Christopher Dodd

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Christopher Dodd
U.S. Senator from Connecticut
From: January 5, 1981 - January 5, 2011
Predecessor Abraham A. Ribicoff
Successor Richard Blumenthal
U.S. Representative from Connecticut's 2nd District
From: January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1981
Predecessor Robert H. Steele
Successor Sam Gejdenson
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Jackie Marie Clegg
Religion Roman Catholic

Christopher "Chris" Dodd is a liberal former United States Senator from Connecticut, and 2008 Democratic presidential primary contender. Dodd served as the powerful chair of the Senate Banking Committee; he announced he would not seek a sixth term in 2010. Dodd faced a difficult reelection because of charges of corruption and his failure to head off or solve the nation's banking crisis. The December 2009 Rasmussen Reports poll found that Republican challenger Rob Simmons, a moderate former Congressman, had a wide lead 48% to 35%. [1]

Political Career

Chris Dodd was born on May 27, 1944, in Willimantic, Connecticut. He was the fifth child of Senator Thomas J. Dodd. After Dodd graduated from Providence College, a Catholic school, with a B.A. in English Literature , he served in the United States Peace Corps in 1966-68. He served in the Dominican Republic were he worked carrying out humanitarian efforts for the rural community; he became fluent in Spanish. Dodd later served in the Army National Guard. Dodd earned a law degree from the University of Louisville in 1972. He was first elected to the United States Congress in 1974. He served three terms as congressmen, and in 1980, was elected to the United States Senate. In 1995, Dodd served as General Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, a position he held in till 1997.

In the 1980s Senator Dodd took the lead in the liberal opposition to President Ronald Reagan's anti-Communist policy in Central America. He has long opposed the nation's embargo on the Communist Cuba of Fidel Castro.

Ethics Issues

In 2008, allegations appeared that Dodd cut special discounts deals on his home mortgage from Countrywide subprime mortgage company. Dodd was cleared in 2009; he did not get a lower rate.[2]

Dodd legally received over $14,700 from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who in now in prison for his bribery.

In 2009, Judicial Watch ranked Christopher Dodd the most corrupt politician in Washington. [3]

Senate Banking Committee

Dodd has been in charge of financial-services rules for the $787 billion stimulus bill and TARP that bails-out the financial sector. On March 16, Mr. Dodd criticized bonuses given to executives of AIG, the insurance giant, saying, "This is another outrageous example of executives -- including those whose decisions were responsible for the problems that caused AIG's collapse -- enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers." One rule he included was an exemption for contractual obligations prior to Feb 11, 2009, which allowed for AIG bonuses. The exact rule below;

Crack down on bonuses, retention awards and incentive compensation: Bonuses can only be paid in the form of long-term restricted stock, equal to no greater than 1/3 of total annual compensation, and will vest only when taxpayer funds are repaid. There is an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009.
Dodd will not take responsibility for the confusion saying his original amendment did not include that exemption.Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections Fox News, March 17, 2009</ref>

Dodd was AIG’s largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election cycle with $103,100.

Political Positions


Throughout Dodd’s career in the senate he has constantly voted against pro-life legislation, while supporting easier restrictions on abortion. In 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2003, Dodd voted against bills which would reduce partial-birth abortion[4].


In 2002, Dodd voted to use force against Iraq. Dodd support the Feingold-Reid proposal- which sets a time table for ending the war in Iraq by March 2008. He does not support sending more troops to Iraq but does support more troops for the war in Afghanistan.


Dodd supported President Bush’s, No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, and now supports its expansion [5]. Dodd’s plan for education system is to increase salaries for teachers to create more incentives. He also is calling for increase federal funding for creating lower interest rates for student loans[6].


Dodd advocates the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act.

Presidential contender

Going into the race for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president, Dodd was an unknown senator. Only 22% of likely Democratic primary voters had a favorable opinion of Dodd, 20% were unfavorable. Dodd trailed third to last in the polls, with a mere 1% of Democrats for whom he was the first choice He had $7.5 million but withdrew from the race because of his poor finish in the Iowa Caucus. Though Dodd did not officially endorse any candidate.

External Links


  2. , AP Dodd's popularity slips in Connecticut , July 8, 2008