Over the weekend a tipster forwarded me an e-mail circulated by the Democratic State Central Committee to delegates about Lee Whitnum, the Greenwich Democrat whose long-shot bid for her party’s U.S. Senate nomination was further complicated when she mistakenly showed up at the Republican convention instead.
According to the DSCC e-mail, Whitnum has been mailing letters and ballots to delegates falsely claiming a re-vote on the Senate nomination was ordered. The DSCC e-mail tells delegates to disregard Whitnum.
During the May 21 convention Democrats chose long-time state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, also of Greenwich, to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd.
Asked about the DSCC e-mail, Democratic Chairman Nancy DiNardo today told me: “We were getting calls and e-mails from people who were confused by (Whitnum’s letter), asking us what it was all about. So we had to send out an e-mail to people.”
I called Whitnum this afternoon for a response.
“My God, they’ve treated me unfairly from day one,” Whitnum said, arguing Blumenthal all along has been getting preferential treatment from party leaders. “I don’t know what to do.”
She said she is trying to post a video on her campaign website further explaining the issue and plans to “call each and every delegate personally in the next few days and ask them to please vote.”
Here’s the e-mail the DSCC sent delegates.
To: State Convention Delegates, Democratic State Central Committee Members, and Democratic Town Chairs
From: Allison Dodge, Executive Director and Nancy DiNardo, State Party Chair
Date: June 19, 2010
RE: Correspondence from Ms. Lee Whitnum
Recently you may have received correspondence from Ms. Lee Whitnum relating to our Party’s U.S. Senate endorsement and her wish for a revote in some manner. The purpose of this email is to clarify any misinformation that this correspondence may contain and to offer our willingness to address any concerns you may have regarding this letter.
Ms. Whitnum’s correspondence wrongly implies that State Central somehow approved a “re-vote” of the State Convention’s U.S. Senate endorsement. This action has in no way or form been approved or endorsed by the State Central Committee, Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo, or Party Counsel Kevin Reynolds.
For background purposes, some of you may remember Ms. Whitnum from 2008 when she attempted to primary Jim Himes in the 4th Congressional District. This year, Ms. Whitnum filed papers to seek the endorsement for U.S. Senate. However, Ms. Whitnum was not nominated at the State Convention this year. Md. Whitnum suggests that this was due to the fact that she first attended the Republican State Convention at the Connecticut Convention Center. Ms. Whitnum insists that this was inadvertent and we do not dispute that.
However, Ms. Whitnum lays the blame for this mistake on State Central for, among other things, not informing her of the location of our State Convention. We assure you that Ms. Whitnum was provided this and other pertinent information. Additionally, our website had this information and this information was also well publicized in television, radio, and newspaper reports.
You should also note that Ms. Whitnum did contact State Central and our counsel with her complaint. She was informed, through a lengthy series of emails, that the appropriate administrative remedy would be for her to request a Dispute Resolution Hearing as provided for in Article V of the State Party Rules. Ms. Whitnum has refused to follow this course of action and, instead, has opted evidently to proceed with her own remedy.
In conclusion, Ms. Whitnum was not nominated at the State Convention and the recourse she has set forth in her correspondence will have no effect whatsoever on the U.S. Senate endorsement.
We hope that this clarifies this issue for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 860-560-1775. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.