More than a handful of veterans and supporters of U.S. senate candidate Ned Lamont gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday to ask U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman to denounce an advertising campaign that thanks him for his support on the War. “Today what we’re seeing is the swiftboating of Ned Lamont,” George Jepsen, chairman of the Lamont campaign said. The ad Jepsen is referring to features four Connecticut veterans thanking Lieberman for having their back while they were fighting the global war on terror. “When we were over there, it was important to know that someone had our back,” one of the veterans in the commercial states. “He was there for us. Now that we’re home, we’re here for him.”
The ad was paid for by the Vets for Freedom, an organization with direct ties to Republican lobbyists and strategists. Jepsen said the ad is part of a national Republican plan to come into Connecticut and deliver a message “that is clearly wrong.” But Lieberman’s campaign said Wednesday they see nothing wrong with the ad or its message. “We appreciate the expression of support for the Senator and Connecticut’s troops,” Tammy Sun, a campaign spokeswoman said Wednesday. “Only the Lamont campaign could turn a positive ad like that into something sinister.” The nonpartisan Center for Media and Democracy noted that Vets for Freedom is the equivalent of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Republican 527 committee whose attack advertisements in the battleground states helped sink John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race by smearing him as a phony war hero and traitor to his country.“Recent research by some citizen media groups discovered the Vets for Freedom Web site was designed by The Donatelli Group/Campaign Solutions. The same group has also done work for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other Republican party-affiliated groups. Click here to read all about the connections. David Truskoff, one of the veterans who attended the rally and signed the letter to Lieberman Wednesday said what should be more important to veterans in the upcoming election is the proposed cuts to veterans benefits. He said it’s no surprise the senate has decided to put the bill on hold until after the November election. Click here for the Center on Budget Priorities analysis of the bill.