If he manages to win re-election in 2010, he has a deal with the devil.
Chris Dodd (D-AIG) seemed to have been the whipping boy over the weekend for several news outlets.
It has been hard to keep up with Dodd’s changing stories, but one version has him inserting the bonus-enabling language at the behest of the Obama Treasury Department. Dodd, by the way, was the No. 1 recipient last year of contributions from AIG employees and political action committees, raking in more than $104,000. Barack Obama was a close second, receiving just under $104,000 in AIG money.
Let’s take our own U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd as a prime example. As a ranking member of the all-important U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs between 2003 and 2008, Dodd accepted donations from the nearly defunct insurance giant American International Group totaling nearly $225,000. In 2008, while we looked to him to represent our best interests, he received $157,194 from a now-quasi-nationalized Citigroup Inc., part of his total annual take of $854,200 from all TARP recipients, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
How can he truly represent his constituents’ best interests when he is accepting vast sums of money from organizations that the government has assisted through the infusion of federal tax dollars? While legal, an objective observer should question the judgment and ethics of our state’s senior senator.
[. . .]The five-term senator denied on CNN on Tuesday that he had anything to do with legislation passed in February that ratified $165 million or more in bonuses for executives at his generous campaign patron AIG, the financial giant sustaining itself on billions from the taxpayers.
A day later, Dodd returned to CNN to admit he’d done the deed that aided AIG executives. Dodd’s penchant for incomplete and misleading answers was on display a few days before the bonus firestorm when he discussed his real estate dealings in Ireland and Washington, D.C., with two Courant reporters.
That house on nearly 10 waterfront acres in Ireland, the senator maintains, really isn’t much. Only a rickety bridge connects it to the mainland. The Irish real estate boom from 1994 to 2007, he says, missed Inishnee, the island he wandered onto in the late ’80s when he was recognized by an admiring Connecticut constituent. What are the odds?
The Washington Post piles on:
But with banks, insurance companies and investment firms now held in widespread contempt, Dodd’s political fortunes have also taken a hit. For the first time since he was elected to the Senate in 1980, he could face a serious challenge. And some of Dodd’s longtime supporters are saying they will not vote for him again.
“I think his days are numbered,” said Linda Walker, a retired nurse from Ridgefield. “He doesn’t have the character I thought he had. That’s where term limits come in.”
Speaking of all long-serving politicians, Walker said, “They become so disconnected from where they’re from.”
Gadzooks. Even the AP:
While Dodd, 64, has only recently found himself in the nation’s political hot seat because of his role in the AIG bonus debacle, it has become clear that his issues with voters back home have been festering for two years. The AIG controversy appears to have exacerbated his popularity problems.
“His numbers started to fall two years ago, and it had nothing to do with the economy,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. “It’s been a cumulative effect that has brought him down.”
Dodd’s decision to move his family to Iowa to campaign for a doomed bid for president, his initial refusal to release documents of his two controversial mortgages with Countrywide, criticism of how he financed a vacation cottage in Ireland, and now his involvement as Senate Banking Committee chairman in the bill that ultimately protected bonuses for executives at insurance giant AIG have all taken their toll.
(Thanks to InstaPundit Prof. Reynolds for all the links and also for keeping up with all the Tea Parties going on across the country)