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A Bumper Sticker Con in Connecticut

Joe Lieberman's latest ad shows a supposed Lamont bumper sticker and website address that don't really exist.

July 10, 2006

Modified: July 11, 2006

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Summary


A campaign ad that extols Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman's "principles" contains an invented  bumper sticker and fictitious website address, making them appear to be part of his primary challenger Ned Lamont's campaign.

The bumper sticker in the ad reads "No More Joe" and features the URL
www.nomorejoe.com. Yet the Lamont campaign has no such bumper sticker and the website is not even owned by the Lamont campaign or anyone connected to it.

Analysis


The Lieberman Campaign has recently released a thirty second ad, that reportedly began running last week.

Before touting Sen. Lieberman's accomplishments for Connecticut, the ad shows two bumper stickers side by side. One is Lieberman's and the other is supposedly from his primary challenger Ned Lamont.

       Lieberman Ad
      "No More Joe"
(On-Screen: Lieberman and Lamont bumper stickers side by side)
Announcer: Of these two bumper stickers, this one has a simple message: 'No more Joe.' But what else does Lamont really have to say?
(On-Screen: Pictures and video of Joe Lieberman)
His is a little more complicated. He marched for civil rights and was a great attorney general. In the Senate, he’s delivered. From saving thousands of jobs to protecting the Sound. He has the experience money can’t buy and the courage of his convictions. Experience, principles, results. Not a bad bumper sticker after all.
Lieberman: I’m Joe Lieberman and I approve this message.

 Photoshopping the Truth

The faux Lamont bumper sticker reads "No More Joe" and, in smaller type, "Ned Lamont - Democrat for U.S. Senate."  At the bottom of the sticker is the following URL: www.nomorejoe.com.
The fake bumper sticker looks remarkably similar to the official Lamont sticker, complete with the same color scheme and elongated American flag.

Further, the website on the sticker featured in the ad, www.nomorejoe.com, does not exist.  The page is currently blank.  Nomorejoe.com is registered to Highground Inc. of Phoenix, AZ.  A spokesperson for Highground told FactCheck.org that the domain name was purchased in 2004 as an independent expenditure for a local campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and has no affiliation with the Connecticut Senate race.

Overall, the Lieberman campaign is well within its rights to argue that Lamont's campaign lacks a positive message and is simply "anti-Lieberman."  But creating false campaign material and passing it off as authentic? That seems at odds with the ad's praise of Lieberman's "principles."

- by James Ficaro