Mayoral Staff Lunch, Plus: What Will Caruso Do? And Where Your Money Goes

Chris Caruso
Will it be Lamont or Malloy?

Afternoon update: If you attended Mayor Bill Finch’s weekly brown bag lunch today, you munched with staff. Hizzoner is on vacation this week. That means layoffs to close an $8 million budget gap will wait until next week. There’s always a chance some unions may step up to offer givebacks, and what mayor wants to lay off workers while on vacation? So the game of chicken presses on. Who’s going to blink first? Some of the smaller unions have agreed to concessions, but the major bargaining units are digging in. They feel they’ve given enough, and now they’re being asked to cough up more.

The City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee heard from city bean counters Monday night. Council members were told union concessions the city seeks are based on the size of each union work force, although if you talk to some union officials they see it much different.

I chatted with State Rep. Chris Caruso Tuesday night about his choice for governor. The Big Wave hasn’t made a decision about whom he’ll support, Ned Lamont or Dan Malloy. State Rep. Jack Hennessy hasn’t made a decision yet. Sounds like Caruso and Hennessy, if they endorse, will go as a bloc.

Tsunami Tuesday Discussion

Mark your calendars for Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m. Black Rock Library, 2705 Fairfield Avenue. OMG, what a panel. Former Bridgeport Post-Telegram scribes (predecessor papers to the Connecticut Post) Jim Callahan and John Gilmore and little Lennie here will regale you with stories about crazy Bridgeport primaries we covered and for me managed, and we’ll handicap the primaries for governor, U.S. senate, congress and even the GOP race for registrar of voters to take place Aug. 10. Callahan and Gilmore, those cranky coots, like to give each other the business on OIB. Can’t wait for what they might say Aug. 5. I’ll do my best to provoke them. Then they’ll probably gang up on me. So join us for lots of stories, blustery winds and a cool time.

Where Does Your Money Go?

Our friends at ran a piece about bonding projects approved by the state on Tuesday during the fiscal crisis. Check this out:

From Dan Malloy:


CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 will organize ‘aggressive get-out-the-vote effort’ by 25,000 active and retired members for August Primary

July 14, 2010 – Dan Malloy, the Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for Governor, today accepted the formal endorsement of CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 in his bid to become Connecticut’s next governor. In making their endorsement, CSEA leaders said their “top priority” would be mobilizing their 25,000 active and retired members in a get-out-the-vote effort to assure that Dan Malloy wins the Democratic Party’s Primary Election August 10, as well as the General Election in November.

In endorsing Malloy, CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 President Catherine Osten said this is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elect a governor who will be a true partner” and that Malloy is “the best candidate running, the best candidate for Connecticut, and the best candidate for our members.”

Other members of CSEA echoed Osten’s comments, noting that Malloy’s track record as Mayor of Stamford makes him well-suited to help Connecticut grow jobs and preserve vital public services.

Malloy thanked CSEA for their support, and pledged to serve as a partner to their members as Governor.

“Connecticut’s workers are the backbone of our economy,” said Malloy. “The fact is, recent Governors simply haven’t treated them with the respect they deserve – they’ve either ignored or outright disregarded their input and their interests when it comes to creating jobs and getting the state’s economy back on track. As Governor, I’ll welcome CSEA and other labor groups to the table as a partner, because I know that Connecticut won’t be able to turn itself around without their help and support.”

Malloy has also been endorsed by SEIU Locals 1199 and 32BJ. Other announced labor support for his campaign includes AFSCME Council 15, the Communication Workers of America Local 1298, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478, the New London Police Union (AFSCME Local 724), the Hartford Police Union, the Waterbury Police Union Local 1237, the Carpenters Local 210 and the Connecticut Police and Fire Union (CPFU).

From Ned Lamont:

Lamont Unveils Plan to Reduce Health Care Costs

Labor and Business Leaders Praise Lamont’s Strategy

New Haven, CT – Today, businessman and Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont released his Plan for Affordable, Accessible Health Care. During a press conference at Meriden’s Community Health Center, Lamont and his running mate, Mary Glassman, laid out the strategies they will employ to lower health care costs for the state, businesses, and families; improve care and modernize our health care system; and put Connecticut in a good position to benefit from reforms on the federal level.

“Connecticut families pay more every year in health care premiums, and aren’t getting any healthier. High health care costs keep small businesses from hiring, and make it risky for workers to take a new job or start their own company,” Lamont said. “To get serious about fixing our budget deficit, we need to talk about fundamentally reforming our health care system, which accounts for 40 percent of our budget. That’s what I’ll do as governor.”

Sal Luciano, AFSCME Council 4’s Executive Director, said “Walter Cronkite once said, ‘The American health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.’ Ned has proposed a true system that is both healthy and caring. Because it focuses on prevention and is evidence-based, it will achieve better health outcomes for all residents of Connecticut, while also reducing costs.”

Mike Critelli, the former CEO of businesses services company Pitney Bowes, said “Good health is good business. Ned’s health plan–and the collaborative and thorough process by which he developed it–demonstrate that he understands a strong focus on making people healthier and the commitment to driving economic growth reinforce one another.”

As governor, Lamont will:

• Spread consistent health information technology statewide. Different systems should be able to talk to each another so that critical medical records are available they’re needed, wherever a patient may be.

• Leverage the state’s purchasing power to phase in payment reform over time. Rather than a “fee for service” model that rewards providers for the volume of tests and services they perform, we should pay based on how patients fare.

• Expand access to primary care by establishing “medical homes” for families who have state health care. Every patient deserves an informed caregiver who can “quarterback” his care.

• Rewarding state employees who take care of themselves. We’ll reduce co-pays and give rewards, like a $50 savings bond for expecting mothers who go to all of their prenatal care visits.

• Create a cabinet-level position focused on long-term care and giving Connecticut residents community-based alternatives to nursing homes.

Lamont’s full plan is available on his website:



      1. Speaking of Mark Anastasi, where was he when the budget committee held that illegal meeting on Monday? You cannot announce a public meeting to discuss the budget and then hold the entire meeting in executive session. That violates the freedom of information law. Lennie, you should file an inquiry on this and get the minutes of that meeting. I heard they met for over an hour. What exactly did they discuss that could not have been discussed in an open public meeting? Were Sherwood, Feeney and Osborne repeating their charade of lies and they didn’t want the unions to expose them?

    1. Dunn’s Kids are at 45 Lyon Terrace. First they were going to be lifeguards. Then they were in Civil Service with Daddy. He’s (Dunn) so proud, introducing them in the cafeteria. He’s a joke, and so is Osborne and company.

  1. Why should Chris Caruso even be in this dogfight? Malloy endorsed Finch in 2007. Lamont was on the sidelines for the 2007 mayoral. If Lamont wins the primary and the general it is pretty much set in stone that Finch gets a job with Lamont. John Stafstrom is heavily invested in Malloy along with some other party regulars who have always worked against Caruso. Caruso and the city would be better served to sit this one out and support the candidate in the general election.

    1. When did Lamonte publicly say he had a job for Finch? Maybe I missed it. I’ve read about it only here and it seems to be only wishful thinking.

  2. The Connecticut Post (finally) reports this morning on the two brutal rapes in recent weeks near Hope and Monroe streets a block or so from Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock. Noelle Frampton points out the cops never bothered to alert the neighborhood via the Black Rock Community Safety Committee after the first one a couple weeks ago, though word got around pretty quick via email and Facebook. I also know calls from the committee to the chief went unanswered as of yesterday. Love Bridgeport’s Finest, but what gives? We wait for a second attack before we warn people to take extra precautions? And 13 homicides half way through the year. Does the Finch administration have any answers? Taking any action? As Andy frequently points out, the few cops actually on patrol do a great job, but where’s the leadership? Where’s the mayor?

  3. Bird Brain is probably out somewhere “Tweeting” about his vacation.

    “Acting” Chief must be in summer school trying to get his degree to qualify for a permanent position.

  4. I was sitting here like any retired person getting ready for my nap when the following occurred to me.
    Where is our Port Authority Leader(???) Andy Nunn?
    We have had all this talk about moving the PJ Ferry and on Monday there was a vote on this subject but to date not a peep from Nunn.
    Nothing from Nunn on the fact the harbor needs to be dredged. Nothing, Nothing, Nothing.
    This administration seems to be of the thinking if you don’t do anything and don’t say anything any problems that may have happened will just go away.
    To my way of thinking all of the department heads and mayoral appointments should be fired. Can anyone tell me who amongst them is doing a good job?

    1. As I read about Port Authority leader Nunn and the ultimate silence from him during the discussions and decisions as to the Ferry future, I realized if you are in Long Island Sound, motoring or sailing along, and decide to visit Bridgeport Harbor there are a series of buoys to safely guide you. There are two colors, red buoys, bell buoys that are often termed ‘nuns’ and black buoys that are silent and are often termed ‘cans.’ If a ‘nun’ buoy goes silent and cannot be seen (perhaps because of fog or confusion), then nothing, nothing, nothing is heard from either side of the channel and an Authority can be termed lost.
      You also know starboard is right and port is left in marine language, so if Andrew is a port authority does that mean he is not an authority on what’s right, but what’s on the other hand, the sinister hand or, alternatively thinking, an expert on what’s wrong? Any way you look at it, it adds up to Nunn sense.
      Sorry for picking and presenting such low-hanging fruit!!!

  5. I just visited also. I agree it was pretty impressive and informative. He seems to have gained great insight from his CitiStat experience. His bio was pretty impressive as well. I guess we’ll see how serious he is in the near future.

  6. Fredericks, you are right to bring this crime issue up. There does exist Neighborhood Watch groups in the city and in Black Rock, and the police dept web site can assist in setting one up in your area if they don’t exist. We need to create more awareness on this issue and get the public more involved.

    Also we don’t know how much crime is actually going on. I don’t think the cops publish and the CT Post chooses to do stories they see.

    Frustrated on this issue and looking for true timely numbers (since I think they are required to report at year end or something) I actually walked into the Bridgeport Police Dept some time ago and asked to see their police blotter. I was turned down. My journalism credentials are no longer updated, they said and it is closed to the public.
    And there, through the window I could see the blotter books on the table, of all the crimes committed.

    Are there really just 13 homicides this year so far or more than that but they won’t say? Are they required to report that type of crime but hold back other types like theft? Where is the disclosure?

  7. Caruso should support Malloy because he is the better candidate to move the state forward. I would hope he would give that consideration over anything else.

  8. Malloy should have supported Caruso because he was the better candidate to move the city forward in 2007.

    Actually the best gubernatorial candidate is probably The Wizard of Oz Griebel!


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