You may have read in the Hill Newspaper this morning that Joe Lieberman is now blackmailing Democratic Senate leaders with a threat to caucus with Republicans should he win reelection. Lieberman wants Senate Democrats to preserve his seniority on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee - meaning that if Democrats were in the majority and he wins reelection, he would chair the committee charged with performing oversight of the very Republican machine that is funding his campaign. Lieberman has also announced a national "Dems for Joe" group to pretend he's running a bipartisan campaign. But as today's Daily Cup of Joe at www.truthaboutjoe.com shows, the group is made up of Washington corporate lobbyists - some of whom could have business in front of Lieberman's committees.
Lieberman's press release celebrating the formation of "Dems for Joe" lists John Breaux, Dennis DeConcini, Mel Levine, Norman D'Armours, Steve Elmendorf, Tony Podesta and Buddy Darden as major founding members. Each of these men is a major Washington lobbyist who stands to financially gain from having a reliable ally like Lieberman keep his job. In all, roughly 40 percent of the former elected officials Lieberman cites in his "Dems for Joe" group are Washington lobbyists. They represent all the big players - from Big Oil to Big Pharma to Big Insurance to Big Defense, Lieberman's "Dems for Joe" group is the all-star team of lobbyists.
This shouldn't be surprising: Lieberman is still holding regular fundraisers with these lobbyists in Washington, and his D.C. financial operation is being headed up by Michael Lewan - the same Michael Lewan who was Lieberman's chief of staff, and the same Michael Lewan who was the Enron lobbyist that repeatedly met with Lieberman's office during the Enron investigation Lieberman helped slow down. Lewan was the one who explained to the Hartford Courant why Lieberman is getting so much support from corrupt interests in Washington. "The Washington lawyers and lobbyists in those rooms will come back for Joe Lieberman," he said. "Who knows what Lamont would be like?"
If you want to know why this race in Connecticut has been and will always be an uphill race, just read today's Cup of Joe. The entire Big Money establishment that runs Washington is behind Lieberman, and they are working hard to allow Lieberman to outspend the Lamont campaign. To them, Lieberman is an investment - a guy who in the past has happily pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and millions of dollars from corporate PACs, all in exchange for his complicity on a whole host of issues.
But while this race is an uphill fight, the reason it is uphill makes it all the more important. This race is a challenge to the hostile takeover of our government, and it is a race to make sure that a corrupt Bush crony is not allowed to head the committee that in a new Congress will be responsible for cleaning up Washington and holding the White House accountable. So go check out the Daily Cup of Joe, and then pitch in by getting involved in the Lamont campaign's family friends and neighbors program today.