Despite what's been said, I don't think this is about spending the RNC's money at all.
That's because it doesn't cost a thin dime to just ENDORSE someone for the position they're running for!
Regarding the non-endorsement issue, the National GOP leadership's pointing the finger at the CT GOP who're pointing their fingers right back.
In the meantime, poor Alan's sitting there with a knife in his back.
So, is it the State GOP hoping to get Orchulli to run instead? Or is it the National GOP trying to get Joe in and maybe switch parties?
Or was it Col. Mustard in the Study with the Candlestick?
Hold on, I'm getting confused here!
I'm just a regular, rank & file, Republican. But when the leadership of the party starts acting in such a seemingly irrational manner, I'm not just embarrassed and disgusted, I'm downright suspicious!
Something's not right. Whether its with the leadership or with Schlesinger, I don't know. But I do want it out on the table NOW before the Dems sniff it out and make political hay out of it!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Aug 17, 2006 3:51 PM
Subject: Senate Run Is Really No Party
Senate Run Is Really No Party
Schlesinger Is Stranded By GOP
By JON LENDER
Courant Staff Writer
August 17, 2006
Could things get any worse for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Alan Schlesinger?
He's the other guy who hardly anybody knows in the nationally watched Senate contest between Democrat Ned Lamont and incumbent Democrat-turned-independent Joe Lieberman.
Even though Schlesinger, the one-time state legislator and small-town mayor, expressed confidence Wednesday that "I am the only voice for moderate and conservative voters," he still trailed badly in polls and, at last look, had only about $18,000 to spend on an upcoming campaign that it would take millions to win.
But at least he has the backing of the party whose nomination he won at this year's convention, right?
Wrong. Republicans in the White House, and the national and state GOP, are shunning him.
President Bush's press secretary, Tony Snow, told reporters Tuesday: "The Republican Party of Connecticut has suggested that we not make an endorsement in that race, and so we're not."
Two days earlier, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman refused to say if he supports Schlesinger on Sunday's NBC news show "Meet the Press." Mehlman said he consults "our leadership in the states" - which, in this case, has told him: "You ought to stay out of this one." So he said he is focusing on U.S. House races and the governor's race in Connecticut.
Connecticut GOP Chairman George Gallo, when asked Wednesday what he's told the national GOP, said he told the Republican National Committee political director 11/2 weeks ago that the Schlesinger campaign "isn't one of our top priorities."
But Gallo said he never suggested that Republicans at the national level not back Schlesinger.
"I had a clear conversation," Gallo said. "They asked me the priorities" of the state GOP with regard to help from the national party level.
Gallo said he told the RNC official it was re-election of Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and House members Rob Simmons, Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays.
Next came the state legislative elections, Gallo said, adding that he told the official: "Unfortunately, until the Schlesinger campaign starts to gain momentum, it's not one of our top priorities."
What about endorsing, or not endorsing, Schlesinger?
"It never came up," Gallo said.
Gallo speculated that maybe someone who talked to Snow "extrapolated" a bit and went beyond what he'd said about Connecticut Republicans' priorities.
But there is rampant speculation that the non-endorsement of Schlesinger is coming from the White House down, not from the local level up.
Some political sources say that the White House put out the word as early as Aug. 8 - when Lamont won the Democratic primary over Lieberman in a national media spectacle - that it was all right for Republican office-holders, nationally and in Connecticut, to endorse Lieberman. One Republican senator, Susan M. Collins of Maine, did just that on Tuesday. Lieberman has won points with Republicans, and alienated many Democrats, by cooperating with Bush on issues including Iraq war policy.
Schlesinger, interviewed Wednesday night by phone as he sought votes at a Torrington Republican picnic, would not comment on the idea of a White House-orchestrated back-channel campaign for Lieberman.
"First, I never asked the White House for an endorsement," he said.
But don't such endorsements flow to Republican Senate candidates automatically?
Well, this is "a very, very unusual election," he said, because politicians in both major parties have been using the Connecticut race at the national level for their own purposes.
"Washington, and the national media, have hijacked this race," he said. Liberal anti-war Democrats have tried to make it into a national referendum on Bush and the Iraq war because of Bush-Lieberman ties, he said.
He added that Republicans are "trying to turn it into a referendum on the future of the national Democratic Party" in order to prove their claim that the "hard left" is taking the party away from mainstream America.
"I am going to attempt to bring the race back to the voters of Connecticut by talking about who is going to be their voice for the next six years in the Senate," Schlesinger said. "Because when all is said and done and the spotlights are gone ... that should be the question."
Schlesinger found spotlights of his own last month - the wrong kind - when it was disclosed he paid $28,000 a decade ago to settle two New Jersey casinos' lawsuits over gambling debts.
And now there's the matter of a recent campaign financing report showing him with only $18,000 on hand. "We've raised more," he said Wednesday, putting his total at $30,000. He said he will go to Washington to "raise some real money." How can he do that without major GOP backing? He said there are "groups" that will help. Which groups? "I'm not going to say," he said, for fear that such talk would hurt his efforts.
His efforts, however, are not getting much encouragement even in some local towns. In Wethersfield, for example, a prominent member of the Republican town committee has submitted a resolution to endorse Lieberman, the independent, instead of Schlesinger.
The committee member, John Miller, who once served on the Republican National Committee, said of Schlesinger: "Unfortunately, he's just going to be a blip."
Miller's resolution says the "Democratic Party has been hijacked by ultra-liberal activists." There's a risk that the Aug. 8 primary may decide the November election and oust a valuable 18-year veteran, he said.
"There's going to be an election. The Republican unfortunately isn't going to play much of a role," Miller said Wednesday. "For the good of Connecticut, the Republicans should get into it, and I think the right vote is for Lieberman."
Wethersfield Republicans will consider Miller's pro-Lieberman resolution Aug. 30 in the community room at the police station. He said he hopes other Republican town committees will follow with similar endorsements.
Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant
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