The Hartford Courant captures some bad blood between Connecticut Republicans in the wake of Linda McMahon’s loss in the Connecticut Senate race Tuesday. Former GOP Rep. Chris Shays, who unsuccessfully sought the Senate nomination, asserts that McMahon (who spent nearly $100 million on her 2010 and 2012 Senate bids) got taken to the cleaners by the political operatives who worked for her. Shays said that high-profile operatives made huge amounts of money over the past three years as McMahon spent nearly $100 million in her races in 2010 and 2012. “The people advising her were thrilled to take her money, but they knew this was a long shot,’’ Shays said. “Corry Bliss, who ran her campaign, basically left Vermont in shambles, and he’s leaving Connecticut in shambles. But he’s got more money. He made more money. Pat Sullivan [a lobbyist and McMahon adviser] basically has made a pile of money at the expense of his fellow Republicans. And it’s just a shame. He’s a talented guy. He stood in the way of Republicans gaining a Senate seat in 2010 and 2012.’’ Shays added, “In the end, she dissed the Republicans. She ran as an independent. She spent $100 million. She thought she could avoid the press, avoid the editorial boards, and just go on TV and buy an election. She was seriously rebuked, but in the process she helped bring down the rest of the ticket. I think most people knew Chris Murphy was not their strongest candidate, but in spite of that, he won. Chris Murphy wasn’t even known in half the state – any more than I was.’’ In response to Shays’s less-than-flattering account of her campaign operation, McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss brought out the flamethrower. “Congressman Shays is a classless, bitter sore loser who should do the people of Connecticut a favor and keep his mouth shut and move back to Maryland,’’ Bliss said in an interview. “However, I would like to offer a portion of my salary to be used to pay for the psychiatric care that Congressman Shays desperately needs. And lastly, I know that Congressman Shays has dreams of running for governor, and I will keep my opposition research book under my pillow with the hopes of being able to use it, pro bono, if he launches another failed campaign.’’ Bliss added, “Congressman Shays is an unemployed, classless man who has nothing better to do than sit around and pontificate about other people’s campaigns. In his last campaign, he received 30 percent of the vote, and the campaign before that [in 2008] he was running ads with Obama when his campaign funds were being embezzled.’’ Read the whole story. Even by post-campaign score-settling standards, this one’s a doozy.
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