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Reading the Connecticut Tea Leaves

As predicted, the GOP continue to dump their oppo research on their own candidate in the CT senate race, Alan Schlesinger.  Yesterday Schlesinger said that he was happy his gambling problem was making headlines because it increased his name recognition (some call it scandal, but in the GOP that’s just free PR).  Today, it was revealed he’d been sued by two New Jersey casinos for gambling debts and paid $28,000 in settlements:

Questions about Schlesinger’s gambling habits surfaced last week, when he admitted that he had obtained a "Wampum Card" from Foxwoods Resort Casino under the assumed name of Alan Gold shortly after the casino opened in 1992.


Schlesinger on Thursday called himself a "recreational" gambler and vowed he would not be driven from the Senate race.

"I have never done anything illegal. I did absolutely nothing wrong," Schlesinger said. "I’m not getting out of this race because of the fact I had a couple of civil lawsuits filed against me 15 years ago."

When asked about his gambling debts Thursday, Schlesinger initially said he had "no recollection" of ever owing any Atlantic City casinos money and denied he had been sued by the casinos.

When confronted with the case numbers of the lawsuits, Schlesinger said he remembered settling some debts with two casinos but claimed he never was served any legal papers or had to go to court in Atlantic City.

"I vaguely remember there was some controversy surrounding what I owed the two casinos and I stopped payment on the checks, but they were both settled without ever going to court," Schlesinger said.


When asked why he wouldn’t remember two five-figure settlements, Schlesinger said it’s because that’s "not that much money to me."

We’re relatively sure it is neither his political tin ear nor being a degenerate gambler that disqualifies Schlesinger from the top of the GOP ticket in Connecticut (in 2000 they ran a pedophile against Lieberman who is now doing 37 years).  But what exactly are they up to?  Rumors have been spreading that they plan to knock off Schlesinger then endorse Lieberman, but counter-rumors also claim that the GOP is trying to weaken Lieberman amongst Democrats in the primary by floating this particular tale and forcing a three-way race they think they might win with lots o’ cash and a more viable candidate.

Which would certainly explain why Hannity, Coulter, O’Reilly and other members of the Mighty Wurlitzer Shop of Horrors are opening their yaps in support of Joe.  Joe has probably known for a while he’s trailing Ned in the polls for August 8 and has consequently been running a November race for a while now.  So if this in fact was the GOP plan, it may have backfired and served to strengthen Lieberman amongst the conservatives he needs to pull it off in November.

I’m not certain anyone knows right now where this is all headed.  Except to say that despite the fact that he may be the last one to know, "Mr. Schlesinger, he gone."

(YouTube above by CTBlogger, an interview with the Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, who analyzes the 19-point surge Lamont made in the past month — "really, the momentum is on Lamont’s side.")

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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