July 13, 2006
By MARK PAZNIOKAS, Courant Staff Writer
From the Hartford Courant article:
Gov. M. Jodi Rell and GOP State Chairman George Gallo publicly urged fellow Republican Alan Schlesinger to reconsider his candidacy for U.S. Senate after learning Wednesday that he gambled at the Foxwoods Resorts Casino under an assumed name while an elected official in the 1990s.
Schlesinger said Rell and Gallo were overreacting to an innocent act: giving a fake name to obtain a Foxwoods "wampum card" that rewards casino patrons with meals, rooms and merchandise based on how much they gamble.
"I am not going to let this bother me," said Schlesinger, who described himself as a recreational blackjack player. "I am going to continue in the race."
Bradley Beecher, a former state police officer once assigned to the casino enforcement unit, told Rell by letter Wednesday that Schlesinger gambled under the name Alan Gold to avoid detection as a card counter, a player who improves the odds by counting the cards as they are played. Card counting is not cheating, but casinos often ban counters.
Schlesinger said Beecher is a disgruntled former police officer of questionable credibility. He denied trying to hide that he has been a card counter, but acknowledged using a pseudonym at Foxwoods to preserve his privacy while he was a state legislator and mayor of Derby.
"I was in politics. I used a pseudonym just for this reason, this stupidity we're going through now," Schlesinger said.
Schlesinger said he did nothing wrong, other than try to keep his name off Foxwoods' marketing list. But Rell and Gallo said his behavior was troubling, signaling that Schlesinger will face pressure to quit the race.