Unbought and Unbossed, Sort of

What constitutes dirty money in Connecticut?

Here’s the Ned Lamont campaign’s explanation of the $500,000 contribution that Lamont just made to his own cause:

“I think it says more about Senator Lieberman’s expenditures than it does about his (Lamont’s) campaign,” said Liz Dupont-Diehl, Lamont’s spokeswoman. “Lieberman has outspent us two-to-one on tv ads and Ned’s just not going to let that happen.”

The reason for the gap in spending, she said, is Lamont’s aversion to certain types of cash: He refuses to accept campaign contributions from any special interest lobbies, and limits his donor lists to “political leadership PACs” and grassroots-y groups like MoveOn.org.

Lieberman, on the other hand, “has the support of many Democrats and most of the Republicans, not to mention the fundraising help and advice of Karl Rove.”

(Last month, Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, organized a fund-raiser for Lieberman that raised a couple of hundred thousand dollars.)

Dan Gerstein, Lieberman’s spokesman, writes in with a very different take:

“Ned also crows about not taking PAC money, and then turns around and gladly accepts leadership PAC money from the likes of John Kerry. And where does that leadership PAC money come from? The same lobbyists and corporate interests that Ned is disingenuously attacking. That’s Ned at his typical, hy-pac-critical worst. And just this week we learned that Ned is plugging a fundraiser he is doing with Ted Kennedy that is openly soliciting — you guessed it — PAC money.”

–Jason Horowitz

Unbought and Unbossed, Sort of