Susan B: Here she goes again
After 76 percent of the delegates to the Democratic state convention rejected her bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman, Susan Bysiewicz announced she'll challenge the party nominee, U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, in a primary Aug. 14.
That is her right, of course, but desperately office-seeking Susan is beginning to run out of things to run for and the voters may be running out of patience. Ms. Bysiewicz blames party insiders for denying her the convention nomination. More likely mainstream Democrats recognize she would be a candidate with extreme liabilities in a general election.
Since 2009, Ms. Bysiewicz has been running and running, first for governor, then for attorney general, then for senator. Earlier, in a once successful political career, she was elected to the state House of Representatives three times and then, secretary of the state three times.
But since then, it looks as if she's trying to run for everything.
So far, she's been a candidate for the General Assembly, Congress, secretary of the state, governor, attorney general and now senator, which leaves only comptroller, treasurer and lieutenant governor to complete the circuit.
Her troubles began when she was the early front runner in the 2010 race for governor but decided she'd rather run for attorney general. Her decision came immediately after the incumbent, Richard Blumenthal, announced he'd run for the Senate and attorney general seemed easier than continuing the race against the hard charging Dan Malloy (he insisted on Dannel P. Malloy only after becoming governor).
But then Ms. Bysiewicz ran afoul of an old state law that required the state's lawyer to have legal experience. The law says the candidate for attorney general should have practiced law for 10 years. The Supreme Court found Ms. Bysiewicz had made a career of practicing politics, not law, and her duties as secretary of the state didn't count as attorney work.
It was rather embarrassing when, under oath, she had to explain why she considered herself a lawyer, even though she had sought the waiver of a state fee for lawyers by claiming she wasn't actively practicing law.
Then it got worse.
She had to admit she had never argued a case before a judge and couldn't remember even being in a courtroom since law school. Despite all this, a Superior Court judge found her qualified to be attorney general but the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled she wasn't.
This left Susan without an office to seek in 2010, but it turned out to be a busy, or if you prefer, a disastrous final year for her as secretary of the state.
First, there was the little matter of her office having used a state database as a mailing list for campaign support and contributions for Susan Bysiewicz. Then, on Election Day, when Bridgeport ran out of ballots before all of its voters had voted, many wondered why Connecticut's chief elections officer, aka Secretary Bysiewicz, had allowed that to happen.
Not her responsibility, she explained.
But now, all of that is behind her, as is her defeat for the Senate nomination at a convention she says was controlled by the bosses. And so, Susan Bysiewicz lives to run again, saying it will be up to the state's 700,000 registered Democrats to decide who will be the nominee, not "the insiders."