Capster's Connections

Aug 31, 2012

I’m a political junkie.  Last night, while watching the GOP Convention, I saw an interview with Florida Congressman Connie Mack IV.

What’s the connection?

While writing my first book (shameless plug…….you can get a good price on Amazon.com for NOTRE DAME BASEBALL GREATS…..and I offer a 100% money back guarantee if you buy it and don’t like it), I researched the life and career of Early Mack.  Earle’s dad was the legendary Connie Mack, Hall of Famer and Owner/Manager of the Philadelphia A’s for 50 years.  Earle spent a semester at Notre Dame, in 1910, before eventually having a short Major League career.

I was able to track down one of Connie’s daughter’s, who gave me some information about Earle.  She was a lovely lady, whose name is now on a breast cancer research hospital in Florida.  She mentioned that her son, Connie Mack III, was a Congressman from Florida.   Incidentally, the son’s full name is Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, III.  Congressman Mack and I exchanged a few letters.  I was quite impressed that he took the time to do that. 

Anyway, here comes the first Capster & ND connection……….In 1988, Congressman Mack ran for the United States Senate.  In the primary he defeated Bob Merkle, a U.S. Attorney described as a “bulldog and brilliant attorney”.  Merkle made his name by putting international drug dealers and corrupt political figures in jail.  He was brilliant and fearless.  His office developed the federal drug smuggling and money-laundering case against Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega and won the conviction of Carlos Lehder Rivas, reputedly one of the founding members of the Colombian Medellin drug cartel.  I had mixed emotions in the race.  I liked Connie, but I was pulling for Merkel, who was my Notre Dame Classmate and friend.  Merkle was also on the Notre Dame Football Team.  He was a talented person.  Playing the piano was one of the many other skills he had.

Well…….you know I can’t stop at just one “connection”……….Connie retired after two terms in the Senate.  His son, Connie IV, has served four terms in Congress and is now running for his dad’s old seat in the U.S. Senate.  Connie IV’s second wife is Mary Bono Mack, who is also a member of the U. S. Congress.  Here’s my connection………during the 80’s, I worked in the personal protection field for Gavin de Becker, who is the top man in the profession.  While we don’t speak publicly about our clients, my picture with Cher appeared in some publications, so that story is out of the bag.  I worked at her home and also accompanied her for most of 1990 on her “Hearts of Stone” World Tour.  Mary Bono Mack is the widow of Sonny Bono who was the ex-husband of Cher.  How’s that for a strained connection?

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