Although the Bridgeport political operation connected with Governor Malloy and Mayor Bill Finch orchestrated the nomination of State Representative Richard DeJesus to run in the February 24th Special Election for the vacant State Senate seat in Bridgeport, the Mayor and his team are in the process of shifting sides and will now be focusing their collective efforts to elect the Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. to the Connecticut State Senate.
On Friday Mayor Bill Finch urged the nominee, Richard DeJesus, to drop out of the state Senate race.
In addition to DeJesus, who is the Democratic nominee in the race, the other major contenders are former State Senator Edwin Gomes, who is the Working Families Party candidate and former Board of Education Chairman Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr. who is Finch’s former campaign treasurer.
Apparently Finch’s most recent political maneuver is due to the establishment’s growing concern that DeJesus has been damaged by the news that he owes at least $139,433 in personal property taxes and at least $35,700 in back child support.
But the Malloy/Finch operation was already covering their bets over the last few weeks, with Finch’s chief of staff and other key Finch allies providing donations to Moales so that he could qualify for a taxpayer funded campaign finance grant.
A review of Moales campaign finance report reveals that he has the full support of Connecticut’s Charter School Industry and many of the individuals and organizations that paid for the record-breaking lobbying campaign behind Malloy’s education reform agenda and Mayor Finch’s failed charter revision effort to do away with a democratically elected board of education in Bridgeport and replace it with one appointed by the mayor.
Over the past three years, Kenneth Moales Jr. has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Malloy’s corporate educate reform efforts. Moales was also the head cheerleader for Paul Vallas and Moales serves on the Board of Directors for Steve Perry’s proposed charter school in Bridgeport.
In fact, while the Bridgeport Board of Education was taking the unprecedented step of asking Malloy’s Commissioner of Education and State Board of Education to reject Steve Perry’s application to open a charter school in Bridgeport, saying it was contrary to educational goals of the City of Bridgeport, Moales was busy supporting the application, all while serving on Perry’s charter school board.
The notion that it is DeJesus’ financial troubles that has scared off Finch and company is rather absurd considering the far more serious financial, legal and ethical problems surrounding Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr.
Although Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. claims to be a millionaire, he has been fighting off a series of lawsuits since 2011 for defaulting on about $8 million in loans that he took out to build his Bridgeport Church and renovate a home owned by his mother.
In September 2012, Reverend Moales caused a car accident in New Haven that injured the driver of the other car. At the time of the accident Moales with driving an unregistered Mercedes Benz owned by his church.
A year later, in September 2013, an arrest warrant was issued for Reverend Moales for failure to appear for a ticket he had received for speeding and driving another unregistered vehicle, this time a Cadillac Escalade which was also owned by his church.
In response to a CT Post article about the arrest, Moales took to Twitter proclaiming,
“CT POST NEEDS readers! I must stay focused, Ignore the Critics & Solve The Real Problems! We are doing a good work & WE WILL NOT COME DOWN!!!”
Moales also owes more than $10,000 in local property taxes and allegedly owes back payroll taxes to the State of Connecticut as well.
Three daycare centers owned by the Moales family and that rent space from Moales’ church was caught double-billing for state funded daycare slots last year and forced to pay back approximately $70,000 in ill-gotten gains
The Moales family daycare centers also put dozens of children in rooms that didn’t meet fire code and didn’t have the required permits including a certificate of occupancy for the building itself.
And the list goes on…
But as incredible as it seems, Kenneth Moales Jr’s pattern of financial, legal and ethical neglect haven’t stopped Connecticut’s charter school industry from funding his campaign…A campaign that apparently now has the support of Mayor Bill Finch and the forces loyal to Governor Malloy.
You can find out more about this developing story at the Only in Bridgeport Blog – http://onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/icky-for-ricky-dejesus-says-hell-resign-city-council-seat-finch-tells-him-to-drop-state-senate-bid/ and the CT Post at http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/DeJesus-has-campaign-cash-but-also-troubles-6080248.php