Vibes City Council Freebie Update, Plus: Campaigns Go Toxic

Following up on the commentary about Gathering of the Vibes organizers offering City Council members free VIP packages worth $420 each, and also the same package for a companion, I contacted Legislative Services Director Tom White, a classified civil servant, who has provided support and guidance to council members on a variety of issues for many years. I asked him to provide some context on the issue, and if any suggestions had been offered in lieu of council members accessing packages worth a combined $840. His response:

“Two years ago, I advised all City Council members that I felt that accepting the passes violated the City Charter (Chap 5) and the Ethics Ordinance. I suggested to Council Leadership at that time that I make arrangements with Vibes operators for a tour for City Council members to see how security, logistics, etc is handled so they can ‘assess’ the operation.”

The Fur Is Flying

It’s getting nasty out there as primary races for governor tighten.

Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont throwing bombs on the Democratic side, Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele blowtorching GOP front-runner Tom Foley. Whether it’s mailbox, radio, television or website it’s gonna get hairy the next week. You fired workers to line your pockets, you had city contractors working on your house, you were chicken to debate, now you’re doing so because you couldn’t buy the election.

Well, Ned Lamont has decided to debate Dan Malloy head to head next week on WFSB Channel 3 and WNPR Radio after resisting for weeks while sitting on a lead. Ned says he wants to set the record straight on Malloy allegations about his business cutbacks to line his pockets. By the time they debate the Lamont campaign will make sure Malloy will want to set the record straight on what was going on when he was mayor of Stamford.

The Democratic primary has tightened and Lamont campaign hands want to make sure waltzing into primary day staying positive doesn’t come back to bite them. So they’ll dump a lot of stuff on Malloy–contractors working on his house, etc.–in an attempt to take the shine off his Stamford mayoralty that’s the rationale foundation for leading the state. Will it stick? Well, if they stay positive and lose they’ll kick themselves. Going negative, they feel, is their firewall from Malloy getting any closer. State law-enforcement officials before the 2006 gubernatorial race gave Malloy a clean bill of health regarding work done on his house. The Malloy campaign will aggressively point that out.

Meanwhile is Fedele really gaining ground on Foley? Yes, but how much? Fedele, whose public financing moolah has kicked in hard, is blistering Foley on the airwaves, basically calling him a blood-sucking jackal, destroying jobs and businesses to take care of himself.

Ah, all in a day’s work. Come Tsunami Tuesday Aug. 10 we’ll find out how much the welts show.

Tsunami Tuesday Past and Present

Don’t forget next Thursday Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m. Black Rock Library. Former Post scribes John Gilmore, Jim Callahan and I will handicap Tsunami Tuesday and share stories about some of the crazy (and I mean crazy) primaries we’ve covered. The stuff you’re hearing today ain’t nothing compared to city elections from 25 and 30 years ago. Yes,we’re that freaking old. But the brain cells still work. You can even judge that for yourself. So come out and say hello. We’ll also look forward to answering your questions like “Lennie, is it true you called the fire department during Tom Bucci’s 1985 mayoral announcement at the Three Door to validate his overflowing popularity?”

I think I don’t remember!

And ask us about the 1989 Democratic mayoral endorsement when Mario Testa and Mike Rizzitelli caused a riot. All three of us were witnesses. That was also the night Gilmore almost punched Bill Finch in the nose.

From Dan Debicella:

Himes Bends to Pressure on Spending Cuts

Debicella says “Once again, Jim Himes has caved to the Democratic leadership”

Congressman Jim Himes today withdrew his amendment for a minor spending cut under pressure from the Democratic leadership in Congress. Himes originally joined with a group of four other Democrats to make a $1.04 billion spending cut, but withdrew his amendment after Democratic leaders told him they did not want to.

Politico has the full story here:

State Senator Dan Debicella, the Republican nominee for Congress, criticized Himes for bowing to pressure after claiming he was for less spending.

“Once again, Jim Himes has caved to Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership,” said Debicella. “Jim Himes claims he is an independent thinker, but in the end is not willing to stand up to the Democratic leadership.”

Debicella said Himes is trying to hide from the fact he voted for a $1.4 trillion deficit with massive spending increases. “After voting for a 22% increase in discretionary spending, Himes proposed a 0.0003% cut in the federal budget—a $1 billion cut in a $3.5 trillion federal budget,” said Debicella. “Not only is he proposing token gestures after voting for massive new spending, but he is willing to cave when the Democratic leadership tells him to.”

“”im Himes has voted consistently for more wasteful government programs, at the expense of private-sector jobs in Connecticut,” said Debicella. “By voting 95% of the time with Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Himes has harmed middle class families in Fairfield County with a mountain of debt and a 10% unemployment rate.”

Debicella said he had a serious plan to cut spending. He has proposed capping the size of the federal government at 20% of GDP (currently the federal government is 26% of GDP).

“We need to force politicians of both parties to do what our families do—live within their means. Our leaders need to make tough choices, not make token gestures that are quickly withdrawn.” Debicella said that serious reforms in entitlement programs, defense spending, and federal employment and benefits all needed to be completed to eliminate the deficit without raising taxes.

Ron Paul endorses Rick Torres, from Torres campaign:

It is with great honor that today I accept the endorsement of Congressman Ron Paul. I have spoken to Congressman Paul several times over the course of the Campaign and I look forward to working with him after I defeat Jim Himes this November.

Please read the Endorsement from Congressman Ron Paul:

“I am proud to announce that I have endorsed Rick Torres for Congress in the Connecticut’s 4th district. Rick is a real Liberty lover and has a tremendously inspiring story … please consider supporting Rick in any way you are comfortable–whether it is financially, with your time as a volunteer and, most importantly, with your vote. Big things are happening across the Country, and Connecticut has a great opportunity to tell Washington that we demand free markets, sound money and common sense, Pro-America foreign policy. I hope you will join me in supporting Rick Torres.”

Services Today For Steven Velasquez and Michel Baik

Memorial fire decal

The Fire Fighter’s Prayer
When I am called to duty God …
Wherever flames may rage …
Give me strength to save a life whatever be its age.
Let me embrace a little child …
Before it is too late …
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert …
And hear the weakened shout …
And quickly and efficiently …
Put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling …
To give the best in me …
To guard my friend and neighbor …
And protect their property.
And, if … according to Your will …
While on duty I must answer death’s call …
Bless with your protecting hand …
My family, one and all.



  1. Lennie:

    Speaking only as an editor, I’ve always felt Tsunami Tuesday doesn’t generate the alliterative fire you are trying to create on the Webzine. After all, the “T” in tsunami is silent, so we don’t get two hard “t’ sounds to go with Tuesday.

    I don’t like tsunami at any rate because it implies a flood, and everybody wet and dead from drowning with rotting bodies and fish all around. Some people have to win, and they may be rotten, but they are certainly animate, with the exception of Richard Blumenthal, who always looked like he came out of Madame Toussant’s with the smile waxed on.

    In the spirit of trying to continue and enhance the alliterative excitement the Webzine is trying to create, I think it is time to rededicate Tsunami Tuesday as the Pissin’ Primary.

    Yeah, it’s a little vulgar but so are the candidates. These guys and gals are certainly hosing each other pretty good.

    I would concede criticism that Pissin’ Primary does not quite capture the fire Only in Bridgeport is trying to reflect from the state elections. But the way the primaries are shaping up, people are going to feel the burn of a venereal disease after voting.

  2. Old Devil Moon was up there this morning when I left home early to post on the “Vibes Pass for City Council and guest” mess from yesterday’s mail.

    Thank you to OIB management for keeping the subject alive and for the contribution from Tom White City Council’s sole staffer who offered his opinion on the subject. Was Tom asked his opinion? And when he offered his negative opinion, did anyone respond?

    Look to the references at either Chapter 5 of the Charter or Ordinance 2.38 on ethical behavior. Of course if a “contract” from the Vibes promoter forced the Council members to accept these passes, perhaps the real question has to do with one or more City Attorney personnel failing to understand the rules and regulations? Or perhaps we will be entertained (long after the full moon is gone and the sound of the Vibes 2010 too) with explanations of why and how it is legal, ethical, fair, and reasonable? After all, we’re only talking about an $840 personal inurement (assuming they would have a companion) to an elected City official. Does that or does it not create at least an appearance of a conflict of interest to favor a vendor whose contract must be approved?

  3. OK, let’s just get a Charter Commission started and decide this question.

    What figure is too high?

    A thousand bucks? (Up goes everyone’s hand.)

    $999? (Same hands go up.)

    Five bucks? (only one or two hands go up.)

    OK, we’re getting somewhere … the magic number is somewhere between five bucks and $999.

    We all seemed to agree yesterday that a free freshly paved driveway was wrong, too.

    I’d bet free cars are off the table, too.

    But what about tires? Accepting new ones would be wrong, but what about re-caps?

    Either you’re a public official with integrity or you’re, well, you’re something else.

    Step up and declare!

  4. OK, we’ve had our fun. Let’s get serious.

    Across the border in NY, Congressman Charles Rangle is accused of 13 ethics violations. And what story dominates the news? The story that dominates is how will this Rangle mess affect the Democrats in the mid-term elections?

    Hello!!! Knock – Knock!!!

    Ethics violations!!!

    Does anyone care?

    Until voters care and demand accountability, the next guy will have 13-Plus alleged violations.

  5. Ethics? No ethics in politics and people should have to take a IQ test to vote.

    To have a Ned Lamont trying to buy an election goes against my ethics and my standards are damn low.

  6. Where is everybody?
    A. Stuck in traffic and hopeless?
    B. At the/on the way to the Vibes?
    C. Beautiful day for fishing?
    D. In long line at City Hall to pay tax bill?
    E. Don’t like people calling Bridgeport “corrupt” at election time. Don’t see how ethics and corruption are related to Vibes tickets!
    F. Don’t know and don’t care?

    Take your pick.
    One last thought: Get the Vibes management to contribute the gross cost of these tickets to the City to finance the expense accounts for these same Council persons (sorry, companions). Use it or lose it. Bet it won’t be buying Vibes passes!

    It’s an off day when Gilmore and I play tennis like this. Have a great weekend.

    1. The last I heard, $50 is the limit on gifts an elected official can legally accept. For Tom McCarthy to say it was a condition of the Vibes contract that council members and their guests accept VIP tickets is plain bullshit. PLEASE, have you ever heard of such a thing? McCarthy is an attorney yet he thinks we’re all stupid. I hope Tom White is in a union or has civil service protection because his ass is grass after that comment. It just gets worse and worse. All these people care about is how much they can take, take, take for themselves. They care zilch about the city or the $8m deficit or the employees. Pure, unadulterated bullshit.

  7. Okay Lennie! Let me start some mouth-smashing here. Lennie you were quick to express your position on the Peter Finch case and did some cop mouth-smashing here. You didn’t come asking us what we think at first. Isn’t the Vibes free ticket offer obvious to you? What do you think?

    Thomas White:
    “… I suggested to Council Leadership at that time that I make arrangements with Vibes operators for a tour for City Council members to see how security, logistics, etc is handled so they can ‘assess’ the operation.”

    Tom McCarthy:
    “… The contract with the vendor calls for the City Council Members to have access to the concert all weekend …”

    Tom White didn’t have to make arrangements; “access” was already in the contract. Why wasn’t and still isn’t any “access” afforded to the Bridgeport Police Department? The BPD is all over the vicinity of the park and are getting overtime. At what cost and to whom is something Lennie should be prying into. If the City gets $40,000 from the Vibes and has to cover the cost of policing the perimeter, what revenue is the city really raising? Shouldn’t the police be the one to see how security, logistics, etc. is handled so they can “assess” the operation? If the Council really wanted to “assess” the situation, they would have allowed the police to be a part of the process from the start.

    Now to the “Troll.” I won’t smash your mouth because I can’t hit that low. The troll dropped the ball, lucky for the ball it has a short distance to drop. Bob Walsh being “aware” of this, should have given the tickets to an OIB friend or someone of trust and asked that they do an independent assessment and videotape activities at the Vibes. Imagine the tits, sex–damn I got a woody–and illegal acts caught on tape.

    So Lennie, imagine all the folks at the Vibes are Bridgeport cops and tell us what you really think about the free passes.

    1. Joel, now you want to enlist “snitches.” I’m sure Bob has enough sense to realize “someone of trust” would not be doing this clandestine bullsh*t you “think” get results. In fact Joel, how has it been working for you?

      1. Are you suggesting Council members who conduct the so-called “assessment” fall under the category of snitches?
        Your definition of a snitch is different from mine. Revealing facts or truth for the purpose of justice and fairness is not snitching. I got results, I’m 100% sure Mitch cheated on AB’s–this is why you take such position and use such a term–and I’ll tell you this Mitch is not alone and in fact other people you know did the same and I can prove it. Let me give you an example of a “snitch.” Let’s say you sell weed in one corner and I sell on the other. You are making more sales than me, so I drop a 50-cent tip so I can take your business when you are gone. Have you ever wondered, why Mitch? When I was running a petition to challenge Danny Roach in TC committee race, I went to Mitch so he can Notarize the petition. Mitch notarized the first 3 forms. Days later, I went back with the remaining forms and someone had told him of a post I made here on OIB about him. “What the fuck are you doing talking shit about me, I read what you put on that fucking blog. You got no business saying shit about me.” I asked what part was offensive and suggested he could go on the blog and defend himself. “I don’t do that shit, they’re a bunch of fucking assholes. I’m not gonna Notarize shit for you.” I told him he can’t do that and it’s against the rules. “This is my place and I can do what I want, get the fuck out of here and don’t ever come here again.”
        I wanted to show that prick I don’t have to go in there to get what I need or want. I did that.

        1. There is only one definition of a snitch. Someone who tattletales {ironic how close to TELLS TALES} on others. You can also look up busybody, nosey, entrometido. If you take the time to worry about yourself as you do about others you will be all right.

  8. John Gilmore,

    The only correct answer is nothing of value is appropriate. Gifts to public officials are never appropriate. Period. Just say “no, thanks.”

  9. I have a friend who knows the wife of the homeowner of the house where our firefighters died. When her co-workers heard she lost everything in the fire, they all agreed to help in any way they can and posted a note on a bulletin board at work asking all to help their fellow co-worker.
    When she (the victim/homeowner) returned to work she was told of the note on the bulletin board and she went to see the note for herself. I guess the gesture wasn’t good enough, so she decided to put up a wish list with four items: A Play Station 3, An iPod, Wii, and Gift Cards. You can imagine how my friend felt when she read the note. May Steven Velasquez and Michel Baik Rest in Peace.

  10. I have been informed the Bridgeport P.D. is in fact working in and outside the Vibes. My friend at St. Vincent’s Hospital tells me it is mandatory that she works the whole weekend at the Hospital. St. V’s is already receiving patients from the Vibes with symptoms of overdose as they expected.

    1. “Symptoms of overdose,” what is that? Joel if you were still on the council, would you take the tickets, did you go to any CSG or other trips or conferences? Man up.

      1. Never attended any conferences. I went to a trip we took to Pennsylvania to see Alex Conroy’s project. I never used all my stipend money and it was half of what it is today. I attended the grand opening of the Bluefish Stadium and never went back. I used to get free park stickers (20 in 6 years) that I gave out to non family members.

  11. *** Minor “change” to keep Vibes in Bpt. *** Besides “almost” each & every council person was endorsed by the Bpt. D.T.C.; also voted in by city voters! In other words, you get what you voted for, good or bad! “Living in the past will not prepare you for the future,” it just sounds good when you complain, no? “Angels with dirty faces!” *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  12. *** Almost forgot, need a pair of Vibe passes for Sat. night, prefer them “free!” Okay, I’ll buy lunch @ Mickey D’s (dollar menu only). *** FORGETABOUTIT *** Oh, don’t forget to vote? ***

  13. The fact that it is in the contract makes things worse not better. Essentially, it makes the Council freebies a quid pro quo for the city entering into the contract. That is just plain WRONG. Anyone who takes a pass should be ashamed of themselves.

  14. I need for someone to tell me how does the city benefit by having this 4-day drug fest. We tie up our most beautiful asset for about 2 weeks and for what?
    The city gets $40-50K to play host to the lost generation, big deal.
    To Mr. Freebie McCarthy I suggest you go back to law school and retake the course on ethics. It never ceases to amaze me the right of entitlement these council people have.

  15. McCarthy is just a shill for whoever tells him what to do. How do you be the council prez and also be the labor relations guru? Any time he is in charge of a hearing he asks management what do you want to do and then he sticks it up the ass of the defendant.

    I am starting to come around and believe in this Gomes guy, went to his website and I like what I saw and will take him seriously as long as he stays with his plan and cleans up the mess we have now for leadership.
    He was fired for wanting to do the right thing and his vendettas must run deeply.

    Caruso says he will do things but I feel Gomes will do what is needed to be done.

    The so-entitled machine will pay off the people with their hands out who control blocks of votes and it will take money to counteract that.

    Hope this Gomes isn’t hot air and doesn’t sell out because I’m liking his message and his chip on his shoulder approach.

  16. How do you negotiate a contract with a built-in kickback for city council members? You can bet they’re not the only ones. Expect to see Finch and his family as well as Parks employees and other members of the “in crowd” with VIP tix. In reality if they wanted to see the real Vibes, they would get a 1-day resident pass (like the rest of us commoners) and walk amongst the people. That’s where you can determine the level of security, drug usage, etc. What are you going to see in the VIP tent except other VIPs?

    This does not look good for McCarthy if he should become acting mayor in January 2011. Gomes is looking better and better every day. All he has to do is sit back and watch these morons dig their graves deeper and deeper.


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