Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Monday, May 29, 2006

 

"Meet Ned Lamont?"

That's the title of Joe Lieberman's desperate and pretty lame attack ad running on TV stations across the state right now.

But ironically, when given the chance to do just that - to meet Ned Lamont - Joe chose to ignore him this weekend.

At the Waterbury Memorial Day parade on Sunday, Ned showed up with an excited group of friends, family, and supporters to march and honor the holiday. He was placed right in back of Rep. Nancy Johnson (R, CT-05) and, after some minor wrangling between the campaign and organizers of the parade over whether signs and t-shirts bearing the candidate's name were allowed (they weren't), the parade got off to a start.

A couple of minutes into the parade, Joe Lieberman slickly and quietly appeared and inserted himself right next to Rep. Johnson. A minute or so later, at a stop in the parade, Ned advanced and very politely approached the senator. He got up to him, wished him a happy Memorial Day, and offered him his hand. Sen. Lieberman pretty much refused to acknowledge his opponent's existence. Ned retreated back to his spot and marched the rest of the parade with supporters, friends, and family, while Sen. Lieberman marched the rest of the parade hand-in-hand with Nancy Johnson.

On Sunday, Sen. Lieberman had the chance to really "meet Ned Lamont," his fellow Democrat, who has - unlike the senator - both promised to support the winner of the primary and always acted in a polite and genial matter towards his opponent.

Instead, he decided to act like a petulant adolescent for the entire day, even mouthing off - unprovoked - to Lamont supporters on the sidewalk.

What a sad sight it was to see a once-respected senator reduced to this.
Comments:
I campaigned with Ned this weekend - Ned and I spent 2 days gathering support. He is absolutely committed to this race - he is sincere - and very real. He can win this.

On Sat, Ned attended a wreath laying for Civil War Soldiers from Waterbury where he won everybody over by his presence and personality. He then travelled to the CT State Veterans Home & Hospital where he was warmly welcomed. As Ned was working the crowd, I was engaging them to check their mood. The results:

People do not like Joe Lieberman. PERIOD. Many reasons were given but Joe is not seen as a nice guy by those I spoke to. Ned is VERY LIKABLE and comes across very sincere. People are seeking someone who will listen to them - not someone who knows what is best for them.

On Sun, Ned marched in the Waterbury Memorial Day Parade. Joe also was there. Joe had been invited every year for the past 18 years - never appeared before - and suddenly this year, decided to attend and speak. Joe walked with Nancy Johnson. I interviewed Ned for local cable TV - I asked him a number of questions. He came across as sincere, determined, and very down to earth.

There are 2 factors in this race - 1) People do not like to be lectured by Joe "Knows Best" Lieberman. They are turned off by Joe. People want to be heard - and Joe does not listen.
2) Ned is sincere - he listens to the people - and that plays to Joe's biggest weakness.

Please donate to Ned - we can, with your help, win this.
 
Lieberman mouthed off to Lamont supporters? What did he say?
 
“Ned Honors Our Troops (Memorial Day Statement). Memorial Day is a time to remember the great … Paid for by Ned Lamont for Senate, John Hartwell, Treasurer” Mr. Lamont, your Memorial Day message sounded good, but do you really mean it? I personally don’t believe you do!

I first contacted your office, March 19, 2006, on your position on Concurrent receipt where the Military Retirees have to forfeit earned retirement pay, if they were also disabled and received VA disability.

Finally, after repeated emails from me trying to get a response, I got a answer from your Communications Director, Liz Dupont-Diehl on June 1, 2006. She stated: “Ned likes to be very informed in taking positions on issues. We have collected some information on concurrent pay and are now answering more of Ned’s questions about the cost before making a decision, and do expect to have one soon. I hope this will satisfy you.” NO! Mr. Lamont…This does not SATISFY ME! Talk about sounding Republican! Take care of the Veterans and Military Retirees… only if it doesn’t cost too much!

Cost has no bearing… Military members were promised that after serving for twenty plus years of service they would earn a retirement pay. However, the Government then changed that agreement by stating that if the Military Retiree subsequently becomes eligible for VA disability payments for injuries sustained during Military service, they have to forfeit their retirement pay, equal to the amount of their disability payments.

Retirement pay is based on longevity of Military service, disability pay is based on diminished quality of life and suffering due to injuries sustained during service. Retiree should not have to forfeit earned retirement pay because they were also disabled, serving their country! I would much rather not have been disabled through my Military Service. I would rather have received my full Military Retirement pay and been able, full bodied, to continue to earn income.

Only the Military Retirees are so penalized. If a disabled Vet, worked for the U.S. Government and retires, they would draw their full Federal retirement pay and VA disability. If cost is your main issue, then would you advocate eliminating all benefits for vets you pontificated in your Memorial Day message, to save on costs once you are elected?

On issues, specifically on Heath Care… Ned Lamont stated: “While our government continues to spend more than $250 million a day in Iraq, we have not made universal healthcare affordable and available to all Americans. This must change. A basic health benefit is the right of every American, and our government should ensure it for all.” Mr. Lamont, are you advocating spending $250 million a day for the RIGHT of every American to have basic health benefits. How did every American earn that RIGHT? Where are the rights of Military Retirees to their pensions that they HAD TO WORK for?

On issues of Education, Ned Lamont stated: “What our country spends in one year in Iraq could provide a year’s free tuition at the University of Connecticut for every college freshman-aged American and Head Start for every four-year-old. We need to refocus our resources and our attention on the children and young people here.” Well Mr. Lamont, since you have advocated free education, what are the costs for this program? And again, how have every college freshman and four year old Head Start earned this entitlement, yet Military Retirees have to forfeit their retirement pay?

You stated in your Memorial Day Message that you were proud to have so many Vets support you. I supported you also, until I became more informed of your lack of support for the Veterans! Well, you have lost the support of this Retired U.S. Air Force Officer!
 
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