Vote on Tuesday

I never know how many people read this page and have no clue how many are from Connecticut but today, this is addressed to those living in my state.

On Tuesday, there will be a Primary to determine the Democratic Party’s representatives for the office of US State Senator and Governor. No surprise here, it’s been all over the news for months now.

While I’ll talk about the guys I’m backing, I’m not doing anything more than urging registered Democrats in the state to go out and make your vote count. Some, even this late in the process, are undecided and now’s the time to start making up your mind.


Our Senators and Congressman serve our interests in Washington and the yardstick to measure each is a little different. After all, two Senators represent the entire state while we have five Congressmen responsible for sections of the state. A Senator should be a statesman, looking after the state’s best interests as legislation is considered. A Senator should also be a leader, someone to look after all American’s best interests. You may not always agree with the official, but you should at least respect what he says and does.

Joe Lieberman did a great thing in protecting the sub base in Groton from closing. He looked after the state. Connecticut, though, still ranks pretty low on the chart of tax dollars flowing back into the State, and after three terms, one would expect better.

Joe as a leader, though, has not done a good job of asking the hard questions of the Administration. It’s not just the Iraq war. It’s pretty much everything the current administration has done, from strangling the facts from seeing print in scientific studies to the steady erosion of citizens’ rights. Joe’s been pretty quiet and isn’t necessarily being effective in looking after the peoples’ interests.

Joe also is a declared Democrat. He therefore represents the interests and point of view of the party that elected him to office. While his voting record reads like a Democrat, he certainly has blurred the definition given his public statements in support of the Administration, and yes, here it’s mostly about our activities in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

It’s this culmination of things that has personally soured me on Joe and why I’ll be voting for Ned Lamont. Now, Ned’s a self-made millionaire, has had only a smattering of government experience, and is seen as the anyone-but-Joe alternative. His campaign strategy hasn’t gotten the word out regarding what he stands for beyond the Iraq war. The media has pretty much turned this into a one issue debate and it’s more than that. Ned’s got ideas on other Federal issues, but he’s not communicating effectively nor is the media doing its part to cover the full scope of differences between the candidates.

For the state, the choice between Dan Malloy, mayor of Stamford, and John DeStefano, mayor of New Haven, is tougher. Their stand on the various state issues are pretty similar, their plans both viable.

A while back, I talked about my experiences at my first-ever State Democratic Convention. I got to see the wheeling and dealing and passion demonstrated by the candidates (all except Joe Lieberman who was observing the Sabbath and cannot be faulted for that). I got to see Dan and John in action and was convinced John was my choice. His organization wasn’t strong enough, and he stayed out of sight during the madness of the afternoon. Still, he emerged a fighter and has been leading in the polls ever since.

John’s stand on the issues can be found here.

I think it’s pretty telling that a Stamford resident has repeatedly said to me, “I live in Stamford, I’ve spoken with Dan, I’ve seen what’s been going on. Vote for John.”

Regardless of who wins the primary on Tuesday, the candidate will have a very tough time trying to defeat Jodi Rell, the incumbent who has done quite a lot of good for the state since she succeeded the disgraced John Rowland. She’s certainly not perfect nor do I like everything about her agenda but she’s enjoying something like a 70% approval rating and that’s hard to beat.

Still, I urge you to make a stop at your polling place between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. and cast your ballot.

7 comments

  • >I got to see the wheeling and dealing and passion demonstrated by the candidates (all except Joe Lieberman who was observing the Sabbath and cannot be faulted for that).>I got to see the wheeling and dealing and passion demonstrated by the candidates (all except Joe Lieberman who was observing the Sabbath and cannot be faulted for that).< Actually I do fault him. I want a 7 day a week Senator. One whose religious rites and rituals are not so powerful they take precedence over his job as senator. If Joe can't go to a convention, then he can't go and vote if need be. IMO Anyhow, I'm voting for Ned Lamont and DeStefano also. I also think the Democrats should bitch-slap Lieberman if he runs as an Independent. It's just another example of Joe trying to straddle both camps and have it both ways with Joe coming out on top no matter what. Very nice blog!

  • The way the media have been portraying Lieberman and Lamont is fascinating, and I think you’ve hit on a lot of it here.

    The fact is that Lieberman has voted with the Democratic party’s recommendations roughly 90% of the time. But despite his record, he’s being portrayed as if he’s been in the Republican camp for years. As for Lamont, all anyone wants to report about him is that he’s against the war. There’s very little being reported on how he stands on other issues, making his campgain out to be a one-issue campaign — and from what I understand, it’s not.

    I’ve liked Lieberman’s voting record for the most part, but in the past few months I’ve been very surprised by his actions. Announcing that he’s going to run as an independent if he loses the Democratic primary…that’s just wrong. That’s putting himself ahead of the party to which he presumably is loyal. And it’s a strategy that will most likely backfire for him and be bad for the Democrats.

    I do want to point out one thing to marybishop, however, which is that Lieberman did in fact serve as a seven day a week senator. Whenever the Senate was having a vote on Saturday, he would spend the sabbath at the home of his friend Senator Al Gore, who lives within walking distance of the Senate. A state convention falls into a somewhat different category, and I don’t think people should fault him for skipping it if it falls on the sabbath.

  • Michael…yes Gore put the lights on and off for him…Thank god for Gore!!!!!!!!

    I’m sorry that’s not the person I want representing me. Someone who needs a Goy to exist.

    Also, his walk cost tax payers more money for more security so he could walk.

    Say Gore died and all other goys died…what would he be able to do without offending his god who said: thou shall not put on the light.

    Do gods say that? In the year 2006 can we be so literal that one has to take whatever the “god rule” is to that extreme?

    Show me a god who is going to put us in hell for turning on a light switch and I’ll show you a fabrication of a sick mind.

  • Mary,

    I’m honestly trying to figure out how to respond to your attacks on Orthodox Judaism here. Are you looking for honest answers to the questions you pose? If so, I will try to engage. But if not, then I’ll just leave it alone.

    Best,
    Michael

  • Michael, I’m responding to your comment: “I do want to point out one thing to marybishop, however, which is that Lieberman did in fact serve as a seven day a week senator. Whenever the Senate was having a vote on Saturday, he would spend the sabbath at the home of his friend Senator Al Gore, who lives within walking distance of the Senate.”

    In my opinion, I do not want an elected official whose religion (any religion!) keeps him from being able to serve his consituency on a full time basis.

    Religiosity and piety are not qualities I am looking for in a politician, rather the ability to represent all consituents fairly, with an open mind and with one’s full attention.

    I don’t want “state” to affect “church” or vice versa.

    In my opinion, since Bush took office, religion has become way too entwined with politics.

    Personally, I don’t believe in the supernatural.

    Not everyone in the state of Connecticut is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even Scientologists.

    Ergo I am not big on any person whose religion (any religion at all, I must repeat) imposes rules, rituals, rites or wrongs that will affect his/her ability to serve my state or my country.

    This is just my opinion Michael.

  • I have to say that I agree that religion has become far too entwined with politics these days. And I can understand wanting a politician representing you who you feel will do the job to your satisfaction. But my concern in your last post was more based on what I think are two misconceptions as to how a Modern Orthodox Jew would act (which I believe is the way that Lieberman identifies himself).

    In particular, your comment “Show me a god who is going to put us in hell for turning on a light switch and I’ll show you a fabrication of a sick mind” seems to imply that you believe that Judaism actually says this. In fact, Judaism as practiced today doesn’t actually include the concept of a “hell” within it — and certainly doesn’t say that violating the sabbath restrictions will lead to a person going to hell.

    As for what would happen should all the non-Jews die (I prefer the term non-Jew to goy), again, Modern Orthodoxy acknowledges the need for sometimes breaking certain rules. For example, there is the concept of pikuach nefesh, which essentially states that in order to save a life, one is in fact obligated to break shabbat restrictions. Some have argued that an Orthodox Jewish president would of course be able to perform vital duties on the sabbath — and in fact, would be obligated to do so.

    So when you said, “Say Gore died and all other goys died…what would he be able to do without offending his god who said: thou shall not put on the light,” the answer is that he would be able to do quite a bit. If, for example, a horrible attack had occurred on the sabbath and somehow Lieberman (as Vice-President) had found himself running the country, he would be obligated to break any sabbath restrictions necessary in order to perform the duites of his office.

  • Karen

    If all non-Jews suddenly did not exist, then I doubt anyone still here would really mind that much if Joe did not work on the Sabbath. That said, I wonder if you would be quite so ready to get rid of the Sabbath if we were talking about Sundays? Not much goes on in most of the country on this Christian religious day. Except commerce, of course. The real religion in this country anymore.