Hitting Dodd Where it Hurts: Your Pocket

Courtest of Rob Simmons for US Senate.

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The Dodd wars continue. As I noted recently, the embattled five-term senator and his surrogates have been fighting to dispel the notion that Dodd is too cozy with K Street and Wall Street, which he oversees as the chairman of the Senate banking committee. In the past, lobbyists and finance industry execs and PACs—along with insurance industry interests—have been prolific donors to Dodd’s campaigns, which make him a fairly easy target for attack campaigns like this. And Team Dodd, strenously trying to rehab the senator’s image, has fired back with ads like this.

The latest salvo comes from one of Dodd’s Republican challengers, former congressman Rob Simmons, whose campaign has launched a “Put Chris Dodd in Your Pocket” fundraising drive.

If you’re a wealthy special interest donor — like Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Mortgage, or the guys at AIG, or even a pawn shop owner — you can rest easy knowing that you have a powerful Senator like Chris Dodd in your back pocket.

Now you as an ordinary citizen can have Chris Dodd in your pocket — and for a lot less than the millions in campaign contributions the banking, financial services, and insurance industries have showered on Chairman Dodd over the years.

Donate $5 or more to our campaign and receive your own personal “Pocket Dodd” you can cut out and display as a reminder of the special interest cronyism we’ll finally be rid of in November 2010.

In the last few years, Pocket Dodd has been busy: moving to Iowa, launching a frivolous campaign for President, jetting off to his cottage in Ireland — anything but doing his job overseeing a financial industry in crisis.

Meanwhile, Dodd’s heavy-handed efforts to distance himself from K Street have largely been met with ridicule inside the beltway. It certainly didn’t help his cause when he recently attended the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s annual retreat, held this year on Martha’s Vineyard, along with some of K Street’s most powerful players.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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