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July 25, 2006

DNC Chair's PAC Works Against Sitting Senator Lieberman; Howard Dean Machine Backing Lamont Over Lieberman

Interesting, And Underreported, But Not Really Exclusive: See update at end of post. It's all still true, just not as new as I first thought.

...

A reader drops me the following tip:

Howard Dean's brother, Jim Dean, currently is chairman of the Howard Dean-created "Democracy for America" (DFA) PAC.

Wikipedia on Howard Dean.

Democracy For America "about" page.

In March 2004, Howard Dean formed Democracy for America (DFA), a political action committee. Dean became DNC chairman in February 2005. Dean's brother, Jim Dean, now heads DFA, which "is committed to carrying on what his brother, Governor Howard Dean, started...."

Apparently the core mission of the Howard-Dean-created PAC now includes campaigning against a sitting Democratic Senator.

Is that, you know, normal for a DNC-chairman-created organization to do?

Has the DNC declared (almost) open warfare on Lieberman?

Well, read this email sent out to those on the DFA mailing list and judge for yourself.

Note that the DNC is, I suppose, either neutral or supposedly in favor of Lieberman. However, Jim Dean compares Lamont's candidacy to his brother's in this letter, and says, basically, "let's not let what happened to my brother Howard Dean happen to Ned Lamont."

Now, if Howard Dean is not supporting Lamont, shouldn't he be calling upon the DFA to stop invoking his name in its support of Lamont? He can't legally enforce that, of course, but politicians are forever "calling" for campaigns to stop certain tactics. Will Howard Dean do so? Or is quite willing to lend his name to the campaign to defeat Lieberman?

From: "Jim Dean, Democracy for America"

To: [redacted]
Subject: 14 days to put Lamont over the top
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 19:04:20 +0000


Dear ...........

Watch Ned's Message to DFA

Three months ago, Joe Lieberman led Ned Lamont in the polls by more
than forty points. But you took a chance on Ned and thousands of DFA
members around the country pitched in to help his insurgent campaign.
The result? Two new polls show that Ned Lamont has surged into a
narrow lead over Lieberman.

Now we have the chance to put Ned Lamont over the top. Ned has
recorded an exclusive video for DFA members to give you an update on
the final 14 days. Click here to watch the video and find out how you
can get involved:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nedlamont

The story of an insurgent, people-powered candidate moving to the top
of the polls against the Democratic establishment is not new. My
brother, Howard, was in a similar position three and a half years ago
in the 2004 presidential primary. I don't need to remind you about
what happened when the Beltway Democrats placed a giant target on his
back and took aim. Let's make sure that history doesn't repeat itself
with Ned Lamont.

We have a plan to fight back and win. Over the next few weeks, we'll
be working closely with DFA members in Connecticut towards a Lamont
victory on August 8. DFA members will be pounding the pavement and
knocking on doors in a massive effort to get out the vote. Click here
to watch Ned's video and find out how you can get involved:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nedlamont

It's going to be close -- now let's close the deal. Thank you again
for everything.

Sincerely,

Jim Dean
Chair

P.S. After you watch the video from Ned, don't forget to sign-up for
tonight's DFA Night School workshop about breaking into the
Mainstream Media:

http://www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool

Share this email:
Tell-a-friend!

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for
Democracy for America.

...

Paid for by Democracy for America, www.DemocracyforAmerica.com and
authorized by Ned Lamont for Senate. Contributions to Democracy for
America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

This comes from someone in a position to receive this email, and all other information seems easily confirmed by Wikipedia and the DFA website itself, so there's hardly any need for this silly two-source business.

Now, it should be noted that Howard Dean created the DFA, but is no longer the chairman.

But his brother is.

And yes, his brother could have sharp disagreements with Howard Dean.

And yet... it does seem as if the DNC chair could pressure his brother to stop supporting the defeat of a sitting Democratic Senator if he so chose.

But he apparently does not.

Does Howard Dean have an, I don't know, what shall I call this... a sock-puppet carrying out his bidding?

Gee, I had a tip sent to me by someone I kinda know. I did almost zero work on bringing this to you, my efforts limited to a two-minute confirming phone call and some extremely light rewriting of the original tip.

It was just dropped in my lap, and I had nothing at all to do with it, and yet I publish it under my byline.

Why, I almost feel like a legitimate, paid MSM reporter!


The Democratic National Committee

May we wash your feet with ungents and rare oils now, Prophet Kos?


Update: My tipster points to this word in the letter:

thousands of DFA members around the country pitched in to help his insurgent campaign

A lot of words might have been used rather than "insurgent." Upstart, grassroots, etc. And yet they chose "insurgent."

I guess "insurgent" polls well with liberal focus groups.

Note it was my reader who thought it would be a good idea for me to make "sock-puppet" allusion. So don't blame me for that. This does not count as a "FoxFire" post.

Addendum: Uncle Jefe also noticed that "insurgent" word choice.

And JackStraw turns this phrase:

I said a couple years back when Dean was elected head of the DNC that he would lead them from the wilderness into oblivion. I said it in the bathroom and nobody heard it but still, I said it.

From the wilderness into oblivion. Nice.

A Question... It's a very big deal when a party actually fights against a sitting senator and supports an "insurgent" challenger. It is less of a big deal when a PAC created by the party head, and run by his brother, does so, and yet -- still not a small deal.

MSM reporters, being on, I'm sure, most mailing lists for their jobs, and also being on liberal mailing jobs so they know how to vote and slant their stories, must have been aware of this.

Where was the story?

If it has been mentioned before in the MSM, I apologize for the suggestion. I do.

However, based on my (admittedly sketchy, at this point) information, it hasn't been.

They must have know this before.

Why no wire reports? Why no mention?

Are they hesitant to publish because the spectacle of an interncine party blood-fight may harm the party they support?

Questions, questions.

To recap:

This story? Not a huge deal.

This story? Still, something of a "deal."

This story? At the least, worth reporting, even if not prominently.

This story? Broken by a blog.

Why?

Retraction: The fact that the DFA was aligned with Lamong has, in fact, been noticed by the MSM, lightly, thus making my outraged posture faintly ridiculous.

However, no one seems to notice Jim Dean comparing Lamont to Democrat hero Howard Dean, and Howard Dean doesn't seem to be objecting to linking his name to the campaign for Lamont, nor that Howard Dean's brother is actively soliciting money for Lamont.

Only "Exclusive" In A Few Details: As the DFA's support of Lamont has been previously reported, and the only real news here is Jim Dean comparing Lamont to DNC head Howard Dean, and actively soliciting money on his behalf, I have dropped claims of "exclusivity."

It's not exclusive so much as "underreported" and "with a bit of new information that makes it more newsworthy."

I've left in my "questions for the media" for two reasons:

1, I still think this is an interesting story, and I still wonder why the MSM doesn't cover it prominently. It was the first time I'd heard of it. The MSM might have noted the basics of it, but they didn't exactly wide-cast it.

2, My questions, even though still sort of valid in a way, are also kind of embarrassing, and I should keep this stuff up there so as not to "hide the evidence" of my overselling a story.

I've delted references to exclusivity not to hide the evidence (I'm saying I made that claim, after all) but because I didn't want to leave that up and continue misleading people until a late-in-the-post correction.

Just a cautionary tale for myself: Just cuz'n you ain't heard of it, don't mean it ain't been heard of before.

And yet... given the reaction by commenters, it would seem that this story, while basically noted, sure has not gotten much play out there in the MSM.


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posted by Ace at 04:10 PM

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