File photo.The day following former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Connecticut in support of U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic Town Committee in Willington called a special meeting to pass a resolution asking Lieberman to support the winner of the Democratic primary and withdraw his petition to run as an independent candidate should he lose the Aug. 8 primary to his challenger, Ned Lamont. Mark Palmer, co-chair of the Willington DTC said Wednesday that if Lieberman wants the support of Democratic voters in the primary he should withdraw his bid to run as an independent. He said, as long as Lieberman petitions to run as an independent, “Then he’s not focused on the primary.” Willington is the fifth town committee to denounce Lieberman’s independent bid for re-election. Palmer said Greenwich, New Britain, Norwalk, and Hampton have passed similar resolutions.
Marion Steinfels, Lieberman’s campaign spokeswoman, said Wednesday that “as the party’s endorsed candidate, Senator Lieberman looks forward to working hard to win the Aug. 8 primary.” She said the campaign’s main focus—down to every last intern in the office—is the primary. She said she doesn’t even know which campaign volunteers, if any, are working on collecting signatures for an independent bid because “it’s just no ones focus.”“As far as I know there’s no one in any of the offices doing that,” Steinfels said. Palmer said if Lieberman wants to run as a petitioning candidate then he should withdraw from the Democratic primary. Should Lieberman’s campaign be worried the little town of Willington and its 850 registered Democrats are disgusted with its campaign strategy? Palmer says they should and here’s why:The DTC in Willington is moderate to conservative with no “wild-eyed liberal leanings” and is generally leery of anything controversial, so for them to pass a resolution is a pretty big deal, he said. Palmer said even the Republicans in town want to know more about Lamont, so “Joe must have overstepped some invisible boundary,” that the polls just won’t pick up. The latest polls have Lamont slightly ahead of Lieberman amongst likely primary voters, but Palmer said the polls don’t gauge northeastern Democratic voters very well. He said over the years he’s come to learn that if people aren’t talking about a candidate then it’s likely that candidate has already won them over. In the case of the U.S. Senate race, it’s likely voters have already changed sides and are going to vote for Lamont, Palmer said. Below is the Willington Democratic Town Committee resolution passed by a quorum of 8 members with one abstention. Palmer said an additional four members who were unable to attend the meeting wanted to vote in favor of the resolution. On July 25, 2006 at a special meeting, the Willington Democratic Town Committee passed the following resolution:WHEREAS Connecticut Junior Senator Joseph Lieberman has announced his intention to run as a candidate of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, should the Senator lose next month’s Democratic primary and, WHEREAS Senator Lieberman continues to ask for support from Willington members of the Democratic party,BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Willington Democratic Town Committee hereby deplores the intended action by Senator Lieberman to run against the Democratic nominee for United States Senate, if that nominee is not Joe Lieberman and, FURTHERMORE, The Willington Democratic Town Committee urges each Willington Democrat to contact Senator Lieberman and ask him to either withdraw from the Democratic primary forthwith or pledge forthwith to support, without obstruction, the choice of the Democratic Party voters on August 8. Willington Democratic Town Committee, July 25, 2006Mark Palmer Co-ChairRobert Jellen Co-ChairKathleen Pacholski Vice-Chair