Monday, May 18, 2009

Alpert to announce tomorrow at 10AM

Continuing the developing saga of Merrick Alpert, the attorney and CEO who is interested in running for senate, and I spoke to his press secretary today and she told me that he will announce his challenge to Sen. Chris Dodd from Alpert's home in Mystic at 10AM tomorrow.

In a weird development, Alpert's former boss was quoted as saying that he thinks Alpert shouldn't run.

Here's the statement from Jonathan Pelto in The Hill blog:
"I'm surprised, even a bit stunned, that my former intern Merrick Albert is interested in running against Chris Dodd, let alone that he believes he is prepared to serve as Connecticut's United States Senator.

"I've known Merrick for more than 20 years. He worked as my legislative intern when he was a student at Trinity College and later helped with various political campaigns. Always eager and ambitious, everyone who has ever worked with Merrick knows that he's always wanted to run for political office. Hopefully, he'll reconsider this strange decision and focus instead on getting his political career underway by running for a position that he is more qualified for like state representative or state senator."
In fairness to Mr. Alpert, Jon Pelto is a longtime Democratic insider, who is obviously a dedicated Chris Dodd supporter.

The weird thing is how Pelto's statement seems to echo many similar remarks that were conveyed to Ned Lamont when he began his upstart political challenge that upset Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary and forced Lieberman to form his own party and run as an independent in order to preserve his seat.

Then, in the Hartford Courant blog Capitol Watch, former Greenwich First Selectman Roger Pearson (a rarity for a Democrat in a very Republican town) spoke up in support of Alpert's candidacy, saying:
"I think Merrick deserves a lot of credit for sticking his neck out,'' Pearson said Monday. "To Jonathan Pelto, I say this: Was little known Vice President Harry Truman, a bankrupt haberdasher, ready to become President when FDR died suddenly during World War II? And whatever happened to that community activist from Chicago who wanted to lead this nation during its worst and continuing financial crisis since The Great Depression? Doesn't that great old political adage "Time for a Change" ring true for Democrats as well as Republicans, especially since we're talking about an entrenched 30-year incumbent who has terribly lost his way to the detriment of the people he is charged with serving?"
I'll have more on Merrick Alpert tomorrow. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Hey Bob!

Yes, I remember Eddie Perez' crashing of Ned Lamont's first event at La Poloma cafe in Hartford. It was a blatant attempt to bully and intimidate Ned from going through with his run.

Let's hope Team Dodd won't follow suit. If they can't handle a neophyte like Alpert, it doesn't give me confidence that they can win next year against the Republicans.

Look, if Alpert doesn't do anything but launch negative attacks against Dodd, I'll be Merrick's worst enemy. But that's yet to be demonstrated. I look forward to hearing the whipper-snapper make positive arguments about why he'd make a better Senator than Dodd. I'm not sure he'll sway me, but it's a healthy debate.

Personally, I like choices. I think overall Dodd has been a solid Democrat. But I also think rank-and-file Dems, like me, deserve a choice next spring, particularly if Dodd remains behind in the polls. I likely want to stick with Dodd, but I don't necessarily want to be stuck with Dodd.

Mr. Alpert stands poised to force that discussion. (Even tho I think Dick Blumenthal, and not Alpert, would be the probable beneficiary.) Merrick has paid his Democratic dues, and I support his right to go for it, -- again so long as he doesn't go negative, negative, negative.

In the meantime I hope Senator Dodd pulls out of this morass. And the best way to do so is by championing the people's agenda.


CT Bob said...


I also remember that Lee Whitnum's misguided challenge to Jim Himes had no detriment at all to his campaign, and in fact gave him the opportunity to solidify his base that helped sweep him into office in November.

Besides, the Republicans are shaping up to have a wild and wooley primary of their own, and it's going to be fun watching them try to "out-wingnut" each other in an attempt to prove who's the bigger conservative.

That, along with the governor's race, should make 2010 an exciting political year!