Mayor Finch and “Education Reformers” spend record amount to take away Bridgeport voter’s rights!

Welcome to 21st Century America

Lennie Grimaldi, Bridgeport’s leading political pundit, and author of the blog, Only in Bridgeport, broke the news today that Mayor Mike Bloomberg gave $20,000 to Residents For A Better Bridgeport, the political action committee behind the campaign to support Mayor Bill Finch’s power grab to eliminate a democratically elected school board and replace it with one appointed by him.

But the $20,000 donation from Bloomberg is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg and Residents for a Better Bridgeport is only one of a series of corporate funded political groups spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure Bridgeport’s parents and other voters don’t get a direct role in selecting who sets education policy in Bridgeport.

Here are just a few of the companies and organizations that are funding the anti-democracy campaign.  More names to come…  By the way, the campaign finance violations are so numerous that it will take a few days to develop the appropriate legal complaint – but we’ll put it together and file it on Monday or Tuesday – if for no other reason than for our American principles.

Even more importantly, what is UI, the publicly funded hospitals and the publicly subsidized Harbor Yard doing using people’s hard-earned payments and money to undermine democracy.  It is inappropriate and disgusting.

Let’s hope the Legislature will demand a full investigation into these corporations and their behavior.

With tens of thousands without healthcare and electricity, these people are spending money to take away the democratic rights of Connecticut residents.  It is perhaps the best example of immorality that I have ever seen.

Company/Organization Amount
Aquarium Water Company: $14,000
AT&T Connecticut Employee PAC $2,000
Benchmark Trademark Ltd $5,000
Bradford Evans (Senior Advisor Morgan Stanley) $25,000
Bismark Construction Company $3,500
Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Company $14,000
Bridgeport Hospital $14,442.90
CT Coalition for Advancement Now (ConnAD) $14,000
Hal Rosnick (Attorney) $500
Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment LLC $14,442.90
Jarvis Group LLC, NY (in-kind video) $14,376.40
Juda Epstein (Attorney) $1,000.00
Mark Tillenger $2,500
Merit Insurance $2,500
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of  New York City $20,000
Michael Halperin $2,500
Poko Core Builders, Farmington, CT $2,500
Pullman & Comley (law firm with significant state business) $7,000
St. Vincent’s Hospital $14,400
United Illuminating 10,000
Zachary Zeitlin (Silver Point Capital, Westport) $2,000


Considering the Democrats will always control 6 of the 9 Board of Education seats, the question remains – why is Finch and the reformers working so hard to “control” the 3 seats that would normally go for “minority representation” – in this case – to members of the Connecticut Working Families Party.  This is not about controlling policy, this is about making sure that no opposition, whatsoever is allowed.

Also just in, Michelle Rhee’s national organization, StudentsFirst, dropped $97,000 on October 19th to pay for door to door canvassing expenditures to persuade voters to give up their democratic rights.  Recently, Rhee’s husband, a former NBA star and Mayor of Sacramento, California showed up to campaign in favor of the charter change.  He appeared at a forum with Mayor Finch and Paul Vallas, Bridgeport’s part-time, $229,000 a year, Superintendent of Schools.

And they call themselves Americans!

  • Linda174

    As soon as I can I am canceling my AT & T account and switching Internet and tv to Charter. I will write and tell them why soon.

    What benefit to these corporations and these individuals get from supporting mayoral control? How did they know to give money? Who solicited them for the money? Were they promised anything in return?

    Bloomberg should have saved the chump change and given it to a family on Staten Island or this pompous ass could have given it to the mother whose two and four years old boys were ripped out of her arms and found dead floating in water the next day.

    These people make me sick and our society has reached a point where the greed and corruption is going to consume us and ruin our country.

    Destroy the middle class…create a preschool to prison pipeline. You WILL all be paying eventually.

    Mark my words…mayoral control is the first step towards privatization, profiteering, union busting, deprofessionalizing teaching, creating at-will employees and a constant churn of newbie test prep drones. The profiteers and philanthropimps will be running the show.

    Thank you Jon.

    • urbanlad

      If you get the answers as a customer, please post. I’m curious. Why are hospitals on the list? This makes no sense. I’m almost tempted to write or mail them myself. Makes me almost want to write a blog: Awaiting Your Response.

    • msavage

      Bloomberg is a despicable human being–if you can even call him that. A sociopath and an opportunistic vulture of the highest order. He has decided to continue with the freaking marathon despite the fact that scores and scores of New Yorkers are still suffering tremendously. Elderly people freezing to death on the higher levels of New York walk-ups, unable to get out to the street to go out and look for food? Oh well, we need the police and emergency personnel to patrol the marathon. Probably because some corporate sponsor is more important to Bloomberg (and his pocketbook) than the citizens of the city. I agree, Linda–greed and corruption are consuming this country. It is a free-for-all–a symptom of a dying civilization. Hopefully, something better will come up, like a Phoenix, from the ruins. If I didn’t have kids I would probably not believe this were possible. But for my children, I’ve gotta force myself to keep the hope alive.

      So, while part of me doubts that taking action against these creeps in Bridgeport will do any good, the mom in me continues to appreciate that there are “good guys” like Jon willing to put the effort into digging up the festering pestilence and hauling it into the light. Continuing to speak out against this crap and to fight it however we can is the best way to keep hope alive, I think. Again–thank you, Jon.

      • msavage

        Just read this morning’s headlines and I see that idiot Bloomberg has capitulated to public pressure. The NYC marathon is off–reason has prevailed on this issue. Too bad the public had to FORCE the idiot Bloomberg to make the reasonable, morally-correct decision.

        • Linda174

          Word is his aides told him it would make him look bad…so it was about his image not the missing, the homeless, the dying, the starving….it’s all about the billionaire.

          Also, the police were not up for supervising and controlling the race crowd while still trying to help hurricane victims. He also made all teachers report to work on Friday even though the kids weren’t back yet. So they could get ready for Monday… we don’t know how to prepare for the first day back without his mandates. He has been abusing the teachers for eleven years. Little tiny man who abuses his power and throws his money around to get what he wants.

        • Linda174
      • Bill Morrison

        I saw an interesting bumper sticker recently. “GOP: Greed, Oppression, Persecution.” Another substituted “Pollution” for the “P”.

  • Castles Burning

    This is another mouth open response as I find it incredible to see this list. Two hospitals?? Linda174 asks all of the right questions about how did they and others know and to donate. Again, fabulous work bringing this to light.

    When campaign violations are filed and found to be valid what impact might that have on the election?

    And, let us see if this information is conveyed by other sources to the public.

  • urbanlad


    “Recently, Rhee’s wife, a former NBA star and Mayor of Sacramento,
    California showed up to campaign in favor of the charter change.”

    It’s Friday, but what is this: AT&T Connecticut Employee PAC. Wow. If I work for AT&T I can donate money to a PAC that will help take away my voice and voting rights. Jeez.It doesn’t get any better than this. The list is truly disturbing.

  • Castles Burning

    Regarding the issue of making the referendum about the “progress” that has purportedly been made in Bridgeport schools instead of whether citizens will be able to vote for the BOE, a Bridgeport high school student observes:

    I keep getting colorful, enticing flyers urging us to vote Yes in the mail; anyone could be fooled. And what’s funny is that it doesn’t say explicitly what we’re voting yes for it just says things like we’ve distributed new books to all the schools and we’re building new schools so you should vote yes because it’s the right thing to do–how sneaky, I’m pretty sure
    a lot of people are going to be confused. sigh…

    This blog has done much to sort out the confusion and may we each do all that we can to combat any more that is out there as I tend to agree with this student that many are “going to be confused.” And, that, of course, is what the YES campaign is “banking” on–with the money collected above and more . . .

  • Pingback: Big $$$ to Convince Bridgeport Voters to Abandon Democracy « Diane Ravitch's blog()

  • Linda174

    Oh look, look….they had an emergency meeting and someone wrote a letter and if you don’t have time to read, guess what?…it’s all for the kids. Time to cover your a$$:

  • Apartheid First

    C2 Hospitals? One’s catholic, and probably claims “separation of church and state” when it comes to paying taxes and providing up-to-date information on reproduction… Shouldn’t their tax-free status be in jeopardy?

    I love it. How about Residents for a Whiter Bridgeport?

    • Linda174

      Residents for a profitable, segregated, disenfranchized, controlled, and privatized Bridgeport.

    • Linda174

      Residents for a profitable, segregated, disenfranchized, controlled, and privatized Bridgeport.

    • Linda174

      Residents for a profitable, segregated, disenfranchized, controlled, and privatized Bridgeport.

    • Linda174

      Residents for a profitable, segregated, disenfranchized, controlled, and privatized Bridgeport.

  • Linda174

    BPS logo:

  • Rob from BEA

    If you want to fight this outrage,stop by the HQ for the Protect Our Voting Rights Coalition, 1242 Stratford Ave. make some calls to educate the voters, doorknockers, get materials. Help us fight back!

    • Bill Morrison

      AMEN!!! The answer is to start acting, make your words count for something! Also, come help Truth in Education fight!

  • Pingback: More $$$ For Pro-Privatization « Network Schools – Wayne Gersen()

  • Leonie Haimson

    Is it $20k or $25k that Bloomberg has donated? Yr text and chart are contradictory. Thanks!

    • jonpelto

      Thanks for catching that. The number is $20,000

    • Linda174

      I think it is $20,000 and Jon fixed it. Keep checking in when you can. I learn a lot from you, Leonie.

  • Sleepless in Bridgeport

    Why in the world would all these big shots be pouring money into Finch’s folly while Rome is burning around them? Why does Finch and Mrs. Rhee and company think this is so important?
    Let’s see how this works. The City of Bridgeport is corrupt as hell….always has been and probably always will be. All the Mayors well before Finch have been drooling to get their hands on the school budget. I mean really physically drooling at the mouth. Why do you ask? So they can take their greedy cut out of the school construction monies perhaps. Vallas and the educational reformers with the help of the Merry Hibernians Malloy and “No” Pryor “Experience” have discovered a new lucrative twist. Why not get a skim off the books and tests too? After all…it’s all for the kids…right? Except it is their kids, not Bridgeport’s. By the time the scam is discovered there will be nothing left of the Bridgeport Public Schools.
    And not one word of this in the CT Post. It’s like the public should give this gift to Finch and his co-conspirators because they all are pompous assholes.

  • Sue
    Florida failed charter school did without computers, cafeteria, library – but principal got $824,000.

    • msavage

      Are you frigging kidding me?

  • Lamont

    Bridgeport residents are receiving postcards saying that the teacher’s union is supporting a ‘yes’ vote. If that’s the case, then why is the BEA and the CEA going door to door petitioning for a ‘no’ vote? Shame, shame, shame on Finch and Company!

  • Pingback: CT Essential Politics – Monday 11.05.12 - CT Devil's Advocate()

  • Pingback: Parents throughout the US, take note of anti-public school legislation in your state. | Seattle Education()