Dodd Responds to Criticism

Sen. Dodd is responding to his critics over the AIG bonus language. Here he is at a press conference in Enfield today:


Dodd, perhaps justifiably, sounds pretty steamed.

He also has an op-ed running in several papers this weekend explaining his role in the bonus mess. Here’s the Courant version.

UPDATE: The criticism keeps on coming, though. This editorial in the New Haven Register opens by calling Dodd a “lying weasel.” Ouch!

Simmons Wants to Raise $5 Million

Meanwhile, Rob Simmons attacked Dodd as being “out of touch,” and said he wants to raise $5 million for his race against the longtime incumbent.

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri has reportedly filed his paperwork for a run. Simmons has yet to file.

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18 responses to “Dodd Responds to Criticism

  1. famillionaire

    That’s the fighting Dodd I want to see. His anger is justified and appropriate and I agree.

  2. I’m wondering if the fighting Dodd improves his numbers in terms of a Dem primary, but the opposite in terms of a general election.

    Regardless of what he does, I still think he and Joe have simply been in DC too long.

  3. So I wrote a detailed amendment to deal with these issues — and I did so over fierce and persistent opposition from Wall Street, the banking industry which my committee supervises, some of my Republican colleagues, and even from some in the Obama administration

    More partisanship and blame game from Dodd… Wall Street and the GOP are non-players in this issue, but Dodd won’t man up. He should be pointing the finger exclusively at Geithner on this point.

  4. I repeat: Had I known at the time that this administration-proposed change would in any way protect AIG bonuses, I would have rejected it completely.

    Translation:

    I vote on stuff, but don’t know what’s in it.

    I repeat: these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along!

  5. I think this op-ed shows that Dodd is not going to go down without a fight and, unlike Lieberman, he is not going to run a re-election campaign on the basis of arrogance and entitlement.

    “But this isn’t about my job — it’s about the jobs of the people of this state, their future and their children. The big issue of the day isn’t whether I get re-elected — it’s whether the people of Connecticut and this country get back on their feet again. That’s why I’m determined to do my very best to make a difference at a very difficult time. It’s what I was hired to do.”

    Dodd has done good things for this state and this country. He’s made some mistakes and he has a lot of work to do in terms of repairing his image in light of this, Countrywide, etc. but I am confident that his record of delivering for the people of our state will outweigh his negatives come election day 2010.

    If you’re a Republican, nothing Dodd can do at this point will change your mind. That’s cool – go phonebank for Simmons or Caliguiri or whoever else runs. But if you’re a Democrat, it’s time to get behind Dodd. Don’t encourage a primary (let the Repubs bicker and banter for the next year and divide themselves). Don’t encourage retirement (you may not like some of the decisions Dodd has made from his position but at least he is in a position to have influence and make decisions; if a Blumenthal or a Murphy stepped up they would have 0 seniority).

  6. AndersonScooper

    Scanman–

    I’m almost with you, and I think everyone should give Dodd into the fall to see if he can pull out of this nose dive.

    But before I bet a Dem Senate seat on Dodd, I’d like to know a little more about the renovations that were done to his Ireland cottage. When were they done, and who paid for them?

    Granted these questions were brought up in a Kevin Rennie column, one in which he claimed in 1993 an A.W. “John” Moore asked the local planning commission to speed up renovation approvals because Dodd had been such a good friend to Galway.

    Is there a “there” there? Is Dodd innocent, or was this another Ted Stevens/John Rowland type deal?

    One way or another, Dems across Connecticut deserve to know, and now in 2009, i.e. not according to the Republicans timing, which would be in the summer of 2010.

    PS– if Blumethal were elevated to the US Senate, whose side would he be on? Big corporate interests, or we, the people?

  7. Dodd basically claims that his staff agreed to Treasury’s demands.

    In other words, Dodd argues his staff showed terrible judgment.

    What are the consequences? (Btw, since staff aren’t elected, I don’t think any names should be public… but Dodd ought to somehow address this… otherwise we have to assume that he’s still got the same staff with the same – in Dodd’s opinion – poor judgment… finalizing very significant legislation.)

    Dodd needs to deal with his staff in some way. And Obama needs to deal with his entire economic team… particularly Geithner and Summers.

  8. And has anyone else noticed that one of the few so-called healthy banks left is Goldman Sachs?

    Goldman got the most money from AIG with $12.9 billion via the initial $85 billion AIG bailout. Former Goldman CEO Hank Paulson initiated that bailout.

    Thankfully though, it was a “bipartisan” effort for all these bailouts. That is, the bailouts were supported by both Paulson (R-Goldman) and Robert Rubin (D-Goldman).

  9. But let’s remember that Obama’s main claim to fame (and the main reason I kinda liked him) was his effort at improving transparency.

    And where is Obama now?

    He ignores FOI requests until they are court-enforced and allows Geithner to continue opposing bailout transparency. Obama talks about energy and healthcare (both important) and ignores transparency.

    In thirty seconds, Obama could easily tell Geithner to open his double-secret bailout files to the public… but instead, Obama allows Geithner and Summers to run the economic show.

  10. PS– if Blumethal were elevated to the US Senate, whose side would he be on? Big corporate interests, or we, the people?

    My guess is that he follows the party. The problem is that the Dem party appears to currently favor the former rather than the latter.

    My sense is that, in an effort at bipartisanship, Obama looked for so-called “centrists” to form his economic team. And Obama got support from all the DC Establishmentarians on his economic picks.

    But that’s a problem because they favor the big money, not the little guy.

    If Obama truly has the good judgment on which he ran… he’ll fire his economic team and appoint outsiders. And their views should run the gamut:

    1) sound money or fiat money
    2) central banking or no central banking
    3) bailouts or bankrupcies
    4) fractional reserve banking or specie

    Obama needs real debate in The Oval Office… not the choir of “civilization will end if you question us” economic team.

  11. btw, while I opposed the stimulus package… I thought it was a legitimate policy stance. The bailouts are what have me so angry.

  12. The bailouts are what have me so angry.

    How could anyone tell?

    No one’s ever seen you even raise your voice.

    Ever.

  13. >PS– if Blumethal were elevated to the US Senate, whose side would he be
    >on? Big corporate interests, or we, the people?

    Has Blumenthal ever started a day without asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest one of all?” Big corporate or people, doesn’t really matter, they’re not him.

    As for Tim’s list…1,2, and 4 are pretty much not open to discussion. We’re an economy that demands central banking, and it’s not like we can go back to specie backed currency at this point.

    3 is certainly still open for debate. I wonder if the compromise wouldn’t be fast, pre-arranged bankruptcies with the Goverment cherry picking which assets they were going to take over as a true national interest (i.e. the PMI division of AIG which threatened a dominoe effect into the banking industry) and letting everything else procede through normal bankruptcy.

    Of course…if we reformed our anti-trust / monopoly laws to include “too big to fail” as a criteria to break up companies (and enforced them!) we could help avoid this mess in the future. A market economy demands a vibrant marketplace, and by definition it can’t be a robust market if any of the players failures would collapse the system.

  14. Dal… the question of sound money or fiat money is basically off the table within the confines of the US. But there’s talk of an alternate to the US dollar among G20 nations. And even the US government is concerned.

    (James) Rickards is a regular adviser on financial issues to the director of national intelligence’s office, and he lends his financial advice to the national security community.

    Rickards says

    what if some kind of global coalition – say a trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund allied with several countries around the world – banded together to create a gold-backed alternative to the dollar? Rickards says investors – many of whom already resent that they have no alternative to the dollar – would sell American currency in huge numbers to take advantage of the new opportunity. “If that happens, that’s the end of the dollar,” Rickards said. “You’d have high unemployment, deflation, and interest rates would go up. It would take what already looks like a strong recession and make it a Great Depression or worse.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16663.html

    Americans can say it’s off the table, but we don’t necessarily make that decision.

  15. Ages ago, long before the Damoclean sword of the “appearance of corruption” was hanging menacingly over US Sen. Chris Dodd’s head, the senator was asked to dilate on the connection between campaign receipts and political favors. He said there was no connection in his case; any perceived connection simply meant that those who contributed to his campaigns were voting with dollars for his programs.

    Of all the Sherlock Holmes’ in the world, certainly Dodd would know better than most whether he had received a quid for a quo. And he was quite sure he hadn’t – ever.

    This analysis is mistaken in several important points, not the least of which is that it is not Dodd’s role to sniff out political corruption. Politicians are what lawyers would call interested parties. Journalists are, sometimes, disinterested parties. They are the bloodhounds of corruption. It is their chosen calling to sniff out corruption and expose it to the cleansing light of day, where it may be disinfected.

    Somehow along the way, Dodd fell from grace. His precipitous fall is not the result of Dodd’s politics. In Connecticut, largely Democratic and largely liberal, Dodd’s politics has always stood him in good stead. The journalistic gods in his state generally have looked with favor on Dodd’s liberal policies. In this regard, he often has been compared favorably with Massachusetts US Sen. Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion of the senate. Both are convivial Irishmen; both have mastered the craft of the US senate’s arcane wheeling and dealing; both are pedigreed politicians. Ted Kennedy is a chip off the old Camelot block, and Dodd’s father, before he suffered his own fall from grace, was among Connecticut’s most able and distinguished public servants.

    It is altogether possible that Dodd believed so heartily in his own rectitude — he knew he was not accepting favors – that he became insensible to the niceties of corrupt politics.

    Certainly, the possibility of corruption has surrounded Dodd’s head like a black aureole for some time. Dodd is head of the banking committee, a position from which a corrupt politician could easily parcel out favors for campaign cash. Dodd has received oodles of campaign contributions from the finance industry, an interested party in the quid pro quo business; he was responsible, as Chris Powell of the Journal Inquirer reminds us, for the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act, a legislative breakwater that prevented financial institution from engaging in the banking business. The Banking Act of 1933 separated commercial and investment banking, and after it was partially dismantled, a tsunami of transformative economic changes washed over the country, laying waste to sound banking practices. After 12 attempts in 25 years to repeal obstructive provisions of Glass-Steagall, lobbying efforts were rewarded in Nov 1999 when Glass-Steagall was gutted.

    Not only did Dodd vote to repeal Glass-Steagall, his whole record is pockmarked by votes to loosen controls on the financial industry.

    While the left is in rebellion over the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the right points to the Community Reinvestment Act as institutionalizing the poor standards that led to the mortgage meltdown on Dodd’s watch.

    “In an earlier newspaper story extolling the virtues of relaxed underwriting standards,” wrote Stan Liebowitz, the Ashbel Smith professor of Economics in the Business School at the University of Texas at Dallas in a prescient opinion piece in the New York Post a year ago, “Countrywide’s chief executive [Angelo Mozilo] bragged that, to approve minority applications that would otherwise be rejected “lenders have had to stretch the rules a bit.” He’s not bragging now.

    Indeed – neither is Dodd.

    In a survey of the dismemberment of Glass-Steagall, Frontline reports:

    “Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill’s chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, ‘You’re buying the government?’”

    In a Marketwatch piece Rubin, the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton administrations, is named as one of the ten most unethical people in business.

    How would Dodd fair in a similar rating?

  16. Marketwatch is the WSJ… and some may question their objectivity.

    Here’s a Jan 9, 2009 quote from the NYTimes:

    Mr. Rubin, who has no severance contract and has turned down a bonus for the last two years, will still leave the bank with millions of dollars in accumulated pay. He has been awarded more than $126 million in cash and stock over the past decade, and has already withdrawn virtually all of his deferred compensation for estate planning purposes, said a person with knowledge of Mr. Rubin’s pay.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/10/business/10rubin.html?_r=2&hp

    Paulson, Rubin, Geithner… the Congress should investigate the Treasury Dept.

  17. Marketwatch is the WSJ… and some may question their objectivity.

    Balance, we call it balance.

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