This just in from the Hotline...
Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie phones in with a quick rundown on Ned Lamont's tax return disclosure press event...Click here for the full story.
In what may be the most embarrassing revelation on the return, Lamont personally only claimed to give $5,385 in charitable contributions. The Lamont campaign emphasized that there is a separate Lamont family trust which, last year, doled out $213,750. Rennie states the campaign worked very hard at obscuring the $5,385 figure and bootstrapping Ned Lamont onto the amount the trust gave. The campaign manager had an angry tone, directing it at the press. Cameras were not allowed in the room while reporters examined the returns. Copies were collected at the end. The press conference had been on Lamont’s public schedule but then the campaign announced in an 11:30 a.m. email that the candidate would not be appearing.
Now, I personally don't care too much about Lamont's taxes, because as I said yesterday, this campaign will probably never be about Ned Lamont.
But the Lieberhaters were so critical of Lieberman for avoiding an anti-Lieberman float, saying it showed he was afraid to face tough questions and so on. Well, Lamont just did an even more obvious dodge with his disappearing act from his own press event. And if the campaign manager did ban the cameras and/or take an angry tone with the press...well let's just say those aren't exactly the actions of a campaign interested in being upfront and open with the people.
As I said, I don't really care about Ned Lamont's finances; as long as no one finds $90,000 in his freezer, he can make as much money as he wants and use it as he sees fit - including on this race. In fact, I prefer self-funded candidates, because they have far less need to take money from special interest groups to get elected. Not to mention that they save the party some money that can then be spent on other races.
But I'm guessing that the Lieberhaters, for all their protestations of how terrible it was for Lieberman to not face a few disaffected voters, will not denounce Lamont's campaign for ducking the tough questions on his tax returns. And that is more than a bit hypocritical.