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Complaint Against Lieberman Out

September 6, 2000

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Sen. Joseph Lieberman can run for both the vice presidency and re-election to the Senate, the state Elections Enforcement Commission confirmed Wednesday.

The panel’s general counsel, Jeffrey Garfield, rejected the complaint of a politics professor who said Lieberman’s re-election campaign was ``frivolous″ and ``irresponsibly self-indulgent″ and urged that he be eliminated from the Senate ballot.

Lieberman had already announced his intention to run for re-election when Al Gore selected him to be his running mate. If elected to both offices, Lieberman would have to resign from the Senate to serve as vice president.

Garfield said a 1964 written opinion by the attorney general found that state election laws permitted such a dual candidacy. That opinion was written when then-Sen. Thomas Dodd, who was running for re-election, was under consideration for the Democratic vice presidential nomination.

Garfield said he had informed Fairfield University Professor John Orman of his decision.

Orman had argued that the commission had a legal duty to keep ``frivolous″ candidates off the ballot. Orman said Wednesday he was deciding whether to press his case further.

Asked about the Senate race Thursday, Lieberman said, ``The U.S. Senate seat is too important to fill on the run. I am going to stay on the ballot.″

Besides its effect on presidential politics, Lieberman’s Senate race has implications for the balance of power in Congress. If he were elected to both jobs and resigned from the Senate, it would fall to Republican Gov. John G. Rowland to appoint a replacement who would serve until the next statewide election in 2002. Rowland has said he will appoint a Republican.

Lieberman, who is favored over Republican Philip Giordano, could withdraw from the Senate race as late as Oct. 27 and still be replaced by a Democratic Party nominee.

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