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, September 09, 2006

 

Sen. Lieberman Violates His Own Privacy Policy

Seems that way:

Sending Me E-Mail Or Personal Casework Information

My personal Web site is not set up to collect any personal information about you when you visit the site unless you choose to provide that information. My Web site has an online form that you can use to send me an electronic mail message expressing your views or concerns. To send me an e-mail, the online form asks you for your name, address, and e-mail address. I use this information, if you choose to provide it, to contact you about your issues of interest and/or to provide any casework assistance I can regarding problems you may be experiencing in dealing with a government agency. This information will be available to members of my staff so they can help me in responding to your message or request.

If you are requesting help with a casework matter, it also may be necessary for my office to share the information you provide with the government agency from which you are requesting assistance, in order to respond to your request. My office will not share any personal information communicated through my Web site with any outside organization or individual, except in the following situations: (1) when needed to perform constituent casework at your request; (2) in the course of an authorized law enforcement investigation or emergency posing an imminent risk to public safety; or (3) if you choose to participate in my interactive online E-Government comment page, and authorize me to publish your comment, your name, and the organization you represent.


He forgot: "(4) in a laughable attempt to discredit a political opponent to whom I may have already lost in a primary election by leaking an email of his to the New York Times.":

A campaign aide to Mr. Lieberman alerted a reporter to the e-mail late Friday, after an article about Mr. Lamont’s recent comments appeared in The New York Times. Mr. Lieberman’s Senate office then faxed a copy of the message.


Which "campaign aide" violated Sen. Lieberman's privacy policy? Shouldn't that be a fireable offense?

Late Update: Some more reaction. Atrios asks a very good question:

A rather important - and perhaps legal - question is why a campaign aide has access to constituent letters to Joe's Senate office.


Perhaps legal, indeed. Since when do campaigns have access to constituent communications? Spazeboy makes a good observation:

It doesn’t seem right to me that an e-mail that I send to an elected official could be used against me or made public by that elected official should I choose to run for his seat at some point in the future.

It should unsettle all of us.


Matt Stoller gets the last word:

Lamont clearly was pushing Lieberman to denounce Starr's tactics in 1998. Read the letter, specifically the part where he says that Lieberman's speech was "the beginning of a process that has turned politically and morally offensive", and where he wrote that "mature adults would have handled this privately, not turned it into a political crusade and legal entanglement with no end in sight."

When Lieberman didn't do what Lamont recommended in the email, it was perfectly reasonable for Lamont to conclude that Lieberman was just grandstanding for the media.


Gerstein (who I assume is the "aide" in the original NYT piece) has less than nothing here, although he got the NYT and now the AP to print it. But he did so in violation of the Senator's own privacy policy. And quite possibly in violation of election law.

Late Late Update: Read the full email below the fold. The email was quite obviously written to crticicize Sen. Lieberman, not to praise him:

Dear Joe:

I reluctantly supported the moral outrage you expressed on September 3. I was reluctant because I thought it might make matters worse; I was reluctant because no one expressed moral outrage over how Reagan treated his kids or how Gingrich lied about supporting term limits (in other words, it was selective outrage); I was reluctant because the Starr inquisition is much more threatening to our civil liberties and national interest than Clinton's misbehavior."

I supported your statement because Clinton's behavior was outrageous: a Democrat had to stand up and state as much, and I hoped that your statement was the beginning of the end.

Unfortunately, the statement was the beginning of a process that has turned more political and morally offensive. I'm the father of three and the though that Clinton testifying about oral sex before a grand jury may be broadcast into my living room is outrageous. The Starr report read like a tabloid, not a legal recitation, and that streamed into my home via every medium available.

This sorry episode is an embarrassment to me as a father and to us as a nation. If Clinton has a sex problem, mature adults would have handled this privately, not turned it into a political crusade and legal entanglement with no end in sight.

You have expressed your outrage about the president's conduct; now stand up and use your moral authority to put an end to this snowballing mess. We all know the facts, a lot more than any of us care to know and should know. We've made up our minds that Clinton did wrong, confessed to his sin, maybe should be censured for lying --and let's move on.

It's time for you to make up your mind and speak your mind as you did so eloquently last Thursday.

Sincerely,

Ned Lamont
Greenwich Connecticut

cc Sen. Dodd, Rep. Shays

Comments:
It was Karl Rove. No, wait, it was Scooter Libby. No, wait....Judith Miller.

Wait, wait, wait....Richard Armitage did it.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Seriously, you KNOW it had to be DANGERSTEIN! Who else is that stupid and brazen?
 
Another example showing that "High-road" Joe, will go low-road, whenever it serves his needs.

However, just for fun, I'm going to FOI all Senator Lieberman's correspondence with John Rowland, Bob Matthews, Jim Amann, and Mike "the Jerk" Jarjura.

I mean if one constituent's correspondence is public fodder, everyone's should be. Right?
 
What is a campaign aid for the fifth party, Connecticut for Lieberman, doing rifling through a sitting Senator who is finishing out his term in office as a Democrat? Does his Senate web site indicate that he has already changed parties? Can a Republican or Democrat go through another parties files and release correspondence? Is this legal? Forget about moral, you've already answered the question.
 
Pathetic flailing by Joe, compounded by more pathetic reporting by the NYT, which neglected to mention Lamont's lead-off sentiment: reluctant support because he thought further spectacle would--and did--create a process even "more morally offensive."
 
DailyKos has the full message and it does not support the claims by the NY Slimes. the verbage was very much cherry picked. Link to it and "let America know the truth" (my new slogan fo the Democrat party)
 
Y'know what's funny? The NYT runs a hit piece taking Lamont's letter out of context--and yet Lieberman's blog highlights the ONLY paragraph of said piece that doesn't obscure Lamont's point, which was that his initial 'reluctance' was justified and that Lieberman had screwed the pooch.

I'd give points for intellectual honesty, but I'm thinking these doofuses just can't smear worth a damn.
 
So, TrueBlueCT, what city do you live in?

FOIing any correspondence could be interesting, as long as you are willing to pay the appropriate fees for any copies and the information you seek does not infringe on privacy rights regarding personal matters, not opinion matters.
 
Lieberman is making it up as he goes along...

RAW Story excerpt from NYT article -- Lieberman's complicated, occasionally clumsy tango

By JENNIFER MEDINA and PATRICK HEALY
Published: September 9, 2006
"And he is calibrating his language to try to appeal across party lines without seeming inconsistent or awkward -- though, at times, he does,"


But interviews with Lieberman and his advisers make it clear that he has made a strategic bet: That his stature, name recognition, appeal among Republicans and power to deliver federal money to Connecticut will more than compensate for the lack of a party behind him....

Yet as Lieberman acknowledges, there is an element of making it all up as he goes along.


I would say it's more calibrating several conflicting awkward and inconsistent messages. And I'm not so sure about the "calibrating" part.
 
Dan Gerstein has removed the comment section on Joe's Blog. meanwhile, each and everyone of the posts that either that jerk, or the other idiots who run the blog are posting is a smear of Lamont. Every one of them spews crap and lies about Lamont. Joe's blog exists for the sole purpose of assassinating Lamont's character. Go check it out. It is disgusting!

What can we do?
 
The NY Times has a Public Editor who monitors the accuracy and integrity of its reporters.

I suggest that everyone contact the Public Editor at the Times and voice a complaint about Jennifer Medina's horrible coverage of this story, citing this specific article and how she completely missed the real story -- Lamont urging Lieberman to end the media spectacle, not "commending his eloquence."

Here's the contact information for the NY Times Public Editor:

• E-mail: public@nytimes.com
• Phone: (212) 556-7652
• Address: Public Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036-3959

There is a simple rule of journalism that NY Times reporters covering this race consistently break. Rule 1 is Consider the Source -- never trust a source who has a vested interest in how that information is reported.
 
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