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, March 04, 2006


Lamont Campaign Meeting in New Haven

A report from the Ned Lamont campaign meeting this morning in New Haven (athough spazeboy at My Left Nutmeg and ctblogger at Connecticut Blog have beaten me to the punch):

First, the bullet points that everyone needs to know, followed by some impressions, some more photos, and a detailed report:

Much more after the jump:

Ned Lamont speaking in New Haven

It was great to finally meet Ned himself, Aldon, ctblogger, spazeboy, and others who until now I had only known through the blogosphere.

My first impression was of an energy surrounding this campaign not stemming from anger towards Lieberman (although there is obviously a lot of that), but based around the hope that grassroots politics can force a more democratic, representative, and responsive electoral process in the state of Connecticut. And that, in the end, the Democratic Senate candidate from Connecticut will be someone of whom all Democrats in the state can be proud. There's an optimistic and forward-looking momentum here that I can only hope will increase.

To the event itself, which started off with campaign manager Tom Swan outlining the strategy of the campaign and the agenda of the meeting. His main points:
  • this will be a grassrots, particpatory campaign based not only on Iraq, but on issues like global warming, equality, healthcare, a woman's right to choose, ethics in government, etc.

  • Lieberman and his friends have been putting a lot of pressure on Connecticut political leaders, on many friends and political players throughout the state, including Democratic candidates like Chris Murphy, Diane Farrell, and Joe Courtney. With Lamont as the candidate, the GOP will no longer be able to hide behind Joe Lieberman on Iraq and other issues (I think he's talking to you, Chris Shays).

  • Contrary to what Lieberman is saying, this campaign won't hurt the party, it's the best thing that could happen to the party. We are going to have this primary in August no matter what Lieberman says.

Next up was a speaker giving details on the official announcement on Monday, March 13th. They're really pushing this as a huge campaign kick-off event. After that, John Murphy spoke about the voter history project which sounds central to their voter mobilization program. Apparently, the only data the state party collects is on general elections, which of course isn't much help with what will be a very low-turnout election like this. The 2004 primary voter list will be helpful, but they need volunteers in all 169 towns to get more data. The campaign sounds on top of this, but they need volunteers to do this thankless legwork.

The meeting then split up into groups by Congressional District. The caucuses for delegates to the state convention will be between March 22nd and 29th depending on the town. Any reigstered Democrat is eligible to vote in their town, so if one wanted to become a delegate, one could possibly attend the caucus and bring a bunch of friends and family, and Ned Lamont might end up with one more vote at the convention. The idea is to have as strong a showing at possible at both the convention and with the petition drive. Some party officials are freaking out about Lamont already - one town Democratic official at the meeting said he received a call from Joe Lieberman's own chief of staff asking "what's up?" with his involvement with Lamont. Discussed fundraisers, events where Lamont can be visible in front of big crowds, writing LTEs.

Tom Swan came back up and discussed fundraising goals and the petition drive, Kim Hynes discussed a whole slew of Ned Lamont events planned for the next few weeks (which I will post here later, and will likely be up at the official site soon as well) and noted that the main campaign office will soon be opening in Meriden. Some participants informed the campaign of upcoming anti-war marches and rallies on the third anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war.

Then Lamont was introduced and spoke for a very short amount of time. Ned gave a rundown of how he spends a typical day on the campaign: reading up on the issues, calling state political officials and local activists, attending meetings and events. He noted how veterans in particular have been supportive of his campaign, saying they'll be with him "every step of the way."

Ned concluded, "the war is wrong, our priorities are wrong, and we don't have a senator who understands that President Bush is wrong."

Ned Lamont

Friday, March 03, 2006



This is getting fun. Howie Klein absolutely destroys Lieberman at Huffington Post after being challenged on his previous points by "someone formerly affiliated with Lieberman." (Hat tip to ctblogger).

Klein highlights Joe's history of tolerating (if not quietly endorsing) homophobic, bigoted, and racist viewpoints, and just his general smarminess. And boy, does that smarminess run deep.

Meanwhile, over at Klein's blog, Jill Sobule and Steve Barton add their opinions on Lieberman's role in the culture wars (hint... he's been on the wrong side) and sign on to what is starting to look like a "Songwriters For Lamont" PAC.

P.S. An unrelated reminder for those in CT: The campaign meeting for volutneers is tomorrow at 10am in New Haven. I hope to be there and post about it later tomorrow.

Ned in Groton

Ned Lamont

A summary and video clip over at CT Blue:

It seems to me that its high time we rock the boat. We go to every single town committee, we can we talk to DFA, we talk to folks like you, we try to get the grassroots energized, we tell them we're going on to a convention on May 20th, and we're gonna show that you can win - you can win not by being Republican light, you can win by being a proud Democrat. From there we go on to a primary on August 8th, it's a hot day in August, we need folks like you to talk to your friends, friends and family, go to our website, this is a grassroots operation, we're gonna need people to get people to the polls on August 8th. That's how we're gonna win and that's how we're gonna send a message 90 days before the midterm election that Democrats are on the march.


Thank CT NOW

Via My Left Nutmeg, Larkspur suggests contacting CT NOW before their March board meeting to thank them for their Feb. 1st press release taking Lieberman to task for his failure to support a filibuster against Alito:

The next board meeting after March's is not til May, so Lamont supporters should petition CT NOW Board via Kathleen Sloan at this meeting to support Ned Lamont's campaign. Some CT NOW members and CT NOW board members are also on Democratic Town Committees and it is the DTC's that help pick delegates to the May conventions. Ned Lamont needs at least 15% of those delegates to force a primary against Lieberman.

Send notes of thanks and encouragement to support Ned Lamont to

Kathleen Sloan, Executive Director of CT NOW
email: ct_now@yahoo.com
phone: 860-524-5978
fax: 860-524-1092
CT NOW web site http://www.ct-now.net (it just got a new face-lift and it’s working now.)

CT NOW conlcuded in their press release that it was "highly unlikely that CT NOW will support Lieberman in his bid for re-election." The press release was titled "LIEBERMAN HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON WOMEN." Let's let them know that Ned Lamont would never do so.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Five More Reasons

Democrats need to run against Bush in 2006:

39%, 38%, 38%, 36%, 34%.

Five more reasons we need Ned Lamont - not Joe "Bottom Line, I Think Bush Has It Right" Lieberman - on the ticket in November.

Joe Hearts Sen. Man-On-Dog

Joe Hearts Sen. Man-On-Dog

Rick Santorum is by far the most vulnerable Republican senator up for re-election in November. Polls in Pennsylvania had him down anywhere from 10-20 points to likely Democatic challenger Bob Casey Jr., and that was before the latest ethics revelations against him. He's obviously feeling the pressure big-time - so much so that, as The Hill reports, he's laughably joining forces with John McCain to introduce lobbying legislation. It works both ways: Santorum hopes that some iota of that Mr. Clean McCain mojo rubs off on him, while McCain hopes to shore up support amongst the Dobsonites in preparation for his 2008 run.

McCain is one thing. But the last thing any Democrat should be doing this election year is helping bail Little Ricky out from his rapidly sinking campaign against the best chance for a Democratic pickup in the nation. But lo and behold, guess which Democratic senator just joined the Santorum desperation tour? Oh, come on, you know who it is:

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairwoman, Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), and Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), the ranking Democrat, plan to offer a substitute amendment that would parallel several provisions of the McCain bill but also establish an Office of Public Integrity within Congress....

Indeed, Santorum has been working with colleagues from across the ideological spectrum of late.

As he boarded a subway car beneath the Capitol yesterday, Santorum could be heard urging Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to "let Joe offer his amendment."

It was not clear to which amendment Santorum was referring or whether the amendment would be offered in committee or on the floor.

(Hat tip to Timothy J at Daily Kos.)

Update: I do realize that this one overheard quote is quite vague. But while it might not be 100% clear that Lieberman is working with Santorum on this, it would certainly fit a long pattern of Joe's "bipartisan" tendencies leading to Democrats getting screwed over. (Remember Joe's mishandling of the Homeland Security Dept. legislation before the 2002 midterms? Max Cleland does.) So I think it's a safe bet that there's something more than Santorum's goodwill towards Lieberman at play here.

Thursday News Round-Up

Lieberman and Shays

(Image of Lieberman and Shays via this WTNH report last night.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Running Against Bush

Just came across this brand new Democracy Corps memo (pdf) via Political Wire. As Taegan puts it, you can really sense the "almost giddy" feeling of Carville and Greenberg as they come to an essential conclusion about the 2006 midterm elections:

....the starting point is George Bush, who every day is nationalizing this election on our terms. Other polls show breathtaking drops on job approval, but even more so for specific areas, like the war on terrorism and Iraq. He was already low on the economy. In this survey, he hits historic lows on the country's direction and specifically, on changing Bush's direction. With his personal approval hitting new lows here, we very much want 2006 to be about Bush's stewardship for the country. For sure, as we saw this past week, the Republicans will seek to make this about something else.

A similar point was made today by dreaminonempty at Daily Kos in a great graphic and statistical analysis of just how much potential there is for Bush to become a serious anchor around the necks of GOP congressional candidates this year.

You can feel it in the air - Bush is slowly becoming perhaps irrecoverably toxic, even to Republicans. And Iraq isn't going away, the ports controversy isn't going away, even Katrina doesn't seem to be going away. A dozen or more Republicans in Congress are considering retirement. Carville and Greenberg argue that this the time is ripe for Democrats to present an alternative agenda:

The Democrats could watch these unfolding events with some awe, but we recommend that they be heard. Voters are dislodged and dissatisfied, and... extremely critical of what the Republicans have done and very open to a Democratic agenda....

The corruption in Iraq, drug company lobbyists and the prescription drug plan, stagnant incomes while CEOs' incomes soar, the port deal, and waived fees for the energy companies add up to quite an indictment. The power is positioning them in a frame that requires voters to support the Democrats in order to clean up the mess in Washington.

Do Connecticut Democrats want a candidate who will stand up for Democrats and Democratic principles across the board, or one who has spent 18 years undercutting his party and gladly accepting the support of the Sean Hannitys of the world?

Do Connecticut Democrats want a candidate who will help to hold Bush accountable, or one who consistently covers for his egregious incompetence?

The national environment is charged, and Democrats are poised to take advantage of it with the right candidates and the right message. Yet every time Joe Lieberman opens his mouth or goes in front of a camera, he hurts our party's chances for electoral success this fall.

Real News or the Onion?

You make the call:

"Grandmothers drowning in nursing homes, families losing everything, communities torn apart - and the ruling party just sat and watched," Lieberman said. "I'm here to promise that we Democrats will find a way to let you down just like that."

OK, that one was easy. Here's another:

"As I always point out," Lieberman demurs, "he [Bush] kissed me."

Last one:

"I think George W. Bush is doing a terrible job as America's chief executive, both at home and abroad."

Answers: 1, 2, 3.

Wednesday News Round-Up

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Lieberman to Run as a Republican?

That's what Chris Shays and others are proposing, via a bombshell article in the Hartford Courant:

It's been the subject of whispered conversations among top Republican officials for the past month. Now, U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, R-4th District, has let slip the secret: GOP officials have discussed cross-endorsing Democratic Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman this fall.

In an interview today with the editorial board of The Advocate of Stamford, Shays said he intends to vote for Lieberman and is encouraging a Republican endorsement of the three-term senator.

And he's not the only one:

The remark was not immediately reported by The Advocate, but it set off a flurry of calls among Republicans who have been gauging support for the idea among GOP candidates, including Gov. M. Jodi Rell and U.S. Reps. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District, and Nancy L. Johnson, R-5th District.

One GOP operative who was aware of the discussions said premature public disclosure of the possible cross-endorsement probably would kill the idea. That seems to be case.

By Tuesday evening, spokesmen for top Republicans publicly distanced themselves from the possibility of backing Lieberman, who faces a Democratic primary over his support of President Bush and the war in Iraq.

Regardless of whether Joe runs as a Republican, add Shays to the list of "Republicans for Lieberman" (along with Buckley, Hannity, and the rest):

"Their position on the war can't be closer," said Michael Sohn, who is Shays' campaign manager. "They both voted to go into Iraq, and they both support staying until the job is done."

Glad to see the Lamont campaign on top of this:

"We're not surprised that there are people within the Republican Party that would think about endorsing Joe. He clearly is George Bush's favorite Democrat," said Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager.

This is an absolute gift to the Lamont campaign if Lieberman isn't going to actually run on the GOP line.

If Joe is planning on running as a Republican, what can I say? More power to him.

But he needs to get the hell out of the Democratic party first.

Update: Some differing thoughts on this from CT bloggers: Matthew Gertz at My Left Nutmeg thinks this was a politically damaging screw-up by Shays but really "much ado about nothing" for Lieberman, while Genghis Conn at Connecticut Local Politics sees Farrell as the big loser, thinks "Ned Lamont and his backers ought to be thrilled," and sees in the dynamics at play here a chance for the GOP to eventually reclaim centrists in CT.

Feeling the Heat?

Lieberman voted against cloture on the renewal of the Patriot Act today. The vote was 69-30, with even Biden and Schumer voting in favor of cloture.

It's funny, I seem to remember Joe's opinion on filibusters being slightly different a few weeks ago.

I guess facing your first primary opponent in 36 years can do weird things to a politician.

Related: FDL has an update on the effectiveness of the netroots pressure on Planned Parenthood and NARAL for their support of Lieberman.

Troops Against Lieberman

This Le Moyne College/Zogby poll of the attitudes of American troops in various armed forces stationed in Iraq is innovative and welcomed, and the results are very surprising.

The main finding of the poll is that a vast majority of the troops oppose the Bush-Lieberman non-policy of "stay the course." An amazing 72% of respondents "think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year." This breaks down into:

29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq “immediately,” while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”

Only 23% of our troops agree with Joe Lieberman's Iraq policy. And, sadly, only 58% of our troops in Iraq think that "the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds."

What is clear is that our political leaders - including Joe Lieberman - are continuing to fail our troops and our nation. Joe did not ask the tough questions going in. Joe has not asked a single tough question since.

There are some other very interesting findings in the poll. Read Zogby's own analysis at Huffington Post.

Lamont At Yale

Lamont at Yale
Two reports on Lamont's apparently quite impressive appearance in front of the Yale College Democrats last night: first, from Yale Daily News:

One student at the talk asked Lamont what message he was trying to send to swing voters by condemning more moderate Democrats such as Lieberman. Lamont said there was "nothing moderate" about supporting the Iraq war and the president's tax cuts.

Nicely done! Time to dispel with this "moderate" canard. Joe is a hardcore neoconservative on matters of foreign policy, an extremist right-winger on religious/"values" issues, and constantly undercuts Democrats on bread-and-butter fiscal issues like tax cuts and Social Security. There's nothing "moderate" about any of that.

Also, thanks to Ben Simon, head of Yale Students for Lamont, who sent along this full report (cross-posted at My Left Nutmeg and elsewhere):

Ned Lamont spoke last night (Monday, 2/27/06) to a meeting of the Yale Democrats and the Yale community at large. Here is a summary of what he said, interspersed with some of my own comments. He made a very good overall impression on the crowd of 80-100 people, mostly students. He gave what is becoming his standard stump speech, followed by a brief Q & A session. I think that he's getting very good at telling the crowd who he is, what he's about, and why Lieberman has to go.

More after the jump:

After college, Ned worked at a small newspaper in Ludlow, VT. This experience gave him appreciation for the needs of everyday Americans. It seems like those in DC, he said, are not even trying to make a difference anymore.

Who is he?:

He is an entrepreneur, who started his own cable company that, for the first time, offered colleges a choice in their cable service. Now he wants to offer CT residents a real choice for the first time in too long. Through his business experience, he learned that you can't kick problems down the road - they'll only get worse.

Obviously, he's not afraid of a challenge. He wants to challenge the status quo and bring his entrepreneurial approach to CT politics and the US Senate.


"It's high time that we rock the boat!"

He plans on talking with as many people around the state as possible. He going to go to town committees, house parties, everything. This will be very much modeled on the Dean campaign. He needs grassroots support to counter the establishment support that Lieberman brings. This race is obviously an uphill battle. However, it can only be a good thing for Democrats in CT and nationally.

Lamont On the issues:

The War:

"'Stay the course' is a losing strategy. 'More of the same' is a losing strategy".

Ned respects Lieberman and his integrity, but stridently disagrees with him. Lieberman's WSJ op-ed from November spurred him to enter this race. He thinks we needed to ask more questions from the beginning and challenge the President's litany of questionable assertions. The troops have fought wonderfully, but the leadership in Washington has let them down. We need to hold those leaders accountable for their errors.

He says we need to pull the troops back. Start with reservists and Nat'l guard troops- bring them home. Pull the regular troops back to the periphery - our presence is doing more to destabilize Iraq than to help secure it.

Lamont will stand up to the President - Democrats need to stand up and be heard. The war and our conduct in the GWOT has thoroughly eroded our moral authority in the world, and we need to reclaim it.

Justice Alito:

Alito's confirmation will jeopardize a woman's right to choose for decades. The recent South Dakota law is just the most recent demonstration of that fact.

Energy Bill:

This was a bill written by lobbyists behind closed doors, overwhelmingly opposed by the rest of the New England delegation - across the aisle - yet supported by Lieberman.


"We're paying more and more and getting less and less."

Our current system allows companies that do not offer benefits to come in and undercut those that do. He said, "I support universal, affordable healthcare to level the playing field."

Q & A:

Q: If you're elected, but the senate is still in Republican hands, what should Democrats do?
A: Stand up and make your strong opposition heard! However, he said that Democrats will take back the Senate.

Q: What is your ideal Democratic foreign policy?
A: 1) Utilize our allies. 2) Reclaim the moral high ground. 3) Preserve a viable military option, something the President has not done.

Bottom line?:

"Democrats should stand up and be Democrats again"
And, the money quote:

"Some people have told me that I would be jeopardizing a safe seat. This is a blue state. We wouldn't be losing a Senator, we'd be gaining a Democrat."

(Photo by Han Xu at Yale Daily News)

Monday, February 27, 2006


ActBlue Numbers

Ned just hit 1,000 donors, for a total of $54,631.69 so far.

Contribute here. Sign up to volunteer here.

Update: Ned blogs about the 1,000th donation at MyDD:

Last night at 9:52 PM EST, a little over two weeks from when we started receiving donations, and before we even officially announced my candidacy, the Lamont for Senate campaign received its thousandth donation online via ActBlue.

These are small donations, averaging less than $100 each by people who care deeply about having a vibrant democracy in our own country and who believe that voters in Connecticut deserve a choise in who will be their Senator in Washington.

Professors and students, mail carriers and writers, housewives, truck-drivers, meterologists, and people from all walks of life have come together to particpate in American democracy. Much of this initial support has been driven by the Netroots. This support symbolizes the type of grassroots participation that it will take to win on August 8th.

Thank you for the early boost and we look forward to your continued participation in our campaign to replace George Bush's favorite Democrat.



Monday News Round-Up


Ned on PoliticsTV

Ned Lamont on PoliticsTV

PoliticsTV will officially launch next week, but they've already conducted an interview with Ned Lamont for their "Candidate Channel" which will feature video interviews of various candidates running for office nationwide. For someone like me who would scour the C-SPAN archives looking for video of potential candidates I've heard of but never seen speak, this promises to be a great resource. If you want your NedTV, click on the following links for the full QT clips (and thanks to PoliticsTV for the preview):

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Joe's Friends Stay Loyal

Via Matthew Gertz at My Left Nutmeg comes news that Diane Farrell is supporting Lieberman against Lamont:

Farrell, former first selectwoman of Westport, said that although Lieberman's Iraq position may be unpopular with many Fairfield County Democrats, she and the longtime senator have agreed on many other issues, and her endorsement was justified.

"Joe is a longtime friend and he has endorsed me and my campaign in the past," Farrell said in a telephone interview last week. "We'll have to agree to disagree on the war . . . but we agree on so many other issues" such as women's privacy rights, the Family Leave Act and fair wages.

Like Matthew, I am completely unsurprised by this. If anything, I am surprised that the support for Lieberman among elected officials and the Democratic establishment is as tepid as it seems to be at this early stage. Between SEIU "not being in a hurry to jump into a primary race" and Lieberman feeling forced to trot out ho-hum endorsements from longtime friends and supporters, all against a candidate who hasn't even officially declared yet... Lamont is actually facing a less daunting political landscape than most would have predicted at this point.