Mystic Democrat Merrick Alpert, who has been trying to convince his party he would be a better candidate to replace retiring veteran U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd than Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, will not be allowed to address the nominating convention tonight at the Connecticut Expo Center.
Alpert, who made an impressive showing during his one debate with Blumenthal, had been hoping this week’s controversy over whether the latter mislead the public about his Vietnam-era military service would have garnered his upstart campaign more support.
Of course it probably didn’t help that Alpert, who had already angered party leaders by going after Dodd before his decision to retire, then staying in the race when Blumenthal announced his candidacy, leveled some of the harshest criticism at the Attorney General this week.
Refusing to be stifled, the Alpert campaign sent reporters this afternoon what it says would have been tonight’s speech:
You deserve a primary!
We need a primary!
And I intend to deliver that to you.
My name is Merrick Alpert.
I was born in Hartford and raised in Colchester by a single mother. My father left when I was a little boy and growing up I never saw him again. We struggled. My mother was a union schoolteacher in Colchester who worked a second job to provide for my brother, sister and me.
I need to thank you. Twenty-five years ago the people of Connecticut loaned me the money to go to UCONN. It changed my life. After I graduated I knew I owed you something back, so I enlisted in the US Army National Guard, then transferred to a helicopter unit in the Air National Guard. In 1998 I volunteered as a US Peacekeeper and served on the ground in Bosnia. In that Muslim nation, I learned a lot about what American force can achieve. I also learned that American force has limits.
I returned home and started, along with a friend, a software company. We started from scratch. For the first two years I didn’t get paid. But through hard work, and luck, eventually we succeeded.
I have been involved in Democratic causes my whole life. I worked for Al Gore when he first ran for President and later when he was Vice President, traveling with him both in the States and overseas. During the 2000 election campaign, you remember, the election that Al Gore won, I was in the staff room at a California hotel while the Vice President slept in the next room. Into the staff room walked the most charming, most intelligent, most beautiful woman I have ever seen. And foolishly, I told her so. A few months later we went on a date. And tonight, that woman Alex is my wife; we have 3 little children and live in Mystic……… and I’m probably the only man in America today to look at Al Gore and think romantic thoughts.
I am running for the United States Senate because we need a progressive Democratic to win this seat. I am running because I cannot stand the thought that Linda McMahon from World Wrestling can buy it………and you can’t tolerate that either.
I am here to tell you that, as Democrats, we need a primary. Why?
We’re not ready to win the Senate election. My assessment is if the general election were held this Tuesday, we would lose. After the events of this week, the polls confirm my assessment.
We need a candidate who knows why he is running for the Senate. We need a candidate who is straight with himself and straight with the people of Connecticut. We need a candidate who has fought and earned the nomination, not one who has sat quietly while the crown of coronation has been placed on his head. And, we need a candidate who has been completely vetted so we have no more unpleasant surprises. Think about it in your own life: if you have a son who will play football in the fall, do you keep him in the house over the summer to keep him safe or do you have him running contact drills to toughen him up? And on a national level, remember that the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton primaries left our party energized and strengthened.
We should find our candidate through a vigorous, issues-based primary. A primary will not only fortify our candidate, it will also permit us to share our vision of the type of democratic America we fight for. We want a government focused on private sector job creation. We want a government of the people, not of the special interests. We want a government investing our money in education, infrastructure, and health care at home, notwasting the money on a futile war in Afghanistan. A WAR THAT I OPPOSE. I have been campaigning on these issues for the last year and I can tell you the people of Connecticut care dearly about them. Every election this year has shown that voters are looking for ideas from outside government: I have new, fresh ideas that challenge Washington and the status quo.
If we have our own vigorous primary, we silence the Republican war machine until August 10th. We all know that the highly effective attack in Tuesday’s New York Times was hatched in Linda McMahon’s office. If we settle on our nominee tonight, that exceedingly well-funded and vicious machine, created by Karl Rove but now housed at World Wrestling, will be gifted three additional months to ruin our candidate. Think about what a few days of that enemy fire has done for our cause. Why would we ask for three additional months of it?
My name is Merrick Alpert. I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. And I want to be the best employee you ever have.
Please give me enough votes so we can have the primary that we all need to keep this seat Democratic.
Thank you. God Bless You. And Goodnight.