Rick Being Rick, When Mario Blew Up The Convention, Himes’ Bounty And Zoo Tickets!

Weekend Update

: What? Former Bridgeport GOP Town Chair Rick Torres said something controversial at a forum for Fourth District Congressional candidates? No way. Rick wouldn’t say something controversial, would he?

The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized the statements by Torres, who said, referring to Muslims while discussing illegal immigration, “It turns out, folks, they are here, they’re among us. We are at war with Islam. I don’t tolerate people who are not tolerant.”

I guess they don’t know Rick.

Convention Fever

In one week Democratic delegates will endorse candidates for governor and all other constitutional offices. For governor it will be either former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy or Ned Lamont.

Crazy stuff can happen at party conventions. Saw it happen in 1994 when I was campaign manager for Mayor Joe Ganim, candidate for governor. Joe got into the race after Governor Lowell Weicker who had helped bail out the city from fiscal hell, decided not to seek reelection. We were cash rich and delegate poor so when making the ballot wasn’t in the cards for Joe (you could not petition your way on back then) we backed out of the race one week before the Democratic convention throwing our support behind likely endorsed candidate State Senate leader John Larson (today Congressman Larson who endorsed Dan Malloy on Friday) with the hope he’d select Joe as his running mate.

During the Democratic convention in Hartford, as Larson’s boys including State Majority Leader William DiBella pondered selection of the second slot, a contingent of Connecticut mayors who wanted one of their own on the ticket adjourned to a watering hole in the Hartford Civic Center, among them Hartford Mayor Mike Peters and Waterbury Mayor Ed Bergin.

Mayor Mike and Mayor Ed were lubing up the joint. Finally we got the call. Larson had made his decision. We all squeezed into a conference room while delegates in the civic center convention hall waited for an answer.

Larson, facing dozens of Democratic big shots, announced, “I think it’s time to embrace Rich Balducci,” he told the crowd. Balducci, a long-time legislator, had also been a candidate for governor. Emerging from a back room thumping his chest, Balducci announced, “I want everyone to know that I’ll be running as an independent lieutenant governor,” suggesting he’d take the second slot but he’d not be breaking his ass for the ticket. Balducci had also given his word to State Comptroller Bill Curry, the other Dem guber candidate in the race, that he would not work against him.

Bridgeport Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa pounced. “Wait a minute, Mr. Balducci, are you telling us you’re not going to support Larson?”

Balducci stammered on his words. In a flash there was chaos.

“What the fuck is going on around here!” Mayor Peters screamed.

“Yeah, what the fuck is this!” Mayor Bergin yelled.

Peters walked up to Larson and declared: “We’re going to settle this right now.”

Peters, Bergin and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano circled with Ganim. “Joe,” Peters asked, “do you want to be lieutenant governor?”

Joe nodded yes.

“That settles it,” Bergin chimed in.

The mayors walked up to Larson and said “Enough of this horseshit, Joe’s gonna be the candidate.” So it was done. That’s how 34-year-old Joe Ganim became the candidate for lieutenant governor in 1994. It didn’t work out. Larson lost the primary to Bill Curry and Curry lost the general election (with Joe as his running mate) to John Rowland.

Larson Endorses Malloy

Speaking of conventions here’s a video clip from Congressman Jim Himes addressing supporters at Matty’s Corner in Black Rock after he was endorsed by Dems Monday night:

The Bounty

Hey, a replica of The Bounty, the British transport ship, has pulled into Captain’s Cove Seaport. Tours this weekend. Check it out. Thanks to Captain Morgan Kaolian for the aerial:

Yo mate, see us at The Cove

Zoo Tix For You!

I have a few zoo passes remaining for a family of four. If you want to take the kiddies, your lover, the other, whatever, drop me an email at lenniegrimaldi@onlyinbridgeport.com and I’ll get them to you.

David Walker In Black Rock

I.O.U.S.A. with David Walker

Featuring David M. Walker, Robert Bixby, Paul Volker, Ron Paul, Warren Buffett, Paul O’Neill and others.

 at the Black Rock Branch Library

David M. Walker, President and CEO of The Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from 1998 to 2008, will be hosting a screening of his film I.O.U.S.A. – a timely documentary about America’s addiction to debt.

“Resolutely non-partisan… a documentary everyone should see.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“…may be to the U.S. economy what ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was to the environment.” – Reuters

“…I.O.U.S.A. accomplishes an amazing thing. It explains the national debt…” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


Following the showing there will be a discussion led by David Walker.

Special note – I.O.U.S.A.: Solutions, a follow-up to I.O.U.S.A. and the subject of a recent CNN special presentation, will also be shown.

When: Thursday May 27th 6:30 PM

Where: Black Rock Branch Library
2705 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
(203) 337-9676

From UB:

Ingestible Medical Camera Helps UB Students Win Top Engineering Prize

What’s the best way to engineer a win?

University of Bridgeport School of Engineering students have the formula: for the third year running, they have captured first place and other top awards at the annual American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Competition, which was held May 7-8 at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA .

“We are very proud of this unprecedented achievement, having won the first prize for three consecutive years,” said Engineering School Dean Tarek Sobh.

In 2008, UB students swept the ASEE’s so-called Student Poster Competition, featuring graduate research projects, when the competition was held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Last year, University students again captured the top prize when the ASEE event was held at the University of Bridgeport.

The ASEE is organized by regions. As they have in the past, UB students competed against Northeastern University, UMASS, University of New Haven, Boston University, and other college and university teams that are located in the ASEE northeast region.

UB graduate students Ajith Kumara and Yin-Ju Chen were the 2010 first-place winners in the ASEE Student Poster Competition. Their project, “Bleeding Detection in Wireless Capsule Endoscopy Videos Using Temporal Characteristics,” captures pictures of the insides of the intestines using miniature cameras that are ingested in a pill. Kumara and Chen were advised by Professor Dr. Jeongku Lee.

“They take a video of the intestines to see if there is bleeding or other problems,” said Sobh.

In addition, UB students Manan Joshi and Madhumitha Iyer won third place in the Student Poster Competition for their research project, “Effects of Gender, Accent and Localization on Speech Intelligibility in Multiple Speaker Environment.”

Their research focuses on audio-signaling processing. They were advised by engineering professor Dr. Navarun Gupta.



  1. Great story about the Convention. While I thought then as now Curry was a bad candidate, I was very proud my Mayor was on the ticket. Flash forward to Joe’s later troubles and it’s both sad and infuriating.

    As to Himes’ Matty’s Corner appearance, I wish he’d stay in the bar and suck down some cold suds instead of going back to DC as Congressman.

    Let’s see … He signed on to the Stimulus package without even reading it. All it did was give states a credit card so they didn’t have to make any tough decisions on cops, teachers and firemen for eighteen months or so. ‘Til now as evidenced by the CT Post.

    Nothing for small business and according to Recovery Accountability & Transparency Board, only 682,779 jobs were created as of Apr 30.

    As to Healthcare which Jim was so behind, CBO is now saying instead of cutting costs, the bill will add $310 Billion over ten years. They also announced it is highly unlikely to see the $575 billion in Medicare reductions that were part of the rationale.

    I believe I speak for many who are absolutely fed up with all these Ivy League Brain trusts that are oh so bright, make their FU money at Goldman Sucks et al. and then go to DC from their Greenwich McMansion to save us poor working stiffs and state college grads.

    By the way please put Obama, Kagan, Lieberman, Blumenthal, Jepson, etc on my Ivy League Hall of Shame list as well.

    1. *** Is it a “fact” that Himes did “not” read any of the Stimulus Package; also are the 682,779 jobs created, state or national totals? And is it really much too early to tell if & what the Medicare reductions will be as well as the bill’s possible cost-cutting effects. Seems like it’s taken quite some years to get to where the nation’s economy & cost of health care is today but anti-Obama & Co. disbelievers expect all the problems to be solved “Today!” *** Himes so far is doing a reasonably good job in such a short time during what seems to be a Republican political obstructional uprising period in the nation’s capitol. Now it’s that time in his term in which he must prepare for re-election which for a freshman Congressman can probably be a bit more nerve racking without the experience someone like a Chris Shays had. Maybe that’s why he didn’t stay @ Matty’s too long for a few beers as well as having to drive back to Greenwich? “Rumor” has it he knows the longer he’d stay, the more rounds he would have to buy! *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  2. I think Mojo is onto some very practical reasons why a pol should skedaddle after hanging out with “the people” in Bridgeport whilst alcoholic beverages are served.
    I don’t think the Matty’s crowd should be offended, but take it as a matter of respect. There are some pretty funny stories of Bridgeport pols getting snockered in many years past (see Mayor Curran, Irene’s on Myrtle Avenue, 1967).
    The best pol at handling this, congressional division, was the late Stewart B. McKinney.
    Most winter fund-raising dinners for town Republican parties would be scheduled for the same Saturday night, using an Abraham Lincoln theme.
    Stewart would start his appearances and work his way up the Gold Coast from Greenwich. Along about 10:45 p.m. he’s hit the Three Door in Bridgeport after about five stops. The congressman was feeling plenty of sober pain after all that speech-i-fy-ing.
    By that hour, the city Republicans were feeling no pain.
    Stewart would order a TRAY of vodka martinis for his wife Lucy and himself, knock back a couple, get up and feed some Republican boilerplate to a grateful, if tipsy, crowd, shake hands, listen to bad jokes, tell a few of his own, and be out of there by 12:15 a.m.
    It worked for everybody. The local Republicans loved the attention of their congressman being just folks. They knew he or his staff was available for serious stuff during the week. They could hear serious speeches anytime. Stewart loved being in a place that let him relax. He knew he was appreciated and didn’t have to put on airs, have a Republican committeeman fire up his cigarette and sip his vodka while listening and sharing whatever gossip was current.

    1. After Mario Testa and Mike Rizzitelli exchanged eye gouges during the 1989 Dem mayoral endorsement, Mayor Tom Bucci ordered the bar shut down. I think in retrospect Bucci wishes he had a few pops that night.

  3. From the CT Post:
    “We are in the final stages of completing a land disposition agreement with the city that will give us rights to market the site to retailers, complete our engineering and environmental analysis, prepare local and state permit applications and finalize a financing package to fund the project,” said Jeff Leichtman, spokesperson for the Konover/George Group development team.
    I thought Jeff Leichtman worked for BRBC doing some of the work Finch used to do?
    I thought Jeff Leichtman was Finch’s coordinator of G-Green 2020???
    You don’t need 20/20 vision to see this conflict of interest!!!

  4. Read on:
    Although they initially anticipated an agreement with the city to be signed last fall and to have most of the permits in place to begin construction this summer, Leichtman said they are now just beginning the permitting process.
    Donald Eversley, the city’s economic development director, said the delays arose from several challenges with the site, including the cost of remediation.
    Despite this, the setbacks may help the project. “It may work to our advantage because we feel the economy is picking up and the retail interest is picking up,” Eversley said.
    The developer is behind schedule. The city is making excuses for the delay. The city wants you to believe that the the developer did not know the site was contaminated. The developer has no tenants lined up for the site.
    In other cities and towns the phrase used is “due diligence.” In Bridgeport is should be DO diligence because it seems like they are saying the developer knows nothing and has done nothing.

  5. And more:
    Leichtman said, “We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made over the past six months, and look forward to completing our negotiations and taking steps to make the Seaview Plaza vision a reality.”
    Richard C. Allen, the rights-of-way administrator for the DOT, said once the developers provide the department with a final design plan they will review it to ensure there are no traffic and safety concerns.
    Allow the developer to borrow up to $4.5 million in federal funds as long as a portion of the city’s Community Development Block Grant funds are used as security in case of a loan default.
    BORROWING AGAINST FUTURE BLOCK GRANT FUNDS. Obviously under-capitalized.
    This is simply another joke. The East End residents should be demanding another developer rather than use of Block Grant money for this project.

  6. You know Lennie, people still think I am crazy after all these years but booze had nothing to do with that dust-up between Mario and Rizzi. That was just two ticked-off committeemen in a room of ticked-off Democrats.
    If you want to say Democratic Chairman John D. Guman Jr. stirred the pot–well, far be it from me to speak ill of the dead.
    You’re darned straight Guman stirred the pot! And he enjoyed every minute of it! And I had the time of my life watching it!
    On a more serious note (yeah right), this imbroglio over the past week over West End/Black Rock and the P.T. Barnum Apartments and Captain’s Cove Marina ignores an important municipal facility in the neighborhood: the West Side Sewage Treatment Plant, smack in the middle of things, as it were.
    Since this webzine seems so enamored of sewage, and especially sewage from Trumbull, I think I have a humble suggestion to resolve this dispute: let’s just call the entire neighborhood Trumbull.
    The Trumbull sewage is coming down to the plant. Well, some may be going to the East Side plant but let’s just say it is going to the West Side plant. We’re talking about Bridgeport, truth is always the first casualty.
    So all the sewage from Trumbull goes to the West Side plant, is purportedly treated there, and bubbles up into the harbor directly under Captain’s Cove. So Captain’s Cove is sitting atop effluent from Trumbull. We’ll throw P.T. into the neighborhood because it is close by. It’ll make it sound tony. Better than Black Rock.
    “Looking for the P.T. Barnum Apartments, sir? Oh, of course, it is in Trumbull. Take that first right down Wordin Avenue.”
    End of problem.

  7. I am no Torres supporter but he is right when they say on his campaign site … “The opening of this office demonstrates how serious I am about beating Jim Himes in November. Bridgeport will be the battleground this election just as it has always been and I am the only Republican candidate who is a native of Bridgeport with a natural base of support here.”

  8. Torres is the only candidate who can match Shays small appeal to some voters in Bpt. No other Republican candidate will come close to even getting 25% of the vote in Bpt. Only Republican I could think of who could and even hit 30 was Shays and he is not running the other is Russo but he dropped out and last but not least Torres has a base vote here.

  9. *** “LOG ON TO REPLY!” Sometimes like many Bpt. voters & taxpayers I wonder, “why bother?” No one’s really listening nor caring enough to actually move towards doing something that will help lead to a better change in Bpt. It seems to be contagious & rather depressing when simply just complaining about the same things day by day & nothing really changes. ***

  10. Mojo

    I saw you said last week to someone fairy tales can come true, sarcastically of course.

    A prediction, not a fairy tale.

    Gomes / Ayala Jr.

    A combo that will lead BPT from 2011 on.

    Take it to the window and bet it to win.

  11. I will take it to the window and toss it out in the wind.
    When you say Ayala Jr. I assume you mean Andres. So Andres is going to give up his cushy job with the BOE that allows him to work, get paid and take all the time off he wants to do what?
    Run for City Clerk?
    Do you even know what you are talking about?

    1. Maybe he/she does, never do know. You just seem to have the negative vibe going dude.
      Not that I claim to know what’s goin’ down but with a name like Inner Circle, some inside stuff could be flowin’ here. Do know the two are friends and could be hookin’ up for the run in some way. Kick-ass combo for sure.

  12. I don’t see Ayala knocking Fleeta Hudson from that spot and I don’t see him running for Town Clerk as that position is already held by a hispanic. That leaves the mayor’s spot. Ayala does not have the name recognition to run for mayor and he has less than a spectacular career with the state legislature.
    Gomes will give it a shot but I don’t see him staying until the end. I could be wrong if he gets his name out there and can raise a ton of money he could be in it through the primary.

  13. Andres Ayala could not use his name and influence to capture the Town Committee slate.
    Andres Ayala could not use his name and influence to retain his two City Council candidates.
    Now all of a sudden he will decide who the next mayor is???

  14. Finch won by 270 votes with Ayala Jr’s help.

    Gomes can win by huge numbers if JR jumps in on his side, people are tired of the machine, people are tired of Caruso and his failed attempts, Fabrizi and his time are long over.

    Gomes can win this with Ayala Jr’s help.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ears. Something has to give. It’s time for the machine to be put to rest. They have destroyed this City, the only thing they have done is take care of themselves, friends and family. And f***** the residents and taxpayers of this city.

  15. John Gomes has never won a single election. He is not a proven vote-getter.
    John Gomes has gotten into fights with the Bpt PD and the Mayor’s staff. He is a proven hothead.
    Mr. Bpt Justice is in Gomes’ Inner Circle. As a matter of fact Mr. BPT Justice and Inner Circle is all of the support John Gomes has.
    Andres Ayala AND THE BRIDGEPORT MACHINE got Finch elected.

  16. I believe if Andres would have wanted to be second or third on a ticket it would be statewide and not locally. If he’d wanted it citywide, he could’ve done that last Mayoral election.


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