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CMS: Bling and Benz in 2010
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Why are so many of the Connecticut candidates in this cycle either rich or super-rich?


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49:28 minutes (23.75 MB)
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Rich people and Connecticut politics are not total strangers.

Because I am 117, I remember politicians named Lodge and Alsop. I remember Weicker and the series of Fairfield County opponents to challenge Chris Dodd in previous years. Guys with no political experience, but some money with which to self-fund. And then there was Ned Lamont in 2006.

Several things have changed in 2010. The major candidates are, almost without exception, rich.

Also, there's rich and there's rich. I don't think that, adjusting for inflation, any candidate in state history has had the amounts of money and the willingness to spend that Senate candidate Linda McMahon has. $50 million in a campaign is a big drink of water.  Also in the pack are Foley, Lamont, Blumenthal, Fedele. They're all wealthy. They have varying degrees of willingness to spend. The running of the rich ... coming up on today's show.

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Listener E-mail from Eric

This is Eric from West Hartford (please don't use my last name on the air). As a voter of the middle class, I am concerned that if large numbers of our politicians are wealthy, that they will institute policies that benefit themselves as a class instead of everybody else. This especially concerns me with business people like McMahon. We have seen the federal government pass policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy for decades like the Bush tax cuts, and this needs to stop.

But I am probably in the minority - I think due to most Americans' squeamishness with issues of class there are many who don't care. What do your guests think?