by Charles A. Monagan
Aug 8, 2012
09:06 AM
On Connecticut

Roberti the Elder


With Dan Roberti, 30, reportedly coming on strong in the Fifth District Democratic primary race that's set for a vote next Tuesday, we're hoping the apple falls very far from the tree—at least when it comes to legislative abilities.

When Roberti's father, Vincent, was around the same age, he was a Connecticut state legislator, representing Bridgeport. We happened upon a thumbnail sketch of the elder Roberti, as published in the September 1978 issue of Connecticut Magazine, after he was named one of the 10 worst legislators in Connecticut. The write-up, by Gail Collins, now a columnist for The New York Times, follows in its entirety:

"'They screw me, I screw them,' said Representative Vincent Roberti (D-Bridgeport) of his Democratic leadership. Roberti, angry at the defeat of one of his pet bills, was immersed in a plan to embarrass his House leaders. It failed. Since then, Roberti has gone on to earn a reputation as one of the House's most eager and incompetent plotters. "He's always running around," one of his fellow representatives says, "but no one can figure out what it is he does." Often Roberti, a publicity hound, is just running to a phone to report the day's activities to Bridgeport's radio stations, projecting a strong impression that he was a crucial part of the more important events. Early in his two-year legislative career, Roberti voted in committee to eliminate party levers from voting machines. The Democratic leaders, who oppose that idea, twisted some arms and Roberti promptly reversed his opinion, helping to kill the bill. Only days later, he was circulating petitions to revive the same measure for a floor vote. "His word isn't real good," another Democrat noted. Roberti, who nurtures visions of a congressional career, fancies himself as a man with a reputation for independence. Actually, most legislators think he's an errand boy for Brideport's Mayor John Mandanici."

A frustrated legislator with dreams of a congressional career who's now a wealthy, successful lobbyist in Washington . . . makes you wonder just a little about who his son might be an errand boy for.

Roberti the Elder

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