As Senator Chris Dodd fights for his political career, the embattled chairman of the powerful Senate banking committee is receiving his own economic rescue package from the finance industry. According to the five-term senator's latest campaign disclosures, filed earlier this week, the financial sector is flooding Dodd's campaign war chest with donations in advance of what is expected to be a tough reelection bout.
Dodd, who's had a rough year, can certainly use all the support he can get. Last summer, the news broke that he had received two sweetheart loans through subprime lender Countrywide's "V.I.P." program. And in March, Dodd first denied and then later admitted that he had inserted language into the economic stimulus bill that would allow AIG executives to keep their bonuses. Amid accusations that he has grown too chummy with the industries he oversees as head of the banking committee, Dodd has seen challengers to his 2010 reelection crop up on his left and his right. Recent polls show him with a popularity rating of just 33 percent in Connecticut, losing in hypothetical match-ups with three different Republicans. Political handicappers consider him the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent in the Senate; the GOP is raring to pick him off.