Today’s filings of independent expenditures at the Federal Election Commission shows US Rep. Chris Murphy with an additional $176,000-plus in his efforts to defeat Republican Linda McMahon for the U.S. Senate race. It brings his total to about $7.2 million, compared to McMahon’s $720,499. Today’s filing are led by a timeshare industry group called ARDA-Resort Owner’s Coalition, with $125,868 reported for radio ads supporting Murphy. Planned Parenthood Votes reported contributing $25,591 for “persuasion calls” for Murphy, plus an equal amount for calls against McMahon.
So maybe you were initially relieved when the high-stakes presidential debates were finished. Maybe you wondered what was the point of the name-calling and mud-slinging that passed for the U.S. Senate debates between U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon. But maybe, now, come the weekend with a mere 10 days left before Election Day, you have a hankering for a little public policy and are willing to hear a couple of candidates discussing their visions going forward on the national stage.
Well, you have two chances in the next week, as U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and his Republican challenger Steve Obsitnick debate the big issues in their third and fourth head-to-head debates. The next one is Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Clune Performing Arts Center at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road/Route 7. It’s free. It’s handicapped accessible. Get there a little early and write a question for the candidates. It’s sponsored by 12 local area chapters of League of Women Voters: Bridgeport, Wilton, Weston, Redding, Ridgefield, New Canaan, Westport, Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and Fairfield. It will be moderated by Kay Maxwell of Stamford, former national president of the LWV.
Then on Friday, November 2, Himes, of Greenwich and Obsitnik, of Westport, will participate in their final debate, in a 10 a.m. event in the Bridgeport Holiday Inn sponsored by the AARP.
A quick perusal of the Federal Election Commission site this morning indicates that U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy has been the beneficiary of nearly $650,000 in independent expenditures – money coming from PACs that are not supposed to be coordinated with his campaign – since Tuesday. Nearly $472,000 is for a new ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee opposing Republican Linda McMahon. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc. contributed about $110,000; Planned Parenthood Votes CT spent $3,449 for “persuasion calls” against McMahon. The National Emergency Medicine PAC, an arm of the American College of Emergency Physicians provided $48, 133.50 in support for Murphy. For you folks keeping score at home, independent expenditures for Murphy total $7,033,167 to McMahon’s $720,499.
Of course the millionaire former pro-wrestling executive from Greenwich has the hammer with $29.3 million in total fundraising, including her $27.23 million loan to the campaign, compared to the $8.5 million raised by Murphy, according to the latest FEC filings.
TMI on the campaign trail for the 4th CD. Obsitnik’s afraid. Himes says GOP will hold U.S. House of Reps
At their separate-but-equal appearances this afternoon before the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Republican challenger Steve Obsitnik each had their Too Much Information occurrence. Even Chamber Chairman Hamid Malakpour of TD Bank had a moment or two, or three, or four, in mispronouncing Obsitnik’s name a bunch of times while introducing him. Malakpour went for the “OBS-it-nick” way, while the Naval veteran pronounces it “ob-SIT-nick.”
Obsitnik: “…I don’t want Washington to change me. That’s my biggest fear….”
Himes, asked whom he would like to support for the next speaker: “If the choice were solely mine I would choose between one of the top leaders of the Democratic Party today… (U.S. Rep) Nancy Pelosi and (U.S. Rep) Steny Hoyer.”
Of course, for that to happen, Democrats would have to regain a majority in the 435-seat chamber. Himes candidly said it’s unlikely. But since at this moment it appears President Obama will win re-election, he has some amount of confidence in a new budget agreement occurring in the opening months of 2013. “I actually do think that President Obama and (Republican) Speaker John Boehner can get a deal done.”
STAMFORD – U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Republican congressional challenger Steve Obsitnik on Wednesday differed on ways to continue the nation’s emergence from under the shadow of the crippling five-year recession.
Several times during a forum sponsored by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, Obsitnik blamed Himes for the slow growth in the economy.
Himes countered that if Republican solutions were pursued over the last four years, the nation might well have spiraled into the type of economic freefall experienced by Spain, where the unemployment rate is 26 percent.
The format of the event was not a head-to-head debate, but rather separate, 30-minute appearances before about 40 people in the Stamford Plaza.
Obsitnik, a political novice who spoke first, said Himes is responsible for the nation’s slow growth and Connecticut’s 9-percent unemployment rate.
“I know what businesses need to do to survive and thrive,” said Obsitnik, a former Navy submarine officer and now a high-tech entrepreneur. “I think we all agree that Washington is under water, but we have a mission.”
Obsitnik said that the nation would have been better off without the multi-trillion-dollar stimulus program under Himes and President Obama and that if capital locked in banks had been freed for businesses, the economy would have grown at a faster rate.
“We need to solve the biggest problem out there, which is jobs,” Obsitnik said. “The government picking winners and losers does not work.”
Himes recalled that in the first months of 2009, when he and the president first took office, the country was losing 750,000 jobs a month and while the growth of new jobs is slightly disappointing, at about 200,000 a month, it’s a sign of a turnaround.
“We still have way too many unemployed Americans,” Himes said. “We have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way.” He said that as many as 4 million of the total of 5 million new jobs were the result of stimulus money.
He said that without government working as a big-ticket incubator of ideas and projects including the nascent Internet and the satellites that now speed communications, the nation might not have been a leader in the high-tech revolution. He held out a smart phone and said he would love to see such devices made in the United States instead of China.
He predicted that the next Congress will get together and compromise on a budget deal similar to the so-called Simpson-Bowles deficit-fighting proposals for which he voted.
Himes referred to Obsitnik only twice and only as “my opponent,” during the event.
The tie in the U.S. Senate race has finally broken, according to today’s Quinnipiac University Poll that finds U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy with a six-point lead over Linda McMahon, as women and older voters have given him a 49-43 edge with less than two weeks until the election.
Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said the findings seem identical to 2010, when McMahon faded at the end of the Senate race with Richard Blumenthal.
The October 4 survey of likely state voters had Murphy with a 48-47 lead that was a statistical tie, while an August report had McMahon with a lead just beyond the margin of error.
But in today’s poll, 11 percent of Murphy supporters and 14 percent of McMahon’s supporters said they could still change their minds by Nov. 6.
“It’s deja vu all over again in Connecticutv Senate race,” Schwartz said. “As we hit the final stretch of the campaign, Linda McMahon is beginning to fade.”
In the presidential race, President Barack Obama is up 55-41 over Mitt Romney in the state, compared to 54-42 on Oct. 4. The poll was held among 1,412 likely voters between October 19 and 22 and has a margin of error of 2.6 points.
The Stamford mayor joined Trumbull Selectmen Tim Herbst in dealing with crowd control in the Stamford Marriott this afternoon as the scheduled 1:30 appearance of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Linda McMahon kept getting pushed back. By 3 p.m., the crowd seemed to have thinned out. Then, finally, there was Christie and McMahon up behind Pavia on the stage. Pavia, who has toyed with the prospect of leaving the GOP, said he agreed with McMahon’s standard line of speech about how she was running for Senate so her grandchildren would have a better life. “I took my grandson on a nature walk yesterday and he asked me, as usual, a very peculiar question…ah they do it all the time…He asked me why I wanted to be mayor of the city of Stamford….My answer was very simple…And the answer is a very simple one, ‘because I want to make things better for you, for your brother, for your friends and for every other child’ going forward that doesn’t necessarily understand what’s happening today in our country but will bear the brunt of it if we don’t do something about it immediately.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce weighing in for $700K on CT Senate race with TV, radio ads. Murphy charges the support blows McM’s “moderate” label
What’s $700,000 among friends? This is a release from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a new campaign in Connecticut for Linda McMahon, in a tight race with US Rep. Chris Murphy. The USCC filed a report with the Federal Election Commission today indicating a $700,000 expenditure for McMahon, plus a $22 digital media expense. Here’s the release from Washington:
“The ad highlights Linda McMahon’s plan to get Connecticut’s economy back on track and create jobs. This is the U.S. Chamber’s first voter education campaign in the state. Of note:
- Linda has called for reducing middle-class tax rates
- She knows that the only way to create jobs is by lowering taxes on small businesses so they can grow
- From her experience in the private sector, she knows that free enterprise, not more government, will lead our economic recovery
You can watch the TV ad here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbTqStEMRug
Listen to the radio ad here: http://www.voteforjobs2012.com/race/senate/CT/“
And here’s the reaction from Murphy, back when the USCC recently endorsed McMahon:
“ROCKY HILL-As if challenging her own ability to simultaneously support extreme right-wing policies while publicly labeling herself as a moderate, Linda McMahon today bragged about her support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the nation’s most outspoken and prominent proponents of the Ryan Plan to privatize Medicare, tax cuts for millionaires, and companies that ship jobs overseas.
‘It’s no surprise that the national group that favors the Ryan plan to privatize Medicare, rolling back Wall Street reform, and new tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, would also support right-wing Republican Linda McMahon,’ said Murphy campaign spokesman Eli Zupnick. ‘McMahon desperately tries to hide her right-wing positions when she’s on the campaign trail, but when she brags about her support from national right-wing groups like this then Connecticut voters get a glimpse of her true colors.’
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is funded by a handful of large, anonymous corporations, spends millions of dollars each year to support right-wing conservatives, and has worked extensively with Karl Rove’s American Crossroads organization to send far-right Republicans to Congress. The Chamber relentlessly opposed crucial Wall Street protections for the middle class and supports American companies that send jobs overseas.
Chamber Supported Ryan Budget That Would Essentially End Medicare. “At a breakfast with reporters this morning, Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, praised House Budget chair Paul Ryan and his ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget outline, which was released earlier this week. ‘We think it is exactly the pathway to a trajectory to get the federal budget spending down to where it’s under control,’ Josten said. ‘This is not just touching the third rail, this is grasping the third rail.’” [Weekly Standard, 4/8/11]
Chamber Opposed Buffett Rule, Which Would Close Loopholes That Allow Millionaires And Billionaires To Pay A Lower Tax Rate Than Middle-Class Americans. “The Chamber of Commerce on Monday urged lawmakers not to vote for legislation pushed by President Obama that would ensure that the nation’s wealthiest pay a minimum tax rate. The powerful business group said it would score the vote on S. 2230, also called the ‘Buffett Rule.’”In April 2012, UPI reported that “the so-called ‘Buffett Rule’ that would make sure millionaires and billionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than middle-class taxpayers. It would raise the tax rate on investment income to 30 percent…The Buffett Rule would seek to close loopholes so the rich pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.” [The Hill, 4/16/12; UPI, 4/10/12]
Chamber Of Commerce Supported Bush-Style Social Security Privatization Plan. According to the Chamber of Commerce’s website, “The only way to permanently strengthen Social Security is to transform the system into a program with real savings to back its promises to future retirees. The best way to do this is with a personal account component as President Bush and others have proposed.” [USChamber.com, accessed 5/9/12]“