Dodd v. Lobbyists, Part 2

Late last week, Genghis wrote a good piece about U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and his then-nascent imbroglio over lobbyists, attempting to determine whether or not Dodd is a friend or foe to Washington D.C. lobbyists.  The answer was a toss up at best.

The Dodd campaign has pushed the “Chris Dodd is mean to lobbyists” message to separate Dodd from the D.C. political class while opponents, such as Rob Simmons, Tom Foley, the Connecticut Republican Party, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee – have sought to connect them.

The latest in the tit-for-tat started over the weekend when Mr. Dodd attended the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Martha’s Vineyard event for high roller lobbyists, as reported by The Hill:

Dodd’s attendance at the retreat follows a series of web videos his campaign released promoting his populist credentials and highlighting the frustration some lobbyists are feeling with the senator, including quotes from anonymous lobbyists in news reports.

It has been a race ever since to see which opponent could ring the “Hypocrite” bell the loudest. 

The Simmons camp has been circulating an NPR articlewhich highlights how Mr. Dodd’s “The Blues” video takes several quotes out of context:

This is how the ad cherry-picks from the article: “Financial industry lobbyist on Dodd’s leadership: ‘It’s very scary for lobbyists and for the industry in general.'”

What the article actually says: “‘If he’d won his election and he was looking at these issues with a full six-year term in front of him, he’d be taking different positions,’ the financial industry lobbyist said. ‘It’s a scary thing for lobbyists and for the industry in general.'”

Ambassador Tom Foley’s campaign, not to be outdone, has pushed back in their own way – by pledging that their campaign will not accept any campaign contributions from Political Action Committees.  From an e-mail from the Foley campaign:

“The enormous amount of money Senator Dodd has accepted from PACs, particularly ones representing financial institutions he regulates, does not pass the smell test,” Tom Foley said. “I will not accept any PAC money and I urge all my fellow candidates to make the same pledge. No one in Connecticut should have to wonder if there is a conflict between the special interest money a candidate receives and the needs of Connecticut citizens. Governor Jodi Rell set this admirable standard for Connecticut during her 2006 campaign and I am happy to follow her lead.”

Among the takeaway points here:

  • Chris Dodd is Caught in a Conundrum– He is beating lobbyists with a club in his messaging, but he needs their money to buy the club.  At what point do the D.C. based lobbyists get angry and cut off contributions to Dodd?  Probably never.
  • Tom Foley, Player – One of the big question marks early in this primary battle has been whether former Ambassador Tom Foley is a for-real candidate or not.  If there are any lingering doubts, they should be gone by now. 
  • Has Anyone Seen Sam Caliguiri? – There seems to be two tiers of candidates at this point on the GOP side – those that are in (Simmons, Foley, and Caligiuri) and those that are questionable (Schiff, Orchulli).  With weak fundraising and a thin media presence, Caligiuri seems to be at risk of creating a third tier – “also ran”.
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25 responses to “Dodd v. Lobbyists, Part 2

  1. Great piece, Heath. This is just more of the same. The more Dodd works to extricate himself from the appearance of being beholden to special interests, the more it becomes obvious he is totally dependent upon special interests. It is as if he puts his own exclamation points on each sentence.

  2. Mr. Reality

    Looks like Dodd failed in his attempt to save the F-22. Obama not doing any favors for Good ole Chris.

  3. Bruce Rubenstein

    Sorry folks but EVERYONE in Washington that is in Congress is beloden to some special interest.You can try to paint Dodd as beholden to them but the fact remains that the public is smarter then to fall for that. As Dodd does healthcare and more, his numbers will rise….

  4. Looks like Dodd failed in his attempt to save the F-22. Obama not doing any favors for Good ole Chris.

    That puts 750 jobs in Cheshire alone (that’s the 5th district folks!) on the line and in great jeopardy.

    Looks like neither “Chris” is doing us any good.

  5. F-2=More lost jobs…Thanks Obama. Maybe we should all join Acorn?

  6. AndersonScooper

    I thought you wingers were against unnecessary governmental spending?

    And those were just what you call “make-work” jobs….

  7. Mr. Reality

    I’m not a winger…anyway all I said was that Dodd couldn’t convince Obama to support the F-22. I guess that makes me a winger. I’ve noticed that anytime people hit TrueBlue with facts he has to respond with name calling.

  8. Hank Morgan

    Caligiuri started off with a bang, a great campaign kickoff at his home well attended by media, but has fallen flat since.

    His fundraising is lackluster and his base of support is fringe tea party types. When will this self promotion tour end? Caligiuri for Governor 2014 (or 2010 who knows)?

  9. AndersonScooper

    With Simmons being so old, and Foley so untested, why wouldn’t Caligiuri stick around until the convention? Plus he’s having a lot of fun burning through all those campaign donations…..

  10. With Simmons being so old, …..

    Scooper, Simmons is “so old”? Maybe we should just shoot people after they hit 60?

  11. Scooper, Simmons is “so old”? Maybe we should just shoot people after they hit 60?

    That would simplify the health care debate…

  12. AndersonScooper

    Simmons is past the retirement age and yes, with a year to the primary it’s easy to imagine health issues arising.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the CT GOP is even thinking about running such an old, worn-out, re-tread, and I understand fully why Heath is abandoning Simmons in favor of the player, Tom Foley. (You know, the guy with all the corporate jets.)

  13. Scooper enough with the old Simmons insanity, have you even done your homework on how old Dodd is or the average age of the decrepit Senate??

    Robert Simmons (born February 11, 1943)
    Christopher “Chris” Dodd (born May 27, 1944)
    And the average age of a US Senator is 62.

    And frankly I have met you and I have met Rob Simmons and I am sure Simmons can out last you in anything besides maybe sitting in front of the computer.

  14. And frankly I have met you and I have met Rob Simmons and I am sure Simmons can out last you in anything besides maybe sitting in front of the computer.

    Line of the year.

  15. AndersonScooper

    It’s not just Simmons’ age, it’s his fuddy-duddy demeanor. The guy is a relic!

  16. Do you really want to start the “fuddy-duddy”, “relic” game? Because I have about 10 CT Dems just off the top of my head that fit that category and Chris Dodd is right up there.

  17. eapoe

    Maybe your list could be expanded a bit:

    Richard Blumenthal…. Born 2/16/46……..Let’s see……..Hmmmm that would mean if by chance he should run instead of Dodd next year, and win GASP!!! he would be past “retirement age” just about a month or two after taking office……

    John Larson……..Why today just happens to be his 60th birthday…….. Let’s all wish John a happy BD. Hope he mailed in his AARP card even though he’s got a few years left before he reaches “retirement age”.

    Rosa DeLauro…….Well since she is a lady it would not be polite to discuss age…….Let’s just say maybe she and Simmon’s could get a buy one, get one free deal, on birthday cake and candles.

    It’s a good thing for our Senators and Congress people that they don’t come stamped with expiration dates. However since this subject has come up and given the performance of Congress maybe they should at least come with a “best if used before this date” stamp :-).

  18. Simmons is past the retirement age and yes, with a year to the primary it’s easy to imagine health issues arising.

    Trust me Eddie; Rob could kick my ass, your ass and CTBob’s ass all at the same time without breaking into a sweat.

  19. That’s not fair; if I hit Simmons back, couldn’t I be charge with assault on an elderly person? 😉

  20. Looks like Dodd failed in his attempt to save the F-22. Obama not doing any favors for Good ole Chris.

    I’d hope that the only reason for voting for the F-22 would be that you thought it was neessary for our national defense, and was the most efficient means of achieving whatever the F-22 is supposed to achieve (I’d imagine this would be something along the lines of air supremacy in a war). This should be regardless of whether or not the aircraft creates jobs in your district.

    If a congressman thinks that the F-22 isn’t necessary for our national defense, then he or she should vote against it, regardless of the jobs that might be created. Because if you don’t think this is a good fighter, then spending money on the fighter in the name of a few jobs is woefully inefficient. I’m against make work projects for creating jobs, but they are much cheaper than building a fighter no one wants. And if you have those people buiding infrastructure, at least there’s some sort of practical use.

    As for the F-22, I am not qualified to give an opinion about whether or not it’s a good fighter or not. I generally favor strong defense, but don’t know the specifics involved in this particular aircraft.

  21. That’s not fair; if I hit Simmons back, couldn’t I be charge with assault on an elderly person?

    None of us would ever have a chance to even do that.

    The guy may not look it, but he’s closer to Rambo than any of the rest of us – bet on it.

  22. Simmons is past the retirement age and yes, with a year to the primary it’s easy to imagine health issues arising.

    Even though Dodd has a 4 year old daughter, he is 65…

  23. TheRealNixon

    Trust me Eddie; Rob could kick my ass, your ass and CTBob’s ass all at the same time without breaking into a sweat.

    This couldn’t be more true! Having met Simmons numerous times and knowing how he literally was hid from the North Vietnamese in the War I know that Simmons could easily kill someone just by staring at them. Dodd would probably cower and run to his Irish Cottage.

    I’m voting for the bad ass and clearly that is Rob Simmons.

  24. Doddie comes across as an over the hill, sclerotic former playboy, notwithstanding his years of service.

    Simmons is still the strongest GOP candidate, and that probably includes physically, as well. Still, whenever I see and hear him, I think of Mario Cuomo’s mother describing Walter Mondale all those years ago: “he’s like polenta.”

  25. AndersonScooper

    Simmons is a bad ass? Did you see the video from his July 4th Tea Party appearance?

    I’ll post the link later, but the guy is seriously UN-HINGED. (Is it Dr. Alzheimer calling, or just a desperate politician dying to get back to the D.C. cocktail party circuit?)

    Anyway if you wingers prefer Rockin’ Rob Simmons to Tom Foley, I’m ecstatic! And whatever happened to Sam Caligiuri? Did his fiscal troubles cause you all to write him off?

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