The Accidental Mayor

Johnny Fabs. What can I say? He’s pure emotion, and now you can see the good, bad and ugly of John Fabrizi’s four years in office in The Accidental Mayor, the documentary by noted filmmaker Larry Locke. See details in press release below.

My relationship with Fabs goes back 25 years when he was a member of Bridgeport’s Civil Service Commission. I liked him then, and I like him now. But he could be an insufferable pain in the neck with his neediness. In a strange way that’s part of Fabs’ charm.

I helped him with his first campaign for City Council, and we spoke often about positioning him for mayor someday. At the time I could not imagine the route it would eventually take. In 1996 a series of events occurred that would eventually transform the future of the city. City Council President Lisa Honey Parziale was making my life miserable. “Honey, you get nothing through the City Council without me,” she said to me. I said no to her overtures, and that was the end of our relationship. Parziale was on a one-person jihad to punish me and any client I had before the council, telling everyone willing to listen to her that I was toast. Mayor Joe Ganim and his bagman Paul Pinto knew I was vulnerable and, well, you know that story. But in between I won a battle.

How to dethrone Parziale from council leadership? Battle lines were drawn. I wanted her out. Pinto and Chuck Willinger, a land use attorney close to Parziale and major Ganim contributor, wanted to keep her in. I put my groin on the line with Ganim: push Fabrizi for council president. It was up to me to line up the council votes. There was already a growing bloc of votes on the council dissatisfied with Honey, including Bill Finch, Auden Grogins, Pat Crossin and Mike Marella. Fabrizi became acceptable.

Honey realized she did not have the votes, withdrew her name from contention and Fabs was elected council president. About six years later, Ganim resigned following his conviction in the government’s case “Operation Hardball” and Fabs, first in line for a mayoral vacancy, automatically became mayor.

The dream job for many would be playing centerfield for the Yankees. The only job Fabs wanted on his resume was mayor of Bridgeport. He had a number of successes as mayor, particularly in the area of downtown development, but testifying on behalf of a sexual offender on top of his admitted cocaine abuse was too much. Political leaders walked away from Fabs. If Fabs could do it all over again he’d have told the pols to punt, instead of opting against a reelection run. And now, Fabs isn’t looking bad at all following Finch’s first six months as mayor. Sounds like Fabs is trying to stay in play. Just three years until the next mayoral cycle. We’ll see.

(If you want to see a photo of the legendary steel-cage match between Mario Testa and Mike Rizzitelli, see previous post. You won’t be disappointed.)

Screening of THE ACCIDENTAL MAYOR to benefit Bridgeport arts organizations

The public is invited to attend a benefit screening of THE ACCIDENTAL MAYOR, a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Larry Locke. The screening, scheduled for Monday, June 9, 2008 at 7:00 P.M. at The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, will benefit The Barnum Museum and City Lights Gallery. A post screening reception will be held at City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, Bridgeport.

Filmed from 2005 through 2008, Locke had unprecedented access to Fabrizi’s inner sanctum, capturing both the successes and failures of his dramatic four-year tenure as mayor. THE ACCIDENTAL MAYOR is a raw, compelling tale of a man whose personal struggles directly reflect those of his hometown.

In 2003, John Fabrizi became THE ACCIDENTAL MAYOR of Bridgeport, Conn. Could he live up to the terms of office? Surprising even himself, he defied expectation and helped his city believe again after 40 years of missed opportunities and broken promises. Fabrizi wore Bridgeport on his sleeve but would it be enough to overcome his personal demons? Under the glaring lights of the national media, Fabrizi takes Bridgeport on a wild roller coaster ride that leaves both him and his city changed forever. For more information, visit

Tickets are $30.00 each. Proceeds will benefit The Barnum Museum and City Lights Gallery.  Tickets may be purchased by credit card by calling the Barnum Museum at (203) 331-1104 or by visiting the Museum’s gift shop.



  1. When John Fabrizi first became Mayor my reaction was “Oh, God, here we go. From the corrupt to the clueless. Bridgeport hasn’t got a chance.” I was wrong. Sure he made mistakes and they were big ones (though mostly personal). But overall he was a pretty good Mayor. He knew what he wanted to accomplish and, unlike Mayor Moonbeam, he wasn’t afraid to make a tough decision. He also did better than any Mayor in my memory dealing with the state and getting help for Bridgeport. Not bad considering that Bridgeport had (and has) a weak legislative delegation and the state had a Republican Governor during his entire term. Bob Keeley and Chris Caruso may talk about bringing home the bacon, but John Fabrizi actually did it!

    John Boy, we miss you.

  2. Lennie I’m not sure who where the folks interviewed for the facts about how Fabrizi became Council President.
    Mayor Ganim did not want Lisa Parziale as Council President. Ganim wanted Auden Grogins and she was their choice. I objected to the Idea of one district holding all the Power. Ganim, Crossin and Grogins all from the same district. At the time there were 4 Latinos and 4 African Americans in the Council — The Minority Caucus.
    I invited Bob Walsh and Lisa to join our block and with them both we had 10 votes and Ganim had 10. One day Fabrizi told me that the mayor had told him that I had committed my vote to them — Ganim did this often to get others to commit. I told Fabrizi that it was bullshit and that I would support him and that in fact I was going to suggest that we back Fabrizi (who at the time best worked with us when we needed him) in the event that we agreed not to nominate one from our group. I suggested that we put someone from our group when Cybil Allen opened her eyes wide and said, “We can’t do that.” I was also aware that there were 2 moles in the minority caucus — Holloway and Allen. Before I knew it Fabrizi came to me the next day and told me that Ganim and his group were going to put him up and that was the end of it. When I told Fabrizi that the Minority Caucus was together, I bluffed as I knew that Cybil Allen and Holloway were going with Ganim by their lack of input and objection to putting up a candidate from our group. Calling Bob Walsh and Lisa Parziale, remember those days?

  3. In all fairness to Fabrizi, I must say that he did work well with the minority caucus as a Councilmen and he was the most experienced for the job other than Lisa Parziale. Can you imagined how things would have turned out had Auden Grogins been selected Council President? Sorry Auden, you just weren’t “cut” for the job.

  4. Fabrizi was one of the best mayors this city ever had. He loved B-port and gave it everything he had. He even reduced taxes a little. Too bad he had personal issues and made mistakes like everyone else but he owned up to them. But some people wouldn’t forgive him and he figured he’d lose if he ran for mayor again; a really sad story.

  5. City Kitty, what kind of catnip are you smoking? His lower taxes created the mess that the City is in now. He manipulated the budget as a last ditch effort to save himself and remain Mayor. He should have had a small increase in taxes instead of using his creative accounting methods. I normally do not defend Bill Finch but he had to fix the gaping holes in Fabrizi’s budget. I don’t agree with how Finch went about it, but I’m not an accountant and I wouldn’t want the job. The biggest thing that upsets me is laying off so many people and then hiring the political appointees, like Santiago, his cousin, the Ganim reject Curry and someone for that greeter position and now most of them are on the Mayor’s staff! What happened to the hiring freeze? Just what the Mayor needed, more people who don’t have a clue or are corrupt.

    Anyway Fabrizi did do a lot to revive economic development, although you can argue it was just a byproduct of the growing economy and Finch faces the opposite problem. Whatever the reason, our Captain is headed straight into the doldrums and the crew wants to send the first mate off the plank.

  6. OK JohnB, I won’t touch any more catnip today. John was fine up until the end when he knew he was not running for office. That’s when he went on a spending spree with city money and handed out big raises to all his friends on staff. The economy was better then too, and Finch got stuck with the fallout. Finch even got stuck with all the people John gave jobs to because it’s my understanding he made them civil service before he left, so Finch can’t get rid of them. Their pay should be cut back to what it was before they got those big raises. It’s also my understanding that every mayor everywhere, gets to pick his own staff members.

  7. Good Morning Folks! I don’t think fabs was a bad guy just someone who made some poor choices and got told his services were no longer needed. I will leave him alone on this one. I do have some breaking news for you all.

    State Rep Candidates take a stand against Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT, MAY 24, 2008 – State Representative Candidates Sly “The Fightin’ Filipino” Salcedo, Jose “Chico” Rivera and Joel “Insert amputation & dismemberment joke here” Gonzalez have announced today that they have agreed to take a stand against Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

    They have agreed to chop off their “Pajaros” aka Peckers or in plain English “That thing that you piss through” this Tuesday in front of City Hall Annex at 11:30 am. When reached for comment Republican Endorsed Candidate Joel Gonzalez also announced that he will be cutting off his nose to spite his face this November in front of Testo’s because he knows there is some “Fowl shit going on over there”.

  8. How quickly we forget. When Fabs left office it was November 30, 2007. There were six months left to the fiscal year which ends June 30, 2008. Finch is responsible for the last six months of the fiscal year–his first six months in office. Finch also had the previous six months to prepare to take office, so how is this Fabs’ fault? Finch did not hit the deck running. When Fabs left, Steel Point was scheduled to close before June 30th which would have delivered $4.6 million. When Fabs left, American Fabrics was supposed to close before June 30th bringing in another $2-3 million. When Fabs left, the State was supposed to come up with another $10 million which never materialized. When Fabs left he had ended the ‘grants personnel’ patronage gravy train that Finch has now restarted big time with all his new non-civil service project managers. So how is this Fabs’ fault? Finch has lost Bakalar who was bringing in the big grants; Mount who was working the weak state delegation as best she could; and he threw out Hadley in January with nobody to fill her shoes to push the Steel Point and American Fabrics deals. These three powerful and effective women managers left because of Finch, not Fabs. This situation is absolutely not Fabs’ fault. Fabs was a great Mayor.

  9. Is this going to be a documentary or a mockumentary.

    Fabrizi was the beneficiary of a hot housing market and put many of his eggs, 3500 housing units, into Steal Point. Many of his anticipated projects are going down the tube including Downtown North, because of the collapse of the economy. His final budget was a joke. Finch knew and announced in Jan. or Feb. that we were $16 mill in the hole. He should have immediately stopped the bleeding with sharp cuts, furloughs and whatever it would take to put a tourniquet on the city. Finch will be the waste byproduct of a economy in stagflation and maybe worse. I have to disagree on Hadley.

    Bridgeport is Leaderless and Rudderless as we enter the Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

    JohnB- Or is it Sloop John B- Sounds like you have been reading Mutiny on The Bounty.

  10. Let’s not get carried away here … Fabs the best Mayor ever? I don’t think so … Was he better than Finch is … Yes I do believe that. But Fabs did waste A LOT of the budget on increasing his political and personal friends’ salaries. Unaffiliated Secretaries went from making $40-45k a year to making over $65k and they are now in supervisors union when they don’t supervise anyone at all!!! And unaffiliated department heads were turned over to the supervisors union all to save them from being let go when Finch came in. Two employees in Labor relations were included in this. Isn’t the whole labor relations staff supposed to be unaffiliated? Hmmm a lot of fishiness went on and is still going on. John B is SO CORRECT! There is NO HIRING FREEZE! Santiago’s cuz got a nice newly created position in the mayor’s office and the joke of the greeter job … ha ha ha … is not very funny because the greeter job is a LIUNA UNION position. Isn’t it illegal to politically appoint someone to a union position? I heard that other more qualified LIUNA members applied for that position and were told that it was at the discretion of the mayor … then why the hell is it a union position … oh I forgot … the Liuna union is in bed with the administration … in fear of losing their “acting” director jobs with huge increases … go figure.

  11. Fabrizi did a lot of good for the city as far as economic development goes. But in his last months in office he hurt the city. He put a lot of formely unprotected non-union jobs into the different unions. These jobs were basically nonessential mayoral appointed jobs. This forced
    Finch to create even more nonessential jobs.
    We still have not appointed an Economic Development Chief yet nor have we appointed a head of public facilities.
    This administration is chasing its tail and nothing is getting done. Finch and his band of incompetents need to get rid of their bunker mentality and get working.

  12. I have always said and still say you could easily make an HBO series based on Bridgeport. There have been so many power struggles, interesting characters and crazy situations you would have enough material for ten seasons. You wouldn’t need to make anything up. If they can make a movie about Fabrizi, they could make an Emmy-awarded series about Bridgeport.

  13. Wondering- It’s an Archie Bunker mentality. Like Archie,
    Bill can never admit he is wrong. He’s also been acting like a real “Meathead’.

    BigCity-Maybe we could call it “The Big City of Broken Dreams and Promises!”.

  14. Tom how about a remake of Dumb & Dumber? or the Big City that Couldn’t or wouldn’t.
    I get so pissed when I know that there are many people out there that could & would and we are stuck with the bunch of do nothings.
    I know it’s politics but I did not directly vote for moonbeam’s cabinet members. I wish the council would get off its collective ass and put Finch in his place. They need to take the bull by the horns and force finch to operate this city properly.
    We need Bob Walsh to stop being a critic only and start offering alternatives to what he is against. That shit eating grin he shows when he rails against something has got to go.
    Michelle Lyons has got to stop thinking she can solve every problem. Michele there are things that you have no control over and you have to let them go instead of spinning your wheels. I will say this I wish the rest of the council cared as much as Michele did.
    To the minority council members stop trying to ethnically top each other and work together.
    The people of Bridgeport deserve that much. Somebody on this council has to grow a set and speak out.

  15. I am living an anxiety attack reading the comments that have been published today. My belief is that Fabs did a great job until he knew that his tenure was imperiled. Yes, his spending in the final months frightened me and I made his office aware of my concerns. I did not know of the City employee promotions at the expense of the taxpayers.
    I was hopeful that he would join the private work force upon his leaving the mayor’s job so that he might have an appreciation of what it takes to earn a dollar in the private sector. But he made a very sweet deal, i.e. “I won’t run if you create a beautiful nothing-job for me which pays $120,000.00 a year”. That was the point at which my admiration for him turned to disgust. All the love that I thought he had for the City was shown to be a pragmatic goal, i.e. to line his pockets and those of his friends at the cost of the taxpayers.
    God help this poor city!

  16. Con

    What deal. When he became Mayor he got a leave of absence from the Board of Education, where he had worked since before entering politics. When he left the Mayor’s job he exercised his right to return. No more, no less.

  17. Wondering

    You make some good points. But, here is the problem. In today’s environment of cutthroat politics, personal attacks and little concern for the facts, how do you get good people to get involved in government and politics. If you were today’s John Guman, Len Paoletta, Tom Bucci or Tony Milano why would you get involved.

  18. Let’s be clear, Former City Official, it was reported in the media that a job had been “created” for Fabs and it was to pay $120,000.00 per year. According to the report, the responsibility of the job was to provide a liaison between the City and the State for the purpose of procuring more funding for the City. The article went on to say that Fabs was the perfect candidate because he had established such a wonderful relationship with the State during his mayorship.
    If he had returned to his job as Adult Education coordinator (the actual title escapes me) I seriously doubt that the compensation would have been anything like that which he is currently receiving.
    Do you contest the fact that the job had been “created” especially for him??

  19. Check your facts Con. He went back to work for the Board of Education as Assistant Director of Adult Education, the same office he worked in before becoming Mayor.

  20. Lennie:
    I see you got the advertising for the Bird Show at the Zoo. You forgot to mention that there was going to be a special appearance, by Bill the Birdman Finch and his side kick Woody Wood Picked. Bring an umbrella!

  21. So early on a Sunday morning to have to read this bullshit about Fabrizi. What city did you people live in while he was mayor. The fat, great “spend it but don’t tell anybody and let the new mayor worry about it” Fabrizi.

    He was and is a bum of the highest order.

    The man actually gives PHILISTINES a bad name.

    Like Joel.

  22. One more thing…sometime this weekend, try to remember a service man or women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom and way of life.

  23. Let’s see

    John Fabrizi vs Bill “Moonbeam” Finch?
    John Fabrizi vs Joe “Thief” Ganim?
    John Fabrizi vs May “Clueless” Moran?

    Those are all easy choices. I will take Fabrizi every time. The tough choice is John Fabrizi vs John Fabrizi, becuase some of his actions, like the last minute raises, taint his accomplishmens. But, he is still far better than the other three.

  24. Countdown

    Didn’t Finch have an all-star team of Democrats from Hartford (now there is a place to look for fiscal leadership) on the budget and taxes? Guess that explains where my $600 tax cut went!

  25. That’s great!!

    Between Ganim, Moran, and Moonbeam…you’ll take Fabrizi every time??? Philistine Jerk.

    Did you read and understand my allegorical post about the time I went to the market to buy broccoli rabe and all that was left was a bunch of junk. I picked from that bunch and ended up with a disappointing meal.

    You’re probably right. From that gaggle of shitheads, Fabrizi probably was the best of the batch. But what a nefarious batch.

    Fabrizi is nothing more then a drunk who abuses drugs and spends his time in “gentleman’s” clubs when he should be at work.

    And this is the BEST of the batch. That’s a level of Bridgeport thinking that has us in a hole that is getting deeper. Now we have to choose from the Grogins, cougars, Keeleys, Joels (amazing) and the Parziales.

    Not until we get candidates with vision, drive, integrity, experience and intelligence will we pull ourselves into the prominence we deserve.

    The politicians in Bridgeport are unworthy…every one.

    Bruce…it’s your time, man.

  26. It was Will Rogers who said: “I only know what I read in the papers”. If what you say is correct, I stand corrected. God bless you and Fabs. And God help the taxpayers of Bridgeport.

  27. Just an afterthought, Former City Official. That’s one helluva salary for doing very little, if anything. – Damn near what he was earning as mayor.
    From your pen name it appears you a have an interest in protecting those on the public teat.
    Once again, God help the taxpayers of Bridgeport.

  28. Yahooy

    You make a good point. As I said in an earlier post, the issue is how you get good people involved in politics. In this environment of pandering, personal attacks and little concern for the facts why would anyone with a reputation that they care about want to get involved.

  29. Con

    My only concern with city salaries is how much I pay in taxes in order to pay them. It’s not just the $117,000 that Fabrizi is being paid. Look at ALL school administrators’ salaries (sadly, Fabrizi’s pay is NOT out of line with the rest), not to mention teachers, city supervisors…you get the idea.

  30. Here’s another thing for all of you stupid Fabrizi fans.

    The man was IMPAIRED.

    Yet, some of you dunderheads think he was the best of the batch.

    Doesn’t that tell you something about the PROCESS?

  31. There are many problems in attracting good talent to run for office. We pay the mayor in the area of $114,000 per year, we pay the supt of Schools over $200K. There is something wrong there. Smart driven people are making more than that in private industry with a hell of a lot less aggravation.
    The other problem as I see it is people do not want to hear the truth as it relates to the the city and its finances. If you campaigned on the premise that there was a $16,000,000 deficit and laid out how you were going to handle this deficit in a clear and honest fashion the chances of a person being elected are pretty slim.
    The other problem is that today’s politicians have no balls and cannot make the hard decisions for fear of offending someone.
    A politician in Bpt today would have to lay off city employees, stop creating new positions, privatize services where it is feasible to do so. Take away all take home city cars (if it is in contracts reopen negotiations) including the mayor’s car. Do away with the $9,000 stipend to council people. Reduce monies to the Board of Education until they justify how they are spending the hundrds of millions they now get. Offer king sized incentives to developers to come into Bridgeport. This is just a start I am sure there are other ideas better than what I just wrote. Let’s hear them. Maybe we can put togther a list and get it to moonbeam and his band of idiots.
    If someone came on the scene and stated that this is what’s needed to be done the public would not vote for them.

  32. Former City Official:

    Here’s the problem with comparisons: if you set the bar or the standards low enough, you can make anyone (everyone) look good.

    Bridgeport voters have NEVER applied a rigorous set of standards to candidates for public office. The results have been and continue to be, painfully obvious.

    Electability, as determined by the machine, is the sole criteria for those who might consider running for mayor. Competence, breadth of experience, character and leadership ability are not even part of the “king makers” vocabulary. And that’s a formidable barrier for anyone to overcome.

  33. So how do we overcome that and get the right kind of people involved and turn the conversation from people and personal attacks to the issues that really matter…

  34. Bruce Hubler makes a very good point and I agree with him 100%. Until the bar is raised and the expectations of the citizenry are also raised anyone can look good by simply going through the motions. The city is overflowing with people working in positions way over their heads from the highest levels of office on down. Mediocrity has become the norm and in some cases even celebrated and this is and should be unacceptable. In Bridgeport good responsible government consistently takes a back seat to politics and until that culture changes the city will continue to pay the price. I guess we need to ask ourselves how we can begin to change the culture and mindset that has plagued this fine city for far too long.

  35. City Official wrote: So how do we overcome that and get the right kind of people involved and turn the conversation from people and personal attacks to the issues that really matter…

    We have to find them. They are out there.

    When first elected to the council, some of us met with elected officials of Stamford. When I asked the question “why Stamford flourished vs why Bridgeport didn’t” I was told bluntly that the main reason Stamford was flourishing was that their political leadership back in the 70’s decided that they wanted no more “f**king morons”. No more morons for their council, for their commissions, and no more sending morons to Hartford.

    It IS up to US. It starts with Bridgeport sending effective people and not empty suits to Hartford. Until we start, things are never going to change.

    It IS up US to find competence, breadth of experience, character. To remove those who are critics only and find those who offer alternatives.

    Since we are government by the people, for the people and we have gotten what we deserve.

  36. Hi everyone, I’m sure glad that some of you think the personal attacks should stop because some of the people who post on here say really nasty stuff. Meanwhile, I’d like to thank all the veterans for protecting and serving our great country. It’s because of them we have freedom of speech. Meanwhile, I think all of you should go out today and enjoy the beautiful day.

  37. I am not sure how we can get around the politics and the democratic party but there has to be some framework in place to get the concerned and caring people together. I guess our first chance to make changes comes this August. I realize that we really don’t have a great list of candidates for our State office holders but maybe making some changes in this delegation will hopefully send a message.
    We have the following contests:
    Keeley vs Grogins
    Clemons vs Stewart
    Gomes vs Singh (not official)
    Caruso vs Silva
    Martinez vs Ayala
    Santiago vs Rivera vs Salcedo vs Diaz?? vs ???
    Looking at these candidates is scary my take is
    Keeley: 20 years experience but has produced very little for someone with that seniority
    Grogins: just an empty shell did nothing on council and was part of BOE that spent money like drunken sailors. Only concern she has is making contacts leading to judgeship.
    Clemons: has served a couple of terms without distinction and has brough nothing back to Bridgeport but hot air.
    Stewart: I don’t know him was part of Ganim Administration.
    Gomes: looking for a second term sits on 6 different committees a second term should be considered.
    Singh: From Stratford and caused a lot of trouble there also an empty suit.
    Caruso: a one trick pony spent last session railing against present ethics laws and produced absolutely nothing for Bridgeport. He is spending time trying to get Rowlands pension over all else.
    Silva: Newcomer to council good ideas but not sure what else he stands for.
    Martinez: a retread with past history in Hartford undistinguished when there.
    Ayala: impressed with his own press clippings could not win TC seats for any of his followers and did nothing while in Hartford.
    Santiago: product of Mitch the Bitch Robles. City councilmen also one of Finch’s appointments to Special projects coordinator. Too new and too controlled.
    Rivera: Stand up guy, honest and with good ideas. donates time to public projects.
    Salcedo: A little out there as it relates to drug laws etc. little else known college grad.
    Diaz: nice guy but carpetbagger.
    Anyone reading this don’t take offense these are just MY takes on the candidates and showing our first chance to make some changes.

  38. Hi, guys, nice day out side, I’m glad I decided to check this before I went out to do my thing.

    I agree with most of the comments on this blog regarding the city and its politics, and its people, also those that govern.

    I’m here to say that those that think I’m a F**KING moron are welcome to come to my house tomorrow (340 Park Ave) after the parade and ceremonies, and I will discuss any issues you have, or don’t have, may want to have, or may invent to have, thereby changing your minds as to my ability and desires for this MY CITY, thanks, talk later.

  39. Bruce

    That was my point. We NEED people like you to be an integral part of this government, of this process. As to why you were not called is beyond me, but until people like you are included and until WE demand that people like you are included, things will never change.

  40. Much too much wasteful spending in this city. A Board of Education audit would be a great start but only if waste was identified and ELIMINATED. Before the Mayor asks any of the bargaining units in the city for concessions he should take a long hard look at his own office and staff … who’s giving anything up there, and if so, please give examples.
    This mayor hasn’t a clue and I firmly believe that he is in way over his head when it comes to running this city. He is a career politician who hasn’t held a job of any significance which would have prepared him for such an enormous challenge.

  41. Good people and politics…oxymoron? I don’t think so. I think most people go into politics with noble purposes; however the true test is what happens once they get “there” and what they will do to remain “there.” When people lose sight of why they are there, they are forever lost. When a politician lets the ancillary benefits of an elected office overtake the original purpose of public service, they stop serving the public and the public stops serving their government. It is so incredibly tragic that almost no one trusts their government anymore; and who can blame them? The government and the law have been replaced by power grabs, ego gratification and special interests. Does anyone really believe that a government of the people, by the people, for the people exists anymore? I would like to, but apathy abounds. People not only forget to use their voice, but they start believing they never had one.

    Of course most people believe politicians must have enormous egos to start with otherwise who could stand the degradation and the rejection? But that’s just it, when it becomes about the candidate, the purpose is already lost. Because it isn’t about the politician it’s about everyone else. When someone is willing to make promises in the same fashion as one makes resolutions on New Year’s Eve, they are already lost. We have lost the trust of the people with shallow, win at all costs and damn the consequences politics. Maybe campaign finance reform will help. The former system of fundraising has created puppet politicians for the greedy, power hungry and corrupt string pullers. The marionettes get tangled in their own strings and become bound by competing tugs on the strings. Bridgeport needs to stop being home of what are you going to do for me politics. As Jiminy Cricket said, let your conscience be your guide. Someone else, whom I respect enormously said, “Lead by doing the right thing and the politics will follow.”

    I want to thank all the veterans who put their lives on the line so I can have the freedom to write what I think and say how I feel. Thank you for your service, you are not forgotten.

  42. Hi All,
    OK just a few items to note:
    Regarding Gomes … he has done nothing, introduced no legislation. Russo has done more in his short time in Hartford. Gomes was against Russo’s legislation to ban city employees holding public office. Seem to me like blatant support for the mediocrity that is our City Council.
    Let’s just hit on the budget for one moment … do you think the City Council actually took a look at the health care costs in the city; if they increased the deductible maybe we could have found a few million, but guess what, the DTC basicaly obtains their livelyhood and health care from the city … SO WHY CUT THAT when you have city residents to foot the bill … another basic sharp stick in the eye of the taxpayers.
    The Republican Party will provide qualified candidates the do not obtain their livelihood from the city; and actually run businesses, work in a corporate enviroment that strives for profit and excellence. The taxpayers need to do their thing and give them a chance. We must remember in November, what happens every May … your taxes go up to support this group.
    Please make yourselves available for every City Council meeting. Join the oppostion.

  43. rightofrush said “The Republican Party will provide qualified candidates the do not obtain their livelyhood from the city”.

    When is that going to happen? Other than Russo I don’t see any real Republican candidates out there this year. Are they even going to run a candidate against whoever wins the Bob/Auden circus….I mean primary?

    A real two party system would be good for a change.

  44. Rightofrush: While I wish there were more qualified Republican candidates they keep putting up the same retreads.
    The DTC has nothing to do with the budget or health care. Let me say that you can not just raise the deductible on employee health care just like that. These are contract items that have to be negiotiated. The last 2 republican administrations did nothing grand. One gave the police & fire 20 and out contracts with an escalator clause and the other declared or tried to declare bankruptcy when it was not necessary.
    The other thing that the republicans have to get by is the unmitigated mess that Bush and his administration have made of the economy. Look at the mortgage industry and what happened there. gasoline is $4.26 a gallon and nothing is being done by the republican administration. Airlines are on the verge of bankruptcy because of the fuel costs and we are still sunsidizing the oil industry. there is a lot to overcome.

  45. MCAT – so glad to see you are back. I missed your idealism and whimsy. Although I am much more cynical than you. I don’t think any of the last few Mayors of Bridgeport had any noble purpose, your boy included. Doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of candidates that are sincere, just not many in Bridgeport. Just look at the donor list. But don’t lose that pretty smile over it.

    I agree with several other posters. I feel that the Board of Education should be accountable for their spending, an audit must be conducted, but we need the state to pay for it. Finch needs to stop appointing Stafstrom’s lackeys to the Mayor’s staff. Who the hell is in charge of that office? Wood, Stafstrom, certainly not the Mayor he has his head in the sand. He’s laying off long time employees, mostly SEIU people, wonder why that is. If Santiago is elected he will just be another stooge for Finch, after all he got hired after the so-called freeze. Sly has the best brain anyway.

    Rightofrush, I predict the RTC will not able to find any candidate to unseat a Democrat this year, no matter who they are. Could you please tell me what Russo has done. As far as I can tell, he got put on committees where he could have no say, he didn’t bring any money to Bridgeport, and he couldn’t get the Board of Ed audited let alone the money. Quit kidding yourself, a Republican in the CT Legislature is as useful as ice cubes to an Eskimo.

    Take some time to remember our Veterans today.

  46. In case nobody noticed, the republicans did endorse a state rep candidate – Joel Gonzalez!!!!!!!! Can you believe that’s the best they can do, plus he’s only been with that party a few weeks.

  47. Wondering

    Nick Panuzio was responsible for 20 and out, which took a decade to fix, but, the escalator clause was the work of a Democratic legislature and a Democratic Governor in the late 1960’s. We’ll be paying for that one until last person hired before the mid 1980’s retires.


  49. It occurs to me that part of Bridgeport’s problem is that it sends people to Hartford because they want to be a State Representative not because they want to do the job of a State Representative. For them it is all about getting the office, not accomplishing something once they get there.

  50. Pat Crossin

    I think Stamford’s approach of “no more morons” is a good one. But, how do you make it happen? Consider the case of Bob Keeley. After twenty years as a do nothing State Representative he is ripe for the picking. And who is his opponent? Auden is a real lite weight (not to mention an airhead). Neither one passes the Stamford test. Couldn’t they do better? Did anyone try?

  51. Con-Sorry I took the weekend off. Stamford’s success is directly attributed to its location. Mike Freimuth, the former Bridgeport economic development director, is not a moron. He goes to Stamford and he is a semi-hero. Stamford has had its share of elected morons. Most state reps aren’t rocket scientists and really don’t have any great impact on the economic development of the state or the municipality they represent. The other issue is that surrounding suburban towns have a greater voting block that keep urban centers down. Casino home rule issue was a perfect example. The real problem is that the elected CEO’s of Bridgeport for the most part have been on the teat (as best described by Con Filardi) and have never had to grow revenue and cover a payroll. Bruce Hubler passionately discusses lack of leadership and management skill sets.

    Chris Shays has been in Congress for 21 years and what has he accomplished. At least Keeley after 24 years is part of bonding leadership. Remember Keeley fought the hard fight and lost the Juvenile Detention Center fight by one vote. Guess whose vote? Bill Finch!

    Nice to see Pat Crossin getting back in the mix. His personally political imposed seven year statute of limitation has run its course. Pat was observed this weekend working his girl Auden on Ellsworth Street. BTW, I signed Audie’s petition even though I am strongly supporting Keeley. A big welcome Pat on the back.


  52. johnb- Thank you for pointing out my poor choice of words. It was not meant to be used in a pejorative way.
    Pat was working with Auden in getting signatures for her petition. It was probably the other way around. Auden was working Pat.

  53. Pat Crossin:

    You wrote that: It IS up to US. It starts with Bridgeport sending effective people and not empty suits to Hartford. Until we start, things are never going to change.

    “It IS up US to find competence, breadth of experience, character. To remove those who are critics only and find those who offer alternatives”.

    I entirely agree. Now how, in the real world, do we make it happen?

  54. My unofficial picks for upcoming elections @ this time but could change by Nov. ’08.
    1. State Senates – Russo & (Bpt.) P.D Officer ?
    2. State Reps. – Keeley, Clemens, Caruso, Ayala, ?, ?.
    3. Congress – Shays.
    4. Big Chief – Obama.


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