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Lamont's Participatory Democracy

Here is Aldon Hynes' post:
I have just gotten back from Ned Lamont, so I’m pretty tired, but pretty excited as well.  When I first agreed to do this, it was when we were planning to have the announcement on Saturday, but the schedule shifted around, as they so often do in campaign, and now I am writing just a few hours after the announcement.
Before I should go to far, I want to acknowledge that I am a paid staffer for the Lamont campaign, doing Internet Outreach, and I hope you all visit http://www.nedlamont.com.
Ned’s campaign is exactly the sort of campaign that I think readers of the My Vote is My Voice Blog should be excited about.  I know a lot of people are excited simply about someone challenging Senator Lieberman.  However, just being against something isn’t enough.  The real question is, what are you for.
What I like most about Ned’s campaign is that he is focusing on participatory democracy.  You can be against Senator Lieberman for his position on the war, for his unwillingness to take the lead in fighting against appointments by the Bush administration, whether you are talking about Judge Alito, Ambassador Bolton, or Michael Brown
There are many reasons to be against Senator Lieberman, and people have sought a good candidate to challenge Senator Lieberman.  Ned Lamont is the candidate that is taking up the fight, and doing it with the sort of gusto that we need in the Democratic Party and simply in democracy itself.
We are not going to defeat a sitting three term Senator who has already raised over $4 million simply by doing what everyone else has done.  No, we need a new strategy.
And that strategy is participatory democracy.  It is getting people on the web to talk to other people on the web.  It is getting them to get in touch with their friends and relatives in Connecticut, getting them to talk about why we need a real Democrat in the Senate.
I hope all of you will take a little time to learn about Ned’s campaign, how you can support it and what it can mean for other campaigns around the country.
With that, do any of you have any questions?

Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 13, 2006 at 08:05 PM | Permalink



Thanks for putting up my post. I really look forward to talking with everyone about Ned's campaign, and what it can mean for all of us.

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 8:07:14 PM

Thanks for being here, Aldon! Congrads on the announcement today.

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 13, 2006 8:09:36 PM


What first attracted you to Ned's campaign?

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 13, 2006 8:13:54 PM

I have to admit, I've been keeping my eyes open for anyone who can present a credible challenge to Senator Lieberman. Kim and I have had Senator Lieberman over at our house to talk about meeting with DFA Meetups. At one event, Kim told Senator Lieberman, we would work as hard as we could to get the most progressive Senator elected from Connecticut. Kim told Joe she would love it if Joe could be that Senator.

Unfortuantely, Joe has demonstrated time and time again that he cannot be that Senator. He was a much better Senator years ago, he had some good progressive cred years ago, but that is long gone.

We had John Orman come over to our house. John is a Professor of Political Science at Fairfield University. John is a bright man, yet somehow, his campaign just didn't catch fire and he dropped out.

When friends told us to check out Ned Lamont, we were very impressed. Kim already knew Ned. When Kim decided to run for State Representative, Jim Dean said that Ned was the first person that Kim should speak with.

As we continue to get to know Ned better and see him on the campaign trail, it is clear that he is the sort of candidate that we need to be supporting. Bright, articulate, charming, unafraid to speak the truth, the sort of politician that we too rarely find these days.

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 8:20:28 PM

Aldon, it's wonderful to hear a politician unafraid to speak the truth. i can see how that would appeal to Jim Dean. did Jim endorse Ned?

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 13, 2006 8:23:46 PM

Hi Aldon - I have several friends that live in CT. What would I tell them that might mean something really different was going to happen on the political scene if they worked to elect Ned?

Posted by: Bob | Mar 13, 2006 8:25:03 PM


Great question. I think the most important thing is to talk with your friends and relatives in Connecticut. Tell them that Ned Lamont is running a participatory campaign. He wants all of us to be involved, not simply as someone who goes and pulls a lever in a primary in August, but as people who talk with friends and neighbors about how we can work together to make our country stronger, how we can fight for democracy in our own country the we we ostensibly are fighting for democracy in other countries.

This is all about everyone getting more involved.

If you need to expand upon this with policy issues, we can talk about how the war in Iraq was based on false pretenses. How it is damaging our country by taking resources away from important programs like health care and education.

Ned wants universal affordable health care in our country. Ned volunteers to teach in inner city schools, to not only give lip service to 'no child left behind', but actually working to make sure children aren't left behind.

There are plenty of more issues, but it all comes back to all of us getting involved and working together to restore the democracy and sense of community that has made our country strong in ages past.

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 8:32:23 PM

You talk about restoring democracy and a sense of community. How does Ned Lamont outline ways to achieve this very crucial grassroots step - in CT no less?

Posted by: Bob | Mar 13, 2006 8:37:02 PM

I am SOOOO relieved to see a crdible challenger to Lieberman. If nothing else, it will put Joe on notice that he's no longer going to get a free ride.

Posted by: mataliandy | Mar 13, 2006 8:42:04 PM

mataliandy, credible isn't giving Ned enough credit. One of the things that I think about is how 'Senatorial' the candidate sounds. Can I see the guy as a Senator?

I'll tell you. Ned is more Senatorial than our current Senator. In fact, he sounded like someone who should be running for higher office and reminded me of another favorite candidate of mine that ran against Joe Lieberman in a primary.

Bob, I cannot point to specific things that Ned has said along the way about restoring democracy. It pervades the whole campaign. The campaign is based on people talking with one another, the way democracy is supposed to be, and sort of how we are talking here, instead of relying on 30 second sound bites. The campaign is based on people being willing to speak truth to power and not be afraid to rock the boat when party brass say not to rock the boat.

It is time to rock the boat. It is time for people to feel that they are part of the governing process, that they can elect officials that will listen to them, officials that aren't afraid of debates.

It is part of the reason why your first question was so good. This will be a campaign based on people talking to their friends and relatives in Connecticut. We can all do that. We can all find friends and relatives around the country that we should be talking to about a renewed democracy and a renewed sense of caring for the people around us.

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 8:49:57 PM

While I'm waiting for a few other questions, let me make a few other quick comments.

Howie Klein who writes for DownWithTyranny, has great post about the music at the announcement and what it says about the candidate. A lot of people had 'Ned Rocks' campaign signs, a reference to the idea of rocking the boat. But Howie focuses on another way that Ned Rocks.


Also, one person, after they heard Ned on Air America, sent the campaign an email saying something to the effect of, "I'm not from your state, so I can't vote for you, but from what I heard you say, it sure sounds like your from my party."

I'm pretty proud to be working with Democrats that sound like Democrats.

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 8:55:26 PM

I saw that the New York Times mentioned Ned Lamont's campaign today, as part of an editorial comment on Kos and Jerome Armstrong's new book. So I think a lot of people will be watching this race...

It's not clear to me though how Sen. Lieberman is failing Connecticut, specifically. What are the hot issues in the state, and what are the arguments for how Lamont will be better than Lieberman on these issues.


Posted by: Quintus | Mar 13, 2006 8:56:35 PM

Thanks Aldon - please put me on any e-mail info list. You've "peak" my interest in Neds campaign.

Posted by: Bob | Mar 13, 2006 8:57:14 PM

I'm impressed that Ned is volunteering in inner city schools. it's one thing to say you want issues to change it's quite another to give your own time/effort to making that happen.

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 13, 2006 9:00:01 PM

Aldon, thank you so much for sharing your time and knowledge about Ned Lamont with us. Please feel free to continue the discussion here. I have to step out.

Thanks to all of you guys for stopping by.

Posted by: Charlene | Mar 13, 2006 9:02:34 PM


There are several ways in which Senator Lieberman is failing Connecticut. First and foremost, he has lost touch with his constituents. Several noted political leaders in Connecticut tie it back to when he was nominated for Vice President. He changed somehow, and no longer appears interested in what people in Connecticut think.

He has written off Democratic Town Committees. His position on the war is out of step with the majority of voters in Connecticut. As one person commented, you can count on Lieberman to vote the Democratic way, when the vote isn't needed, but when it is needed, he just isn't there. A lot of people are particularly upset for his cloture vote on Alito, which is just an example of the many times he has voted in ways do not help the Democrats.

There are also a lot of people who are very concerned about how he appears to do nothing but repeat Republican talking points on conservative media outlets. In doing so, he give Republicans cover, particularly, the three Republican representatives from Connecticut. It isn't suprising the Connecticut Republicans like Lieberman more than Connecticut Democrats do and Connecticut Republicans are endorsing him and even talking about getting him to run as a Republican.

Perhaps the biggest concern is how he discourages debate, how he discourages the Democratic instinct. He says we should not criticize the Commander in Chief during a time of war. Well, ostensibly, we are fighting for democracy across the sea. We ought to be fighting for it here as well, and part of democracy is an open dialog about our governments policies.

Ned Lamont wants this sort of debate. Joe Lieberman does not. That is part of the reason I like Lamont much better than Lieberman

Posted by: Aldon Hynes | Mar 13, 2006 9:08:10 PM

I've been watching the nascent Lamont campaign via posts and comments that show up on Daily Kos.

I appreciate that Ned is willing to stick his neck out. I saw a story today that downplayed his candidacy, by describing his name recognition in the state and the number of attendees at an announcement. It was so obvious (and sad) that they were trying to torpedo him up front.

Reading that story, it seems to me that Lieberman is doing more than just taking Bush's side, but is also taking campaign tactics from the Rove playbook.

What I took away from the article was that, even at this very early stage, with little name recognition, he got a whole bunch of people to show up in the middle of the day. Good!

It's going to be extremely hard to get past the media blockade and the politics of personal destruction, but I hope Ned can at least make a dent. Even if he isn't elected this session, there's always the next session, and in the mean time, his message will get out there and give others courage to speak up.

Posted by: mataliandy | Mar 13, 2006 9:09:10 PM

Hi Aldon:

We have been in touch before and I just received your e-mail concerning this appearance. I am happy to hear that there was such an enthusiastic turnout at today's event, which is a prelude to so much more in the way of grassroots development in this campaign. With Hannity firmly aboard the Lieberman ship I would be delighted if Rush Limbaugh could be nudged into endorsing him as well. We can use effective catalyzing agents such as endorsements from the reactionary right for Joe.

On another note, perhaps this is premature, but have there been any polls yet that, if not matching up Lamont with Lieberman, have at least measured where Lieberman stands in terms of Democratic voters? With Lieberman taking the stands he has and even appearing on Fox with Hannity, I am wondering how much of this has registered on Connecticut Democratic voters and what the responses might have been?

Best of success,

Bill Hare

Posted by: Bill Hare | Mar 13, 2006 10:37:07 PM


Thank you for posting. Sorry I missed the live blog.

I know a few people in CT and will send them the link to Ned's campaign.

Posted by: Jessica | Mar 15, 2006 11:47:00 AM

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