Medina: I’m Voting For Ned

Former Board of Education member and 2003 mayoral candidate Max Medina shares why he’s voting for Ned Lamont over Joe Ganim.

On August 14, 2018 registered Democrats get to vote for either their endorsed nominee, Ned Lament or his challenger, Joe Ganim to be the party’s gubernatorial candidate in November’s general election. Most candidates try to get voters to pay attention to them and their qualifications. But Joe has decided to do things differently. To distract voters away from his record, he has spent much of his time asking voters to look at Ned or where Ned sleeps or where Ned grew up. While Ned has talked about saving Connecticut’s middle class, Joe has obsessed about the number of bedrooms in Ned’s house. While Ned has focused on what we need to do to improve public education in Connecticut’s biggest cities, Joe has been fixated on who cleans the bathrooms in Ned’s house.

While Ned has taken the high road and said that he looks forward, after taking office as governor, to working with Bridgeport’s mayor, Joe has tried to get voters to change Ned Lament’s name to “Greenwich Millionaire,” as if either of those words were a crime. Ned did not respond in kind. I’m sure Joe would not have appreciated Ned using the phrase “Convicted Felon” as often as Joe has pulled out “Greenwich Millionaire.”

Joe has not been bashful about saying that his campaign has specifically targeted voters in Connecticut’s big cities such as Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford and he has been equally open about his hope that Latino and Black voters will be especially receptive to these tactics.

As a Bridgeporter who is proud to be 100% Puerto Rican and as someone who spent hundreds of hours cleaning the bathrooms of my fellow students to help pay for my college education, I find Joe’s pitch offensive. Joe’s campaign is an insult to all of Connecticut’s urban voters but especially those of us who are Black or Latino. Joe’s campaign is built on a lack of respect for our intelligence; he wants us to vote against Ned because Ned is white and has family wealth.

Well, guess what? Joe is white and has family wealth. Ned was born to a successful family. Joe was blessed to be born into a wonderful family led by his father who has been a prominent attorney for over 50 years and is one of the region’s most successful real estate developers. Ned grew up in a suburb. So did Joe.

I am proud to say I grew up in the Pequonnock Apartments in Bridgeport’s South End. Trust me, there were no Ganims or Lamonts in my neighborhood. We had families with names like Fonseca, Kendricks, Soto, Hughes, Medina and Francis. When you grow up poor or working class in a tough neighborhood in Hartford or New Haven or Bridgeport you remember who you grew up with for the rest of your life. No amount of political back-stabbing or parade-marching can earn a candidate–Joe Ganim–or anyone else, some certificate of authenticity for “being one of us.”

Joe’s approach is un-American. He wants Black, Latino, working-class voters to vote against someone based on race or income. Joe doesn’t get it.

Many of us were slapped with labels from birth. We were undervalued by society because people presumed to know us by focusing on what we looked like or where we lived. We spent a life time proving to others that our intelligence, drive, ideas and morals were more important than where we were born or what our parents did for a living.

Those of us who have actually led that life don’t want the kind of Connecticut that Joe is selling. We don’t want politicians to pander to us. Talk to us about the issues that matter to us such as education, economic opportunity, public safety and affordable health care. It is especially galling to hear that kind of nonsense from Joe. We know Joe and we know better. Thanks to family support, Joe was able to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on his legal defense when he committed his crimes. The average kid from Bridgeport’s East End or Hartford’s North End doesn’t have those same options. Did Joe set up a local clinic to help poor kids navigate the criminal justice system when he got out of prison? No, he set up a company called Federal Prison Consultant. Joe’s website for that company carried a statement that read “I’m sure our stories are very similar. We both led successful and prosperous lives and then for whatever reason we became entangled in a federal prosecution.” Real “man of the people” stuff there.

Joe goes into urban neighborhoods and asks for our votes and says that he feels a connection with us because he too has “made mistakes” or “shown errors of judgment.” Taking the wrong exit off the highway is a mistake. Believing the Mets will be competitive is an error of judgment. Organizing a conspiracy that operated for five years which caused losses to the government of more than $800,000 and, after getting caught, giving false testimony under oath in federal court resulting in convictions on 16 counts, is not a “mistake.” They were not errors in judgment.

Despite all of this in 2015 Bridgeporters gave Joe the second chance he wanted. Where I come from, if someone gives you a second chance after you have badly messed up you pay them back with loyalty. Joe has decided that spending his time campaigning for a new job is the way to show loyalty to Bridgeport. Democrats voting Tuesday should choose between Ned and Joe not based on what either of them says about the other but based on which one can reasonably be expected and trusted to do right by us.

I’m voting for Ned.



  1. Max, Thank you for letting folks on OIB know significant Democratic sentiment and thoughtfulness from Bridgeport. You point out that Joe’s upbringing was more like Ned’s than that to which many in the City are sentenced as daily as an alternative to homelessness by a HUD funded Housing Authority that is fighting Department of Justice case for failure to administer “reasonable accommodations” in a fair manner as well as fiscal difficulties. What does the City Council hear on these matters from Council member Alfredo who has history and liaison duties? If Joe does not win the Democratic primary tomorrow, what is his Plan B? Will he work the job he is paid for? Two years of a four year term is often the time when people peel away or are sent away to work elsewhere. Who will survive to improve Bridgeport lives and prospects, the path with difficulty, for two more years? Time will tell.

  2. It’s funny that you trust any part of this process. I hope you’re being ironic. They both lie. They both don’t care about normal people and they both are in it for themselves. Keep your teenage idealism to yourself, Medina. #apathyintheUSA

  3. Max, thanks you putting your voice to what Donald Day and myself have been saying about Joe Ganim. Thanks for the history of yourself and of Joe Ganim and his tactic and strategy in using Latino and Black voter. Don and myself were getting phone calls and text messages from blacks in New Haven and Hartford whenever Joe was meeting with groups or organization that they were apart of or they were DTC members or elected officials, some of their questions were what has he done for the black community, what type of outreach does he have with the community to improve their districts, what has he done about education and crime. They would tell Joe that they knew us I fact Joe mention it to me. Max, those that were contacting us had the same feeling that you express, they had been here and knew people here and it was the same feeling, Joe was using Black voters who put him back as mayor and now he wants to use them again without improving their standard of living by not addressing their issues.

    Max, let me end with your own words, “Despite all of this in 2015 Bridgeporters gave Joe the second chance he wanted. Where I come from, if someone gives you a second chance after you have badly messed up you pay them back with loyalty. Joe has decided that spending his time campaigning for a new job is the way to show loyalty to Bridgeport.”

  4. OMG- a 2004 mayoral candidate that lost. Who cares why he is voting for Ned. Any candidate that would not support the winner of the Primary should not receive one vote from Bridgeport. Love Ganim or not – he is the only choice for Bridgeport. Ned Lamont’s comment about not supporting the Democratic candidate if it is not him is very Trumpesque.

    I just do not understand why anyone would give Max Medina a platform on this blog.

    I have to agree with Peter Slywka!

  5. I will be voting for Ganim but will support the winner of the Primary like Marilyn Moore and Max Medina would. lolololololololololollololololololloolollooloolollooloololololool

    1. ***No one really cares whom you’re voting for only to vote for Ned in the end. Wake-up & smell the coffee instead of thinking only of you & your world, no? ***Just vote ***

  6. SA
    When people become incoherent with laughter as you just did, you provide evidence of something that is “missing”, the need to be identified with a “hero in his own mind” even if just for a moment, the lack of caring for other human beings who have served the entire community for years at one time or another.
    And your Plan B if Ganim does not win? Perhaps laugh some more? Seriously? Time will tell.

    1. The proble that Bridgeport and Joe Ganim will have this Wednesday is what will they do come Nov. election time. Those voters in New Haven and Hartford who voted for Ganim will not have any problem voting for Ned Lamont. A lot of Bridgeport voters feel that with Ganim as governor that there would be a strong chance of the City getting a casino and that a lot of his supporters and City Hall workers will being getting the hookup and getting a position and a job in Hartford, please!!


Leave a Reply