This guy wants to tell CT 5 who to vote for

This is not an extra from The Sopranos

This is Chris Murphy's campaign manager Kenny Curran.

Who is Kenny Curran? Well he was the highly paid campaign manager for corrupt Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez

Perez, for those unfamiliar with CT politics, was a supposedly reformed street gang leader who climbed the rungs of Hartford Democratic politics and attained the Mayor's office. Along the way he decided white collar crime was more his style and got free home improvements from city contractors; as well as orchestrating shakedown schemes to enrich political allies.

Ken Curran knew those political allies. He managed Perez's re-election campaign. He ran an expensive race ( well over $515,000 in a city of barely over 100,000 residents)  funded by special interests that successfully got a plurality of Hartford residents to decide Perez was honest and effective enough to warrant re-election as Mayor. Perhaps part of this success was due to the massive use of "street money" on election day? Hmmm... But why did the street money work?

Because Kenny Curran set out to smear Perez's opponent with false charges; alleging he was responsible for actions that occurred long after former city official I. Charles Matthews left office.

Here's what Matthews said, pointing out Perez had originally promised to run a clean campaign,   "But these attack ads are not just misleading," he said. "They are outright lies."

So let's see. Chris Murphy hires a guy to run his campaign who re-elected a corrupt politician by specialized in sleazy tactics and lying. Surely Murphy is above that?

Yeah, then why did he accept the nomination of the ACORN front Working Families Party, the alter ego of the SEIU?  One goon likes the others? 

And why is Curran already trashing Republican Sam Caligiuri?

The point is Kenny Curran only knows sleazy goon politics. It's how he got Eddie Perez re-elected. It's how he plans to keep Chris Murphy in office. And Chris Murphy has embraced this by hiring Curran to run his own campaign.

Hey if Kenny Curran could convince Hartford voters Eddie Perez was honest maybe the idea is he can convince 5th District voters Chris Murphy is fiscally responsible.  

Kenny Curran's old mentor gets sentenced this morning on his corruption conviction. Wonder if Kenny has the cojones to be in the courtroom this morning to see if his old boss gets the 55 years he could receive?

Probably not. It's not the way bullies operate.

Brands we'll miss (well, maybe some)

Yesterday I saw a list of "Ten Brands likely to disappear in 2010"

It made me think there's one they missed.

They think Blockbuster is done for.  Perhaps the brilliant leadership of board member Jackie Clegg Dodd will be remembered fondly when they file for liquidation. She's been well compensated for what she hasn't done to keep this firm afloat.

And the experts think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will cease the fiction of private ownership in 2010. Jeez, how could that happen?  Weren't they sound? Weren't  they great friends of Senator Dodd?  

Yep, there is one brand they missed. Rasmussen tonight found that Rob Simmons is leading Chris Dodd by 13 points! 

Chris, there's a phone call for you.

 Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT ...

Something about where to put the fork

"Mad Max" Baucus: Repeat Offender?

The usual trolls didn't think much of my post yesterday about Max Baucus and the "legal briefs" he consults for filling vacant U.S. Attorney posts, but it did remind folks here in CT that this isn't the first time Senator Max Baucus has been accused of trying to dip his pen in the company inkwell.

Pen & Ink Well

You see, a decade or so ago Baucus's chief of staff, former CT congressional candidate Christine Niedermeier, accused the Senator of trying to include a physical relationship as part of her job duties. (mind you, this was right in the middle of  the Senator's now lapsed marriage)

Last week my blood just didn't race in that Paula Jones way when Roll Call ran the story that Montana Senator Max Baucus, 57 and married, had fired his chief of staff, Christine Niedermeier, 47 and not married, under contested circumstances. He said it was because of staff complaints that she was a lousy manager who was causing staff defections. She said (and only reluctantly when she realized there was going to be a story critical of her) that it was because she had asked him to stop making sexual advances

It's also interesting given the recent concern over guest lists at White House state dinners that before the blowup Senator Baucus brought Ms. Niedermeier to such an event as his guest.    

Niedermeier did sue Baucus, but the suit was tossed because the deadline for filing such actions against members of Congress had lapsed. (No Lily Ledbetter law for them!). She now runs a solo law practice in a small CT town.  Quite a comedown from being someone who nearly was elected to Congress in 1987.

So, evidently Mel Hanes was an exemplary employee for Senator Baucus who deserves a high powered post at the Department of Justice; and Christine Niedermeier was a shrew who deserved to be kicked to the curb.  The fact one consented to a physical relationship with her employer and the other didn't obviously had nothing to do with the assessment the Senator had about one of his top subordinates.

Excuse me for not buying that one, Max.

There's an old line about one event being an incident, twice is a coincidence, and three times consitutes a lifestyle.

We have two incidents of Senator Baucus either confirming or being accused of having a relationship with a female employee. Can we have any confidence that this is the whole list, or is this going to end up looking like the Tiger Woods scandal if folks look under enough rocks?     ... , according to Tiger Woods 

On that note, anyone really think that someone trying to bed a staffer in 1999 waited almost a decade before trying again?

It might be interesting to see if other former female Baucus staffers have landed plum jobs from his friends in the government and K Street,  dontcha think?  Like I said, this looks like a lifestyle for "Mad Max".

Over a decade ago, Republican Senator Bob Packwood was run out of office for exploiting his job so he could exploit women.   We haven't much progress in improving the ethical standards of the Senate if people are now speculating that the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is up to the same monkey business.

One other thing. How many other Senate mistresses have the Obama Administration put on the public payroll? "Most ethical ever". Please!

For all those who piled on Jon Ensign and Mark Sanford.....

well, the sound you hear is that of breaking glass in the Democratic glass house.

 Montana Sen. Max Baucus nominated own mistress, Melodee Hanes, as U.S. attorney

It's a shame Max's mistress took a powder from going for the U.S. Attorney post. I was really looking forward to hearing Tiger Woods testify on her behalf. I'd really like to know what this woman has got going that Mad Max can't keep his "Hanes" off her "Hanes"?

Mad Max

Now the bigger question. Evidently Ms. Hanes got a consolation prize in the form of a position in DC at Main Justice. And presumably, Attorney General Holder and/or White House staffers blessed this hire.


Is Attorney General Holder going to answer questions about the propriety of this?  Or is this useless partisan hack going to be as tongue tied on this as trying to explain why we are trying Al-Queda masterminds in civilian court in Manhattan?.

Eric Holder has accomplished the unbelievable. He is making the Alberto Gonzalez era at DOJ look relatively competent and apolitical.

 And perhaps we ought to questions whether Max Baucus has the sort of hmmm..."leadership".. we are looking for in a rather sensitive matter like health care reform.? What other secret deals does Mad Max have going we haven't caught wind of yet?

McMahon campaign update: Almost as real as the Colorado balloon

Can a U.S. Senate campaign double as a reality show?

The befuddled Republicans in Connecticut are asking this question tonight?

First, this morning, the Wild RINO, Linda McMahon is called out by the Hartford Courant for "an extreme makeover"

Her "outsider" campaign will soon have 16 paid staff and has spent more than $2 million, just in the first weeks. She has hired top political operatives, including the consummate insider lobbyist in Hartford, Patrick Sullivan. There is a "new media" director. The wife of the state GOP chair will be her press secretary and David Cappiello, a prominent former state senator, will run the campaign.McMahon tells us that Dodd has been "right in the middle" of the bailouts, trillion-dollar debt, government-run health care and the "banks and special interests." Yet this former CEO is no stranger to ethically challenged situations.She presided over a business where, according to investigators from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, " steroid use is pervasive" and the "organizations involved have not taken adequate steps to address this problem." 

Sadly, I know one of the new McMahon staffers. I can only presume she is in dire financial straits, as signing up for this lounge act was like when members of the Blues Brothers fronted as "Murph and the Magic Tones" at the Armada Lounge.

  ... Murph and the Magic Tones

I'm not going to belabor the point, but back in 1776 the good guys were the volunteer citizen soldiers; the bad guys were the Hessian mercenaries. I note America's renaissance in the late 20th century coincided with the all-volunteer military...hmmm..   a political lesson herein?

In any case, by the time she starts she's going to be fully engulfed. First, in late morning the McMahon family did what they do so well, mix family melodrama and business; as McMahon's son quit the WWE management. A British tabloid said dad Vince was "saddened"

 ... _&_Linda_McMahon_WWE.jpg

But methinks this is a lot like the various plotlines where Linda's been cheated on , sent to a santorium, been slapped by her daughter, kicked Vince in the groin, yadda, yadda and yadda. I strongly suspect that Shane will return to the WWE in very theatrical fashion soon enough, probably battling the Undertaker to resume his executive post or something in that vein.    

Of course, by midafternoon the CT Democrats had made like the Supreme Court under Justice Potter Stewart and examined WWE footage for obscenity. Sure enough, they claim to have found it.

Colleen Flanagan, spokeswoman for Connecticut’s Democratic Party, said as CEO of the WWE, McMahon “presided over programming that showed simulated rape, public sex and necrophilia.”

“People across this state, not to mention the millions of women who are the victims of sexual violence every year, would be horrified and embarrassed to know that the person who seeks to represent them condones this kind of behavior,” she added

The Politico is having some run with the hypocrisy of the DC Democrats, who are basically libertines "Bible Belting" McMahon over these turgid videos

Guess this was all before the PG-13 version of the show.

By day's end the WWE made the offensive videos disappear from YouTube.

I dunno about the necrophilia; maybe that's some kind of twisted commentary on the death tax.

But what the Wild RINO can't put in the cybernetic round file is the cold hard truth that at a time when we desperately need a strong voice to challenge the excesses of the Obama Administration, she is Rahm Emanuel's  favorite Republican.  

Yep, that might be even more skeevy than shlupping a stiff.


Jon Corzine will not be Governor of New Jersey in 2010

Over the last few days I've traded a fair number of e-mails with folks very familiar with New Jersey politics.

The consensus is Jon Corzine will not be living in Drumthwacket in January 

Now I'm not saying that Chris Christie is an absolute lock to win--this is New Jersey after all. But Corzine already has lost and the power structure in the national and state Democratic party is going to have to hold a  "Barry Goldwater" meeting with him in the next few weeks. They will execute the old "Torricelli switch"

The internals of recent New Jersey polls are horrid for Corzine.  His job approval wasn't very high to start with, and now it's down to 33%.  He loses badly on handling the state budget and dealing with corruption. And , oops, looks like the corruption issue got back on the front pages in a big way.

The problem with Corzine is he sold his background as a former honcho of Goldman Sachs as evidence that  a) he would manage state budgets and the economy well and b) he was too rich to be corrupt.  Since neither  problem got resolved on Corzine's watch, all he has left is to try and trash Christie.  But that means that a rather large number( 17% +/-) of NJ voters who already have rejected Corzine will need to decide Christie would be even worse. That's a tall order even with unlimited resources. And now it may be simply impossible in the wake of the corruption dragnet.

Were this just about Corzine, the NJ Democrats might just let the chump lose and figure out how to make Christie a one term wonder.  The problem is that NJ voters think the State legislature is equally incompetent. They are now running at 28% approval. And yep, the Democrats control the legislature. Good for them only one house is up this year, and they hold a 48-32 edge.

But here's where Corzine kills the rest of his party. The Democrats took over the Assembly primarily by flipping seats in South Jersey. And Corzine is well on his way to getting crushed in all the counties south of Trenton; losing the Philly suburbs by 18 points and the shore counties by 35 points.  

A 10 point Corzine loss might look respectable if he can still win huge in Newark and Hudson County, but if he loses most of the state's real estate by high double digits the GOP could flip the four legislative districts they would need to oust the Democrats from Assembly control.

So the rest of the party is gonna want to find someone who gives the party a fighting shot at holding the Governor's office, or at least, giving suburban swing voters a reason to hit the reset buttom before sweeping the Republicans back in downballot. And an alternative is right in the wings, State Senate President and former Acting Governor Richard Codey. While Codey's proposals weren;t always popular, he left office in pretty good stead.

Codey would at the minimum force the Christie camp to relaunch their message as well; and might well serve to reduce turnout of apolitical suburban fiscal conservatives eager to spit in Corzine's eye. 

So, I expert Corzine to start getting veiled messages from his co-partisans in New Jersey that they would prefer an alternative. He may be getting them under the radar already; I suspect the visibility will increase so as to drive the point home. How many times can your allies say "no f**king way" before people stop believing you?

I then expect Corzine to be summoned to DC for a "strategy session" with Rahm Emanuel. The purpose of this meeting will be to determine what prestigious sounding economic post can be presented to Corzine so he can drop out "to serve the nation in this time of economic  crisis".  Maybe make Corzine yet another "czar" of something like Third World debt relief or what not.

The White House will not want to see both Democratic held governorships flip to the Republicans this fall.. They already probably have done all they can in VA to save the seat; but VA's demographics provide little room for error for even the best Democrat. NJ's clearly a better bet to hold; but not with a candidate the voters have no use for. 

Both parties have done this in New Jersey--swapped out an unpopular nominee right before an election. In 2002 the NJ Democrats swapped out sleazemeister Senator Robert Torricelli for the aging but respectable Frank Lautenberg. And the GOP had Acting Governor Don DeFrancesco step down for former Congressman Bob Franks; who still lost his primary to Bret Schundler.

The deadline here is whatever a pliable New Jersey Supreme Court will allow to be; so I suspect one more batch of bad polls will appear before the impetus to execute this reaches a boil.  My guess is this all comes to a head in the first half of September.

The NJ and national GOP needs to start thinking now about how it is going to react to a "Torricelli Switch". Forewarned is forearmed!    


I sure hope Moe Lane is right

Since I certainly couldn;t picture my Governor. Jodi Rell involved in anything less than proper.

Now, could I picture NJ's Jon Corzine being "Client # 10? . Sure. Sure I could.

Sadly, this would backfire on the GOP since it would give the DNC a chance to execute the well-traveled path of doing the "Torricelli Switch" and swapping out relatively popular State Senate President Richard Codey, who would stand a far better chance of defeating Republican Chris Christie..

Don't change this channel!


Now that Chris Dodd's Bridge sale has failed....




What do we suggest happen to the dissembling Democrat?

The mainstream media acknowledge the probable futility of expecting the toothless Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a serious investigation.

But as we well know, the Senate Democrats are enamored of another form of investigation---the use of the special prosecutor.

So what bothers the Senate Democrats more....whether a few U.S. attorneys got fired for partisan reasons or whether special interests unethically engineered a hundred billion dollar plus raid on taxpayer's funds? 

Ironman has diligently monitored the news wires and blogs. Now certaintly someone selling "hope" and "change" would be expected to sound off on this sort of sleaze, you would think.

Dodd: 'I don't believe I did anything wrong'

From this morning's Danbury News-Times

When challenged about the "Friend of Angelo" mortgage, Dodd's response: 

"I don't believe I did anything wrong," Dodd said. "We negotiated a mortgage at the prevailing rate."

Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green hasn;t had his judgment clouded by spending 34 years in the House and the Senate 

It gets worse. Dodd said he thought he got the deal "because they had been with Countrywide since 1999 and had two mortgages."

Oh please. This is embarrassing.........

Which brings up the other thing about VIPs. They think they can do whatever they want.,0,5217350.column

The Waterbury Republican-American places the onus for Dodd's arrogance on his lineage 


 Chris Dodd was 8 when Papa Dodd was elected to Congress in 1952. For 56 years, because of his father's station and later his own, Chris Dodd has lived the VIP life. No one knows, and he can't possibly remember, how many doors his VIP status has opened; how many prime tickets to sold-out plays and sporting events, how many free junkets and trinkets, how many nights on the town, etc., he got; and how many scrapes he got out of because he's Chris Dodd. Rest assured: Every time he got the VIP treatment, he knew he got it because of who he is.

By his own admission, Sen. Dodd was "born at night, but not last night," yet after a half-century of living the VIP life because of his congressional affiliations, it never occurred to him Countrywide's VIP treatment might be connected to his position on the Banking Committee.

"We literally just assumed it was a courtesy," which it turns out was extended by Mr. Mozilo, linked to their excellent credit rating (Aside to Sen. Dodd: What's your number?) and their many years as faithful Countrywide customers. Four years, to be exact. And as the average homeowner knows, all lenders shave interest rates and waive fees for borrowers not named Chris Dodd who have been good customers for four years, and they do it even when borrowers don't "seek or expect" it.

The Senate has excellent health benefits. Should the Senator get checked out for this disease? 

Chris Dodd: Still selling that Countrywide Bailout Bridge

Chris Dodd may have been a close ally of former President Bill Clinton, but he really shouldn;t try the same verbal mind games the former President excelled at. Dodd is simply embarassing himself. This morning the light bulb went off at 1600 Pennsylvania that maybe this President Bush might not want to emulate dad on signing off on a Democrat drafted banking bailout bill, so the veto threat came over the wire. And Dodd's response?

. Dodd was visibly angered at the bailout suggestion today. "It's quite the opposite," he insisted on the Senate floor. That, he said, "is the last thing we're doing." The lenders take a loss on each of the loans, he said.

As an attorney who spent a decade dealing with bad loans as an in-house counsel, let me educate the dear senator (who has no clue what the present interest rate is)

 If I lose well over 30% of the principal and unpaid interest foreclosing on homes in a plummeting market,( these loans lacked FHA insurance)  getting 87 cents on the dollar by signing the loan over to the feds is.....guess what......a bailout!

Two unrelated related developments occurred today. Bank of America leaked that they plan to complete the Countrywide buyout by July 1.

And why the rush to complete that transaction, as well as pass the housing boondoggle?. A site entitled "Dealbreakers" explains why haste makes government waste

Chris Dodd: The Senator From Bank of America
Posted by John Carney, Jun 19, 2008, 3:34pm
Chris Dodd, the US senator who introduced the mortgage bailout bill this
week, has received approximately $70,000 in campaign contributions from Bank
of America in the last year-and-a-half, Tim Carney reports in the Washington
Examiner.* The mortgage bill would allow banks such as Bank of America and
mortgage lenders like Countrywide, which BofA is in the process of
acquiring, to push their worst performing loans onto government agencies. It
is such a give away to mortgage laden banks that it is being mocked by
Republican staffers as "the Bank of America bill on steroids."

There you have it. There is no bailout of big mortgage banks, and Bank of America contributed massively to make sure the banking bill wasn't a bailout


brooklyn-bridge-photo Yep, Chris Dodd is still selling that darn bridge, isn;t he?

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