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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Senate Musical Chairs

Schlesinger to drop Out?

From Hotline (thanks to ctblogger for pointing it out first:
Expect calls for Connecticut Republican United States Senate nominee Alan Schlesinger to abandon his race to begin in the next several days. Questions are being raised about the former state representative’s gambling habits that have Republicans sounding rattled.
The most serious trouble for Schlesinger, however, comes from Republican state chairman George Gallo, who told me this afternoon that the gambling questions raise “a lot of questions which Mr. Schlesinger is going to have to answer in the next couple of days.” Gallo, who is close to Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell, said, “Our mistake is that we only vetted candidates using their real names.”

Schlesinger isn't the strongest candidate to begin with, so this might be a way for Republicans to ditch him without looking like opportunists should Lamont win the primary.

Schlesinger's campaign manager came on the Bruce and Colin show this afternoon to say that Schlesinger won't be dropping out, but if the GOP wants him gone, what choice does he have?

The only problem is who would replace him. There are exactly zero high-profile Republicans in Connecticut who aren't running for something else. If Schlesinger got out, would Urban be the nominee? Republicans don't like her, but independents might. She may even have a better chance to split Lamont and Lieberman down the middle.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would a candidate be chosen? Torricelli-style? (i don't even know what they did in NJ... I just know Lautenberg came out of the woodwork.)

7/12/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger MikeCT said...

A minor note on minor parties: this week's Hartford Advocate (not yet online) has a profile of Ferrucci and Mertens in which both pledge to withdraw and support Lamont if he wins the Democratic primary. Ferrucci says the Greens plan to endorse Lamont in the primary.

7/12/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger AnonAndOnAndOn said...

"Gold. Alan Gold."

[Guess Alan Brady was already taken.]

7/12/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gabe said...

If you pitched this race to motion picture studios, they would reject it as unrealistic...

Get real, a U.S. Senate candidate was a card counter under an assumed name? In a state that nominated a child molester? No one would buy that...

7/12/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well put gabe

7/12/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

".. the former state representative’s gambling habits that ..."

I should've guessed he was a gambler when over my objections he hired Foley instead of Phil Robertson.

7/12/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rennie's GRUDGE REPORT scores another casualty...

7/12/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Chris MC said...

LOL Gabe.

7/12/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger cgg said...

This just gets weirder and weirder.

A true anti-war Republican could be good news for Lieberman should he be forced to run as an Independent. That might shift some Republican votes his way. What would be really bizarre is if Lieberman won the primary and we had a pro-war Democrat vs. an anti-war Republican.

7/12/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Chris MC said...

Right on the money CGG.

7/12/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chris MC said...


Phil Robertson? Former State Senator from Cheshire?

7/12/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger cgg said...

Alan Keyes? He could make a career out of running for the Senate in a different state every election cycle.

7/12/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see how the guy did anything wrong.

7/12/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I don't see what is wrong with 'card counting.' Nearly everyone has gambled just like nearly everyone has drinked. What is wrong about gambling at a more proficient level? He shouldn't drop out for this.

7/12/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger GMR said...

When I first saw that he had a gambling problem, I though, oh geez. Then upon reading the article, I discovered that he didn't have a problem with gambling, but the casinos evidently had a problem with him because he COUNTED CARDS.

That sort of makes me respect him more, since counting cards in Blackjack involves being very quick with numbers, and making appropriate bets, and knowing when you should up your bets. (OK, I'm being a little tongue in cheek here).

A few years ago, a bunch of MIT guys started a professional counting scheme and made a bunch of money. Wired had an interesting article about those guys, there was a documentary on one of the cable channels, and I think there's even a book out now. One of my roommates in college would sometimes go to casinos and count cards, and was reasonably good at it. He teaches graduate-level statistics now, so I guess he is pretty good at math.

However, most people that count cards actually lose money, because it isn't easy. Card counting gives you about a 2% edge over the house, so you can still mess it up with bad decisions about when to bet, and with only a 2% edge, two or three miscalculations will kill your edge. Many casinos will let card counters keep playing if they see that the counters aren't playing efficiently. The fact that Schlesinger was caught tells me that he must be pretty good at the mechanics, but not so good at being detected (the MIT team developed an intricate multi-person strategy to avoid detection).

Anyway, Schlesinger still needs to go, even though I don't think he has a gambling problem. First, there's perception. Trying to explain why he's gambling, using fake names, etc. is just not what you want to be doing on a campaign.

Second, you have to wonder if this was the best use of his time. I mean, if you're counting cards, you're not at the casino with a bunch of buddies for a good time and some laughs. Is this really the best way for him to make money? I understand why college kids would be attracted to counting: it's fun, exciting, and probably a chance to make a lot more money than you could otherwise. But for this guy?

As far as who could replace him, there seems to be a pretty weak field of Republicans. The only ones that are conceivable to me are Rell, Simmons, Shays and Nancy Johnson, and all of them are running for something else (not that that didn't stop Lieberman in 2000). Furthermore, even if this had happened months ago, I don't think they'd want to become the sacrificial candidate and lose.

7/12/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Bill Aniskovich, or the Danbury Mayor Boughton??

As a Democrat who is terrified of losing this seat, either of those names scare me. If the Republicans put up a strong and credible candidate, they start out in a 3-way race with a solid 30% in their column. Definitely not a good scenario.

7/12/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there have been rumors for months that, should Lamont win the primary, Schlesinger would drop out and US Attorney Kevin O'Connor would be the Republican nominee

7/12/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Chris MC said... "
Phil Robertson? Former State Senator from Cheshire?


A political (and literal) genius.

Eccentric to a point of occasionally bizarre; but a guy that can get the job done if he's in early enough.

I'm quite convinced he could get a picnic table elected to congress given a decent budget for it.

7/12/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

cgg said... "A true anti-war Republican"

Thankfully they're about as common as anti-gun Republicans.

Few and far between with little chance of nomination and even less of election.

7/12/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Genghis Conn said...

Yeah, I'm not sure this is actually a problem, but it has just the right whiff of unsavory behavior that it'll probably doom him. Not that he isn't doomed already.

The possibility of a Lieberman-Lamont-Urban race is wild, to say the least. The strange history of this Senate seat continues.

7/12/2006 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Genghis Conn said...

...Aniskovich? Nah.

Boughton, though, or maybe even Tim Stewart of New Britain would be compelling candidates. What about John McKinney? Maybe one of the Walking Dead (i.e., the Republican underticket) would be interested.

7/12/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the chances that the CT GOP endorses Lieberman? I mean Shays has already, and Joe has made it quite clear that he'll do anything to stay in power?

Personally, I doubt the GOP will do anything until after August 8th.

7/12/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boughton or any Mayor for that matter would make sense... local elections are not happening this year... hence no chance of him/her losing their elected seat. How about Bingham from Torrington? Oh wait... 30 yr requirement. I forgot. Kidding... He might be able to do a good job, if he were eligible.

7/12/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danbury Mayor Boughton

The best choice for CT Republicans!

7/12/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus Boughton has a blog!

7/12/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orchulli again?

7/12/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ENough with Bingham...he's a flash in the pan. His morally liberal lifestyle and "youthful exhuberance" will send his career 'up in smoke.'

7/12/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Weicker Liker said...

Vacancies for the office of US Senator are filled by the 72 member Republican State Central Committee, per the state party rules.

7/12/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said... " or the Danbury Mayor Boughton??"

Idiot; perception as a racist ass****. Belongs in some other party in another state on another planet in another time......

We had a GOP st central "get together" (not a meeting) and a high ranking party member asked for a show of hands of those of us that had voted for Joe at least once.

Nearly every hand went up.

I'd just as soon convert Joe though I would oppose placing him on the GOP line without that conversion due to his "go along to get along" attitude on the majority of issues with his current party.

He needs to get right on a few issues; especially the 2nd ammendment.

7/12/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question is not the counting of the cards....it is the false ID. Now, if you win, just how do you account for your winnings with a false ID? I'm betting (all pun intended) the TaxMan would like to ask that question also of Mr. Gold.

7/12/2006 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merriam Massullo for Senate?

7/12/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger BRubenstein said...

tre Republicans sould et a real ambler for Senate..how about Amorillo Slim?

7/12/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connecticut politics has two very important aspects to consider... experience and statewide name recognition. And, in fact, the Connecticut Republican party has two people who fit this bill extremely well. Their names are Rowland and Giordano... and you guys said the GOP had nobody to run!

7/12/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:43.

Good point. Or hey, instead of cross endorsing lieberman...why not cross endores Ernie Newton, or John Fabrizi, or Tony Montana.

Please dont try to claim partisanship in corruption.

7/12/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Anonymous said... "
Merriam Massullo for Senate?

Not while MacLean's still around.

The man's nothing less than outright evil.

7/12/2006 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that massullo has dirt on castro (wierd). Is a personal relationship w/ castro equivalent to card counting?

7/13/2006 12:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Meriden's Mayor Benigni would run as a Republican. I think he's done that before, although he may now be a Dem. I'm not sure. I think he's a lot like Joe. No one's ever quite sure what party he's with, but everyone likes him (sans Iraq). So he'd just need to come out against the war and... bam! he'd fit right into this race. Heck... if he got the R nomination, with some possible dem votes in Meriden/New Britain/Middletown... would the numbers be there for him?

7/13/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benigni, like West Hartford's Scott Slifka, is a ceremonial Mayor without any actual experience governing.

And he made his decision to become a Democrat four or five years ago.

He'd have no shot.

Slifka could switch parties though. He'll have nothing to do by the second weekend in August. He's a DLC guy, you know.

7/13/2006 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger GMR said...

Some people say that the whole fake ID thing is what'll get him into trouble, because he didn't report his taxes.

My understanding is that casinos only report people to the IRS if they earn over $10,000.

If I go to Foxwoods, play blackjack, and win, then cash out my winnings, the casino isn't going to tell the IRS. Not unless I'm a high roller player, with over $10,000 in chips.

Most of the people at Foxwoods are probably never known to the Casino. The only reason Schlesinger used a fake name was to get some sort of frequent gambler club card or something. It doesn't appear to be a tax issue or a tax avoidance issue.

However, it's horrible trying to explain it, but it sure seems silly that he's going to resign because of this. Not that he had much of a chance in the first place.

7/13/2006 06:51:00 AM  

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