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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Veterans Day

Friday, November 10, 2006

My tribute to CT House Speaker James Amann

(As a tribute recently re-elected speaker of the state House and to the biggest disgrace in the Democratic Party, here's a flashback post regarding the ever-so-arrogant State Rep. James Amann. See ya in '08 Jimmy...we'll gonna crush ya)


Oh man, is this guy for real?
State House Speaker James Amann, D-Milford, was at the Milford Metro-North train station Thursday to help stump for gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano Jr.

But the real fireworks began after a group of liberal bloggers and activists confronted the speaker about his continued support for U.S. Senate candidate Joseph I. Lieberman, who is running as an independent after being defeated in the Democratic primary by Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.

Then a suggestion was made that Amann could always be replaced.

"You have any idiot in this town run against me in this town, I will crush them," Amann told the group, which included Branford Democratic Town Committee member Keith Crane, after the TV cameras and DeStefano left.

"Let them run in the town that I grew up in. You think you’re going to put someone up to me? Good luck," he said.
What's next, Keith will wake up with a horse head in his bed? I mean really, this is the tone one would expect from the Speaker of the House?

Oh, it's better when you watch Amann do his thing for the cameras.

You know, James sounds a lot like Joe did before the primary...right down to the arrogance.

F'n unreal. You can learn more about the tough guy by clicking here.

I'll call him a Democrat...

the next time he wins as one.

Big night for Democrats in Danbury

(One of the untld stories from eleciton night was the huge victory for the Democratic Party in Danbury in winning three of the State Rep seats. Now these were very hard fought races with things getting very ugly in the 109th between Republican Gregg Seabury and Democrat Joe Taborsak and in the 110th with Republican Pauline Basso and Democrat Bob Godfrey.

Here is a cross post from Tuesday's Democratic victory from my other site).


Well, the smoke is settling and the Democrats come out the big winner on election night with victories in the 109, 110, and 2nd districts.

On election night, I paid a visit to Democratic Headquarters and caught up with 110th State Rep Bob Godfrey, newly elected 109th State Rep Joe Taborsak, and DTC chair Joe DaSilva and got their views on their big win.

Joe Taborsak


Bob Godfrey


DTC chair Joe DaSilva

Congressman-elect Chris Murphy visits Danbury


The newly elected Congressman Democrat Chris Murphy paid a visit to JK's restaurant in Danbury to thank supporters of his campaign.

While Murphy beat Republican Nancy Johnson in Tuesday's midterm election, his victory in Danbury was impressive to say the least. Not only did Murphy beat Johnson by a wide margin, he beat the Republican on EVERY voting machine in Danbury...every voting machine.

I caught up with Murphy and asked him about the role progressive blogs played in Connecticut politics.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Iraq timetable set

I thought we weren't setting deadlines?
American and Iraqi officials have set a date for giving Iraq’s forces responsibility for security across the country.

Under a plan to be presented to the UN Security Council next month, the Iraqi Government would assume authority from coalition troops by the end of next year.

Only hours after Donald Rumsfeld was replaced as US Defense Secretary, American, British and Iraqi officials spoke openly about accelerating the handover process.
Funny how a mid-term election can change things...

Baghdad made clear that it would use the Democrat victory in congressional midterm elections to push President Bush for concessions. Confidants of Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, said that they hoped defeat would make Mr Bush more open to ideas that he had previously rejected.

[...]

All sides said that Mr Rumsfeld's departure provided an opportunity to set a clearer timetable for withdrawing all foreign forces.

A new tone was set by President Bush. He said that he was open to ideas that would help the US to achieve its goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq’s democratic Government succeeded.

Bush pushing for Bolton vote

Who didn't see this one coming.
CNN is reporting that Bolton's nomination has been re-submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "in an effort to get it considered during the lame duck session," according to a Congressional source.

At this afternoon's press conference, Snow announced that during a breakfast this morning, Republican leaders had discussed plans to push Bolton through before Democrats take over.
Thankfully, Senator Chris Dodd isn't having any of it.
"The President should immediately rethink this nomination," suggested Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in a statement released to RAW STORY. "But if he doesn't, I intend to make every effort to ensure that this nomination doesn’t get approved."


UPDATE: Well it didn't take long to kill that idea.
Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., who was defeated by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse on Tuesday, told reporters in Rhode Island on Thursday that he would continue opposing Bolton. That would deny Republicans the votes they would need to move Bolton's nomination from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the full Senate.

"The American people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of fronts, and presumably one of those is on foreign policy," Chafee said. "And at this late stage in my term, I'm not going to endorse something the American people have spoke out against."
Without Chaffee's support, Bolton's nomination is dead.

Ed Bradley RIP

A great man has passed away.
Veteran US newsman Ed Bradley died Thursday from leukaemia at the age of 65, CBS News said in a statement. Bradley has been a star correspondent of the hit news magazine 60 Minutes for 25 years and was widely credited with forging a path for black journalists on TV.

During the course of his career he won 19 Emmy Awards, including a lifetime achievement Emmy.

He started out as a radio newsman in Philadelphia in 1963, moving to New York four years later and joining CBS as a stringer in Paris in 1971. He later reported for CBS from Saigon and moved to the Washington bureau in June 1974. He served as CBS' White House correspondent and was also anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News before joining 60 minutes in 1981.

Sargent gets it.

We can only hope that others get the message also.

What of Lieberman? The Wittmanites, predictably, are trying to spin Lieberman's victory as a sign that the mainstream prevailed over the extremes. But this isn't what happened at all. A key reason Lieberman won was because he successfully confused the electorate about his actual foreign positions, which are well to the right of majority opinion, while successfully mischaracterizing Lamont's as extreme, when it fact Lamont's were the ones genuinely in tune with those of the majority. And even if Lieberman did win in the end, let's remember that Lieberman predicted a Lamont primary win would mean doom for the Dems. Exactly the opposite happened -- it galvanized Dem candidates across the country and inspired the GOP to tie itself even more tightly to its "stay the course versus cut and run" strategy.

Don't be fooled by the spin or anything that comes out of Joe Lieberman's mouth. This election was about change and Ned Lamont made it okay for Dems to finally grow a backbone and talk about the war.

No Ned, no Democratic majority in Congress.

No Ned, no change.

It's that simple.

Political MVP: Ned Lamont

From the Norwich Bulletin:
Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont spent about $16 million of his own money to run for the U.S. Senate.

It earned him a thorough drubbing in the polls Tuesday. The citizens of Connecticut re-elected Sen. Joseph Lieberman to a fourth term.

Lamont, whose estimated worth is about $100 million, may be blamed for wasting a large sum -- even for him -- on what turned out to be a folly in the minds of many.

After all, $16 million can buy an awful lot or do much good -- such as sending an entire senior class at the Bridgeport high school where Lamont teaches to college, for example. Or keeping homeless shelters and food banks around the state operating this winter. Or, just for fun, buying new Lexuses for all of the members at the swanky country club he abandoned before his run for office.

But Lamont may have gotten more bang for his bucks than any other candidate in a political season in which more than $2 billion was spent. And in the end, his losing candidacy was a winner for many Americans.

From his surprise showing at the Democratic convention in May to his stunning victory in the party primary in August -- and right up to Election Day -- Lamont caught and kept the national spotlight as a lightning rod of opposition to the war in Iraq. He was among the first to speak out loudly and clearly about the obvious failed war policy of the Bush administration, and he was emblematic of a freshness of perspective that caught the attention of voters nationally.

It is not unreasonable to think Lamont's candidacy triggered a national firestorm of anger and introspection about a war that shows no end. If Lamont was a one-issue candidate, it was a doozy of an issue.

Connecticut and America responded. For months, there was more dialogue and constructive criticism about the war and other issues -- including the corruption of absolute power, as shown in recent years by some Republicans. In defeating Lieberman in the primary, Lamont made clear no office holder was safe.

That was shown Tuesday. People came to the polls in larger numbers and spoke loudly their feelings. The results, nationally, were shocking.

Democrats have taken over the U.S. House of Representatives by a wide margin and appear to have made giant strides in the U.S. Senate. A day after the Republican election debacle, President Bush jettisoned his long-embattled secretary of defense, long emblematic of the Iraq War. The timing was no coincidence.

No, Ned Lamont didn't win his race Tuesday. But if the Democrats were to name a Most Valuable Player for this election season, it would surely be him.

More importantly, he may become more -- a figure in history whose actions triggered major changes in the United States, its government and its policies.

At $16 million, that's a bargain.

A party of one

As I noted several times on this blog, unlike Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman only cares about one thing...Joe Lieberman.

If you think I'm kidding, read this.
Now that he's won re-election as a petitioning candidate, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is pledging to remain a Democrat, if for no other reason than to keep his 18 years' seniority in the Senate.

"I'll sign up with the caucus to protect my seniority," Lieberman said Wednesday. "My seniority is important to my ability to deliver for the state of Connecticut."
Lieberman will caucus with the Democrats not because he's a Democrat, because he wants to PROTECT his senority.

Want more proof..
At a noon-time press conference in Hartford, he declined to articulate his role in the Connecticut Democratic Party, nor could he give a philosophical reason for organizing with the Senate Democrats.

Other than keeping his seniority, he was asked, what is the reason to organize with the Democrats?

"Well, I've been a Democrat," he replied.

Any reasons beyond that?

"Seniority is an important factor," he said.


After following Lieberman for ten months, this blogger hopes that Harry Reid and the Democrats strip this S.O.B. of his senority. Were talking about a man who DOESN"T live in Connecticut (his home is for sale in New Haven), actively undermines the Democratic Party, won his re-election due in large part to the White House and Republican support, and played a large part in the Democrats not winning in the 4th Congressional district and possibly the 2nd.
Orman also said U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman's run as an independent against endorsed Democrat Ned Lamont may have benefited Shays. "Lieberman confused a lot of people," Orman said, drawing votes from Lamont and Republican Alan Schlesinger.

Shays and Lieberman, both moderates under attack for their support of the Iraq war, may have been viewed as a "respected, endangered species," Orman said, in a district that probably had the most intense anti-war sentiment in the country. Moderate voters may have reasoned, "if you save Joe Lieberman, you're going to save Chris Shays," he said.

As anyone who followed his campaign will tell you, Joe Lieberman ran one of the most nastiest, destructive campaigns in history. From sending goons to attack Ned Lamont and planting race-baiting flyers throughout the African-American community, to outright lying continously to the people of Connecticut, Joe Lieberman proved to this blogger that he only cares about one thing...Joe Lieberman. The people who make up the Democratic Party in Connecticut (and voted against Joe Lieberman TWO times) know this and if the leadership in State Central welcome Lieberman with open arms, then the leadership at State Central will be removed.

Lieberman (Lieberman-CT)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A word from Ned

From his website.

A NOTE OF THANKS FROM NED LAMONT
We didn't win, but we made a difference; tomorrow we start again. Don't stop now, we're just beginning. It starts with one person standing up and speaking out, and then a lot of people, powered by grassroots and net roots and a passion to do better. That's what I heard all over the state: we can do better.

The last week of the campaign was so heartening, traveling the state in a big old campaign bus stopping by hot dog stands and rallies and, finally, polling stations. The bus sang out a little Marley or U2 as we wheeled into some of the towns and folks responded with hi fives and big grins. Kids ran up and shouted, "And so do we!" They responded to a fun, positive message of hope and I loved the fact that we won the overwhelming majority of the votes in the mock school elections around the state. And then on election day, there you were, standing in the rain at the polling stations into the evening waiting for the last of the voters to straggle in.

We worked our hearts out; it's ironic that our message of change did not carry the day in Connecticut but it helped spark a sea change in Congress. Let's make sure they act boldly: bring our troops home from Iraq to the hero's welcome they deserve, invest in our kids, invest in clean energy, universal healthcare, a government that respects for our constitution, our right to privacy, and shows respect for other nations and cultures. We will be a stronger and better nation for it.

Recount in the 2CD

This is no surprise.
Democrat Joe Courtney declared victory over Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons in the 2nd Congressional District on Wednesday, but state officials said a recount would determine the winner of the tight race.

Courtney led three-term incumbent Simmons by 167 votes with all precincts in the eastern Connecticut district reporting, according to vote totals from Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's office.

Bysiewicz said the race easily met the standard for an automatic recount, triggered when the margin of victory is less than half of 1 percent and is no more than 2,000 votes.

"Right now it's too close to call," Simmons said in a written statement Wednesday. "However, with outstanding absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted, we are looking forward for a fair and accurate account."
Stay tuned.

The Daily News says it best


I guess we had enough...both the U.S. House and Senate just went to the Democrats!

It all started with a man who wasn't afraid to challenge a three term senator over a war during a time when doing so meant being called un-American.

After a hot day an August, everything changed.

Thanks Ned!

RUMSFELD RESIGNS

News just hit the AP wire.

Is Joe in?

UPDATE: Here's the story:
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.

The development occurred one day after midterm elections that cost Republicans control of the House, and possibly the Senate, as well. Surveys of voters at polling places said opposition to the war was a significant contributor to the Democratic victory.

President Bush was expected to announce Rumsfeld's departure and Gates' nomination at an afternoon news conference. Administration officials notified congressional officials in advance.
Change. Seems like Joe isn't in but I wouldn't have been surprised if he was offered the post and he took it.

So true

You nailed it Howie!

The biggest success last night went to a man who won't be going to the U.S. Senate. Ned Lamont is the one who spoke, before anyone, for everyone who had had enough. There weren't many Democrats willing to
just say no about Iraq before Ned came along and said it, loudly, clearly,
unapologetically. Because of the issues Ned raised, the floodgates of support opened as Americans rushed to embrace people who would stand up to Bush and stand up to his rubber stamp Congress.

State race roundup

MikeCT at MLN breaks it all down the big state races.

House


Open seats - Dems win

  • Jason Bartlett defeats Gallagher, picking up former R seat

  • Beth Bye defeats Barbara Carpenter for Bob Farr's R seat!  West Hartford now all-Democratic!

  • Tom Kehoe defeats Susan Karp for previous Sonny Googin R seat


  • Bryan Hurlburt wins over Teveris, keeping Democratic seat

  • Frank Nicastro defeats Henry, keeping Dem seat

  • Joe Taborsak defeats Seabury, keeping Dem seat of Lew Wallace

  • Elissa Wright defeats Bond, picking up former R seat (Winkler)


Open seats- Rs win

None?


D challengers defeat R incumbent

  • Kim Fawcett defeating Cathy Tymniak (5 of 6 precincts)


  • William Tong defeats Don Sherer


R challengers defeat D incumbent

  • Ron Burns defeats Roger Michele


Other Notables

  • Joe Aresimowicz (D) defends seat against Pocock, who far out-raised him

  • Mike Alberts (R) keeps seat against Sherri Vogt (sigh)

  • Derek Donnelly -D lost to Fahrbach

  • John Harkins - R defeats Dave Mooney


Senate



Open seats - Republicans win

  • Sam Caliguiri beats David Zoni for Chris Murphy's old Senate seat

  • Dan Debicella beats Chris Jones (17 of 19 precincts)


Open seats - Dems win

  • Andy Maynard beats Winkler for Cathy Cook's old R seat

  • Paul Doyle (conservative Dem) beats Capenera, keeping Dem seat


Dem Senator challengers beat R incumbent

  • Steve Berry beats incumbent Tom Herlihy


Notable races


  • Ed Meyer beats Family Institute candidate Gregg Hannan (yeah!) 63-37

  • Gayle Slossberg beats Lisaman 2-1

  • Andrea Stillman beats Family Inst. candidate Oliveira

  • Sen Andy McDonald defeats Family Inst candidate Giordano

  • Dem Ed Krumeich very narrowly loses challenge to Claudia Powers in Greenwich!

The day after and the future

What an amazing ride!

Did Ned lose, well yes and no.

Lamont lost the senate race to a person who had to run to the Republicans in order to save his political career (technically, Ned beating Joe two times among Democrats..that should tell you something). Now, contrary to anything that came out of Lieberman's mouth last night, Ned Lamont ran one of the most honest, inspiriting campaigns in the history of Connecticut, if not the nation. On the other hand, when people have a chance to really go back and really take a hard look at everything that really happened (which includes the hours of video which bloggers never posted online), it will be obvious to everyone which candidate pulled every dirty trick in the book to get elected. Trust me, the people who were there know the true story (including what Lieberman's 387,000 in petty cash was actually used for).

I'm proud to know Ned and I'm so thankful I picked up a camcorder and videotaped his second public appearence in New Haven on that cold day in January. The words he spoke on that fateful day forver changed my life and armed with only a video camera and a belief that Lamont symbolized change, I traveled across the state during those early days and did all I could to bring attention to his campaign. In time, I and other bloggers such as the great Spazeboy and CTBob ushed in the concept of videoblogging and documented Ned's rise from the "Lamont who" candidate, to the person who shocked the nation by beating a three-term candidate on a hot day in August .

Lamont made it FINALLY okay for Democrats to put the Iraq war on the political agenda without being called unpatriotic or un-American. It was because of Lamont's spirit and drive that a record amount of people registered Democrat in Connectiut and voted in the state primary. It was also Lamont's spirit which drove us to spend endless hours following him across the state and putting our lives on hold for a cause we truly believed in, a need for a change in direction in Iraq and in this nation.

Here's what Lamont campaign manager Tom Swan had to say last night about the man that shocked the world.

Lamont's drive and love for the Democratic Party had a ripple effect assisting in HUGE victories for Democrats on a state nd national level. Nationally, we now have a House majority and possible a Senate majority which means the Democrats can finally set the agenda and bring a sense of check and balance to the government (somehing that has been lacking in the last 6 years).

On a state level, the Democrats gained several State Rep and Senate seats and Chris Murphy was able to give Nancy Johnson her long overdue pink slip (BTW: Murphy beat Johnson on EVERY VOTING MACHINE IN DANBURY). On the other hand, Lieberman's campaign probably caused Diane Farrell and possibly Joe Courtney (2CD will have a probably have a recount) their victories which looked like a no-brainer prior to the primary. I only hope the Democrats at State Central remember all that Lamont did for this state and the Party (while remembering what Jim Amann DID NOT do for the Party) as we move forward.

In my area of Danbury, Democrats had HUGE victories as well thanks in large part to a amazing ground game at Democratic Headquarters as well as the spirit Ned Lamont brought to the area with his theme of change. Democrat Joe Taborsak crushed Gregg Seabury in the 109th while Pauline Basso didn't get over 1,000 votes against her battle Bob Godfrey (a man who ran the most honest positve campaign I've ever seen). Bernie Gallo put up a great fight knocking on every door in his district and working tirelessly day after day and although the chips were against him, he has nothing to be ashamed of at all. Jason Bartlett's victory was the last one to be called on electon night and ended a tremendous day for the Democrats in Danbury and sets the stage for the mayoral race next year.

I have plenty of video footage to share with everyone from last night and throughout the day and tomorrow, I'll share those memories but for now, it's time to slow thing down a bit and get back to my normal life. I have a wife who is ready to have her husband back and my first child will be on the scene shortly.

Now, don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. There is much work to be done as we have elections in 2007 as well as the BIG one in 2008.

Ned Lamont's campaign and the blogosphere forever changed the way political will be viewed. Average people getting involved in politics via a videocamera, digital camera, and a computer changed everything and over the next year, the CT Bloggers will help teach a whole new generation of progressive bloggers what we've learned over the last 10 months.

Trust me, People-Power Media (PPM) is just getting started but for now, I'm going back to bed.

Thank you Ned Lamont for making me feel proud to be a Democrat again!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election day thread

11:00 Oh man, what a ride. Just made it back to Lamont headquarters and although he lost, he made a impact on this nation that will never be forgotten.

It was a HUGE day for Danbury as Joe Taborsak and Bob Godfrey won big. I'm still waiting on results from the other races in Danbury.

Be back soon...going to get as many interviews as possible.

5:45 Click here and watch this video clip and you'll see why Joe Lieberman and the Republican Party should be very concerned.

5:30 Okay, I'm hitting the road. Going to stop at all the polling places and see what's going on. Be back soon.

KEEP THOSE FIELD REPORTS COMING.

Hey Greater Danbury residents, I want to hear from you so email me your reports at hatcityblog@yahoo.com. I noticed that the News-Times hasn't updated my blog on their site in a while so I'll call and see what's happening. This is a new thing so there's going to be bugs.

5:15 Field report: East Norwalk:
I was at St. Mary's Community Hall in East Norwalk where voting is very heavy. This was about 1:15pm with several Lamont pollstanders, one Lieberman woman who was a Bloomberg operative from New York and anti-war. We had the enthusiasm and many thumbs up signals from voters and people stopping by and talking ...I am going back out at 4pm to stand there for at least two hours. Very good vibrations here
in Norwalk for Ned.

4:15 DANBURY REPORT: Ward 3: Broadview School


I arrived at Broadview School around 1:30 and unlike in previous elections, I had a bit of a time finding a parking spot so I knew there was a possibility of a high turnout.

Tons visibility for Chris Murphy, and Ned Lamont while there was only one guy holding a "find Joe on the ballot" sign who took off about three minutes after I arrived (was it something I said :-)

One of the rather interesting State Rep races is in the 109th between Democrat JoeTaborsak and Republican Gregg Seabury. Now Seabury is what polical junkies call a carpetbagger. He's tried his luck once in the 107th and two times in the 110th before moving into the 109th to give it a go for the open seat held formerly held by Lew Wallace.

Now, this seat was almost a lock for the Democrats until immigration took the spotlight earlier this year with the arrest of 11 day laborers at Kennedy Park. Seabury took advantage of the situation and launched an attack on Taborsak and made a boring race, interesting.

* Click here to read what I had to say about Seabury views on illegal immigration after the day laborer's arrest.

* Click here to read my analysis of Seabury's attack mailer on Taborsak.

* Click here to see who the News-Times endorsed for the 109th and more importantly...why.


Both Gregg Seabury and Joe Taborsak were at the school when I arrived and each had their team of volunteers holding signs and cheering their guy on. I would say that Taborsak had more visibility at the school while Seabury had more lawn signs on the way to the school.

I went into the school and handed my ID and noticed while they were looking for my name, pages after pages of names already cross off the list. I asked how the turnout was and I volunteer, pointing at the list, said it was amazing. Personally, the last time I saw anything close to this was during the primary in August.

After I did the voting thing, I walked outside and caught up with Joe Taborsak and asked him about his feelings about today's election. Here's what he had to say:



Oh yeah, here are a few photos I took at the school...I promised the kids that I'd place their photos online. It's amazing how fast people want their photo taken when you say you're a blogger...




4:00 Remember when I reported about FOXNews and Joe Lieberman in Milford eariler today...
Just heard this story that came from one of our volunteers in Milford… apparently, he was the only person from any campaign pollstanding at a polling place in Milford earlier this morning. All of a sudden, two or three out-of-state Fox News vans (accompanied by a Fox News crew) pull up and unload a bunch of Lieberman lawn signs, placed right in front of the Lamont signs that had already been planted. And, what do you know, after a few more minutes, who shows up but Joe himself, ready for the cameras.

Who needs a field organization (or an advance team) when you’ve got Fox?
Well, click here to see Republican Liberated Joe gooble up every GOP talking point on FOXNews this morning.

Had enough?

Vote for change.

3:20 Update:

Earlier, I heard from a source that the Sec of State was going to anounce that the turnout for this eleciton was going to be 70 percent. Guess my source was correct.

Here's the update from the News Times
Some 70 percent of the registered voters will go to the polls today, according to Connecticut Secretary Susan Bysiewicz.

By comparison, 56 percent of the state’s voters cast ballots four years ago, Bysiewicz said.

"We only had 5 hours of voting this morning and we’ve already at nearly 30 percent in some cities," she said.

Those cities include Danbury, where almost 30 percent of registered voters turned out by noon.


Here's what the Hartford Courant filed:
Turnout in several communities reached 30 percent by noon Tuesday as Connecticut voters cast ballots in contentious congressional and Senate races and several state and local contests.

Elections officials were checking scattered reports of problems at polling places, but no formal complaints had been filed with state elections enforcement officials by early afternoon.

[...]

Several towns reported turnout at or near 30 percent by noon, considered unusually high for midterm elections.

Municipalities such as Danbury, Vernon, Tolland, Suffield and Bolton reached the 30 percent mark by noon while others, including Middletown and Windsor, saw ballots cast by one of every four registered voters by midday.

They were voting in Connecticut's Senate race, in which Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman was running as an independent after losing a Democratic primary to political newcomer Ned Lamont.

Also drawing interest were three close congressional races that could help determine whether Democrats gain the 15 seats they need to take back the House. Also on the ballot was Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who faced a challenge from Democratic New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.
These reports echo my observations earlier today. Turnout in Danbury is off the chart and we still have a while till the polls close.

3:10 Field report: DANBURY- Ward 5, War Memorial
Well,

I voted at the war memorial. No Lieberman signage of any kind. No Lieberman pollsters of any kind. I gotta wonder what the hell he spent $14 million on in his campaign???

The stream of people into the War Memorial was very steady. More than I have ever seen voting in the middle of the day. I too looked at the names and saw many, many of them crossed off. It was good to see those old voting booths and the votes getting backed up with a real paper trail. I wish all of America could feel like I did after I voted for Ned!

There was a Ned sign guy out there that was doing a great job and quite a few Democrat sign holders for DeStefano and others. Again, no Nancy Johnson people and no Joe Lieberman people either. It was kind of strange. I only saw one Nancy Johnson sign by CVS (near the War Memorial) and it looked odd. The colors were changed to look more like one of Ned's signs?

I think the Democrats missed one good opportunity this year. The entire ticket was pretty strong. It was very easy to just vote the entire line B. They should have publicized voting a straight ticket down the line...

Here's to hoping we can take our country back from evil!

3:00 Field report: DANBURY- Ward 5, War Memorial
I voted in Danbury at roughly 8:20 AM (Danbury War Memorial Building). There were no lines when I arrived so I got through reasonably rapidly. Met an old acquintaince and another chap poll standing for Chris Murphy & Ned Lamont. No sign of any Lieberman presence.

Since we are still using the old machines, there did not seem to be any apparent problems. The lines were just starting to build as I left.


Come on Hat City folks, I wanna hear from ya!

Email me your report at hatcityblog@yahoo.com (don't forget to tell me which ward your reporting from).

Anywhere else in CT, email me at ctblogger@yahoo.com

If you already gave me a report, email your friend and tell them to do the same.

2:50 Observations:

Here's what I'm hearing so far.

The turnout for this election is HUGE. I just came back from voting myself and there were nothing but cross off names on the voter list. Poll watchers and people filing in field reports all say the same thing..the turnout is VERY high.

The DeStefano campaign just issued this press release.

Early polling results from Democratic stronghold voting precincts across Connecticut indicate that voter turnout is extremely high and is on record pace for a mid-term election.

Middletown (34%) and New London (36%) - for instance - already have 5% higher voter turnout that the 2002 gubernatorial election. Hamden and Bloomfield have reached the voter turnout levels for 2002 – with more than 5 hours left until polls close.

"One thing both Gov. Rell and John DeStefano agree on is that today all the earlier polls mean nothing," said Derek Slap - campaign spokesperson. "Election Day is about turning out voters and right now things look promising for DeStefano and the Democrats. The heavily forecasted Democratic wave is taking shape and this can only be a good thing for John DeStefano."

I can't wait to get back out on the road again and see how the evening goes...

2:45 Reminder:

Email me your voting report.

If your from Danbury email me at hatcityblog@yahoo.com (don't forget to tell me which ward your reporting from).

Anywhere else in CT, email me at ctblogger@yahoo.com

I'm love the reponses I'm receiveing so far so keep them coming!

NOTE:I just came back from Broadview School and I'll bring you my full report including my video interview with 109th Democratic State Rep. candidate, Joe Taborsak shortly.

2:40 Field report: New Haven
Just got back from poll standing this morning. Guess who voted in my
precinct? Yep, Mr. & Mrs. Lieberman.

Anyway, there were five or six of us outside, which is hard to
believe given the small size of our precinct. And lines! Perhaps
we're all just eager and voting early, but the turn-out was much
greater than I would have thought. Much, much greater.

Met one guy who was gleeful about voting for Lamont. I guess he had
bumped into Joe on the sidewalk, and Joe wouldn't shake his hand.
(The voter was a down on his luck vet, but he recounted how kind Ned
was to him at an event on the New Haven Green.)

Finally, no Lieberman volunteers anywhere to be found. Two paid poll
workers doing absolutely nothing. But no one advocating on behalf of
Lieberman.

2:35 Field report: New London
Just voted at Ocean Beach Park in New London. No Lieberman signs or workers anywhere to be found 3 men working outside for the Democrats. Courtney, DeStefano and Lamont signs around. Don't remember any other signs except for 2 Simmons signs across from the park, and this is the conservative part of the city!

They have had good traffic all day and had 4 booths that were all in use. There had been only 1 booth for the primary.

Courtney was there when I left.

2:30 Field report: Guilford
I spent the morning poll standing in Guilford. Ned did very well here during the primary and he needs to do well here again today in order to pull out a victory. All indications are that he is on track to do that.

The polling station in the third district, where I was stationed, was extremely busy for the entire pre-morning commute period. If what I saw holds throughout the state then the projections of 65% turnout might be right on target.

The staff working the polls was extremely efficient. Even though people continued to flood in all morning, the lines never got too long and most people were in and out in 5 to 7 minutes.

I got a lot of thumbs up, shouts, waves, and other signs of support for Ned. While I also got some gruff assertions that, "I'm sticking with Joe" these were definitely a minority. Of course, the vast majority of people give absolutely no
indication of who they will be supporting. However, I would hazard a guess(based on the percentage of people giving overt signs of support for Ned, the general demeanor of most voters, and my "gut feeling") that Ned was running a bit ahead by the time I had to head out for work.

If not for the crowds of voters it might have been a bit lonely as only a solitary Joe supporter showed up with his GPS system (I mean sandwich board) indicating how to locate Joe on the ballot (hint, just keep going down and down and down). While he seemed pleasant enough, he elected to stand on the other side of theparking lot from me, as I had gotten there first and staked out the best spot (right over that 75 foot line).

This election will be a nail biter either way, but I am feeling optimistic. In communicating with incoming voters I found that I received the most thoughtful stares and nods when I mentioned that a vote for Ned Lamont was a vote to bring our troops home. Certainly, I think that many people will have second thoughts when faced with the realization that pulling the lever for Lieberman means giving their tacit approval to the disaster in Iraq. Hopefullly, Ned can win a few voting booth conversions when the voters of Connecticut realize the heavy responsiblity that this Senate race has placed on them.

I will be back poll standing after I duck out of work early this afternoon and will be there until polls close at eight. Registered voters in Connecticut, the world is watching, get to your local polling place and vote for Ned Lamont.

1:00 Problems in Bridgeport:

I'm just got a report of strange things happening down at the Blackham school in Bridgeport. According to a source, someone was caught passing out Farrell and Lieberman literature (which is a NO NO).

Also hearing reports of unusually long lines (I can not verify this as I'm not in Bridgeport).

If anyone is in the Bridgeport area, can you please take a camera or video camera and get down to the Blackham school ASAP.

Blackham School
425 Thorme St,
Bridgeport, CT
(Google map)

12:30 I'll be traveling to the Broadview School in Danbury to see how things are going shortly. I'll come back with photos and hopefully a video report.

12:25 Field report: Wethersfield
Voted in Wethersfield 1st district this morning. There was a Lamont poll worker there and Lamont signs in a row as you come to entrance of the polling place, nothing at all for Joe anywhere. The only Republican present was for Jodi Rell.

11:55 Field Report: East Rock School, New Haven
I just voted at the East Rock School in New Haven. My initial reactions:

-A lot more people at the polls today than compared witn the primary (at the same time).

-Lamont signs far outnumbered Joe signs. In fact, I do not think there were any Joe signs.

-There was one Joe campaign "volunteer" attempting to handout "find Joe" literature. Quite frankly, she looked liked she couldn't wait for the day to be over (already!) so she can collect her slush fund money from Joe LIEberman. She was wearing headphones, had them cranking, and barely turned them down when she attempted to approach voters. I say "attempted" because she looked so disinterested and nobody was paying much attention to her.

-Lieberman looks lonely on the bottom line. VERY lonely.

I voted for NED!!

Email me your voting report.

If your from Danbury email me at hatcityblog@yahoo.com (don't forget to tell me which ward your reporting from)

Anywhere else in CT, email me at ctblogger@yahoo.com


10:55: Field report: Glastonbury/Eastbury
NO SIGNS FOR JOE ANYWHERE!

This is a pretty solid Lamont area, but I was surprised that the only Joe LIEberman sign I saw was on van a Stop & Shop in Glastonbury yesterday.

I would have imaged more presence at the Eastbury School polling location.

But, there was nothing.

Not a juicy story for you, but, just like in sports, the formula for success is winning your home games and splitting on the road. Ned needs to capture all his stongholds and split Joe's.

Go DEMS!

Email me your voting report.

If your from Danbury email me at hatcityblog@yahoo.com (don't forget to tell me which ward your reporting from)

Anywhere else in CT, email me at ctblogger@yahoo.com


10:40 A.M. Here we go!

1st report and backup site info

Today, I will be doing the same posts on ConnecticutBLOG and Hat City BLOG.

In case blogger goes down today (I wouldn't be surprised), please bookmark my backup site.

http://connecticutblog.wordpress.com/

Again, hello to those viewing this site from The Danbury News-Times. I'll be bringing my first election report from Danbury soon.

Until then, here's some news on whats happeneing so far in Connecticut.

Seems like Joe Lieberman has a new field team and it' called FOXNews.
Just heard this story that came from one of our volunteers in Milford... apparently, he was the only person from any campaign pollstanding at a polling place in Milford earlier this morning. All of a sudden, two or three out-of-state Fox News vans pull up and unload a bunch of Lieberman lawn signs, placed right in front of the Lamont signs that had already been planted. And, what do you know, after a few more minutes, who shows up but Joe himself, ready for the cameras.


Report from a man in Windsor who voted for change (via AP)
That's just what 60-year-old Ron Bowman, a Democrat from Windsor, Conn., had on his mind when he went out to vote first thing Tuesday. "It was a chance for a change," he said, after casting his ballot for Democratic senatorial candidate Ned Lamont over incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman, running as an independent.

Another voter who echoed Bowman's sentiment, Shirley Swanson of Windsor, said that she, too, voted for Lamont. "He's not Lieberman. Joe isn't listening to us,'" she said.


Here's a field report from a Lamont staffer:
Just got back from my poll-standing shift in the Valley. Yes, everybody is doing it. It’s all hands on deck today and it feels good ...

So, I was in the Valley. That's a part of CT not necessarily expected to be a treasure trove of votes for change. Anyway, I admittedly arrived a little bit late (was sending out a mass email for volunteers) with my Lamont gear and assumed my place about 80 feet away from the front door.

There was a nice middle-aged lady there wearing a Joe sandwich board that indicates his crossword puzzle-like positioning on the ballot. Maybe it's just me, but I reminded of the fact that he LOST everytime I see his voter education tools.

I struck up a conversation with the Joe supporter and asked what time she arrived. She said, "I got here at 5:30. People in this part of Connecticut are early risers." "Oh," I responded, "Where are you from?"

Her answer ... "D.C." It was pretty funny. I chuckled. She is one of Joe's staffers on the Homeland Security Committee.

Anyway, here's one thing I did notice. A handful of voters came out of the polls, looked at the two of us and said, "I voted for Ned," or some variation. In about two hours, not a single person said the same thing about Joe.

That's not to say we will even carry that polling location. We probably won't. It's just to say Ned voters and Joe voters are a different beast. For all the talk about "voting against someone," there are a ton of people quite proud to actually cast a U.S. Senate ballot for someone they actually believe in.

I want to here from you so email me your voting story.

Danbury: hatcityblog@yahoo.com
The rest of CT: ctblogger@yahoo.com

The next post will be the election day thread. Each update will be timestamped so come back often.

Stand up for change!


Tell your friends to Vote row B!

If you can volunteer, click here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lamont's final stop: Danbury


I tell ya, no matter what happens tomorrow, I'll never forget the amazing time I had following Ned Lamont's campaign.

Whether it's the first time I met Lamont at the New Haven library in January, or watching his first speeches at DTC meetings, I knew back then that I was witnessing history happen right before my very eyes. With each passing day, more people joined the Lamont bandwagon and changed what was once a barely noticed campaign into a national phenomenon. Now, with election day near, Lamont ends his campaign in my neck of the woods and I couldn't be happier.


Well over 200 people came out in the middle of the afternoon to show their support for Lamont in Danbury and it was a fitting way to end to an amazing campaign. Without further delay, here's my video on Ned Lamont's final rally.

A civil debate


It's amazing how civil a debate can be when you don't have to deal with Joe Lieberman's whinning.

For those who missed it, here's video highlights from the 4th U.S. Senate debate featuring Ned Lamont and Alan Schlesinger. Make sure to pass this along to anyone you know who's still undecided.

Question 1: Iraq



Question 2: Fiscal problems in America


Question 3: Origins of terrorism


Question 4: Illegal immigration


Question 5: Senority


Question 6: Darfur


Question 7: Energy independence


Question 8: Crossing party lines


Question 9: Civil rights


Question 10: Drugs


Question 11: Critique of the media


Question 12: Loss of defense jobs


Question 13: Mistakes


Question 14: Congressional races versus Senate race


Final question and closing statements
(Since the debate started five minutes late, and my tivo didn't adjust to make up the difference, I didn't get the entire exchange. The question was basically can the people of Connecticut trust that their next senator won't take lobbyists money.

Mr. Integrity

Hope you don't mind Scarce but this video you did on Joe Lieberman is so good that I had to post it here.

The picture doesn't tell the whole story

Following Ned Lamont throughout this entire campaign has been an eye-opening experience. For those who say Lamont ran a negative campaign or that Joe Lieberman is a nice guy, really have no idea what they're talking about.

Lieberman FROM DAY ONE has ran nothing but a angry, bitter politician. His campaign is made up of thugs who either stage phony phoho-ops for the media, or actively go out of their way to attack Lamont and his supporters.

Take a look at this picture of Lieberman and Lamont from yesterday's Veterans Day parade.

Notice the anger in Joe Lieberman's face? Unlike the accounts from the Hartford Courant, David Sirota details what really happened yesterday after this photograph was taken
For a guy who has screwed up so many huge things (say, for instance the Iraq War), I must say: Joe Lieberman is damn good at minute pettiness. I guess it's easy to be good at that if you have no principles or basic sense of manners, and are willing to deploy your surrogates to disrupt a major veterans event by trying to physically throw Ned Lamont out of the parade today in Hartford. It was the Return of the Lieberthugz, Part II.

Yup, you read that right: at the beginning of today's Veterans Day parade in downtown Hartford, Joe smiled and shook Ned's hand, and then quickly sent his folks out to try physically bar Ned from marching with Congressman John Larson and other Democrats who invited him to march. It was one of those moments where all you could think of saying was wow, stay classy Joe Lieberman.

Ned decided not to listen, and jogged around the Lieberman folks while we distracted them, and caught back up to the Democrats. When the Lieberman people again tried to physically remove Ned from the parade, Larson backed them off once and for all telling them simply: "Ned's with us." That could be the bumper sticker slogan of this campaign, as it perfectly sums up how in more and more people's minds, Ned represents standing up for regular people, and Joe represents standing up for the status quo.
Simply disgusting. Joe Lieberman AGAIN calls his thugs to attack Lamont and this time it's at a VETERANS DAY PARADE.

Not to worry as there was a bright spot in all of this as Sirota continues:
I'll be frank: I was a bit nervous about the parade from the get-go because Joe has joined with Vice President Cheney to try to liken Ned and the majority of Connecticut who want change in Iraq to Osama bin Laden fans. But my concerns were allayed as we walked through Hartford - veterans kept coming up to Ned thanking him for having the guts to run in this race, and the guts to stand up and say what needs to be said about the war in Iraq.

Joe was, per the norm, as polished as a patent leather shoe, but as dirty as the sole of that same shoe had it been trudged through a manure pile. He marched waving and smiling - but not to the crowd, because there were very few people cheering for him. But he knows how to create a picture for the cameras, so he went ahead and waved and thumbs-upped the group of his own staffers and security guards walking through the crowd along the sidewalks.

[...]

What's most interesting to me about this campaign in terms of the race's mechanics is how unflappable Ned is. I've worked with a lot of different candidates, and all of them have their good traits and bad ones. But most often, non-career politicians aren't very even-keeled at this point in the race.

Not so for Ned. The guy is really passionate about what we're doing and how important this race is in trying to end the war in Iraq - but he never gets shaken by Lieberman's pettiness. My bet is that's really a commentary on Ned's focus - a focus that likely comes from his business experience where he's competed and won against the major cable conglomerates in one of the toughest industries out there. It must also be a commentary on Ned's smarts - though I've never asked him, I bet that Ned knows that everytime the career politician he's running against pulls one of these stunts, that career politician is once again sending a strong signal of desperation.

Today was a great example of this. When they tried to bully Ned, he didn't get upset - he just figured out a way to get around them so that he could meet with as many veterans as possible to talk with them about the issues. It was a successful event because it's obvious, to echo Larson, more and more voters know "Ned's with us" and Joe is not.
Ned Lamont: class act.

Joe Lieberman: thug.

Lieberman throws Chris Murphy under the bus


Some Democrat.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and his main challenger, Ned Lamont, briskly shook hands Sunday at a Veterans Day parade made more solemn by the mounting U.S. death toll in Iraq.

[...]

Lieberman, a petitioning candidate since losing the Democratic nomination to Lamont, marched in the Hartford parade Sunday with U.S. Rep. Nancy L. Johnson, R-5th District, and a conservative radio host, Brad Davis.
Joe Lieberman on the campaign trail with Nancy Johnson. I'm sure Chris Murphy is happy about that.

It's simple, Lieberman has been actively campaigning with Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays from day one. Joe knows that he needs the Republicqan vote to win the election so he's on the campaign trail placing the Democrat victory in Connecticut (as well as the Democratic control of Congress) in jeopardy.

Joe Lieberman only cares about Joe Lieberman. People like Johnson and Shays are more than happy to ride Lieberman's coattails since they're both locked in tight races and need a big Republican turnout on election day.

Still think Lieberman's a Democrat?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Lieberman robo calls gone wild

This is a must see!
Like a stalker, Joe Lieberman just won't take "no" for an answer from Connecticut voters. Now in the final days of the campaign, he's phone banking, and sometimes he goes too far.



Help and make sure we tell Joe NO again this Tuesday.

Get involved.

Tip to MikeCT for the clip. Make sure you thank him for the clip, go YouTube and rate it, and tell everyone you know about it.

Coming attractions

Sorry for the delay in posts but I spent the last day traveling around the state with the Lamont campaign. I'm exhausted so I'm going back to bed so I'll file my report (including the usual videos and photos) later.