The Fight for the Control of the “Connecticut for Lieberman Party”

The political party formed by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman after he lost the Democratic primary in August has a new chairman – and it’s not Lieberman.

However, according to the bylaws adopted by its new chairman, Lieberman critic and Fairfield University professor John Orman, the senator is an eligible party candidate.

According to bylaws established by Orman, anyone whose last name is Lieberman may seek the party’s nomination – or any critic of the senator.

Orman seized control of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party this week after registering as its sole member and electing himself as chairman.

With Connecticut for Lieberman having achieved its victory earlier this month, Orman made his move. He contacted the secretary of the state, learned the new minor party had no registered members, then visited the registrar in Trumbull, where he lives, to switch from a Democrat to a Connecticut for Lieberman-ite.

“Then I went home and called a meeting of all registered Connecticut for Lieberman members to reflect on our party’s victory in the U.S. Senate race (and) organize and submit rules to the secretary of the state,” Orman said.

He nominated himself chairman, seconded the nomination, cast his vote for himself and proceeded to establish party rules.

Orman said the “party” is upset that Lieberman has abandoned it and says he is an “Independent Democrat.”

“I want to organize it as a group that will keep (Lieberman) accountable,” Orman said. “It will be dedicated to critics, opponents, bloggers. . . . I’m just trying to carry it to the next step.”

Kozik was not prepared yesterday to officially rule on the legitimacy of Orman’s actions. But he said the professor “might be jumping the gun” because the election results will not be officially certified until later this month.

Kozik also said he was uncertain what, if any, role the 29 individuals who helped form the party play.

“I’m not sure I can give you a quick answer on exactly who has the authority to promulgate the initial party rules,” Kozik said. “I haven’t had the chance to research it. . . . Ultimately, the rightness or wrongness of what Orman did or will do may end up in the courts.”

My understanding of what happened the last time a political party was formed in Connecticut for the purpose of electing an Independent, Lowell Weicker in 1990, “A Connecticut Party” (name designed for maximum ballot spot purposes, the equivalent of naming a company “AAA Aardvark Associates” for purposes of placement in the phone book) was that it ran a legitimate candidate in 1994, and then… drifted into obscurity with nutcases taking advantage of the party’s existence. That is how all third parties die, or are corrupted into the weeds of the political process.
The wikipedia entry on “A Connecticut Party” needs fleshing into who else ran on the party label.