Ned Lamont's Senate campaign has been bolstered by the support of liberal bloggers.
Joe Lieberman's Connecticut Senate campaign
is accusing Democratic challenger Ned Lamont
of lying about his relationship with bloggers after a liberal web site posted a doctored photo of Lieberman in blackface on the web.
Questioned by reporters after campaigning in Bridgeport, Conn. about the controversial graphic, Lamont reportedly
said, "I don't know anything about the blogs. I'm not responsible for those. I have no comment on them."
The Lieberman campaign calls that characterization a "lie" and demanded Lamont to break any connections with the blogger who posted the blackface graphic.
Jane Hamsher of the pro-Lamont Web site Firedoglake.com
graphic on HuffingtonPost.com
. It portrays Lieberman campaigning in blackface alongside Bill Clinton, an apparent attempt to criticize Lieberman's appeals to black voters in Connecticut.
"The fact is she is a key force in [Lamont's] campaign, and it's time for him to take responsibility for her disgusting tactics," Lieberman's campaign manager Sean Smith said in a statement.
Liberal bloggers nationwide have supported the anti-war Lamont campaign since January, raising money for the candidate and even appearing in his campaign ads.
According to the fundraising site ActBlue.com
, Hamsher and two other bloggers have raised over $50,000 for Lamont's Senate campaign.
Lamont's spokesperson, Liz Dupont-Diehl, said that the campaign has condemned the blackface image and asked for it to be removed from the site. She said Lamont will not sever connections with Hamsher, however.
"This is a distraction," she said. "This did not come from our campaign. Bloggers are independent entities, covering campaigns. Like reporters, they travel with campaigns and cover campaigns."
Responding to Lamont's quote about his knowledge of blogs, Dupont-Diehl added: "Of course the campaign knows about blogs."
Asked if it was fair to say the Lamont campaign has actively reached out to bloggers, she said, "No."
Lieberman's camp condemned the photo and disputed Dupont-Diehl's characterization of the relationship between Lamont and liberal blogs.
"That is a shameless lie," said Dan Gerstein, a spokesman for the Senator. "Reporters don't raise money for campaigns ... There are some gray areas with reporters, but this is not one of them."
In a video posted at the popular site YouTube.com
, Lamont himself references "friends at Firedoglake" in an interview with Hamsher. There is also a link
to Firedoglake.com at Ned Lamont's official campaign web site.
Hamsher denied working for the Lamont campaign. She said she has interviewed the candidate twice.
"I never checked with Ned before I printed anything," Hamsher said in a phone interview. "He has no control over what I post."
However, Hamsher said she removed the controversial image at the Lamont campaign's request.
On her web site, Hamsher apologized "to anyone who was genuinely offended by the choice of images accompanying my blog post."
Both Hamsher and the Lamont campaign say Lieberman is using the image controversy to "score political points."