Adam Green
Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Dear Mr. Green,

The purpose of this letter is to introduce myself.  I was the first Secretary for the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, who, with Dr. John Orman and others, signed the party over to John Mertens. As such, I'm responding to Progressive Change Campaign Committee's support of
John Mertens' 2012 Connecticut Senate race. Dr. Mertens is using the Connecticut for Lieberman party for ballot access.

He is running against the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Chris Dodd. The founders of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party strenuously object to this. Splitting the Democratic party violates CFL's prime directive.

There are many groups that have organized to regurgitate negative talking point - the Tea Party and Dump Dodd campaigns are especially viral in Fairfield County.  Congressman Jim Himes caught a whiff of their planned "rage" attacks at his Town Hall meetings last summer.

You have an impressive track record of progressive activity. Before coordinating PCCC, you were a Director of Moveon.org, DNC’s Press Secretary in Oregon, and more.

So you know that there's a serious boomerang effect that hits when progressives miscalculate. Jane Hamsher is a highly respected progressive, and Firedoglakeis a main reference for liberals. Do you remember the backlash over her 'blackface' post during the Lamont campaign? It got ugly. MoveOn probably experienced a few painful repercussions after their "General Petraeus or General Betray Us" ad, too. Hopefully, we learn and move on.

Missteps can disrupt and possibly forfeit the progressive agenda. We believe in creating a cleaner, greener and stronger America, cleaning up Washington, creating a strong economy by giving the middle class the upper hand, and making the wealthiest nation on earth the healthiest.  Agreed?

That's a quote taken directly from the Democratic Senate's Issues web site.

When you Google the words "Dodd polls state," 5 million results pop up with titles like:

Polls: Chris Dodd's fighting for political life - Victoria McGrane ...

Silobreaker: Chris Dodd: Still Losing

Poll: Dodd's approval rating drops again-

Senator Dodd is Chair of the committee that's developing the bill designed to rein in Wall Street, protect consumers and help prevent another financial crisis. He's a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and is also a senior member of the HELP Committee which has jurisdiction over health care, our education system, employment, and retirement programs. Last Monday he announced a plan to help small businesses and create jobs in East Hartford. Senate seniority has the power to change and improve the system, and Sen. Dodd is using his very effectively.              

Unfortunately, he's also in serious trouble popularity and poll wise, and he's facing several well-funded Republican opponents.

Education is my pet issue, Mr. Green. Sen. Dodd talked to the Connecticut Education Association in 2009, and what he said warmed this public school teacher's heart:

Teachers know what works.  You’re the ones who can see which students are achieving and which ones are struggling," said Dodd. "And while the federal government can serve as a clearinghouse to exchange best practices and a source of funding to make your good work possible, we should be there to support you, not to throw up obstacles and barriers to success.

CEA will not endorse a candidate who supports charter schools.  Charter school are Merten's major educational push.

Speaking of endorsements the "John Mertens for U.S. Senate" Facebook page has only 40 fans today.

Connecticut polls consider the Senate race a tossup. Quinnipiac has Linda McMahon at 43% to Sen. Dodd's 41%, and Lieberman is considered more Republican (if that's possible) by a 2 to 1 margin.

John Mertens is using the anti-Lieberman platform as his main theme. Running against Sen. Dodd right now will take voters away from an already shaky campaign and the only viable Dem in the race. The Connecticut for Lieberman Party was never established to bring down a good Democrat; it was created to to shine a light on a bad one.

In October, Senator Dodd spoke to the progressive community at the Myleftnutmeg, where he stated:

There will be a negotiation, and I can't promise that every disagreement will be resolved in our favor. But I can promise that I will walk into that room prepared to fight for a strong public option, affordability provisions that protect the middle class, and common-sense protections to keep the insurance companies honest and guarantee that every American family can choose a health care plan that's right for them.

The finish line is within sight. And I, for one, am ready to hit it running.

Sen. Dodd stops by often over at MLN.  


Mr. Green, if your candidate is going to run in 2010, you and PCCC will need to convince Connecticut bloggers, reporters, and progressives that Mertens deserves support.

In October, TParty of Myleftnutmeg wrote:

The most damaging primary campaigns are those that shy away from providing real choices to voters on ideology or policy, drawing their lifeblood not from activist passion but character attacks, cynical sharp opportunism, and single-minded personal ambition.

When John Orman, I, and the other original members signed the party over to Dr. Mertens, we departed that meeting with the understanding that he  would continue CFL's original philosophy and viability as long as Sen. Lieberman was politically active.

Losing both the election against Sen. Dodd and party ballot access in 2012 was not what Dr. Orman envisioned for CFL. Therefore, it's in his memory that I and the other original founders are speaking up now.

In closing, Mr. Green, please tell me exactly how John Mertens would be a more effective candidate than our current Democratic Senator, Chris Dodd.  

Otherwise,  Mertens is just another Joe Lieberman.

Originally posted to Sprinkles on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 04:10 AM PST.

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