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Hearst newspapers in Connecticut will have a story in Sunday editions highlighting the wealth of major gubernatorial and senatorial candidates this year.

On his blog yesterday, Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie, a former Republican state legislator, runs down the 16-item questionnaire Hearst gave each of the candidates. See “Will Anyone Answer, ‘The Bada Bing'”?,

And in truth and on their face, about 14 of the 16 questions seem pretty silly. No. 10 is “How much do you pay for a haircut/hairstyling? Where do you go?”  Rennie’s blog commenter “George” logs in with this: “Sounds like a questionnaire Robin Leach might use to qualify guests for his TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Sadly, this is what passes for journalism in CT today.”

On his own blog today, Hearst reporter Brian Lockhart gives this upcoming high-minded exercise a little context. See “Complain all you want. You know you’re going to read about the candidates’ $$$,” He points out that “those candidates with money in particular want to downplay their wealth, even as they’re paradoxically relying on their fortunes to run for office during a particularly populist, ‘let’s burn those high-paid, big-bonus-earning suits at the stake!’ period in this country’s history.”

As always, I believe readers are capable of processing all this for themselves in a couple of days. Two weeks ago Lockhart was the first in-state reporter to break away meaningfully from the YouTube journalism on Linda McMahon’s Senate campaign, via an investigation of the stalled and forgotten Congressional investigations of World Wrestling Entertainment drug-testing policies in the wake of the 2007 Chris Benoit double murder/suicide. So he already put some, ahem, “political capitol” in the bank, if this piece turns out to be not deemed worthy of passing around Monday morning at high school civics classes throughout the Nutmeg State.

Mischief-maker that I am, however, I can’t help focusing on something else altogether. On his blog, Lockhart notes that “someone” leaked the questions (to Rennie). “My money’s on a disgruntled candidate” as the source of that leak, he adds parenthetically.

Hmmm … Kevin Rennie … Phony populist narratives of the mega-rich …

I’ve got it! Warren Mosler, you old fox!

Irv Muchnick

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