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Thursday, August 03, 2006

LieberKidz gone wild

Oh man, the LieberKidz have gone crazy.

So I just tracked this down with several sources, and something really strange is going on. Lieberman's campaign seems to arming his supporters with aggressive talking points in order to pick fights at Lamont events. There were two separate events today where this happened. At a Machinists union endorsement event for Ned, some Lieberman supporters (probably paid) started arguing with union members, and a sign got torn.

Later in the day, Ned was ambushed at a diner stop. At 5pm, Ned was scheduled to stop at a cheeseburger joint in Meridan (Ted's Cheeseburgers). The burgers were really good, apparently, and the place is famous for delicious cheeseburgers. Mmm. As I write this it's dinner time.

Anyway, Lamont was going to the restaurant for a scheduled stop to do a meet and greet. The field organizer got there 20 minutes ahead of schedule. A bunch of Lieberkidz were already inside, but they were disguised because they weren't wearing their standard white T-Shirts. They were just sitting in the booths, in the smallish restaurant.

There were about 15 Ned supporters outside, holding signs and milling about. There were also some reporters, a photographer, and a bunch of journalists. Ned arrived at 5:05, and spent about 10 or 15 minutes outside before heading in to give a speech and eat a cheeseburger. He goes inside, and all of sudden the field organizer who was behind Ned heard a lot of screaming directed at Ned.

There were only four booths and six stools in the whole place, and they were basically all occupied. When Ned went in, all of the supporters ripped off their 'civilian clothes' and revealed their Lieberman T-Shirts.

A large man, around 50 years old or so, then started screaming at Ned, "Are you an Al Sharpton Democrat, or a Bill Clinton Democrat?" Ned was trying to answer, and the gentleman kept yelling. The Lamont press secretary tried to intervene, and meanwhile, the people behind the counter who owned the restaurant were horrified and embarrassed. Then Ned Lamont went up to the few people in regular clothes and introduced himself, even as the Lieberman supporters kept screaming. He also tried to introduce himself to the Lieberman staffers, but to no avail. The screaming continued, and it was so abrasive that he left, and the whole crowd followed him outside.

These kids poured out, and a half a dozen reporters were mostly outside. The large man kept yelling, and was joined by one particularly obnoxious Lieberman supporter who started yelling about national security and how Lamont would endanger the country. The messaging seemed rehearsed. The Lieberman supporters started getting aggressive, pushing some of the Lamont staffers. When confronted, the Lieberman staffers said that they are just doing what the bloggers did.

In the whole affair, one photographer caught an elbow and got a bloody nose. It seems that the Lieberman campaign is explicitly setting up their supporters at Lamont events in tense and aggressive situations, all in the presence of reporters. When asked, the Lieberman campaign is expressing outrage at the unsavory and unruly behavior of the Lamont supporters. Joe better call the dogs off before we catch them on video.
Okay folks, this is way over the line. Say what you will but I never heard of a Lamont supporter pulling this type of crap at a Lieberman event. This is totally uncalled for and disgusting. Whenever I'm at a Lieberman event, I'm as professional as any other report on the scene. I'm there to report the story NOT and not to be part of the story. I've never heard of a pro-Lamont blogger or supporter of Lamont act like a unhinged wacko and we have all the video online to prove it.

I might disagree with Joe but that does not mean I would ever go up to him and scream in his face. Say what you will about Sen. Lieberman or Lamont but they are human beings for crying out loud. It's one thing to get pissed off at Lieberman's campaign, it a totally different story when you become physical.

Joe, I might not agree with you on several issues but I always thought you were better than this. Call off the dogs, it's very uncool and you know Ned does not deserve that type of treatment. Say what you will about Lamont supporters but you know there has never been a case where you, your staff, or any reporter felt threatened.

I think you should take some advice from Ned and have a lemonade and chill.

(NOTE: Title to post changed.)