Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Antiwar Independent Republican to Enter Senate Race

You heard me.
Just when you thought the Connecticut race for the U.S. Senate could grow no odder, Republican state Representative Diana Urban today took out petitions for an independent run, creating the possibility of a four way race should Democrat challenger Ned Lamont defeat Senator Joseph Lieberman in the August 8th primary. Lieberman has also taken out petitions.

Urban, 56, will be running as an anti-war candidate and in a brief telephone interview sounded like a Republican version of Cindy Sheehan. The three term state legislator, claiming the Bush administration possesses a “flat learning curve”, says America went into Iraq for the wrong reasons. She says she was heavily influenced by recently published account of the war, Cobra II. On a more philosophical level, she cleaves to the Sun-Tzu’s Art of War, declaring that her campaign strategy comes from him: “The path will reveal itself to you.” (from The National Journal's Hotline On Call)

Urban won't be giving up her seat in the state House of Representatives' 43rd district: she's unopposed in that race.

A note of caution: I've only seen this story appear on Hotline On Call. No AP article, not a mention elsewhere. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it pans out.

(Thanks to Aldon Hynes for catching this one)


BRubenstein said...

Folks...could someone please list the 25 democrats who founded Joe's new party..and is there any truth to the rumor that several of the founder's are JDS insiders? If that is so, its a real stupid move by JDS folks ( im starting to think my donation of $2500. was stupid)that DM could use to make some hay with ( if he has the balls)

MikeCT said...

Great news for Lamont! Lieberman, Urban, and Schlesinger can split up Republicans and right-leaning unaffiliateds.

Her way will become clear:
On a more philosophical level, she cleaves to the Sun-Tzu’s Art of War, declaring that her campaign strategy comes from him: “The path will reveal itself to you.”

And this? What a joker!
Urban is not giving up her race for re-election to the state legislature

So we've got, Lamont, Lieberman, Schlesinger, Urban, and maybe Ferrucci and Mertens. Whew!

Here's the list of Lieberman signers. Several from New Haven. One signer has been generous to Republicans.

MikeCT said...

tparty points out the weird irony of it all:
Whatever happens, though, it seems certain that Sen. Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) will be the most pro-Bush candidate on the November ballot when it comes to Iraq.

Gabe said...

Does anything get any more interesting than this race?

The True Gentleman said...

The MLB All-Star Game?

GMR said...

Is a Libertarian running in this race too? Will either this woman or the Libertarian crack the 0.5% threshold?

And what's up with ballot access law in Connecticut? In 2000, you had Lieberman running simultaneously for VP and Senator; in 2006 you've got Lieberman apparently running in the primary and then if that doesn't work, in the general, and now you've got this woman running for Senator and State Rep.

Seriously, it seems ridiculous that if you run in a primary and lose, then you can just switch parties or go indy and run in the general. Kind of makes the whole point of having a primary, well, pointless. Doesn't the state foot the bill for primaries and elections? Shouldn't it have some sort of say in making the primary have some sort of significance besides what line # you are on the November ballot?

And running simultaneously for two offices also seems crazy. You can't possibly serve in both of them, so why shouldn' there be a restriction saying that you can only get on the ballot if, well, you are going to actually be able to hold office. I mean, if you were born in a foreign country or are under 35, you can't qualify for the Presidential ballot, can you? Because you couldn't possibly take that office.

Weicker Liker said...

Today's New London Day On Urban...

Republican state Rep. Diana S. Urban of North Stonington launched a last-minute campaign for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, filing an application to petition her way into the already crowded race against Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
Urban, who frequently has been at odds with the leaders of her party, said in an interview that she had made up her mind to challenge Lieberman after passing on a state Senate bid, and at the repeated urging of friends and supporters in her House district, the 43rd, which includes Stonington and North Stonington.

Her reasons for entering the race, she said, include opposition to the war in Iraq, a feeling that the country is ignoring its responsibilities on education and global warming, and that her record is more substantial than that of either of Lieberman's other challengers.

An economics professor, Urban has served in the legislature since 2001 and is unopposed in her race to keep her current seat.

“The only thing that I can say to you is that I have a record, and you can look at my record,” Urban said, an implicit jab at Ned Lamont, the Greenwich businessman and political neophyte who is challenging Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Lamont's campaign is built around his opposition to the war.

“All I can tell people is 'examine the record,' ” Urban said. “I am not a one-issue person and I have proven it.”

She said she plans to remain a Republican and that she saw no incongruity in running against Lieberman on the grounds that he has been too supportive of a Republican president and Congress.

“I am a Republican in the Lincoln/Teddy Roosevelt ilk,” she said. “That's what I am; that's the party I represent. I don't know where it is, and if you find it would you please tell me?”

Urban's petition effort, which came as a surprise to those who learned of it Tuesday, further complicates the re-election fight for Lieberman, the Democrat who already faces a well-financed primary challenge from Lamont, who made millions of dollars on a cable television company, Lamont Digital.

Lieberman has taken the unusual move of circulating petitions of his own to enable him to stay in the race if he loses to Lamont in an Aug. 8 primary, and forming a new party, Connecticut for Lieberman, that will guarantee him a line of his own on the ballot.

And the senator already has a Republican opponent: former state Sen. Alan Schlesinger, who has said he thinks the potential three-way race with Lamont and Lieberman gives him a better chance to steal a seat from the Democrats, who have held it for 18 years.

Given those factors, the response to Urban's filing was virtually uniform befuddlement.

“I guess I have four words: I don't get it,” said Rep. Lawrence Cafero, R- Norwalk, the deputy minority leader who is likely to be voted minority leader after the election in the fall.

“I presume she doesn't believe at this stage in the race ... that she is going to get anywhere,” Cafero said, when asked how he expected Urban's decision to be received by fellow Republicans. “Some might think it's a publicity stunt for herself, but I believe she's running unopposed (for her legislative seat). That's why I guess I would say ... I don't get it.”

Party officials waved off the importance of Urban's move, saying her decision to run against their endorsed candidate would not damage the party's chances of unseating Lieberman.

“I guess my feeling on that is that if Diana wants to run as an independent or the Diana Urban party, that's fine,” said George Gallo, the party's chairman. “I don't anticipate her taking many votes, if any votes, from any Republican candidate.”

“I don't think when Diana Urban does such a thing that it's a sign of being fractured on the Republican side at all,” Cafero said. “To my knowledge, she doesn't speak for anyone in the party. She certainly doesn't speak for the House Republican caucus.”

Schlesinger was considerably sunnier on the issue.

“The more the merrier,” he said. “The more the vote gets split up, the better my chance is.”

Both the Lieberman and Lamont campaigns said they were too focused on the looming primary effort to put much stock in Urban's potential candidacy.

“Our focus is on August 8, and we look forward to facing her in the general election as the Democratic nominee,” said Marion Steinfels, a spokeswoman for Lieberman's campaign.

“It could very well complicate things for the general election,” said Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager. “But we're focused entirely on the primary, and confident that we're going to be victorious.”

He added that it would require a significant effort for Urban just to qualify for the ballot, noting that Lieberman is using a significant number of volunteers and staffers to collect his own petition signatures.

“The idea of completing that many petitions is going to be very difficult,” he said. “I think even Lieberman will have difficulty with that.”

Urban was nonchalant about the odds against her should she make it into the race, not the least of which would be the potentially huge financial advantages for both Lamont, who has put $2 million of his own money into his campaign thus far, and Lieberman, whose campaign has raised nearly $6 million, according to his most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.

“We don't have any money,” Urban said, laughing. “We have nothing except people that believe in me. That's all I have. I don't have enough money to pay my frigging taxes.”

Urban said she had been driven in part to consider running against Lieberman after she backed out of a run for the state Senate earlier this year, allowing fellow Rep. Lenny Winkler, R-Groton, to take the party's nomination.

“I was enormously frustrated, because I have a phenomenal amount of things to say,” Urban said.

Citing the ancient Chinese scholar Sun Tzu's “The Art of War,” Urban said that the “pathway” had been revealed to her as she grew frustrated with Lieberman and with his two opponents.

“I can't sit this one out,” she said.

Urban also seemed unconcerned about how Republicans would react to her drive to join the race, coming months after Schlesinger won the nomination, and implicitly criticizing the party's choice to take on Lieberman.

“I expect that the people I represent in my district will applaud this,” she said. “Because that's why I'm elected. Do I think that the central party will be annoyed? Yes, I do. But I'm not running as a party person, I'm running as me.”

Friction with her party is nothing new: Urban has frequently voted against the majority of the legislature's Republicans. Her boyfriend, Rep. Steve Fontana, D-North Haven, is vice chairman of the Connecticut Democrats, and rank-and-file Republicans have grumbled in recent sessions that she sometimes seems more a part of the opposing caucus than their own.

“Even if I don't get it done,” Urban said, “I can make a hell of a lot of noise.

Quarterly Prophet said...

Folks...could someone please list the 25 democrats who founded Joe's new party..and is there any truth to the rumor that several of the founder's are JDS insiders? If that is so, its a real stupid move by JDS folks ( im starting to think my donation of $2500. was stupid)that DM could use to make some hay with ( if he has the balls)

Here's the list:
william f. henderson III, niantic
lynn fusco hughes, guilford
bishop theodors l. brooks, sandra mckinnie, dominic f. balletto jr., vincent mauro jr., william donahue, john courtemanche, eileen m. donahue, nicholas neely, barbara segaloff, all new haven
mary m. heslin, barbara hennessy, both hartford
juan a. morales, tolland
mary ellen cody, south glastonbury
patricia m. russo, new canaan
carla squatrito, manchester
kiley gosselin, suffield
charles j. duffy, new london
susanne brody, greenwich
cleveland christophe, harold bernstein, both stamford
harvey f. bellin, weston
wiley mullins, easton
william j. carroll, stratford
daniel papermaster, beth papermaster, west hartford
john r. o'connor, west haven
robert c. shanley, orange

I copied that from a post from My Left Nutmeg. I don't follow JDS that much, but Lynn Fusco is/was a fairly big fundraiser for him, and she's been handsomely awarded.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Lest Bruce Rubenstein and others accuse me of being strictly partisan; along comes Urban.

Clearly a bit of a loon; and a disloyal one at that.

A Republican only Weicker could love.

Of course those types are never Authentic Republicans.

Genghis Conn said...

Weirdly, I could see at least a few Lamont votes heading her way should Lamont lose the primary. I know they'll say they won't, but given a choice between Lieberman, Schlesinger and Urban...

The True Gentleman said...

Urban appears to be a Republican in registered party affiliation only...she shouldn't take away many votes from Alan Schlesinger.

Anonymous said...

Chris Murphy would get reelected to his senate seat without a problem, even while running against Nancy Johnson. So I thought he dropped out of his senate race because it is illegal (under CT law) to simultaneously run for a state and federal seat. Lieberman ran for two federal seats (VP & US Senate), so that was different. But I'm not an expert on this stuff.

Janet said...

Urban consistently votes with the Democrats in the General Assembly.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if her voting records show that she votes with Democrats more often than with Republicans.

During a vote in the General Assembly, it is not uncommon to see all of the Republicans voting red, and Urban being the only green vote in her party.

David said...

To the long-time Democratic hacks who signed onto the the Cult of Joe Party, I say don't come back to the Democratic Party after the election - if you were ever in the party based on principles. John Bailey IS spinning in his grave.


BrassBoy said...

Chris Murphy would most certainly NOT be re-elected to his state senate seat without a problem if he ran simultaneously for Congress or even if he had decided to simply run for re-election.

He has very little support in Waterbury, even from his own party and had a tough fight in Wolcott against an very inexperienced candidate in 2004. His support in Sounthington is what carried the day.

However, some would say that he has earned a reputation as an opportunist and carpetbagger and, given the right candidate (Sam Caligiuri?) he would have had a much tougher time this year if he were up again for state senate.

I for one, as a resident of his district who never, ever sees him (except for those flyers his office occassionally sends out), will be glad to see him defeated by Johnson and replaced by a new senator in Hartford.

BrassBoy said...

Representative McCluskey... I know this may be a small point, but for those of us who believe in smaller government, as well as the elimination of the permenent governing class that seems to prevail up in Hartford, it is an important point:

I notice your profile lists your occupation as State Representative.

Since when is that an occupation???

janes1978 said...

I've noticed a lot of criticsm about Chris Murphy supporting Lieberman - I saw a posting yesterday on his blog that says he will support whoever wins the primary so please Lamont supporters - lay off.

amazins860 said...

As a Lamont supporter and someone who was going to support Chris (but will focus my energy on Ned) i'm mad because while Murphy says he is going to support the primary winner he continues to campaign with Joe (he was on national FOX NEWS) last week with Joe). So in my book he supports Joe and will continue to support Joe.

The True Gentleman said...

Maybe Chris Murphy prefers Senator Lieberman's overall ideas instead of Mr. Lamont's because he sees that there is a bigger picture than just the war in Iraq. I don't know this for sure, it's just a thought.

BigGulpzHuh said...

It will be fun to watch Chris try and kiss and make up with Ned and his supporters once Ned wins.

HuskyFan06 said...

How can he pull that off? Won't Ned be mad he wasn't with him from the beginning not to mention that he was on Fox News with Lieberman?

BRubenstein said...

I see some JDS insiders of the signer's to Joe's cult of personality party ( Balett,Fusco,et al) and a few DM supporters...but mostly JDS supporters...

I dont think Urban hurts Lamont...she might hurt As..if she qualifies.

BRubenstein said...

ACR..Id never say you are a "loon"..you are funny and should consider doing some standup comedy..lord knows we need a good laugh or two.

IAmBatman537 said...

Believe me Murphy isn't as progressive as you think Ned supporters - he is a closet Republican who only decided to become a Democrat when he realized his chances to win public office would be better. It's the same reason he has moved ummmm 5 times in the past two years - he sees an opening and he takes it.

bluecoat said...

I see Ms. Urban reads this blog but has no military advisers - like Ned and Alan,

Anonymous said...

Just what Connecticut needs: More Urban sprawl!

[Ask around.]

David said...

To Brass Boy;

The occupation I use for my blog is state rep because the blog I have - which I haven't updated in a bit - is political/legislative/state issues in nature. I am a staff person for the CT State Employee Association. I have worked for public sector unions since 1990 long before I decided to run for office. It is what I have for me in the Blue Book.

BRubenstein said...

David...hi ..why is that guy beating you up? He shoud be glad someone is paying him attention

BrassBoy said...

David - Fair enough. As I said, it is a small point, but one I thought was worth asking for the reasons given.

BR - I don't recall beating anyone up, simply asking a question and stating my reason why.

But golly, I'm just happy someone is paying attention to me.

(C'mon BR, isn't this the part where you recite your political resume and call me ignorant?)

bluecoat said...

Occupation: Legislator it says on Rep. Tymniak's official House page. What a ridiculous discourse btween Brass Boy and David...all the legislators get paid for their work and all of them pay FICA - it's a job

The True Gentleman said...

part-time job

MightyMouse1 said...

JDS is now not a progressive? I am confused.

bluecoat said...

no argument TG< but Tymniak lists her occupation as legislator, which is just fine with me; some of them say "retired" for their occupation; I am retired but I never considered it an occupation.

The True Gentleman said...

I'm not retired = I need to stop posting so much.

BrassBoy said...

It is a part-time job and NOT an occupation.

Unless you count the career legislators, FROM BOTH PARTIES, up in Hartford.

I never said it was an earth shattering discussion or that it mattered in the grand scheme of things. Merely worth pointing out. Besides, if it is so ridiculous, why are you commenting on it?

Sorry, I'll let everyone get back to blathering on about that evil Bush-lover, Joe Lieberman and the cute and fuzzy, oh so cuddly anti-war savior, Ned Lamont...

MightyMouse1 said...

bluecoat, are you retired from DOT?

CTKnows said...

Rell is calling the shots on Urban ... Alan S may be going bye bye

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for Ned Lamont to change his mind and get petition signers too. He is so confident he is going to win But he will be out in the cold when the results are read and he isnt the Democratic Candidate.

Hooray for Connecticut!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Schlesinger has a gambling problem?


MikeCT said...

Just when you thought it couldn't get weirder. Schlesinger is out? Thus far, Kevin Rennie has been a reliable source.

Anonymous said...

Well, I now know who inherited all of Syd Barrett's acid when he passed on....CT politicians!!!!

Chris MC said...

Urban sounds like Lamont with an (R). And if Schlesinger bounces, however that happens, then what you have is a moderate Republican woman running on line A in November.

Shucks, who saw that one coming?! ;-)

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

Chris MC said... "a moderate Republican woman "

There's nothing "moderate" about Bush bashing.

She should either switch partys or do the honorable thing and run the hoover hose in from her (I suspect a Toyota or Honda, maybe even one of those feel-good dweebmobile hybrids) car.

www.mertens2006.com said...

I disagree with mikect... If Lamont does win the primary, Urban on the ballot could attract anti-war votes that would have gone to Lamont. So, I think Lamont would be better off in a four way race: Lieberman, Schlesinger, Lamont, Mertens (yes, that's me, the Independent Party), than he would in a five way race with Urban thrown in the mix.

Who am I? Look at my webpage. www.mertens2006.com