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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman Online

As previewed yesterday, Ned Lamont spent his evening on DailyKos. To kick off the discussion, Lamont posted:

When I made my decision to run against Joe Lieberman for the Senate Seat he has held for 18 years in Connecticut, I had to ask myself a question. Did I believe there were enough people in this state and in this country who felt as I did, that our great nation was facing a crisis of leadership that threatened to transform us into a country I no longer recognized? I worried for my children, that theirs would be a legacy of war, pollution, debt and fear if the powers that be went unchecked. But I knew it would take more than one man alone to confront the insidious politically entrenched status quo with 63 lobbyists for every congressman. It would take an entire movement.

When no one else would step up to challenge Senator Lieberman and everything he represents, my family and I made the decision that the time was indeed right. I hoped that the fundamental humanity and decency of everything America stands for in its core values would call upon others as it had me to rise up and say no more. And when the final votes were tallied at the state's Democratic convention, our faith was vindicated. In the face of unbelievable odds and some pressure from the party brass, Connecticut Democrats called out for change. My belief in our party, our delegates, and in the people of my state has never been firmer.

I realize that our campaign would have been much more difficult without the netroots. I never had to make promises I did not want to keep to big donors because netroots citizens gave five, ten, twenty dollars at a time to my campaign with no strings attached. Before the mainstream media were taking us seriously, bloggers told my story with honesty and insight and compassion. The free exchange of comments and ideas in the blogosphere carried the tale and forced the traditional media to take notice. Ordinary people with video cameras, with petitions, with websites volunteering their time and their passion forged an army that no K Street lobbying money could buy. To all of you I am eternally grateful.

We cannot bring about change until we are willing to take up arms for a cause we believe in, and we will not carry the day until we can imagine that victory is possible. Each and every one of you is a hero to me today for daring to imagine that it is so.
Of course, Ned Lamont stayed around to answer questions. The post is still on the recommended diary list and has over 350 comments, but LamontBlog has highlights:
On representing the people of Connecticut:

"I believe that the Senator is representing himself, not the people of CT who believe as I do that staying the course in Iraq is not a winning strategy."

On his showing at the convention:

"Our delegates showed alot of guts at the convention.It was a public vote and many of the party brass were looking over the shoulders of delegates as they voted. This is how progressive movements begin."

On Lieberman running as an Independent:

"If Senator Lieberman runs as an independent, he will split the Republican vote."

On the opinion of party big wigs:

"Publicly the party brass do not think much of primaries, but privately many of them are saying 'go for it,' the Party needs a shot in the arm."
It is coming together perfectly for Ned Lamont online. Not so for the DLC, a new FBI investigation may be targeting Joe Lieberman's campaign. Via My Left Nutmeg, here is the Journal Inquirer story:
A Hartford lawyer says the FBI agreed to investigate postings promoting Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's re-election on a popular Connecticut-based Internet "blog" in the names of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
Bruce D. Rubenstein, a former finance chairman for the Democratic State Central Committee and a Lieberman critic, said Wednesday that an agent in the FBI's Meriden office told him the agency would probe the postings on the "Connecticut Local Politics" Web log run by an Enfield man, Chris Bigelow. [...]
He added that he suspected they were created by "someone involved in a campaign, at a high level, who knows me and who is trying to confer a benefit to the Lieberman campaign."
Hmmmm. Read between the lines and you can see where he seems to be pointing a finger.
Lieberman's campaign manager, Sean Smith, today denied that anyone from the three-term incumbent's campaign was involved in the controversy.
"This is the first I've heard of this. I know nothing of this whatsoever," he said. "No one in the Lieberman campaign has ever posted anything on any blog that I'm aware of.
Can't wait to see how this plays out, if it was somebody involved at a high level in a campaign, that person could be looking at three years of quality time with Duke Cunningham.

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