|Even Monty Hall wouldn't be able|
to top the prizes that Linda is offering
RTCs behind the curtain
To begin with, this week our Republican State Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. smartly persuaded Republican State Central Members to move the Ethics Resolutions to a sub-committee for study and possible amendment. While many wanted to see a straight vote on this come to pass, it was decided that it was best to avert a quick defeat on the measures which would have turned into nothing short of a full scale public relations disaster for the CTGOP. A no-vote would have signaled that the purchase of the State Convention was a done deal, and would have greatly diminished the integrity of both the State Party and it's Chairman. To those angry about not seeing a debate and straight-up vote, I understand your frustration, but consider the fact that while the fix may still be in, at least the Dean-Visconti Resolutions aren't dead.
A month ago, The King would've predicted that the Resolutions would die a quick death, but now with this approach - we anticipate at least a partial victory against the Wilson-Foley/McMahon anti-ethics lobbyists.
Many people have asked what the big deal is about wearing a badge, and why certain candidates are so hell-bent against it. Wearing a badge to identify that you're a paid campaign worker for a specific candidate seems to make perfect sense to anyone with a sense of fair play, although most people also think paid campaign staff should recuse themselves all-together from participation as a delegate. For those of you who attended the 2010 State Convention, you will distinctly recall that during the U.S. Senate voting (and vote switching) process, Linda McMahon had dozens and dozens of her unidentified staff working over delegates to get them to switch their vote. By convention rules, there is a limit of how many staffers are permitted to be on the floor playing games, but if you can't identify who is who then you can't enforce the rules - which was all part of the plan to rig the process. The fact that Healy's brownshirts were throwing only Rob Simmons' staffers off the convention floor is a whole different topic. But you can see just why requiring campaign employees, or independent contractors to wear badges helps bring integrity to the the Convention process, including helping those responsible for enforcing the rules to be able to enforce them.
|RTC Members and would-be delegates|
have plenty of loot to chose out of
Linda's Treasure Chest
As has been reported, Linda McMahon (and Lisa Wilson-Foley) have been opening up their treasure chests and handing out handsome rewards for both Republican Town Committee (RTC) and RTC Member (future convention delegate) endorsements. If you ask their camps about the pay-to-play strategy, they just *smile* and shrug their shoulders. To the most unethical among us, accepting payments and in-kind bribes is just an accepted part of our political process here in Connecticut. It's what some have had the audacity to refer to as "democracy". Which goes to show how deep the Party has become infected with a nearly incurable virus.
You probably wonder why the McMahon camp is handing out cold hard cash to RTCs? Well, if you though it was because Linda McMahon is just a caring, generous lady - well, you got it wrong. Dead wrong! Most candidates solicit donations, they don't make them. That should be the first indication that something is amiss.
Whether the Shays, Hill, or Westby camp understand it or not, the endgame is pretty simple. Linda McMahon's goal for the 2012 State Convention is the same goal that she had in 2010, which is to win the Convention by the largest margin possible, but more importantly - attempt to ensure that Shays, Hill, and Westby don't secure the necessary 15% of the delegate count required to automatically qualify them to appear on the primary ballot. If Shays, Hill or Westby don't receive the necessary 15% they'll have to make the decision to either collect about 8500 state-wide Republican petition signatures to qualify, or take the CTGOP to court for running a rigged Convention (and I'm sure no one wants the latter), or simply quit the race. And as a reminder, in 2010 Rob Simmons did meet the 15% threshold but opted not to primary because he believed he didn't have a large enough war-chest to complete with Linda McMillions.
All reports to The King's View are that the McMahon camp is burning up the wires. Tom Scott, McMahon's political director and former anti-Republican candidate, in particular has been working the circuit playing the role of set-up man while other minions are helping to dole out golden rewards from McMahon's bottomless Treasure Chest. While the intimidation has been mild so far, rumors are that that Scott has been telling would-be delegates that refusing to endorse McMahon would result in "consequences" including alienation and severe embarrassment because "Linda will win in the end". As we get closer to D-Day, you can expect more of this kind of thing, but with the rhetoric increasing. (Insider Republicans will recall similar antics during the Chairman's race on behalf of Mr. A).
The last few weeks have revealed exactly how heated the game is going to get. It also shows you just how far off their game the so-called CTGOP political gurus are. One political operative wrote The King, "They are making so many mistakes, that I've lost count." It's true, from staff members uttering slurs about other candidates to personal attacks - it's become embarrassing for the CTGOP Establishment. The only person who came out looking Senatorial this past week was Christopher Shays who made his formal announcement in front of a packed Hartford crowd.
These past two weeks have been a disaster for the Foes of Ethics. First, the McMahon-Wilson-Foley-Healy conglomerate using their surrogates waged a full scale personal attack on Mr. Visconti. The trio, referred humorously in Republican circles as the new Axis of Greed, was not only nasty in their attacks, they also sought to mislead the public by painting Joltin' Joe as a deadbeat dad. Had the idiots checked their facts, they would have realized that Mr. Visconti actually receives child-support from his ex-wife (we hate to have to address this here, but it's important to set the record straight as the false rumors about private family matters continue to be propagated). The accusations of failing to pay child support were slanderous, and the Axis of Greed should hang their heads low. Well-respected veteran Republicans not involved in the fray have expressed outrage over these tactics. Some names you just wouldn't believe! But thanks to you, you've given Joltin' Joe the green light to do as he sees fit. Good luck!
The fact remains that this personal attack was a direct warning to RTC members and future delegates that if they ever cross the McMahon Camp, or go back on their endorsement, surrogates will character-assassinate them in public. The evidence of this is already established, and as we will see later in this piece the McMahon campaign went out of their way to make sure they had someone on-board with a knack for this kind of behavior.
The second mistake of the week came from our old friend - shadow-Chairman Healy who recklessly fired off a missive from his blog which became an instant field day for the media. The big loser from Healy's attack on Chris Shays was not Shays nor Healy, but instead the candidate that he is supposed to be focused on - Lisa Wilson-Foley. The last thing Wilson-Foley needed was for her campaign manager to go off the reservation, half-cocked, and provide illumination into the direct connection between her campaign and Mrs. McMahon's. We guess the phone calls claiming innocence turned out to be nothing more than a farce - with Healy running the ranch she should have expected shoot from the hip controversy; this week the shots clearly ricocheted back at Wilson-Foley. And if you think about it, the pay-to-play strategy underway is precisely what was seen from the McMahon campaign in 2010. The result of which was not an elected Republican, but a badly fractured Republican Party. The Fifth Congressional District is in for a real treat.
The media, which hates Republicans anyway, was quick to pick up the diatribe from an obviously angry Healy. Probably the most interesting line in the whole thing was when Healy went out of his way to call McMahon's campaign staff "over-fed and self-dealing", and then back slapped them by indirectly calling them "incompetent". I'm sure all those people who worked their asses off for Linda really appreciated Healy's characterization of them. Her campaign manager, David Cappiello, who presumably had a say in hiring all these over-indulgent campaign-killers, apparently got a free pass and not a single mention - unless Healy was implying that Cappiello was one of the over-fed creeps who ruined Linda's Senate aspirations. And as Healy's wife served as Communication Director, she owns the result of the blitz of negative advertising against Rob Simmons which helped to damage McMahon's reputation in the Second District early. Boy, the air must be pretty thin at the top of Healy Mountain. Wilson-Foley peeps: make a note to self: when Wilson-Foley loses you'll be stamped as incompetent gluttons - something you can really look forward to when this whole thing is over.
By the way, Republicans around Connecticut are now asking, if the the Badge Resolution is passed - just how many badges will the former Chairman be forced to wear?
We'll assume that after getting a drumming from Wilson-Foley herself, Healy took down his post, which was almost worse because it's probably the first time in history that we can recall the shadow-Chairman publicly admitting a mistake. And Joe Lockhart pounded him in a second post which was just short of calling him a yellow-bellied coward. Who else wanted to be a fly on the wall when that call or calls came in?
And by the way, if her WWE past isn't a negative then why don't we ever seem to see her smiling, happy husband Vince McMahon ever walking the streets with Linda or attending her campaign functions? In a stark contrast, we saw the lovely wife of Chris Shays - Betsi Shays, formally introduce him to the Old State House audience this week. She also attends Republican functions and events at Mr. Shays' side. For some reason, I don't think we'll being seeing Vince showing his face - rumors are that he thinks Linda's whole Senate run is a tremendous waste of money. I guess if your spouse planned to invest $100 million dollars into a doomed scheme that the whole world knows has a 0% chance of a return, you'd be unhappy too.
Better come up with a few more Pay-Per-Views, Vincey.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I've had a rather insistent group of readers send me a load of documents, links and so forth about a specific topic that I will now broach. I want to be very clear to all readers that after review of the material as a whole, being public, and somewhat relevant, I'm going to provide the links in this piece. I want to be careful to make sure that all of you know that this isn't designed as some hit-piece on Linda McMahon or her staff - I'm only providing the facts. We Report, You Decide should be the understood mode here.
When Linda McMahon hired Corry Bliss as her Campaign Manager few people took notice. Bliss ran Lt. Governor Brian Dubie's unsuccessful Vermont Gubernatorial run in 2010. What is remarkable isn't that Dubie lost, but it's how the race was run is what is of grave concern to The King and to many Connecticut Republican Insiders in-the-know. Bliss ran more than just a hard-nosed campaign on the issues, it's apparent from all reports that Bliss mounted terrible personal attacks against Mr. David Blittersdorf. This article entitled, "Digger Tidbits: Into the Swirl of Septic; the dirt machine." is a good read.
Campaigns are often cinder boxes for political and sometimes personal attacks as we've witnessed during the GOP Presidential saga. But the attacks by Bliss were so upsetting that Blittersdorf brought a Defamation Lawsuit against Mr. Bliss and Mr. Dubie. The lawsuit was settled out of Court. Few of us can recall any other campaign where a lawsuit was brought in a similar fashion which caught national attention.
Apparently, as the press has reported, Bliss was forced to write a personal letter of apology to Bittersdorf for his actions (as was Mr. Dubie).
So why does this have people up in arms? Well, Mrs. McMahon isn't a stupid person and is well aware of the steps she needs to take to hire responsible people to keep her own Company safe and reputation intact. Yet, out of all of the hundreds of political campaign experts, consultants, and firms available who advertise in Campaigns and Elections, she opted for a clearly troubled Mr. Bliss to run her Senate campaign. Does this make sense? Sure, it does!
As The King ties all these pieces together, the world is left wondering - is the Axis of Greed merely a product of hyper-imagination fabricated to tell a tale of conspiracy? Or does all the clear evidence presented through newspaper articles, links, eye-witness reports and so forth show that the connections between yesterday's strategies by the same old Connecticut politicos are playing out in Groundhog Day fashion right before our very eyes? I guess that's up for you to decide.
This original blog entry can be found at http://www.thekingsview.blogspot.com
Disclaimer: This entry and others will be modified/updated at a future date. All entries are for the sole purpose of entertainment.