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 11, 2006


"Some Interest Group" Endorses Lieberman

In the Lieberman campaign's own words, that's what happened when the League of Conservation Voters endorsed him yesterday:

Lieberman makes much of environmental endorsement

Senator Joe Lieberman made an event today out of receiving an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters. The three-term senator faces his first challenge for the Democratic nomination.

Lieberman has traditionally been endorsed by the national environmental organization in his Senate races.

Yes, it's the same endorsement he's received every year, yet this year, it's an "event."

Nevermind Joe's election-year flip-flop on the Broadwater proposal, his less than stellar environmental voting record, or his refusal to support blocking one of the worst possible Supreme Court nominees on environmental issues - a nominee against whom Ned Lamont says he would have "led the charge" in the Senate. [Edited to reflect the fact that his poor voting record was due to missed votes while campaigning. Doesn't affect the rest of the argument at all.]

But remember when the League of Conservation Voters endorsed John Kerry over Lieberman leading up to the New Hampshire primary in 2004, in what was widely perceived as a slap against the Lieberman campaign, which was suffering from an acute case of Joementum at the time. What did Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein have to say about the LCV back then?

"Senator Lieberman knows the independent-minded voters of New Hampshire will decide who has the best record on the environment and not some interest group," Gerstein said.

Duplicitous Joe strikes again.

Friday, March 10, 2006


"Big" Announcement Today?

So hints both the Majority Report blog and Atrios.

Listen live to Ned Lamont on the Randi Rhodes show on Air America (guest hosted today by Sam Seder) at 5:30pm.

Update: OK, so the "big announcement" was really just Lamont saying that he will run. I thought that that "big news" was coming on Monday, officially speaking.

Sam Seder is obviously quite excited about Ned Lamont's candidacy. Before the interview he put together a terrific compilation of the Sean Hannity interview, the Michael Ware quote, some assorted bits highlighting Joe's hypocrisy and backstabbing. Great stuff.

Some notable Ned quotes from the interview itself:

To Sam after his introduction: "I dont think you'll be calling me a Fox News Democrat."

On warrantless wiretapping: "I can't believe that conservatives and liberals aren't statding up hand-in-hand on this issue and saying no president is above the law."

On Joe's vote for cloture on the bankruptcy bill before voting against it on the floor: "Someone said, 'we can always count on Joe's vote when we don't really need it.'"

On Alito: "If Ned Lamont were a Senator from Connecticut, I would have led the charge against the Alito nomination."

On Joe's effect on the Democratic party: "I think he undercuts our message, sometimes goes out of his way to criticize Democrats."

At the end, Sam repeated to Ned the exact words that Hannity spoke to Lieberman - that he would help him out in any way he could. He attempted to nationalize the race by telling his national audience that "putting Ned Lamont in the seat in Connecticut will strengthen every single one of your Democratic senators." In my opinion, he couldn't be more right.

Update #2: Full audio available for download at both La Resistance and Crooks and Liars.

Ten More Questions for Senator Joe Lieberman

From the comments at CT Local Politics, these questions by TrueBlueCT are too good not to repeat:

Is Sean Hannity really a "wonderful American", and how do you reconcile your friendship with Sean and the hate-filled bile he spews?

Do you regret your comments in support of the Terri Schiavo intervention by Congressional Republicans?

Will you die a Democrat, or is there a chance you might quit the Party? (you hinted that you would be on the November ballot, one way or the other.)

Your house in New Haven is for sale. Where do you intend to live during your next term?

Are we in another Vietnam? What if Iraq isn't winnable? (the Humpty-Dumpty principle.) At what point do we admit a mistake?

Hamas just won the Palestinian elections. Do you think our occupation of Iraq played a part in the extremists' rise to power?

What do you think of Saudi Arabia, and their repressive regime? Should we be pressuring them towards Democracy?

Torture! Is it an American value? If not, how do you square your vote in favor of Alberto Gonzales confirmation?

Are all the Gitmo detainees guilty? Shouldn't there be some system of due process?

The Bankruptcy Bill. You voted for it before you voted against it. Why didn't you join the filibuster attempt when so many Democrats were strongly against it?

Will Sen. Lieberman come to an open forum in Connecticiut and answer these questions without equivocating?

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Refuting Joe

Why does he make it so easy?

Lieberman recently "sat down" with Connecticut Local Politics to answer six questions. Actually, it was via email and it apparently took the responsive Senator over six weeks to answer all six. Still, I guess that's what passes for meaningful interaction with constituents for Joe.

Though, with over a week to answer each individual question, you'd think he'd have come up with better answers than these:

The good people of Connecticut have elected me to represent them three times and I hope I have earned their support a fourth time.

The good Democrats of Connecticut have not had a chance to elect you in a primary since 1970. Remember Democrats? The party to which you claim to belong? You have never been elected to represent Connecticut Democrats in the Senate. You defeated a more liberal candidate to win the seat in 1988. Next?

I have taken on a lot of tough fights - to save jobs, to secure funding for local projects, and to protect our environment. But there is still more to do. The future of the Long Island Sound is at stake, local jobs are being threatened by big corporate mergers and overseas competition, women's privacy rights are under siege, our school children are being shortchanged by...

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up. "Women's privacy rights are under siege?" By whom? By Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court nominee you allowed to go through the Senate? You told your "pal" Sean Hannity that "I did vote against the filibuster cause I thought that, you know, it was time to move on." Back then, it was time to "move on" from protecting women's reproductive rights. Now you're a strong defender of them. Gotcha.

Let me be clear on the issue of Iraq. Like everyone, I want to bring our troops home.

Joe Lieberman, today: "I want to bring our troops home."

Joe Lieberman, November 2005: "Our troops must stay."

I'm going to say to people who disagree with my position on the war, "Let's talk about it and I'll hope you'll conclude, whether you agree with me or not, that I've been talking about this for a long time now because I sincerely believe it is the right thing for our country."

Joe Lieberman, today: "Let's talk about it."

Joe Lieberman, December 2005: "...in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

If Democrats are ever going to want to get back in power we've got to come up with a positive constructive program, particularly on security.

How is "Bottom line, I think Bush has it right" a "positive constructive program" on national security? How does unquestioningly supporting a policy that your mentor William F. Buckley calls a "failure" help Democrats define themselves? The vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, know that Bush is making us less safe. How does defending his policy without asking any serious questions of it prove "seriousness"? To me, it proves precisely the opposite: that you are not serious about our national security. And that your continued defense of a failed policy that many Republicans won't even defend anymore hurts our party and our country immensely on this issue.

As you know, I did vote for cloture on Judge Alito's nomination. As part of my agreement with the Gang of 14 I agreed to filibuster only in extraordinary circumstances. Though I strongly opposed Judge Alito’s nomination, I did not find that the situation met the extraordinary circumstances threshold. Unfortunately, it was clear the nomination was going to pass and I felt it was time to move on to other Senate business that affects our state.

Yeah, why fight for something worth fighting for when it's just going to pass? Why fight at all, since Democrats are in the minority and the GOP can ram anything they want through? I guess your previously stated strong defense of "women's privacy rights" wasn't an "extraordinary" enough reason to fight. What would be?

I am sending this as an email to Joe. I wonder if he'll answer my questions, too.

Thursday News Round-Up

What else is going on?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Wednesday News Round-Up


Lessons from TX-28

As many are aware, Ciro Rodriguez lost his primary challenge to incumbent Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar yesterday in Texas. The race has many parallels with the Lamont-Lieberman race: a candidate supported by traditional Democrats and the netroots took on a proud Bush-loving incumbent supported by right-wing forces. Both Genghis Conn at Connecticut Local Politics and Bob Brigham at Daily Kos have insightful post-mortems on the lessons that can be gleaned from Ciro's campaign for Ned Lamont. Both are worth reading in full.

Genghis is right in stating that "the race seems to raise more questions than it answers." While there are many similarities between the two races as noted above, there are also many differences that make them difficult to compare, in ways that bode both well and not-so-well for Lamont. On the one hand: the demographics of the two districts couldn't be more different, a Senate race will always be very different from a House race, Ciro Rodriguez was already a known quantity in the district having served as a Congressman and challenged Cuellar two years ago, and (perhaps most importantly) primaries in Texas are open to any voter regardless of party, whereas in Connecticut they are closed. (This last fact is particularly relevant given that no GOP candidate filed for this district, leaving all Republican voters able to pull the lever for the Club for Growth-supported Cuellar). On the other hand, Lieberman is an 18-year incumbent and national figure with vast networks of support, while Cuellar was a first-termer who barely won his primary against this same challenger two years ago.

The more useful way to look at TX-28 is through analyzing the performance of the netroots in this race, which must and will be an integral part of any successes the Lamont campaign hopes to have this year. As Bob argues, we as the netroots need to define our goals in this race that will begin for real on Monday:

Now back to Joe Lieberman. How should the netroots define success, based only on the election results or based on what happens each and every day until August 8th? I suggest the latter.

The goal in Connecticut shouldn't be to beat Lieberman but to demonstrate that there are severe consequences for acting like Joe Lieberman. The chances of winning the election aren't good, but the potential to punish Lieberman is very real. By judging success every day, Lieberman's best case scenario is to pull a Pyhrric victory....

This effort could be considered a success before the first ballot is cast. Regardless of whether the voters punish Lieberman, he should be punished. If the goal of the netroots is to provide this punishment, then can will be victorious.

I certainly view the campaign in a less quixotic light than Bob does. But his point is valid. The goal is of the campaign is obviously to win, but the goal for the netroots cannot simply be what happens on election day, much of which will be out of our control. There is only so much the netroots can accomplish, and it may very well be that on August 8th the political atmosphere will be such that it will be impossible to attain electoral victory. But it may easily turn out the other way too - no one really knows how the dynamics of this low-turnout race will shape up given that Lieberman has never faced a primary challenge before.

But both this campaign and the netroots also need to take a long-term and big-picture view of what they hope to accomplish. The mere existence of this campaign is already one huge success: Joe Lieberman will have to defend his record to Connecticut Democrats for the first time in 36 years. And there are surely more successes to come, leading up hopefully to the ultimate one: Senator Lamont (D-CT). But while aiming for this ultimate goal, it's crucially important to study the lessons of past efforts and point the way towards future successes, either in Connecticut or elsewhere.

And I definitely agree with Bob's description of the strength of the blogs:

...the intrinsic value of the blogs isn't funding, but communication. Focusing on whacking Lieberman every single day plays to the strength of the netroots, and judging by Dan Gerstein's reaction to Howie Klein, is what worries Lieberman the most.

We'll certainly keep on doing our part here!

NRCC Defends Lieberman

I guess Joe has run out of Democrats to defend him on Iraq, so a spokesman for the NRCC picks up the slack in this article from the Hill about the Shays-Farrell race:

Meanwhile, Farrell has used the war in Iraq to make Shays’s district one of the most competitive in the nation.

Republicans have tried to regain the offensive by calling on Farrell to renounce Sen. Joe Lieberman's (D-Conn.) endorsement because his position on the Iraq war is more in line with Republicans than with Democrats.

"The suggestion that being for finishing the job in Iraq [is a losing issue] is ridiculous," said Ed Patru, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "It certainly has not had any effect on Joe Lieberman's popularity."

I suppose Patru hasn't been paying attention to recent national polls, which have indicated that both the American public and the troops on the ground in Iraq are turning against the Bush-Lieberman Iraq non-policy in larger numbers than ever. Or to noted liberal flame-breathers George Will and William F. Buckley, who have both turned against the Bush-Lieberman handling of the war.

As for Lieberman's popularity in CT, which Patru claims has not been affected? How does he explain this trend among CT Democrats?

SUSA poll CT Dems

It's sad that Joe needs to rely on the Republican leadership to defend his disastrous performance as a senator. It's even sadder that their defense of him is so completely wrong.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


PoliticsTV is Online

The video clips from PoliticsTV that LamontBlog previewed last week are now available at the PoliticsTV Candidate Channel, which officially launched tonight. Also available are some clips with Democratic CT-5 candidate Chris Murphy.

Ask DFA to Endorse Ned

Recommend Ned Lamont for this cycle's DFA-List.

(Via Kim at My Left Nutmeg).

Tuesday News Round-Up

Here's whats in the papers and the blogs this morning:

Monday, March 06, 2006


Monday Night News Round-Up


Events This Week

Two events tonight, and more this week, all leading up to the big announcement a week from today, next Monday, March 13th at the Old State House in Hartford at 3pm. Contact the campaign for more information on any of the following events:

Keep an eye both here and at the events calendar at nedlamont.com for updated information, and please post any additions or corrections in the comments below.

Nedroots Campaigning

Paul Bass, author of this weekend's NE Magazine piece that Kos links to today, has another article in the New Haven Independent about the grassroots/netroots strategy of the fledgling Lamont campaign. He followed Ned Lamont on a 120-mile trip to speak in front of 16 supporters in Killingly last week, in "the Quiet Corner" of the state, or as Bass puts it, "Little Appalachia." The way this campaign is already proving itself adept at using and motivating the netroots is apparent. Take this description of how the campaign found a lone supporter from the Quiet Corner via Daily Kos and won him over enough to volunteer for the campaign:

Grossman vented some of these frustrations one day on a national liberal blog called the Daily Kos. A Lamont staffer read his post, contacted him, told him about the Lamont campaign. The staffer invited Grossman to see Lamont up close at the event at the Killingly Community Center....

Lamont didn't pander, though. He didn’t give Leigh Grossman the precise answer he was looking for on eavesdropping, for instance.

Grossman asked Lamont if electronic eavesdropping by the federal government is necessary at all. Yes, Lamont said. His beef with Bush is that Bush has done it illegally, with contempt for safeguards meant to protect people's privacy rights.

"I'm afraid in this world we are going to have to have a higher level of intelligence," Lamont said. "But darn it, the president is not going to have that authority" to make decisions about intelligence without checks and balances....

After hearing Lamont, he said he would probably volunteer for the campaign. That was probably the night's most promising sign for the fledgling Lamont express. Not because one more volunteer enlisted. (It’ll take a lot more Grossmans and McNallys to mount a serious challenge.) But because of what it said about the campaign's tactics.

Bass proceeds to describe those tactics and Lamont's engagement with the technology and strategy of netroots outreach:

Lamont made his money figuring out the future of technology, first at Cablevision, then developing closed-circuit TV systems for colleges and gated communities through his company Lamont Digital Systems. In the car ride to Killingly, I listened to his end of a conference call about the use of technology and media in this campaign. While none of it was original, it certainly bespoke a comfort and sophistication with the changing playing field of political competition. (I agreed not to report on the specifics.)

Similarly, the staffer who spotted Grossman on the Daily Kos exhibited a savvy about modern-day campaigns reminiscent of the early, heady days of the Dean for President drive. The web site is solid, too, and it's drawing volunteers and cash from around the country among Dean-style Dems.

Add that to the money Lamont can afford to throw into his campaign, and it’s clear that, while his quest is a longshot, it’s also hard-headed and credible. Or at least worth the time of antiwar activists and liberal party volunteers from places like Killingly.

A 120-mile trip to convince a handful of supporters in a usually-ignored area of the state. A web-savvy campaign with a candidate who is himself well-versed in media and technology and eager to learn more. This is exactly the combination of traditional grassroots and cutting-edge netroots campaigning that is needed to take on an entrenched incumbent senator. Call it "Nedroots" campaigning.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Murtha on Iraq

John Murtha


Let me tell you, the only people who want us in Iraq is Iran and al-Qaeda. I've talked to a top-level commander the other day, it was about two weeks ago, and he said China wants us there also. Why? Because we're depleting our resources - our troop resources and our fiscal resources.

Well, actually, he forgot Poland Lieberman.

The Lieberman-Cheney Blacklist Revisited

Via spazeboy at My Left Nutmeg, I came across this piece in today's NE Magazine (in the Hartford Courant) which details a recent Ned Lamont meeting with ex-Weicker chief of staff and CT political fixture Tom D'Amore.

In the middle of the article by Paul Bass was this set of assertions, one of which stood out:

Lieberman's strongest support comes from Republicans. And no wonder.

He casts aspersions on citizens who question the war. (He helped Lynne Cheney start a group which published a list of college professors whom right-wingers deem un-American.) He votes to transfer wealth to the rich, as he did in May and March of 2003. He uses his moral authority to excoriate a Democratic president for a sexual liaison with an intern, and then, several years later, straddles the fence on a Republican administration's illegal wiretapping and torture of prisoners of war.

The group in question is The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, whose actions in 2001 inspired this open letter to Joe Lieberman and Lynne Cheney printed as an advertisement in The Nation:

On November 11, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an organization you co-founded in 1995, issued a report that listed the names of academics along with 117 statements they made, in public forums or in classes, that questioned aspects of the Administration's war on terrorism. Concluding that "College and university faculty have been the weak link in America's response to the attack," the report asked alumni to bring their (presumed) displeasure about these views to the attention of university administrations. While ACTA's report does not have the cachet of President Nixon's "Enemies List," nor the intimidating force (yet?) of Senator Joseph McCarthy's too-numerous-to-list lists, as an American historian I am naturally interested in this project, and I have decided to offer your organization my full cooperation.

Here's the pdf of the report itself, "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America," from ACTA's website.

Here's an article from the San Jose Mercury News about the report, which specifically mentions the president of Wesleyan and a professor at Yale.

But, alas, here's a letter from Joe Lieberman to ACTA dated December 2001 disowning the report and asking not to be referred to as a "co-founder" of the group anymore:

This letter is meant to set the record straight about my disapproval of this report, which I consider unfair and inconsistent for an organization devoted to promoting academic freedom. To avoid any future confusion, I would ask you to remove any reference to me as a "co-founder" of ACTA from your website or other Council documents. And I would ask that you note in any future public statements that I do not support this specific report. Thank you.

There is no doubt Sen. Lieberman did the right thing by disassociating himself from the group in 2001. Yet despite his request of 4+ years ago, ACTA's website still lists him as a co-founder today:

ACTA was launched by former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman Lynne V. Cheney, former Governor Richard D. Lamm of Colorado, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, distinguished social scientist David Riesman, Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow and others.

Does Sen. Lieberman still repudiate the disgusting McCarthyist actions undertaken by this group in his name in the tumultuous weeks and months following September 11th, 2001? If so, why is his name still on their website?

In the end of course, a name on a website is inconsequential. What matters more are the types of figures with whom you choose to politically associate yourself. And the undeniable and unchangable fact is that Joe Lieberman judged it proper to co-found an "academic freedom" group with Lynne Cheney in 1995, a year after the Gingrich revolution in Congress.

You know the saying: "Lie down with Cheneys, wake up with fleas." (Or, I guess, in a hospital bed with birdshot pellets embedded in your face.)

Connecticut deserves a Senator who would never come within a mile of making an alliance like this one on an issue like this one.