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The Poor Man’s Trump?

by | Nov 7, 2023

An examination of Joe Ganim’s filings in his latest mayoral run shows multiple disturbing patterns and raises multiple questions regarding governorship, regulatory oversight, finances, and contributors. 

Mayoral campaign finances

In his filings to run for Mayor, Ganim lists his residence as 37 Thorne Place. In the date beside his signature, it appears that the number 2 was transposed to a 3 to change the date from 3/21 to 3/31. The Treasurer listed on his form raises eyebrows. The individual, Coleen Le Pere, out of Woobridge [sic], apparently the New Haven suburb of Woodbridge, lists only a PO box. Why was a PO Box submitted and accepted as the address, without a background check on Le Pere? A google search of Le Pere reveals a sordid divorce tale and financial mishougas. 

Anthony Paoletto, longtime DTC assistant to Mario Testo, is listed as the assistant treasurer. At the time in 2022, Paoletto was still under a cloud for his fiscal misdeeds in Ganim’s 2018 run for governor. Investigators found that Paoletto could produce no financial records of any sort for the campaign. The case remained open for five years and only resurfaced in 2022 and was settled in January of this year, with Paoletta only paying a $1250 (!) fine. 

In August 2023, Ganim filed an amended return, removing La Pere and inserting Paoletto as the Treasurer. Paoletto appears to have completed the form, as it matches his handwriting from the original application. He listed Ganim’s residence as 37 Thorne Street, not Place. Curiously, there aren’t Print Name and Date fields on the form; one can only see it’s Paoletto’s signature by cross-matching it to the initial form. Similar to Le Pere, why did SEEC accept Paoletto’s return to the treasurer’s role, when he had just settled that year and was found guilty to egregious financial misdeeds? 

Unlike the gubernatorial bid, this time Ganim submitted documentation of everyone he took money from. It is full of oddities, though. It reads in two parts: companies that do business with Bridgeport and people that work or worked for the City. There is a glaring omission: voters. There are hardly any Bridgeport citizens who contributed money. And all donations are round numbers with a $100 minimum – no $5 or $25 donations. Were all these donations freely given? Why would dozens of companies throughout the state and beyond give money to the mayor of Bridgeport, not to mention current and retired municipal employees. 

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