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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hartford giving Lieberman the thumbs down?

I knew something didn't sound right about Joe's visit to Hartford.

You see, I was raised in the North-End section of Hartford and if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that you can't fool African-Americans with campaign promises such as federal funding to tackle urban violence. We've heard those types of empty promise so many times from desperate politicians that it's hard to keep count.

Street crime has been a large problem for over 20 years in Hartford which origins stems from the rise in unemployment and the introduction of crack cocaine in the area during the early to mid 80s. I can vividly remember countless numbers of friend's parents losing their well-paying jobs in the insurance or manufacturing industry and being forced to find meaningless "service-related" jobs (a.k.a. McDonald's) that barely paid the rent let alone support a family.

"Where was Joe when WE needed him back then?"

The fact is that no one wanted to deal with the serious problems associated with the North-End as funding for programs designed to help keep kids off the street were cut drastically and I know this from personal experience. I use to participate in a youth tennis program in the North-End which was designed to get kids off the street and expose them to a different sport. Tennis great such as Arthur Ashe made appearances to our tennis courts at Kenny Park and the program had such an impact on myself and countless others who, without the program, probably would of gotten into trouble.

When I was older, I contributed back to the program as an instructor and my job included going into some of the toughest housing projects and introducing tennis to the kids who otherwised played in the streets. I'll never forget people in the community (including gang members, many of whom were also parents) thanking me and my tennis partner for being there for their children when no one else was around. Although this program had a lasting positive impact on the people associated with it, the program's funding was decreased every year to a point where the program barely exists.

"Where was Joe when WE needed him back then?"

Yeah, I could go on and on about the urban problem in Hartford and how Joe Lieberman never helped out those how needed him the most, but let me get to my point...

As I said, you can't fool African-Americans with B.S. and according to Kevin Reenie, some local officials in Hartford aren't too happy with Lieberman's indy run and aren't fooled by Joementum's B.S.

Hartford Courant columnist Kevin F. Rennie 's latest exclusive dispatch from Connecticut.

Joseph Lieberman is hoping fear where work where persuasion has failed. Life on the ropes has caused the three term incumbent to call in Washington pro, Tom Lindenfeld to put together an organization to call, identify and inspire Lieberman primary voters for the August 8th showdown.

The theme of a Saturday conclave of Greater Hartford Democratic town committee chairs was that if Lieberman loses the primary he will hurt all other Democratic candidates by running as an independent in November. The message was clear: help him now or your favorites suffer in November.

The response of the crowd of about 50 could not have been encouraging, though Lendenfeld impressed with his plan. Still, there was much resentment about Lieberman's support of the war in Iraq and, now, threat to bolt party if he falls short on 8/8. Reactions ranged from support to nods to hostility. Most local leaders are far more interested in the gubernatorial race with its tangible rewards in patronage and prestige.

One of Lieberman's problems became evident in aftermath of meeting: lots of local leaders are quietly opposing him and were eager to share tales of the event. Plan is to hire workers to make calls and hit the pavement. Fears are growing that Lieberman will have no chance of winning in a low turnout. Twenty percent, the number batted about, is thought to be fatal to his chances.


Lieberman needs a pro like Lindenfeld . His camp has been infiltrated by hostile Democratic officials who are surprised they get invited to his meetings when they have no intention of doing any work for him, let alone giving him their votes.
Like I said, you can't fool everyone in Hartford.

Later, I'll go over some Lieberman points I'm sure Joe didn't bring up in his insulting "I love African-Americans and I feel your pain" photo-op.