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 29, 2006


Weekend Open Thread

I'll be away this weekend, so visit NedLamont.com, ConnecticutBlog, My Left Nutmeg, Ned Lamont resource, the NedHeads YouTube group, DumpJoe.com, and the rest of the blogroll on the left for Lieberman-Lamont news. Here are some things going on today:

Friday, April 28, 2006


Hannity Finally Cracks

It took five days, but Sean Hannity finally broke down due to all those pesky callers asking him why his best bud Joe hasn't been on the show in over two months. Read and listen:

Steve: Oh, Sean… I’m a Marine and I’ve got to tell you that nothing is going to change better for this country until we root out the corruption. Wall Street Journal today says that Congressmen that sat on the Defense and the Intelligence committees were involved in a prostitution ring, so while they weren’t playing golf with Jack Abramoff at luxury golf resorts in Scotland, they were slick willying prostitutes in Washington… Meanwhile, 5 Democrats were arrested crosstown because they were protesting Darfur because the Republican Congress and the Republican President won’t get off their butt and make this world a better place. They are allowing a rascist genocide to go on while they’re FREQUENTING PROSTITUTES SEAN!!

Sean: Yeah, Yeah…

Steve: And you are standing up for them!

Sean: Yeah… Uh. You’re wrong. Goodbye. I don’t believe a word this guy said about being a Republican. Let me tell you what is happening. There are these websites ladies and gentleman, and I actually read them and I am amused by them where liberals say “Now when you call talk shows” - and you can tell by the way this guy was reading - “When you call Hannity’s show, ask him where Joe Lieberman is!! Where’s Joe Lieberman…” you know, and things like this. Which is fine, we want everybody to call the show. And you’re welcome to be on, but when it’s clear you’re agenda driven and you’re not about real, honest dialogue… we’re just gonna move on…


Even Photo-Ops Go Wrong for Joe

I hear Joe had to actually answer some questions about being the only New England Democrat to vote for the $14.5 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil in Bush's 2005 Energy Bill, at what he hoped would be a risk-free (and substance-free) photo-op at a New Haven gas station this morning.

Watch the local newscasts tonight.

Friday Morning Round-Up

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Lamont Campaign Already Paying Dividends

So Lieberman made a big deal today about calling for the restructuring of FEMA, and if you take one look at his campaign site, it's hard to find a headline which doesn't include a phrase like "leads charge against Bush." As blogger d-day notes, this is partial evidence of the Lamont campaign already paying dividends in its nascent weeks and months:

So Lieberman's moving back to the left to secure his primary spot. He's coming out in a high-profile way to criticize the President. He's "showing leadership" on Katrina by calling for major changes to Homeland Security. And this means that we've already accomplished something pretty big in Connecticut. Without a primary challenge, I don't think you'd be seeing any of this happen. I'm not actively pushing for Lieberman's ouster (I'd rather focus on defeating Republicans), but I think primaries are great because it keeps politicians honest. By putting this kind of pressure on Lieberman we've made some tangible changes in his behavior. And that will continue even if he succeeds in his primary fight and continues to serve in the Senate.

Now, no one should be naïve enough to think that this primary challenge will change the stripes of a senator like Lieberman, who has built his entire career on his particular brand of smarmy self-righteousness and with the active support of the far right. But, still, political expediency necessitates that, for the next few months at least (and unless he decides to bolt the party), he emphasize his disagreements with Bush instead of, say, his friendship with Sean Hannity. And that can't hurt. (Speaking of which, Mike Stark dug up a November 2005 interview between the two "pals" where Joe again agreed to come on his show every month, yet it's been over two months now and Sean is censoring any mention of his buddy's name this week.)

But win or lose, the benefits of the Lamont challenge will not be merely temporary, and they will not be limited to Connecticut, as Chris Bowers points out in a must-read post on primary challenges nationwide:

The Connecticut Senate primary... is the immediate, short-term target in what must be understood as a long-term strategy. Ned Lamont's campaign in Connecticut has been overwhelmingly netroots fueled, and started form a point of seeming hopelessness. Winning, or seriously, seriously threatening, Lieberman in Connecticut would send shockwaves through the Democratic ecosystem around the country, changing the behavior of many of its constituents parts. It would demonstrate that progressives, reformers, and the netroots have emerged as serious players in primary elections outside of the Presidential race, and that a Democratic incumbent must view the threat of a netroots challenge as something to worry about. Success in the Connecticut primary will also provide us with a template to conduct other primary challenges, along with knowledge about what worked, and what did not.

...In 2006, I do not want the netroots to over-extend in primary challenges, and end up both looking and being ineffective in generating serious challenges. Because of this, for now, I believe we need to focus our national efforts in primaries against problematic incumbents entirely in the Connecticut Senatorial primary. Let's do one right before we decide to run a full slate. The best-case scenario is that we succeed internally in Connecticut in August and then succeed nationally against Republicans in November. If we can accomplish both of those goals, then the political world will never be the same, and 2008 will be an entirely different ballgame for problematic Democratic incumbents.

No, we may never be able to change George Bush's Favorite Democrat (née William F. Buckley's Favorite Democrat). But we will be able to change the Democratic party. And the successes of that long-term effort are becoming apparent even now.

Joe Flip-Flops on FEMA

As Atrios notes, Joe can complain about FEMA's performance all he wants, but it was his own Homeland Security legislation introduced in October 2001 (and soon co-opted by the Bush Administration) that called for FEMA to be folded into DHS in the first place.

Update: And lest anyone forget, Lieberman chaired the rubber-stamp hearing which confirmed the highly underqualified Michael Brown as head deputy of FEMA without any tough questioning back in 2002.

Joe needs to account for his own mishandling of the oversight of FEMA.

Update 2: When asked about his failure to ask any real questions in Michael Brown's confirmation hearing, Joe responded in an NPR interview right after Katrina in September 2005 (audio):

Our committee conducted a hearing on the nomination of Michael Brown to be Deputy Director of FEMA. And in the normal course, honestly, for deputy positions, you normally say, well, the president, if this person passes all the normal checks, has the right to choose who he wants, so long as the person is in an acceptable range....

Sen. Lieberman may have thought this was just the "normal course" of action for the confirmation of an unqualified official in an agency where competence and leadership are absolute necessities. But everyone else could see at the time that this - as well as the complete neutering of FEMA under Lieberman's DHS and Bush - was a complete failure of the Senate's oversight responsibilities, a failure for which Lieberman should take some personal responsibility.

Thursday Morning Round-Up

Update: Welcome, Atrios 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.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


RI-SEN: Brown Drops Out

In another Democratic primary just next door, Democrat Matt Brown has dropped out of the Rhode Island senate race, due in large part to serious questions about his fundraising activities.

Joe Lieberman has accepted money from some of the same donors.

Brown has admitted to directing some of his supporters, including David Messer, president of Sempra Energy Trading, and his wife, Barbara Duberstein, to donate thousands of dollars to state Democratic parties in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Maine. The state parties had previously donated similarly large sums to the Brown campaign.

Sempra Energy was the company that flew Joe on a private corporate jet in September 2005 and is currently Lieberman's 7th largest contributor this cycle with donations totaling over $60,000.

Both Messer and his wife have maxed out to Lieberman this cycle ($2,100 for both the primary and general, from both of them, totaling $8,400). Their donations are all dated 9/30/05, just three weeks after Joe flew on Air Sempra. (More here.)

Ned Lamont has promised not to seek or accept any contributions from Washington lobbyists.

Petition Drive Meeting Reports

BranfordBoy has a great write-up of the petition drive kickoff training in New Haven. Sounds as if it was packed and energized, and that the campaign knows what they're doing. I hear the crowd at the Norwalk meeting was equally enthusiastic. He passes on some important info:

If you want to sign the petition (and who wouldn't, really) and you don't know of anyone who's circulating it in your area, call the campaign (203-634-6601) and they'll get someone to swing round and collect your John Hancock.

If you are an unaffiliated voter, you can fill out a voter registration card (the volunteers will have them) and sign the petition at the same time.

If you'd like to circulate petitions, it's not too late to get involved. Training will be ongoing. Contact one of the Congressional District Coordinators:

1st: Ken Krayeski 860-995-5842
2nd and 5th: Rick or Matt @ Meriden HQ 203-634-6601
3rd: Eddie Vale 631-334-8191
4th: Ryan McLeod 914-261-8700

Was anyone at the other meetings? Post a comment and let us know how they went.

Get Ned on the Air!

Do it:

Dear [thirdparty],

Want proof that this campaign is the real deal? Last week Joe Lieberman was forced to start putting ads on the air while election is still months away - his first in 12 years.

In one of the ads Joe Lieberman looks into the camera and claims he "respects the views" of those who disagree with his position on Iraq. That's how he feels when reading a script, by his pollsters, reminding him he needs to appeal to Democrats in the Democratic Primary.

Joe Lieberman expressed his true feeling about those who disagree with him on Iraq when he said, "...we undermine the President's credibility at our nation's peril."

We need to take Ned Lamont's message to the airwaves before the convention and we need to do it quick. Our first media buy will cost $125,000 and we can only do it with you help.

Help our campaign get on the air.


Joe Lieberman is trying to make this a campaign about Iraq. But we know Iraq isn't the only issue in this primary.

Joe Lieberman believes that Terri Schiavo's life was the Senate's business, that rape victims should just take a "short car ride" to another hospital for emergency contraception, and that President Bush's energy bill is good for Connecticut.

If we don't define ourselves Joe Lieberman is sure to define us.

Help us purchase our first media buy.


Thank you,

Tom Swan
Campaign Manager

PS Our campaign continues to roll along and our ballot petition operation is starting today. Sign up now.



Ned on the Blogs

I’m very appreciative of the blogs. I’m coming at this race as a bit of an outsider, with not high name recognition, and who cares passionately about the issues, but when I talk to the mainstream media, it’s all about process and money and delegates. It was the blogs who said, “Hey, there are compelling issues out there, and let’s see how Lamont stands.” Whatever the blogs’ reputation, they opened the door to more serious discourse than the mainstream media did.

- from an extensive interview at Truthdig.

More news today: the AP reports on the launch of the petition drive today, The Progressive has a great article on the grassroots finding Ned and vice versa, convention delegates around the state are getting calls from Joe's people pleading for support, and Enigmatic Paradox explores the long-term implications of the Lamont campaign.

24 days until the convention, 104 days until the primary, 1,000 days until Bush leaves the White House.

Petition Training Sessions TONIGHT

Head over to the one nearest to your town tonight at 7pm:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Bush Hires the Wrong Guy

The White House seems to have hired a new press secretary who has called Bush "impotent," "an embarrassment," "a soul tortured with Tourette's," and more.

Shouldn't they have instead hired the guy who says things like "in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril" and "bottom line, I think Bush has it right?"

I bet he would have been much better at quieting down the briefing room when things got too rowdy, too.

Hannity and Joe, Day 2

Hannity and Joe

Mike has the details. A few calls got through, but no one has been able to get Joe's name out on the air yet. Sean is still covering for his "pal." Onto day 3...

Also, check out Neal's post calling for 1 cent checks to be sent to Joe's campaign. A great idea...

Why Is Lieberman on the Armed Services Committee?

Lieberman is just sitting on his hands while the rest of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on both sides of the aisle, actually tries to get something done about Rumsfeld and Iraq.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Warner (R-VA), agreed yesterday to hold a vote on Sen. Clinton's request to hear testimony from the many retired generals who have recently called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. Not a word from Joe, except that he thinks Rumsfeld's job security is "up to him and the president at whose pleasure he serves."

And today, Senators Collins (R-ME), Levin (D-MI), and Reed (D-RI), all members of the Armed Services Committee, have said they will introduce legislation to tell the Iraqi parliament to form a government soon or else risk the withdrawal of our troops and loss of U.S. military support. According to Sen. Levin, "It would put the Senate on record as urging the president, for the first time, to specifically link the continued presence of American forces to the Iraqis meeting their own self-imposed deadline."

Neither are earth-shattering moves - Hillary, like Joe, has yet to call for Rumsfeld's resignation, and the bipartisan effort to pressure Iraqi politicians is a far cry from a real call to bring our troops home - but at least all of these senators are attempting, on a bipartisan basis, to effect some positive change to Bush's failed Iraq policy. But Joe would rather stick his head in the sand and avoid the issue entirely.

Lamont in Hamden

Over 100 people (and two Lieberman staffers armed with a video camera) saw Ned speak at the Senior Center in Hamden last night, and as usual, he won some converts. Three reports:

Gabe at Connecticut Local Politics was impressed by the level of support for Lamont, and left with this changed opinion of the campaign's prospects:

The evening ended with a standing ovation.

Some final thoughts: Just based on simple math, it would be difficult for Lamont to beat Lieberman (although the combination of Bush's low poll numbers in CT and Lieberman's lowered numbers among liberals make it a little easier). That said, before last night, I had thought it was an impossibility. That no longer is the case; last night, for the first time, while watching ordinary citizens crowd in to the Senior Center and while watching their enthusiastic response to the speech, I actually had the thought that he could beat Joe Lieberman.

The Hamden Daily News recaps the event and profiles some of the supporters in the crowd:

"Joe has betrayed us," said Tom Morrisey, a Hamden supporter of Lamont's. "He's left us because he doesn't think we have the power to do anything about it." At the same time, he said, Lamont has "courage, determination and concern for" the citizens of Connecticut....

A Vietnam-era Marine urged Lamont to stay on point against the war, which drew applause from the crowd.

And rhj at My Left Nutmeg notes the difference seeing Ned in person:

This is my first time hearing Ned in person. I've listened to on line videos etc., but came away very impressed. Ned is a quick study and getting better with each appearance.

If Lieberman staffers with video cameras are allowed into Lamont events, then Joe should have no problem with ctblogger or spazeboy attending his events, right?


Bush approval rating in Connecticut, according to a new Courant/UConn poll.

Shays Hides Behind Lieberman

With Laura Bush in town to raise $300,000 for Chris Shays' campaign, Shays couldn't resist once again using Joe Lieberman to try to inoculate himself on Iraq:

"And if I toe the line on the war in Iraq, I guess [Farrell] thinks the same thing about Joe Lieberman," he said of the Democratic U.S. senator. "His position and mine are basically identical."

Remember, it was Shays who two months ago said he would endorse Joe, and had been encouraging the state GOP to cross-endorse him.

This is a perfect example of how Lieberman hurts downticket candidates and the party in general. When the party can't speak with anything approaching a single voice on issues of this magnitude, otherwise sputtering campaigns like Shays' will try to take advantage. Farrell should be able to hit Shays over the head on Iraq clearly and incessantly, but since she (like every other CT candidate) feels obliged to support an 18-year incumbent senator who agrees with her opponent, the waters get muddied.

If Joe cuts and runs from the party before August, he will tear apart the party even more. But for Joe, it has never been about the party, or his constituents. It has always been about himself, his career, and his personal success.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Hannity Censors The Word "Lieberman"

Joe breaks a promise, Hannity cuts off any mention of his name :

So I finally got through after holding for over an hour. I told him that I joined his “Hannity Insider” club and that I respected him for not using his show as one big commercial to sell his stuff (if you’ve ever listened to Bill O’reilly, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Hannity told me that he wasn’t in business to sell anything - that he just wanted to increase his listener base. Perfect segue. I told him that if he was serious about increasing his audience he should keep his solemn vow and have Joe Lieberman on once a month - just like he promised.

Everything past “If you” was dumped.

The next call was from Long Beach, CA. He got dumped also.

So they've broken up. It's so sad. Remember the two lovebirds right around Valentine's Day?

HANNITY: (Laughter) I'm thinking... I'm thinking Hannity Conservatives for Lieberman and I'll do a big fundraiser in Connecticut.

LIEBERMAN: Yeah, yeah. Let me just say, I appreciate your friendship, and I appreciate your support. Really.


HANNITY: Last question. If you ever want me to do anything, for you and your re-election, I think we ought to have Conservatives for Lieberman, a big fundraiser in Connecticut, and if I could ever do that, I'd make it the biggest blowout celebration ever.

LIEBERMAN: Thanks, pal. You're a great guy. It would just be fun to be with you. My wife, my daughters, my sons...

HANNITY: I don't know why they like me.

LIEBERMAN: You know, you're... well, you're a straight talker, that's one thing they like.

HANNITY: Alright, Senator.

LIEBERMAN: And you're a good to their... husband and father, so how could they not like you?

HANNITY: You're a great American, Senator.

LIEBERMAN: You too, pal.


Ned Lamont Says Rumsfeld Must Go

Statement posted at NedLamont.com:

"I agree with Senator Chris Dodd, and many others, that it's time for Donald Rumsfeld to go. I've said many times that those who got us into the Iraq war should be held accountable. A new Secretary of Defense will allow us the opportunity for a fresh reassessment of the situation, and to craft and carry out an honorable exit strategy."

Ned Lamont

Ned joins Sen. Chris Dodd and the entire CT Demorcatic establishment, Sen. Chuck Hagel and others in the GOP, seven eight retired generals, and most other elected Democratic officials around the country in calling for the president to fire Donald Rumsfeld.

George Bush's Favorite Democrat thinks whether Rummy stays or goes is "up to him and the president at whose pleasure he serves."

Monday Round-Up

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Ask Hannity: Where's Joe?

Joe Lieberman promised Sean Hannity over two months ago that he would be on his show every month. He even accepted Sean's offer of a "Hannity Conservatives for Lieberman" fundraiser. But Sean, like Joe's Democratic constituents, has been getting the silent treatment lately.

Mike from Calling All Wingnuts has a plan for tomorrow:

Joe may want to put the past behind him, but with Ned Lamont steaming ahead and approaching juggernaut status... Well, I think it's time we throw Holy Joe an anchor...

Sean Hannity is one of the easier of the windbag radio shows to call. His show runs from 3-6 on weekdays and his phone number is 1 800 941 7326.

Our plan: Call Hannity starting at about 2:55 EST. If you get a busy signal, just hit redial. Eventually you will get through. The screener will ask you what you want to talk about. This week, there will be all sorts of interesting things to choose from. Construct any old talking point - liberal or conservative - it doesn't matter because it's not what you'll be talking about anyway. Need some help thinking of something to say? Congress is back in session so you can talk about immigration... the CIA firing will be a big topic... so will race and the Duke rape case... the Sunday gasbags are always good to bring up on Monday...

Anyway, have a short and snappy opinion (email me at stark dot m at gmail dot com if you want help) prepared for the screener. She'll ask you to hold. While you are holding, you'll be forced to listen to Sean rant and rave... Sorry, there is just no getting around it. Every now and then, the screener might come on the line to tell you to "keep it brief". Keep holding...

When Hannity finally announces your name and where you are calling from, you are on the air... you are live.

It's time to remind Hannity that Joe Lieberman (don't say Holy Joe or Joementum - we want all 10 million of Sean's listeners to know exactly who we are speaking of) promised to do Hannity's show once a month... Why has he been absent for the last two months? Ask Hannity why he isn't keeping his solemn vow to his audience - why isn't he holding Joe Lieberman to his promise?

The last time we did anything like this, we targeted Bill O'Reilly for dumping on Keith Olbermann. That worked out pretty well. O'Reilly really showed his ass and ended up the target of derision for weeks...

Let's do the same to Holy Joe and Sean Hannity...


Joementum in Waterford Today

John from CT Blue was in Waterford for a private unpublicized meeting with Senator M.I.A., and things seem to have gotten a bit heated. Read the whole thing. He was left shaking his head:

Here's the question: why is Lieberman doing this? What does he expect to gain. He treats his audience with a sort of thinly veiled contempt. He knows that they know that he is bullshitting them, but he also knows he controls the situation, so they can't effectively call him on it. But that's no way to persuade people, it only pisses them off. He persists in maintaining that the only problem is his position on Iraq, which is clearly not the case. But since that's his orthodoxy, he sticks to it. There would clearly be no point in engaging him on other issues, such as his constant appearances on shows like Hannitty and Colmes, during which he denigrates his fellow Democrats. He would simply deny that he does it, and that would be the end of that.


Sunday Round-Up