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Friday, July 30, 2010

Vote Rob Simmons for U.S. Senate

I'm sure this essay won't make me popular with some of the tea party folks or the libertarian members of the Republican party, but the best I can do is explain why I am voting for Rob Simmons on August 10th.

As everyone who reads this column knows, I supported Rob Simmons before he suspended his campaign shortly after the circus of a Republican State Convention. For all the reasons, outlined in my previous essay, Rob Simmons, is simply the best qualified individual to represent Republicans and Connecticut constituents. Rob has the legislative background, military service, job creation expertise, and temperament to handle the job. No on the job training will be required. What some people deem as "Washington Insider" I believe is simply background and experience to navigate the complexities of the Halls of Congress and get the job done.

I've discussed a lot about how I'm no fan of Linda McMahon and the fact that she's not qualified for a role much bigger than state representative, let alone running any major agency. She is full of baggage and evidence shows that her bankruptcy and wrestling background is an automatic disqualifier in most minds. Linda is shark meat to the Democrat-Blumenthal machine which would chew her up and spit her out in record time. Linda is better off in the pro wrestling arena than in Washington. And we'd be all better off for her departure from the race to take the elements of stupidity and nonsense which would engulf any attempts at issue-based rationale discussion and debate.

As you also know, after Rob Simmons suspended his campaign, I opted to give Peter Schiff a good look. I felt that Peter was also a victim of some unethical antics by Chris Healy and his drones who worked tooth and nail to eliminate the possibility of Peter receiving a fair hearing by delegates. The baloney with not showing his video, cutting him off, and doing everything they could do to eliminate his voice was clear corruption that will be forever identified with the legacy of Connecticut Chairman Chris Healy. And face it, I was supporting Rob Simmons at the State Convention, so my view on the Schiff situation was obviously neutral. The fix was in and Linda was pushed to endorsement - chair leading and all from the Healy machine (well financed by the McMahon campaign).

After the convention, Peter Schiff never got going. He ran a very incompetent campaign - outright refusing to leave comfortable surroundings down in Southwest and Western Connecticut. His visits to the Connecticut Second Congressional Distinct were few and far between. Peter had weeks to get his act together and travel the state to get his message out, and had he done what any competent candidate would have done - he probably could have done well, and eliminated the need for Rob Simmons to get back in the race.

The feedback I heard at Town Committee meetings ranged from "Who is Peter Schiff" to "Why won't he come to the second district". Peter blew it. I'm convinced that Rob Simmons withdrawal from the race gave Peter the opportunity to come in and make his case to the anti-McMahon voters. So, instead of doing this, he did nothing. He put up a few videos on youtube and attended rallies close to home where the money is, and a few in Hartford County, but never traveled to the poorer districts of Connecticut to hear the pain of jobless residents in places where job creation is needed most. Moreover, he never even bothered to go to Norwich, a very large Tea Party town; he never took the opportunity to energize his own local base; these folks spent hours and days dedicated to his grassroots cause. In the end, Peter Schiff rewarded them with NOTHING.

Moreover, Peter Schiff owes an apology to all those folks who ran around collecting signatures and putting up signs (some bought at their own expense). His failure to act cost him. He will be lucky to get a third of the vote. Peter Schiff is the poster child for failure based on his own arrogance and ignorance. Either or both, it doesn't matter. As one voter said to me "if he can't even show up in our district during the campaign, how is he going to represent us once elected into office." Point taken. Point accepted.

I'm sure I sound a little bitter about Peter Schiff's lack of dedication to his own cause. But this happens in many campaigns. Campaigning is a full time gig, best left managed by experienced people who understand how to get the message out, and how to make even the most dismal of candidates appear engaged and accessible.

All this brings me back to Rob Simmons.

Simmons is getting flack for withdrawing and reappearing late in the game. But when you think about it, it's ridiculous to hear Linda McMahon complain about it when she has the capacity to spend $16 million dollars on TV, mailings and to buy Town Committees for their support. Be happy that Rob Simmons didn't go the dirty route and that we see our US Senate primary become like what you see in the the Malloy/Lamont or Fedele/Foley TV drama. None of this endless attack ad garbage is appealing to constituents. The result is we know even less about these four than we did before it became a mud slinging contest.

Rob Simmons isn't charismatic; He's capable. Its not a surprise to me that the Hartford Courant gave him their endorsement even with controversy of his early withdrawal. The endorsement was based on a holistic view of his past accomplishments and temperament. Obviously, Connecticut is best represented by Simmons' character, independence, experience and dedication. Rob Simmons cares about his constituents. Few people question his motives and ability to do the right thing even if its unpopular. There are a few cries of RINO, but that term is just an empty name-calling tactic used by opponents during campaigns to try to elevate their candidate to a higher position than they are capable of attaining on their own merit. Yes, Rob isn't right on everything, but who cares, he's electable, and he's right where it counts.

On August 10th, let's give Rob Simmons the nod. He's the best opportunity for an issue based debate without the circus or phony rhetoric. And based on every poll, he's the GOPs only realistic options for defeating Richard Blumenthal in November, and keeping Obama's government expansion in check.