Friday, March 19, 2010

The Bysiewicz Bout, Dean Announces

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz continues to be roughly handled by… pretty much everyone.

The latest round concerns the now infamous “list” of persons seeking help of one kind or another from the secretary of state. Bysiewicz shared her list with people on her campaign committee who might have used it, were they so disposed, to solicit contributions for their boss.

Investigative journalist for the Harford Courant Jon Lender asked in a Sunday story “Why No Republican Delegates On Bysiewicz List?”

One reasonable answer would appear to be: Republicans are not disposed to surrender campaign contributions to Democrats – unless they are un-protesting Republican state union workers a portion of whose dues generally go to Democratic candidates or RINO Republicans who, for all practical purposes, are indistinguishable from their Democratic confreres.

State judiciary committee co-chairman Michael Lawlor, who along with his confrere Andrew McDonald a year ago attempted to pass legislation that would have impaired the apostolic structure of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, has examined the database compiled by Bysiewicz. Lawlor said the now notorious date base looks alarmingly like “a campaign caller list, a list to go down to make calls from. It's got the notations, and everything you'd need to know. All I can say is: if I asked one of my staff to do such a thing, I would expect to be led out of my office in handcuffs if someone found it."

Lawlor said he would be supporting the candidacy of either Rep. Cameron Staples or former chairman of the state Democratic Party George Jepsen, whose name appears on the Bysiewicz list in some of the “special notes” overlaid on the database. The note “Friend of Jepsen” appeared over two person’s names; yet another “loves George Jepsen”; still another “likes Jepsen”; and a third “went to Harvard Law with Jepsen.”

Since Jepsen is also an announced candidate for attorney general on the Democratic ticket, one does not expect those on Bysiewicz’s edited data base enamored of him to receive donation requests from the secretary of state’s campaign committee.

Kevin Rennie of the Courant, who likes fairy tales, mentioned “Flying Monkeys” twice in connection with Bysiewicz:

“The whirlwind that Bysiewicz touched off when she jumped into the race for attorney general and declined to rule out a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2012 has invoked the political rule of the Flying Monkeys… Now that Bysiewicz might not be in high office, grudging supporters have become delighted detractors, much like the Flying Monkeys in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ upon Dorothy's liquidation of that green-faced crone, the Wicked Witch of the West. They are free to acknowledge what they've long known and the database confirms: Bysiewicz turned the Office of Secretary of the State into a campaign headquarters. In the office of the late Ella Grasso, the office-seeking never stops.”

Just to keep the moving parts of Rennie’s extended metaphor straight: The “Flying Monkeys” represent those folk who grudgingly surrendered money for Bysiewicz’s shifting campaigns, some of whom, if such is to be believed, were cowed lawyers. Bysiewicz herself is the “green-faced crone.” And Ella Grasso, the subject of a book written by Bysiewicz, is made to dance somehow on the edge of the metaphor. Such flights of fancy are carried forward by tone, and Rennie here writes in a tone that, to quote Honore DeBalzac, “would have made an actor illustrious.”

Despite Bysiewicz’s self mutilations and the negative press they occasioned, the Secretary of State leads Jepsen among Democrats most likely to vote in a mid-March Quinnipiac University Poll 54% to 10%.

On the Republican side of the attorney general equation, Attorney Martha Dean has announced her candidacy. Dean last ran for the position in 2002 against present Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has his eye and heart fixed on U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s seat. Dodd has abandoned any thought of re-election, and Blumenthal has said he will abandon his position as attorney general, an announcement that caused Bysiewicz and several other Democrats to salivate uncontrollably.

There were no Flying Monkeys flitting about Dean as she made her announcement from the North steps of Hartford’s state capitol. During her last bid for attorney general, Dean intimated that altering the statutory role of the attorney general as a lawyer defending state agencies into a consumer protection watchdog with subpoena and other extraordinary powers would bring the office to grief and disrepute, a prediction that in some cases has proven true,though reporters and commentators who spend their days reading and then publishing Blumenthal’s self effusions – the attorney general calls them “press releases” – have not yet plumed the depths of the grief and disrepute.

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