Sunday, October 01, 2006

Schlesinger: Still Out There

The Courant ran a piece on Alan Schlesinger today. It wasn't really a political piece. It was a human interest story. The anatomy of a tragedy. This is the sort of treatment that crazy third-party candidates get, not Republican nominees for U.S. Senate.

But that's the way it's going this year. The Republican Party tried to eject him from the race once it became clear that they had a chance at the seat, and then, when he refused to budge, abandoned him.

Schlesinger's original problem was about gambling. He's a lousy card counter who lost a ton of money at casinos, and had a Wampum card with a fake name on it. What he's really guilty of, though, is being a weak candidate, and not listening to the state GOP when they told him to get out. It's almost tragic.
"I've always been a good Republican," Schlesinger said during a recent interview at his law office, referring to his decision not to wage primaries against fellow Republicans in congressional races in 1984, 1990 and 1998. "You can see how much it's done for me."

He is also furious that he's been depicted in the media as "this sleazy guy with a gambling problem who wants to be a senator."

"I have been totally misunderstood, totally misquoted, totally misused, totally mishandled," Schlesinger said. "It's absolutely pathetic how I've been treated in this campaign. I take responsibility for all my actions in my life, but I don't think it's fair to characterize me as something that I'm the opposite of."

When asked whom he holds responsible for this mischaracterization, Schlesinger responded, "Basically Jodi Rell lit the fire and then the entire press corps decided to throw tons of gasoline on it."

The governor's campaign office declined to respond Friday to Schlesinger's comment. (Hamilton)

Well, there's also the other thing. Remember when Kevin Rennie was basically bursting at the seams to tell us a nasty rumor about Schlesinger? He went so far as to suggest that the Courant was working on a story that would completely destroy Schlesinger. It was about this (boldface mine):
Schlesinger also blames Rowland, with whom he had a poor relationship, for some of his troubles, including the long-standing rumors in political circles that Schlesinger used to bring paid escorts to Republican functions.

Schlesinger vehemently denies that he did anything of the sort, and there is no evidence that he did, but the rumors have persisted for more than 20 years - which is both astonishing and infuriating to Schlesinger.

As he drove to the Milford Senior Center last week, Schlesinger, who has never been married, railed about Rowland and the paid escort rumor.

"The biggest whore in the world and he spreads a rumor about me," Schlesinger fumed. "It's totally made up."

"I wish Mr. Schlesinger the best of luck with his campaign," Rowland responded. (Hamilton)

In other words, the Courant looked into it, and found nothing (or gave up). But the rumor, which a lot of Republicans still believe in, has probably done a lot more damage to Schlesinger within the party than any gambling revelations.

Yet he's still out there, and it's affected this race in weird ways. If Schlesinger had been a stronger candidate, he would have either actually have a shot to win the seat or to spoil Joe Lieberman's bid, allowing Ned Lamont to win. As it stands, Lamont and Lieberman are basically in a two-man race, with Lieberman playing the role of a moderate-to-conservative Republican incumbent.

Which is too bad, because Schlesinger seems to be addressing some things the other candidates are too distracted to talk about:
Schlesinger's stump speech is actually quite good.

It's all about what he calls a three-pronged time bomb that's about to blow up America's economy. The three prongs of this crisis, according to Schlesinger are energy, Social Security and national security and as the speech progresses he talks knowledgeably about the $4.5 trillion national debt, how Social Security is grossly underfunded, and other fiscal issues. (Hamilton)

I would very much like to hear the other candidates talk about fiscal matters more. The federal government's massive deficit and our titanic national debt may be the most pressing issues of the next decade.

Schlesinger will have at least one shot to make his case to a large number of people. He'll be included in the October 23rd debate in New London, which will be broadcast live on Channel 8. Until then, he'll continue to drift, alone.

Hamilton, Elizabeth. "A Long Shot Won't Give Up." Hartford Courant 1 October, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Inside the Connecticut Building during CT Day at the Big E, Rell's people basically created a human shield to keep Schlesinger away from the Governor. Schlesinger was trying to get a picture with the Gov. It was a bit commical.

Anonymous said...

Child Molesters get protection but card counters need to be shunned.

If you're not embarrassed to be a Republican you're very very sick.

Anonymous said...

Why should you be embarrassed just because you are a Republican? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Just because a person with a "R" next to their name does something sickening in Florida, that means every "R" is bad? So are all Dems corrupt because one Congressman happens to be taking brides or having adult relations in the Oval Office while married to another woman? There are plenty of messed up "D"'s and messued up "R"'s and plenty of great D's and R's as well. make comments like that you are just making great websites like this go downhill. Offer something productive or go do something else.

Another Annon said...

I agree that there are a few bad D's and a few bad R's. But the fact that apparently the GOP knew about the sick conduct of the Rep. in Florida and covered it up? That's REALLY bad.

How can you do that? How long was this man allowed to represent his district while harassing young boys? And how long did the GOP turn a blind eye?

And if they turn a blind eye to that there anything they won't cover up?

A messy situation indeed.

ProgCT said...

It is not that there was just one sicko whackjob Republican in Florida (although there seems to be an absolute ton of them being shown to be homophobic yet homosexual recently. Anyway what is sick is that the GOP leadership protected him. So yes if you vote for Simmons or Shays or Johnson you are voting for a person who protected that sicko whackjob from florida for Speaker. But then again how many of you ACTUALLY care about them protecting that sicko?

Anonymous said...

how many progressives demanded the resignation of Rep. Gerry Studds for sexual contact with a page?

As I recall the Democrats nominated him five more times for Congress and gave him a committee chairmanship.

Spare us the manufactured outrage.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:41 - Studds was censured, the page was not underage, and the dem congressional leadership didn't cover it up for 8 months so as not to hurt their electoral chances.

Other than that, its exactly the same.

Anonymous said...


You have no moral compass.

Republican leadership was caught covering up a sexual predator's behavior, and all you want is to try and blow it off by bringing up Gerry Studds as an equivalency?

Like the Bush administration, you're in a state of denial.

Anonymous said...

Schlesinger is pathetic (and this from a dedicated GOP'er).

This article is damning on several fronts... Alan doesn't need to be elected -- he needs a shrink!

Everyone is out to get this guy -- even his 6th grade teacher....

Maybe he should take a look in the mirror.

Talk about Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time!

Anonymous said...

Dude, do I even have to MENTION ex-Gov. Jim McGreevey???? Gimme your address and I'll send you his memoir that reads like a porno.

And stop trying to spread this garbage that leadership knew that Foley was having cybersex with these boys. The district is considered safe Republican...if they knew of this, they could've put up someone else and easily held it.

They knew that he had sent an email that had been classified as "friendly chit chat" by the St. Petersburg Times and required him to discontinue all communications with that person. No one knew of this other trash.

It's absolutely disgusting and an abborgation of his moral duties. It's indefensible and these investigations need to be conducted thoroughly to make sure that he is properly held accountable.

But acts of sexual deviance are not exclusive to one party...does this benefit Democrats in this election season? Of course. But implying that a pseudo-Catholic Church coverup was involved is simply outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does Chris Healy appear in the paper more often than any other operative? Interesting that he is seldom sought for his quote on the Simmons campaign, of which he is the campaign manager. Reality to Mr. healy, why don't you win the race for the candidate who pays your salary, then worry about getting your name in the papers.

Anonymous said...

True: it's not equivilent.

Republicans force their scumbags to quit, Yours get committee chairmanships

Anonymous said...

Did Schlesinger actually think he was helping himself with this article? The Courant didn't even have to find proof of past escort activity--they got him to discuss it on the record without it!! Great job, Allen, you've opened yourself up to legitimate questions on this for the rest of the campaign. I can't wait until the debate when Mark Davis asks about "what is your position on paid escorts?"

Also scoring considerable points in the "dumbest remarks of the campaign" category are:

-Calling women "chicks" and complaining that, as a man, you were treated unfairly.

-Proudly announcing yourself as "the playboy" of the legislature...yeah, that's who I want as my senator.

-Calling someone a "whore."

-Remarkable as it seems, you made John Rowland look ever the statesman in his response to your comments.

-Persisting in your attacks of Jodi Rell. Yeah, I'm sure she'll be lining up to give you some of that 70% approval now.

-Flaunting your 5,000 square foot "dream home" as evidence of someone who doesn't have a gambling problem. I guess Beth Hamilton was just being charitable that she didn't call it the "Playboy Mansion."

Can you mention your resume again, specifcally the "Education" portion? Because it's getting really difficult to remember that you're a bright guy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:32 - Hastart asked the AG to open an investigation on the republican leadership. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

and in his letter to the AG, Hastert admits to knowing of the innocuous email, but stresses they had no knowledge of the sillacious IM's. i will enjoy the ivestigation...i always enjoy justice being done. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:51 - I agree with everything in your post; however, just for consistency, please remember that you did have a "playboy" as your US Senator for 2 decades: Chris Dodd. Before his recent marriage, he was the "playboy" of the Senate and his exploits were legendary (remember the human sandwich with Dodd, Kennedy and a waitress?).

For all of you haters who claim that voting Republican protects sexual predators - please get a life!

Whatever former Congressman Foley did - and it sounds disgusting - he resigned from office immediately.

Here in CT, Democrats protected Democratic State Rep. Jeff Davis until he was convicted of being a sexual predator.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:10, how could I forget the "Waitress sandwich!"

But there's something about being labeled "the playboy of the senate" and labeling yourself as a playboy. I'm also fairly certain that Dodd never gave an interview where he beat his chest about the attractiveness of his concubines and then showed a photo of his 5,00 sq/ft playpen?

Anon. 10:10 said...

Look, Dodd never gave an interview - in fact, he often declined comment - but that didn't stop national media outlets from doing stories about his exploits with Teddy Kennedy.

Sure, I guess you can say Dodd was more discreet. Or, you could say that Dodd was pretending to be one person here in CT and another person down in DC.

Look, I like Chris Dodd btw, but here is my point on the bigger picture: everytime someone submits a post criticizing a Republican for something like this or the Rep. Foley story, I can easily submit a post showing that there are Democrats who do the same.

We need to stop the fake righteous indignation, stop talking about personal lives, stop playing the game of guilt by association and, instead, start talking about issues that matter.

Schlesinger is a horrible candidate - I agree - so let's debate Lamont vs Lieberman and forget about this guy because he has no chance.

Anonymous said...

Here here, anon 11:20.

But I actually don't want ol' alan gold to go away.

He has single-handedly made this a fun election year. Could you imagine having to trudge through august, september, and october with just lieberman vs. lamont and rell vs. destefano? it would have been murder! at least this bum has given us somethign to laugh about.

btw, you know how schlesinger precedes every intoduction of himself with "i was a four term legislator and 2 term mayor of derby?" how come no one asks what happened to him in the intervening ten years? curious that he went "dark" for rowland's tenure as king, then as soon as rowland is out of the picture here comes mayor schlesinger?

also, am I the only one who finds it interesting that this guy has never been able to stay in the same town? Selectman in Orange, state rep from woodbridge, mayor of derby?

bluecoat said...

Selectman in Orange, state rep from woodbridge, mayor of derby? When he threw his hat in the ring earlier this year CT GOP chair, George Gallo, remarked that Schlesinger had exactly the legislative and executive experience they were looking for...until his boss, Mama Rell, decided otherwise and brought out the kookie state cop story - and then the bloggers started about him hiring escorts to go to GOP functions as if there hadn't been all the Rowland whores at them for years anyway.

Anonymous said...

OK A303, I'll bite, why did he go "dark" during the Rowland years?

I don't think the former Gov. was a friend of his.

I know AS tried to run for Congress in the 5thCD (more than once perhaps) but did not get the party endorsement at the convention. I don't recall whether that was the year Franks ran or when Nielsen ran or both. But he did try to run for office during the Rowland years.

I guess I am missing something, so help me out.

way2moderate said...