My Time in CT

By: pitin
Published On: 8/6/2006 12:35:34 PM

My time in CT has been exciting, people are amped up!!

Everyone seems to be in town, luminaries from MoveOn, DFA, and the blogosphere.  Websites such as Mydd and My Left Nutmeg have much better analysis, so this is just a survey of my experiences.

I am stoked, my prediction, Lamont wins by 8 points on Tuesday.

Follow me below the bump for details about my trip.

Special Thanks to Judy Epstein for housing me and my girlfriend for the weekend.
I got into CT Friday night around 11PM.  I called into the Norwalk office (where I have been assigned) and offered my help, they told me they were about to go home, and that I could come in the morning.  This kind of scared me as we were 4 days out, and they were leaving the office at 11, kinda freaking me out.

The next day, I went to the office at 8AM, and lo and behold we were short on walk packets, I spent until 5PM making packets with Maura in VA (now Maura in CT).  Maura was awesome, she kept the office running throughout the day.  We caught up, and packets were made.  (this was the Norwalk office).  But let's just remember, that having "too many" volunteers is a great problem to have.

Then, around 6PM I went to the New Haven office which seemed to be the best organized office I have ever been at.  At 7:30, we went to a Gospel Fest in New Haven where Ned spoke and Maxine Waters came to help out.

After the GospelFest, I went over to Sullivans, Lamont/Blogger Central, met up with Matt Stoller (of MyDD), Tom Matzzie (ED of MoveOn), Gina (organizer of YearlyKos), pretty much the entire FireDogLake team (TRex was especially cool). It was a blast.

In about 5 minutes here, I'm going out again to "escort" Maxine Waters.  It has been well Documented that the LieberYouth have been harrassing anyone tied to the Lamont campaign, including Ned's mother.  So, me and some other folks are going to be a protective "bubble" around Maxine against the LieberYouth.

Sorry for no pictures, my camera busted; great time, huh?

If ya'll have any questions about what's going on up here, ask away, I'll try and answer.


PS: Sorry about the poorly written diary, but I have to run, and wanted to post this before I left the state.


Re: My Time in CT / Image all of the good that could have been done... (Mitch Dworkin - 8/6/2006 7:04:40 PM)
Image all of the good that could have done if Jim Webb's campaign received all of this money and attention!

The 2006 elections are NOT about Joe Lieberman (only ONE Senate vote in ONE State), they are about Democrats picking up 15 House Seats and/or 6 Senate seats in order to take back power in Congress in order to restore some real accountability back to government before 2008!

Millions of dollars and thousands of campaign volunteers and hours going to Ned Lamont IN AN ALREADY SAFE DEMOCRATIC SEAT (even if in name only) in a race of choice is a diversion from the real purpose of the 2006 elections just like how the war in Iraq was a war of choice and was a diversion from the real war on terrorism!

That is A LOT of money and campaign help that can be going to MANY good under financed Democratic candidates running in key races against well financed Bush rubber stamp GOP candidates who we need to win their races in order to take back power in Congress!

We have to look past Lieberman to the big picture of what the 2006 elections are about which is if Bush gets a GOP rubber stamp controlled Congress as a lame duck for the next 2 years! 

Without Democrats in power in at least one branch of Congress, what else is there to restrain Bush and the extreme rubber stamp GOP leadership from more Alitos, tax cuts for the wealthy, bombing any country who they do not like without sufficient diplomacy, and anything else extreme that they decide to do?

That is BY FAR more important than Joe Lieberman (ONLY ONE SENATE VOTE) and that IS THE BIG PICTURE of what Democrats need to be looking at now in my opinion!

George Allen would be quaking in his cowboy boots now if Jim Webb got this much attention and money in such a short period of time!

I fully respect that there are honest difference of opinion among Democrats on this very sensitive and emotional issue but I will never hesitate to say what I think is right even if it is not always popular (especially when so much is on the line in this election)!

My point exactly (DukieDem - 8/6/2006 10:13:27 PM)
Said perfectly.

Jim Webb's election is not in two days... (pitin - 8/7/2006 12:10:14 AM)
If Lamont Crushes and Joe backs out of his independent run, consider this race over, and all the money/attention will shift somewhere else.

The blogosphere cannot focus on the 435 House and 33 Senate elections this year in Nov, but the primaries are spread out, and thus this makes sense, Webb won the primary and had a lot of help from the blogosphere, we can give some love back to CT for a weekend to pick up a win there too.

Great Path (seveneasypeaces - 8/7/2006 12:36:59 AM)
Thank you and your girlffiend for all your hard work and great spirit.  The majority of people are supporting you.  I'm sure this will be time well spent and very educational.  You will come home that much stronger and ready.

Time to restore that Conn. democratic vote in congress.

With great appreciation, nancy

Missing the point (DukieDem - 8/7/2006 1:37:13 AM)
How much money did national Dems give Lamont? How much money is therefore being wasted by not spending that money on gaining a seat? Does anyone honestly beleive this is a grassroots Connecticut effort and that it isn't being driven by the dailykos and democracy for america groups? All this has accomplished is get rid of a Senator who voted with the party 90% of the time.

I'm sure I haven't won any friends here defending Lieberman, and I'm hoping after Tuesday we can bury it and move on, but this feels like a witch hunt. I hope this isn't repeated again and I hope we start to focus our attention on picking up seats.

Re: Missing the point / I completely agree with you (Mitch Dworkin - 8/7/2006 3:24:12 AM)
I completely agree with you and thank you for being a voice of reason and common sense here!

Hopefully this will be buried and will go away but if Lamont wins and Lieberman decides to run as an Independent, then I do not think that the GOP and the media will allow it to go away and be buried.

This will be a race of choice that Democrats will own on a national level just like how Bush owns a war of choice that he started in Iraq and is suffering the terrible consequensces of it now!

If Democrats do win back power in at least one branch of Congress after all of this, it will be in spite of this as well as the result of a lucky break on our part in my opinion!

I hope this race gets Burried too... (pitin - 8/7/2006 4:12:29 AM)
Because we force Lieberman out of the Primary.  But to honestly believe that Kos is the lifeblood of the Lamont campaign is to miss the point.

I understand how that could be understood, but let me shed some light.

Having just come back from CT, let me tell you that 80% of the volunteers I spoke to, had never read DailyKos, MyDD or any other blog.  (granted I was working in lower income urban areas where there is less computer/internet use, so it might be a skewed sample), but the voters of CT were ready for Joe to leave.

I would like to point you to The Times' endorsement of his challenger is more bad news for Lieberman. But Connecticut Democrats have been thinking about a divorce for years. by Colin McEnroe, a CT political reporter for over 20 years.

The blogs might have gotten Lamont some early money, but they are not the ones who get to vote, and are certainly not the ones who have been answering polls that are telling us Joe is behind.  The one exception would be the CT blogosphere which has been kicking ass in this race led by My Left Nutmeg.

Just my view of things, gave Ned his 15 minutes, and he took it and ran and created a movement up there the likes of which have never been seen.  He has over 25 field organizers,  Webb doesn't, you want Webb to start winning votes, let's get him talking to people that don't read blogs, our influence is extremely limited.

PS: If you go to Jim Webb's ActBlue Scorecard you can see that the national "netroots" have raised over 45K for Webb, 31.7K from the combined Netroots page, and 15.5 from Wesley Clark, I bet Lowell can tell us that most of that money came from outside the commonwealth.

Each state's blogosphere can raise funds for their own candidates making them self sufficient (neccesary for our movement to thrive), and consider the national money a bonus for a job well done, because MyDD and Kos won't even look at a candidate until the local blogs have endorsed them.

Common Ground (DukieDem - 8/7/2006 9:16:47 AM)
I disagree with some of your points but I think you said them well. I don't consider myself a huge fan of Kos, although I highly enjoyed Crashing the Gates. I guess my biggest problem is that it's become chic for the blogosphere and party activists to deride the democratic 'establishment' for our party's failures and not see that in truth, its our fault.

In saying that what I mean is that as the ground troops in the party, we haven't gotten truly organized and united until the upcoming midterms. In 2004 and every previous election, we either relied on special interest groups or Clinton's charisma to get us through elections. Now to be fair, a lot of this happened because the party didn't do its job in building the party. I've been a huge fan of Dean as DNC chairmen because he's focused on building the party and getting organized.

The only big problem I have with the Kos crowd is their bashing of DLC democrats. They chide the DLC and use it as an example of our party 'selling its soul' in spite of the fact that the DLC isn't so much a political movement as it is a party think tank. Go over to and read some of the position papers they have. I don't think there's any other democratic website that has such soundly researched and innovative ideas for governing, which is what seperates us from the Republicans who only want power.

In the end as Democrats we'll always disagree but we have to keep our eye on the big picture: defeating Republicans. We need to stop eating our young and start taking the battle to the other side. I really want Joe to win on Tuesday but it seems that every indication says he's going to take a beating, and I hope that he doesn't end up running as an Independent. And as for Joe having an ego, criticizing a politican for having an ego is like criticizing the pope for being a virgin - it comes with the territory.

Re: Common Ground / Very good comments! (Mitch Dworkin - 8/7/2006 2:02:07 PM)
Very good comments, especially:

"We need to stop eating our young and start taking the battle to the other side."

Thank you!

I completely agree (railfanbob - 8/8/2006 6:44:56 AM)
I completely agree.  This race is being driven by DFA, MoveOn, and Daily Kos, not by the people of Connecticut.  As such it should be viewed as a referendum on DFA, MoveOn, and Kos.  To me this race isn't about Iraq at all.  Lamont may be right on Iraq and Lieberman wrong, but if Lamont wins it will further embolden the far left.  I know who this crowd is - they're the same bunch who bought into the vilest smear campaign imaginable against Richard Lamm two years ago, think Bob Casey is "worse than Lieberman", and are planning on bringing down Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer next.  They and their purge mentality need to be repudiated.

I saw the news coverage last night of Lamont and Lieberman rallies, and that was all I needed to see to finally make up my mind.  The people at the Lieberman rallies were blue collar workers, hard hats, locals.  The Lamont rallies were DFA and MoveOn rallies with large numbers of out of state "activist" types, with not a hard hat to be seen anywhere.  That was all I needed to see to conclude what's at stake here.  Either we are going to have a Democratic Party which represents working people, or a Democratic Party which represents left-wing activists.  Pick one, because the two aren't compatible.

"Pick one, because the two aren't compatible" (Lowell - 8/8/2006 7:39:31 AM)
Why is that?  It seems to me that working people have been at the vanguard of "left wing activism" for much of U.S. history, mainly in the labor movement. I see no reason why we can't have an alliance between everyone who wants social and economic justice in this country, as opposed to policies that are wildly skewed towards the rich and powerful, the special interests, and the well-connected.

This race is the reason (Adam Malle - 8/8/2006 3:12:20 PM)
there will be no alliance between the left wing MoveOn mentality and everyone else in the party. The far left worship the big "D" the same way the far right worship the big "R". The rest (majority) of the party want improvement for ourselves and our country and vote based on that but usually don't deal with primaries. I'm a Democrat but I’m sorry a monkey with a "D" by his name won't be getting my vote. Lieberman is a great leader for the hard working people of CT; it is shameful that he is being put through this due to a bunch of special interest groups got there panties in a wad because Joe has an opinion they don't like. I don't agree with him on the war ether however, Joe isn't the reason Iraq is the mess it is ether. So, no, the reason we can't align is because the left wing wants democrat puppets like the right wing repugs have, while the rest of us want someone with the ability to think beyond the party line and work for the good of everyone. 

You're saying Lamont is a monkey? (Lowell - 8/8/2006 4:37:56 PM)
C'mon now.

NO.... (Adam Malle - 8/8/2006 5:29:50 PM)
I'm saying the MoveOn left would vote for a monkey if he supports their specific agenda. I think that beyond the war Lamont does not compare to Lieberman's contribution to America and the parties integrity.The only reason he is in this race is the special interest groups objection to lieberman and the war.

BS (seveneasypeaces - 8/8/2006 5:49:20 PM)
I'm trying to remain quiet but this is too much.  You haven't heard anything we've said.  This is your perception and it may be emotionally charged. 

If Lamont wins the primary it is a wakeup call to Congress.  They had better be concerned about who they are representing.

Now stop boxing us please.

How about Joe reproaching Dems (Lowell - 8/8/2006 6:06:02 PM)
for criticizing the President during a time of war?  Excuse me, but that doesn't sound very Democratic - or democratic - to me.

A centrist view (railfanbob - 8/8/2006 4:38:41 PM)
Working people aren't overly prone to being political people.  When they do organize, it is around bread and butter issues.  Left-wing activists don't tend to come from a working class background but mostly come from the very privileged and the very poor.  This equally goes for right-wing activists such as the religious right.  Eric Hoffer explains it in psychological terms: working people have more meaningful lives as a result of having meaningful work, and don't have as much of a need to compensate (whether it be through political activism or something else).  When working people do organize it is based on legitimate needs.  When political activists organize, it tends to be based on ideology and litmus test issues, which often conflict with the actual needs of the working people they claim to be speaking for.  Movements where working people are in the forefront, most notably organized labor, can take directions which leave political people on both the left and right aghast because it is based on pragmatic needs and doesn't always fit either ideology.  When activists try to connect with working people and their politics, their tone can be patronizing, "we know what's best for you".  The activist left may have the same views as organized labor on things like livable wages and health care but they will often try to link these things to their pet causes as some sort of package deal: pacifism, immigration, animal rights, freeing Mumia Abu-Jamal, the list goes on.  They will insist that you have to accept the whole package.  Some working class issues like "Buy American" are not supported by the activist left who then may become more interested in trying to counter "xenophobia" within the labor movement rather than in supporting the labor movement.  At worst, the activist left may claim to speak for the issues of working people, while denigrating working people and their culture and symbols at every turn as "ignorant" or "redneck" or whatever.

How this relates to the CT primary: Joe Lieberman has overall been friendly to working people and to organized labor.  You don't punish somebody who has been a friend by abandoning him and voting him out of office.  To the activist left, Joe Lieberman is a heretic because he doesn't accept the whole package deal.  Working people don't have this whole-package-deal mentality.  That's why the two really aren't compatible.  Let the activist left have more influence in the party and we may soon see the Democratic Party fall victim to the same problems the "Club for Growth" crowd is causing among the Republicans: purges and heretic-hunting.  Schumer, Casey, Hillary Clinton and yes, James Webb might well be their early targets and who knows where it will go from there?  Russ Feingold because he voted to confirm Bush court nominees?  Kucinich for having been pro-life until recently?  Really, where do the single-issue based purges stop?