Rigged–Senator Larson Throws Another Back-Room Hissy Fit To Kill The Casino Bill–Gomes: They Treat Bridgeport Like Shit

Update: Casino bill on agenda. On Thursday a stream of testimony came before the legislature’s Public Safety Committee urging an open, competitive process to select a commercial gaming operator with Bridgeport in play as host city. Several weeks ago East Hartford State Senator Tim Larson, co-chair of the committee, attempted to block the very public hearing that took place on Thursday. Sanity prevailed when he was opposed by his own members. But as co-chair he has power for what appears on an agenda. Larson wants to preserve the state gaming monopoly that provides the tribal-nation operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun exclusivity in exchange for 25 percent of the slot take. He’s playing a rigged game. Larson won’t allow it to come up for a vote in this short session. What’s wrong with allowing democracy to work? If the bill is to survive it must be revived from a floor vote. As State Senator Ed Gomes told the CT Post, “They treat Bridgeport like shit.”

Larson’s backroom maneuver last month came in what is typically a routine “screening” meeting where committee leadership determines which bill proposals will be considered for a public hearing. Legislative courtesy traditionally permits proposals that are supported by multiple legislators to at least have a hearing. Preventing that from happening could kill bi-partisan consensus on a host of key issues underway during the 2018 session.

It is not unusual for closed-door maneuvering to occur in a legislative session but such displays usually are seen at the end, when options for other avenues to pursue legislation are limited. With nearly two months left in the session, legislative insiders observe that Larson exposed his bias against an open, competitive process.

What’s wrong with an open, competitive process? Why does a gaming monopoly advantage the tribal nations to the economic detriment of the rest of the state including Connecticut’s largest city where polling shows residents overwhelmingly support MGM Resorts’ proposed waterfront gaming development that will create 7,000 jobs by a proven gaming leader?

Let MGM bid, let the tribal nations bid, heck maybe allow them to make a marriage, but at least allow a vote up or down on the bill.

So what’s it gonna be, a rigged power grab by Larson, or sanity on behalf of democracy?



  1. Bridgeport’s attempt to bring an MGM Grand casino to its blighted and underutilized waterfront died quietly late Thursday evening.

    The leadership of the General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee refused to let a bill allowing bidding for a new casino to come to a vote Friday afternoon — one day after a public hearing drew dozens of city supporters.

  2. I knew it wasn’t going to make it. Gomes, et al, ought to start looking at industry for jobs and urban renewal. They treat Bridgeport like shit becuse of the corruption, the crime and city hll’s apathy toward it all. A crook was re-elected. That is more than enough to cause others to question why anyonewould want to invest here.

      1. The suburban towns, the bedroom communities ringing Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and New London do not want Bridgeport to shine. The legislators representing those districts band together to secure funds for new soccer fields, school buildings, greenways, etc., while our schools are in disrepair, our skyline is marred by abandoned factory buildings, industrial pollution and political corruption. Little Joe was there to give a speech. It was just another photo op for him. He doesn’t give a shit about the people of the city of Bridgeport. He got his votes and now he’s on to the next. 

        The casino was never going to happen. Now everyone knows it ill not happen. Time to cut losses and move on. We need jobs, we need to juice up the local economy, we need lower property taxes, we need to see political corruption torn out by the roots. We need industrial investment, manufacturing that spawns ancillary businesses. Baccarat and slot machines were a pipe dream.

    1. Let’s face facts. Joe Ganim is a crook. He took off the stripes before walking out of prison but he ain’t changed his spots. The DTC just reanointed Mario Testa for another two-year term. Every Democratic politician holding statewide office knows how the game is played. Need re-election? Call Mario, he has the votes. He buys ’em with cash or pizza. Jim Himes knows. The gold coasters would never elect a Democrat so he called Mario. 

      As long as the staus wuo is maintained we will not see major development. Andy id right on sbout Steel Pointe. Twenty-five fucking years and what is there to show? A sporting goods super store, Starbucks and a chain restaurant. City coffers seeing any money from all that? Not any time soon. We have the highest property taxes east of the Mississippi. Every politician running for a seat in the legislature campaigns in tax relief. Ain’t seen it yet. One law of physics is: taxes go up, not down. Where’s the bang for the buck? Where’s Mario Testa’s brilliant leadership taking us? Nowhere.

  3. Derek, are you suggesting that state politician’s are treating Bridgeport like SHIT because Ganim was re-elected after going to prison rather than this being how Bridgeport has been treated for decades?

    Do You forget how Chief Quite Hawk of the Paugussett Tribe was treated by Blumenthal and the Gold coast politician’s when he wanted to open a casino in Bridgeport decades ago?
    This isn’t a Joe Ganim issue, a Bridgeport corruption issue or a crime issue, it’s a we don’t give a Damn about anything in or near Bridgeport issue. Their energy has been spent with the uplift of the Greenwich, Stamford area as well as the State Capital area for many decades now, long before Joe Ganim was mayor or went to jail.

  4. The fairy tale dream is over and now the nightmare begins and reality sets in. Bridgeport has been looking for that one magic pill that would solve all their problems and provide good paying jobs to anyone who wanted a job and that magic pill was casino.

    “Fairy Tales” – Anita Baker””

  5. *** Up north (Capitol) will never allow a casino in Bpt. due to the I-95 traffic for starts, let alone what the tribes pay for lobby cost to keep the upper hand in Ct; so let them have the traffic jams up north instead! Time to move on with other ideas for Harbor Point-(aka Steel Point). So much for the power Bpt’s legislation has in Hartford, no? ***

  6. I for one am glad there will be no casino. Lets start looking at the property set a side and make plans for the property and get things rolling. How long do the people on the east side have to wait so far its been over 25 years and old we got is a Starbucks chilpote and Bass Pro. In the mean time we have never received any tax monies for these properties. Now we have Carpenter Steel property and turbana Banana property sitting there waiting for promises and bullshit

  7. Bridgeport it is time to Unite!!

    Ed Gomes is correct – Bridgeport is treated like shit. It has always been treated like shit and it certainly has nothing to do with Mayor Ganim.

    Regardless of whether you voted for Joe Ganim or not. He is the Mayor and does an amazing job promoting Bridgeport. That is a given. Some people are just nasty and will never give credit for anything and on this blog it is a given.
    This post is a call to arms. I respect every opinion regarding the casino. I believe the taxpayers and the BOE will be beneficiaries . That is what I believe.
    Whether you support the Casino for our city or not, the Larson decision is disturbing on all fronts. I don’t care where you stand on this issue. Treating our city like the Bastard child and being treated like shit is not acceptable.

    For the first time in a very long time – we have a delegation that is 100 percent together. We have a Mayor running for Governor putting Bridgeport’s best foot forward and we have Larson thinking that after Testimony he could just kill the deal without any repercussions. He is very wrong. Bridgeport has had enough. We are united- We expect a vote We expect our neighboring to support us. We expect Better Bridgeport and every other group to stand together and demand Bridgeport , the states largest city be acknowledged and accounted for . We need to support our united delegation.

    I urge everyone to pick up the phone and call State Senator Tim Larson : (860) 240-0511 if you do not want to talk to an aide or recording you can call Tim Larson direct and DEMAND Bridgeport get a vote !! Be respectful . Senator Larson’s direct line is (203) 859-0076

    Please make the call now!

    Happy St. Patricks Day. The luck of the Irish is with Bridgeport today. I believe in our delegation to get things done .

  8. This is why there should have been a plan “B” in case of what happened did happen.

    The city still needs the tax revenue and people need jobs.

    So, now what?

      1. Plan B?? In the immediate future,look for Joe to try to shift focus on another pipedream,the Majestic theater revitalization
        project…and the longterm plan?,eventually Steelpoint will be housing.

  9. Too many put all the eggs in this basket. Shame shame shame. It would have been years before all the necessary permits and paperwork was completed, before all the bribes are paid.

    There are other options. Bridgeport used to be an industrial powerhouse. It can be again. The renewable energy sector, for example. There’s plebty of unused industrial space in Bridgeport. Wind turbines, solar panels and the like could be manufactured here. That would create well paying jobs with benefits, pensions, etc. we have higher education to produce managerial talent.

    Too many here believed the casino would go through, it would have been built in nanoseconds and everything wrong with Bridgeport would be magically remedied, belived it was the ONLY option. Time to start thinking of the big picture, ladies and gentlemen. The casino was nd is a PROPOSAL, not a gift from the fairy godmother. We need JOBS, not a carrot and a stick.

  10. Derek. Wake up and smell the $$$. Go to the library and research the Bridgeport casino issue and the players… Go back 25 years in the Connecticut Post archives — to when they used to have some journalistic balls and sympathy for their home city… You’ll learn that the real bogey men menacing Bridgeport aren’t local small fry — they’re the $BIG$ people, down-county, that let the little people foot the bill for the unimaginable power and privilege that a few thousand Americans and other “global citizens” enjoy on the backs of the rest of the 7 billion of us (think Leona Helmsley)…

    Remember: You need $ for tax cuts/incentives to grease the “gears” of any Bridgeport industrial/manufacturing resurgence… I’ve been fighting that fight for a long time… There is nothing and no-one out there, save casino cash machines, that will come to Bridgeport with that much grease…

    If you knew the history of the Gold Coast Bridgeport-casino blockade, you would realize that it isn’t about casino’s — it’s about anything that will jeopardize the availability and transportation of cheap labor to maintain the Gold Coast standard of living and tax-base, free of charge (municipally speaking): The Gold Coast keeps jobs out of Bridgeport, forcing labor to commute down-county (where they can’t afford to live) on a daily basis… Perfect for the Gold Coast — they get all of that labor, but don’t have to play “host” with schools, and services, and infrastructure for the riff-raff (us)that they simply send home at the end of the work-day… They get to pocket all of that tax-base $ while Bridgeport foots the bill to house/maintain the labor force…

    It isn’t about casinos… It’s about control and exploitation for gain (of poor people by wealthy people…) If Amazon wanted to locate in Bridgeport, “they” (the Stamford-Hartford Power Axis/partnership), would block that too…

    As Stamford Area of Chamber of Commerce (SACIA) President Chris Bruhl blurted out so indiscreetly and tellingly in the presence of a Connecticut Post reporter at a July, 2001 SACIA membership breakfast in regard to a renewed Bridgeport Casino initiative; “…we [Gold Coast] can’t let them [Bridgeport] have anything like that [casino/large-scale, jobs-intensive development] or we will loose our cheap labor force…”

    By the way; Chris Bruhl is now Business Council of Fairfield County (direct descendant of SACIA) president…

    Derek: Do some homework and get the facts before you take any hard stances against any pro-Bridgeport initiatives… Maybe casino’s are “bastions of sin and decadence” — but the poverty of declining Bridgeport will give rise to (and has given, and will give rise to) a lot more sin, and decadence, and human misery and cruelty, albeit, somewhat under the radar, than the net misery yielded by the vices brought with a casino… Right now, we have all of the misery and no “$alve… At least a casino would bring some $alve and some hope $whwerwithal$ to escape the misery, via jobs and tax base…

    Hey, Lennie: Why not host an OIB forum on the decline and failure to thrive of modern Bridgeport… Maybe OIB and the BPL could provide a panel to provide some facts for Bridgeporters interested in exploring past our symptoms to the bases/etiology of our socioeconomic disease…


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