Saturday, July 22, 2006

Conn. GOP looks to change bets in new chaos of Lieberman race

Helen Kennedy
July 22, 06

The dramas keep piling up in Connecticut's much-watched Senate race: Sen. Joseph Lieberman's GOP opponent was forced to admit yesterday that he was sued by two Atlantic City casinos for welching on $28,000 in gambling debts.

Republican Alan Schlesinger was already under party pressure to quit the race amid revelations he was kicked out of Foxwoods casino - where he had gambled under a phony name - for counting blackjack cards.

"I have never done anything illegal. I did absolutely nothing wrong," Schlesinger told The Hartford Courant.

The Courant reported he paid Caesars Palace $10,211 and Trump's Castle $18,016 in the early '90s to settle suits over his unpaid markers.

Schlesinger, a lawyer and former Derby mayor, initially denied all, saying he forgot about the payments because it was "not that much money to me."

Connecticut Republicans are scrambling to find a candidate to replace Schlesinger, who already has weak poll numbers.

When Lieberman looked unbeatable, no major Republican wanted to challenge him.

But things have changed, with Lieberman battling for his political life against anti-war Democrat Ned Lamont.

Former President Bill Clinton is due in the state Monday to try to rescue Lieberman's reelection bid.

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