Peter Schiff, Man Behind Grassroots Race Against Dodd

If you don’t know the name Peter Schiff, you will. A group of California libertarians want everyone to know who he is, and they want him to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd in 2010.

So who is Schiff?

A financial pundit who was born in New Haven, the New Haven Independent reports. He lambasted the federal bank bailout and stimulus efforts on national television and made early predictions of the Wall Street meltdown. He also published the book, “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse” in 2007.

Anthony Astolfi, a 24-year-old Republican from San Diego, is one of the people behind the movement to get Schiff to Washington.

"Peter Schiff was on YouTube constantly, predicting the housing bubble and economic meltdown," Astolfi told the Hartford Courant. "When we found out that he lived in Connecticut and we saw that Chris Dodd's seat was coming up in 2010, we knew it would be an epic battle."

Schiff has become a Facebook sensation with almost 2,000 supporters, but he has not formally jumped into the race.

"It's not something I was planning on my own," Schiff told the Courant. "It wouldn't be easy to win in a state like Connecticut."

If he did run, he’d run as a Republican, Schiff told the Courant.

"If I wanted to and put in the effort, I could probably get the Republican nomination, but I don't know if I want to," he said. "I don't need the power, the fame ... or the money.”

Timing's Right

The timing could be optimal if Schiff does decide to run. A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed that more people disapprove of Dodd than approve for the first time since the school started doing the poll.

"Sen. Dodd is vulnerable. His approval has sunk to a new low," poll director Douglas Schwartz said when the poll was released. "The mortgage controversy has taken a toll on his approval rating.  Most voters are not satisfied with Dodd's explanation and say they are less likely to vote for him next year because of it."

Peter Schiff for Senate 2010 issued a news release Monday morning revealing the till to this point.

Just over 700 people have made donations averaging about $33. To date, Schiff’s supporters have collected $23,286.

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