Joe Lieberman

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Joe Lieberman
Junior Senator, Connecticut
Term of office:
Political party: Democrat
Preceded by: Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
Succeeded by: Incumbent (2013)
Born: February 241942
Stamford, Connecticut
Spouse: 1) Elizabeth Haas (div.)

2) Hadassah Lieberman

Religion: Orthodox Judaism

Joseph Isadore Lieberman (born February 241942) is an American politician from Connecticut. Lieberman was elected to the United States Senate in 1988, and was elected on November 7 2006 to his fourth term as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election Lieberman, was the Democratic candidate for Vice-president, running alongside presidential nominee Al Gore, and became the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party ticket.

Lieberman continued his service in the Senate after the Democratic defeat in 2000. During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election in Connecticut, but won reelection in the general election as an independent candidate. On November 12, 2006, in an interview with Tim Russert, Lieberman described himself as "an Independent Democrat, capital I, capital D." <ref>Joe Lieberman on Meet the Press MSNBC November 12, 2006.</ref> Lieberman has said that he will sit as part of the Democratic Senate caucus in the upcoming 110th Congress.

Senator Lieberman is a co-chair of the Senate Centrist Coalition along with Maine Republican Olympia Snowe. Lieberman has been one of the Senate's most consistent supporters of Israel. He has been a consistent supporter of the Iraq War, although he was a critic of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He holds liberal views on some economic issues, though he is a supporter of free trade. Lieberman has also voted with Republicans on some moral issues. He has opposed fillibustering Republican judicial appointments. Liberman is one of the senate's leading opponents of violence in video games and on television.


[edit] Early life and career

Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut to Henry Lieberman (April 31915January 31986), the son of Polish Jewish immigrants and Marcia Manger (November 11914June 252005) of Austrian Jewish background. The Liebermans owned the Hamilton Liquor Store, which the couple operated until Henry Lieberman's retirement in 1977.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Marcia Lieberman, 90, Mother of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, Died Sunday: Press release. June 27, 2005.</ref> Along with Joseph the couple had two daughters, Rietta Miller and Ellen Lieberman. Joe Lieberman attended Stamford High School and was elected as president of his senior class in 1960.<ref>Buckley, William F. Lieberman Bowing In. National Review. January 14, 2003.</ref> He received his BA in Politics and Economics from Yale University in 1964. He was the first member of his family to graduate college. After graduating, he attended Yale Law School receiving his LLB law degree in 1967. In 1963, he traveled to Mississippi to help African-Americans register to vote.<ref>Slow bus to freedom. San Diego Union-Tribune January 8, 2006.</ref> After graduation from law school, he worked for a New Haven-based law firm, Wiggin & Dana LLP.

Lieberman was elected as a "reform Democrat" to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, where he served for 10 years, including the last six as Majority Leader. He suffered his first defeat in Connecticut elections in the Reagan landslide year of 1980, losing the race for the Third District Congressional seat to Republican Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, a state senator from suburban Hamden with whom he had worked closely on bipartisan legislative efforts. From 1982 to 1988, he served as Connecticut's 21st Attorney General and emphasized consumer protection and environmental enforcement.

[edit] Personal life

Lieberman met his first wife, Betty Haas, at the congressional office of Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), where they worked as summer student interns. They married in 1965 while Joe Lieberman was in law school. They had two children – Matt and Rebecca. Betty, who is also Jewish, later worked as a psychiatric social worker. In 1981, the couple divorced. When asked about the divorce in an interview with New York Magazine, Lieberman said, "one of the differences we had was in levels of religious observance," adding, "I'm convinced if that was the only difference, we wouldn't have gotten divorced."<ref name=GoJoe>You Go, Joe. New York Magazine November 18, 2002.</ref>

In 1982, he met his second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker while he was running for attorney general of Connecticut. Hadassah Lieberman is the child of a Holocaust survivor. According to Washington Jewish Week, Lieberman called her for a date because he thought it would be interesting to go out with someone named Hadassah. (Hadassah is the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America).<ref>Merida, Kevin. Lieberman's Morality Concerns Not New. The Washington Post September 5, 1998.</ref> Since March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm based in New York City, as a senior counselor in its health and pharmaceuticals practice. She has held senior positions at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), Pfizer, National Research Council, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Lehman Brothers.

Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a daughter, Hani. Lieberman also has a stepson from Hadassah's previous marriage, Ethan Tucker. Matt Lieberman graduated from Yale University in 1989, and from Yale Law School in 1994. He is the Head of School of Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca Lieberman graduated from Barnard College in 1991, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997. She is married to Jacob Wisse. Ethan Tucker graduated from Harvard College in 1997 and was a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Lieberman never served in the military. A spokesperson told the Hartford Courant in 1994 that Lieberman received an educational deferment from the Vietnam War draft when he was an undergraduate and law student from 1960-67. Upon graduating from law school at 25, Lieberman qualified for a family deferment as he was already married and had one child, Matt.<ref>Lieberman: A history-making candidate., Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Between 2000 and 2004, the Liebermans' income ranged from $266,600 to $499,735. In their joint 2005 federal tax return, the couple's total income in 2004 was $366,084, which includes $146,608 from Joe Lieberman's job in the Senate and $76,950 from Hadassah Lieberman's job with Hill & Knowlton. The couple reported another $91,446 in income from speaking and consulting fees – largely earned by Hadassah – and $27,000 in capital gains earnings. They paid more than $60,000 in taxes. They made $13,127 in charitable contributions and received a $5,241 tax refund. Lieberman underpaid his federal taxes in 2002, resulting in a $739 penalty.[citation needed]

[edit] Religion

Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew, though he was less observant in 1965 when he married Betty Haas, a Reform Jew. Since the death in 1967 of Lieberman's grandmother, a deeply religious immigrant, he found renewed interest in religious observance. His second wife, Hadassah, is also an observant Orthodox Jew. "Hadassah calls herself my right wing," says Lieberman.<ref name=GoJoe/> In Lieberman's 1988 upset of GOP incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker, his religious observance was mostly viewed in terms of inability to campaign on Shabbat. This changed when Gore chose Lieberman as the running mate; a Lieberman press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:


The Liebermans keep a kosher home and observe Shabbat. Nonetheless, some Orthodox Jews have voiced concerns about the Liebermans' omissions, such as Hadassah's infrequent covering of her head.<ref>Goodstein, Laurie. Modern Orthodox (Sen. Lieberman) New York Times August 19, 2000.</ref>

Lieberman has said that there is currently "a constitutional place for faith in our public life".<ref>Gold, Matea. Lieberman and religion seem to be an easy mix. Los Angeles Times August 28, 2000.</ref> He attends Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, Washington, DC and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol - B'nai Israel, The Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut. He also attends Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford, CT.

[edit] Senate tenure

In 1988, Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1988, by a margin of 10,000 votes. He scored the nation's biggest political upset that year, after being backed by a coalition of Democrats and unaffiliated voters with support from conservative Republicans, who were disappointed in three-term Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker's moderate voting record and personal style. Lieberman ran especially well in conservative areas of the 5th District, where Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis received fewer votes than George H.W. Bush. During the campaign, he received support from the hard-line Cuban-exile community who were unhappy with Weicker, who was known as a supporter of Fidel Castro. Lieberman has since remained loyal to the anti-Castro cause.<ref name=Toobin>Toobin, Jeffrey. Joe Lieberman looks hopefully toward the White House. The New Yorker December 16, 2002.</ref> Six years later, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Bill Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Lewinsky.<ref>Senator Joe Lieberman Attacks Clinton. September 3, 1998, Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment. In 2000, while concurrently running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third Senate term with 64 percent of the vote easily defeating the Republican Philip Giordano.

When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. He is also a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chaired the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.<ref>U.S. Senate Republican Congress. Committee Assignments. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

As Senator, Lieberman is Ranking Member and former Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.

[edit] Vice-Presidential campaign

Joe Lieberman gained national recognition when Al Gore picked him as running mate in 2000.

In August 2000, Lieberman was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States by Al Gore, the Democratic Party nominee for President. Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket. The announcement of Lieberman's selection may have resulted in an increase in support for Gore's campaign.<ref> Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> The Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican ticket of George W Bush and Dick Cheney, but they were defeated in the Electoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.

Like Democratic VP candidates Lyndon Johnson in 1960, and Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, Lieberman's Senate term was due to expire during the election cycle. Like both Johnson and Bentsen, he decided to stage a run to maintain that seat. Unlike them, Lieberman's decision would have affected control of the Senate if Lieberman had become Vice President, which would have required a swing of only 269 votes in the Florida Presidential race. Some questioned the strategy of having Lieberman run for both offices, saying that it "threatens his party's chances of winning a Senate majority." If Lieberman had won both races, he would have been forced to accept the vice-presidency. If he declined to take the Senate seat, the Connecticut governor at that time, John Rowland, would nominate somebody to take Lieberman's seat. Because Rowland was a Republican, he would have most likely nominated a Republican to fill the seat, thus giving the Senate a Republican majority. If Lieberman had won the Senate seat but not Vice President, the winning Vice President would be the tie-breaking vote for the Senate. At that time, the Senate contained fifty Democrats and fifty Republicans. Dick Cheney, Republican, would have been the tie-breaking vote, thus also creating a Republican majority. So because Lieberman ran for both seats at once, he assured a Republican majority in the Senate.

Lieberman later criticized Al Gore for adopting a populist theme during their 2000 campaign, and stated he had objected to Gore's "people vs. the powerful" message, believing it was not the best strategy for Democrats to use to win the election.<ref>Limbaugh, David. The left still controls the Democratic Party. WorldNetDaily August 6, 2002.</ref>

[edit] Presidential campaign

On January 13 2003, Lieberman announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election. Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to voters. Although he placed second in Delaware a few weeks later, on February 3 2004, Lieberman withdrew his candidacy after failing to win any of the five primaries or two caucuses held that day. He acknowledged to the Hartford Courant that his support for the war in Iraq was a large part of his undoing with voters.<ref>Hamilton, Elizabeth. Lieberman Reflects on Candidacy. The Hartford Courant April 15, 2004.</ref>

Lieberman's former running candidate Al Gore did not support Lieberman's Presidential run, and in December 2003 endorsed Howard Dean's candidacy, saying "This is about all of us and all of us need to get behind the strongest candidate [Dean]."<ref>Gore Endorses Dean: CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL transcipt. December 9, 2003. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Political positions

[edit] Domestic policy

[edit] Affirmative action

In a 1995 speech before the National Press Club, Lieberman said, "this business of deciding by group, the argument that some make that some groups are genetically less able than others. That's an un-American argument." Affirmative action programs "must change because they are inconsistent with the law and basic American values of equal treatment and opportunity." He also stated that he was "against group preferences".<ref>Lieberman on Affirmative Action. Advocate Weekly Newspapers, Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

In 1996, he expressed support for California's Proposition 209, which will eliminate state and local government affirmative action programs in the areas of public employment, public education, and public contracting to the extent these programs involve "preferential treatment based on race, sex, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin."<ref name="Hartford-HWP">Edsall, Thomas B. and Harris, Hamil R. Lieberman Stirs Concern Among Blacks. The Washington Post August 15, 2000; A01. Hosted at</ref> "Affirmative action is dividing us in ways its creators could never have intended.", he said.<ref name="CNN-MoreIraq">Greenfield, Jeff. It's more than just Iraq: Lieberman has long been on the outs with his party's base. CNN August 3, 2006.</ref>

Since 2000, he rescinded his support for the proposition, saying that he expressed support "without understand[ing] the intent of Proposition 209",<ref name="Hartford-HWP" /> and renounced any support for Proposition 209.<ref>Lieberman defends civil rights record. August 15, 2000.</ref> In the 2000 campaign, Lieberman assured the black voters, "I have supported affirmative action, I do support affirmative action, and I will support affirmative action because history and current reality make it necessary."<ref>Glanton, Dahleen. " 'I Will Support Affirmative Action,' Lieberman". Chicago Tribune August 16, 2000. Available here.</ref>

In 2003, Lieberman criticized Bush's affirmative action policy.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Denounces Bush Decision to Oppose Michigan Affirmative Action Programs: Press release. January 15, 2003.</ref> In 2004, he reiterated his support, "I support affirmative action programs, including in appropriate instances consideration of race and gender in government contracting decisions, when the affirmative action program is designed to remedy the effects of past discrimination."<ref>Project VoteSmart. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT). Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman has stated he wants to increase subsidies for women-owned non-profit business, and he voted yes on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities and women.<ref name=IssuesCivil> Joseph Lieberman on Civil Rights. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Consumer Protection

Lieberman was one of four Senate Democrats to side with Republicans in 1995 in voting to limit punitive damage awards in product liability cases.<ref>United States Senate. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 1st Session. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

In February, 2005, breaking ranks with the Democratic majority, Lieberman voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, S. 5, which is a bill to curtail the ability of plaintiffs to file class action lawsuits against corporations in federal courts. The bill was backed by the White House and business groups as an essential tort reform measure that would reduce what they said was a debilitating number of frivolous lawsuits. The bill was opposed by consumer advocacy groups and trial lawyers who argued that many valid claims against corporations would be dismissed, leaving consumers without legal recourse.<ref>U.S. Congress Votes Database: 109th Congress / Senate / 1st session / Vote 9. The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref><ref>The Library of Congress. S.5 Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Education

Lieberman championed experimental voucher programs, which would redirect some education funding directly to parents, who could apply it towards paying for the public or private school of their choice.<ref>Lieberman Fields Questions on Religion, Clinton, Differences With Gore: transcript. CNN Aired August 13, 2000.</ref>

Lieberman has called Bush's "No Child Left Behind" plan a "progressive piece of legislation" which has been insufficiently funded. He said, "A month after he signed the law, President Bush under funded it by $6 billion less than was promised in the legislation. This is creating greater pressures on our schools to perform and educate our kids - which is appropriate - but without giving them sufficient resources to make it happen."<ref>Cohen, Barry. Lieberman strives for 'moral clarity'. Jewish News of Greater Phoenix June 7, 2002.</ref> He has repeatedly criticized the administration to this effect.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Criticizes Bush Education Cuts: Press release. February 22, 2005.</ref>

[edit] Entertainment Industry

Lieberman has been critical of the entertainment media.<ref>Tapper, Jake. Hollywood on trial., August 29, 2000. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> On November 29, 2005, Lieberman co-sponsored the Family Entertainment Protection Act, which was introduced by Hillary Clinton, S.2126. The act is intended to protect children from what he says is inappropriate content found in video games. He has denounced the violence contained in video games and has attempted to regulate sales of violent video games to minors, arguing that games should have to be labeled based upon age-appropriateness.<ref>Parents Action for Children. Parents’ Action Endorses New Clinton-Lieberman-Bayh Bill Banning the Sale of Violent Video Games to Minors. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Regarding Grand Theft Auto, he said, "The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again. I call on the entertainment companies—they've got a right to do that, but they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect."<ref>Reuters. Lieberman denounces 'Grand Theft Auto' video game. Forbes January 25, 2004.</ref> He voted for the Communications Decency Act.<ref>United States Senate. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 2nd Session. Retrieved October 26, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Environment

Lieberman co-sponsored the 1990 Clean Air Act, introduced legislation in 1991 to give consumers more information about the dangers of pesticides, and has addressed the need to limit global warming.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Leads Opposition to Bush EPA Nominee Wehrum: Press release. April 26, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman has stated that the US population has to accept responsibility for global warming, and voted "yes" on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.<ref>US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. LIEBERMAN CONDEMNS BUSH ADMINISTRATION PLAN TO OPEN WILDERNESS-LIKE LANDS TO OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY: Press release. October 30, 2003.</ref> Lieberman voted yes on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). Lieberman voted against Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior, and voted for funding for greater risk assessment by the EPA. Lieberman has even gone as far as saying he wants to raise mileage standard to 40 mpg.<ref>OnThe Joseph Lieberman on Environment. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Lieberman voted for the administration-backed Energy Policy Act of 2005;<ref>Blum, Justin. Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Energy Bill. The Washington Post June 29, 2005; Page A04.</ref> facing criticism, Lieberman called the bill imperfect but good for Connecticut, citing a saving of $800 million for Connecticut electricity customers.<ref> Joseph Lieberman on Energy & Oil. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Lieberman has been a vocal critic of Bush's environmental policy.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Urges Bush Administration to Take Action on Global Warming: Press release. December 13, 2005.</ref><ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Blasts Bush Administration for Bullying Climate Scientists: Press release. April 6, 2006.</ref>

[edit] "Gang of 14"

On May 23, 2005, Lieberman was one of fourteen senators, dubbed the "Gang of 14," who forged a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus avoiding the Republican leadership's implementation of the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would exercise the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance," and three of the filibustered Bush appellate court nominees – (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) – would receive a vote by the full Senate, which resulted in their confirmation. Lieberman refused to support a filibuster against Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito.<ref>Nagourney, Adam. Lieberman's primary concerns. The Seattle Times July 30, 2006.</ref> Alito was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 2006 by a vote of 58-42, becoming the Court's 110th Justice. Lieberman voted against the Alito confirmation in the final Senate vote.<ref> FINAL SENATE VOTE: SAMUEL ALITO CONFIRMATION. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> On the John Roberts nomination as the Chief Justice of the United States, Lieberman believed that Roberts did not seem to be the kind of right-wing candidate the "Gang of 14" feared the president would select. Lieberman said he thought Roberts was a "decent guy." But he also said it was too early to draw further conclusions.<ref>Holland, Jesse J. Lieberman: Roberts Probably Not Extremist. San Francisco Chronicle July 21, 2005.</ref> Roberts was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 2005 by a vote of 78-22, becoming the Court's 17th Chief Justice. Lieberman voted for the Roberts confirmation.<ref> FINAL SENATE VOTE: JOHN ROBERTS CONFIRMATION. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Gay rights

In 2004, Lieberman scored a rating of 88 out of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality."<ref name="HRC">Human Rights Campaign. Bush vs. Kerry on GLBT Issues! (PDF) Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman voted no on a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.<ref name="HRC"/> In 2003, in response to the Massachusetts ruling that sanctions gay marriage, Lieberman stated, "although I am opposed to gay marriage, I have also long believed that states have the right to adopt for themselves laws that allow same-sex unions," and "I will oppose any attempts by the right wing to change the Constitution in response to today's Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling, which would be unnecessary and divisive."<ref>Gay Marriage Enters The Race. CBS News November 19, 2003. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman cosponsored the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations act of 2003, which provided the same benefits to domestic partners of federal employees as spouses currently have.<ref name="HRC" /> In 1996, Lieberman cosponsored the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.<ref>The Library of Congress. S.2056 Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Lieberman voted in favor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2003, which provided Medicaid treatment for people with HIV.<ref name="HRC" /> Lieberman has adopted a non-discriminatory policy in employment decisions, which include sexual orientation and gender.<ref name="HRC" /> Although Lieberman had no experience in military personnel policy, he was among the minority in the Senate in 1993 to vote in support of President Clinton's proposal to let gays and lesbians serve openly in the military.[citation needed] However, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act and "Don't ask, don't tell."

In August, 1994, Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Bob Smith (R-NH) proposed an amendment, S.AMDT.2434, to Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization (ESEA) - S.1513 - that would prevent federal funding for schools that "implement or carry out a program or activity that has either the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle." <ref>American Library Association Washington Office. CLOTURE VOTES PASSES SENATE--FINAL ESEA VOTE EXPECTED. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref><ref>The Library of Congress. ??</ref><ref>The Library of Congress. S.1513 Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Lieberman voted for the amendment.<ref>United States Senate. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 103rd Congress - 2nd Session. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> He voted for prohibiting HIV-positive immigrants from entering the United States and against a measure to grant domestic-partner benefits to District of Columbia employees.<ref>Pleased, not thrilled - vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman and gay issues. The Advocate September 12, 2000.</ref><ref>Clymer, Adam. House, Like Senate, Votes To Ban H.I.V. Immigrants. The New York Times March 12, 1993.</ref><ref>United States Senate. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 103rd Congress - 1st Session. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref><ref>The Library of Congress. S.AMDT.39 Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Gun control

Lieberman received an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association and a 90% from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.<ref>Project VoteSmart. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT): Gun Issues. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> He has sought to ban guns in schools and places of worship. He has voted against prohibiting most lawsuits against gun manufacturers, but cast another vote that would immunize gun manufacturers from lawsuits over gun violence. He has voted to require background checks at gun shows and against allowing guns to be sold without trigger locks.<ref name="OnTheIssues">Joseph Lieberman on Gun Control. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

In 2000, he opposed Al Gore's position to require a license to purchase a new handgun. Although they disagreed on this issue, Gore asked Lieberman not to change his position.<ref name="OnTheIssues" />

He was one of 84 senators who voted in favor of the Vitter Amendment which prohibited the federal funding of the confiscation of legally-owned firearms during a disaster.[citation needed]

Lieberman's general pro-gun control stance has not prevented him from earning the nicknames "Joe Gun" and "Cowboy Joe" in reference to his straightforward, aggressive approach to lawmaking.

[edit] Health care and reproductive rights

In March 2006, according to the The New Haven Register, when asked about the approach of the Catholic hospitals on contraceptives for rape victims, Lieberman said he believes Catholic hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn’t be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn’t take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.<ref>Hladky, Gregory B. Contraceptive issue creating political storm. New Haven Register March 13, 2006. </ref>

During his 2004 campaign, Lieberman said, "The day I walk into the Oval Office, the first thing I'm going to do is rescind the Bush administration restrictions on embryonic stem cell research."<ref>Tobias, Carol. THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE IS ON! National Right to Life. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> He has criticized Bush's recent veto of the embryonic stem cell research.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Supports Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research: Press release. July 18, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman has been critical of Bush's Medicare plan, arguing that in its current state, it does not provide sufficiently for our nation's elderly.<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Blasts Bush Administration for Punishing America’s Seniors, Calls for Extension of Medicare Part D Deadline: Press release. May 10, 2006.</ref><ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Calls on Bush Administration to Fix Critical Errors in Medicare Prescription Drug Program. October 6, 2005.</ref>

In 2005, Lieberman introduced S. 975, the Project BioShield II Act of 2005, to provide incentives to increase research by private sector entities to develop medical countermeasures to counter bioterrorism threats. The bill seeks to grant liability protection for these drugs and an extension of patents to companies that produce drugs needed in case of a bioterrorism attack.<ref>Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis. (NIH)S. 975—The Project BioShield II Act of 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman joined a few other Democrats, Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Republican Congress as a vocal opponent of efforts to remove the feeding tube artificially sustaining Terri Schiavo's life.[citation needed]

Lieberman had a 75% pro-choice voting record in 2005,<ref name=IssuesAb>Project Vote Smart. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT): Abortion Issues. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> and 100% pro-choice voting records in the years 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004, according to NARAL.<ref>NARAL: Pro-Choice America. Congressional Record on Choice: Joseph I. Lieberman (D). Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref><ref name=IssuesAb/> During the 2000 Presidential campaign, he promised to not support legislation that was being introduced in Congress to override the FDA decision on RU-486, a pill that terminates early pregnancy. He has supported requiring minors to have parental consent before having abortions at federally subsidized clinics. He voted against banning some late-term procedures known by its opponents as "partial-birth abortion".[citation needed] Lieberman said that Orthodox Judaism considers abortion to be a personal matter, although many Orthodox Jews disagree.<ref> Joseph Lieberman on Abortion. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Options Expensing

In 1993 and 1994, Lieberman was the key senator in preventing the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from closing an accounting loophole that allowed companies to avoid recording stock options as an expense. Arthur Levitt, the Chairman of the SEC at the time, has said "There was no question in my mind that campaign contributions played the determinative role in that Senate activity."

[edit] Social Security

Lieberman cosponsored a resolution urging the Congress to reject the Bush Administration Social Security Commission's report.<ref></ref>[Not in citation given]

Lieberman described the debate as "this is an ongoing problem, and we'd be wise to deal with it." He told The Hartford Courant in January of 2005 when asked about Social Security, "if we can figure out a way to help people through private accounts or something else, great."<ref name="NYTimes">Kirkpatrick, David D. and Hulse, Carl. On Social Security, Lieberman the Centrist Ruffles Democratic Feathers on the Left. New York Times March 7, 2005.</ref> Although Lieberman praised Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for trying to fashion a bipartisan social security plan, he ultimately voted against the Bush Social Security plan.<ref name="NYTimes" />

[edit] Tax, labor, and business

Lieberman voted against much of the Bush tax plan,<ref> Joseph Lieberman on Tax Reform. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> but in the 2004 Democratic Presidential Primary, he criticized the desire of most Democrats to repeal all or almost all of Bush's tax cuts, arguing that "tax cuts are an important tool of fiscal policy to get the economy going again".<ref>Lieberman Calls Dem Opponents Soft Spendthrifts. FOX News July 25, 2003.</ref>

He helped defeat the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal of requiring the reporting of the costs of stock options as a business expense during the mid-nineties. During an interview with PBS after the Enron scandal, Lieberman defended his position, saying, "it was a good action."<ref> Interview: Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref><ref> Congress and Accounting Wars. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Facing the growing stock option scandals, Lieberman ackowledged that "clearly a disproportionate percent of the options went to a small percentage of executives. That was disappointing."<ref name=Toobin/>

[edit] Other

Lieberman has voted against amending the Constitution to make it constitutional to criminalize flag burning.<ref name=IssuesCivil/>

[edit] Foreign policy

Iraq War Lieberman sponsored S.J. Res.46, the Senate version of H.J. Res. 114, that is, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, also called the Iraq Resolution.<ref>The Library of Congress. S.J.RES.46 Retrieved October 10, 2006. </ref>

Lieberman defended his support of the Iraq Resolution; in a November 29, 2005 op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, he praised the efforts of the U.S. military in the occupation of Iraq and criticized both parties:
"I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead."<ref>Lieberman, Joe. Our Troops Must Stay. The Wall Street Journal November 29, 2005.</ref>

Later, on December 7 2005, Lieberman said, "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril. It is time for Republicans in the White House and Congress who distrust Democrats to acknowledge that greater Democratic involvement and support in the war in Iraq is critical to rebuilding the support of the American people that is essential to our success in that war. It is time for Americans and we their leaders to start working together again on the war on terrorism. To encourage that new American partnership, I propose that the President and the leadership of Congress establish a bipartisan Victory in Iraq Working Group, composed of members of both parties in Congress and high ranking national security officials of the Bush Administration."<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Remarks of Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment Forum on Next Steps for Successful Strategy in Iraq: Press release. December 6, 2005.</ref>

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid rebuked Lieberman, saying, "I've talked to Senator Lieberman, and unfortunately he is at a different place on Iraq than the majority of the American people." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added, "I completely disagree with Lieberman. I believe that we have a responsibility to speak out if we think that the course of action that our country is not making the American people safer, making our military stronger and making the region more stable." Lieberman responded, "I've had this position for a long time – that we need to finish the job."<ref>Murray, Shailagh. Lieberman Wins Republican Friends, Democratic Enemies With Support for War. The Washington Post December 10, 2005.</ref>

Lieberman's defense of the administration resulted in speculation that he was attempting to position himself to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or another high-ranking government official, but Lieberman has denied having any desire for this. In 2005, media reports suggested that Lieberman might replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld;<ref>Face the Nation. John Kerry, Transcript. PDF December 4, 2005.</ref> Lieberman responded with, "It's a total fantasy, there's just no truth to it."<ref>Hernandez, Raymond and Yardley, William. Lieberman's Iraq Stance Brings Widening Split With His Party. New York Times December 10, 2005.</ref>

On June 22, 2006, Lieberman voted against two Democratic amendments to the annual defense appropriations bill, including S. 2766, which called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. S.2766 did not set a withdrawal deadline, but urged President Bush to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2006. Both amendments were defeated in the Senate, 60-39.<ref>U.S. Congress Votes Database: 109th Congress / Senate / 2nd session / Vote 182. The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Free trade

Lieberman supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and continues to do so.<ref name=IssuesTrade> Joseph Lieberman on Free Trade. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> During a 2004 Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina, he said, "though it's cost some jobs, has actually netted out 900,000 new jobs that were created by NAFTA".<ref> Democratic debate:excerpts. January 30, 2004.</ref> Lieberman also voted for the Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005.<ref name=IssuesTrade/><ref>US Senate. U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session Vote Number 209. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Lieberman is also the co-author of the US-China Relations Act that would create new incentives in bilateral relations with China. He voted for the U.S./China World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession agreement in 2000.


In 2002, Lieberman sponsored a pro-Israel U.S. Senate Resolution (S. Res. 247) regarding the Middle East Conflict, "expressing solidarity with Israel in its constant efforts to fight against terror".<ref>The Library of Congress. 107th CONGRESS, 2d Session, S. RES. 247 Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism. April 22, 2002.</ref>

According to the Associated Press, in 2000, Lieberman received $83,000 from pro-Israel PACs when he ran for his Senate seat.<ref>Haigh, Susan. Lieberman Gets Pro-Israel Groups' Support. CBS News. July 19, 2006.</ref> While generally refraining from commenting on foreign policy during the Senate race in 2006, he reaffirmed his strong support for Israel, "when there are groups attacking innocent civilians, it is the right of Israel and all peace loving people to protect themselves."<ref>Medina, Jennifer. On Lieberman, Some Jews Are Torn on 2 Wars. New York Times July 27, 2006.</ref>

Homeland security

The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, while Lieberman was chairman, first proposed forming the Department of Homeland Security in 2001. The bill contained provisions that would establish a university research center for domestic security, most probably at Texas A&M University; would allow many businesses that have left the country to avoid federal taxes to contract with the new department; and would provide legal protection to companies that make ingredients for vaccines.<ref>Firestone, David. THREATS AND RESPONSES: LEGISLATION; SENATE VOTES, 90-9, TO SET UP A HOMELAND SECURITY DEPT. GEARED TO FIGHT TERRORISM. New York Times November 20, 2002.</ref>

Geneva Conventions

Lieberman supports the Alberto Gonzales policy memo on the application of provisions of the Geneva Conventions. He believes "the decision was, in my opinion, a reasonable one, and ultimately a progressive one." He agrees with Gonzales in describing certain provisions of Geneva Conventions, specifically "that a captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script advances of monthly pay, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments” as "quaint". He also agrees with the legal decision that al Qaeda's members "were not entitled to prisoner of war status."<ref>Joe Lieberman, US Senator. Lieberman Statement on the Nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General: Press release. February 3, 2005.</ref> In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that "at least" Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is applicable to combatants "in the territory of" a signatory of the Conventions.<ref>Supreme Court of the United States. HAMDAN v. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, ET AL. PDF Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

During an exchange with Donald Rumsfeld in the 2004 senate hearing on the Abu Ghraib scandal, Lieberman denounced the abuses as "immoral" and deserving of an apology. Then he added, "I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect our security have never apologized."<ref>Moore, Art. Rumsfeld to Iraqis: 'My deepest apology'. May 7, 2004 Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Bush kiss

President Bush leans close to Lieberman at the 2005 State of the Union.

Following his 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush, while shaking lawmakers’ hands, abruptly grasped Lieberman’s head in both hands and leaned in close to his cheek. The incident became known as "the kiss." At first, Lieberman staff humorously referred to the embrace as "some kind of Yale thing."<ref>Straw, Joseph. Washington analyzes smooch President plants a kiss on Lieberman’s cheek. New Haven Register February 4, 2005.</ref> However, political backlash arose among Lamont supporters and other critics of Lieberman. Lamont backers used the incident in a campaign button: "The Kiss: Too Close for Comfort"<ref name="Bloomberg">Carlson, Margaret. Lieberman Is Paying Price for One Peck From W: June 29, 2005.</ref> and a large papier-mache sculpture which stalked Lieberman on the campaign trail.<ref>Smith, Adam C. Lip service to Lieberman is his liability. St. Petersburg Times July 16, 2006.</ref> Lieberman has since denied the kiss took place. "I don't think he kissed me, he leaned over and gave me a hug and said 'thank you for being a patriotic American,'" Lieberman told Time Magazine.<ref>Bacon, Perry. Can Lieberman Survive Iraq? Time Magazine June 25, 2006.</ref> After Lieberman's defeat in the Democratic primary, an editorial claimed Bush's sign of affinity cost him the election, and referred to the smack as "the kiss of death." However, these rumors may have not weighed on voters minds as much as was once thought, as the senator won reelection in his state in '06 as an independent.<ref>Lieberman Loss: Kiss of death. August 10, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Senate election, 2006

[edit] Primary

Democratic Primary Results
Candidate Votes<ref>Election results. Hartford Courant August 10, 2006.</ref> Percentage
Ned Lamont 146,587 52%
Joe Lieberman 136,468 48%

Senator Joe Lieberman sought the Democratic Party's renomination for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2006 but lost to Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman.

In July, Lieberman announced that he would file papers to appear on the November ballot should he lose the primary stating, "I'm a loyal Democrat, but I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party, and that's my loyalty to my state and my country."<ref>Klein, Rick. Lieberman crafts backup plan: Says he'll run even if he loses primary. The Boston Globe July 4, 2006.</ref> He stated that he would continue to sit as a Democrat in the Senate even if he was defeated in the primary and elected on an unaffiliated line, and expressed concern for a potentially low turnout.<ref>Murray, Shailagh. Lieberman May Run as Independent. The Washington Post July 4, 2006.</ref> On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures for the newly formed Connecticut for Lieberman party ballot line.<ref>Haigh, Susan. Lieberman campaign files forms to run as petitioning candidate. The Boston Globe July 10, 2006.</ref>

On August 8, 2006, Lieberman conceded the Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont, saying, "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," and announced he would run (and eventually did win) in the 2006 November election as an independent candidate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, against both Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.<ref>Barry, Ellen. Lieberman Is Defeated in Primary. Los Angeles Times August 9, 2006. pg. A1.</ref>

[edit] November election

On August 9 2006, Lieberman announced his intention to run as an "independent Democrat" in the upcoming November election.<ref>Lieberman concedes to Lamont, vows to run in November. CNN August 10, 2006. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> He petitioned to run on the ticket of Connecticut for Lieberman party, saying that this was a technicality and that he would continue to caucus in the Senate as a Democrat.<ref>Associated Press. Connecticut Groups Push to Remove Lieberman From Ballot. The Washington Post August 22, 2006.</ref>

Polls after the primary showed Lieberman ahead of Lamont by 5 points; later polls showed Lieberman leading by varying margins. Schlesinger barely registers support and his campaign has run into problems based on alleged gambling debts.

On August 9 2006, Hillary Clinton affirmed her pledge to support the primary winner, saying "voters of Connecticut have made their decision and I think that decision should be respected",<ref>Fouhy, Beth. Clinton Reiterates Pledge to Back Lamont. The Washington Post August 10, 2006.</ref> and Howard Dean called for Lieberman to quit the race, saying he was being "disrespectful of Democrats and disrespectful of the Democratic Party".<ref>Nagourney, Adam. PRIMARY IN CONNECTICUT: NEWS ANALYSIS; A Referendum On Iraq Policy. New York Times August 9, 2006.</ref>

On August 10, in his first campaign appearance since losing the Democratic primary, referencing the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, Lieberman criticized Lamont, saying:<ref name=Offensive>Healy, Patrick and Medina, Jennifer. Lieberman Goes on the Offensive, Linking the Terror Threat to Iraq. New York Times August 11, 2006.</ref>

If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.

Lamont and some other Democrat consultants said that Lieberman was sounding like Bush. Lamont said, “That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney’s comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That’s a false premise.”<ref name=Offensive/> Lieberman's communications director replied that Lamont was politicizing national security by "portraying [Lieberman] as a soul mate of President Bush on Iraq".<ref name=Offensive/>

On August 17, 2006 the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated that they would favor a Lieberman victory in the November election over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. The NRSC did state, however, that they were not going so far as to actually support Lieberman.<ref>NRSC Takes Lieberman. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref>

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Lieberman at a South Carolina campaign stop on August 18, saying he was "a really exceptional senator."<ref>First Read. August 17, 2006.</ref> Other Republican supporters of Lieberman included New York Mayor Bloomberg, Jack Kemp, Fmr. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Five Democratic Senators maintained their support for Lieberman, and Lieberman also received the strong support of former Senator and Democratic stalwart Bob Kerrey, who offered to stump for him.<ref>Kerrey for Lieberman. Retrieved October 10, 2006.</ref> Democratic minority leader Harry Reid, while endorsing the party nominee, Lamont, promised Lieberman that he would retain his committee positions and seniority if he prevailed in the general election.

On August 28, Lieberman campaigned at the same motorcycle rally as GOP Congressman Christopher Shays.[citation needed] Shays told a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, "We have a national treasure in Joe Lieberman."

Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, helped organize a reception that raised a "couple hundred thousand dollars" for Lieberman, who was personally in attendance. Sembler is a prominent Republican who chairs I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's legal defense fund.<ref>Associated Press. Top Republican co-hosted fundraiser for Lieberman. International Herald Tribune. September 21, 2006.</ref> New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) held a fundraiser for Lieberman at his home in November, co-hosted by former mayor Ed Koch (D) and former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato (R).<ref>Medina, Jennifer. In Connecticut Iraq Debate, Vague Policy Prescriptions. New York Times. September 18, 2006. pg. B3.</ref> Koch called Lieberman "one of the greatest Senators we've ever had in the Senate."<ref>Lieberman Stumps In New York, With Koch By His Side. NY1 News, October 3, 2006.</ref>

On November 7th, Lieberman won reelection as an independent candidate with 50% of the vote. Democratic challenger Ned Lamont garnered 40% of ballots cast and Republican Alan Schlesinger won 10%.<ref>Joe Lieberman wins CT Senate race. Retrieved November 7, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Popular Culture

Joe Lieberman was the punchline to several jokes in the PC game Postal 2. The easiest diffculty level is Libermode and one of the assignments was to get people to sign a petition that would "Make Winny Congressmen Play Video Games". These jokes are due to Joe Lieberman's attack on the video game industry.

[edit] Published works

Lieberman is the author of six books: The Power Broker (1966), a biography of the late Democratic Party chairman, John M. Bailey; The Scorpion and the Tarantula (1970), a study of early efforts to control nuclear proliferation; The Legacy (1981), a history of Connecticut politics from 1930-1980; Child Support in America (1986), a guidebook on methods to increase the collection of child support from delinquent fathers, In Praise of Public Life (2000), and An Amazing Adventure (2003), reflecting on his 2000 vice presidential run.

[edit] Notes


[edit] External links

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[edit] Official sites

[edit] Voting records

[edit] Interviews

[edit] Contributors

Preceded by:
Carl Richard Ajello
Attorney General of Connecticut
1983 – 1989
Succeeded by:
Clarine Nardi Riddle
Preceded by:
Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
United States Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
1989 – present
Served alongside: Christopher Dodd
Preceded by:
Al Gore
Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate
2000 (lost)
Succeeded by:
John Edwards
Preceded by:
Fred Thompson
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by:
Susan Collins
Current United States Senators

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Joe Lieberman

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