From this morning's Hartford Courant:
When Alan Schlesinger gave a fake name while playing blackjack at Foxwoods in the early 1990s, he had already been sued over a gambling debt by one Atlantic City casino and was on the way to racking up an even bigger debt that led to a second lawsuit.
Schlesinger, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in the Nov. 7 election, paid a total of more than $28,000 in 1990 and 1994 to settle the two lawsuits, according to New Jersey court records reviewed by The Courant.
Schlesinger on Thursday called himself a "recreational" gambler and vowed he would not be driven from the Senate race.
"I have never done anything illegal. I did absolutely nothing wrong," Schlesinger said. "I'm not getting out of this race because of the fact I had a couple of civil lawsuits filed against me 15 years ago."
When asked about his gambling debts Thursday, Schlesinger initially said he had "no recollection" of ever owing any Atlantic City casinos money and denied he had been sued by the casinos.
When confronted with the case numbers of the lawsuits, Schlesinger said he remembered settling some debts with two casinos but claimed he never was served any legal papers or had to go to court in Atlantic City.
"I vaguely remember there was some controversy surrounding what I owed the two casinos and I stopped payment on the checks, but they were both settled without ever going to court," Schlesinger said.
However, court records show that Boardwalk Regency Corp., owner of Caesar's Palace, filed a lawsuit against Schlesinger on June 12, 1989, claiming he owed $8,800. Schlesinger settled the case on May 21, 1990, by paying Caesar's $10,211, including interest.
On April 23, 1993, records show, Trump's Castle filed a lawsuit claiming Schlesinger owed $13,500. He paid $18,016, including interest, to settle that case on June 8, 1994.
This certainly isn't good news for Schlesinger. I have said before and will say it again, for the good of the party, he should bow out. He has gotten to the point of irrelevancy and should bow out gracefully. He certainly has no chance at winning this thing anymore and should allow someone, anyone, a chance at taking it. And how someone can forget that they had 10's of thousands of dollars in debt to casinos? And forget that he got sued over it? And think nobody would find out?
More from the Courant about the lawsuits:
Russell Lichtenstein, an attorney with Cooper & Levinson, the New Jersey firm that represented Trump's Castle in 1993, said he had no recollection of Schlesinger's case, but that, in general, casinos don't like to go to court to settle outstanding debts.
"Casinos are very understanding because they want to maintain a relationship with the gambler," Lichtenstein said. "In some cases they will wait a year or more before going to court to seek payment."
So obviously this wasn't something minor. All along Schlesinger has said his campaign was a campaign of chances...Perhaps he was referring to someone finding out about his gambling past.
In the past I have defended Schlesinger to great levels. I have no regrets about that. I won't eat crow or say I was wrong because I don't think this makes him any less of a person. I still think he has some good ideas that the government needs to think about but that doesn't matter anymore. He has lost any credibility as a candidate and that's a shame.
I know a lot of people want to blame this on someone but the only person we can blame is Alan Schlesinger himself. He is the only one who knew about this. And when he entered the race, it certainly wasn't a race so who cared? The man had a pipe dream that no one thought would come true. For him it won't but he can certainly make it happen for another Republican.
This republican hopes he realizes that.
Dave Altimari, Jon Lender and Edmund H Mahony, Two N.J. Casinos Sued Schlesinger Over Debts, Hartford Courant, July 21, 2006