Bipartisan Support

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The New York Times has an article about campaign contributions to the Lieberman campaign. It makes much of the fact that many of his donors usually favor Republicans (most are quite small donations, by the way). Now, none of this is unusual where a long-term office holder has broad bipartisan support. But it lets the NYT jump in more or less on Lamont's side by planting a bit of innuendo.

He is drawing financial support, not unexpectedly, from interest groups that typically gravitate to incumbents. Mr. Lamont has received no contributions from political action committees, something his campaign boasts about. Instead, Mr. Lamont’s largest contributor is himself: He has already spent $2.5 million of his own money, and yesterday announced that he would personally match every dollar donated to his campaign over the Internet.

Anyone looking for evidence of Mr. Lieberman’s bipartisan appeal can find it in his roster of recent contributors, which includes organizations that traditionally give more to Republicans. They include engineering and construction firms, some with contracts in Iraq. Those firms include Bechtel, Fluor International and Siemens, which support Republicans 64 to 70 percent of the time, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign and lobbying activities.

As I mentioned, it's not at all unusual for an incumbent to draw money from sources that may traditionally lean toward another party.

Mr. Lieberman sits on the Armed Services Committee and so would be expected to draw contributions from defense firms. Also, his senior position on the Environment and Public Works Committee partly explains the donation from the contractors’ association, said Stephen E. Sandherr, the group’s chief executive, who added that other factors come into play when backing a candidate.

“We also look at where they are on tax policy, regulatory policy, being responsive to our members in our states,” Mr. Sandherr said. “He listens. He’s very responsive to our industry.”

The Ohio law firm, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, which supported both Mr. Lieberman, for re-election to his Senate seat, and George W. Bush in 2000, did not respond to a message yesterday. Neither did the Hardwood Federation, which represents the lumber industry and gives to Republicans about 80 percent of the time. That national group, whose president runs a hardwoods company in Connecticut, has contributed $7,500 to Mr. Lieberman.

“It doesn’t mean much to us,” said Sean Smith, Mr. Lieberman’s campaign manager. “If people give us money because they support us, that’s great. But Joe Lieberman is under no obligation to support them. We’re just trying to keep up with the money machine that Lamont is.”

Mr. Lieberman’s political action committee contributions were dwarfed by the donations he received from individuals, which accounted for just over $1 million between March and July.

I can't remember ever seeing an article that details who contributed to a primary campaign before. And this report presents, in great detail, who is giving and how much. Pretty low class on the part of the Times, I think.

UPDATE: And in a move sure to be greatly apprecieated by the Koz Kidz, Bill Clinton will be campaigning for Lieberman.

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