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Democratic establishment not backing Lamont

by: Matt Browner Hamlin

Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:36:59 AM EDT

Ned Lamont, the winner of the Connecticut Democratic nominee and unquestioned choice of Democrats in Connecticut, has received essentially no financial support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaigns Committee and the overwhelming majority of Senate Democrats. A Hartford Courant analysis of Lamont's latest FEC filings shows Lamont receiving a measly "$31,000 from congressional sources since the primary." Only seven of the forty-four Democratic senate incumbents have donated to Lamont's campaign since the primary and the DSCC claims it's helping "in other ways."

Other Democrats in contested Senate races have received up to $37,300 from the DSCC - the maximum allowed - as well as six-figure pots of money from committees affiliated with scores of senators and other party leaders.

But between the Aug. 8 primary, when he beat Sen. Joseph Lieberman for the Democratic nomination, and Sept. 30, Lamont got help from just seven senators, according to his campaign finance report. [Matt: But none from the DSCC?]
Lamont met privately in Washington last month with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and the senatorial campaign committee chairman, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, a meeting that at the time was billed as a strategy session.

"They downplayed how much of a role they would play," Swan said Wednesday.

Senatorial committee spokesman Phil Singer insisted the party is aiding Lamont. "In campaigns where candidates have plenty of their own resources, the DSCC helps in other ways," he said. Lamont has given his campaign $12.7 million.

"In this campaign," Singer said, "the DSCC has helped with research, debate prep, and staffing among other forms of support."

But the committee is not prodding its members to give donations. Six senators' political committees did give Lamont $5,000 each: Reid, Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Russ Feingold, D-Wis. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's committee gave $1,000. Clinton also hosted a fundraiser for Lamont in Manhattan Sunday. [Emphasis added]

Matt Browner Hamlin :: Democratic establishment not backing Lamont
I am livid. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have not helped Lamont. They haven't directed funding his way, apparently banking on a pathological liar's word that he will caucus with Democrats as an insurance policy for ignoring Ned Lamont. The senior senator from Connecticut, Christopher Dodd, hasn't even sent one cent Lamont's way since his primary victory.

Dodd's political committee, CHRISPAC, and Friends of Chris Dodd, his Senate committee, have given about $700,000 to Democratic candidates and parties during the current election cycle. Since August, when Lamont became his party's nominee, Dodd has made contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; to close House races in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and Vermont; and to Senate races in Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia and Tennessee.

But nothing for Lamont.

Dodd insiders say he wants to use his funds for races that could help Democrats win a majority, and has given the maximum amounts to the three Connecticut Democrats challenging Republican House incumbents, as well as to the state party.

Dodd too, it appears, is assuming Joe Lieberman's word is worth something for the Democrats. I'm not sure that Democrats around America really have the luxury to rely on someone who ignored the results of a legal, sanction Democratic election to be the swing vote for Democratic control of the Senate. What has Joe Lieberman done in the last three months to demonstrate that he will remain loyal to the Democratic Party? His defining act his been his disloyalty.

Campaign funding is not a zero-sum game, not at a time when donors around the country are cutting checks at break-neck speed. Until I see a DSCC ledger with red ink on it, I will rightly believe that the DSCC has hung Lamont out to dry in favor of keeping their pal Joe Lieberman in office.

These people are a disgrace to the Democratic Party. We need every seat possible if we want a Democratic majority. If the DSCC wanted to hedge their bets for a majority via Connecticut's junior senator, they have should been pumping money into the Lamont race the instant he won and sending out every single Democratic incumbent to pressure Lieberman to honor the results of the primary.

But they didn't. Senate Dems remained largely silent on Lieberman's decision to indulge himself in a second run for election this campaign cycle, forcing Democrat Ned Lamont into a vicious general election race. As a result, Lamont remains down in the polls to Lieberman. Maybe Senate Democrats don't understand this, but if Joe Lieberman wins in November he will enter the Senate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket. He will not be a Democrat. Democrats honor the results of Democratic primaries and don't run away from the party that coddled them for their thirty year career.

The justification by the DSCC that Lamont has his own money is patently absurd. Lieberman is outspending Lamont by millions of dollars and has set the record for the biggest campaign war-chest in Connecticut's history. Lamont is down financially and more than deserving of Democratic support.

I have such contempt for Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd and thirty-four other cowardly, anti-Democratic senate Democrats who haven't recognized the importance - both for the people of Connecticut and the Democratic Party nationwide - of having the junior senator from Connecticut be a Democrat. This is simply disgraceful.

Cross posted at Emboldened.

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Incumbency trumps principle every time (4.00 / 4)
The Dem establishment is praying for a Lieberman victory. If Lamont wins, every single one of their seats becomes a little bit less secure. The very idea that incumbents can be defeated, let alone by someone in their own party, is anathema to the establishment, especially the DLC establishment.

We are in a battle not just against Republicans, but against the Republican-enablers in our own party. That is why, after Nov 7th, win or lose, our struggle has only just begun.

Money isn't the primary problem. (4.00 / 1)
In this order:

I wanted to see backup hounding media sources where they have contacts.

Visibility events, big names, brings in more cameras.

It's not just about money (4.00 / 2)
Look, it's not just about money. Lamont is in a huge hole to Lieberman (about $4 mil. right?). Here's what other senate challengers have received from senate dems (from the same article discussed above):
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington research group, major beneficiaries include: Bob Casey, Pennsylvania, who received $272,750; Claire McCaskill, Missouri, $186,454; Harold E. Ford Jr., Tennessee, $182,079; Bob Menendez, New Jersey, $180,924; Sherrod Brown, Ohio, $178,555; Debbie Stabenow, Michigan, $176,080; and Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, $151,550.

I'm not going to stand here and say an extra $120,000 - $240,000 puts Ned Lamont in the lead. That'd be absurd. But the presence of all forms of support for every Democratic challenger is necessary, be it endorsements, appearances, donor lists, staffing, media outreach or money. Democrats like Dodd need to put their money where their mouth is. Maybe it won't be the be all and end all of this race, but there's no reason to think witholding money from Lamont is justifiable.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
Where are Bill and Hillary? Other Party Leaders? (4.00 / 1)
Bill came to CT and campaigned for LIEberman. When will he be here to campaign for Ned? What about Hillary? Is anyone of note in the Democratic party going to come here and help push Ned over the top? Or are they all going to cower in their foxholes?

[ Parent ]
Bill won't, of course (0.00 / 0)
A guy named Kerry is in East Hartford today.

Ned will participate in an open town hall meeting with Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Paul Bucha, Chairman of VETPAC’s Advisory Board and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and Connecticut veterans at East Hartford Middle School. This is a ticketed event. Please contact our West Hartford field office for tickets (link). (If you are a veteran and would like to attend, please contact info@nedlamont.com).
Time:  Wednesday, October 25 at 3:00 PM
Duration:  1 hour
Host:  Lamont Campaign
East Hartford Middle School (East Hartford, CT)
777 Burnside Ave.
East Hartford, CT 06108
View Map:
  * Google Maps
  * MapQuest
  * Yahoo! Maps

[ Parent ]
promises, promises (0.00 / 0)
Bill Clinton, when he stumped for Holy Joe, promised he would be back to campaign for the winner of the primary, whoever that was.

Someone should point out to the Clintons that we have long memories.

There have been hints here and there that there is quite a story to be told about behind the scenes promises and compromises and people letting down their end of the bargain. They say the story will be told after the election.

I say that story needs to get out. Tonight. Spread the word. Name names. It may be too late, it may not be. November 8, it will be.

I'm pissed.

[ Parent ]
Dodd (0.00 / 0)
Friends of Joe Lieberman, Hamden, CT  $5,000  6/27/2005  Contribution
Friends of Joe Lieberman, Hamden, CT  $5,000  6/27/2005  Contribution


note: that's 2005, not 2006.

He seems to have triangulated as best he could in this one. Ethics? Scruples? Just win, baby.

Two faced hypocrites: criticizing Iraq and not helping Lamont (4.00 / 3)
Take a clue from Iraq.  We didn't send in enough troops and we lost.  (This will at some point appear in the "news," but we all know it.)

If that is what you are saying, thanks to Ned Lamont pioneering the path for you and energizing the base, then you are a hypocrite if you are not supporting Lamont.

Now, what happens if you don't send in enough troops and money for Ned Lamont???????????

Quit acting like victimes, get a spine, take a risk and quit appeasing Lieberman - it's a setup to be blackmailed for the next 6 years.

The definition of an appeaser is someone who hopes the crocodile will eat them last.

And that crocodile is Joe Lieberman.

BINGO (4.00 / 2)
You've hit on exactly where we are headed if LIEberman is reelected. He will hold the entire Democratic party hostage for the next 6 years, standing in the way of holding the Bush administration accountable for anything, and helping the GOP to continue their destruction of America.

If the Democratic party had any cajones, they would have stripped LIEberman of his committee assignments as soon as he refused to drop out of the general election. Instead, they are empowering him with their inaction. Talk about self-destructive behavior.

[ Parent ]
I disagree with that strategy (3.00 / 1)
I can't blame these jerks for hedging their bets by leaving the door open. I do blame them for not pointing out that Ned is the one who actually agrees with them.

National politics will determine the breath and depth of hearings into Bush crimes.  Conyers will go forward and if it captures the attention of the MSM, they may run with it.
At the first sign of "swing voter" resistance, Pelosi will pull the plug long before it gets to the Senate.

Unless my man Russ gets his hands on it!

As far as Joe goes, it helps no one other than Bush and Cheney if he is elected. If for some crazy reason he switches, GOP senators will resent him immediately and hate him in about 90 days becuase of his self-promoting antics.

A vote for Joe is a vote for George. 

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

[ Parent ]
Sounds Like we mostly agree (3.00 / 1)
I'm just curious - what do you think would be the fallout if the Dems had given Joe the ultimatum to withdraw or lose his committee assignments? In my opinion, it would make them look stronger on the one hand, and perhaps heartless on the other. Perhaps I haven't recognized more of the downside.

As I see it if Joe stubbornly chose to remain in the race and then was stripped of his committee assignments, he would no longer be able to trumpet the advantages of his seniority, and it would probably be even harder for him to hide his intentions to side with the GOP. Plus, it would free up the Dems to go 100% for Ned. Lieberman would have become persona non grata in the Democratic caucus.

I know that would make him a miserable person to be around for a lot of Senators, but then, we didn't elect them to coddle one another.

[ Parent ]
Worst thing: It would make Bush less of a liar (4.00 / 1)
There would be some truth to the "Dems threw out bipartisan Lieberman" argument.  I think he would have gone GOP immediately because he couldn't run indy without saying who he will caucus with. He would have had no reason to stay Dem.

Rove might have been able to "reach out" to Schlesinger and get him to stand down.

So the Democrats were looking at some chance of the seat being lost, versus no chance.  He's still a three-term incumbent after all.

They took the risk-free (cowardly) option.

There's a big element in Washington that wants to treat the Netroots like they have treated the African-Americans. Lip service, some support, but there's an underlying "What are they going to do, Vote Republican?" thinking.

What they should be thinking is that the netroots people could be our "Christian Coalition"!  The GOTV machine that wins elections by turning out and energizing the loyalists, not by imitating the other party to try to get to 51%.

If Ned wins, Jon Tester wins, a bunch of the Fighting Dems win, they will change their thought process.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

[ Parent ]
Gotya (0.00 / 0)
Thanks. I see your point. The GOP and LIEbertool would definitely have gotten more mileage out of the claim that the Dems are enforcing party unity had they done that. And Joe would have been crying a river to every journalist that would listen.

I'm not so sure that couldn't have been effectively countered by the Democrats, since there are ample ways to prove how wrong the claim is. But, then again, you have to have a party with cajones to do that, the same thing it would take to force an ultimatum on Holy Joe.

Also, if that had succeeded in driving Joe to the GOP brand label, perhaps those 35% of Dems who still support him might have changed their minds more easily. And it certainly would have energized the base.

It's funny. I had naively thought that a Ned win in the primary would really shake things up and embolden the party. Instead, it was a blip on the radar. Tester and Lamont victories in November would be huge, because we would actually have our voices heard inside the beltway. It would be much harder to dismiss the grassroots, as they so easily do now. I suspect they do that out of fear that they will be the next one to answer to the base if they allow us to become empowered. Sometimes I wonder whether that's not part of why we've had so little help from the party leadership.

And you know the pundits will all be crowing about how the netroots failed yet again if Tester and Lamont lose - major motivation for the GOP to fix the vote one more time.

[ Parent ]
Recommended (4.00 / 1)
This one deserves to be front paged. Lamont supporters need to realize that the Democratic party leadership is, through inaction and ambivalence, compromising our efforts to elect their own party's candidate. I don't for a minute believe we can't do it without them. In fact, we need to proceed as if they aren't going to lift a finger.

And why be surprised. This is the same leadership that proclaimed our Senate race a win-win, and who looked the other way while Joe LIEberman and 11 other Democratic senators voted away our bill of rights and the Geneva Convention. The disease in the Democratic party is systemic and it starts at the top. That is why I refuse to give a penny to the DNC, DCCC and DSCC, instead donating directly to individual campaigns.

We're on our own here, but I know we can do this. And the Democratic party will be the better for our victory.

thanks (4.00 / 1)
Maybe this should be front page, if our goal is to begin the process of making lists and being sure Lamont supporters know was naughty and who was nice for future reference. I think we'll have ample time for that after the elections and my guess is when we put our minds to it, the list will be depressingly long. But I didn't write about this today because I think it's what needs to be talked about - I wrote about it because it's what was in the Courant. Maybe we can get Democratic senators off their asses with less than two weeks to go, but whatever it is cannot at this point be enough from a "what Ned deserves" standpoint.

What we should focus on is getting out the vote, driving up turnout for Ned, and keeping the grassroots money flowing into the Lamont campaign. Get involved and help Ned win!

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
Disgusting Cowardice - not a surprise (4.00 / 3)
Money's not the issue here, its support.

They could have called Joe every name in the book and he would still come back so long as he gets his seniority.  If the Dems wins the Senate, Joe is chair of Homeland Security.  If the GOP wins the Senate they have nothing to offer Joe.  All committee chairs will be returning for GOP, Do you think his good friend Susan Collins is going to hand over her committee? NFW!

Its about:

1. covering their own asses
2. having to deal with Bitter Joe for six more years.

Barack Obama has two weeks to show up for Ned.  He's a rockstar.  It's frontpage above the fold if he does!  Otherwise, he's dead to me.

There's only one other thing I can say:

FEINGOLD in 2008!

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

That explains a lot. (4.00 / 1)
I just hope that the netroots don't forget it.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

[ Parent ]
Except (3.00 / 1)
Except Obama did max out in his personal contribution to Lamont - $5,000. Only five other senators can say that (Hillary, Kennedy, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin). So while Obama's connections to Lieberman scare me, he has done more financially for Lamont than thirty-eight other Democratic incumbents.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
where are delauro and larson? (4.00 / 1)
they are both in VERY SAFE DISTRICTS. they could help the turnout for ned if they campaigned actively for him--never mind the money--but they're hiding in wholly joe's foxhole. shame, shame, shame. i will remember.

Delauro has NO opponent, right? (4.00 / 1)
It seems more like a campaign for her than a garden party. Oh but she made one appearance with Ned at the Orange Greek festival. Whoopie.

[ Parent ]
No worries (4.00 / 2)
Don't need 'em. Never did.

MSM and MSDems are not coming through as well as many hoped.  On to Plan A!  (that WAS Plan B, wasn't it?)

So do we need a grass roots press conference or other event to let people stand up and talk about how various issues are impacting them and their communities and why they are voting Dem or Ned or a particular other candidate?

As we learned in Iraq, hope is not a strategy (and neither is dismay, I say pulling chin off floor).

We have some phenomenal activists in many different walks of life who could sure explain the issues and the many different reasons for voting in a Dem Congress and voting in a real Dem senator.  And people are suspicious of politicians anyhow - I think real people are far more galvanizing.

And interesting anecdote... (4.00 / 1)
Last night someone called to RSVP for the event I'm hosting on Sunday to try to counteract the "Ned is anti-Semitic" rumors. She started off almost hostile. I explained how the idea for the event came around. She was still sounding dubious and a little hostile and she brought up the fact that Ned had resigned from the Round Hill Club which apparently (t or F? I have no idea nor do I really care) either excluded or still excludes Jews, but his wife still belongs. (T or F? and Q: WTF do I care?)

To which I responded, "Look. I don't know the answers to those questions, and you should feel free to ask Ned. As far as I'm concerned, Ned's country club memberships don't really concern or affect me. But as a columnist who is an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration the fact that Lieberman voted for the Military Commissions Act *does* concern and affect me. And it should concern you, too."

Well, the minute it was framed in those terms her entire attitude changed. She said she never would have thought Joe and Shays would have voted for the MCA, and how habeas corpus is fundamental to everything we stand for as a country. And I said, "Well, Joe voted for it. And for that (and about a million other reasons, but I didn't bother getting into that with her on the KISS principle) I'm not voting for him."

She ended the conversation by thanking me for hosting the event because she's really looking forward to get to learn more about Ned.

One mind at a time. And I've got over 50 minds turning up on Sunday, who will hopefully go out and fertilize some other minds once they've heard the real deal instead of the LieberLies.

[ Parent ]
anti-Semitic rumors (4.00 / 1)
I don't know how widespread these rumors are, but I was thinking this is one reason Feingold and Boxer should have come to CT already.

Feingold, frankly, is one of the biggest disappointments, given what Lieberman did at the time of the Kerry-Feingold Resolution, and how much passion and courage Feingold has shown wrt to Iraq in every measure but this one.

I keep saying, the next Supreme Court nomination is where Lieberman will take his revenge, and I will be so pissed if they start talking about how "disappointed" they are... they had a chance to do something and they didn't, whether through cowardice or misplaced priorities. If Lieberman gets back in, it will bite Democrats in the ass bigtime.

[ Parent ]
Feingold gave a staffer - whispering campaign is out there (0.00 / 0)
Feingold has lent a grassroots campaigning trained staffer to the Lamont campaign for the rest of the campaign; she was introduced at the Norwalk volunteers  meeting in September.

So, please remember that there's support we can't see. I'd love to see Feingold himself here, though.

The whispering campaign seems to be in full force.  I was phone banking the other day with a woman who told he she'd heard both the Tawana Brawley/divisive Sharpton and Jesse story and the country club story from people in her synagogue.

Let's get some perspective here, voters.  The issues are about things we cannot quit as easily as a country club.

[ Parent ]
Are we sure Feingold has been asked? (0.00 / 0)
I support Russ for President, although it is likely a quixotic pursuit.

Like it or not, Ned has to run to the center to win this thing. Bringing the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act here is only going to impress Ned's base. I'm afraid he'd be more of a target for the oppostion than a help to Ned at this point. Doing it just because he's Jewish to "prove" Ned's not a bigot especially doesn't make sense.

I don't doubt that some people are genuinely offended by the club membership issue. It's also true that there are some Jewish people wrestling with their cultural connection to Joe versus Ned's more attractive positions on the issues.  It's up to them to decide if it's important or not.  If they want to hold the club membership against Ned, that's their right.

However, I don't think you have to defame Ned or his supporters because you feel an obligation to vote your heritage. The Democratic Party in New York City always had the black vote, the Latino vote, the Italian vote, the Irish vote and the Jewish vote and it was understood that the voters went for the candidate of their heritage.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

[ Parent ]
feingold (4.00 / 1)
my concern was less about the anti-semitic thing--though it does seem to be in play--than simply visible support. My feeling (as in 'opinion unsubtantiated by facts') is that credibility, visible support from sitting members of the Senate is more important than specific issues. Lamont campaigning with current Senators counters the "Joe has experience and seniority" thing, that as near as I can see is the only argument Liebersupporters have.

[ Parent ]
Kerry and Edwards helped a lot. (0.00 / 0)
Ned had the entire 2004 Dem ticket for him, what else should CT Dems need?  Joe's got Mary Landrieu? She's a great Democrat, for LOUISIANA! And if Joe becomes chair of Homeland Security, he becomes a key spigot for Katrina relief $$.

As I said above, I believe the only guy who really gives us a pop is Obama, just because of the coverage.  I don't know that Bill Clinton would even help that much.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

[ Parent ]
Guess My Two Guys Came Through (0.00 / 0)
Check out the two latest entries on the blog section of Ned's site!


Feingold and Obama have sent out emails focused on getting their Connecticut supporters involved in helping Ned's GOTV.

I think this is a very smart move. We need all committed progressives in the state working for Ned.  You've got to assume that most of these people were already voting for Ned.  Many are probably involved in the CT-2, CT-4 and CT-5 campaigns. 

I think this helps with the part of the strategy to get Joe under 30% of Dems. More than $$ or a photo op.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

good news! (0.00 / 0)
makes me wonder, though, if they have people watching the internets....?

Does that make me paranoid, cynical, or both?

[ Parent ]
NEWSFLASH (4.00 / 2)
I, along with some other dedicated "telemarketers", have been bombarding Feingold's campaign and senate offices with faxes and emails.

They are now telling us that they are "standing by" to campaign with Lamont in Connecticut.  We have informed Tom Swan at the Lamont campaign.  Feingold will come to Connecticut if asked.

You Rock OscartheGrouch (0.00 / 0)
Thanks for making it happen!

[ Parent ]
Wow. (0.00 / 0)
That's amazing. That's serious blogger power.

[ Parent ]
Applause (0.00 / 0)
Sounds like I have a good audience here ;)

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union

[ Parent ]
Hmm... (0.00 / 0)
Feingold said exactly the same thing in July on Meet The Press.

[ Parent ]
As much as I love Russ .... (4.00 / 1)
The only place I see Russ helping would be to answer the anti-Semitism charge. Of course if Joe over-reacts and attcks Russ as too liberal or weak on Israel or terror......

But he's not that stupid. His campaign is, but Joe isn't.

It's Morning in America. Too bad Reagan's not here to see it. - Me

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