A new public opinion poll from Quinnipiac University shows that despite raising gazillions of dollars from out-of-state special interests, Connecticut voters still don't trust Sen. Chris Dodd any more than they did before he had the money.
Or should I say, before he spent the money.
News reports on the poll said that Despite a steady stream of television ads over the past six weeks - out of a total advertising expenditure of nearly three-quarter of a million dollars - highlighting what are referred to as Dodd's recent "accomplishments" he still faces the fact that 55 percent of those polled say he is not "honest and trustworthy."
Jay Howser, Dodd's campaign manager, declined to comment at first and then said something along the lines of Dodd is working on our behalf, etc. etc. I guess he didn't have much to say.
Which just goes to show that money can't buy you love, and it can't restore your name either. At least, not the amount that Dodd has spent so far, which means he is going to need a lot more money and he is going to have to spend it with incredible effectiveness if he is going to have any chance at catching Republican challenger Rob Simmons.
The Quinnipiac poll has Simmons maintaining a solid lead, 48 to 39 percent over Dodd, although Dodd would do far better if he were to run against two other Republicans who are campaigning for the GOP nomination.
News reports say Simmons, the former US Congressman from Stonington, who represented eastern Connecticut's sprawling 2nd District, dominates the GOP field, winning 42 percent of the vote among registered Republicans. State Sen. Sam Caligiuri of Waterbury and former ambassador Tom Foley of Greenwich each receive 5 percent of the Republican vote, according to the poll.
For his part Simmons says he is well aware that polls can change, especially with time, which apparently is Dodd's strategy - hang in there long enough to work on the voters' memories and hope something good happens between now and Nov. 2010.
That goal may be somewhat difficult for Dodd to achieve, however, considering that he is now the leading Socialist Democrat in the US Senate pushing the so-called "Health Care Reform" on behalf of the Obama administration.
I say this because the elderly, representing one of the biggest demographics of voters in Connecticut, would suffer disproportionately from this hastily assembled travesty that Dodd and others are trying to ram through Congress. Even as the American population is aging, with grace, dignity and most of their faculties intact, the Democrats are working to severely limit, or possibly eliminate entirely, options for elderly medical care.
I predict that if this passes, by the fall of 2010 the story will be out. The elderly will know exactly what is coming at them, and Dodd will suffer.
It is ironic, and as I said in my last column, hypocritical of Connecticut's Socialist Democrats to try to resort to character assassination on Simmons' donors, when the real story is that Dodd is not considered trustworthy, as he continues to undermine health care for such a large portion of the state's population.
And while we are on the subject of fund-raising, I was going to print out Dodd's entire 396-page federal filing for the last quarter to see who was donating to his campaign, but it turns out that reporter Don Michak over at the Journal Inquirer already did it.
Guess where Dodd is getting his support? The banking industry and Wall Street fat cats to name a couple!
Oh, yeah, Dodd is the guy who is representing my interests in Washington, you can be sure of that.
Did you know that some of the smart asses on Wall Street profited in the billions of dollars by positioning themselves to take advantage of the housing market collapse and the increase in foreclosures?
Quoting directly from Michak's JI article, published Wednesday, July 22, 2009 on Dodd's donors: "They include three of the Wall Street heavyweights ... dubbed 'titans of the hedge fund world' - Philip Falcone of Harbinger Capital Partners, James Simons of Renaissance Technologies, and John Paulson of Paulson & Co. Falcone made the maximum allowable individual contribution of $4,800, and Simons contributed $2,500. Paulson who reportedly reaped billions by correctly betting on the collapse of the subprime mortgage markets and the resulting rush of foreclosures, also 'maxed out' a with $4,800 contribution."
Well, I guess we know where our Senator's loyalties are directed, don't we?
Simmons, who has been keeping up a strenuous pace criss-crossing the state on campaign appearances, says he won't be letting up one iota between now and Election Day next year. "My goal is to continue building a strong grassroots movement to restore decency and common sense to Washington, and I will continue working hard to take my message of service above self to every voter."
I also had a good laugh when I received an email from Simmons' campaign manager last night, offering a chance to have Dodd 'in my pocket', with a far smaller donation than the Wall Street fat cats and business executives have to pay.
The message stated,
"Senator Dodd wants you to believe - get this - that he makes lobbyists cry. A web video his campaign released to much ridicule last week claimed that lobbyists couldn't even get a meeting with the Senator.
So what was Dodd doing this weekend? According to the newspaper The Hill, he was schmoozing with lobbyists at a high-priced retreat on Martha's Vineyard.
And it's not the first example of Dodd cozying up with lobbyists in recent months. Last month, he attended a fund-raiser with health industry lobbyists while chairing health reform in the Senate. From AIG to Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo, lobbyists and special interests have always had Chairman Dodd in their back pocket.
We thought it was about time that you as an ordinary citizen have Connecticut's senior Senator in your pocket - and for a lot less than the millions in campaign contributions the banking, financial services, and insurance industries have showered on Chairman Dodd over the years."
So what are they offering over at the Simmons campaign? Donate $5 or more and they'll send you a cutout of a photo of Dodd, conveniently sized to fit in your pocket!
Hey, at least someone out there has a sense of humor. If the non-stop attacks on our country that I see coming from Washington all day every day were all I saw or heard, I'd probably be suffering from a deep, deep depression.
Thursday, July 23, 2009