BRISTOL – On Friday November 4th, 2016, Mayor Ken Cockayne chose to go to war with Bristol Beat Radio, myself, and later on my wife, who also happens to be Mayor Cockayne’s second cousin and City Councilor. For the November 6th episode of The Beat’s newest talk show, The State of the City with Mike Anthony, I was attempting to book the Chairmen of each party’s Town Committee. Earlier that week, I had locked down Republican Town Committee Chairman, Jeff Caggiano, and the Democratic Town Committee Chairman, Dean Kilbourne, was not available for the Sunday morning show. As a media organization, we are expected to be non-biased toward any one political party. When The Beat first aired on July 8th, 2016, instantaneously it was assumed that the radio station was Republican-biased media because of the family relations to Mayor Cockayne and my wife, who was also a Republican on City Council. Being a business owner and media organization, I needed to extinguish that assumption and prove The Beat is fair to both sides and there would be no favoritism of political sides. In this series of articles, I will share the truth about how this war with the City’s Mayor never had a chance to end peacefully, due to covert actions of Mayor Cockayne’s family members and friends along with the Mayor denying any wrong doing.
In efforts to become a balanced media organization, it was my job to develop relationships with members of both political parties in Bristol. Some people in the Republican Party did not like that I was becoming friendly with Democrats, including the Mayor himself. On Thursday, November 3rd, I had reached out to City Councilman Calvin Brown of the First District, who has appeared on The State of the City, to see if he could help find a guest that was not an active City politician to sit in with Jeff Caggiano. I had asked if he could reach out to either Ellen Zoppo or Chris Wilson. The next day Councilman Brown informed me that Ellen Zoppo would be happy to come on the show and discuss City issues and about the upcoming Federal and State elections. The show was set and I started promoting Sunday’s show. I told my wife who was coming on the show and she suggested that I let Mayor Cockayne know because he might not be happy with that information since he has open hatred toward Ms. Zoppo. The conversation with the Mayor was all back and forth by texting. The context of that text is available here.
When you read the conversation from Mayor Cockayne, he does not like the fact the Ellen Zoppo was invited and immediately tries to discredit her legitimacy and continues with an aggressive tone. Also by attempting to discredit Ms. Zoppo, Mayor Cockayne was also discrediting any legitimacy of all members of the City Council, a position once held by Ms. Zoppo. I remained cordial and at no time was I disrespectful to the Mayor and the tone got more and more aggressive throughout the conversation. Mayor Cockayne could have chosen to have a respectful conversation with me regarding my guest, but he chose to be aggressive and more aggressive when he did not get what he wanted. This behavior corroborates the Mayor’s behavior towards the Council, City employees, and private citizens.
The Mayor’s attempted to strong arm or bully me into not having Ellen Zoppo on The State of the City, and this displayed an arrogance and disrespect toward a business owner and family member. When I step foot into The Beat, my business, I enter into a role for which I cannot bend my moral compass to satisfy even a distant in-law relative. As a politician, the Mayor should have a thicker skin than he has or maybe politics is not something he can handle. As a note, during the show with Ellen Zoppo, not once did Ms. Zoppo speak negatively about the Mayor, Ken Cockayne. You can view the entire episode below.
This is how it all started. Mayor Cockayne did not like my guest and he chose to go to war with The Beat and myself, and later on my wife. Everything that this situation has evolved into is not a political ploy conjured up by City Democrats. This was a year in the making by a Mayor that throws temper tantrums when he cannot control people. The only person making this political is Mayor Ken Cockayne and the timing is all due to his own actions. In the upcoming articles, I will reveal the attempts to salvage my relationship with the Mayor, despite what he had said and done behind my back and my wife’s back.