In Bridgeport: Didn’t Finch Win the Endorsement? CCAG Props Up One Challenger, Hearst Media Props Up the Felon

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch won the Democratic Party endorsement for another term this week but you wouldn’t know it by the articles in the Connecticut Post or by the endorsement of a self-professed “good government” group.

Finch is not well-liked by the Connecticut Post or its parent, Hearst Media. The guy wins the endorsement over convicted felon Joe Ganim and previously failed candidate Mary-Jane Foster and the CT Post describes him as “fighting for his political life.” They accompany that piece with a total suck-up job to Ganim letting us know what time he gets up in the morning after courageously refusing to hit the snooze button.

What gives? As a former hard news reporter and now a write-whatever-I-want journalist, I am generally supportive of the news media. In this case though, the CT Post needs to be called out.

Finch is popular, successful as a mayor and obviously supported by the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee. That seems to be the cue for others to try to knock him down a peg or two.

First, Finch is not “fighting for his political life.” He is in the driver’s seat in this year’s contest—the man to beat. Secondly, should he lose (which I highly doubt) that doesn’t mean he can’t stay in politics and run for office in the future. He’s a young man.

CT Post’s kiss-up article about Ganim after his defeat was a bit embarrassing. “This campaign will be the most transparent—and if elected, my administration will be the most transparent the city has ever seen in its history,” Ganim is quoted as saying. Good to know. If he decides he wants to rob the city blind again and resume taking bribes, it’ll be easier to spot.

Former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim served seven years in prison for corruption.
Former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim served seven years in prison for corruption.

Ganim also says he wants to establish an “Office of Public Integrity.” Yeah, and Donald Trump wants to establish an “Office of Respectful Political Discourse” as he seeks the ambassadorship to Mexico.

Meanwhile, fellow challenger to Finch Mary-Jane Foster picked up the backing of the Connecticut Citizens Action Group (CCAG). “We are proud to have been part of numerous successful efforts by Bridgeport residents to stand up to the corrupt political machine that was on full display Tuesday night at the boys’ mud wrestling contest called a convention,” said CCAG Executive Director Tom Swan. He was referring to the Democratic Party endorsement convention that resulted in Finch’s win.

Bridgeport mayoral challenger Mary Jane Foster. Mayor Bill Finch is at right.
Bridgeport mayoral challenger Mary Jane Foster. Mayor Bill Finch is at right.

Actually, it’s a bit surprising that CCAG didn’t back Ganim. Swan was the guy who tried—and failed—to rescue the corrupt congressional campaign of former state Speaker of the House Chris Donovan in 2012. That little foray into “good government” resulted in the convictions of several people in Donovan’s campaign.

The fine Bridgeport-centric blog called “Only in Bridgeport” is aptly named. It’s hard not to read something about the Park City without coming away shaking one’s head.

Fortunately, the voters of Bridgeport will decide who is the next mayor—not the Connecticut Post and not CCAG. Hopefully, the experience and record (governmental and criminal) will be the deciding factors.