Max Medina, former president of the Bridgeport Board of Education, and the Connecticut Citizen Action Group are supporting mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster who’s challenging Mayor Bill Finch in the September 27 Democratic primary. This is a nice endorsement for Foster. In Medina, a 2003 mayoral candidate, she receives the help of someone with extensive contacts among city parents and in CCAG it provides her campaign workers on primary day. Medina and Finch have never been buds and they often knocked heads when Medina accused Finch of short-changing the city school system. In fact, Finch provided city schools not one extra penny the past three years as the Bridgeport Board of Education struggled with budget deficits. This allowed Finch to avoid a tax increase in an election year. Medina, in a statement below, accuses Finch of carrying out a carefully executed plan to tank the school board in favor of state control. From the Foster campaign:
The Connecticut Citizen Action Group Endorses Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor of Bridgeport
CCAG cites Bill Finch’s undemocratic behavior regarding the dissolution of the Bridgeport Board of Education and his troubling ties to People for Excellence in Government PAC
Democratic candidate for Mayor of Bridgeport Mary-Jane Foster received the endorsement of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG) today. CCAG released the following statement:
The Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG) endorses Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor because it is time to restore honesty, integrity and transparency to Bridgeport’s municipal government.
After initially deciding to not become involved in Bridgeport’s 2011 Mayoral contest, the CCAG Board unanimously decided to endorse Mary-Jane Foster in response to Bill Finch’s role in the dissolution of the Bridgeport Board of Education in July and revelations about Finch’s relationship with the People for Excellence in Government PAC.
“CCAG is endorsing Mary-Jane Foster for Mayor because Bill Finch finds democracy inconvenient,” said Max Medina, Jr., CCAG Board member and former President of the Bridgeport Board of Education. “The Finch Administration participated in a carefully executed plan to deny Bridgeport residents the opportunity to vote for the four seats on the Board of Education which were up for re-election this year,” added Medina, a Bridgeport resident.
After conspiring with others to eliminate the duly elected Bridgeport Board of Education — without any opportunity for community involvement or comment — Bill Finch then added insult to injury by testifying before the Connecticut Board of Education:
“I don’t see it as a great loss, for a few years, to lose the electoral process.”
“I just do want to remind you that there is (sic) many of my parents who either
because of them not being citizens or having done things in their previous life cannot participate in the Democratic process.”
“Democracy doesn’t work. It doesn’t work in all cases.”
State board of Education meeting, July 6, 2011
“Mary-Jane Foster and CCAG believe democracy always works — it is the American way and for that reason we endorse Foster for Mayor,” added CCAG Board Chair Bill Bloss. Bloss said that the CCAG board was particularly concerned about the lack of public involvement in the process leading up to the vote to dissolve. “In towns all over Connecticut, Boards seek and value public
input. It is inconceivable that the most drastic decision that a Board of Education could make – to disenfranchise a City’s voters – would be made with the short notice and lack of public discussion as happened here.”
He also cited the serious questions which have been raised about Finch’s ties to the People for Excellence in Government PAC. Bloss continued, “CCAG fought long and hard to pass the Clean Elections system in Connecticut. We now have a system that has taken big money and lobbyist contributions away from elections for state office. But municipal elections are not as well regulated as state elections.”
“Bill Beccaro works for the Senate Democrats where he worked with Finch. Finch hires Beccaro to do consulting work for the City of Bridgeport. Finch hires Adam Wood as his chief of staff. Finch sends his candidate committee surplus to Beccaro’s PAC. Finch, Wood and their spouses in turn benefit from Beccaro’s PAC. In my opinion, it doesn’t pass the smell test and it’s just plain wrong,” added Medina.
“The people of Bridgeport deserve a mayor who embraces democracy and transparency. Mary-Jane Foster is that candidate and that is why CCAG supports her candidacy for Mayor,” said Bloss.
CCAG is a statewide organization with over 20,000 member families committed to fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice for 40 years.