Will McMahon Hire Off-Duty City Cops Election Day?

Days before the election–real or imagined–paranoia sets in on respective campaign camps struggling for every possible vote in a tight race.

The race for governor tight.

The race for Congress tight.

The race for U.S. Senate between Democrat Dick Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon is close enough that neither side is giving up or taking anything for granted. The McMahon campaign is looking at hiring off-duty Bridgeport police officers to work election day. Just what role they’d have is unclear. Under the guise of ensuring fair elections is this really voter intimidation? Depends on how they’re used. As official checkers to challenge voter registration? That could get dicey, especially in heavy minority precincts that vote Democrat.

Several sources, including the Bridgeport PD, say the McMahon campaign has inquired about the availability of off-duty cops. Are there enough to go around?

Democratic Registrar of Voters Sandy Ayala wants to make sure she first has enough uniformed police officers to cover most (if not all) of the city’s 25 voting precincts. She’ll not be happy if her request to cover voting precincts is thinned out because a campaign has hired off-duty cops. Uniformed police are generally assigned to the moderator for each precinct, especially in higher turnout cycles, to help keep the peace and escort and observe absentee ballot counts.

The McMahon campaign has plenty of dough to burn on election day to hire off-duty cops, plenty more than they’d be paid by the city. McMahon has already spent more than $40 million. Gee, will the cops wear WWE colors?

So over the next few days, as Barack prepares to campaign in Bridgeport on Saturday, there may be a lot of bellyaching over campaign street money and voter intimidation.

And one area you’re likely to see many uniformed city cops working overtime on election night is the Arena at Harbor Yard where WWE, the wrestling company of Linda McMahon and husband Vince, hosts a Smackdown. Interestingly, the show starts more than an hour before the polls close at 8 p.m. I wonder how many free tickets will flood city neighborhoods that day?

Gamesmanship? Or voter suppression?



  1. It’s a chapter taken out of Ed Rollins’ playbook in “Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms”

    Will McMahon’s Hired Guns be wearing Lead Gloves or Brass Knuckles???

  2. The only standing that outside overtime officers will have is standing around with a coffee and donut on their cellphones. They should not be allowed to be inside the 75-foot marker.

  3. Hey by the way, I don’t see much discussion of CT Post’s front page top story today which is just what we talked about on BridgeportNow TV show a couple of days ago. It is about cell phone expenses. Let me say that we want to be fair and are inviting anyone to come on the TV show to present other points of view. Or if you don’t want to appear, we will open the telephone lines next Tuesday for different points of view.

    CT Post article …

    CT Post excerpt:
    Wearing said he is looking into calls made to Puerto Rico and elsewhere by some of his officers. One racked up an annual bill of $6,637 in 2008-09.

    Ramos had 3 BOE cell phones, CT Post excerpt:

    Ramos told the board he has just one Blackberry, and when it was replaced, the old one was turned in. “What am I supposed to do, go upstairs and make sure they canceled it?” he said.


  4. Are uniformed cops also at suburban precincts hmmm??? I remember 2008 election some weird guy who was behind the guy who checked my name tried to say did you correctly check his id the poll worker said yes. I had a few distasteful words for that guy if you know what I mean. Was it because I am black voting at a heavily white precinct in Bridgeport??? That I don’t know and not accusing of but when I know I’m registered and some prick is saying something it gets me heated sometime being a minority you take things different and if any asswipe who is not an official poll worker try to question my registration I will have some harsh words for them enough said!!! They will not use intimidation on me no way no how come Nov 2 and I urge all people of color not to take voter intimidation lightly in Bridgeport, these Republicans just show what sleazeballs they are go get some undercover cops in Greenwich or Darien and leave the poor voters of the city alone!!! Linda you’re going to lose!!! I have no respect for you.

  5. To all of the bloggers who knock Maria P on the Bored of Ed:
    Can you hear me now???
    An unpaid BOE member on her own time starts an inquiry and does her own audit that finds thousands of dollar in abuse.
    So where are all the bloggers who claim she is just an obstructionist; the she doesn’t do anything constructive; that she is just too negative?
    I think all of you owe Ms. Pereira an apology.

  6. Grin Reaper, right. I think Maria has done a great job with what she found in identifying issues to cut costs. Great stuff. After all, by doing so the job that is saved might be your own.

    And the point is not just the dollar amount of savings for cell phones. The point is that if we can find savings in that area, imagine what it could be in other areas. As far as I am concerned, this is a real breakthrough in efforts to save money. Again, I can’t imagine anyone being against this. I would like Dr. Ramos to congratulate Maria publicly at a BOE meeting.

  7. With President Obama coming to Bridgeport on Saturday I hope we do not end up looking bad. First off this visit is being orchestrated by people in Washington and not by people attached to the Himes campaign. The seating is at about 10,000 if they do not use the sky boxes. As of now there are no VIP tickets or if there are they are strictly limited.
    It is my understanding that people from around the state are being called and encouraged to come to this event. I hope the people of Bridgeport all can get in. Let’s hope for Bridgeport’s sake this presidential visit comes off well for Bridgeport.

  8. Bridgeport Now,
    The BOE could save a ton of money by getting rid of Mel Wearing and re-instituting school security rather than letting Mel have his own little Police Force.
    You could cut security in half (starting with Mel’s salary) and get a better ROI.
    School security needs cell phones to call Puerto Rico looking for parents???
    Here’s a news flash Mel, if the parent is on the island they are not taking care of the kids back here in Bridgeport and don’t really care.

  9. Hey, Bridgeport Now: What do you mean “present other points of view” Is there another point of view that justifies wasting even one taxpayer dollar??? You truly have to be kidding me, right? This board member goes out of her way to try to do the right thing–one of the only ones on that board who does, I might add–and you think there are other valid points of view? As for Ramos, I nearly fell off my chair when I read what he said. It speaks volumes not only as to his inability to lead, but to his character. Yes Mr. Ramos, if you do not hire competent people to manage your departments then it is your responsibility to either walk upstairs yourself or send someone else to find out. You’re the head guy–the buck stops with you. If you don’t give enough of a crap to ask questions, who will??? Oh, that’s right–one lone board member and when she does, we need to hear other points of view! No wonder this city is in the crapper and the people who sit back and allow people like Ramos to collect taxpayer-funded paychecks in return for taking responsibility for absolutely nothing deserve what they get. Wake up people and get involved!!! The cell phones are just the tip of the iceberg!!!

  10. Not enough people get involved so how the hell can they complain? Everyone wants to bitch and moan about the condition of our city but don’t get involved. I earn my money and pay my high taxes and watch my house depreciate. Most of that board is there for political reasons to vote the way their masters want. Ms. Pereira is on that board because she is a mother and owes no master but herself and her children’s education. I have seen mayoral candidate Gomes at the meetings as he is the father of four children and owes them their education and owes himself to watch the school system of the city he could be presiding over.
    I’ve seen parents from Central High at the meetings when there was a hot button issue and once it passed by I see them no more.

    Get involved people, or shut up and be a lemming and walk off the cliff.


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