Shameless Joe Ganim

Legend has it that a young fan asked the great baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson, "It ain't true, is it, Joe?" after a grand jury handed down indictments against him and fellow Chicago White Sox teammates for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series.

Despite later evidence indicating Jackson, who had a heck of a series, had nothing to do with any fix, and the fact that a jury acquitted the players, he and his teammates were banned from the game and the apocryphal child story — shortened to "Say it ain't so?" — persists.

Now Connecticut confronts Shameless Joe Ganim. But unlike his baseball counterpart, Ganim was guilty of corruption. And while we ask — "Say it ain't so?" — it apparently is. Ganim, 58, is running for governor.

Ganim, a Democrat, is the current and former mayor of Bridgeport. He was forced from office the first time, and imprisoned in 2003, after being convicted on 16 charges of extortion, bribery and racketeering. He steered city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive wine, custom clothes, cash and home improvements.

Two years ago, after serving seven years in prison, Ganim attempted what appeared to be the absurd. He asked the voters of Bridgeport, whom he had cheated and stolen from, to return him to office. To their discredit, they did, picking Ganim over the incumbent in the primary and electing him in a landslide in the general election.

While this newspaper recognizes the importance of giving ex-inmates the chance to again become contributing members of society, that typically does not mean returning them to the scene of their crimes. In a way, voters bailed Ganim out. Stripped of his license to practice law, one wonders how he would have made a living had he not been elected mayor.

And granted, there have been no suggestions of illegal behavior during Ganim the sequel.

Now, however, he is getting greedy. It is not enough that Bridgeport voters were willing to look past his crimes, now he wants all of Connecticut to do so. The Connecticut Mirror confirmed this week he is running for governor in 2018.

Thankfully, the courts have upheld a Connecticut law that bars providing public campaign financing — meaning your money — to candidates convicted of a felony. That means Ganim will have to look to individuals, businesses and special interest groups to fund his campaign.

What could go wrong?

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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