Q Poll: Dem Race Tightens, Plus: New Chop To Ferry Fight, Punch For Punch


Afternoon Update: More On Ferry Fight

Today’s Q Poll shows a tightening  primary race between Democrats Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy. Republican Tom Foley still has a commanding lead over his two primary challengers.

From the Q Poll:


Democratic contenders Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy top any of the three possible Republican candidates for Governor of Connecticut by margins of 11 percentage points or more among registered voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Among likely Republican primary voters, former ambassador Tom Foley leads with 48 percent, followed by Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele with 13 percent and businessman Oz Griebel with 7 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.  Another 32 percent are undecided.  This is the first survey of likely primary voters and cannot be compared with earlier surveys of registered voters.

Among likely Democratic primary voters, businessman Lamont leads former Stamford Mayor Malloy 46 – 37 percent, with 16 percent undecided.

Democrats lead in any possible general election matchups among registered voters:
· Lamont over Foley 45 – 33 percent;
· Lamont over Fedele 49 – 27 percent;
· Lamont over Griebel 49 – 25 percent;
· Malloy over Foley 44 – 33 percent;
· Malloy over Fedele 49 – 26 percent;
· Malloy over Griebel 51 – 25 percent.

“The Democrats haven’t won a race for Governor in Connecticut in 24 years.  Could this be their year? Both Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy have double digit leads over all the Republicans, including frontrunner Tom Foley. The Democratic candidates benefit from the state’s Democratic registration advantage and they are better known than the Republican contenders,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz, PhD.

“Democrats also could be helped by the divisiveness of the Republican primary battle, which seems nastier than the Democratic campaign, an unusual twist,” Dr. Schwartz added.

A total of 41 percent of Connecticut likely Republican primary voters have heard “a lot” or “some” about Foley’s two past arrests, while 58 percent have heard “not much” or “nothing at all.” Only 30 percent of these primary voters say the arrest controversy makes them less likely to vote for Foley, as 55 percent say it doesn’t make a difference. Foley’s past arrests are a private matter, 48 percent say, while 28 percent say they are a legitimate issue.

By a 45 – 9 percent margin, Connecticut Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of Foley, with 42 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.  For Fedele, 73 percent haven’t heard enough. For Griebel, 81 percent haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.

Among those Republican likely primary voters who select a candidate, 73 percent say they might change their mind before the August 10 primary.

Likely Democratic primary voters are more solid in their support, but 50 percent of those who select a candidate say they might change their mind.

Malloy gets a 50 – 8 percent favorability among likely Democratic voters, with 40 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.  Lamont’s favorability is 60 – 12 percent.

“One month before the primary, Foley has a huge lead over Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele and Oz Griebel. The governor’s race is overshadowed by the Senate battle between Linda McMahon and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the controversy over Foley’s arrests is not having much impact,” Dr. Schwartz said.  “So Foley has been unharmed and voters still don’t know much about Fedele or Griebel.

“The race is closer on the Democratic side, where Malloy is within single digits.  This race could go down to the wire.”

Ferry Fight Continues

Fighting words between lawyers for the city and ferry company are heating up. Take this. No, you take that.

The ferry that connects the state’s largest city with Port Jefferson, NY, the sweet hamlet across Long Island Sound, is a wonderful service for both sides of the pond. Yes, the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is in the business of making money. Nothing wrong with that. The city, however, has been unable to maximize those benefits to its downtown. The ferry company and city have been battling for years over tariffs and where they should go. Two years ago the federal court ruled the city (Bridgeport Port Authority) can charge a tariff but revenues must be reinvested to support direct ferry and passenger improvements.

The ferry company maintains the court order has been violated and seeks court action for relief. Keep in mind the ferry company wants to relocate across the harbor to the East End where it claims more space, increased parking, etc. will improve its standing with customers. The city wants to keep the ferry terminal downtown.

The city today sent a “Notice Of Default Of Lease” to Brian McAllister, president of the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. The letter, signed by Associate City Attorney Russell Liskov, declares:

This letter is to constitute notice that you are in default for your lease obligations. You have ten (10) days to cure such default. More specifically, you have failed to remit in a timely manner the tariff funds you have collected as the agent for the Port Authority per Paragraphs 7 and 8 of your original lease. The failure to timely remit collected tariff proceeds is a material default. We will expect full remittance of these collected tariff funds within ten (10) days long with the accrued interest.

Moreover, this letter also constitutes a formal demand that the Bridgeport Port Jefferson Steamboat Company shall cause the construction of an Emergency Dock to be built on the premises per Paragraph 7 of the First Amendment to Lease Agreement for Docking at the Water Street Dock…You have had eight (8) years to begin construction of the Emergency Dock and have failed to do so.

From the ferry company lawyer, filed in federal court July 13:

Introduction and Summary of Relief requested

1. I am a member of Akerman Senterfitt LLP, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in this action. I submit this declaration in support of the motion of plaintiff Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company (the “Ferry Company”) for an order of civil contempt against defendant, Bridgeport Port Authority (the “Port Authority”), and related relief. I have knowledge of the facts stated herein.

2. By this motion, the Ferry Company seeks an order:

(a) Holding the Port Authority in civil contempt for failing to reduce the Passenger Fee as required by the Court’s July 8, 2008 judgment,

(b) Scheduling a hearing (the “Hearing”) at which facts concerning the Court’s determination of several substantive issues relating to the Passenger Fee can be presented (as detailed in the accompanying notice of motion), and

(c) Establishing appropriate pre-Hearing procedures, including directing the Port Authority promptly to provide discovery (documents and depositions) concerning {NY106827;1} – 2 – the matters to be presented at the Hearing (also detailed in the accompanying notice of motion).

3. The facts and procedural background relevant to this motion are set forth below and in the accompanying declaration of Frederick A. Hall. We are also submitting a memorandum of law concerning the Court’s powers concerning civil contempt.

Failed Settlement Efforts and the Court’s Notice of Oral Argument

4. From January 2010 until June 2010, the Ferry Company, the Port Authority, and the City of Bridgeport made considerable efforts to negotiate a global settlement which would resolve all remaining issues in this case as well as the parties’ relationship generally. These efforts included two mediations sessions before Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel (Docket ## 240, 258) and multiple telephonic conferences with the Court at which counsel and party representatives briefly reported on the status of such efforts (Docket ## 238, 242, 245, 247, 249, 251, 254, and 257).

5. In early June 2010, the parties (through counsel) reported to the Court that they had reached an impasse in their settlement efforts.

See Memorandum of law that further explains ferry company’s complaint for relief.


Rolled By A Toots

What’s the deal with the UB student shoving candy back at Probate Judge Paul Ganim at the Puerto Rican Day Parade?

Police arrested Michael Williams for breach of peace and threatening. It’s a Paul Ganim tradition to toss goodies to kids during the parade route.

According to police the guy grabbed a handful of Tootsie Rolls from a convertible alongside Ganim and shoved them into his face. “I’m from Brooklyn, I’ll knock you out.” Hey, we’re from Bridgeport, eat this!

Quote Of The Week

“I will have the power as governor that I didn’t have as lieutenant governor” –Michael Fedele

Gee, LG, you still had the power to speak, no?

Let’s Get Ready To Rahmble!

From Peter Schiff:

What do Chris Dodd and Linda McMahon have in common?

Rahm Emmanuel.

Yes, I do mean President Obama’s chief of staff. Or if you rather, the former Congressman who inherited his seat from former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and received the most campaign contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the larger securities/investment industry among candidates for the House in 2008.

Don’t believe me? Then check out the numbers for yourself.

Rahm Emanuel received $320,000 for a no-show seat on the board of Freddie Mac under Chris Dodd’s watch. And he received over $5,000 in campaign contributions in the last decade from none other than Linda McMahon, the sweetheart of Connecticut Republicans.

Congress isn’t a place to make bank, nor is it a place of entertainment. But Dodd, McMahon and Emanuel don’t get it. If you’re sick and tired of business as usual, throw your support behind me in next month’s Republican Primary.



  1. Check Mate!

    Here’s a great quote by Donald Eversley from the CT Post article by Keila Torres (7/12/10) regarding the Ferry Company.

    Donald Eversley, economic development director for the city, said although he would like to see the ferry company remain in Bridgeport, it is not the “only game in town.”

    Well Mr. Neversley, you are up Johnson’s Creek without a paddle. Where would your game in town go to? South Norwalk? Yellow Mill River?? Point Lookout in Milford??? You can’t go to Port Jeff because they own the docks.

    Wake up Mr. Snoozie!

    1. City set to propose RFP for new ferry service. Boat is to be named, “On the Rocks!”

      If the above is true,

      it looks like this RFP will be “grounded.”

  2. Lennie, Michael Fedele is referring to the power to act, not speak. You know the Connecticut “LG” position has no power, unlike other states. In Connecticut, words spoken by anyone during a public hearing have as much weight as words spoken by the lieutenant governor to the Connecticut House and Senate.

    Re: Probate Judge Paul Ganim at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, I knew there would be some assholes at the Parade. No, I’m not talking about Paul. On behalf of all Puerto Ricans, we thank you for coming and being a gentlemen even during a serious encounter with an idiot from Brooklyn.

    Rahm Emmanuel? Blago? Click here and learn more: www .suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/2495542,CST-NWS-Blago14.article

    It’s time to “Schiff” gear!

  3. Just when I think I have seen it all in regards to Bridgeport politics I get a letter from Mayor Finch. BTW we all will be getting this letter.
    Bridgeport is going to have an EID or Energy Improvement District.
    The mission of the EID is to develop public policies the will help lower municipal, residential & commercial energy costs. They will also fund energy improvement projects and programs.
    Great we are going to have a board called Board of the EID with appointed board members. If you have any questions you are to contact Ted Grabarz. Well is this the same Ted Grabarz who is always in Iraq or Afghanistan? BTW that’s a new job title Sustainability Director.
    Here we are $8 million in the hole and we are going to get into this energy bullshit. Who is going to pay for this Don Quijote mayoral idea? Are we the taxpayers? Will this new board of political flunkies be allowed to get bonding to fund these green ideas?
    It never stops with this administration and yet they never finish anything. I can’t take anymore of this mayor’s green ideas. Bill try getting what is in place working and servicing the people of Bridgeport to date you have been a failure.

    1. tc, I had similar questions and concerns when I received my letter yesterday. As a home owner/taxpayer will I be eligible for funding to make my home more energy efficient (appliances, windows, insulation, roofing, etc.)? Again you are correct; this administration is the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. It appears to be another opportunity for Finch/Testa to fill positions with more political patronage and deadwood.

  4. Gossip of The Rialto!

    This just in from the Bridgeport Herald!!!

    City and Ferry Company are going to the “mattresses”

    The only place the city will be going is to Oaks Bluff!

  5. TC:
    As a (former) newspaper reporter I had passing interest on a hot summer day on your post on an energy improvement district: Nuttin’ goin’ on.

    Generally, the Finch administration ought to get a pass on haranguing people on energy usage. Forget the liberal goo-goo stuff about the environment, the cost of energy puts New England at an economic disadvantage with the rest of the country, let alone world. Bill has it ass-backwards. If he wants to appeal to Bridgeporters, do it to their wallets, not ideals.

    You may be right about ideas flying all over the place and little getting done. That is irritating. But they are throwing it out there. No harm, no foul. And if global warming is correct, they better start importing Dutch scientists to teach Americans (and Bridgeport) how to build dikes. Take it as gospel from a former South End resident.

    I have a prejudice against planning names. What the hell is the energy district? The whole freakin’ town probably should be the district. Or are we concentrating on the block around the Evers Street Firehouse?

    I didn’t waste much time on it, but I can’t find an “EID” or “Energy Improvement District” press release on the city’s web site. You would think they would post it there with explanatory info. Hey, maybe the dope looking for it couldn’t find it.

    Maybe the mayor’s office pitched it to the media today and nothing’s been done with it yet. It makes no sense to create (whole cloth?) an undefined “district” and say we want to do blah, blah, blah.

    Then again …

    1. It’s a poker bluff move when you knock wood! Actually, I meant Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. Not to be confused with the Ferry boat, “Martha’s Vineyard.”

  6. Jim: In a city with an $8 million deficit that was supposed to be closed by July 1. A council committee that is holding closed-door meetings on the same subject. A port that needs to be dredged and the list goes on. We don’t need a pie in the sky.
    Energy district which he has designated for the whole city not just my neighborhood.
    This mayor is into this clean and green let’s have a windmill on every corner bullshit and yet the city is fast becoming a dump. I can’t remember when our streets were this dirty and strewn with trash. We have a bunch of sweepers at public facilities but they are doing squat. You want to go clean and green fine the START with your own damn city.

  7. James, James, James; have you forgotten everything?

    The first rule of every game in Bridgeport is to “follow the money.” That’s the rule in ALL levels of politics, whether it is spelled with a big “P” or a little “p.”

    Oak Bluffs is on The Vineyard where all the swells who bleed the city go to sip white wine while waiting for an overpriced taxi to take them to Edgartown, leaving others to hang out at Nub Light watching the (water) swells drinking cheap beer and smashing the cans on the rocks to form sun reflectors to create that improved energy for the district.

    Got it now?

  8. HMMM interesting Poll results looks like this will be another off year for Republicans in CT. Lamont 9-point lead but that is still call for action to get out the vote in Bridgeport and New Haven. 3 more weeks until Bpt voters head out and I really feel Ned has a huge advantage in Bridgeport. That being said if Malloy wins I still will be happy with that choice but Ned is my candidate come August!!!

  9. So if I am to interpret John Gilmore’s marine musings correctly, I take the ferry to Port Jeff for white wine and come to Bridgeport so to get snockered on Schaefer.

    Makes sense.

  10. TC: I understand the $8 mil concern. It is intriguing the city seemingly passed a budget out of balance on purpose, and then went to labor to play chicken over it.

  11. The Martha’s Vineyard reference to the ferry is great Harry. Back when a ferry of that name braved Long Island Sound waters, the Post-Telegram clipping file on the “Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry” proved an intriguing obstacle for new staff members.

    The file was under Martha’s Vineyard.

  12. The city today sent a “Notice Of Default Of Lease” to Brian McAllister, president of the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. The letter, signed by Associate City Attorney Russell Liskov, declares:

    “This letter is to constitute notice that you are in default for your lease obligations. You have ten (10) days to cure such default. More specifically, you have failed to remit in a timely manner the tariff funds you have collected as the agent for the Port Authority per Paragraphs 7 and 8 of your original lease.”

    My question is, were there amendments to the original lease and does the Federal jurisdiction take precedence over the illegal tariff collection issue as described in Ferry legal arguments to Judge Droney?

    Furthermore, would this “emergency dock” require another CAM application and Zoning Hearing on this matter in order to “cure?”

  13. Up on Bridgeport–You hit the nail right on the head! Mr. Eversley should be encouraging economic development not insulting the few industries left in Bridgeport. This is what we get when officials live outside the city and are not vested in improving the quality of life. I bet he wouldn’t make that comment if he lived here. Sometimes it appears individuals purposely try to undermine this city.

  14. Lennie, per the Q poll, the race actually has not tightened. Previous months were polls of registered voters, which have the following trend:

    November 09: Lamont +14
    January: Lamont +16
    March: Lamont +10
    May: Lamont +17
    June: Lamont +17
    July: Lamont +20

    It is the first month where Quinnipiac applied a likely voter screen, which shows a closer race. But Lamont’s lead overall appears to be widening.

    1. marlys, please, I admire your passion for Ned, I like him too, but low-turnout serial primary voters will decide this thing. You and my friend Jonathan Kantrowitz amaze me. Are you prepared to say right here right now Ned will win by 20 points? Those trends you cite do not matter in a low-turnout primary. The Q poll tested likely voters. I don’t know who’ll win, but this primary has tightened and will be decided by single digits. C’mon marlys, the Lamont campaign from day one should have said we know this will be a tight race. I did not expect such spin from you.

      1. No, I don’t think it will be a 20-point gap on election day. But the Q Poll shows the race is “widening” instead of “tightening.”

        That is not spin, it’s just what the numbers say. Among Democratic voters, Lamont increased his lead by 3 points in the last month. Maybe a likely voter poll that pushed leaners from a month ago would have shown him up by 7 or 8. Maybe it would have shown him up by 12, and the race genuinely is tightening. But unfortunately, to claim a race is tightening requires an apples-to-apples comparison, and there is none which supports your claim.

      2. And I’m not crazy for Ned, Lennie–I was betting on Glassman as the best choice for the party not too long ago, if you recall. I’m just saying if we’re going to discuss polls, we ought to at least be able to read the same numbers, even if we come to different conclusions.

  15. I’d catch a few Puerto Rican baseball league games every summer on Sunday at Iranistan and Waldemere in Seaside Park. One year the guys all switched, I mean ALL switched, from Schaefer to Budweiser.

    That was a lot of beer.

    Never could get a good explanation … although Bud banners started to show up at some games.

    1. Heard the same rumor, TC. Now let’s see if he gets the same punishment as Buckley or if his political position gets him special treatment.

      Another week with the employees on pins and needles over the threatened layoffs. Most of Labor Relations is on vacation. Finch is on vacation. Adam Wood is on his leave of absence with Ned Lamont. Andy Nunn is taking a nap. Who’s watching the store? Your guess is as good as mine.

  16. Lennie, I just found an original copy of “HARBOR POINT NEWS” from 1987. I was wondering how many of the “players” from back then are still involved today. The paper was published by Jo Fox, Inc. Loretta Zorro was editor.


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