The famous quote fits convicted felon Joe Ganim after his latest political stunt in his bid to reclaim the office he was forced out of when he was convicted of corruption. Ganim now claims to be ready to open a “police substation” in Bridgeport’s Trumbull Gardens housing complex, the scene of multiple shootings and deaths. The problem is, Ganim has no authorization for such a move which is nothing more than a shameless stunt. Flaunting the law was never a problem for him when he was mayor so it should come as no surprise he’s doing it now.
Ganim’s latest P.T. Barnum move shows just how low he will go to try to win back the mayor’s office after seven years in the federal can. He was likely encouraged by recently getting the endorsement of the police union—a sign that the group cares little about the moral character of a person seeking Bridgeport’s highest office.
The incredible irony of a guy who took kickbacks from city contractors getting the nod from the police union is dwarfed only by Ganim’s shameless politicizing of truly tragic events at Trumbull Gardens. There are scarce words to describe it—pathetic, inconceivable, stunning, tragic.
In the immediate picture, Ganim has no standing to open any kind of city substation let alone one for the police. In the bigger picture, will Bridgeport seriously consider returning to office a guy who turned it into his own private piggy bank when he was there?
As The Shad has written before, for those who don’t remember, Ganim was convicted on 16 federal corruption charges for accepting kickbacks and bribes in exchange for awarding city contracts. He continued to claim his innocence right up until January of this year when he finally—sort of—apologized (a politically expedient move if he planned on running for mayor again). If and when there are debates in the race for mayor, he should be asked straight out if he is guilty of the charges that sent him to prison.
Everyone should be given a second chance. But if a bank robber is let out of prison, you don’t make him a teller. Against this backdrop, Ganim’s move to open his own police substation is laughable as is the thought of him returning to the mayor’s office.
In a CtPost.com story, two professors of politics say the move is a win-win for Ganim and a loser for Mayor Bill Finch no matter how he responds. As someone who has worked in the trenches of politics and not in an ivory tower, I respectfully disagree: 1. People can see right through Ganim’s charade, 2. Finch is a responsible mayor who has the city’s interest and not his own political ambition at heart, and 3. In the end, the people of Bridgeport need to know if their would-be mayor is a crook. Well, Joe Ganim is a crook.