Voters Lift Library, Plus: Speedy’s AB Sting, And Ned’s Guber Run

UPDATE: Great day for library supporters. Bad day for city Republicans. Excellent day for suburban Republican candidates.

What happened to the organized political effort to defeat the library referendum question? In fact many from the Democratic party apparatus were pushing the yes question in front of polling places.

Unofficial results, according to Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandi Ayala, shows the library question passing. That means extra loot to fund library services. But when? And how? Is it a permanent one mil annual appropriation? Can the referendum question be challenged at a future citywide vote? There is no case like this in state history to review.

Also, unofficial results show Working Families Party Board of Education candidates Sauda Baraka (a BOE incumbent dumped by the GOP) and Maria Pereira defeating GOP candidates. The BOE operates under minority-party representation so that means the GOP loses two seats. The Dem candidates Pat Crossin, Leticia Colon and incumbent Bobby Simmons all won. Looking at the unofficial results the Working Families candidates ran well ahead of the GOP candidates. I spoke to a number of Dem political operatives on Tuesday who said they cast votes form the Working Families candidates. The Dem candidates were a lock so plenty of extra votes to spread to preferred candidates Baraka and Pereira backed by the professional campaign organization of Working Families field operatives. (For the actual vote tallies see The Post election coverage this cycle is the best in many many years.)

Look for Colon, a supporter of Mayor Bill Finch, to position for BOE president. Colon, a City Council member, is aligned politically with 131 District Leader Mitch Robles. Speaking of Mitch …

Joel’s Mitch And Switch

Republican Joel Speedy Gonzalez, former Democratic City Councilman, pulled a fast one on Mitch Robles, Dem political honcho in the South End and West End. Joel says Bridgeport has too many absentee ballot cheaters. So, to prove his itch, he set up a sting against Mitch on Monday. Joel sent his niece, with absentee ballot in hand, to see Mitch. She told Mitch I have this absentee ballot. What do I do? Joel says Mitch took the ballot and filled it out for her. If that happened that’s a no-no. Joel says he has all of this on audio tape, and has filed an affidavit of complaint with the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission. Is this dirty pool? Or legit? Joel says he will fill us up shortly with all the gooey details. Mitch, if you’re out there, feel free to tell us your side of the story.

Joel isn’t taking on just any Joe blow political operative. Mitch is one district leader who can produce a win in his voting areas for just about anyone he supports. He has juice. And maybe a little abracadabra with absentee ballots.

Joel’s State Elections Enforcement Commission complaint
Joel’s State Elections Enforcement Commission complaint

Suburban Incumbents

Rotten day for suburban Democrats.

Ray Baldwin in Trumbull, bye, bye.

Jim Miron in Stratford, see ya.

Tom Buzi in Monroe, so long.

Shelton Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti, dogged by a federal investigation, holds on. Keeping taxes down pays off on election day.

Here Comes Ned

Ned Lamont, who defeated U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in a contentious Democratic primary in 2006 only to lose to Joe in the general election, is looking at a run for governor. This should make things intriguing. See letter from Ned to his Heads below:

I wanted you to be one of the first to know that, this afternoon, I will be filing papers to establish a committee to explore a potential candidacy for Governor of Connecticut.

Since our 2006 campaign for Senate, I have continued to meet with citizens across our state — as co-chairman of the Obama campaign in Connecticut, founder of a state policy institute at Central Connecticut State University, and as an outspoken advocate for health care reform. I have been constantly reminded during these conversations that Connecticut is not living up to its potential and that too many of our families are still being left behind.

Whether it has been health care and the economy, losing jobs, young people leaving the state, or the never-ending budget crisis, we have all seen our state head in the wrong direction.

Simply put, Connecticut’s current Chief Executive is not getting the job done.

Over the next few weeks, I look forward to continuing these conversations with voters across the state. And I also look forward to hearing from all of you.

You can sign up here to stay connected on Twitter and Facebook:

I hope to have your support as we start this new chapter together.

News release from Mayor Finch

Mayor Finch Congratulates City Council, Board of Education and Leaders of Nearby Towns on their Victories

Mayor Finch today extended his congratulations to the newly elected slate of City Council and Board of Education candidates.

“My sincerest congratulations to the new, but familiar faces that will be joining the City Council next month; I welcome their service, and their fresh ideas and outlook, to our City’s governing body,” said Mayor Finch. “I also look forward to working with the entire Board of Education slate, including new members Leticia Colon and Pat Crossin, and incumbent Bobby Simmons, and Working Families Party candidates Sauda Baraka and Maria Pereira to ensure that we continue to keep the educational needs of Bridgeport children top of mind.”

New council members were elected in the following districts: In the 130th District, incumbent Susan Brannelly was joined by newcomer Martin McCarthy. In the 131st District, Anderson Ayala ran for the seat vacated by Leticia Colon; he will join Denese Taylor-Moye in representing that district. In the 137th District, Lydia Martinez will fill the seat vacated by Daniel Martinez, and Manuel Ayala will replace Maria Valle.

Mayor Finch also extended his congratulations to his newly elected counterparts in Trumbull and Stratford. “The City of Bridgeport has always worked well with the administrations of nearby Stratford and Trumbull. I look forward to working with Mayor Harkins and First Selectman Herbst to focus on regional efforts that span our borders.”



  1. The Circus left town on Sunday, and I guess it’s time for the Bridgeport Republican Party to fold its tent.

    Colon is no shoo-in for Board Presidency. The Dems were trying to line up Snow in support of Colon and got avalanched by Working Families Party.

    Mitch should know that you don’t go to a gunfight with Joel with a switchblade. Will Finch be crying Fowl on his Big Bird supporter and elected City Sheriff?

  2. For the 1,001st time, especially to the CT Post, this is not a library tax. Read my lips, it’s NOT A TAX. It’s a reallocation of taxes already collected.

    For Mayor Finch and City Council President Tom McCarthy and the City Council: I repeat respectfully my personal offer, not as a Library Board member, to be of assistance, not a nuisance, whether I am still a Bridgeport resident or not, to help the City of Bridgeport find the extra $2.1 million in the City’s budget without forcing them to raise taxes on an overburdened and overtaxed citizenry, to meet this referendum requirement. It can be done. Yes, it can.

    1. While you’re at it, ask the Mayor not to discontinue “in-kind” services to the library as he threatens. I wonder how much it is going to cost to pay for those services?

      1. BTW

        Very nice job in getting this referendum passed. Politics at its best.

        As a library patron, I am delighted.

        As a taxpayer, I think you all did a disservice to the city.

      2. Let me explain “in-kind services” to you. This means that if the city is paying for things like heat, lights, phones, water, etc., all that will now to billed to the library. Who owns the buildings? If the City owns the buildings, they could also begin to charge rent to the library. So the net profit here could be zilch. This is why they keep Tom Sherwood around.

        1. Utilities Maintenance existing Debt Service and Employee Fringes are all included in our budget of 1 mil–two locations are rented–three are City owned–there was no allocation of rent for city-owned properties–and allocation of debt service and rent would be a double dip.

          North was funded by state bonding specific to Library/Community Service–Burroughs is 85 years old.

          Net profit will not be zilch.

      3. Being intimate with the Library budget, I’ll be interested to know the “in kind” services that they are talking about–we pay for snow plowing at City facilities–our referendum request includes utilities and maintenance amounts–the City cuts payroll and vendor checks and we use purchasing like all city departments and accounting software–we included existing debt service allocated to the library (although we have not had any capital improvements other than elevator service and computers–which we retire faster than the debt service is retired by the City.

        Seems to be a red herring comment–if it is a significant number why wasn’t it allocated to the Library in the budget? It’s not like what the City used to do with the MER calculation for BOE purposes.

  3. A great day for the Bpt library and our citizens.
    A cool day for Joel, GO JOEL.
    Mitch Robles perhaps can do his probation stacking books, with his experience stacking the vote.
    Ex-Sheriff Mitch, don’t tell me you’re the “Melvil Dewey” of your people.

  4. Board of Education Republican Nate snow 1,234. Working Family Sauda Efia Baraka 1,846!!! Pat Crossin 2,638. BOE race 2. Republican Juan E. Hernandez 1,019. Working Family Maria Pereira 1,909!!! Democrat Leticia Colon 2,715. A good night for Working family. They gave Dems a run for their money!

  5. It’s time for the Bridgeport Republican party to file papers that will close it out as a political party. They are a disgrace and full of people that are just too lazy to campaign or work to be elected. Losing two seats on the BOE should be the nail in the coffin.
    From what I have read the only Republicans that even tried to get elected were from Black Rock. The rest were on the ballot so that a name was in the spot marked Republican.
    When a city or town only has one political party it suffers. When there are no alternative ideas or thoughts a city suffers. When the people have only one choice on the ballot apathy grows and the idea of why waste my time voting when I really don’t have a clear alternative grows, the city suffers.
    In this city the voting that means anything is the primary vote as that is where the people have at least some alternative choices. Even there there are only a few alternative choices and this year none of the primary choices won. Does the city suffer? Yes it does.

  6. Re: Yesterday’s Library Referendum

    I was wrong. I was unable to change enough minds to produce a victory. Politics is the story of who-gets-what from the public purse. The Liberate Library Committee was organized and sufficiently funded. My efforts were limited to words on a blog whose owner calls it a webzine. My initial foray into “mind changing” was a failure.


  7. Local Eyes:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. It was a great debate. It was a spirited, clean campaign on the issue and a confirmation of our great way of government … let the people speak.

    I will try to get some dollar numbers for you about what amount was spent on the campaign because I think at the end of the day, we will both be impressed with how much was accomplished by a handful of dedicated volunteers, on a meager, paltry, shoestring budget, using your favorite medium, the computer … although even with email, Facebook, excel, spreadsheets, etc. … nothing replaces a personal outreach phone call, walking the streets and knocking on doors with a friendly greeting and an infectious smile, just like yours.

  8. The city had a crew from Public facilities out today to fix my driveway after my street was paved by a private contractor. My thanks go out to these guys who did an excellent job. They told me what they planned and were very informative. Thanks for the kindness and the professional job. Well done.

  9. The library referendum was the only success yesterday. The rest was a sham. The BOE seats, the City Council seats, blah-blah-blah … A waste of time. Most of the incumbents and all of the DTC-endorsed candidates that won a first term are a bunch of puppets, beholden to the party apparatchiks that made the electoral successes a reality. It ain’t about doing what is good for the people of the city of Bridgeport; it’s about serving the Masters of the Universe on Madison Avenue. It’s about spending a good portion of that $9,000.00 stipend on spaghetti and meatballs at Don Mario Testa’s pasta joint. It’s about doing what the handler says to do.

    One City Council candidate clucked his tongue at a day trip to Miami for lunch and a tummy rub but I’m guessing he would’ve gone himself if given the opportunity. Now that he has been elected to serve on the most innocuous legislative body east of the Mississippi, maybe the opportunity will present itself.

    1. And another fucking thing:

      Why would anyone want to be elected to the Board Of Education in the city of Bridgeport? Pat Crossin is a nice-enough guy, but does he have a realistic chance of actually changing the school system for the betterment of the students? Bridgeport has the highest dropout rate in the state of Connecticut; highest incidence of teen pregnancy. Unless and until one person or a group of individuals can formulate and effect a plan that establishes a standard of excellence in education teenagers will continue to drop out to join violent drug-dealing street gangs, go on welfare, and get knocked up.

      1. *** You watch too many TV drama shows on other people’s sets! You’re out of touch with reality in Bpt. Maybe in Oakland, CA or Compton they’re dropping out to join gangs. In Bpt. they drop out because there’s no family structure & the public schools system is poor, etc. The little small cliques in Bpt. fold in time one way or another. *** Get a life! ***

  10. *** Joel’s always talking about Black Rock & has run for political seats in the 130th, however his address on the affidavit is 909 Maplewood Ave. Isn’t that street located in the 132nd district? Anyway, this little sting will produce nothing but chatter on OIB ’cause the State Elections Committee will do nothing but issue a warning & possible fine if that. Why, because Mitch the Switch was solely sought out by Joel’s sting to be set up! Reporting legit elections violations is one thing, however this little dirty trick is a bit low even for politics. ***

  11. Ned Lamont: Give me a break, just what we need, another tree hugger. We do not need someone that endorses unchecked spending. When the bill comes due for all the money that Washington is spending (no results yet), our grandkids will be paying off that debt.
    Mr. Lamont I point to Virginia & New Jersey. People voted out the sitting party and exit polls show that they are upset with the amount of federal spending and the lack of jobs.
    Mr. Lamont have you read the 2,000-page health bill that congress is proposing? I’ll answer that, NO. Yet you endorse it sight unseen. Not Good.

  12. It’s not every day I like what the Connecticut Post has to say. However today is one of those days:

    Libraries take the next step

    Updated: 11/04/2009 05:05:55 PM EST

    It’s not every day that Bridgeport voters get to weigh in on exactly how much money they want spent on a particular service.

    Budget-making in any city the size of Bridgeport is an exhausting, frustrating, bare-knuckled exercise in parsimony, figuring out the least that can be spent to provide a service.

    In the end, the citizen’s representatives, elected members of the City Council, decide how much goes for police, fire, schools and so on.

    But this week, in a historic vote, the citizens of Bridgeport said they don’t want their library system to be part of that crap shoot.

    They said they want their libraries treated in a special way. By a vote of 2,683 to 1,455, voters approved a measure on Tuesday’s ballot that guarantees the equivalent of 1 mil every year to the library. The library’s budget this year is $4.8 million; it would have been $6.9 million under this provision.

    The value of a mil will fluctuate each year, since it is determined by computation that involves the grand list of taxable property and the portion of the city budget that needs to be funded with property tax.

    Opponents — this newspaper included — said it was not a good idea, particularly in trying times, to immunize one department against the vagaries of the economy. Additional money guaranteed to the library, after all, will come from some other department’s budget.

    But the voters people have decided their libraries are important to them. In a city that is traditionally an immigrant center, libraries have become a social center, “the new town green,” as some refer to them.

    The library system has plenty of needs, from a leaky roof that drips into the seventh floor stacks at the Saden-Burroughs Main library downtown, to new facilities for the East End and East Side, to a personnel shortage that translates into drastically reduced hours.

    The library’s board of directors, given this rare opportunity, owes it to the voters to come up with a solid plan to address the system’s problems.

    Thank you Bridgeport voters – John from Black Rock

  13. BTW–Great job Working Families. Your BOE victory reminds of the 1983 election when 3 Bpt ACORN members shook things up by winning their BOE election. They were Hazel Langston, Elizabeth Martinez and some scruffy, long-haired guy from the East Side whose name escapes me right now.

  14. Congratulations to the Working Families Party Board of Education candidates Sauda Baraka (a BOE incumbent dumped by the GOP) and Maria Pereira defeating GOP candidates. It’s strange that Sauda Baraka the incumbent Republican candidate for the BOE was the ONLY successful black Republican candidate who ran in the last election and won City wide. The Republican Party saw no value in re-nominating her again. The National Republican Party is now a white male southern party and now what is left of the Bridgeport Republican Party is in lock step with the national GOP. Great job Sauda and Maria.

  15. Town of Stratford employees are rejoicing that their reign of terror is finally over. Two more years and we will rejoice as well. ABF.

    Ned Lamont? Why doesn’t he run against Lieberman again? Seems that would be an easy win.

    John Gomes? Still waiting to hear the full story.



    Here are more details on the alert:


  17. Mojo is one hell of a lonely man with plenty of time on his hands. He is the only OIB poster to spend time at giving customer reviews on the Little Rascals of all things. It must have been a slow day at OIB.

    Customer Review

    4.0 out of 5 stars Rascal Mania!, April 2, 2009
    By Rafael A. Mojica Jr. “Mojo-working”
    *** Great Hits with some of the Rascals’ best scenes, Chumby’s kite-flying brawl, Spanky’s left hook, gang’s own firetruck. I laughed so hard I ended up with a headache after watching Our Gang! ***
    Permalink | Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

    1. *** What were you doing on if your so damn busy, stupid? You buy a product, weeks later they ask for a review! Very simple, if you bought things on the web once in a while instead of surfing for B/S stories in the Sun-Times News, etc. or looking for a new wife on the immigrants willing to marry websites! *** Get a life! ***

  18. *** Try watching the Rascals some time, now that you have a job & a rented TV. You probably missed out when you were a barefoot, running-nosed kid with nothing but a radio in the apt. The Rascals were funnier than you & much brighter too! I don’t mind giving a good review on a good product I’ve bought if it helps others that maybe interested feel a bit more confidant about buying! *** Try it you’ll like it! *** And as for having time on my hands, you should talk! Supposedly taking 2 weeks off to help in the local campaign to set up Mitch, (a notary) with your niece; to go to his office to get an A/B notarized & ask for his help in filling it out because she wasn’t sure how to do it? To go out of your way & involve a family member too, for something like that is dirty & low for even politics. *** If there’s a God in heaven, I know he don’t like “UGLY”! *** I feel sorry for you! ***

    1. … to go to his office to get an A/B notarized …

      This shows how intelligent you are. On what planet are ballots notarized? The AB ballot rules are clear. A candidate can’t touch ’em. I didn’t even touch it. God must not like you either.


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