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Friday, October 27, 2006

Bloomberg to the rescue

Bloomberg Sends Troops to Help Lieberman

Published: October 28, 2006

In his battle for re-election to the United States Senate without the backing of the Democratic Party, Joseph I. Lieberman is deploying a secret weapon in the race’s closing days: a sophisticated operation to identify and turn out voters, courtesy of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City.

The Bloomberg group includes several top-level operatives who played key roles in the mayor’s decisive re-election last year or who are in the administration, and have taken leaves from their jobs to work on Mr. Lieberman’s campaign.

Since Mr. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in Connecticut to Ned Lamont, they have helped open campaign offices, devised a strategy to reach voters and are corralling enough volunteers to cover 2,800 shifts at more than 700 polling sites on Election Day, Nov. 7.

Given that Mr. Lieberman does not have a party apparatus to help build his field operation, the efforts of the Bloomberg team could prove critical in one of the most closely watched races in the nation.

“There is no independent network,” said Stu Loeser, Mr. Bloomberg’s chief spokesman, who played the same role in the re-election effort. “To a certain extent, we were the last independent campaign.”

The workers on loan are the most vivid example yet of how Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican who often breaks with his party on issues, could build a permanent political apparatus to support like-minded independent candidates across the country — if not a national bid for himself.

With his re-election bid behind him, Mr. Bloomberg is relishing his role as kingmaker, endorsing Gov. Rod Blagojevich in Illinois and Gov. M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, raising money for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California and appearing in a television ad for Representative Christopher Shays in Connecticut. (Mr. Blagojevich is a Democrat; the others are Republicans.)

But his work for Mr. Lieberman, which includes substantial fund-raising and Mr. Bloomberg’s first out-of-state stumping in addition to the gift of manpower, marks his most intense and direct engagement in someone else’s political bid. It may not only broaden his image of nonpartisan, influence-free pragmatism, but it could also test how well his political machine can function in an independent campaign with national repercussions.

Just after losing the Democratic primary, Mr. Lieberman’s campaign enlisted Josh Isay, who had worked on Mr. Bloomberg’s re-election campaign, as the new media consultant. From his administration, the mayor dispatched Korinne Kubena, the chief of staff to Kevin Sheekey, a deputy mayor who oversaw Mr. Bloomberg’s two mayoral campaigns, to direct the get-out-the-vote effort for Mr. Lieberman. Brian Honan, who was the deputy field director in the mayoral campaign and now works in the Bloomberg administration’s state lobbying operation, is serving as Ms. Kubena’s deputy.

Ariel Dvorkin, an administration aide, is helping compile a voter database for Mr. Lieberman; Josh Gold, who was on Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign field staff, is now the deputy director of Mr. Lieberman’s Stamford campaign office; and Neil Giacobbi, who became chief of staff to City Councilman David Yassky after running the volunteer effort for Mr. Bloomberg, is the director of the Lieberman office in Stamford.

“The mayor has obviously decided to try to make a difference in a few races in which he believes in the candidate,” Mr. Sheekey said. “In some places you can help them by doing a fund-raiser in New York, others where you can help by showing up for a day, and others where you can help by putting folks on the ground.”

Lieberman aides say that Mr. Bloomberg brings a certain gloss and legitimacy to Connecticut, where he appears to have a strong appeal.

“He is an icon of independence and straight talk and putting the public interest over party consideration,” said Dan Gerstein, Mr. Lieberman’s communication director. “He’s a great practitioner and advocate for the kind of politics Joe Lieberman practices.”

Aides to both men say they have known each other since before Mr. Bloomberg became mayor and admire each other’s accomplishments and independent streaks. Described as having a casual, friendly relationship, they have run into each other at events in Washington over the years and have worked together on various issues involving the city, including domestic security.

Capitalizing on all this, the Lieberman campaign plans for Mr. Bloomberg to greet commuters with the senator on Monday morning in Stamford, and then to attend a fund-raiser there. Mr. Bloomberg already headlined one fund-raiser in Chicago this week, which raised close to $230,000, according to the campaign. He plans to hold a third fund-raiser at his Upper East Side town house on Wednesday.

Lieberman aides say the money the mayor is raising is crucial, but it is the staff additions that represent an unusual degree of engagement for Mr. Bloomberg and show how he has developed his own potent political team that he can deploy as he wishes.

Oh,this is bullshit. Bloomberg bought his second term outright. Freddy Ferrer fucked up badly and didn't have the skills to recover.

All Bloomberg did was toss money around and go on TV every two minutes. He would have lost to Mark Green if spite wasn't a factor. The man spent $100m to become mayor again.

Obviously, fucking Al From put a bug in his ear and this is his test run for his presidential bid, Mr. Charismaless. Hillary Clinton is a rockstar compared to him.

First of all, there's 10 days to go in the campaign. This should have been done months ago. Second, sure, they can get volunteers, but can you trust them? Who vets them? Is Bloomberg going to wave his money at some New Yorkers to wander around Connecticut?

Is he getting access to the voter rolls and other info the parties have?

Before flipping out, remember, Bloomberg had a massive GOTV campaign before and lost, and that was with party support. This is without party support and they're starting from scratch when Lamont's people have been on the ground for weeks.

Bloomberg is doing this for himself, make no mistake. Of course, his bloodless, arrogant style of leadership only appeals to Democrats who hate passion

posted by Steve @ 11:58:00 PM

11:58:00 PM

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