September 25, 2006
The public has to look at the fragments it can find of Lamont's private life to figure out what sort of public figure he would be. The man who seemed a fresh force in the spring is starting to look like a contrivance as the fall begins. Here are some examples:Ned Lamont has no substantive experience in public service on a scale that would qualify him to be Joe Lieberman's replacement in the U.S. Sentate. We can only look to his experience in the private sector to get a feel for what he brings to the table. As far as I can see, all he brings is a plateful of virulent Left-wing supporters with a side order of hypocrisy.
Lamont, like all Democratic candidates, has been in hot pursuit of union endorsements. Lieberman snagged most of them in the primary campaign. Most, but by no means all, have stuck with Lieberman.
In his cable business, however, Lamont has not been so eager for union attention. At one conclave, Lamont gave the cold shoulder to Bill Henderson, president of Communications Workers of CT Local 1298, when Henderson had the temerity to suggest to the cable executive that he ought to let the union into Lamont Digital.
When Henderson, a Lieberman supporter, complained in public about Lamont's anti-union attitude in his own business, registered lobbyist and Lamont campaign manager Tom Swan called it a "red herring" because Lamont's employees are well compensated. But Henderson points out that unions aren't only about wages. They also secure better working conditions and the dignity of their members. Lamont and, suddenly, Swan aren't interested in the union credo.
Candidate Lamont is keen to call for more corporate responsibility from the likes of Wal-Mart and Enron. He made the obligatory appearance at a protest of Wal-Mart this summer.
Lamont, however, won't say much about corporate shenanigans closer to home. His wife, Ann Lamont, is a formidable venture capitalist. And while piling up their millions, there have been a few casualties. The Lamonts won't disclose details, but public documents reveal that Ann Lamont was successfully sued for securities fraud in 1999 for her role in a disastrous public offering of stock by a Florida medical management company that went bust in a big way. Ann Lamont and other defendants entered into a multimillion-dollar settlement with fleeced shareholders.
Some of the records are sealed, and the Lamont campaign won't reveal how much of the settlement Ann Lamont had to pay in 2001 to get out of the mess. Substitute the name of, say, Lynne Cheney for Ann Lamont and imagine the outrage on the left for such a doomed scheme.
As the campaign spotlight shines a little brighter on the Greenwich millionaire who wants to be CT's next Senator, voters - especially unaffiliated, moderate voters - should take the opportunity to have a closer look.
Posted by: JimK at September 26, 2006 09:18 AM (wBfCt)
Posted by: Gary at September 26, 2006 09:29 AM (PLHs9)
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