PAC Urges AB Audit

Update includes letter to State Elections Enforcement Commission: News release from Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport:

On September 16, 2013 Political Action Committee Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (CW4BB) made the following announcement regarding the Bridgeport City Council Primary results in the 137th District. The Primary Election was held on September 10, 2013.

CW4BB is requesting that action be taken by the State Elections Enforcement Committee to verify the results of the City Council Primary in the 137th District of Bridgeport.

The endorsed candidates, Maria Valle and Aidee Nieves did, in fact, win the voting machine tally by a very comfortable margin. It was the combined effect of a disproportionately large absentee ballot count returned in favor of petitioning candidates, Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano, and the vote recount that was done on Friday, September 13, 2013 that allowed the petitioning candidates to prevail.

CW4BB is joining the fight for elections process reform in Bridgeport, and strongly encourages the voters in Bridgeport to join the fight as well.

For more information CONTACT:
Dave Walker: (202) 679-0257
Gabrielle Parisi: (203) 345-7691

Letter sent to Michael Brandi, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission:

Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (PAC) is requesting that the State Elections Enforcement Committee immediately investigate the following several instances of suspected absentee voter violations which occurred in the Primary election on September 10, 2013 in the Bridgeport District 137 City Council election. All of the below appear to be in violation of applicable State of Connecticut voting laws under Sec.9-159.

1. 40-52 George Pipkin’s Way Bridgeport CT 06608 is a residential care home facility in District 137. Twenty-seven total absentee ballot applications were to this address. No supervised absentee voting is on record nor was it requested by the Democratic Registrar of Voters to the Town Clerk, pursuant to Sec9-159 which mandates an inquiry as to why there is such a large volume of absentee ballot requests from one location when twenty or more absentee ballots are requested.

3. Under Sec. 9-159q. Harborview Towers BHA Apartments had forty two absentee ballots cast without supervised absentee voting. Democratic Registrar of Voters was contacted by candidate Maria Valle when it was noted 42 absentee ballot applications had been sent to this address. Democratic Registrar of Voters Ayala stated the management of Harborview Towers must contact Ms. Ayala at the registrar’s office to request supervision. Marie Valle then proceeded to contact the State Elections Enforcement Office in Hartford CT on August 26, 2013 and leave a message with Mr. Oyola concerning the need for supervised voting. Mr. Oyala returned the call on September 3, 2013 and responded that the Bridgeport Town Clerk’s office is to call the management and find out why the volume of absentee ballot applications is so large coming from one address and then supervised voting can be arranged by management. It is apparent the Democratic Registrar of Voters did not follow Sec.9-159 requirements, and no required supervised voting took place. This is in direct violation of Sec.9-159q which mandates an inquiry as to why there is such a large volume of absentee ballot requests from one location when twenty or more absentee ballots are requested.

The above are just a few examples of known problems with the voting process in the City Council District 137 primary in Bridgeport. Lydia Martinez is one of the candidates on that ballot. Ms. Martinez has been sanctioned for violations of the Absentee Ballot election laws in the past and specifically in the 2009 elections, when she was a candidate at the Harborview Towers.

The voting machine total in District 137 tallied to approximately 54 % for the Line A candidates, Maria Valle and Aidee Nieves. The absentee ballots tallied to approximately 66 % for the Line B candidates, Lydia Martinez and Milta Feliciano. This is a highly unusual variance and seems to re-enforce the likelihood that voting irregularities occurred in connection with the Absentee Ballot process for this election.

Our primary concern is the integrity of the elections process and the credibility of the related results.

Citizens Working For a Better Bridgeport respectfully requests that the SEEC take action by

· Performing a comprehensive audit of all absentee ballots applied for and returned in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.

· Or rejecting all absentee ballots returned from 40-52 George Pipkin’s Way and Harborview Towers BHA Apartments in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.

· Or rejecting all absentee ballots returned in the September 10, 2013 137th Bridgeport City Council primary election.

Citizens Working for a Better Bridgeport (PAC)



  1. *** Now that’s what I’m talking about; sending a message that right or wrong, voters are paying attention and expecting election rules & regulations be followed by all and the SEEC does their job in investigating possible violations! *** ONE STEP AT A TIME TOWARDS POSITIVE POLITICAL CHANGE! ***

  2. I agree an investigation needs to take place. This district was the only one where the “Vote Line B” idea was not in play. The voters who showed up to the polls and selected the juggernaut B.E.S.T slate and also selected Mrs. Valle and Ms. Nieves deserve an investigation.

  3. Keen political observers have noticed OIB site use policy changed on August 23, 2013. While some are heading for the hills, others are sharpening their pencils.
    In politics, sometimes the insurgents’ strength fortifies the remaining incumbents.

  4. RE: CW4BB
    While some grabbed what was free and easy (Facebook and Twitter), others bought what was best. If they didn’t think their acronym had value, someone else did.

  5. They are going to use the past three elections as guides as to how many AB’s have been provided and used in the past. If it turns out the numbers are not as unusual as one might expect … the ones who usually get hurt in these investigations are the elderly and infirm. If you are ready to really change the current way things are done in these centers, THEN TAKE SOME TIME AND VISIT THESE CENTERS. The people there appreciate the visits and coffee hours. Why would they vote for you if you never show up to one of their functions or only show up at election time? You want votes from this constituency, then work it. Say what you will, Lydia does.

    1. Hector,
      A woman BHA resident, elected as a representative for other residents, invited me for a visit several weeks ago. The topic was about the TIPS (Trustworthy Information for Public Safety) she had heard about on Bridgeport Now. In our conversation, however, the past activities of Lydia Martinez were revealed, as was the two-year ban on her activities under the previous BHA Executive Director. Essentially, it was explained, Council member Martinez would announce a Mayoral visit for a talk accompanied by refreshments. The issue came about because the Mayor did not attend frequently. The real problem is paperwork signed by residents as they were encouraged was not well understood. When residents showed up at the polls, their names were not listed to vote. They had not realized they had voted absentee. Something smells, right? Is this what you mean by “working it?”
      Letters of complaint take time. Change and reform take time. More people are paying attention. Time will tell.

        1. Also it would take more than one visit to request a ballot and then come back to ensure the ballots had been filled out and returned. Your contact’s info sounds suspect and akin to gossip. Now please answer the previous question about your visits before addressing this statement.

        2. I was invited. I showed up, on time and shared why the TIPS program is not more public. The Police Department has not found time to promote it. The Chief was too busy before Bill Kaempffer came on board to do PR 10 months ago. Talked with Kaempffer in March and April. No word from PD. Grassroots reporting of troubling situations and people in neighborhoods with TOTAL SAFETY because of anonymity. Very small annual expense. BUT NO INTEREST! I find it incredible. How about anybody else?
          And so, while TIPS was the topic of the day at the Harborview resident’s request, the subject moved to the reality of Council person activities.
          So Hector, you challenged me. Now you tell me when was your last time at a senior center, what you talked about and what you did about it? Right, my friend, turnabout on the BOLD QUESTIONS? Time will tell.

          1. John, I am impressed but not surprised. I believe in your heart you really have the best interest of Bridgeport’s residents at heart. My question to you was for a broader audience and to those who pontificate but don’t participate, they know who they are. Answer to your question I LIVE THIS, sometimes I’ll walk to work so I can talk to the people within my community. Just yesterday I stopped at The Twin Towers on Ocean Terrace to converse with some residents. We spoke politics and personal issues. I was at P.T. Barnum visiting an old friend I heard wasn’t doing too well, even when I held office it was common for me to show up at most of the events held at any of our senior centers or housing projects with no invitation needed. This is the way I was raised and this is the way I have and will continue to raise my daughters. I’ve never really looked up at anyone and I refuse to look down on them either, I look everyone in the eyes, equally, President or pauper … no better or worse.

    2. Hector A. Diaz, good point, people can say what they want about Lydia but she does make herself known at these centers by going there to visit, listen and talk, while others just show up like they do different black and Hispanic churches only when it’s election time. Chris Caruso was the best at visiting and paying attention to what was being said by voters and it wasn’t always at election time.

      1. I agree, Chris had a way with seniors and was trusted by them. There was a time when you couldn’t run a campaign in this city without visiting those centers, even the hospices (Hillside Home aka Dinan center aka Bridgeport Manor). I’m wondering how many ABs came out of 2020 Park?

        1. Waiting for your answer, Hector.
          By the way, perhaps you mean The Watermark at 3030 Park Avenue, Bridgeport? Have you visited there recently? I was there in late spring with a group of singers to present a program to a group of seniors.
          I am not about any specific campaign. What I am about is the fact we have rules that should be guiding behavior with seniors who are vulnerable to suggestions and manipulation. When seniors are the ones preying on other seniors that is more of a shame, because you expect seniors to know better.
          You say my information is ‘suspect’ and akin to ‘gossip’ and I can now laugh. I am repeating directly what was told to me. Looking for your ‘non-political’ schedule of visits to seniors’ housing. Time will tell.

          1. John, it took you three hours to answer my question, yet you want a quick response from me? Your story simply didn’t make sense. That seniors were asked to sign something and were really voting, that my friend, if you know the process is hilarious. It would have taken at the very least two visits and a couple of weeks to get that done. Once the requests are made they are public and posted so anyone from either campaign has the opportunity to get that vote.

    3. The Harborview Towers BHA Apartments have been a well of votes for the DTC-endorsed candidates for at least 20 years. When running for DTC against the endorsed candidates with Lisa Parziale and Carol Cocco, we won three seats by shadowing the endorsed candidates. One of the stops included Harborview. We blindsided them by showing up and limiting the distribution of AB apps. BTW Finch showed up to help the endorsees, and although surprised at our presence was civil.

  6. Delayed response:
    Receiving unsolicited legal advice from Fluckarella is like getting a guided tour of the hospitality suite for opposition rebels by Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria.

  7. Thanks for the feedback, JML. Very insightful. I appreciate, no, make that we all appreciate your efforts to keep the light on the dirty practices and “games” played by this Administration. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.


  9. Mojo, wasn’t it at one of these coffee hours the idea of giving seniors lifetime park passes was brought up and became real? I remember how important that issue was to them and had we never had THAT coffee hour this might never have happened. In fact I’m sure we’ve been involved in many other coffee hours where issues that have since been resolved were bought up, no?

    1. Hector,
      I am a Bridgeport resident and more than a couple years past 65. I have been paying for a park pass for at least three years. Whether at the park on entry or at the City office, I was not made aware of a lifetime pass or a one-time payment. Now an annual fee of $5.00 is reasonable to park along our citizen-friendly shorefront, so I am not complaining.
      But I wanted to ask you to take a little glow off your ‘coffee hours’ with ‘important issues’ and what happens to resolutions when no is looking or no one cares to keep monitoring. Can you leave ‘memory lane’ for a few moments and tell us what changed and when? Time will tell.

      1. John, you also don’t live in housing. or those who do, $5.00 can be the difference from going to bed hungry. If you want to ask me questions about how I’m going to change anything, it’s simple … ELECT ME.

  10. *** There are many other ways and times to meet, greet and share ideas with seniors without the old, “here’s a donut and cup of coffee, now just sign this A/B application for me, BUDDY!” But I prefer to go to the polls and vote myself if I can get a ride. “Sorry” but there’s a shortage of voter transportation vehicles this election, I’m afraid it’s an A/B or nothing, “old buddy!” *** THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE WHEN A/Bs ARE INVOLVED ***


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