Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Strategy

So I just tracked this down with several sources, and something really strange is going on.  Lieberman's campaign seems to arming his supporters with aggressive talking points in order to pick fights at Lamont events.  There were two separate events today where this happened.  At a Machinists union endorsement event for Ned, some Lieberman supporters (probably paid) started arguing with union members, and a sign got torn.

Later in the day, Ned was ambushed at a diner stop.  At 5pm, Ned  was scheduled to stop at a cheeseburger joint in Meridan (Ted's Cheeseburgers).  The burgers were really good, apparently, and the place is famous for delicious cheeseburgers.  Mmm.  As I write this it's dinner time.

Anyway, Lamont was going to the restaurant for a scheduled stop to do a meet and greet.  The field organizer got there 20 minutes ahead of schedule.  A bunch of Lieberkidz were already inside, but they were disguised because they weren't wearing their standard white T-Shirts.  They were just sitting in the booths, in the smallish restaurant.

There were about 15 Ned supporters outside, holding signs and milling about.  There were also some reporters, a photographer, and a bunch of journalists.  Ned arrived at 5:05, and spent about 10 or 15 minutes outside before heading in to give a speech and eat a cheeseburger.  He goes inside, and all of sudden the field organizer who was behind Ned heard a lot of screaming directed at Ned.  

There were only four booths and six stools in the whole place, and they were basically all occupied.  When Ned went in, all of the supporters ripped off their 'civilian clothes' and revealed their Lieberman T-Shirts.  

A large man, around 50 years old or so, then started screaming at Ned, "Are you an Al Sharpton Democrat, or a Bill Clinton Democrat?" Ned was trying to answer, and the gentleman kept yelling.  The Lamont press secretary tried to intervene, and meanwhile, the people behind the counter who owned the restaurant were horrified and embarrassed.  Then Ned Lamont went up to the few people in regular clothes and introduced himself, even as the Lieberman supporters kept screaming.  He also tried to introduce himself to the Lieberman staffers, but to no avail.  The screaming continued, and it was so abrasive that he left, and the whole crowd followed him outside.

These kids poured out, and a half a dozen reporters were mostly outside.  The large man kept yelling, and was joined by one particularly obnoxious Lieberman supporter who started yelling about national security and how Lamont would endanger the country.  The messaging seemed rehearsed.  The Lieberman supporters started getting aggressive, pushing some of the Lamont staffers.  When confronted, the Lieberman staffers said that they are just doing what the bloggers did.  

In the whole affair, one photographer caught an elbow and got a bloody nose.  It seems that the Lieberman campaign is explicitly setting up their supporters at Lamont events in tense and aggressive situations, all in the presence of reporters.  When asked, the Lieberman campaign is expressing outrage at the unsavory and unruly behavior of the Lamont supporters.  

It's like third grade version of Karl Rove, and it really upset all the people at the various events, who are now going to tell everyone in their town about it.  Connecticut is still a small town state, and this does not go over well.  Picking a fight and then blaming it on the people you picked a fight with is an interesting tactic, and an extremely high risk move to get the reporters to do a feeding frenzy on the movement behind Lamont.  The Lieberman campaign is hoping that the press will pick up their narrative, and begin to express the same outrage that Lieberman feels at his challenger, and the people of Connecticut who are unhappy with their Senator.  How dare they?!?! was always the unstateed campaign message, and now, apparently it's also the new field strategy.

Update: Tim Tagaris has more, including some pictures that show a little bit of the scene.

Tags: Connecticut, CT-Sen, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

59 Comments

"what the bloggers did"


  Which bloggers? Little Green Fascists?

 This whole challenge has really brought out the statesman in Joe Lieberman, hasn't it?

 Hope you all have camcorders for the next few events.

 Question: Did the restaurant patrons understand that it was the LieberYouths picking the fights?

 

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: "what the bloggers did"

Hi MJ,

There really is a blog called "Little Green Fascists", but we don't pick fights with people... and least not in person.

First of all, I rarely leave my mom's basement except to play jai alai, Reichminister Karl is too busy running the country (and scheming for world domination), Jesus' General is a busy general indeed with his own fine Christian work, and Carl... well Carl is just chicken!

We do understand that some guy named Charles "Chuckles" Johnson started a parody blog of us, but we ignore him since we don't want to give him any hits!  We call his pathetic little effort 'lgf2' to distinguish it from our fine blog.

Keep up the good work, Master!

by Sporty 2006-08-03 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: "what the bloggers did"


   I had no idea... that is one COOL blog! :)

  You know who I meant... :)

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: "what the bloggers did"

Thanks!  Pass it on!

by Sporty 2006-08-04 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

Appalling.  I'm absolutely horrified.  I knew Lieberman was desperate, but THIS desperate?  Desperate enough to toss aside Senatorial dignity by paying a bunch of kids to scream at and push around the Lamont campaign?

Lieberman needs to completely condemn these kinds of activities.

by HellofaSandwich 2006-08-03 05:03PM | 0 recs
Lieberman cares about only one thing.


  And that's staying in power.

 The Lamont challenge has ripped off Lieberman's mask. He's a sad, petty, vindictive man. No wonder he pals around with Republicans so much.

 Connecticut and America deserve MUCH better.

 I wonder what Barbara Boxer is thinking right now.    

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 05:06PM | 0 recs
The idea

He says he's emulating the way Lamont's campaign has been treating him.  I.E. following him around with the Kiss Float, and just generally (In his opinion) harassing him.  Lieberman probably feels the same way you did every day. At least that's how it looks to me.

by delmoi 2006-08-03 06:04PM | 0 recs
The Kiss Float...


   ...does NOT involve any physical confrontations.

  It's a couple of papier-mache figures. That's all it is.

  Not remotely comparable to the brownshirt activities of the LieberYouth.

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 06:06PM | 0 recs
Re: The idea

Name one time when anyone has physically accosted any Lieberman person.

Besides, even if such a thing had ever happened, two wrongs does not make a right. Most of us learned that in or before Kindergarten.

by Aquaria 2006-08-03 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The idea

Aside from being polite and largely respectful, local bloggers are NOT part of the Lamont campaign.

by Matt Stoller 2006-08-03 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberma

Someone above mentioned it, but you definately need to have camcorders at every event from now on. Expect to get baited no matter where you are. I suspect the media is just itching to pick up the "angry, violent blogger" story, and will listen to outright lies from the Lieberman campaign. Make sure you document it all to nip this story in the bud.

by who threw da cat 2006-08-03 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberma

"you definately need to have camcorders at every event from now on."

Yes, Yes, Yes.  Then put it on YOUTUBE!!!

by HereinDC 2006-08-03 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

The response to the Sharpton vs Clinton question is simple -- next time he simply has to say that he's a Democrat who will support the Democratic nominee whoever that might be, unlike his opponent.

I know it's hard to respond rationally when confronted with late 20s Germany type campaign disruptions, especially for WASPS from Greenwich (no slams please I'm only neutrally highlighting the culture Lamont grew up in), but he needs to keep the basics in mind to defuse incidents like this.

by LeislerNYC 2006-08-03 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

A large man, around 50 years old or so, then started screaming at Ned, "Are you an Al Sharpton Democrat, or a Bill Clinton Democrat?"

What does this even mean?  Anybody know what he is talking about?

by Fledermaus 2006-08-03 05:13PM | 0 recs
Sharpton endorced Lamont, Clinton endorsed Lieberm

That's what it's all about.

I hate that kind of politics, looking for anything you can score points off of rather then dealing with the issues (the iraq war, alito, etc)

by delmoi 2006-08-03 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

This is just about ironclad proof that the Republicans are already burrowed deep in Lieberman's campaign. It's a trap, the equivalent of asking, when did you stop beating your wife? If he answers one way or another (and Lamont is far smarter than that), they plan to use it against Lamont later, during the regular election. I can smell this tactic from 900 parsecs. Lieberman doesn't have enough time to turn a wrong answer against Lamont. But someone else does. We know who they are.

Lamont had better not answer this with anything but, "I'm a Democrat, period." Then make a nice little speech about the types of issues he--and the Democratic party--support.

BTW, these tactics happening in the slimy wake of the CRs getting involved with the campaign, and Tom Delay's little visit yesterday, remind me of this incident last April.

I don't think it's a coincidence that this crap is happening so soon after the Bugman and his spawn infested CT.

by Aquaria 2006-08-03 06:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

Aquaria...

That Lampson press conference was the very first thing I thought of as well. I wasn't aware that DeLay was in CT recently. Any links that would provide details on that would be appreciated.

I wonder whether those were DeLay's paid thugs and not Lieberyouth, or a combination of the 2, who confronted Ned yesterday.

by CTPatriot 2006-08-04 04:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

I'm trying to remember where I saw that. I wander around the web so much that who knows where I did...? [ sigh ] But I'll look through my poor history cache, anyway.

by Aquaria 2006-08-04 07:42AM | 0 recs
Stay Cool and Disciplined
Standard provocateur techniques. I believe they're called trolls in some venues, but a lot harder to parry when physically in your face. They would always try this crap at anti-war rallies in the old days, and it takes planning, discipline, and a tough and well-trained security group to handle it. I don't mean paid security necessarily, but a disciplined group executing thought-out strategies, including physical blocking.
.
by MikeB 2006-08-03 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

Assholes. All of them.

This is even worse than what Bush supporters did in 2004. I don't ever recall physical violence breaking out.

by PsiFighter37 2006-08-03 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

The simplest response is to turn out more people for Lamont at each campaign stop.

And remember, Be nice.

by phillies 2006-08-03 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

The "Kerry Firefighters" did similar things in Iowa & New Mexico during the primaries, trying to intimidate Dean supporters outside Meet-ups.  This was all set up by Kerry's campaign staff.  Standard DC operative dirty tricks.  Don't be shocked or appalled.  Just brace yourself for a very ugly weekend.   Hang in there, everyone!  GO NED!

by stuckinsf 2006-08-03 05:17PM | 0 recs
And, of course...


   ...these Kerry Firefighters were nowhere to be found when the opponent was George W. Bush, rather than Howard Dean.

  Just sayin'...

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 05:19PM | 0 recs
Are you sure it was Kerry and not Geppart?

Gimpy Geppart was the one who was really gunning for Dean, not that he had any sort of chance in hell, which made the whole thing even more sad. Plus Geppy was tight with the Unions.

by delmoi 2006-08-03 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you sure it was Kerry and not Geppart?

Yes, it was Kerry.  Gephardt dropped out after Iowa.  These tactics continued into the Feb. primaries.

by stuckinsf 2006-08-03 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Are you sure it was Kerry and not Geppart?

For Gephardt, read: Elmendorf.

When Geppie folded, Elmendorf went to work for Kerry.

Elmendorf was one of those arguing against responding to the swift-boating in 04.

by Taylor26 2006-08-04 02:32AM | 0 recs
Maybe that's how he's using the Young Republicans

Atrios had a post up a day or two ago about how Lieberman has solicited help from local chapters of the Young Republicans.  He's even paying for their rooms and transportation if they'll work on his campaign.  The brownshirt tactics described in the above story are their standard operating tactics, are they not?

by Von Rex 2006-08-03 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe that's how he's using the Young Republic

That's been chased through, and it was a rumor.  Basically an invitation to young folks (Dems) got into the hands of some College Republicans.

Of course, Joe has gotten a lot of Republican endorsements, so the underlying suspicion is grounded.

by jsw 2006-08-03 07:04PM | 0 recs
Source that

Because nothing I have seen has debunked this e-mail

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/8 /2/14247/70377

Because if that was an invitation to "young folks (Dem)" gone astray I'll eat my hat. Everything from subject line to salutation to text is solidly YR. Is it a fake? Show me where and how.

by Bruce Webb 2006-08-04 05:14AM | 0 recs
That "closed" DLC meeting in Denver...


  ...I'm beginning to wonder if there were any late additions to the agenda.

 

by Master Jack 2006-08-03 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

Be fair to Joe.  You all know that we are setting him up by having "real citizens" run into him "accidently" at their "local" libraries to "check out books for vacation" when they suddenly start spewing out obscenities and getting into fist fights.  

by Winston Smith 2006-08-03 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

That was an isolated incident. As far as I can tell from the reports, the Kiss float usually follows him, and CT Bob sometimes asks him relevant questions.

by PsiFighter37 2006-08-03 05:42PM | 0 recs
Winston's being sarcastic

This woman just quietly told Joe she was disappointed at him while she was checking out books from her local library, and he shouted at her.

In a library.

This whole thing is just bizarre.  Since reporters have been at any Lieberman events where the Kiss float showed up or where someone (like me) talked to Lieberman, they know very well that we're not violent or disruptive hecklers or anything.  I can only speak from my own experience, of course, but I've only ever heard of one event (yesterday's Wal Mart rally) where a blogger heckled Joe, and apparently LieberStaffers heckled Ned at the same event.

If the Lieberman campaign is trying to equate this kind of behavior on the part of staff with a papier mache float with giant heads, quiet people with signs, and occasional tough questions, I just don't think reporters who've been at all these events are going to fall for it.

Or at least I hope they won't.

by Maura in CT 2006-08-03 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Winston's being sarcastic

Maura, I was gonna string out the sarcasm a little by describing your "violent attack" on Lieberman.  Don't deny that you were out of control, screaming and pulling hair and spitting.  I saw it on YouTube.  

by Winston Smith 2006-08-03 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1

I believe I said it was going to get ugly.  Looks like I was right.  Hang in there Lamont!

by Jim Treglio 2006-08-03 05:48PM | 0 recs
Any photos emerge, yet?

I'd like to write on this, but only if a photo surfaces.

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-03 05:49PM | 0 recs
by Tim Tagaris 2006-08-03 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Any photos emerge, yet?

Thanks.

Here's the post:

http://jeffrey-feldman.typepad.com/frame shop/2006/08/frameshop_theha.html

Hamburglars!!!

(also cross-posted  on MyDD, Kos, etc.)

by Jeffrey Feldman 2006-08-04 04:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Any photos emerge, yet?

That was funny indeed! :lol:

Hamburglars!!! :))
_______

"Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable." ~ Denis Waitley
http://www.merchant-reviews.com/peets.ht ml

by bsdwork 2007-09-27 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

Damn and a half...Ned needs me there BAD. I love this type of stuff and they wind up amazed at the results when it gets very real.

Remember, I've already been through the real wars in the streets.

Wish I could get cross country. But...not going to happen.

This will really backfire as now the TV troops will be out.

And for gods sake's I hope Ned's people are smart enough to have two or three mini-cams running at all times from different spots around the Candidate with sound on. With that many cam's a person can accurately edit together an exact report on the incident... and post the result.

This should be Topic 101 tonight. GET EVERYTHING ON TAPE for the remainder of the campaign.

Matt...please get this to Tim. (I'm sure my address for him is out of date) It's not obvious but the TV Nets will jump on the tape if they catch this again on tape.

by BigDog 2006-08-03 05:51PM | 0 recs
No doubt about Lieberman

being a Republican in his heart with these Rove tactics erasing any doubt.

by HCLiberal 2006-08-03 06:15PM | 0 recs
P.S.

Matt, I'm debating where to go in CT this weekend. Where are you going to be based out of? It'd be a pleasure to meet up with you.

by PsiFighter37 2006-08-03 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: P.S.

Meriden.

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2006-08-03 06:34PM | 0 recs
Truth be told...

...I worked on the Clinton campaign in 1996, and we pulled a similar (although much ess agressive and more hijinx like) stunt.

We got wind that Dole was going to make a campaign stop at a local bowling alley. So a bunch of Clinton staffers rented a few lanes an hour or so ahead of time, and just bowled for a while. We all had Clinton T-shirts on under our regular clothes.

When Dole showed up, we all took off our shirts and pulled out some hidden capaign signs and disrfupted Dole's photo op.

We didn't berate or go after anyone, though. [The Doe people were none too pleased, however].

It was just a a fun little stunt.

Sounds like Joe's taking this to a whole new level. Using some brownshirts to do his dirty work. 5'll get you 10 that thsoe a-holes were college Republicans or Neocons.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-08-03 06:53PM | 0 recs
New Thug Strategy

Matt,

I posted this at FDL also--  I think it's critical that the Lamont campaign hire professional security staff.  3 or 4 polite, professional but experienced security people at Ned's event will fix this in a hurry.  My  guess is that the LieberYouth are trying to provoke an ugly incident which they hope would reflect badly on the Lamont campaign.  Better to hire some pros and stop this thing in its tracks before it escalates.

by global yokel 2006-08-03 07:09PM | 0 recs
Cross-post to DKos?

Matt-I know you must be swamped and perhaps asleep, but is there any chance you can cross post this diary to Daily Kos? I posted a diary your account of events there but it is falling like a stone in the midst of some meta-diary foolishness.

by jondevore 2006-08-03 07:28PM | 0 recs
As Emily Litella would say

Never mind, Kos just front paged it. Good on all of you.

by jondevore 2006-08-03 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Cross-post to DKos?

I put two alerts to your diary on the front page, and Kos just front paged this. (Sprinkles)

by Sprinkles 2006-08-03 08:11PM | 0 recs
Protect the Kiss float!
Funny thing - the Lieberman staff didn't attempt this at the Baptist churches - they are not a couragous bunch ($60 will only get you pushing, in your face stuff and heckles - they will probably not risk arrest or a trip to the emergency room).
The 50 year old man approached me at the Walmart rally in Bridgeport - I was holding a sign about Joe's PAC money. He tried very, very hard to convince me that the $$ had been returned. I'm a political neophyte - I was actually impressed that he had read our blogs. But they have an agenda, and it's planned.
by Sprinkles 2006-08-03 08:09PM | 0 recs
Thug Strategy

Spotted this one over at FDL:

"Quickest way to get rid of the College Republicans is to bring some Army recruiters to the event."

by global yokel 2006-08-03 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Thug Strategery

Actually, just bring a stack of DD-4s and hand them out.

by Michael Bersin 2006-08-04 02:47AM | 0 recs
First of all,

I sincerely doubt that this came from the Lieberman campaign itself. Political thuggery I can believe, but not actual physicality.

That said, thing one would be getting images of the individuals and figuring out who the heck they are. If it turns out any of them are officially connected to the campaign, run with that shizznit. If not, knowing who they are is still important, because they're likely to attempt more disruption and intimidation.

Chances are these aren't paid provocateurs, but rather true believers, maybe volunteers or others loosely associated through the campaign or some other organization who took it upon themselves to retaliate for the way "their guy" was treated. (And no, I'm not trying to defend their behavior, but this is probably how they're justifying it in their own minds.)

by catastrophile 2006-08-03 08:15PM | 0 recs
One Word

Craaaazyyyy!

by Reece 2006-08-03 08:37PM | 0 recs
This is good for Lamont

Not only is this unclassy, this is probably one of the dumbest things I have ever seen a campaign indulge in. Every person in that diner who was on the fence will probably vote Lamont after this incident.

It's funny how they are trying to make a big deal about Hamsher's caricature when no black leaders have really been outraged. Even if people think it's misguided and not smart to put up such a caricature, it was clear the point of the caricature was making fun of Lieberman's pandering to the black community instead of denigrating the black community. Big difference between this and the actions of a racist.

by Pravin 2006-08-03 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

How disgusting of Lieberman's team.  I knew they were desperate but this is just immature and irresponsible.  People could have seriously gotten hurt and much more then a nose.  I give major props to Mr. Lamont for continuing his campaigning and even trying to be nice to the Lieberman team.  I saw Lamont on Colbert's show earlier this week and he had really great class.  I hope he does beat Lieberman's butt and gets him off his power trip.  I wouldn't be surprised if Lieberman is using old Rove tricks.

by SouthernBelle82 2006-08-03 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

This is wayyyy to familiar. Did Lieberman engage in one of Tom Delays dirty tricks?
Remember this:http://www.khou.com/news/local/politics/ stories/khou060506_jt_lampsonprotest.bc7 f203.html

Nick Lampson, Democratic nominee for Tom DeLay's soon-to-be-vacated seat in the U.S. House tried to hold a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. on the steps of Sugar Land's City Hall. But as soon as he stepped to the microphone, he was swarmed by approximately 30 DeLay supporters who all but prevented him from speaking.

KHOU-TV

A Tom DeLay supporter displays an anti-Lampson sign at Thursday's Sugar Land news conference.

11 News discovered evidence from DeLay's team that asked Republican supporters to disrupt Lampson's event.

It began like any other news conference.

"I'm here to call on the governor and Tom DeLay to do the right thing,' said Lampson.

But as Democratic nominee Nick Lampson called for a special May election to fill the resigning congressman's seat, things began to go awry.

"Even in his resignation there is corruption," Lampson said of DeLay.

Suddenly, the Lampson camp found itself swarming with DeLay supporters.

"We do not want a Democrat in this area," said DeLay supporter Vera Kuhn.

All the while the Democrat struggled to talk above the roar.

"I think it shows the kind of thing DeLay said he doesn't want, and this is coming from his camp," Lampson said.

"I have no comment on who organized this," said DeLay supporter Leonard Cash.

Turns out, DeLay's campaign manager is largely responsible. He admits sending an e-mail urging DeLay supporters to give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference.

by siren 2006-08-03 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Hail Mary Attempt #1: Lieberman's New Thug Str

Well, I'm a big guy and I'll be there this weekend - hope they show up.

by Karatist Preacher 2006-08-04 04:55AM | 0 recs
College Republicans?

These paid thugs just have to be the College Republican guns that Lieberman hired.  I'd think a little investigating would result in quite an interesting story.  Too bad there weren't more full front face shots in the photos I saw.

by Dick Tuck 2006-08-04 03:45AM | 0 recs
Ned needs to rent a CT state trooper, ASAP!

what we have here is obviously illegal disruptive brown-shirt-like tactics by the lieberman campaign, likely some sort of warped response by the lieberman campaign to the kiss mobile, which embarrases joe, but which disrupts nothing and which does nothing illegal -

ned needs to rent a CT state trooper to accompany him at all his events from now on, period -

the flashing of just one CT state trooper hat & badge will shut up these lieberman brown shirters pronto -

ned can just tell his audiences & the media that the state trooper is there because several people wearing lieberman shirts have attempted to disrupt his meetups -

several outright illegalities seem to have been already committed here by joe's brown shirters; you cannot legally disrupt a conversation by standing next to the conversers and yell & scream; that is a form of assault, which is a criminal act -

by hartford for lamont 2006-08-04 06:23AM | 0 recs

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