The Bull Moose and Whig parties have nothing on Connecticut for Lieberman.
Despite the fact that the its enigmatic namesake is retiring from the Senate in less than six months, CFL still has 79 members, according to the latest voter registration totals from the secretary of the state’s office.
Joe Lieberman’s supporters created the small party in 2006 after he lost the Democratic Senate primary to Greenwich cable television entrepreneur Ned Lamont.
The party has even picked up three new members since the start of 2012, two of whom are in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket, according to the SOTS.
Lieberman went on to win re-election as an independent, inflaming many Democrats, though he still caucuses with his old party.
Connecticut for Lieberman still maintains a website and is holding a caucus to nominate candidates at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at Javapalooza at 330 Main St. in Middletown.
Or, as Lieberman would bill it, a Cup of Joe.
Hearst Connecticut Media Group is co-sponsoring a debate between Democrats U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy and former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, who are competing in August’s primary to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
Other sponsors are the Connecticut League of Women Voters and Cablevision.
The July 22 debate at Bridgeport’s Klein Memorial Auditorium will feature questions built on the best of readers’ submissions.
If you have a question you’d like to offer, please email it to Senatedebate@ctpost.com by Thursday, July 19.
Murphy is the endorsed candidate.
Both campaigns recently launched television ads that ignore each other and attempt to focus on their own strengths/accomplishments.
Bysiewicz aired her first ad in late June and last week launched a second.
And here’s Murphy’s ad.
Folks involved in politics often complain the atmosphere is so poisoned by partisanship and a general disdain for elected officials that it is hard to recruit candidates.
But according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the number of uncontested General Assembly seats in Connecticut is the lowest since 1998.
Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is reporting today that the number of General Assembly races not contested by a major party in 2012 is nearly 41% lower than the same figure reported in 2010. Only 32 of 187 seats for State Senate or State House lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate this year as compared with 54 total contests unchallenged by a major party in 2010 (a decline of 40.7%). The 17.1% of General Assembly races uncontested by a major party marks the lowest such figure since these numbers were first tracked in 1998 when 26.7% of races were uncontested by a major party.
“I am very encouraged to see so many candidates stepping up and running for office, especially in a year when there are numerous retirements from the Connecticut General Assembly,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “The decline in State Senate and State House races not contested by a major party means more Connecticut citizens are becoming involved in our elections. We would still like to see even less seats left unchallenged by a major party. It is probably not a coincidence that the sharp decline in uncontested General Assembly seats since 2008 has happened with the introduction of clean campaign financing of legislative races through the Citizen’s Election Program. It is clear that public campaign financing is having its intended effect, which is to motivate more of our citizens to take ownership of the political process. Connecticut must continue to be a national leader when it comes to clean election laws.”
In State Senate races, five of 36 (13.9%) contests lack a major party candidate, the lowest since 1998 when again just five of 36 races went unchallenged. In races for the State House, only 27 of the 151 district races (17.9%) are uncontested, the lowest percentage of unchallenged elections in that same time period.
The number of General Assembly races uncontested by a major party for 2012 has decreased significantly from those of the past several election cycles. The number of races in which a major party has not fielded a candidate for the State Senate has diminished considerably from 2006 when nine of 36 races (25%) went uncontested. In 2008, seven (19.4%) State Senate races were uncontested by Republicans or Democrats and in 2010 that number dropped to six (16.7%). The most dramatic decline in races uncontested by a major party, however, can be seen in elections for the State House of Representatives. In 2006, 62 races for house seats (41%) lacked a major party candidate, while in 2008, 53 races (35%) remained uncontested. In 2010 the number of uncontested races by a major party was still high at 48 (31.8%). This year, however, that percentage has been cut significantly to 27 (17.9%). In 2008, public campaign financing for Connecticut General Assembly races became available for the first time through the Citizen’s Election Program. That year some 250 of 343 General Assembly candidates, equivalent to 73% of those running, elected to use the clean elections program to finance their campaigns. In 2010, 252 of 362 General Assembly candidates, equivalent to approximately 70% of those running, elected to use the program. Thus, the vast majority of sitting legislators came to office free of special interest money.
Secretary Merrill is also reminding voters that statewide primaries for registered Democrats and Republicans are quickly approaching on August 14th. To register to vote by mail, voter registration cards must be received by the local Registrar of Voters by August 9th. The last day for in person registration at town offices is Monday, August 13th at 12:00 p.m. Unaffiliated voters face those same deadlines if they wish to register with a major party and vote in the primary. Voters can go to www.sots.ct.gov to learn how to register to vote, find polling locations, and download absentee ballots and candidate lists.
Linda McMahon wasted little time plugging the hole in her press shop.
The Republican Senate contender has named Tim Murtaugh as the new communications director of her campaign.
Murtaugh previously handled press for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Republican Governors Association, as well as the Republican Party of Virginia and former Va. attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore.
He is the second major McMahon hire with strong ties to Virginia, the other being her media adviser, Chris LaCivita.
Murtaugh appears to be comfortable coming in from the bullpen.
He recently did press for New York Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, whose previous flack resigned after urging people to “hurl some acid” at Democratic female lawmakers.
Murtaugh succeeds Erin Isaac, who left McMahon’s campaign last week to return to her native Florida for unspecified family reasons.
The National Football League is calling an audible on its widely-criticized and longstanding TV blackout policy.
So long as at least 85 percent of tickets are sold for each home date, the game will be shown in the home TV market, a departure from the previous threshold.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., had been among the more vocal critics of the old policy, which required teams to sellout home games 72 hours before kickoff to avoid a blackout.
He issued the following statement about the NFL’s decision to relax the policy:
“Sports blackouts are a disservice and deterrent to fans who love rooting for their favorite teams and watching them play,” Blumenthal said. “I welcome the NFL’s decision to modify its policy on blackouts by giving team owners the option to locally broadcast games even when they are not sold out. This new policy is a step in the right direction. Fans should be able to root for and watch their favorite teams even when they cannot attend in person. I will continue to give sports fans in Connecticut and across the nation a voice by working to prevent industry abuses like blackouts.”
Only 6 percent of games were blacked out last season, but overall attendance is down over the last five years for the NFL, which prides itself as the most profitable pro sports league.
Individual teams can set their own blackout threshold, but it must be above 85 percent ticket sales mark.
But the lower the percentage set by each franchise, the more revenue they have to share with other teams, under the policy change.
Linda McMahon has a new messenger.
Erin Isaac is leaving her $144,000-a-year post as communications director for McMahon’s Senate campaign.
The 34-year-old flack quietly reached out to members of the Connecticut press corps to say that this will be her last week on the job and that she is returning to her native Florida for unspecified family reasons.
Isaac previously worked as communications director for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a position she resigned from in November 2009.
The transition in McMahon’s press shop is already underway, according to Isaac.
Kate Duffy, the deputy communications director, will handle media inquiries and requests for comment for the time being.
Campaign finance records show that Duffy makes $102,000 before taxes.
Word of Isaac’s departure from Team Linda just five weeks before the Aug. 14 Republican primary raised eyebrows, including those of her counterpart with the rival campaign of Christopher Shays, Amanda Bergen.
“I wish her well,” Bergen said.
There is proof indeed that summer interns don’t just answer telephones.
Her name is Linda McMahon.
Once again the favorite to win the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, as she did two years ago, McMahon is enlisting summer interns to help with the yeoman’s task of phone banking.
Did we mention that some of McMahon’s interns are paid?
Yep, that’s right, $10 an hour, per McMahon’s campaign, which confirmed that over 100 high school and college-age students are on its team.
CLARIFICATION: McMahon spokeswoman Kate Duffy says that there was a miscommunication by the campaign and that those interns who do the phone banking are unpaid but receive college credit. Others, she said, do get paid.
Beats flippin’ burgers.
Or, as one person who knows a thing or two about campaigns put it, “McMahon pays better than ACORN.”
The interns are scattered among McMahon’s six campaign field offices, including her North Haven headquarters.
In addition to interns, McMahon is using unpaid volunteers to help her connect with voters before the Aug. 14 primary.
McMahon’s campaign is trying to reach out to every registered Republican, in addition to unaffiliated voters, who can still enroll with the GOP in time for the primary.
That’s 1,228,740 telephone calls, which is broken down into 411,111 Republicans and 817,629 unaffiliated voters.
But who’s counting?