Top Dem’s Aide Helps Joe Bolt Party

by Paul Bass | July 12, 2006 2:26 PM | | Comments (18)

A top aide to the State Senate’s Democratic majority leader, Martin Looney of New Haven (pictured), is helping U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman form a third party to possibly defeat a Democrat in November.

The aide is Vincent Mauro, Jr., of New Haven. Mauro’s late father was for years the head of New Haven’s Democratic Party and a close ally of Joe Lieberman. The elder Mauro was a chief architect of Lieberman’s successful 1982 campaign for Connecticut attorney general, a campaign that resuscitated Lieberman’s career after a humbling loss in a U.S. Congresional race.

Lieberman caused controversy among Democrats nationally this month with his decision to take out petitions to appear on the November ballot as a third-party candidate just in case he loses the Aug. 8 Democratic primary against challenger Ned Lamont. Old-line Democrats find themselves caught between personal loyalty to Lieberman and their party loyalty.

The three-term senator has formed the “Connecticut for Lieberman Party” to secure his spot on the November ballot. He needed at least 25 registered voters to serve as a “party designation committee” to form it.

Voters like Vincent Mauro.

Mauro, a former alderman for New Haven’s Wooster Square neighborhood, was asked if he felt supporting a third-party Lieberman candidacy against a candidate nominated by the Democratic Party presents a conflict with his role in the Democrats’ State Senate office.

“No. I’m a Democrat,” Mauro said. “I’ve always been a Democrat. How do I feel about it? I have mixed feelings. I’ve known the guy my whole life. In this business, you have loyalty to your party because it’s what you stand for. And you have loyalty to your friends. My father and Joe were best of friends. This is a family thing for me. I’ve known the guy my whole life.

“Was it a little weird? Yeah, but in the end this was friendship.”

Mauro’s boss, State Sen. Looney, said he has nothing to do with the new Connecticut for Lieberman Party.

“I am supporting Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. I will be supporting the winner of that Democratic primary,” Looney said. “[Lieberman] has a good record over the years, although I disagree with him over the war and other issues. I would not support an independent candidacy.”

Twenty-nine people signed on as founding “electors” of Lieberman’s new party. The list reflects a dynamic emerging in the Senate primary: Lieberman, a veteran of more than three and a half decades of Connecticut politics, draws his strongest in-state support from old-school party insiders with a history of viewing politics and government largely as patronage vehicles, a means of making money or gaining power for themselves and their friends. The list includes, for instance, developer and fund-raiser Lynn Fusco Hughes, whose family’s construction company relies heavily on the largesse of politicians; and former New Haven Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto.

Not serving on the committee, but serving as Lieberman’s most prominent defender in the press, is former state Democratic Party Chairman John Droney. Droney ran the party from 1986-‘92, the last hurrah of its patronage-driven, loyalty-above-competence days in the state Capitol under Gov. William O’Neill; the Democrats haven’t occupied the governor’s office since. Droney calls the issue-oriented liberals coalescing around Lamont’s campaign a pack of “weirdos” who are “cannabilizing” the party.

Here’s the list of founding members of Joe Lieberman’s new party: William F. Henderson III of Niantic; Lynn Fusco Hughes of Guilford; Bishop Theodore L. Brooks, Sandra McKinnie, Dominic F. Baletto, Jr., Vincent Mauro, Jr., William Donahue, John Courtmanche, Eileen M. Donahue, Barbara Segaloff, and Nicholas Neely, all of New Haven; Mary M. Heslin, and Barbara Hennessy of Hartford; Juan A. Morales of Tolland; Mary Ellen Cody of Glastonbury; Patricia M. Russo of New Canaan; Carla Squatrito of Manchester; Kiley Gosselin of Suffield; Charles J. Duffy of New London; Susanne Brody of Greenwich; Cleveland Christophe and Harold Bernstein of Stamford; Harvey F. Bellin of Weston; Wiley Mullins of Easton; William J. Carroll of Stratford; Daniel Papermaster and Beth Papermaster of West Hartford; John R. O’Connor of West Haven; Robert C. Shanely of Orange.

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Posted by: Jim H | July 12, 2006 2:46 PM

So, this is the alternative to a people-driven, policy-driven campaign: a bunch of patronage-driven pols and hangers-on, and party has-beens who drove the party over a cliff in '92. Good goin', Joe!

A proud weirdo

Posted by: TrueBlueCT | July 12, 2006 4:20 PM

What kind of "Dem" advocates a 3-way race? Joe's selfish arrogance could end up costing real Democrats this Senate seat, and will definitely wreck the candidacies of Dem Congressional challengers Farrell, Murphy and Courtney.

Immediately after the August 8th primary, Joe will veer to the right. He'll then be running on the same message as CT's moderate Republican incumbents. The gist of it will be that they were right on Iraq, that the Left is a bunch of weirdos, and that Democrats can't be trusted to run the country.

Posted by: Glen D. | July 12, 2006 7:12 PM

It is amazing to me how many so-called Democrats in our nutmeg state are so quick to toss Joe Lieberman under the Ned Lamont tour bus. And why? Because he supported the war in Iraq? If Ned Lamont was Senator when the resolution authorizing the President to use force was passed, I wonder how he might have voted? Joe Lieberman may not be as far to the left as some would like, but he has certainly served our state in a most competent fashion, and happens to be one of the few people on Capitol Hill who is widely respected by both parties. Here are a couple of important points to remember (as taken verbatim off of the Lieberman website):

*Senator Lieberman has been a long time advocate for veterans and military retirees in Connecticut and across the nation. In March 2004, he cosponsored an amendment to the Budget Resolution which, although not agreed to, would have created a reserve fund to allow for an increase in veterans' medical care by $2.7 billion.

*The passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) in 2003, provides for the first time a voluntary pharmaceutical benefit, called Part D, to Medicare enrollees. Senator Lieberman opposed MMA because he felt it did not provide seniors with an appropriate level of drug coverage, did not use the bulk purchasing power of Medicare beneficiaries to negotiate prices, and was too unwieldy and confusing for seniors to manage. Now that Part D is law, Senator Lieberman continues to be concerned about its implementation.

*Senator Lieberman is opposed to the President’s proposal to privatize Social Security through the establishment of private savings accounts carved-out of the taxes that support the current system.

*On March 11, 2004, Senator Lieberman cosponsored S.A. 2799, an amendment which increased the cigarette tax by $1 in order to provide resources for medical research, disease control, wellness, tobacco cessation and preventative health efforts including substance abuse and mental health services.

Oh, and what about keeping the cities of Groton and New London afloat? (pun intended.)

Posted by: THREEFIFTHS | July 12, 2006 7:48 PM

This Shows In House Fighting In The Democratic Party.Listen to What Mr. Mauro Said You Must Have
Loyalty To Your Party. If This is True Than If Joe Should Lose Than He Should Support Lamont and
Not Run A Third-Party Run. This is why You Have
Voter Apathy. As Far As The List Of Founding Members For Joe New Party These People are Nothing
But Political Prostitutes!!!!

Posted by: Jim | July 12, 2006 10:28 PM

It's funny how the Lamont crowd not only attacks Lieberman's Democratic credentials, but also any other Democrat who supports him. The above article is a perfect example of that. Are they not real Democrats too? I suppose the folks at Planned Parenthood and the other liberal organizations that endoresed Lieberman aren't real Democrats either. I'm not a Tom Delay fan, but he made an interesting statement about the CT primary the other day - "You gotta love the Democrats, they are constantly eating their own". It's apparent that Lamont and his backers will "eat" anyone who supports Lieberman regardless of that person's political beliefs. They better have fun feasting now.....reality hits in November.

Posted by: r | July 12, 2006 11:16 PM

Who gives a crap ya bunch of sissy groupies. If the man believes he can make a difference, and people entrust him to attempt as much, who the hell gives a crap what a bunch of party loyalists think/want/whine? When you folks start thinking like individuals for the betterment of all individuals democracy may actually mature.. clearly not the current trend.

Oh, and WE are supposed to run this country.. no?

Posted by: Noah [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 13, 2006 7:03 AM

If that's my name, I am proud to be a weirdo.

Posted by: mojo | July 13, 2006 12:52 PM

I never cease to be amazed by the "friends" of Joseph Lieberman. These are people who for whatever reasons, have decided to support Lieberman no matter how bad his performance really is.
These same people ignore Joe's actual terrible record regarding social security. (As recently as February 2005 Joe was apparently considering privatization an option.) They turn a blind eye to Joe's willingness to help Big Pharma in its price gouging quest with a little legislative help --no doubt after some consultation with his lobbyist wife's friends. They suppress the disastrous effects of Medicare D.

They poo poo Joe's past statements regarding Clarence Thomas and his performance during the Alito confirmation, insisting that Joe is in fact a "friend" to women. They get all excited about the NARAL endorsement because it’s a sign of "librul" support, when in fact NARAL's endorsement says more about NARAL than it does about Joe. The *competent* pro-choice group NOW is endorsing Lamont.

And yet, these “friends� still insist that Joe is a friend and a good guy and they’ve known him a long time. In fact in almost every case of Lieberman’s perfidy, these “friends� have some ready facile answer as to why they think Joe was right. It stinks and it makes the rest of us suspicious. Frankly, those who support Lieberman as an Independant are a scourge to the Democratic party. Lieberman has adequately proved that he is not “one of our own.� He’s definitely not a “librul� as some right-wingers who support Joe would have us believe. Good riddance.

Posted by: Robn | July 13, 2006 1:01 PM

Sen Lieberman didn't "save" Groton; Groton saved itself by virtue of its being the most adavanced sub base in the world. The GOP's threat to shut it down was blatant extortion. Why did the Senator allow himslef and our state to be vicitimized? What was promised in return? Could it be the reflexive compromise that we've seen lately?

Posted by: Geeno | July 13, 2006 2:46 PM

Your fellow Nutmeggers are so quick to toss Lieberman under the Lamont Tour Bus, because he doesn't represent them. To quote Patton "Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance". I wouldn't go quite that far, but war is a big freakin' deal - if you disagree with my stand on the war, I really don't want you representing me regardless of your other stances. I'm sure they'd also prefer not to be called traitors by someone purporting to represent them.
Lieberman's problems are ALL of his own creation.

Posted by: teale | July 13, 2006 7:48 PM

If joe were a true democrat, he'd abide by the primary results. I am ashamed by his actions. call me a weirdo, but lamont is speaking for me...Joe stopped doing that when he accused those of us against the war of undercutting bush. Whatever ground this poor excuse for a pres. has lost is due to his own ineptitude and cockiness...a sense of entitlement...that joe seems to share,

Posted by: Steve | July 13, 2006 10:06 PM

Joe Liberman is being rejected by Democratic voters because rather than represent their views he projects his personal beliefs ahead of them. Joe has been elected by Democratic voters to represent them. He has been entrusted with the postion of "Democratic Senator from Connecticut" by the voters. He has chosen his positions and is about to feel the rejection he is due in the primary. The voters are not voting for Ned Lamont because he is so politically gifted and right on all the issues. The voters are voting aganist the pompus Junior Senator from Connecticut. I think fair warning is also due to all those good old boys and girls who are jumping ship with Joe to run as an independent candidate. We loyal Democratics will remember you- Don't Come Back, you will not be welcome. The dinasours of the past are the Baletto's, Mauro's, Segaloff's, and Fusco-Hughes. How dare you!! If Joe losses send him back to Westville, if he wins so be it. He has always been a munipulator, I expect nothing less.

Posted by: Strangerthanfiction | July 14, 2006 12:18 AM

Joe has done some great stuff over his career. He is a brilliant politician and was instrumental in moving the Dems more toward the center. I have cheered him on through all the ups and downs of his political life. He was especially effective at pushing Clinton to the center after the 1994 debacle and for staking out moral ground after the Lewinsky affair. I was very proud of him after he was selected and later elected Vice-President in the 2000 stolen election. But what is he thinking now? Joe owes his 35 year political career to the Democratic Party -- now it seems as if he is hell-bent on undermining the vehicle of his success. This lack of loyalty points to a very unflattering personal ambition. Since he pulled out of the 2004 presidential run, it's as if Joe realized he had gotten as far personally with the Dems as he could. That's when he began undercutting Kerry, pronouncing the Iraq War a success, and generally being a shill for the worst president we've ever had. My favorite was when Joe said that the illegal wiretapping without warrants "was a good program that just needed to be brought within the law." Say it ain't so Joe.

Posted by: Lou West | July 15, 2006 9:40 PM

Joe Liberman was in Farnam Court Housing Project last week shaking hands with some little black kids who don't vote, but so-called black leaders will think that is righteous and cast their vote for Liberman, but all of them are "good ole boys" who don't give a damn about poor people and black folk in particular. When was the last time that Liberman visted the trenches of the New Haven Housing Authority. You could take all the canidates running for senate and gov. and melt them down and you wouldn't get a good bar of soap, and that is not a stage joke. And what happend to the senior citizens, MIA! Not part of the election platform picture from any of the canidates.

Posted by: Ryan Turner | July 19, 2006 12:07 PM

The senator's interest in his career outside of one of the 2 examples of failed political parties here in America is the only reason I now read news concerning him. This country desperatley needs candidates who can actually lead. I am not by any means in awe of the senator's ability or motivation to lead the people, but by taking the step to be an individual rather than a party flunky he has renewed my interest in him as a person and potentially a leader. Since I do not vote for either of the major parties, he may have earned my vote.

Posted by: Jim | July 20, 2006 10:52 PM

Ryan, there may be a lot of disaffected Democrats looking for a new party after the Ned nuts take control. I am also an advocate for more than two political parties because the far left has hindered the Democratic party for too long. They are good at one thing however, and that's at getting Republicans elected.

Posted by: cwhig | July 21, 2006 9:06 AM

Joe's most recent advertisements are incredible. He has adopted without modification the "flip-flop" theme that the 2000 Bush campaign used to attack Joe's running mate Al Gore (I guess one can only say, "There he goes again"). In his most recent ad, he has the astounding gall to describe himself as "PROTECTING THE SOUND" with a panorama of what seems to be Branford Harbor--when Joe was the only New England senator to back the destructive Cheney energy bill that all but guarantees that the harbor and the Sound will be ravaged by a liquid natural gas pipeline that the state cannot prevent. So much for Liebertarian principles.

Posted by: Sam Kearse | August 1, 2006 11:22 AM

Joe Liberman's intent once he loses next
Tuesday August 8, 2006 primary is the most
SISSY type recourse he is BEST at offering.
Being that the case, might he just ought
consider changing his name also to Josephine
Liberman? Simply put Joe is a DUCK. If he
looks, like a duck,walks, like a duck, talks,
like a duck, and quacks, like a duck, trust

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