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Monday, July 17, 2006

Copycat

Ugh. When are we going to talk about the issues?



Since I first started reporting on this senate race and the possibility of a primary challenge, I've waited and waited for Senator Lieberman to address his actions that has pissed off so many people in Connecticut. Instead of talking about the issues, each time I've seen him in public, I've been treated to this type of "slight of hand" behavior. People in the state are being subjected to the type of negative ads would normally expect from a Republican and not a 18-year democratic senator.

I'm sick and tired of debunking this nonsense from Lieberman's campaign and since everyone's favorite blogger Spazeboy already ripped it apart, I'll give him the much-deserved honors.
Claim #1 - Ned Lamont has been running negative ads for three months
Negative? These are the "Negative" ads featured in the sidebar of Lieberman's attack ad:
  • Underdog (Features a dog barking at a Joe Lieberman sign)
  • Look Who's Talking (Joe Lieberman's own words–staunchly supporting George W. Bush-are depicted coming out of Bush's mouth)
  • Signs of Change (Ned Lamont points out that Joe Lieberman is the only New England Senator to vote for the Bush/Cheney energy bill)
  • Ned Lamont Has A Messy Desk (Ned Lamont asks, "Aren't you sick of political attack ads that insult your intelligence?" and then asks Senator Lieberman to support the winner of the Democratic primary)

Ned Lamont's ads are firmly planted in rich factual soil. It just so happens that the facts are not on Senator Lieberman's side. I'm reminded of that Harry Truman quote that everybody throws around: "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."


Here are some of Lieberman's negative ads, more properly characterized as attack ads. The facts are either thoroughly distorted or curiously absent.

Lieberman has been running attack ads since May–that's three months.

Claim #2 - Ned Lamont is not a true Democrat because he agreed with Republicans 80% of the time
This is probably Joe Lieberman's favorite line of attack, and it's a clever distortion of the facts. Senator Lieberman, with all his experience in politics, has earned an honorary Ph.D in the Art of Bullshit. I'm going to let Mark Pazniokas, via BranfordBoy, debunk this one (emphasis mine):

In a post-debate roundup article in the Courant, Mark Pazniokas does some honest to God reporting and talks to some Greenwich Republicans (and millionaires, one can only assume) to defuse one of Joe Lieberman's prime slurs against Lamont.

But Greenwich Republicans do not consider Lamont to be one of their own.

Lamont was never known for intense partisanship in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a selectman and then as a finance board member, the Republicans say, where votes were on strictly local issues, rather than hot-button topics such as Iraq, abortion or the death penalty.

"Most of the stuff we dealt with was the mundane stuff - parking signs, roads,” said Republican John B. Margenot, who served as first selectman when Lamont was on the board. "There were no Democratic principles involved or Republican principles. I think it's kind of spurious that Lieberman raises the issue. It's a non-issue."

When asked if he viewed Lamont as a Republican, Margenot replied, "No, I wouldn't think that at all. He was more like a liberal Democrat."

[...]

"It's about running the town of Greenwich," Romeo said Friday. "Greenwich is in its own world down here in the way we run things. It has nothing to do with politics, really."

Republican Chris Antonik, a former elected member of the town's representative town meeting and a current member of the Republican town committee, said, "Ned was a Democrat. I never even recall him acting like a Republican. He's not a Republican."

Claim #3 - Ned Lamont won't release his tax returns
On July 9, 2006 the Stamford Advocate reported otherwise (emphasis mine):

Lamont decided to release his tax information so the candidates could focus on the issues, she said.

"We want to be able to talk about the issues. We don't want this to become the issue," Dupont-Diehl said. "We want to talk about getting our soldiers back from Iraq and universal health care."

Lamont's campaign is questioning Lieberman's tactics, noting the senator's own words in his 2000 book "In Praise of Public Life."

"There is nothing wrong with going after your opponent's voting record or any other evidence of negligence in his public life, but digging into his bank account, his phone records, his sexual life, and literally his garbage when these things have nothing to do with the performance of his public duties - past, present, or future - is wrong."

Claim #4 - Ned Lamont voted to cut health care
Senator Lieberman has made this claim before, and the Lamont campaign has already debunked it:

[From another of Lieberman's attack ads] "He actually tried to make town employees pay more for their healthcare."

What Lieberman didn't tell you:

The resolution applied to a small portion of town employees in upper management. It said that management should be required to accept any increase in out-of-pocket expenses that are agreed to at the bargaining table with the town's unionized employees. The 11-0 vote shows that this was not a controversial issue at all.

What was Senator Lieberman doing in 1994? That was the year that he helped to kill national health care reform, which would have provided much needed relief to Connecticut's municipalities, employers, and working families.

I'm glad I didn't have to repeat all that stuff.

With over 2500+ dead American soldiers, tens of thousands of soldiers injured, a war in which a majority of Americans now disagree with, a war in which a majority of Americans agree was mismanaged, and a Democratic senator who agrees with the policies of the Bush administration, you would think that Senator Lieberman would run a campaign based on defending his record. Instead, we are treated to this type of nonsense.

Lets recap:

1. Senator Lieberman has not held one event that was opened to the public.

2. Refuses to talk about the issues.

3. Originally was offended that someone challenged him for his seat in the first place.

4. Lieberman is angry at blogs who take him to task over his record.

5. Runs some of the most outrageous negative ads to date.

6. Changes the subject whenever someone talks about his running as an independent.

I expected more from a Democrat. Why can't there just be a honest debate on the issues that matter to those Democrats who will be voting on August 8th? Is that too much to ask? Lieberman (and his democratic defenders) should be ashamed of themselves for launching this dishonest campaign as it is so unnecessary.