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, July 15, 2006


NYT: "Down Days for Mr. Lieberman"

The New York Times article out tomorrow paints a picture of a dispirited, out-of-touch, indignant 18-year incumbent who can see his grip on power slipping away:

Despite his amused disposition, these are down days for Mr. Lieberman, the onetime Democratic nominee for vice president who, six years later, finds himself fighting to save his career amid a strenuous effort by antiwar activists in his own party to dislodge him. Friends say his predicament has left Mr. Lieberman nervous, dispirited and angry, a portrait of a politician stunned to face opponents as passionate in their loathing of his principles as he is proud of them....

Like the candidate himself, Mr. Lieberman’s campaign in Connecticut gives the impression of being caught off-guard, a bit shell-shocked and on uncertain footing. Someone on his campaign staff decided that he should campaign at the Tigin Irish Pub in Stamford on Monday morning - not exactly prime flesh-pressing hours (except on St. Patrick’s Day, which Monday was not). He was joined by a few supporters, a throng of news media people and virtually no bar patrons....

People close to Mr. Lieberman say he has been wounded by the conditional devotion he has received from most of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate. Mr. Lieberman says this is not true, that he is not bothered. “Probably some of my fellow senators are more uncomfortable about this than I am,” he said. “Because truly, I haven’t asked a single one of them for a commitment beyond the primary.”

And truly, he's putting all of them in a really uncomforatble position and they are probably all privately furious at him for it.

"Nervous." "Dispirited." "Off-guard." "Shell-shocked." "Wounded."

Sounds like the senator should consider retirement.

CTBlogger has more.

Sean Smith Reprises "Angry Joe" Role

On Fox 61's "Beyond the Headlines" (YouTube) this weekend, Sean Smith sounded exactly like his boss in the debate, shouting over Tom Swan, host Shelly Sindland, and AP reporter Susan Haigh alike in a desperate attempt to change the subject from Joe's decision to bolt the party (hat tip MikeCT).

The taped intro to the show was great, with Bill Curry stating that Joe is damaging his campaign by forming the Lieberman Party and Nancy DiNardo clearly stating she will support Lamont if he wins. And in between Smith's rants, Haigh actually got in a couple of really good questions, including asking Smith if campaign money Joe collected as a Democrat is going to be funding the petition process for "Connecticut for Lieberman."

Actually, how is this new party going to be funded? I don't think I've read anything about that yet.

Once again, Lieberman's charges are pure projection. He bolts the party, and accuses Ned of being a Republican. He is the leading recipient of defense-related campaign contributions, and accuses Ned of "profiting from the war." He has spent $5 million and will outspend his opponent by millions, and accuses Ned of trying to buy the campaign. And he is ethically challenged by his campaign contributions and personal finances, and goes after Ned for supposedly the same. Same old, same old.

Anyone who has ever met Ned knows the only reason he got into this race was out of a sense of personal civic duty. The idea that his finances would somehow reveal any ulterior motive is as laughable as any of these other ridiculous charges the Lieberman campaign has lobbed at him. But just like Joe can't understand why people would actually volunteer their time and effort to someone like Ned, he also can't understand why any candidate would not be in it for themselves... like himself. It's sad, really.

After the taping, Sindland discussed the show with Colin McEnroe on his radio show (mp3).

Saturday Morning Round-Up

Friday, July 14, 2006


Gen. Clark Slams Lieberman

Add Gen. Wesley Clark to the list of national Democrats who will not support the Lieberman Party candidate in November (great catch by Maura at MLN):

I am a proud member of the Democratic Party, and I believe it is our party's responsibility to support the will of the Democratic primary voters in Connecticut. I personally look forward to supporting the candidate CT voters elect as the Democratic nominee. Though, as an aside, I must say I find it ironic that Senator Lieberman is now planning a potential run as an independent after he continually questioned my loyalty to the Democratic Party during the 2004 presidential primary.


New Lieberman Attack Mailer

The 2Q FEC numbers are out, and Joe has already spent $5 million on this race. Now he seems to be dumping even more money on desperate attack mailers that feature this Rovian charge:

Just got Joementum's latest mailer. It has the usual negative stuff about Ned voting with the Greenwich Repubs but there's a new twist. They include a claim that Ned is "profiting from the war he claims to oppose" by investing in the defense industry. They don't go into specifics but I'm sure if challenged they'll cite the small investment in Haliburton Ned disclosed in an earlier financial report. I guess we can expect more of the same if Ned releases his tax returns.

Whatever garbage claim Joe is trying to make is completely refuted by the minor fact that Ned opposes the Bush-Cheney Iraq policy that has enriched the Halliburtons of the world, while Lieberman is its lead cheerleader while being by far the top recipient of contributions from the defense industry in Senate races this cycle (according to Opensecrets.org, he's received $158,000 from them).

This is exactly why the press needs to dig into Joe's campaign contributors now that the 2Q reports are out.

Because the very industries and lobbyists he disparages are the same ones who actually pay for Lieberman's attack mailers.

Quote of the Day

"[Gov. Rell] shouldn't have commented on it at all. I don't comment on her messes. By the way, I could."

- Republican senate candidate Alan Schlesinger to TPMmuckraker's Justin Rood, on Gov. Rell's calls for him to consider withdrawing from the race.

Again, it's not clear what the Republicans are up to here, whether they want to substitute a stronger candidate or want to endorse Lieberman. Either way, unless they have more to dump on Schlesinger, it's not looking like it's going to work.

Friday Morning Round-Up

Thursday, July 13, 2006


What Are CT Republicans Up To?

More dirt is being dished on their senate candidate Alan Schlesinger, and Rell and Gallo continue to urge him to drop out of the race. Obviously there's some coordinated effort here among the state Republican brass. But to what end?

Chuck Todd reported today that he believes that the endangered Reps. Shays, Simmons, and Johnson will all endorse Lieberman after the primary as a way to prove their "moderate" credentials. Shays, of course, already has.

So do the state Republicans really have a more high-profile candidate waiting in the wings (or perhaps one with a bigger bank account)? Or is their real aim here to clear the field so that Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) - endorsed by the entire Republican House delegation - will have an easier shot to win in November?

One person to ask is Chris Shays himself. Does he rule out jumping into the Senate race if Schlesinger drops out? Or would he actually prefer that his party have an empty line on the ballot in November, so as to help his own preferred senate candidate, Joe Lieberman?

Family Friends and Neighbors

It's easy, and it's effective: Sign up, identify people you know throughout the state, automatically send them postcards about Ned's campaign, and eventually follow up with a phone call to make sure they come out and vote on August 8th.


Thursday News Round-Up

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Schlesinger Being Forced Out By GOP?

Kevin Rennie has the scoop once again:

Republican state chairman George Gallo has conferred with Schlesinger and is concerned about the implications of the brewing gambling scandal. Schlesinger confirmed to Gallo that he gambled under the name Alan Gold because he wanted to accrue points on his “Wampum card” at the Foxwoods casino operated by the Mahantucket Pequots.

According to Gallo, who sounds like he is ready to force Schlesinger from the ticket and find a replacement, “Our mistake is that we only vetted candidates using their real names, not aliases.”

Who the replacement will be is anyone's guess, but it will obviously have to be a stronger candidate than Schlesinger, otherwise it would make no sense for the Republicans to make this move.

Either that or they'll just clear the field, allowing Republicans to vote for Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) in November.

Remember, Shays suggested that the Republican party cross-endorse Lieberman back in February.

Update: Regardless of the Republicans' plans, it doesn't sound like Schlesinger will go easily, if at all, according to Mark Pazniokas:

"I am not going to let this bother me," said Schlesinger, who described himself as a recreational blackjack player. "I am going to continue in the race."...

Under no circumstances will he withdraw, Schlesinger said. "I have done nothing wrong," he said.

And as Gabe notes, there is no way for Rell and Gallo to force Schlesinger off the ballot. He would need to withdraw voluntarily.

Bass: Aide to Maj. Leader a "Lieberman Party" Founder

Paul Bass reports that Vincent Mauro, Jr., a top aide to State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D), is one of 29 founding members of the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party. But even though Mauro is one of the founders of the party, he doesn't sound too enthusiastic about it:

Mauro, a former alderman for New Haven's Wooster Square neighborhood, was asked if he felt supporting a third-party Lieberman candidacy against a candidate nominated by the Democratic Party presents a conflict with his role in the Democrats' State Senate office.

“No. I’m a Democrat," Mauro said. "I’ve always been a Democrat. How do I feel about it? I have mixed feelings. I’ve known the guy my whole life. In this business, you have loyalty to your party because it’s what you stand for. And you have loyalty to your friends. My father and Joe were best of friends. This is a family thing for me. I’ve known the guy my whole life.

“Was it a little weird? Yeah, but in the end this was friendship.”

So Sen. Lieberman can't even find 29 people in the entire state who are truly supportive of his decision to bolt the party.

As for Mauro's boss, it's clear that he is not at all supportive of Joe's independent run:

“I am supporting Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. I will be supporting the winner of that Democratic primary," Looney said. "[Lieberman] has a good record over the years, although I disagree with him over the war and other issues. I would not support an independent candidacy.”


Lieberman Accuses Questioner of Being a "Plant"

Maura has the details about Sen. Lieberman's personal reaction to her polite attempt at conversation, from an article in the NY Observer:

Joe Lieberman was incensed.

He'd just been confronted at a campaign event for Irish supporters in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., by a woman who lectured him about his lack of commitment to the Democratic Party.

"She was a plant," said Mr. Lieberman, complaining to two campaign staffers in the parking lot behind the Irish Tigin Pub. "It was a set-up."

There you go. Constituents, you're on notice: if you tell Sen. Lieberman you'll support him if he wins the primary, but dare to ask him a question about his refusal to support the party if he loses, you will be falsely accused by the Senator of being a "plant."

More angry and baseless accusations from an insulated and out-of-touch candidate who is scared to death of having to answer for his actions on the campaign trail.

More like Bush every day.

Wednesday Morning Round-Up

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Not About Blogs

The headline of tomorrow's piece on Ned in the Danbury News-Times is "Lamont: My appeal goes beyond bloggers."

This is a ridiculous lede for an article about a candidate who is at 40% in the polls, and is scaring the crap out of an incumbent 18-year senator to the point where he thinks he stands a very good chance of losing the primary.

Of course Ned Lamont's appeal goes "beyond bloggers." How many of us are there, anyway? Ask Joe if his internal polling tells him Ned's appeal goes "beyond bloggers."

While the press would rather focus on the process and strategy of this election, the only fact underlying this race that matters is that Connecticut Democrats - and, increasingly, all Connecticut voters - think Joe is doing a very poor job as senator.

He is incredibly unresponsive. He does not answer letters. He is never in the state. And most importantly, he does not represent their positions on any number of policies. As Matt Stoller wrote today, it's Lieberman's support of failed conservative policies that is turning Connecticut voters to Lamont. In contrast, Ned is a desperately needed breath of fresh air.

Connecticut voters think Joe is failing at his job. And the more they see of Ned, the more they love him. That's the only reason this candidacy has been at all viable. And that's the only thing that will matter in August and November.

Update: Not five minutes after posting this, Harold Meyerson "columnizes" something very similar at the Washington Post:

No great mystery enshrouds the challenge to Lieberman, nor is the campaign of his challenger, Ned Lamont, a jihad of crazed nit-pickers. Lieberman has simply and rightly been caught up in the fundamental dynamics of Politics 2006, in which Democrats are doing their damnedest to unseat all the president's enablers in this year's elections....

Lieberman's ultimate problem isn't fanatical bloggers, any more than Lyndon Johnson's was crazy, antiwar Democrats. His problem is that Bush, and the war that both he and Bush have championed, is speeding the ongoing realignment of the Northeast. His problem, dear colleagues, is Connecticut.


Republican State Rep. Files To Run as Independent

Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) has started a trend, according to Kevin Rennie, via Hotline on Call:

Just when you thought the Connecticut race for the U.S. Senate could grow no odder, Republican state Representative Diana Urban today took out petitions for an independent run, creating the possibility of a four way race should Democrat challenger Ned Lamont defeat Senator Joseph Lieberman in the August 8th primary. Lieberman has also taken out petitions.

Urban, 56, will be running as an anti-war candidate and in a brief telephone interview sounded like a Republican version of Cindy Sheehan.

And Joe still refuses to unite the Democratic party in November by supporting the primary winner.

Whatever happens, though, it seems certain that Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) will be the most pro-Bush candidate on the November ballot when it comes to Iraq.

The Lieberman Party

A sneak preview of their website:

(Pre-emptive note to Lieberman campaign staff: this isn't real, much like Joe Lieberman didn't really morph into George Bush.)

Update: A commenter brings up an excellent point:

I heard Joe on NECN saying that he was running in the general election because the primary isn't a good indication of the will of Democratic Voters. But if Joe wins the primary would he still say the same thing?

Hey. Keep on asking the senator logical questions like that, and you too will be called a "harasser." (The NECN video is available at Spazeboy.net.)

Tuesday Morning Round-Up

Monday, July 10, 2006


Joe In Stamford Today

CTBlogger has a recap of Biden's no-show at Lieberman's event (it was because he missed the train.... wait, it was because he just came back from Iraq on Saturday), and Maura and Neal both were there and provide excellent writeups. Maura's conversation with her senator:

"My dad was a very loyal Democrat until he died. You mentioned how Irish American Democrats are great supporters because they're not fair-weather friends, and I totally agree. So why are you being a fair-weather Democrat, saying you'll only respect the results of the Democratic primary if you win?"

All of a sudden I found myself with a bunch of microphones in my face. Joe looked slightly stunned, and then started in on his usual talking points about how he wants even more Democrats to have a chance to vote for him in November and that not all Democrats know that they have to come out for a "hot day in August".

I said, "Don't you think Connecticut Democrats are smart enough to know on what day to vote?"

He said, "I hope so" and then started to wave me off.

Lieberman's reaction to her questions:

"Are you encountering much of that?" asks Mark Davis.

"Very little. I have to say that might have been a supporter of my opponent, I mean it, that's who I hear it from," says Lieberman.

Apparently Lieberman now thinks he shouldn't have to answer questions from "supporters of his opponent." And as Neal writes, he thinks he gets to screen which of his constituents are allowed into his unpublicized events.

His language and actions grow more Bush-like every day, don't they?

Party Of One, Please?

Lieberman's new party name: Connecticut for Lieberman. Not joking.

At least he won't have any loyalties higher than this party.

Welcome, Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT).

Update: Atrios is right. He should have just named the party "Lieberman for Lieberman." Would have been more accurate, anyway.

His Coffee May Not Be Bad

But Lieberman is fully within his rights to run attack ads about the singing.

Another amazing ad from Bill Hillsman:


Sen. Leahy Will Support Primary Winner

And he's not too happy about Joe's plans to bolt the party either (from Green Mountain Daily, the VT SoapBlox site):

Leahy: "I'm disappointed that he's talking about running as an independent. He's always run as a Democrat. He has a special responsibility as the Democrat's nominee for vice president. He's always had the support of the Democratic party. He ought to be willing to run as a Democrat. He'll either win or lose the nomination, but if he doesn't win the nomination then I would fully expect the Democratic party to support whoever does win it."

Straightforward, clear, and not too patient with Joe. When asked if announcing his intention to run as an Independent if he loses the primary has hurt him with Democrats:

Leahy: "I think it did and I think it should. I mean, I've had people running against me in primaries and I was proud to run as a Democrat."

Leahy's right, of course. A lot incumbent senators have had to face primary challenges. And they usually win them easily.

Whether they support him or not, many of Lieberman's senate colleagues have got to be furious with him - both with the disastrous campaign he's run and with the mess he's threatening to make of the party in November, all because he's too weak to just run in and win a primary like so many of them have had to do.


It's so nice to see Democrats in senate races nationwide in peace and harmony with each other. It seems Paul Hackett has finally patched things up with Sherrod Brown in Ohio, and will endorse him today, making Sen. DeWine's hold on power that much more tenuous. And over in Washington state, Sen. Cantwell's opponent (who was way behind her in the polls), has dropped out of the primary and endorsed her, making her an even stronger favorite to hold the seat for Democrats.

Ned Lamont has repeatedly said that he will support the winner of the primary in August, because he also believes Democratic unity is of paramount importance this election year.

It's a shame that Sen. Lieberman doesn't.

Monday Morning Round-Up

The debate that will not die:

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Help Out In The 2nd CD

There has been an outpouring of support and good wishes from people across the state and country in response to yesterday's car accident in New London that injured several Lamont campaign staffers. The 2nd CD office in Willimantic was hit hard by this, with a few of their staffers and their relatives among the injured (New London is in the 2nd CD). The office may be understaffed for the next few days.

So if you live anywhere nearby, show them some love and drop by to volunteer. Here's how you can really help out (according to Katie, the 2nd CD coordinator):

The 2nd CD office is located at 713 Main St., Willimantic, CT 06226 (Google map).

Let's make sure there are no idle phones or empty seats in the office!

Fakin' It

Liberal Oasis uncovers, and the official blog confirms, that Joe Lieberman is using a fake Ned Lamont bumper sticker in ads in order to attack Lamont's campaign. Here's a handy comparison:

And it's not like this fake sticker is meant as a joke, or is tangential to the charges in the ad itself. No, the ad - which was played to a national audience in its entirety on the C-SPAN feed of Thursday's debate - centers its charges almost entirely around this entirely fictitious bumper sticker. Watch the video on YouTube (via Spazeboy).

Again. The Lieberman campaign hired someone to create an immaculate fake of a Ned Lamont bumper sticker, in an obvious attempt to deceive voters. They even put a fake URL on it to make it look official. They then produced an attack ad whose charges were based on this fake bumper sticker. And they've been running the ad like crazy ever since. (Although, tellingly, it's not up on Joe's website).

Yet another example of "principled" Senator Joseph Lieberman in action.

Powell Agrees With Lamont on Iraq

Colin Powell in Aspen, CO last week:

"We're not going to leave behind anything we like [in Iraq] because we are in the middle of a civil war."

Ned Lamont in the debate last week:

"...We have 135,000 of our bravest troops stuck in the middle of a bloody civil war. And I say that those who got us into this mess should be held accountable."

Actually, Colin probably wouldn't agree with that last part, seeing that he might just possibly be considered one of those "who got us into this mess." But he certainly does agree with Ned (and Rep. Murtha) that our troops are now stuck in the middle of a civil war. While Joe continues to stick his head in the sand and claim that Bush's Iraq policy is making "progress."

Meanwhile, more "progress" on the ground today in Iraq.

Sunday Morning Round-Up