U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd was unable to attend his own fundraiser Friday afternoon at the Connecticut Science Center where about 200 of his supporters came out to meet Vice President Joe Biden.
State House Speaker Chris Donovan, who attended the afternoon fundraiser, said Biden gave an “inspired” and “supportive” speech. He said Biden spoke about how Dodd is one of the main players in Washington and has taken on many of the tough roles, such as reforming the nation’s financial system.
Some of those reform efforts are what had a few dozen protestors angry about out on the street.
From “Dump Dodd” protestors to Green Party activists, a number of people expressed their discontent with Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee.
Gene Therous of Southwick, Mass. said it’s about more than Dodd’s poor decisions. He said he was out there Friday to make sure all the members of Congress and the U.S. Senate know they’ve got to stop “devastating” the American economy.
“It’s gotta stop and we’ve got to get the message out,” Therous said.
Angelo Perrotta of Granby said he wants Dodd gone too. He said Dodd is not representing the majority of the people who don’t want “health care rammed down our throats.” He said politicians like Dodd need to understand it’s the private sector that generates the tax revenue to help get the American economy back on the right track.
Mixed into the group protesting Dodd were a handful of Dodd supporters like Jen Just and Raul De Jesus.
When Just learned Dodd wouldn’t be attending the event inside, she said “I think he made the right decision.”
“We need every vote we can get,” Just said.
Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy, who also showed up at the protest, said it probably would have been better for Connecticut if Dodd had showed up for the fundraiser, instead of staying in Washington for a vote.
“It’s pretty clear what they’re up to and they need Chris Dodd to be there,” Healy said. “I wish he was here.”
Merrick Alpert, Dodd’s Democratic challenger, said he’s not altogether surprised Dodd failed to show up since “he doesn’t spend a lot of time in Connecticut.”
“I absolutely don’t know how you pretend to represent a state if you don’t live there,” Alpert said. Alpert’s campaign was handing out little bars of soap that said “Won’t it be nice to have a clean senator.”
Dodd and his family own a home in East Haddam and one in Washington, D.C. The mortgages on both homes have been refinanced by an independent third party following the Countrywide Financial Mortgage scandal.
Meanwhile, two members of the Green Party stood in opposition to what they called a “watered-down version of health care reform.”
Green Party member Tim McKee said they’re taking baby steps by proposing the Medicare solution that would allow those without insurance to buy into the Medicare system. McKee said he is an advocate of a single-payer system. So is Lauren Serven of Wethersfield, who said “health care is a resource, it’s a human right.”
McKee had expected about a dozen other supporters of single-payer to show up and be arrested for civil disobedience, but no arrests related to the protest were made Friday.
McKee is still working on drafting Ralph Nader to run against Dodd.
Editor’s note: We were not allowed into the Connecticut Science Center to report on Biden’s remarks.