Who Was Who

Where: O’Tooles bar downtown.

What: A fundraiser for Democratic mayoral candidate Toni Harp (pictured); it produced $5,000 from a crowd of young professionals, small business owners, and lawyers.

When: Monday night.

Who? Find out below.

Who: Matt Short.
Where he lives: Dwight neighborhood, New Haven
What he does: General manager of his mom’s property management company, The Chelsea Company. Commissioner on the city housing authority board. Democratic activist, neighborhood organizer and fundraiser for local campaigns. He was one of five co-hosts of Monday’s event.
Why he’s supporting Harp: “We need to serve constituencies all across the city. That’s hard. That’s complicated.” Harp, a state senator for two decades, has the experience to do that.

Who: Ben Gettinger.
Where he lives: Milford.
What he does: Lawyer for New Haven-based firm Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, specializing in criminal defense, family law and “high-conflict” litigation. Former president of the Greater New Haven Young Democrats.
Why he’s supporting Harp: Though he lives in Milford, New Haven “is my second home.” Independent mayoral candidate Justin Elicker “lacks the political experience” that Toni Harp has.

Who: Neil Prete.
Where he lives: Orange.
What he does: President of A. Prete Construction Co., a New Haven-based construction management company. The company has done a lot of work in New Haven, including building the Davis Street, Barnard and Christopher Columbus schools.

Who: Jonathan Prete.
Where he lives: Just closed on a house in New Haven.
What he does: Assistant project manager for the Prete family business. Co-host of Monday’s event.
Why he’s supporting Harp: To “keep what the mayor has done so far,” and move forward on “development, schools and crime.”

Who: Rich Palumbo (at right in photo with Neil Prete).
Where he lives: North Haven.
What he does: Co-owner of North Haven Tile, a floor covering business.
Why he’s supporting Harp: “The Pretes asked me to come. I’ve known Toni for years, from when she was a state senator.”

Who: Ardelle Cowie (at left in photo with a visitor from Atlanta, who declined to give her name.)
Where she lives: Woodbridge.
What she does: Owner of Chelsea Company. Former chair of the New Haven Fair Rent Commission. Former president of the Uptown Council, one of two neighborhood organizations representing businesses in Upper Chapel.
Why she’s supporting Harp: Harp supported her work with the Uptown Council, including fighting to preserve the former diner where Tandoor restaurant now sits. “I appreciate her support in the past. I think she will continue to support development” as mayor.

Who: Paul Blackstone (at right in photo, with Yale-New Haven Hospital nurses Kristina Junio and Don Gettinger).
Where he lives: Woodbridge.
What he does: CEO and founder of Copilot Networks, LLC, a New Haven-based startup that aims to help parents control security settings on their kids’ mobile devices.
Why he attended Tuesday’s event: “To find out who the next boss in New Haven will be.”

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posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on October 23, 2013  12:10pm

Title should be: Just Some More Suburban Cash for Harp.
The one guy who does actually come from New Haven is a property manager AND sits on the City Housing Commission! No wonder why HE wants pay-to-play Toni.

posted by: Noteworthy on October 23, 2013  12:17pm

It’s nice that the folks from out of town, some of whom will or are city contractors, are supporting Toni Harp’s efforts to retire her debt.

posted by: senior on October 23, 2013  12:20pm


posted by: swatty on October 23, 2013  1:15pm


posted by: grounded on October 23, 2013  4:29pm

The fact that Harp attracts these folks to her fundraisers is just evidence of the inevitability of her win.  If folks thought Elicker had any chance of winning, they’d show up at his fundraisers . . . and Elicker wouldn’t turn their money (up to $370) away, I assure you.

posted by: Razzie on October 23, 2013  4:43pm

Sour grapes from the East Rock crowd. Everytime NHI publishes new endorsements or supporters, the usual suspects go crazy with their negativism directed towards anyone and anything that is heading in the opposite direction. Oh well ...

posted by: New Haven Nuisance on October 23, 2013  4:56pm

Grounded, your logic is flawed. Many more people show up to Justin Elicker’s fundraisers, than Harp fundraisers. The people who show up at Justin’s fundraisers are individual New Haven residents who can give no more than $370.
The reason contractors and property managers don’t show up at Elicker fundraisers is because they know he won’t play ball. The type of people who were at this Harp fundraiser are the people who donate to all candidates in a given campaign cycle, so that no matter who wins the race they still win influence and city contracts. They did not fund Elicker’s campaign because if they tried to he would refuse, for any amount of money, because Justin Elicker cannot be brought.

posted by: citoyen on October 24, 2013  12:08am

“Why he attended Tuesday’s event: ‘To find out who the next boss in New Haven will be.’”

The gentleman wasted his evening.  We already know who the next boss in New Haven will be.  Already is.  His name is Robert Proto.  He is president of the AFL CIO Greater New Haven Central Labor Council.

posted by: yim-a on October 24, 2013  2:00pm

April 20, 2001. “City Land Deal Raises Questions”

“Standing outside a dilapidated building that has become the center of a questionable land deal involving a vacant apartment complex, a missing file, and the husband of local politician, state sen Martin Looney called for the board of alderman investigation into what he called a ‘scandal that epitomizes this may pt’s legacy of political corruption’”

“the building, which sits at 187 Dixwell Ave between the Elm Haven housing development and Isadore Wexler School, became the center of contreversy after the New Haven Register reported Wednesday the land was purchased by the city last year for $ 485 000 from Architect WENDELL HARP.  At the time, HARP owed the city more than $200 000 in back taxes, more than $98 000 of which he paid off the next day.”

Just another day at work for the Harp family,  work the city and state government with one hand, and the developers with another.  Am I watching a new series of “The Wire”, starring Toni Harp as the hopelessly compromised mayoral candidate?