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Last GOP Senate candidate to be cut off by NRSC speaks on Akin affair

Alan Schlesinger of Connecticut calls for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to “accept” Akin and “let him run his race.”

Before Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin became a household name in U.S. politics, the last Republican U.S. Senate nominee to be denied funding and support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee was Alan Schlesinger of Connecticut in 2006. That year, Derby, Conn. Mayor Schlesinger was the GOP nominee in a race in which Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), defeated for renomination by anti-war Democrat Ned Lamont, went on to run in the fall as an independent and win.

Recalling his own situation and believing Akin??s remarks were ??very sad,? Schlesinger nonetheless believes that the NRSC should not try to shut out its nominee in Missouri from needed funding. The Connecticut Republican, however, differs greatly from Akin on the abortion issue, describing himself as ??pro-choice with exceptions.?

Schlesinger also looked back at his own situation six years ago and how different it was from the current one.

??And my reason for being cut off by national Republicans was not for saying anything, the way Akin did, but because they wanted Lieberman re-elected because of the support the senator had given him on Iraq and other national security issues.? said Schlesinger in an exclusive interview with Human Events. Now in private law practice, Schlesinger talked about his own experience as cast aside by the GOP.

Schlesinger, a moderate-to-conservative former state legislator, explained that ??I ran for the Senate because I felt that with Lieberman likely to lose the primary and go independent, I might have a chance in a three-way race. In fact, I wouldn??t have run if I thought I would be going head-to-head with Lieberman or Lamont. But I never had a chance once the White House said they preferred Lieberman and the national party ignored me.?

The “Almanac of American Politics” sums up the chronology of events demonstrating how the Bush administration and the national GOP sent out signals they wanted Lieberman — who had said repeatedly he would vote with Democrats for Senate control — and not their nominee: ??On Aug. 13, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said that his practice was to consult ??our leadership in the states and they say: you ought to stay out of this one.?? On Aug. 15, White House press secretary Tony Snow said: the Republican Party of Connecticut has suggested that we not make an endorsement in that race, so we??re not.? Snow??s response to a question posed by Human Events when we followed up by asking if those making the suggestion about not making an endorsement included then-State GOP Chairman George Gallo, Snow replied: ??Including Mr. Gallo.?

In Connecticut, state party leaders led by then-Gov. Jodi Rell offered the excuse for not supporting their Senate nominee that he enjoyed gambling. Schlesinger laughed at that, recalling how ??(Rell) said I was a ??professional gambler.?? That was because I could actually count cards in blackjack and win. And gaming is not only perfectly legal on Indian reservations in Connecticut but it is one of the state??s biggest sources of revenue. I didn??t break any laws at all — I only knew how to play a game well.? A graduate of the Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania, Schlesinger is a highly successful attorney.

Regarding Akin??s now-celebrated remark about ??legitimate rape,? Schlesinger said: ??What he said was really silly. And he apologized. (National Republicans) should accept that and let him run his race and not hurt him. Just recently, (Califonria Democratic Rep.) Maxine Waters said to an energy executive during a House committee hearing that ??we were going to socialize — er, take over your business.?? It seems these days that if you are a Democrat you can say anything, but if you??re a Republican, you can get in trouble for any slip of the tongue.?

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ??the man who knows everyone in Washington? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what??s going on in the nation??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ??Gizzi on Politics? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ??Gizzi??s America,? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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Last GOP Senate candidate to be cut off by NRSC speaks on Akin affair

Before Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin became a household name in U.S. politics, the last Republican U.S. Senate nominee to be denied funding and support from the National Republican Senatorial Committee was Alan Schlesinger of Connecticut in 2006. That year, Derby, Conn. Mayor Schlesinger was the GOP nominee in a race in which Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), defeated for renomination by anti-war Democrat Ned Lamont, went on to run in the fall as an independent and win.

Recalling his own situation and believing Akin’s remarks were “very sad,” Schlesinger nonetheless believes that the NRSC should not try to shut out its nominee in Missouri from needed funding. The Connecticut Republican, however, differs greatly from Akin on the abortion issue, describing himself as “pro-choice with exceptions.”

Schlesinger also looked back at his own situation six years ago and how different it was from the current one.

“And my reason for being cut off by national Republicans was not for saying anything, the way Akin did, but because they wanted Lieberman re-elected because of the support the senator had given him on Iraq and other national security issues.” said Schlesinger in an exclusive interview with Human Events. Now in private law practice, Schlesinger talked about his own experience as cast aside by the GOP.

Schlesinger, a moderate-to-conservative former state legislator, explained that “I ran for the Senate because I felt that with Lieberman likely to lose the primary and go independent, I might have a chance in a three-way race. In fact, I wouldn’t have run if I thought I would be going head-to-head with Lieberman or Lamont. But I never had a chance once the White House said they preferred Lieberman and the national party ignored me.”

The “Almanac of American Politics” sums up the chronology of events demonstrating how the Bush administration and the national GOP sent out signals they wanted Lieberman — who had said repeatedly he would vote with Democrats for Senate control — and not their nominee: “On Aug. 13, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman said that his practice was to consult ‘our leadership in the states and they say: you ought to stay out of this one.’ On Aug. 15, White House press secretary Tony Snow said: the Republican Party of Connecticut has suggested that we not make an endorsement in that race, so we’re not.” Snow’s response to a question posed by Human Events when we followed up by asking if those making the suggestion about not making an endorsement included then-State GOP Chairman George Gallo, Snow replied: “Including Mr. Gallo.”

In Connecticut, state party leaders led by then-Gov. Jodi Rell offered the excuse for not supporting their Senate nominee that he enjoyed gambling. Schlesinger laughed at that, recalling how “(Rell) said I was a ‘professional gambler.’ That was because I could actually count cards in blackjack and win. And gaming is not only perfectly legal on Indian reservations in Connecticut but it is one of the state’s biggest sources of revenue. I didn’t break any laws at all — I only knew how to play a game well.” A graduate of the Wharton School of Finance in Pennsylvania, Schlesinger is a highly successful attorney.

Regarding Akin’s now-celebrated remark about “legitimate rape,” Schlesinger said: “What he said was really silly. And he apologized. (National Republicans) should accept that and let him run his race and not hurt him. Just recently, (Califonria Democratic Rep.) Maxine Waters said to an energy executive during a House committee hearing that ‘we were going to socialize — er, take over your business.’ It seems these days that if you are a Democrat you can say anything, but if you’re a Republican, you can get in trouble for any slip of the tongue.”

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