Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The AG Scramble: Maid Marion To The Rescue

A number of Democrats and Republicans have expressed interest in running for the seat that is to be vacated by present Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has said he will not run again in that position.

The Connecticut Law Tribune explores some of the possibilities.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, both co-chairs of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, Michael Lawlor and Andrew McDonald, have expressed interest. Somewhat like Chris Mathews at the advent of the Obama administration, the two are feeling tingling sensations shooting up their legs.

“George Jepsen, the former Democratic state chairman, state senator from Stamford and co-chair of the legislative Judiciary Committee, was quick to announce his interest in the race.

“Others mentioned as potential Democratic hopefuls included Waterbury Mayor Michael Jarjura, state Sen. Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Sen. Jonathan Harris of West Hartford…

“’The whole landscape has shifted since I got up this morning – it’s quite an amazing day,’ said Doyle, 47, a conservative Democrat who has served for 14 years on Judiciary.

“’The AG’s position is different from the legislature. When you’re the AG, you’re no longer a policymaker – you’re the government’s and the people’s lawyer.’”
And King besides.

On the Republican side, Santa Mendoza, who previously ran against Blumenthal and lost, said she did not want to rule herself out of contention and characterized Blumenthal as “an ideologue who really questions the capitalist system at the core.”

Environmental lawyer Martha Dean, who lost to Blumenthal in 2002, has expressed interest.

Rep. Arthur O’Neill, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, is “mulling his options,” according to the CLT.

Still non-committal, Ross Garber, former Gov. John Rowland’s legal advisor during his impeachment, is being urged to run.

Prominent Republican legislative leaders Lawrence Cafero and John McKinney, both of whom opted out of the gubernatorial race, are listening to the angels of their better natures.

Kevin O’Conner, who would rather make money, has taken a pass.

“I recognize the timing might be just right for a run,” O’Conner said, “but I’ve done my stint in public service. I would like to return at a later time, but now is not the time.”

The CLT notes correctly that the nature of the office has changed over the years:

“The Blumenthal style, with its high public profile and Robin Hood attacks on utilities, banks and corporations, has its roots in the years when now-U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman was Connecticut’s attorney general.”

Perhaps Maid Marion could clean up Blumenthal’s mess.

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