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July 03, 2006


Happy Independence Day, Joe.

Someone in CT who is a Lamont supporter ought to check and see if the CT State Democratic Party owns the legal rights to the word Democrat or anything rather like it. I don't know all the states laws, but in Minnesota the party owns the rights to Democratic, Farmer-Labor and several variations of this. (We are, you know a fusion party -- at one time the Farmer Laborites owned both Senate Seats).

Anyhow, if the CT Party does have a patent on the use of the term in all election matters -- then the question needs to be raised -- will the CT Democratic Party take legal action to preserve the right to exclusive use of the term in election matters.

But someone with a reputation as an old line party hack ought to raise this question -- not anyone identified with the Lamont Campaign.

It could also be that Independent is taken -- one part of the Perot party took out a trademark on that sometime before 1996. This resulted in Minnesota Perotites having to call themselves the "Independence" party. Jesse Ventura was a member of the Independence Party.

Of course this isn't an issue if Lamont does not win the primary. I suspect Lieberman did this "deed" now so as to de-pressure Lamont's campaign, cause the track Lamont is on indicated by internal polling, to plateau. Prick the balloon, stop the run away freight train.

I don't know all the details of the ground game -- I sure wish I could get answers to hard questions such as whether Lamont has done serious voter ID work (does he really know who his voters are?) and above all, I would love to have access to internal polling. But ironically one thing Lamont could do would be to circulate his own petitions in advance of the primary -- making the primary about who has the "right" to call themselves a Democrat. That would put them on equal footing. Should Lamont not win, he would then have a little less than a day to decide whether to submit the petitions.

Anyhow if someone out there knows a CT Party Lawyer -- some work on the law is in order.

Five weeks left and 15 percentage points to cover. I hope that if Lieberman wins August 8, which seems pretty likely, we rebel Democrats make quick work of the post-ballot analysis and stay focused on the only electoral goal worth our energy this year: grabbing one or both houses of Congress.

EW, Murray's got a new piece: Bush Directed Cheney To Counter War Critic. Brings new meaning to R. Novak's line: Bush knows who leaked, doesn't it?

so do you think it's fair to say that we should expect to see big movement in the next round of public polls? (assuming Joe's internals showed this movement and led him to bail)

By what margin does Lamont need to beat Lieberman to win in Nov? 15-plus points?

Will be key to see if Lieb's numbers plummet once Lamont hits him on leaving the party. I think Ned needs to do this. Would like to see polling on how well CT voters know Lamont at this time.

As I believe Crab Nebula is implying: Joe must be getting good and scared by internal polls, or he wouldn't have taken this risk. It seems to me handing the Lamont campaign a "See? He doesn't care about the party" card makes a Lieberman victory in the primary less, not more, likely. He's got to feel his chances had, at best, dipped below 50%.

I know polls are showing Lieberman wins the three-way, but I'm not sure those numbers are to be trusted -- the sheer bad publicity of being thrown out by his own party (esp. if the margin is surprisingly large) could deal the Liberman camp a body blow.

Meteor Blades, though I challenge your feeling that a Lieb victory is "pretty likely", I heartily concur that, should Lieberman prevail, all Democrats should instantly rally around to keep the seat in Democratic hands.

from My Left Nutmeg, a local blog:

Despite the BS he was flinging at his press conference, Joe Lieberman will not appear on the ballot as an "independent Democrat." The law (excerpted below the fold) says so.

demtom, that's exactly right. i have not been spending inordiate amounts of time bashing joe, just his inept campaign. But the Dem winner is who we will support.

more from My Left Nutmeg.

My goodness the Nutmegers are more caustic in their language about the party having a patent on party designation than we Minnesotians would be. I had always understood that the DNC required state parties to hold the rights to all variations of their name -- but this little move confirms it. No you can't be an Independent Democrat any more than Henry Wallace could run under the D-Farmer-Laborite moniker in 1948 in Minnesota, which was after the Merger. Hopefully the Nutmegers will quickly convert this into "trying to pull wool over citizen's eyes" language and political rhetoric.

I don't have actual access to the Lamont Tracking polls -- and the last time I discussed with my source was probably a week ago, but Lamont is gaining close to a point a day on Lieberman -- and the difference is not 15 points. It is significantly less. Lamont's tracking is being done by the same marketing group (it is quite ad hoc) that works with Hillsman and also evaluates his ads. In this stuff there is no constant trajectory -- if there were Lamont would be ahead of Lieberman by a number of points on August 1 -- but never assume a constant trajectory. Lieberman's effort today was about stopping the run away freight train, and the fiction of "Independent Democrats" is an aspect of that fiction.

I have to disagree with MB above -- he seems to be saying that the progressive forces will fail, and we and they should be positioned to fall in line. Well -- that is what Lamont has promised. Problem is that Lieberman has promised a three way General Election. I put forward my Lamont does petitions too strategy because I think Progressives need to learn to play Hardball Politics. Electorial Politics are about power. Bush has it right -- Power makes you the decider. If you are in the Senate, you are one of 100 Deciders. If the Lamont folk are serious -- they have to be about repositioning the power center in the Senate by one vote. It is not about symbols, it is about real pie pieces of power. And you want power because you want to change policy, change direction. Progressives need to get clear minded on this. Electorial Politics is not about just getting on.

The reason I think Lamont needs to strike out now is because there is a need to force Democratic Party Elders both in CT and in the Senate to have one of those back room meetings where they get signed letters of agreement that the guy coming in second in the primary actually does not petition to run in the General. Such agreements and letters have to be in advance of the primary.

Do not be fooled by the public statements of Schumer and all the rest -- they entertain sugar plum dreams of committee chairmanships many more nights than they dream of Joe Lieberman. Of course they want to keep the CT seat -- and if necessary they will be ruthless about it. Those Chairmanships are about power -- and you have to understand power.

What Lamont needs right now is the back room arm twist for a letter that says both candidates will honor the results of the August Primary and that there will be one Candidate for the Democrats in November. That indeed focuses things on the primary and making it a fair contest. Why should Lamont take just one bite of the Apple and let Lieberman have two? If you want power for something progressive you don't do that. You don't cave ahead of the right time.

I was brought up short tonight by two things I watched on C-Span. First the last part of John Kenneith Galbriaeth's Memorial Service at Harvard, and I had to catch the first half later on a re-run of the program, and on the other C-Span channel, a segment of EJ Dionne recounting the day Paul Wellstone died. Last first. He learned of the crash of the plane at MPSP Airport, called his wife to say he had decided not to go with Paul up North and then on to the debate, but was coming into DC. Wrote column while in the air, batteries failed when he got to National, and he had to jerryrig a connection to file. Then he stood in the middle of National and cried and sobbed. Dionne says he was not "objective" about Wellstone, because he just loved him. How nicely honest and human. He seems to be begging for an exemption or exception.

On the other C-Span Channel we had a formal Harvard Protestant Scottish Memorial for an Economist. Speakers included all the sons, George McGovern, Ted Kennedy, son of Arthur Schleisenger, Gloria Steinum, William Buckley (who apparently JKG thought could still be converted), An Indian Economist, and much else. JKG was perhaps the last New Dealer who will get a major public memorial service where folk suggest what they would say if they could speak their minds. JKG headed OPA -- office of Price Administration, but at one time was OPWA -- office of Price and Wage Administration, till FDR changed the title, because regulation of wages was not all that popular. But in fact FDR turned the Civilian Economy of the US over to JKG when JKG was just a little over thirty. Then in early 1945 he re-appointed him to head the Strategic Bombing Survey of Germany. Why? the whole theory behind the USAAF (United States Army Air Force) effort in N. Europe had been based on the notion of destroying economic resources useful to Germany's war economy and ability to sustain troops in the field. JKG's conclussion was that it was not effective.

Last speaker was Peter. He has written much on the necessity of splitting up Iraq, and one can recall his leading the Croatian Serbs out of the Karinia on a tractor when he was US Ambassador to some part of former Yugoslavia.

Thanks for pointing to the JKG memorial, Sara—frozen chosen at their finest. The Indian economist was, as I guessed before seeing it, Amartya Sen, Nobel prize winner (1998) and one of the best. He specializes in social choice and development. Works are always challenging, but his recent books are not technical, so you don't have to be an economist to read them.

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