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]
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.