The Best Job For Finch

Today I announce my first official endorsement (why wait until the last minute). Bill Finch for Connecticut secretary of state!

Why not?

Birdie never aspired to be mayor. He always talked about Connecticut secretary of state. He’s sorta like George Bush. Bushy didn’t want to be president. He preferred commissioner of Major League Baseball. And look what happened to the country.

I actually think he’d make a pretty good Connecticut secretary of state with his sappy JFK idealism. He’s the green mayor, right? Finch for secretary of state: “Every voting ballot made from recycled paper.” Maybe he could recycle the votes three or four times as well. (That scream you just heard came from State Rep. Chris Caruso.)

With incumbent Susan Bysiewicz running for governor the job is open. As secretary of state, the state’s chief elections officer, Finch doesn’t really need to say a whole bunch. Dare I say some of the word bombs he’s dropped as mayoral candidate and mayor?

“I’ll cut your taxes $600.” (Gulp.)

“I’ll keep both my state senate seat and mayor seat.” (Abandoned that idea).

“No more one-shot revenues!” (Really, what’s Steelpointe?)

“Library workers are non-essential.” (And what are your political appointees?)

“Trumbull is a bucolic town with no problems?” (Did you say that when running for state senate?)

“I knew nothing about the port authority vote.” (Neither did your lobbyist, eh?)

“UB is a criminal enterprise.” (What’s the Democratic Town Committee that supports you?)

“We’ll get through this.” (Really?)

“I’m the mayor!” (Well why don’t you start acting like one?)

Yes sir, I say Finch for secretary of state. He could actually get elected to that. State Party Chair Nancy DiNardo could line up the Democratic endorsement. And just think of the free-for-all possibilities. Finch stays as mayor while campaigning for the job, beats the Republican in November 2010 and isn’t sworn in until January 2011. He resigns as mayor (unless he tries to double-dip again) and City Council President Tom McCarthy takes over. Big Mac gets a bunch of months under his belt as mayor before a September 2011 primary challenge by Caruso, Johnny Fabs, Carmen Lopez and maybe Joe Ganim and Ernie Newton too.

C’mon spread the word, tell your friends, recruit Finch for secretary of state, lobby the editorial board of the Connecticut Post for an endorsement.

We can do it. We can do it. I know we can do it!!!

News release from Jim Himes

Himes, Finch Announce Recovery Funds to Retain 20 Police Officers in Bridgeport

Tough economic times warrant improved public safety

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Mayor Bill Finch today announced over $4.8 million in grants to hire or retain 20 law enforcement officers in Bridgeport under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grants will be administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.

The grants will provide 100 percent of the approved salary and benefits for entry level officer positions over a three year period. Police departments receiving the grants will then be required to retain the grant funded positions for a fourth year.

“The COPS program gives local governments a much needed boost in their efforts to keep our communities safe and encourage development to turn our economy around and create jobs,” said Congressman Himes. “This Recovery Act grant is even more important as tough economic times squeeze local police budgets and drive crime rates higher.”

Earlier this year, Congress passed the COPS Improvements Act, which restores the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program and provides funding for approximately 85 new police officers throughout Southwest Connecticut. The bill provides grants for local governments to hire law enforcement officials.

“Public safety is our No. 1 concern and this funding will help us recruit, train and hire 20 new officers, which will enable us to expand our City’s community policing efforts,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.



  1. I must say Jim Himes is doing a good job. By the way Lennie I’m tired of Finch too but cut him some slack not everything is his fault. I see nothing wrong with Finch saying Trumbull is a bucolic town with no problems? I agree 100% with the mayor.

    1. You agree 100% with the mayor? Do you believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny as well? Mr. Finch is not responsible for the city’s problems. It is, however, his charge to take remedial action. So far, he hasn’t done much of anything. The man can’t even get his ass into his office chair at a reasonable time. His denial of knowing anything about the Port Authority vote is not just a little disingenuous–he knew about it long before the City Council took action. Trumbull is a bucolic town, but it is far from idyllic. It has its own problems.

      You’re entitled to your opinion, same as everyone else. If you made the effort to be better informed on the issues your postings would have greater meaning. There’s room for only one gadfly with an axe to grind, and Mojo took the seat before you did.

      Yes, this is a blog, but you’re a young man in your twenties, as you said yesterday.

  2. Lennie I think you hit the nail on the head when talking about SOTS for Bill. He can drive around the state in a pussy hybrid car talking about registering to vote and using machines that are eco friendly. At this point anything that can get Adam Wood out of Bridgeport is a plus. I tried reaching out to the MTA worker who won the Powerball in NY in an attempt to share his winnings with Wood and send him on an all-expense-paid trip out of Connecticut. Knowing him he will fuck that up too.

  3. Lennie,
    We need to talk … Connecticut Secretary of State in 2010 will be an Asian slot, Democratic or Republican … the Fighting Filipinos (Democrats and Republicans) statewide will be lining up a coalition of coalitions to elevate the Asian political profile in Hartford … I will put in the call to Mitch Robles (my statewide district leader), Nancy DiNardo (my democratic state chair) and Susan Bysiewicz (my democratic choice for governor) in the morning. Connecticut’s “Quiet Americans” are going to be loud and proud in 2010!!!

    1. Salcedo …

      So … It’s time for an Asian. That’s it? Being of Asian extraction is the compelling factor of qualification. Any expectation that this Asian will be “qualified” or is it only necessary that they be Asian.

      I thought you made sense. Guess not.

  4. *** How about head man @ Bpt’s ENVIRO, to implement a new think green recycle program for Fairfield County in general? No more politics for the birdman. *** And forget about Susan Bye … she & the rest of the Dems. can’t beat Gov. Rell. *** Last but not least, Himes still has a long way to go to outshine everything Shays has brought to the CT and country table! However he’s trying, I’ll give him that! ***

    1. You’re to be commended for your green-thinking efforts. All of the bullshit that comes out of your fat pie-hole has to be fertilizing something.

      1. *** For an ex-homeless, know-it-all who likes to hang around Black Rock, you should be careful of throwing stones about B/S in general. Besides you’re a pussy at heart so don’t step in something you may regret later! ***

  5. Sylvester–I am hearing that William Tong is being considered. Although I think the Hispanics will try and have a say in the SOTS matter they aren’t united like the “Chinos” as they like to call them.

  6. Lennie, great idea. Anything that will get Finch & Company out of this city is a plus. Putting McCarthy there will not be much of an improvement but who knows maybe he won’t be the head of the council.

  7. If Lennie’s not afraid to badmouth the Mayor of Bridgeport (on a blog called Only in Bridgeport!), I’m not afraid to give him a new name, too.

    Introducing The GRIMlin aka Lennie Grimaldi. This self-styled political junkie has already pissed-off a former Mayor of Bridgeport for obvious reasons. I understand why the current Mayor never wanted him on his campaign or in his administration.

    The GRIMlin: always biased, never fair

  8. yahooy:
    YES! I believe NOW is the time for an Asian candidate to step up to the plate for CT SecState.
    Is that it? In my view, yes. Being Asian is a compelling factor? No, but it is a significant contributing factor to reinforce and reflect the diversity of our state … and for the world to see that an Asian CT resident feels “compelled and is inspired” to campaign and win and hold a statewide elected position in 2010 (hopefully without ending in jail before the end of his/her term in office, I “quietly” pray for this part personally) for the Asian community in particular and for CT in general. Any expectation of this Asian candidate being “qualified”? Let me ask you THAT question … as a CT voter what qualifications would you expect to see in your nominee, Asian or otherwise, for CT SecState?
    For Lennie, it’s clear Bill Finch has those qualifications. (Would I be reading too much in between the lines of that list? … that the qualifications include the fact that your own political party may/would try to move you out of your hometown as THE politically compelling qualification? Oh yeah, OIB. yahooy, you gotta believe OIB!!!)
    For me, based on what I can see of my CT heroine, Susan Bysiewicz, a successful Democratic SecState nominee would have the ability to read and write, in English, … adding Spanish would be a big bonus, plus any other languages would be great. A warm and engaging personality (meet and greet and staying in touch with all state residents), strong communications skills (public speaking, savvy tv and radio appearance and presence, internet-capability, and most important, a careful and thoughtful capacity to avoid putting your political foot in your mouth), a friendly and out-going demeanor, and the ability and drive to raise lots of contributions, at least, to meet the minimum amount for the public financing requirements, and lastly, a passion for the job of CT SecState. That’s my list of qualifications for CT SecState. Let’s hear yours.

    1. Salcedo …

      There’s not much more I can add to your definition of the qualifications one needs to be a successful SOTS or in any elected position.

      I strongly object to ethnicity being the foremost factor. I would have preferred it if you had suggested that So and So meets all of your criteria for election to the position of SOTS and then followed with “… ah, yes, So and So happens to be Asian.”

      I did not vote for Obama because he is black. I was convinced of his vision and of his ability to implement successful solutions to the issues that ruined the global economy. I remain so convinced.

      No. I will never vote for anyone simply because they are of a certain ethnic origin because some feel “… it’s time.”

      Give me a name first. Tell me why you think this person is qualified. I’ll decide if I agree. You see, it doesn’t matter to me if this person is Asian, black, Hispanic or otherwise. I want people in elected office that are committed to pro bono publica … period.

      To push a candidacy simply to place a person of certain ethnicity into high office robs the constituency of an opportunity to elect an official who actually can get the job done.

      It’s scary actually. What if ***MoFo*** woke up one morning and decided that “it’s time” we elected a shithead into office. Being an established and recognized member of that group, ***MoFo*** could easily organize a successful campaign and insure the election of his candidate.

      BTW I have and will support your candidacy for any elected office for which you choose to run. I have just now become aware that you are Asian.

      1. Sorry, Salcedo. One follow-up to your request that I describe my thoughts as to the qualifications one must have for public office. I, initially suggested that there was not much more that I could add to your thoughts on that matter. But I reread your post. You seem to think that your successful candidate be a bilingual, articulate gadfly with an ability to cover his or her six. I agree. You did not seem to mention an inbred intellectual capacity combined with a significant record of accomplishment to support the candidate’s vision and drive to serve all of the people effectively and with honor.

      2. Finch has no friends in Hartford after running to a Republican Governor and convincing her to veto a piece of legislation that passed damn near unanimously in both houses.
        And then basically accusing state senators of lying about this bill.
        Bill Finch is persona non grata in the Capital.
        Forget the Gold Dome, for him it’s the cold Doom.

  9. The best job for Bill Finch is a School Nurse. Let him and Adam Wood go a couple of months without pay because someone screwed up and now wants to change their mind about a commitment that they made.
    But in the case of Finch and Wood it is the voters who have changed their mind and the commitment is the rest of the four year term.
    Bring back the two-year term and get rid of the incompetency in City Hall Annex this year!!!

  10. When I saw a headline in the paper about the fighting Finches, I thought that maybe the mayor and his son got thrown out of another bar. Or mayor the misses was misbehaving.
    Too bad they were talking about real birds.

  11. Cruela D.
    Just read through the computer printout from the brand new, super duper “Profiles of CT Asian political personalities and aspirants” on William Tong of Stamford. I can confirm for you that he meets all the qualifications I listed previously. Let’s check with yahooy if Rep. Tong makes the grade … I have to run to court, then call Mitch, Nancy and Susan. More updates later.

    1. *** If you need to check with Yahooy & Mitch on whether a candidate of interest meets their qualifications then your own personal choice must not mean much in your eyes! You’re a nice person, sometimes too nice. People like the ones you’ve mentioned are in reality bottom-feeders always wanting to swim up top but because of the species & personal choices in life, they will always end up back @ the bottom sooner or later. Some deal endlessly with the hand they’ve been dealt & try to bluff their way through life such as (T.B.K.)! But overall in life, it’s sometimes like playing Poker, know when to hold them, fold them or just walk away! ***

  12. Holy P. T. Barnum Leonardo! Bill Finch for secretary of state! I haven’t been this excited since a tidal surge almost dragged me down Iranistan Avenue in ’92! Exporting Bridgeport-style terrorism to the state level! Tell me more, tell me more!

  13. Get his shoe size and make him a pair of ruby slippers. Then he’ll be ready to skip down the Yellow Brick Road. The inhabitants of Munchkinland will gladly point the way.

  14. The following article appeared in the New Haven Register. It is about my cousin the head golf pro at Mill River Country Club. It reminds me that life is too short for criticism without offering a better way, petty differences and not finding joy in the moment. Reprinting this article is a tribute to him.

    Dave Solomon, the Register sports columnist, can be reached at

    WEST HARTFORD — As Little Fred sat inside the lounge at the Hartford Golf Club, Big Fred sipping a soft drink to his right, just about every reflection of his emotional first round in the Connecticut Open came with some tears.

    Little Fred Kolakowski had just shot 84, a round that on most any other day would have left him perturbed. But Little Fred couldn’t remember a round of golf he cherished more than Monday’s good walk at the course with Big Fred by his side.

    If the two said a couple dozen words to each other during the four hours of play, it was a lot. There might have been a few “nice shots” sprinkled into the conversation, but everything they had to say to each other was conveyed through an unspoken love of golf and each other.

    As Amy Kolakowski Landrau explained while wheeling Big Fred’s 18-month-old granddaughter, Abby, out of the harsh mid-morning sun, “Golf is their bond. They don’t have to say much.”

    Little Fred’s sister, Amy, and husband, Carlos, visiting from Florida, were there to watch this special day. Big Fred’s brother, Bobo, and sister, Tara, were also there, as were a dozen cousins or uncles or close friends.

    Big Fred Kolakowski, the head pro at Mill River Country Club in Stratford for more than two decades, was diagnosed with lung cancer last November. His virulent strain of cancer is now called Stage 4.

    So even as he continues with his third round of chemotherapy at famed Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, when the opportunity to pair with his son at the Connecticut Open came about last week, Big Fred said “count me in.”

    As heartbreaking as emotions had to be under the circumstances Monday, the context was equally uplifting. By anyone’s definition, Monday’s pairing of father and son was priceless.

    “Even though we didn’t talk that much, you could feel the electricity,” said Big Fred, longtime resident of Ansonia now living in Harrison, N.Y., with his wife, Terri. “It was just a sense, a feel. He knows I was there for him, and I know he was there for me.”

    The two are paired together again today (before a 36-hole cut is made), and as much as the heat and humidity took out of Big Fred Monday, he said he has every intention of keeping his afternoon tee time. But he also allowed that the call might be made for him, depending on how he feels when he gets up.

    Little Fred says in jest that his dad has to play. Big Fred shot 82 Monday and Little Fred wants to his opportunity to get those 2 strokes back.

    It won’t be easy. When they announced Big Fred Kolakowski on the first tee at 8 a.m., Little Fred had to wipe the tears away.

    “It’s really tough,” said Little Fred, emotions doing a number on his voice. “It’s the first event we played together in … ” He didn’t finish the sentence before adding, “And I don’t know if it’s going to be the last.”

    A few people get special citations for making Monday (and hopefully today) happen. Little Fred is the head golf pro at Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield, which is owned by Matt Manchetti, the former head pro at Laurel View CC in Hamden, who runs MDM Golf LLC of Hamden/On Course Construction LLC. Manchetti, who had an exemption into the State Open, coincidentally was paired with Big Fred in the first two rounds. So Manchetti requested and received a special waiver from the Connecticut State Golf Association to allow Little Fred, his employee, to take his place and play with his dad. The CSGA, using wisdom and compassion, agreed.

    “When Matt told me, I was blown away … I cried then, too,” said Little Fred, now smiling. “He gave me an incredible gift.”

    When called to our attention by one of the Kolakowski relatives during the midst of the round, it became obvious, and even humorous, how much Little Fred’s mannerisms emulated that of Big Fred.

    “Observing us, people say that we act alike, we talk alike, we walk alike, we stand alike,” Little Fred said. “I guess that’s true.”

    On most days, Big Fred still heads into the pro shop at Mill River — his other family — defying each dreaded medical turn. Then Big Fred will often head from there to Aunt Millie’s beach house in Milford, where the young ones of the extended Kolakowski clan would never know anything is wrong with Big Fred. “He’s still Uncle Fred, laughing and joking with them,” said Big Fred’s younger sister, Tara. “We can see (the toll it has taken), but he doesn’t want anyone to see it.”

    Big Fred, 49, was the picture of health last summer, Tara said. He’s not a smoker, he doesn’t drink much, and yet right around the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida, he was hospitalized with what was first believed to be double pneumonia. Further tests confirmed a much worse diagnosis.

    Yet after eight emotional and physically devastating months, Big Fred is quick to tell you what he is able to do with Stage 4 cancer, not what he is unable to do.

    Whether it’s his daily appearance at Mill River or being upbeat demeanor with family, this is the way Big Fred wants to be seen for as long as he is seen.

    “It’s good to be around people who care about you,” Big Fred Kolakowski said.

    So on Monday, playing shot for shot alongside Little Fred, family, friends and colleagues nearby, Big Fred was counting his blessings.

  15. I love LISTS. My critics will be delighted to know I did not put this one together, but …

    Doing these things will help you become a better writer:

    1. Become a blogger (wink)

    2. Use self-imposed word limits.

    3. Accept all forms of criticism and learn to grow from it.

    4. Read what you’ve written over and over, until you can’t find any more problems.

    5. Show what you write to a trusted friend for feedback.

    6. Outline. And then write to that outline.

    7. Edit, and edit again.

    8. Live with passion.

    9. Be open, curious, present, and engaged.

    10. Take a break between writing and editing.

    11. Learn a new word a day.

    12. Get the pen and fingers moving.

    13. Write in different genres: blog posts, poems, short stories, essays.

    14. Read grammar books.

    15. Write without distractions.

    16. Challenge yourself: write in a crowded cafe, write on the toilet, write for 24 hours straight.

    17. Take a trip. Road trips, beach trips, bus trips, plane trips.

    18. Watch movies. Can you write the story better?

    19. Write. And then write some more.

    20. Read, think, read, write, ponder, write – and read some more.

    21. Read your stuff aloud to anyone who can stand it – including the cat.

    22. Go back and cut 10% from your word count.

    23. Talk to people.

    24. Listen to how people talk.

    25. Read lots of books. Both good and bad.

    26. Make notes of your (fleeting) brilliant ideas.

    27. Start your writing ahead of time – not hours before a deadline.

    28. Listen to podcasts on writing tips.

    29. Use simple, declarative sentences.

    30. Avoid passive voice.

    31. Limit your use of adjectives and adverbs.

    32. When in doubt, cut it out.

    33. Kill clunky sentences.

    34. Be inspired by other art forms – music, dance, sculpture, painting.

    35. Read your old stuff and acknowledge how far you’ve come – and how far you have to go.

    36. Write for publication, even if it’s only for the local newsletter or a small blog.

    37. Make writing your priority in the morning.

    38. Keep squeezing words out even if you feel uninspired.

    39. Tell everyone: “I’m a writer.”

    40. Recognize your fear and overcome it.

    41. Let your articles rest and then return to them with fresh eyes.

    42. Comment on your favorite blogs.

    43. Keep a journal to keep the writing juices flowing.

    44. Use a journal to sort out your thoughts and feelings.

    45. Keep it simple.

    46. Practice monotasking. Set a timer for uninterrupted writing.

    47. Watch people.

    48. Get to know someone different from you and reflect on the experience.

    49. Try new ideas or hobbies – the more variety you have in your life, the more likely you are to keep on generating good ideas on the page.

    50. Read works from different cultures. It helps keep your writing from tasting stale in the mouths of your readers.

    51. Rethink what is ‘normal’.

    52. Work on brilliant headlines.

    53. Check if your assumptions are right.

    54. Join a writing group. If you can’t find one, form one.

    55. Write during your most productive hours of the day.

    56. Designate time to research.

    57. Take time to muse and mindmap.

    58. Map out a writing schedule for your project and stick to it.

    59. Ask someone else to proofread.

    60. Read Zinsser’s “On Writing Well” at least once a year.

    61. Break out of your comfort zone.

    62. Write at the scene. If you want to write about a beach, get a picnic rug and go write by the sea.

    63. Go to the supermarket, the ball game, the class room, the building site. Make notes of the sensuous details, the atmosphere, the people.

    64. Start with metaphors and stories.

    65. Approach writing with gratitude, not just with a ‘must do this’ attitude.

    66. Deconstruct and analyze books and articles you enjoy.

    67. Know about story architecture. Many writers don’t. Which is like doing heart surgery or flying an airliner by intuition. Survival rates are low.

    68. Socialize with other writers.

    69. Stretch or exercise in between writing.

    70. Make a note of ideas for further development before you leave a piece for tomorrow.

    71. Use mindmaps for inspiration.

    72. Take risks – don’t be afraid to shock. You are not who you think you are.

    About the Author: Mary Jaksch is Chief Editor of Write to Done.

  16. A beautiful “Welcome to Bridgeport” sign has just been erected at the bottom of Exit 25, southbound.

    Too bad it was installed by a company from Massachusetts. I wonder what their mil rate is?

  17. All kidding aside, Lennie great suggestion. SoS is a much better job for Bill. It plays to his strengths and takes him away from the day-to-day details that he struggles with. And to Bridgeport Kid, I know John Fabrizi had his faults but I believe he really did care about the people in the City.

    For the future I think Bridgeport needs a leader that is willing to restaff key departments with qualified people. We need someone with good personal and professional judgment that has had experience leading. Lastly, we need someone whose word is good.

  18. OK, seriously folks do you really think the state Dems want damaged goods on their ticket? As far as the rest of the state is concerned Bridgeport is damaged goods. The Mayor’s chair in Bridgeport is more like the electric chair, once you sit in it you’re dead in politics. Finch should try to find a job with a green cause. Like painting roofs green.

  19. Who’s kidding? This is a great job for Finch. We need all the talent of Local Eyes to apply those writer-thingies to Finch and make it stick.
    This is a big job.
    We got to con all those Westport liberals that Finch is a Tarzan in a land of savages. That he is too good for us.
    We must yell, ‘No, no you can’t have him!’ and let him slip away for the greater good of the state.
    The only thing he can mess up as secretary of state is mixing Liquid Plumber into a recipe for sugar cookies.

  20. It’s hard to think that “enlightened” is a new OIB member. It’s EASY to think that “enlightened” is the same person with a new handle designed to increase the number of OIB posters.

    “A beautiful ‘Welcome to Bridgeport’ sign has just been erected at the bottom of Exit 25, southbound”

    I’m laughing already. Such a sign would appear as someone were leaving Bridgeport, right?

      1. LE has been acting like a real birdbrain lately, and now has become a peep squeak.

        Exit 27A stage left to Trumbull.

        Best Welcome to Bridgeport sign is located at St. Mary’s as you are leaving Saint Mary’s.

  21. The first time there is a car wreck in front of that “Welcome to Bridgeport” sign we need a photograph. Should take about a week or two, I reckon.
    Local Eyes: this is a time to sparkle and shine. We need slogans to convince the state, starting with those goo-goos down county.
    As our patron saint used to say: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
    We can do this: “The proud … the few … the flat-out liars.”

  22. Let’s be realistic here. As much as Finch would love to be SOTS this is best paying gig he has ever had. How can he support his wife’s drinking habit with the salary of sots?

  23. Cruela–Ya gotta think big, dahlink. Take those League of Women Voter types from Greenfield Hill and Westport, stuff ’em with yummy pastries from Luigi’s and polish it off with a nice red, and they’ll think Finchie is the reincarnation of JFK–or John Lindsay, at least.
    Problem solved.

  24. yahooy:
    I like your additional character qualities suggestions … let’s put that into the mix … and may I add a healthy dose of “a good sense of humor” as well to round out the list. Also, many thanks for your expressions of support. Susan B. told me earlier today that there is a growing and diverse number of aspirants for the SOTS position on the Democratic and Republican sides … that should be a healthy outlook for voters to choose from … as we head into the next elections cycle/season.


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