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Sunday, August 21, 2011

McMahon again; Send Brian to the Hill

In a few weeks the Linda McMahon show will be in full swing.  But I'm trying not to let that dampen the rest of my summer.

Most Republican insiders don't
 find an ounce of humor in Linda
 McMahon's expected second run
CTGOP Party insiders will privately tell you that they don't exactly look forward to watching Linda's circus take center stage because it will certainly siphon much of the energy out of CTGOP's resurgence, and of course - some cash from Republican donors.  Already, rumors abound about Linda hiring former Republican candidate turned Independent turned Radio Show Host, Tom Scott, to help run her campaign.  If true, the strategy of pomp meets populist will supply these pages and others with plenty of fodder over the next year.

The problem with Linda McMahon isn't necessarily her packaging, it's that she's - Linda McMahon. The recent Luntz poll dated July 11-14 (see ctcapitol report link here) clearly sheds light on the core problem with McMahon for Republicans: Her negatives are overwhelmingly high even amongst the GOP faithful.  Based on a sample of 500 voters, the poll revealed the following:

Linda McMahon
Net Favorable 38%
Strongly Favorable 15%
Somewhat Favorable 23%
Somewhat Unfavorable 14%
Strongly Unfavorable 33%
Net Unfavorable 47%
No Opinion 12%
Never Heard of 4%

And here's the real bad news for Republicans:

The poll further reveals exactly how Linda McMahon would match up against the two Democrat front runners:

Chris Murphy: 52%
Linda McMahon: 36%

Susan Bysiewicz: 49%
Linda McMahon 41%

It should be noted that the same poll shows former Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays coming in slightly ahead of Bysiewicz, and also one point below Murphy - but Shay's favorable (46%) versus unfavorable (19%) numbers are at least something a competent campaign director can work with (Shays also has a 23% No opinion Rating).  In contrast, it's a tall order to work with someone who would possibly lose to Susan Bysiewicz - a person who is far less qualified for the U.S. Senate than McMahon, who herself is, at best, marginally qualified.  It's going to take more than Tom Scott and bunch of fanatical wrestling fans to push McMahon over the finish line.

So in a few weeks, Linda McMahon will launch her campaign.  And just like last time, there will be a swarm of media attention around this unfortunate political spectacle. Her WWE fans will cheer, and shout, and go bananas - all hoping for a photo op with their favorite wrestlers, while state-wide Republicans will do the face-palm, and pray it just all goes away.  The McMahon camp will have just the opposite effect of what Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. is trying to achieve - a new found sense of Party unity.  And having Tom Scott bopping around certainly won't help.  

So friends, when the payoffs begin, and delegates and RTCs are bought and paid for (again),  - people can remember that The King warned them that the whole charade was doomed from the start.  Here's praying that the long, dark, shadow cast by McMahon doesn't kill the Republican momentum that's building for 2012.  Surely, last time - the something different Linda gave us produced the same old, sad result that we've always been used to - defeat.  And moreover, most people trace the CTGOPs regional wars, fractionalization, and internal strife to her entrance into Connecticut politics. 

I would think the evidence is clear when candidates and voters keep asking our new Chairman if he could please make sure that the next State Convention isn't rigged, and that everyone gets a fair shot.  That alone speaks volumes.

Of course, the die isn't cast.  We still have a primary ahead of us.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to vote for someone who is more than just a WWE action figure?

The title of this entry might suggest that I'm pushing Republican Brian K. Hill for U.S. Senate.  Alas, no!  That's not my angle here.  Read on....

If you haven't listened to or met Brian Hill, then I suggest you head over to his website and check out what he has to say.  Hill is a successful, 40 year old attorney from Hartford, and a military veteran who served his country with honor and distinction.  And yes, so we an get it out of the way - he so happens to be black

Hill reminds me a lot of former-Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, and it appears that he's getting the same unacceptable treatment from the NAACP, and so-called leading black civil rights activists who are trying to undermine his every move. God forbid if a black guy is immune to the dependency spell, and escapes the chains, long forged by Democrat Party operatives.  Don't believe there is a double standard for Republicans of color?  Then go ask Corey Brinson about the negative treatment he gets from some in the Hartford region.  He'll give you an earful.

I've enjoyed meeting Brian Hill (albeit briefly) at various functions, and I find him to be articulate, and knowledgeable on the issues of the day.  There are points where we disagree, and he may disagree with the Party-at-Large, but that's to be expected as we seek to build a larger tent which includes Republicans from all walks of life and backgrounds. Unless you live in Chicago, it's still one man, one vote - and we need every vote we can muster.  It's The King's View that here in Connecticut we can broaden our appeal without sacrificing our principles.

Brian K. Hill could be a winning
ticket for Republicans in CT-1

Despite the fact that I'm impressed with Mr. Hill, I don't believe his run for Senate is the best idea.  Hill might be a unique candidate for the high office of U.S. Senate, but I don't think his limited background warrants a jump from never holding political office to serving in the U.S. Senate.  Grassroots organizers might try to twist my statements by claiming that I'm a fan of career politicians - I am not - but I do believe that before you can hold such a high political office that you aught to have at least some background in politics before running for any elected federal post - whether it's serving as a State Rep, Congressman, Mayor, Councilman, or any State or political position.

Generally speaking, there is something to be said for this given Connecticut Republicans previous failed attempts to send first-time office holders to represent them in the U.S. Senate - I can think of at least two examples right off the bat, Brook Johnson in 1992, and of course - Linda McMahon in 2010.  I'm sure Senate historians can come up with other examples. Historically, the majority of successful Connecticut Democrat candidates for Senate have held previous positions in Congress, and elsewhere which helped bolster their appeal.

I know certain corers like to invoke the Scott Brown phenomena as the argument for a Patriot-Citizen rising out of the ashes of the American landscape to become U.S. Senator, but that argument is hugely flawed because many people aren't even aware that Scott Brown served in the Mass State Legislature, and also served as a town Selectman.  The likelihood that someone would rise from out of nowhere in this day and age to a revered U.S. Senate post is nothing more than a fairytale.

The second point is that Brian Hill doesn't have the name recognition to begin to raise the funds necessary to finance a U.S. Senate run.  And what he'd need to amass to go to war, and survive a Primary against Linda McMahon, Chris Shays, and others would be quite a sum.  The Connecticut Republican Party doesn't have the war chest that Connecticut Democrats have, and I'm afraid that splitting 50 bucks ten ways won't put much of a dent in the bills.  It's this simple fact of life which explains why Connecticut Republican Senatorial candidates are often Millionaires - who have enough dough to self-fund their campaigns.  It seems you have to be loaded if you're to have a snowballs chance in hell of matching our rival's deep union pockets.

Instead of running for Senate, I strongly urge that Brian Hill look at a prize more befitting his background and experience - Connecticut's First Congressional District seat.   CT-1 is considered one of the safest Democrat seats in the Union. Despite a well-financed and well run campaign by Republican Ann Brickley against liberal Democrat John Larson, she only managed to pull 37% of the vote.  It would take someone very special to make inroads in traditional Democrat towns such as East Hartford, Manchester, Windsor, Middletown, Bloomfield, and of course - Hartford. 

Demographics not only show that these towns are Democrat strongholds but they also have large minority populations who have never had the chance to see or hear from a Black Republican who espouses clear Republican principles and values. Brian Hill would have the unique advantage of telling his story and would get a fairer hearing in neighborhoods where the typical white-Republican are a non-starter

Brian Hill for Congress would be good for Republicans, good for residents of CT-1, good for Congress, and good for Brian Hill.  And moreover - it would be a chance for Connecticut Republicans to advance our agenda of expanding our base beyond the same old losing demographic we are stuck with year after year. Brian Hill would bring leadership and strength to our overall Republican ticket.

Brian K. Hill is the perfect candidate for a Perfect Storm that is brewing over Connecticut.  If there is any chance for Republicans to win Connecticut Congressional District No. 1, its NOW.  And its with Brian K. Hill leading the way to victory.

Chairman Labriola, residents of CT-1:  Please, get this moving! Start a petition to draft Brian K. Hill for Congress! Let's not lose this unique opportunity of sending the first ever African-American Republican on behalf of Connecticut's First District to Congress. Let's set a new standard for new age.



This original blog post can be found at


Anonymous said...

The Brook Johnson reference is hysterical. Of course that fool hosted a rodeo event / fundraiser and upset some PETA folks. Not the sharpest politician in the drawer. You may not like linda but shays will bomb too. Voters sent him home. Republicans need a stronger candidate to win, someone who isn't from Greenwich, but someone with experience as well.

Dan Reale said...

Well said, Mr. King. We should talk sometime.