Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dodd addresses AIG issue

Today during a conference call Sen. Chris Dodd addressed Connecticut media and bloggers regarding the AIG bonus situation. Earlier today, in a CNN interview, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took responsibility for providing the bonus loophole, which he believed was necessary to protect the government from breach of contract lawsuits.

(See? It's a photo of Chris Dodd on the phone!)
Sen. Dodd said he originally wrote the language of the bonus and compensation limitations into the amendment. The administration came to the banking commission suggesting changes after it left the senate. Because of the threat of lawsuits, they made the changes.

Sen. Dodd said AIG hadn't made it clear they were having any bonuses. If he'd known, Dodd would have rejected the changes to the amendment outright.

He had misconstrued a question from a reporter, which helped lead to the widely-reported confusion about his position on the bonus situation. He went on to say that anytime you have to explain things, it becomes an issue.

Dodd said he wrote the original section to limit excessive compensation for corporate executives, but Treasury wanted the bonus limitations lifted for existing contracts due to the threat of a flood of litigation.

When asked if he was worried about a challenge in 2010, Dodd stated that it was too early to worry about it. He wanted to get to the business of doing whatever they can to fix this situation, which may include passing a tax that gets all or part of the AIG bonuses returned. He also said that Geithner shouldn't resign over this.

And, maybe it's just me, but Mark Davis always sounds like he's pissed off.


West Haven Bob said...

"When asked if he was worried about a challenge in 2010, Dodd stated that it was too early to worry about it."

Far from the is far too LATE to worry about it....

CT Bob said...

Granted, Dodd has significant problems these days, but anyone who counts him out now is being overly simplistic. Or wistful.

There's nine innings in a ballgame, and this is only the top of the first.

Anonymous said...

Christom Dodd is out O-U-T

MIKE said...

Chris Dodd was a great US Senator but it seems to me that his seniority and his sense of entitlement got to him. What he has done for our state is probably incalculable. BUT--and it's a big one...will we ever be able to calculate this AIG bonus problem and Dodd's own mortgage crisis??

I'm a Democrat forever but blind support is disingenuous after raging at the misdeeds of the Republicans for the past 8 years in particular.

Maybe he can recover, but can we Democrats in CT recover?? There are many very able and talented Dems out there who can run a very successful senate race. That's the direction in which I'm leaning today.

West Haven Bob said...

I agree with Mike...I worked on Dodd's first race (in 1980); but I'm getting the sense from everyday Dem's that they're in the mood for change.

While I agree with you, Bob, that it's still early days, and he can still recover, I don't think events are in his favor for doing so.

If CT dem's don't find a suitable replacement, my fear is that the voters will.

CT Bob said...

No, I'm 100% with you guys about Dodd.

But I really doubt that ANY CT Dem will step up to primary Dodd like Lamont did against Lieberman in 2006. The ONLY way we're going to get him replaced will be if he decides on his own to retire.

And so far, I'm not seeing that happening.

I'm not thrilled with Dodd right now by ANY means, but if it does come down to Dodd vs. Simmons (or any of the other Republicans who are talking about the seat), I'll have to support Dodd. Simply on the basis of the Democratic platform rather than anything specific about Dodd that I like. Because we've all seen too many examples of the Republicans voting for bad policy across the board for a lot of years.

And I really can't help but believe that what we're seeing here is a "media frenzy", feeding on the public's anger, and looking for someone on whom to affix the blame.

I'm gonna be Mr. Wait-and-See for a while before I start running around screaming "the sky is falling"!