The Bridgeport political establishment’s chief lapdog Anthony Musto is at it again. The Democratic state senator so terrified of the political payroll serving on the City Council in defiance of the City Charter whines Bridgeport voters should decide whether city employees should serve on the council. It obviously has escaped Musto, a lawyer, that city voters have already decided this question long ago. The reason the City Charter bars city employees from serving on the City Council is because voters approved it. Voters oppose the conflict-of-interest gravy train of city employees approving their own wages and benefits.
Musto has blocked the government reform bill supported by a majority of Bridgeport’s State House delegation to enforce the charter provision City Attorney Mark Anastasi claims is trumped a loophole in state law. In Musto’s hometown Trumbull, it’s illegal for town employees to serve on the board of finance as it is in other likewise communities in Connecticut. Bridgeport’s City Council, however, functions as a board of finance. The bill that was proposed simply calls for bringing consistency to state law to include all municipal bodies that serve as boards of finance.
Here’s what Musto told the Connecticut Post:
“This is basically a local issue–a local vendetta, really–by people angry at some on the City Council. They can’t vote them off, so they want to try to get them fired by state law. I think it’s completely inappropriate to use state law for that. People should be able to run for offices and, if the voters don’t want them there because they see a problem, then they won’t vote for them.”
Translation: screw the City Charter. Musto’s schizoid logic says let’s have two sets of rules, one for most of the state and another for his political pals in Bridgeport. So all members of the Bridgeport delegation and the majority of state representatives in Hartford who support the bill are on a vendetta?
Here’s what’s really going on, the part Musto won’t tell you. He’s terrified of alienating City Council President Tom McCarthy, a city employee. Musto has rationalized if he kills the bill he will forever enjoy the support of Big Mac who had once contemplated that senate seat. Musto’s district covers Trumbull and portions of Bridgeport and Monroe. Ironically, in trying to avoid a primary jump-started by the political establishment, Musto has drawn the ire of reformers who support the City Charter such as Marilyn Moore who is now waging an August primary against Musto.
In 2008, Musto squeaked a primary win over Moore. In his nearly six years in the State Senate, Musto’s had an interesting voting record. He was one of two state senators (out of 36) who supported public release of the images of the slaughtered Sandy Hook kids. He championed the floodgates of dark money special interests in defiance of Connecticut’s program of publicly financed elections. And yes, he has used his public position as chief lapdog for Bridgeport’s political establishment.
Stay tuned for the Musto-Moore primary.