admin. & state legislation (some) knowing about Bpt. & the girls’ detention center site, does it really surprise anyone just how often city government, etc. play “DUMB” & end up later with being guilty of having their hands in the cookie jar from the start, so to speak? *** Coming “2010” city budget has the looks & smell of tax increases to pay for contract raises, city library’s new voted increase, B.O.E., suit settlements, new depts. and workers, and increasing the rainy-day fund just for a start! *** Last but not least, Thank you “JETS” for a surprising, unexpected, exciting football season, hope for bigger & better things next season! ***

  13. Once again Speedy Gonzalez scoops Lennie with this article from the CT Post.
    How is that countdown going Leonard???
    Seems that Finch says he knew nothing of the jail and now DCF (Don’t Cross Fingers) calls Finch a liar.
    Then Finch promises 75 alternate locations and now he says DCF has too stringent requirements to find suitable replacements.
    Seems like the countdown won’t be for replacement sites but to the end of the lying Finch Administration.


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