BREAKING NEWS: Schlesinger out as Republican nominee for senate?
Oh, oh! Time to turn on the Drudge light!
Hartford Courant columnist Kevin F. Rennie sends along this late breaking news:
Connecticut Republicans may soon have a vacancy to fill for their United States Senate nomination.Schlesinger out; Diana Urban in? (BTW: Urban is a big time anti-war Republican who should be taken very seriously...in other words, so much for Joementum's support among Republicans.)
Former state Representative Alan Schlesinger is being dogged by gambling rumors, and Bradley Beecher, former commanding officer of the state police's casino licensing and operations unit, says he received a call from Schlesinger on Tuesday, July 11th seeking information on who was checking out his gambling habits. Beecher is now a consultant on casino security and law enforcement. He's also a critic of Connecticut gaming policies.
Beecher, who was familiar with Schlesinger, says the Republican nominee told him he is, in gambling parlance, a card counter who has been thrown out of the Mohegan Sun casino. Schlesinger told Beecher and others he plays under an assumed name, Alan Gold. Beecher shared details of his startling conversation with Schlesinger in an email to Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell and others around the state.
Republican state chairman George Gallo has conferred with Schlesinger and is concerned about the implications of the brewing gambling scandal. Schlesinger confirmed to Gallo that he gambled under the name Alan Gold because he wanted to accrue points on his "Wampum card" at the Foxwoods casino operated by the Mahantucket Pequots.
According to Gallo, who sounds like he is ready to force Schlesinger from the ticket and find a replacement, "Our mistake is that we only vetted candidates using their real names, not aliases."
Replacing Schlesinger could open a possibility for a serious Republican candidate to emerge for a three way November brawl should Democratic challenger Ned Lamont defeat incumbent Joseph Lieberman in the state's August 8th primary. Lieberman is committed to running as independent if he loses in August and is counting on broad Republican support to win. If there is a serious Republican nominee, which Schlesinger has not been, Lieberman will lose an important part of the base for his "Plan B."
Urban, 56, will be running as an anti-war candidate and in a brief telephone interview sounded like a Republican version of Cindy Sheehan. The three term state legislator, claiming the Bush administration possesses a "flat learning curve", says America went into Iraq for the wrong reasons. She says she was heavily influenced by recently published account of the war, Cobra II. On a more philosophical level, she cleaves to the Sun-Tzu's Art of War, declaring that her campaign strategy comes from him: "The path will reveal itself to you."A Republican anti-war candidate with nothing to lose and everything to gain...Joe, you're screwed.
Claiming "a number of women asked me over and over again to do this", Urban is not giving up her race for re-election to the state legislature, for which she is unopposed from her affluent southeastern Connecticut district, previously represented by Iraq war enthusiast, Congressman Rob Simmons.
UPDATE: Quick info on Urban. Also some good stuff here.
UPDATE 2: Urban collecting signatures.
Rep. Diana S. Urban, R-North Stonington, says she's begun collecting 7,500 signatures in a bid to become a petitioning candidate for U.S. Senate in the November election.Urban interviewed on The Bruce and Colin Show today on WTIC (.mp3 file).
The three-term representative, who has taught economics and political science at several colleges, said today that should she be certified as an official candidate, she would campaign against the war in Iraq and advocate government policies that favor "low- and moderate-income people" and small businesses.
She said the Iraq invasion shows that American foreign policy makers have "a flat learning curve" and have repeated mistakes like those made in the Vietnam War.
Urban said she decided to enter the Senate contest at the urging of constituents with whom she regularly discusses politics and current affairs.
"These are a bunch of women in my district who are from all walks of life," she said, adding they had for months pressured her to put her politics to test in the now crowded race.
"People had come to me about running on another party's line," she said, "but my dad was a Republican leader in New York and I grew up in the Rockefeller era with Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln as my heroes."
"Yet who would have thought that we'd be doing what we're doing in Iraq, or having a sitting senator challenged like this, so I finally said, 'OK."'
Urban said she thinks the three-term incumbent she hopes to unseat, U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, is "out of touch" with the voters in "a very blue state who do not support this war in Iraq."
She said she was "thrilled" with the antiwar stance of Ned Lamont, the Greenwich cable executive battling Lieberman in the Democratic primary election.
But she added that even were Lamont to defeat Lieberman, who also is collecting signatures to be a petitioning candidate, she still would enter the race.
"The only thing I can say about Lamont," she said, "is that I think the experience I've had and the record that I have lets you know more about how I would be on the issues, and we really don't know how he'll do until he's faced with a vote."