Thursday, July 20, 2006

PEOPLE POWER WILL PROPEL NED LAMONT INTO THE U.S. SENATE

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Blogosphere Day was an incredible way for the Blue America Communities ACT BLUE Page to kick off. In one day the newly combined Act Blue Pages for Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars and Down With Tyranny raised $10,076.11 from 98 donors. The average contribution was 100 and change and almost every single donor gave to multiple candidates. Our biggest single donation of the day was $2,000 from a contributor in New Jersey who gave $90.91 to each of our 21 candidates (+ $90.91 to Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots' Fund). That said, the way we reached over $10,000 was because of dozens of people throwing in $20 and $30 contributions. Together we had the strength to help all 21 of our candidates and since most of our candidates are in exurban and rural districts with inexpensive media markets, the help we gave was significant.

Ned Lamont was the biggest single recipient and he matched, dollar for dollar, all the money that came in-- something he will continue to do through the end of the primary. Nevertheless, a story in today's NY TIMES by Mike McIntire and Jennifer Medina illustrates what a tough, tough task Ned has taken on himself. Forget for a moment that Joe Lieberman has become a millionaire many times over since he was elected to public office. (Unlike Ned, he is not a man who built a business, got audited, paid taxes and wages; Lieberman just won elections and, like most corrupt politicians... wound up very, very rich.) The headline of the TIMES story says a lot: "Lieberman’s Donors Include Many Who Favor Republicans."

Indeed they do. That's because many of Lieberman's donors are Republicans. And don't they just love Holy Joe! The Associated General Contractors give 90% of their political contributions to Republicans. Most of the rest goes to sell-out Democrats who are happy to whore themselves out to and do the bidding of the construction industry. You want to guess who they wrote a check for $4,000 to last month? A Republican? Well... not exactly; Sanctimonious Joe got the loot. And as the TIMES piece points out, that "was just a sliver of the $260,000 he has collected from political action committees since March."

He is drawing financial support, not unexpectedly, from interest groups that typically gravitate to incumbents. Mr. Lamont has received no contributions from political action committees, something his campaign boasts about. Instead, Mr. Lamont’s largest contributor is himself: He has already spent $2.5 million of his own money, and yesterday announced that he would personally match every dollar donated to his campaign over the Internet.

Anyone looking for evidence of Mr. Lieberman’s bipartisan appeal can find it in his roster of recent contributors, which includes organizations that traditionally give more to Republicans. They include engineering and construction firms, some with contracts in Iraq. Those firms include Bechtel, Fluor International and Siemens, which support Republicans 64 to 70 percent of the time, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign and lobbying activities.

Florida Power and Light, which supports Republicans 84 percent of the time, gave $5,000 to Mr. Lieberman. Areva Cogema, a builder of nuclear power plants that gives 70 percent of its contributions to Republicans, contributed $1,000.

An Ohio law firm that directs 80 percent of its donations to Republicans gave $1,000. SRA International, a technology consultant that favors Republicans 66 percent of the time, gave $1,000. America's Health Insurance Plans, representing health insurers, gives to Republicans 71 percent of the time and  donated $2,000 to Mr. Lieberman.

The reasons for their support differ, and are not always clear. Most of these contributors did not support Mr. Lieberman in 2000, and many have supported only Republican candidates in Connecticut; the only other Connecticut candidate to receive a contribution this year from Areva Cogema, for example, was Representative Nancy L. Johnson, a Republican. Mr. Lieberman sits on the Armed Services Committee and so would be expected to draw contributions from defense firms. Also, his senior position on the Environment and Public Works Committee partly explains the donation from the contractors association, said Stephen E. Sandherr, the group's chief executive, who added that other factors come into play when backing a candidate... He's very responsive to our industry.”


Indeed he is. Joe Lieberman is famous Inside-the-Beltway for being responsive to any industry that pays him off enough. If you're a constituents without huge sums of money to contribute, on the other hand, he's not responsive at all. But why should he give a damn about his constituents? "With nearly 80 percent of his money coming from outside Connecticut, Mr. Lieberman had the highest rate of out-of-state money of any incumbent senator, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political contributions."

But the NY TIMES story isn't all that came out today. The brand new Quinnipiac Poll was released and it shows what everyone on the ground-- including Lieberman's cadres-- already sensed. It's all turned around rather drastically and Ned is now leading Lieberman among likely voters in the August 8th Democratic primary. Right in the face of a massive TV campaign-- Lieberman a major and vicious practitioner of Karl Rove-style negative ads-- and a direct mail campaign that has dwarfed anything any challenger could ever hope to must, the people of Connecticut have turned against Holy Joe. The poll shows Lamont ahead 51-47 percent among likely voters in the primary. That compares to a 55-40 percent lead for Lieberman in the June Quinnipiac Poll.

How could this happen to a sitting U.S. Senator? If you've been following DWT you know exactly how and why? And if you've been chipping in at Blue America you're part of why it's happening. Don't get complacent. Lieberman is outspending Lamont 5 to 1 on direction mail and by more than double on TV. Lieberman is well known to be the single most vicious Democrat when it comes to campaign tactics. The campaign against Ned has been dirty so far. In retrospect it will look like we were in an antiseptic room. No one is more ruthless and amoral than Sanctimonious Joe.

3 Comments:

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have that exact couch. Thanks a lot. Now I have to burn it.

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody ever said politics wasn't ugly! But I like your story of how it can sometimes hurt the little guy in unforseen ways...

 
At 11:20 PM, Blogger Joe said...

What a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap.

http://liebermania.blogspot.com

 

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