Rumor Central Station

Did ya stay up to watch the Oscars?

I attended Bridgeport’s version of the Oscars party Sunday afternoon at the home of Jack McGregor and Mary-Jane Foster, hosts of an annual kickin’ New Year’s party in February. The gracious co-founders of the Bridgeport Bluefish always draw an eclectic collection of the great and near-great to their waterfront home in Black Rock.

Mo and I arrived early and at the same time as Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. I greeted the AG and then moved around the room to listen and share the skinny. Here’s what’s going on (I think) based on all the chatter.

Bloomer is waiting to see if Chris Dodd does not seek reelection to his U.S. senate seat next year. If Dodd doesn’t, Dick is in. If that doesn’t happen Dick will look at taking on Joe Lieberman in 2012.

Lots of talk about former Mayor Joe Ganim being transferred to a federal prison camp in western Pennsylvania. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a policy that allows inmates to participate in a drug program, provided they can show a preexisting substance abuse problem in a pre-sentence report, that offers time shaved off of a sentence upon completion. It’s like a classroom boot camp program for substance abusers.

I know Joe fairly well and as far as I know he had no substance abuse problem except for all that wine I bought for him. As someone cracked at the party, Joe had a problem alright, with Opus One. Joe never did go for the cheap stuff, unless he was buying.

Hey, if Joe qualified for the drug program claiming a steady stream of past vino intake, more power to him. It means Joe would be out of the joint next year. Would Joe run for mayor in 2011? I have no clue, but he’d be competitive; and wouldn’t that be fun. A primary of Bill Finch, Johnny Fabs, Joe Ganim, Chris Caruso. Hey, maybe Ernie Newton, who’ll also be out of the can next year, will see all of those white guys and jump in. That F-bomb you just heard came from both Yahooy and Wondering.

Okay, on to something more solid. Former City Councilman from Black Rock Pat Crossin is expected to be appointed to the Water Pollution Control Authority very soon. It’s an interesting time to join that board given the mayor’s plan to create a regional water authority involving Trumbull and Monroe. Pat sells industrial pumps for a living so he won’t mind pumping more moolah out of Trumbull and Monroe.

We saw lots of OIB friends at the party including former State Senator Rob Russo,  the blonde banshee from Black Rock State Rep. Auden Grogins, State Senator Ed Gomes,  former Bridgeport Superintendent of Schools Jim Connelly, Barnum Museum Director Kathy Maher,  public relations guru Caryn Kaufman, Rina Bakalar, former congressional district director for Chris Shays, and City Councilman Bob Troll Walsh who showed up with an interesting female guest. Troll, tell us more!

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti was also at the party. I didn’t notice any feds taking pictures outside.



  1. Would anyone know why when I try to include the word Ethics in a sentence about Chris Dodd, Word throws me off for using improper syntax?
    Lennie in your above observation “As someone CRACKED at the party, Joe” … Was that a pun?

  2. Joe Ganim, a candidate for mayor when he is released from an extensive federal prison sentence for running a corrupt administration while he was mayor. Are the people of Bridgeport really that stupid?

  3. As JP says in Angels in the Outfield, “It could happen.”

    Also, as William Pitt once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    It’s hard to find anyone who has no temptation once in a place of power. Even though many are not caught, I’m quite sure everyone will agree it happens. Just so happened that Joe and a few others were great men who were made bad men. Did he learn his lesson? I’m sure 9 years plus will cause anyone to learn their lesson over $500k. Based on performance before his ‘occurrence’ I would possibly vote for him, especially if Finch, Fabs and Caruso are running.

  4. No wonder no one wants to invest in B’port. People are already trying to decide who’ll be the next mayor. If the only choices are Finch, Fabrizi, Caruso, Ganim and Ayala; I guess it gives me limited time to sell my house, pack my bags and ride into the sunset.

    1. If the only choices are Finch, Fabrizi, Caruso, Ganim and Ayala, and possibly Ernest “Moses of my people” Newton (Smiley, Dopey, Grumpy, Sleazy, Donner and Blitzen), the city council ought to pass an ordinance that all mayoral candidates wear clown suits at fundraising events.

      There should be no doubt that the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee would endorse Joe Ganim’s candidacy in a heartbeat. After all he just took a few bribes. What’s that compared to snorting cocaine and getting drunk on the job? What’s a few custom-tailored shirts compared to bringing nothing to office save a Pepsodent smile? What’s a few cases of expensive French wine compared to a case of sour grapes?

  5. Lennie,
    Her name is Judith; a native of Budapest Hungary. Was involved in the Hungarian club basketball program, played internationally, immigrated to the US in the ’70s and actually landed in B-port. The West End naturally. On our way over to Jack and Mary Jane’s we drove up Orland St. and she found the first house she lived in.
    She eventually found her way to SHU and played college ball for them.
    For one semester, I was a senior, she a freshman but we never met.
    And 30 years later we end up working at the same company.
    I credit Ryan Keeley (Bob’s son) for bringing us together. It was my stories about the trials and tribulations of coaching a 1 – 4 grade basketball team that caught her ear and we began to explore our common interests.
    We caught the first half of the U Conn women’s basketball game Sunday before making our way back to B-port for the party. Let me know when you are having your next blog party and I will try to coax her back to the city but she still suffers some culture shock waves when she remember leaving Budapest and arriving in Bridgeport.
    Are you feeling a book deal here?

  6. Ganim’s campaign stump speech:

    “Hi, I’m Joe Ganim and I’m running for mayor. I was mayor back in the nineties, but the government forced me into a sabbatical at Club Fed. I took some ‘consulting’ fees, which included cases of wine, massages, custom-tailored shirts, and cash, but I only took the booty for the good of the city. I learned my lesson the hard way: don’t get caught.

    “I’m Joe Ganim and I need your vote in the primary.”

    1. Do you want the city to see nothing but RedRedandRed?

      Mary Jane couldn’t run a successful baseball team and you think she can successfully run a city like Bridgeport?

  7. Joel, she is not a magician–it is a difficult business to run especially in a come-back city. She did a good job considering the task. She has done outstanding work leading in the non-profit community. Back when the old YWCA, now Center for Women and Families needed leadership, she came on as Board President and reinvented the agency to the benefit of the community. She is one smart lady who would put smart people around her. She is honest, hardworking and has a great deal of common sense and a common touch. I think she would be great for Bridgeport. My experience is her word is good. Celia Cruz, great idea … she would also be a great CAO …


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