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, April 22, 2006


Reminder: Petition Training This Wednesday

A re-post. Remember to sign up if you live in Connecticut and help ensure that Ned Lamont is on the ballot in August:

Training sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, April 26th at 7pm in these towns: Bridgeport, Danbury, Farmington, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Storrs, Torrington, Vernon, and Waterbury. Click on the above links for more details and to RSVP.

If you're going to the Norwalk (4th CD) training, you can celebrate the launch beforehand (at 6pm) with Ned and staff at O'Neill's Pub in SoNo.

California Round-Up

During his jaunt to California this week, Lamont apparently wooed some big-time donors:

Among the gushing spectators was lawyer Spencer Weisbroth, now the business affairs director for Grammy-award winning Kronos Quartet. “It’s very refreshing to hear a Democrat talk like a Democrat,” Weisbroth said. Lamont heads to Los Angeles today in what campaign manager Tom Swan calls a “seed planting” swing. The campaign hopes to raise at least $250,000 in California.

Another report has Ned meeting with Hollywood players:

Last night the brilliant and articulate Norman Lear told a small gathering in his living room that people should consider helping Ned Lamont defeat Bush's favorite Democrat, GOP-enabler Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lear pointed out that if Lamont manages to get his message out to Democrats and wins the August 8 primary we would be gaining a Democrat in the Senate.

Lamont was also a guest at a birthday party for Markos of Daily Kos in Los Angeles this week, and he also met with small donors in Oakland and supporters in San Francisco:

But what really impressed me about Lamont was his humility. The folks hosting last night's event -- Rob and Bonnie Johnson, whose kids attend school with Lamont's back in Connecticut, although they are in the process of relocating to the Bay Area -- are old friends of this Democratic firebrand. They know Ned from soccer games and PTA meetings and local politics and Howard Dean meet-ups. They are active socially and politically in their community and can feel -- on the ground level -- that the old party ways of trying to meet in the center are not working, and that voters won't show up to the polls unless we give them something to vote for. Joe Lieberman is not someone to vote for. Ned Lamont is.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Will Women Turn Their Backs on Joe?

As Tom Swan noted in his response to Lieberman's TV ads, it's interesting that Joe's choice of issues for these spots - Iraq, energy policy, reproductive rights - all seem to play to Ned Lamont's strengths. (To be fair, it's hard to find any issue which doesn't.) Anytime Lieberman mentions Iraq is good news for Ned, and his support of Bush's disastrous Energy Bill in 2005 and his raking in of donations from suspect energy lobbyists are not things he should be reminding voters of either.

But it's the last issue, reproductive rights, that irks me the most. How can the man who uttered these callous words:

Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.

be the same man who would then put this frame in a campaign ad:

Interestingly, Ned Lamont is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for CT-NOW on May 1st. And CT-NOW has previously reprimanded Lieberman for allowing Alito onto the Supreme Court.

NOW PAC has already endorsed Alan Sandals in the PA senate primary. Might they be considering endorsing another challenger taking on a candidate who has "turned his back on women"?

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Lieberman Losing Popularity Among Democrats

The latest Survey USA 50-state senate tracking poll is out, and it explains in part why Lieberman is feeling scared enough to start running TV ads in April.

Here's the trendline for Lieberman's popularity among Democrats, which now stands at 54% approval, 41% disapproval:

Lieberman Approval, Democrats

Even worse for Lieberman, among self-described Liberals, the most likely voters in an August primary, he has for the first time ever crossed into negative territory, at 46% approval, 49% disapproval:

Lieberman Approval, Liberals

But never fear. Among his core supporters - Republicans - Joe is still flying high. His approval rating among Republicans has actually increased to 70% approval, 27% disapproval.

Lieberman Airs Defensive TV Ads

Feeling the heat:

The two 60-second spots, running statewide, highlight Lieberman's record on key Democratic issues such as abortion, energy independence, environmental protection and increased education funding.

One also touches on Lieberman's support of the war in Iraq - a position that has angered many activist Democrats and helped fuel a challenge by Democrat and Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.

"I already know that some of you feel passionately against my position in Iraq. I respect your views, and while we probably won't change each others' minds, I hope we can still have a dialogue and find common ground on all the issues where we do agree," Lieberman says in the TV spot.

It's a little difficult to "have a dialogue" with voters when you barely appear in public in your own state.


Bush's approval rating in a new poll.

A new Fox News poll.

Oh, the pain of being George Bush's Favorite Democrat right about now.

Delegate News

The "hot rumor" out of the Branford DTC meeting was that half of New Haven's 69 delegates were going to Lamont, according to BranfordBoy at MLN.

Meanwhile it surprisingly appears that Manchester, a town which overwhelmingly passed a censure of Sen. Lieberman for his unconditional support of the Bush Administration on Iraq back in January, may now be planning on supporting Joe at the convention.

At the same time, it's telling that a prospective 17-10 split for Lieberman is actually being called "good news" for his campaign at this point. As are quotes like this one:

Nevertheless, [Town Chairman Ted] Cummings said, Lieberman shouldn't take Manchester's support for granted and the town committee should send its message clearly. He urged the delegates to split their votes 17-10 for Lieberman.

"We have our self-respect to come to grips with," Cummings said. "Joe Lieberman ought to have to work."

Still, when it comes to backing Lamont, Cummings said he's not willing to risk losing a Democratic seat in the Senate based solely on principle: "I'm willing to be Joe Hypocrite all over the place ... because of the greater good."

Many Democrats in the state obviously prefer Lamont but are having second thoughts about "risking a safe seat." As Ned likes to say, Connecticut is a blue state, and they won't be losing a senator, they'll be gaining a Democrat.

It's important for all to come to grips with the fact that the GOP will not put up any serious competition in November. Alan Schlesinger, the state GOP's preferred candidate, is only slightly less of a complete joke than Paul Streitz.

Voting for Ned Lamont at the convention or in August will not endanger this safe Democratic seat in November. Joe Lieberman will be the one who endangers the seat if he decides to leave the party to run as an Independent.

Update: Welcome, Eschatonians. If you're just checking out LamontBlog for the first time, be sure to visit the official campaign site as well as these other unofficial local sites doing an excellent job covering the campaign: ConnecticutBlog, Ned Lamont Resource, and My Left Nutmeg. See the blogroll on the left for more.

If you live in Connecticut, the petition drive will kick off next Wednesday, April 26th, in towns across the state. There will be a petition drive for signatures regardless of how the delegate count looks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Bloggers for Lamont Featured in CQPolitics

Marie Horrigan at Congressional Quarterly writes about how the CT-SEN race is taking shape, and the role that the blogs are playing - specifically My Left Nutmeg and ConnecticutBlog.

The title is "Lieberman's Poll Numbers Put Him in Odd Spot," which they do:

Democratic Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman’s hawkish views on defense and foreign policy - especially his strong support for the war in Iraq - have put him in a peculiar position: He draws stronger job approval ratings from Republicans than Democrats in his home state of Connecticut.


Petition Drive Starts One Week From Today

(Update: Celebrate the petition drive launch with Ned on Wed. April 26th at 6pm at O'Neill's Pub in Norwalk.)

Training sessions for the grassroots petition drive to get Ned on the ballot are scheduled for Wednesday, April 26th at 7pm in towns across the state, including: Bridgeport, Danbury, Farmington, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Stamford, Storrs, Torrington, Vernon, and Waterbury.

RSVP now at any of the above locations. I am guessing that listings for even more towns (Hartford for one?) are likely coming soon - keep an eye on NedLamont.com's events page in the coming days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Tuesday Late-Night Roundup


Bad News for Bush's Favorite Democrat

The new Survey USA poll puts Bush at 27% approval / 69% disapproval in Connecticut.

Among Connecticut Democrats, he gets 7% approval / 91% disapproval.

Both are all time lows.

Update: Welcome, Firedoglake and Crooks and Liars readers! If you're just checking out LamontBlog for the first time, be sure to visit the official campaign site as well as these other unofficial local sites doing an excellent job covering the campaign: ConnecticutBlog, Ned Lamont Resource, and My Left Nutmeg. See the blogroll on the left for more.

The 18-Year Itch

Republican Alan Schlesinger, who is apparently running for the GOP nomination on a platform of embracing President Bush and pushing to privatize Social Security, hopes beyond hope that 2006 will be a replay of 36 years ago, when Lowell Weicker won his seat in a three-way race:

On Monday, the 48-year-old Schlesinger became the second announced Republican candidate for the seat. Speaking in Hartford to a small audience of backers and reporters, he said that a repeat of the 1970 race is "the best scenario, in my humble opinion," of how the race would play out.

But he's obviously gone back one 18-year cycle too far. You only need to go back to 1988 to see how 2006 will play out - it's an eerie mirror image.

As just one example of many, take these two candidates both defensively relying on "seniority" as a reason to stay in office:

"I feel very strongly that I have a lot that I can give this state, both on my seniority and independence over the next six years."

- Joe Lieberman, quoted on Fox 61's "Beyond the Headlines" (video), April 2006.

''You don't have seniority, you don't have anything,'' he said. ''I'm 16. If Joe Lieberman goes in, he's No. 100.''

- Lowell Weicker, quoted in the Washington Post, October 29, 1988.

Tuesday Morning Roundup

Monday, April 17, 2006


Lieberman Claims No Knowledge of Iran War Plans

Sen. Lieberman says he has not been informed of any "set war plans" for Iran in an interview today with the Jerusalem Post. This likely means that Lieberman is not the "one Democrat" who, according to Seymour Hersh, had been briefed on such war plans by the Bush Administration. (Either that, or he's being completely disingenuous by specifying that he has not been informed of any "set" plans.)

Lieberman, who is currently traveling in the Mideast region, seems to have dialed down his usual hawkish rhetoric just a notch, but still advocates for keeping the military option on the table:

Lieberman said he knew of no "set war plans" being drawn up by the Bush Administration and, "I don't think anyone's yearning for military action against Iran."

Nonetheless, he said, there was skepticism in Congress about the likelihood of the UN Security Council taking "economic or diplomatic action." As a next step, that left the option of an "economic coalition of the willing," outside the UN framework, to try and deter the Iranians.

Military action was "probably the last choice, but it has to be there," stressed Lieberman, who has been visiting Israel over the Pessah festival. He said there was now "active discussion" of the options for such action.

Asked what last-resort military option was available, Lieberman said: "I don't think anyone is thinking of this as a massive ground invasion, as in Iraq, to topple the government." Rather, he said, he envisaged "an attempt to hit some of the components of the nuclear program," primarily from the air, with some potential for covert ground assistance.

"I think the only justifiable use of military power would be an attempt to deter the development of their nuclear program if we felt there was no other way to do it," he said. "And I use the word 'deter' because I'm skeptical of our ability - because they've spread their nuclear program and some of it is underground - to knock it out completely."

Even the mere act of giving Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld the option to use military force against Iran should not be an option for any sane Senator, on either side of the aisle. The political leaders in this Administration have proven - even to leaders in the military - that they cannot be trusted to use this type of power wisely. And Iran could easily be ten times the mess that Iraq has turned out to be (read Richard Clarke and Steven Simon's op-ed from Sunday's New York Times).

Lieberman is being either very naive or very reckless in stoking these flames, and I doubt it's the former. But at the same time he's also being much less vociferous than he was in the run-up to Iraq. Is it because he currently faces a primary challege?

Paul Bass on Lamont at SCSU

Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent has a quick write-up of today's Lamont event at SCSU in New Haven in front of about 30 people:

...While the crowd was generally supportive of Lamont's left-leaning challenge to the conservative Lieberman, student questioners pushed him to talk about more than his opposition to the Iraq war, the issue that propelled his candidacy two months ago.

Lamont obliged, differentiating himself from Lieberman on issues ranging from universal health care (for it) and Terry Schiavo (he said the federal government had no place butting in) to the environment (he denounced the Lieberman-supported energy bill) and gay marriage.

Also, the national press was there, expect articles on the AP and WaPo soon:

He's still in the honeymoon period, still being discovered. Monday's stop attracted not just [Shailagh] Murray of the Post national desk but an AP reporter preparing a story for the national wire. Like other Next New Thing anti-Bush Democrats -- Howard Dean, Wesley Clark -- Lamont will soon move to the more demanding spotlight phase, when the press and the public throw the same kind of tough questions at him that they now have for Lieberman.

Normally, I'd agree with Paul that Lamont will have some tough questions coming his way soon from the media. But that assumes that the Lieberman campaign stops their startling self-destructive tendencies sometime soon, which is a safe enough assumption, but by no means a certainty. Actually leaving the Democratic party would provide another few weeks of Joe on the defensive.

The basic truth of every campaign that Lieberman has run in the last 6 years is that the more he speaks, the less popular he gets.

For instance, I was recently reading some old interviews of Joe from December 2003, right after Al Gore endorsed Dean. This was pre-"Joementum," but the terminal diagnosis for the campaign was already clear, reflected in the bitterness and petulance of the candidate himself. If Joe's defensive slide towards irrelevance repeats itself, this will continue to be the dominant storyline of this race, not the Lamont-as-Dean narrative.

Unless Al Gore suddenly throws his support to Lamont. Then Joe's head might actually explode, which I'm sure would be the lede in all the papers.

Gallup: 44% of Republicans Back Iraq Troop Withdrawal

According to the latest Gallup poll, 64% of Americans, including 44% of Republicans nationwide, now support the withdrawal of some or all American troops from Iraq.

Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, still stubbornly proposes that we keep our troops in Iraq for at least three more years. He still thinks "a lot of very good things can happen in three years in Iraq."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was right when he said, back in December:

I’ve spoken to Joe Lieberman and he knows he’s out there alone. I mean, literally alone. Joe is a fine man, he has strong feelings, but he’s just alone. Even Republicans don’t agree with Joe.


Monday News Roundup


Nedvents Today

Ned will be at SCSU this afternoon, and New Britain and Newtown this evening.

Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, is busy avoiding his home state, ducking debates with his challenger, and maintaining his silence on the calls by six generals and now by the senior senator of CT for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Lieberman Turns Down Debate With Lamont

Sen. Lieberman turned down an invitation to debate Ned Lamont on WPKN (via spazeboy at My Left Nutmeg):

We tried to arrange a radio debate between incumbent Senator Lieberman and his challenger for the Democractic nomination, Ned Lamont. The Lamont campaign accepted our invitation. On Friday, April 14th, we received the following response from Sean Smith, Lieberman's campaign manager:

Our campaign is focused on winning over delegates to the State Democratic convention on May 20. We anticipate being the endorsed Democratic candidate for Senate coming out of that convention. If our opponent petitions to challenge us in a primary, then we will enter into debate negotiations with his campaign at that time. Until then, we are focused on securing the necessary delegates to be the Democratic nominee for Senate.

Chicken Joe