Mayor, Mario And Malloy, Plus: Himes-Debicella Battle, And Pathetic Primary Turnout

Sounds like Mayor Bill Finch and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa are doing and saying all the right things reaching out to guber primary winner Dan Malloy.

The mayor and Mario aren’t in any position to cut a specific deal with Malloy. They made their deal with Ned Lamont. But the more they’re on board with Malloy the more likely they’ll get goodies for the city if Malloy becomes the first elected Democratic governor since Bill O’Neill in 1986. Yes, it’s been nearly 25 years.

Malloy would love to see the Democratic political organization one big happy family for the next three months.

The mayor and Mario rolled the dice on Ned Lamont and his $10 million campaign spending. I don’t think anyone expected Malloy to cruise to a double-digit win. Today, Malloy’s in a pretty good spot. He’ll have $6 million of public money to spend over the next three months. I don’t sense, however, that the Malloy folks are taking anything for granted. Unaffiliated voters in Connecticut are in a sour mood. But will they warm up to Republican nominee Tom Foley? And how much of his own moolah will he spend? And how much of the effective negative attack on his business downsizing by primary opponent Michael Fedele will stick with independent voters? It certainly stuck with some Republicans.

The person the mayor and Mario should be worried about is Congressman Jim Himes. Several political operatives have told me the past day that polling numbers, beyond the one OIB posted Thursday, show Jimmy’s in trouble. That means two things. One, Republican Dan Debicella will be the beneficiary of lots more money as Republicans smell blood. Two, the Himes campaign will try to turn Debicella into a political pariah.

Jimmy will have enough dough to make his case. He’s begun his electronic outreach framing himself as New England’s most independent congressman. Translation, we’re running as far away as we can from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who does not poll well in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. Debicella, raised in Bridgeport, has begun to introduce himself to Fairfield County voters. The big battle ground is unaffiliated voters who’ve grown weary of Washington spending. The Bridgeport turnout two years ago with Barack on the ballot was just shy of 60 percent. Many inspired first time voters came out to vote. And many of them will stay home in November. I’d be surprised if the general election turnout hits 40 percent in Bridgeport. That means the focus must be on quality.  By the way the Democratic primary turnout in Bridgeport was a whopping 14.56 percent, according to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. The city’s GOP turnout was 22 percent. City voter turnout was at the bottom of state performance. SuBy had projected a statewide turnout above 40 percent. The actual turnout for the primary was under 30 percent.

Jimmy must, in addition to making independent voters feel more comfortable, weigh in hard in Bridgeport about what his first two years have meant to Park City voters–stimulus, health care, Congress Street Bridgeport removal, job training loot–and what another two years will mean. Debicella, of course, will try to undercut that message: the Democratic solution to everything is just print money. Where has that gotten you? How about letting you keep more of what you earn?

Strap in. This will be some fight.

Sail The Sound

Saturday, September 11, 2010

3:30 pm–7:00 pm

Aboard the Bridgeport/Port Jefferson Ferry

Great food, entertainment and live music on a leisurely sail around Long Island Sound.

All proceeds will benefit the SWIM’s Breast Cancer Programs.

Tickets: $50 (includes beer, wine and soda)

Adults 21 and over

Tickets must be reserved in advance

Register online at or contact St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation at (203)576-5451 for additional information.



  1. HEADLINE: Grimaldi signs on to new campaign

    STORY: Bridgeport – Aug. 20, 2010 – OIB webzine publisher Lennie Grimaldi signed onto the “What’s in Your Wallet” campaign today with his assessment of the political future of U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (4th-CT).

    In assessing Himes electability in 2010, Grimaldi wrote that the congressman’s campaign platform should include a plank on personal finances.

    “How about letting you keep more of what you earn?” Grimaldi opined for his readers.

    Political supply vendors in the area said Grimaldi has been pricing large saucer-sized buttons engraved with the slogan “What’s in your wallet?”


  2. Himes got swept in on the Barack Obama landslide and he will probably go out this year due to the independent voter backlash. The hardcore Dems like donj will vote for Himes for sure.
    I believe the independents will vote against Himes and the Democratic spending spree more than they will vote for Debicella.
    Other than getting money to tear down the Congress Street bridge and stimulus money to hire 20 new cops Himes has been quiet. That is expected from a freshman representative.
    Yeah I know he voted for Health care but the jury is still out on health care because little is known about it. The stimulus really has not put people back to work.
    It’s going to be a long campaign for both candidates.

    1. yahooy, that’s an interesting observation. But I ask, given Finch’s declaration and I paraphrase: together we are making Bridgeport the cleanest, greenest, safest, most affordable city with schools and neighborhoods that improve every year — what is the compelling reason for voters next year to vote for Finch? Is the city cleaner, greener, safer, more affordable, schools and neighborhoods better? Too soon to discount Finch’s reelection, but he’s going to need something compelling to happen within the next year.

      1. You know as well as I that if Finch is the anointed choice, the designated electorate will vote for him. It is Caruso who must muster a significant following by demonstrating his worthiness to take over this mess. His problem is that he is mute on all issues. That fat ass was either unwilling or unable to construct a simple sentence to let the voters know his position on this and that. If he does the same thing this time he won’t be elected.

        CLEANER, GREENER AND SAFER??? GIVE ME A BREAK!!! The dropout rate has increased, the murder rate has gone through the roof and the town is disgustingly filthy. I’m ashamed of the way the town looks … and so, apparently, are a lot of other people. Ask the man what type of real economic development is in the pipeline and don’t take any Paul Timpanelli bullshit. The only thing that is bringing in new revenue to the town is the “VIBES.” Not so bad this year … only one drug-related fatality and the number of drug arrests dropped to an all-time low of 187. Unfortunately, the restoration cost to Seaside Park once the purple haze Bedouins departed went up.

        We can’t live with one shithead after another occupying city hall. Don Calamari and Timpanelli have got to go. Caruso is not the answer. But when you reach the bottom of the barrel and there remain 2 rotten apples; he’d be the best pick.

        An entire generation has passed since the last time Bridgeport showed a modicum of economic stability. Not until we have a real administrator with a serious vision and the balls to implement the vision will we begin to crawl out of this sewer.

        Doesn’t look good. Who in their right mind would step into such an unholy fray … Lamont. Maybe that’s his next way to blow 10 million.


    TC … really, you want Debicella, a tea party conservative? Seriously? I do not see Fairfield county or independents going extreme right that is anti-women’s rights. Your facts regarding CT unemployment are wrong. Unemployment is 8.9% percent, which is better than the national average. Further, if you take out the workers who were only seasonally employed for the Census, private sector jobs actually rose this quarter. Not reading bills is a misleading statement. My guess would be most legislators don’t read thousand-page bills cover to cover. They have staff that who do and give them outlines of each section. What most don’t understand is that many bills are thousands of pages, perhaps with many non-related amendments, charts, graphs, and there are thousands of bills. That’s why Congress has committees. For the most part, the reason the stimulus bill didn’t work as well as it should have in CT is Gov. Rell chose not to use the stimulus bill to stimulate the economy, but rather used it to plug holes in municipal education budgets instead of funding the ECS grant at the same levels. Now the funds are scheduled to stop in 2011 and all municipalities and schools will be short that money in their budgets leading to higher property taxes. Therefore, we didn’t get to utilize those funds for things like infrastructure projects which create a proportionally higher number of jobs than other types of projects and on top of that municipal schools will be short state money. Malloy promised not to make municipalities bear the brunt of her decision and yes TC, I believe in him too.

  4. MCAT; I just gave an opinion that has been voiced by pundits a lot smarter than I am. I did not say I was voting for the Republican.
    You can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still going to be a pig. Washington spent trillions of dollars and people are still not working. Washington still does not get it. It’s jobs damn it.
    BTW Himes voted for bills such as health care that the majority of people do not favor plus he did not realize the full impact of this bill. What does Tea party conservative have to do with women’s rights and who said I was a tea party conservative?

  5. Thank you John Gilmore.
    I had recently told some who is currently in the news business that when I was taught to write Press Releases to always end it with the old -30-.
    They said they had never heard of such a thing.
    Good to see someone uses it for old time’s sake every once in a while.

  6. Ccdemuth
    Free enterprise and individual liberty is what nearly brought Wall Street to its knees.
    Thanks for clearing this up for me.
    I’m down with Jimmy.

  7. TC–Debicella’s views are very tea party conservative and he votes against women. I don’t like insurance companies charging women more than men because women ‘are a pre-existing’ condition. As to pundits, the RNC doesn’t believe in Debicella. They are pouring money into 40 key Congressional Races where they believe their candidate has a chance. Guess what? The 4th district in CT isn’t one of them.

    Also, I question your statistic about people being against the health care bill. I believe a majority of the people support it. Trust me TC if you and your wife were not provided with some form of health care and couldn’t get a job you would be scared silly. It has happened in my house before and trust me it is like living on a time bomb.
    I am glad you don’t support Debicella but I think you are being too hard on Himes.

  8. MCAT; If I did not have health insurance I still would not have it under the Obama health care plan because I could not afford it.
    You do not have to believe me about the popularity of the health care bill check any major polling company and their findings. I don’t make this stuff up.
    BTW a person with a pre-existing condition can now get health care insurance for themselves and their family for an average of $9,000 per year.
    Being hard on Himes I think not but that is subjective. Himes falls into the category I don’t like and that is a lower Fairfield county Democrat. Yeah I know regionalization.

  9. MCAT here is the latest from the Rasmussen polling Company one of the most respected pollsters out there:
    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll, taken Friday and Saturday nights, shows 41% of likely voters favor the health care plan. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed. These figures have barely budged in recent months.

    Another finding that has remained constant is the intensity is stronger among those who oppose the plan. The latest findings include 26% who Strongly Favor the plan and 45% who Strongly Oppose it.

    The partisan divide remains constant as well. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Democrats favor the plan, while 87% of Republicans are opposed. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 34% are in favor, and 59% are opposed.

    Still, 50% of all voters say they’re less likely to vote this November to reelect a member of Congress who voted for the health care plan.

  10. Dan is one of the most disciplined candidates I have ever met. He sticks to message and plan. There will be a high Republican turnout that will need to be offset. I think it will be a tough road for Jim Himes. I think Dan will pull a big margin in Shelton, win Norwalk and possibly Stamford and most of the burbs … if the turnout is low in BPo … Jim will have a very tough time …

  11. I will buy you a drink RED if Debicella wins Stamford. Shelton I agree with, but not most of the ‘burbs. Jim will have a tough fight, but I believe as more people learn about Debicella they will be turned off. I know you were a Shays supporter last time, but Debicella isn’t even a moderate Republican, he is as Conservative, anti-environment and anti-woman as they get. He’d start putting oil rigs in the sound if he thought there was oil.

    Additionally, Blumenthal will beat Linda and Dan Malloy will beat Foley, don’t we want someone in the 4th district that can work with CT’s leaders? I am sure Dan Malloy does.

  12. Gallup poll after the bill had passed.

    “As you may know, earlier this year Congress passed legislation that restructures the nation’s healthcare system. All in all, do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing that Congress passed this legislation?”

    2010 Jun 11-13

    Good thing / Bad thing / No opinion
    49% / 46% / 5%

  13. I wouldn’t be suprised if Himes or Musto are sacrificed (in Bridgeport) this time around so Finch will have a seat to run for in two years. Some of you may think that is a crazy idea. It wouldn’t be the first time.

  14. I respectfully disagree, Hector, although it is great conspiracy-theory speculation over coffee on the congressman or state senator.

    Fact of the matter is, the Bridgeport Democrats couldn’t rig it if they wanted to do it. They proved how short their skirts were in the late primary.

  15. *** No surprise Bpt’s DTC continues to fall short on picking “good” candidates & working together. The party is still personally split in many directions due to various reasons and losing credibility in many voters’ eyes! Nov. political results will tell plenty. ***

  16. To the OIB experts

    DO NOT count out John Gomes, you are not seeing the forest through the trees. I read the blog section of his website and his mission and honesty about his faults are refreshing. Full disclosure.


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