Slash Politics–For Entertainment It’s Bridgeport

Colin McEnroe

When it comes to Machiavellian politics, Bridgeport rarely disappoints: tires slashed, literal pissing contests, restraining orders.

In advance of Tuesday’s primaries, CT Post scribe Colin McEnroe writes “There are also very important primaries in Hartford and New Haven, but, unfortunately, they are nowhere near as entertaining.”

In the spirit of an old-fashioned editorial fleecing, OIB will violate Hearst Media’s fair-use policy to bring you the most relevant portions of McEnroe’s slashing observations.

Ethan Book’s limo gets jacked.

Which primary involves tires being slashed? Many of you probably guessed Bridgeport, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for reverting to such an obvious stereotype, even though, yes, you are correct. The weird thing is that it happened to a Republican candidate. Ethan Book is one of three Republicans running for mayor. He is also a one-man limo company, and recently, when all four of his limo tires were slashed, he said it was “probably politically motivated.”

Absolutely any human activity that has ever been contemplated in the world can happen in Bridgeport, but it doesn’t really make sense to slash tires in a Republican primary given that the eventual victor has no chance of becoming mayor.

Which campaign most resembles a directorial project by Quentin Tarantino? That would be Bridgeport’s Fightin’ 138th. Three candidates vying for one of the district’s two seats are incumbent Karen Jackson, Maria Pereira and Tony Barr. Barr served 20 years in prison for charges arising from his days as a drug gang enforcer and, on one occasion, appears to have fired a machine gun at an undercover policeman. More recently, he was arrested for allegedly threatening to blow Mayor Joe Ganim’s head off. I’m comfortable saying it would be an enormous mistake for any political opponent to address Barr as “you great big girl’s blouse.”

Pereira, meanwhile, has been arrested at least three times in recent years. She also, last December, filed for a civil protection order against Barr and recently goaded longtime Bridgeport politician Ernie Newton into making pee-pee for a drug test. She did the same. They both came back clean. In 2016, the Bridgeport superintendent of schools quit, citing the bullying and harassment by Board of Ed member Pereira as the primary cause.

I feel like I might be leaving a few things out. I’m hoping to audit “Maria Pereira: Issues in Criminal and Civil Jurisprudence,” a Yale Law School seminar taught by my friend and colleague Brian Lockhart, although currently no such course exists.

Meanwhile, Jackson, the incumbent, has been accused by Pereira of violating the residency requirement when she was evicted from her home, although if I were Jackson I would probably arrange to be evicted just so I could go somewhere safe.

That’s all. There are also very important primaries in Hartford and New Haven, but, unfortunately, they are nowhere near as entertaining.

Full column here.



  1. It’s sad to read this post because it paints a very unflattering negative picture of Bridgeport. That is why I will be voting in the Democratic Primary this coming Tuesday so that some amount of civility or honesty in purpose can be found in Bridgeport. I certainly realize what has been said many a-time; Politics is a contact sport or If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, then get out. However, one recent statement from a Bridgeport community leader makes it even more painfully aware that Bridgeport needs a Unifier with high standards.

        1. Ive yet to see ganim come out and codem the black enough comments. This game was played with obama as well. I hope ernie constitutes remember who he supported and I think a lot of people have caught on in his community.

        2. donj, Ernie, will say that Mario Testa didn’t support him in maybe one election but you won’t see Ernie, Ralph Ford or any other black politician publicly speak out against Ganim and Testa.

  2. donj, there is no Democrat primary in the 139th district. Here is the link from FaithActs for Education – 2019 Voter Guide. It includes every candidate who will appear on a Bridgeport ballot in September. A General Election voter guide will also be published, including more candidates who will appear on the ballot in November. donj, you could contact them and get on their mailing list and you should ask for their 45 page voter guide that’s in color with pictures of all candidates from both parties who are running for office.

    Voter guide is for Bridgeport’s Primary Election on September 10, 2019

      1. donj, same thing for me, a neighbor three doors down is running for the Bridgeport Board Of Education on the Republican and I’ll vote for him in the general election but I didn’t know until I saw his picture in the FaithActs voter guide. I like this organization because they DO NOT endorse ANY candidate and they great work with informing the public. They believe in charter schools as a organization and I believe in ANYTHING that will help to educate Bridgeport students.


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