Ben Buchwalter


Dodd Challenger Alpert on Immoral Pols, Term Limits, & Linda McMahon
February 1, 2010, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

As it became increasingly clear that Conn. Senator Chris Dodd was not a viable candidate to hold on to his seat in 2010, speculation began to swirl about which Democrats would rise to pick up the banner. The media discussed Dick Blumental and Ned Lamont, but continually left out Merrick Alpert, who launched his primary challenge to Dodd long before Dodd tanked in the polls. I called Alpert to talk about his realistic chances, immoral politicians, and of course, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, one of the leading Republican candidates. Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

MJ: Which Republican candidate would you most like to face in 2010?

MA: I’d be happy to go after any of them. They’re taking turns seeing who can be further right. They stand up saying Afghanistan is a good idea and health care reform is a bad idea. As far as I’m concerned, you can pair them all together and I’ll run against them all.

I would have told you 2 months ago that former congressman Rob Simmons would be the nominee, but Linda McMahon is spending such an obscene amount of money. Whether you’re trying to buy an election with your own money or with money from special interests, you’re trying to buy an election. Whoever wins that cage match, I’m happy to take on.

After Dodd decided to resign, I spoke with Alpert again about how this changed the race. I half-expected him to go after Blumenthal, who already showed a huge advantage over all other candidates. But here’s an excerpt of what he said:

But instead of going after Blumenthal, Alpert, a lifelong Democrat who worked for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, was eager to add to his list of McMahon criticisms, saying “she’s bad medicine for Connecticut.” In between brief exchanges with supporters during his 5-day, 90-mile walk through Connecticut, he said over the sound of car honks that McMahon “is as phony as the place that she made her money. In none of her ads does she ever mention world wrestling. You would think that she and her husband owned a deli when in fact they made a fortune on lingerie wrestling matches. I’m not looking to explain that to my kids.”

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Dodd Deemed ‘Unelectable’ in CT Senate Race

It’s been a crappy year for embattled Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. Toward the end of 2009, it became increasingly clear just how dire his reelection chances were. In mid-December, the respected elections predictor the Cook Political Report called Dodd “as unelectable as unindicted incumbents get.” That was a pretty safe prediction considering that, at the time, Dodd trailed former GOP congressman Rob Simmons and former WWE CEO Linda McMahon by 13 and 6 points respectively. On the MoJo blog, I predicted that Dodd’s retirement was imminent and rounded up the field of potential Conn. Dems to replace him. Looks like I was right about one of them:

As Connecticut Attorney General for the past 20 years, Dick Blumenthal has made ripples most recently for his harsh words about financial badboy AIG, which has offices in the state. Back in March, Blumenthal called the legal justification for AIG bonuses “a joke of a justification for squandering scarce taxpayer resources.”



Conn. Sen: Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon Enters the Fray
January 10, 2010, 5:45 pm
Filed under: 2010 and 2012, Congress, Mother Jones, Republicans | Tags: , , ,

Since former WWE CEO Linda McMahon jumped into the GOP’s primary to challenge embattled Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, I wrote a few blog posts on her candidacy and how it shakes up the race. First, came the supposed shock that McMahon and her husband have supported Democrats in past elections. Next, I asked if the candidate’s bombastic (and some might say crazy) husband WWE Chairman Vince McMahon could hurt her primary and, luck permitting, general election chances. As McMahon continued to hemorrhage her own funds on the campaign and became a serious contender to the state’s establishment, Conn. GOPers started to attack the newcomer. But as I wrote for MoJo, I think this was a risky move in the solid blue Lieberman-loving state:

“I think it’s very unusual [for a Republican to contribute to a Democrat]. These are big numbers. These are big dollars,” said Simmons, the race’s current front runner. But attacking McMahon’s bi-partisan past is a risky move, considering that Connecticut is predominantly Democratic and many state Republicans supported democrat-turned-independent Joe Lieberman over his Republican opponent in 2006. Moreover, since McMahon is campaigning on an anti-establishment platform, her past contributions could be helpful if she makes it to the general election next fall.