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Lieberman's 'Independent' Expenditures

Here's a quick Super Tuesday quiz: Which senator has contributed money to both John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)?

McCain and Lieberman
John McCain speaks with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) during a Feb. 3 campaign appearance at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. (Getty Images)

Okay, maybe that question isn't too difficult. Of course, it's Joe Lieberman (Conn.), the self-described Independent Democrat who crossed the aisle (or was he already sort of in the aisle?) to endorse McCain's presidential campaign last month.

Lieberman followed up with a column in the New York Post this week touting McCain's candidacy. And Lieberman isn't just penning op-eds; his Reuniting Our Country PAC donated $5,000 to McCain's campaign in December.

Lieberman's contribution to Clinton is of less recent vintage. Back in September 2000, his Senate reelection committee ponied up $2,000 for New York Senate 2000, a joint fundraising committee run by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for Clinton's first Senate campaign.

Back then, of course, Clinton was still first lady and trying to convince New Yorkers she was one of them, while Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate and none of those three people hated each other yet (at least not publicly).

Lieberman's party-straddling has been well-documented ever since he lost the Connecticut Democratic primary in 2006 to Ned Lamont, and then went on to be reelected anyway as an independent. Since then, his campaign contributions have grown more unconventional, and not just at the presidential level.

For example, ROC PAC gave $10,000 last year to the reelection campaign of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), his good friend on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But Lieberman's PAC has also kicked in for a few Democratic campaigns, and it sent $15,000 over to the DSCC last year ... the same DSCC that could end up using some of that money trying mightily to unseat Susan Collins, whose race Democrats are targeting as a pick-up opportunity.

Lieberman has at least been monogamous on the presidential front this year, but it will be interesting to see how hard he will campaign for McCain if the Arizonan ends up as the GOP nominee. With their two-vote margin in the Senate, Democrats can't afford to have Lieberman cross all the way over and caucus with Republicans. So they'll probably have to bite their tongues while he -- and his checkbook -- try to keep the White House (and a few Senate seats) in GOP hands.

By Ben Pershing  |  February 5, 2008; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign  
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Two vote margin or no, Lieberman should be invited to leave the Democratic Party, where is their self-respect, dignity and principles?
It is demoralizing to be sure, to be a Democrat and have this Zionist Quisling trampling all over those that brung him.

It's a disgrace and an outrage.


Posted by: Margaret. | February 5, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Margaret, you're an idiot. I could have agreed with you until you thought you were insulting Lieberman by calling him a Zionist as if it were a bad thing. Shame on you. Israel is the only democracy in the middle east and is the US's friend. And all of the candidates support Israel.

But I do think Lieberman should go over to the dark side already. And I wouldn't mind if he campaigned for McCain. That will assure the Dems the win in November

Posted by: commentator | February 5, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I just thought I would point out to Margaret that the democrats can't kick Lieberman out in 2008 ... They did that already when he ran for re-election to the Senate. They nominated another candidate and Joe ran as an Independent and won. He does caucus with them to the dems advantage, but he is an Independent, not a democrat.

Posted by: Doug | February 5, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight... Joe is a bad guy because he looks beyond people's political party to their actions and personality. Joe should be kicked out of the Democratic Party (which he did himself) because he supports people. We've gone beyond racist in this country to become partyist.

Do people even know what the Democratic party stands for anymore? Their policies run something like "Take from the middle class workers to give to the poor non-workers and you are too childish to decide what's bad for you so we'll do it for you." And the Republicans "Take from the middle class workers to give to the rich." At least the Republicans are right on trying to shrink the government, something we all need less of in our lives. Too bad they'll never actually DO it.

Posted by: Colin | February 5, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is better described as a fearmongering hawk who'll support whichever candidates are willing to go to war for Israel, with little regard for America's interests. That's where his allegiance is. Anyone who thinks Israel is a democracy had better look again. Just ask the Palestinians.

Posted by: sherry | February 6, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

OK, my bad, he's an INDEPENDENT, caucusing with the Democrats, right? And why does Lieberman choose to caucus with the Democrats? Surely you know the answer.
Is it because he has seniority in the Dem. party, so he's chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Right? And in the process can and will stab the Democrat party in the back after taking his orders from the GOP and AIPAC. Right?

Talk about the most egregious, transparently self-serving, unprincipled manipulating of our Fed. govt. at the highest levels! His conduct is one for the history books!

And please, don't blame the messenger for pointing out Lieberman's faithless conduct in his undeserved position as a Senator supposedly serving U.S. interests, first and foremost.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 6, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

comentatator states: "Israel is the only democracy in the middle east and is the US's friend."
Israel is a DEMOCRACY? Under Jewish sharia law!! Or maybe I should say Talmudic law. Anyway, religious law. And it perpetuates its Jewish majority by oppressing & excluding Palestinians born on Israeli land.
FRIEND OF THE US? spoiled brat or albatross around our neck is more like it. Israel attacked & destroyed the USS Liberty in 1967. Every year we give them more foreign aid than any other country. Now we give it in Euros, because Israel noticed the dollar was going"soft" after we doubled our national debt to take over Iraqi oil & get the pipeline from Mosul to Haifa re-established, as it was under the British protectorate. It's not up & running yet, but rest assured McCain or Clinton will keep our boys in there until it flows. Moreover, McCain or Clinton will have our boys take on Iran because some wild quote of Ahmadinejad got Israel in a funk. Because "Israel is our friend." Rather, AIPAC is the friend of certain politicians. In 2006,Israel retaliated against Lebanon ten-fold; bombing refugees, bombing a UN observation post, bombing the Beirut airport & all ports of entry, bombing an oil refinery that spilled oil up the entire coast of Lebanon. And Hillary Clinton got up on the floor of the senate & extolled how Israel was totally justified & we would be sending them more anti-personnel weapons right away.
With friends like these....

Posted by: Soldier's Mom | February 7, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Doug, you are right that Democrats can't kick Lieberman out in 2008, as they already did when he was beaten in the primary. They can, however, strip him of his committee chairmanships. Anyone want to guess how long he will keep caucusing with the Democrats once they take away his privileges? I would put money that he not only leaves to caucus with the Republicans, but that he would also act like a petulant child in the process. Principled willingness to work across the aisle? Hardly.

Posted by: Geoff | February 7, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

If McCain didn't need the Taliban wing of the GOP so badly, Holy Joe would be on his short list.

When the Dems get backbone transplants, Lieberman will be toast. Then he'll be welcomed by the GOP caucus and the CT GOP party.

I hope CT voters have a long memory about Joe's lies concerning supporting Dem ideals.

Posted by: SaltyDawg | February 7, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

First, Sherry gets it right. LIEberman is self-serving LIAR of the 1st degree. Everytime I write to his office, I end the communication with a request to switch parites. Case in point, he wrote an OP-ED critical of the Moveon "Betray-US" ad. I asked him to issue a PR when Rush Limpbalm called anti-war people "phoney solders". Nothing but silience from Joe, which was not unexpected by me.

I will point out however, that Holy Joe is still a registered DEM in CT. Despite his winning the Sen. seat from the "Conn. for Lieberman" party, the local Dem's did not throw him out. There was a push to do that, but the effort failed.

Posted by: ShorelineCT | February 7, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Among your comments I was trying to find one (!) that would not be hysterically hateful, or anti-Semitic, or both. One to have at least some semblance of balanced view, admitting Joe's many years of faithful and honest contribution to the Democratic Party. Shame on you all.
We have a Russian saying:
Wind blows, dogs bark.

Posted by: Ilia | February 8, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Joe only supports McCain because he is a hawk that will continue turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed against the Palestinians.

He'll side with anyone who is for continuing the Iraq war, which destabilizes the region for Israel's benefit.

His loyalty appears to be Israel before America.

Posted by: Observer | February 10, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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