Shays Back Home In Walker’s House For Fundraiser

Walker announcement
David Walker

Update: comment from Shays. They have lived in the same house, they sometimes are physically confused for the other, and both are Republicans. So why shouldn’t former Congressman Chris Shays lend his name to a fundraiser for former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, a candidate for lieutenant governor trying to qualify for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly financed races. Shays will return to his old home, 37 Beacon Street, Sunday afternoon.

Chris Shays
Chris Shays

The line of folks who owned that waterfront property in Black Rock reads like a who’s who among business and political leaders. Shays bought the address from David Carson, the retired chief executive officer of People’s Bank. Carson bought it about 30 years ago from John and Betty Pfriem, publishers of the Bridgeport Post and Telegram, predecessors to the Connecticut Post. Walker bought the 4500-square-foot colonial from Shays in 2009 for $1.5 million. Walker enjoys the home, but certainly not the $35,000 annual tax bill on it. Says Walker:

It will be good to see Chris again and I am very appreciative of his very strong endorsement of my campaign for Lt. Governor. We both love the home at 37 Beacon Street in Black Rock. Our home has had a number of impressive owners. I expect that all of the home’s owners only had second thoughts about owning it on two days each year–the semi-annual property tax bill days.

Says Shays:

David Walker is seeking to be our next Lt. Governor. He is a remarkable talent, who has invested a tremendous amount of his time and energy, encouraging us, through his words and actions, to demand our elected officials stop the senseless partisanship bankrupting our city, state and nation, and do what is right.

David Walker’s life in public service is a testimony of integrity, courage and wisdom. I pray Republicans have the good sense to make sure he is on the ticket, and do everything they can to make sure he is elected this fall to help all of us.

Political candidates across the state are working in earnest to place the best possible light on fundraising efforts with the close of the money quarter this weekend. It’s part of the show of strength for candidate viability. Walker is positioning his governmental background and public fundraising efforts as a complement to two leading GOP candidates for governor, 2010 nominee Tom Foley and State Senator John McKinney. State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi is also among the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. The Republican state convention to endorse candidates is less than two months away at Mohegan Sun. The other top-tier Republican candidate for governor, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has selected former Groton Mayor Heather Bond Somers as his running mate.

Walker home
37 Beacon Street

Technically, Walker has formed an exploratory committee for lieutenant governor. Walker must raise $75,000 in donations between $5 and $100 to qualify for a public primary grant of $406,275. The general election grant for lieutenant governor is $812,550. Anyone who serves as treasurer of a statewide candidate committee should be canonized in campaign sainthood. It’s an extremely labor intensive process loaded with paperwork, checking and rechecking so it passes inspection from monitors with the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission. Foley, who self-financed in 2010, and McKinney, with Boughton trailing, are the leading GOP candidates in the public financing sweepstakes. Grants for qualified CEP gubernatorial candidates participating in a primary will be $1,354,250. The party nominee gets $6.5 million. But candidates for governor can pool money raised with a candidate for lieutenant governor to put them over the top. Gubernatorial candidates must raised $250,000 in small donations to trigger the grant.

So if Foley and McKinney hit a wall in trying to raise the last $50K, Walker’s money (if he raises successfully) could be the determining factor of his running mate viability. If Walker is selected as a running mate in the expected gubernatorial primary he technically will be running on his own while advocating for the ballot leader. Candidates for governor and lieutenant run on their own accord in primaries, together as a ticket of one in a general election.

The idea of the voluntary public financing program, funded primarily from the proceeds of the sale of abandoned property, is to level the playing field, reduce money influence and limit campaign contributions to small donations between $5 and $100. Candidates participating in the CEP are prohibited from accepting contributions from state contractors and political action committees.



  1. I have been impressed by my neighbors who have owned that house. They are talented, educated and have been willing to serve in their appointed field of work, as well as in a number of other public-service (without pay) positions.

    If you have concerns about city or state fiscal affairs as I have, I cannot think of a person more up to the task of researching, identifying and devising practical alternatives to our financial problems than David Walker. Go into the detail with him and learn something. A contribution to his exploratory campaign, regardless of your political persuasion, will result in interesting dialogue during the campaign (assuming he wins the Lt. Governor bid) about problems and necessary directions. He is a case of competence and experience trumping party. He is an independent-minded individual who can speak authoritatively on our biggest State problem: funding government services. If we fail to find a better way, even a relatively wealthy state can find itself unable to make ends meet. Loss of services, jobs, long-term commitments in jeopardy? Why not visit 37 Beacon Street on Sunday and see whether Walker has some better ideas, perhaps allowing you to provide some real support. (In the words of a speaker at a conference I attended this weekend: We may be ready to overcome “the passivity of the subjugated.” Time will tell.

        1. Jennifer, the last time I saw you and JML, you were both white. Ron Mackey will never hire either of you even if you both were willing to work for free.

          1. Joel Gonzalez, some of my best friends are white. I for one appreciate the community involvement Jennifer Buchanan and JML perform.

          2. Here is a snippet from a posting Donald Day made to an article about Rick Torres. I wonder if it would have any relevance here if you changed just a few words.
            “Let me explain this to all of you who would try to disparage what Mackey said and what he really meant, remember when people would say in defense of some asinine statement they made about blacks, ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS IS BLACK. Need any more be said?”

          3. BOE SPY, “tongue in cheek.” When someone speaks tongue-in-cheek, that means they’re joking and kidding. That was my reply to Joel Gonzalez’ comment “Ron Mackey will never hire either of you even if you both were willing to work for free.” BOE SPY, keep trying.

          4. BOE SPY, what don’t you come out of the closet and gain some respect by using your real name and stop hiding and be the real woman you are. People are respected when they sign their name like so many other people do on OIB, why are you so scared?

          5. 1- The fact a comment was tongue-in-cheek does not make it any less asinine.
            2- Because I do not want to. My first amendment rights are not tied to my identity. Many people who do use their names have offered to speak with you many times. How many times have you taken up the offer? Now, you want to know who I am. What difference would it make? Then you would be able to not come and talk to me in person.
            3- Sticks and stones 😛

          6. BOE SPY, you said, “Many people who do use their names have offered to speak with you many times. How many times have you taken up the offer?” My first amendment rights are not tied to me to speak to people who ask me on a blog.

            I know you don’t want to give your name because you have no courage, you are scared to stand up like a proud American and stand up for what you say and believe, stand up like other men do on OIB, don’t hide behind your skirt and being a coward.

          7. Ron,
            What a concept! Working for Ron Mackey who cannot find any way for us to meet and talk as two Bridgeport residents who believe more needs to be done than is being done by elected officials.

            And now Ron has admitted he “appreciates” my community involvement. Nice but he is not available. Today he is attempting to “out” BOE SPY because he will not identify herself (lots of reasons in this City), he accuses him of cowardice. Does he accuse others of similar failure? Or does her commentary hit too close to the mark to be comfortable for him to hear?

            Time will tell.

          8. John Marshall Lee, as we all know BOE SPY has every right to say what he wants on OIB but she is a coward when he attacks another blogger. None of us have to agree with someone’s viewpoint but she crosses the line when he attacks someone, she should just stand up and make his point and sign her name like everybody else and be a real man of courage.

          9. Wait a minute, Ron. Now you’re crying foul and screaming chicken because you are being attacked? You may have taken the mayor’s new ordinance a bit too literally. First off, should I re-post every other post you make where you imply racism or collusion as motive? Or is it OK to attack other posters when you use your real name? Secondly, Donald Day put the idea forward. I just applied it evenly regardless of race, creed or color. Lastly, you have continued the attacks. Even to other articles across the blog where people may have no knowledge of this little tiff. So cry me a river.

          1. Ron Mackey, if David Walker won the nomination, we should all celebrate being Bridgeporters. If by some fluke of the universe the Republicans won the election then they did a better job getting their message out. I think the Republicans are imagining big wins in the midterm elections and beyond. Not by their talent or ideology but by default. That being said, suggesting John Marshall Lee and Jennifer Buchanan would be the recipients of positions being Walker’s biggest cheerleaders, I have to say we would all be better for it. I may be a staunch Democrat, but it is clear Jennifer and John would be an asset to David Walker and not your typical patronage job.

          2. Expecting nothing, volunteering to support the most qualified candidate in all races, no matter what their party affiliation.

          3. Steven Auerbach, I agree with your point “I think the Republicans are imagining big wins in the midterm elections and beyond. Not by their talent or ideology but by default.” And your other point, “it is clear Jennifer and John would be an asset to David Walker and not your typical patronage job.” Now JML said it’s insulting to him if he were given a position, please.

          4. I am going to vote for DW and his ticket because he is going to give me some patronage payback. I like to call it lower taxes and higher house values achieved through governmental fiscal responsibility. God knows the Democrats have no idea what those words mean. That is why the Republicans are imagining big wins. We are sick and tired and we are not going to take it anymore.

      1. Ron,
        Now you are insulting me! I have maintained necessary licenses with fees and continuing education for sale of financial products for 50 years come June 1964. I still derive a portion of my income from active self-employment. What I do in the community for Rotary (“Service above self”), and for other groups, boards, teams and committees has always been as a “non conflicted” volunteer. I put my time, talent and treasure into my effort without a self interested motive.

        Perhaps that concept is unfamiliar to you? I believe that you have related some faith based activity or belief in the past. Does working for your neighbor require compensation in the coin of the realm? Or is this the lens through which you look at the community including people who post on this blog, but with whom you hold yourself away, not wishing to know them any better? Time will tell.

      2. What you said, Ron Mackey, is:
        “John Marshall Lee, I’m sure there will be a paid position for you …”
        And what I said to you in response was:
        “Now you are insulting me!” And I attempted to provide detail for my feeling.
        And then you say below:
        “Now JML said it’s insulting to him if he were given a position, please.”

        Read it once, twice, however many times you require. Please reflect on all the words you have chosen to distort. Why do you do that? Do you hope other folks act out the pattern your life experience has taught you? You are seeing things through a darkened lens. Apparently you cannot see other people operating out of reason, principle, and lived experience without attributing a baser and lesser motivation for service to their neighbors. And for a man who likes to respond to the comments of others, why not have the courage to reply in kind?

        That old campaign response comes to mind: “If nominated I shall not run. If elected I shall not serve.” I am neither looking for, nor expect, nor will accept a ‘political’ position or appointment with compensation. If my abilities, such as they are, are requested, after reflection if I decide to assist, I offer my assistance without compensation so I may remain true to other activities I support, as well as true to my principles and pursuit of the truth. Ron, either you do not understand what I am saying (but thanks for the opportunity to express it) or you do not want to accept it. That is your right, to have an opinion even if it has no basis in fact.

        Do retired firemen continue to have the type of courage it took to run into burning buildings to serve the public? Surely meeting me, where I am, is far less of a threat than that which you pursued in your vocation. Time will tell.

        1. John Marshall Lee, let’s try this again, this is what I wrote:
          Ron Mackey // Mar 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

          John Marshall Lee, I’m sure there will be a paid position for you and Jennifer Buchanan at the end of the road.

          Now where did I say YOU, John Marshall Lee, WANTED A POSITION OR ASKED FOR A POSITION?

        2. JML, spare us the baloney about Shays’ volunteerism. Obama offered him a high-ranking position in the Peace Corps, which anyone would think Shays would consider an honor considering how much Shays brags about his time in the Peace Corps and Shays turned it down after Jim Himes graciously pushed his appointment. Guess Chris found all those part-time Board memberships were more lucrative.

          1. And the high-ranking position was Director … it even would have satisfied Shays’ ego.

          2. Dave–it is still a free country. If Shays did not want the job, that is his choice. I have turned down jobs. They were good jobs but the boss was a jerk. For whatever reason, he did not want to do it. Maybe he did not need the money. How many people do you know who get along just fine without working? Maybe Shays was waiting for his unemployment to run out. Doesn’t it last a year and a half now? Why should he go work for Obama when Obama will pay him to stay home? He may have been busy working as a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case. If you lived in CT you could go to a Shays for Governor rally and ask him.

      1. Dave,
        I hope you can retrieve your fingers from your throat along with both feet. Perhaps you should take a moment to wipe your bile from your clothing also. Not a pretty sight. You get so worked up.

        If someone is proud of their experience in the Peace Corps, Marine Corps, Mercy Corps, or AmeriCore, will you allow them to express it, or is it worthy of ridicule because of something else you have against them? Each corps has a different purpose, objectives and provides different experiences, but what is it about the Peace Corps and Shays’ experience that galls you?
        Perhaps you have no financial responsibilities? I think Shays took upon himself the responsibilities left upon him by a campaign aide who plundered funds. Might that or other issues enter into his decisions?
        By the way I referenced three gentlemen including David Carson (who was vitally involved in the Bridgeport Public Education Fund and many other community programs including the Bridgeport Financial Oversight Committee 20 years or so ago), David Walker, (currently exploring a run for Lt. Governor, but helpful to a number of folks locally and farther away to offer governance advice around fiscal issues of significant value) as well as being a sparkplug for CW4BB, a group that assisted some changes at election time as well as Chris Shays.
        You know what happens when you look down your nose at others? Your vision gets out of focus, my friend. What happens when you can think of one thing good another person has done, and tell them that with a sincere smile on your face? You won’t know ’til you try it. You may gain a new friend. Someone who is willing to listen to you, who will cover your back when you are under attack. Sound worthwhile to you? Try it. Time will tell.

      2. Dave Moore, stick both hands down your throat–were the Democrats in the Connecticut House and Senate speaking for the poor when they cut $120 million from Social Service funding to cover the deficit and remained quiet when it was announced the $250 million surplus was gong to go out as refunds of $55 for all taxpayers–including the rich?

  2. Nobody thinks I’m very bright. Here’s the latest example: I cannot understand why someone would form a PAC, and then run for political office knowing they could not use its funds for the CEP. I’d think a tiny PAC would have $75K but I’m a political neophyte whose grasp of this subject is limited.

    1. Walker must raise $75,000 in donations between $5 and $100 to qualify for a public primary grant of $406,275. $75K is less than $406K. Does that help? A donation from an individual usually equals a vote. The nomination process looks closely at is the candidate doing the work necessary to generate voter support in the general election. The CT public financing program is designed to assist viable candidates in securing funding.

      1. And Eyes, unless you have been the treasurer of a campaign or a fund raiser, it is very confusing. Raising qualifying money is also very different from raising money.

  3. Don’t be afraid to break the CEP rules set by the toothless SEEC. Here is another example of how you can beat the system and get free money:
    11. Given that this transaction occurred during the inaugural, statewide run of the Citizens’
    Election Program in 2008, meaning that nearly five years have passed since these
    contributions were collected in the community, the Commission will take no further action
    on this complaint.

    Notice that they said, “.. .meaning that nearly five years have passed since these …” Nearly?

    1. Did Pelto have anything to say about Andy Fardy’s complaint against Maria Pereira (WFP) for campaigning against his wife in front of the polls? I do not blame him if he didn’t. Pelto wouldn’t want to bite the WFP hand that feeds him.

  4. “Walker must raise $75,000 in donations between $5 and $100 to qualify for a public primary grant of $406,275.”

    There is a bonus prize of an additional $406,275 for the winner of the Republican Lt. Governor spot. The winner doesn’t have to continue raising funds for the November election and will automatically get the bonus prize. Is this not quite correct Lennie or does the winner gets a higher amount?

  5. Thanks, Ron! Even if we do not agree on the candidates or party affiliation, I too appreciate and learn from people like you who are involved and engaged in the community.

  6. Let’s play Bpt roulette. The names have been hidden to protect the guilty kiss butters.

    One person who is so lazy and has never won a campaign but demands to get paid to work the campaigns without doing a thing is now begging help from the people who paid this person to do nothing.

    One player who if you asked their help it was spread all over the city and in a way to make the asker look so foolish is now out with hat in hand getting laughed at.

    A non-story but funny when someone is now asking for support but hasn’t talked to the people they are asking in four years, typical.

    Last but not least is the person who worked side by side with people is now branching off and stabbing the people in the back who they were in cahoots with, and the knife is long and very bloody.

    Just another day in Bpt politics, can’t wait for tomorrow.

  7. I believe in Connecticut the Nominee for Governor decides directly or indirectly who they want for their running mate. The money raised by Walker is irrelevant if the gubernatorial nominee does not want him.


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