Friday, October 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No HELP For Dodd

The WTNH 10 o'clock news just reported that a Senate staffer has told the AP that Sen. Chris Dodd will not take over the chairmanship of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, instead remaining in his position at the head of the Banking Committee. I can't find a link to the story, but will post it when I find it.

Lucky us. I guess he figures there is too much healthcare stuff remaining to be screwed up, whereas there isn't much left to destroy on the banking side.

UPDATE: AP report here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies At 77

The Hill ( is reporting this morning that Senator Ted Kennedy, D-MA, has died. My condolences to the Kennedy family and to Chris Dodd, who was a very close, long-time friend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dodd Predictably Cleared By Senate Committee On Ethics

In what can only be described as anti-climatic, Barbara Boxer's Senate Committee on Ethics declared in a letter on August 7 that even though Chris Dodd was part of a VIP program at Countrywide that "often offered quicker, more efficient loan processing and some discounts" to it's members, he was not in violation of the Senate ethics rules.

Here's what I don't get: no one seems to dispute that Dodd was part of the VIP program due to his status as a US Senator, and being a part of the VIP program got him enhanced customer service (which has a value) and discounts. These benefits were clearly not available to the public at large, or else it would not be a "VIP" program, it would be a "P" program. He got a better deal because he was a Senator then he would have gotten otherwise. If that is not in violation of Senate ethics rules, then the rules are deficient. Not only does it provide an appearance of impropriety, as even the Senate Cover-up Committee found, but it is actual impropriety.

If ethics are defined solely by the U.S. Senate, then maybe Chris Dodd acted ethically. If, however, they have more to do with a moral compass, character and/or common sense, he has been found wanting.

And, oh yeah, he still hasn't kept his promise to release the records of his mortgages publicly so someone other than friends and colleagues can see them.

Additional coverage and commentary can be found at CT News Junkie, Michelle Malkin, Bloomberg, Washington Post, CNBC, Boston Globe, New York Times, and Libertarian Advocate.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dodd Announces Cancer Diagnosis

Senator Chris Dodd announced today that in June he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He stated in his press conference that the cancer was discovered at a very early stage, and that his prognosis is very good.

I certainly hope that is the case, and wish the Senator the best with his surgery scheduled for early August and a speedy recovery over the recess.

Monday, June 29, 2009

SCOTUS Decision in New Haven Firefighters Case

Goverment-supported racial discrimination took a hit this morning when the decision in Ricci v. DeStefano was handed down (opinion at, holding that the promotional exam results could not be thrown out based simply on a fear that they might be sued for not promoting enough minorities.

More on this later, but I wonder if Chris Dodd has had the time to look into this case long enough to form an opinion?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Calling Chris Dodd

The Connecticut Republican Party has launched a new site aimed at reminding voters of Chris Dodd's ever-increasing list of scandals and embarrassments.

Check out Calling Chris Dodd.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chris Dodd Is On The Ropes, But Won't Be Knocked Out By Just Anybody

The Hour is reporting that Greenwich businessman Steven J. Simmons thinks he can challenge Chris Dodd for the Connecticut senate seat in 2010. I know nothing about the guy, and neither does anyone else, I suppose. From the article:
"The latest Quinnipiac poll indicated that any Republican put up against (Dodd) would win," Republican Town Committee Chairman Art Scialabba told The Hour.
Unfortunately, that is just not true. Dodd beat Caligiuri 41-39 in the last Q poll, and at least he is a state senator. Steven Simmons best bet might be hoping people vote for him thinkin they are voting for Rob Simmons. Clearly there are some people who are underestimating what it is going to take to win this seat for the good guys. Just having an (R) after your name is not going to get you very far. This is Connecticut, after all, and Dodd has been "representing" us for some three decades. As bad as things are for Dodd right now and as incompetent as he continues to prove himself to be, there is a long time left before the election. Connecticut voters are not just going to hand the seat to whoever wins the Republican nomination.

In a statewide election, name recognition is huge; most of the announced (Foley, Caligiuri, Alpert) and potential challengers (Schiff, S. Simmons, Orchulli) have a lot of work to do on that front. Rob Simmons is better known than those already mentioned, and should Dodd step down, AG Blumenthal would be the best known candidate in the race as soon as he could rip himself away from his latest press conference.

Republicans need to work on narrowing the field of challengers, not adding new ones every few weeks. (Of course, I am not suggesting they should not be allowed to run, I am merely observing that it is not in the best interest of the party for these folks to hang around too long) Hopefully, Republicans (and conservatives in general) can keep the focus on getting rid of Chris Dodd; after all, anyone already mentioned, and many people not mentioned, would be an improvement over what we have.

But the reality is that not any (R) will beat Dodd. It will have to be someone who voters know, who they trust more than Dodd, and who is moderate enough to attract the votes of thinking Dems (they do exist) who aren't blind enough to pull the party lever (remember those?), even if Dodd hangs around to the bitter end. It is shaping up to be an interesting seventeen months.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In Case You Hadn't Noticed, Chris Dodd Is A Cheat

Just to show the world how honest he is, Chris Dodd decided to get his fancy Irish cottage reappraised in light of the crazy conspiracy theories that have been drummed up by the right-wing nutjobs.


That plan has not turned out as well as he might have hoped. Ends up that the house is worth about $660,000, hundreds of thousands of dollars more than he has been claiming on his financial disclosures since he bought it in a questionable-at-best real estate deal.

He is trying to spin this as a sign of how committed he is to the truth, but the fact of the matter is that if it were not for Kevin Rennie and others, he would never have done this. No parent would let their child get away with that, and we should not let Dodd get away with it. We cannot allow his ethical lapses to be overlooked, as he hopes, simply because he kinda-sorta acknowledges his actions may possibly have been a little bit less than completely truthful.

Rob Simmons wasted no time in releasing a statement blasting Dodd.

Lots of coverage at the following: Shelly Sindland's Blog, ConnPoliticsTV here and here, NRO, Irish Central, Everyday Republican, Hartford Courant, Kevin Rennie, Michelle Malkin, and RedState.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Foley Announces He Too Will Challenge Dodd

Former Ambassador to Ireland Thomas Foley announced today that he too will challenge Chris Dodd for the Connecticut Senate seat, making three announced Republicans already lined up for a 2010 primary. Politico, the Hartford Courant and Capitol Watch have more information.

Foley has a website that can be found here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chris Dodd's Lack Of Empathy

Connecticut has been host to a number of cases in Supreme Court history that have had a profound impact on the legal landscape of our country, such as Griswold v. Connecticut, and more recently, Kelo v. City of New London. Over the past few weeks, as most Connecticut residents have noticed, the Constitution State is again at the center of the legal universe, this time in a reverse discrimination case arising out of the city of New Haven.

Ricci v. DeStefano is a lawsuit brought by white firefighters (including a Hispanic) who scored well on a promotional exam but were ultimately not promoted when the city refused to certify the exam results because following the procedures in place would not have resulted in enough black firefighters being promoted soon enough. Judge Sotomayor was on the Second Circuit panel that upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint. The full text of the per curiam opinion she signed on to is reproduced below:
Plaintiffs appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Arterton, J.) granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on all counts.

We affirm, for the reasons stated in the thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion of the court below. Ricci v. DeStefano, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73277, 2006 WL 2828419 (D.Conn., Sept. 28, 2006). In this case, the Civil Service Board found itself in the unfortunate position of having no good alternatives. We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs’ expression of frustration. Mr. Ricci, for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim. To the contrary, because the Board, in refusing to validate the exams, was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact, its actions were protected.


The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
Yes, the full text. Not a whole lot of empathy for the dyslexic white guy with the Italian last name who earned, against all odds, a promotion he never got.

And what does Senator Chris Dodd, J.D. have to say on the matter? Not much, since apparently he has never bothered to spend five minutes thinking about a case of national importance and involving his own constituents.
"Well, let me take a look at it more carefully - good question," he said, laughing, as he headed into the Democrats' weekly lunch in the Capitol." H/T Politico.
Yeah, Chris, that's hysterical. Apparently he's been too busy attending ritzy fundraisers to read up on things that matter to his constituents.

Rob Simmons released a statement on his website calling out Dodd on his response; I haven't seen anything from Caligiuri or Alpert.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Q-Poll Coverage Round-up

If you are interested in reading more about this morning's Q-poll, you can get your fill from the following list:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dodd Looking To Legislate Tan Lines

The first time I ever wrote a letter to a state legislator, it was in response to a bill he proposed that would have statutorily required movie theaters to advertise not just the start time for the movies they were showing, but to list the start times of the previews. Apparently he felt his time was too valuable to spend ten minutes of it watching advertisements, and he thought it would be appropriate to devote the power and resources of the Connecticut state government to protecting him from that evil.

While this bill sponsored by Chris Dodd, which would push the FDA to enhance regulation of sunscreen labeling, may not reach that level of stupidity, it's not for a lack of trying. Is this what Dodd sees as the major concerns of his constituency? It's barely summer long enough here in Connecticut to get sunburned. And how stupid does he think we are? If I use sunscreen and get a sunburn anyway, I'll buy another brand. I don't need my legislators wasting their time and my money debating my tan lines.

This type of law is also demonstrative of the garbage he has a habit of imposing when he finds it politically expedient, like most of his recent credit card bill or his forcing lenders to make the risky loans to those with bad credit that sunk our economy. It is unfortunate for us all that he keeps choosing to use his powerful position in the Senate to promote this type of legislation instead of doing something to help us out of the hole he helped put us in.

Another Q-Poll, More Bad News For Dodd

Quinnipiac University released their latest poll at 6:30 this morning, and ultimately it is more bad news for Chris Dodd. At first glance there appears some reason for hope on Dodd's part, but I don't think the results should make him feel any better. The poll was conducted between May 20-25, when Dodd was getting free play on every network for his credit card legislation and President Obama was stroking him on live TV in the Rose Garden. With that kind of fawning attention, David Ortiz's approval rating would have gone up in Boston.

Dodd picked up five points on Simmons in a projected match-up, now only losing 45-39, and Dodd has a 41-39 lead on State Sen. Sam Caligiuri, less than the margin of error. Those are pretty rough numbers for a thirty year incumbent Democrat in Connecticut. It is still early, and at least his plummeting stopped, but Dodd must have hoped for bigger gains than he posted. This is especially true when you consider that the April poll was done right at the peak of the AIG mess, the exact inverse of the PR scenario he finds himself in during this poll.

More numbers that should leave Dodd leary:
  • his approval rating is still WELL below fifty percent at 38-53.
  • complete unknown Merrick Alpert, Dodd's announced Democratic primary challenger, picks up 24% of the Democratic vote in the primary match-up, despite the fact that 92% of respondents indicated they do not know enough about him to have an opinion on his favorability.
  • 49% say Dodd is not honest and trustworthy, and 47% say he does not care about their needs and problems.
Additional coverage at ConnPoliticsTV, ViceOnline, CTNJ, and Rick Green at the Courant.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dodd on Sotomayor

I love reading and writing about the politics of the Supreme Court and the nomination/confirmation process. I hope to have the time to write on it with some frequency in the coming months. I will try to do so without losing sight of the fact that this is a blog about Chris Dodd.

With that in mind, here is what Chris Dodd had to say about President Obama's nomination this morning of Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, from WTNH:
President Obama has promised to bring change to Washington and he continues to do that with his choice for Supreme Court Justice. Sonia Sotomayor is a highly qualified and historic nominee. She would bring extensive legal experience and a unique perspective to the Supreme Court. I look forward to the Senate's consideration of her nomination over the next few weeks."
Fresh off his "shout out" from new best friend Barack Obama, it is no surprise that Dodd immediately fell in line on the SCOTUS pick, and he likely would have done so regardless of who the President selected. In the two sentences of his statement about Judge Sotomayor, he calls her "historic" and mentions her "unique perspective." While these descriptions may be true, they are (or ought to be) far from important when discussing the merits of a nominee to the highest Court in the land.

Unfortunately, to the people now running our country (including Chris Dodd) concerns about the race, gender and life experiences now trump fidelity to our Constitution and the rule of law. Much more on this to come...

Room For One More? Schiff Leaning Toward Challenging For CT-Sen

According to this report at The Plum Line, Peter Schiff is more likely than not to jump into the race for senate in Connecticut.
Peter Schiff, a Connecticut-based brokerage firm owner who has been widely hailed for predicting the U.S. financial meltdown, says he's "leaning towards" challenging Chris Dodd's reelection next year, a move that could make the contest a nationally watched media event.

"It's better than 50-50," Schiff told me a few moments ago, saying he'd decide in the next "two to three weeks."
This is the first time I have heard Schiff himself talk like that about a run. Most of the noise so far has been from the group at Schiff2010, who have been working hard to convince their guy to run. They have done some significant fundraising, though money would not likely be the biggest problem Schiff would face. According to their site, they have over 5500 donors, and presumably more than a handful of them are from Connecticut.

I am still not convinced a politician in the mold of Ron Paul can be successful in Connecticut, even when running against a seriously wounded Chris Dodd, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. And I think it would be fun to watch Schiff dismember Dodd in a debate on all-things economic.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Off The Wire, Memorial Day Edition

First, let me add my thanks to those who have served and are currently serving this country in the military. Having the opportunity to explain Memorial Day to a child who is just getting to be old enough to understand it gives one a refreshing perspective and a renewed appreciation for the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf. A few lines in a blog post are not much to offer in light of what I have received, but there they are.

So anyway, Chris Dodd got his credit card bill passed this week after thirty years in Congress. While there may be aspects of the law that make sense, like increasing transparency and requiring adequate notice when rates change, much is just more government meddling, which is what got us here in the first place. And I don't want to hear it when credit card companies stop extending credit to people with average to poor credit and begin charging "unfair" or "excessive" annual fees. This editorial from the Richmond Times-Dispatch discusses the downside of Dodd's new law.

Dodd even got a literal "shout out" from President Obama. Imagine, people made fun of Bush for the way he spoke. At least his gaffes were a result of him misspeaking. Obama reads everything he says, so someone on his staff thought it sounded appropriate for the President to issue a "shout out" at a press conference for a major bill signing. Next thing you know we'll have Slo' Joe Biden "raising the roof" in the background of bill signings.

Dodd's efforts also apparently earned him 100,000 fundraising/image-rebuilding emails from The One. Perhaps Dodd will be able to convert more than four of them into in-state donors?

So is all of this helping Dodd? It's not hurting, but an editorial in The Day wonders whether his image-enhancement campaign is doing much with the average voter.
In all of this, Dodd appears to have forgotten, or prefers not to acknowledge, that appearances mean so much in politics, especially the appearance of a conflict of interest. During his long Senate career, Dodd has happily and legally taken millions of dollars from the big business he and his banking committee are responsible for regulating. He insists and may even believe that their dollars have not influenced votes, but no opponent, especially a Rob Simmons or one equally experienced, will ignore those appearances.

Unlike Lieberman, who ran and won reelection without the Democratic party, Dodd seems to have retained the strong loyalty of the party and all the organizational support that goes with it. Even though he's been business' boy in the Senate, he also seems to have retained union support, or at least the support of union leaders.

It's the rank-and-file, also known as the voters, he's in danger of losing.
We'll see.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Primary Challenger For Dodd Is Good For Republicans

Colchester native and Democrat Merrick Alpert announced today his intention to challenge Chris Dodd for the Senate in 2010. His website can be found here, and he got a coverage both nationally and locally, including from the Boston Globe, National Review Online, The Day, Politico, The Hill, CT Local Politics, and ConnPoliticsTV.

Alpert seems to have already created a stir amongst Democrats in the state. Jon Pelto, a former state legislator and Dem insider, wasted no time in attacking Alpert, calling the decision to run "strange" and suggesting Alpert is not ready for prime time and ought to start with an office he is more qualified for, like the state legislature. Roger Pearson, Dodd's other likely primary challenger, jumped in to defend Alpert, saying "he deserves a lot of credit for stincking his neck out."

Ultimately, I think it will end up being difficult for anyone not named Blumenthal to beat Dodd in a primary, and Blumenthal doesn't have the cajones for it. Both Pearson and Alpert are complete unknowns, though they have gotten involved early enough to work on that. Fundraising may be an issue for Alpert with the Democratic party machine still behind Dodd and another potential primary challenger to fight over donations with. In any event, I don't think either can overcome the obstacles to beat Dodd.

The biggest benefit could be had by the Republicans. The more the Democratic primary challengers attack Dodd, keeping his countless negatives in the public eye, the less Simmons and Caligiuri will have to. They will be free to focus more on the still-suffering economy, the nauseating Democratic spending orgy, and all of the other things that are wrong with the liberal agenda, while the Dems talk about Irish cottages, sweetheart loans, executive bonuses, Presidential pardons, etc.

It should be fun.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Done With Dodd" Rally Tomorrow In Hartford

Connecticut Resistance is sponsoring a "Done With Dodd" rally Saturday, May 16 (TOMORROW!) from 12pm - 3pm at Dodd's office at 30 Lewis Street in Hartford. The fine folks at the Official Connecticut Tea Party website are promoting it, as well.

I am out of state for the weekend, but I hope it draws well and gets some media coverage.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chris Dodd Picks Up Key Endorsement ... From Tehran

Chris Dodd's support of criminal investigations into legal research he finds disagreeable got some favorable coverage from PressTV, a "news" organization funded by the Iranian government. The article describes how Dodd "ridiculed," "rejected," "criticized" and "contradicted" Obama for his backing away from the idea of investigations after releasing the "torture memos" from Bush's OLC.

While he has support for his foolish proposal from a Tehran-backed propaganda machine, a recent CNN poll (HT Hot Air) shows he is not getting it from the American public. According to the poll, Americans approve of the decision by the Bush administration to utilize waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques by a 50% - 46% margin, and are against Congressional investigations into the matter by a 57% - 42% spread.

I suspect the number of Democrats supporting the show-trials for Bush officials will be diminishing (along with media coverage of the issue) as more information leaks out about how Congress (including the pathological liar Nancy Pelosi, among others) were repeatedly briefed in detail on what was being done. Or perhaps they will think again when they realize that Obama's DOJ is utilizing, and the en banc Third Circuit has overwhelmingly upheld, the very legal reasoning Dodd wants Republicans imprisoned for. (HT Karl at Patterico). Or when it dawns on them that it won't even be possible to have the witches they are hunting disciplined by their state bar committees.

In his desperation to distract from his free-fall in the polls and the now-countless scandals he is either involved in or linked to, I believe Chris Dodd has made another serious misjudgment. Pandering to the Iranians and those in Connecticut on the far left will not gain Dodd any votes; they are already included in the mere 34% who favor him. If he wants to stroke anyone, it is the other 2/3 of the electorate he should be wooing.

CTNJ's Christine Stuart Makes Time Magazine

Connecticut's own Christine Stuart of Connecticut News Junkie finds herself this week in the pages of Time Magazine.
On any given day at, there are stories about Connecticut's budget woes, health care issues and Senator Chris Dodd's attempts to reform the credit card industry. Most of the stories are written by Stuart. All the photos are taken by Stuart. And Stuart or her husband, who works as a layout editor at a local paper, handle most of the ads, which are for local unions or the Connecticut Dairy Farmers Association. So far, her best month garnered her site 67,000 page views. But Stuart, 31, who has to have a part-time job to make ends meet, says she is treated, more or less, as an equal by the other reporters in the office. "One of them told me, 'You have to make it, because you're the future.'"
Congratulations to Ms. Stuart for getting some high-profile recognition for her good work covering the goings-on at the State Capitol.

Friday, May 8, 2009

CT Senate On Local Media This Weekend


State GOP Chairman Chris Healy and Dodd Campaign Manager Jay Howser will be on Fox 61's The Real Story this Sunday morning at 8:30am and on WTXX at 11:00am.

And via Chris Keating at the Courant, State Sen. Sam Caligiuri will be on CPTV's 8:30pm Friday (replayed at 10:00am Sunday and 11:00 pm Tuesday

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Someone's Been Waterboarding Chris Dodd With Kool-Aid

Perhaps he was playing to the crowd of lefties he was performing for. Perhaps he thought it would help his floundering poll numbers. Or, most disturbing of all, perhaps he actually believes his analogy is apropos.

In any event, Chris Dodd on Sunday defended the ridiculous notion of criminal prosecutions for those who authorized waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques that were indisputably applied to very few high value terrorists under tightly-controlled circumstances and which were directly responsible for interrupting plots to murder Americans. And he did it by comparing his imagined show-trials to the Nuremberg trials his father participated in. If the elder Dodd felt any pride for what he did, his son's analogy must have made him roll over in his grave.

So on one hand we have the Democrats advocating for the outright release of terrorists into the United States so they can collect welfare. On the other hand, led by Reid, Pelosi and now Dodd, the Dems are pushing for criminal investigations and "truth commission" investigations of government attorneys from the opposing political party for performing legal research that resulted in opinions they disagree with (though no objections were raised at the time). Even the LA Times thinks it's a stretch.
Despite the growing demands to bring criminal charges against the authors of the so-called torture memos, even critics of the Bush administration see problems with seeking to prosecute lawyers such as John C. Yoo, Jay S. Bybee or Steven G. Bradbury...

"It would be a real stretch. As long as they thought they were honestly interpreting the [anti-torture] law, they are not criminal conspirators," said Stephen A. Saltzburg, a law professor at George Washington University and a former prosecutor.
And in that context, Chris Dodd has the temerity to state that writing a memo that allows trained men to pour water on the face of our enemies to save American lives is equivalent to ethnic cleansing and genocide. He has gone from an incredibly popular and widely esteemed public official to an embarassing caricature of an incompetent ultra-liberal. It is time for Chris Dodd to go.

More coverage from RedState, Victor David Hanson, The Hill, and Hot Air.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chris Dodd Dismisses Another Budding Scandal

This morning's Sunday Courant brought with it more questions about the benefits Chris Dodd's powerful position as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee bring him, though this time the benefits are a half-step removed.

Over the past year, much has been made of the special treatment and sweetheart mortgage deals Dodd received from his friend, Angelo Mozilo, at Countrywide. Questions have been raised about a real estate deal in which Dodd apparently was given the opportunity of a lifetime to buy out a partner on a cottage in Ireland at a price that ignored the skyrocketing land values throughout the country (it so happens that Dodd had just finished using his influence to get a Presidential pardon for their mutual friend, a convicted felon). And Dodd penned legislation that ended up allowing some of his government-bailed-out corporate donors to give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses.

With each scandal that has come to light, we have seen similarly inept damage control. Dodd's modus operandi appears to be "pretend there is no issue, and my constituents will believe it." While that may have worked earlier in his three decades in government, a very brief look at Dodd's plummeting poll numbers leaves no doubt that this strategy has run its course.

Dodd has ignored the Countrywide scandal since it broke, with his inattention only slightly interrupted by a sham press conference in which he "released" some records by allowing a few select people to glance at several hundred documents. On his Irish troubles, the company line has been not much more than "we won't dignify that with a response" and the occasional reference to a mystery appraisal. On the AIG bonus flap, his plan to lie about his role imploded when he was thrown under the bus by Obama, at which time he began ignoring the scandal.

As a dog returns to it's vomit, so Chris Dodd is going with the bury-your-head-in-the-sand defense yet again. This time the charge is that his wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, is making a cool $500k annually by serving on numerous Boards of Directors, jobs for which her best qualification may be that she is married to a US Senator. The response?
Clegg Dodd was dismissive late last week of any analysis linking her professional income to her husband's political career.

"I'm curious if you would ask the same questions of a male spouse of a female lawmaker," she said.
More dismissive attitude, with a little half-hearted gender discrimination thrown in for some variety.

Now I have no idea how Ms. Clegg Dodd was chosen for these positions. She is not entirely unqualified for at least some of them, having served as a staffer to the the Banking and Appropriations committees in the senate, which led to a position at the Export-Import Bank of the US, followed by a stint as a self-employed consultant. However, they look more questionable when you find out that she is flagged as a financial expert on the audit committees of two of the Boards. These positions, since Sarbanes-Oxley, are typically reserved for accountants with substantial experience who are able to review their company's books, identify potential problems and have enough credibility to challenge suspicious activity. Some are not so sure she fits the bill. One example:
An official familiar with the [Export-Import] bank's operations said that Clegg Dodd's duties at the bank involved, for the greater part, administration and public and congressional relations. The official, who asked not to be identified for fear of offending Dodd, said he does not believe that Clegg-Dodd's legislative and banking experience qualified her as an audit committee expert.
The opinions cited in the article are certainly not dispositive, and I suppose there may be an explanation out there. But Dodd has apparently chosen not to substantively address it. Instead of taking the challengers head on and showing that her resume is equivalent to the others on the Board, or giving us another reasonable basis for her inclusion in these positions besides her husband's job, it is simply dismissed out of hand.

I refuse to believe that after watching his approval numbers freefall for the past year, Dodd is ignorant enough to think people will just move on. Not if there were legitimate explanations.

All the avoidance, in this case and each of the others, just makes him look guilty. And it is Dodd that would be guilty here, which is why this story is important. As a general rule, I couldn't care less about the spouse of a politician, including what they do for a living. But when they are potentially being used as a conduit to line the pockets of their spouse, this is a legitimate line of inquiry. And one that Dodd could put to bed without too much trouble, if there was nothing there. But instead he is again choosing to ignore it.

I believe he does so at his peril.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Reminder Why Beating Dodd Matters: Souter Reportedly To Retire From SCOTUS After This Term

NPR reports that Justice David Souter has advised the White House of his intention to retire from the Supreme Court following the current term.

With all the recent US Senate developments, from the self-serving defection of Arlen Specter to Sen. Bunning's reported retirement to Minnesota's ever-more apparent election of an idiot, the stakes could not be higher. It will be terribly difficult for Republicans to hold the Dems below 60 seats anyway, but it could very well be impossible without Dodd getting what he deserves.

Rob Simmons' thoughts on the Specter embarrassment makes much the same point before the news of the Souter retirement went public.