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).

Sunday, September 10, 2006


The Primary Next Door

You wouldn't necessarily know it by the national media's miniscule coverage in comparison to the Lieberman-Lamont race, but the Rhode Island Republican party is holding a primary of its own for Senate this coming Tuesday, with incumbent moderate Sen. Chafee (R) facing off against the hard-right Club-for-Growth-supported Steve Laffey (R). Sheldon Whitehouse (D) is the Democrat in the race, and is currently leading in the polls against both potential Republican candidates (although by a much larger margin against Laffey).

Who is Sen. Lieberman supporting in this contentious race right next door? Between gaining the outright endorsements of Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Shays (R-CT), as well as the unspoken endorsement of the bulk of the CT Republican party, his new political base seems very much to be New England Republicans. This opens up a bunch of fascinating questions, including:

In any case, this race deserves more attention than it's been getting, as Ruth Marcus points out in The Day (originally from the Washington Post):

Yet the analogy goes only so far. The Rhode Island race is more complex, certainly odder and potentially far more momentous.

For angry Democratic voters, a Lamont vote was all but risk-free. Rhode Island is Connecticut with consequences: A Laffey nomination in this heavily Democratic state could imperil GOP control of the Senate. A general election race between the Democratic nominee, former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse, and a bruised Chafee promises to be close. But nearly the only one who thinks Laffey would beat Whitehouse is Laffey. “I'll crush him,” he asserts.

Wow! Another posting. It looks like Joe's site is shut down for comments and hasn't done anything since 3:40 p.m. yeaterday.

Anyway, I will get lambasted here, but here is the type of voter I am:

I have never agreed 100% with any candidate I have supported. Actually, one of the important attributes for me is a candidates' ability to think for him/herself. I happen to like Lincoln Chafee as I like Chris Shays. Do I agree on the war issue? No. But I don't want a different lock step Congress in 2007.

The reason I am enthusiastic about Mr. Lamont is not just because he reflects most of my beliefs re: government, I think he appears to be genuinely an honest guy.

So, while I would love to have the power shift (hoping that will actually unglue Congressional stasis) I also want to respect office holders on a human level.

O.k. I deserve to be hammered.
gchaucer2 - I certainly don't think you "deserve to be hammered." You are like many - if not most - Connecticut voters.

But unlike yourself, Sen. Lieberman is a Democratic officeholder, and as such should be expected to support Democratic candidates - at a minimum. He is already refusing to do so in CT. Will he refuse to do so in RI? That's the question.
Oh, my gosh. It still amazes me that one can get a response on this website. Thank you.

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were Whitehouse. Lieberman has enough on his hands right here -- looks like he got enough flak and had the comments removed from his website and closed the door. Will wait to see if it opens again with some controls and interaction.

Thanks, Charles.
Wow, just went to Joe's website -- actually Blankenbaker got a new attack -- BUT does not provide a forum for comments. Clearly he is not running a blog (nor ever has). Need to get out some comments to Sen. Dodd. He should have read Ned's email and the info in the blogosphere before he put his foot in his mouth.
I was going to note that Lieberman's blog has mysteriously stopped allowing ANY comments whatsoever, which is in direct violation of their own stated policy:

""We welcome the free flow of opinion and debate on this blog and we do not intend to censor or moderate the discussion. But we reserve the right to remove comments or posts that include obscene material.""

However, gchauser2 already pointed this out :)
The problem with both Chafee and Shays is they enable the most extreme elements of their party in exactly the same way Lieberman enables the most extreme elements of the Republican party. The only difference is that Lieberman supposedly is a member of the so-called "loyal opposition."

But the question here is more apropos, would Lieberman support incumbent Chafee as a petitioning candidate (or petitioning party)?

Would Lieberman as a "loyal Democrat" support Democrat Whitehouse, who is the endorsed Democratic candidate against either Republican?

Where does Lieberman, the Unity and Purport™ candidate stand?

Or like Lieberman's position on the Bolton nomination, do we have to wait to see which way the wind blows to find out?

The problem with watching Lieberman has always been one of wondering which gust of wind was going to send him where.
I've just sent off a letter to editors of the Courant, Newington Bee, Manchester JI and Stamford Advocate (kicked back -- snail mail tomorrow). I'm livid.

It is posted on Ned's other site.

And yes, the Lieber blog policy indicates that it reserves the right to delete obscenities -- "reserve" is the operative word. Gerstein the slug must be trampled.
JoeBlog's comments are gone, and he has indeed nutpicked the worst comments - most of which I'm sure were posted by Lieberman supporters specifically for that purpose - and posted a link to them on the now non-blog as a pdf document, presumably so that he can make them available to reporters.

Of course, Dangerstein never answered the scores of questions and requests for debate also posted, and ignored, by Lamont supporters. So it's altogether convenient that now he is not allowing any comments at all. With Dan, it's all about getting the last word, just like his boss, Senator "It's my seat, I tell you, and you can't have it" Lieberman.

What an ass.

I posted this on the defunct comments line prior to its being shut down. Because DANGERSTEIN is a coward and never responded, I'm posting it here and as many places I can, in hopes that the press will see it:

Dan Gerstein, in his "State of the Blog" post of Sept. 7, 2005 at 5:28 pm at the Cup O’ Joe blog on the official Joe Lieberman website (www.joe2006.com/blog_details.asp?id=18) below:

"As far as we can tell, no campaign spokesperson ever suggested the Lamont campaign was responsible for whatever happened. However, if any one associated with the campaign made that accusation, it is wrong, and I will not hesitate to apologize to the Lamont campaign. If we make mistakes, we will do our best to own up to them."

From CNN.com, “Lieberman blames Rove-like tactics for Web site disruption” by Robert Yoon (www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/08/lieberman.website/index.html):
"Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith suggested that the campaign of the senator's primary opponent, Ned Lamont, or his supporters were responsible for the disruption.

'This type of dirty politics has been a staple of the Lamont campaign from the beginning, from the nonstop personal attacks to the intimidation tactics and offensive displays to these coordinated efforts to disable our Web site,' said Smith in a statement e-mailed to reporters Monday evening.

'There is no place for these Rovian tactics in Democratic politics, and we demand that our opponent call off his supporters and their online attack dogs.'"

From the NYTimes.com, August 9, 2006, “Charges of Dirty Tricks on Web Feed Speculation in the Blogosphere” by Michael Cooper and John Markoff:
"The Lieberman campaign said that 'we believe that this is the result of a coordinated attack by our political opponents.'’'

From ABCNews.go.com, “Officials Probe Lieberman Web Site Crash” by Pat Eaton-Robb, page 2 (http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2298417&page=2):
"Visitors to the site Thursday received a message that read in part: 'We call on Ned Lamont to make an unqualified statement denouncing this kind of dirty campaign trick and to demand whoever is responsible to cease and desist immediately.''"

From the Associated Press, “Lieberman Campaign Says Web Site Hacked” by Susan Haigh (http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/08/D8JCCCIO0.html):
Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith said the campaign has contacted the Connecticut attorney general's office and asked for a criminal investigation by state and federal authorities.

'If Ned Lamont has a backbone in his body, he will call on these people to cease and desist,' Smith said."

And finally, from Dan Gerstein, as quoted by Justin Rood at tpmmuckraker.com (www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/001292.php):
"Their supporters are doing these [attacks], we've demanded they get them to stop and they refuse to do it"

As you yourself quipped in the last story linked above, Dan, "That's the definition of a lie, when you tell something that's false knowingly."

So, Gerstein, I'm going to say this in plain English, so even you will understand.

You are a liar. A stone liar.

That's L-I-A-R.

I despise liars. You are wasting taxpayer money - my money - on a baseless investigation, prompted by a blatant and cowardly lie, spread by your own candidate, his staff, and YOU, that will ultimately come back and bite you in your lying Rovian ass on Election Day.

So, Dan, I ask you:

When do you plan to apologize to Ned Lamont, as you promised on your own pathetic and laughable campaign weblog?
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