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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Potential Lieberman Primary

Posted by Bob Brigham

Some people need to realize that it isn't the blogosphere that would organize a potential primary campaign, the blogosphere would just nationalize the effort.

It is Connecticut Democrats, on the ground in Connecticut, having the discussion:

Connecticut Democrats dissatisfied with U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman want to mount a primary election challenge to the three-term incumbent in 2006 and say they are debating the merits of as many as six alternative candidates. Tom Swan, executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and a party insider involved in the insurgency, declined this week to name any of the potential challengers. "There's a great deal of displeasure with Joe and some of his recent actions," Swan said, referring to the senator's stance on proposed changes to the Social Security system and his support for the confirmations of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. "But it would be premature at this point to discuss specifics."

For those unfamiliar with Citizens Action, they spend most of their time walking door-to-door, but take breaks for in-your-face media events.

Nevertheless, Swan and Nathan Karnes, a member of a Democratic ward committee in New Haven and a leader of a "DumpJoe" message group at Yahoo.com, said those under consideration include current and past state officials and at least two "high-profile" figures from the entertainment industry who live in the state and are politically active.

They said the latter do not include actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, a Westport resident who had been rumored to be considering a race against Lieberman that party leaders have since discounted.

How do you nationalize a primary?

The insurgents' comments came as a Web site created by a former Connecticut resident now living in southern California began collecting cash pledges from those who would help fund a primary bid against Lieberman.

Under the rubric "timetogojoe," the site brands the senator as "a Democrat in name only" and seeks to raise as much as $1 million for "any real Democrat" who might oppose him.

The tone of web campaigns?

"Had enough of Joe Lieberman playing both sides of the aisle?" the site's home page asks. "Let's give the Left-Hating, War-Hawking, Bush-Kissing, Neo-Con, Torture Apologist the primary he deserves."

In one of the most recent postings, a participant calling himself "joesnotmyhometownboy" attacks Lieberman for his position on the board of directors of The Nixon Center, a division of the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. The Washington-based think tank is headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

It isn't about being a leftwing Democrat, it is about being a proud Democrat:

"We're saying, "Hey, what do you guys think about this guy?'" Karnes said. "We don't have to accept him at the Democratic nominee in '06 without a challenge, and I think the reception has been very good."

The listserve's participants have bristled at characterizations of Lieberman's Democratic opponents as "liberal," and Karnes said it is not necessarily true that he and his colleagues all hail from their party's left wing.

He noted that his parents and their friends, who he said were by no means liberals, shared the sentiment prevailing on the listserve.

"It's really Joe Lieberman that's moved away from the Democratic Party," he said. "And it's not just the social issues where he had moved away."

In news probably unrelated to Lieberman looking at a tough primary, CREW exposes he has taken $16,000 from smut peddlers. Atrios posted the story and gave a good laugh to 50,000 netroots activists...

Posted at 05:47 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - Senate, Activism, Connecticut, Netroots | Technorati