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Friday, May 19, 2006

Connecticut Democratic Party Convention

In four hours, the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Party Convention will kick off. Following up on last night's post, there has been a lot going on so far today.

First of all, via Connecticut Bob, there is a new meta-blog set to allow easy following of all of the live-blogging tonight: The first post says:

Later today this page will be updated with information about the convention. I've been promised that there will be wi-fi inside the convention center. Unless our oh-so-supportive (heavy sarcasm) state chair pulls a fast one, we will be live blogging from the floor.

I'm also creating a database to post the delegate counts in real time. Please visit starting at 6pm Eastern Time tonight, join the fun, and root for Ned Lamont.

I'll also post a roll of other blogs covering the convention live.
Second, Lamontblog has an initial list of bloggers who will be live-blogging tonight:
LamontBlog will be liveblogging from afar, and Tim Tagaris will be liveblogging from the floor of the convention. Other bloggers that will be there include: Matt Stoller from MyDD, ConnecticutBlog, My Left Nutmeg, ConnecticutBob, Without A Purpose, CTBlue, Connecticut Local Politics, and La Resistance.
Third, the Courant's political analyst says:
In some ways, the battle at the state Democratic convention is a waste of time for Lamont. If his candidacy has any meaning at all, that meaning lies almost everywhere except inside the Expo Center, which will be thickly peopled with Democratic insiders, many of whom will vote for Joe Lieberman on Friday, because they have to do so publicly, and then vote for Lamont in the privacy of the booth in the August primary. I can’t prove that. You just have to trust me.
Fourth, it is exciting to see that two activists inserted a strong anti-war plank into the Connecticut Party Platform:
People, the following is an inspiring story of how two Connecticut heroes recently got a strong anti-war plank inserted into the Connecticut Democratic Party platform, in advance of the convention.

I wanted to share this report with you now, so that the anti-war convention delegates here will go into the Dem convention with this incredible knowledge of how two people moved a mountain thru simple, peaceful, intelligent, credible persuasion.

The anti-war convention delegates should make sure that the unanimously approved strong anti-war plank language described below was not somehow mysteriously gutted after the 5/11 Democratic Platform Committee meeting
Fifth, Joe Lieberman still refuses to be a real Democrat:
With the convention just hours away at this point, Joseph Lieberman has still not made a clear and unequivocal statement that he will support the Democratic Senatorial nominee in November.

There's something you can do about it.

In yet another refreshing sign that the Lamont campaign finally has its Internet act together, you can sign a petition to get Joe to step up to the plate, be a mensch, and commit to the Party.

Then you can send it on to ten other folks. I sent it to my fellow delegates to the convention.

Do it now!

Sixth, via MyDD, Joe Lieberman is having problems with labor:
"I was the first union leader to endorse Joe Lieberman against Lowell Weicker" in 1988, says Steve Perruccio. Eighteen years later, "I'm very disappointed in his years in the Senate." Perruccio's 7,000-member Connecticut Employees Union Independent hasn't gone so far as to endorse Lieberman's Democratic challenger, upstart Ned Lamont. But CEUI president Perruccio says that whatever his union eventually decides, "it won't be endorsing Joe Lieberman."

Perruccio and his union of state and municipal employees have lots of company. As Democratic delegates prepare to endorse a Senate candidate at Friday's party convention in Hartford, organized laborincluding unions that have supported Lieberman beforehas largely decided to sit out the Lieberman-Lamont contest.

Observers predict that the convention will endorse Lieberman while giving Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who's challenging Lieberman from the left, enough votes to force a primary in August. Even after the convention, though, you can expect most unions to stay on the sidelines.

About a dozen unions, mostly smallish locals, have endorsed the the three-term incumbent. But Lieberman's in-your-face support for an unpopular war and an unpopular president has turned many working people against him, especially union activists.

Finally, in addition to today's NYT piece on the race, Lamont gets a mention in a Bloomberg story:

With Democrats holding a wide advantage in public-opinion polls six months before the congressional elections, the party must define its identity, said David Sirota, a Democratic activist.

"If Democrats are really about to get into power, now's the time to let them know what they need to be for,'' said Sirota, who wrote "Hostile Takeover,'' a book about political corruption. [...]

In Connecticut, Lieberman, the Democrats' 2000 vice presidential nominee, is facing a challenge in the August primary from Ned Lamont, a 52-year-old Greenwich businessman stressing his opposition to the Iraq war. A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey company in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, showed about a third of Democratic primary voters backing Lamont, the great-grandson of legendary J.P. Morgan & Co. Chairman Thomas W. Lamont, over Lieberman, 64, a supporter of Bush's war policies.

On May 16, the National Organization for Women announced its endorsement of Lamont, and said yesterday it will poll its 50,000 Connecticut members in an online "primary'' on May 25 to determine whether they want to back Lieberman or Lamont.

Of course, the story features the expected whining from the DLC, but it this is clearly a race everyone is watching. Tonight should be exciting.

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