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Stop the Presses


Chris Cillizza has made quite the career for himself over at the WaPo online with his remarkbly acrobatic feats designed to make Republicans look good even in the most unflattering light, but with his most recent column he really reaches some new sort of transcendent contortion.

Really, Chris, take a bow.  You’ve outdone yourself this time.

Last night he servicably got the jump on today’s big news for the Lamont campaign that the SEIU was endorsing Ned Lamont today with this remarkable lede:

Democrats, Unions Vital for Lieberman

One of the strongest union backers of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman during his Democratic primary run (which ended in defeat) is sticking with the incumbent as he competes as an independent in the general election.

"Even though the Democratic establishment is abandoning the three-term senator to line up behind Ned Lamont, the [International Association of Firefighters] will continue to stand with Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman," said union head Harold Schaitbarger. "In our view, party labels don’t matter."

Right-o.  One of the most critical unions in this race, the SEIU, is the first to abandon Lieberman and back Lamont instead, and what’s the story for Cillizza?  Today, when it comes to the Firefighters… well tie me up and call me Loretta.  Nothing has changed

But it just gets better from there: 

The AFL-CIO did not endorse a candidate in the primary and will not do so in the general election. 

Is that so?  Then how would one explain the curious headlines exclaiming "AFL-CIO Endorses Lieberman" in July of this year?  Despite the fact that Lieberman has been playing footsie with his web site and implying that he still retains the endorsement, and CT AFL-CIO head John Olsen is on record as saying the union would stick with Lieberman even if he lost the primary, I wouldn’t be placing any bets.  Olsen is up for re-election in 2007 and probably doesn’t want the now formidable Lamont forces within the state lining up against him.

I think it’s reasonable in this situation to ask where, exactly, Cizzilla got his information — and his spin.  Would it be from a reliably unreliable LieberLiar who has been the source of bad information in the past and has no trouble punking journalists who carry his water?   Enquiring minds want to know.

Update:  Oh it only gets better.  As Peterr notes in the comments , this is from Cizzilla’s own column on August 8, 2006:

Lieberman is relying on a more traditional get-out-the-vote effort managed by organized labor. (He has been endorsed by the state’s AFL-CIO.

Peterr also does a little digging, and finds some intersting membership statistics:

IAFF membership: 274,000 members
SEIU membership: 1,800,000 members

Hey Chris — I hope Gerstein at least bought you dinner. 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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