Dems to Lieberman: Don't run if you lose primary

Published: Thursday June 15, 2006

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An email petition being circulated by the group Democracy for America is asking Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) not to run for re-election, should he lose the Democratic primary to challenger Ned Lamont, RAW STORY has learned.

Lieberman supporters have reportedly been preparing for a run as an Independent, should the Senator lose to his more liberal challenger. Recent polls have showed Lieberman leading, but vulnerable in the race.

The Senator himself has refused to rule out such a run.

"While that's his prerogative, it's still outrageous," writes group chair Jim Dean in the email accompanying the petition. "Joe Lieberman seems to believe that he is entitled to keep his Senate seat, and he's open to leaving the party to do so."

Democracy for America has endorsed Lamont in the primary.

The full text of the email follows:


Dear [voter],

Have you seen the news in Connecticut? Hot off a DFA-List endorsement, Ned Lamont is surging. Two recent polls show him within striking distance of Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary.1 He also recently won key endorsements from teachers' unions -- both AFT Connecticut and the Connecticut Education Association announced their support for Lamont this week.2

Senator Lieberman knows that Ned Lamont is for real. A few days ago, Lieberman told reporters that he is refusing to rule out leaving the Democratic Party to continue his run for re-election as an Independent. In fact, he told reporters that he is not "going to close out any options."3 While that's his prerogative, it's still outrageous. Joe Lieberman seems to believe that he is entitled to keep his Senate seat, and he's open to leaving the party to do so.

Like the vast majority of other Connecticut Democrats, myself included, Ned Lamont has promised to support the winner of the Democratic Primary, even if he doesn't emerge victorious. Please join me and urge Senator Lieberman do the same:

Joe hasn't confirmed that he's planning to run as an Independent. But his campaign seems to be laying the groundwork, courting important Beltway insiders from both sides of the aisle. Amazingly, Senator Chuck Schumer, Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), has said that the DSCC will not rule out supporting Lieberman if he runs as an Independent.4 The DSCC's mission is to elect Democrats to the Senate. Yet in this case, they would prefer to back an incumbent who leaves the party instead of a principled progressive who's proud to be a Democrat.

Primaries are healthy for the party, and Democrats in Connecticut will decide their nominee on August 8. The winner should receive the full support of all Democrats. We need to stand together in November. Please join me and ask the Beltway Democrats, including Joe Lieberman and Chuck Schumer, to do the same:

Last week, over 400 Connecticut DFA and MoveOn members came out from around the state to attend our Ned Lamont endorsement rally in New Haven. After the rally, State Representative John Geragosian said, "I've been in politics 20 years, and I don't know anyone in this room." This is how we start a movement. Together, we're taking our country back.

Jim Dean Chair

P.S. You can support DFA's member-driven efforts in Connecticut and hundreds of other races around the country by contributing today:

1 Political Wire, 6/14/06, 6/08/06 2 Lamont Blog, 6/14/06 3 Hartford Courant, 6/10/06 4 Hotline Blog, 6/14/06