Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Hot Air Mass Over Connecticut

Dean, Mehlman Appear in State

What did we do to deserve this? The party chairmen for both the RNC and the DNC appeared in Connecticut over a three-day stretch from Sunday to today.

DNC Chair Howard Dean appeared at a fundraiser in New Haven on Sunday, pledging more support for Democratic congressional challengers and criticizing Connecticut's congressional Republicans:

Democrats have targeted U.S. Reps. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, and Chris Shays, R-4th District, promising assistance to challengers Joseph Courtney and Diane Farrell. Dean said the party also had hopes of unseating the dean of the House delegation, U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-5th District.
"Nancy Johnson has taken $10,500 from Tom DeLay, who was just indicted. She votes with Tom DeLay about 80 percent of the time. Chris Shays votes with Tom DeLay about 92 percent of the time. Rob Simmons votes with Tom DeLay 95 percent of the time and has taken $40,000." (Pazniokas)

He also criticized RNC chair Ken Mehlman for appearing before the NAACP in Waterbury:

"I'm shocked that he would have the nerve to show his face in front of any African American organization after the way they treated those people in New Orleans," Dean said. (Pazniokas)

Mehlman's spokesman shot back.

"While the president is unifying the country to help with recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast, Democrats continue to shamelessly use this tragedy to tear the country apart," McLear said. "We are proud of our efforts to make the party of Lincoln stronger through its diversity and will not stoop to the race-baiting that now seems to guide the Democrats' agenda." (Pazniokas)

So... vitriol and possible race baiting followed by outright lies followed by a remarkably shallow historical reference followed by more vitriol. Ugh. This is why I try not to follow national politics so much. (You can read a more positive view of Dean's speech over at Aldon Hynes's blog.)

Mehlman, aside from going before the NAACP and repeating the technically correct "Party of Lincoln" stuff, spoke with reporters about Connecticut politics.

Mehlman said the national GOP will provide resources to the three congressional incumbents. He said the party is also willing to help Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, if she decides to run for governor in 2006. Rell is expected to announce her decision soon. In past interviews, Rell has said she is leaning toward running.

Rell has taken stands on social issues that differ from Bush's. For example, she supports civil unions, stem cell research and abortion rights. Mehlman said the national GOP welcomes diverse views and hopes Rell will run.

"We're a big tent party and I'm proud that we're a big tent party," he said.(Haigh)

Sure you are, Ken. Actually, it would be nice if either party were a "big tent" party, but the sad fact is that at the national level moderates are increasingly finding themselves cut loose from both. Daily Kos has yet another article attacking Joe Lieberman for fraternizing with the enemy, while Harriet Miers finds herself under constant attack from the right for not being the sort of Neanderthal conservative Pat Robertson was thinking of when he asked God to smite a justice or two.

Connecticut, despite the anti-Rob Simmons phone messages I seem to get every week, is a lot saner. The last thing we need is Howard Dean and Ken Mehlman messing it all up for us.

We can't hide forever, though. The one thing that seems certain is that races of national importance will be played out in the second, fourth and fifth districts next year. National trends will play a huge part in determing the makeup of our next congressional delegation.

Haigh, Susan. "RNC chairman says Bush's poll numbers won't hurt candidates." Associated Press 10 October, 2005.

Pazniokas, Mark. "Dean Lays Into GOP." Hartford Courant 10 October, 2005.


Excited/Surprised said...


I'm surprised that you would post this blog entry so soon after posting about Blumenthal leaving the potential race. I know it isn't news news but it does make for great hypothesizing and I was excited.

I for one think that Blumenthal's leaving does NOT help Malloy. It opens up the wallets of the horse betters and right now the safe money is with DeStefano. He has the three big Ms going for him: Money, Message, and Momentum.

John has quarter after quarter raised money. Over a year out he has accumulated a war chest that would have been able to take on Blumental, and sorry Dannel, you are no Blumenthal.

Since this money has been raised so consistantly and in such disproportion to Malloy, the momentum clearly favors DeStefano again.

Many point to the fact that Malloy and DeStefano have similar messages but no one argues that DeStefano is missing a message.

Point is, he's got all three. So yes the money will flow more freely now that Malloy has left, but the money that was being held back for Blumenthal is "safe money" and right now the safe bet is with DeStefano, not a Mayor better known in New York circles than in Connecticut ones.

Excited/Surprised said...

Obviously I meant now that Blumenthal has left, not Malloy...guess I should have checked the post before hand.

Anonymous said...

bitter much?

Its supposed to be good for Connecticut Local Politics when the national parties come through...

MikeCT said...

It is not particularly controversial - even among white folks - to acknowledge that the slow and disinterested response of the Bush administration to the crisis in New Orleans had a lot to do with the overwhelmingly black and poor nature of the affected residents. Bush's dive in public confidence suggest that most people think he should be ashamed of his response. Dean states the obvious - Bush and the Republicans who defend him should be ashamed and the RNC is trying to patch things up in a cynical, surface way. This is race baiting? We can't defeat racism by refusing to confront or name it.

In any case, Dean didn't go to New Haven to talk about New Orleans, but as usual, the news media and bloggers tend to hook onto the boldest statements to sensationalize the story. Good for headlines, bad for democracy. For a more substantive look at what Dean is doing for the party and grassroots democracy, the AP outlines some of his organizing and messaging strategies.

superD said...

you might be surprised to know that Malloy beat DeStefano this quarter on the fundraising front --raising over $400k to DeStefano's $339k (see blog entry on Blumenthal being out of the race for the link). Perhaps he's beginning to slip a little on two out of the three m's you mention -- momentum and money?

And despite what you think, there is no chance DeStefano, or anyone else, would have successfully taken on Blumenthal in a race -- Dick has access to a boatload of money, universal statewide support and adoration and a party desperate to win back the Governor's mansion. That party would have put all its support and resources behind a Dick Blumemthal candidacy -- the only candidate in the polls to date who even had a chance of coming close to beating Rell.

Aldon Hynes said...

superD: I was actually a bit surprised that Malloy numbers weren't stronger. We were all expecting him to have a strong quarter since this was his first full quarter of serious fundraising. DeStefano still leads in most money raised, most cash on hand and the most money raised in a single quarter, not to mention labor support.

Doesn't look to me like DeStefano is losing money, message or momentum.

Moderate Repub said...

I agree with Genghis-- the national party chairs were both full of hot air. But then again, that is their job. If anyone should be mindlessly partisan, it's these two.

Johnson has 0% chance of losing, and Dean should focus in on Shays or Simmons. If I were the DNC, I would focus on Shays...Simmons is safe this time because of the sub base. Even Shays will be tough to be beat with Rell at the top of the ticket, but it is their best chance for a pickup.

As for the Republicans, the less the national party comes to CT, the better it is for our moderate Governor and congressmen.

superD said...

Interesting comment -- "we all expected Malloy to do better" -- and he did -- better than your guy and better than he did in six weeks of last quarter. Your guy did worse, and appears to be slipping on this front, no matter how you try to spin it.

Anonymous said...

Aldon- you are becoming the kind of hilarious spin. Your guy's opponent, who was almost out of the race 6 months ago, comes back and beats him in his first full quarter of fundraising, and all you got is "we expected him to do better"? Sheesh.

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous and superD

When I said I expected him to do better, I was talking about doing better than he actually did, not better than he did the previous quarter, although whether he did better than last quarter is even questionable using the spin of the Malloy campaign from the previous quarter (see below). His best quarter still isn't as good as DeStefano's best quarter.

I really expected that if there was all this support for Mayor Malloy that hadn't been donating during the investigation, why hasn't it shown up more strongly now that he has a full quarter of fundraising?

You do understand the idea of pent-up demand from economics, right? Typically, if people haven't been able to buy something (or in this case, donate), there is a spike in activity when consumers can buy (or donate) again.

That hasn't happened with Malloy's full quarter of fundraising. As a matter of fact, using the argument that Malloy raised $228,000 during half of the second quarter and that the fundraising operation wasn't ramped up, I would have expected Malloy to raise at least $456,000 and probably much more.

So, I stand by my comments that the Malloy campaign, while it did respectable, isn't showing real gains in either money or momentum.

Anonymous said...

Malloy should have blown DeStefano away this quarter, and he didn't come close. Not being a member of the DeStefano staff, I'll say that even an outsider was surprised that Malloy did a measley $61k better.

DeanFan84 said...


I know you were a former Green and Naderite. (Thanks for the eight years of "W", btw.) But where also do you stand?

You accuse Howard Dean of "race-baiting" for making this comment,
"I'm shocked that he would have the nerve to show his face in front of any African American organization after the way they treated those people in New Orleans."

My question is who is being the low-life here? Howard for a fairly innocuous comment to a most partisan gathering, or you, with your attempt to make something out of nothing?

In terms of Lieberman sitting with the Buckleys, and Rush Limbaugh at the National Review's 50th Anniversary Party, that is not a small matter for those of us who care about the Democratic Party and honest representation by its leaders.

Lastly, those of us fighting for the Dem Party to mean something aren't fringe leftists. Howard Dean was a resounding moderate, and so am I. The battle against the Lieber-fools within the Party is not one of ideology. It is about loyalty to basic principles.

Here are some commandments I wish Revoltin' Joe Lieberman would adhere to:

1. Thou shalt not allow thy wife to whore herself as a corporate lobbyist/PR shill.

2. Thou shalt not advocate for foreign military adventures without sending at least one son into battle.

3. Thou shalt not consistently put profits over people.

4. Thou shalt not publicly criticize members of your own Party more strongly than the Liars on the Right.

5. Thou should appear before the people of your home state,-- to hear and respond to their questions-- at least once or twice a year. (Chamber of Commerce breakfasts don't qualify.)

6. Thou shalt not call Sean Hannity,-- FoxNews preacher of hate and division--, a "wonderful American".

7. Thou should fight for Universal Health Care, such that working poor people don't lose their houses due to Medical bills.

8. Thou shouldn't vote to confirm AG Alberto "Abu Ghraib" Gonzales, the man who helped open the door for Toture becoming part of the American way of life.

9. Thou shouldn't "vote for the Bankruptcy Bill, before you voted against it." (yes for cloture, no for the bogus record.)

10. Thou shouldn't be "undecided" about the important things in life, like Social Security, or the appointment of John Bolton as UN Ambassador.

Finally, Genghis, people like you can call me "immoderate", but you can't respond substantively to any of my complaints above. On which of the ten points do you side with Joe on?

If the "moderate middle" means standing for nothing, I don't think much of CT really sides with you. The boobs who think following politics to be too much effort, yes. But even those folks, (when people bother to talk about real issues), will generally prefer honest, strong, and sometimes wrong, than the mealy-mouthed discourse of talking heads and career politicians.

Go ahead now, repeat some cliched attack of Howard Dean and Democrats...