March 9, 2009

WHY SHOULD THEY RE-ELECT A BIG-TAXING, CORRUPT IOWAN?:

Connecticut's Chris Dodd Faces a Backyard Rebellion (Jay Newton-Small, 3/09/09, TIME)

[D]odd is looking increasingly vulnerable. The silver-haired father of two young girls is facing his toughest re-election fight ever, and he doesn't even have an opponent yet. (Though CNBC pundit Larry Kudlow and former GOP Rep. Rob Simmons have both expressed interest in running.) In a January Quinnipiac poll, 51% of Connecticut voters said that they would not vote for Dodd in 2010. "It's the subject matter — people are watching their tax dollars go into institutions and they wonder when it's going to get better and they wonder where it's going," Dodd says. "I don't find people trying to elbow me out of the way trying to take over jurisdiction of the Banking Committee."

Much of Dodd's current woes stem from a pair of mortgages that he must wish he had never gotten. His reputation still has not recovered from the revelation last year that he received a sweetheart deal on his mortgage, saving upwards of $75,000 courtesy of Countrywide, one of the biggest pushers of the subprime mortgages that have landed the U.S. economy in such dire straits. Connecticut officials say there is no evidence of wrongdoing, and Dodd, who has allowed reporters limited access to his mortgage documents, denies he got any preferential treatment and insists he is going to refinance with a different bank. "I made the mistake of not addressing it earlier," Dodd concedes in an interview. Still he will not allow reporters to further examine the "hundreds of pages" of mortgage documents, saying, "no one has ever showed as much as we have." But the scandal has left a bad taste with Connecticut voters; in a January Quinnipiac poll, 56% of them said the Countrywide connection made them less likely to vote for Dodd.

The decision to move his family to Iowa in 2007 to lay the groundwork for what would end up a short-lived presidential campaign didn't endear him to his constituents either. "How can he identify himself as D-Conn., when he lives in Iowa?" asked a Connecticut Post editorial at the time.


Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2009 6:37 AM
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