Strange bedfellows: Dems, Rennie team up to topple Aniskovich

Does it seem like the Connecticut Democratic Party ended up working in tandem with Kevin Rennie, the conservative columnist and blogger, to block William Aniskovich from becoming the Republican state chairman?

Aniskovich withdrew his candidacy in a letter dated yesterday and made public today. It followed by a day a Rennie column in The Courant about Aniskovich’s extramarital affairs while a state senator and other baggage, and a Democratic piece calling him “former corrupt state senator and John Rowland crony William Aniskovich.”

The Democrats and Rennie landed blow after blow on Aniskovich, a former state senator who was tight with John G. Rowland, who resigned as governor in 2004 in anticipation of becoming a convicted felon. Aniskovich lost re-election the same year.

Rennie’s motives seem clear enough. As a conservative hoping to see the GOP return to relevance, he made the case that Aniskovich was a disaster in the making as the new face and voice of a party without significant office in Connecticut.

If Rennie’s right, the Democrats should have been thrilled by Aniskovich as the next GOP chair. Instead, the newly energized state party – it has a new executive director, new press secretary and revised web site – helped derail him, though it steered clear of Rennie’s reports of affairs.

Aniskovich declined comment today beyond emailing his withdrawal letter.

“I am withdrawing because I believe that my professional and personal experiences will continue to be distorted by others to promote a political agenda that is contrary to what we believe as Republicans,” Aniskovich wrote.
“It was my intention to help our Party build a more effective political operation. It is my belief that I cannot do that if my personal and professional experiences become a distraction to the Party.”