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).

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Live From Meriden, It's Saturday Afternoon

Or sorta half-live, anyway. Over at the official blog, Tim has a recap (with video and photos) of the unpublicized, yet very well-attended, volunteer meeting in Meriden eariler today. Here's Ned addressing the crowd:

“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!
Apparently you feel Ned Lamont is a hypocrite, or you've misinterpreted the message given you by his staff.

Here are the man's words:

Our veterans need quality health care and support services. Our active duty troops need the best protective equipment we can provide. We need to protect our soldiers from the heavy emotional toll that comes from rotating troops into Iraq for multiple tours of duty. We pray for the safe and speedy return of our troops from Iraq, and for the hero’s welcome they deserve.

Our soldiers’ gift of service in this war is being handled by a small proportion of our citizens. We need to re-establish a sense of shared sacrifice amongst all Americans; this is the first time in our nation’s history that America has instituted a war-time tax cut, mostly going to the most well off. Instead of cutting funding, we should be providing for the needs of our soldiers, their families, and all veterans. By creating that community of interest, maybe next time we will be more careful about putting our soldiers in harm’s way.
DUSAFR- You seem upset that Lamont's office hasn't immediately responded with a detailed answer to your question. Having a candidate think over a particular policy before taking a position is a positive, not a negative, in my book. And I've found that the campaign is in fact very responsive to requests like yours, and eventually gets back to everyone, as they have promised to do to you.

In the meantime, please do not copy-and-paste long unrelated comments into multiple threads, as you did with this one (I deleted the other comment).
...and while you're at it, don't copy and paste comments to multiple blogs.
Looks like a Lieberbot to me.
no offense, but mr. retiree doesn't seem to understand that if we weren't spending so much goddamn money in iraq we could pay for education and cover veterans' benefits.

but no, lamont hasn't automatically supported his cause so lamont must be an asshole like joe is. cutting your nose off to spite your face indeed.
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