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Merrick Alpert Running at Dodd From The Right

by: tparty

Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:42:35 AM EDT

Bumped to top: ctblogger

Primaries are, generally speaking, good things. Often one of the only spaces in American political system where voters can have a real choice and incumbents can face real accountability, primaries provide progressives and all activists with a rare chance to use real people-powered leverage to change the political debate. Connecticut has certainly been witness to this.

The best primary campaigns - even against longtime incumbents - do not hurt but help a party, allowing it to hash out internal policy debates as well as more existential questions about its own identity, and often attracting  newer and younger voters to the party in the process who will stay there for a lifetime. The most damaging primary campaigns are those that shy away from providing real choices to voters on ideology or policy, drawing their lifeblood not from activist passion but character attacks, cynical sharp opportunism, and single-minded personal ambition.

Unfortunately, from all initial appearances, Merrick Alpert's just-announced campaign for Senate falls clearly in the second category. He is already attacking Senator Dodd using right-wing talking points, and is poised to continue running at Senator Dodd from the right.

It seems Alpert has been looking for a chance to run and try to move the Connecticut Democratic party to the right for at least a half-decade now. As far back as February 2004, the Greenwich Time reported on his travels across the state attempting to "create a potent voting bloc" that he - in his own words - hoped would become a "centrist, pro-jobs, pro-business coalition."  Alpert was at that point a resident of Greenwich and member of the Greenwich DTC (there is apparently some election law of which I am unaware that requires all primary challengers in Connecticut to have lived in Greenwich).

His seemingly-complete website and introductory video are both almost completely bereft of any policy distinctions with Dodd - or really any mention of any issues at all (the word "economy" does not appear there anywhere as far as I can tell). Instead, his campaign has emerged as a full-bore ad hominem assault, attacking Dodd both overtly and obliquely - but always in pitch-perfect right-wing consultant-speak: for being part of a "culture of corruption", for not telling the "truth" about the AIG bonuses, for moving to Iowa during his presidential run, and apparently - while emotionally describing watching his mother reading the losses on her 401(k) statement and blaming Chris Dodd for letting it happen - even for allowing the entire economic crisis.

If you wanted to, you wouldn't have to go far to find the many ironies: an ex-Enron employee attacking someone for being part of a "culture of corruption", a recent resident of Florida attacking someone for not being around Connecticut enough, a big donor who maxed out to Dodd as recently as 2006 and who has been looking to run for something big for half a decade suddenly - by his own account - dropping that support and realizing the error of his ways the very day Dodd stepped in it on CNN and it was clear he was headed for a free-fall in the polls.

John at CTBlue doesn't see this working:

I don't think that many hard core Democrats will be interested in taking part in a campaign that will, of necessity, involve nothing but attacks on Dodd, weakening him in the general election after he wins the primary, should Merrick qualify.

If there is going to be a primary, bloggers, reporters, and Connecticut progressives need to demand one based on meaningful distinctions, and ask Alpert or anyone else why and how he thinks he would be a better and more effective Democratic Senator than Chris Dodd. As of now, an answer to that central question is looking neither imminent nor, if it ever comes, at all convincing.

Update: And Alpert this morning officially kicks off his campaign with a barrage of Fox News attacks against Dodd:

Standing in front of his home in Mystic this morning, Democrat Merrick Alpert declared his intention to take on U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, a man he attacked as "part of a culture of corruption" in Washington.

Citing Dodd's controversial mortgage, his decision to move his family to Iowa to run for President and his role in the AIG bonus controversy Alpert said Dodd has "become disconnected from the people of the Connecticut."

Update 2: The first reviews from the traditional media are starting to come in, and they're largely along the same lines I outlined above:

"Somewhere, Glenn Beck and Rob Simmons are smiling."
tparty :: Merrick Alpert Running at Dodd From The Right
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As the population is leaping to the left... (4.00 / 1)
And becoming more centered in reality, along comes a Democratic party candidate that tries to drag the party into the failed territory America is running from.

Trying to scare off any challenges from the left? Trying to provide cover for Dodd to remain at status quo? Does it matter?

Chalk it up to WTF-ism? Either that or "who really gives a damn?" Honestly, who is going to vote for Simmons lite when Simmons was already rejected?

I guess we will have to wait and see what happens here.

Drinking Liberally in New Milford
ePluribus Media

Policy distinctions, or lack thereof (4.00 / 4)
Great piece, tparty.

I got into an OTR email discussion yesterday with a CT journalist acquaintance about Alpert's candidacy, and this person was bemused that I didn't see Alpert as "the Lamont of 2010".  I said it seemed to me that, at least at first glance, Alpert's primary challenge was more akin to Lee Whitnum's of Jim Himes than Ned Lamont's of Joe Lieberman.  But Whitnum, to her credit, at least had an issues page that articulated substantive policy differences (albeit, um, surprising ones) between her and her opponents.

The grassroots movement within the CT Democratic primary electorate started long before most of us had ever heard of Ned Lamont.  I remember going to Dean for America meetings in early 2004 in Norwalk and New Haven where there was nearly as much animated discussion about primarying Lieberman as there was about beating Bush.  There was already a strong and growing issues-based opposition to Lieberman within the party even before a candidate emerged.

And when Ned did begin to introduce himself in 2006, he did so with a solidly issues-based pitch, meeting with grassroots groups and hinging his decision on whether to declare his candidacy on his ability to recruit volunteers to join a real issues-based grassroots campaign.  Thus far, not only have I seen no evidence of anything approximating a "grassroots" movement to oppose Dodd (beyond a few right-wingers disrupting events), and certainly nothing substantive among Democrats, I hear instead a lot of discussion about what Dodd needs to do to communicate more effectively or build a campaign organization...signs that grassroots Dems are invested in his success, not in his replacement.

Like you, I'm a big fan of primaries done well.  Aside from Jim Amann's unfortunate remarks about Dan Malloy's personal family situation, the CT gov primary is shaping up to be one that fits your standards of a healthy primary.  I'd hate to see a damaging one in the same cycle.

Yes (4.00 / 1)
Thus far, not only have I seen no evidence of anything approximating a "grassroots" movement to oppose Dodd (beyond a few right-wingers disrupting events), and certainly nothing substantive among Democrats, I hear instead a lot of discussion about what Dodd needs to do to communicate more effectively or build a campaign organization... signs that grassroots Dems are invested in his success, not in his replacement.

Tellingly, Alpert's initial forays seem not to be aimed at the grassroots but rather at the media (has Fox News called yet?), where the ground is likely to be much more fertile.  

[ Parent ]
Just saw Alpert interviewed on Fox (4.00 / 1)
It speaks volumes that this character would appear on Fox News, and especially so in his initial stages, not later on when he goes on to be beaten up by the right-wing ideologues there.

Fox propagandists wished him luck.  Tells ya something, doesn't it!

[ Parent ]
Aaannnd... scene! (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Fox and the GOP are so stupid... (0.00 / 0)
1. If Dodd doesn't stay in this race, the Republicans have no chance of winning this seat. Either Blumenthal or Bysiewicz would destroy Rob Simmons.

2. Were Merrick to gain any traction at all, it would just be a prelude to a more established Dem stepping in, most likely after a Dodd retirement.

[ Parent ]
I don't know about that (0.00 / 0)
Having Dodd face republicans and a Fox News democrat is just too juicy for them to pass up.

The ultimate goal here seems to be to take down Chris Dodd, longtime Senator, Democratic stalwart, and the head of the once prestigious Senate Banking committee. That would be a huge victory in itself, especially for a party which hasn't seen any lately.

You're expecting republicans to behave rationally, which is probably asking too much.

The Fox News video will be up shortly.

[ Parent ]
If Dodd retired, would that be a victory? (0.00 / 0)
One that anyone would remember once Blumenthal announced?

Anyway, with the base embracing Caligula this probably becomes a game they can't win.

Should we be giving that guy money to help him destroy Simmons' chances?

[ Parent ]
No (4.00 / 2)
Simmons can lose very well on his own.

And you're still equating this as a zero-sum game, where one side wins the other loses. It isn't that at all. The only way democrats can win is for Dodd to survive. Failing that the republicans win either way.

And no, none of that has to make sense.

[ Parent ]
Scarce, let me get this straight... (0.00 / 0)
You're suggesting that if last year Ted Stevens had retired and another popular Republican had taken his place on the ticket, and won in November, that would have been a victory for Democrats?

Personally I think that math is more than a little off....

[ Parent ]
No, again (4.00 / 1)
What works for republicans doesn't necessarily work for democrats. And again, it's the irrational part of this equation you're not getting. That's understandable.

[ Parent ]
It's really not that irrational or hard to understand (0.00 / 0)
unless,of course,you've invested the last 6 months of your life working toward that exact outcome.

[ Parent ]
Right Keith.... (0.00 / 0)
I'm a Republican plant!

Frankly, I got what I wanted. Dodd did something on Credit Card reform, and everyone is awake to the possibility of needing to draft Blumenthal or Bysiewicz.

Are you just pissed that you were so wrong when you swore that Dodd wasn't in danger?

PS-- please show me where I've taken any substantial swipes at Dodd, after those dismal polls came out. I'm very content to allow Dodd time to get it together. Plus it makes no sense to lame-duck him during this legislative session.

However, if come November, Dodd is still down to Simmons, I will start making noise about a timely retirement. And you can call me a traitor then too!

[ Parent ]
Wedge,Wedge, Wedge (0.00 / 0)
I'm very happy you got what you wanted Ed,After all thats always been what's been most important,right.I'm also happy, that in you mind,you were the single biggest engine behind the credit card bill.

Congratulations,you've outdone your heroes at The Club For Growth in your own twisted mind.  

[ Parent ]
Sounds like a Greenwich Time reporter (0.00 / 0)
Is that right?  And why was the interview off the record?

[ Parent ]
Great post, only one objection... (4.00 / 1)
I get more and more frustrated, especially given our current economic crisis when Democrats label other Democrats as "right wing" when they say they are 'pro-jobs, pro-business."
What are we supposed to stand for - unemployment? We can be pro-business and pro-jobs and be socially progressive and economically stable Democrats!

Here's a newsflash - Not all business is bad!

What we need to do as Democrats is engage in conversation, sit at the table with business and demand they do business in a socially responsible way. Like Obama is trying to do. Drive the green economy. Fix healthcare to create jobs. Smart growth and transportation initiatives to create jobs and spur business growth. Encourage entrepreneurship. Tax breaks for bio-sciences r&d.

When we Democrats try to fit everyone in nice, neat boxes, soon we will become no better than George Bush saying, "You're either with us or agin' us."

Right (4.00 / 3)
It was the "centrist" label that I was referring to more than anything else. In fact, DL21C, the group referenced in the Greenwich Time article, is hardly a centrist/DLC type group. However it seems Alpert either wished it would be one back then, or was expressing his own personal political views.

Either way, that was five years ago. What's much more important is the approach Alpert is taking now - and that approach seems to be to parrot GOP character attacks on Dodd and hope the shiny-ball-following traditional media provides his campaign with the oxygen that the Democratic grassroots - of all ideological stripes - clearly has no desire to.

[ Parent ]
Right-wing talking points, substance-free style of attack (4.00 / 1)
I think we're all pro-jobs here.  I interpreted tparty's criticism to be about Alpert's attack thus far on Dodd: using right-wing talking points, personal attacks, etc., not that he is "pro-jobs".

Check out an early report of Alpert's announcement.  Seems to confirm all that tparty was concerned about regarding a damaging kind of primary.

As CaptCT articulates below, it's not that Dodd can't or shouldn't be criticized...but is this kind of attack going to result in a replacement that is more effective/more progressive or going to make Dodd move in a direction that will be better for all of CT?  Doesn't seem so thus far, though it's early days yet.

[ Parent ]
It will probably be more clear later today (4.00 / 2)
After Alpert makes his official announcement, hopefully he'll spell out some of the positive things he intends to work for.  As you stated, running against Dodd using GOP tactics won't accomplish much.  They already got some guys running for the Republicans doing that.

We should remember that Ned Lamont first came out of the gate, not simply criticizing Joe Lieberman, but also actively stating what he stood for and would work to accomplish if he were senator.  That resonated strongly with the state's disgruntled Democrats.  

So far, I'm not at all sure why anyone should vote for Alpert, unless they simply want to vote for "not Dodd".  

Connecticut Bob

"Not Dodd" (0.00 / 0)
....are exactly the Democratic voters Chris Dodd would be most concerned about (leaving Independents aside for the moment). A primary where he's not getting the resounding number of Democrats to back him would be a disaster, or even at the convention next spring.  

[ Parent ]
Although this is republican-speak (4.00 / 1)

"What I am saying is that he is clearly part of the culture of corruption in Washington.''

Somewhere, Glenn Beck and Rob Simmons are smiling.

Dodd is "Bambi in the headlights,'' Alpert said. "You need to take responsbility or you have to have the pride to skate off the ice."


[ Parent ]
Not really ... (4.00 / 1)
It's campaign speak:

Obama, who has been the Democrats' point man on the corruption issue, said the controversial statements made by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., resonated with what the Democrats call the Republican "culture of corruption."

I could easily look at Dodd's sources of campaign contributions, votes on accounting, banking, etc., and make the case that he's part of the same "culture of corruption." He better get used to it -- tightening up that credit card bill may help diffuse those kinds of statements.

Just sayin.  

[ Parent ]
It was (0.00 / 0)
and since Dems took over it's been a standard line of attack for the GOP against Dodd and Frank.

[ Parent ]
And it's also the perfect line of attack (0.00 / 0)
... for a primary challenger, as Obama demonstrated. If the shoe fits ...  

[ Parent ]
Are you calling Dodd "corrupt"? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
would you say this qualifies as "the culture of corruption"? (0.00 / 0)
From Frontline:

the Senate -- led by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Democratic National Committee -- overturned the president's veto in December 1995. Sen. Dodd received almost a quarter of a million dollars in political donations from the accounting industry in the 1995-96 election cycle, although he was not up for re-election.

"Chris Dodd, here he is chairman of the Democratic Party, but he's also the leading advocate in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the accounting industry," says Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity. "And he helps overturn the veto of his own president, who installed him as Democratic chairman. Dodd might as well have been on the accounting industry's payroll."

I hate to throw this out there, but you continue to force the issue. The idea that Dodd is pristine is ridiculous. Are you implying he's uninfluenced by the banking industry?

[ Parent ]
Let's not go there?? (0.00 / 0)
Personally I think all of DC is corrupted by Big Corporate influence.

Dodd is no better or worse than average.

But can you imagine a publicly funded Congress that didn't have to rely on lobbyists, bundlers, and corporate $$$ for their continued re-election and sheer existence?

[ Parent ]
The (recent) history of this becoming common in campaigns... (0.00 / 0)
...was a DCCC messaging push in early 2006 (maybe even late 05) centered around Abramoff and Coin-gate - the first candidate the DCCC rolled it out with was the CA-50 Special, in which Francine Busby tripped over it.

[ Parent ]
Respectfuly disagree (4.00 / 1)
Going that hard at the incumbent straight out the gate won't endear him to any but the weakest sort of people calling themselves Connecticut democrats.

[ Parent ]
It bothers me more ... (0.00 / 0)
that he's not articulating any kind of policy positions. (I just watched his announcement speech -- thanks for the clip.) If he's just planning to slam Dodd without offering differences in policy, then I think you're right.  

[ Parent ]
From the right? (0.00 / 0)
Yes Merrick is using right-wing talking points, and yes, he has in the past advocated a pro-business point-of-view, but this campaign , without any issues whatsoever, is more from outer space than from the right.

And where can he go on the right? "Pro-life", "pro-family",pro-torture, pro-illegal surveillance,  pro-credit card, banking and finance fraud and deception? Against stimulus funding and auto industry bail-outs, against higher taxes for the very wealth?  Those are right wing postions - but they won't win many votes in a Democratic primary.

There really is no room on the right in a Democratic primary - or in a general elction in Connecticut these days, either. and Dodd hasn't exactly gone off the deep end to the left.

So all Merrick has is talking points - and yes, these will hurt Dodd to some extent in the general election, but it's not as if the Republicans in the race were going to let anyone forget about them anyhow.

One postive result of this campaign - it will solidify Dodd's support among progressive activists, support that has been wavering a bit.

Welcome back tparty! We missed you!

Doing their work for them (4.00 / 2)
I think you're pretty spot-on here Jon, but I would also worry that while Alpert echoes the same talking points as Chris Healy and Rob Simmons, he's doing their work for him. Regardless of it impacting Dodd's chances in the primary, it will contribute to the narrative the GOP wants to tell Connecticut voters about Chris Dodd. As tparty says, that is not a good thing.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
Funny this ... (4.00 / 2)
It would be easy to write a similar piece -- pro-business, pro-war -- against Chris Dodd.

I guess we bloggers, reporters and progressives should be happy to accept the small crumbs Dodd throws us:

The current version of the Dodd [Credit Card] bill is significantly weaker than the version that was passed by the Banking Committee. ...  The real story is the direction in which compromising with Senator Shelby pulled Senator Dodd. That is, in the direction of the credit card companies.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, though an important milestone in consumer protections, exhibits the signs of the credit card industry's powerful influence. Unlike the previous version, the bill likely to be passed by the Senate does not explicitly prohibit universal default... Instead, card companies are left to decide for themselves when improvements in a cardholder's credit warrant a rate reduction. The previous version, like the House version, limit the number of over-the-limit fees - fees applied when a cardholder charges more than their card limit - that card companies can apply. This version does not.

The article lists other "compromises" as well. Is this what progressives call a victory -- is this the bill that CCAG is supporting?

Can't wait for the financial services and health care reforms.

Not the case (4.00 / 1)
I am not telling you to "accept" anything. Progressives who have substantive criticisms of Dodd should of course speak out and make their case.

But understand that from all appearances this primary challenge is not coming from the same direction at all.

[ Parent ]
SENATOR DODD! (4.00 / 2)

ahh ... that speaking out felt really good. I'm sure he'll listen.

Maybe not. Maybe I'll just vote for Alpert/Simmons/Caligiuri instead -- and let Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in Washington know that Democrats will be held accountable from now on -- by Democrats.      

I guess you don't sense my frustration.

[ Parent ]
I very much do sense your frustration (4.00 / 1)
But I want to make sure it's pointed in the right direction. A primary challenger who ignores the issues you bring up will make it LESS, not MORE likely that concerns like yours ever get a full airing.

[ Parent ]
a primary challenger ... (0.00 / 0)
just may force the incumbent to address my/our concerns.

They're your concerns, too, aren't they? And Matt Browner Hamlin's? And Maura's? I mean, I pay my credit card bill in full each month, and I have health insurance, so it ain't about me.  

[ Parent ]
Chris Dodd's Op-Ed at The Huffington Post (0.00 / 0)
Reform in the Age of Plastic


[ Parent ]
I fail to see (4.00 / 1)
How a primary challenger running an issue-free, ad hominem, Fox News attack campaign will somehow force the incumbent to address the problems in the credit card bill.  

[ Parent ]
If Dodd knows that his progressive base (0.00 / 0)
... will let him die, politically, unless he supports progressive issues, then maybe he'll address problems in the credit card bill.

Speaking of issue-free ad-hominem attacks, look at your own criticisms of Alpert. If Dodd were a Republican, you'd be making the same arguments.  

[ Parent ]
Wrong (0.00 / 0)
I would be relating any argument I made back to the issues and policies that differentiate Democrats from Republicans. And I would also not shy away from pointing out obvious hypocrisies.

[ Parent ]
hypocrisies like criticizing "culture of corruption" comments (0.00 / 0)
... used by Alpert in a primary and not ones used by Obama in a primary?

[ Parent ]
Pro-War? (4.00 / 1)
I guess you missed the part where Dodd introduced legislation in spring 2007 that would have had all US combat troops out of Iraq by March 2008.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
How did he vote on authorizing the war in Iraq? (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I didn't realize (4.00 / 1)
...that this potential primary was actually taking place in 2004. Can you direct me to your time machine?

[ Parent ]
You brought up the 2004 article about Alpert (0.00 / 0)
I don't understand your desire to stifle criticism of Senator Dodd.  

[ Parent ]
I'd love to have something more recent to quote (4.00 / 1)
But it seems Alpert hasn't done anything newsworthy since 2004, when he also took to the pages of the Courant to give John Rowland some pointers on how to survive impeachment.

More to the point, it is also pretty clear his political orientation (centrist) hasn't changed since then, while obviously, on the issue of Iraq, Dodd's did very early on relatively to other pro-war Dems. You knew that, though.

I do not want to "stifle" criticism, I want to encourage it, but I want it to be clear-eyed.

[ Parent ]
Dodd came around on the war ... (4.00 / 1)
when it really didn't matter, just as John Edwards did. That shows political expediency, not any aversion to war. We both know how this game is played.  

[ Parent ]
I don't follow this logic... (0.00 / 0)
...Dodd starts with a strong bill, introduces the bill, and it is decimated in committee, with all the Republicans joining Sen Tim Johnson to de-fang the bill as much as they could.  The banking lobby is very strong, no doubt about that.  Why blame the guy trying to improve things because he isn't able to "slay the dragon" in one swift blow?

When something starts on one side, it is OBVIOUSLY going to slide to the opposite side in the compromise/legislative process.

We have maybe 10 "progressives" in the US Senate, needing 60 votes and to overcome our own "leader" - what do should we really expect?

[ Parent ]
the bill PASSED in committee (0.00 / 0)
It wasn't decimated in committee.  

[ Parent ]
...it passed after being significantly amended. (0.00 / 0)
which is the "watered down" you spoke of.

[ Parent ]
wrong (0.00 / 0)
Ask Matt Browner Hamlin or TParty to explain it to you:

the current version of the Dodd bill is significantly weaker than the version that was passed by the Banking Committee.

[ Parent ]
The fact that it got further weakened AFTER leaving the cmte... (0.00 / 0)
...doesn't mean I'm wrong.

It is how it is, the bill starts to the left, gets weakened at the committee level, then gets weakened further at the Floor level to get the votes needed to pass @ 60 votes.

Note that the South Dakota Banking lobby was strongly represented in the final vote - both Thune and Johnson were among 5 nay votes.

[ Parent ]
Ultimately, what matters ... (0.00 / 0)
... is that the final bill has real consumer protections. If it does, then Dodd deserves credit. If not, then he deserves his share of the blame, especially as Chairman of the Senate banking committee with 20+ years of seniority and all that vast influence. If it's a strong bill, he'll have a nice feather in his cap. If not, chalk up another win for the banking industry over Dodd, Congress and consumers.  

[ Parent ]
From the left? (4.00 / 1)
It would be interesting to see a challenge to Dodd from the left. Ther are a lot of interesting national issues to be debated from a left-wing perspective - single payer health care, continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, unconditional support of Israel, Guatanomo, banking and finance reforms, public campaign finance, popular vote vs. electoral college, gay marriage - the list goes on and on.  

Raising these issues could at least make Dodd pay more attention to them, could affect the national debate as we in Connecticut well know, and could make Dodd look more centrist for the general election, which could only help him.

Unfortunately all candidacies are judged by the amount of money they can raise, or contribute to the campaign themselves, so no under-funded challenger on the left is likely to be taken seriously, or any attention paid whatsoever.

Moreover, challenging Dodd unsuccessfully is probably committing poltical suicide in terms of any future in the Democratic party.

I am disappointed (4.00 / 2)
 I read  the press coverage of the Alpert announcement and found it woefully lacking in substantative content,except  for the quote  that he  wouldn't agree  to committ troops  to Afganistan.If he is running as a progressive then he lost a wonderful opportunity  to state his views therein, like John Knatrowitz mentioned.

When I knew Alpert in the mid 90's  he was a liberal...what a shame that he doesn't appear  to be  one now. Instead  he seems  to be running as a " can do" centrist corportist.

Admittedly, it  would take a lot  for me  to not support Dodd...only  some brand name running  to the left, with alot of support  would cause me  to think about supporting  someone else.Alpert certainly hasn't peaked my curiousity or interest.  

Hey Bruce (4.00 / 1)
Could you give me the list of schools this "man of modest means" ,as the idiot at the courant called him, attended?

PS- I wonder if Merrick ( that first namealone tells me he's from Greenwich not Mystic) will allow his poor mom,with her depleted 401K live for free in that HUGE home he owns on the water in Florida.

PPS- You think Merrick  paid property taxes on that Fla. property or did he claim Fla. residency to avoid it?

[ Parent ]
Keith (0.00 / 0)
 It  is always a pleasure...

 In the 90's  when I knew him he was  a graduate of Trinity ( transferred from uconn)....and graduated Gerogetown Law School...

I will grant him that he is intellectually smart as one must be  to get into one of the country's  top 20 law schools....but it appears  to me he is  VERY  corporatist..and my early sense is  he is in fact running  as some  sort of centrist corporatist.

On another note...and some progressive  will know alot better  then I...his florida beachfront property...with dock and abutting  the golf course must have set him back a few backs.Is  his  former address in "tony"  cos cob" another  high priced  one? He may have started  out  with hunble roots...but now  those roots seem golden..


[ Parent ]
I'm told he didn't own a house in Cos Cob (0.00 / 0)
He rented while he was there, and left for Oklahoma.  Cos Cob, by the way, is not the "tony" part of town by any means. Jim Himes lives there, and one can see that his place is no mansion.

[ Parent ]
If Merrick wants to run as a moderate Republican (4.00 / 1)
I would suggest he has an open feild as a Ct Republican.

Torturer and warmonger Rob Simmons and anti gay,anti choice super christian crusader Caligula have left him a clear path as the moderate right of center Republican which seems a much better fit then where he's announced he's running.

DTC meetings,not visiting  blogs or talking to the three dead tree reporters who haven't yet gotten their well deserved pink slips yet,  are still the place serious candidates get invited to in order to be considered and my money says Merrick won't  get an invite to even a handful of Democratic Town Committees to make his case because he  hasn't made one.

not even remotely qualified (4.00 / 2)
this guy's candidacy bothers me on a whole series of levels. yes, that he appears to just be determined to run for something, anything, and opportunism alone doesn't strike me as a good reason to toss out a reliable progressive of 30= years like Chris dodd. yes, that there's nothing in his political background as an advance guy hacking around on presidential campaigns or as an aide to an oklahoma governor that strikes me as meriting a seat in the Senate. and yes, that it takes a certain kind of chutzpah to recycle rush limbaugh's anti-Dodd Republican talking points when you've got a resume that includes working for Enron. And yes, finally, that I'm perplexed by the suggestion that a guy who thinks the US was right to be in Bosnia but thinks we were wrong to have gone into Afghanistan after 9/11 -- don't get me wrong, the Bush Afghanistan policy was riddled with mistakes from day one that may have made Obama's task there impossible, but the fact that Alpert appears to have no consistent philosophy or policy on foreign intervention other than catering to today's feelings about Afghanistan quagmire make me wonder whether he's a serious anti-war activist or, as his record suggests, merely a political opportunist trying to capitalize on today's sentiments. after all, where's he been all these years - i've never heard boo from him before about Iraq or Afghanistan. Ambition alone won't cut it.      

[ Parent ]
He used to work for Enron! (0.00 / 0)
It appears that Merrick Alpert used to work for Enron:  

Merrick has broad energy industry experience.He worked for Enron Energy Services PG&E Energy Services and Smith Cogeneration.He also helped craft energy policy in Oklahoma as staff counsel to the Governor.He began his career as an attorney with Day Berry & Howard in Hartford Connecticut.

He contributed to BOTH Lieberman and Lamont (4.00 / 2)

This website notes that he gave a thousand bucks to Joe Lieberman in August 2006.  Then in October he gave just $250 to Lamont in October:

MERRICK R ALPERT, (Zip code: 06355) $250 to NED LAMONT FOR SENATE on 10/24/06

So a grand to Lieberman when it counted, and 250 smackers to Lamont when it didn't.  Tells us a lot, doesn't it?

Not sure yet (0.00 / 0)
He also gave Dodd over $4000 in 2006/07.

I posted his contributions in another thread the other day.

[ Parent ]
Does this have any fundraising implications for Dodd? (0.00 / 0)
I know that his core supporters who donated to his Presidential campaign aren't allowed to donate again in this cycle.

But does a primary change that?

No. (0.00 / 0)
Electoral periods for fund raising purposes are not impacted by whether or not there is an opponent.

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