The White House funneled millions of dollars through major Republican Party contributors to Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s primary campaign in a failed effort to ensure the support of the former Democrat for the Bush administration.
A senior GOP source said the money was part of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove's strategy to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate in November. The source said Mr. Rove, together with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, directed leading pro-Bush contributors to donate millions of dollars to Mr. Lieberman's campaign for re-election in Connecticut in an attempt that he would be a "Republican-leaning" senator.
"Joe [Lieberman] took the money but said he would not play ball," the source said. "That doesn't mean that this was a wasted investment." ("GOP")
So he "would not play ball," but, according to the article, he did take the money. Republicans are still aggressively backing Lieberman. He's going to owe them big someday.
The hope here is that, if he does win in November, he'll remember who stuck by him following his loss to Lamont. Loyalty matters to Joe Lieberman. It isn't a wasted effort by the Republicans at all. Democrats worked on Jim Jeffords for years before seeing any results.
The question to ask: why did he take the money at all?
There's more commentary at MLN and The Moderate Voice.
"GOP secretly channeled millions to Lieberman." Insight Magazine 5 September, 2006.