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News :: DNC
Lawyer who disclosed OUI gets friendly letter from Bush
19 Dec 2003
After Connolly exposed Bush's arrest record, he was subjected to death threats, his yard was trashed and he was assaulted--twice. However the President has just sent him a warm letter thanking him for his support.
PORTLAND, Maine -- The Democratic activist who disclosed President Bush's 27-year-old drunken driving arrest days before the election has received a warm letter from the president thanking him for his support.Tom Connolly said the letter and color picture of the president and first lady Laura Bush arrived in his mailbox on Wednesday.

Below the picture it says, "To Thomas J. Connolly, Thank you for you early commitment and dedication as a charter member of the campaign in Maine. Grassroots leaders like you are the key to building a winning team." Connolly has no illusions of fence-mending. He figures someone put him on GOP fund-raiser list as a practical joke.

"I was saying to my secretary, 'If he won a second term, I wonder if he'd allow me to dance with his wife at the inaugural?'" He paused before answering his own question: "I think the Secret Service would take me down."

Connolly is a Portland lawyer who was all too happy to share Bush's 1976 OUI arrest in Kennebunkport when it came into his hands. Afterward, Connolly was subjected to death threats, trash was dumped in his yard and he said he was assaulted -- twice. Perhaps the most inventive act of vengeance against Connolly was when someone emptied a truckload of foam packing peanuts on his lawn. For months, he was still finding peanuts despite attempts to rake them up.

Then there were the hundreds of magazine subscriptions that arrived at his office. He estimates that there were 300 to 400 different subscriptions ranging from Southern Living to the Economist. Other things weren't so funny, like the death threats and the time a man hopped out of his pickup truck and knocked Connolly down. Another time, he was assaulted with a shopping cart in a supermarket, he said.

Through it all, the party activist who passed out "W is for wiener" buttons at the Democratic National Convention is unrepentant over his actions in disclosing the OUI arrest to reporters. "I was Rush Limbaugh's 'Idiot of the Year.' I hope that goes in my obituary when I'm dead," he said.
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