Monday, May 14, 2007

The Machine vs The Man

Very likely the most exciting race in Connecticut next year will be in Bridgeport, where the man, Rep. Chris Caruso, will face the machine.

Bridgeport, like most of Connecticut, is a one horse town. The Democrat Party has run it ever since Caruso’s Great Granddaddy was knee high to a toadstool.

The machine’s choices recently have been rather unfortunate.

Federal prosecutors, using RICO statutes, bagged two Bridgeport worthies in recent years: former Mayor Joe Gannim and former state senator Ernest Newton, both now cooling their heels in jail. Someone from the Bridgeport machine probably told Bridgeport's current mayor, John Fabrizi to take a hike after his recent admissions of drug and alcohol abuse. Caruso, the White Knight of Bridgeport, has been openly contemptuous of Bridgeport's shakers and movers, calling them "clowns" and applying to them other sobriquets not designed to win him friends among party regulars.

With the backing of Bridgeport's kingmakers, the Connecticut Post now is reporting, State Senator William Finch "is seen as the establishment candidate for the nomination against state Rep. Christopher Caruso, D-Bridgeport, who has long been at odds with party leaders. Caruso, who lost the nomination to Fabrizi in a primary four years ago, vows to run an outsider campaign again this year."

Connecticut politicians in the know are betting on the machine. The people Caruso dismiss as clowns may behave from time to time like the Keystone Cops, but Bridgeporters appear, at the moment anyway, not to have had their fill of clownishness, and there is after all something praiseworthy in a town that so frequently sends its politicians up the river, a precedent that towns unexamined by federal snoops should follow.
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